Catamarans: A Complete Guide to Multihull Boats

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

catamaran sailboat wiki

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

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

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

Key Takeaways

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

Understanding Catamarans

Design Characteristics

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

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

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

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

catamaran sailboat wiki

Hulls and Construction

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

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

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

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

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

catamaran sailboat wiki

Multihulls vs Monohulls

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

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

Performance and Handling

Speed and Efficiency

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

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

Sailing Dynamics

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

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

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

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

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

Maneuvering and Docking

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

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

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

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

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

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

Safety and Comfort on Board

Safety Features

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

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

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

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

Living Spaces and Comfort

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

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

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

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

Maintaining a Catamaran

Routine Maintenance

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

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

Dealing with Wear and Tear

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

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

Catamaran Brands and Models

High-Performance Models

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

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

Cruising Catamarans

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

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

The Catamaran Lifestyle

Anchoring and Cruising

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

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

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

Living on a Catamaran Full-time

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

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

Choosing Your Catamaran

Comparing Models and Features

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

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

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

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

ModelSizeComfortPerformance
A40ftSpaciousHigh
B35ftAverageAverage
C45ftLuxuryHigh

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

New vs. Second-Hand

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learning Resources

Books and Manuals

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

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

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

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

Here are a few more books that I find valuable:

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

Online Content and Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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

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

How do catamarans perform in rough sea conditions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catamarans offer several advantages for long-distance cruising.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

catamaran sailboat wiki

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A Complete Catamaran Guide

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

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

A small sailing catamaran sits on a beach.

A History Of The Catamaran

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

A map showing the region where the catamaran originated.

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

Catamaran Evolution

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eye Witness Accounts Of Catamarans

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

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

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

Building A Boat – Basics Of Catamaran Construction

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

Advantages Of Multiple Hulls

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

Disadvantages Of Multiple Hulls 

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

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

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

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

Catamaran Types

Commercial catamarans – ferries.

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

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

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

Commercial Use Case Study – The Ferry

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

A map showing Northern Germany, Denmark and Poland.

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

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

Catamaran Passenger Capacity Versus Monohull Boat Passenger Capacity 

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

Length x Width / 15 = Passenger Capacity

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

185 x 45.9 / 15 = 566  

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

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

159 x 35 / 15 = 371

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

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

Photo courtesy of https://sysyachtsales.com/

Commercial Catamarans – Service Vehicles

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

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

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

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

Commercial Catamarans – Cruise Lines

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

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

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

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

Military Catamarans

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

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

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

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

Recreational Catamarans

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

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

This image shows a homemade catamaran.

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

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

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

This photo shows a luxury sailing catamaran yacht.

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

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

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

‘Power Cats’ – Powered Catamarans

A powered catamaran is shown in this file photo.

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

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

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

Catamaran Frequently Asked Questions

What is a catamaran cruise.

catamaran sailboat wiki

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

What is the purpose of a catamaran?

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

Is catamaran safe?

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

What is the difference between a catamaran and a sailboat?

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

Do catamarans have small interiors?

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

How much does a catamaran cost?

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

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

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

Is a catamaran more work to maintain?

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

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

What is the difference between a catamaran and a trimaran?

A trimaran is shown in this photo.

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

Is a catamaran considered a yacht?

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

Can you get seasick on a catamaran?

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

Are catamarans more stable in rough seas?

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

Why do catamarans capsize?

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

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

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

Which is safer, a catamaran or a monohull?

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

Are catamarans safer than sailboats?

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

How fast can catamarans go?

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

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

Bibliography

  • Wikipedia – Catamarans
  • Mahdi, Waruno (1999). “The Dispersal of Austronesian boat forms in the Indian Ocean”. In Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew (eds.). Archaeology and Language III: Artefacts languages, and texts . One World Archaeology. 34 . Routledge. pp. 144–179. ISBN 0415100542 .
  • Wikipedia – Spearhead -class expeditionary fast transport
  • https://www.tiki-toki.com/timeline/entry/169516/Origin-of-the-catamaran/#vars!panel=1620923!
  • https://www.austal.com/ships/passenger-express-56
  • https://www.adventure-life.com/galapagos/galapagos-catamaran-cruises

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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

{{boat-info="/boats/manta-42"}}

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

{{boat-info="/boats/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.

{{boat-info="/boats/leopard-48"}}

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.

{{boat-info="/boats/dolphin-ocema-42"}}

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.

{{boat-info="/boats/catana-50"}}

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

{{boat-info="/boats/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.

{{boat-info="/boats/fountaine-pajot-bahia-46"}}

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

{{boat-info="/boats/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

{{boat-info="/boats/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.

{{boat-info="/boats/gunboat-62"}}

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

{{boat-info="/boats/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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Sail Away Blog

Mastering Catamaran Sailing: Learn How to Sail a Catamaran like a Pro

Alex Morgan

catamaran sailboat wiki

Sailing a catamaran is an exhilarating experience that allows you to harness the power of the wind and navigate the open waters with agility and speed. If you’re interested in learning how to sail a catamaran, it’s essential to understand the basics, prepare properly, learn key sailing techniques, and acquire navigation skills specific to catamarans. This comprehensive guide will provide you with the necessary knowledge and techniques to confidently sail a catamaran.

Introduction to Sailing a Catamaran

Sailing a catamaran offers a unique sailing experience with its twin hulls, stability, and spacious deck. Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to understand the fundamentals of catamarans and how they differ from monohulls.

Understanding the Basics of a Catamaran

To fully grasp the art of catamaran sailing, you need to first comprehend what a catamaran is and how it differs from a monohull. This section will provide a clear definition of a catamaran and highlight its distinctive features.

Preparation for Sailing a Catamaran

Before setting sail, proper preparation is crucial to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. This section will cover essential steps such as conducting safety equipment checks, understanding wind and weather conditions, and making necessary preparations for sailing a catamaran.

Key Sailing Techniques for Catamarans

Mastering key techniques is essential to maneuvering and controlling a catamaran effectively. This section will delve into important skills such as steering and maneuvering, sail trim and adjustment, tacking and jibing, and understanding points of sail specific to catamarans.

Navigation and Seamanship for Catamarans

Navigating a catamaran requires a solid understanding of chart reading, course planning, and the rules of the road. This section will provide guidance on reading nautical charts, planning routes, and understanding the right-of-way rules when sailing a catamaran.

Recovering from Common Sailing Challenges

Even with proper preparation, sailors may encounter challenges while on the water. This section will address common issues such as capsize and the techniques for righting a catamaran, as well as strategies for dealing with strong winds and heavy seas.

Additional Resources for Learning Catamaran Sailing

To further enhance your knowledge and skills in catamaran sailing, this section will provide a list of helpful resources, including books, online courses, and sailing clubs, where you can continue your learning journey.

By following this guide and honing your skills, you’ll embark on a rewarding adventure as you navigate the seas with confidence and expertise in sailing a catamaran.

Key takeaway:

  • Learning to sail a catamaran maximizes your sailing experience: Sailing a catamaran allows you to navigate the waters in a unique and exciting way, enhancing your overall enjoyment of the sport.
  • A catamaran offers a different sailing experience from a monohull: Understanding the basics of a catamaran helps you appreciate its distinct characteristics, such as stability and speed, compared to traditional monohull sailboats.
  • Being prepared and understanding key sailing techniques are crucial: Prioritizing safety, learning about necessary equipment, and mastering sailing techniques like steering, sail trim, and tacking ensure a successful and enjoyable catamaran sailing experience.

A catamaran is a boat with two parallel hulls connected by a bridge. Understanding the basics of a catamaran is important to fully enjoy the unique sailing experience it offers. These hulls provide stability and reduce drag, enabling higher speeds. Catamarans are used for sailing , cruising , and racing .

The design allows for a spacious interior layout, making it ideal for leisure activities or living aboard. One advantage of a catamaran is its shallow draft , which allows for navigation in shallower waters . When sailing, it’s crucial to have a good grasp of the components like the mast , sails , rigging , and helm . Learning how to trim the sails and adjust the rigging optimizes performance. Maneuvering the catamaran, including tacking and jibing , controls direction and speed.

Safety is paramount, so having a clear understanding of safety procedures and possessing the necessary equipment is essential. With a thorough understanding of the basics, you can confidently enjoy the unique sailing experience a catamaran offers.

What is a Catamaran?

A catamaran, also known as a cat , is a type of boat with two parallel hulls connected by a deck. It is specifically designed to prioritize stability, achieved through a wider base and weight distribution. Catamarans are renowned for their spaciousness and maneuverability , making them a popular choice for sailing and cruising enthusiasts.

One notable advantage of a catamaran is its ability to achieve higher speeds compared to monohulls . This can be attributed to the wide hulls, which result in less drag and enable faster and smoother sailing experiences. The dual hull design enhances stability , reducing the likelihood of rolling or capsizing , particularly in rough waters.

Catamarans also offer a significant advantage in terms of living space and comfort . Thanks to the presence of two separate hulls, these boats can accommodate cabins , lounges , and various amenities. As a result, catamarans are considered ideal for long-distance cruising or liveaboard experiences , providing ample room for relaxation and enjoyment .

When it comes to sailing performance, catamarans excel in upwind capabilities and have the ability to sail closer to the wind compared to monohulls. They are easier to maneuver and require less effort to handle, making them an excellent choice even for beginners embarking on their sailing journey .

How is a Catamaran Different from a Monohull?

Catamarans have greater stability than monohulls due to their wider beam and two hulls. This stability reduces tipping and rolling in rough seas.

Compared to monohulls , catamarans have a shallower draft, allowing them to navigate in shallow waters and anchor closer to the shore.

Catamarans provide more interior space with their wider beam, resulting in larger cabins, living areas, and storage compartments.

Catamarans are known for their speed. The twin hull design reduces drag, enabling them to sail faster than monohulls , particularly in light winds.

In terms of sailing motion, catamarans have a flatter and more stable movement, offering increased comfort for those prone to seasickness. They also have better maneuverability and can sail closer to the wind compared to monohulls .

Pro-tip: If you desire a spacious, stable, and fast sailing experience, a catamaran is an excellent choice. Its unique design provides comfort and performance, making it a popular option for cruising and long-distance sailing.

Prepping your catamaran for an epic sailing adventure? Get ready to set sail with confidence as we dive into the vital elements of catamaran preparation. From essential safety equipment and thorough checks to mastering the art of reading wind and weather conditions, we've got you covered. Safety first and a keen understanding of the natural elements will ensure smooth sailing and unforgettable experiences on the open water. Let's dive into the nitty-gritty details and get you fully prepared to harness the power of the winds and conquer the seas!

