Catamaran Vs Trimaran

Catamaran Vs Trimaran | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Gabriel Hannon

August 30, 2022

As boatbuilders make faster and more luxurious multi-hulls for cruising and racing, it is time to settle the debate: Catamarans vs. Trimarans.

Catamarans and trimarans have distinct characteristics regarding comfort, sailing performance, safety, and personal preference. The dual- or tri-hull designs both confer significant advantages over traditional monohulls and each fill an amazing niche in the sailing world.

Though both are based on traditional Austronesian outrigger canoes, the dual-hulled catamarans and tri-hulled trimarans have distinct design goals that make them ideal for very different purposes, and it is important to take into account your goals when trying to decide which to sail! We’re going to discuss both types as they rate across performance, safety, comfort, and possible uses. There is no one solution to this age-old problem, but we can help you understand which design is best for you!

From boatbuilder releases to the history of their development, it is important to access lots of sources when trying to make this decision. As a performance sailor, my heart is always in the speed and upwind abilities of the trimaran, but modern catamarans are dynamic and incredibly comfortable. Still, in my opinion, anything that gets you on the water is a great boat, so let’s find the right one for you!

Table of contents

‍ Sailing Performance and Safety

While most traditional boats over 20 feet are monohulled keelboats, there are major limitations to the type of sailing you can do with a monohull. First of all, monohulls depend on their keel to keep them upright, which is effective, but the force of the wind almost always causes the boat to heel to leeward by angles of up to 25° under reasonable cruising conditions, which can be quite uncomfortable for the crew! This design, which relies on giant lead ballast in a deep-set keel, is vulnerable to capsizes and, in drastic cases, sinking.

Additionally, the single-hull only provides so much volume for accommodation and storage, while the more horizontal layout of the multi-hulls can increase cockpit and cabin sizes substantially. Beyond that, both types of multi-hull can experience higher speeds at a given hull length than monohulls.

So how do cats and tris compare to each other? Well,

Catamarans: Stability and Ease

With their dual ‘pontoons,’ Catamarans make use of their floats to always remain on a flat and consistent angle of heel, rarely sailing under more than 10° of heel. This distribution of floatation also makes it nigh on impossible for them to capsize, though the distance between the hulls can make it a problem in the rare cases that they do flip. They do suffer a bit from not having any wetted surface underneath the center of effort, causing them to slide sideways while sailing upwind and making it difficult for them to beat tight angles to the breeze. While they make up for this with speed on the reach and downwind, catamarans are an inferior option for trying to make progress upwind in heavy sea and wind conditions.

These tradeoffs do come with some advantages. Unlike monohulls, catamarans have very shallow drafts, allowing cruisers to sail close to shore without concern, and their common dual-motor design allows them to maneuver incredibly well in tight spaces with a built-in backup for single-engine failure. They heel minimally because of the horizontal distribution of weight, and this means that they are incredibly stable and comfortable while underway or at anchor. In addition, their sail plans and maneuverability characteristics do make them easier to sail with a smaller crew, requiring fewer highly experienced sailors in your party.

Trimaran: Speed and Safety

While traditionalists have finally come around on the aesthetics of the dual-hulled catamaran, the tri-hulled lines of trimarans can still be a bit of a shock to viewers. They combine the vertical stability and upwind capabilities of a monohull with the speed and lateral stability of a catamaran.

When it comes to performance sailing, modern trimarans are well ahead of any other hull design. Due to the relationship between speed and the ‘waterline length’ of a boat, i.e. that more hull length in the water leads to higher speeds, the third hull actually makes trimarans drastically faster than any other hull shape at a given length. Most current speed records, including those for circumnavigation, instantaneous velocity, and single-day distance, are held by Trimarans. In competition, the 2013 America’s Cup is a perfect example of the superiority of Trimarans over Catamarans in terms of speed, as the challenging Trimaran from Golden Gate Yacht Club handily beat the defending Spanish Catamaran in a best-of-three series. With their signature central hull, they can make better upwind progress without drifting and often heel even less than contemporary catamarans.

Further, trimarans far outclass both catamarans and monohulls in terms of safety. The central hull gives the trimaran that signature central righting moment from monohulls, while its winged pontoons provide it the lateral balance that makes catamarans so safe themselves. Combined, this gives a modern trimaran a righting moment of 27°, which is almost impossible to reach in any breeze condition because of the pontoons. For a comparison, modern cats can only maintain 12° of heel before flipping, which is not entirely uncommon in heavy seas.

Therefore, in a purely technical sense, trimarans are safer, speedier, and more rewarding. Still, to reap these benefits you often need to be a little more prepared to engage with the more advanced aspects of sailing, and the tri-hull design does make some sacrifices in other areas.

Though performance is an important metric for all sailboats, every added knot of speed or degree of heel comes at a price of comfort, and it is here that we need to consider the full implications of that cost for both cats and tris.

Catamaran: The Ideal Platform

When it comes to comfort, space, and luxury, it is hard to bet against the catamaran. Because of the geometry of the dual deep hulls and built-up central platform, catamarans offer the ideal vessel for a large crew, a party yacht, or a comfortable getaway vessel. They heel minimally, are highly stable at anchor, and the central platform can be carefully built to maximize the area between the wings. Most catamarans can offer the living space and horizontal area of much larger monohulls, making it the ideal choice for a pleasure cruise.

Trimaran: The Cost of Speed

For all their advantages in terms of performance, the hardware required for the central hull subtracts substantially from the accommodations that are available for a cat of the same size. New trimarans, like the Neel 51 which made waves back in 2017, are pushing back against this perceived comfort gap, the large central hull with the two performance-oriented wings does make it harder for tris to haul the same amount of weight and provide comparable space as most cats.


The beauty of modern sailboats is that design advances in both catamarans and trimarans make it possible for all sailors to find the exact right boat for them. Speed demons who want to sail tight to the wind and feel that rush may find themselves enticed by the capabilities of the newest Trimarans, while cruisers looking to get the biggest space for the length are still thrilled by how fast and stable modern Catamarans are off the breeze. While no one would complain about being invited to a cruise on a new Trimaran, you can certainly fit more of your friends in the spacious decks of a Cat.

Both multi-hull styles excel at maneuvering in small spaces and shallow waters, perfect for island hopping or inland sailing. Their wide platforms, which can run a slightly higher cost at marinas than comparable monohulls, enable stability without sacrificing performance. Both are regarded as incredibly safe in nearly all conditions, though Trimarans do have the slight edge in truly nasty weather.

In the end, it all comes down to how you want to sail and what is going to make a good trip successful! For those looking for a leisurely cruise with a minimum of work and a maximum of space, find the most spacious catamaran you can, and don’t worry about missing out on speed as you’ll more than hold your own off the breeze. If you’re excited to go fast no matter what direction the wind is coming from, with the knowledge that you’re nigh on unsinkable, a performance trimaran is the way to go!

Happy Sailing!

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I have been sailing since I was 7 years old. Since then I've been a US sailing certified instructor for over 8 years, raced at every level of one-design and college sailing in fleet, team, and match racing, and love sharing my knowledge of sailing with others!

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Catamaran vs Trimaran: Choosing the Perfect Multihull Vessel

26th mar 2023 by toi williams.

Rightboat logo

The debate over whether catamarans or trimarans are better boats has been going on for a long time without resolution, but the reason is understandable. The truth is that despite their many similarities, catamarans and trimarans have distinct characteristics that set them apart from each other, so each type of vessel offers a distinct boating experience. The catamaran vs. trimaran debate largely boils down to personal preference and how you intend to use the boat. Here are some of the things you need to consider when choosing between a catamaran and a trimaran. 

What Is a Catamaran?

A catamaran is a multi-hulled boat that has two twin hulls connected by a structure supported by a wide beam. Catamarans come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from small rowing boats to large boats that are big enough to be used as car ferries. The structure connecting the two hulls can be anything from a simple frame with webbing to a superstructure that includes cabin and/or cargo space. Most of the recreational catamarans for sale are designed to hold two to 20 passengers. 

catamaran yacht

What Is a Trimaran?

A trimaran is also a multi-hulled boat, but it has three hulls instead of two like the catamaran. The middle (main) hull is larger than the two small outer hulls attached to it. These hulls are connected by a lateral beam, wing, or some other form of superstructure, depending on the model. These types of boats also come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from recreational yachts to ferries. 


Advantages of Catamaran vs. Trimaran

The advantages of catamarans vs. trimarans are mainly based on comfort. Catamarans are spacious boats, known for their large living quarters with plenty of room on board for hosting gatherings and parties. Their popularity has enticed many boat builders to create increasingly luxurious designs on larger and larger boats. The catamaran also has a more classic style that appeals to those who want a boat with a simple, sleek shape. Catamarans are best suited for boating in calm seas, lagoons, and shallow waters.

Advantages of Trimaran vs. Catamaran

The advantages of trimarans vs. catamarans mainly come down to speed. Trimarans are among the speediest boats available, offering lightning-fast speeds on open waters. Many recent winners of notable boating competitions have been won by boaters piloting trimarans. These boats also perform well when heading upwind and are remarkably stable with their three-hulled design. The anchoring gear is installed on the main hull and is easy to deploy. 

Trimaran vs. Catamaran Speed

In the trimaran vs. catamaran speed debate, the trimaran is the clear winner. For long offshore races, trimarans have become the preferred vessels, and boaters piloting trimarans have won the Jules Verne Trophy in every race held since 2010. This is because of their unique design, which has speed and safety qualities that provide significant benefits for boaters. 

The trimaran's third hull makes the boat considerably faster than any other hull form due to the correlation between the boat’s waterline length and its speed. Having more hull distance in the water lets the boat reach higher speeds. Trimarans can also be pushed harder and are more forgiving than other boat styles in racing environments.

That doesn't mean that catamarans are slow. Some styles of catamarans are capable of breaking world records when the boating conditions are right. On downwind runs, a racing catamaran may be quicker than a trimaran, but for overall speed in various conditions, the trimaran comes out on top. 

Catamaran vs. Trimaran Performance

In the catamaran vs. trimaran performance debate, both sides have their advantages. A catamaran is easier to handle and maneuver with the boater having to handle the lines and halyards less often. However, this ease comes at the expense of speed, with cruising catamarans generally traveling slower than comparable trimarans. 

Trimarans are more versatile in their performance, and they perform better than a catamaran when traveling against the current or the wind. Trimarans can be used in nearly all weather conditions, are less vulnerable to drifting, and have less roll motion than a catamaran. However, handling a trimaran requires more work than handling a catamaran, which can be exhausting over long periods of sailing. 

Trimaran vs. Catamaran Efficiency

When comparing trimaran vs. catamaran efficiency, the differences are minimal. Multi-hulled boats are more fuel-efficient than comparable mono-hulled boats due to their hull forms and their lighter weights. Multi-hulled boats also tend to have smaller displacement and shallower drafts than other boat styles. 

The biggest difference in trimaran vs. catamaran efficiency is that catamarans nearly always have twin engines while trimarans generally run with one engine. A trimaran also has less hydrodynamic resistance than a catamaran because it spreads out the displacement across three hulls instead of two. This allows each hull to be narrower and more streamlined.


Catamaran vs. Trimaran Stability

The stability of multi-hulled boats is one of their biggest advantages over mono-hulled vessels. Multi-hulled boats benefit greatly from their wider stance on the water, and their wide beams and floats offer higher stability than a ballasted keel. Multi-hulled boats are also more buoyant because their floats help prevent immersion. When comparing catamaran vs. trimaran stability, the better boat will depend on the conditions on the water.

A catamaran's geometrically stabilized design reduces both heeling and wave-induced motion, providing a stable platform underway and at anchor. However, the catamaran's design is not as suitable for navigating heavy seas as the trimaran's build. The trimaran's three hulls provide excellent stability even in rough waves, but this can also make a trimaran less comfortable than a catamaran when the water is calm.

Catamaran vs. Trimaran Safety

Both catamarans and trimarans are considered to be safer on the water than mono-hulled boats. A catamaran has superior resilience and roll inertia that makes capsizing extremely unlikely. Its speed, steadiness, and ease of motion due to a lack of ballast also contribute to increased safety.

Trimarans are considered the safest multi-hulled boats because their three-hulled design makes them almost unsinkable. Many also have a core made of high buoyancy foam, helping them stay afloat even in the most brutal storms. Weight centering and a complete anti-drift scheme also make the boat safer for everyone aboard.

Trimaran vs. Catamaran Maintenance

Comparing trimaran vs. catamaran maintenance costs shows that many of the costs will be very similar for both types of boats. These costs include yearly boat service and repairs, annual haul-outs, and insurance coverage but exclude major upgrades. You will also have to budget for dockage, winterization, and storage for each year if you don't intend to use the boat year-round. 

Boaters are advised to budget between 5% and 10% of the boat's value for annual maintenance costs if their boat is less than five years old and a little more if the boat is older than that. Different maintenance jobs can be charged in different ways. Sometimes, the charges are based on the length of the boat while other charges are based on the number of hours worked.


Catamaran vs. Trimaran Cost

If you are looking for an affordable seafaring vessel, catamarans and trimaran are both good choices. There are many reasonably priced catamarans and trimarans suited for families as well as other models that provide more luxury for an additional cost. The materials that the manufacturer used to build the boat and the electronics included will also impact the price of the boat.

With so many different factors impacting the cost of different boats, you should choose the best vessel for you based on the features you want as well as your budget. Doing some research using the information on Rightboat's listings will help you find the right combination of quality and affordability you are looking for. Because we offer both new and used boats, nearly any boater will be able to find a boat in our listings that fits their needs. 

Choosing between a catamaran and a trimaran may seem simple at first, but the different sizes, styles, and amenities offered can make the choice much more complicated than you would think. If you prefer comfort and ample space while cruising, a catamaran may be the better choice. However, if you like speeding across the water and enjoy the thrill of racing, then a trimaran may be your best option.

