Heeling and more limited areas make monohulls more difficult to sail. Monohulls heel in greater breezes, making most activities more difficult to do. Sailing on a heeling boat is more difficult, whether you're heading forward to reef, trying to winch in a sail, or moving about the boat. Heeling makes things harder by putting more strain on the crew, the rigging, and the vehicle itself.
Heeling is due to lateral wind forces that arise when there's a horizontal angle between the wind and the surface of the water. These wind forces act on the hull in much the same way as they would on any other vessel. They push against the side of the boat with some force depending on how steep it is. The greater the angle between the wind and the surface of the water, the less force will be felt on one side compared to the other. This means that boats tend to lean from side to side in strong winds, especially when reaching for far distances.
On a monohull, the side of the boat opposite the wind comes into contact with the water first, then the other side does. As the waves lift the boat up and down, it experiences greater pressure on one side than the other. This causes it to heel over slightly.
This is not a problem unless you try to go straight upwind in a head sea.
Catamarans often outperform monohulls on downwind runs, reaches, and broad reaches. Sailing a catamaran is less strenuous than sailing a monohull. It's also much simpler to board a cat on the sugar scoops than it is on many monohulls. Cats are also more stable in heavy seas because they don't rock back and forth like a monohull.
Cats do have some drawbacks, though. They take up much more space on shore than a monohull, so they're not suitable for small boats or those looking to travel light. They're also more expensive to build and maintain than monohulls.
The main advantage of cats over monohulls is their ability to plane at slower speeds. This gives them better maneuverability when reaching or running downwind at low speeds. At high speeds, however, they don't feel any different from a monohull. Also, cats tend to drift bow-first in waves because they have no keel to resist such movement.
Catamarans were originally designed for speed. Thus, they have flat bottoms that produce little drag. This makes cats ideal for long distance racing across open water. Today, though, they're used for fun too. There are now catamarans available for daily use!
Yes, with severe gusts, all sailboats "heel" (bend over), sometimes so much that waves wash over the deck. It's just a part of sailing, and many sailors like it the most. Keelboats, on the other hand, have physics on their side when it comes to capsizing. The weight of the boat is focused at one point, and if that point dips below water level, the boat will flip.
Sailboats are more likely to capsize than motorboats because they are not anchored to a shoreline or dock. If there is no wind or the wind isn't enough to push them along, they can start to head back toward land. Even with jib and mainsail, a well-balanced sailboat can still be difficult to control in heavy seas. A motorboat can be steered into almost any position, while a keelboat remains upright only because it has been built with good design and construction practices. The last thing you want is to be sitting in deep water with a non-capsizable vessel around!
Most people think sailboats are easy to capsize, but this is not true. Even with little or no wind, a sailboat can still be extremely dangerous to handle because they are very prone to heeling over. The stronger the wind, the faster they will heel over.
A sailboat cannot proceed directly into the wind, but must instead use a sailing technique known as "tacking" to zigzag across a headwind. The main elements that have allowed sailboats to get closer to the capacity to sail upwind are the form of the sail and the hull of the boat. A sloop has one large surface area wing that can be held out to leeward by one person, while a schooner has two smaller surfaces that can be held out to leeward by two people.
As with any form of propulsion, there is some effort required to drive a sailboat upwind. As you bring the boom round to hold the lee side of the sail out to leeward, you give way to someone else who is doing the same thing on the other side of the boat. This goes on until everyone has had a turn at holding the lee side of the sail out to leeward, after which time the boat can begin to point upwind again.
The amount of effort required to drive a boat upwind varies depending on how far upwind you want to go. At first this is very easy, because all you are doing is swinging the lee side of the sail out to leeward, which requires only minimal effort since you are not pushing against anything.