Safety Equipment and Checks

When sailing a catamaran, it is essential to prioritize safety. It is important to follow these steps for safety equipment and checks:

  • First and foremost, inspect the life jackets to ensure they are in good condition and functioning properly.
  • Take the time to check the throwable flotation devices and ensure they are readily available and in working order.
  • Verify that the catamaran has a properly installed fire extinguisher, which is crucial in case of any fire emergencies.
  • Make sure that distress signals, such as flares or emergency signaling devices, are present and easily accessible.
  • It is vital to inspect and test the bilge pump to make sure it is functioning correctly and can effectively remove any water from the boat.
  • Check the navigation lights to ensure they are properly functioning, as they are essential for visibility during nighttime or low-light conditions.
  • Verify the availability and condition of a sound signaling device, such as a horn or whistle , which can alert others in case of emergencies.
  • Ensure that the catamaran is equipped with a VHF radio or other communication devices for effective communication during emergencies.
  • Inspect the anchor and anchor line to ensure their good condition, as they are crucial for securing the catamaran in place.
  • Check the availability and condition of navigation charts and a compass, which are essential for proper navigation and orientation.

Pro-tip: It is highly recommended to regularly inspect and maintain all safety equipment to ensure they always work properly. Performing safety checks before every sailing trip is crucial to ensure the well-being and safety of everyone onboard.

Understanding Wind and Weather Conditions

Understanding wind and weather conditions is essential when sailing a catamaran. It is crucial to consider wind direction, wind strength, and current weather conditions in order to plan your sail effectively and ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Having a good understanding of wind direction is vital while sailing. By adjusting your sails accordingly, you can maximize the power and efficiency of your catamaran. Knowing the strength of the wind can help you determine the appropriate sail trim and make adjustments for optimal performance .

Weather conditions play a critical role in ensuring safety while sailing. It is important to check weather forecasts before setting sail and to remain aware of potential changes in weather patterns. Understanding the possibility of storms, strong winds, or heavy seas allows you to make informed decisions on when it is safe to sail and when it is best to stay ashore.

By understanding wind and weather conditions, you can effectively plan your sail, adjust your sails for optimal performance, and ensure the safety of yourself and your crew. Continuously monitoring and assessing these conditions throughout your sailing journey allows for well-informed decisions and contributes to a successful and memorable experience on your catamaran.

Get ready to set sail and master the art of catamaran sailing with these key techniques! We will unravel the secrets behind steering and maneuvering, sail trim and adjustment, tacking and jibing, and understanding the points of sail . From controlling the direction of your catamaran to optimizing your sail position, this section has got you covered with practical tips that will enhance your sailing skills. So, hop on board and let’s embark on a thrilling sailing adventure !

Steering and Maneuvering

When steering and maneuvering a catamaran, it is important to keep in mind the following techniques:

  • Use the tiller or steering wheel to control the direction of the catamaran. Push the tiller away from you to turn the catamaran to starboard (right), and pull the tiller towards you to turn the catamaran to port (left).
  • Work closely with the crew and communicate clearly to ensure smooth maneuvering. Assign specific roles and responsibilities to each crew member, such as trimming the sails or adjusting the daggerboards .
  • Adjust the sails accordingly to optimize the catamaran's performance. Trim in the mainsail and jib to generate more power and speed, or ease the sails to reduce power in strong winds.
  • Pay attention to the catamaran's speed and steer accordingly. A faster catamaran may require more precise and proactive steering to maintain control.
  • Practice tacking and jibing techniques to change direction smoothly. Tacking involves turning the bow of the catamaran through the wind, while jibing involves turning the stern of the catamaran through the wind. Always be mindful of the wind direction and adjust your maneuvering accordingly.

By mastering these techniques, you'll be able to navigate your catamaran with confidence and precision.

Sail Trim and Adjustment

For optimal performance and stability of a catamaran, sail trim and adjustment are essential. Follow these steps to ensure proper sail trim:

  • Begin by checking the telltales of the main sail to ensure smooth flow without any fluttering or stalling.
  • Next, focus on the jib or headsail and adjust the sheet tension to achieve proper trim and generate lift.
  • Paying attention to the traveler position is crucial. Move it accordingly to control the boom angle and sail shape based on wind conditions.
  • Adjust the halyard tension to prevent any sagging or fluttering.
  • Continuously monitor and adjust the tension in control lines, such as the jib sheet and mainsheet , to achieve the desired sail shape and balance.
  • While sailing, constantly assess the sail trim. Observe the telltales, listen to the wind, and take note of any changes in speed. Fine-tune the trim for optimal performance and control.

By consistently adjusting sail trim based on changing conditions, you’ll ensure a pleasurable and efficient catamaran sailing experience.

Tacking and Jibing

Sailing a catamaran requires a good understanding of the techniques for tacking and jibing . Here are the steps to master these maneuvers:

  • To change direction when the wind shifts, turn the helm or the wheel away from the wind.
  • Release the jib sheet and let the jib sail luff as the bow of the catamaran passes through the wind.
  • Trim in the jib sheet on the new tack to regain speed and control.
  • Ease out the mainsail sheet and move the boom to the opposite side of the catamaran.
  • Steer the catamaran downwind to swing the mainsail across the boat.
  • Switch the mainsail sheet to the new side and trim it in to stabilize the sail as the mainsail crosses over.

Pro-tip: It is advisable to practice tacking and jibing in light winds before attempting these maneuvers in stronger conditions. This will help build confidence and develop a solid understanding of the catamaran’s handling characteristics.

Understanding Points of Sail

To gain a comprehensive comprehension of Understanding Points of Sail , it is important to acknowledge the various angles at which a sailboat can navigate in relation to the wind.

The initial point of sail is referred to as the “no-sail zone,” during which the wind is directly facing the boat’s front, making it impossible for the sails to catch the wind.

Subsequently, we have the “close-hauled” or “upwind” point of sail, where the boat skillfully sails as close to the wind as possible without stalling. In this scenario, the sails are meticulously adjusted to create lift and propel the boat forward.

Moving on, the “close reach” point of sail occurs when the boat is slightly angled away from the wind, enabling the sails to fill and generate power.

As for the “beam reach” point of sail, the boat is positioned at a right angle to the wind, causing the wind to blow directly onto the side of the sails. This results in the boat achieving the desired speed and momentum.

On the other hand, the “broad reach” point of sail sees the boat sailing at an angle away from the wind, which allows the sails to fill more and generate even greater speed.

We have the “downwind” or “running” point of sail, where the boat sails directly with the wind coming from behind. To ensure an efficient catch of the wind, the sails are let out as far as possible in this scenario.

Acquiring a solid understanding of points of sail is paramount when it comes to taking control of the direction and speed of a catamaran, ultimately maximizing its performance. By skillfully adjusting the sails and steering according to the various points of sail, sailors are able to effectively navigate their catamarans, ensuring a smooth and efficient sailing experience.

When it comes to sailing a catamaran, one crucial skill to master is navigation and seamanship . In this section, we’ll dive into the essentials of chart reading and course planning , helping you plot your path with confidence on the open waters. We’ll explore the rules of the road and right-of-way , ensuring you understand the fundamental principles of safe sailing. So, sharpen your skills and join us as we navigate the captivating world of catamaran seamanship !

Chart Reading and Course Planning

When sailing a catamaran, chart reading and course planning are essential for a safe journey. Understanding and properly navigating charts will help you choose the best route and avoid potential hazards. The following table outlines key aspects of chart reading and course planning for catamaran sailing:

Study and obtain nautical charts specific to your sailing area. These charts provide important information about water depths, navigational aids, landmarks, and potential obstacles.

Familiarize yourself with the symbols and markings on the charts. These include depth contours, buoys, beacons, and other navigational signs that help you navigate safely.

Use dividers and parallel rulers to measure distances and plot your course on the charts. Consider factors such as wind direction, currents, and potential hazards when determining the most efficient and safe route.

Identify and understand various aids to navigation, such as buoys, beacons, and lighthouses. Pay attention to their colors, shapes, and light characteristics as they guide you along your planned course.

Regularly monitor your progress on the chart and make necessary course corrections. This may involve adjusting your sails, using navigational instruments, or considering changing weather conditions.

By mastering the skills of chart reading and course planning, you can confidently and safely navigate your catamaran, maximizing your enjoyment of the sailing experience.

Rules of the Road and Right-of-Way

To sail a catamaran safely and avoid collisions, it’s crucial to understand the Rules of the Road and Right-of-Way .

  • Sailboats fall under the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) , which provide guidelines for preventing accidents in various situations.
  • According to the Rules of the Road , when two sailboats approach each other on different tacks, the boat on the starboard tack has the Right-of-Way and the boat on the port tack must keep clear.
  • When a sailboat approaches a power-driven vessel, the sailboat must yield and keep clear of the power-driven vessel’s path.
  • When overtaking another sailboat, the overtaking boat is responsible for keeping clear and avoiding a collision.
  • It’s important to understand and follow these Rules of the Road and Right-of-Way to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone on the water.

I was sailing my catamaran on a sunny day when I spotted another sailboat coming towards me. Realizing we were on a collision course, I acted quickly and adjusted my course to give way to the other sailboat, which was on the starboard tack. By following the Rules of the Road and Right-of-Way , we avoided a potentially dangerous situation and continued enjoying our day on the water. This experience highlights the importance of sailors being knowledgeable about the Rules of the Road and Right-of-Way for a safe and enjoyable sailing experience.

Navigating the unpredictable waters of sailing can come with its fair share of challenges. In this section, we’ll delve into practical techniques for recovering from common sailing mishaps, empowering you to conquer any situation with confidence. From capsize and righting a catamaran to dealing with the relentless forces of strong winds and heavy seas, we’ll equip you with the necessary knowledge to overcome these hurdles and keep your sailing adventure afloat. So, let’s dive in and uncover the secrets to mastering the art of recovery on the open waters!

Capsize and Righting a Catamaran

Capsize and righting a catamaran can be challenging, but with knowledge and techniques, you can recover safely. When facing a catamaran capsize, follow these steps to ensure a successful recovery:

1. Stay calm and assess the situation. It’s important to maintain a level-headed approach.

2. Ensure everyone onboard wears a life jacket and is accounted for. Safety should always be a priority.

3. Communicate with your crew to determine the best approach for righting the catamaran. Teamwork and coordination are crucial at this stage.

4. Release and secure the sails to prevent further problems. This will help minimize any potential damage.

5. Work together as a team to shift the crew’s weight towards the side of the catamaran that needs lifting. Distributing the weight properly is essential.

6. Utilize weight distribution and leverage to gradually lift the capsized catamaran. It’s important to take this process one step at a time.

7. Continue applying steady pressure until the catamaran is fully righted. Persistence is key during this stage.

8. Check the boat for damages or water ingress and address them accordingly. Taking care of any issues promptly is crucial for safety.

9. Retrieve any lost belongings or equipment that may have fallen overboard during the capsize.

10. Restart the sail and ensure proper stability. Confirm that everything is in order before resuming your sailing adventure.

By following these steps and working together, you can successfully recover from a catamaran capsize and continue enjoying your sailing adventure.

Dealing with Strong Winds and Heavy Seas

Dealing with strong winds and heavy seas while sailing a catamaran can be a challenging task. With the right techniques and precautions, it can be managed effectively. Here are some important considerations to keep in mind:

1. Maintain a steady course: It is crucial to hold the helm firmly and adjust the sails to maintain balance and control in the face of strong winds and heavy seas .

