Catamarans: A Complete Guide to Multihull Boats

Catamarans have been a part of sailing history for centuries and continue to be popular for their stability, spaciousness, and performance. Developed by various cultures around the world, the principles of catamaran design have evolved over time to become optimized for both pleasure cruising and racing. This complete guide will help you understand the essentials of catamarans, their unique characteristics, and how to choose the right one for your needs.

catamaran river boat

From the basic concepts of multihull design, performance, and handling, we will explore the advantages and benefits of a catamaran in terms of safety and comfort on board.

Along the way, we will discuss maintenance considerations, distinctive catamaran brands and models, and how a catamaran lifestyle can compare to more traditional sailing options .

Finally, we will provide learning resources and frequently asked questions tailored to both seasoned sailors and newcomers to the world of catamarans.

Key Takeaways

  • Catamarans are known for their stability, spaciousness, and performance
  • This guide covers aspects like design, handling, safety, and choosing the right catamaran
  • Resources and frequently asked questions provide additional insights for potential catamaran owners

Understanding Catamarans

Design Characteristics

Catamarans are known for their unique design, which features two parallel hulls connected by a deck. This design provides several advantages over traditional monohull boats, such as stability and speed.

With their wide beam, catamarans have a reduced risk of capsizing and can access shallow waters due to their shallow drafts 1 .

One of the notable aspects of a catamaran is its twin hulls, which offer increased living space and comfort compared to a monohull. Additionally, catamarans are often favored by recreational and competitive sailors for their excellent maneuverability 2 .

The materials used for constructing catamarans range from wood to fiberglass, and even aluminum for high-performance vessels. Aluminum catamarans are known for their strength, lightweight structure, and resistance to corrosion 3 .

catamaran river boat

Hulls and Construction

The hulls in a catamaran are crucial to its stability and performance. These hulls help distribute the weight evenly across the water surface, minimizing drag and allowing for smoother sailing.

In general, the hulls can be categorized into two types:

  • Symmetrical Hulls : The hull shape is similar on both sides, which enhances balance and stability in various sailing conditions.
  • Asymmetrical Hulls : One side of the hull is designed differently than the other, which can be advantageous when sailing upwind.

The construction materials used in building catamaran hulls also play a vital role in the boat's performance and durability. Common materials include:

  • Fiberglass : A popular choice due to its lightweight, strength, and ease of maintenance.
  • Wood : Traditional material that offers a classic look, but requires more maintenance than fiberglass or aluminum.
  • Aluminum : Lightweight and strong, aluminum is an excellent choice for high-performance catamarans 4 .

catamaran river boat

Multihulls vs Monohulls

There's often a debate between the benefits of multihull boats, such as catamarans or trimarans, and monohull boats. Here are some key differences between the two:

  • Stability : Due to their wide beam and reduced heeling, catamarans offer improved stability compared to monohulls. This makes them an attractive option for those who want to avoid seasickness or feel more comfortable on the water 5 .
  • Speed : Multihull boats are known for their speed, which results from their ability to minimize drag and maintain a level sail.
  • Living Space : Catamarans and other multihulls generally have more living space, as both the hulls and the connecting deck can be utilized for accommodation and storage.
  • Maneuverability : While monohulls are known for their agility and ability to point close to the wind, catamarans can still offer exceptional maneuverability when properly sailed 6 .

Performance and Handling

Speed and Efficiency

Power catamarans have gained popularity for offering a unique combination of speed, efficiency, and stability. Their dual-hull design allows for less water resistance, which directly translates to higher speeds and better fuel efficiency compared to traditional monohull boats.

In addition, the wide beam provided by the two hulls ensures a stable ride even at higher speeds. This makes power catamarans ideal for cruising, fishing, and watersports ( Boating Beast ).

Sailing Dynamics

When it comes to sailing catamarans , the performance is affected by factors such as keel, rudders, mast, and sails.

Their wide beam and dual-hull design provide inherent stability and reduced heeling effect, making them less likely to capsize compared to monohulls.

I should also note that catamarans have a shallow draft, which gives them the ability to access shallow waters that may be off-limits to other boats ( Navigating the Waters ).

In my experience, the lighter weight of a catamaran and its aerodynamic design can contribute to remarkable sailing performance under different wind conditions.

The larger sail area relative to hull weight allows them to harness more wind power, further enhancing their speed and agility on the water.

Maneuvering and Docking

Maneuvering and docking a power catamaran involves understanding its unique handling characteristics.

The presence of two engines in separate hulls allows for more precise control in confined spaces such as marinas.

The maneuverability of these boats is typically improved by the use of dual rudders that are located close to each powered hull for efficient steering ( BoatUS ).

When docking under power, I find it helpful to carefully assess the wind and current conditions beforehand.

This is because catamarans can be more sensitive to windage due to their larger surface area above the waterline.

By understanding how these forces may affect the boat, I can make adjustments to my approach and successfully dock the catamaran without any incidents.

Safety and Comfort on Board

Safety Features

Safety is a top priority when sailing any type of vessel, including catamarans. A well-built catamaran offers several features aimed at ensuring the safety of those onboard.

First, catamarans have inherent stability due to their wide beam and twin hull design . This makes them less prone to capsizing than monohull boats. This stability allows me to confidently navigate various water conditions .

In addition to stability, catamarans are designed with positive buoyancy, making them almost unsinkable . Of course, safety equipment such as lifejackets, flares, and first aid kits should always be onboard and well-maintained.

Furthermore, you should also stay updated on weather conditions, avoid sailing in high-risk areas, and learn your boat's safe sail limits.

Living Spaces and Comfort

When it comes to living spaces, I value comfort and practicality as essential features for my time on the water. Catamarans offer a unique advantage in this regard, as their dual hulls create spacious living areas.

Most catamarans are designed with separate cabins in each hull, allowing for privacy and comfort when sleeping. Additionally, these boats typically feature shallow drafts , which means I can access shallow waters and anchor close to shore.

The main living area, or salon, is situated on the bridge deck between the hulls. It usually includes a seating area, a dining table, and a galley (kitchen). Large windows provide ample natural light and panoramic views, making the space feel open and bright. Some catamarans even have the option for an additional living area on the upper deck where you can enjoy the sun and breeze.

One aspect of catamaran living I truly appreciate is the ample storage available. Each cabin typically has built-in storage spaces for clothes, gear, and personal items. There are also designated areas for equipment such as spare sails, tools, and water toys. This makes it easy for me to keep my belongings organized and make the most of my time on the water.

Maintaining a Catamaran

Routine Maintenance

In order to keep my catamaran in the best possible shape, I make sure to perform routine maintenance tasks. These tasks are essential to extend the life of the components and ensure smooth sailing:

  • Cleaning : Regularly cleaning the deck, hulls, and sails prevents buildup of dirt, algae, and other debris that could affect performance.
  • Inspection : Periodically inspecting my catamaran allows me to detect any potential issues before they become significant problems. I pay close attention to the rigging, sails, and lines on my boat.
  • Lubrication : Keeping all moving parts lubricated is vital to prevent friction and wear on components such as winches and pulleys.
  • Antifouling : Applying antifouling paint to the hulls of my catamaran helps prevent the growth of marine organisms that can damage the boat and reduce its speed. Make sure to do this at least once a year.

Dealing with Wear and Tear

Despite my best efforts to keep my catamaran well-maintained, wear and tear is inevitable. Here's how I deal with common issues that could arise from regular use:

  • Repairs : When I notice signs of wear on sails, lines, or rigging components, I make it a priority to repair or replace them promptly. Neglecting these issues can lead to more significant problems and affect the boat's performance.
  • Hull maintenance : If I find dents, scratches, or stiff rudders on my catamaran's hulls, I address them immediately. Repairing any damage not only ensures smooth sailing but also prevents further issues from developing.
  • Sail care : Over time, my sails can become stretched, torn, or damaged due to exposure to sun, wind, and saltwater. Regularly inspecting them for signs of wear and making any necessary repairs or replacements helps maintain optimal performance.
  • Rust and corrosion prevention : Since my catamaran is made of various metal components, I need to protect them from rust and corrosion. I routinely check for signs of corrosion and apply anti-corrosive treatments when needed.

Catamaran Brands and Models

High-Performance Models

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in high-performance catamarans. I have seen a variety of brands and models that have impressed me with their performance capabilities. One notable brand is Fountaine Pajot , which has a long history of producing a range of sailing catamarans and power catamarans. Some of their popular models include the Tanna 47 and the Bali 4.4 .

Another high-performance catamaran I've come across is the Leopard 40 . Known for their speed and exceptional handling in various conditions, the Leopard brand started with sailing catamarans and has since expanded to include power catamarans. Their models range from 40 to 53 feet long, offering both power and luxury for those looking for a thrilling experience on the water.

Cruising Catamarans

When it comes to cruising catamarans, the Lagoon brand is synonymous with luxury and comfort. With a range of sailing catamarans from 40 to 70 feet long, Lagoon offers spacious catamarans for extended bluewater cruising. Their 60- and 70-foot power catamarans are equally impressive, providing ample living space and smooth sailing experiences.

I've also found the Aquila 42 PC to be a remarkable cruising catamaran. With a focus on design and innovation, Aquila has produced catamarans perfect for exploring the open sea with friends and family. Their spacious, stable designs allow for a more enjoyable and serene journey, ensuring you arrive at your destination comfortably.

The Catamaran Lifestyle

Anchoring and Cruising

I find catamarans to be a fantastic choice for cruising and anchoring , which is a critical part of living the catamaran lifestyle . Catamarans have several advantages when it comes to anchoring and cruising, such as:

  • Stability : Due to their wide beam and twin hulls, catamarans remain stable during anchoring, which reduces the risk of seasickness.
  • Shallow draft : Thanks to their shallow draft , catamarans can anchor close to shore, enabling better access to protected coves and more beautiful beaches.
  • Speed : Despite their large size for cruising vessels , catamarans are generally faster than monohulls. This is a result of their slim hulls and reduced water resistance.

