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.

ship catamaran size

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 .

ship catamaran size

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 .

ship catamaran size

Multihulls vs Monohulls

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

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

Performance and Handling

Speed and Efficiency

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

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

Sailing Dynamics

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

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

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

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

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

Maneuvering and Docking

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

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

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

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

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

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

Safety and Comfort on Board

Safety Features

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

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

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

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

Living Spaces and Comfort

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

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

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

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

Maintaining a Catamaran

Routine Maintenance

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

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

Dealing with Wear and Tear

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

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

Catamaran Brands and Models

High-Performance Models

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

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

Cruising Catamarans

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

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

The Catamaran Lifestyle

Anchoring and Cruising

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

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

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

Living on a Catamaran Full-time

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

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

Choosing Your Catamaran

Comparing Models and Features

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

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

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

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


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

New vs. Second-Hand

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

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

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

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

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

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

Learning Resources

Books and Manuals

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

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

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

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

Here are a few more books that I find valuable:

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

Online Content and Photography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

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

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

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

How do catamarans perform in rough sea conditions?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catamarans offer several advantages for long-distance cruising.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ship catamaran size

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A complete catamaran guide.

  • Post Written By: Boater Jer
  • Published: January 26, 2020
  • Updated: November 27, 2020

A family enjoys some leisure time in the waters behind their luxury catamaran.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

159 x 35 / 15 = 371

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

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

Photo courtesy of

Commercial Catamarans – Service Vehicles

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

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

ship catamaran size

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.

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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.  

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

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

Which is safer, a catamaran or a monohull?

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

Are catamarans safer than sailboats?

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

How fast can catamarans go?

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

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


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

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Sail Away Blog

Choosing the Perfect Size Catamaran for Your World Sailing Adventure

Alex Morgan

ship catamaran size

Sailing around the world is a dream for many adventurers, and choosing the right catamaran size is crucial for a successful and enjoyable journey. A catamaran, with its stability, spaciousness, and ability to navigate shallow waters, is an ideal choice for long-distance cruising. In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when selecting a catamaran size for sailing around the world and the options available. We will also discuss important features and considerations, including stability, storage capacity, sailing performance, crew requirements, and cost. personal considerations such as budget, sailing experience, comfort, and navigational plans will be taken into account. We will provide some valuable tips for preparing and sailing a catamaran around the world, including safety measures, navigational tools, provisioning, weather monitoring, and communication. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or embarking on your first long-distance voyage, this guide will help you make an informed decision about choosing the right catamaran size for your global sailing adventure.

Key takeaway:

  • Choosing the right catamaran size is crucial for sailing around the world. Factors like length, beam, draft, and displacement need to be considered.
  • There are different size options available for catamarans, including small, medium-sized, and large ones, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
  • Features like stability, storage capacity, sailing performance, crew requirements, cost, and maintenance should be evaluated when selecting a catamaran size.
  • Personal considerations such as budget, sailing experience, comfort, and navigational plans also play a significant role in determining the ideal catamaran size.
  • Preparation for sailing a catamaran around the world involves safety equipment, navigational tools, provisioning, water management, weather monitoring, and communication.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Catamaran Size

When it comes to sailing around the world, choosing the right catamaran size is crucial. In this section, we’ll dive into the key factors to consider when making this decision. From the length and beam to the draft and displacement, each sub-section will uncover essential aspects that can impact your sailing adventure. So, let’s sail through these factors and discover the perfect catamaran size to conquer the open seas!

The length of a catamaran is important when choosing a vessel for sailing around the world. It affects the boat’s performance and functionality . Consider the table below that shows the different lengths of catamarans and their characteristics :

Less than 40 feet Smaller size allows for easier maneuverability and access to shallow areas. Increased agility during docking or anchoring.
40 to 50 feet Offers a balance between agility and living space. Provides sufficient room for amenities and storage while maintaining manageable handling.
More than 50 feet Provides spacious accommodations and ample storage for extended voyages. Offers stability and comfort due to a larger hull surface area.

When considering the length of a catamaran, it is essential to factor in personal preferences and needs. A longer catamaran may offer more space and stability but might be harder to maneuver in tight spaces. On the other hand, a shorter catamaran may offer better maneuverability but have limited space for amenities and storage.

Let’s share a true story about catamaran length. John , an experienced sailor, chose a 45-foot catamaran for his journey around the world. The moderate length allowed him to comfortably accommodate his family while still offering ease of handling. He appreciated the balance between agility and living space that the 45-foot catamaran provided, making his sailing adventure enjoyable and fulfilling.

When considering the size of a catamaran for sailing around the world, it is essential to take into account the beam . The beam , which refers to the width of the catamaran measured from one hull to the other, plays a crucial role in the stability and living space of the boat.

Smaller catamarans generally have a smaller beam , resulting in less spacious living quarters and potentially reduced stability. They compensate by being more maneuverable, and they also have lower initial costs and maintenance requirements.

For those seeking a balance between living space and stability, medium-sized catamarans with a moderate beam are an excellent choice. They are easy to handle, offer a good combination of living space and stability, and come at a reasonable cost in terms of both purchase and maintenance.

Large catamarans, with their wider beams , provide generous living spaces and enhanced stability. They may be slightly less maneuverable compared to smaller and medium-sized catamarans. They generally come with higher initial costs and maintenance requirements.

By considering your priorities regarding living space, stability, maneuverability, and budget, you can determine the appropriate beam size for your catamaran when embarking on a journey around the world.

When selecting a catamaran size for sailing around the world, the draft becomes a crucial consideration. The draft pertains to the vertical measurement from the waterline to the deepest region of the hull, including the keels or daggerboards.

– Opting for a shallower draft proves advantageous for navigating shallow bodies of water, such as coastal areas , lagoons , and coral reefs . A catamaran with a draft ranging from about 2 to 4 feet proves fitting for these particular conditions.

– A moderate draft achieves a desirable equilibrium between stability and performance . Catamarans with drafts ranging from 4 to 6 feet demonstrate versatility and aptitude in a broad array of sailing conditions.

– A deeper draft confers benefits in terms of improved upwind performance and stability amid rough seas. Catamarans with a draft of at least 6 feet emerge as a superior choice for offshore passages and ocean crossings.

– The draft of the catamaran also exercises influence on anchoring possibilities. A shallower draft allows for access to more shallow anchorages, whereas a deeper draft might necessitate anchoring farther from the shore.

Historical records illustrate the evolution of catamaran drafts over time. Early catamarans possessed comparably shallow drafts suited for coastal cruising. Nonetheless, advancements in design and technology facilitated the adoption of deeper drafts, thereby enhancing stability and performance. Presently, catamarans offer diverse draft options that cater to various sailing preferences and destinations.


When choosing a catamaran for sailing around the world, one important factor is displacement . Displacement refers to the weight of the water a catamaran displaces when floating.

Size of Catamaran Displacement

Small 10,000 to 20,000 pounds

Medium-sized 20,000 to 40,000 pounds

Large 40,000 to 60,000 pounds

The displacement of a catamaran affects its stability and how it handles waves and rough weather. A catamaran with higher displacement will generally have better stability and a smoother ride in challenging conditions.

It is important to note that higher displacement also means a larger and heavier catamaran, which can impact maneuverability and sailing performance. Smaller catamarans with lower displacement may be easier to handle and more nimble.

Ultimately, the choice of catamaran size and displacement depends on personal preferences, experience, and sailing goals. Factors such as budget, comfort, and navigational plans should be considered when making a decision.

Catamaran Size Options for Sailing Around the World

When it comes to sailing around the world, choosing the right catamaran size is essential. In this section, we’ll discuss the different catamaran size options available for this grand adventure. From small catamarans designed for maneuverability to medium-sized ones offering a balance of comfort and speed, and finally, large catamarans ideal for luxurious long-distance voyages. Join us as we explore the world of catamarans and find the perfect vessel for your nautical journey of a lifetime.

Small Catamarans

When considering small catamarans for sailing around the world, keep in mind:

– Length: Small catamarans range from 30 to 40 feet . These compact sizes make them easier to handle and maneuver in tight spaces.

– Beam: The beam, or width, of a small catamaran is usually around 15 to 20 feet . This provides stability and ample space for living and storage.

– Draft: The draft, or depth, of a small catamaran is typically shallow, ranging from 2 to 4 feet . This allows for navigation in shoal waters and easy anchoring.

– Displacement: Small catamarans have a lighter displacement compared to larger ones, typically ranging from 8,000 to 12,000 pounds . This allows for increased speed and agility.

One true story highlights the benefits of small catamarans . John and Jane sailed around the world on their 35-foot catamaran . The compact size of their small catamaran allowed them to access remote anchorages and explore hidden coves that larger vessels couldn’t reach. The shallow draft of their small catamaran also allowed them to navigate safely through coral reefs and shallow lagoons. The smaller size made it more manageable for just the two of them to handle all aspects of sailing. Their small catamaran provided them with comfort, ease of handling, and the ability to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Medium-sized Catamarans

When selecting a catamaran of medium size, it is important to take into consideration various factors. These factors include:

Length: Medium-sized catamarans are typically between 40 and 50 feet in length. This size provides a good balance between spaciousness and maneuverability.

Beam: Medium-sized catamarans have a beam measurement of approximately 22 to 25 feet. This width ensures stability, which is essential for long-distance cruising.

Draft: The draft of medium-sized catamarans usually ranges from 4 to 6 feet. This shallow depth enables versatile sailing in different locations.

Displacement: Medium-sized catamarans typically weigh between 15,000 and 25,000 pounds. This weight range offers a harmonious combination of speed and comfort.

When making a decision on a medium-sized catamaran, it is crucial to consider your specific needs and preferences. Factors that should be taken into account include budget, living space requirements, and navigational plans. By thoroughly assessing these factors, you will be able to find a medium-sized catamaran that perfectly aligns with your sailing aspirations, no matter where in the world you wish to explore.

Large Catamarans

Large catamarans are the perfect choice for those looking to sail around the world. These magnificent vessels offer a plethora of advantages. They provide an abundance of living and storage space, ensuring utmost comfort during long journeys. Furthermore, large catamarans exhibit excellent stability even in rough seas, making them a safer option for extended offshore sailing .

Let’s take a look at a table that compares some key features of large catamarans :

Large catamarans are particularly suitable for individuals who prioritize space , comfort , and stability . It is crucial to consider the specific needs and preferences of the crew. For instance, a larger crew may be required to handle the size and complexity of a large catamaran .

Fun fact: Large catamarans often boast advanced navigation systems and modern amenities such as spacious cabins, lounges, and entertainment areas. These luxurious features provide sailors with an unparalleled experience while exploring the vast oceans of the world.

Catamaran Features and Considerations

When it comes to choosing the right catamaran for sailing around the world, understanding the key features and considerations is crucial. In this section, we’ll dive into the factors that can make or break your journey. From the stability that ensures a smooth ride to the storage capacity for all your essentials, we’ll cover it all. Plus, we’ll explore the catamaran’s sailing performance, crew requirements, and the cost and maintenance involved. Get ready to set sail with confidence!

Stability is important when choosing a catamaran for sailing around the world. A stable catamaran provides a comfortable and safe experience on long ocean passages. Here are some important points to consider:

1. Hull design: Look for catamarans with a wider beam for better stability. A wider beam offers a solid foundation and reduces the chances of capsizing.

2. Weight distribution: Proper weight distribution is crucial for stability. A well-balanced catamaran has evenly distributed weight across both hulls, ensuring stability at anchor and underway.

3. Center of gravity: The height of the center of gravity plays a significant role in stability. A lower center of gravity enhances stability, making the catamaran less prone to rolling in rough seas.

4. Bridge deck clearance: Bridge deck clearance is the distance between the bottom of the bridgedeck and the water. Sufficient clearance reduces the chances of ‘slamming’ when encountering waves, improving stability.

5. Wave-piercing bows: Some catamarans have wave-piercing bows that cut through waves instead of riding over them. This design can help enhance stability and reduce pitching in rough conditions.

Pro-tip: Find the right balance between stability and performance. While a highly stable catamaran is comfortable, it may sacrifice speed and maneuverability. Evaluate your sailing goals and prioritize stability accordingly.

Storage and Capacity

When considering storage and capacity on a catamaran, factors to take into account include:

  • Storage Space: Evaluate the available storage space for belongings, provisions, and equipment.
  • Cargo Capacity: Consider the maximum weight capacity for supplies, fuel, and water.
  • Cabin Layout: Assess the number and size of cabins to ensure enough sleeping space.
  • Deck Space: Consider the usable deck space for lounging, socializing, and storing equipment.
  • Accessibility: Check if storage areas are easily accessible and secure against rough weather.
  • Weight Distribution: Ensure even storage space distribution for stability and performance.

A true story highlights the importance of storage and capacity. A couple on a world sailing adventure underestimated their storage needs. The limited space caused inefficiency and frustration. This taught them the valuable lesson of considering storage and capacity for a smooth sailing experience.

Sailing Performance

Sail Area: The sail area of a catamaran greatly impacts its sailing performance, allowing for higher speeds and improved maneuverability in various wind conditions. The larger sail area provides better control and enhances the overall performance of the catamaran.

Hull Design: The design of the catamaran’s hull plays a critical role in optimizing its sailing performance. A sleek and streamlined hull reduces drag, enabling the catamaran to achieve faster speeds and increased efficiency during sailing.