Whichever boat you decide to purchase should fit your specific circumstances and requirements. Start the decision-making process by deciding what the primary use for your new boat will be. Will it be used more for family cruising or sport fishing? What bodies of water will you be boating in? Are you planning on staying close to shore or taking the boat into deeper waters? All these factors will impact whether you should choose a catamaran or a trimaran. 

With Rightboat's listings, you can learn about the features of the latest catamaran and trimaran models and see what you can expect to pay for the boats you are considering. You can sort through our listings by price, age of the boat, length of the boat, or listing date and then narrow down the results of a search using the rest of our filtering tools. If you are interested in buying a new or used catamaran or trimaran, take a look at our listings, and see what we have to offer today!

Related article: Ketch vs Yawl

Written By: Toi Williams

More from: Toi Williams

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Cruising Sea

Trimaran VS Catamaran – Which Boat Is Best?

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

If you’re planning to buy or charter a multihull boat, you might be wondering which one is better: trimaran or catamaran. Both have their pros and cons, and the decision ultimately depends on your needs and preferences. In this article, I’ll explain the differences between these two types of vessels to help you make the best choice for your needs.

Post updated: 10 November 2023

Table of Contents

Differences Between Trimarans and Catamarans?

If you’re in the market for a new vessel or plan a family vacation on the water, you might wonder what the differences are between a catamaran and a trimaran. 

Let’s see what they are:

A catamaran is a multihull vessel with two or twin hulls that are parallel to each other and fixed to a wide beam.

This design offers stability and speed, making it a popular choice for cruising long distances comfortably and even racing.

They also provide more interior space than trimarans, allowing for larger cabins and more storage.

When it comes to sailing performance, catamarans are known for their speed and agility.

Their twin hulls allow them to easily glide over the water, making them popular among boaters.

Cats are stable, fast, spacious, and super comfortable and are more stable at anchor than trimarans. However, catamarans tend to perform better in downwind conditions than in upwind conditions.

A trimaran is a multihull vessel that has three hulls. The two smaller outrigger hulls are attached to the center hull, which is larger and used for most of the boat’s functionality. 

This design offers even more stability than a catamaran, making it a great choice for those who want to sail in rough waters safely.

The three-hulled design makes them super stable, and as mentioned above, they can easily handle rough waters. They also have a smaller turning radius, making them easier to maneuver in tight spaces.

Another important thing to know about Trimarans is that they provide a decent degree of livability, but they fall short of catamarans in two regards. First, they heel more than cats, making it difficult to do things like cooking on board. Second, they support much less load than catamarans.

Pros and Cons of Catamarans and Trimarans

Before making a decision whether to sail a catamaran or a trimaran, there are pros and cons you must consider. Let’s see what there are:

  • Stability: Catamarans have two hulls, which makes them extremely stable. This means that you are less likely to experience seasickness or feel the boat rocking in rough waters.
  • Space: Catamarans have a lot of space both inside and outside the boat. This makes them great for large groups or families who want to spend time together without feeling cramped.
  • Speed: While not as fast as trimarans, catamarans are still faster than monohulls . They perform better in downwind conditions than trimarans and are great for long-distance cruising in calm waters.
  • Shallow Draft: Catamarans have a shallow draft, which allows them to enter shallow waters and anchor closer to shore.
  • Cost: Depending on how well the Catamaran is equipped, it can be more expensive than trimarans. Not always, though.
  • Harbor Cost: As catamarans have a very large beam, this means that a berth at the marina will be higher.
  • Navigation: Catamarans tend to struggle sailing close to the wind .
  • Speed:  Trimarans are known for being faster than cats and single-hull boats. They can easily reach high speeds and are great for racing or long-distance cruising.
  • Stability:  Trimarans are more stable than catamarans due to their three hulls. 
  • Space:  Trimarans are wide, but the interior is less spacious than catamarans.
  • Safety:  Provide exceptional buoyancy. If a trimaran capsizes, there is almost no chance it will sink.
  • Navigation: Trimarans can sail in any weather condition and perform much better upwind than cats.
  • Berthing:  Trimarans are more difficult to maneuver in harbors, making finding a berth in crowded marinas more challenging.
  • Maneuverability:  Trimarans require more ability from sailors to beach without difficulty than catamarans.
  • Loading:  Trimarans struggle to carry as much weight as catamarans.
  • Sailing: Trimarans require more effort and work on the deck.

Trimaran sailing yacht on the water

Design and Structure

When it comes to design and structure, there are significant differences between trimarans and catamarans. Below, I’ll walk you through these two multi-hull vessels’ geometry, hydrodynamics, weight, and materials.

Geometry and Hydrodynamics

One of the most significant differences between trimarans and catamarans is their geometry. A trimaran has a central hull with two outriggers connected to a large beam, while a catamaran has two parallel hulls connected by a central platform.

This twin-hull design gives catamarans a unique sense of balance and stability. On the other hand, trimarans offer superior stability and adaptability in various water conditions thanks to their three-hulled design.

The central hull of a trimaran is typically longer and narrower than the hulls of a catamaran, which leads to better hydrodynamic performance.

Both trimarans and catamarans have different hydrodynamic resistance characteristics.

For instance, trimarans have less wetted surface area, which means they experience less drag as they move through the water. This feature makes trimarans faster than catamarans in rough weather conditions and high winds.

Performance and Speed

When it comes to performance and speed, there is a clear winner between trimarans and catamarans . Trimarans are known for their speed and are often faster than catamarans of the same size and weight. This is because of their unique design, which has speed and safety qualities that provide significant advantages over catamarans.

Trimarans have less hydrodynamic resistance than catamarans due to their narrower central hull, which allows them to slice through the water more efficiently in rough seas.

While catamarans are also fast, they often fall short of trimarans in terms of speed and performance. But that’s not always true in downwind conditions because cats are light, and their sails are positioned equivalent to the wind, making them faster than tris in downwind conditions.

Heeling and Capsizing

One of the biggest concerns when it comes to stability is heeling and capsizing. Heeling means the boat leans from one side to one side, while capsizing is when the boat flips over completely.

Both trimarans and catamarans heel, but trimarans provide greater stability and are less likely to capsize due to their three hulls. However, this doesn’t mean a trimaran can’t capsize.

In rough conditions, if a wave gets higher than half the size of the beam, the boat can flip over, but because trimarans have exceptional buoyancy, they float on the surface of the water and can serve as a rescue platform, but they won’t sink!

Comfort and Space

One important factor to consider when choosing between a cat and a tri is comfort and space. So, let’s look at these two types of boat’ accommodation: storage, cockpit, and living quarters.

Accommodation and Storage

One of the main advantages of catamarans over trimarans is the amount of space they offer. Catamarans typically have larger cabins and more storage space than trimarans. This makes them a great choice for longer trips, as you’ll have plenty of room to store all your gear and personal belongings.

Trimarans, on the other hand, have smaller cabins and less storage space. This can make the passengers feel a bit cramped, especially on longer trips. 

However, some trimarans do offer creative storage solutions, such as under-bunk storage compartments or overhead storage racks. Note that the latest models of trimarans are extremely spacious and offer as much comfort and space, if not more, than catamarans do.

Another difference between trimarans and catamarans is their weight. While trimarans can potentially be built lighter than some catamarans, catamarans are lighter on average due to having one fewer hull requiring structure and ballast.

The weight distribution of a trimaran is also different from a catamaran, with more weight concentrated in the central hull. This feature provides better stability and performance in rough seas and upwinds.

Catamarans, on the other hand, can support more load than trimarans. This feature makes them ideal for long-distance cruising and liveaboard lifestyles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: which has better resale value – trimarans or catamarans.

Resale values for both trimarans and catamarans can depend on factors such as the boat’s age, maintenance, and overall condition. Generally, catamarans have a larger market and may hold their value better due to higher demand, especially among cruisers and charter companies. However, a well-maintained trimaran can still attract buyers who value speed and performance.

Q: Which type of boat is more suitable for long-distance travel: trimaran or catamaran?

Both trimarans and catamarans are fantastic for long-distance travel. Still, catamarans are often preferred among sailors for extended cruising due to their larger living spaces and privacy on board. However, if speed is a critical factor for your journey, a trimaran might be a more attractive option.

Q: What factors should I consider when choosing between a trimaran and a catamaran?

When deciding between a trimaran and a catamaran, some key factors to consider include your intended use, performance expectations, available space, and budget. 

You should ask yourself:

  • What are your primary sailing goals – speed, comfort, cruising, or racing?
  • How much living and storage space do you need for your crew and equipment?
  • What kind of stability and performance characteristics do you value most?
  • Are you willing to compromise on space or speed for the sake of your preferred multihull design?

Final Words!

So, what’s the best boat? Well, both are great. The choice between a catamaran and a trimaran will depend on your needs and personal preferences. If you are looking for a peaceful trip at a slower pace with plenty of space for the whole group, a catamaran will be your best bet. On the other hand, if you want to zip through the water and get your blood pumping, a trimaran is what you need!

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Have you sailed a catamaran or a trimaran? If so, please share your experience in the comments below.

Picture of Daniella

Daniella has been passionate about travel, the sea, and nature for many years. As a child, she frequently traveled throughout the Mediterranean and continued with her journeys throughout her adult life.

Her experiences have created the desire within her to share her love for traveling with other passionate and adventurers who want to discover beautiful horizons and new cultures.

26 thoughts on “Trimaran VS Catamaran – Which Boat Is Best?”

Hey, well I’m definitely the Catamaran girl. I love my space and don’t really need the thrill of the ride as much as I value the relaxation and holiday-type feeling. What’s your personal choice? Well since I’m more the sailor’s wife than the sailor, those other problems don’t really apply to me, do they? hahahaha what’s your personal choice?

We have something in common, because I am not a fan of racing . I love comfort and space, so I would go for a Cat!

Have a great day:)

I would go for the trimaran as it’s more stable in tough conditions as I would like to explore the world, not that I want to race. Catamaran is my go to option if I just want a nice vacation boat or something I agree that that one is better if you don’t want to race. I won’t buy a boat in the near future though, I certainly have not got the money, and I live at the wrong location, not far from the sea but still, I can’t even drive (no license). Great article though and I love boats. Wondered what the difference about these 2 are and now I know.?

Hi Stephanie, Sorry for the late reply. I had a minor technical issue:) Yes, trimarans are extremely stable and are faster than catamarans. However, those beautiful boats are quite expensive and if you plan on sailing around the world, you’ll need a small crew with you to handle the boat:). I am glad this article helped you know what’s the difference between a trimaran and a catamaran. Let me know if you need more info. I am always happy to help. Thank you for the comment and I wish you a lovely day.

This is a very informative comparison of the trimaran vs. catamaran style sailboat. They look similar on the exterior to the untrained eye – but it seems like the differences are pretty dramatic. If someone was looking to charter one for a vacation – do you have a specific experience or preference for one or the other?

It will depend on your personal preferences!

What are your needs? Can you be more precise?

I personally love to sail in comfort, I also need a lot of storage, so a cat is my favorite yacht!

Have a wonderful day:)

I have sailed ON a cat but never sailed one myself. Certainly a wonderful experience unlike a single-hulled vessel that rocks and rolls with the swells. That leads me to ask: if caught in rough weather (large swells and strong winds), how reliable is the trimaran? Does either configuration have limitations in this regard?

For the same size of boat, a trimaran have higher sailing performance ,a better ability to tack and go windward. So to answer to your question, a trimaran will handle better in strong winds and will go faster! But! Bear in mind that no matter if it’s a cat, trimaran, or monohull, the safety will all depend on when the sail will be shortened and how the boat will be handled in bad weather.

I hope it helped and if you have any other question , please feel free to get in touch:)

Have a great day!

Awesome write up on the differences between the two beauties. I have learned something new here. I am more of the adventure like person and your quick analysis of the Trimaran, tells me that I probably would lead to this option when choosing between the two.I will certainly browse around your site to check out other interesting articles you have on offer.Take Care, Roopesh.

Hi Roopesh,

Thank you for the compliment and you are very welcome to stroll around my website.

Take care too and wish you an awesome day!

It’s interesting to see the different opinions shown concerning of a debate. I don’t know about these vessels but I enjoyed reading it.

To me, I’ll go for Trimaran because of the modern interiors. I mean, it’s the modern feel that I’m looking for. That’s my main, personal factor.

Still, overall, I think it’s also suffice to say that these two cannot be compared because it’s not like with like. But that’s just my opinion. Trimaran for the win anyways!

So nice to see you again on my website:)

Yes, the trimaran Neel 45 has a modern look, but not every trimaran. Also, they are much faster than catamarans, sailors usually use them more for racing and catamarans for cruising.

Thank you for the comment, I really appreciate:)

I wish you a wonderful day!

I think now the Neel have brought out the 51 the game has changed somewhat. Lots more room ,walk around bed in master room. Lare shower in main head, the inside outside Cocloon as they now call it. Heaps of space below, fantastic headroom down below in central Hull. Much more classic looking boat on the exterior. Add the speed, stability and affordability compared to similar sized Cats and there really does not appear to be any more to be said. Of course it’s just my opinion and if money was not an option i think the Gunboat 60 would be the final choice, but for around 600k the Neel 51 has definitely set the standard. Take a look

Well, that’s a beautiful trimaran you have here, effectively, this one looks much more comfortable and wider than the Neel 45! I would definitely choose the 51 over the 45! I’ve really enjoyed watching the video, and it would be interesting to write an excellent review on the 51:). I agree with you, the Gunboat is such a beautiful cat, and now it makes it even harder to choose between the two of them:) Thank you for the comment and wish you a wonderful day!

Late arrival here but after reading and watching so many negative reviews about the Neel trimarans and the Neel 45 images of one build showing their train wreck quality, there is absolutely no way you can compare a Gunboat and a Neel. You’d be better off comparing it to the Yugo automobile.

The “Sailing Yacht Ruby Rose” did a recent video review of the newer Neel 47 posted on July 18, 2019 showing very clearly that its build quality is extremely lack luster. Although it was the Neel Trimaran that gave me the sea bug, one probably couldn’t purchase a poorer quality boat at any price. It’s an awesome concept but it’s a manufacturer no individual should consider buying from. I’m hoping one of the premium Cat builders will take on the task of providing a similar concept when I’m ready with my money.