When it comes to anchoring, catamarans can make use of their shallow draft to anchor in locations that other boats cannot. This allows for a greater range of cruising spots, which makes the overall experience much more enjoyable and unique.

Living on a Catamaran Full-time

For many catamaran enthusiasts, the dream of living full-time on a catamaran is entirely possible. While not without challenges, there are several factors that make living aboard a catamaran an enjoyable experience:

  • Spacious living areas : Catamarans generally have more living area compared to monohulls, providing ample space for the whole crew.
  • Privacy : The separate hulls allow for private cabins, ensuring that everyone on board has their space.
  • Stability : As mentioned earlier, catamarans are stable vessels, making living on them more comfortable than monohulls.

Choosing Your Catamaran

Comparing Models and Features

When I start to look for the perfect catamaran, the first thing I focus on is comparing various models and features .

I determine the key factors that are essential for my needs, such as size, passenger comfort, and performance. By doing so, I can identify which catamaran models are most suitable for me.

For example, if I plan to sail with a large group, I would look for a catamaran that offers ample space both inside and out.

To help me with my comparisons, I usually create a table or list of the different models and their features:


This visual aid makes it easier for me to sort the options and prioritize my considerations, such as price, yacht type, and brand.

New vs. Second-Hand

Another critical aspect of choosing a catamaran is deciding between a new or second-hand boat.

Both options have their pros and cons, and ultimately it depends on my preferences and budget.

If I can afford a new catamaran, I get the advantage of the latest design , features, and technology. Plus, I typically receive better warranty coverage and support from the manufacturer.

However, new catamarans are more expensive and can have long wait times due to high demand.

On the other hand, purchasing a second-hand catamaran can save me a significant amount of money, and I might find a high-quality boat with low mileage or well-maintained by the previous owner.

However, this option carries more risks, as I need to be knowledgeable about potential maintenance issues and conduct a thorough inspection before purchase.

Learning Resources

Books and Manuals

When it comes to learning about catamarans, there are plenty of books and manuals available.

One of the highly recommended books is Multihull Voyaging by Thomas Firth Jones. This book provides a comprehensive understanding of multihulls, including catamarans, and is an essential guide for any beginner sailor.

Another great book to check out is Catamarans: The Complete Guide for Cruising Sailors by Gregor Tarjan.

With a foreword by Charles K. Chiodi, publisher of Multihulls Magazine, this book covers all aspects of cruising catamarans. It includes detailed information on design, construction, and maintenance, as well as tips and tricks for sailing a catamaran.

Here are a few more books that I find valuable:

  • The Catamaran Book by Tim Bartlett, an excellent resource for both beginners and experienced sailors
  • Catamaran Sailing: From Start to Finish by Phil Berman and Lenny Rudow, a comprehensive guide to both catamaran racing and cruising

Online Content and Photography

In addition to books, you can find plenty of online content and photography about catamarans.

Websites like Sailaway Blog and Boating Guide offer tips, techniques, and how-to articles for sailing catamarans.

Many of these sites also include stunning photography, showcasing these beautiful vessels in action.

For those who prefer Kindle or e-books, many of these resources are available in digital format.

This makes it easier for you to access them anytime, anywhere, allowing you to keep learning and improving your catamaran sailing skills.

To further enhance your knowledge, you can also join online forums and communities dedicated to catamarans.

These platforms provide invaluable advice and first-hand experiences shared by fellow sailors, as well as recommendations for additional learning resources.

Frequently Asked Questions

What factors should be considered when choosing a catamaran for full-time living?

When choosing a catamaran for full-time living, consider its space and layout , as it will become your home.

Look for a design with a comfortable living area , ample storage, and sufficient berths for the number of people living aboard.

Also, consider fuel efficiency , ease of maintenance, and the catamaran's cruising range .

Lastly, the overall cost of ownership , including insurance and mooring fees, should be considered.

How do catamarans perform in rough sea conditions?

In general, catamarans are known for their stability, which is primarily due to their wide beams. This makes them less prone to capsizing when compared to monohulls.

However, their performance in rough sea conditions will depend on the specific model and design of the catamaran. Some may perform better in certain conditions than others, so researching and selecting the right design is essential.

What are the key differences between sailing a catamaran and a monohull?

One of the main differences between catamarans and monohulls is stability.

Catamarans have a wider beam , which makes them more stable and minimizes the risk of capsizing.

They also have shallower drafts, which allow them to access more shallow waters compared to monohulls.

Additionally, catamarans often have larger living spaces, making them more comfortable and suitable for cruising and full-time living.

What are the advantages of catamarans for long-distance cruising?

Catamarans offer several advantages for long-distance cruising.

Their wide, stable design provides a comfortable ride and reduces the risk of seasickness.

They can also attain higher speeds due to their reduced drag and generally sail faster than monohulls on certain points of sail.

The shallow draft allows them to explore more coastal areas and anchor closer to shore. Lastly, their spacious interiors make them ideal for extended cruises and living aboard.

How does one assess the value of a used catamaran on the market?

Assessing the value of a used catamaran requires thorough research and inspection.

Start by comparing the age, model, and condition of the catamaran to similar listings on the market.

Take note of any upgrades or additions made to the boat, as these can affect the price.

It's essential to inspect the boat in person or hire a professional surveyor to ensure there are no hidden issues that could affect its value.

What essential features should be looked for in a catamaran intended for ocean voyages?

For ocean voyages, look for a catamaran with a strong, well-built hull designed to handle rough conditions.

Safety features such as liferafts, adequate flotation, and sturdy deck hardware are crucial.

A reliable engine and well-maintained rigging and sails are also essential.

In terms of living space, opt for a catamaran with a comfortable, spacious interior and ample storage.

Last but not least, good navigation and communication systems are necessary for long-distance ocean voyages.

catamaran river boat

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A Complete Catamaran Guide

There you are, out on the water when a strange craft approaches.  Is it a sailboat? It sure looks like one until it turns to face you.  That’s when you notice this boat doesn’t have just one hull. It has two hulls and it’s called a catamaran.

Catamarans are unique, and highly stable watercraft.  We’ll explore all the ins and outs of sailing the waters in one of these weird, and awesome multi-hulled craft.  Join me as we explore the wild world of sailing catamarans.

A small sailing catamaran sits on a beach.

A History Of The Catamaran

It is believed that the first people to use a catamaran design were those living in Australasia.

A map showing the region where the catamaran originated.

The succession of boat design in this region was actually very interesting.  The beginning of boats in the area was simple, albeit conventional rafts. These were fashioned from logs strewn together with plant fiber lashings such as those formed using bamboo fiber.  

Catamaran Evolution

An info graphic showing the progression of the evolution of the catamaran.

The conventional raft gave way to a minimal raft.  This design was basically a conventional raft with two cross beams added in the form of logs.  These would be eventually hollowed out to improve buoyancy.

The next step in the evolution of boats in the Australasian region was the double canoe.  This proved to be the first real catamarans.  

After some time, the form evolved further into the asymmetrical double canoe design.  In this design, one canoe was large and the other attached canoe was smaller.

The asymmetrical design quickly evolved into the single-outrigger boat like the one shown in the photo below.

A monohull canoe with an attached exterior outrigger is shown in this file photo.

The final stage of the evolution of the catamaran in the region was to gain a second outrigger.  This in effect created the trimaran with the single central hull and dual outriggers.

Eye Witness Accounts Of Catamarans

In 1697, William Dampier wrote of witnessing a type of seafaring vessel off the coast of Coromandel.  He noted how the locals called the type of boat a catamaran. He also noted that it had multiple hulls (logs) and that they were small vessels that the person operating would have to hang partway into the water, straddling the hull (log).

The name catamaran came from the Tamil.  And yet, it was easily applied by the European visitors to the two hulled sailing vessels that sped across the water in the region.

Although Dampier may have described the catamaran in the 1690s, the type of boat was actually used as early as the 5th century by the Tamil Chola dynasty.  They used boats to move their troops from one island to another. Using this design of boat allowed them to travel heavy, travel quickly and was partially responsible for the conquering of neighboring Burma, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Building A Boat – Basics Of Catamaran Construction

A boat is usually thought of as being a single-hulled vessel that travels along the surface of the water.  It can have multiple types, shapes, and designs of the hull. However, it is often only thought of as having a single hull.  But, what if it had two hulls? Would that be like taking two separate boats, and making a raft over both of them? In essence, that is exactly what a catamaran is:  two boats made into one.

Advantages Of Multiple Hulls

  • More stability than a monohull
  • Wide supporting base allows for larger sails than monohull craft of the same length
  • Hull does not require the deep-running keel of a standard monohull sailboat
  • Less hull drag in the water than a monohull
  • Less power required to drive a catamaran forward than a monohull boat

Disadvantages Of Multiple Hulls 

  • Due to multiple hulls, construction is more expensive than a monohull design
  • Catamaran speed relies on lightweight materials to make a lightweight craft.  This also drives up the cost of construction.
  • Extra engineering requirements for multi-hull craft also increase the cost of construction.

Conclusion?  Well, it looks to me like everything about catamarans points towards superiority over monohulls in nearly every way.  But, you get what you pay for. I think the same thing likely applies to cars too. For instance, I have a performance car that cost me about 10k more than the equivalent non-sports car within the same class. 

Yet to drive the vehicle, it performs so much better than the normal version of the car, it really speaks volumes to the difference between a common vehicle, and a performance one.

Speaking of performance vehicles, let’s take a look now at the different kinds and uses of a catamaran.

Catamaran Types

Commercial catamarans – ferries.

Catamarans are often used as a ferry to transport people and vehicles across bodies of water as shown in this photo.

