Let’s talk catamaran sailboats. Many people ask me about them, and I’ve even had some ask what a catamaran is. So I wrote this article to dispel some of the myths and get all of us on the same page regarding what is one of my favorite boat designs, the catamaran sailboat.
Rather than having only one hull keeping it upright, two hulls balance a catamaran sailboat, as you know. These hulls are conjoined by a bridge deck, making them spacious and easier to maneuver. Catamarans also typically have a relatively minor hydrodynamic resistance than regular monohulls. It means they require less propulsive force from the sail or the motors.
Catamaran sailboats have a unique set of purposes, as the design is both intimidating and new to many sailors. They can be for day sailing, fishing, or world cruising. Several manufacturers of catamarans, such as Lagoon and Leopard, specifically design their catamarans for cruising. (source)
Because of its many advantages over monohulls, catamarans are becoming more popular. Not to mention, some of the most incredible and luxurious models of sailing vessels are, in fact, catamarans. Oh, and you’ve heard of the recent popularity of pontoon boats, right? Technically, those are a form of the catamaran, so you’re likely more familiar with them than you might initially acknowledge.
Catamaran Sailboats Are Better Than Monohulls
Even from a visual perspective, it’s clear that catamarans are more stable than monohulls precisely because of the additional hull. A bigger boat also means a bigger storage space (and more room for luxury). You can make room for systems and other amenities such as air conditioning, generators, freezers, etc. Usually, the living area on a catamaran is on the bridge deck. On a monohull, it’s less open because you have to go down into the single hull.
Unlike monohulls, where you may heel multiple times, being supported by two hulls makes for a different sailing experience with a catamaran. You will also feel less stressed because you aren’t going against gravity. With a catamaran, you can easily traverse shallower patches because it doesn’t need much water underneath them. (source)
Most lagoons in the South Pacific are roughly 6-8 feet deep, making them difficult for monohulls to enter because they’re pretty shallow. But with a catamaran, you don’t need to worry.
Are Catamaran Sailboats Easier To Sail?
One of the main issues of monohulls is that in strong winds, the heel makes some tasks in the boat more difficult to manage. On the other hand, since it boasts of its space and size, catamarans make for easier maneuvering even during bad weather. A catamaran has two engines to maneuver, one in reverse and the other in forwarding gear. It makes the sailing experience faster and a lot more convenient. (source)
Are Catamaran Sailboats Expensive?
Since it provides a more comfortable sailing experience, the prices are primarily influenced by size and type. Large types are those used for cruising, recreation, and racing. New catamarans usually cost between $200,000 to $1,000,000. However, it depends on the size and intent. You can pick up personal watercraft cats for as little as $5000. Go even smaller to small fishing boat cats, and you’re looking at even less.
Take a look at this mini fishing cat you can buy right on Amazon. Okay, it’s not a yacht, but I make my point about affordability.
Small catamarans, however, are cheaper, and their prices are consistent in the market. Small racing catamarans are perfect for people who enjoy going fast on the water during leisure. You can easily find small racing catamarans that sell for $50,000 or less. (source)
- All You Need to Know About Catamaran Sailing https://www.nautilussailing.com/catamaran-sailing/#:~:text=A%20catamaran%20is%20a%20sailboat,lakes%20and%20in%20calmer%20waters.
- What’s the Difference Between a Sailboat and a Catamaran, https://www.sailogy.com/blog/whats-the-difference-between-a-sailboat-and-a-catamaran
- Catamaran Sailing: What’s the Difference? https://asa.com/news/2022/02/08/catamaran-sailing/
- How Much Does a Catamaran Cost? https://www.lifeofsailing.com/post/how-much-does-a-catamaran-cost#:~:text=New%20cruising%20catamarans%20cost%20between,in%20length%2C%20cost%20under%20%2450%2C000.