Weight Distribution: Proper weight distribution is essential to ensure optimal sailing performance . A well-balanced catamaran with the correct weight distribution between the hulls maximizes stability and speed, ensuring smooth and efficient sailing .

Rigging and Sail Controls: The rigging and sail controls have a significant impact on the catamaran’s sailing performance. Efficient systems for adjusting sail shape, tension, and trim enable better control and enhance overall performance on the water.

Keel and Daggerboard: The keel or daggerboard on a catamaran provide stability and prevent lateral drift. The design and positioning of these components affect the catamaran’s ability to sail upwind and greatly influence its overall performance.

Fact: A well-designed and properly maintained catamaran can reach speeds of up to 25 knots or more , making it an ideal choice for those seeking exhilarating sailing performance on their journeys around the world.

Crew Requirements

When considering crew requirements for sailing a catamaran around the world, several factors need to be taken into account. These factors include experience, skills, physical fitness, teamwork, and emergency training.

A crew with sailing experience is important, especially for long-distance journeys. Crew members should have a good understanding of navigation, seamanship, and boat handling. Each crew member should possess the necessary skills for tasks like sailing, cooking, maintenance, and repairs. It is beneficial to have a diverse skill set within the crew.

Sailing around the world requires physical endurance , as crew members may need to perform physically demanding tasks, especially in challenging weather conditions or when handling sails. A harmonious and cooperative crew is essential for a successful voyage. Good communication, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work together as a team are crucial.

All crew members should be familiar with emergency procedures and have undergone appropriate safety training, including knowledge of life-saving equipment, man-overboard drills, and first aid. Ensuring that the crew meets these requirements contributes to a safe and enjoyable sailing experience around the world.

Cost and Maintenance

When considering the cost and maintenance of a catamaran for sailing around the world, keep in mind the following factors:

1. Initial cost: Catamarans can range in price from $100,000 to several million dollars, depending on size, brand, and condition.

2. Insurance: The cost of insuring a catamaran can vary based on factors such as boat value, navigational area, and owner’s experience.

3. Maintenance and repairs: Regular maintenance, including hull cleaning, engine servicing, and sail inspections, is required for catamarans. The cost of these tasks can add up over time.

4. Fuel: The cost of fuel for a catamaran can vary depending on the size and type of engines. Consider fuel consumption when budgeting for long-distance sailing.

5. Marina fees: Catamaran owners often have to pay mooring or berthing fees when docked in marinas. The cost can differ depending on location and facilities available.

Considering the cost and maintenance of a catamaran is crucial when planning to sail around the world. It is recommended to calculate a realistic budget that takes into account not only the initial purchase price, but also ongoing expenses. Research and obtain quotes for insurance, understand the cost of regular maintenance and repairs, and factor in fuel and marina fees to ensure a smooth and enjoyable sailing experience without any financial surprises.

Personal Considerations for Choosing Catamaran Size

When it comes to choosing the right catamaran size for sailing around the world, there are a few personal considerations to keep in mind. From budget and financing to sailing experience and skill level, comfort and living space, as well as navigational plans and destinations, each aspect plays a crucial role. So, let’s dive in and explore how these factors can influence the decision-making process and ensure a smooth and enjoyable voyage.

Budget and Financing

When selecting a catamaran for sailing around the world, it is essential to consider budget and financing. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

1. Initial Cost: Take into account the total expense of buying a catamaran, including any customizations or upgrades.

2. Maintenance and Upkeep: Remember to think about the ongoing costs associated with maintaining and repairing the catamaran, such as regular inspections, hull cleaning, engine maintenance, and equipment replacement.

3. Insurance: Factor in the cost of insurance, which can vary based on the size and value of the catamaran, as well as your sailing experience.

4. Mooring and Marina Fees: Plan for the expenses related to docking the catamaran at marinas or moorings. Fees may vary depending on the location and duration of your stay.

5. Operating Costs: Set aside a budget for fuel, water, provisions, and other day-to-day expenses while sailing. Consider the length of your planned voyage and the destinations you intend to visit.

6. Financing Options: Take the time to explore different financing options, such as loans or lease agreements, to determine the most suitable and affordable way to acquire a catamaran.

Pro-tip: Prior to finalizing your budget, conduct thorough research on the used catamaran market. Purchasing a used catamaran can result in significant cost savings compared to buying a brand new one. Consider joining sailing forums or communities to gain insights from experienced sailors on how to optimize your budget and financing for your sailing adventure.

Sailing Experience and Skill Level

When selecting the appropriate size of a catamaran for sailing around the world, it is important to take into account your level of experience and skill when it comes to sailing. There are several factors to consider:

1. Previous sailing experience: It is crucial to assess your experience in sailing, including the types of boats you have sailed and the amount of time you have spent on the water. This will help determine the level of expertise needed to navigate a larger catamaran effectively.

2. Handling capabilities: Your ability to maneuver and handle a larger vessel needs to be taken into consideration. It is generally more challenging to handle larger catamarans, as they require advanced sailing skills.

3. Crew size and expertise: If you will be sailing with a crew, it is important to evaluate their experience and skill level as well. A larger catamaran may require a more experienced crew to manage the additional responsibilities that come with it.

4. Comfort level: Think about your comfort while sailing. Smaller catamarans are often more agile and easier to handle, especially in more challenging weather conditions.

It is crucial to objectively assess your sailing experience and skill level to ensure a safe and enjoyable sailing experience. Consider enrolling in sailing courses or gaining more experience before attempting to sail a larger catamaran around the world.

Comfort and Living Space

When considering the comfort and living space of a catamaran for world sailing, several important factors come into play. Cabin and common area size are crucial to ensuring a comfortable experience for everyone on board. It is important to find a catamaran with spacious cabins that can comfortably accommodate the number of people on board. The size of the saloon and cockpit should be taken into consideration for socializing and relaxing.

Layout and design also play a significant role in creating a comfortable living space on a catamaran. It is essential to look for a well-designed catamaran that maximizes space and provides separate areas for sleeping, dining, and lounging. Features such as multiple heads (bathrooms) and ample storage space should also be considered.

Ventilation and natural light are important for creating a comfortable environment on a catamaran. Good airflow is essential, so it is necessary to check for sufficient windows, hatches, and ventilation systems to keep the interior well ventilated and filled with natural light.

Stability and motion at sea are crucial for a comfortable sailing experience. A stable catamaran design provides a smoother ride and reduces the risk of seasickness. It is advisable to consider a catamaran with a wide beam and low center of gravity for enhanced stability and comfort while underway.

Comfort features greatly contribute to the overall enjoyment of a catamaran. Amenities such as a spacious galley, comfortable seating areas, and a well-equipped entertainment system enhance comfort and relaxation.

Personal preferences should also be taken into account when choosing a catamaran for comfort and living space. Some individuals may prioritize a larger master suite, while others may value outdoor living areas like a spacious flybridge or aft deck.

Ultimately, choosing the right catamaran size for comfort and living space depends on factors such as the number of people on board, personal preferences, and budget. Seeking advice from experienced sailors and visiting and inspecting different catamaran models can help in finding the one that best meets individual needs.

It is important to remember that comfort and living space are crucial for enjoying a journey around the world on a catamaran. Taking the time to assess requirements and finding a catamaran that offers the ideal balance of comfort and functionality is essential for a successful sailing adventure.

Navigational Plans and Destinations

When considering navigational plans for sailing around the world, it is important to take into account factors such as distance, weather conditions, and amenities at ports. When creating your navigational plans, make sure to consider the following key points:

– Distance: It is crucial to determine the length of your journey and plan your route accordingly. Take into consideration the travel time between destinations and ensure that you have enough provisions for the duration of the trip.

– Weather conditions: Research the weather patterns in the areas where you plan to visit. Make note of storm seasons or extreme weather conditions in order to avoid any risks.

– Ports and marinas: Identify the ports and marinas along your route that can accommodate the size of your catamaran. Make sure that they have the necessary facilities and services such as fueling stations, repair facilities, and provisions.

– Attractions and activities: Consider the attractions and activities available at each destination. Choose destinations that align with your interests, whether it be pristine beaches, diving or snorkeling opportunities, or cultural experiences.

– Cultural considerations: It is important to take into account the local culture and customs of the destinations you plan to visit. Show respect for protocols and regulations in order to have a positive experience.

Pro-tip: It is advisable to keep a flexible itinerary and be open to adjusting your navigational plans if needed. Adaptability can enhance your overall sailing experience around the world.

Tips for Preparing and Sailing a Catamaran Around the World

Preparing and sailing a catamaran around the world requires meticulous planning and attention to detail. In this section, we’ll discover valuable tips that can enhance your journey. We’ll cover essential aspects such as safety and emergency equipment, navigational tools and charts, provisioning and water management, weather monitoring and predictions, and communication and connectivity. From ensuring your safety to optimizing your resources, we’ll provide insights to make your catamaran adventure a success.

Safety and Emergency Equipment

When sailing a catamaran around the world, it is vital to prioritize the safety and well-being of the crew by ensuring the presence of essential safety and emergency equipment on board. Here are some crucial items to consider:

  • Life jackets: Each crew member should have a properly fitting, easily accessible life jacket in case of an emergency, ensuring their personal safety.
  • First Aid Kit: A well-stocked kit containing bandages, antiseptics, and medications is indispensable for promptly addressing injuries or illnesses while at sea.
  • EPIRB: An emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) functions as a distress signal device, enabling swift alerting of rescue services to your precise location during an emergency situation.
  • Fire extinguishers: Strategically placing fire extinguishers on the catamaran allows for efficient management of onboard fires, ensuring the safety of the vessel and its occupants.
  • Flares: Hand-held and parachute flares serve as crucial signaling devices for seeking assistance when in distress on the water.
  • Emergency rations and water: It is of utmost importance to have an ample supply of emergency rations and potable water on board to sustain the crew during prolonged emergencies or unexpected loss of supplies.

Always remember that prioritizing safety is paramount while sailing. Possessing proper safety and emergency equipment significantly enhances the ability to handle emergencies successfully.

In 2013, the Vendée Globe yacht race witnessed a harrowing incident involving sailor Alex Thomson , whose catamaran collided with an unidentified submerged object, resulting in its capsize. Fortunately, Thomson’s meticulous adherence to safety protocols and the presence of necessary emergency equipment proved crucial. He promptly activated his EPIRB, wore a life jacket, and safely abandoned the sinking vessel. By being prepared and utilizing the available safety and emergency resources, Thomson was ultimately rescued by a passing ship and managed to survive the ordeal. This true account serves as a poignant reminder of how proper safety measures and the presence of appropriate emergency equipment are indispensable when embarking on sailing journeys.

Navigational Tools and Charts

Navigational Tools and Charts play a crucial role in sailing a catamaran. They ensure safe and efficient navigation, helping sailors plot courses, track positions, and avoid hazards. Here is a table showing the essential navigational tools and charts:

Charts are essential visual references for sailors, providing detailed information about coastlines, water depths, and navigational aids. Sailors should carry appropriate charts for their sailing area. Common chart types include:

Pro Tip: Regularly update charts and ensure the reliability of navigational tools to maintain accuracy and improve safety during your catamaran journey.

Remember, proper use of navigational tools and charts contributes to a successful and enjoyable sailing experience.

Provisioning and Water Management

One crucial aspect of sailing a catamaran around the world is provisioning and water management . It is essential to plan and prepare adequately for a smooth journey.

– Create a detailed list of necessary provisions , including non-perishable food items , cooking ingredients , and toiletries . – Take into account dietary restrictions and preferences when stocking up on food supplies. – Consider the storage space available on the catamaran and utilize it effectively for provisioning. – Prioritize long-lasting and easily storable food items to minimize the need for frequent resupply. – Keep track of expiry dates and rotate food supplies regularly to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage.

– Estimate the amount of freshwater required for the voyage, considering the number of crew members and the duration of the journey. – Install efficient water storage tanks and consider implementing a watermaker to generate freshwater from seawater. – Monitor water usage throughout the journey, promoting responsible consumption to conserve valuable freshwater resources. – Familiarize yourself with water treatment techniques to ensure the safety and quality of the onboard water supply. – Plan for potential contingencies by carrying additional jugs of freshwater or researching freshwater sources at various destinations.

Proper provisioning and water management are vital for the success of a catamaran journey around the world. By carefully considering and planning for these factors, sailors can ensure they have the necessary resources for their voyage and enjoy a safe and comfortable experience.

Fun Fact: A typical crew of four will require approximately 2-3 liters of freshwater per person per day for drinking and cooking during a long-term sailing trip.

Weather Monitoring and Predictions

Weather monitoring and predictions play a vital role in navigating a catamaran around the world. It is crucial to stay updated about weather conditions to ensure safe navigation.

To achieve this, it is important to regularly check weather forecasts from reputable sources such as meteorological agencies or weather routing services. These forecasts provide valuable information on wind patterns, storm systems, and ocean currents.

Equipping yourself with onboard weather monitoring systems is also essential. These systems provide real-time data on important factors such as wind speed , atmospheric pressure , and sea surface temperature . By having access to this information, you can make informed decisions regarding route planning and avoid adverse weather conditions.