One of the most common uses for a catamaran is the commercial use of the vehicle design when it comes to ferries.  This is likely due to the wide, flat deck possibilities of a catamaran versus a monohulled boat. Not only that, but the catamaran is also a much more stable bodied vessel.  This again makes it a superior design for transporting larger land vessels like trucks and so forth. They can easily drive on the ferry without fear of the ferry tipping over.

Some ferries are designed for taking vehicles, like the one you might find in the city of Toronto.  Where it transports cars from the mainland to Toronto Island. Others are designed specifically with the sole purpose of transporting people. I took a look at one such ferry that operates in Germany.  Take a look at the following case study.

Commercial Use Case Study – The Ferry

The FRS Helgoline is a ferry catamaran operating out of Flensburg, Germany, close to the Danish border.

A map showing Northern Germany, Denmark and Poland.

According to the ferry company’s website, the ferry runs using four main engines which are run to a capacity of 12,182 hp combined.  This blasts this ferry at a speed of 35 knots or 65 km/hour. This is equivalent to 40 miles per hour. That’s pretty good considering the size and weight of the ship body this catamaran can carry.

Speaking of capacity, the ship can carry 680 passengers. At 56.4 meters long (185 feet) by 14 meters wide (45.9 feet), that’s a decent passenger capacity. 

Catamaran Passenger Capacity Versus Monohull Boat Passenger Capacity 

The general rule for calculating passenger capacity for a boat is as follows.

Length x Width / 15 = Passenger Capacity

Therefore, the FRS Helgoline should have a calculated capacity calculated as follows.

185 x 45.9 / 15 = 566  

But it actually has a capacity of 680 which is a 20% increase in capacity over a standard monohull.

For comparison, let’s look at a superyacht.  A 48.5m (159 feet) long by 10.7m (35 feet) beam (width of the boat) Palmer Johnson Supersport 48 (valued at about $28.5 million dollars) should have a capacity calculated as follows.

159 x 35 / 15 = 371

In short, 26 feet of difference in length equates to 309 fewer passengers.  It is almost half of the capacity of the catamaran at 26 feet longer length.

A super yacht sits like a golden blade floating in the water.

Photo courtesy of

Commercial Catamarans – Service Vehicles

In port in Australia, a service catamaran sits docked in this photo.

Although Catamarans are typically used as ferries due to their stability and ability to carry wide loads on their flat decks, there are many different service catamarans out there as well.  From a support vessel to a crew transfer or search and rescue, catamarans are a solid and stable platform to build a ship on.

This is the Ardea which is a 20 meter (65.6 feet) catamaran to be used for crew transport and as a support ship.  This ship was built by the Echo Marine Group and delivered to Western Australia in early 2019. This particular vessel is in the service of the Cape Preston Sino Iron Project.  

Catamarans are used all around the world, for a variety of tasks, not just ferries or support craft.

Commercial Catamarans – Cruise Lines

A large red and white catamaran cruise ship sits idle in the waters in front of a bustling metropolis in this photo.

Now these are the catamarans we all want to be aboard, aren’t they?  Due to the wide stance, these ships can feature massive halls and wide-open interior areas.  These ships are stable, and some would say even more stable and safer than monohull design ships.  

There are many cruise ship catamarans in use today around the world.  Some of the more ‘famous’ catamaran cruises are those which investigate the Galapagos Islands.  There are several high-end, small fleet, cruise lines operating to the Galapagos which utilize catamaran design vessels as their primary ship type. 

These ships can be extremely comfortable and stable and often offer some reprieve to those who may otherwise feel seasick. It won’t stop the feeling, but the more stable the hull, the less the boat rocks around.

Military Catamarans

The USNS Spearhead races forward along the water in this file photo.

Catamarans make excellent military transport vessels.  They are stable and the potential to have a large, flat and wide deck for transporting land craft, troops or acting as a landing pad for vertical take-off aerial craft.  The stability of the two hulls makes the vessel an excellent candidate for military use, and thus it is used for said purpose.

A photo of the rear of the USNS Spearhead - a military catamaran.

As you can clearly see in the image of the USNS Spearhead, the rear of the vessel has a moveable ramp that can be used for loading and unloading land vehicles.  The interior bay of the craft is visible in the image as well, a large area for storage of vehicles, supplies and more. The crane arm on the back of the ship also shows how it is a versatile craft, set up to act as an excellent support craft with a helicopter landing pad and ample storage and freight capacity.

Recreational Catamarans

Siting on a beach, a small catamaran sail is set against the wind swept clouds and blue sky.

Catamaran Personal WatercraftThe wind is in your hair, the warm spray from the hull cutting over the edge of each wave as you skip over the water.  That is life, let me tell you. Personal watercraft have come a long way over the years and the small one, two, three and four-person catamarans have come a long way as well. 

This image shows a homemade catamaran.

Depending on the options, you can get a small one or two-person catamaran for as little as $1500 new.  That might be an inflatable though. There are some very nice, rigid hull designed catamarans for 1-4 people that range from $3500 to $15000.  And these are basically open, personal watercraft like that shown in the image below.

Using a small catamaran can be quite challenging to learn at first.  Sailing is not for the faint of heart. It requires skill, technique, knowledge of the wind and sea, and a bit of hard work.  But it can be fun, rewarding and a great way to catch some sun and fresh air out on the water. It’s a relatively GREEN sport as well.   Given the use of sails over gas-powered motors that is.

‘Sailing Cats’ – Sailing Catamarans – Yacht & Luxury Class

This photo shows a luxury sailing catamaran yacht.

Here’s where we get into the dreamy boats of the rich and famous.  I priced out a small 43’ luxury Leopard 40 sailing catamaran. Even before I added any extras at all, the base price was $399,000 USD.  I imagine if I added a few of the multiple extras available, and some tax, freight and that sort of thing, I’m easily in half a million dollars.  And that’s the smallest base model.

There are all kinds of luxury catamaran shipbuilders across the world.  From Asia to Europe and The Americas, it seems any major boating country has at least one company building luxury catamarans.  It’s weird that you don’t see more of them on the water though, don’t you think?

Being sailing vessels, these luxury cats require some training in sailing before you get behind the wheel.  And considering the price point, I would definitely want to be at least a semi-decent sailor with some good few years experience under my belt before I would comfortable at the helm of a half-million-dollar sailing cat.  It’s all relative I suppose. I imagine a billionaire might bat an eye at the prospect of wrecking a half-million-dollar boat. But to me, and most of you reading this, that’s likely a lot of money.

‘Power Cats’ – Powered Catamarans

A powered catamaran is shown in this file photo.

The powered catamaran is one of my favorite boats.  They have sort of a muscle car appearance with the wide and often tall front end of the boats.  I find it to be reminiscent of a large air intake on the front hood of a rally race car like the Subaru WRX, for instance.  These boats are fast, they are stable and handle very well. Catamarans are often considered the boat of choice for long sea voyages due to their stability.  

A powered catamaran will definitely cost more than a powered monohull boat of the same length.  Why? Well, the powered catamaran has one crucial downside. That is, it needs two engines. One for each of the two hulls.  Otherwise, it’s off balance for propulsion. These two engines or motors have to be in sync with each other or again, the propulsion will be off-balance.  Because they have two motors, they have double the maintenance when it comes to maintaining the propulsion system.

More components also means a greater chance of things breaking down.  In essence, it doubles the chances of the ship having a motor break down. The saving grace is that should one motor break, they have a backup, even if it does mean very unbalanced propulsion.  In contrast, a monohull vessel of the same length may only have half the chance of motor failure due to only having one motor, but if that one motor breaks, then what? Call for help, that’s what.  A cat would have a struggling chance to get itself back to port. A monohull would be dead in the water unless it was carrying spare parts or another motor onboard somewhere.

Catamaran Frequently Asked Questions

What is a catamaran cruise.

catamaran river boat

A catamaran cruise is simply a cruise on a dual hull design boat.  Often used for river cruises, the catamaran which is used as cruise ships are often considerably smaller than their giant monohulled counterparts.

What is the purpose of a catamaran?

A catamaran is a design for a boat that utilizes two hulls.  Due to the flat, platform-like-potential for the deck of the boat, the catamaran is often purposed with transporting materials, vehicles, and people.  For instance, catamarans are quite often used as ferries.

Is catamaran safe?

Catamaran are very safe water craft.   The design of riding on two hulls separated by a gap in between, in essence is like giving a car a double-wide wheel base.  The wider the stance, the more stable the craft, from side to side anyway. And if the length of the boat is proportional to the width, then it becomes an extremely stable craft.  That is why catamarans are often considered the best to be used for long voyages. Yes, catamaran are safe.

What is the difference between a catamaran and a sailboat?

A traditional sailboat is a deep, monohull vessel that has at least one mast extending high into the air above the deck to hold sails.  A catamaran refers to the design of a dual-hull boat and really has nothing to do with sails. Although, catamaran do make excellent sailing boats as well, they are quite capable of acting as power boats and do not require sails if they have the correct amount of powered motors to propel them.  Sailboats, although also able to be powered if a motor is provided, are traditionally monohull and wind-powered exclusively.

Do catamarans have small interiors?

The size of an interior cabin on a boat is typically proportional to the size of the boat itself.  If a catamaran has above-deck cabins, they will likely be able to be of a larger design than those you would find on deck of a monohull boat.  This is because a catamaran has a much wider footprint than a monohull boat of the same length. This extra width would allow for larger on deck cabins.  

How much does a catamaran cost?

A personal watercraft (1-2 person) inflatable catamaran will run you anywhere from $1500-$12000 USD, depending on the quality and features.  The rigid hull catamarans of the same size start at about $4500 USD.

A small cabin cruiser type of catamaran will typically start at about $60000 for a small base model and the price just goes up and up depending on size and features.

For Instance, a 40’, 3 cabin with 1 washroom cat will cost you about $500,000 USD for the base model.  They are considerably more expensive that a monohull of the same length. However, the trade-off is greater stability and a smoother, more comfortable ride.