2. Reef the sails: When the winds become too powerful, it is important to reduce the sail area exposed to the wind by reefing the sails. This technique helps in controlling the boat’s speed and stability. Familiarize yourself with the specific catamaran’s reefing technique beforehand.

3. Adjust the daggerboards: Daggerboards are retractable keels that play a vital role in providing stability and preventing tipping over in strong winds . Adjusting the daggerboards to the appropriate depth is important to maintain balance and control in challenging conditions.

4. Monitor the sea state: Pay close attention to the waves and their direction. Anticipating changes in the swell and taking appropriate action, such as avoiding broadside hits and angling the boat into the waves, ensures a smoother and more comfortable ride.

5. Use safety equipment: It is imperative to always have necessary safety equipment onboard, including life jackets, flares, and a tethering system. When challenging conditions arise, wearing a safety harness is essential to prevent falling overboard.

By following these techniques and taking proper precautions, you can effectively deal with strong winds and heavy seas while sailing a catamaran . Remember, experience and practice are crucial in safely and confidently handling challenging conditions.

Here are some resources to enhance your catamaran sailing skills:

– Online forums: Joining forums dedicated to catamaran sailing can provide valuable knowledge and interaction with experienced sailors.

– Instructional videos: Online instructional videos offer step-by-step guidance on various aspects of catamaran sailing, helping you understand different maneuvers and techniques.

– Books and guides: Several resources cover both fundamental and advanced techniques of catamaran sailing, providing in-depth knowledge for self-paced learning.

– Courses and workshops: Participating in formal courses or workshops conducted by sailing schools or yacht clubs offers hands-on training and guidance from experienced instructors, improving your skills.

– Online tutorials: Websites offer catamaran sailing tutorials with comprehensive lessons, interactive quizzes, and feedback, enhancing your understanding and proficiency.

With these resources, you can cultivate your catamaran sailing skills and become a proficient sailor. Practice consistently and remain open to learning from others. Happy sailing!

Some Facts About Learn How To Sail A Catamaran:

  • ✅ Sailing a catamaran is similar to sailing a monohull, with most skills easily transferable.
  • ✅ Catamarans have become very popular in the last 5 years due to their advantages over monohulls.
  • ✅ Catamarans have two hulls connected by a bridge deck, providing stability and space for cabins and amenities.
  • ✅ Catamarans are considered safer than monohulls due to their stability and the presence of two engines.
  • ✅ Monohulls are harder to sail due to heeling and confined spaces, while catamarans offer easier movement and stability.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can i learn how to sail a catamaran.

To learn how to sail a catamaran, you can explore various options such as online schools, books, and sailing schools. Going on a week-long or weekend cruise can provide valuable hands-on experience. Watching videos, reading books, and joining a crew of experienced sailors can also help you learn the basics and improve your skills.

What are some recommended resources for learning how to sail a catamaran?

For beginners, online schools like Nautic Ed and reputable institutions like ASA (American Sailing Association) and US Sailing Association offer catamaran courses that provide structured training and guidance. Advanced books on catamaran sailing can also be a great resource, helping you familiarize yourself with boat parts, terminology, and essential skills.

How long does it take to learn how to sail a catamaran?

The time it takes to learn how to sail a catamaran may vary depending on individual learning abilities and dedication. Typically, it ranges from 14 days to five years. With the right training, practice, and experience, you can progress efficiently and gain confidence in sailing a catamaran.

Are there any short-term catamaran sailing courses available?

Yes, there are short-term catamaran sailing courses available. Sailing schools like ASA and US Sailing Association offer land and on-water training programs that provide intensive courses tailored to teach you how to sail a catamaran effectively within a shorter timeframe.

What are the key differences between catamarans and monohulls in sailing?

There are several differences between catamarans and monohulls in sailing. Catamarans have a bridge deck and two hulls connected, providing stability, ample space, and ease of movement. They are considered safer due to their stability and the presence of two engines. On the other hand, monohulls are harder to sail due to heeling and confined spaces.

Do I need any certification to sail a catamaran?

While a cruising catamaran captain’s license is not necessary, having a recognized certificate, such as ASA certification, can increase opportunities to sail and gain the trust of catamaran owners. Certification courses like ASA provide comprehensive training and assessments to ensure you possess the necessary skills and knowledge for safe catamaran sailing.

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A Formula 16 beachable catamaran Bladef16-1up.jpg

A catamaran ( / ˌ k æ t ə m ə ˈ r æ n / ) (informally, a "cat") is a watercraft with two parallel hulls of equal size. The distance between a catamaran's hulls imparts resistance to rolling and overturning. Catamarans typically have less hull volume, smaller displacement , and shallower draft (draught) than monohulls of comparable length. The two hulls combined also often have a smaller hydrodynamic resistance than comparable monohulls, requiring less propulsive power from either sails or motors. The catamaran's wider stance on the water can reduce both heeling and wave-induced motion, as compared with a monohull, and can give reduced wakes.

Development in Austronesia

Traditional catamarans, western development of sailing catamarans, performance, swath and wave-piercing designs, applications, passenger transport, further reading.

Catamarans were invented by the Austronesian peoples , and enabled their expansion to the islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans . [1]

Catamarans range in size from small sailing or rowing vessels to large naval ships and roll-on/roll-off car ferries. The structure connecting a catamaran's two hulls ranges from a simple frame strung with webbing to support the crew to a bridging superstructure incorporating extensive cabin and/or cargo space.

Succession of forms in the development of the Austronesian boat (Mahdi, 1999) Succession of forms in the development of the Austronesian boat.png

Catamarans from Oceania and Maritime Southeast Asia became the inspiration for modern catamarans. Until the 20th century catamaran development focused primarily on sail-driven concepts.

The word "catamaran" is derived from the Tamil word, kattumaram (கட்டுமரம்), which means "logs bound together" and is a type of single-hulled raft made of three to seven tree trunks lashed together. The term has evolved in English usage to refer to unrelated twin-hulled vessels. [2] [3] [4]

A carved and painted voyaging catamaran with tanja sails of the Micronesian inhabitants of Hermit Islands, Bismarck Archipelago (c. 1914) Die Sitten der Volker- Liebe, Ehe, Heirat, Geburt, Religion, Aberglaube, Lebensgewohnheiten, Kultureigentumlichkeiten, Tod und Bestattung bei allen Volkern der Erde; (1914) (14591807039).jpg

Catamaran-type vessels were an early technology of the Austronesian peoples . Early researchers like Heine-Geldern (1932) and Hornell (1943) once believed that catamarans evolved from outrigger canoes , but modern authors specializing in Austronesian cultures like Doran (1981) and Mahdi (1988) now believe it to be the opposite. [5] [6] [1]

Hokule`a, a modern replica of a Polynesian twin-hulled voyaging canoe--an Austronesian innovation Hokule'a.jpg

Two canoes bound together developed directly from minimal raft technologies of two logs tied together. Over time, the twin-hulled canoe form developed into the asymmetric double canoe, where one hull is smaller than the other. Eventually the smaller hull became the prototype outrigger , giving way to the single outrigger canoe, then to the reversible single outrigger canoe. Finally, the single outrigger types developed into the double outrigger canoe (or trimarans ). [5] [6] [1]

This would also explain why older Austronesian populations in Island Southeast Asia tend to favor double outrigger canoes, as it keeps the boats stable when tacking . But they still have small regions where catamarans and single-outrigger canoes are still used. In contrast, more distant outlying descendant populations in Oceania , Madagascar , and the Comoros , retained the twin-hull and the single outrigger canoe types, but the technology for double outriggers never reached them (although it exists in western Melanesia ). To deal with the problem of the instability of the boat when the outrigger faces leeward when tacking, they instead developed the shunting technique in sailing, in conjunction with reversible single-outriggers. [5] [6] [1] [7] [8]

Despite their being the more "primitive form" of outrigger canoes, they were nonetheless effective, allowing seafaring Polynesians to voyage to distant Pacific islands . [9]

The following is a list of traditional Austronesian catamarans:

  • Island Melanesia :
  • Fiji : Drua (or waqa tabu )
  • Papua New Guinea : Lakatoi
  • Tonga : Hamatafua , kalia , tongiaki
  • Cook Islands : Vaka katea
  • Hawaii : Waʻa kaulua
  • Marquesas : Vaka touʻua
  • New Zealand : Waka hourua
  • Samoa : ʻAlia , amatasi , va'a-tele
  • Society Islands : Pahi , tipairua

The first documented example of twin-hulled sailing craft in Europe was designed by William Petty in 1662 to sail faster, in shallower waters, in lighter wind, and with fewer crew than other vessels of the time. However, the unusual design met with skepticism and was not a commercial success. [10] [11]

Nathaniel Herreshoff's 31 ft (9 m) long catamaran, Duplex, on the River Thames--built in 1877 Herreshoff Duplex Catamaran sailing in the Thames River--1880.png

The design remained relatively unused in the West for almost 160 years until the early 19th-century, when the Englishman Mayflower F. Crisp built a two-hulled merchant ship in Rangoon, Burma . The ship was christened Original . Crisp described it as "a fast sailing fine sea boat; she traded during the monsoon between Rangoon and the Tenasserim Provinces for several years". [12] [13]

Later that century, the American Nathanael Herreshoff constructed a twin-hulled sailing boat of his own design (US Pat. No. 189,459). [14] The craft, Amaryllis , raced at her maiden regatta on June 22, 1876, and performed exceedingly well. Her debut demonstrated the distinct performance advantages afforded to catamarans over the standard monohulls. It was as a result of this event, the Centennial Regatta of the New York Yacht Club, that catamarans were barred from regular sailing classes, and this remained the case until the 1970s. [15] On June 6, 1882, three catamarans from the Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans raced a 15   nm course on Lake Pontchartrain and the winning boat in the catamaran class, Nip and Tuck , beat the fastest sloop's time by over five minutes. [16] [17]

In 1916, Leonardo Torres Quevedo patented a multihull steel vessel named Binave (Twin Ship), a new type of catamaran which was constructed and tested in Bilbao ( Spain ) in 1918. The innovative design included two 30 HP Hispano-Suiza marine engines and was able to modify its configuration when sailing , positioning two rudders at the stern of each float, with the propellers also placed aft . [18] [19] [20] In 1936, Eric de Bisschop built a Polynesian "double canoe" in Hawaii and sailed it home to a hero's welcome in France. In 1939, he published his experiences in a book, Kaimiloa , which was translated into English in 1940. [21]

Roland and Francis Prout experimented with catamarans in 1949 and converted their 1935 boat factory in Canvey Island , Essex (England), to catamaran production in 1954. Their Shearwater catamarans easily won races against monohulls. Yellow Bird, a 1956-built Shearwater III , raced successfully by Francis Prout in the 1960s, is in the collection of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall . [22] Prout Catamarans , Ltd. designed a mast aft rig with the mast aft of midships to support an enlarged jib—more than twice the size of the design's reduced mainsail; it was produced as the Snowgoose model. [23] The claimed advantage of this sail plan was to diminish any tendency for the bows of the vessel to dig in. [24] [25]

Hobie 16 beachable catamaran Hobie Cat 16.jpg

In the mid-twentieth century, beachcats became a widespread category of sailing catamarans, owing to their ease of launching and mass production. In California, a maker of surfboards , Hobie Alter , produced the 250-pound (110   kg) Hobie 14 in 1967, and two years later the larger and even more successful Hobie 16 . As of 2016, the Hobie 16 was still being produced with more than 100,000 having been manufactured. [26]

Catamarans were introduced to Olympic sailing in 1976. The two-handed Tornado catamaran was selected for the multihull discipline in the Olympic Games from 1976 through 2008. It was redesigned in 2000. [27] The foiling Nacra 17 was used in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which were held in 2021; [28] [29] after the 2015 adoption of the Nacra 15 as a Youth World Championships class and as a new class for the Youth Olympic Games. [30] [31]

A 45' catamaran under sail, showing minimal bow wave and wake resulting from the hulls being narrow, low displacement and long Brady 45' strip-built catamaran with fractional Bermuda rig.jpg

Catamarans have two distinct primary performance characteristics that distinguish them from displacement monohull vessels: lower resistance to passage through the water and greater stability (initial resistance to capsize). Choosing between a monohull and catamaran configuration includes considerations of carrying capacity, speed, and efficiency.

