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Catamaran

Catamaran

What a catamaran is, and its advantages and disadvantages compared to a monohull sailing yacht.
What a catamaran is, and its advantages and disadvantages compared to a monohull sailing yacht.

The popularity of catamarans is sky-rocketing. Originally, catamarans were only rented out in more exotic locations, but now you can find them at most charter centres across the Mediterranean Sea. The catamaran differs from a monohull sailboat by having twin hulls - two large floats that are connected to a large main deck.

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Who catamarans are suitable for

  • families with children
  • parties
  • weddings

A boat that does not heel over

If you are looking for a sailing yacht where glasses won’t fall off the table when you are sailing, a catamaran is the ideal boat for you. A high level of stability is achieved by the width of the boat. The hulls are spaced in such a way as to guarantee sufficient stability to the vessel, whatever the weather. If you set sail as the skipper of a catamaran, you must carefully follow the instructions defining the wind conditions when you must lower the sails. You will then be on the safest and most comfortable of boats.

Controlling the sails simplified to the maximum

The sails on a catamaran are similar to a monohull sailing yacht, but even simpler. The catamaran is fitted with one mast and two sails. The front sail (the genoa or the foresail) rolls up and the main sail is usually a conventional full batten main sail.

Small roll-up foresail

A smaller genoa or foresail is used on catamarans compared to monohull sailing yachts, and working with it is also simpler. When turning, pulling it from side to side is very easy.

Large main sail

The main sail on a catamaran is large and is the most important sail used to power the boat. An electric winch is used to pull this up on the larger catamarans.

Comfortable accommodation on a catamaran

There are separate cabins in both hulls which offer an unprecedented level of privacy. One double cabin is located in the bow and another double cabin at the stern. There is a large bathroom with toilet between the cabins, or each cabin has its own separate bathroom with toilet. Storage space can also be found right at the bow which is often used as another, single berth. The standard layout of a catamaran is four cabins with two small berths in the bow.

The deck structure houses a spacious lounge with a galley and navigation corner. The whole deck structure is glazed with large windows and connected to the cockpit by large sliding glass doors. The very spacious cockpit is set at the same height as the lounge and galley. The galley is equipped with a three-hob gas cooker with an oven, fridge and freezer, double sink, and a full set of dishes.

Catamarans in exotic locations (the Caribbean Sea, Malaysia, Thailand, Tonga, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia and so on) are usually equipped with solar panels and a desalinator used to make fresh water. The boat is thus completely self-sufficient and will produce enough fresh water for the entire cruise.

Life on a catamaran takes place on deck and there is no need to go to the inner hulls. You only go there to sleep or rest in privacy.

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Catamaran accommodation

Advantages of a catamaran

  • It almost doesn’t heel over at all and sailing on it is more comfortable than on a monohull sailing yacht.
  • It provides a significantly greater level of privacy than a monohull sailing yacht.
  • It is faster on all courses except for close-hauled courses compared to a monohull sailing yacht.
  • It is much more spacious. The cockpit, lounge and galley are on one level.
  • There is a lot more space on deck for sunbathing and resting than on a monohull sailing yacht.

Disadvantages of a catamaran

  • You don’t experience that immediate feeling of sailing when the boat heels over and starts to slide over the waves. A true, adrenaline-filled experience and enjoyment of sailing is really only offered by a monohull sailing yacht.
  • Higher price compared to a monohull sailing yacht.
  • More expensive mooring in yacht harbours compared to a monohull sailing yacht.
  • Worse sailing properties when sailing sharply upwind.

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