Hello Eso, The beautiful thing in life is that everyone has different taste and opinion. I am glad to have you here and thank you for sharing your experience with the readers, this will certainly be useful to many people. I wish you a fantastic day!

Yes I’ve been looking at the Neel 51, Its turning my attention some what. It would make world cruising just that little bit faster and with room and comfort. PS I like the engine room.

Hi Mercury,

Thank you for the comment! The Neel 51 is a beautiful boat. She is more spacious and comfortable than the 45 Neel, but the 65 is even better! However, the 51 is an ideal cruising trimaran to sail in comfort. She provides everything sailors have ever dreamed of such as speed, stability, space, and luxury. What more to ask for:)

Thank you again for the comment and wish you a wonderful day!

I own a Catana 47 with one owner and two guest cabins. I and my wife want four cabin boat so that We can sail with our two daughters and their family including grand children. Should I buy Catana 53, Outremer 51 or Neel 51?

Thank you for commenting!

I am not a boat seller, but I will be more than happy to answer your question. The Catana 53, Neel 51, and Outremer 51 are fantastic boats. And to be honest, I would personally buy the Neel 51 because she is extremely spacious, lightweight and more stable than any catamaran out there.If you bring children, then you would want the boat to be safe. The other boats are also great but tend to perform less well in strong winds and heavy seas than the Neel 51. So yes, the Neel 51 is unbeatable in all categories! At least to me:)

I hope it helped and, please, feel free to contact me if you need to know further information. I am always happy to assist!

Thank you again for the comment and wish you a lovely day!

It’s really a good Information. I have never been in any one of the rides but I feel personally Cat is better. Do you guys know anything similar to this other then Cat trimaran like Semi-Submersible, drone etc. as I am doing a project that will help you to ride Cat Yourself alone!. Wish me good luck and please help me achieve my goal fastly, by sharing your precious knowledge and time. thank you in advance.

Hi Mohammed,

We would like to help you, but we didn’t really understand your question, could you be more specific, please?

Thank you for the comment!

Hello Daniella, Firstly thank you very much for your kind response. I would like to have some info about the Stability equation of Catamaran and different steering Mechanisms.

You are very welcome!

Please, check out these articles, I am sure you will find all the answers to your questions: file:///C:/Users/gofri/Downloads/6962-1-10720-1-10-20130718.pdf

I hope it helped! Don’t hesitate to contact me if you need more information, I’ll be more than happy to assist!

Dear Daniela Thankyou very much for your Kind help. Could you please give some Information about the construction guidance of Catamaran. I want to construct my own for my experimental purposes. Thankyou Regards Moulasaheb Md

Hi Mohamed,

I would like to help you, but you are not in the right place for this. If you are looking for sailing holiday, then I’ll be more than happy to help!

If you want to construct your own boat, I highly recommend you to check other websites.

Thank you for the comment and wish you a great day!

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Trimaran vs. Catamaran: Which is Better?

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Catamarans are often considered better for sailing than trimarans for several reasons. They offer unparalleled stability with their twin-hull design. This makes them less prone to capsizing than trimarans.

Published September 26, 2023

The majority of boat enthusiasts have experimented with various types of boats. There are so many options that it’s nearly hard to determine which is the “greatest” or “ultimate” boat. It’s entirely up to personal preference, weather conditions, and your objective. Now let’s find out which is better, trimaran vs. catamaran.

Monohulls Are Out of Trend

If you want to improve your sailing skills fast, there is nothing better than sticking to a small monohull and learning everything it offers. Monohulls are conventional boats, the type we are accustomed to in the Western world — a single long hull with a sail protruding from the center. While most boats in Europe are monohulls, the popularity of multihulls has recently increased. 

There are various reasons, but the primary one is that modern people do not want to spend their time on the boat doing too much work. Why bother when you can simply lay back, relax, and allow the wind to care for itself?

Regular monohull sailing yachts are notoriously difficult to steer, and if something goes wrong, they fall to the bottom of the water, becoming nothing more than a fish apartment. Multihulls — trimarans and catamarans – are non-sinkable, making them highly safe and easy to operate.

Trimarans, like catamarans, are multi-hulled watercraft. As the name implies, they have a second hull compared to catamarans. The trimaran’s three hulls make it entirely unsinkable.

Thus, even in the worst inclement weather, the risk of capsizing is minimal. And even if the trimaran turns over, it will remain afloat, transforming it into an ideal life raft. This is helpful information while out sailing, and it should be reassuring. And if the worst-case scenario occurs, i.e., capsizes , the trimaran will be easily visible, particularly from a helicopter.

Trimarans are also more enjoyable to sail since they have a large hull in the center and two small hulls on either side. Thus, they combine the advantages of a monohull with the stability of a catamaran, effectively combining the best of both worlds. 

You’ve almost certainly seen a catamaran or two in your life. They are uncomplicated vessels, yet they look great. Catamarans have two hulls rather than one, so they are called multihulls.

Numerous advantages accrue as a result of the more excellent stability indicated previously. 

The smaller vessels are enjoyable to sail and may hold between 2 and 10, 15, or even 20 people. Then there are the larger catamarans, which can carry up to thirty people. These may be seen across the Mediterranean and a few other locations, where they are used as tiny ferries. (Related: Catamaran vs. Monohulls: Pros and Cons )

Trimaran vs Catamaran: The Differences

When comparing trimarans and catamarans, there are several key differences to consider:

Trimarans tend to offer greater stability compared to catamarans. Trimarans have three hulls, with outriggers acting as stabilizers, providing a stable platform even in rough seas.


Catamarans are easier to maneuver due to their twin hull design. They can make tight turns and navigate shallow waters with relative ease.

Trimarans are generally faster than catamarans. They have a streamlined design. Their lighter weight allows them to meet higher speeds, especially when sailing upwind.

Interior Space

Catamarans generally offer more interior space and living quarters compared to trimarans. The wider beam of a catamaran allows for larger cabins, saloons, and deck areas.

Sailing Performance

Trimarans are known for their excellent upwind performance. Their narrower hulls and center hull configuration make them more efficient when sailing against the wind.

The numbers of trimaran and catamaran boats.

Which is better: Trimaran or Catamaran?

Catamarans are often considered better for sailing than trimarans for several reasons. They offer unparalleled stability with their twin-hull design. This makes them less prone to capsizing than trimarans.

Its stability provides a safe and comfortable sailing experience, particularly in rough seas. Additionally, catamarans excel in maneuverability. Their separate hulls allow them to make tight turns and navigate through shallow waters effortlessly.

Furthermore, catamarans tend to provide more interior space and living quarters. They offer ample room for relaxation and entertaining guests. Their wider beam also performs better in light winds, ensuring smooth sailing even when the wind weakens.

Lastly, catamarans typically have a shallower draft. This grants access to shallow anchorages and marinas, expanding their range of exploration.

The Seafari Catamaran

The Seafari catamaran is a 42′ power catamaran yacht that offers a unique and unforgettable experience on the water. It has an ultra-wide design. And it provides a spacious and comfortable environment that rivals much larger yachts.

It has essential fishing gear, coolers, grills, and supplies. So guests can enjoy a day of fishing and grilling their catch onboard. Snorkeling equipment is also available for those who want to explore the underwater world.

The yacht features below-deck bedrooms and a functioning bathroom. This ensures that guests have all the necessary amenities for a comfortable stay. Safety is a top priority, as the yacht has a liferaft and vests. The experienced and licensed Seafari captains ensure guests have a great and safe time on the water.

Whether cruising the intercoastal, hosting parties or enjoying romantic dinner cruises, the Seafari catamaran offers endless possibilities for fun and adventure.

Trimaran Vs Catamaran: Conclusion

  • If you want stability and minimal work, choose a catamaran.
  • If you want to improve your sailing skills while remaining safe at all times, opt for the trimaran.
  • Opt for the trimaran if you want to be the fastest sailor on the water.
  • If you want to host incredible events on board, opt for the catamaran.

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Looking for a great time on the water in Boca Raton Florida? Seafari Yacht Charters is number choice for yacht rentals in Boca Raton . Book our yachts for parties , exciting day trips to the Bahamas, romantic yacht dinner cruises , and much more. Come experience all South Florida has to offer with us.

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Comparing trimarans & catamarans.

Trimarans tend to be more performance oriented than catamarans. In part, this is because it’s easier to design a folding trimaran, and as a result Farrier, Corsair, and Dragonfly trimarans had a disproportionate share of the market.

In spite of this and in spite of the fact that many are raced aggressively in windy conditions, capsizes are few, certainly fewer than in equivalent performance catamaran classes.  But when they do go over, they do so in different ways.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Trimarans have greater beam than catamarans, making them considerably more resistant to capsize by wind alone, whether gusts or sustained wind. They heel sooner and more than catamaran, giving more warning that they are over powered. 

Waves are a different matter. The amas are generally much finer, designed for low resistance when sailing deeply immersed to windward. As a result, trimarans are more susceptible to broach and capsize when broad reaching at high speed or when caught on the beam by a large breaking wave.

In the first case, the boat is sailing fast and overtaking waves. You surf down a nice steep one, into the backside of the next one, the ama buries up to the beam and the boat slows down. The apparent wind increases, the following wave lifts the transom, and the boat slews into a broach. If all sail is instantly eased, the boat will generally come back down, even from scary levels of heel, but not always.

In the second case a large wave breaks under the boat, pulling the leeward ama down and rolling the boat. Catamarans, on the other hand, are more likely to slide sideways when hit by a breaking wave, particularly if the keels are shallow (or raised in the case of daggerboards), because the hulls are too big to be forced under. They simply get dragged to leeward, alerting the crew that it is time to start bearing off the wind.

Another place the numbers leave us short is ama design. In the 70s and 80s, most catamarans were designed with considerable flare in the bow, like other boats of the period. This will keep the bow from burying, right? Nope. When a hull is skinny it can always be driven through a wave, and wide flare causes a rapid increase in drag once submerged, causing the boat to slow and possibly pitchpole.

Hobie Cat sailors know this well. More modern designs either eliminate or minimize this flare, making for more predictable behavior in rough conditions. A classic case is the evolution of Ian Farrier’s designs from bows that flare above the waterline to a wave-piercing shape with little flare, no deck flange, increased forward volume, and reduced rocker (see photos page 18). After more than two decades of designing multihulls, Farrier saw clear advantages of the new bow form. The F-22 is a little faster, but more importantly, it is less prone to broach or pitchpole, allowing it to be driven harder.

Beam and Stability

The stability index goes up with beam. Why isn’t more beam always better? Because as beam increases, a pitchpole off the wind becomes more likely, both under sail and under bare poles. (The optimum length-to-beam ratios is 1.7:1 – 2.2:1 for cats and 1.2:1-1.8:1 for trimarans.) Again, hull shape and buoyancy also play critical roles in averting a pitchpole, so beam alone shouldn’t be regarded as a determining factor.

Drogues and Chutes

While monohull sailors circle the globe without ever needing their drogues and sea anchors, multihulls are more likely to use them. In part, this is because strategies such as heaving to and lying a hull don’t work for multihulls. Moderate beam seas cause an uncomfortable snap-roll, and sailing or laying ahull in a multihull is poor seamanship in beam seas.

Fortunately, drogues work better with multihulls. The boats are lighter, reducing loads. They rise over the waves, like a raft. Dangerous surfing, and the risk of pitchpole and broach that comes with it, is eliminated.  There’s no deep keel to trip over to the side and the broad beam increases the lever arm, reducing yawing to a bare minimum. 

Speed-limiting drogues are often used by delivery skippers simply to ease the motion and take some work off the autopilot. By keeping her head down, a wind-only capsize becomes extremely unlikely, and rolling stops, making for an easy ride. A properly sized drogue will keep her moving at 4-6 knots, but will not allow surfing, and by extension, pitch poling. 

For more information on speed limiting drogues, see “ How Much Drag is a Drogue? ” PS , September 2016.

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Trimaran vs Catamaran: What are the Differences?

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

The debate between trimarans and catamarans has been raging for years, with no clear victor in sight. Despite their long-standing popularity as cruising vessels, trimarans have seen a resurgence recently – but what sets them apart from catamarans? The subtle differences lie mainly within the hulls; while monohulls are distinguishable several yards away, distilling one multihull from another requires closer examination of characteristics such as living space size accommodations, seaworthiness ratings , speeds achieved on test runs.

With these variables to consider – along with personal preference – deciding which vessel is right may be difficult indeed!

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Performance and Stability: two distinct sailing experiences

The stability of a catamaran vs a trimaran.

When sailing on a monohull in strong winds, the boat can potentially capsize due to its single hull and lack of floatation. On the other hand, multihulls such as catamarans are more buoyant because they have two floats that help prevent immersion; however it still may be uncomfortable when navigating heavy seas. For the most optimal sail experience with great stability even through rough waters–pleasure trimarans provide an ideal combination! Three connected hubs act like small wheels over rippling waves while providing excellent comfort aboard no matter what conditions lie ahead!

Read also : Trimaran our ultimate guide

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

The wind and its influence on the performance of multihulls

In sailing, trimarans outperform catamarans in a headwind situation. Their unique hull design features both daggerboards and central weight focus which allows them to counteract the thrust of wind better so as to stay on course rather than drifting away like their counterparts do. This subtle difference makes significantly more efficient vessels resulting in overall faster speeds when heading into the wind – making trimiras an ideal choice for less experienced sailors seeking reliable performance!

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Looking beyond traditional catamaran styles?

Trimarans such as DragonFly boast amazing features thanks to its “Swing Wing” system while Rapido Trimaran offers “an experience like nothing else”—thanks in part due to Morrelli & Melvin architect firm constructing this Vietnam built masterpiece!

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

For those seeking a luxurious floating lifestyle, the trimarans from shipyard NEEL are second to none! These vessels feature ‘Cockloon®’ areas which seamlessly connect saloons and cockpits – providing uninterrupted living spaces with breathtaking panoramic views. Alongside this is an expansive flybridge offering extra room along with comfortable cabins nestled within their own designated floats for ultimate relaxation. You could say that these modern marvels of engineering provide all you need in one single package – now it’s just down to choosing your destination!