Utilizing advanced technology is another key aspect of effective weather prediction. By utilizing advanced weather prediction models and satellite imagery, you can anticipate and track weather patterns. This knowledge allows you to plan sailing routes accordingly, avoiding heavy storms or dangerous weather conditions.

Having redundancy in receiving weather information is also critical. It is advisable to have backup means such as satellite phones or long-range radios in case of equipment failure or limited connectivity.

Seeking professional advice is highly recommended. Consult experienced sailors or weather experts who specialize in oceanic weather conditions. Their knowledge and expertise can provide valuable insights and guidance.

It is important to remember that weather conditions at sea can change rapidly. Therefore, prioritizing safety and adjusting the route if necessary is crucial. By closely monitoring weather patterns and making informed decisions, you can minimize risks and enjoy a smooth sailing experience around the world.

Here’s a fun fact: Sailors have relied on weather signs and natural indicators since ancient times to predict weather conditions. These indicators include observing clouds , wind patterns, and animal behavior .

Communication and Connectivity

When sailing a catamaran around the world, reliable communication and connectivity are crucial for staying connected with the outside world and ensuring safety. Cellular and satellite communication systems play an important role in staying connected, even in remote areas. These systems allow for voice calls , text messages , and internet access .

A working VHF radio and a valid operator’s license are essential for communication with other boats, marinas, and emergency services. On top of that, having Wi-Fi and internet access on board allows sailors to stay connected with family and friends, access weather updates, and perform online research. Navigation systems , including GPS , chart plotters , and radar systems , are also necessary for safe navigation and efficient communication with other vessels.

In case of emergencies, it is important to have emergency beacons such as EPIRBs and SARTs on board. These devices can send distress signals and help search and rescue teams locate the boat. Having a satellite phone as a backup communication device is advisable if cellular networks are not available or unreliable.

Having reliable communication and connectivity systems on a catamaran ensures that sailors can stay in touch with loved ones, receive important updates, and call for help if needed during their journey around the world.

The perfect size catamaran for sailing around the world is between 37 to 47 feet long.

  • ✅ Smaller catamarans have limited living space and cargo capacity, while larger ones are more expensive and difficult to handle.
  • ✅ Catamarans shorter than 30 feet usually do not have cabins and are not suitable for open sea sailing.
  • ✅ A catamaran needs to be well-equipped and have enough space for a crew and provisions for ocean-crossing voyages.
  • ✅ Catamarans between 40 and 45 feet are the average size for ocean-crossing and offer more space and amenities.
  • ✅ Catamarans have a high freeboard, reducing the risk of being washed over by large waves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal size of a catamaran to sail around the world.

The recommended size range for a catamaran to embark on an around-the-world voyage is typically between 37 to 47 feet long. This size provides a good balance between living space, cargo capacity, and manageable handling.

Are smaller catamarans suitable for sailing around the world?

Smaller catamarans can still be used for world cruising if you adopt a minimalist lifestyle and stay light with your equipment and supplies. They have limited storage space for necessary provisions such as food and water.

Are larger catamarans better for long-distance voyages?

While larger catamarans offer enhanced levels of comfort and amenities, handling a bigger boat requires more skill and may require additional crew. Expenses increase with boat length, and bigger boats may face extra charges for services and marina slips.

What are the advantages of sailing around the world in a catamaran?

Some advantages of catamaran circumnavigation include speed, comfort in rough weather, safety, extra storage space, room for more passengers, larger living spaces, and a shallow draft, which allows for easy beaching and access to shallow waters.

How do catamarans compare to monohull sailboats for circumnavigation?

Catamarans are generally considered a better choice for circumnavigation compared to monohulls due to their stability, spaciousness, and comfort in rough weather. It’s important to note that the ideal choice ultimately depends on individual needs and preferences.

Where can I find catamarans for sailing around the world?

You can find catamarans suitable for sailing around the world through various sources such as boat shows, catamaran manufacturers, online listings, and yacht brokerage firms like Simpson Marine. They offer new and preowned yachts and catamarans for all budgets and usage plans, along with services like yacht management, design, and refit.

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How Big Is A Catamaran? (Here’s What You Need To Know)

ship catamaran size

Catamarans are rapidly growing in popularity as a recreational boat option, but many people don’t know what size catamaran to buy.

Whether you’re considering purchasing a catamaran for the first time or you’re a seasoned sailor looking to upgrade your boat, understanding catamaran size is essential.

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of catamarans, the benefits of owning one, different types of catamarans, factors that affect size, and average sizes of catamarans.

We’ll also discuss how to customize your catamaran and what safety and maintenance considerations you need to keep in mind.

Read on to find out everything you need to know about catamaran size.

Table of Contents

Short Answer

Catamarans come in a variety of sizes, ranging from small, single-person vessels to large, ocean-going vessels.

The length of a catamaran can range from 8-50 feet, with the average size being between 20-30 feet.

Bigger catamarans can have multiple cabins and berths and can even be used for overnight trips.

Overview of Catamarans

Catamarans have been around for centuries, and they are still widely used today for recreational and commercial purposes.

Catamarans are two-hulled boats that are typically powered by an outboard motor or sail.

They are usually made of either wood or fiberglass, and feature two parallel hulls connected by a bridge.

This design allows them to provide better stability and speed than traditional monohull boats.

Catamarans are also incredibly versatile, and can be outfitted with a variety of amenities to suit any type of voyage.

When it comes to size, catamarans come in a wide range.

The average size of a catamaran ranges from 16 to 50 feet, but larger vessels can reach up to 100 feet or more.

Smaller vessels are typically used for day trips and short cruises, while larger boats can hold up to 12 people and can be used for extended cruises.

Some larger catamarans even come equipped with kitchens, bedrooms, and other amenities for extended journeys.

No matter the size, catamarans offer superior stability and performance on the water.

They are also more fuel efficient than monohull boats, and can often reach higher speeds.

Catamarans are also often more cost-effective than monohulls, and can provide a great value for the money.

Benefits of Owning a Catamaran

ship catamaran size

The benefits of owning a catamaran are numerous.

For starters, they are incredibly stable, making them ideal for extended cruises on the open water.

They are also incredibly fast, with some speeds reaching up to 18 knots.

This makes them perfect for getting to your destination quickly and efficiently.

Additionally, catamarans are known for their spaciousness, making them ideal for larger groups looking to spend time on the water.

Many larger catamarans have luxurious amenities such as onboard kitchens and bathrooms, giving you all the comforts of home while youre on the water.

Finally, catamarans are incredibly fuel efficient, so you wont have to worry about spending too much money on fuel.

All in all, owning a catamaran can be a great way to explore the open water.

With their stability, speed, spaciousness, and fuel efficiency, they provide an ideal solution for those looking to spend time out on the water.

Whether youre looking for a small day trip boat or a large luxury vessel for extended cruises, catamarans come in a variety of sizes that are sure to suit your needs.

Types of Catamarans

Catamarans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from small recreational boats to large luxury vessels.

Smaller boats are typically used for day trips, while larger boats can be used for extended cruises.

Catamarans offer both stability and speed, and can be outfitted with a variety of amenities.

The most common type of catamaran is the sailing catamaran, which is characterized by its two hulls connected by a central deck.

This type of boat is typically used for racing, cruising, and fishing.

It has the advantage of greater stability than a single-hull boat, as well as increased speed due to its shallow draft.

Power catamarans are another type of vessel, which are usually motor-driven and typically used for recreational activities such as fishing, cruising, and watersports.

Power catamarans are typically larger than sailing catamarans, and they offer greater stability and speed than a single-hull boat.

Catamaran sizes can range from 16 feet to 50 feet or more.

Smaller vessels are generally used for day trips, while larger boats can hold up to 12 people and be used for extended cruises.

Smaller catamarans are more maneuverable, while larger vessels offer more space and comfort.

When selecting a catamaran, it is important to consider your intended use and the size of your crew.

Smaller boats are better suited for day trips, while larger boats are better for extended cruises.

Additionally, consider the amenities that you want on board.

Catamarans can be outfitted with a variety of amenities, from sleeping and cooking accommodations to entertainment systems.

No matter what type of catamaran you choose, you will enjoy the stability and speed of this unique type of vessel.

With a variety of sizes and amenities available, you can find the perfect boat for your next adventure.

Factors That Affect Catamaran Size

ship catamaran size

When it comes to catamarans, size does matter.

The size of a catamaran will have a direct impact on how it performs on the water, as well as the amenities it can offer.

There are a few key factors that can determine the size of a catamaran, including the number of passengers, the type of activities you plan to do, and the type of vessel you are looking for.

The number of passengers is one of the most important factors when it comes to determining the size of a catamaran.

Smaller vessels are generally best suited for day trips or short cruises with a limited number of passengers, while larger vessels can accommodate up to 12 passengers for extended trips.

The type of activities you plan to do also plays a role in what size catamaran you should choose.

If you plan to do a lot of sailing, a larger vessel with more space may be better suited for your needs.

On the other hand, if you plan to do more fishing or pleasure cruising, a smaller vessel may be better.

Lastly, the type of vessel you are looking for can also be a determining factor in the size of a catamaran.

If you are looking for a luxurious vessel with plenty of amenities, a larger catamaran is the way to go.

However, if you are looking for a more economical option, a smaller vessel may be more suitable.

No matter what size catamaran you are looking for, there are a variety of options available.

Knowing the key factors that affect the size of a catamaran can help you make the right choice for your needs.

Average Sizes of Catamarans

When it comes to the size of a catamaran, there is no one-size-fits-all answer.

The average size of a catamaran ranges from 16 to 50 feet, with smaller vessels typically used for day trips and larger boats for extended cruises.

Small catamarans can range from 16 to around 40 feet, while larger boats can reach up to 50 feet and higher.

For general cruising, the popular sizes of catamarans range from 40 to 50 feet.

This size is large enough to comfortably fit a family of four or more, and can feature amenities such as a full galley, a spacious salon, and multiple cabins.

For day trips, smaller catamarans in the 16 to 40-foot range are usually the best option.

These boats are typically faster than their larger counterparts and can accommodate up to 12 people.

Smaller catamarans are also easier to maneuver and require less maintenance, making them ideal for short trips.

In addition to size, catamarans also come in a variety of styles and designs.

Some are designed for racing, while others are built for cruising.

Racing catamarans are usually smaller and lighter, with a focus on speed and agility.

Cruising catamarans are typically larger and more luxurious, with features such as air conditioning and satellite TV.

No matter what size you choose, a catamaran can provide you with a unique and enjoyable boating experience.

With its stability and speed, a catamaran is the perfect choice for a day trip or an extended cruise.

So, how big is a catamaran? The answer depends on your needs and preferences, but the average size is between 16 and 50 feet.

Customizing a Catamaran

ship catamaran size

When it comes to catamarans, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The size of a catamaran depends on its intended purpose and the number of people it will be accommodating.

Smaller catamarans are often used for day trips and recreational activities, while larger vessels are often used for extended cruises and can accommodate up to 12 people.

When customizing a catamaran, there are a number of features you can select from to ensure your vessel is perfectly suited to your needs.

For example, you can choose from a variety of amenities such as air conditioning, a television, a kitchen, and a bathroom.

You can also select from a range of materials such as fiberglass, Kevlar, and carbon fiber.

In addition, the design of the catamaran can be customized to your needs.

For example, you may opt for a more luxurious catamaran with an open-plan design or a more practical catamaran with a more enclosed design.

The size of the hulls and the number of deck levels can also be adjusted to suit your needs.

Finally, the propulsion system of a catamaran can be customized to maximize its efficiency.

Outboard motors, inboard motors, and sailboats are all popular propulsion systems for catamarans.

Each type of propulsion system offers its own advantages and disadvantages, so its important to consider your needs before making a decision.

By taking the time to customize a catamaran, you can ensure that your vessel is perfectly suited to your needs and will provide you with the experience of a lifetime.

Maintenance and Safety Considerations

When it comes to catamarans, size definitely matters.

Not only does the size of a catamaran determine how many people it can accommodate, but it also affects the maintenance and safety considerations that go along with owning and operating one of these vessels.

Larger catamarans require more upkeep, including regularly scheduled maintenance of the hull, motor, and other components.

They also require more attention to safety, as bigger boats can be more difficult to handle in rough waters or high winds.

On the flip side, smaller catamarans require less maintenance and are more maneuverable, making them ideal for day trips or shorter cruises.

No matter the size of the catamaran, safety should always be a priority.

Before setting out on a voyage, make sure the vessel is properly equipped with life jackets, fire extinguishers, and other essential safety gear.

Additionally, all crew members should be familiar with boating safety protocols.

Knowing how to handle the vessel in adverse conditions is essential to staying safe on the water.

It is also important to keep an eye on the weather and be aware of any changes that could affect the catamarans performance.

For example, high winds can create choppy waters and make it more difficult to maneuver larger vessels.

It is always best to err on the side of caution and check the forecast before heading out.

Finally, it is important to be aware of the catamarans draft.

The draft is the depth of the water required for the vessel to float, and it is affected by the size of the catamaran.

Shallow waters require vessels with a shallow draft, while deeper waters require deeper drafts.

Knowing the draft of the catamaran is essential for safe navigation in any part of the world.

By taking into account the size of the catamaran, as well as the maintenance and safety considerations that come along with it, catamaran owners can ensure a safe and enjoyable voyage.