Is a catamaran more work to maintain?

Technically yes.  Due to having two hulls and if powered, two motors and likely also water jets, this means you have double the oil changes of a boat that would have a single motor.  Once you get past the basic engine and hull maintenance, a catamaran is not that much more work than a monohull ship of the same length.  

The trouble with catamarans in terms of maintenance, is that once they reach a certain length, the width becomes more than a standard lane on the road.  That being said, if you ever need to transport the boat via land, it can be quite the challenge. Especially if you need to pay to have a police escort for an extra-wide trailer.  And special licensing might be involved as well.

What is the difference between a catamaran and a trimaran?

A trimaran is shown in this photo.

A catamaran is a dual hull boat.  In other words, it has two hulls. A trimaran has three hulls.  

Is a catamaran considered a yacht?

According to Oxford dictionary, a yacht is a medium-sized sailboat equipped for cruising or racing.  A catamaran, on the other hand, is a boat with two hulls. Therefore, a catamaran can most certainly also be a yacht.  And likewise, if a yacht has two hulls, then it is a catamaran as well.

Can you get seasick on a catamaran?

Seasickness occurs when a person feels nauseous from the swaying motion of a rocking ship.  These feelings may be lessened on a catamaran, due to their extra stability. However, a catamaran may be slightly more stable than a monohull of the same length, but it is still a boat.  And it will still make someone who experiences seasickness continue to feel the ill effects.

Are catamarans more stable in rough seas?

Catamarans are known to be more stable than monohull ships of the same length.  This is why catamarans are often the ship type of choice for long sea voyages due to their stability.

Why do catamarans capsize?

Catamarans are not known for capsizing.  The larger vessels that is anyway. But, it does happen from time to time.  Catamarans are known for their stability, so typically if a capsize event should occur, it is typical for them to be extreme circumstances.  

Personal watercraft catamarans are a different story though.  These are in fact known for tipping over. Not because they are less stable than their monohull counterparts of the same length.  But instead, because they are able to go considerably faster than monohull personal watercraft of the same length (not including powered craft though).  This is due to the sailing cats being able to have a larger sail than a small monohull sailboat of the same length.

Due to the extra sail, they are able to travel faster than monohull sailboats of the same length.  This allows them to whip around on the water and at higher speeds, whipping your cat about quick can easily send it over sideways. Extra speed means fast turns carry momentum in the direction of travel and that extra speed equates to tipping over if turned too fast.  To sum up, they capsize due to user error or extreme events.

Which is safer, a catamaran or a monohull?

Due to the extra stability of having a wider footprint than a monohull, a catamaran of the same length is the safer vessel.

Are catamarans safer than sailboats?

The same rule applies to stability versus the length of the hull.  A cat will always be the more stable length for length. However, due to their ability to go much faster than a monohull sailboat, this kind of cancels out some of the added safety due to stability.  With that in mind, they may just be about the same but there is one generalization we can make when comparing the safety of catamarans vs sailboats: At the same speed, and of equal length, sailing or power catamaran will be safer than a monohull sailboat.

How fast can catamarans go?

The speed a catamaran can go is entirely dependent upon the hull design, weight of the vessel, the strength of propulsion (be it wind or powered) and so on.  The general rule is that in terms of sailing cats vs monohull sailboats, a cat of equal length can typically go faster than a sailboat.  

In terms of powered cats vs powerboats, a powered catamaran will typically require less energy to move forward than a monohull of the same sort of hull design (but monohull of course) and thus a cat should, in theory, be able to go faster than a monohull when both are using propulsion that is equal in power.


  • Wikipedia – Catamarans
  • Mahdi, Waruno (1999). “The Dispersal of Austronesian boat forms in the Indian Ocean”. In Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew (eds.). Archaeology and Language III: Artefacts languages, and texts . One World Archaeology. 34 . Routledge. pp. 144–179. ISBN 0415100542 .
  • Wikipedia – Spearhead -class expeditionary fast transport

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Cool Runnings Catamarans Logo


Experience an unforgettable day of fun and sun aboard one of our Catamarans. Set sail from a beach and cruise for a swim or go snorkeling in the warm colorful waters. Then back to the Catamaran once again. Enjoy the refreshment as you sail pass the emerald hills before docking at the famous Dunn’s River Falls. Follow your guide up the spectacular 900’ cascading waterfalls and through the lush tropical rain forest. The sail on the way back is party time. Let loose to the latest Reggae and Soca dance tunes and enjoy Red Stripe Beer and Rum drinks on the house!

catamaran river boat


catamaran river boat

Fun and sun aboard one of our Catamarans - Climb the spectacular 900’ Dunn’s River Falls - Party all the way back - Refreshments on the house


An unforgettable cruise experience.

Monday to Saturdays – 12:30–4:30 PM; Sundays available (min 15 pax) Morning Cruises available – 9:00-12:00 AM (minimum 15 pax)

catamaran river boat

On our Snorkel Dunn’s River Cruise, you will experience an unforgettable day of fun and sun aboard one of our Catamarans. We set sail from Mahogany Beach and cruise for a swim or go snorkeling in the warm colorful waters. Then back to the Catamaran once again.

Enjoy the refreshment as you sail pass the emerald hills and numerous waterfalls before docking at the famous Dunn’s River Falls. Follow your guide up the spectacular 900’ cascading waterfalls and through the lush tropical rain forest.

The sail on the way back is party time. Let loose to the latest Reggae and Soca dance tunes and enjoy Red Stripe Beer and Rum drinks on the house.

OPEN SNORKEL DUNN’S RIVER TOUR Cruise Includes : Music, Crew, Snorkeling Gears, Entrance to Dunn’s River Falls, Sailing, Jamaican Patties and Open Bar Open Bar : Rum Punch, Rum & Pepsi, Fruit Punch, Pepsi, Beer and Wat

This cruise requires a minimum 15 persons in order to sail. Please contact us before booking: tel: 876 618 2052 (local) | tel: +1 206 415 9214 (overseas).

On a cruise? To book your tour directly with your cruise line, click the logo :





Book with Carnival

  i.fb-icon-element.fontawesome-icon.fb-icon-element-3{ color: #ffffff;}i.fb-icon-element.fontawesome-icon.fb-icon-element-3:hover { color: #ffffff;} Notes

All persons participating in the Snorkel DRF tour have access to:

  • Snorkel Gears;
  • Entrance to Dunn’s River Falls;
  • Open Bar (alcoholic Beverages are not served until after Dunn’s River);
  • Complimentary Jamaican Beef patties;
  • Free WI-FI.

Water shoes are required for the Falls climb. They are available on board:

  • Purchase – U$13.00 per pair

Zones 1 and 2 are “All-Inclusive” (all amenities plus roundtrip transfer from the resort and lunch).

Zones 3 – 5 are entitled to all the amenities but will be required to pay for lunch and transfer if required.


Consistently mostly Excellent Reviews for all our tours.

I.fb-icon-element.fontawesome-icon.fb-icon-element-4{ color: #ffffff;}i.fb-icon-element.fontawesome-icon.fb-icon-element-4:hover { color: #ffffff;}  hotel pickup time by zone, zone 1 (negril).



DE JA 9:20AM




RIU OCHO RIOS 11:45 a.m.
KAZ KREOLE 12:10 p.m.



i.fb-icon-element.fontawesome-icon.fb-icon-element-5{ color: #ffffff;}i.fb-icon-element.fontawesome-icon.fb-icon-element-5:hover { color: #ffffff;} FAQ

Useful and frequently asked questions from Tripadvisor. Questions and answers from our guests, in their own words.

Is this excursion suited for someone in a wheelchair? Obviously I wont climb the dunns river, but would like to come with my family and watch.

No it is not suitable for a wheelchair, the access to the catamaran is not great, and would be difficult for anyone with walking difficulties, the catamaran is really crowded, and we had to negotiate another 2 to get on to ours. At Dunns River the jetty it quite rickety and leads straight on to the sand, hope this useful.

Where are bathroom facilities on this excursion?

Down a few stairs.

We have been many times and love it! My question is this trip my grandchildren will be with us. They are 4, 2 and 2. If an adult stays with them can they go on the boat? They would not snorkel or climb.

There were children on our boat and they were allowed to snorkel. They were not as young as your grandchildren, maybe from 5-12yrs old, but they seemed to have a good time. Just keep an eye on them because when the dancing starts, it can get a little crowded and wild. Have a great vacation!

How long is the catamaran ride from sailing to the falls?

Catamaran package deal is supposedly a full-day COURSE, from the point and time you’ll be picked-up from your hotel normally in the morning after breakfast, and then on the shuttle bus that’s where all the fun begins due to the driver makes that excursions fun and interesting.  Then you’ll be dropped off the place where you need to wear your water shoes when you go to your boat and to the falls and back (lots and lots of fun it is all well worth every dollar spent). Have a good time!

How difficult is it to get back on the boat after snorkeling. How far does the ladder go down in the water?

Normal ladder. Probably 2 rungs below water. Very easy. We had all shapes and sizes in our group.

catamaran river boat

Sailing from:

Mahogany Beach, Ocho Rios, St. Ann. See on Google map

Bus available for hotel pickup – see hotel pickup time by zone

Mahogany Beach

catamaran river boat

Contact Cool Runnings Catamarans

1 Marvin’s Park, White River, Ocho Rios, St. Ann

Phone: 876 618 2052 | 876 381 2565 | 876 564 3779

Mobile: US: +1 206 415 9214

Email: [email protected]

Email: [email protected]

Cool Runnings Catamarans

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Fountaine pajot elba 45, see all exclusive multihulls for sale, see all pre-owned multihulls for sale, meet the team, will miller charleston, south carolina.

