Catamaran versus monohull

Catamaran versus monohull or why sail a catamaran

A catamaran is a type of boat consisted of two hulls, joined by a frame. Sailing catamarans has recently become more popular because of their stability, spaciousness and safety. It is just a great alternative to monohulls.

Sailing a catamaran has many benefits and we are pointing out the main ones.

Comfort

Actually, it is the first word that comes upon one's mind when speaking about catamarans. Great success of catamarans in charter programs over the past decade is primarily due to the fact that catamarans offer enormous advantages over monohulls considering comfort on board.

Catamarans are considerably more stable than monohulls, so catamarans' crew can eat, sleep and live far more comfortably on the hook than on a monohuller. Catamarans are much wider,providing spacious aft cockpits. The main salon is on the same level as the cockpit. Unlike a monohuller, catamaran sailor do not step down into a deep, dark place but rather straight from the cockpit into a light filled salon. Catamarans offer much more privacy as the two hulls, the suites and heads within them are far away from each other.

As a catamaran does not heel, it offers more comfort underway than a monohull.Cooking is much easier on a cat underway and more pleasant as you are looking out on the world and not "down below". Most catamarans do not have gimbaled stoves and ovens because they simply don't need them.Catamarans don't roll from swell to swell like a monohull,they rarely heel more than 5 degrees so navigation is less tiring, drink and food stay steady, and there is less chance of getting seasick. Walking on the deck of a catamaran underway is much easier as the boat is sailing flat.

Speed

When comes down to speed, it is just a choice to sail faster or slower, depending on conditions, comfort and need.

As a catamaran does not have to carry a heavy lead keel underneath to stay upright, they are generally faster than a similar sized monohull – especially off the wind.

Catamarans do not go upwind as monohulls do, though these performances are recently changing which can be seen on models, especially latest Lagoon models. However, going off the wind is what the cats are all about – you should sail at a speed of about 50% of the true wind.

Draft

Most catamarans draw only about one meter, which enables anchorage close to the shore. Often it means that a boat is in more protected waters as well as shorter dinghy rides to the beach. Cats can also tuck up onto sand shelves where monohulls can't go.

Safety

In boating circles it is a permanent debate about safety between multihull and monohull boats. We can not tell that monohull sailors that their boat is unsafe because it is not true. However, we know that it would take a major catastrophe to sink any foam sandwich cat. Catamarans are more stable and they do not rock back and forth letting everyday activities more pleasent.

Catamarans are superior to monohulls in terms of redundancy. Cruising catamarans generally carry two diesel engines and a diesel generator. A possible engine failure on a monohull is the end of motoring. Not so on a catamaran. In fact, when motoring, most catamaran sailors use only one engine to conserve on fuel, and two engines to dock.

Most catamarans have twin engines and it is very easy to dock unlike a single engine monohull. A modern catamaran can do a 360 turn in her own lenght. A monohull cannot do this.

It goes without saying that in shallow areas a catamaran is clearly superior to a monohull thanks to low draft.

Space

Meter by meter, catamarans win out over monohulls in the matter of space. Not only in accommodation but deck space as well. Many cats are floating platforms for surfboards, kayaks and sailing dinghies. Most have some deck or cabin top space for huge arrays od solar panels. Generally speaking, interior and exterior layouts catamarans are unbeatable, comparing not only to monohull but also to most of the power boats. Huge cabins with king size beds, specious heads with separate shower rooms in most models, amazing panoramic salon, huge aft cockpit suitable for all kinds of activities, additional forward cockpit, fly bridge area as latest design solution considering catamarans...

Costs

Catamarans are very costly to build. Builders have to create two hulls, a large salon and finish all of them off with cabinetry and inventory. Rigging and sails of a catamaran must be more stout because the multihull doesn't heal and bleech off loads when hit by puffs like a monohull.

Monohulls can be bought cheaper new and their buyer has a variety of choice.

On the used market monohulls are very cheap to buy because the supply nowdays far outstrips the demand. Neverthelles, this is not a case with catamarans. Used catamaran prices remain quite high and stable, even in the hard times economy over the past few years. Naturally, it is important to remember that if you buy a monohull cheap you will surely also sell her cheap. If you buy a catamaran properly she will hold her value remarkably well for years to come.

While catamarans have lot of advantages, monohulls have only one and that one is on the dock, marina and shipyard as they are cheaper to haul and slip. Two hulls, of course, means double the work to scrap and paint, double the engine maintenance, higher marina fees but all the advantages remain on catamarans and that is really priceless.

If you like sailing fast, if you like sailing flat, if you like a big spaces, if you are looking for maximum safety and if you do not like rocking at anchor you are ready to join our catamaran family.

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