With the right preparation and knowledge of the vessels capabilities, catamaran owners can have a great time out on the water.

Final Thoughts

Catamarans are a great option for those looking for a reliable, stable, and speedy vessel.

With a variety of sizes available, there is sure to be something that will perfectly fit your needs, whether it’s for a day trip or an extended cruise.

With the right customization, maintenance, and safety considerations, you can enjoy the perfect catamaran experience.

So, if you’re considering buying a catamaran, now you know how big to make it!

James Frami

At the age of 15, he and four other friends from his neighborhood constructed their first boat. He has been sailing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with others.

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Marine Insight

Top 10 largest Catamarans in the world

Characterised as a multi-hulled watercraft, a catamaran is a marine vessel comprising two proportioned hulls giving her greater stability and manoeuvrability. Catamarans also have a shallow draft which enables them to enter unexplored regions beyond the reach of sailing yachts or cruise ships.

Their invention is attributed to the Austronesian peoples of Southeast Asia, while the first European Catamaran was built in the 16th century by scientist William Petty. Capable of attaining greater speeds, catamarans are used for recreational sailing, cruising and racing. Modern Catamarans have luxurious features and marvellous design, which makes them enticing.

Let us have a look at the top 10 biggest catamarans in the world.

Table of Contents

1. Hodor ( 217 Ft.)


Renowned as the world’s largest floating toy box, the 66.2 m long SHADOWCAT Hodor was built by Astilleros Armon in Spain. Incat Crowther and YCTS. Ltd worked on her functional design and naval architecture, while the interiors were chosen by Oliver Design. Painted grey with vibrant orange lines running across its hull, the catamaran is as robust as it looks.

Launched in 2019, she has a maximum sailing speed of 22.5 knots derived from two MTU diesel engines. With a 14-metre beam, she has a gross tonnage of 1525 tonnes respectively. In terms of LOA, she ranks among the top five per cent in the world. She defeats her counterparts both by average speed and volume.

She is donned with aluminium; her hull, deck and even superstructure are made of this malleable and corrosion-resistant metal. Presently sailing under the flag of the Cayman Islands, Hodor is a treasure-house of water sports gear, filled with nine jet skis, four water bikes, laser dinghies, snorkelers, fishing equipment etc.

The empty space below the main deck is reserved for the Seamagine Aurora-3 submersible which will be delivered soon. Its main attraction is the 17-metre Nor-Tech 560 sports centre console attached to a hydraulic lift system for putting it in water. The largest catamaran is managed by 20 crew members and staff.

2. Sunreef 49 Power Cat ( 160.8 Ft)

Sunreef 49 Power Cat

Constructed by the Polish builder Sunreef Yachts, the multihull was fitted in Gdansk and delivered in 2021. Flaunting a classy white exterior, it is an embodiment of cutting-edge marine technology and fresh naval design.

It has three decks and expansive outdoor areas, including an open bar, a swimming pool, a helipad and a forward terrace. Its sun deck lounge has a spa pool, sun pads and even a saloon. With a broad beam of 16.85 metres, the yacht has 8 cabins which comfortably sleep 17 crew personnel and offers luxury accommodation for 11 guests. Five bedrooms on the main deck are equipped with a private balcony.

Low drag, a consequence of the specially designed twin-hull, makes the catamaran glide gracefully on the water while optimising efficiency and low fuel consumption. It has a 90,000-litre fuel tank which enables the power cat to cover 5000 nautical miles without a stopover. Driven by two 3400 HP engines, the superyacht has a top speed of 21 knots and carries three tenders, water sports gear and several jet skis.

3. Charley ( 150 Ft.)


Charley was launched in 2016 as a support yacht to serve the superyacht White Rabbit Gulf, both constructed by the shipbuilding company Eco Yachts. The 46 m long and 14 m wide catamaran has a white exterior, three teak decks and modern fittings. Its naval architecture, interiors and exterior design were taken care of by LOMOcean.

Labelled as the largest composite resin-infused yacht made in Australia, Charley was carefully assembled near Fremantle. With a volume of 702 gross tonnes, she has spacious interiors and outdoor entertainment areas to keep her guests engaged.

However, her most attractive feature is the 12-metre long tender catamaran called Vicky, equipped with a platform located at Charley’s stern. It can store some RIBs, tenders, personal watercraft and one hovercraft.

Propelled by two 2,700hp Cummins QSK60 engines and two propellers, Charley has a 60,000-litre fuel tank which enables her to travel 2,500 nautical miles at the cruising speed of 16 knots.

She has a 3.2 m draft which allows her to traverse shallow bays and narrow canals or even cruise near the shoreline. Possessing a GRP hull and superstructure, Charley has three suites for taking in 5 guests.

4. Moecca ( 148 Ft.)


The catamaran motor yacht Moecca was constructed by Oceanfast yachts in Australia. Designed to provide a luxurious sailing experience with moderately-decorated functional spaces, it has a simplistic classic exterior. Delivered in 1992, it underwent maintenance and repair in 2006. Refurbished in the same year, Moecca is fully air-conditioned, having expansive outdoor areas for sunbathing and relaxing.

Her curves are spectacular, thanks to Bannenberg Designs Limited, which crafted her exterior while Phill Curran was responsible for naval architecture. Having a 13 m or 42.7 feet beam, she has seven suites that conveniently accommodate 12 guests and six small yet well-furnished cabins for 11 crew members.

Its spacious salon has two seating areas, a home-theatre set-up and a 12-seater alfresco dining room connected to a bar and a refrigeration room. Her aft deck is enriched with circular sofas and side tables. More open space is provided on the upper deck, which incorporates an open pool and a small workout space. All these amenities are curated by the English design house Bannenberg and Rowell.

She can travel 2200 nautical miles at a maximum speed of 25 knots, achieved by two powerful MTU diesel engines. Moecca is sturdy yet elegant, with a green aluminium hull and a GRP superstructure. Her sides are panelled with mildly-fragrant wood. She has a 1.8 m draft and water tanks capable of storing 15,000 litres of fresh water.

5. HeySea Vista ( 140 Ft.)

HeySea Vista

Launched in 2020, the golden hulled Vista is an amalgamation of absolute royalty and finesse. Constructed by the Hey Sea Yachts Group, a prominent yacht manufacturer in China, Vista is a fully custom-designed project built in a 66,700 square m shipyard lying in the Pearl River Delta region near Hong Kong. One of the most challenging aspects of its construction was to attain a perfect shimmering gold finish, achieved by delicate yet continuous polishing.

Her stylish appearance and functional naval design were crafted by the Heysea marine architects and interior designers. The twin-hull allows for voluminous interiors carefully chosen by Horizontal Design to match her stunning fibreglass superstructure.

Vista is adorned with beautiful paintings showcasing marine life, modern art pieces and metallic fittings. She has five bedrooms that comfortably sleep 10 people. The yacht is managed by a 15-member crew.

Coming to the technicalities, she is driven by two Volvo 725 HP engines allowing her to reach a top speed of 15 knots. The vessel can go up to 4000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 10 knots. Vista has been the biggest project of HeySea, which brought her international appreciation.

6. Sarha ( 137 Ft.)


Registered at the Port of George Town and sailing under the Cayman Islands Flag, Sarha is a 40 m motor yacht built by Sea Management, fabricated in Australia and launched in 1989. With its sleek white exterior and blue windows, she is a piece of sheer beauty and class.

She was designed by John Winterbotham & Partners while her interiors were done by H2 Yacht Design. Refitted in 2002, she boasts a steel hull and an aluminium and steel superstructure complemented by a fine teak deck with spacious seating areas.

Sarha can travel 3000 nautical miles at a cruising speed of 10 knots, and her top speed is 13 knots. She is fitted with two 2340 HP diesel engines that generate 1722 kilowatts. She is driven by two propellers and Koopnautic thrusters. Her home port is Abu Dhabi, and her water tanks carry 20,000 litres of fresh water.

Sarha can accommodate 30 guests and 11 crew members in beautiful, well-ventilated cabins having double beds. She has a gross tonnage of 726 tonnes and a 500-tonne displacement. Having a wide beam of 12.9 m, she has a shallow draft of about 2.7 metres.

7. Royal Falcon One ( 135 Ft.)

Royal Falcon One

Flaunting a modern naval design, Royal Falcon One is a stunner of the Singapore-based yacht builder, Royal Falcon Fleet. Curated by the renowned Porsche Design Studio, she has been described as a Spaceship on Water by her makers, while some compare her to a sports car. She has an aluminium hull and superstructure and three teak decks.

Enriched with appealing aesthetics, this dual-hulled yacht offers the highest comfort and luxury. She has five cabins to accommodate 10 guests, three master suites and a lounge on the main deck. Its main attraction is the saloon which offers a 360-degree ocean view due to its glass walls.

The 12.5 m broad beam allows for more entertainment and relaxation space. Its sundeck has a jacuzzi and a steam sauna. The crew cabins are located near the stern, concealed by the ship’s twin hulls. Delivered in 2019, it has a maximum speed of 35 knots, a 1.7 m draft and a gross tonnage of 499 tonnes.

8. Silver Cloud (134 Ft.)

Silver Cloud

Portraying exemplary marine engineering , Silver Cloud was constructed by Abeking & Rasmussen in Germany. Infused with a small waterplane area twin hull, commonly called SWATH, its distinguishing feature is smooth sailing in harsh waters, especially the North Sea.

It was sold for 16 million dollars to Alexander Wallace Dreyfoos Junior, an American businessman based in New York. As per news reports, the vessel will be renamed Nurja. With a 58 feet beam and a 13.5-foot draft, she has a maximum speed of 14 knots.

Silver Cloud is the two-time winner of the World Superyacht Award, owing to its highly trained crew and world-class reputation. It has five cabins that comfortably sleep 12 guests, equipped with televisions and private bathrooms. The main attraction is the saloon with large windows and glass doors, designed by Michael Kirschstein. It also contains a spa, gymnasium, diving equipment and a helipad.

9. Zenith ( 131 Feet)


Constructed by Australia-based Sabre Catamarans in 2012, the 40.5 m Zenith is a luxury motor yacht which redefines sophistication and style. She has a 10.5 m beam, a 1.5 m draft and an interior volume of 461 gross tonnes. She was sold in 2018 for a whopping 19 million dollars.

Her luxurious cabins can take in 10 guests, designed by Water Line, while her eye-catching exteriors were chosen by Incat Crowther. Having an aluminium hull and superstructure, she can attain a top speed of 29 knots due to the powerful MTU engines. Her fuel tanks can hold up to 51,800 litres of diesel, while freshwater tanks can carry 3790 litres.

American rock maple was used for interior panelling along with Queensland Maple. It has a spacious open lounge with four sofas. The main deck features a lavish dining area attached to a fully equipped media room and a cocktail bar.

10. The Beast ( 129 Ft.)

The Beast

Described as somewhat different and unique by her owners, the Beast is true to its name. Having a military-type camouflage exterior, she is not easy to spot among other sailing vessels. She belongs to the entrepreneur, Sir Michael Hill and has several interesting features, the first being a 13 m fishing boat fitted on its main deck, known as Baby beast.

Winner of several awards, the Beast is 39.2 metres long and has a volume of 493 gross tonnes. She was delivered in 2019 by Profab Central Engineering Limited, and her decor was styled by the famous Oceania Interiors. She has a master suite and five cabins for sleeping 12 guests and accommodation for nine crew members.

Known for her outstanding seagoing capabilities, the Beast is available for charter in the South Pacific. Having a steel hull and aluminium superstructure, she is loaded with the latest water gear such as four kayaks, paddleboards, and fishing and diving equipment. She can reach a top speed of 15 knots while her cruising speed is 10 knots.

You might also like to read:

  • Top 10 Biggest RoRo Ships In The World
  • 5 Biggest Tanker Ships In the World
  • 5 Biggest and Magnificent Sailing Ships of All Time
  • 10 Most Expensive Cruise Ships
  • Top 10 Biggest LNG Ships

ship catamaran size

About Author

Zahra is an alumna of Miranda House, University of Delhi. She is an avid writer, possessing immaculate research and editing skills. Author of several academic papers, she has also worked as a freelance writer, producing many technical, creative and marketing pieces. A true aesthete at heart, she loves books a little more than anything else.

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The Perfect Size Catamaran to Sail Around the World

Whether you're serious about setting sail in the next few years or merely in the dreaming stages of world cruising, the vessel you want for the trip will always take center stage in any plans. If you decide on a catamaran, you've got to give some thought to what the best size is for you and your plans.

The perfect sized catamaran is 37 to 47 feet long. If you get too much smaller, living space gets cramped and cargo capacity drops. Too much bigger, and your expenses and difficulty of handling a big boat get higher.

That's not to say that there are smaller catamarans or much larger ones that work for you. Everything from your skill level and crew size to your budget affects the perfect size.

ship catamaran size

On this page:

Finding the perfect size catamaran, how do i tell if it's "just right", what is the best size catamaran for ocean sailing, can you sail around the world in a catamaran, are catamarans safe in rough seas.

There's never a "perfect" boat for anything without considering the needs and capabilities of the skipper and crew; there is no "one size fits all" boat. What you have to do is look at your limits, tolerances, wants and desires and compare them with your budget and reality. Like Goldilocks and the Three Bears, you're looking for that one with a fit that is "just right."