Looking for the perfect blend of stability, comfort and interior space? Look no further than the NEEL 65 – a unique trimaran that boasts roomy cabins thanks to its enlarged volume. Not only does it offer more living area compared with typical catamarans – but also features an optimally aligned central hull which provides extra safety at anchor! So if you’ve been in two minds between these nautical vessels; perhaps this could sway your decision once and for all…

Trimaran vs catamaran safety: the width of trimarans makes them safer

The trimaran stands out as the most secure of its multihull contemporaries. Its superior design consisting of three hulls, effective anti-drift strategies and centre-mounted weights combine to provide it with a groundbreaking 27° righting moment – allowing for excellent stability in even gusty weather or choppy waters. In comparison, catamarans offer just 12° degrees protection against capsize – meaning that the trustworthiness offered by a trimaran is hard to match! Further punctuating this remarkable level of security are features such as buoyancy tanks which ensure that if capsizing does occur, sinking will not be an issue: making trimarans perfect vessels for sailing’s safety conscious connoisseurs.

Racing trimarans

In the last decade, trimarans have surged in popularity for racing purposes due to their enhanced speed and safety capabilities. Their stability on rough seas allows them to be pushed further than catamarans can go without sacrificing control of the vessel; this is why most multihull races since 2010 have been captured by a trimaran! The Jules Verne Trophy has not seen any different – all winners since its start in 2010 are proud owners of these three-hulled vessels.

How to make the right choice between a monohull, a catamaran, and a trimaran?

No matter what sailing adventure you have in mind and the destination, it is essential to select a vessel that will fulfill your dreams while meeting all of your demands. Make sure to pick wisely!

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Choose a monohull sailboat if you like sailing!

Nothing quite compares to the feel and freedom of a sailing adventure aboard your own monohull sailboat. With its large, retractable keel, you can explore shallow waters where other boats may not venture while taking in stunning vistas from beyond the coastline. Enjoy an unforgettable experience with every rustle of wind across your sails!

Read also : Monohull vs Catamaran, which one to choose?

Pick a catamaran if you like volume and calm seas

TThe catamaran is perfect for adventurers seeking the tranquility of sailing with family and friends. With a spacious interior, multiple cabins equipped with bathrooms, and an enviable amount of storage capacity above 12m in length – it’s easy to see why these boats have become so popular! However when navigating more turbulent seas keep in mind that their windward grip may make maneuvering tricky; but Catana’s boat selection has you covered thanks to its range featuring daggerboards allowing captains ultimate control over any situation.

Pick a trimaran for a good combination of volume and performances

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

For those looking for a sailing experience like no other, trimarans are the perfect answer. They offer lightning-fast speeds and truly exhilarating performances on open waters – all while providing plenty of roomy living space comparable to catamarans of similar size! Whether you’re attempting an adventurous transatlantic crossing or simply want to enjoy some pleasant cruising around the world, selecting a recreational trimaran could be your best bet.

Enjoy cruising on the NEEL 51 , a unique charter yacht that offers plenty of space without sacrificing performance. This trimaran-inspired vessel is perfect for travelers who want to explore new destinations quickly and safely — with speeds twice as high as other options!

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

  Read more: LEEN 72′: The Future of Hybrid Trimarans is Here .

After looking into the differences between catamarans and trimarans, we can conclude that they each offer distinct sailing experiences. Catamaran sails offer a sense of comfort and stability for extended cruising trips and luxurious living spaces, while trimarans are better on performance, safety – due to the increased width of their hulls – and speed when racing. Ultimately though, it all comes down to personal preference when it comes to choosing between a monohull, a catamaran or a trimaran. If you want to gain speed and enjoy the thrill of racing, then a trimaran may be your best option; however if you prefer comfort and more space while cruising, then a catamaran may be more suited for your needs. Whichever you ultimately decide to purchase, just make sure that it fits your specific circumstances and requirements.

If you’re looking to buy a trimaran, don’t miss this opportunity to learn about the latest models and their features. Get the inside scoop on what to look for in a trimaran and what you can expect to pay. Find out how to choose the right size and style to meet your needs and budget. And if you’re looking to sell your trimaran, don’t miss this chance to connect with a global audience of interested buyers. Showcase your boat’s unique features and benefits and reach a wider audience of potential buyers.

So don’t wait any longer! Take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about buying or selling trimarans. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or just starting out, this is your chance to dive deeper into this exciting world of boat ownership. Click the link below to get started today!

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Whether you’re a fan of stability or speed, there’s one boat that can give you both – the trimaran vs catamaran. Catamarans provide plenty of living space and comfort in calm waters but struggle with choppy seas, while modern trimarans deliver excellent performance even on rough days yet still offer good room to relax onboard. But if vintage sailing is more your style opt for an older-style tri since it won’t be equipped with as much creature comforts!

Catamarans and trimarans are two types of watercraft that rapidly cut through the waves, but when it comes to speed one stands out above the rest. Trimarans have gained a reputation for being fast enough to take on any other vessel in a race – making them an excellent choice for anyone looking to shave precious seconds off their time!

When it comes to safety on the sea, two of the most popular vessels are Trimarans and Catamarans. Thanks to their side hulls, trimarans offer a much greater heeling angle compared with catamarans – meaning they’re less likely to capsize or sink in rough waters. However don’t let that put you off taking out a catamaran – while not as secure as its three-hulled cousin – these craft still provide plenty of stability for your seafaring adventure!

If you’re looking for an affordable seafaring vessel, the choice between a catamaran or trimaran can be daunting. With numerous factors that impact cost – from age and length to comfort levels and desirability – it’s often hard to tell which of these two sailing vessels will fit your budget best. But with some research, you’ll find just the right combination of affordability and quality suited perfectly to your needs!


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Trimaran vs. Catamaran: What are the Differences?

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Experience the thrill of sailing on a multihull – a boat with two or three hulls. Discover the unique features of the trimaran and the catamaran , and how they differ in performance and comfort. Want speed and excitement? Take the helm of a trimaran. Prefer a leisurely cruise? Relax on a catamaran. Don’t miss out on this exciting article uncovering the secrets of multihull sailing.

How to recognize a trimaran from a catamaran?

First up, the catamaran. Simple, sleek, and stylish, this craft boasts not one, but two identical hulls – making it a twin amongst ships. Its minimalist design is a thing of beauty, and it might just be the perfect float for solo explorers or couples seeking a romantic ocean adventure.

On the other hand, the trimaran is a multihull masterclass in innovation. With a total of three hulls, including two small outriggers, this vessel’s design is unlike anything you’ve seen before. In fact, some have compared it to a spaceship, and we can see why! The trimaran’s unique layout and engineering wizardry make it a worthy addition to any seafarer’s fleet.

So, whether you’re a catamaran connoisseur or a trimaran trailblazer, there’s no denying that these vessels are truly remarkable. Just don’t ask us to choose a favourite!

What are the trimaran main characteristics?

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

A trimaran’s three hulls are like the training wheels on a bicycle, making it incredibly stable even in choppy waters. These recreational boats are a sailor’s dream, offering a smooth ride and exceptional comfort. And when it comes to safety, trimarans are virtually unsinkable due to their triple-hull design – even the roughest storms won’t capsize them! Although compromising some sailing capacity, the security and stability of a trimaran are unmatched.

All about Neel trimaran here

What are the catamaran main characteristics?

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Discover the one-of-a-kind world of catamarans – versatile vessels affectionately nicknamed “cats”. Offering an exciting and luxurious sailing experience, these boats come in a range of sizes, from cozy two-person cabins to expansive group accommodation for up to 20. Some catamarans are budget-friendly options perfect for families, while others provide the ultimate indulgence and can transport you to some of the most coveted destinations in the Caribbean and Mediterranean. With their roomy interiors and stable design, catamarans are perfect for exploring calm sea gulfs, lagoons or shallow waters.

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Trimaran vs. Catamaran: which one has the largest surface area?

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Catarmarans surface area is known to be spacious

Catamarans have filled the world’s oceans in recent years with more huge and luxury versions, including sailing catamarans like the Lagoon Seventy 7, Fountaine Pajot’s Allegria 67, and motor catamarans like the Sunreef Power 70. The biggest catamaran known is Hemisphere, and you may want to have a look at Douce France available for charter with WI.

Catamarans are well-known for their large living quarters, which are divided between the two hulls and the central platform.

Trimarans surface area are constantly improving

Among some of the cruising, habitable trimarans, the DragonFly boasts a unique Swing Wing system and a plush interior, while the Vietnamese-made Rapido Trimaran is the brainchild of the esteemed Morrelli & Melvin design house. But what really sets the Naval NEEL shipyard trimarans apart is the incredible “Cockloon” living area above the central hull – it’s like staying in a floating hotel! With cabins located solely on the floats, the central kitchen, panoramic saloon, and lounging areas are all linked together for an unbeatable sense of space and luxury. And don’t forget the expansive flybridge, too!

Read also : The yacht charter experience ladder

Trimaran vs. Catamaran: Stability and Performance

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The Trimaran stability made it famous

With three hulls, including one main and two overhanging, a trimaran is built for stability even in the roughest waters. In fact, it’s nearly impossible for a trimaran to capsize, making it a safer option for the adventurous seafarer. And if by some chance or circumstance the boat does flip, fear not – it’ll stay afloat! The only downside? The trimaran provides both the comfort of a monohull and the safety of a multihull, but hey, no boat is perfect. Did we mention it’s also one of the fastest boats out there? Sounds like a win-win to us.

The Catamaran performances aren’t as versatile as trimaran

Catamarans are incredible vessels that offer not only a smooth sailing experience, but also a comfortable ride. Ranging in size from cozy cabins for two to massive ships that can fit 20, catamarans are top-notch for stability. However, they aren’t particularly cut out for rough seas, preferring calm waters like tranquil gulfs and shallow lagoons. Keep in mind that while they may not excel in upwind sailing and lack the heeling abilities of other boats, catamarans will still take you on a sailing adventure like no other.

Trimaran vs. Catamaran: Distinct Sailing Experiences

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Sailboats rely on wind speed to move forward, but stability is crucial to avoid capsizing. Monohulls have a keel underneath to prevent this, making them more durable in heavy winds. Meanwhile, multihulls such as catamarans offer greater stability with their floats, resulting in a smoother ride even in rough seas. However, trimarans are more similar to monohulls and may tip more, offering advantages in rougher waters but less comfort on calm days. Overall, multihulls have an edge in stability compared to their monohull counterparts.

Trimaran vs. Catamaran: Safety

Trimarans are very safe boats.

You might be surprised to find out that Trimarans are extremely safe; in fact, many trimarans, are almost unsinkable. They have a core made up of foam, and the materials’ buoyancy is extremely high in comparison to the boat’s displacement. Trimarans are safe because of their breadth. The trimaran is the safest of the multihulls because of its three-hulled design, weight centering, and complete anti-drift scheme.

Moreover, even if the trimaran were to overturn, the structure would keep it from plummeting into the water, making it an extremely safe boat.

Catamarans safety is still very good

Catamarans are a safe way to travel the ocean. Offshore, catamarans are often far safer than monohulls of similar size. Enhanced resilience, speed, steadiness, and motion ease due to a lack of ballast all contribute to safety.

A large modern catamaran has an outstanding resilience and roll inertia. The mix of these factors makes invasion or capsizing extremely unlikely. When a 20-foot wave hits a catarmaran’s beam, the boat will just surf sideways.

Trimaran vs. Catamaran: Racing

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Catamarans are very fast downwind

Catamarans are recognized for their velocity, and some of them are capable of breaking world sailing records. Catamarans may travel at a pace  of 15 to 30 mph, with the best reaching speeds of well over 60 knots.

Cruising catamarans may reach high speeds of 15 knots, or 17.3 mph, on average (27.84 kph). In the right wind conditions; however, some outstanding racing catamarans can reach a pace of up to 30 knots.

On downwind runs, reaches, and broad reaches, catamarans are typically quicker than trimarans. Sailing a catamaran is less exhausting than sailing a trimaran. Sailing flat has a number of benefits. Carrying tanks and other diving equipment is significantly simpler on a cat if you are a SCUBA diver.

Catamarans are lighter than trimarans because they do not require a heavy keel. This, along with the fact that their sails are placed equivalent to the wind, allows them to sail quicker than trimarans, particularly on a run or broad reach.

Trimarans are the usual racing winner

Trimarans are frequently preferred in racing these days, especially in the previous decade or so.

For long offshore races, racing trimarans’ speed and safety qualities have significant benefits. Even in severe seas, they can be pushed harder and are more forgiving than other racing catamarans. These are the primary reasons why trimarans have become so popular in recent multihull competitions. Trimarans, for example, have won the Jules Verne Trophy every year since 2010.

Trimarans can often increase their monohull sailing speed on almost every point of sail while cruising catamarans are usually 25-30 percent faster than a sailing monohull of the same length. Of course, when the boats are filled for cruising, these comparisons vary drastically.

A trimaran is more suited to sail upwind than a catamaran, which is more vulnerable to drifting. Trimarans are; therefore, quicker than catamarans, and this benefit is especially noticeable when cruising against the wind due to the weight centering in the middle hull, which lowers pitching.

The third hull really makes trimarans considerably quicker than any other hull form at a given extent based on the relation between a boat’s waterline length and speed i.e. that more hull distance in the water leads to higher speeds.

Which is Better: A Trimaran or a Catamaran?

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

If you want to spend less time on deck, a catamaran is a great option. Catamarans are also ideal for hosting gatherings and parties while maintaining their stability on the water.

A trimaran is a more ideal boat for you if you want to develop your sailing talents on something more difficult. Moreover, if you’re a speed demon, keep an eye out for the fastest trimaran boats and pick the one that best meets your needs.

While picking between a catamaran and a trimaran appears simple on paper, it becomes more challenging when you see them in front of you. Check out our page for more details in order to make a more informed decision.