Captain Will Miller is President and CEO of The Multihull Company. Will grew up in Virginia and learned to sail in the Chesapeake Bay. He has lived in Charleston since 2001 and knows the city well. Throughout his life Will’s parents have owned a variety of sail, ski, and fishing boats in the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries, the Carolinas, and the Caribbean. Family vacations included chartering in the Virgin...

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The Multihull Company is thrilled to announce our participation in the Miami Boat Show, taking place on February 15-19, 2023. As one of the premier boat shows in the world, this event is the perfect platform for us to showcase our wide range of high-quality multihulls for sale.  We are committed to providing our customers with the best experience possible,...

Introducing the Tao 452: On Display At The Annapolis Boat Show October 12 – 15, 2023

The Multihull Company is thrilled to unveil the new Tao 452, an exciting addition to the world of blue-water performance cruising catamarans. Meticulously engineered and crafted to perfection, the Tao 452 is set to redefine the catamaran experience for sailors worldwide. If you've ever felt the need for more sailing performance from your current production charter catamaran or been disappointed...

Join Us At The Annapolis Boat Show Aboard the Voyage 590

The Multihull Company is excited to announce its participation in this year's Annapolis Sailboat Show. The event will be held from October 12 - 15, 2023 in downtown Annapolis, and The Multihull Company will be showcasing the exquisite Voyage 590 catamaran from Voyage Yachts. The Annapolis Boat Show is a highly anticipated annual event that brings together boating enthusiasts, industry...


The Multihull Company is pleased to announce their appointment as a dealer for Voyage Yachts and their new model – the Voyage 590!  The Voyage 590 is being celebrated as the ultimate, luxury sailing catamaran with all the comforts of home surrounded by panoramic views of paradise. She maximizes luxury accommodation and comfort, with the performance and blue-water capability characteristic...

Ian Edmonson Joins TMC As Yacht Broker in Fort Pierce, FL.

The Multihull Company is thrilled to announce the appointment of Ian Edmonson as a yacht broker at its newly opened Fort Pierce location. Ian brings a unique blend of boating passion, brokerage experience, real estate expertise, and customer-focused mentality to the team. Ian's love for boating began at an early age and has only continued to grow, leading him to...

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I bought a yacht that I had never seen. I did this because I trusted my broker Andrew Holland. It was not an easy job for Andrew, as I am an experienced boat builder and owner of previous yachts, but work in West Africa. Imagine how hard it was to communicate what I was looking for. Andrew came up with exactly what I wanted. He dealt with time delays, all my questions at odd hours, and was there for the survey. He reported honestly and professionally. After buying the yacht, I arrived at the boat on a Sunday night, after dark, after travelling from West Africa to the Caribbean, and found it was better than expected. He never pulled punches and made me aware of shortfalls. I expected to spend my one month leave working on the boat, but actually spent less than one week, and was able to spend 3 weeks sailing – wonderful bonus.

Thank you Andrew for putting up with all my questions, all my worries and all my crazy out of the time zone concerns – you were totally professional, but also I know that if and when we meet up, it will be like a friend finally meeting. You are always welcome on Aseka.

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Outstanding company with professional subject matter experts. If I were to buy or sell cruising sailboat, particularly a catamaran, Andrew would be my go to broker.

I have been sailing since I was a child and attended Massachusetts Maritime Academy. But when my wife and I began the process of purchasing an ocean cruising/racing catamaran, I realized that this is a world unto itself. Obviously, we needed to find someone knowledgeable to help us make an informed decision. More importantly, we needed someone honest and willing to put our interests before his or her own. I was lucky to work with Phil Berman at The Multihull Company. He repeatedly shunned the fast buck, choosing instead to work the long road to connect us with the “perfect boat”. I would be glad to recommend Phil and his company to anyone planning to purchase or sell a performance sailing machine.

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Andrew Hodgdon was our broker when we bought our 2018 Lagoon 450F in Antigua in April 2922. He provided great service and was very attentive to our needs. We would highly recommend Andrew and the Multihull Company.

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What Is A Catamaran Sailboat? (And What It Looks Like)

What Is A Catamaran Boat? (And What It Looks Like) | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

August 30, 2022

Catamarans are increasingly popular for sailing and commercial use, but what sets them apart from monohulls and other multihulls?

A catamaran is a twin-hull boat with two equally-sized hulls placed side by side. They’re powered by engines, sails, or both—and they’re known for efficiency and speed. Catamarans are the most common kind of multihull boat.

In this article, we’ll go over the characteristics of catamarans and how to differentiate them from other types of boats. Additionally, we’ll cover the advantages and disadvantages of catamarans and compare them to trimarans and monohulls. We’ll also go over the most common types of catamarans and their uses.

We sourced the information in this article from marine design guides, boat identification resources, and the online boating community.

Table of contents

‍ How to Spot a Catamaran

Spotting a catamaran is easy. Simply look at the hulls and count them. Catamarans have two hulls side by side and a relatively large gap between them where you can see light on the other end. Catamarans are distinct from trimarans, which have an additional hull between the two outer hulls.

How do Catamarans Work?

The principle behind the catamaran is simple. You can think of catamarans like cars and monohulls like motorcycles. Catamarans distribute their weight between hulls on either side, whereas monohulls utilize only one hull.

Evidently, cars are much more difficult to tip over and can hold much more weight. Additionally, cars are wider, as they have much more contact with the road. Catamarans work in a similar way, as they have a wide stance and contact with the surface on both sides.

Obviously, that isn’t the most precise comparison. But the basic principle is the same, and catamarans have a few notable benefits over monohulls.

Catamaran Vs Monohull

Catamarans are easy to distinguish from monohulls. A monohull is just a regular old boat with a single hull. The vast majority of boats and ships are monohulls. Catamarans have two hulls, which are usually sleek and narrow.

Here are some comparisons of catamarans and monohulls, along with the advantages twin-hull designs have over most single hull types.

Benefits of Catamarans

Catamarans have numerous benefits. The first is speed. Catamarans produce less drag than monohulls and thus can achieve excessive speeds both under sail and power. They don’t need to plane like monohulls to achieve these high speeds, and they use less fuel.

Catamarans are also much more stable than monohulls. They have a wide stance and shallow draft, and many waves and swells can travel between the hulls instead of below them. This effectively reduces an entire axis of movement and prevents catamarans from rolling excessively.

Drawbacks of Catamarans

Catamarans aren’t advantageous in every way, or else we wouldn’t bother building monohulls. The disadvantages of catamarans limit their use to niche commercial applications and high-end yachts. But what are the drawbacks of a twin-hull design?

Sailing catamarans don’t follow many of the traditional boat handling rules and characteristics that sailors pass down for generations. Some, such as hull speed limitations, are good to do away with—while others, such as responsiveness, are not.

Catamarans aren’t as quick to the helm or responsive as monohulls. There are some exceptions to this rule, but for the most part, you’ll get a lot more feedback from a single-hull vessel. Additionally, the large section of deck between the hulls of a catamaran is prone to pounding in rough seas, which is loud and uncomfortable.

Catamarans can sometimes be twice the width of an equivalent monohull sailboat, which can increase mooring fees and limit docking options.

The final major drawback of catamarans is a consequence of their stability. Traditional full-keel monohull sailboats have a very low center of gravity, which makes them roll in heavy seas but ensures a recovery.

Catamarans have a higher center of gravity, and they can’t right themselves after a knockdown. And though catamarans are less likely to roll, a severe list on a multihull is a much more serious concern than on a ballasted monohull.

Catamaran Vs Trimaran

Catamarans and trimarans are often lumped together, but they have very different design and performance specifications. Trimarans have three hulls, whereas catamarans have two.

Trimarans look a lot like catamarans from the side, but a quick glance at the bow or stern can set them apart. Trimarans are faster than catamarans, as they distribute their weight across three hulls instead of two. This helps them stay centered and reduces interference from pitching and rolling.

Catamarans are fast, but they lose out to trimarans when going head to head. However, catamarans are much less expensive to build and maintain and often have roomier cabins due to their larger hulls.

Types of Catamarans

There are numerous types of catamarans, and their uses vary widely. The catamaran is one of the oldest and most useful hull types, and some variants have been used for thousands of years. Here are the most common kinds of catamaran boats and their uses.

Sailing Catamaran

Sailing catamarans are probably what you think of when you hear the name. Sailing catamarans are sailboats with two identical hulls connected by a center deck. The largest sailing catamarans are spacious and stable vessels that are capable of serious offshore sailing.

Sailing catamarans have a number of notable advantages over monohulls. Monohulls, which are traditional sailboats with a single hull, are limited by a simple concept called hull speed. As the bow and stern wave of a monohull intersect, they cause drag which limits the top speed of the boat.

Catamarans are not bound by hull speed limitations, as they have two hulls. Catamarans can go twice or even three times as fast as similar monohulls and achieve excellent travel times.

Catamarans are also more stable than monohulls, as their wide stance and shallow draft reduce the effect of rough water. They don’t heel, as the force of the wind is counteracted by the double hulls. Additionally, modern sailing catamarans can ‘wave pierce’ by cutting through swells instead of riding over them.

Sailing catamarans come in many shapes and sizes. Small sailing catamarans, such as those used in races and regattas, are known for their speed and relative stability compared to light racing monohulls. Sometimes, they feature a smaller second hull for stability—these are called outriggers.

Sailing catamarans have spacious interiors thanks to the large cockpit between the hulls. This cockpit usually contains cooking and eating spaces, a place to sit, and a hallway between the hulls. The hulls usually contain living quarters and often mirror each other.

Power Catamarans

Power catamarans have an even greater variety than sailing catamarans. These vessels are used for everything from party platforms to ferries and patrol boats.

Power catamarans are a recent development, as engineers and marine architects now realize they have numerous hydrodynamic advantages over other hull types.

Catamarans are much more efficient than other hull types, as they have less drag relative to their size. Additionally, you can build a much larger catamaran with less material. This makes them popular for car and rail ferries, as builders can construct a very wide vessel with two small hulls rather than a narrower vessel with a large single hull.

