A catamaran is a dual-hulled vessel that offers owners the best of both worlds. If you can’t decide between a sailing yacht or motor yacht, a catamaran could be the perfect balance of unfurling the sails when you want, while also supplementing with stronger engine power when needed.
What is a catamaran boat?
A catamaran is a boat that measures under 78ft in length and features two hulls of the same size. While usually in the model of sailing catamarans or power catamarans, they can either be propelled by sail, or motor, or a combination of the two. Even if you have a sailing catamaran, you will usually have a small engine to help during days of little wind power.
What attracts most people to this boat type is the wide beam that stretches over both boat hulls, creating an extra-large dining area on the aft deck, extended bridge space for the driver, and wide foredeck space for guests.
What is the main characteristic of this boat hull?
What makes a catamaran hull so distinctive is the fact that there are two of equal size, unlike traditional “mono hull” boats. Another characteristic of this boat type is the shallow draft. This means they do not have a long keel like sailboats but can navigate very shallow waters with ease since there is minimal drag of the hull.
This is why catamarans are very popular boats for exploring places like Florida, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean where there are plenty shallow bays to explore, snorkeling to enjoy or even to rent for the day for private charters or sunset cruises.
Is a catamaran a yacht?
A catamaran can be a yacht, but this comes down to sizing. For a catamaran yacht, it has to be 79ft and above, whereas a catamaran boat, is any double-hulled boat 78ft and below. In the larger catamaran yachts, you’ll see a lot more power catamarans, sleek designs, luxury additions and higher power output (and costs of course!).
How to sail a catamaran
Sailing a catamaran will be similar to sailing other monohulls with a few things to note. The biggest changes are when tacking and gybing. When tacking, you have to make sure you maintain your speed throughout the entire tack and ease up on the mainsheet to avoid the catamaran turning back into the wind. And unlike on a sailboat where you gybe very slowly, on a catamaran you can increase speed to make sure the main stays under control.
If you’re new to sailing on the whole, and not just catamarans, it’s important to get comfortable with the rigging and take the appropriate courses and training to make sure you are comfortable maneuvering this type of boat. Whether your goal is to use the boat for racing, adventure, excursions or just days out sailing, you want to be comfortable and confident trimming the sails, leaving and returning to dock and to be prepared for any and all-weather conditions.
What is the best catamaran brand?
There are a number of popular catamaran brands on the market today for you to choose from. Some of the top selling boat builders today include:
How much does a catamaran cost?
Catamarans for sale will usually cost more than their close relative, the sailboat, however, there are many options to explore from brand new builds, to used catamarans based on your budget. Generally, brand new sailing catamarans and power catamarans will have a price tag in the range of $200,000 to over $1 million. Whereas used catamarans on the brokerage market can be found for around $500,000 and under. Of course, these are general guidelines and will depend on the age of the catamaran, the length of the boat, and the condition it is in.
How much does it cost to charter a catamaran?
Chartering a catamaran is an excellent way to get up close to the vessel and see how it moves and handles and whether you’d want to purchase one for yourself. Catamarans are very popular charter yachts – from the Caribbean, to Hawaii, and cruising around the Mediterranean in places like Croatia and Greece, they can be an excellent choice for your next yacht charter. Their hull design makes them perfect for navigating shallow waters for snorkeling, heading out on a week-long adventure, or looking to celebrate a special occasion on a luxury catamaran, you can’t go wrong.
On average, you can charter a smaller catamaran (both sail and power) for as little as $10,000 for a week. Once you reach catamaran boats over 70ft, you could be looking at prices as high as $50,000 for a one-week charter. If you’re ready to start your search, head over to the Charter inquiry page to see what’s available to charter around the globe.
Catamarans have a number of fantastic qualities for those looking to enjoy a trip on the water on their very own boat. With wide beam designs, a shallow draft and ample space for socializing, catamarans are a great option for those looking at sailing catamarans or power catamarans (or a combination of the two!). For further information, please check out our sailboat guide for more information.
YATCO Boating Guides
- Boating in Florida Guide: Before you head out on the water for your next big catch of the day, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the rules of the water in Florida. Whether you are a resident, or someone looking to visit and do some fishing, you’ll want to be sure to heed the ways of the water. YATCO created a Boating in Florida Guide for this very reason.
- Boat Financing Guide: Maybe you want to make fishing more than just a charter once or twice a year, and instead invest in your own boat or yacht you can take out any time you want. And in a place like Florida, where the fishing season never ends, it’s the perfect place to buy your next yacht. Learn about Boat Financing in our Guide.
- Boat Maintenance Guide: Now you know the boat you want, it’s important to learn how to maintain it as well. There are a number of factors to consider when it comes to improving the longevity and overall look and feel of your boat or yacht. Learn the proper ways to keep your vessel in good shape with YATCO’s Boat Maintenance Guide.
- Boating the Right of Way Guide: Just as we need to learn the rules of the road when we head out in our car, it’s important to learn the rules of the water as well. Whether you are a seasoned sailor, or new to boating, YATCO created a Boating Right of Way Guide to better understand some of the rules and buoys or signage you may come across on the water.
- Boat Insurance Guide: While certain states (including Florida) and countries around the world may not make boat insurance compulsory or a legal requirement before heading out on the water, it’s still a prudent idea to secure boat insurance before slipping off the dock. Learn more about the importance of boat insurance with our guide.
Don’t forget to check out our 2023 Yacht vs Boat Guide where you find all boat type comparisons and to subscribe to the YATCO newsletter to stay up to date with the latest news and trends in the yachting world.