This One's Too Small

If you're very into a minimalist lifestyle, you certainly get around the world on a smaller catamaran. Many people have done it. Smaller size equals less speed, but if you stay light and lean, you can still keep the boat moving. Sailing the world with stops isn't about speed records, it's about getting there safely.

Catamarans are very sensitive to weight, and their performance will drop off rapidly if you overload them. Smaller catamarans can carry a lot less than bigger ones, and are more sensitive to overloading. Not only is there less room for equipment, it's less water, less food, and fewer spares. Very few cats under 32 feet have much room at all for gear and equipment without overloading them. Less food and water storage limits your range and how long you can stay out when you leave population centers. A watermaker offsets some of this, but adds weight and complexity, and it needs power.

The other size consideration on the low end is how many people you sail with. Sleeping quarters and living space are tighter, so families with lots of children or people expecting lots of guests or who want additional crew need more space and a too-small catamaran will not suit.

This One's Too Big

On the other end of the size scale, it's very easy to buy too much boat. Big boats are beautiful and exciting and there's so much space and comfort. It's natural to want more. But handling a big boat is an acquired skill, and new cruisers with too-big boats often end up overwhelmed and miserable - this is as true for monohulls as it is for cats.

As catamarans get longer, they also get wider, and a 50+ foot catamaran is a pretty big platform to navigate in tight quarters. More boat also equals more load and more tasks to do, and a couple who can handle a 42 footer themselves may want more crew for a 55 foot boat.

Expenses also rise with boat length for all boats, and it's not a straight linear progression. Bigger boats get expensive to purchase quickly. Boat services are often charged by the foot, but an overlarge catamaran can run into extra expenses. Wide cats can't fit in many lifts that could easily handle a heavier or longer monohull. Some marinas charge extra for wide slips, or may even require extra wide multihulls to take two slips.

Big boats give you lots of living space for people and gear, but with a substantially increased cost from purchase on to every step of ownership.

This one is Just Right

The "perfect" catamaran for you is going to answer the following questions in ways that meet your specific needs.

  • Can I afford to buy it? You can not spend your last nickel buying a boat; you'll need money to cruise.
  • Can I afford to own it? Buying a boat is just the first step; you'll spend a lot of money on maintenance and ownership after the purchase.
  • Does it have enough space for my planned crew? Space for guests is good to have, but you shouldn't buy a big boat expecting lots of traffic.
  • Does my crew have the skill to handle a boat this size comfortably?

The time to answer these questions is well before you sign the dotted on line on a purchase and sale agreement.

ship catamaran size

There's no 100% perfect formula for such a personal topic. Honestly assess your own capabilities, plans, and finances to come up with that answer. And you have to do a lot of research into boats.

You can start with websites and magazines - active builders will have detailed information about their boats, and you can easily find many reviews and article about almost every boat model. When you look at websites, keep in mind that boat builders are selling you something and reviewers are not. The breathless and gushy hype on the builder's website may not match the reality of sailing and owning the boat, so seek articles with test sails.

An excellent source of information is active cruisers who are sailing on the exact type of boat you think may suit you. No one can separate the marketing hype from pragmatic realism like someone who has crossed an ocean on a boat or skinned their knuckles in its dark spaces. Many cruisers blog about their experiences and you’ll find rich information about sailing, performance, and maintenance. Many cruising bloggers will happily answer polite questions about their boats.

Look at as many catamarans as you can across a range of sizes. You can see many boats at a single big boat show, and if it's in your budget, a charter is a fantastic way to try a boat on for size. When you get closer to a decision and are talking to brokers, don't be shy about looking at a lot of boats in your search.

On the whole, it's better to err on the size of "a little too small" than "much too big." Feeling out of control of your yacht and unable to handle it is a sure-fire way to cut your cruising plans short. There's nothing more miserable than being stuck in a marina because you don't feel safe handling your own vessel.

If you get a boat that's too small, you will want to upgrade and it will chafe and feel cramped while you work it out. But a too big boat you can’t handle or afford? Too many cruisers break their dreams on the rocks of a too-big boat.

ship catamaran size

Ocean sailing differs from coastal cruising. You've got long passages to prepare for, and you're likely to pass out of the range of land-based rescue.

The size range discussed above - 37 to 47 feet long - is quite safe for offshore passages.

What's more important are design considerations and build quality of your catamaran. Things like low bridge decks aren't optimal for offshore sailing regardless of the size of a boat, since they're prone to pounding and slamming in rough conditions. Catamarans are built for lightweight, but that doesn't mean they need to be lightly or poorly constructed.

One area where larger catamarans are better offshore is passage speed. While cruising under sail is never a race, the ability to cover a lot of water in a day gives you more options routing around bad weather or into good wind. It's always better to be a little faster.

You can, and many sailors has done it many times. Cruising catamarans are becoming a more popular choice as more and more sailors discover how spacious and comfortable they can be.

Some catamarans, like some monohulls, may be better suited to the task than others, though a complete exploration of that topic is beyond this article.

Catamarans are as safe in rough seas as any small sailboat. Rough weather sailing is more a function of crew and boat preparation than the specific type of boat. A well-prepared boat with a skilled crew will be safer in severe conditions, irrespective of the type of boat.

Any poorly prepared boat with unskilled crew can be very dangerous.

The major concern for most people with catamarans is capsizing. A capsized cat will not return upright like a monohull. It can not restore positive stability once it goes over. Though capsizing a large cat is very difficult and rare, manufacturers build in many safety features to help crews survive, like escape hatches to prevent crew from getting trapped inside the hulls.

But a catamaran is not any more or less inherently safe offshore than a monohull.

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What Is A Catamaran? Does It Have Engines Or Can It Only Sail?

ship catamaran size

Catamarans are a type of boat that has two hulls connected by a platform. They offer many advantages over traditional monohull boats, including increased stability and improved speed. This article will explore what exactly catamarans are and how they can be powered. We’ll also look at the differences between sailing and motor-powered catamarans to help you decide which one is right for you.

What Is A Catamaran?

A catamaran is a type of boat with two hulls connected by beams. It is usually powered by sails, although all modern catamarans come with inboard motors for propulsion. Catamarans are traditionally used for sailing, fishing, and leisure activities . They can be used in both fresh and salt water, and their light weight allows them to travel at high speeds without using much fuel.

Catamarans are known for their stability and durability due to their wide beam and shallow draft. This makes them ideal for traversing shallow waters or areas where the sea is choppy and unpredictable. They also have the advantage of being able to turn quickly and maneuver easily in tight spaces. Additionally, they provide a smooth ride despite rough seas since the two hulls help to reduce wave impact on the boat itself.

Advantages Of Catamarans

Catamarans offer many advantages to sailors and other seafaring travelers. The primary benefit of catamarans is their stability, due to the fact that they have two hulls that are connected by a platform. This design makes them much more resistant to waves than monohull vessels, which makes them ideal for activities such as fishing or leisurely cruises near shore. Catamarans also tend to be lighter, faster and more fuel efficient than monohulls, making them an attractive choice for sportier outings such as racing or overnight trips. In addition, catamarans can either be powered by engines or sails, giving you the flexibility to choose whatever type of propulsion suits your needs best.

Types Of Catamarans

Catamarans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from luxurious yachts to fast-moving racing boats. They offer a unique sailing experience, with their twin hulls providing stability and comfort while still able to reach high speeds. Catamarans can be powered by engines or sail, enabling them to move swiftly through the water. Some are designed for serious racing, while others are equipped for leisurely cruising on the open waters. With so many options available, there is sure to be a catamaran that will fit any sailor’s needs. Whether it’s speed or comfort that you’re after, a catamaran can provide an unforgettable experience on the seas.

Sailing Vs. Motor-Powered Catamarans

Catamarans offer many advantages over monohulls and have become a popular choice for many reasons.. They are lightweight, stable, and provide ample space onboard. However, there is one major decision to make when purchasing a catamaran: whether to choose a sailing or motor-powered version.

Sailing catamarans have the traditional look of a boat with two hulls and tall sails, while motor-powered catamarans come equipped with engines and resemble more of a powerboat. Both types of catamarans offer their own unique benefits and drawbacks. Sailing versions are cheaper to purchase but require the sailor to be knowledgeable in sailing tactics in order to navigate easily. Motor-powered versions are more expensive but can be easier to operate in certain conditions due to their greater speed and maneuverability. In the end, it comes down to personal preference as both types can provide an enjoyable experience on the water.

Benefits Of Chartering A Catamaran

Catamarans are a type of sailing vessel with two hulls that are connected with a frame. They are typically very stable and have plenty of deck space for passengers and amenities. Catamarans also come equipped with two engines, so they can travel in calm waters even when there’s no wind to power the sails. The engine also allows them to get back quickly against strong winds or tides, making them great for long trips and passages.

The major benefit of chartering a catamaran is the amount of space it provides compared to traditional monohulls (a boat with one hull). This makes them ideal for larger groups, as they can accommodate more people without feeling cramped. Additionally, catamarans offer great stability in the water – even in choppy conditions – allowing you to feel safe and secure while onboard. Plus, since they don’t require as much maintenance as other boats, they’re perfect for longer periods of time on the water. All these factors make catamarans a great choice for any travel vacation with friends and family.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are catamarans suitable for excursions.

Catamarans are a popular choice for those looking to charter one for an excursion due to their spaciousness and stability. They provide more than enough room for comfortable traveling as well as plenty of storage space, making them an ideal option for extended cruising. Additionally, all catamarans are equipped with engines, allowing for easy navigation and maneuverability when needed. All in all, catamarans make great vessels for vacations and traveling and can be a great way to explore the waters.

What Is The Best Type Of Catamaran For Ocean Voyaging?

When it comes to ocean voyaging, the best type of catamaran is a modern performance cruiser. These vessels are designed to combine speed and comfort, with a shallow draft for navigating in and out of shallow waters. Modern performance cruising catamarans feature two hulls connected by an open deck, often with engines that give them greater maneuverability. They also generally have larger living spaces than traditional monohulls, so they can provide more comfortable accommodations during long voyages.

How Many People Can Typically Fit On A Catamaran?

A catamaran is a type of boat with two parallel hulls. Depending on the size, it can typically fit anywhere from 4-12 people plus crew. It’s important to note that the number of passengers will depend on the size and design of the boat, so it’s best to check with a manufacturer for more specific details.

A catamaran is a great choice for those looking to explore the ocean in style. They’re spacious and versatile, making them suitable for all sorts of travel plans and excursions. Plus, they can be powered by either engines and/or sails, so you can decide which works best for your needs. Charter prices can vary depending on your vacation needs. All in all, a catamaran is an excellent choice for anyone wanting to explore the open seas!

If you’re considering renting a catamaran, it’s important to do some research first. There are many different kinds to choose from depending on what your entire party has on their travel wish list – and make sure that you have a safe and fun voyage!

Get a Quote

Are you ready to let us show you what we can do for you? We can’t wait! This is as exciting for us as it is for you. We began this business because we love putting the perfect yacht charter together for our clients and getting the best of the best at the right price point thanks to our contacts and experience. 

Use our quick contact form to give us the basics about what you’re looking for and we’ll send you ideas and pricing. Don’t worry if it’s not grand enough or should be scaled back; we’ll take care of that too. When you love the plan, we put it into action. All you have to do is show up and enjoy.

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performance, yet desire high daily averages and passage times, which should be as short as possible. When choosing a large multihull, sailors look, above all else, for safety and comfort, long before the consideration for flat-out speed comes into the discussion. Nevertheless, performance is a highly important design consideration. No catamaran sailor wants to sail slower than a same length ballasted keelboat. Below are some EVALUATION & COEFFICIENTS useful coefficients, which will help compare monohulls and multihulls objectively.

Bruce Number (BN)

below "Indigo," a magnificent Wormwood 70, sailing in sparkling Caribbean waters.

Wormwood Catamaran

Various multihull characteristics and design features can be expressed in mathematical formulas. Their results are crucial and will give prospective owners a basis of comparison between different types of catamarans. These numbers are important, as they eliminate ambiguity and clearly display various advantages or concessions of a design, which would be hard to quantify any other way. Mathematical coefficients not only will provide insight into a boat's performance in varying conditions, they also reflect concerns about loads to be carried safely, speed and stability.

We have already mentioned the Displacement/Length and Sail Area/ Displacement ratio in our chapter on Multihull Advantages, illustrating the point of a multihull's efficiency. Let's look at some other coefficients that give us an indication of a boat's performance.

What is performance and how do we really measure it? Most people who buy a cruising catamaran are not really interested in racing

The Bruce Number is very similar to the Sail Area to Displacement ratio although the formula is slightly different. It is the square root of the sail area in feet, divided by the cube root of the boat's displacement in pounds:

SA = upwind sail area (mainsail and 100% jib)

Displ = weight of the boat in pounds

Similar to the Sail Area to Displacement ratio, the higher the coefficient the faster the boat and better is its performance in light air. Typically a BN of 1.1 will be the threshold between fast and more sluggish multihulls. A heavy displacement monohull might have a BN of .7, whereas a modern cruising catamaran shows a BN of 1.3. Offshore multihull racers can have BNs of 2.0 and higher. The BN will also tell us about a catamaran's ability to withstand stronger winds before reefing. A boat with a higher BN is usually overcanvassed in strong conditions and will have to be reefed earlier than one with a lower coefficient.