Military and Commercial Catamarans

Even the military has found a use for the catamaran hull shape. The Spearhead class EPF is an expeditionary fast transport vessel designed for carrying capacity and speed. It has two sharp hulls and a huge cargo capacity.

The Spearhead class EPF is 337 feet long, which is about the same length as a WW2 escort destroyer. Yet despite having a similar length and displacement, these catamarans can travel more than twice as fast—43 knots, or nearly 50 miles per hour. Their great speed is a direct consequence of their catamaran hull type.

Power catamarans are also used as patrol and utility boats on a much smaller scale, with either outboard or inboard motors. The State of Texas uses catamarans to patrol shallow rivers and lakes. Texas Game Wardens utilize state-of-the-art aluminum catamaran patrol boats, which are fast enough to outrun most fishing boats.

There’s another form of power catamaran that you may not have considered. Pontoon boats are technically catamarans, and they’re enormously popular on lakes and rivers throughout the country. Pontoon boats aren’t known for speed, but they’re a great platform for a fun and comfortable outing.

Catamaran Houseboats

The final common type of power catamaran is the two-hulled houseboat. Houseboats don’t always use the catamaran hull type, but it’s common enough that most major manufacturers offer it as an option.

Catamaran houseboats have a few notable advantages over monohull designs. For one, they’re easier to build—especially when pontoons are chosen. Additionally, they’re better suited for navigating shallow water. These vessels can support more weight across their two hulls, offer increased stability, and they’re also efficient.

Why Aren’t Catamarans More Common?

With all the advantages listed in this article to consider, it may seem strange that the use of catamarans is still somewhat limited. At the end of the day, it comes down to economics—as monohull boats and ships are simply cheaper to build.

Additionally, catamarans have some distinct limitations. Monohulls have lots of storage space in their hulls and can carry thousands of tons of cargo safely in all weather conditions. Catamarans lack this space and low center of gravity, so they’re not ideal for transporting cargo past a certain point.

Additionally, monohulls work, and many people are reluctant to experiment with new designs when old designs work just fine. This rule applies to both large and small boats.

A large monohull sailboat can be constructed at low cost from stock plans and reliably sail almost anywhere. Very little complex structural engineering is involved, and looser tolerances reduce cost and maintenance requirements.

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I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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Sil river catamaran/boat trip

  • Book the tour
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Our regular catamaran trip trough Sil Canyons lasts one hour and explores the deepest tectonic gorges of the north of Spain. The small draft of our boat allows us to get closer to the river bank to show you the unique species of our flora and even some wild animals that live on these Sil banks: roe deer, common buzzards, grey herons, wild boars…

During the trip you will be listening to almost forgotten legends,  will see vineyards that only the expert eye of our captain will allow you to discover the most typical wines from Ribeira Sacra.

From the river we will also show you the monastery of Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil, centenary chestnut trees, old wine cellars on the river level and an endless number of curiosities, like the rocks with extravagant shapes.

Guaranted departures with a minimun of 6 people. If the minimun required is not reached, we give you the opportunity to navigate at another time and/or date or proceed to refund the reservation.

We recommend flat shoes and warm clothing , because the t hermal sensation when sailing drops at least 10 degrees.

WE DO NOT ALLOW PETS ON BOARD ! Thera are outdated external plubications on the internet that say that we do, because we did accept them years ago.

TO RESERVE : Call 982460714 (Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 18:00 p.m.) Monday closed except from 24th of July to 27 os August.

Price : €20 person Duration :60 minutes

Babies from 0 to 11 months free.

If you are traveling with children, remember that they must remain in their seat throughout the journey. The consumption of food on board is not allowed.


Embarcadero de Os Chancís, Sober (Lugo) – Os Chancis Pier
horas: Only Saturday and sunday in low season. All days from June to September.

horas: Avalaible Saturday and Sunday in March. All days the rest of the year.

horas: All day from March to October.

horas: All day from March to October..

horas : Friday and Saturday in high. All day from April to September.

CLOSED MONDAY, except from 24th of July to 27 os August.

Confortable footwear, warm clothing because it can get cold at the boat.
Explanatory talk
1 hour trip

Additional information

PUNTUALIDADWe have to keep our schedules, so we need everyone to be punctual. Not complying with the schedule leads to the loss of reservation in the boat.

Starting point, Os Chancis Pier

First vineyard sight, only accesible from the water. heroic viticulture, o cerilloto do demo and its leyend, cividade´s vineyard and viewpoint. geological formation, identification of the flora and fauna of the canyon, old wineries on the riverbank, santa cristina´s monastery, somoza and santiorxo´s vineyards, finish point, os chancis pier.

We set sail from the “Embarcadero de Os Chancís” (Os Chancis´s Pier)  in Sober. We recommend to be there at least with 10 minutes prior to the expected departure time of the boat, because in case of not being punctual the amount of the reservation will be lost.

To arrive to the pier you have to follow the road from Sober that leads to the “Embarcadero de Os Chancís” or look for it in Google Maps with this link  .

Before arriving to the pier you will see a white sign that reads “Embarcadero de Os Chancis” beside the bar that opens in the summer evenings, continue this road with the car until you reach a little waterfall. There you should park in angle, and then continue walking down the stairs to the floating dock. There are 6 flights of stairs to reach the river, so, very much to our regret, the access is not suited to people with reduced mobility.

catamaran river boat

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Dek Kat Boats Logo

DEK KAT 2680

Dek kat 2680 model.

Meet the new standard in nearshore and offshore coastal high-performance catamaran deck boats. With it’s revolutionary twin tunnel hull design, the Dek Kat 2680 is changing the game for inshore fishing by providing a large, stable fishing platform without sacrificing creature comfort options for the family.


With ample in deck storage, minimal bow rise on acceleration coupled with a shallow water draft of approximately 12”, the Dek Kat is fast becoming an in-shore guide favorite. At 26’ 2” inches long with a beam of 8’6” there is no other bay boat on the market that comes close to her deck space. The twin tunnels provide a stable and comfortable ride even when the weather is not fully cooperative.

If live bait fishing is your game, the 2680 comes standard with two large in deck live/release wells with the option for additional live wells above deck in the forward seating or in our custom leaning post configuration.


The Dek Kat 2680 is a semi-custom built boat which is just as comfortable on the bay waters chasing trout and redfish as it is at the sand bar with your family. Our oversized hard tops keep the family comfortable with the shade and you will find an abundance of seating throughout the boat, including our custom Adirondack style seat built into the console. Built for fishing and comfort cruising, the Dek Kat is truly one of the most versatile bay boat designs out there. It is ready for whatever your weekend desires are upon the water.



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10 Affordable Cruising Catamarans

  • By Phil Berman
  • Updated: May 24, 2024

Orana 44

So, you want to get a catamaran , sail off into the sunset, and capture some magic with your lover or family for a few years. You have no ambition to sail around the world or to live aboard forever, but think a one- or two-year sabbatical might be life-changing. You’d like to sail the US East Coast, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, perhaps the Med—or up and down the West Coast and on to Mexico and Central America. You have $300,000 or less to spend and want a catamaran you can sell at the end of the journey without consuming a bottle of Tylenol to blunt the pain. 

The good news is that this is quite achievable. The bad news is that there is a vast wave of baby boomers who are all looking for the same thing—and for right around the same price. This makes finding a good deal on a great used catamaran a lot of work, even working with a broker. But, it’s possible. You just need to keep an open mind.

The other good news, which might seem surprising, is that an older catamaran, besides being more affordable, might sail just as well—or even better—than the same-size new cat that will cost considerably more. Yes, the older model might have less room inside and lack the latest condo-on-the-water styling, but it was designed and built before the current trend to supersize the newer generations of multihulls at the expense of sailing performance.

Here’s my advice to the cat hunter on a budget: Don’t get too hung up on the length of the boat. Instead, focus on the spatial and payload requirements you seek and which can be achieved within your budget. And best not get too focused on must-have features—what I jokingly call “surround-sound beds.” Catamaran designs and interiors have gone through massive changes in the past 10 to 20 years, and most older designs simply cannot compete with the new ones in terms of space and high-end amenities.

None of the cool cats I have in mind are over 47 feet. This is not because there aren’t bargain boats out there that are 47 feet and longer, but because any larger multihull that you can buy for $300,000 or less will most assuredly need a significant refit or is either very old or very odd. Buying a fixer-upper is, to my mind, the most dangerous thing a budget-minded consumer can do. It’s just too easy to underestimate the cost of yacht refits and repairs due to the extremely high prices charged in most boatyards. 

RELATED: 20 Best Cruising and Sailing Destinations

Nearly any cat you buy over 10 years old is fully depreciated. What we were selling a Lagoon 440 for eight or 10 years ago is nearly the same as what they sell for today. The difference between a good deal and a bad deal is tied solely to a yacht’s condition and refit history. As they joke in private-equity circles, “Any idiot can buy; you deserve congratulations only when you sell.”   

So, when your search gets underway, focus on ­condition—it is far more important than the year, brand or features you might crave. And when you find the cat of your dreams, the best way to remove financial-downside risk is to get a great survey and to choose the newest, smallest cat that will work for your agenda, not the oldest and biggest.

– CHECK THE WEATHER – The weather changes all the time. Always check the forecast and prepare for the worst case. Safety Tip Provided by the U.S. Coast Guard

And a word of caution: Your problem will be knowing a good deal from a bad one after the survey is over if you are not well-schooled in pricing. Besides steering you toward potential boats to consider, this is where a broker, working on your behalf, can provide knowledgeable advice. It’s been my experience that this is the point when so many yacht sales come apart: a dispute over the value of a given yacht when the survey results come in. All too commonly we see buyers reject yachts they should have accepted and purchase cats they should have rejected. Remember, a used yacht is a used yacht—not a perfect yacht. A catamaran need not be perfect to remain a perfectly good deal. Here, then, are 10 cool cats to ­consider in the ­$300,000-or-less range:

1. Fountaine Pajot Orana 44 (above)

Fountaine Pajot had the misfortune of tooling up this boat just before the global financial crisis, so not that many of them were built between 2007 and 2012. But these were the first of the larger-space charter cats in this size, but not yet so porky that they still could not sail decently. In the three-­cabin owner’s version, they designed the living space very nicely; even in the four-cabin version, the aft starboard bed was very well-done. 