At low to moderate speeds, a lightweight catamaran hull experiences resistance to passage through water that is approximately proportional to its speed. A displacement monohull, by comparison, experiences resistance that is at least the square of its speed. This means that a catamaran would require four times the power in order to double its speed, whereas a monohull would require eight times the power to double its speed, starting at a slow speed. [32] For powered catamarans, this implies smaller power plants (although two are typically required). For sailing catamarans, low forward resistance [33] allows the sails to derive power from attached flow , [34] their most efficient mode—analogous to a wing—leading to the use of wingsails in racing craft. [35]

Catamarans rely primarily on form stability to resist heeling and capsize. [32] Comparison of heeling stability of a rectangular-cross section monohull of beam, B , compared with two catamaran hulls of width B /2, separated by a distance, 2× B , determines that the catamaran has an initial resistance to heeling that is seven times that of the monohull. [36] Compared with a monohull, a cruising catamaran sailboat has a high initial resistance to heeling and capsize—a fifty-footer requires four times the force to initiate a capsize than an equivalent monohull. [37]

Vangohh Seafarer, a catamaran motor yacht berthed at Straits Quay, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia Catamaran at Straits Quay, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia..jpg

One measure of the trade-off between speed and carrying capacity is the displacement Froude number (Fn V ) , [38] compared with calm water transportation efficiency . [39] Fn V applies when the waterline length is too speed-dependent to be meaningful—as with a planing hull. [40] It uses a reference length, the cubic root of the volumetric displacement of the hull, V , where u is the relative flow velocity between the sea and ship, and g is acceleration due to gravity :

Catamaran

Calm water transportation efficiency of a vessel is proportional to the full-load displacement and the maximum calm-water speed, divided by the corresponding power required. [41]

Large merchant vessels have a Fn V between one and zero, whereas higher-performance powered catamarans may approach 2.5, denoting a higher speed per unit volume for catamarans. Each type of vessel has a corresponding calm water transportation efficiency, with large transport ships being in the range of 100–1,000, compared with 11-18 for transport catamarans, denoting a higher efficiency per unit of payload for monohulls. [39]

A SWATH ship has twin hulls (blue) that remain completely submerged Small waterplane area twin hull swath1 large.jpg

Two advances over the traditional catamaran are the small-waterplane-area twin hull (SWATH) and the wave-piercing configuration—the latter having become a widely favored design.

SWATH reduces wave-generating resistance by moving displacement volume below the waterline, using a pair of tubular, submarine-like hulls, connected by pylons to the bridge deck with a narrow waterline cross-section. The submerged hulls are minimally affected by waves. [42] The SWATH form was invented by Canadian Frederick G. Creed , who presented his idea in 1938 and was later awarded a British patent for it in 1946. It was first used in the 1960s and 1970s as an evolution of catamaran design for use as oceanographic research vessels or submarine rescue ships. [43] In 1990, the US Navy commissioned the construction of a SWATH ship to test the configuration. [44]

SWATH vessels compare with conventional powered catamarans of equivalent size, as follows: [42]

  • Larger wetted surface, which causes higher skin friction drag
  • Significant reduction in wave-induced drag, with the configuration of struts and submerged hull structures
  • Lower water plane area significantly reduces pitching and heaving in a seaway
  • No possibility of planing
  • Higher sensitivity to loading, which may bring the bridge structure closer to the water

HSV-2 Swift, a wave-piercing catamaran, built by Incat in Tasmania, Australia US Navy 031104-N-0000S-001 High Speed Vessel Two (HSV 2) Swift is participating in the West African Training Cruise.jpg

Wave-piercing catamarans (strictly speaking they are trimarans , with a central hull and two outriggers) employ a low-buoyancy bow on each hull that is pointed at the water line and rises aft, up to a level, to allow each hull to pierce waves, rather than ride over them. This allows higher speeds through waves than for a conventional catamaran. They are distinguished from SWATH catamarans, in that the buoyant part of the hull is not tubular. The spanning bridge deck may be configured with some of the characteristics of a normal V-hull, which allows it to penetrate the crests of waves. [45]

Wave-piercing catamaran designs have been employed for yachts, [46] passenger ferries, [47] and military vessels. [48]

Emirates Team New Zealand's AC72 Aotearoa on foils in San Francisco Bay AC72 New Zealand Aotearoa San Francisco 01.jpg

A catamaran configuration fills a niche where speed and sea-kindliness is favored over bulk capacity. In larger vessels, this niche favors car ferries and military vessels for patrol or operation in the littoral zone.

Gitana 13, an ocean-racing catamaran Gitana 13.jpg

Recreational and sport catamarans typically are designed to have a crew of two and be launched and landed from a beach. Most have a trampoline on the bridging structure, a rotating mast and full-length battens on the mainsail. Performance versions often have trapezes to allow the crew to hike out and counterbalance capsize forces during strong winds on certain points of sail. [49]

For the 33rd America's Cup , both the defender and the challenger built 90-foot (27   m) long multihulls. Société Nautique de Genève , defending with team Alinghi , sailed a catamaran. The challenger, BMW Oracle Racing, used a trimaran, replacing its soft sail rig with a towering wing sail —the largest sailing wing ever built. In the waters off Valencia , Spain in February 2010, the BMW Oracle Racing trimaran with its powerful wing sail proved to be superior. This represented a break from the traditional monohulls that had always been sailed in previous America's Cup series. [50]

On San Francisco Bay, the 2013 America's Cup was sailed in 72-foot (22   m) long AC72 catamarans (craft set by the rules for the 2013 America's Cup). Each yacht employed hydrofoils and a wing sail. The regatta was won 9–8 by Oracle Team USA against the challenger, Emirates Team New Zealand , in fifteen matches because Oracle Team USA had started the regatta with a two-point penalty. [51] [52]

Yachting has seen the development of multihulls over 100 feet (30   m) in length. " The Race " helped precipitate this trend; it was a circumnavigation challenge which departed from Barcelona, Spain, on New Year's Eve, 2000. Because of the prize money and prestige associated with this event, four new catamarans (and two highly modified ones) over 100 feet (30   m) in length were built to compete. The largest, PlayStation , owned by Steve Fossett , was 125 feet (38   m) long and had a mast which was 147 feet (45   m) above the water. Virtually all of the new mega-cats were built of pre-preg carbon fiber for strength and the lowest possible weight. The top speeds of these boats can approach 50 knots (58   mph; 93   km/h) . The Race was won by the 33.50   m (109.9   ft) -long catamaran Club Med skippered by Grant Dalton . It went round the globe in 62 days at an average speed of 18 knots (21   mph; 33   km/h) . [53]

Catamarans for whitewater sports. Picture was taken in Altai, Russia Katamarans in Russia.jpg

Whitewater catamaran—sometimes called "cata-rafts"—for whitewater sports are widely spread in post-Soviet countries . They consists of two inflatable hulls connected with a lattice scaffold. The frame of the tourist catamaran can be made of both aluminum (duralumin) pipes and from felled tree trunks. The inflatable part has two layers—an airtight balloon with inflation holes and a shell made of dense tissue, protecting the balloon from mechanical damage. Advantages of such catamarans are light weight, compactness and convenience in transportation (the whole product is packed in one pack-backpack, suitable for air traffic standards) and the speed of assembly (10–15 minutes for the inflation). [54] All-inflatable models are available in North America. [55] A cata-raft design has been used on the Colorado River to handle heavy whitewater, yet maintain a good speed through the water. [56]

A Lagoon cruising catamaran Catamaran de croisiere Lagoon 560.JPG

Cruising sailors must make trade-offs among volume, useful load, speed, and cost in choosing a boat. Choosing a catamaran offers increased speed at the expense of reduced load per unit of cost. Howard and Doane describe the following tradeoffs between cruising monohulls and catamarans: [37] A long-distance, offshore cruising monohull may be as short as 30 feet (9.1   m) for a given crew complement and supporting supplies, whereas a cruising catamaran would need to be 40 feet (12   m) to achieve the same capacity. In addition to greater speed, catamarans draw less water than do monohulls— as little as 3 feet (0.91   m) —and are easier to beach. Catamarans are harder to tack and take up more space in a marina. Cruising catamarans entail added expense for having two engines and two rudders. Tarjan adds that cruising catamarans boats can maintain a comfortable 300 nautical miles (350   mi; 560   km) per day passage, with the racing versions recording well over 400 nautical miles (460   mi; 740   km) per day. In addition, they do not heel more than 10-12 degrees, even at full speed on a reach. [57]

Powered cruising catamarans share many of the amenities found in a sail cruising catamaran. The saloon typically spans two hulls wherein are found the staterooms and engine compartments. As with sailing catamarans, this configuration minimizes boat motion in a seaway. [58]

The Swiss-registered wave-piercing catamaran, Tûranor PlanetSolar , which was launched in March 2010, is the world's largest solar powered boat. It completed a circumnavigation of the globe in 2012. [59]

HSC Francisco; the world's fastest passenger ship Francisco Darsena Norte - 01.jpg

The 1970s saw the introduction of catamarans as high-speed ferries , as pioneered by Westermoen Hydrofoil in Mandal , Norway, which launched the Westamaran design in 1973. [60] The Stena Voyager was an example of a large, fast ferry, typically traveling at a speed of 46 miles per hour (74   km/h) , although it was capable of over 70 miles per hour (110   km/h) . [61]

The Australian island Tasmania became the site of builders of large transport catamarans— Incat in 1977 [62] and Austal in 1988 [63] —each building civilian ferries and naval vessels. Incat built HSC Francisco , a High-Speed trimaran that, at 58 knots, is (as of 2014) the fastest passenger ship in service. [64]

US Naval Ship Spearhead (JHSV-1) during sea trials in 2012 USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) - 1.jpg

The first warship to be propelled by a steam engine, named Demologos or Fulton and built in the United States during the War of 1812 , was a catamaran with a paddle wheel between her hulls.