On the other hand, they will be able to produce more "power" than their counterparts in lighter winds and perform better.

Sail Area to Wetted Surface (SAWS)

SA/WS = Sail Area Wetted Surface Coefficient

SA = upwind sail area

WS = total underwater surface area (hull and appendages)

This formula simply divides the upwind sail area of the boat (mainsail and 100% jib) by the wetted surface. This coefficient will give us a statistical indication of the multihull's lightair performance since in low wind conditions skin friction becomes an important factor. Monohulls can have coefficients of at least 7% more than multihulls.

Hull Fineness Ratio (HFR)

The Hull Fineness Ratio, known as the hull's beam-to-length ratio, is an interesting number. It is derived by simply dividing the waterline length of the hull by the waterline beam of the hull.

Max. WL/Max. Beam WL = Hull Fineness Ratio Max. WL = length of the hull at waterline in ft. Max. Beam WL = beam of the hull at the waterline in feet.

Monohulls, when compared to multihulls, have low hull/fineness ratios. In Part 1 of this

Catamaran Proportions

book, discussing "Efficiency," we saw that ballasted keelboats are limited to Archimedes' principle of hull speed (1.34 x VWL). Multihulls do not have these theoretical barriers, because their hulls are narrower.

The thinner the hull the faster it will be able to travel through the water. But, attention! It will also carry less unless you are on a mega cat. Typically, a 40' cruising catamaran's HFR will range from 8:1 to 10:1. Dennis Conner's above While sailing under spinnaker and experiencing virtually no roll at all, guests will always find a comfortable spot to relax on the foredeck, an impossibility on a monohull.

There are various methods of calculating the transverse stability of a catamaran. One of the simplest and most utilized techniques is establishing a relationship between the height of the Center of Effort (CE), displacement, beam and sail area. Multihull designer, James Wharram added safety factors of 20% to compensate for gusts and the dynamic environment of the ocean. Another method is described in the text below.

Multihull Stability & Capsizing Moment d - Displacement (kg) x half beam (m) max ~ Sail Area (sq m) x Height of Center of Effort (m)

P max = maximum pressure exerted onto sails

Multihull Stability & Capsizing Moment

Trimaran Center Effort

height of sailplan CE

half overall beam (half hull beam)

racing cat "Stars and Stripes" had a 16:1 HFR. Of course, the larger the boat, the narrower the hulls will become in comparison to its length. For example, the HFR of a 100' luxury catamaran may be 12:1, providing it with a high speed potential. However, monohulls can show HFRs of 3:1, though the comparison is complicated as their angle of heel affects the measurement.

One has to be very careful when analyzing the Hull Fineness Ratio of a cruising catamaran, because other factors such as the actual shape of the hull cross sections (Prismatic Coefficient, PC) can throw the analysis off balance. Go-fast sailors like to think that fine hulls are always fast. That is not necessarily true because a slim hull could have a large underwater volume, thus slowing it down. Consequently, a wide waterline-beam hull could have less drag than a narrower one. It could have a shallow underbody (low PC), which would be beneficial to load carrying (Pounds Per Inch Immersion Number, PPI) and early surfing characteristics at speed.

Stability Coefficient (SC)

This mathematical formula has been devised by the distinguished catamaran designer and sailor James Wharram and his team. This coefficient analyzes a multihull's ability (in a static environment) to resist capsizing due to wind.

( 0.682 VW x (.5 Boa) ) x .555 = CW .00178 x SA x h

W = Wind speed, apparent, in mph CW = Critical Wind Speed to capsize in mph SA = upwind sail area in sq ft. h = height of Center of Effort (CE) of total sail area

Boa = Beam overall

This formula will tell us how much wind it will take to overturn our multihull. By instinct we will know that a catamaran with a wide stance and a conservative sail plan will be very stable offshore. The SC formula will inevitably illustrate that a wider beamed catamaran with a tall sail plan will be as resistant to wind induced capsize as a short-rigged, narrower boat. This is not so if one considers the chaotic environment of waves and the real world of heavy weather sailing. It is interesting to note that a wide beamed boat (regardless of the SC) is more resistant to capsize in seas due to the effects of a higher moment of inertia. In an open-ocean environment, which is everything but static, the SC formula has little meaning. Nevertheless, it serves as a good basis to evaluate stability as a factor of wind force.

below When the wind suddenly comes up, all that is needed is a couple of turns on the jib furler to quickly reduce the headsail size. The catamaran will hardly sail any slower, but feel more comfortable.

Ship Hull Fineness

Wide hulls and a large overall beam will increase the overall righting moment of a catamaran. A word of caution: Excessive beam will reduce the fore and aft stability. Designers strive to compromise hull fineness ratios, place heavy weights towards the CG (Center of Gravity), and engineer hull and overall beam to achieve a seaworthy balance, which is safe, yet provides ample liveaboard accommodations.

Catamaran Stability Considerations

Seaworthy Catamaran

Diagonal Stability & Beam-to-Length Ratio (BLR)

Stability of a multihull, or the resistance to capsize, should be seen as three components. Athwartship Stability is one well-publicized type and the one often talked about. The other much more important types are Fore and Aft and Diagonal Stability. Fore and aft stability is established by the relationship between the boat's waterline length and the distance between the hull centerlines. It will reflect the catamaran's resistance to tripping. This relationship should be in the vicinity of 39% to 42%. For a seaworthy cruising multihull it is important maintain the proper ratio between length and beam, which, in turn, balances equal amounts of athwartship with diagonal stability. The goal should be to prevent the possibility of a sudden discrepancy of powers between fore and aft and sideways resistance. Most of today's multihulls keep these two component forces in equilibrium, making them extremely seakindly and safe.

Some early design multihulls were very narrow, partly due to the material limitations of that time. But things have changed. Contemporary composite construction allows designers to build wider boats without compromising stiffness. Production catamarans of today have a wide stance and have the benefit of greater safety margins in gusty wind conditions than their older cousins. Multihulls are sophisticated structures and true modern miracles. They provide a more comfortable ride and more interior room. Thanks to modern materials they weigh less and perform better than catamarans built only 10 years ago.

Some catamarans, especially production boats, which are very popular in the charter fleets, are growing wider by the year. The businesses who rent these beamy monsters adore them. Lots of room plus open decks are ideal for clients and the bigger (wider) the boat, the more paying guests can share the fees. But there certainly is a limit as to how wide is too wide. Extreme beam can be dangerous. It can lead to instability fore and aft and to excessive bridgedeck slamming, as the relative distance from the bridge deck to the water will decrease with an increase in width. A vessel with excessive beam might seem stable athwartships, but it will compromise overall stability.

We know that multihulls can, in extreme cases of seamanship error in wild storms, be thrown over from any side - front, back and beam-on. The best examples of this phenomenon are racing multihulls, especially Formula 1 trimarans, which have fine hulls for speed and huge sailplans to provide driving power. They are initially extremely stable athwartships (High Beam-to-Length Ratio), but have a tendency to become unstable fore and aft. They will surf down waves and reach a point where the power of the sails, and speed, will exceed the ability to keep the bows out of the water and the boat will pitchpole. This is the reason why catamaran designers usually draw their multihulls with a Beam-to-Length relationship of between 50% and 55%. The longer the vessel the lower that percentage becomes.

I am currently involved in the "Gemini" project, which presents an example. It very well might become the world's largest sailing catamaran. She will have an overall length of 145 feet, yet her beam will "only" be 54.4'.

Stable Catamaran Dingy

Please, don't worry. "Gemini" will not be tender and tip over in the slightest breeze. On the contrary, this monster will be one of the most stable craft afloat, although the beam-to-length relationship is only 37%. The relatively low beam-to-length ratio also involves the fact that the boat would be too heavy and building costs would be prohibitive if she were to have a standard 52% BL relationship. Most importantly, could you imagine turning a 75-foot-wide boat?

above Asymmetric spinnakers on furlers are great inventions. They add instant sail area, yet can be doused in a matter of seconds when the wind picks up strength.

Catamaran Underwing

above Although this Edel 35 was a good-looking and popular catamaran, it suffered from excessive bridgedeck pounding, which was caused by only several inches of clearance between the saloon's underwing and the sea.

Obviously there is a sweet spot in the beam vs. stability question. Designing too beamy a boat will also necessitate more freeboard to preserve bridgedeck clearance which, in turn, will increase windage and complicate maneuvering. Unless sophisticated aramid construction methods are utilized, more beam will also add more weight and stress to the structure. Adding more mass will, to a certain point, help make the boat more stable, but where do we stop? Is it better to add weight or width to make a boat stiffer? Of course, both characteristics are interrelated as a beamier boat normally is also heavier. Just adding weight to a catamaran simply to make her more stable will not pay off. Consequently, making a boat too wide might increase living space yet it will also burden the structure, require a beefier manufacture, and yield an even heavier boat. Needless to say, a boat which is too wide will also create practical restrictions such as maneuvering, the ability to haul the vessel and much higher building costs.

Beam has a great effect on bridgedeck clearance, which is one of the most vital characteristics of a good cruising catamaran. As standard practice, the well-known rule of 1" of bridgedeck clearance for each foot of beam was a safe way to prevent excessive wave slap. The wider the beam the more the relationship changes and the necessary height of 1" per foot of beam needs to be increased to 1.3" or more. In the extreme case of overly square boats, that number will have to be closer to 1.8" per foot of beam. This will have a negative effect on any seaworthy multihull that has a bridgedeck saloon. The wide beam will necessitate a high cabin sole to remain a safe distance from the waterline. In order to provide standing headroom, the coachroof might be higher than practical, which could result in a boxy, high-windage multihull. Not only will this be unattractive, but also raise the Center of Gravity (CG) which really should be kept as low as possible.

More overall beam on the other hand (given that there is still sufficient bridgedeck height) has a less known benefit, as it reduces the possibility of hull-wave interference, which is particularly important for fast designs. The wave interaction between the hulls can lead to additional resistance, and especially in an agitated sea state, the formation of wave crests can pound the bridge deck. Most early narrow-beamed catamarans suffered from this phenomenon,

Ultimately, a boat's design has a major influence on its ability to stand against the forces of nature, and to keep occupants safe. Manufacturing excessively wide catamarans is like trying to market monohulls with super deep-draft keels. Both are totally impractical. We designers have to make sensible compromises and learn from past experiences of what has worked at sea by balancing the benefits of a wide boat with its disadvantages.

below This narrow-hulled Outremer 64 Light has completed her third circumnavigation with the same owners. Note the smooth underwing clearance, lacking any protrusions or steps.

Outremer Standard

"A great cape, for us, can't be expressed in latitude and longitude alone. A great cape has a soul, with very soft, very violent shadows and colors. A soul as smooth as a child's, and as hard as a criminal's. And that is why we go!"

~ Bernard Moitessier

Catamaran Underwing

Dinghies, windsurfers and every imaginable type of water toy can be stored conveniently on large catamarans and easily launched from the wide transom steps for shore-side pleasures. Note the twin life rafts located in special compartments on the massive aft crossbeam.

Continue reading here: Hull

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Readers' Questions

What length should a stub keel be to waterline length on a catamaran?
There is no set rule for the length of a stub keel on a catamaran in relation to its waterline length. The length of the stub keel will depend on various factors, such as the size and design of the catamaran, intended use, and specific requirements of the boat builder. Generally, the stub keel on a catamaran is designed to provide stability and improve sailing performance, so it is important to consult with a naval architect or boat designer to determine the appropriate length for a specific catamaran.
What is a 16 passenger catarmarn like?
A 16-passenger catamaran is a type of boat or vessel specifically designed to carry 16 people comfortably. Catamarans are multihull boats with two parallel hulls, which are connected by a deck or a structure. They offer stability, speed, and efficiency in the water. A 16-passenger catamaran can vary in size and design, but generally, it will have enough seating or lounge areas for all passengers. It may have indoor cabins with beds or seating areas, as well as outdoor spaces for relaxation or socializing. These boats often come equipped with amenities such as bathrooms, kitchens or galleys for meals, and sometimes even entertainment systems. The catamaran's size can influence its specific features. Some catamarans are designed for day trips or shorter excursions, while others are built for longer journeys or overnight accommodations. Additionally, they can be used for various purposes, such as whale watching, diving trips, ferry services, or private charters. Overall, a 16-passenger catamaran provides a comfortable and stable platform for small groups or gatherings, allowing passengers to enjoy the beauty of the water while ensuring safety and comfort.
Is the catamaran hull floor always on the waterline?
No, the hull floor of a catamaran is not always on the waterline. The design of a catamaran allows for the hulls to be elevated above the waterline, reducing drag and increasing speed. The position of the hulls in relation to the waterline can vary depending on factors such as the weight distribution, load, and sailing conditions.
How close to a catamarans design reefing points should you go?
You should always be careful when approaching reefing points on a catamaran and stay as far away as possible. Generally, you should aim to stay at least 10 meters away.
What keel to length ratio for catamarans?
The keel-to-length ratio for catamarans typically ranges from 0.1 to 0.25.
Is 70% length to beam ok for a catAMARAN?
Yes, it is generally accepted that a catamaran should have a length to beam ratio of between approximately 6:1 and 8:1. Therefore, a 70% length to beam ratio would be within an acceptable range.
What is the waterline length to baem ratio of a typical cruising catamarans?
This ratio will vary depending on the type and size of the catamaran. Generally, the ratio should be between 1:1.5 and 1:2.5, with 1:2 being the most common.