During this period, Fountaine Pajot had problems with the resin it was using, which led to blistering on the hulls and undersides. Affected models therefore had new bottoms done at approved shipyards throughout the world. Make sure the one you are considering had this done or that it doesn’t show evidence of significant blistering. Honestly it is only cosmetic, but it will impact resale if not repaired. Many consumers think blisters are the end of the world; frankly, they are not.


2. Catana 431

Built in France by a long-­standing yard, the Catana 431 was always a very viable vessel because it is big enough to go anywhere, but not too large for a competent owner to handle. And because the 431 has good underwing clearance and daggerboards, it sails smartly to windward. 

That said, there are a few things to watch for. The primary bulkheads on many of these boats were not tabbed on the outer ends, and over time tended to distort. Often this led, or will lead, to a costly replacement of some bulkheads. So be careful to survey these areas properly. 

The 431′s furniture is all foam-cored and handmade, but the banding on the outer edges in some cases slowly starts to peel, which allows moisture to infect the wood veneer. This can create a somewhat unsightly appearance in the cabinets and drawers. It is only a cosmetic issue, but it can make the interior feel a bit worn out. 

During the period when the 431 was being built, Catana used a distributive electrical card system, and the boats had several modules, each a zone, to which electricity was run. If one thing in a zone stops working, the only solution is to jury-rig a wire from that nonworking item back to the main breaker panel. Replacing the modules or getting them repaired can be done, but it is getting harder by the year. For this reason, the best 431 is a boat that someone else had rewired at some point along the way.


3. Lagoon 470

If you need a larger escape pod, the Lagoon 470 is one of our favorites. This model of older Lagoons was built at CNB’s yard in Bordeaux, France, and the build quality was high. The 470 was the first design to have the more-vertical windows that are a Lagoon signature, and ample saloon headroom. The 470s are also old enough that the hulls were not so supersize that it compromised sailing performance. They have decent underwing clearance, so they are not persistent pounders to windward. Many were built with a galley-down layout, some in galley-up style. You will always pay more for an owner version of this or any model. 

The big thing you have to concern yourself with on Lagoons of this vintage is that the hulls and decks are made with a balsa core, so it is not uncommon to find moisture problems, especially around deck fittings or hatches. This can sometimes require rebedding or recoring areas, and this sort of repair, in North America, can be a costly undertaking. Make sure you get good moisture-meter readings near all deck fittings and, of course, on the hulls. Hulls, however, tend less often to have moisture issues because there are few fittings through which water can enter the core. Were that to happen below the waterline, it is a real mess that must be repaired immediately and properly.

– CARRY A BEACON – Satellite beacons such as EPIRBs or PLBs allow boaters to transmit distress signals and their exact coordinates from anywhere on the planet, no cell service required. It may be the best $400 you ever spend. Safety Tip Provided by the U.S. Coast Guard


4. Privilège 435

Back when the Privilège 435 was built, Privilège catamarans were constructed by Alliaura Marine in France, and they were truly the Mercedes of the multihull world at that time. While not a performance cat by any means, the 435 was a super-solid yacht, built with great care and the finest components. The 435 is large enough to go anywhere but small enough to handle easily. 

The largest negative of this model—and many cats of this vintage—is that the saloon windows slope dramatically, so the interior gets very hot unless the windows are covered most of the time. When they legalize growing pot on catamarans, here’s the perfect greenhouse for it! Seriously, if you should buy a used 435, you really have to get strong sunblocking external UV covers, as well as interior blinds or shades to inhibit heat buildup. 

Some of the 435s were laid out with the galley down in one hull, and these days most people want a galley-up arrangement, where cooking and food preparation are done in the saloon. A three-cabin galley-up owner version will be far more sought after and cost more than a four-cabin galley-down version. 


5. Leopard 46

This was the first of the Morrelli & Melvin collaborations with South African builder Robertson and Caine and the charter companies owned at the time by TUI Marine to create a catamaran that could be sold both into charter under the Moorings brand and also privately as a Leopard, so effort was made to design a boat with good sailing performance. Gino Morrelli did a good job creating a lot of underwing clearance, the 46 has a powerful rig, and yet its interior still offers spacious sleeping areas and nice flow from the cockpit to the saloon. These can be bought as ex-Moorings charter boats for less than $300,000 but are more costly in the sought-after Leopard owner version.

Because these are balsa-­cored boats, you must inspect deck fittings carefully for moisture incursion. Some of the earlier ones also experienced structural problems on the aft bulkhead and over-door-frame areas between saloon and cockpit. Also, during this period, the windows in the main saloon had a tendency to leak and, when they did, required rebedding or replacement. This was a costly job, so check this out carefully during survey.

Knysna 440

6. St. Francis 44/Knysna 440

If you wish to spend under $250,000, the older Saint Francis 44 and Knysna 440 are worth a look.

Back in 1990, Duncan Lethbridge started St. Francis Catamarans in South Africa with the St. Francis 43. The boat was meant to be a fast, strong bluewater voyager—and it was. The 43 was made with foam core, keeping the structure light, and it was very strongly built, with a powerful rig. The 43 loved to sail. And so too did the St. Francis 44, an updated version of the original. 

The boat did have a couple of negatives, however, the first being its sloped windows that built up interior heat. And the boat wasn’t a great fit for tall people, having less than 6-foot-2-inch headroom in the hulls. Also, the engines were installed amidships, which made the boat noisy inside under power. It also made the amidships areas of the hulls too narrow to have centrally located heads and showers, which in turn meant the only layout available was a four-­cabin, four-head design. In the forward cabins, the heads and showers had to be far forward; in the aft cabins, the heads and showers were located far aft.

St. Francis sold the tooling for the 44 to Knysna Yachts in 2004, and Knysna raised the headroom in the saloon and moved the engines aft to each stern. The hulls remained fundamentally the same, but the design was improved nicely. 

The largest negative of both the Saint Francis 44 and the Knysna 440 is that they have very low underwing clearance. Things can get pretty noisy when pushing against ­washing-machine seas. 

But you cannot have it all and still pay less than $250,000 in a midsize cat; compromises must be made. And these boats do sail quite smartly compared with many in their size range.

Lagoon 440 catamaran

7. Lagoon 440

This was the most popular catamaran ever made, and it started the catamaran flybridge craze, which helped to convert many powerboaters to sailors. 

What I like about the 440 is that it is an infinitely better sailer than some of its peers, and has decent underwing clearance, vertical windows, and nice cabins for sleeping and living. While the aft cockpit is rather small, the saloon is quite large.

Flybridges are a bit of a love-hate thing. There is no question that in a cat of this size, the windward performance suffers a bit due to the boom positioned so high off the water. When piloting, the skipper is separated from those on the bridgedeck. Part of the reason flybridges are so popular in charter is that most of the parties take place up there while sailing and at anchor. In private ownership, however, it is seldom that everyone is hanging out on the flybridge during a long passage. 

As always with Lagoons, these are balsa-cored boats, so a careful survey is in order. Pay attention also to bulkhead ­tabbing to make sure they have not separated from the hulls.

Because so many of the 440s were built to go into charter, there are a lot of four-cabin, four-head models for resale. These will sell for considerably less on the ­brokerage market than a ­coveted three-cabin, ­private-owner model.

– CHECK THE FIT – Follow these guidelines to make sure your life jacket looks good, stays comfortable and works when you need it. Safety Tip Provided by the U.S. Coast Guard

Leopard 40 catamaran

8. Leopard 40

When you get into the 40-foot size range, a four-cabin layout can become pretty cramped and claustrophobic below, but the three-cabin owner version of the Leopard 40 is a very nice pocket cruiser. A Morrelli & Melvin design, the 40 has good underwing clearance and nicely shaped hulls. Not a large cat, per se, and less-suited for significant distance sailing than others because its payload is limited, the 40 is still well-suited for a couple and a child or two for near-coastal and ­island-hopping action.

Manta catamaran

9. Manta 42

If you are searching for a cat in the $200,000 range, the Manta 42s were well-built in Florida, and their electrical systems were very well-done compared with many other multihulls of that era. While many of the features on the boat are quite dated, these Mantas sail very well, and easily, and have been popular with coastal cruisers for two decades. 

The largest negative of the Mantas is that people taller than 6 feet will find the saloon headroom right on the edge, and the berths are not especially large. Also, forward visibility from the saloon windows is not particularly panoramic, so the interiors are a bit darker inside than current-­generation catamarans.

Lagoon catamaran

10. Lagoon 410

The Lagoon 410 was quite a popular cat in its prime, and for good reason. It offers lots of visibility thanks to its vertical windows, good headroom for a cat of its size, nice berths, and a workable, though smallish, galley-up design. The 410 has decent underwing clearance, can sail nicely over the waves, and its singlehanded operation is super easy. In the three-cabin owner’s configuration, it’s just a very cool little cat.

As always, a balsa-core boat must be surveyed carefully, especially on deck, for moisture incursion near fittings and hatches. It can be costly to repair rotted core and to rebed deck fittings. But find a dry one, and it should definitely be counted as a contender for a buyer with a limited budget. 

Phil Berman is the president of the Multihull Company and the founder of Balance Catamarans. He has managed the sale of more than 900 catamarans.

