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Salt Water Sportsman

2023 Boat Buyers Guide: Catamarans

  • By Karl Anderson
  • December 27, 2022

Catamaran spinning circles

The popularity of the multihull (aka catamaran or cat) fishing boats has never been greater, as more and more boatbuilders enter this growing segment of the market. The inherent stability of the catamaran design rolls less with the seas, making fishing offshore less tiresome and more comfortable. Available from 20 to 48 feet, catamarans typically offer a large fishing platform with generous storage and fishing amenities. They are available in a wide variety of deck layouts, including center-consoles, dual-consoles, and even pilothouse and express variants.

Catamaran foredeck

Big Picture

The large deck area of a catamaran enables many large underdeck storage lockers and insulated fish boxes in the sponsons. This gives anglers ample room for gear and the day’s catch. The catamaran’s stability, fishability, and smooth ride in rough seas make it attractive to anglers as well as day-cruisers. A center-console version adds 360 degrees of angler access to the rail. With the dual-console design, generous seating behind a beam-to-beam windshield makes for a great family fishing-friendly setup.

Live bait is one of the most popular types of fishing in virtually every coastal zone. To do it successfully requires optimal water capacity and proper flow. The minimum size of the outflow water plumbing should be twice the size of the inflow. The plumbing should have a drain at the bottom to shed scales at the end of the day, as well as a drain at the top of the well to adjust capacity and allow overflow. Above-deck transom-mounted wells should fully flood to the lids when running to keep baits from getting beat up. 

Tip: A sump box with multiple pumps in case a pump fails is the best setup for first-rate livewells. Conveniently located inflow and outflow valves make it easy to optimize the flow without tiring your bait from swimming too much in the well. 

Catamaran helm

Rod Storage

Having enough rod holders is essential to be successful for opportunity fishing. Look for vertical rod storage along the console and across the back of the T-top. Many models also have rod holders along the outboard transom wall. Having plenty of gunwale rod holders for drift- and kite-fishing is helpful. 

Tip: Placing adjustable swivel rod holders by Gemlux makes deep-dropping, lure-fishing and drifting even easier because they allow your rods to face the direction the baits are fishing, yet they can be swiveled back to keep rods from sticking out of the boat while running and docking. 

Manufacturers often offer multiple choices for horsepower, but whatever the choice, the engines must come in pairs. For example, you might order twin outboards (one for each sponson) or four outboards (two for each sponson), but single- or triple-outboard configurations are not common on a cat. Optimal selection should be made based on user load, weight of the boat, ride comfort , performance desires, and best case for resale. It’s a rare day when you can run wide open, but having more horsepower gives better torque at slower speeds and thus better control. Running larger engines slower gives better fuel efficiency too.

Tip: When possible, choose the highest horsepower offered because it typically leads to a better resale value with a shorter sales cycle. 

Power steering from engine manufacturer Optimus or SeaStar is essential with the higher horsepower required for larger boats, and it makes installing and operating the upper station in a tower far more practical and comfortable.

With the power demands of electronics, livewell pumps, stereo amps and more, it is wise to have at least two house batteries, and for larger boats, a third or fourth with a multibank charger for dockside. Each engine should have its own dedicated battery as well. 


Typically choosing the largest screen or multiple screens that will fit on the console is best-case scenario for ease of use, ergonomics, and visibility. VHF radios, stereo controller, and equipment switches for lighting, pumps, and accessories should all be integrated with greatest visibility and ease of operator reach. 

Catamaran illustration

A Tale of Two Hulls 

A catamaran rides on pair of hulls, or sponsons, each thinner and sharper than  that of a similarly sized monohull boat. The narrow sponsons of the cat tend to slice easily through water to deliver a smooth ride, even in rough seas. At the same time, with the sponsons positioned out to the sides of the boat, cats tend to roll less, thus providing great stability to enhance crew comfort, security and safety. However, cats tend to corner more flatly than a monohull, and some hulls (but not all) tend to lean outward versus inward during a turn.

Catamaran running

Experts Say

Newer designs such as Invincible’s Morelli and Melvin-designed semi-asymmetrical sponsons eliminate some of the negatives of the cat design, such as “sneezing,” where water sprays out the front of the boat when hitting a wave. They’ve also controlled the uncomfortable “outboard lean” ­sensation common in older designs when in a turn. Once transitioned to a ­catamaran, many become true believers and preach the benefits of the design.

Editor Says: Saltwater fishing cats not only offer superb stability and smooth ride, but some also display exceptional speed and range. I recall one trip out of Key West, Florida, aboard an Invincible 40 Cat with four 350 hp outboards to the Dry Tortugas. It was a 60-mile run, and we made it there in 70 minutes. We caught more fish than our arms could bear, and then dashed back to Key West, arriving in time for cocktail hour on the same day. -Jim Hendricks, Staff Editor, Boating and Fishing Group

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5 of the best new ocean cruising catamarans for 2024

  • Toby Hodges
  • April 12, 2024

There's no slowing down in the catamaran market with several new offerings for 2024. Toby Hodges takes a look at 5 launches in 2024

best 24 foot catamaran

Explore the latest in ocean cruising catamarans for 2024 with our lineup of five exceptional boats. From the eagerly awaited Seawind 1370 to the eco-conscious design of the Vann R6, each catamaran brings its own distinct features to for cruising adventures.

best 24 foot catamaran

Seawind 1370

The market for comfortable and spacious performance multihulls continues to grow. Seawind is perhaps less well known in Europe than French brands such as Outremer, however the yard’s background as a sister company to long-standing trimaran builder Corsair effectively gives it a long history in this market.

The 1370 is a long awaited model following an extended Covid-related shut down of the Vietnam production facility. The boat won’t premiere at a show until Cannes in September, but the first seven boats are already on the water, including hull No2, Ruby Rose 2, owned by YouTubers Terysa Vanderloo and Nick Fabbri.

Article continues below…

best 24 foot catamaran

The best bluewater multihulls of all time: a complete guide

What are the best bluewater multihulls for long term cruising? The one you own, or the one you can afford…

best 24 foot catamaran

Best catamaran and multihull: We sail the very best yachts on two and three hulls

There are many categories in the European Yacht of the Year awards, from the best luxury yachts and performance yachts to the best yachts for families and event a best…

The 1370 is a 45-footer with lightship displacement of 12,300kg. That’s a little heavier than the Outremer 45 and HH44, for instance, but almost 5% lighter than the Excess 14. Modern reverse bows and immersed hull shapes drawn by French-based Yacht Design Collective are intended to combine high performance potential with good load carrying capacity.

Accommodation layouts are geared around the needs of long-term cruising couples and their guests. The modern interior style has ash finishes and large front-opening windows to optimise natural ventilation. A wide lifting tri-fold door aft enables the bridgedeck accommodation to be easily opened onto the aft cockpit in sunny climes, while giving protection against the elements when necessary.

best 24 foot catamaran

This range of Mortain & Mavrikios-designed lightweight cruising catamarans has its roots in the former Martinique Multicap Caraïbes yard, which built some 25 boats until 2010. A couple of years ago the designers and Christian Hernandez decided to revive the range, with construction in a new MultiCat Algarve yard, at the mouth of the Rio Guadiana in Portugal.

Red cedar strip planking and epoxy is used to create the underwater profile, while deck and topsides are of composite with a recycled Airex foam core and epoxy using 45% bioresins. The 1370 has a displacement of only 8.5 tonnes, placing it firmly at the light end of the cruising catamaran spectrum, yet it’s still designed for a payload of three tonnes. The updated rig has a square top mainsail and overlapping jib. Shallow keels are fitted, rather than daggerboards.

best 24 foot catamaran

This full flybridge design fills a big slot that previously existed between the Lagoon 55 that was launched in 2021 and the more lavishly appointed Sixty 5. The new design’s huge aft cockpit can be fully opened out onto the water, including hull sides that hinge down like butterfly wings, creating an area even wider than the yacht’s generous 32ft beam allows. There’s also a large forward cockpit on the same level as the saloon, and with direct access, making this an ideal yacht for larger parties.

Layout options include five cabins with a bridgedeck galley, or four cabins with the galley in the port hull, accessed by its own stairs. This version also has a smaller bar area on the bridgedeck, along with a larger saloon.

As with the 55, the rig is stepped further forward than on earlier models and is fitted with overlapping headsails. Naval architect VPLP says these offer more flexibility and efficiency on a boat of this type than the near ubiquitous non-overlapping jibs of today’s yachts.

best 24 foot catamaran

The best boats are invariably the result of considerable experience. This aluminium exploration catamaran has its roots in more than eight years and 50,000 miles of voyaging on a 2005 41ft production catamaran – and the lessons learned and problems encountered during that time. The concept was created by Ben Brehmer and Ashley Stobbart for the next stage of their voyaging life with a young family.

The result is a “focus on expedition-style comfort, reliability, and suitability for short-handed crews,” Brehmer told me. It’s a powerful hull with watertight bulkheads intended for high latitude adventures, as well as use in the tropics.

High bridgedeck clearance helps provide comfort at sea, while protection from sun and inclement weather is maximised.

All lines are led to a forward cockpit, allowing a lone watch keeper to handle the boat. The new coachroof design maximises visibility and light and gives the option to fully enclose the forward cockpit with removable glass. Although initially envisaged as a one-off, the first boat is scheduled to start build in June at a New Zealand yard that’s capable of producing multiple examples in parallel.

best 24 foot catamaran

This Dutch yard is one of a number of the multihull builders leading the way in producing yachts that can be recycled, while also making big steps towards decarbonisation.

The 58ft R6 is intended as a rugged yacht capable of taking owners anywhere between the poles and the Mediterranean. It follows 40ft and 50ft R4 and R5 models. With beam only fractionally short of 30ft, it’s a big yacht by any standards and the builders have sought to make the most of the huge volumes on offer.

There’s lofty headroom, large windows that maximise the view of the outside world and a choice of spacious seating areas. In addition to sumptuous owners and guest accommodation, there’s an optional cabin for two crew, recognising this is an important factor to recruiting and retaining crew.

This is also Vaan’s first model with twin staircases leading down from the bridgedeck into each hull. Benefits include easier circulation of people, improved privacy, and an option to have the galley in the port hull rather than on the bridgedeck.

“The Vaan core philosophy of sailing, style and sustainability of course applies again,” founder Igor Kluin tells me. “This boat is made for sailors, with clean styling and truly sustainable material use and propulsion.”

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10 Best Pocket Catamarans (Under 38 ft)

  • Post author By Rick
  • Post date September 11, 2020
  • 3 Comments on 10 Best Pocket Catamarans (Under 38 ft)

best 24 foot catamaran

Smaller cruising catamarans are an excellent entry level gateway into cruising catamarans and of late have become very popular. This is an effort to select some of the most well respected of these smaller catamarans. This was a difficult task, as many of these boats, designed and built some time ago, are still found in all the popular cruising grounds, and a list like this is subjective after all. All I can do is apologize in advance for leaving a boat off this list.

  • Prout Snowgoose 37

best 24 foot catamaran

The Snowgoose  (all iterations) was the first truly popular mass produced catamaran with more than 500 built. Known as safe, strong and capable of being sailed off shore, which some say is because of the position of their main mast, they make a perfect coastal cruiser or circumnavigator for an adventurous couple. This is a lot of boat for the money. These boats began their model run as a 35’ boat but as time went on Prout changed the mould by extending them to 37’. The Snowgoose can be found in every ocean on the planet.

The interior is simple and lightweight in order to maintain good sailing performance. A combination of classic woods and modern materials give the boat a spacious and open feeling that is hard to find on a boat this size.

