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How Much Does A Catamaran Cost? (Big Crazy $$$?)

Catamaran cost explained at Boating.Guide

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You’ll want to know the Catamaran cost if you find sailing on lakes and fishing exciting. Then, a catamaran boat is your best bet. A catamaran is a watercraft featuring two parallel hulls. The name ‘catamaran’ is from the Tamil word, kattumaram, which means logs bound together looking like the first fishing boat designs.

How Do A Catamaran And A Monohull Boat Differ?

Generally, the difference lies in the shape of these watercraft and their hull. The hull is the point of contact with the sea. A traditional boat, like a yacht, has one hull, while a catamaran has two hulls. A platform across the top joins the two hulls.

A catamaran is widely used for fishing as its platform provides more expansive space to put fishing equipment and storage area for the caught fish. It has better transverse stability, while the seakeeping characteristics can be as good as the traditional boats, according to Molland et al. (2000) and Murdijanto et al. (2011). (sources)

In a study, catamaran hull forms influence the resistance characteristics and improve the boats’ shallow water behaviors. The narrower the separation distance between the two hulls, the greater the drag force acts upon the catamaran. It can reach the maximum speed of 25 knots, making it travel at twice of monohulls. (sources)

Monohull Vs. Catamaran Cost

When it comes to price, the catamaran is typically considerably more expensive, length for length, compared to monohull vessels. For example, a 35-foot cabin cruiser, even with twin engines, will still be cheaper than a twin-engine catamaran of the same length. Why? Two hulls cost more to build. Similarly, the deck between and holding the two hulls together is also extra to what one would include in a monohull.

Is Catamaran Expensive?

Compared with monohulls, the catamaran is pricier. Perhaps, it all boils down to a combination of construction cost, demand, and ability. Here are some of the benefits of the more expensive catamaran:

  • Safe handling and more stable 
  • More passengers can ride (greater weight capacity for the same length compared to monohull)
  • Better crew comfort in rolling seas
  • More usable interior storage and living space
  • Can travel faster than yachts and other monohulls of the same length due to displacement
  • Better fuel efficiency due to lower hull displacement

Cruising Catamarans

Brand new cruising catamarans can cost an average price of $500,000, while second-hand used catamarans can be as low as $200,000. The prices are almost comparable to trimarans and other advanced aluminum and carbon yachts.

Compared to a monohull of the same length, you can expect to pay between 20% and 60% more for a catamaran. However, you get all the extra features mentioned above. When considering all the features, I believe the catamaran is worth the extra money.

The catamaran often has extra included features due to extra hull space. Some can also come with central HVAC, advanced energy-saving systems, and automation features to improve your cruising. 

Small Recreational Catamarans

Small recreational catamarans, which measure under 20 feet in length, are usually cheaper than big cruising catamarans, with a price under $50,000. You can even find small personal watercraft types of catamarans for as little as $5000 (less if used).

Small catamarans don’t have a cabin as people usually spend their time going fast on the water during weekends and at regattas. So, these racers prefer to be compact, easier to maintain and stay on budget.

Summary

Catamarans costs around $5-10,000 for personal watercraft cats and upwards of $500,000 for large cabin cruiser catamarans. The catamaran has several benefits and features that make the design stand out from the monohull. These features include better fuel efficiency, a more stable and secure ride, and greater speed capabilities than typical monohulled boats of the same length.

  1. Seung-Hee Lee, Young-Gill Lee, Sang-Hyun Kim, On the development of a small catamaran boat, Ocean Engineering, Volume 34, Issues 14–15, 2007, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.oceaneng.2007.02.011.
  2. Amir Honaryar, Mahmoud Ghiasi, Pengfei Liu, Arash Honaryar, A new phenomenon in interference effect on catamaran dynamic response, International Journal of Mechanical Sciences, Volume 190,2021, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijmecsci.2020.106041.

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