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Catamaran Vs. Motor Yacht (4 Powerful Differences Explained)

Catamaran vs. motor yacht explained at Boating.guide.

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The Catamaran Vs. motor yacht, a comparison that has lasted for ages, is one we will finally put to rest in this article. We promise to make spotting their differences easy. 

Differences Distinguishing the Catamaran Vs. Motor Yacht

At the end of this section, everything that distinguishes these two sailing boats from each other will be at your fingertips.

The Shape And Number Of Hulls

As you must be aware, motor yachts have mono hulls, while catamarans (CATS) have multi-hulls. 

But what does this mean? 


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First, you need to understand that a boat’s hull refers to the body of the watercraft. It sits on top and also lies below the water. 

The mono hull takes a V-shape, and most of the bottom of the hull will be underwater. However, when dealing with CATs (multi-hull) systems, you’d notice a planning or displacement hull system. (source)

Only a tiny section of the hull’s bottom will be below the water with these hulls. It makes the catamaran perfect for shallow water sailing. (source)

The presence of the multi-hull system in the catamaran is the basis for most of its advantages. Some of which include; 

  • Better stability when docked and when underway
  • Saving fuel costs when the weather is favorable

Number Of Engines 

The number of engines in the catamaran and motor boat is another crucial player that determines the difference in performance.

Cats often feature twin engines which translate to higher speed and better maneuverability. Not to mention that if one engine fails, you have a backup engine. (source)

These Catamarans and their dual engines are also known to sail faster downwind. It is traceable to the shallow immersion of the hulls, which means less drag. (source)


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However, when placed in an upwind sailing showdown, the motor yacht wins. It is because the undercarriage will experience pounding and slapping. (source)

Available Space And Comfort

The difference in available space is as clear as day. It is because of the difference in the hull shape.

The catamaran has ample space in areas like the salon, galley, and flybridge. Even its cabins are more comfortable, and you’d be able to sit upright. Also, unlike the motor yacht, several cabins in a catamaran are ensuite. 

Additionally, comfort is a priority on the catamaran. It can fit larger electronic appliances like fridges, dishwashers, and freezers. Besides, you can finally say goodbye to sea sickness caused by wave impact with the CAT. Accelerometer tests show that catamarans have a 25% reduction in G forces. (source)

Pricing And Cost

Also quite clear is the margin in the cost of purchasing or chartering a catamaran. Compared to a motor yacht, you’d find that you’d be spending more on the catamaran. 

Additionally, since catamarans are larger, you’d spend more to get a berthing space in the marina. But you also should know that the catamaran is not all cons and no pros in terms of cost and pricing. After all, it suffers only a slight reduction in resell value.

Final Thoughts

We’ve informed you about the differences between a catamaran and a motor yacht. Ensure you consider the time of the year you plan sailing, your budget, and the number of people on board before opting for either of these sailing choices.


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