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Trimaran vs Catamarans (updated 2022)

Trimaran and catamaran sailboats

The different types of multi hull sailboats can be confusing to people new to the sport of sailing. Here we look at the main types of boat and list out the pros and cons of each.

Key differences between Trimaran and Catamaran

  • This one is fairly obvious! A trimaran has 3 has hulls, a main hull with 2 outriggers and a catamaran just has 2 hulls.
  • A trimaran is much more stable than a catamaran, with the outriggers (also called amas) acting like training wheels on a bicycle.
  • A trimaran is a more suitable boat for beginners to start sailing in, due to the stability and ease of use when compared to a catamaran.
  • When catamarans heel, one of their hulls leaves the water resulting in a loss of stability and potential capsize.  With a trimaran, the main hull remains in the water, with the leeward ama providing a predictable increase in righting moment and reliable stability
  • Trimarans are faster than catamaran as a trimaran has less hydrodynamic resistance than the catamaran (just check sailing speed records)
  • A trimaran is more suited to sail upwind than a catamaran, especially if it has a centreboard like Meermark trimarans do
  • The main hull of a trimaran allows for a comfortable seating position vs a catamaran where you are just sitting on the trampoline that connects the 2 hulls

Trimaran vs Catamaran - which to choose

We think given the extra stability, comfort and speed offered, you should opt for a trimaran. Meermark offers both single and two person trimarans - why not look at the specifications of our models and see why a Meermark trimaran is likely to be your best option.


Catamaran vs Trimaran: Which is Better for You?

The ongoing debate between catamarans and trimarans remains unresolved, primarily because each offers a unique boating experience despite their similarities. The choice between these two types of multihull vessels depends largely on personal preference and intended use . Several factors must be considered when selecting either a catamaran or a trimaran.

What is the Catamaran?

An image illustrating the features and design of a catamaran.

A catamaran consists of two parallel hulls of equal size, joined by a structure supported by a wide beam. These boats vary in size, from small rowboats to large car ferries . The connecting structure ranges from a simple frame to a more complex superstructure with cabins or cargo space. Typically, recreational catamarans accommodate between two and 20 passengers.

Pros Catamaran vs Trimaran

Catamarans are renowned for their spaciousness, offering ample living quarters ideal for social gatherings and events. Their growing popularity has spurred the creation of increasingly luxurious and larger models. With a classic , sleek design , catamarans are optimal for calm seas , lagoons , and shallow waters .

What is the Trimaran?

A visual representation highlighting the structure and characteristics of a trimaran.

Distinct from the catamaran, a trimaran features three hulls, with a larger central hull flanked by two smaller ones . These are linked together by beams, wings, or other structures, varying with the model. Trimarans also come in diverse sizes, from leisure yachts to ferries.

Pros Trimaran vs Catamaran

Trimarans have the edge when riding speed; trim is among the fastest boats available. Their impressive performance in boating competitions highlights their speed advantage . Trimarans are also known for their stability, especially upwind, thanks to their three-hull design. They feature easy-to-deploy anchoring gear on the main hull.

Read also: Best Liveaboard Boats to Live On Full-Time

Trimaran vs. Catamaran Speed

An image comparing the speed capabilities of trimarans and catamarans.

When discussing speed between trimarans and catamarans, trimarans often lead the race. They are the go-to choice for extensive offshore racing, evidenced by their consistent wins in the Jules Verne Trophy since 2010. Their distinct design combines speed and safety, offering notable advantages for sailors.

Adding a third hull in trimarans significantly boosts their speed compared to other boat types. This is due to the relationship between the length of the boat's waterline and its velocity. The longer waterline allows trimarans to achieve greater speeds . In racing conditions, trimarans are faster, more resilient, and more forgiving than other styles.

However, this doesn't render catamarans inferior in speed. Under certain conditions, catamarans can surpass world records . Particularly on downwind courses, a racing catamaran might outpace a trimaran. Yet, trimarans generally have the upper hand for consistent speed across various conditions.

Catamaran vs. Trimaran Performance

A graphic showcasing the performance differences between catamarans and trimarans.

In the performance comparison of catamarans and trimarans, both have distinct strengths. Catamarans are known for their user-friendly handling and require less frequent interaction with lines and halyards. This ease of use does come with a trade-off in speed, as cruising catamarans are usually slower than their trimaran counterparts .

On the other hand, trimarans showcase a more adaptable performance. They fare better than catamarans in challenging conditions like against currents or winds. Trimarans are suitable for almost all weather conditions, experience less drift, and exhibit reduced rolling motion compared to catamarans . However, they demand more effort in handling, which can be tiring during extended sailing periods.

Trimaran vs. Catamaran Productivity

An image depicting the productivity aspects of both trimarans and catamarans.

Comparing the efficiency of trimarans and catamarans reveals minor differences. Both types, as multi-hulled vessels, are more fuel-efficient than similar mono-hulled boats due to their hull designs and lighter weight. They generally have smaller displacements and shallower drafts compared to other boat styles .

The primary efficiency difference lies in their engine configurations. Catamarans typically operate with twin engines , whereas trimarans usually have a single engine. A trimaran’s three-hull design reduces hydrodynamic resistance, spreading displacement across more hulls. This design enables narrower, more streamlined hulls, enhancing efficiency.

⚡️Another article:   Best Catamaran Fishing Boat Brands 2024

Catamaran vs. Trimaran Stability

A visual comparison of the stability features of catamarans and trimarans.

The stability offered by multi-hulled boats is a significant advantage over mono-hulled vessels. With their broader water stance, these boats provide more stability than a ballasted keel thanks to their wide beams and floats . Additionally, their design contributes to greater buoyancy, aiding in preventing immersion. The choice between catamaran and trimaran stability largely depends on the water conditions.

A catamaran’s design, which focuses on geometric stabilization, lessens both heeling and wave-induced movements, resulting in a stable platform while moving and at anchor. However, catamarans are less adept at navigating rough seas than trimarans . The three-hull structure of trimarans offers excellent stability in turbulent waters. Still, it may feel less comfortable in calm conditions compared to catamarans.

Catamaran vs. Trimaran Safety

An image illustrating safety comparisons between catamarans and trimarans.

Regarding safety at sea, both catamarans and trimarans offer enhanced security compared to mono-hulled vessels. Catamarans boast impressive stability and resistance to capsizing thanks to their robust construction and roll inertia. Their speed , stability , and lack of ballast further augment their safety features.

Trimarans are often hailed as the safest among multi-hulled boats. Their trio of hulls renders them virtually unsinkable. Many trimarans have high buoyancy foam cores, ensuring they remain afloat even in severe storms . The strategic distribution of weight and an effective anti-drift system further enhance onboard safety.

Trimaran vs. Catamaran Maintenance

A graphic showing the maintenance requirements for trimarans versus catamarans.

When comparing yachts and catamarans, they share many common costs, including annual maintenance , repairs , towing , and insurance , and do not consider major upgrades. Additional costs such as berthing, winterization, and storage should also be considered, especially for seasonal use.

📢Read also:   Boat Loan Terms: How Long Can You Finance a Boat?

Boat owners should allocate between 5% and 10% of the vessel's value annually for maintenance, with older boats potentially requiring a higher budget. Maintenance charges may vary, calculated by the boat's length or the hours of labor involved.

Catamaran vs. Trimaran Cost

An image displaying the cost differences and financial considerations for catamarans and trimarans.

For those seeking cost-effective maritime options, both catamarans and trimarans are viable. Affordable models suit families, and more luxurious versions are at higher prices. Factors like construction materials and onboard electronics influence the cost .

With diverse factors affecting prices, selecting the right vessel involves balancing desired features with budget constraints. Exploring Boatingsphere's listings can provide insights into the quality and price range, offering a selection of new and used boats to suit various needs.

Read also: Used boat values

Final Thoughts

Deciding between a catamaran and a trimaran involves more than just their basic differences. If comfort and space are priorities for cruising, a catamaran may be the ideal choice. Conversely, a trimaran could appeal more to those who relish high-speed sailing and racing .

Your choice should align with your specific needs and intentions. Consider the boat's primary purpose: family cruising, sport fishing, or something else . Factor in the waters you'll navigate and whether you plan to stay nearshore or venture into deeper seas. All these considerations will influence whether a catamaran or a trimaran is more suitable for you.

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Trimaran vs Catamaran

trimaran vs catamaran

Trimaran and Cataraman are quite similar in design, making it difficult for many people to distinguish between the two, let alone choose one. However, you might be surprised to know that their differences are rather significant.

In this post, we will compare the Trimaran and Catamaran so that you can clearly identify them and make an informed decision when purchasing one.

About Trimaran boats

About catamaran boat, so, which boat do you think is better.

A Trimaran is a type of boat that has three hulls instead of the usual one. The front and back hulls are usually small and used for stability, while the middle hull is larger and used for most of the boat’s functionality.

Some Trimarans can also be configured to be sailed as a Catamaran by removing the front and/or back hulls.

Trimaran boats have several unique features that make them better suited for certain tasks than other types of boats.

  • Trimarans are more stable in rough water than other boats, and they are often used for racing or long-distance sailing
  • The extra hulls make Trimarans more stable and less likely to capsize in rough water
  • They also provide more space inside the boat for passengers or cargo and can be faster and more maneuverable than other boats of similar size
  • Trimarans are also good for sailing in shallow waters since they can float on two hulls while the third one is still submerged

Despite their advantages, Trimarans do have some drawbacks.

  • They can be more difficult to dock or more than other boats, and they require more crew members to operate effectively
  • They are also more expensive to build and maintain than other boats

However, for those who are looking for a fast, stable, and versatile boat, the Trimaran is a great option.

catamaran boat

Catamaran boats are a type of boat that has two hulls, making them comfortable vessels to ride.. They can also be more comfortable to ride in than other types of boats.

Here’re some of this boat’s advantages:

  • Catamaran boats can be sailed by a smaller screw than other types of boats. This also makes them a popular choice for charters and sailing vacations
  • Their prices are more affordable, thus suitable for family use
  • Catamarans are usually built from lightweight materials, making them ideal for speed and agility
  • The most distinguishing feature of a Catamaran boat is the lack of any external rigging. This means that the sails are mounted on the mast and boom directly to the hulls, rather than to a frame that hangs below the hulls
  • Therefore, they have a great range of sail shapes and sizes, which can be adapted to changing wind conditions
  • Another advantage of a Catamaran boat is its stability. Because the hulls are wide and shallow, they offer more resistance to overturning than a monohull boat of the same size. This makes Catamarans an ideal choice for sailing on rough seas

However, Catamarans do have a few drawbacks.

They are less agile than monohull boats, making docking in confined places more challenging

  • Docking these boats is costly
  • In big waves, there is a chance of slapping

trimaran boat

  • Speed – The Trimaran is the faster of the two boats. It can reach speeds of up to forty knots, while the Catamaran can only reach about half that speed.
  • Stability – The Trimaran is more stable than the Catamaran. This is because it has three hulls instead of two. This makes it less likely to capsize in rough seas.
  • Space – The Catamaran is bigger than the Trimaran. This means that it can hold more people and cargo. The Catamaran can also be used for longer trips, while the Trimaran is better suited for shorter trips.

A Trimaran is a multi-hull boat with three hulls, while a Catamaran has two hulls. Both types of boats can be made from a variety of materials, including wood, aluminum, and fiberglass.

More Stable and Ideal for Racing: Trimaran

The main advantage of a Trimaran is its stability in rough waters. Catamarans are also stable boats, but they are not as resistant to strong winds and waves as Trimarans.

Trimarans also typically have more deck space than Catamarans, which makes them ideal for sailing or fishing trips.

A Trimaran is typically faster and more stable than a Catamaran, making it ideal for racing or long-distance travel. A Catamaran, on the other hand, is better at handling rough seas and is more agile.

Ideal for Calm Water: Catamaran

Catamarans are usually faster and less expensive to build than Trimarans, making them a popular choice for recreational boaters. However, due to their size, Catamarans are not as seaworthy as Trimarans and are not recommended for use in rough waters.

Trimarans and Catamarans are both types of sailing vessels . They have many similarities, but there are also some important differences between them. If you’re interested in learning more about these boats or in purchasing one for your use, it’s important to understand the pros and cons of each type.

Overall, the Trimaran is the better boat. It is faster, more stable, and has more space. However, the Catamaran is cheaper and can be used for longer trips. If you are looking for a boat that is good in all areas, the Trimaran is the best choice.

Hopefully, this article has helped you do that. Thanks for reading!

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sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Trimarans and catamarans have a unique appeal. They are stable, fast, and comfortable. Yet, it can be hard to choose between these kinds of vessels, if you have the budget to charter or buy either.

In this article, we delve into the trimaran vs catamaran debate to establish the pros and cons of both. But first, let’s look at the key differences between them.

What are the differences between trimarans and catamarans?

A trimaran has one main, larger hull flanked by two smaller “floats”, connected by lateral beams. It’s rigged similarly to a monohull and heels. The extra hull offers less hydrodynamic resistance, which makes a trimaran faster.

Catamarans have two equal-sized parallel hulls; their wide beams offer stability. That’s why cats don’t heel.

Catamarans have become extremely popular over the past decades, especially once bigger, more comfortable models have been produced since the 90s. So much so, that there’s a rather long waiting list to get a new one built. Charter companies are purchasing more and more cruising cats to add to their fleets and many cruisers choose a cat over a monohull when they set sail on a long voyage.

Trimarans have been associated with racing only, until recently. However, new and rather spacious recreational models are slowly emerging. Finding a cruising trimaran to charter is still hard, though. 

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Can a trimaran capsize?

In theory, in extreme conditions, if a wave is higher than half the beam size of the boat, a trimaran can capsize. However, trimarans are rather wide vessels and their three-hull configuration makes them very stable. 

A trimaran has a maximum righting moment of 27 degrees of heel, while a catamaran has a 12 degree one. Such a shorter angle can be reached in short seas, if the wind gusts are powerful enough and you haven’t reefed. 

