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How To Pick Up A Mooring In A Catamaran

How To Pick Up A Mooring In A Catamaran | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Gabriel Hannon

August 30, 2022

The basics of picking up a mooring on your catamaran are similar to the normal process with the added benefit of the cat's maneuverability.

While the fundamentals are the same, dropping sails and coming in slow before hooking on, are the same, the dual hulls do make pickup and tying on a little more complicated. Still, you have the maneuverability advantages of the engine on each hull which can help you with this!

In this article, we will do a quick breakdown of the basics of the mooring system and how catamarans require some adjustments. This includes both when deciding where to moor and the specifics of how to approach and tie down to a mooring. This should ensure that you are ready to moor off any beach or harbor of your choice, so let’s get into it!

From selling and putting the 300-pound mushroom anchors into someone’s truckbed to measuring and cutting the chain to grabbing the right buoy paint for a mooring set, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about moorings, say nothing to the number of times I’ve taught junior sailors to pick one up! Together, we’re going to make sure that you are prepared for any mooring that comes across your path, and we’ll start with a brief overview of what to look for!

Table of contents

‍ Mooring Fundamentals

At its heart, a mooring is a permanent anchor that, instead of taking with you, is left in place. Because of this, it has to be incredibly sturdy so that it remains in place for all manner of storms. While personal moorings can be customized to the length and weight requirements of your boat, most public or marina moorings have to be ready for almost any boat. They also have to be properly spaced to ensure that no boats swing into each other in wind changes.

Mooring Construction

Though simple in principle and rarely necessary to know in detail, unless you plan on building your own, it is always good to know a little bit about what is going on underneath, and right on, the surface. As we go through the parts of a mooring, know that the key is that the whole system is only as strong as its weakest link. While there are other systems, particularly for rocky harbors, the system described here applies mostly to soft sand or mud bottoms.

Anchor and Bottom Chain

The two parts of the mooring that should almost always be resting on the bottom are the anchor and bottom chain. For mud bottoms, mushroom anchors, on the order of 300 pounds or more, sink into the soft bottom and bury the entire bottom plate.

The bottom chain, sometimes up to an inch thick links, lies on the bottom as well and tends to be about as long as the water is deep at high tide. The reason for this particular measurement is that, even in a storm, you should first have to drag the entirety of the bottom chain off of the bottom before even tugging at the anchor.

The top chain is the connective tissues between the mooring ball and the anchor. This is generally a little thinner, as the mooring ball has to be able to remain floating even when holding it up. Sometimes this is made out of rope, but chain tends to be easier to maintain in terms of growth and wear. The top chain tends to be about 5-10 feet longer than the depth of the water at high tide and is what gives the boat its swing around the, ideally, set bottom chain and anchor.

Mooring Ball, Pickup Stick, and Pennant

The mooring ball itself provides the floatation required to keep the pennant on water level for any boat to come and pick up. It is the connective link between the anchor and the boat and is the most easily identifiable piece of equipment. It can be either a hardshell buoy, normally painted in blue and white, or a softshell, inflatable mark, normally orange.

The mooring ball is shackled to both the top chain and the pennant. The pennant is the rope, normally spliced together and up to 2 or 3 inches of thick, double braided line, which you tie onto your boat. There are specialized bridle pennants for catamarans, which we will discuss in their own section. All the hardware on the seafloor is worthless if you can’t secure this on your boat, so make sure to tie it on properly and ensure that your hardware is suitably reinforced!

Finally, in order to successfully get the pennant onto a boat, most moorings include a ‘pickup’ buoy. This tends to be a small, foam cylindrical buoy, much like a lobster buoy (and occasionally an actual lobster buoy), with a long, thin stick on top and a weight on the bottom, to ensure that the stick is always reachable. Depending on the freeboard of your boat, it is not uncommon to see a 12 foot, or even longer, pickup stick to ensure reachability. It is normally tied onto the mooring pennant with a relatively small line and is not structural. It is a positive feature on most moorings, but some do not have a pickup, which means that you will have to be pretty handy with your boat hook to grab that pennant!

Making your Mooring a Catamaran Mooring

The beauty of the mooring system is that nothing under the water has to change to build a mooring for a catamaran. Everything from the ball down is identical, but changes begin with its positioning and the pennant.

Positioning

One of the key advantages of a mooring field is that, outside of regions with wild and varying harbor currents, in a steady breeze, almost all of the boats will rotate around their individual moorings at the same rate, meaning that you can actually get the moorings relatively close to each other, for the relative circles that you expect the boats to swing in, as you can anticipate them all rotating in roughly the same pattern. Even a couple more moorings is a few thousand bucks in revenue each year to a marina, so this characteristic is valuable.