Under sail, the Prout Snowgoose 37 is consistent, and it doesn’t need to be micromanaged, making it an ideal passagemaker. During passages,150 miles per day can be expected without pushing the boat. The Snowgoose 37, with its flexible cutter rig, balances easily and handles well under autopilot.

The Snowgoose is renowned for its rugged construction and sea kindliness as these boats were built to cross oceans, and not as additions to Caribbean charter fleets. Somewhere around 500 boats were built, and, although statements like this are impossible to confirm, its been said that nearly 100 have completed circumnavigations. True or not, Prouts have probably done more circumnavigations than any other catamaran of their era. The Prout designs have proven themselves time and again as tough, reliable cruisers and if a sailor wants a cat to sail around the world, there’s a good chance he’ll probably end up in a Snowgoose.

  • Gemini 105M

best 24 foot catamaran

The most popular American line of catamarans with over 1100 deliveries, this Gemini 105MC is one of the most affordable catamarans on the market. The Gemini’s performance is legendary yet they still manage to surprise unsuspecting newcomers.

These boats squeeze 3 cabins, a head and full Galley (in starboard hull) and a deck layout and rig which offers a stable, safe, and well-reasoned platform for whatever comes your way. And the ingenuity of lifting centerboards and kick-up rudders will have you sailing through less than 2′ of water, making this boat the ultimate Island hopper. All this and more at 33′ 6″ length and a 14′ beam that can dock in a standard slip or truck across the country.

The Gemini 105M has plenty of room, is an excellent value, with outstanding accommodations, and solid sailing performance.

  • The Lagoon 37 TPI

best 24 foot catamaran

The Lagoon 37 TPI catamaran was built by the famed boat yard Tillotson Pearson in Rhode Island. They were introduced in 1993 following the success of the Lagoon 42 in the US charter market and draws from a long lineage of great multihull designs and continues the collaboration of Jeanneau of France, and TPI (American). With the same designers and builders as the forerunner model and targeting the same market, these boats have achieved cult status among catamaran sailors. Their pointing ability, and comfort aboard are legendary.  These boats were designed with the much preferred straight propeller shafts instead of sail drives and were sold as 3 cabin 2 head laid out as an Owner’s Version.

A French design, built in the USA by TPI in Rhode Island, they have become a very sought-after catamaran. These boats are fast and comfortable both at sea and at anchor with ample storage room and comfortable accommodations.

best 24 foot catamaran

The PDQ 36 was a Canadian built catamaran offered in two arrangements. The LRC (Long Range Cruiser) is a legend among cruising catamarans and included 2 Yanmar diesel engines coupled to straight shafts. The PDQ 36 Capella, was built with pods for two Yamaha extended shaft outboards.

These are solid boats with excellent construction as the expert use of materials and construction techniques results in a strong boat yet keeps the hull weight low. With twin inboard diesels, she’s designed for coastal cruising. They aren’t seen for sale very often.

These are well-built and well-regarded catamarans, designed with a gracious entertaining area, and two luxurious staterooms complete with queen-size beds. At 36′ the boat is the ideal size for single-handing, as the twin engines contribute to excellent maneuverability in tight spaces while the diesel engine version offering considerable charging capability.

Two equal staterooms with plenty of storage throughout the boat. The head and shower stall are one piece for easy cleaning. The galley is located in the port hull, has dual sinks, a Force 10 oven with two burner range and refrigerator for easy access. The salon seats six for dining.

The cockpit is spacious with pilot and co-pilot seats and an aft bench seat. The engines are either inboard diesels or in pods and retract out of the water for no drag when under sail. 

best 24 foot catamaran

The Catalac 9M was a British built, 30 foot design, with a modest rig, high coach roof, large  cockpit and 5 berths in four sleeping areas which provided lots of sun bathing deck space, a shallow draft, and had reasonable performance. In a good blow (>20 knots of wind speed) 10 knots at 45 degress apparent can be expected from the Catalac 9M and in enough wind the boat will tack inside of 45 degrees. In strong quarterly winds speeds of 12-14 knots under sail has been documented with the outboard engine configuration in a lightly loaded boat. Remarkable performance from such a boxy design  given that it’s design priority was comfort rather than speed

The mast is cabin stepped in a tabernacle. These were designed be raised and lowered single handed. They were sold with a mainsail, working jib and a 170% Genoa. When the rig is set up correctly, they sail with a very balanced helm. Twin rudders contribute to their agility and later models (>1980) have matching skegs just forward of the rudders to increase windward ability. About 250 boats were built.

best 24 foot catamaran

EndeavourCat 36 cruising catamaran is an American designed and buit boat by Endeavour Catamaran Corporation of Clearwater, FL. The EndeavourCat 36 draws less than 3 feet and can go most places that others can’t. These boats are very easily docked with twin diesel engines. They were built with three staterooms with queen-size beds. There are identical staterooms aft in each hull with a bedside table, hanging locker and drawers. Each stateroom has a ceiling light, reading lights, large hatches, opening ports. The bright, airy salon can comfortably seat 6-8.

The Galley is located in the port hull and is large enough for two people to prepare a gourmet meal side by side. Designed to be sailed single-handed without ever leaving the cockpit, all lines lead to the cockpit, two two-speed winches make easy work of sail handling. Both main and jib are completely self-tacking.

best 24 foot catamaran

The Endeavour 30 was built by Endeavour Catamaran Corporation of Clearwater, FL and features spacious Salon, Massive Galley, Huge Head with separate two-person shower with a built-in seat. Twin Queen births with full hanging cedar lined closest and plentiful storage space.  The hull, deck, and structural bulkheads are manufactured of biaxial fiberglass with isophathalic vinylester resins and NidaCore (a polypropelene honeycomb) coring. Vacuum bagged construction was used to enhance stiffness, strength, and reduce weight. There is a full interior fiberglass grid used as the interior mold for strength and rigidity. The headliner is a full fiberglass molded piece. The hulls and decks are fastened both chemically and mechanically for strength. Twin fiberglass molded keels are foam filled and have integral sumps. The balanced rudders are constructed of high denisty foam/fiberglass.

These boats have a very unique layout merging the cabin with the cockpit with broad companionway doors. Tons of features packed into her 30 foot length. A lot of catamaran for the money.

  • Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36

best 24 foot catamaran

Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36 was based on an Olivier Flahault design and with a Joubert/Nivelt hull, The Mahe 36 is built for safe navigation with comfortable, bright living areas and a fully protected cockpit alongside the salon.

The Mahe 36 features an open-plan / sheltered cockpit and saloon and raised helm station.  Entering the main salon through the sliding cockpit door the well-appointed galley is to starboard and the Nav station and storage is to port. Down into the starboard hull is the master stateroom aft with a Queen berth with several opening ports, a hanging locker and shelf storage with vented doors.

Forward to starboard is the ample head with shower which is a single fiberglass unit very easy to keep clean. Down from the saloon to the port guest stateroom aft with a Queen berth with several opening ports , a hanging locker and shelf storage with vented doors. Forward to port is the ample head with shower which is a single fiberglass unit very easy to keep clean. The large windows forward, Port and Starboard in the saloon make for an airy, open feeling.

These boat offers great comfort both sailing and at anchor while at the same time offering excellent performance. The Mahé 36 allows you to move around freely onboard, enjoying comfort when navigating (at the helm, in the cockpit or down below) or while moored. Everything has been thought out so that you can move about on this 36 ft yacht without anything getting in the way.

best 24 foot catamaran

The Catalac 8M is a pocket cruising catamaran which has a solid reputation for quality, strength and durability. Many of the boats found in North America today, were sailed there from Great Britain. The Catalac 8M, although classified as a pocket cruiser was designed with blue water sailing in mind. Offered in two versions, twin diesels or a single outboatd engine. The twin inboard diesel models can easily motor almost 1000 kilometers without refueling. The 70 amps of charging and 70 gallons of stock water tanks in the Catalac 8M and 9M make even these smaller boats terrific coastal cruisers. The Outboard versions sail a bit quicker as the engine can be raised during sailing, reducing drag. Constructed with solid fiberglass hulls, these are quality boats which were built like battleships. Chuck Kanter calls them one of the catamaran brands that live on through the decades.

The Catalac 8M is masthead rigged with a relatively short, but thick mast. As with all boats in the Catalac production lineup, this contributes to a stable boat with a low center of effort. No Catalac has ever been known to fly a hull under any circumstances.

The mast is cabin stepped in a tabernacle. These can be raised and lowered single handed. The standing rigging is over sized to withstand the extra loading experienced by catamarans. They were sold with a mainsail, working jib and a 170% Genoa. When the rig is set up correctly, they sail with a very balanced helm. Twin rudders contribute to their agility and later models (>1980) have matching skegs just forward of the rudders to improve windward ability. 

Designed with a single full size berth forward, a large 8 foot long galley in the starboard hull, a quarter berth, nav station and head in the Port hull, these small catamarans pack a lot of features in a small package. Their cockpits are as large as a 38 – 40 foot catamaran. Most of these boats are in Europe but a fail number were either imported or sailed to North America.

best 24 foot catamaran

The Seawind 1000 is an Australian built 37′ catamaran. These Australian designed and built catamarans have won world wide acclaim and awards for their stability, spaciousness, luxury and performance.  The Seawind 1000’s blend of simplicity and sophistication is an example of what a modest cruising catamaran needs to serve the minimum needs of its crew, and what it should have to make sailors want to use and keep their beloved catamaran.

She has a well equipped galley with plenty of bench space and storage and the large open saloon. Featuring 2 cabins, 4 berths, large bathroom, and very nice galley. They feature a large double bed, additonal bunk and bathroom portside. On the starboard side, kitchen, additional bunk, desk and seperate cabin. The saloon features a large table that can convert to a huge daybed for lounging while under sail. Her large trampolines up front are perfect to laze around and for sun baking. The large open saloon with seating and table is fully open to the cockpit for plenty of space for the guests to move around.

The functional galley is loaded with fridge, a small oven and gas 2 burner stove top making meal preparation hassle free. She has a galley bench top w/ integral double sink and drain.

The Seawind 1000 is a solid, safe cruising catamaran that moves beautifully in the water and more than comfortable to live on.

  • Tags Buying Advice


Owner of a Catalac 8M and Catamaransite webmaster.

3 replies on “10 Best Pocket Catamarans (Under 38 ft)”

Thank you, Rick. My wife and I are planning on cruising the Med in a few years and the boats profiled give a good starting point for the “perfect” boat. ?

Excellent work…

Gerry Gray hear from Pointe Claire Yacht club looking to buy a super clean pocket cat on the east coast or in the carribean or central america….under 100k cad please.

Cheers Gerry

Hi Gerry: Best thing to do is sign up for our mailing list to be first to hear of new catamarans.


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12 Best Catamaran Sailboats

Best Catamaran Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

The appeal of the catamaran sailboats in terms of speed , stability, and the ability to embark on long-range cruising has made them hugely popular with today's sailors. But what are the best catamaran sailboats?

Even though catamaran sailboats have become increasingly popular in the last few years, they have a truly rich legacy as one of the most sought after vessels for bluewater cruising.

Thanks to their incredibly wide beams and bigger daft, catamarans have become remarkably favorable for sailors looking to go for long-distance voyages, overnight cruising, and day sailing.

And if space is paramount for you when out there on the water, a catamaran sailboat is the only way to go as they offer extraordinary space to allow you to spend more time on the water with friends and family.

But even with all these amazing features, you're probably still wondering; what are the best catamaran sailboats?

Like their monohull counterparts, choosing the best catamaran sailboat can be quite overwhelming since there are lots of them out there. They come in a wide variety of designs and sizes ranging from small catamarans to huge ones.