So capsizing a trimaran is extremely hard. Plus, if a trimaran flips over, it is virtually unsinkable, thanks to the three hulls. This extra safety element has led to trimarans becoming more popular than catamarans in the racing world.

Is a trimaran safer than a catamaran?

To a small extent. As we have seen above, it’s very difficult to sink a trimaran. The same goes for cats. However, trimarans have the added bonus of being harder to flip over, too. 

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Pros and cons of Trimarans

Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of trimaran sailboats.

Trimarans are very fast, typically faster than both cruising and racing catamarans

They can sail in nearly any wind conditions

Trimarans are extra stable and hard to flip over

The heeling allows you to understand when it’s time to reef

Trimarans perform better upwind than cats

The helm offers great feedback, just like on a monohull

The anchoring gear is easier to deploy, as it’s installed on the main hull.

Sailing a trimaran takes quite a bit of work on deck

They heel, making it harder to cook underway

Trimarans can be harder to maneuvre inside a marina

The space on board is typically less than on most cats

Trimarans are very weight sensitive.

Pros and cons of catamarans

Catamarans, on the other hand, have their own pros and cons.

Cats offer a stable platform underway and at anchor

Maneuvering a catamaran is very easy

Modern, cruising cats, feature lots of room above and below deck

Catamarans don’t heel

Cruising catamarans can bear a decent amount of load.

Racing cats aren’t very spacious

Catamarans can be capsize more easily than trimarans

You need to reef more often on a cat

Any catamaran is slower than a trimaran

The helm isn’t very responsive - you need to pay close attention to the instruments.

The verdict: Trimaran or catamaran?

As always, when it comes to boats, there isn’t a “better option”. A vessel needs to be tailored to the needs and preferences of her owner. 

If you prefer sailing a beautiful, spacious platform, on which to cruise leisurely and entertain many guests, a cruising catamaran may be the choice for you. You won’t need to handle the lines and halyards quite as often, you won’t heel, but you will travel slower.

If, on the other hand, you enjoy the thrill of high speeds, but you’re worried about safety, a trimaran may be right for you. A recreational trimaran fitted with daggerboards or centreboards can typically sail faster than a catamaran and perform better upwind. 

A performance cat may be a great option for those who need to get in and out of marinas often but want to sail fast. And if you want the fastest, most fun boat to sail, opt for a racing trimaran. 

Whatever your priorities, a boat that’s the perfect balance between them all exists. Although, of course, you will need to take budget into consideration.


How to prepare for a boating trip.


My Cruiser Life Magazine

Battle of the Multihulls – Catamarans Versus Trimarans

For years, catamarans have dominated the multihull segment. Cruisers love to live aboard and sail the world on sailing catamarans. These two-hull boats are known for their speed, space, and overall attractiveness. 

With their sporty three hulls, trimarans have long been regarded as fantastic race boats that will speed past catamarans and monohulls. Trimarans have stability and are comfortable at sea. Today’s modern trimarans, such as the Neel brand trimarans, are now featuring increased living space. As a result, modern trimarans are becoming more attractive and more appealing to cruising and liveaboard sailors. 

Maritime traffic close to the croatian port city of Split: a rare trimaran in front of a motor yacht

Table of Contents

Living space, catamaran vs trimaran performance, pros and cons of cruising on a monohull boat, pros and cons of cruising catamarans, pros and cons of cruising on a trimaran, multihull safety, sailing comfort, choosing between catamarans and trimarans, faqs – catamarans vs trimarans, differences of trimaran versus catamaran.

The main difference between a monohull, a catamaran, and a trimaran is the hull configuration. A monohull has just one hull. A catamaran has two hulls, and a trimaran has three hulls. The catamaran and trimaran are known as multihulls because they each have more than one hull. 

A catamaran has two equally sized hulls, whereas a trimaran has one main hull with two outriggers. The two outriggers are smaller and are mirror images of each other. 

The living space on a catamaran is usually luxurious compared to monohulls and trimarans. First, a large cockpit has plenty of room for guests. Second, the bridge deck, which connects the two hulls, is flat, large, and usually hosts a large living area. Third, the living area has large windows which allow excellent visibility, natural light, and ventilation. Finally, the two hulls usually house sleeping areas, bathrooms, and sometimes galleys. 

On a trimaran, the living space is usually smaller than on a catamaran. The main hull is usually home to the main living quarters. Like a monohull, this space may be darker with fewer portlights. Often, the living space on a trimaran is even smaller than a comparably sized monohull. On most smaller trimarans, the outrigger hulls are kept empty or used as storage. 

New, large, modern trimarans like the Neel 47 offer luxury living similar to a catamaran. On a Neel trimaran, you’ll find a large, spacious cockpit and saloon area . This area provides outdoor seating in the cockpit and an indoor lounge that rivals the comfort of home. The outriggers have space for private bunks and bathroom facilities.

The Benefits of Three Hulls

While you may give up some living space on a trimaran, there are some benefits. Trimarans are even faster than catamarans. Trimarans only have one main hull fully in the water, and the two outriggers produce less drag. As a result, trimarans have stability and are great fun to sail. 

A trimaran usually has the forestay attached to the main hull. This provides a strong, stable, safe rigging platform. 

A catamaran’s forestay is attached to the forward center of the boat on a crossbeam, the shrouds are attached to each hull, and there often isn’t a backstay. This catamaran rigging configuration allows for additional fatigue as the rig is being pulled in various directions. 

The trimaran rigging configuration is similar to a traditional monohull. The standing rigging is connected to the center hull, thus providing increased stability and less fatigue. This configuration allows for a rigid forestay and provides good upwind performance. 

When comparing trimaran and catamaran upwind performance, the trimaran usually wins. Because of the trimaran’s larger central platform and two outriggers, the trimaran pitches less when heading upwind, also known as beating. Catamarans also experience more drift while beating into the wind. So overall, trimarans experience less leeway and have better upwind performance. 

Monohull boats have been around forever. As such, you can easily buy an older monohull to learn to sail on. Monohulls are inexpensive to purchase, maintain, and operate. It’s more straightforward to find marina docks and haul-out locations. When it comes to maintenance, like bottom cleaning, washing, waxing, and fiberglass work, nothing beats having a single hull!

But monohulls have much less living space than a cruising catamaran. The living space is often dark and can be called “cave-like,” as monohulls tend to have small ports. 

white yacht in body of water during daytime

Monohulls heel over, which is attractive to some and a deterrent to others. Some sailors feel more seasick on a monohull as it heels. On the other hand, some feel less seasick as the motion is constant, unlike a catamaran’s sometimes jerky motion underway.

Most monohulls have deeper keels than catamarans and trimarans. A shallower draft allows sailors to access shallower water. Boats with shallower keels can sneak into desirable anchorages that deeper draft boats cannot access.

Cruising catamarans have large amounts of living space and are known to be luxurious. They don’t heel over as monohulls do. Catamarans provide a stable platform for enjoying life on the water. And some sailors feel less seasick on a catamaran because of the lack of heeling motion.

Catamarans are popular with charter companies, cruisers, and sailors planning to sail around the world. Catamarans have shallow drafts and can sneak into attractive anchorages that deeper draft monohulls can’t access. 

Luxury sailing catamaran in the Ionian Sea.

Catamarans are wider than monohulls, and it can be harder and more expensive to find marina dockage and haulouts. They don’t fit into standard-size slips and must dock in extra-wide slips or at t-heads. Many maintenance yards have standard-sized lifts that don’t accommodate the width of a catamaran. So overall, catamarans are more expensive to buy, operate, and maintain than monohull boats. 

Trimarans are known for their speed! If you love to cruise past all the other boats and get to port first, a trimaran might be calling your name. Traditional trimarans have limited living space on board. Most trimarans have even less living space than similarly sized monohulls.

Maneuvering around the trimaran and living aboard can provide challenges for sailors. Like catamarans, their width can make getting dock space and haul-outs more challenging and expensive. 

Trimaran in harbour near Russell

Cruising catamarans are usually between 18 and 25 feet wide. Cruising trimarans are usually between 25 and 30 feet wide. The additional width of a trimaran creates a more stable platform but makes finding dockage even more challenging.

Catamarans and trimarans are both considered safe vessels. While a monohull might roll, lose its rig, get holed, and sink to the bottom of the ocean, a multihull vessel will still float. This is because they do not contain lead or iron ballast. 

While it is very rare, multihulls can be flipped. For instance, after Category 5 hurricanes, news outlets often share photos of flipped catamarans that were left at marinas. 

However, even when a multihull is flipped, it still provides a floating platform. Boaters can wait with their large overturned vessel for help, and rescuers are more likely to spot an overturned vessel than just a small liferaft. In addition, supplies carried on the boat might still be accessible to the crew. 

Cruising sailors often consider increased speed to be a safety factor. For instance, on an ocean crossing, faster speeds mean that sailors might be able to arrive before a big storm rather than getting caught in it. In addition, a faster boat might be able to adjust course and avoid the storm if outrunning it is not an option. Because trimarans are faster than both catamarans and monohulls, they can outrun or avoid more storms. 

A trimaran features less roll than a catamaran. A trimaran’s weight is centered in its main hull, whereas a catamaran’s weight is distributed across both hulls. As a result, the trimaran rides smoother, whereas a catamaran will be reacting more dramatically and face a bumpier ride. 

white boat on body of water during daytime

If you’re thinking about sailing on a multihull, consider the living space, speed, and sea kindliness of each. In the end, it’s a decision made from personal taste and personal preference. Trimarans are fast and fun to sail. Catamarans offer increased deck-level living space. Both are known to be safe and virtually unsinkable. Whichever choice floats your boat, you’ll be thrilled with a fun sail, comfortable ride, access to beautiful secluded anchorages in shallow waters. 

Worried about getting caught in severe storm conditions in your boat ? Visit our guide!

Is a trimaran faster than a catamaran?

A trimaran is faster than a catamaran. The centered weight in the main hull provides stability. A rigid forestay provides good upwind performance. The reduction in wetted surface reduces drag. A 40-foot monohull may cruise at 6 knots, a 40 ft catamaran may cruise at 7 knots, and a 40ft trimaran may cruise at 9 knots. 

Which is more stable, a catamaran or trimaran?

A trimaran has a larger maximum righting moment. Catamaran sailors must be very mindful of the wind conditions and reef sails early to prevent capsizing. The righting moment on cruising catamarans is 12 degrees, whereas the righting moment on a trimaran is 32 degrees. This means the trimaran is more stable. 

In jostling rough seas, the trimaran has a smaller righting moment. As heavy seas jostle the boat, it will respond with a less choppy motion. The catamaran has a larger righting moment and will respond with a choppy ride. In a trimaran, you experience more stability. This, in turn, leads to a better-rested crew and a smoother overall ride. 

All of a trimaran’s weight is centered in the main hull. In a catamaran, heavy items such as engines are located in each hull. The weight distribution on a catamaran can lead to a jerkier ride. 

Can a trimaran capsize?

All boats can capsize given extreme conditions.

Many charter catamarans flipped when Hurricane Irma’s 215 mph winds hit the British Virgin Islands in 2018. The 100-foot trimaran Banque Populaire IX capsized in a gust of wind in 2018. 

Multihulls are usually very stable and only encounter the risk of capsizing in severe conditions. Crews should monitor conditions and reef early to prevent overpowering the boat. 

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Matt has been boating around Florida for over 25 years in everything from small powerboats to large cruising catamarans. He currently lives aboard a 38-foot Cabo Rico sailboat with his wife Lucy and adventure dog Chelsea. Together, they cruise between winters in The Bahamas and summers in the Chesapeake Bay.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Yachting Monthly

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Wow, that was fast! Why trimarans are SO much fun to sail – and how to do it

  • Theo Stocker
  • February 13, 2024

For their size, trimarans can punch well above their weight in speed, cruising potential and fun. Monohull sailor Theo Stocker gets to grips with how to handle one

Humans tend to gravitate into tribes of like-minded enthusiasts, enjoying the encouragement, support and sense of identity, while often looking askance at others; sailors at motorboaters, cruising sailors at racers, monohull sailors at raft, I mean, multihull sailors, and everyone looks askance at jet-skiers.

Large cruising catamarans (40ft now counts as a small one) are a world apart from monohull sailing, but there’s a sub-tribe of sailors dedicated to life on three hulls and builders such as Dragonfly, Corsair, Farrier, and Astus give them plenty of choice.

I’ve been sailing a 22ft (7m) Astus 22.5 this season, with just enough space for a family of four and a minimum of creature comforts. Thanks to her VPLP-designed hulls and 650kg all-up weight, we can sail upwind at 7-plus knots and downwind at over 10 knots with ease, all on a roughly even keel, while the kids play Duplo down below. It can also be beached and is towable behind a car.

Having, it seems, caught the trimaran bug, I wanted to get better at sailing and handling the boat, but my monohull sailing experience and habits were proving something of a hindrance, so we sought advice from some existing trimaran owners, and well as the UK’s top multihull sailors.

Much of the advice will apply to all multihulls , whether two or three-hulled, while other parts are just for small trimarans. I also found that brushing-up some of my rusty dinghy sailing skills helped get my head around what we were trying to do.

To try out our expert tips we went out sailing to see what difference they made. On the day, we got a solid Force 4-5 southwesterly, averaging 16 knots, but fluctuating between 12 and 20 knots true.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Blasting about on a sporty trimaran is a whole world of fun, but is much calmer than it looks

Trimaran sail trim

One of the biggest differences between a cruising monohull and a multihull is how the mainsail is trimmed. Leech tension on a yacht is often largely controlled by the kicker and the backstay, while the mainsheet sheets the mainsail in and out, predominantly controlling the angle of the boom to the centreline, and there may be a short traveller.

On a mulithull, however, there’s more than enough space for a good, wide traveller. Those who sail on performance monohulls will also be used to this. The sail shape is mainly controlled by the mainsheet, and the traveller then moves the boom towards or away from the centreline.