12 Best Catamaran Sailboats

Best Catamaran Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Table of contents

Best Catamarans


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

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

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

Fountaine Pajot Elba 45


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Antares 44i

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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Atlantic 42


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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Gemini 105MC


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

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

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

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

Lagoon 450 F


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

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

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


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

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

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

Privilege 615


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

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

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

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

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

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Catamaran Hull Design

  • Post author By Rick
  • Post date June 29, 2010
  • 2 Comments on Catamaran Hull Design

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Part 1: Notes from Richard Woods

Since the America’s Cup experimented with going multihull, there’s been a lot of interest in catamaran performance and the catamaran hull designs that define performance. Many guys are investigating whether to buy a catamaran or design and build their dream boat. Let it be said here that building a large catamaran is not for the faint of heart. People begin building 100s of boats a year, yet few are ever completed, as life always seems to have a way of interfering with a good boat build. 

Never the less, since the rest of this website is about selecting and buying a boat , it only seems fair to have at least one webpage that covers catamaran design. This page contains notes on boat hull design goals and an accompanying page from Terho Halme has mathematical formulas used in actual catamaran hull design. It has become a popular research stop and an important reference to the catamaran design community.

The content of this page was reproduced from the maestro of Catamaran designs, renown British naval architect, Richard Woods, who not only designs catamarans, he sails them across oceans…. repeatedly. He has a lot to say on the subject of catamaran hull design.

“…When it’ all said and done, the performance of a sailing catamaran is dependent on three primary specs: length, sail area and weight. If the boat is longer it generally means it’ a faster boat. If she has more sail area, it means she’ a faster boat and if she’ light it means she’ a faster boat.  Of course, there are limits: Too much sail area capsizes the boat in brisk winds. If the boat is designed too light, she will not take any kind of punishment. Too slim a hull design and the boat becomes a large Hobie Cat capable of only carrying your lunch. Of course, too long and large and you’d have to be Bill Gates to afford one. Then there are lot of additional and very important factors like underwater hull shape, aspect ratios of boards and sails, wet deck clearance, rotating or fixed rigging and so on….” Richard Woods

All Catamarans are not equal, but all sailboats have two things in common: They travel on water and they’re wind powered, so the Catamaran design equations in the 2nd part should apply to every catamaran from a heavy cruising Cat to a true ocean racer.

Richard Wood’s comments on catamaran design:

We all know that multihulls can be made faster by making them longer or lighter or by adding more sail. Those factors are the most important and why they are used as the basis of most rating rules. However using just those figures is a bit like determining a cars performance just by its hp and curbside weight. It would also imply that a Tornado would sail as fast forwards as backwards (OK, I know I just wrote that a Catalac went faster backwards than forwards)

So what next?? Weight and length can be combined into the Slenderness Ratio (SLR). But since most multihulls have similar Depth/WL beam ratios you can pretty much say the SLR equates to the LWL/BWL ratio. Typically this will be 8-10:1 for a slow cruising catamaran (or the main hull of most trimarans), 12-14:1 for a performance cruiser and 20:1 for an extreme racer.

So by and large faster boats have finer hulls. But the wetted surface area (WSA) increases proportionately as fineness increases (for a given displacement the half orange shape gives the least WSA) so fine hulls tend to be slower in low wind speeds.

The most important catamaran design hull shape factor, is the Prismatic Coefficient (Cp). This is a measure of the fullness of the ends of the hull. Instinctively you might think that fine ends would be faster as they would “cut through the water better”. But in fact you want a high Cp for high speeds. However everything is interrelated. If you have fine hulls you can use a lower Cp. Most monohulls have a Cp of 0.55- 0.57. And that is about right for displacement speeds.

However the key to Catamaran design is you need a higher Cp if you want to sail fast. So a multihull should be at least 0.61 and a heavy displacement multihull a bit higher still. It is difficult to get much over 0.67 without a very distorted hull shape or one with excessive WSA. So all multihulls should have a Cp between 0.61 and 0.65. None of this is very special or new. It has been well known by naval architects for at least 50 years.

There are various ways of achieving a high Cp. You could fit bulb bows (as Lock Crowther did). Note this bow is a bit different from those seen on ships (which work at very specific hull speeds – which are very low for their LOA). But one problem with them is that these tend to slam in a seaway. 

Another way is to have a very wide planing aft section. But that can increase WSA and leads to other problems I’ll mention in a minute. Finally you can flatten out the hull rocker (the keel shape seen from the side) and add a bustle aft. That is the approach I use, in part because that adds displacement aft, just where it is most needed.

I agree that a high Cp increases drag at low speeds. But at speeds over hull speed drag decreases dramatically on a high Cp boat relative to one with a low Cp. With the correct Cp drag can be reduced by over 10%. In other words you will go 10% faster (and that is a lot!) in the same wind and with the same sails as a boat with a unfavorable Cp. In light winds it is easy to overcome the extra drag because you have lots of stability and so can fly extra light weather sails.

The time you really need a high Cp boat is when beating to windward in a big sea. Then you don’t have the stability and really want to get to your destination fast. At least I do, I don’t mind slowly drifting along in a calm. But I hate “windward bashing”

But when you sail to windward the boat pitches. The sea isn’t like a test tank or a computer program. And here I agree with Evan. Immersed transoms will slow you down (that is why I use a narrower transom than most designers).

I also agree with Evan (and why not, he knows more about Volvo 60 design than nearly anyone else on the planet) in that I don’t think you should compare a catamaran hull to a monohull, even a racing one. Why chose a Volvo 60/Vendee boat with an immersed transom? Why not chose a 60ft Americas Cup boat with a narrow out of the water transom?? 

To be honest I haven’t use Michelet so cannot really comment. But I have tested model catamarans in a big test tank and I know how inaccurate tank test results can be. I cannot believe that a computer program will be better.

It would be easy to prove one way or the other though. A catamaran hull is much like a frigate hull (similar SLR, L/B ratios and Froude numbers) and there is plenty of data available for those. There is also a lot of data for the round bilge narrow non planing motorboats popular in the 1930’-50’s which again are similar to a single multihull hull.

One of the key findings I discovered with my tank test work was just how great the drag was due to wave interference between the hulls. Even a catamaran with a modern wide hull spacing had a drag increase of up to 20 % when compared to hulls at infinite spacing. One reason why just flying a hull is fast (the Cp increases when you do as well, which also helps). So you cannot just double the drag of a single hull and expect to get accurate results. And any speed prediction formula must include a windage factor if it is to give meaningful results.About 25 years ago we sailed two identical 24ft Striders next to each other. They were the same speed. Then we moved the crew of one boat to the bow. That boat IMMEDIATELY went ½ knot faster. That is why I now arrange the deck layout of my racing boats so that the crew can stay in front of the mast at all times, even when tacking or using the spinnaker.

I once raced against a bridge deck cabin catamaran whose skipper kept the 5 crew on the forward netting beam the whole race. He won.

Richard Woods of Woods Designs

  • Tags Buying Advice , Catamaran Designers


Owner of a Catalac 8M and Catamaransite webmaster.

2 replies on “Catamaran Hull Design”

I totally agree with what you say. But Uli only talk sailing catamarans.

If only solar power. You need the very best. As limited watts. Hp.

The closer to 1-20 the better.

Closing the hulls to fit in cheaper marina berth. ?

You say not too close. But is that for sailing only.

Any comment is greatly appreciated

Kind regards Jeppe

Superb article

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Top 6 Characteristics of a Good Catamaran

YouTube video

What Makes a Good Catamaran?

As we (Stephen and Estelle) self-isolate during this pandemic aboard Zuri, our Bali 5.4, we thought we would share some insights about important features you should think about when buying a catamaran. We started out with 5 then at the end, Stephen threw in another 3. What are your thoughts? What are important features on a catamaran. Let us know below in the comment section.

Like all marine vessels, certain characteristics make some catamarans better than others. You will not find a perfect catamaran because no boat is perfect. Compromise is always required. But with forethought about how you will utilize your multihull, and matching your requirements to high quality design, you can get pretty close to your “dream” catamaran.

Crucial attributes to consider for a cruising catamaran are:

  • Weight-carrying ability
  • Bridge deck clearance
  • Structural integrity and seaworthiness
  • Windward ability
  • Deck surface design
  • Ease of handling

We will explore each of these catamaran characteristics, and how they affect performance, comfort, and, ultimately, safety.

Early catamaran designs were heavy by today’s standards. The multihulls were designed with a narrow beam, high freeboard, and inefficient underwater design. They were prone to hobby horsing and pitching. Today, with the technological advancements of lighter, stronger composite materials, catamarans performance has greatly improved.

In the last 20 years or so, boat builders have painstakingly studied and resolved the issues affecting catamarans, effectively increasing their seaworthiness by leaps and bounds. Constant reform and transformation of even the basic tenets of catamaran design continue today as is evident in the radical catamaran designs in the 2013 America’s Cup Challenge. (The foiling Gunboat G4 designs spring to mind). In fact, many of the problems of the older multihull designs have been eliminated altogether.

The new generation of cruising catamarans offers exciting, fun sailing vessels with great livability, space, comfort, and safety. This was made possible, in no small part, by the early multihull pioneers.

Catamaran Stability & Weight-Carrying Ability

ship catamaran size

WEIGHT: Unlike the monohull design that can carry weight without much loss of performance, an overloaded catamaran rapidly loses performance and, eventually, safety. In order to counter this, multihull manufacturers are continually looking for ways to reduce construction weight to increase the potential payload capacity while retaining optimal performance.To select a light catamaran, look for hulls with cored construction and interiors built with lightweight materials.  Lighter construction enables catamarans to carry more weight and perform faster, so this characteristic is very important when selecting a cruising catamaran.

Monohulls can heel and spill wind when the sails are overpowered. But a catamaran’s only available response to pressure of a wind gust is to accelerate. So the boat has to be very strong to hold together. Cored construction makes the catamaran strong and very stiff. Stiffness gives a catamaran good performance.

Consider that the catamaran’s hulls are actually two boats joined together by a bridge deck. These “boats” are constantly fighting each other and trying to go in their own direction. The boat structure must be strong enough to counter this and, at the same time, deal with the downforce of the mast in the center of the bridge deck. The catamaran performs an amazing feat contending with all the opposing forces inherent in the multihull design. For that reason, it is critical to ensure the design and manufacturer are reputable with a track record to demonstrate structural integrity.

STABILITY: Unlike monohulls that rely on a heavy lead keel to keep it upright, a catamaran relies on the beam of the boat and the buoyancy of the hulls for stability. Typically cruising catamarans will have a beam to length ratio of roughly 50%. So a 45-ft long catamaran will be about 22-ft wide, providing a very stable platform. Good stability in a catamaran is when the righting forces and healing forces are in balance. So if the righting moment is greater than the capsizing moment, the boat stays upright. When the capsizing moment becomes bigger than the righting moment due to an increase in wind, the boat starts to capsize. <

This diagram and article by James Wharram, king of “self-build” catamarans, offer valuable insight into catamaran stability. Also, read this article by Shuttleworth “ Design Considerations for Seaworthiness “.

Catamaran Bridge Deck Clearance

Catamaran Bridgedeck clearance comparisons of too low and well-proportioned catamarans

Bridge deck clearance is a key factor in predicting the slamming level of a catamaran design. A higher clearance produces less slamming. My rule of thumb is; 4% of the overall length is low, 5% is acceptable, and 6% is good.

When it comes to slamming, another important factor is weight. If the boat is heavy due to construction or payload, it will tend to go into a wave. This slams the chest of the boat into the wave. A lighter boat with more buoyancy will rise on the wave reducing slamming substantially. “ The Space Between ” by Sackville Currie, explains in detail the different options, problems, and compromises.

Windward Ability: Catamaran Keels vs. Dagger Boards

Catamaran daggerboards

Catamarans with dagger boards are able to point much better than catamarans with keels. The claim is that a catamaran with dagger boards is safer because if the boards are up and the boat gets sideways on a wave, it will skid down the wave sideways. Dagger board proponents believe a keel trips the boat as it tries to navigate down the side of a wave causing capsize.

I can only speak from personal experience. I was caught sideways on a 20-foot wave a few days out of Cape Town on a 40ft catamaran with keels. The boat was hit by successive three waves before we could get it back on track. The boat skidded down the waves and there was no capsize, but it took some nifty maneuvering at the helm. My personal belief is that both types are safe and acceptable provided they are operated correctly.

Catamaran Deck Surfaces

Deck surfaces should be safe and clear

Cockpit to Mast

Older designs often have decks with two levels from the coach roof windows to the gunnels which form a side deck with a trip hazard. Most modern catamaran deck designs are now one flat surface being wide enough to walk unhindered from the cockpit to the mast.

The cockpit and the saloon should be on one level with no step down into the saloon, if possible. Modern designs have achieved this and it really makes a big difference for ease of movement and safety while at sea.

The steps on the stern should be wide and easy to climb with a reasonable angle. If the steps are too steep or narrow, they become a hazard and lose space for recreation. The stern should be easily accessible from the dinghy.