The best catamaran sailboats can easily clock 250-mile voyages, offer incredible performance, and have layouts that can be easily optimized for individuals, charter markets, and great accommodation. In essence, the best catamaran sailboats offer respectable performance and offer good load-carrying ability.

That being said, here are some of the best catamaran sailboats that you can get your hands on.

Table of contents

Best Catamarans


Even though many multihulls are no longer built in the United States these days, the Manta 42 is a true American-built catamaran that brings good living and good value into one package. Designed cleverly for easy handling, this American built catamaran is a great choice for a liveaboard cruiser for sailors looking to go for long-distance voyages. Thanks to its trademark high bows and an enormously curved incorporated forward crossbeam, this catamaran is easily recognizable even from a distance.

It is designed with a uniquely fixed crossbeam, which is very different from conventional aluminum cross beams that support the tension of the forestay. This fixed crossbeam allows for a little bit of movement thereby helping in absorbing enormous twisting forces of the bows. As such, you have to keep in mind that there may be resultant stress crack particularly in the bow area of the vessel.

All in all, the Manta 42 is a superb offshore cruising catamaran that offers a good sail-area-to-displacement ratio as well as plenty of space and accommodation. The cockpit area is refined, luxurious, and is designed with additional stainless pushpit contraptions to help in holding objects such as wind vanes, dinghies, and solar panels. The boat's quality in terms of performance and stability is the benchmark of what a catamaran should be.

Fountaine Pajot Elba 45


Recently named the "Boat of the Year" for 2019 by Cruising World Magazine and Sail Magazine, the Elba 45 is the latest model in the incredible line of Fountaine Pajot catamarans. This boat was designed to replace the outgoing Helia 44 and stands to be one of the most popular catamarans with Fountain Pajot having sold over 100 Elba 45 hulls long before even the first one emerged from production.

This French-built cat brings to the fore a well-thought-out, safe, and dependable features with 10% less drag, efficient motoring, top-notch performance, and high speeds. It's also designed with fixed stub keels and slightly aft-raked bows, which are all essential in enhancing windward performance; something that most catamarans struggle with.

To improve on safety, the keels of this amazing catamaran sailboat are glued into a particularly designed recess in the hulls. This is to ensure that there are no keel bolts that can rip out and put the boat in danger if the boat gets grounded or in the event of a collision. The rig is also ICW friendly and is a true representation of a standard catamaran setup.

This is, without a doubt, a modern-looking cruising catamaran that has a low-profile lounging space on its deck, high topsides and bows as well as a more pronounced reverse sheer that's essential in minimizing the bulk of the windows while creating additional and useful volume below. This is a true catamaran that occupies a sweet spot for those looking to sail along the bay or for those adventurous sailors looking to set sail for more ambitious offshore cruising plans.


With its fine design, straightforward systems, and easy handling, the Leopard 48 has everything it needs to be ranked among the distinguished category of the best catamaran sailboats. This is an excellent multihull that is structured with advanced materials, designs, and innovations that are meant to be fun, spacious, and comfortable.

Designed in South Africa by Simonis-Voogd, is probably the best design in the Leopard family of catamarans. Its two hulls are vacuum-bagged using balsa core to offer maximum firmness while ensuring that the weight is on the minimum. This is done by articulately regulating the level of resin in the layup. With such types of hull shapes, this catamaran sailboat is very fast and can consistently clock 12 knots of speed against the currents.

The boat is also designed with shallow keels as they're filled with closed-cell polyurethane foam that's of great importance in increasing buoyancy and preventing water ingress. To enhance the safety of the vessel, the stern and bow both have bulkheads that are essential in keeping out that water if the sailboat is involved in a collision.

The hulls of this boat are deep and narrow, particularly below the waterline. They also curve higher up to practically reduce the wetted surface area while offering enough deck space and plenty of room for accommodations. Its cockpit is another excellent feature thanks to its lavish spaces that give you the chance of kicking back and relaxing.

This boat is designed to offer superior livability, quick and easy to handle features, as well as enough space for friends and family. It is designed with beautiful lines and immense practicality for those who want to go on long cruising voyages.

Antares 44i

While many people often believe that voluminous cruising catamarans should be used as charter boats, the Antares 44i brings a very different perspective altogether. Designed in Argentina as a complete bluewater catamaran, this is a boat that's specifically built for private boat owners looking for a sturdy and well-equipped bluewater cruiser. This is an absolutely gorgeous catamaran that has a fully-equipped cockpit just to ensure that you can safely operate it even when shorthanded.

Like most catamarans, the Antares 44i is designed with features that allow for long-distance voyages. It comes with a minimum bridge deck clearance of 30 inches, which is essential in mitigating bridge deck slap. The helm station is designed to offer excellent visibility over the coach roof without having to perch the helmsman high above the cockpit.

If you're planning to make those long-distance cruising to exotic places, you'll appreciate this boat's layout. The galley is put down in the port hull so that it doesn't compromise the size of the galley and the saloon. The forward-facing navigation station is up there with the best and is up to offshore standards. And that's not all; the Antares 44i comes with good mounting points for electronics, a large table, comfortable seats, and provides brilliant visibility outside.

This boat is perfectly suited for extended offshore cruising and is a great reminder for anyone who thinks that all catamarans are charter boats and all offshore boats are monohulls.


Designed by Philipe Pouvreau in northern Brazil, the Dolphin Ocema 42 is a truly unique catamaran sailboat that goes against the conventional norm of catamarans. It is equipped with daggerboards, which are essential in enabling it to point higher on the wind while reducing the wetted surface when running or anchoring in shallow surfaces. This, however, requires a higher level of expertise in sailing. This is because lifting the daggerboards higher up will expose the rudders while the daggerboards can also interfere with the hulls in the event that the vessel runs aground.

But even with that, the Dolphin 42 balances incredible performance and cruising comfort in a very compact package; something that is not very easy in bluewater cruising. That's why it's designed using a foam core to make it lightweight by reducing weight wherever possible. This vessel will most likely never let you down if you want to circumnavigate the bluewater on a high-performance boat that is safe and comfortable.

So if you've been looking for a real sailing catamaran that doubles up as a very comfortable liveaboard sailboat , look no further than the Dolphin 42.


Regarded as the best built and most stylish cruising multihull, the Catana 50 is a very huge catamaran sailboat. Measuring about 50 feet long with a beam of about 26 feet, this is an amazing catamaran that will test your sailing skills as a single sailor or if you're planning to sail shorthanded.

This boat is designed with a rig that gives you the option of using either a screecher or a self-tending jib. This may seem complex since the sheets are led to winches near each wheel while all other controls lead to a centerline winch that's located in the cockpit. But even with that, this sailboat can be easily tacked once on the course.

This is a real performance-oriented catamaran with efficient hulls and rigs allowing for top speed. This vessel is also designed with a long waterline and a subtle underwater shape at the bow to help in increasing volume while minimizing wave drag. The stern platforms can help in stretching the waterline length while also providing easy access from a dock or a dinghy. The board trunks are also very strong and sturdy to protect the integrity of the hulls if a collision occurs.

In essence, this is a very modern catamaran that's designed to safely make long-distance passages with ease. It is subdued in terms of styling but this doesn't mean that it falls short as far as performance is concerned.

Atlantic 42


Designed in 1993, the A42 has cultivated a legion of fiercely loyal fans thanks to its efficiency and aesthetic. This is the smallest of the Atlantic cruising catamaran line and is hugely popular with sailors thanks to its ease of handling, ocean-going capabilities, and superb use of space. From the forward cockpit, pilothouse to the sleeping cabins, and brilliant galleys everything about this cat is a true classic.

Unlike most catamarans, the Atlantic 42 is designed with a waist-high cockpit that's located forward of the pilothouse just behind the mast. It brings forth a solid construction thanks to the large metal girder-like bearers that run across the bulkheads. This helps the vessel in having the utmost strength, better air circulation under the engine, and a high level of flexibility as far as the size of the engine and its positioning is concerned.

Initially, the boat's style and its outlook were considered conservative but it soon became clear that it is built of high-quality materials and to last. The internal construction of the boat is impressive, to say the least. The exterior looks very beautiful and perhaps much more beautiful than most boats today. Its large aft cabin accommodation is a top drawer while the space separating en suite heads and shower compartments are considered a bonus.


If you were to board the French-built Fountaine Pajot Bahia 46, you'll agree that the high-quality of workmanship, layout, and efficient use of space is quite exciting, to say the least. This cat remains very popular among sailors thanks to its easy handling features and incredible performance under the sails. Well, this may not come as a surprise to many of us given that the Fountain Pajot is known for building some of the most remarkable cruising catamarans out there that it can be quite overwhelming to narrow down to a single vessel, but the Bahia 46 simply stands out.

This vessel is designed with hulls that are broader than those of many other catamarans. It's also designed with centerboards and daggerboards that are meant to enhance its performance. These are essential in minimizing draft while ensuring reliability, generous bilge, and in helping to protect the rudders and propellers.

This boat is big enough to manage any type of serious offshore sailing. This is one of the best cruising catamarans for anyone looking for the right vessel for long-distance sailing. This vessel has a very more generous rig than most cruising catamarans, which is essential in enhancing its performance. The six-post Bimini is very strong and clean and can perfectly hold dinghies.

In terms of its look, the Bahia 36 is designed with gorgeous lines with the deck and hulls sculpted with lines that add a touch of elegance to the overall look of an already excellent catamaran sailboat.

Gemini 105MC


Whether you're looking for a comfortable catamaran vessel to take you for a weekend sailing trip or a long sabbatical vacation on the oceans, the Gemini 105MC is a very satisfactory liveaboard catamaran vessel that offers spacious accommodation, thoughtful design, and a stable cruising platform for anyone who wants to have some good time on the water.

Designed by the legendary Tony Smith, this is somewhat a sailing cottage. Like a land cottage, it is cozy, comfortable, and very safe. This is essentially a 35 feet catamaran that offers great value for any sailing looking for a reasonably-priced catamaran sailboat for the weekend or holiday cruising.

This boat is designed with incredibly slim hulls, which are teardrop-shaped with flat bottoms and smaller wetted surface area. This is to ensure that drag is minimized and to lead to more leeway under sail. Each of the boat's hull is designed with a kick-up centerboard is of great importance in enhancing the vessel's windward pointing capability. This boat also has its rudders raised to enable it to seamlessly cruise in shallow waters where most vessels would otherwise run aground.

The eccentric narrow beam, which measures about 40% of the boat's length, is very different from today's 50%. However, its low center helps in keeping its stable, upright, and of course, safe.

Lagoon 450 F


If you're looking for a catamaran sailboat that offers prestige at its peak, look no further than the Lagoon 450. This cat is widely known for offering an all-around comfort without compromising its beauty, spaciousness, class, and elegance. This is an elaborate French catamaran that brings to the table fantastic craftsmanship while leaving nothing to chance.

This is a very safe 45 feet catamaran that's not just comfortable but also very luxurious. The deck layout is centered on an amazing flybridge, which has been redesigned and redefined to offer both the traditional and modern outlook. You can very easily access the bridge, engine controls, steering station in a matter of seconds. As a result, this boat is efficiently designed to give you the ultimate control of almost every situation while on the water.

The spacious and luxurious interior of this boat is worth experiencing. The cabins and saloons are perfectly lit. We're talking about four to six cabins, eight to twelve berths, and up to four bathrooms. In essence, this boat can comfortably sleep eight to twelve people. This boat is designed to offer ultra-modern accommodations and amenities that come with little but amazing touches; all designed to make your life inside the catamaran enjoyable.


An original performance catamaran cruiser from the iconic Gunboat manufacturer, the Gunboat 62 has truly cemented its place as one of the best catamaran sailboats to ever grace the oceans. Honestly speaking, this cat-inspired a whole range of other incredible boats including HH66 Catamaran and the Balance 526.