Catamarans, however, can occasionally buck this trend. Because they are often lighter than keelboats of comparable length, have less draft, and more windage, they tend to swing around in a changing breeze much more quickly than other boats in the harbor. You really don’t want to park your cat in a sea of keelboats, as you might find yourself swinging into other boats left and right, which is a headache for all parties involved. When looking for a mooring, always assume that your cat is going to swing faster so that you don’t end up in too tight of a spot in a shifty breeze.

Pennant: Two Hulls, One Rope? Uh-Oh!

Like everything else that comes with having two hulls, the design of a catamaran makes normally simple things a little bit complicated on occasion. In this particular instance, the problem comes in trying to tie a catamaran up to something off its bow when it has two bows!

Tying the pennant up to only one of the two hulls would create a pretty significant imbalance on the boat, likely causing the boat to turn sideways to the wind. This would greatly increase the windage on the boat, leading to more pressure on the mooring, which could be dangerous, especially in rough weather.

In order to resolve this, there are two solutions, both of which involve a bridle. You must either have a tie down bridle linking the two hulls with some type of ring or tie down point in the middle to attach the singular pennant. This is the common resolution.

The other resolution, which has started to pop up in recent years as catamarans grow more popular, is to have a spliced double bridle pennant attached to the mooring.  This has two separate tie down points connected to the mooring, which then allows you to tie down one to each hull, providing a natural bridle directly to the mooring.

If you plan on picking up a mooring for anything more than a few minutes on a catamaran, one of these two is an absolute must.

Catamaran Mooring Maneuvers

Arguably the greatest feature of the catamaran is its maneuverability, and that is on full display whenever approaching a mooring. Because almost all cruising catamarans come with twin engines, your ability to pivot on a dime and to maneuver at low speeds without having to deal with prop walk is unrivaled by any monohull.

With that, you should expect to be able to execute a mooring approach with great dexterity. You even should have the means to recover and reset when you cannot get it on the first try. We will discuss two general approaches to the mooring, the traditional and the reverse. The reverse is generally employed on cats with high freeboards, small crews, and a mooring without a suitable pickup stick.

With both approaches, there are a few ground rules. If you can enter under motor power only, that can make your life easier, so make sure to drop your sails to make your life less complicated, and always come in slower than you think is necessary! Nothing is worse than a mooring ball caught in a prop; it takes a minute to slow down, and, well, quite a bit longer to get a new prop. If you do end up sailing it in, it is probably best to favor the traditional approach and come in from leeward with your sails close to luffing.

The Standard Approach

The standard approach to a mooring involves swinging to the leeward side of the mooring at minimum control speed before turning up with your bow directly at the mooring. A monohull will aim directly at the mooring and run up to grab the pickup buoy, but this is complicated by the likely gap between the bows.

Thus, on a catamaran, the helm and crew (or a particularly sprightly helm) must decide which bow to bring towards the mooring. Upon choosing one, drive up so that the mooring is hugging the inside of whatever hull you’ve agreed on. At this point, the crew should be able to grab the pickup buoy or use a boat hook to grab the line directly from the water. This job requires quick reflexes, so be ready!

Once the line is aboard, either fasten it to your two tie down lines between the two bows or fasten the two ends of the mooring bridle to their respective cleats. Again, using the dual propellers will really help with that final approach to the ball to ensure that it ends up between the hulls, not stuck under one!

The Reverse Approach

While the standard approach is great when you can reach the mooring from one of your bows, it does suffer from two potential flaws particular to catamarans. First, the higher freeboard on cats means that either it will be difficult to grab with a boat hook, or the pickup stick does not reach the deck. Second, mooring becomes a visibility issue, as it is difficult to see once it gets close to one of the bows. Especially in choppy waters, it might be more difficult to see where you need to swing that bow to get it directly over the mooring, so you might find yourself struggling to get to just the right spot.

Due to these two potential issues, many catamaran owners actually prefer to grab the mooring from the stern! Between better visibility, much lower freeboards (think swim platforms), and easier communication between helm and crew, this can often make approaching a mooring much less stressful.

In essence, rather than approaching the mark by swinging to leeward and heading up, this time you approach the mark in reverse from leeward and slowly back towards the mark against the wind and current.

As you get closer, make sure that you have brought a line from the bow back to the stern on the side where the mooring will be. Once someone can grab the pennant or pickup stick, they should run that bowline through the splice on the pennant. That will allow them to use that line to walk the mooring along the windward side of the boat as the boat slowly rotates 180°, either naturally as the crew walks to the bow or with a little help from the engines spinning the boat. At this point, you tie on just as you would if you had approached head-on.