  • More: catamaran , lagoon , leopard , multihulls , print june july 2020 , Sailboats
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What Is a Catamaran? Things You Need to Know

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Whether you’re a sailing enthusiast or have recently adopted an interest in yachts, you’ve probably heard of catamarans. It can be confusing as the term seems to describe boats, ships, and even massive-cruise vessels. So, what is a catamaran?

A catamaran is a boat with two hulls and a bridge between them. Catamarans can be designed as sailboats or motorboats. A catamaran stays stable since it has a wide base, it does not have a deep keel as on a monohull . Cats are known for not heeling, increased comfort, more space, and faster speeds.

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about this design, including its origin and its advantages.

Table of Contents

Catamaran: A Basic Overview

The term catamaran comes from a 17th-century Tamil term kaṭṭumaram . The Tamil word stands for “tied wood,” but those vessels do not share the same working principle as catamarans. 

Even though most “tied wood” rafts in the 17th century India used two logs to keep the deck afloat, the logs acted more like pontoons than catamaran hulls. However, the commonality of two logs translated to catamarans, as these vessels generally have two hulls.

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Since the term refers to the design, it is correct to refer to any vessel with two hulls connected by a bridge as a catamaran. However, technical accuracy doesn’t necessarily mean general-use correctness. While cruise ships can have catamaran design and small rafts may feature two hulls, the term is most often used for yacht-sized cruising sailboats.

Buyers who would not previously afford any vessel close to a mid-sized yacht can easily order a brand-new catamaran. Even investors interested in collecting income from catamaran renting opt for medium scale catamarans to hedge against depreciation and damage. Therefore, the term catamaran has become synonymous with medium-scale yachts with two hulls.

For the rest of this article, we’ll use the term to reflect these vessels, and if a catamaran-style cruise-ship or smaller boats are brought up, the distinction will be highlighted. It is also worth noting that even when dealing with manufacturers and industry literature, the word will refer to medium-sized yachts unless specifically differentiated.

What Are Catamarans Made Of?

One of the most interesting subjects in the overall catamaran conversation is the materials used to manufacture these vessels. That’s because different brands use different technology to compose the materials required for the hulls and other areas of a catamaran. 

Hulls of a Bali catamaran are built with sandwich infusion technology using polyester and closed-cell PVC. The brand’s catamarans are fitted with daggerboards, and material variety includes Kevlar in regions of impact and carbon fiber in the lower-weight areas.

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Lagoon catamarans have a history of using solid glass below water level , but newer models have a balsa core in the submerged region . While the specifics of composting technology and materials may vary from brand to brand or even model to model within the same brand, the fact that most of these vessels are made of composite material remains consistent.

Parts of a Catamaran

One cannot ask what a catamaran is without getting curious about the various parts of such a vessel. Here is a breakdown of the various parts that go into this vell’s construction:

Unlike monohulls, a catamaran has two of these. They’re usually hollow and fitted out with beds and even a glass window to look out into the water since they’re not submerged. The hulls’ function is to push down on the water, so the water reacts by pushing the vessel up. Therefore, they play an essential role in the catamaran’s buoyancy.

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Cross Beams

Because the hulls exert force on the water, there needs to be something that ensures the water’s reaction (upwards force) doesn’t break the deck. Crossbeams serve as connectors between the two hulls and hold them together such that water’s upward force is distributed evenly across the surface between the hulls. 

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Depending on the size of the vessel, the number of cross beams may vary. Some of the critical characteristics of cross beams include high density and low surface area. 

A bridgedeck, as the name suggests, is a deck that serves as a bridge between the hulls. Manufacturers make a compromise between space and sailing efficiency when deciding how to design a bridgedeck for their catamarans. A bridgedeck is given significant clearance to allow for smooth sailing but not too much to leave behind, only the deck for living space. 

catamaran river boat

What you should keep in mind about a bridgedeck is that the smaller its clearance, the more water hits its bottom, causing discomfort for those sailing and dealing damage to the vessel. Also, you can’t minimize the bridgedeck without affecting the hull size, which means you have to compromise between the two.

Bridge deck slamming explained

Other Parts

While the aforementioned parts are key to a catamaran’s construction, they are by no means an exhaustive list of every vessel’s component. 

Catamarans have a topdeck, oftentimes a saloon, and separate chambers depending on the size. The standard vessel will have the interior fitting of a yacht of a similar size. Since none of these parts are specific to catamarans, a detailed breakdown of each isn’t necessary.

Catamaran parts explained

How Long Does a Catamaran Last?

Since catamarans aren’t impulse-buys, you must consider the longevity of the specific model you wish to buy. If you go with a boutique manufacturer without knowing about materials and construction, you may be sold a vessel that may last only seven years. 

On the other hand, brands that list their construction methods with transparency regarding materials used are more confident in their product, which has five times the longevity of a cheaply manufactured catamaran.

catamaran river boat

Suppose you wish to purchase a catamaran you want to have for 15+ years. In that case, you may avoid buying a “performance” catamaran that focuses on lightweight in favor of sailing speed and effortlessness on the waves. This conversation becomes more complicated when you consider sailing frequency and its impact on different vessels.

Generally speaking, expecting your catamaran to remain functional and smooth sailing for fifteen years is reasonable. That doesn’t mean any catamaran you purchase will fit this criterion but only suggests that you will find vessels with this longevity with relative ease.

Is It Easier to Sail a Catamaran?

It is essential to address different sizes of catamarans when this question arises. Sailing a catamaran sailboat is different from captaining a standard (yacht-sized) catamaran. Since yacht-sized catamarans can come with an autopilot, as can their monohull equivalents, the question becomes more about the sailing experience.

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Your guests are more comfortable in a catamaran as the sailing experience doesn’t translate water resistance and wind to the vessel’s interior as much as it does in a monohull. Monohulls get hit by waves that pass between the two hulls of a catamaran.

As for physically sailing a catamaran-design vessel, the experience is different but not objectively easier. For instance, if you’re a seasoned monohull sailor, you’ll find what you’re used to much easier than adjusting two catamarans. 

Final Thoughts

Catamarans are self-balancing and easy to learn, making them a preferred sailing choice among novices and time-strapped sailing enthusiasts. They have recently become symbols of luxury with comfortable interiors and ample living space.

Owner of A minimalist that has lived in a caravan in Sweden, 35ft Monohull in the Bahamas, and right now in his self-built Van. He just started the next adventure, to circumnavigate the world on a Catamaran!

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Robertson skippers Canada into lead of SailGP’s New York regatta on a fickle day on the Hudson River


In this aerial image provided by SailGP, the fleet races at the start of Fleet Race One, with a view of the Statue of Liberty in the distance, on Day 1 of the New York Sail Grand Prix sailing races, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in New York. (Simon Bruty/SailGP via AP)

In this image provided by SailGP, Spain SailGP Team helmed by Diego Botin competes on Day 1 of the New York Sail Grand Prix sailing races, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in New York. (Ricardo Pinto/ SailGP via AP)

In this aerial image provided by SailGP, USA SailGP Team helmed by Taylor Canfield sail past the New York City skyline on Day 1 of the New York Sail Grand Prix sailing races, Saturday, June 22, 2024, in New York. (Simon Bruty/ SailGP via AP)

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Phil Robertson skippered Canada’s 50-foot foiling catamaran to finishes of fourth and second in the opening races of the New York Mubadala New York Sail Grand Prix on the Hudson River on Saturday before a dying breeze forced the third fleet race to be abandoned.

Canada sits atop a crowded leaderboard with 16 points. Just five points separate the top seven teams in the 10-boat fleet in tech billionaire Larry Ellison’s global league.

Sunday’s two fleet races plus the podium race will be huge, with teams still scrambling for positions going into Season 4’s final regatta in San Francisco, which will culminate with the $2 million, winner-take-all Grand Final among the top three crews on July 14.

Nathan Outteridge’s Switzerland squad won the second fleet race and is second with 15 points, followed by Peter Burling’s New Zealand “Black Foils” with 14. The Kiwis, who lead the season standings, went 5-3 Saturday.

Giles Scott and Emirates GBR, who won the first fleet race, also have 14 points and are fourth. Three-time defending SailGP champion Tom Slingsby and Team Australia went 3-6 and are sixth with 13. Slingsby is a former America’s Cup champion and an Olympic gold medalist who will helm the New York Yacht Club’s American Magic in the 37th America’s Cup later this year.


Burling, the two-time reigning America’s Cup champion helmsman and a three-time Olympic medalist, came into the regatta with an 11-point lead over Spain, with the Aussies another point back.

The Kiwis are in a strong position to be on the start line for the Grand Final on July 14 in San Francisco and they could strengthen it with a good performance this weekend.

The third fleet race was abandoned shortly after the start when the wind dropped below 3.5 km/h. While there is no official lower-end wind limit, the conditions were deemed too light to ensure a fair race.

Robertson, a New Zealander, said the light, shifty winds and a strong current led to “extremely tricky” racing.

“There’s a lot of current as well, so the boat feels really horrible with current going in all different directions,” he said. “It’s frustrating at times. You’re not feeling fat and loose.”

Team USA, hoping for a strong showing on home waters, finished last in both races and have now finished 10th in five straight fleet races spanning the New York and Halifax regattas. However, the Americans are ninth overall because Germany started the regatta with a minus-four point penalty after hitting Australia in practice racing Friday and then had finishes of 8-9.

Bernie Wilson has covered sailing for the AP since 1991.

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    ABOUT BRIX MARINE. has earned a solid reputation for pioneering and crafting the world's most rugged aluminum catamarans and workboats since 1991. The company was founded in Canada and moved to Port Angeles, WA in 2001. We gained new ownership under Bryton Marine Group in 2017, which fortified the company's focus on our Core Values and ...

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    A catamaran is a boat with two hulls and a bridge between them. Catamarans can be designed as sailboats or motorboats. A catamaran stays stable since it has a wide base, it does not have a deep keel as on a monohull. Cats are known for not heeling, increased comfort, more space, and faster speeds. In this article, we will explore everything you ...

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