This is a boat that can perform admirably well in storms with a speed of over 35 knots despite being built using epoxy and E-glass with carbon-fiber structural components. It's designed with a distinct angular outline than most catamaran sailboats of its size and category. This is a vessel that was built for people looking to add more stuff and more gear for their voyages. In other words, you can have all the gear and equipment on this boat and still outperform a racing monohull of the same size.

Thanks to its lightweight feature, this vessel can sail upwind at speeds of over 17 knots and pinch up to 30 degrees. Just for comparison, the Gunboat 62 can tack through 95 degrees and still outperform the best racing monohulls. This boat is designed with a comfortable helm seat that offers 360-degree visibility as well as plenty of storage space, a functional working surface, and a luxurious cabin. Like many performance catamarans, the Gunboat 62 can attain about 20 knots if the conditions are right.

Privilege 615


Combining elegance, comfort, and style, the Privilege 615 is a lovely catamaran sailboat that seems to be always ready for a long offshore voyage. The roots of this incredible cat can be traced back to the 1980s when Philippe Jeantot opened up a boat-building company in France. As one of the best productions from the company, the privilege 615 sports a flybridge that comes complete with twin wheels, a sprawling sunbed, and other excellent features that will make your bluewater cruising a breeze.

Whether you want the charter version or a privately-owned version, the Privilege 615 is one of the most versatile catamaran sailboats. Step inside this vessel and you'll instantly notice the quality of the wood finish and the elegance of design. The advanced navigation station is not only ultra-modern but is perfectly stationed at a dedicated corner where you can control everything while still having a conversation with your friends and family.

This boat comes with multiple sleeping configurations to ensure that you and your guests can live aboard the boat for months on end. Although the boat appears like some sort of maze on the inside, you'll easily get used to it when you enter the forward section. That's not all; this boat has gorgeous lines that make the exterior beautiful just like the interior. Its sleek profile, incredible volume, and versatile interior make it one of the best catamaran sailboats out there.

There you have it; these are the best catamaran sailboats out there. It doesn't matter the one you choose, these cats will make your day out on the water and will serve you just right for your offshore voyages or for day sailing along the bays.

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

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2024 Boat of the Year: HH44

  • By Dave Reed
  • December 18, 2023

HH44 testing

On a cool late-October morning in Annapolis, Maryland, Sailing World ’s Boat of the Year judges stepped on board the gleaming red HH44 built by the Hudson Yacht Group in China. With them for the test sail was HH Catamarans president Seth Hynes and commissioning skipper Chris Bailet, who had tuned the rig and bent on the boat’s Dacron delivery sails. (The race sails were delayed in shipping.) It was their first time sailing the boat too, and like the judges, they were eager to see what it could do.

As the crew slipped dock lines and motored away in silence, the boat’s twin 10-kilowatt electric engines propelled the sleek catamaran through the mooring field in silence. If not for the sound of water gurgling from the transoms and the apparent wind blowing across the foredeck, the judges could barely tell they were underway.

The mainsail was then carefully hoisted inside the lazy jacks, and the halyard held firm with an innovative Karver KJ cone (a conical rope-holding device that acts like a restricter). They bore away and unfurled the non-overlapping jib, which snapped full, and the boat immediately accelerated. 

“Once we got going, it was 5, 6, 7 knots and then—boom—we’re right up to 10,” Stewart says. And with that they were laying tracks all over the Chesapeake Bay, making good pace on all points of sail, even without a reaching sail to deploy. (That too was stuck in transit.)

HH44 salon

After two hours of straight-­lining, tacking, jibing, and enjoying the comforts of the interior in a 10- to 15-knot southerly and sharp Chesapeake chop, I extracted the judges from the boat and asked, “So?”

“Boat of the Year,” was veteran Boat of the Year judge Chuck Allen’s immediate response. “That thing is wicked.”

Greg Stewart and Mike Ingham confirmed with nods of approval and big grins. There was no need to debate any further: The HH44 had earned the first award of what will be more to come. This $2 million crossover catamaran is the performance sailor’s retirement race boat. [Editor’s note: The judges’ estimated price was based on an expected racing inventory and associated hardware, but according to HH Catamarans, the new 2024 pricing is as follows: The HH44-OC will start at $995K and is approximately $1.3m fully optioned with EcoDrive and sails). The HH44-SC will start at $1.45m and be approximately $1.6 million fully optioned with EcoDrive and sails.]

HH44 helm

With a stated 37 of these 44-footers on order as of late October and a waiting list of three-plus years, HH44s will someday be scattered about in cruising grounds around the world, says Hynes. But it’s only a matter of time—and it will be sooner than later—before owners gather and give the racing thing a go.  

Aft lounge

The HH44 is the smallest of the builder’s new lineage of hybrid-powered performance catamarans (there is a 52-footer in the works), so it is positioned as an entry point into big-cat sailing. This model does not require a professional captain or crew because simplicity and owner-operator considerations are prevalent throughout the boat, which is designed by young naval architect James Hakes, son of Paul Hakes, one of the company founders. Chinese entrepreneur Hudson Wang is the other “H” of HH Catamarans.

“It had a great groove upwind. The self-tacking jib was really easy to deal with, and for the mainsail it was just a few feet of ease on the mainsheet, adjust the powered traveler up to center, trim on and go.”

“James brought the hybrid idea with him, and Hudson was willing to take a risk and look at doing something kind of game-changing in the industry with our parallel-­hybrid approach,” Hynes says. Morrelli & Melvin was intimately involved in every performance aspect of the boat, from the appendages to the final hull profile.

“It’s a diesel engine with a shaft drive, and then independent of that is an electric motor with a belt to the shaft, so they’re really independent of each other,” Hynes explains.  

HH44 Sport Cruiser rear

HH isn’t the first or only builder to use the system from Hybrid Marine, but Hake’s approach to the boat overall is inextricably linked to maximizing solar coverage, which means a clean roof and placing the helm stations down in the cockpit. To address the known challenges of cockpit steering in such catamarans, the steering wheels pivot inboard and outboard to allow for better forward visibility and communication with anyone on the foredeck dealing with sails, anchors or dock lines.

Placing the steering stations in the cockpit eliminates the tiered wedding-cake look of most big catamarans these days. More importantly, doing so allows them to lower the sail plan. “That allows for more sail area and less stress on the standing rigging,” Stewart says. “Plus, it looks so much better.”

There are 4,432 watts worth of solar panels piled onto the coach roof, which Hynes says has plenty of juice to get by off the grid, even in low-light conditions. “At full battery capacity, you can run the boat at full throttle using the two 10-kilowatt electric motors and get 7 knots of boatspeed for approximately two hours,” he says. “In light air, you can even keep your leeward electric motor running to build yourself some apparent wind. That’s what’s great about this system: You can sail quietly when no one else can sail at all.”

HH44 daggerboards

The port helm station is where a lot of the boathandling happens; there are powered halyard winches and a meticulous array of labeled jammers. Tails disappear into a deep trough forward of the pedestal. The wheels are sized just right, Stewart says. “Initially, I was steering from the weather wheel and I could see fine, and when I went to the leeward wheel, I could easily see the telltales. It had a great feel to the helm—light and responsive with no slop or tightness.”

In Allen’s sailing assessment of the HH44: “It had a great groove upwind. The self-tacking jib was really easy to deal with, and for the mainsail it was just a few feet of ease on the mainsheet, adjust the powered traveler up to center, trim on and go. There is some choreography to learn with the steering wheel, though. You have to move the wheel inboard to get better access to the sail and daggerboard controls during the tack. But once you’re done, you pop the wheel right back out to the outboard position. We didn’t have a screecher to really light it up downwind, but even with the Dacron jib and main, the boat took off. I was really impressed.”

best 24 foot catamaran

One wish for Stewart would be a sliver of a coach roof window for quick sail-trim checks, but he understood the priority of using every inch of solar-panel coverage.

Not having a sail-trim window wasn’t an issue for Ingham, however. “Most of the time, you’ll trim it to your best guess, take a step outboard and up the stairs right next to the wheel, and check yourself on the trim. It’s all push buttons anyway, so you’re not having to reload a winch or anything like that every time you make an adjustment.”

Even as the morning’s fresh breeze abated, the boat continued to perform beyond expectations, Stewart says. “As we got down to 5 knots of wind, the boat was still quick through the tacks. We didn’t have to back the jib at all, and it sailed at good angles upwind. I was impressed with how well it tacked, and how well it tracked with only one daggerboard down.”

best 24 foot catamaran

Stewart, a naval architect himself, also appreciated the boat’s modern styling and “sexy-looking profile,” especially the uncluttered interior. “It’s a nice departure from other similar-­size catamarans,” he says. “I like the styling—it caught my eye the very first time I saw the rendering. The transom angle and the reverse bow give it nice aesthetics and the buoyancy you need. The curved boards worked well and are integrated nicely on with the boat. Overall, it’s a great-looking package, and it would be a lot of fun to do some races on.”

“We will definitely end up racing in the Caribbean and doing some fun events for owners,” Bailet says. “The cool thing about this boat is you can take a smaller crew of friends and race competitively, and it isn’t going to cost you $50,000 in paid crew and housing. You can race this boat with three or four people, no problem. Doublehandling is pretty easy too, but if you really wanted to go banging around the buoys, with this boat it would be easy.”

  • More: 2024 Boat of the Year , HH Catamarans , Print January 2024 , Sailboats
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17 Best Catamarans for Sailing Around the World

best 24 foot catamaran

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Catamarans are quickly outstripping single-hull boats for long-distance journeys. They are more stable and comfortable , and some can travel more than 200 miles in a day. In today’s article, I have put together a complete (well almost) list of some of the best catamarans for circumnavigating the planet; the question is, which one is best for you?

The best catamarans for sailing around the world include: 

  • The Fountaine Pajot Ipanema 58

These cats focus on speed, safety, and comfort for longer journeys. 

This article will show you the seventeen best catamarans for long journeys, and why they’re the best. You’ll also learn some great tips on what to look for in a Catamaran and how to save money by buying a used catamaran. Let this list be a jumping-off point for your future research!

Pro-tip; here are the actual costs of maintaining a cat and here are considerations on how to circumnavigate .

Table of Contents

The Best Catamarans for Sailing Around the World 

A catamaran is a double-hulled boat with a deck or cabin area in between (bluewater cat definition in this article ). The double hull design means that the boat rocks less, sits higher on the water, uses less fuel to sail, and can be sailed in shallower waters than a single-hulled boat without worrying about grounding. 

Catamarans come in a variety of sizes and can be sail-powered or motor-powered and range from single-person sailing boats to family-sized yachts. Every catamaran design is different, and the twin-hull shape offers many ways to customize the layout of a ship. 

Each boat on this list is a larger catamaran (+40ft, more on size here ), so if you’re going to sail around the world, you want lots of space for provisions and rest.

Of course, there are tons of technical specs for each of these boats, but I’m going to focus on the overall features of each of these catamarans, what makes them stand out, and why they would each be an excellent choice for a transatlantic journey. 

Antares 44i 

The Antares 44i is an excellent option for sailing around the world and was explicitly designed for long-distance cruising. It performs well in any weather conditions, can be sailed easily by two people, and you’ll be able to sail long distances and live in comfort. 

Although it can be easily sailed by a crew of two I believe that a true bluewater cat should be set up for single-handed sailing, more on that in another article .

This catamaran features a stateroom on each hull and a forward cabin with plenty of storage space. The living and entertainment features include a flatscreen tv and a high-end deck speaker system. 

With this model, Antares dedicates itself to high-quality boats with optimal rigging and engine configurations. 