In this approach, it is particularly important to douse any sails, as it will be pretty hard to reverse when going dead downwind! Additionally, while it can seem a little more difficult to back in and then spin around, this is a much easier way to moor with a small crew; additionally, you avoid having to go fishing for the pennant when a pickup isn't available. Some people prefer to both approach and tie up this way all the time, though I would not recommend in anything but calm seas for brief swims.

Hopefully, this has helped you see that there aren’t many differences between mooring a catamaran and mooring any other boat! It just takes a little bit of foresight, a good bridle, and some fancy, dual-engine driving. Happy Sailing!

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I have been sailing since I was 7 years old. Since then I've been a US sailing certified instructor for over 8 years, raced at every level of one-design and college sailing in fleet, team, and match racing, and love sharing my knowledge of sailing with others!

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mooring with a catamaran

Anchoring and mooring a catamaran

Life in an anchorage is great on two hulls so long as you know how to moor the boat.

You can’t beat a catamaran for liveability, and no monohull can stand up the comfort provided by a catamaran in a beautiful anchorage. But before you can get to the part where the water toys come out and dinner is served in the cockpit as the sun sets, you have to get the boat anchored or on a mooring. And that can be bit more complicated than it is on a monohull.

mooring with a catamaran

The beauty of anchoring with a catamaran, of course, is that the shallow draft means that you can usually head for the front row if you desire, but keep in mind that catamarans tend to swing at anchor much more than monohulls, so you’ll need to scope out a space with a good amount of room. 

As with all boats, approach the anchoring spot from downwind, keeping the boat straight into the wind and moving slowly, but with enough power to keep the bows pointed upwind, bringing the boat to as close to a stop as possible as you deploy the anchor.

Aim for about 5-to-1 scope, as measured from the anchor roller to the sea bottom. More scope may be needed in some conditions, but 5-to-1 is typically a good starting place. With the anchor out, set the safety catch on the anchor rode so that the windlass does not carry the load as the anchor catches. 

The helmsman then backs straight downwind, using the dual engines to keep the bow pointed into the wind. For sailors unaccustomed to twin engines it can be helpful to imagine the throttles as being the handle of a shopping cart. 

When the anchor is secured, it is time to rig up the most important part of a catamaran mooring system: the bridle.

mooring with a catamaran

Ideally the bridle will be tied to the bow cleats or attached to padeyes at the bows ready for action before you set the anchor. Once you’ve tested that the anchor is holding, connect the bridle’s shackle or D-ring to a link of anchor rode chain, release the safety catch and let out enough anchor rode that the bridle is carrying the entire load of the anchor. Take up excess slack, replace the safety catch, and your anchor system is set to go.

If you’re in a location where a swim is an option, it’s a good idea to put on a pair of goggles and check the anchor.

Using two anchors

Catamarans are particularly well suited to double-anchor systems because there’s more space to work with two anchors, one off each bow. Double anchors offer increased holding and reduced swing.

Set your first anchor in the usual way, then let out a good amount of additional scope. Drop the second anchor from the opposite hull (or from either hull if the original anchor is set in the middle), then take up the additional scope you let out on the original anchor, paying out the rode on the second anchor. When both anchors are set, hook them both up to the bridle.

You can also anchor Med-style, by setting your main anchor in deeper water then using those handy twin engines to back toward shore. Then use the dinghy to take either a long rope or anchor with a rope rode to shore where you can either put the anchor on the beach or tie to a fixed point. 

This system works if you prefer to go bow in as well, but then you should make sure to use your bridle on the aft end of the boat. 

Weighing anchor

When it’s time to leave that cozy anchorage, and the helmsman has the engines running, start by removing the bridle. As with any boat, the goal is to slowly power the boat over the anchor, so the person on the bow needs to use their arm or a boat hook to point in the direction of the anchor, giving the helmsman guidance on which way to steer. 

The helmsman can once again rely on the throttles to maneuver the boat in the right direction. 

As the boat moves forward, use the windlass to take up the slackening anchor rode. Do not use the windlass to pull the boat forward; that’s what the engines are for. 

As the boat comes over the anchor, it will often lift off the bottom with the change in angle. If the anchor is well set, the helmsman may need to drive slightly past the anchor to break it free. Once that happens the helmsman should slow the boat and the windlass can finish the job of lifting the anchor. Make sure to set the safety catch once the anchor is fully up.

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mooring with a catamaran

TMG Yachts Multihulls Power and Sail Australia

Mooring Retrieval and Bridle Setup

How to moor 101.