In the early 20th Century several catamarans were built as submarine salvage ships: SMS Vulkan and SMS Cyclop of Germany , Kommuna of Russia , and Kanguro of Spain , all designed to lift stricken submarines by means of huge cranes above a moon pool between the hulls. Two Cold War-era submarine rescue ships , USS Pigeon and USS Ortolan of the US Navy , were also catamarans, but did not have the moon pool feature.

The use of catamarans as high-speed naval transport was pioneered by HMAS Jervis Bay , which was in service with the Royal Australian Navy between 1999 and 2001. The US Military Sealift Command now operates several Expeditionary Fast Transport catamarans owned by the US Navy; [65] they are used for high speed transport of military cargo, and to get into shallow ports.

The Makar -class is a class of two large catamaran-hull survey ships built for the Indian Navy . As of 2012, one vessel, INS Makar (J31) , was in service and the second was under construction. [66]

First launched in 2004 at Shanghai, the Houbei class missile boat of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has a catamaran design to accommodate the vessel's stealth features. [67]

The Tuo Chiang-class corvette is a class of Taiwanese -designed fast and stealthy multi-mission wave-piercing catamaran corvettes [68] first launched in 2014 for the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy .

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  • List of multihulls

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Multihull</span> Ship or boat with more than one hull

A multihull is a boat or ship with more than one hull, whereas a vessel with a single hull is a monohull. The most common multihulls are catamarans, and trimarans. There are other types, with four or more hulls, but such examples are very rare and tend to be specialised for particular functions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sailing</span> Propulsion of a vehicle by wind power

Sailing employs the wind—acting on sails, wingsails or kites—to propel a craft on the surface of the water , on ice (iceboat) or on land over a chosen course, which is often part of a larger plan of navigation.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Yacht</span> Recreational boat or ship

A yacht is a sailing or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. There is no standard definition, though the term generally applies to vessels with a cabin intended for overnight use. To be termed a yacht , as opposed to a boat , such a pleasure vessel is likely to be at least 33 feet (10 m) in length and may have been judged to have good aesthetic qualities.

A sailboat or sailing boat is a boat propelled partly or entirely by sails and is smaller than a sailing ship. Distinctions in what constitutes a sailing boat and ship vary by region and maritime culture.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trimaran</span> Multihull boat

A trimaran is a multihull boat that comprises a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls which are attached to the main hull with lateral beams. Most modern trimarans are sailing yachts designed for recreation or racing; others are ferries or warships. They originated from the traditional double-outrigger hulls of the Austronesian cultures of Maritime Southeast Asia; particularly in the Philippines and Eastern Indonesia, where it remains the dominant hull design of traditional fishing boats. Double-outriggers are derived from the older catamaran and single-outrigger boat designs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Outrigger</span> Projecting structure on a boat

An outrigger is a projecting structure on a boat, with specific meaning depending on types of vessel. Outriggers may also refer to legs on a wheeled vehicle that are folded out when it needs stabilization, for example on a crane that lifts heavy loads.

A monohull is a type of boat having only one hull, unlike multihulled boats which can have two or more individual hulls connected to one another.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Outrigger boat</span> Boat with one or more lateral support floats

Outrigger boats are various watercraft featuring one or more lateral support floats known as outriggers, which are fastened to one or both sides of the main hull. They can range from small dugout canoes to large plank-built vessels. Outrigger boats can also vary in their configuration, from the ancestral double-hull configuration (catamarans), to single-outrigger vessels prevalent in the Pacific Islands and Madagascar, to the double-outrigger vessels (trimarans) prevalent in Island Southeast Asia. They are traditionally fitted with Austronesian sails, like the crab claw sails and tanja sails, but in modern times are often fitted with petrol engines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Proa</span> Type of multihull sailboat

Proas are various types of multi-hull outrigger sailboats of the Austronesian peoples. The terms were used for native Austronesian ships in European records during the Colonial era indiscriminately, and thus can confusingly refer to the double-ended single-outrigger boats of Oceania, the double-outrigger boats of Island Southeast Asia, and sometimes ships with no outriggers or sails at all.

A small waterplane area twin hull , better known by the acronym SWATH , is a catamaran design that minimizes hull cross section area at the sea's surface. Minimizing the ship's volume near the surface area of the sea, where wave energy is located, minimizes a vessel's response to sea state, even in high seas and at high speeds. The bulk of the displacement necessary to keep the ship afloat is located beneath the waves, where it is less affected by wave action. Wave excitation drops exponentially as depth increases, so wave action normally does not affect a submerged submarine at all. Placing the majority of a ship's displacement under the waves is similar in concept to creating a ship that rides atop twin submarines.

The term beachcat is an informal name for one of the most common types of small recreational sailboats, minimalist 14 to 20 foot catamarans, almost always with a cloth "trampoline" stretched between the two hulls, typically made of fiberglass or more recently rotomolded plastic. The name comes from the fact that they are designed to be sailed directly off a sand beach, unlike most other small boats which are launched from a ramp. The average 8 foot width of the beachcat means it can also sit upright on the sand and is quite stable in this position, unlike a monohull of the same size. The Hobie 14 and Hobie 16 are two of the earliest boats of this type that achieved widespread popularity, and popularized the term as well as created the template for this type of boat.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wave-piercing hull</span> Hull with fine bow with reduced reserve buoyancy

A wave-piercing boat hull has a very fine bow, with reduced buoyancy in the forward portions. When a wave is encountered, the lack of buoyancy means the hull pierces through the water rather than riding over the top, resulting in a smoother ride than traditional designs, and in diminished mechanical stress on the vessel. It also reduces a boat's wave-making resistance.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sailing hydrofoil</span> Sailboat with wing-like foils mounted under the hull

A sailing hydrofoil , hydrofoil sailboat , or hydrosail is a sailboat with wing-like foils mounted under the hull. As the craft increases its speed the hydrofoils lift the hull up and out of the water, greatly reducing wetted area, resulting in decreased drag and increased speed. A sailing hydrofoil can achieve speeds exceeding double and in some cases triple the wind speed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sailing yacht</span> Private sailing vessel with overnight accommodations

A sailing yacht , is a leisure craft that uses sails as its primary means of propulsion. A yacht may be a sail or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. There is no standard definition, so the term applies here to sailing vessels that have a cabin with amenities that accommodate overnight use. To be termed a "yacht", as opposed to a "boat", such a vessel is likely to be at least 33 feet (10 m) in length and have been judged to have good aesthetic qualities. Sailboats that do not accommodate overnight use or are smaller than 30 feet (9.1 m) are not universally called yachts. Sailing yachts in excess of 130 feet (40 m) are generally considered to be superyachts.

VPLP design is a French-based naval architectural firm founded by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost, responsible for designing some of the world's most innovative racing boats. Their designs presently hold many of the World Speed Sailing records.

James Wharram was a British multihull pioneer and designer of catamarans.

The Ocean Bird is a class of trimaran sailboat designed by John Westell and produced by Honnor Marine Ltd. at Totnes, Teignmouth in the 1970s, featuring fold-in lateral floats on a webless steel-beam frame chosen to provide stability against heeling, yet allow a compact footprint in harbour.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kaep</span> Micronesian sailboat

Kaep is a traditional type of double-ended Proa sailboat native to Palau. Some of the essential design elements have also been adopted as a modern smaller multihull prototype variant.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Polynesian multihull terminology</span>

Polynesian multihull terminology , such as "ama", "aka" and "vaka" are multihull terms that have been widely adopted beyond the South Pacific where these terms originated. This Polynesian terminology is in common use in the Americas and the Pacific but is almost unknown in Europe, where the English terms "hull" and "outrigger" form normal parlance. Outriggers, catamarans, and outrigger boats are a common heritage of all Austronesian peoples and predate the Micronesian and Polynesian expansion into the Pacific. They are also the dominant forms of traditional ships in Island Southeast Asian and Malagasy Austronesian cultures, where local terms are used.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Austronesian vessels</span> Sailing vessels of Austronesian peoples

Austronesian vessels are the traditional seafaring vessels of the Austronesian peoples of Taiwan, Maritime Southeast Asia, Micronesia, coastal New Guinea, Island Melanesia, Polynesia, and Madagascar. They also include indigenous ethnic minorities in Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Hainan, the Comoros, and the Torres Strait Islands.