Atlantic 42

Atlantic is no longer building this catamaran, but there are usually a few pre-owned boats on the market. You can also get it made custom if you love the design, but be prepared to spend more money on a custom boat (custom boat also gets custom problems ;)). 

The Atlantic 42 is slightly smaller than some of the other catamarans on this list but is a seaworthy vessel. 42 ft is what most sailors I interview ( in this article ) said was the smallest cat to safely cross big oceans. It is also a decent size to counter the risk of capsizing (more on that here ).

It has a forward cockpit and pilothouse, which gives the owner a better use of space and makes the boat easier to navigate. With single-handed capability, one person can sail it easily and let the rest of the crew relax. 

One of the best-praised aspects of the Atlantic 42 is its galley, more extensive than most 42-footers (12.8-meter) can offer. 

One of the few 50 footers (15.24 meters) that can be sailed by just one person (many would of course disagree on this).

The Catana 50 is a catamaran worthy of an overseas journey. Its size adds to its stability on the open waters and its ability to sail straight through the choppy ocean and windy conditions. 

The Catana is also incredibly spacious on the inside, with substantial cabins and showers. The biggest downside to the Catana 50 is its price, as it’s much more expensive than most of its competitors. 

Catana also holds up well against some of the fastest cruising cats out there, here’s a list of the fastest cruisers if you are interested in that.

However, if you can find a gently-used Catana 50, you can rest assured that this boat will last! 

The Dolphin 42 is unique because of the use of daggerboards instead of fixed keels. This upgrade means that the boat has some pretty decent upwind performance while at the same time being faster downwind.

Centerboards and daggerboards offer some interesting downsides compared to mini keels. This is an interesting discussion and I suggest you read another one of my articles if you want to deepen your knowledge a little.

These catamarans are some of the lightest on the market. Not many Dolphins were made, so they are relatively hard to find. However, if you want a small, lightweight boat capable of going great distances, the Dolphin 42 is an excellent choice. 

Fountaine Pajot Belize 43

The Fountaine Pajot Belize is another well-built cruising yacht. Its core is made of foam instead of balsa, which reduces the risk of structural damage due to a rotten core in case of water intrusion. 

The design of Belize offers many options for customizability, with large open spaces and a combined saloon, navigation, and dinette area. 

There are two styles of Belize catamarans for sleeping quarters. You can either purchase a boat with an entire primary suite on one hull or one with two cabins in each hull. The first option is great if you are sailing the world alone and not expecting many guests, as it increases the storage capacity. 

Understanding what factors to consider when getting a cat can be hard, there are just so many of them (such as the daggerboard discussion above), I have tried to compile some of the most important in this article .

The boat also has wraparound windows to increase the sense of space in the galley. 

Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40

Fountaine Pajot is one of the best sailboat manufacturers existing today, as their boats are well made and highly versatile. The Lucia 40 is no exception – it’s a smaller boat but has a lot of room for moving around and on-board living. 

The living area is remarkably spacious on this catamaran for its size. 

The galley and lounge easily accommodate 6+people. The Lucia 40 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to sailing either, as the narrow hulls slice through choppy waters with ease. 

Most catamarans today are built to withstand rough weather but that doesn’t matter as much if the crew isn’t up for the task, I firmly believe that the most important thing a boat should consist of, is knowledge. Therefore taking online courses ( two free here ) or reading books ( my favorites here ) is imperative.

Gemini 105M

Gemini’s boats have been on the market for years and are solidly built for cruising. This boat is one of the most popular ever made, I personally would consider something different for offshore cruising, but since it has such a good reputation, I felt I had to add it to the list.

If you want to understand why I am hesitant to take this boat around the world, I recommend you read my article: What are trampolines on a catamaran?

The Gunboat 62 is a great catamaran and set the standards for the rest of the impressive Gunboat lineup. It’s sleek and spacious while being robust and capable of transatlantic journeys. You can easily travel the world in a Gunboat 62 with several people and not feel cramped. 

The yacht was made for speed and power and remains one of the fastest catamarans on the market, even rivaling the newer Gunboat models.  GABO

Although the earlier models of the Gunboat 62 weren’t designed for a lot of cargo, you can still find space for everything you need without compromise. 

Lagoon catamarans are known for their reliability and ease of use. If you are considering a catamaran for the first time and are unsure about the technicalities of sailing, a Lagoon boat is a great option. 

The Lagoon 380 is probably the smallest cruiser on this list, which makes it better suited for solo or couple sailing.  

When I go looking to buy something, whether it be a boat, campervan, or whatever, I create a checklist and classify all the things I want either by NEED or NICE to have.

I believe the Lagoon 380 to be sub-optimal for my NEEDS, even though it does check a lot of NICE boxes, there’s a step-by-step article on the NEED and NICE method here .

There are several cabin options available on the Lagoon 380, but if you’re sailing by yourself, you can settle for three cabins and a larger galley and living space. With a smaller cockpit and broader side decks, the Lagoon 380 packs a lot of practicality and ease of sailing into a more compact catamaran. 

If you like the idea of a Lagoon boat but want a little more space, the Lagoon 42 is the upgraded version of the Lagoon 380. With all of the same benefits, it comes with more space for cabins or storage, making it one of the best-selling Lagoons of all time. 

The Lagoon 42 is also a faster cruiser built for strength. While it’s not the fastest on the market, it works well in choppy waters and windy conditions, making it great for the beginning sailor to go on a more extended trip. 

Many people have completed an around-the-world sail with this ship.

Although there is a flybridge version, I would recommend the “open” version due to several factors, some including increased windage and a higher boom. More on flybridges pros and cons here .

For stability, safety, and durability, you can’t beat the Lagoon 42. 

The Leopard 45 performs better with less storage weight because of the relatively low bridge deck clearance. If the boat is fully loaded, you could experience some wave pounding. However, the cockpit is open and airy, with devices that block the sun and provide maximum comfort while sailing. 

The Leopard 45 is an incredibly beautiful boat,   and has a strong reputation for excellent build quality!

Leopard catamarans are one of my personal favorites, as such I have written an entire article about the brand, so if you want to understand its pros and cons then here is the link . Gabo

Designed in South Africa, it features a high rear arch for extra support and very smoothly connected decks. The galley is large and open, and most Leopards offer a four-cabin plan. If you are traveling with another person, this boat is an excellent option for you! 

The Manta 42 is another classic catamaran that you can buy used (at a decent price), as it is an incredibly seaworthy vessel. While still in production, the Manta was one of the most popular catamarans on the market. 

It is still in high demand amongst circumnavigators. Buying a used Manta 42 usually means that you inherit some of the previous owner’s boat upgrades! 

The Manta 42 also made it to my list of the 9 safest catamarans on the market ( link ).

This blue water cat can be sailed by one or two people, making it ideal for liveaboard couples or long-distance shorthanded sailing. The galley is in the saloon ( instead of in one of the hulls ), making the cabins below more spacious and better equipped. 

Overall, the Manta is well equipped for sailing around the world. 

Nautitech 44

Nautitech is an excellent brand of the catamaran, with several different designs per boat. The Nautitech 44 has a unique feature, you can have it with two options for steering: twin wheels or a single wheel.

The Nautitech 44 also features a cockpit on the same level as the saloon. The door between the two is more convenient than a hatch and dramatically reduces the risk of water damage during rain pour. 

This is also the same boat that aeroyacht president Gregor owns, he has offered some great insights into Nautitech in the book Catamarans (amazon link )

Outremer 45

Outremer is famous for being one of the fastest brands of catamarans on the market. If you need speed, the Outremer 45 might be the perfect choice for you. It has a top speed of 16 knots, which is higher than almost every other catamaran of its class. 

While the Outremer 45 is known for speed, it doesn’t compromise on the quality of living. 

You can settle into life on this boat with complete peace of mind. Even as a beginning sailor, the steering is simple and easy to use, and the autopilot is top of the line, so you’ll be able to sail across the ocean in an Outremer without issue. 

Privilege Serie 5

A French-designed catamaran, the Privilege Serie 5 is one of the most comfortable 50-foot (15 m) yachts available. The unique cabin layout includes the master cabin in the boat’s center instead of in one of the hulls. 

The Privilege Serie 5 is also incredibly easy to sail, despite its larger size. 

The sails and controls lead to the helm, where the raised deck makes it easy to see all around the deck. If you want to cross the ocean with a full crew then the Privilege Serie 5 might be perfect for you! 

Seawind 1000

The Seawind 1000 is the smallest boat on this list, measuring 33 feet (10 meters) long altogether. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not livable. If you are sailing on your own or with a partner, there is more than enough space to live in the Seawind 1000, which includes the option of a centered cabin or two hull cabins. 

Because it’s small, the Seawind 1000 is easy to handle. The mast and sails are all manufactured for extra stability and ease of use. 

Overall, the Seawind 1000 is an excellent example of a simple, safe, and seaworthy catamaran. 

Note: since this is a small catamaran it will also be more sensitive to heavy weather so trip-planning becomes even more important.

The Voyage 44 is one of the oldest cats on this list, having had its hay-day in the mid-1990s. However, this also means that a used Voyage 44 will be cheaper than a newer boat. If you can find a Voyage with previous responsible owners, you will inherit any upgrades and fixes that they’ve made on top of a very seaworthy boat. 

The Voyage 44 has more storage and space than most cruisers of its size and is known for behaving very well in choppy waters. 

This catamaran does its job well while providing adequate space for cooking, sleeping, and living aboard. 

What To Look For in a Long-Distance Cruising Catamaran

If you are planning to sail around the world, you need to be very careful about which kind of catamaran you decide to use. Many of the things you want in a boat really comes down to personal preference, so be sure you know what design preferences you want before you start shopping! 

Size and Payload

The most important thing to consider when buying a catamaran is how much space and cargo you need because the larger the boats are, the bigger the payload it can handle. Decide how long you want the ship to be and how much you’re taking with you. 

It’s vital not to overload a catamaran, this will reduce performance and increase risk of unwanted behavior in heavy seas.

Cabin Placement  

Most catamarans have options for a “Maestro” cabin placement, where one entire hull is the master suite, and the other cabins are located on the opposite hull.

Cockpit and Protection From The Weather

Is the cockpit on the boat you’re looking at covered or open? This can make a difference on the high seas, especially during rainy weather. 

The size of the ship also can affect how many people you need as a crew. If you’re traveling by yourself or with one other person, you don’t want to buy a boat that needs a larger crew. 

Buying Used? 

If you don’t want to spend the money on a brand new catamaran, I don’t blame you. Several of the ships on this list are out of production and can only be found used. However, for circumnavigation, you do want a boat of high quality to keep you safe and dry until you make it to your destination.  

When buying a suitably used catamaran, it’s essential to look at the refit history of the boat more than the year it was made. Catamarans are sturdy, and the general design has been the same for at least the past decade. 

If you find a newer, larger, cheaper boat, you should look into its history. 

Your best bet to save money while buying a catamaran will be to buy an older, probably smaller boat with an excellent refit history and no serious issues. It will still be an investment, and a sturdy used catamaran will serve you well. 

Final Thoughts

No matter which catamaran you decide to buy for your journey, you’ll be able to sail safely and comfortably. Catamarans are great yachts for long-distance sailing, and the ships on this list are the best of the best. These brands are time-tested and ready to accompany you on an adventure around the world! 

Here are Some of My Favorite Catamaran Cruising Resources

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you hopefully start your sailing adventures. Here are some resources that I use as a sailor that I hope you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission. But in all honesty, these are the exact things that I use and recommend to everyone, even my own family. Sailboats: If you’re looking for the best boat to suit your needs, I would recommend a catamaran. If you’re interested, I can show you the differences between catamarans and other types of sailboats .