This is exaggerated on a multihull which has wide shrouds, swept well aft with no backstay, making space for a powerful square-top mainsail with full-length battens. There’s no backstay to bend the mast and flatten what is anyway a pretty rigid mainsail.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

The mainsheet purchase creates enough power to control the leech of the square-top mainsail

Depowering a trimaran

Sailing on a monohull, heel and weatherhelm and eventually a broach give loads of warning that you’re pushing too hard. With straight hulls and little heel, those warning signs don’t really apply to multihulls.

In reality, however, there are a host of warning signals that it’s time to back-off; they’re just a bit different. Even then, there’s still a large safety margin before you get close to danger.

By way of reassurance, with the boat powered up on a beat, Hein, from Boats on Wheels, the boat’s owner, stood on the leeward hull and lent on the shrouds. Even as his feet got wet and the wind gusted at the top of Force 4, the boat didn’t bat an eyelid, thanks to the huge buoyancy of the floats.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Even with a person on the leeward float the boat was extremely stable

On the water – sail trim

My first inclination was to point the boat as high upwind as possible, pin the sails in and go for height. Doing that resulted in a not-terrible boat speed of 5-6 knots and a good pointing angle.

Free off by a handful of degrees however, and ease the sails just a smidge, and the speed leapt up to 8-9 knots – over 50% more; a huge increase. So, don’t pinch. If you had a decent chartplotter on board, you could find your optimum speed to angle using velocity made good (VMG).

I was also tempted to pinch in the gusts, but it’s better to hold your course and let the speed increase until the main needs easing.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

On the wind, it’s time to get the boat fully powered up

If that’s the case, drop the main down the traveller an inch or two or ease some twist into the mainsail and it makes all the difference in the world, but not so far that the top battens fall away and invert – that really isn’t fast. Push too hard and the boat will slow down, largely from the drag of submerging the leeward float and crossbeams. If you’re still overpowered and the main is luffing, it’s time to reef. Downwind is different, but we’ll get onto that later.

After we put a reef in the main, our boat speeds upwind remained largely the same, and the boat was much happier. I came away feeling reassured that even a little trimaran like this would be pretty difficult to capsize, and there were always plenty of warning signs telling me to take my foot off the pedal a little.

Article continues below…

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Catamaran sailing skills: Mooring and anchoring a multihull

How do you make an average passage speed of 7 knots, fit in three double cabins and a huge saloon…

Monohull multihull

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As former editor of Yachting World, David Glenn has plenty of experience of both monohull and multihull cruising. Here he…

Tacking and gybing a trimaran

Everyone knows that multihulls don’t tack as well as monohulls. Straight hulls and wide beam don’t lend themselves to turning, especially when coupled with the displacement and fixed keels of big cats. Trimarans are a little easier, with a single central daggerboard to act as a pivot, and one or other of the floats will generally be clear of the water. On the downside, light displacement means that there isn’t much momentum to keep you going through the turn and plenty of windage to stop you.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

On a trimaran the central daggerboard helps the boat to turn by providing a central pivot point that catamarans lack

Speed is your friend. Build speed up before the tack to give you as much momentum as possible. The helm needs to steer positively into and through the turn, and if necessary, keep the jib backed on the new windward side to help the bow through the wind. Don’t worry about scrubbing speed off, but you don’t want to get stuck in irons.

When it comes to gybing, speed is again key. The turning bit isn’t going to be an issue as you’ll be scooting along, but the faster you’re going, the less load there will be on the sails. The more you slow down, the more the true wind will pile up.

Trimaran sailing skills

Tacks took a bit of practice. It felt plain wrong to jab the tiller across the boat, slamming a big break on in the water but I ended up putting us through the tacks far too slowly, losing a lot of speed. A more aggressive approach worked better. On the Astus, the traveller was between me and the tiller, so the tiller extension needed to be swung around the stern behind the mainsheet onto the new side.

Similarly, old habits of controlling a gybe needed to be modified. With the asymmetric set, we were planing at well over 10 knots, and the ideal is to stay on the plane. Heading dead downwind and centring the main lead to a more violent manoeuvre than flying into the gybe as fast as possible and, as the boom was never that far out thanks to the apparent wind angle, it didn’t need much extra controlling.

Coming up onto the wind after the gybe helped the asymmetric around the front of the jib and to fill on the new side. Stay too deep and it’ll get blanketed by the main. Once we had built up some apparent wind, we could bear away again.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

You’ll be on a course deep downwind before you know it, hitting speeds in the double digits

Downwind in a trimaran

Upwind cruising may be fun in a multihull, but bearing away and going with the wind is what it’s all about. Easily-driven hulls, a generous sailplan and light weight mean you can be up and planing, leaving displacement boats wallowing in your wake.

The big difference comes from apparent wind. If you’re in a boat that can do 15 knots downwind in 20 knots of true wind, the resulting wind angles can really mess with your head.

To get going then, says Brian Thompson, ‘Use those leech tell-tales again when sailing downwind and reaching to set the correct twist through the mainsheet, and use the traveller to set the correct angle of the whole sail to the wind.’

As the wind and your speed builds, bear away and trim the main accordingly.

In theory, you shouldn’t need to ease the traveller at all, but you may need to if you want to sail deep downwind. As the gust fades, you’ll find the boat slows down, so you can come back up towards the wind a little to pick up some more breeze, and then bear away as you accelerate again.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Bear away as the boat accelerates. Your course will be something of a slalom as you look to keep a consistent wind angle

This results in something of a ‘slalom’ course, and will also be accentuated if you’re sailing down waves, but that’s all quite normal for apparent wind sailing. Ultimately, you’re looking for a consistent apparent wind angle, even if the resulting wake isn’t straight.

It’s worth remembering that apparent wind reduces the felt effect of the wind, so you need a sailplan to suit the true, not apparent wind speed.

I found that the boat was more sensitive to having a balanced sailplan and trim downwind than upwind, largely because you’ve got almost double the canvas up, with the bowsprit as an extra lever. When weather helm built, I needed to ease the mainsheet to increase twist to depower so that I could bear away. I must admit, getting the boat balanced, sailing fast and light on the helm at 15 knots was something I came away feeling I needed more practice at.

Reviewing the images, I suspect the asymmetric was sheeted in too hard, with too much twist in the main.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Getting a float fully submerged is when it’s time to back off

On the water

Unfurling the gennaker worked best on a beam reach, giving plenty of airflow over the sail to help it fully unfurl. This was also roughly the fastest point of sail, ideal for getting up some speed for apparent wind sailing. We mostly had the sails set for a close reach, even when we were beyond 120º off the true wind on a broad reach.

It was possible to soak deeper downwind, but lose the apparent wind benefit downwind and our speed dropped off dramatically, prompting us to point a bit higher to find some more speed.

As the boat powered up, it paid to hold a slightly higher angle than I would have done in a monohull for the boat to properly take off and get up into double digit speeds – topping out at 15 knots. Lymington to Cowes would have taken us just half an hour at that speed. It’s easy to give yourself a heck of a beat back!

We were sailing on a pretty flat day, so didn’t have to contend with any waves to speak of. On the recent RTI this is what caused the capsizes of at least two multis, a sobering reminder that you need to sail much more conservatively in lumpier conditions.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

The bows want to point downwind, so a stern-first approach works with rather than against the boat

Coming alongside

A 650kg boat with no draught and plenty of windage feels dreadfully skittish when manoeuvring in confined spaces. Straight hulls with no forgiving curves and fragile-looking sharp bows make berthing tricky. You’ve got a couple of advantages on your side, however. In the Astus, the floats are at pontoon height making stepping off easy.

Whether you have an engine in each hull of a cat, or one in the central hull of a tri, there’s also a lot more leverage to play with to turn the boat and drive her on or off the pontoon. A steerable outboard gives you even more options.

If the boat has a lifting keel or daggerboards, put them down if there’s enough depth to give you a pivot and to resist drifting. Think about getting corners onto the pontoon, rather than putting the boat alongside. On tris, you won’t be able to get to the bow to fend off as it’s too narrow. You can rig a fender up forwards on a line, and two fenders are enough on the flat sides.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Steering with the outboard towards the pontoon will drive the stern in more; steer away to drive the bow in more

Offshore wind

Coming onto the pontoon with wind blowing off, it worked well coming in stern first. If there’s a tide running, you’ll want to be heading into the tide, so find a spot down wind and down tide to start your approach so you come in at an angle.

On our first attempt we had a bit of tide under us to start with so we came in at a much steeper angle, almost 90º, although this worked out OK in the end.

The crew could then step ashore, taking a line from the stern quarter round a cleat.

Drive forwards against the line and the bow will obediently drive up towards the pontoon, bringing you flat alongside. Getting off was simple, releasing the bowline, and allowing the bow to swing out the before slipping the stern line.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Coming in astern and stopping upwind of the berth meant the bows blew towards the pontoon far to quickly

Onshore wind

Getting onto and off a pontoon with onshore wind proved rather trickier. On our first attempt we came in stern first. The issue was that once we were just upwind of our desired berth and stopped, we lost steerage and the bow immediately blew off with alarming speed towards the pontoon.

Going ahead would only increase the force of the impact, while going astern only increased the bow’s sideways drift. I managed to back out without smashing the bow, but only just, and ended up awkwardly stern to the wind with the bows pointing at the pontoon.

On our second attempt we came in bows first but having aimed at the berth, I had to motor the stern to leeward to stop the bow hitting, making for a rather forceful coming alongside.

On take three, I came in forwards and began ferry gliding towards the berth early, keeping the bows to windward of the stern. Being able to steer with the outboard meant I could go ahead to keep the bow up, and go astern with the engine pulling the stern down toward the pontoon. In this way, it was possible to come in pretty well controlled and parallel to the berth.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

To get out, motoring astern against a bow line pulled the entire boat clear before slipping the line

Leaving was a different proposition all together, as I didn’t want to drag the bow along the pontoon, or to drive hard onto it to spring off. Instead, we rigged a slip-line from the forward cross beam. Going astern against this, and then turning the engine towards the wind, I could pull the stern, and the rest of the boat, out and away from the pontoon.

Keeping power on astern, once we’d reached a decent angle, we slipped the line and went astern, finding steerage way almost at once, with the bow following obediently in our wake with more control than I had anticipated.

Whether the wind is blowing onto, or off the pontoon, you want the engine to be driving or pulling the boat off the pontoon with a line on the corner you are going away from. That way you avoid point-loading fine ends where it’s hard to fender.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

You’ll want a bridle to reduce swinging, but keep the pick up lines on the bow as backup

Anchoring and mooring a trimaran

While mooring a catamaran is complicated by the lack of a central bow, things should be simpler on a trimaran, and they are, mostly. Picking up a mooring buoy from the main hull bow with a low freeboard and dropping the pick-up line onto a cleat is easier even than a monohull.

The bow may be narrow, but for any lines that pass through a ring on the buoy, you still need to take it back to the same cleat to avoid chafe. That should be it, but windage from the two extra bows and the lack of keel mean the boat can dance merrily around the mooring buoy in a breeze.

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

Rig the bridle so the buoy sits to one side to stabilise the boat

In practice, we found that a trimaran benefits from a mooring bridle in the same way that a catamaran does. It can’t be rigged from the floats’ bows, as there are no mooring cleats, so a line passed around the outboard ends of the forward beams gave a pretty good angle, again with long lines passed through the mooring and back to the same side. The main pick-up lines stay as a safety backup.

The other trick is to rig the bridle asymmetrically so that the buoy sits to one side or the other, just enough to not be dead head to wind, making it much more stable in the wind.

On the plus side, the lack of draught or keel means that you’ll nearly always be lying head to wind, so the cockpit remains nice and sheltered whatever the tide’s doing.

We ran out of time on the day to try anchoring, but rigging a bridle, effectively a long snubber to a point on the anchor chain in a similar way wouldn’t be tricky.

If you needed not to swing, or to behave more like deeper boats nearby, hanging a bucket over the stern can help, or there’s always anchoring with a kedge, either out ahead in a V, or in line astern.

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Trimaran vs Catamaran

A Trimaran and a Catamaran are both variations of multi-hulled vessels used for private charters, snorkeling at Turtle Canyons, and Sunset Sailing Tours in Waikiki. The primary difference between a trimaran and a catamaran lies in their hull configuration. A Catamaran has two parallel hulls, making it a popular choice for many boat tours in Hawaii and is one of the most common sailing vessels used for tour operations. Catamarans provide stability and are known for their speed. They are more stable than monohull vessels (vessels with only one hull) and have more deck space as well. Because of the two hulls Catamarans tend to rock much less than a conventional monohull vessel. A Trimaran, like Hokulani (the vessel Three Tiki Sailing operates) however, has an additional hull in the middle of the vessel for a total of 3 hulls. This design makes trimarans even more stable than their catamaran cousins by allowing it to have a wider deck. The wider the deck of the Trimaran provides exceptional stability and smoothness compared to a catamaran on the water especially while anchored or moored for snorkeling at turtle canyon. Trimarans like Hokulani provide a much more comfortable and secure experience for passengers during sunset sails and snorkel tours compared with the catamarans that most other companies in Waikiki use. At over 26 feet wide with over 1000 square feet of deck space, our Trimaran Hokulani ensures ample room for guests to relax and enjoy the scenic beauty of Waikiki, with much less risk of getting seasick due to the stability our vessel provides. For boat tours in Waikiki, you’re going to enjoy either type of vessel, but for people who want the smoothest ride on the ocean during a private charter, sunset sail, or turtle snorkel, trimarans are far superior to catamarans for stability. Three Tiki Sailing proudly offers the unique experience of sailing on a trimaran, ensuring your voyage in Waikiki is one to remember. Whether your taking a private sailing charter with friends and family, snorkeling with majestic sea turtles at turtle canyons, or just relaxing on a beautiful sunset sail past Diamond Head, your going to love the unique experience Hokulani provides.

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sailing trimaran vs catamaran

16 Best Trimarans For Sailing Around The World (And a Few For Daysailing)

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

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Trimarans are growing in popularity worldwide, due to their light construction and high stability these multihulls are even faster than catamarans. Trimarans are still one of the lesser-known boat types so in this article ill be checking out some of the most popular models.