  • ↑ "Origin and meaning of catamaran" . Online Etymology Dictionary . Retrieved March 1, 2019 .
  • ↑ Lück, Michael (2008). The Encyclopedia of Tourism and Recreation in Marine Environments . Wallingford, UK: CABI. p.   86. ISBN   978-1-84593-350-0 .
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  • 1 2 3 Mahdi, Waruno (1999). "The Dispersal of Austronesian boat forms in the Indian Ocean". In Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew (eds.). Archaeology and Language III: Artefacts languages, and texts . One World Archaeology. Vol.   34. Routledge. pp.   144–179. ISBN   0415100542 .
  • 1 2 3 Doran, Edwin B. (1981). Wangka: Austronesian Canoe Origins . Texas A&M University Press. ISBN   9780890961070 .
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  • ↑ Hornell, James (1932). "Was the Double-Outrigger Known in Polynesia and Micronesia? A Critical Study". The Journal of the Polynesian Society . 41 (2 (162)): 131–143.
  • ↑ Kirch, Patrick (2001). Hawaiki . Cambridge University Press. p.   80 . ISBN   978-0-521-78309-5 .
  • ↑ "Model of a twin-hulled ship - William Petty" . Royal Society . Retrieved August 8, 2014 .
  • ↑ "Sailing with an Achilles' keel | General" . Times Higher Education . September 22, 2000 . Retrieved August 8, 2014 .
  • ↑ Bertie Reginald Pearn (1938). A History of Rangoon . Corporation of Rangoon. p.   136.
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  • ↑ Sampsell, Lorillard D. (March 1898), "The Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans" , Outing: Sport, Adventure, Travel Fiction, Volume 31
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  • ↑ Aviación Digital (May 31, 2020). "La "Binave" de Torres Quevedo: El precursor de los modernos catamaranes" . Retrieved June 25, 2024 .
  • ↑ Rodrigo Pérez Fernández. Francisco A. González Redondo. On the origin, foundational designs and first manufacture of the modern catamaran , International Journal of Maritime History , SAGE Publishing , Volume 34, Issue 3, February 1, 2022.
  • ↑ Patentes de invención de Don Leonardo Torres Quevedo , España Registro de la Propiedad Industrial, 1988. ISBN 84-86857-50-3
  • ↑ The Voyage of the Kaimiloa , London, 1940 (translated from French: Kaimiloa   : D'Honolulu à Cannes par l'Australie et Le Cap, à bord d'une double pirogue polynésienne ), Editions Plon, Paris, 1939 ( Au delà des horizons lointains 1 ).
  • ↑ Bird, Vanessa (2013). Classic Classes . A&C Black. p.   65. ISBN   9781408158906 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
  • ↑ Charles E. Kanter (November 2001). "Reviewing the Prout Snowgoose 34 catamaran" . Southwinds Sailing . Archived from the original on May 19, 2006 . Retrieved February 27, 2019 .
  • ↑ Sailor's multihull guide to the best cruising catamarans & trimarans . Jeffrey, Kevin, 1954-, Jeffrey, Nan, 1949-, Kanter, Charles E., 1930- (3rd   ed.). Belfast, P.E.I.: Avalon House. 2002. ISBN   0962756288 . OCLC   51112242 . {{ cite book }} : CS1 maint: others ( link )
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  • ↑ Forbes, John; Young, Jim (2003). "A Brief Tornado History—The Story of the Tornado, the Olympic Catamaran" . International Tornado Class Association . Retrieved January 27, 2016 . .
  • ↑ Nelson, Gunnar (November 15, 2016). "World Sailing confirms Nacra 17 Foiling version for Tokyo 2020" . catsailingnews.com . Catamaran Racing News and Design . Retrieved August 21, 2017 .
  • ↑ Wong, Jonathan (October 18, 2015). "Perfecting their craft" . The Straits Times . Singapore Press Holdings Ltd . Retrieved November 1, 2017 .
  • ↑ "Youth World Sailing Championship – Multihull selection" . sailing.org.au . Australian Sailing . Retrieved August 21, 2017 .
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  • 1 2 Howard, Jim; Doane, Charles J. (2000). Handbook of Offshore Cruising: The Dream and Reality of Modern Ocean Cruising . Sheridan House, Inc. pp.   36–8. ISBN   1574090933 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
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  • 1 2 Watson, D. G. M. (2002). Practical Ship Design . Elsevier Ocean Engineering Book Series. Vol.   1 (Revised   ed.). Gulf Professional Publishing. pp.   47–48. ISBN   0080440541 . See Fig. 2.1 'Slender' and 'Swath' figures.
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  • ↑ Caprio, Dennis (July 2001). "Loomes 83" . Yachting . Vol.   190, no.   1. pp.   81–84. ISSN   0043-9940 . Retrieved January 26, 2016 .
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  • ↑ Brumley, Jeff (October 5, 2011). "Unusual ship visits Mayport after 6-month deployment to African waters" . Florida Times-Union . Jacksonville . Retrieved January 26, 2016 .
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  • ↑ "BMW Oracle wins America's Cup" . ESPN. Associated Press. February 14, 2010 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
  • ↑ "Ben Ainslie's USA beat Team New Zealand in decider" . BBC Sport . September 26, 2013 . Retrieved September 26, 2013 .
  • ↑ "Oracle Team USA completes greatest comeback in America's Cup history, defeating Emirates New Zealand" . New York Daily News . September 25, 2013. Archived from the original on September 29, 2013 . Retrieved September 26, 2013 .
  • ↑ Zimmermann, Tim (2004). The Race: Extreme Sailing and Its Ultimate Event: Nonstop, Round-the-World, No Holds Barred . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN   0547347065 .
  • ↑ Fox, Peter (May 26, 2016). "Cataraft Testing on the Clackamas River" . Northwest Rafting Company . Retrieved March 3, 2019 .
  • ↑ Steelhammer, Rick. "WV guides on US team in world whitewater rafting championship" . Charleston Gazette-Mail . Retrieved March 3, 2019 .
  • ↑ Lindeman, Phil (January 31, 2017). "Take 5: On the Grand Canyon 'cataraft' with the U.S. Whitewater Rafting Team" . Summit Daily . Retrieved March 3, 2019 .
  • ↑ Tarjan, Gregor (2007). Catamarans: The Complete Guide for Cruising Sailors . McGraw Hill. ISBN   9780071596220 . Retrieved January 25, 2016 .
  • ↑ Sass, George Jr. (October 3, 2007). "Lagoon Power 43—An exceptional first powerboat from a builder of sailing cats" . Yachting . Retrieved January 25, 2016 .
  • ↑ Gieffers, Hanna (May 4, 2012). "Ankunft in Monaco: Solarboot schafft Weltumrundung in 584 Tagen" . Spiegel Online (in German) . Retrieved May 5, 2012 .
  • ↑ "First Westamaran Revisited" (PDF) . Classic Fast Ferries. October 7, 2003.
  • ↑ Bowen, David (May 4, 1996). "Forget the tunnel; all the talk on the high seas is of 50   mph (80   km/h) super ferries. And Britain doesn't make any of them" . The Independent . London . Retrieved January 29, 2016 .
  • ↑ "History" . Incat. 2016. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
  • ↑ "Our story" . Austal. 2016 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
  • ↑ Note: Because many of the fast multihull ferries are known as "SeaCats", it is presumed that they are catamarans; in fact they are trimarans with a large centre hull.
  • ↑ "Strategic Sealift (PM3)" . www.msc.navy.mil . Archived from the original on June 27, 2008 . Retrieved November 1, 2015 .
  • ↑ "INS Makar commissioned into the Indian Navy" . Economic Times . September 21, 2012 . Retrieved September 1, 2013 .
  • ↑ Axe, David (August 4, 2011). "China Builds Fleet of Small Warships While U.S. Drifts" . Wired.com . Retrieved February 4, 2012 .
  • ↑ "Taiwan Navy Takes Delivery of First Stealth 'Carrier Killer' Corvette" . December 24, 2014.
  • Marchaj, C. A. (2000). Aero-Hydrodynamics of Sailing . Tiller Publishing. ISBN   1-888671-18-1 .
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Delapierre steers French cat toward a spot in SailGP’s $2 million, winner-take-all Grand Final

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Quentin Delapierre skippered France to finishes of 1-3-3 in a remarkable performance Saturday on San Francisco Bay to move close to advancing to SailGP’s $2 million, winner-take-all Grand Final, the biggest payday in sailing.

Three-time defending SailGP champion Tom Slingsby steered Australia’s Flying Roo 50-foot foiling catamaran to finishes of 5-1-8 to all but assure a spot Sunday in the Grand Final, which will follow the conclusion of the San Francisco regatta.

Peter Burling and the Team New Zealand Black Foils have already secured a spot in the Grand Final after winning five of the previous 12 regattas in Season 4 of tech billionaire Larry Ellison’s global league. The Kiwis finished fourth in all three fleet races and simply need to get through Sunday’s fleet racing in one piece and with no major penalties to move on to the start line of the Grand Final.

Delapierre needs to leapfrog Spain’s Diego Botin in the season standings to reach the three-boat Grand Final. He’s on track after he and his crew had great starts and expertly sailed their catamaran around the course.

Botin came into this regatta in third place overall, five points ahead of Delapierre. But he struggled in the strong wind and had finishes of 7-6-5 to sit in seventh place in the regatta.

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Slingsby won all three previous three SailGP championship races on San Francisco Bay. The prize money was doubled this season from the previous $1 million. San Francisco Bay is also where Slingsby helped Ellison’s Oracle Team USA stage a stunning rally against Emirates Team New Zealand to defend the America’s Cup in 2013.

Bernie Wilson has covered sailing for the AP since 1991.

AP sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports

catamaran sailboat wiki

catamaran sailboat wiki

Catamaran Parts Explained: Interactive Guide (For Beginners)

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Learning a new skill can sometimes be time-consuming, and learning to sail also means learning a new language with tons and tons of new words that, in the beginning, makes no sense at all.

Some of the words you will read about in this article stem from the early days of sailing. Some are only a decade old; in this article, I have tried to compile all the basic terminology that I believe a beginner needs if he or she wants to understand sailing and catamarans.

Feel free to use this article as a resource and come back to it when you want to look something up or just to learn more!

Table of Contents

Main sections on a catamaran

  • Hulls; are what separates a cat from other sailboats, a catamaran has two hulls, a trimaran three, and a regular sailboat, aka monohull, has one. The hull is the part of the sailboat which makes it float and to where all other things are attached. The hulls are usually divided into sections, such as usable and non-usable area. An example of a usable area is the engine room.
  • Cockpit ; is from where the boat is maneuvered; it is to here that all halyards, sheets, etc. go. The cockpit contains navigation and steering equipment and is from where the sails, rudder, and engine are controlled.
  • Deck; is the top part(roof) of a catamaran covering the hulls and bridge deck. The deck is made hard enough to walk on. To the deck, attaches lifelines and other equipment.
  • Sugarscoops ; are the aftmost part that gets their name from their scoop-shaped appearance; this is where the deck/cockpit meets that water and usually encompasses a stair or ladder for easy access depending on the size of the boat.
  • Cabin; is basically any area on the inside of the boat that is protected from the weather and is made to offer the crew space to rest, eat, and hangout. Inside the cabin, you will find berths (beds), a galley (kitchen), and sometimes specialized areas for repairs or storage.
  • Bridgedeck; connects the two hulls; the inside is the cabin, the top part is the deck, and the entire unit is called the bridge deck. Bridge deck clearance, the bridge deck’s height above the water, is an important factor on a catamaran since a too small clearance will create excess noise and vibrations and fatigue not only the crew but also the boat.

Main areas on a catamaran

Bow (front).

Nothing complicated here; the bow is just a nautical term for the foremost part of your boat. This is where the waves and the sea first meet the hull and depending on the type of boat, the bow(s) can be shaped differently.

Center (Middle)

The part between the bow and the stern is rarely called the center part( middle) of a boat; more common is to speak about the specific area situated within the middle part of the vessel, such as the cabin or the mast.

  • Cockpit; as mentioned above, here you will (usually) find everything that you need to maneuver and navigate the boat, such as a compass, GPS, sheets, steering wheel, and throttles for the engines. Some boats may not be set up this way and require you to move around the boat to access certain controls.

Cabin (inside of the boat)

The boat’s interior is where you will find everything that is made for the crew’s enjoyment; it is a place to eat, sleep, rest up, and hide away from nasty weather.

  • Berths; is a bed; sailors need to sleep too!
  • Galley ; is another name for kitchen, usually set up in a very primitive way with a gas stove on a stabilized platform to ensure your food won’t get tossed around.
  • Navstation; or navigation station, is a place, usually with a table, chair, and equipment for planning and logging a journey.

Stern (Back)

Stern is the name for the rearmost part of the boat; there is no clear definition as to where the stern stops and other parts begin, so it is something that the crew will have to figure out on their own through good communication.

Communicating directions on a sailboat

Not only will you have to know the different names of different areas on the boat, but it will also be essential to communicate clearly in what direction something is happening, for example, in a situation where you, the captain, want the crew to observe in a specific direction or pick up a piece of gear somewhere on the boat.