Books:  For getting started, I really like  Cruising catamarans made easy . It is actually a textbook from the American sailing association; it is used to get a cruising catamaran certification. There are some other great books, and I have compiled a list of books about cruising catamarans that you will find useful.

Communication:  Being out on adventures, whether it be sailing or climbing mountains, good communications are essential to being safe. I recommend two things Google fi (incredibly simple cellular data all over the world) and Garmin inreach mini (for text and voice in remote areas without cell coverage)

Sailing courses: Online sailing courses are great for beginners starting out their sailing career; it’s an efficient way of learning the basics of navigation, throttle controls, and maritime safety. I suggest starting with two free courses from NauticEd .

To see all my most up-to-date recommendations,  check out this resource  that I made for you!

  • Wikipedia: Catamaran
  • Cruising World: A-Z Best Cruising Catamarans 
  • Dreamy Yacht Sales: Four Best Catamarans for New Buyers
  • Atlantic Cruising: Good Cat/Bad Cat
  • Yachting World: Catamaran Sailing Across the Atlantic
  • Boat Affair: What is a Catamaran? 
  • Nautilus Sailing: Catamaran Sailing

Owner of CatamaranFreedom.com. 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!

3 thoughts on “ 17 Best Catamarans for Sailing Around the World ”

I like the efforts you have put in this, regards for all the great content.

Thanks Elisabeth I really appreciate the kind words 🙂

I appreciate you sharing this blog post. Thanks Again. Cool.

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Compare The Most Popular 40ft Production Catamarans

Stephen and I are always exploring new catamaran models so we can share our insights with you. The information below continues to be valid, but we have a new 40ft catamaran comparison of later models for you to peruse.

40ft catamarans

We created a chart of each catamaran with a standard spec, ex-factory to compare the specifications and price of each boat. These catamarans compare very similarly on base price but there are a few differences.

Nautitech sail

The Bali 4.0 has a unique single cockpit / saloon area, entirely flush and unencumbered by bulkheads, accessible by a folding glass door on electric rams (kind of like a tilting garage door). This opens up the area and make it look like a much bigger boat. This catamaran combines some of the most innovative new characteristics in catamaran design which makes it a very desirable. It is quite a peppy sailboat and easy to maneuver.

Fountaine Pajot 40

The Fountaine Pajot 40 is replacing the Lipari 41 and is basically a smaller version of the successful Fountaine Pajot Helia 44 . It has a lot more volume than the Lipari, has a super stylish interior with island berths for the owner cabins (a much requested feature). It is lightweight but is smaller in volume than most of the the other models. However, because the living space was moved forward in the bows, there is still lots of room. We have not seen a boat yet, so the jury is out on how the boat will perform with these new changes. This model will be unveiled at the Paris boat show in December [2015].

The Leopard 40 ( video ) is heavier than the other models. The bridgedeck clearance is lower than those seen on French or Canadian cruising catamarans. Their philosophy is that a lower bridgedeck reduces the boat’s center of gravity with a wider stern to provide more buoyancy aft. However, a higher bridgedeck clearance translates into less slamming. We have owned cats with lower and higher clearances and a higher bridgedeck clearance definitely has less slamming. Read this article about bridgedeck clearance to make your own informed decision.

Lagoon 400S2

The Lagoon 400S2 has been on the market for a couple of years and is extremely popular. The S2 has decent performance with a lot of interior volume as can be seen here in the specifications. It has the biggest volume of the five 40ft catamaran models. This volume is said (by the competition) to translate into less performance but judging from rallies held around the world, it seems that the Lagoon really holds it’s own. Judging by the feedback from delivery skippers and owners on performance, the 400S2 makes a good performing cruising yacht. The interior is luxurious, accommodations are spacious and the cockpit is a nice size, easy to sail and good for a live aboard couple.

All of these catamarans are very acceptable cruising catamarans for a couple with lots of interior and exterior living space. These cats will do well as live-aboard and well as charter boats. Much of your choice will depend on personal preference. Do you prefer a “luxurious” interior, lots of interior volume and reasonable sailing performance, a more innovative design and optimal performance. Is chartering or cruising your ultimate goal or do you prefer a bit of both? All of these things should be weighed before you make a final choice.

40-Ft Catamaran Comparison Table

253,000€ 261,600€ 255,000€ 288,465€ 271,000€
39.14ft 39.3ft 38.5ft 39ft 39.4ft
22ft 23.9ft 21.75ft 21ft 22.1ft
3.67ft 4ft 3.94ft 4.5ft 4.1ft
17,636lbs 22,535lbs 19,580lbs 17,160t 23,215lbs
1,134.5ft 954ft 1,022ft 979ft 1,032ft
2 x 20hp 2 x 29hp 2 x 20hp 2 x 30hp 2 x 29hp
105 Gal 106 Gal 79.3 Gal 79 Gal 95 Gal
211.3 Gal 79 Gal 140 Gal 127 Gal 206 Gal
59ft 66.7ft 63.3ft 65ft 63.1ft
3 3 3   3
2 or 3 2 or 3 2 or 3   2

*Please note that these prices are subject to change by manufacturers at any time. Specifications provided by the manufacturers.

*Options are available in engines, sails, cabin/head configurations and other options like generators, watermakers, etc.

RelATED Articles

  • Four Most Popular Production Catamarans: How Do They Compare?
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  • How Do The Most Popular 45ft Production Sailing Catamarans Compare

Charter Programs & Tax Programs

The catamarans discussed here are available for both private ownership and charter management. Because catamarans have become so popular in the last ten years, the demand far outweighs the supply. That makes new catamarans more expensive. We are therefor constantly trying to find ways to reduce the cost of ownership for our clients. Learn about our Yacht Charter Management and Yacht As A Business Program .

Catamaran Brokerage

We can also help you find a pre-owned / brokerage catamaran that will suit your needs. Go to our Catamaran Quick Search for a global search of all brands of pre-owned catamarans.

Contact us to help you figure out what will best work for you

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3 thoughts on “Compare The Most Popular 40ft Production Catamarans”

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Helpful info. Lucky me I found your website unintentionally, and I am surprised why this twist of fate didn’t happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

best 24 foot catamaran

That is great!

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TOP 10 Best Catamaran 2024: Motor and Sailing

This time we put together the list of best catamarans in our opinion: most daring, interesting and exciting models that the yachting industry has to offer. After all the testing that we conducted, we based our picks on overall quality, price to comfort ratio, performance, design and overall impression of driving the vessel.

Aventura 37

Aventura 37

  • Brand: Aventura
  • Overall length, m: 10.80
  • Overall length, ft: 33
  • Width, m: 5.94
  • Displacement, T: 12.8
  • Water tanks, l: 2 x 250
  • Mainsail type: Fully battened
  • Jib type: Furling genoa
  • Mainsail area, sq.m: 94
  • Jib area, sq.m.: 36
  • Engine: 2 X 20 HP
  • Fuel tanks, l: 2 x 250

There are multiple reasons we decided to put this particular Aventura model this high in our list.

First of all, this yacht is just gorgeous. STGi shipyard went full out on combining making this spacious yacht look like a luxurious palace on the water with its large windows, convenient bimini and lots of space on upper deck. You get a grill and dining table in the cockpit, with shelves, comfortable furniture and cupboards – like you never left the shore.

It makes sense why this boat got dozens of orders from enthusiastic yachtsmen way before it was revealed at any boating show.

As you enter the saloon, you see how those windows come into play – the interior created by Lasta Design Studio is fully lit with natural light in any weather conditions, providing passengers with most comfortable social spaces. Here you have a coffee table with cushy sofa and fully equipped galley with sink, oven, stove, refrigerator, cutting table and everything else a chef might need. When it comes to cabins, this yacht is surprisingly spacious too – especially the owner’s cabin, which takes the entire right hull.

Aventura 37

When it comes to performance and handling the yacht, we can say for sure that the responsive helm is one of the most important things on board. Aventura 37 not only has that, but also a special area for handling the lines with high-quality Harken winches at your fingertips. The helm station has a Garmin charplotter nearby and it’s very easy to look up and immediately assess the situation thanks to great visibility from the helm, except for a small blind zone to the right of the helm.

Multivariance of this boat is, probably, one the most attractive features of this boat: you get 4 different layouts, allowing you to tailor the yacht for your personal needs:

  • Standard version – 3 cabins & 2 bathrooms;
  • Trio version – 3 cabins & 3 bathrooms;
  • Quatro version – 4 cabins & 2 bathrooms;
  • Charter version – 4 cabins & 4 bathrooms.

Of course, the Aventura 37 is made using the most efficient way possible: Airex foam, fiberglass and polyester are poured into molds to create a sandwich matrix. And with sails from Elvström, mast equipment from ZSpars and yacht rigging from Harken and Spinlock you can be sure that you will get the best yachting experience.

Excess 12

  • Brand: Excess
  • Overall length, m: 11.80
  • Overall length, ft: 36
  • Width, m: 6.73
  • Displacement, T: 10.1
  • Water tanks, l: 300
  • Mainsail type: Square-top
  • Jib type: Self-tacking
  • Mainsail area, sq.m: 50
  • Jib area, sq.m.: 32
  • Engine: 2 X 29 HP / 2 X 45 HP
  • Fuel tanks, l: 2 x 200

Compared to Lagoon 40 this model’s weight was reduced by a ton, interior and exterior optimized and the equipment was modernized. Excess 12 offers a great sail plan with a flattop main, self-tacking jib and optional sprit, allowing you to get to 8 knots without any handling problems in 25-30 knots of wind. Powerful twin Yanmar engines working at 2000 RPM alone will give you 6-7 knots, so this cat is definitely much sportier than most catamaran of this size with high level of comfort on board too.

Starting from the transom, this boat is already optimized towards a large company on board: swimming ladders, davits for tender, spacious cockpit with a dining table, two large photos and bimini allow a family or charter passengers to feel as free as possible on this 12-meter boat. A freezer for drink and ice-cream is a great addition. And if you need more equipment, you can always browse for any additional products at topRik marketplace.

Excess 12

There are two helm station, allowing you to have excellent visibility all around. On the right station you have your lines and devices, with nice wide steps leading to the sidedeck. The sailing wardrobe is provided in two versions: Standard and Pulse, which has additional 5 m² and a mast that is almost a meter higher. Square top mainsail and self-aligning boom are featured in both versions and the mainsail is easier to manage alone thanks to aft mast.

Passing a large sliding door into the saloon, you end up inside a cozy looking living room (or so it seems) with curved edges everywhere to increase safety, big windows and hatches, tons of storage and refrigeration space. The control post here allows the skipper to enjoy his meal and control the route at the same time.

After visiting this boat once, it makes sense that this boat received the Best Midsize Cruising Catamaran for 2020 award. This model will be perfect for those, who don’t want to be restricted in terms of comfort but still want to dabble in sport rigging and handle the boat themselves from time to time. Charter businesses should also pay attention to Excess 12 as it will definitely attract many clients over time.

Lagoon 42

  • Brand: Lagoon
  • Overall length, m: 12.8
  • Overall length, ft: 39
  • Width, m: 7.7
  • Displacement, T: 12
  • Mainsail area, sq.m: 55
  • Jib area, sq.m.: 35
  • Engine: 2 x 45 HP
  • Fuel tanks, l: 300 (+300 opt.)

The Lagoon brand took the world by storm with its new model 42, taking the inspiration from its predecessors and introducing new design from Patrick Le Quement and VPLP Design with rounded smooth curves of the hull and very straightforward-looking cockpit structure. It doesn’t look like it tries to scare or impress you, but instead invites you on board with its reliable layout, sunbathing lounge at the cockpit, shade from the bimini and wide tri-sliding door between saloon and the cockpit.