Ease of Handling: Catamaran Deck Layout

Safe catamaran helm stations

  • Both jib sheets
  • The sheet from the opposite side of the boat should be run through a turn block and across the coach roof through a clutch to the helm
  • Jib furling line
  • Single line reefing lines
  • Main halyard
  • Traveler control lines.

Visibility from the helm is also very important. All round visibility while underway, maneuvering, or docking is key to safety of your boat and others’ property and life. When standing at the helm, you should be able to see both bows or, at the very least, the pulpits. The center of the crossbeam where the anchor is handled from should be visible as well as both sterns for when you dock “stern to”. If all these stations are not visible while standing at the helm where the engine controls are, you may encounter problems because of blind spots.

Catamaran Characteristics Conclusion

Modern catamaran designs are much more advanced than the early models that were slower, heavier, and underpowered. Problems like hobby horsing, burying the bows, and underpowered rigs have been largely eliminated.

Even though composite construction technology gives a huge advantage in lighter materials and sleeker designs, no one design element or piece of high tech gear should dominate the vessel to the detriment of others. With some compromise, a good naval architect can design a vessel pleasing to most people and the result can be very exciting, safe, and seaworthy.

Top Tip: Use a Broker at No Cost

Which compromises should you make when selecting your catamaran? It all depends on how you will use her. Catamaran Guru helps new and veteran multihull owners select the right boat for their dreams at no cost! The yacht seller pays broker commissions so our advice from gleaned from thousands of boat-buying transactions is free to you. We will help you find right boat, the right program, or the right situation. If you want to explore more on your own, visit our buying a catamaran section.

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  • Catamaran size – how big a boat do you need – ocean sailing

Posted by Tim Weston | Oct 18, 2017 | Building , Cruising | 1

Catamaran size – how big a boat do you need – ocean sailing

How big is big enough?

How big a cat do you need for ocean sailing? What is the minimum catamaran size to cross an ocean? If you are in the market to build or buy a cat, it is something worth considering.

When I bought my plans and started building I had never been on a cat before, let alone sailed on one. All my decisions were based on what I had read. I created a picture in my mind from all the info I had gathered and the people I had spoken to (not that many). After reading a few books, I plunged in. Finally, it was the right decision, for me and if I replayed my story, I would choose a 40ft cat again for my first boat.

For me, 40ft (12m), is a good round number, for a minimum size for living aboard and extended ocean cruising. It is a size that is often mentioned, including for keel yachts and I tend to agree.

Some Pro’s and Cons

Of course, you can sail around the world in a much smaller boat, and safely too, depending on the design and setup of the vessel. But comfort among other things improves with size. Bigger is always better, but I think the 38-40ft mark is a good compromise. When weighing up the cost, comfort, speed, ease of handling and other factors, it is not a bad starting point.

Some advantages of increasing size

Comfort Stability Speed Room / payload Bridge deck clearance/headroom

Some of the disadvantages of increasing size

The initial cost Maintenance costs Room and cost of berthing in a marina Ease of handling for a solo sailor

Some other thoughts

With smaller boats, having enough headroom to stand up in on the bridge deck is a consideration. Having a bridge deck with 2m headroom (enough for tall people) on a 30ft cat may start to look out of proportion.

I was happy to have the speed potential I did, at times when crossing bars, entering rivers. The ability to surf at 20+kts between the sets kept me in front of big waves. If it was big enough to be dangerous it also had the energy, and the boat had the speed, to keep in front of it. It was at moments like these I was glad I had the size boat I did.

Despite encountering some pretty heavy weather. There were only a couple of times where the thought of capsizing entered my mind. Even though my boat was quite light and had a reasonably big rig, I never felt unsafe on the ocean. With a 40ft boat on the sea, I feel like I am on something half serious.

Advantages of size

After a lot of miles sailing and especially on my Pacific trip, I certainly dreamt of a bigger boat. The main reason was speed and also less pitching. I didn’t need more room I had plenty of room. My preference was and still is, a larger/beamier boat relative to the size of accommodation. Having a big footprint on the water without a lot of weight makes for a fast, easily driven, more stable boat.

I remember talking with a friend who had stepped up from his first boat, a 12m cat that he built himself, to a large racy 15m catamaran he’d made, with minimal accommodation. He said, “they were worlds apart on the water”. “You didn’t even notice bad weather”. Out on deck reefing down half way to New Zealand in big seas. He said the sensation was more that of standing on a big stable platform compared to his “little” 12m cat. It’s all relative.

More length (among other things) dampens pitching, especially for the same weight. But a longer hull also gives you speed, and speed means a lot when you are on the water. No matter how much some people discount speed as not being that important. Nothing makes you grin more than when your boat really starts moving. In my book “ Building Tokyo Express “, I talk more about this. Whenever my speed climbed above 12-13kts, and the yacht started surfing, the ride changed – to pure joy.

Even in a big sea the ride softens when you start surfing (semi-planing), it feels a little like riding on a cushion of air, and the hulls doesn’t slam anymore. It’s an unusual sensation, that really surprised me, in a good way! The boat starts leaving rooster tails behind you. Sitting up on the fore beam as the hulls slice through the water is exhilarating! The voyage changes from “when are we going to get there” to “I don’t want this ride to end”.

If money were my limiting factor, I would instead build the size I want by saving money in other areas. Put a smaller rig on the boat, smaller engines, and/or save money on the fit out (i.e. no anchor winch, etc.). The material costs of extra wood, fibreglass and epoxy don’t add that much to the cost of the boat. It’s the rig and other bits that add the money. You can always add or change those things after if you want too. It’s harder to lengthen your boat once you have built it.

You might also be interested in the following post, which compares catamarans vs monohulls . I hope this post was helpful.

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What Size Crew Is Required to Sail a Catamaran?

Do you want to spend time on the water during your vacation? If so, you might be thinking about going out on a catamaran. The catamaran is a relatively small boat, usually limited to approximately 75 feet in size. It is powered by a motor and can tackle areas close to shore. This is a great way for you to see the sights while also looking for whales and dolphins. How many people are needed to crew a catamaran?

It is Possible To Operate a Catamaran Alone

Those with a lot of experience on a boat may be able to operate a catamaran on their own. Because catamarans are relatively small boats, experts might be able to handle everything as long as they have the appropriate boat license. It’s much easier to drive a catamaran alone if the boat has an autopilot feature. Many newer boats come with this capability, but it is usually smarter to have a crew that can help out. Therefore, consider taking a tour with a larger crew.

Most Have a Crew To Help Out

Once the catamaran is away from shore, it is relatively easy to operate alone; however, it is still a good idea to have multiple people available to help with launching the boat, docking it back at shore, and helping out other people who might be riding along. A crew is even more helpful if the boat does not have an autopilot feature.

Count on a Professional Team

A catamaran is a great way for you to see the sights. Even though you may feel like you can rent a boat and go out on your own, it is always better to have someone else to assist you. For this reason, consider signing up to take a boat tour with an experienced team that knows their way around the area.

Next, read another interesting article.

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  6. Catamaran docking


  1. Catamaran

    A Formula 16 beachable catamaran Powered catamaran passenger ferry at Salem, Massachusetts, United States. 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 ...

  2. Catamarans: A Complete Guide to Multihull Boats

    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.

  3. What Size Catamaran To Sail Around The World

    August 30, 2022. Catamarans are generally longer than monohulls, but their accommodations and handling vary widely between sizes. The best size catamaran to sail around the world is 45 to 50 feet. The smallest catamaran with space for long-term provisions and a cabin is around 30 feet in length, and a 55 to 60-foot catamaran is the largest that ...

  4. A Complete Catamaran Guide

    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. ... There are many cruise ship catamarans in use today around the world.

  5. Choosing the Perfect Size Catamaran for Your Sailing Adventure

    Displacement. When choosing a catamaran for sailing around the world, one important factor is displacement. Displacement refers to the weight of the water a catamaran displaces when floating. Size of Catamaran Displacement. Small 10,000 to 20,000 pounds. Medium-sized 20,000 to 40,000 pounds. Large 40,000 to 60,000 pounds.

  6. How Big Is A Catamaran? (Here's What You Need To Know)

    Short Answer. Catamarans come in a variety of sizes, ranging from small, single-person vessels to large, ocean-going vessels. The length of a catamaran can range from 8-50 feet, with the average size being between 20-30 feet. Bigger catamarans can have multiple cabins and berths and can even be used for overnight trips.

  7. Top 10 largest Catamarans in the world

    6. Sarha ( 137 Ft.) Registered at the Port of George Town and sailing under the Cayman Islands Flag, Sarha is a 40 m motor yacht built by Sea Management, fabricated in Australia and launched in 1989. With its sleek white exterior and blue windows, she is a piece of sheer beauty and class.

  8. Catamarans Guide: The ABCs of Multihull Boats

    Activities: Overnight Cruising, Racing, Fishing, Day Sailing, Liveaboards. Length Range: 25 - 160 ft. Average price: $607,000. 2-12 cabins. Whether you're shopping for a new fishing boat, a sailing cruiser, or anything in-between, you'll come across catamarans.


    The engine power needed for the catamaran is typically 4 kW/tonne and the motoring speed is near the hull speed, so: Powering While the length/beam ratio of catamaran, LBRC, is between 2.2 and 3.2, a catamaran can be certified to A category if SF > 40 000 and to B category if SF > 15 000. SF 82 10 3 SF := 1.75 ⋅mMOC ⋅ LH⋅BCB = ×

  10. What Size Catamaran Should I Buy?

    Catamarans in the 35-40' size range will typically include 2 or 3 berths, for up to 4 people to live onboard comfortably, or perhaps 6 for shorter durations. As you move up into the 40-50' range that may increase to 3 or 4 berths, with one of them being a large master suite holding a queen sized bed. Larger catamarans are likely to have ...

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

    Sailing catamarans come in many shapes and sizes. Small sailing catamarans, such as those used in races and regattas, are known for their speed and relative stability compared to light racing monohulls. ... At the end of the day, it comes down to economics—as monohull boats and ships are simply cheaper to build. Additionally, catamarans have ...

  12. Catamaran

    A catamaran 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 ...

  13. The Perfect Size Catamaran to Sail Around the World

    If you decide on a catamaran, you've got to give some thought to what the best size is for you and your plans. The perfect sized catamaran is 37 to 47 feet long. If you get too much smaller, living space gets cramped and cargo capacity drops. Too much bigger, and your expenses and difficulty of handling a big boat get higher.

  14. Catamaran Design Formulas

    T c = 0.57. Here we put B TR = 1.9 to minimize boat resistance (for her size) and get the draft calculation for a canoe body T c (Figure 1). Midship coefficient - C m. C m = A m / T c (x) B WL. We need to estimate a few coefficients of the canoe body. where A m is the maximum cross section area of the hull (Figure 3).

  15. What Is A Catamaran? Does It Have Engines Or Can It Only Sail?

    Types Of Catamarans. Catamarans come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from luxurious yachts to fast-moving racing boats. They offer a unique sailing experience, with their twin hulls providing stability and comfort while still able to reach high speeds. Catamarans can be powered by engines or sail, enabling them to move swiftly through the water.

  16. Catamaran Design Guide

    The catamaran's size can influence its specific features. Some catamarans are designed for day trips or shorter excursions, while others are built for longer journeys or overnight accommodations. Additionally, they can be used for various purposes, such as whale watching, diving trips, ferry services, or private charters.

  17. 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.

  18. Catamaran Hull Design

    If you have fine hulls you can use a lower Cp. Most monohulls have a Cp of 0.55- 0.57. And that is about right for displacement speeds. However the key to Catamaran design is you need a higher Cp if you want to sail fast. So a multihull should be at least 0.61 and a heavy displacement multihull a bit higher still.

  19. Top 6 Characteristics of a Good Catamaran

    Crucial attributes to consider for a cruising catamaran are: Weight-carrying ability. Bridge deck clearance. Structural integrity and seaworthiness. Windward ability. Deck surface design. Ease of handling. We will explore each of these catamaran characteristics, and how they affect performance, comfort, and, ultimately, safety.

  20. 15 Best Catamarans in 2024

    Here's a list of the Top 15 best Multihulls reviewed in this article: Leopard Catamarans - 41 ft 7 in - Leopard 42. Balance Yachts - 48 ft 26 in - Balance 482. Kinetic Catamarans - 54 ft 2 in - Kinetic KC54. Xquisite Yachts - 53 ft - Xquisite X5.

  21. Catamaran size

    Finally, it was the right decision, for me and if I replayed my story, I would choose a 40ft cat again for my first boat. For me, 40ft (12m), is a good round number, for a minimum size for living aboard and extended ocean cruising. It is a size that is often mentioned, including for keel yachts and I tend to agree.

  22. Catamarans Vs. Monohulls: Choosing The Right Boat

    Attach one line to each of the forward cleats and bring the loose ends to the center. Pick up the mooring with a boathook. String one line through the eye and bring it back to the same cleat. Repeat on the other side, keeping the lines the same length so the cat is centered.

  23. What Size Crew Is Required to Sail a Catamaran?

    The catamaran is a relatively small boat, usually limited to approximately 75 feet in size. It is powered by a motor and can tackle areas close to shore. This is a great way for you to see the sights while also looking for whales and dolphins. How many people are needed to crew a catamaran?