Communication on a sailboat is vital when you want to sail safely and efficiently; here, I have listed the words or phrases used to communicate a direction.

  • Forward; easy as it sounds, it is the same direction as where the bows are pointing. When giving directions towards or beyond the bow, you will use the word “forward” for example; the fender is located forward of the mast.
  • Aft ; is the behind the boat. When you are giving directions towards the stern, you will use the word “aft”; for example, the cockpit is located aft of the mast.
  • Port ; this will be your left side. Fun fact, in the good old days, you would always dock with the port on your left side; hence port is the left side. If you ever forget which one is which, “port” has 4 letters and so has the word”left”!
  • Starboard ; is your right side!

Types of sails

Sails come in very different shapes and sizes and are a science in itself; in this article, I will focus on the mainsail and three common types of staysail.

  • Mainsail; is, per definition, the sail attached to the mast; its sideways movements are controlled by the boom. When the mainsail is triangular in shape, as on most modern sailboats, it is called a Bermuda rig. Most mainsail uses something called battens.
  • Staysail; mainly comes in two versions, a staysail that does not overlap the mainsail is called a jib. A staysail that is larger and thus overlaps the mainsail is called a genoa.
  • Spinnaker ; is a big balloon-like sail that replaces the jib when sailing downwind.

Parts of a sail

  • Luff; the front part of the sail, is connected to the mast through a rail system which makes it possible to hoist or reef.
  • Leech; the back part of the sail.
  • Foot; the bottom part that reaches from the clew to the tack.
  • Clew; back bottom corner.
  • Tack; is the front bottom corner (remember “tacking”?).
  • Head; is the top triangle of the sail and this is where the mainsail halyard attaches.
  • Battens; are pieces of flexible material sewn into the mainsail to increase its aerodynamic shape. Battens can be full length or partial length.

Standing rigging

Everything that keeps the sails and mast upright are parts of the standing rigging; it is comprised of wires, cables, and lightweight metal structures.

  • Forestay; usually a metal wire running from the top of the mast to the bow, is sometimes combined with an inner forestay that connects to the mast at a lower point. If the forestay attaches to the top of the mast, the setup is called a masthead rig; if it attaches lower, it is called a fractional rig.
  • Backstay ; same as the forestay but attaches to the stern; most catamarans do not employ a backstay system but instead moves the side stays aft.
  • Shroud ; much like the forestay but stabilizes the mast sideways and runs from the top to the port or starboard side. Spreaders are used to change the angle of the wire against the mast and better support the mast.
  • Sidestay ; connects to the mast below the shrouds and is not pushed outwards with spreaders. On a catamaran, these attach aft of the mast to eliminate the need for a backstay; this makes it possible for a fully battened mainsail with a large roach.
  • Jumpers; are used on a fractional rig with diamond shrouds to add structural integrity to the mast without adding excess weight.
  • Bowsprit; is a pole amidship at the bow that allows for separation of the tacks (foremost, lower part of the sail) for increasing sail efficiency when using two headsails.

Other stabilizing parts

  • Spreaders; act to lessen the angle between the shrouds and the mast; a wider angle will result in forces acting sideways (stabilizing) instead of up and down (bending). This increases stability and decreases the risk of unwanted bending of the mast.

Running rigging

The running rigging on a catamaran is any piece of equipment used to control the shape of the sails, including what is needed to raise them.

  • Sheet; are the ropes (or wire, cables, etc.) that connect to the clew of a sail; on a catamaran, it connects to the staysail (genoa or jib, depending on the shape).
  • Mainsheet ; is the rope that makes it possible to change the mainsail’s angle; the mainsail can only move in a port to starboard direction(right and left) and not up and down.
  • Staysail sheet ; is called after whatever type of sail it is connected to, i.e., jib sheet or genoa sheet. Worth notice is that since the staysail operates on both sides of the catamaran (depending on if your tacking or gybing), it is connected with two ropes, one for the port side and one for the starboard side.
  • Halyards ; are the ropes that connect to the top of a sail and make hoisting (or raising) possible. Halyards have different names depending on what sail they are raising, such as Mainsail halyard or jib halyard. Not to be confused with sheets that act upon the sail once they are already hoisted. If the staysail is using a roller furling, then “hosting” is done differently.
  • Furling line; is used together with a roller furling and makes it possible to spool up the sail on the forestay instead of raising and lowering. This makes for a faster and easier way to reduce sail area.
  • Reefing lines; reefing is when you lower parts of your sail to reduce the sail area and reduce the boat’s power and speed; reefing lines are put through holes in the mainsail and attach to the boom.
  • Boom vang; is connected between the boom and deck; it is used to change the mainsail’s shape by pulling downward on the boom. (not very common on Catamarans)

In this category, we will look at the hulls and some of the vital parts that attach to them under the waterline.

  • Hulls; differ in their shapes depending on the boat’s purpose, a racing cat would have narrower hulls to reduce drag, and a cruising cat wider hulls to encompass more storage.
  • Rudder; is what changes the direction of the boat. When water passes around the rudders(two on a catamaran), it creates a “pushing force” that makes the boat turn. The rudder is connected to a steering wheel or a tiller at the cockpit through chains and linkage.
  • Centerboard and daggerboards ; are sorts of keels that can be raised or lowered to attain certain sailing characteristics. When the keel is up, drag is lower, and so is the draft (how deep the boat sticks in the water). A small draft makes it possible to travel in very shallow waters. The difference between a daggerboard and a centerboard is that a centerboard swivels into place, and a daggerboard is pulled straight up.
  • Mini-keel; is just what it sounds like; it is a keel but very small (a few inches deep) and has no ballast.
  • Crossbeam ; is a multihull-only feature and keeps the two hulls from moving in relation to each other. If the crossbeam is damaged or nonexistent, the bridge deck is the only thing that keeps the hulls in place. This will increase wear and sooner or later lead to cracks, or even worse, separation of hull and bridge deck.

Most catamarans have two engines, one on each hull aft the stern; usually, they are internal with only the propeller in the water. The other option, which is cheaper and most often found on smaller boats, is to have one outboard engine placed amidship (middle).

  • Inboard ; engines are situated in a compartment inside the boat at the stern. On an inboard engine, the propeller and the shaft are the only parts outside the hull. Sometimes the prop shaft (propeller shaft) is replaced by a sail drive.
  • Outboard ; is a standalone engine usually mounted on the bridge deck amidship(if only one is used) or mounted at the sterns when used in pairs. They are linked together with pushing rods and wires so it can be manipulated from the cockpit.
  • Saildrive ; is a type of gearbox that is quieter and vibrates less than a regular propeller and shaft setup.
  • Propeller and shaft; are the most common and cheapest way to propel your boat. It is basically just a watertight axel that sticks out of the hull, and at the end of it, you’ll find the propeller.

catamaran sailboat wiki

There are so many pieces of gear aboard a catamaran that an all-encompassing article would probably fill up the entire internet. Below I have listed the most common equipment that you will most likely encounter on any sailboat.

  • Winches; makes handling lines and ropes much easier. Instead of pulling them with your bare hands, you loop them around your winch and use the handle to crank. Winches come in mechanical style or electrical style.
  • Anchors ; is basically just a big hook made to stick to the bottom of the sea. Anchors have different shapes and weights depending not only on the seabed but also on the boat’s weight and size.
  • Navigation ; compass, GPS, and maps are all vital pieces of equipment making your trip safe.
  • Cleats ; is any equipment that is made to fasten a rope. Cleats come in different configurations; jam, cam, rope clutch, or the most common horn cleat.
  • Block ; is a device that can be used in pairs as a pulley (to reduce the force needed to lift something) or on its own to reduce the friction of a rope when the rope can not be drawn in a straight line.

catamaran sailboat wiki

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!

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The Leopard Identity

Leopard Catamarans pushes the boundaries of catamaran design.

Evolving from 50 years of customer feedback, Leopard Catamarans has pooled their expertise with builders Robertson and Caine to design today's Leopard range: spacious, robust, performance-driven blue water cruising catamarans. As the worldwide distributor, we’re proud to say that over 2,500 Leopard cats have now been delivered all over the globe. 

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Sailing a New Leopard Home: Leopard 50 Atlantic Crossing

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Power range, introducing the, leopard 50 catamaran, the next generation of leopard catamarans.

Designed as a versatile replacement for the award-winning Leopard 48 (Boat of the Year 2012), the new Leopard 50 is an exciting new cruising sailing catamaran taking the best of Leopard Catamarans’ previous features yet boasting new innovations and design elements both on the exterior and interior.

With naval architecture by Simonis & Voogd Yacht Design, and with exterior and a fresh new look on the interior design by the world-class design team at Robertson and Caine, the Leopard 50 proudly ushers in the next generation of Leopard Catamarans’ style and functionality.

Leopard 50 Sailing

29+ Years of Production Expertise

While the exterior of the yacht has been enhanced, Naval Architect for Simonis Voogd Design, Alexander Simonis, tells us this:

“Most of the work has been done ‘under the bonnet’ so to say by advances made in the construction geometry of the new 50. To create the beautiful open plan layouts and the nearly 360-degree view from the saloon area while at the same time have a strong and stiff yacht which is not too heavy requires advanced engineering solutions.

The new Leopard 50 makes use of carbon-infused ring frames in the most critical areas to achieve this. This type of construction has been pioneered on the larger all carbon racing catamarans and is now successfully being applied in this Leopard cruising catamaran so that we can offer the best possible mix between comfort, space and performance.”

The perfect blend of comfort and style.

“Stepping onboard the L50 will reveal an interior that is contemporary in style, with a focus that blends aesthetic detail with functionality.

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- Michael Robertson, Tampa Design Team

Leopard 50 Interior

The innovative flybridge on the Leopard 50 includes a lounge area, a sunbed and shade awning. Access to the flybridge is provided by floating stairs leading up from the aft cockpit. While under sail, passengers can move about the flybridge with ample headroom and never worry about interference from the boom.

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Leopard 50 Specifications

15.4 m 50 ft 6 in
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8.04 m 26 ft 5 in
1.61 m 5 ft 3 in
23.51 m 77 ft 2 in
1.01 m 3 ft 4 in

Engine Specifications

2x 57 hp Yanmar Diesel
4
920 L / 243 gal
3‐blade: 460 x 356 mm / 18 in x 14 in

Sail Specifications

90.3 sqm 972 sqft
95.5 sqm 1028 sqft
63.9 sqm 688 sqft
90.1 sqm 970 sqft
154.2 sqm 1660 sqft

Load Specifications

700 L 185 gal
20600 kg 45415 lbs
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Seawind 1600

CRUISING CATAMARANS FOR REAL SAILORS

Seawind Catamarans have long been Australia’s most popular cruising catamaran designs. With over 35 years experience in building the highest quality blue water catamarans. As already discovered by our growing family of adventurous and like minded Seawind fans the world over, a Seawind boat could be the ideal sailing catamaran for you and your family!

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What's in a seawind .