Mast was also moved aft here for the same reasons: to ease the handling, allow for more downwind sail choices and improve maneuvering. Self-tacking jib makes driving even easier. It’s not as sporty as some other vessels though – so if you are looking for a challenge, this boat might now be for you. The shipyard’s priority was to make this model as comfortable as possible for its price and segment. And they did a great job when it comes to this!

Lagoon 42

Just look at this saloon – it looks so classy and noble. You can invite the pickiest business partner in here and be confident that they will enjoy the trip. Control station is incredibly comfortable for the skipper to use from a comfortable sofa, windows are huge and abundant, galley has all you need to prepare tasty meals. Thanks to the number of hatches, the airflow is great too, which will be a boon on a hot day.

Overall, it is one of the best boats out there for a family cruise or charters. The main reason why it got third place is due to a certain lack of storage place that should, in our opinion, come with such price tag. It will still be incredible for those, who want to go on a cruise without worrying much about untangling dozens of halyards manually or constantly working together like a regatta team to squeeze good speed out of it. Solar panels on board are another plus of this boat – they will provide you with additional charge for all your electrical equipment on board, so the circuit needs will be easier to manage.

Aventura 45S

Aventura 45S

  • Overall length, m: 13.5
  • Overall length, ft: 43
  • Width, m: 7.5
  • Water tanks, l: 2 x 400
  • Mainsail area, sq.m: 74
  • Jib area, sq.m.: 51 / 85
  • Fuel tanks, l: 2 x 350

This one is so hot it burns – straight out of Lasta Design’s drafting board and onto the yachting market, this vessel is the most modern variation of 13.5-meter sailing elite catamaran with sharp strict lines, very high boards and, as a result, ceilings in the cabins. Compared to model 44, the cheekbone in exterior design is more pronounced, but the wetted area and weight of the boat were reduced. Mast was moved to the saloon, which allows for more efficient sail plan with gennaker, additional asymmetric or symmetrical spinnaker.

The platform at the transom is perfect for swimming, sunbathing or attaching a dinghy. There are wide steps on both sides with solid metal railing, leading to the side decks. As for the cockpit, it has good old dining table with seating on both sides. Bimini will hide you from scorching sun, and the flybridge on top will allow you to enjoy more pleasant weather. Sometimes such flybridges are a safety hazard, but in this case the sofa up there is also surrounded with reliable railing.

Aventura 45S

The saloon interior is always good on Lagoons, this one is not an exception. Note the lighter interior gamma, interesting solution with a seating place right next to the beam, skylight allowing to observe the sails right from here. This yacht has a lot of possible options: starting from electric winches and davits to air conditioning systems and a whole dinghy directly from the manufacturer. Feel free to use our price calculators for any boats features on our website to estimate the additional price.

Speaking of customization – Aventura 45S is like a Swiss Army knife of yachting, as it comes in whopping 6 possible layouts and has an option for a Comfort pack (additional amenities, such as upholstery and batteries).

We are sure that this boat, if customized right, will fit everyone except those, who prefer complete minimalism and even asceticism on board – this boat just can’t help being flashy and convenient. Don’t forget about the modern solar technologies used by the shipyard, which allow 3 possible version of panels installed – such innovations always make our planet just a little bit happier.

Astrea 42

  • Brand: Fountaine Pajot
  • Overall length, m: 12.58
  • Width, m: 7.2
  • Displacement, T: 12.7
  • Water tanks, l: 2 x 350
  • Mainsail area, sq.m: 70
  • Jib area, sq.m.: 41
  • Engine: 2 x 30 HP (2 X 50 HP)
  • Fuel tanks, l: 470

Right away, we are going to mention that this model snatched one of the best yachting awards out there - Multihull of the Year 2018, so it completely deserves a place in this list. Even more so, in 2019 it won another award - European Yacht of the Year.

The reason for that is huge amount of space on board for family, friends or charter passengers. You probably noticed, that the cat looks almost square-shaped, and thanks to 7.2 beam you can throw a party here without any limitations. Great sunbathing area at the bow is one the best social areas we visited – it doesn’t have any steps or pits and just feels so non-restrictive because of pure open space.

Of course, as a cruiser, this model has CE certification A and is prepared to take on a long voyage with its 700 liters freshwater capacity (with enough room for a productive watermaker), 600-liter max fuel tanks and twin Volvo Penta engines (3x30 HP or 2x50 HP). Berret Racoupeau Yacht Design tried their best to marry long-term cruising ability with sufficient performance and Astrea 42 is what came out of it.

The saloon here is extremely smart-looking – immediately put into serene and productive mood. Huge skylight in the roof allows you to always keep your eyes on the sails, large refrigerators ensure that your cooking needs are always satisfied. The full-fledged galley even has a dedicated exhaust hatch for convenience.

Astrea 42

As for controls, the starboard helm station provides direct access to all the winches, which are thoughtfully collected in one place, making the boat easy to manage alone with a decent chartplotter. After climbing up to the flybridge, look out for the boom – the head room here is not infinite, but sunbathing area is large enough for several people and will be frequently used in summer. Here you will notice solar panels, so popular nowadays in the yachting community.

The reason why we put this one lower than Aventura 45S is that it has slightly less customization options. And yet it still is very similar in this regard (don’t forget that this list compared the best cats in the world). You can choose between Maestro and Quatuor versions, move bathroom positions, pick between Oceanic and Comfort version – check our price calculator to learn more about all possible options.

Lagoon 46

  • Overall length, m: 13.99
  • Overall length, ft: 46
  • Width, m: 7.96
  • Displacement, T: 15.77
  • Water tanks, l: 2 x 300
  • Mainsail area, sq.m: 80.5
  • Jib area, sq.m.: 46.5
  • Engine: 2 x 57 HP
  • Fuel tanks, l: 2 x 520

How can bigger Lagoon be lower in the list than its smaller brother? The answer is simple – price. If it would have the same price tag as model 42, we would put it at the first place right away.

But if you can handle such a hit to your wallet, Lagoon 46 is one of the best options out there. French taste and love for quality shows in every single feature on board this yacht: imposing exterior design (Patrick le Quément’s child), truly luxurious interior developed by VPLP, 1040 liters of fuel, 80 m² mainsail area and powerful 2 x 57 HP engines. All that allows for ocean crossings with the comfort of best hotel suites and without worrying about supplies – tons of storage space is also included.

The transom with its cockpit sofa and dining table has an already classic look for Lagoon line-up, but everything is bigger and there’s more room thanks to always 8 meters of yacht’s width.

True to it’s easy to manage approach, Lagoon moved all the winches right to the left side of the helm, with a bimini with skylights covering the skipper from rain. The access to flybridge is provided from both decks and the cockpit. The overall sailing area was increased by 10 m² due to moving the mast aft and optimizing its center of gravity. Even though the yacht is 14 meters long, it can achieve 9 knots of speed with full mainsail and gennaker.

Lagoon 46

Here's how the interior looks – the cabins are executed in the same manner. The line between high comfort and luxury is crossed here, since the saloon on the picture above is way above normal. Just the ceiling height is already unusual, and when it comes to cabins, this height is even more surprising. As a skipper, you will get a large owner cabin with writing desk, multiple cupboard and drawers, shelves, sofa and large island bed. This yacht also boasts huge number of beds: enough for 12 people, which is great for charter businesses.

We are sure that this model will be a great pick for financially stable individuals who are interested in long-range cruising, huge number of options available, automatic control system and luxury level accommodations.

Isla 40

  • Overall length, m: 11.39
  • Width, m: 6.63
  • Displacement, T: 9.5
  • Water tanks, l: 2 x 265
  • Mainsail area, sq.m: 75
  • Jib area, sq.m.: 49
  • Engine: 2 X 20 HP (2 x 30 HP)
  • Fuel tanks, l: 300

Replacing legendary Lucia 40, this model had large shoes to fill – and Fountaine Pajot made sure that the yachtsmen were not disappointed with the new kid on the block.

The threatening sci-fi design of this boat contrasts a lot with home-like sweet beige tones and rounded shapes of the interior. It is not as large as a 14-meter boat but the price is also much more affordable. Cockpit has a lunge, L-shaped sofa around the dining table and a hardtop above. All seating places have usual storage lockers underneath, there is a small refrigerator for drinks in the cockpit and you can even get and additional grill, which is impressive for a 40-footer. There’s not as much space at the bow though.

The saloon provides you with enough comfort to forget that you are at the sea at all, making it easy to hop from one marina to another, relying on 2 x 265 l water tanks and 2 x 30 HP engines, just in case. The control station here doesn’t have a proper seating place right next to it, but this solution reward good eyesight – the screen is visible from saloon and cockpit sofas, so you can just glance at it from time to time, controlling the situation. Overall, the interior is very ergonomic and well worth the investment.

Isla 40

There are 4 possible layouts: Maestro 2, Maestro 3, Quatuor 2 and Quatuor 4. Make sure to visit our full review of Isla 40 or use the price calculator to know more. There are also 3 version of the boat: Grand Large (cheapest and providing basic amenities), Oceanic (has lazy bag, electric winch, pressurized seawater system and more), Comfort (includes previous two version and adds TV/HIFI pack, freshwater pump and more). You can add a washing machine, gas oven, a microwave etc. – if you have any questions regarding possible equipment, feel free to message us anytime.

Some people prefer thrill, some prefer comfort. This one is definitely not for thrill lovers – this convenient boat is made for family vacations, parties on the water, charters and tourism. You will not set a sailing speed world record on it and you don’t really need to anyway.

Tanna 47

  • Overall length, m: 13.94
  • Displacement, T: 14.7
  • Mainsail area, sq.m: 77
  • Jib area, sq.m.: 52
  • Engine: 2 X 60 HP (2 x 60 HP)
  • Fuel tanks, l: 2 x 470

This is another powerful, luxurious, yet expensive beast from Fountaine Pajot – Tanna 47 is the winner of prestigious Boat of the Year 2023 award in the category Best Cruising Multihull. It is, indeed, the best is business thanks to 14 meters of length and 7.7 meters in beam, resulting in large amount of space, which is also well organized (you can check out the virtual tour around the boat on our Tanna 47 sales page). This yacht has almost the same features as Aura 51, even though its smaller in size and is more affordable.

Clean and sophisticated design of this yacht is evident in both exterior and interior, which is very fitting, considering various advanced electric devices available (winches, outlets, audio packs, 220V main grid option, 2000W inverter/charger etc.) It is truly the marvel of modern yachting engineering. If other yachts of this size try to be a home on the water, this one wants to be your smart home: everything is automated to the max, with best chartplotters, autopilot, forward scan, second VHF, solar panels and other useful equipment purchasable.

best 24 foot catamaran

The minimalism and hi-tech feel don’t leave you inside the saloon thanks to predominating white tones, tons of natural lights and very glassy surroundings: you are surrounded by windows, hatches and skylights all around. Galley here is better than most kitchens on shore, with conveniences like garbage disposal section and larger than average table, oven and refrigerator.

With all these futuristic amenities the designer didn’t forget about sailing performance: Tanna 47 is capable of reaching 7 knots with winds of 14-15 knots. The helm location is slightly away from the winches, but the boat can still be managed alone, even though a small crew is recommended. Also, many yachting journalists expressed their surprise after experiencing how good a large boat like this is in terms of handling.

Remember: if you get confused in all the devices of this boat, you can ask us what’s the best for your use case.

Elba 45

Yet another island-named yacht from Fountaine Pajot – but don’t think they are overly represented here, based on our experience and tests, FP just happens to make very good multihulls.

For this particular model the shipyard went with a sleek limited version of flybridge, which allows the yacht to avoid looking like a wedding cake and also reduces its weight and price. Some only prefer a full-fledged flybridge, but this solution will be praised by those who don’t go up the flybridge much anyways, and seek for balance between comfort and sportiness.