The best trimarans include: 

  • The Neel 43 
  • The Neel 47 
  • Dragonfly 28 
  • The Pulse 600 
  • Corsair 37 

These tris are built with your safety in mind while also packing powerful speed and a wide array of comfort features to optimize your sailing experience , some are even foldable making them possible to load on a trailer and transport to the sailing destination of your choosing.

In this article, I have created a list of the 16 best trimarans in the market and their unique features. You’ll also learn the best options for different purposes such as circumnavigation, weekend sailing, racing, and more. 

Table of Contents

What Is a Trimaran?

sailing trimaran vs catamaran

A trimaran is a multi hulled sailboat with three individual hulls; the main hull ( vaka ) and a pair of outrigger hulls ( amas ). These smaller outrigger hulls are attached to the main hull using beams. 

While trimarans have a rich history dating back nearly four millennia, these types of sailboats have only gained popularity in the late 1900s and early 2000s. 

Trimarans are primarily used as personal boats for sailing enthusiasts or racing. These sailboats draw their versatility from their lightweight design, making them faster and easier to handle at sea when compared to single-hulled boats (monohulls). Additionally, the three hulls also contribute to better stability, making it very hard to capsize (although more likely than a cat according to this study)

Trimarans come in various sizes, and some can be as small as 19 feet (5.8 meters) in length, while others go up to 60 feet (18meters). They’re also used for different purposes. Most trimarans are used for racing and recreational purposes, although some units are still used as ferries.

As with all things, to find out which is the best we need to understand what it will be used for. There is a big difference in requirements between a boat used for day sailing compared to offshore around the world sailing.

The list below highlights the best trimarans for different purposes.

Best Trimarans For Cruising, Liveaboard and Sailing Around The World

The Neel 43 is a French trimaran best suited for cruising. Its key features include: 

  • Easy maneuverability on the open sea by only a small number of crew members 

This unit is also built for comfort, ideal for more extended travels. This 43-feet (13-meter) trimaran is also made with recyclable and bio-sourced materials, highlighting the manufacturer’s commitment to environmental consciousness. 

This trimaran has a base price of  €329,000 excluding VAT. This translates to approximately $370,138. 

2.Neel 47 Possibly The Best

Named the best full-size multihull for 2020, the Neel 47 is a strong contender for one of the best trimarans in the market. This 47-foot (14.3-meter) long trimaran features optimized exterior and interior ergonomics for a unique design and look. 

Still on design, the Neel 47 is ideal for couples looking to take a weekend off or spend some time as liveaboard. It has a spacious owner’s cabin and two bedrooms. It also features a spacious living room and kitchen and is optimized to ensure comfort for a couple. 

The Neel 47 also has two basic guest cabins so your friends or children can tag along on your sailing adventure. Accordingly, this unit is ideal for those looking to explore the sea for the sheer joy of sailing. 

The Neel 47 comes at a 571,139 euro ( $643,600 ) price tag, excluding VAT. 

3. Rapido 60 The Fast and Comfortable Circumnavigator

The Rapido 60 offers a blend of performance, safety, and luxury, making it one of the best options for bluewater sailing. Measuring 59.3 feet (18 meters) in length, the Rapido 60 is an imposing unit. It’s made from lightweight sandwiches and carbon materials that provide speed and strength, allowing it to stand up to strong ocean currents. 

The Rapido 60 also has spacious living spaces and is built for comfort at all points of the sail. Its design also optimizes safety. While it’s an ideal option for circumnavigating, it’s also an excellent choice for racing due to its speed. 

This is also the same boat that The Youtube channel La Vagabond just purchased.

The Rapido 60 retails at $1,400,000 . 

4. Rapido 40

The Rapido 40 measures 39.4 feet (12 meters) in length and is ideal for cruising around the world. The Rapido 40 features twin “C” foils, which provide added lift, enhancing its speed and performance whether you are sailing downwind or upwind. 

Because it has C foils, this trimaran doesn’t have a central daggerboard, increasing interior space. Accordingly, it’s an excellent option for couples looking to cruise and enjoy great performances .

The Rapido 40 is made from high-tech all-carbon materials for a lightweight yet sturdy design. This material is also used for the countertops and furniture, and the cork flooring adds a touch of style.

This trimaran retails for $595,000 , making it a cheaper option than the Rapido 60. 

5. Dragonfly 40

The Dragonfly 40 measures 40 feet (12 meters) in length. It features high-comfort standards, making it one of the best trimarans in the market for taking your family for a cruise. Because of its larger size, it has a better capacity, being capable of accommodating six to eight people, so you can bring your family and friends along. 

It’s easy to navigate and extremely safe. With a maximum speed of 24 knots (44.5 km/h), this trimaran also provides fast speeds to make your cruise even more exhilarating. 

The Dragonfly 40 retails from €509,000 exclusive of VAT, which rounds up to $572,000 . 

6. Dragonfly 32

The Dragonfly 32 is a high-performance cruiser. Like the Dragonfly 28, this unit features a contemporary design for racing. This trimaran can accommodate five to seven crew members. 

Although slightly longer than the Dragonfly 28 with its 32-foot (9.8-meter) length, the Dragonfly 32 has a max speed of 23+ knots (42.6+ km/h), making it one of the fastest trimarans for racing. This unit also has comfortable accommodation, which makes it an ideal option for a weekend cruise with family and friends. 

The Dragonfly 32 has a base price of $350,000 . 

7. Corsair 37

Thanks to a variable draft with a retractable rudder, the Corsair 37 is an ideal choice for shallow water exploration. This 37-foot (11.3-meter) long trimaran features advanced foam-cored construction designed for safety, making it virtually unsinkable. 

The carbon hulls minimize weight, this makes for a lightweight ocean exploration sailboat with blistering speeds. One of its selling points is that this trimaran has previously been used for Arctic expeditions, possibly marking it as one of the better options for circumnavigation and offshore sailing in the northern waters. 

This trimaran has a base price of $189,000 but can go up to $204,125 .

Best Trimarans For Day/Weekend Sailing

8. dragonfly 28.

The Dragonfly 28 is a 28-feet (8.75-meter) long sailboat that can accommodate up to five people. It comes in two versions: 

  • Touring version: This version is ideal for families.  
  • Performance version: This is built to provide optimal performance for the sports enthusiast within you. 

It clocks a maximum speed of 22+ knots (22+ km/h) and is beam-folded. It’s an excellent option if you want a high-performance, comfortable yet smaller unit for your day or weekend cruise. 

The Dragonfly 28 starts at  €188,280 inclusive of VAT, which comes to around $211,600. 

9. Dragonfly 25

Like other trimarans under the Dragonfly brand, this 25-foot (7.62-meter) trimaran is great for both racing and short term cruising. However, this high-performance boat delivers easy handling, making it perfect for couples looking to take a ride out over the weekend and seasoned sailors looking for an exhilarating racing adventure. 

The Touring version features a lightweight build and offers comfort and accommodation to keep you, and the few guests you can fit, comfortable during the ride. This trimaran also has a Sport version, which is optimized for racing. 

The Dragonfly 25 retails from EUR 86,800 . 

10. Pulse 600

The Pulse 600 trimaran is a compact sailboat. It’s made from lightweight, carbon-reinforced construction and vacuum-formed materials for optimal speed. This trimaran is an ideal option if you are looking for speed. 

It also features ample deck space, greater stability, and volume than most trimarans of similar size and build. 

This trimaran measures 19.8 feet (6 meters) in length and can be sailed single-handedly by one person with minimal effort. The Pulse 600 has a base price of $38,800 , which places it in the lower price range. 

The F-22 is one of the smaller trimarans in the market. Developed in New Zealand, the F-22 is a folding trimaran built for speed. The hulls are made from narrow fiberglass tied together using fiberglass beams and aluminum, minimizing bulk while optimizing speed. 

The F-22 is roomy and is not as pricey as other models in the market. This trimaran has two main versions: 

12. 2019 Weta Trimaran

The 2019 Weta trimaran is a 14.5-foot (4.4-meter) trimaran featuring a carbon frame, centerboard, rudder foil, and rudder shock. The hull is made from fiberglass and foam. The Weta is built for strength and speed based on these lightweight materials. 

The 2019 Weta trimaran is easy to sail and is worth considering whether you want to take a quiet sail, race with your friends, or take kids to a sailing lesson. It has a simple design and is easy to set up independently. Thanks to its collapsible design, this trimaran is easily stored away with minimal space demands. 

13. WindRider 17

The 17.4-foot (5.3-meter) WindRider 17 is one of the more versatile trimarans in the market. It packs high performance for a low cost. This trimaran has a light rotating mast to boost performance, and a full-battened mainsail optimizes visibility. 

This sailboat is made from rotomolded polyethylene, which is more durable than fiberglass and demands less maintenance.

The WindRider 17 has a comfortable interior and can fit six adults. This is an ideal choice for social sailing for a couple or a family and friends. It’s easy to ride, and a shallow draft allows easy maneuverability. 

14. Astus 22.5

If you’re looking for something small but still comfortable, this 22.5-foot trimaran is for you. Built for speed and maneuverability, the Astus 22.5 has optional foils to optimize speed. The modern design, coupled with the spacious interior, can fit up to four beds. Accordingly, this trimaran is suited for family outings. 

This trimaran also has a foldable design, collapsing to only 16 feet (4.9 meters) for easy storage. 

15. Multi 23 Trimaran 

The Multi 23 trimaran has a contemporary design, featuring a vinyl ester and PVC foam core construction. The section below the waterline is made of solid glass for a sturdy base.

The beams are made of lightweight carbon, and the trimaran features a 33-foot (10-meter) aluminum rotating wing mast for optimal harnessing of the wind. While ideal for weekend excursions with family, once rigged with the asymmetrical spinnaker will get your heart pumping.

This trimaran packs high performance at a lower cost than most other options in the market. It’s a good choice if you are looking for a high-performing unit without spending an arm and a leg. 

16. Challenger Class Trimaran

The Challenger Trimaran 15 is the best choice for persons with disabilities. It’s designed to provide disabled sailors an opportunity to explore their passion for sailing without worrying about aspects like safety or operation. 

A man named Geoff Hold circumnavigated the British Isles in 2007, becoming the first disabled person to achieve this feat. He had quadriplegia. 

Living up to its name, the Challenger can withstand harsh weather conditions while blending performance with speed. 

Final Thoughts 

Admittedly, no trimaran is best for everyone. But whether you are looking to race with your friends, take your loved ones or friends for a cruise over the weekend, or circumnavigate the ocean, you can rest assured that these lightweight trimarans will deliver speed, safety, and comfort to make it worth your while. 

These brands are innovatively designed and feature intricate safety mechanisms that make them virtually unsinkable. Give them a shot and begin your ocean adventure. 

  • Basco Boating: A Comprehensive Guide & Introduction to Trimaran Yachts
  • TheBoatAPP: New Trumarans: Which are the Best Ones
  • Corsair Marine: Corsair 37
  • Dragonfly: Dragonfly 28
  • Rapido Trimarans: Rapido 60
  • Neel Trimarans: Neel 43
  • Yachting World: World’s Collect Yachts: Maxi Trimaran MACIF
  • Yachting Monthly: Dragonfly 28 Performance
  • Rapido Trimarans: Rapido 40
  • Dragonfly: Dragon 32
  • Dragonfly: Dragonfly 40
  • Yachting World: Dragonfly 40 yacht tour: This cruising trimaran can do 24 knots
  • Dragonfly: Dragonfly 25
  • NauticExpo: Dragonfly 25
  • Yachtworld: Corsair 37 boats for sale
  • Cruising World: Neel 47 Trimaran: Best Full-Size Multihull0
  • Neel Trimaran: Neel 47
  • Multihull Solutions: NEEL 47 Boat Review | Cruising World
  • Yacht World: 2022 Neel 47 for sale
  • Farrier International: F-22
  • Weta Marine: The Boat
  • WindRider: WindRider 17 Trimaran Sailboat 
  • Astus Boats: Astus 22.5
  • Boat-specs: Multi 23
  • National Maritime Museum Cornwall: Challenger Trimaran #1 – BC26

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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Trimaran Sailboats: Pros and Cons

Sep 22, 2021

less than a min

Trimaran Sailboats: Pros and Cons

Trimarans are boats in the multihull category. So let us give you a simple overview. A monohull has just one hull, a catamaran is a boat with two hulls, while a trimaran as the name itself suggests, has three hulls ( one central hull and two side ones that are smaller ).

There are many reasons why people prefer trimarans to other boats. These vessels are very easy to maneuver and quite light compared to catamarans or monohulls. They are often considered as an advanced form of the catamaran. The reason being, trimarans are faster than the average catamaran and obviously faster than monohulls. 

In addition, trimarans are much more stable than the alternative. The three hulls provide extra balance and lower resistance because even if there are three hulls in a trimaran, they are smaller and narrower. Lower resistance also leads to lower fuel consumption. 

Trimarans are very comfortable to sail in as the main hull is stabilized by the two outer hulls . 

Also, if you enjoy spending more time outdoors rather than indoors (which is usually the case for people who like sailing), trimarans offer more deck area that you can utilize. Whether for meditation, or social gatherings, this space offers plenty of breathtaking views and fresh air. 

Let’s not forget that trimarans have smaller gaps in between the hulls which makes them easier to build and therefore less expensive for the public to buy. 

This article however is titled trimarans pros and cons, so it is time to move into some less appealing characteristics of these vessels. 

While they offer plenty of deck space, the area below the main deck is limited, therefore you cannot have as many people on board as you would in a monohull or even a catamaran. 

In addition, trimarans are not appropriate for every type of activity. If you want to use it for recreational sailing then these boats will provide plenty of enjoyment. If your scope is to find something for the military or fishing, trimarans are not often the best choice. 

If you have your mind set on a specific trimaran, search it on TheBoatDB . Our extensive database includes features, pictures, specifications, and more useful information on a variety of boats. What is most interesting however is that you can also compare a couple of models side by side and decide which one is your favorite by getting all your facts straight. 

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