Seawind Catamarans is in continuous development with every new boat model, building on the knowledge and success of previous designs. Every catamaran yacht is the result of hundreds of collective years of multihull experience, and the best construction techniques the world has to offer. Seawind Catamarans uses Resin Infusion Technology to produce a lighter, stronger, and cleaner product. In partnership with High Modulus and DIAB technologies, the complex infusion implementation process was developed using a 3D simulated flow model (pictured here) to ensure that best quality and consistency is achieved with every new Seawind sailboat.

PROVEN RELIABILITY FIRST & FOREMOST

Every Seawind sailing catamaran is built for cruising practicality, but delivered on a platform of fast, performance hulls with a fine bow entry and strong stiff construction. Poise is combined with power in the shape of a relatively powerful sail area, providing a power to weight ratio to set pulses racing.  This additional power delivers the speed to bring significantly more destinations within reach, satisfying a modern market which may need to fit “extended” cruising into only a few weeks or months. But in all of the 600 catamaran boats launched, not one has ever suffered a rig failure or have we ever experienced a capsize.  Seawind catamaran yachts are built on a track record of success.

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PROTECTED SAFE STEERING

Dual helm stations are found on every Seawind Catamarans sailboat, and they offer 360-degree visibility, even on the largest Seawind 1600 model.  This allows the skipper to sail safely in crowded harbor conditions, and to keep an eye on the crew when offshore. Large targa tops offer protection from the harsh offshore conditions, both sun and rain, while panoramic opening windows provide ventilation as well as visibility.  Seawind Catamarans boats offer the protection of a pilothouse yacht, with the visibility and helming advantages of a sailing catamaran.

INDOOR/ OUTDOOR LIVING

The famous Australian indoor / outdoor, open lifestyle is entrenched in Seawind Catamarans designs, with an unbeatable living area complimented by brilliant natural ventilation, protected cockpit lounge, and social helm seats putting the skipper in control as well as in the conversation. Best of all, you can enjoy what many catamaran sailboats compromise on… visibility – for the skipper and crew, with 360 degree views from the helm and saloon seats all within the protection of the fiberglass coachouse and targa top.

Seawind 1370 Hull 1 Test Report by Skipper & Thailand Customer Service Manager, Phil Harper.

Seawind 1370 Hull 1 Test Report by Skipper & Thailand Customer Service Manager, Phil Harper.

Seawind Catamarans to open Production Facility and European Service Center in Izmir, Turkey.

Seawind Catamarans to open Production Facility and European Service Center in Izmir, Turkey.

Beachability:  Mini-keels or fixed rudders

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COMMENTS

  1. Catamaran

    A catamaran ( / ˌkætəməˈræn /) (informally, a "cat") is a watercraft with two parallel hulls of equal size. The distance between a catamaran's hulls imparts resistance to rolling and overturning. Catamarans typically have less hull volume, smaller displacement, and shallower draft (draught) than monohulls of comparable length.

  2. International A-class catamaran

    The official organisation for the A-Class catamaran is the IACA (International A division Catamarans Association). The A-Class rules were expanded over time to prevent the cost of these boats from rising too high and to ensure fairness in racing. Currently the main A-Class rules are: [3] Min overall boat weight : 75 kg / 165.3 lbs.

  3. Nacra Sailing

    Nacra Sailing is a Dutch company that manufactures a line of small catamaran sailboats, or beachcats. NACRA was founded in 1975 to tap into the market created by Hobie Alter the founder of Hobie Cat, and several other companies offering small fiberglass catamarans designed to be sailed off the beach by a crew of one or two.. NACRA is an acronym that stands for North American Catamaran Racing ...

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

    A catamaran is a twin-hull boat with two equally-sized hulls placed side by side. They're powered by engines, sails, or both—and they're known for efficiency and speed. Catamarans are the most common kind of multihull boat. In this article, we'll go over the characteristics of catamarans and how to differentiate them from other types of ...

  5. Catamaran

    catamaran, twin-hulled sailing and powered boat developed for sport and recreation in the second half of the 20th century. Its design is based on a raft of two logs bridged by planks that had earlier been used by peoples in the Indonesian archipelago and throughout Polynesia and Micronesia. Early catamarans were up to 21.3 metres (70 feet) long, originally paddled by many men, and used for ...

  6. Catamarans: A Complete Guide to Multihull Boats

    One notable brand is Fountaine Pajot, which has a long history of producing a range of sailing catamarans and power catamarans. Some of their popular models include the Tanna 47 and the Bali 4.4. Another high-performance catamaran I've come across is the Leopard 40. Known for their speed and exceptional handling in various conditions, the ...

  7. A Complete Catamaran Guide

    A catamaran is a dual hull boat. In other words, it has two hulls. A trimaran has three hulls. Is a catamaran considered a yacht? According to Oxford dictionary, a yacht is a medium-sized sailboat equipped for cruising or racing. A catamaran, on the other hand, is a boat with two hulls. Therefore, a catamaran can most certainly also be a yacht.

  8. 12 Best Catamaran Sailboats

    Gunboat 62. gunboat_catamarans. 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.

  9. A Beginner's Guide to Catamarans

    A catamaran offers flat, even decks, wide, safe passages, and no climbing when having to move from bow to stern. Tips for Sailing a Catamaran. With its large area exposed to wind and its low draft, a sailing catamaran can drift off easily so anchoring should be performed as swiftly as possible, especially if the wind blows from the side.

  10. Son of the late inventor of the modern catamaran follows in his father

    Woody Brown Jr. is the keeper of a family legacy. The treasure in his chest is a twin-hulled sailing craft commonly called a catamaran.

  11. What Is a Catamaran? Things You Need to Know

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

  12. Learn How to Sail a Catamaran: Beginner's Guide

    Here are some key points to consider about sails and rigging: 1. Sail design: The design of the sails, including their size, shape, and material, plays a significant role in the catamaran's performance. High-performance racing catamarans often have larger, more efficient sails that generate greater speed. 2.

  13. List of sailing boat types

    The following is a partial list of sailboat types and sailing classes, including keelboats, dinghies and multihull (catamarans and trimarans). Olympic classes Laser. ... Nacra Sailing: Phantom 14 (catamaran) 1995: Centro Nautico Adriatico: Phantom 16 (catamaran) 1988: Centro Nautico Adriatico: Phoenix 18: 1964: Dick Gibbs Rod Macalpine-Downie:

  14. Mastering Catamaran Sailing: Essential Guide & Tips to Navigate the Waters

    Understanding the Basics of a Catamaran. Understanding the basics of a catamaran is essential for safe and enjoyable sailing. A catamaran is a boat with two parallel hulls connected by a deck. It has advantages over monohull boats. Catamarans are stable due to their wide beam, reducing the risk of capsizing.They can access shallow waters because of their shallow drafts.

  15. Mastering Catamaran Sailing: Learn How to Sail a Catamaran like a Pro

    Understanding the Basics of a Catamaran. A catamaran is a boat with two parallel hulls connected by a bridge. Understanding the basics of a catamaran is important to fully enjoy the unique sailing experience it offers. These hulls provide stability and reduce drag, enabling higher speeds. Catamarans are used for sailing, cruising, and racing.. The design allows for a spacious interior layout ...

  16. Catamaran

    A carved and painted voyaging catamaran with tanja sails of the Micronesian inhabitants of Hermit Islands, Bismarck Archipelago (c. 1914) 1827 depiction of Tahitian pahi war-canoes. Catamaran-type vessels were an early technology of the Austronesian peoples.Early researchers like Heine-Geldern (1932) and Hornell (1943) once believed that catamarans evolved from outrigger canoes, but modern ...

  17. Delapierre steers French cat toward a spot in SailGP's $2 million

    Delapierre needs to leapfrog Spain's Diego Botin in the season standings to reach the three-boat Grand Final. He's on track after he and his crew had great starts and expertly sailed their catamaran around the course. Botin came into this regatta in third place overall, five points ahead of Delapierre.

  18. Catamaran Parts Explained: Interactive Guide (For Beginners)

    Hulls; are what separates a cat from other sailboats, a catamaran has two hulls, a trimaran three, and a regular sailboat, aka monohull, has one. The hull is the part of the sailboat which makes it float and to where all other things are attached. The hulls are usually divided into sections, such as usable and non-usable area.

  19. Leopard Catamarans US

    The Leopard Identity. Leopard Catamarans pushes the boundaries of catamaran design. Evolving from 50 years of customer feedback, Leopard Catamarans has pooled their expertise with builders Robertson and Caine to design today's Leopard range: spacious, robust, performance-driven blue water cruising catamarans. As the worldwide distributor, we ...

  20. Hobie Cat

    Two Hobie Cats sailing in St Vaast, Normandy, France. Hobie Cat is a company that manufactures watercraft and other products as the Hobie Cat Company. "Hobie Cat" can also refer to specific products of the company, notably its sailing catamarans.Its fiberglass catamaran models range in nominal length between 14 feet (4.3 m) and 18 feet (5.5 m). ...

  21. Leopard 50 Catamaran

    Designed as a versatile replacement for the award-winning Leopard 48 (Boat of the Year 2012), the new Leopard 50 is an exciting new cruising sailing catamaran taking the best of Leopard Catamarans' previous features yet boasting new innovations and design elements both on the exterior and interior. With naval architecture by Simonis & Voogd ...

  22. Home

    Gunboat 72 Caribbean Cruising. The Gunboat team, from its shipyard in La Grande Motte (France), build high-performance and elegant yachts made for cruising and regattas.

  23. Seawind Catamarans

    Seawind Catamarans have long been Australia's most popular cruising catamaran designs. With over 35 years experience in building the highest quality blue water catamarans. As already discovered by our growing family of adventurous and like minded Seawind fans the world over, a Seawind boat could be the ideal sailing catamaran for you and your ...

  24. Sailing at the 2024 Summer Olympics

    Medal Events and Equipment. For the Men's Single-handed Dinghy event, the equipment will be the ILCA 7; For the Women's Single-handed Dinghy event, the equipment will be the ILCA 6; For the Mixed Double-handed Dinghy event, the equipment will be the 470; For the Mixed Foiling Catamaran event, the equipment will be the Nacra 17; For the Men's Skiff event, the equipment will be the 49er

  25. Lagoon catamaran

    Lagoon catamaran is a brand of twin-hulled boats that are designed and produced in Bordeaux, France.. The company began in 1984 as a specialist multihull division of Jeanneau, a volume monohull constructor. Jeanneau sold the division to Construction Navale Bordeaux (CNB), which was purchased by Beneteau in 1995, another French boat manufacturer.. Lagoon, the world's largest multihull builder ...

  26. Trimaran

    USA-17—a 90-foot-long (27 m) trimaran, type BOR90. A traditional paraw double-outrigger sailboat from the Philippines. A trimaran (or double-outrigger) is a multihull boat that comprises a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls (or "floats") which are attached to the main hull with lateral beams. Most modern trimarans are sailing yachts designed for recreation or racing; others are ...