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The Cruising Multihull Paperback – September 22, 1996

4.3 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Finally, a multihull voice which does not proselytize. Instead, logic and information pack the pages of Chris White's book.''

Crammed with useful information and sane advice.''

Addresses the newcomer as well as the seasoned multihull sailor. . .the best book written to date.''

From the Back Cover

Long typecast as the hotrods of the sea--fast but dangerous--modern cruising multihulls actually are among the safest and most comfortable cruising sailboats available. The Cruising Multihull supplies the reader with all the latest information about design, construction, rigs, seamanship, safety, and a point-by-point rebuttal of the "accepted wisdom" concerning multihull dangers.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 268 pages
  • Publisher: International Marine/Ragged Mountain Press; 1 edition (September 22, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0070698686
  • ISBN-13: 978-0070698680
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #391,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In response to the points made from Kemah, Texas I'll offer the following.
Yes, the book was written some time ago but the physics behind multihulls is the same now as it was in the beginning. Nor have the construction materials changed appreciably in the last 15 years. We still use the same glass, foam, wood, carbon, epoxy and polyester as we did in the mid '80's.
In fact some of the best cruising multihulls were built 20 years ago and some of the worst are built today. There has been evolution of course but much of it has been superficial. We still see lots of catamarans with little or no underwing clearance that violently pound their way across the bay, or worse the ocean. EVERYONE who knows ANYTHING about catamarans knows not to do this- but they still do it. I went to great lengths to point out this problem in the book. Maybe it has helped a few people avoid making a huge mistake in their boat selection.
The production boat appendix in the book (my publisher insisted upon it) is indeed useless as it is long out of date. However the sections on offshore safey and design features are still useful. But anyone who wants to write a current version is welcome. I'm busy designing boats and don't have the time.
Additional info is available at [...]
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Format: Paperback
I bought this book as I am considering switching from a monohull to a multihull and I wanted to learn a little more about the differences between the boats. This book was well-written - the author's style is easy to read, clear and concise. However it didn't entirely scratch where I itched.

The author covers a good deal of ground in his book and I particularly liked his comparisons between the safety records of monohulls and multihulls. In many cases there aren't accurate figures but he worked with what was available to show that multihulls are no more dangerous than monohulls - in fact the reverse. And with the major danger that exists - capsize - he devotes a large amount of space to how to prepare for capsize, how to deal with it etc. This was a helpful, if slightly daunting, section with a lot of common sense. Yes, multihulls capsize but they don't sink and you can survive in one for quite a while if well prepared. And they don't capsize THAT often.

He also gave a significant amount of space to multihull designs, although again I think some of this information was a little out of date (an expected problem with an older book). The author definitely has his own opinions about what's good and what isn't and he speaks from the position of someone who likes to sail fast rather than potter about on a cruise (although a lot of other multihull owners, I imagine, prefer the relaxed cruising). He has designed a couple of boats himself and I found myself rather irritated at how often he showed us examples of his boats as proof of various statements about design - I felt he sometimes had a rather one-track mind about boat building.
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Format: Paperback
I am preparing to cruise around the world in a multihull. Mr. White taught me more than I have learned in two years of reading other books and talking to yachties. It is an invaluable resource.
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Format: Paperback
If you can only buy one book about multihulls, this is it. I have a library of over 100 sailing books, and about 20 of those are about multihulls, and out of those 20 some books, this one is the only one worth keeping for its contents and excellent information.
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Format: Paperback
Of the few books out there on cruising multihulls, I found this this one to be about the best (as of May 1998). The text is oriented to the author's own yacht designs; his boats appear quite sensible for serious coastal or blue water sailors. The author provides an interesing, highly practical, and thorough handling of the key issues facing multihull sailors like payload capacity and safety. White quantifies the various safety issues of Multihulls versus Monohulls as much as is possible with the data available today. This book is not just the typical "Multihulls are wonderful" story you read about these days. On the downside, I would have liked to have seen a little more material on the popular production boats such as the Corsair F-24, F-27, F-28, etc... I would recommend the book to anyone interested in multihulls over 24' in size.
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Format: Paperback
Chris White's designs are certainly among the best, if not the best, in the world for performance multihulls. His book does a great job of explaining the various factors related to safety and performance in multihull sailing vessels.

The book is a bit dated and could stand a re-write to bring it up to modern standards, but I still give it a 5 for the excellent coverage of the material presented. I'd like to see some discussion of the idea of placing two masts, one in each hull discussed. I'd also like to hear his opinions of the Wylie Cat monohull flexible masts.

I'd also like to see more discussion of his own designs and his performance competitor the Gunboat series of catamarans.

Finally, I'd like to see more analysis of the various production catamarans compared to each other and mono-hulls in various wind conditions, and citations of the situations where mono-hulls perform better--for example sailing upwind is less than 10 knots of wind.

Basically, I feel Catamaran design still has a way to go in the area of rig design, while the use of high tech composites is 95% perfected.
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