Other than that, this boat comes with unusually powerful 2 x 50 HP optional engines (2 x 60 HP as an option), 75 m² mainsail and 49 m² of jib area. With such equipment the cat easily gets to 6 knots and all the way to 10 knots with strong winds. For a cruiser with CE A, this is quite impressive. Helm station is also at the starboard side, between seating area under bimini and lower cockpit deck. You would need to bend over a little to see the left hull, but other than that, the visibility here is more than enough. And since its so close to dining table and fridge, you can always refresh yourself with a drink while driving.

Elba 45

Unfortunately, the winches are quite far from the helm, so you’ll have to leave to adjust them – we at topRik prefer more convenient placement, and that’s one of the reason this yacht is lower in this list than some others.

There is no lounge here, but plenty of comfortable seating, dining and storage space. The design of the cockpit is very inviting, the same goes for saloon and the cabins. But the most special thing about this yacht is, surprisingly, the displacement – it is only 14 tons, achieved by a lighter bridge and hull optimizations. It is no wonder that it was acknowledged as Best Boat 2020 in Best Multihull Cruising Boat 2020 category.

Lagoon 55

  • Overall length, m: 16.56
  • Overall length, ft: 52
  • Width, m: 9
  • Displacement, T: 27.7
  • Water tanks, l: 960
  • Mainsail area, sq.m: 107
  • Jib area, sq.m.: 74
  • Engine: 2 x 115 HP
  • Fuel tanks, l: 1100

We would like to finish with the largest catamaran out of 10 in this list – Lagoon 55. Even though it’s a great representative of Lagoon multihull range, it’s sheer size and materials used in production make it difficult for most people to afford, with some premium pricing included for bragging rights.

In year 2021 this yacht won prestigious British Yachting Award and since then conquered the hearts of many yachtsmen with its sheer size (16.5 x 9 m) and excellent long cruise capabilities (960-liter water tanks and 100 liters of fuel on board). Sure, for that you have to pay with high displacement, which ends up being 27.7 tons. To move such a mansion a lot of sailing area is needed, and mainsail of 107 m² and self-tacking jib of 74 m² will do the job. You can also replace standard twin 80 hp engines with 115 hp optional ones.

Here we get a full bridge, of course – roomy, comfortable magic carpet flying above the water surface with large sunbathing area, separate galley, perfectly usable control station and comfortable sofas. The hard top has skylights in it, and the area is well protected with metal railing.

Lagoon 55

The cockpit is incredibly large too, with tons of space for 8-10 people at once. In case of bad weather conditions, it can be protected with a waterproof tent, going around the perimeter. The cockpit too has a separate galley with the refrigerator (that’s the premium we were talking about – galleys for everyone).

Overall, the space is the single most important feature of this yacht, resulting in more free movement and larger number of passengers on board. There are 3 layouts available: with 4, 5 and 6 cabins. You can also choose between Essential and Comfort equipment packs (more information in our price calculator).

If price is not an issue and you want a really large catamaran, Lagoon 55 will definitely be a great choice.

This concludes our top 10 list – we hope it was at least somewhat helpful to you. Good luck in all of your yachting adventures!

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Best and Worst Moments From the 2024 Tony Awards

Alicia Keys and Jay-Z’s high-wattage performance was a highlight, as were first-time wins for Kecia Lewis, Jonathan Groff and David Adjmi.

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A group of about 15 people stand onstage pointing at the sky, as an image of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys is projected behind them.

By The New York Times

Ariana DeBose ended her third turn as Tonys host with a mic drop. Otherwise, last night’s ceremony offered a first time for everything and very nearly everyone. All eight winners in the acting categories took home their first trophies . (How is it possible that this is Jonathan Groff’s inaugural win ?) The playwright David Adjmi, in his Broadway debut, won for “Stereophonic,” as did its director Daniel Aukin, also a Tony-winning newbie. Danya Taymor took home the prize for best direction of a musical for “The Outsiders,” her initial win. (“The Outsiders” also won for best musical .) In a mellow, equitable night, the other awards were spread among many of the nominated shows, with “Stereophonic,” “The Outsiders,” “Appropriate” and an ingeniously reimagined “Merrily We Roll Along” carrying home the top prizes. Here are the highs and lows — and wait, is that Jay-Z on the stairs? — of the ceremony.

Now that’s putting on a show

The producers and director were the same, but so much about this year’s telecast was a vast improvement on that of previous years. The pacing was swifter: The main broadcast ended on time and the pre-broadcast ended early. The dialogue was more dignified: no brainless chatter or mawkish introductions. The transitions were smoother: Sets were changed live on camera, saving time and showing us how theater actually works. And the investors who used to throng the stage when their shows won awards — not a good look, plus a traffic problem — were sequestered in some alternative universe and beamed in by video. All this allowed the show to deliver better entertainment while leaving room for thoughtfulness and giddiness, and both together. For the first time in a long time, the Broadway on TV felt like the one I know. JESSE GREEN

Wrong-footed opening

The Neil Patrick Harris years set an imposing bar for Tony broadcast opening numbers, and this year’s attempt, a strained variety-show knockoff that prematurely promised “this party’s for you,” didn’t end the drought. The Tonys would have done better opening with “Empire State of Mind” from “Hell’s Kitchen” — the night’s highest-wattage (if partially canned) performance, featuring Alicia Keys and Jay-Z. Or, better if not bolder: “Willkommen” from “Cabaret,” which was expertly staged for the camera and drenched in Eddie Redmayne’s kooky charisma. SCOTT HELLER

Third time’s the charm

Kara Young, a diminutive performer of supersized talent, has been nominated for a Tony in three consecutive years — for “Clyde’s” in 2022, “Cost of Living” in 2023 and “Purlie Victorious” this year. She won a featured actress award for that last one, with her irrepressible turn as Lutiebelle Gussie Mae Jenkins, a schemer with a heart that stays gold. In her acceptance speech, Young celebrated Lutiebelle as a character who takes a chance on life and wins. “She deserved it,” Young said. “And we all do.” ALEXIS SOLOSKI

Quirky fashion

Brooke Shields set the bar high when she rolled up to the red carpet outside Lincoln Center in a sunny dress and a matching pair of rubber duck-yellow Crocs. (“The feet pics are about to level up … Double foot toe surgery,” she posted on Instagram the day before.) Then there was the playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, a winner for “Appropriate,” rocking a cicada brooch tie, a nod to one of the production’s creepy-crawly motifs. And one can’t forget Hillary Clinton, who wore — a purple pantsuit? Nope: For her appearance to introduce a performance by the “Suffs” cast (Clinton is among the show’s producers), she opted for a white-and-gold caftan. SARAH BAHR

Know the room, show the room

Put theater people in front of a live audience and they will play to the room. That’s just how they’re built. But the cameras at the Tonys appeared oddly unprepared for that. Perfectly able to pick out screen stars in the crowd if someone onstage mentioned them, they seemed oblivious of other important artists who got shout-outs. When Jeremy Strong, named best actor for “An Enemy of the People,” addressed the show’s director, Sam Gold, and adapter, Amy Herzog, in his acceptance speech, it took ages for a camera to show them. When the actor Will Brill asked his six “Stereophonic” castmates to stand in the audience, we somehow saw just four. And when the choreographer Justin Peck thanked the playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury, his collaborator on “Illinoise,” there was no reflexive camera flick to her. It came off as clumsy. Worse, it seemed like ignorance of theater itself, which is so much about people together in a room — and, as an insiders’ game, which the Tonys absolutely are, about knowing who all is there. LAURA COLLINS-HUGHES

Entertainment awards ceremonies are not usually the occasion for well-written speeches. But during the pre-broadcast part of the show, three savvy showmen spoke meaningfully and movingly about their calling. First, the director George C. Wolfe outlined a vision of art unconstrained by identity politics, saying he learned from his parents that honoring his birth culture didn’t mean failing to connect with others. Then, the director Jack O’Brien told his fellow theater makers that making art is a hard road but a choice: “Did it ever occur to you that no one ever asked us to do this?” And Billy Porter closed out like a preacher, finding in a favorite Bible verse the perfect words for the power of theater to make change: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear,” he said, “but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.” JESSE GREEN

A ‘Merrily’ revival to remember, forever

In a season that was packed with an onslaught of openings, it was a challenge to catch everything even once. But sometimes a show resonates with you so deeply that you find a way to see it, well … five times. (And, let’s be honest, counting.) That show for me this year was “Merrily We Roll Along,” and the cast’s emotional performance of “Old Friends” during the broadcast offered a lovely reminder of what kept me coming back: the unmistakable adoration among Jonathan Groff, Daniel Radcliffe and Lindsay Mendez, and Stephen Sondheim’s rich score, resurrected with such care. NANCY COLEMAN

From downtown to toast of the town

In honoring Broadway’s best, the Tonys championed playwrights and directors who came of age Off Broadway. The playwright David Adjmi, a winner for “Stereophonic,” has spent decades making gutsy, intrepid work downtown, just the kinds of plays that Daniel Aukin, the director of “Stereophonic,” espoused as the artistic director of Soho Rep. Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, the author of “Appropriate,” which won for best revival, got his start in the Public Theater’s emerging writers group, while Danya Taymor, a winner for “The Outsiders,” cut her directorial teeth at the Flea. There’s beauty in watching these local heroes move to bigger stages and such pride in seeing them honored. ALEXIS SOLOSKI

Paper trail

Nothing strikes fear in an awards-show watcher like a winner fumbling in a purse or a breast pocket for a half-crumpled, hand-scrawled speech. It seemed to happen again and again last night, but instead of leading to mumbled place-finding and awkward squinting, it provided awardees like Jonathan Groff, Sarah Paulson and Maleah Joi Moon the chance to read beautifully crafted, heartfelt remarks with aplomb. (Footnote: Smartphone readers like Billy Porter and Kecia Lewis killed it, too.) SCOTT HELLER

Never too late to be seen

When Kecia Lewis took the stage after winning for best featured actress in a musical, she was beaming: Her win caps a 40-year career that began with her Broadway debut (at age 18) in the musical “Dreamgirls.” Lewis won for playing an inspiring piano teacher in the Alicia Keys musical, “Hell’s Kitchen,” in which she sings the Act I closer, “Perfect Way to Die,” a showstopping ballad about police brutality and racism against Black people in America. On Sunday night, swatting away a barrage of congratulatory texts on her phone (“People, stop texting me!” she said), she used her speech to offer some poignant advice: “I say to everyone who can hear my voice, don’t give up.” SARAH BAHR

An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to an achievement by Kara Young, based on information from the telecast. Young was not the first Black performer to be nominated for a Tony in three consecutive years; the actor Gregory Hines was nominated in 1979, 1980 and 1981.

An earlier version of this article in one instance misstated the title of a Tony-winning Broadway show. As noted correctly elsewhere, it is “Merrily We Roll Along,” not “Merrily We Roll Again.”

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10 Affordable Cruising Catamarans

  • By Phil Berman
  • Updated: May 24, 2024

Orana 44

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

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

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

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

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

RELATED: 20 Best Cruising and Sailing Destinations

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

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

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

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

1. Fountaine Pajot Orana 44 (above)

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

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


2. Catana 431

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

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

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

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


3. Lagoon 470

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

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

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


4. Privilège 435

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

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

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


5. Leopard 46

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

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

Knysna 440

6. St. Francis 44/Knysna 440

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lagoon 440 catamaran

7. Lagoon 440

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leopard 40 catamaran

8. Leopard 40

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

Manta catamaran

9. Manta 42

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

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

Lagoon catamaran

10. Lagoon 410

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

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

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

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