The main factor in us considering a monohull is price. Hands down. You can get a decent boat for around $100k… go a little older and you’re looking at around $60k-$80k. That is about half the cost of a catamaran and cuts our wait time down considerably. Plus, there are so many choices and so much inventory on the market right now.
So, we headed over to our playground Matt’s boat yard to find ourselves the perfect monohull.
There are a few non-negotiables we had with considering a monohull.
First, we wanted a boat with a flat upper deck to give us more room and an area the dogs could roam around on. This was important since the cockpit areas of monohulls were considerably smaller than catamarans and we wanted to both be able to hang out outside with some room to move.
Second, we were looking at the accessibility of the back of the boat for the dogs. This lead us to look at this newer Jeanneau model since the back was wide and open and it would be easy to get the dogs on and off the boat. The two helms really opened up the cockpit and we liked that there was a straight path from the companionway to the back of the boat without having to shimmy around a wheel in the center.
Finally, the interior layout was considered, specifically the steps down into the cabin.
Most monohulls have steps that go straight down, like a swim ladder, which would be impossible for the dogs and extremely hazardous for me! Carrying our 80lb labs down those steps is not something we could do everyday... That right there may be the deal breaker when it comes to deciding on which type of boat to go with - a catamaran or a monohull.
However, once we got inside, we really did like the feel of monohulls. Many of the older ones had beautiful woodwork and lots of space to spread out. They actually felt homey, which was important, since this would be our home.
Matt has already made himself at home in this particular boat (a Hunter, I think). Looks like he’s ready for dish duty! … or for his snack to finish cooking in the microwave, which is way more likely.
Honestly, we really liked two of the boats we saw and liked their price even more. If we went this route, we would have the boat paid off sooner rather than later and could leave well before our 2016 deadline (we said we are leaving come hell or high water by the time we’re 35!).
The big drawback was that the layouts were not dog friendly. Especially not geriatric dog friendly, of which we have two. The funny thing is that we’re putting all of this emphasis on making sure the dogs are comfortable and they probably won’t be around when we set sail. They are 10 years old and very accustomed to sleeping all day on solid ground. Thankyouverymuch.
Another big drawback was the stability and comfort level of a cat vs a monohull. Monohulls heel left & right while under sail, making for very uncomfortable living conditions. This will be our home, and it seems exhausting to need to make sure everything is secure at all times - especially when sailing and contents are crashing from left to right depending on what tack we're on. It's silly to me that you can’t trust a cup on a flat surface, even when at anchor.
So, while we entertained the idea of a monohull, and the fast track to freedom it offered, we decided that a catamaran is definitely the best option for us. Although this Captain-a did look good behind the wheel, er, helm, of this ship! Hey, we’re still learning, alright?!