In this episode, Joe teaches us how to approach and successfully and safely secure a catamaran to a mooring ball, as well as how to correctly set up a bridle. Joe demonstrates this as a solo sailor and also the communication involved in this between a helmsperson and crew member.

mooring with a catamaran

MOORING FIELD CONSIDERATIONS

  • Wind & Tide   – approach a mooring much like you would when you’re anchoring a boat, from downwind. Very slow, very controlled, up towards the mooring and then stop just on top or just before we get to the mooring.
  • Other boats   – The gaps you’re going through might be quite small. So it’s about keeping a good lookout. If you’ve got a crew member on the bow anyway, ready with a boat hook to pick up the mooring, then you can utilize them as your second pair of eyes and ears.

mooring with a catamaran

MOORING BALL DIFFERENCES

  • Colour   – Police moorings in general, in Australia anyway, are blue. So, it’s generally best to avoid them.
  • Public/ Private   – look on your chart or your chartplotter for public moorings. These are set in place, serviced regularly, and available for public use.
  • Weight limit   – It may say on it or on the chart the weight limit. You need to make sure that the mooring is graded correctly for your vessel

mooring with a catamaran

SINGLE-HANDED RETRIEVAL

  • Prepare the foredeck area   – get the boat hook ready. Set this to maximum length
  • Aim for mooring   – (Halfway between centre and helm side of the catamaran). Initial approach to the mooring ball will be using the wheel and the engines in conjunction. Guiding the boat and getting it on track from downwind.
  • Lock the wheel about a boat length from the mooring ball   (making sure it’s centred)
  • Approach the mooring using the engines   – at this low speed, the only way to effectively steer the boat is using both engines in and out of gear.
  • A burst of reverse   – Once you lose sight of the mooring ball let the boat drift for another metre or so, so that it’s directly underneath that crossbeam. Then go into reverse just to bring the boat to a stop.
  • Walk to the front, grab the boat hook, and grab the mooring ball.

mooring with a catamaran

MULTI-HANDED RETRIEVAL

It’s really important to brief the crew member on what you want them to do and to communicate the location of the mooring ball.

  • Point to the mooring ball
  • Countdown – It doesn’t matter whether you use feet, meters, inches. Using fingers signal to the helmsperson how far you are from the mooring ball.
  • Hands as a fist to symbol stop the boat
  • Grab the mooring ball

mooring with a catamaran

BRIDLE SET UP

INITIAL SECURING

  • Cleat   – utilise the spare anchor roller, run the line over that to the cleat on the cross beam
  • Pull in all other lines 

BRIDLE   – Using two additional mooring lines

  • Take mooring line   (tie a bowline in the end if needed)
  • Secure to the bow cleat
  • Run the line from the bow.
  • Pull through the mooring ball.
  • Run back the same way and cleat.
  • Repeat on other side.
  • Ease all lines out and over the bow
  • Adjust if needed

mooring with a catamaran

LEAVING THE MOORING

  • Undo line 1
  • Undo line 2
  • Pull in lines –  this is essential so they don’t go into the sail drive.
  • Back to helm   – quickly to take control of the boat

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How to Pick Up a Mooring Ball

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. PLEASE READ OUR DISCLOSURE FOR MORE INFO.

Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Amy

Tying up to a mooring is one of the easiest and most common ways to secure your boat to the seabed. It takes some coordination and practice though, so here’s how we do it.

What is a Swing Mooring Ball?

A swing mooring ball is a very simple way to secure your boat to the seabed without dropping your anchor.  Usually, the mooring, from the top to bottom, consists of:

  • a pendant line that floats or has a float on it with an eye on the bitter end  (sometimes there is no pendant)
  • a float or buoy (the actual ball)
  • heavy duty line
  • some way to secure the chain to the ground

How are mooring secured to the ground?  It can depend. Sometimes a steel rod is drilled or cemented into the ground.  Other times, a cement block sits on the seabed. In more remote places, we’ve even seen huge engine blocks with chains wrapped around them sitting on the bottom.

Table of Contents - Click to Jump

How Safe Are Mooring Balls?

The quality of your mooring ball can be incredibly hit or miss.  

It is always a good idea to inspect the mooring carefully.  If you are a diver and have dive gear onboard, hop in the water to do a quick check of the bottom of the mooring to see how it is attached and check for any issues.

You can also carefully back down on the mooring to see if it will take the force.

In many of the more developed countries we have been to, especially ones with a charter fleet, public mooring balls are run by the government.  There’s a good chance (depending on which government, I suppose) that the mooring is regularly maintained and should be secure enough to tie up to.

Private moorings are a different story.  Often, local marine service shops or persons will have moorings available for rent.  It is best to ask these shops how they maintain their moorings, the maximum length, and what tonnage they are rated for .  For example, in Vava’u, Tonga, the shop Beluga Dive has about 30 moorings in the harbor.  It is very deep in the harbor with low visibility. Beluga Dive has a professional diver inspect their moorings every few weeks in the busy season if my memory serves me correctly.

I do have a tale of caution for you.  We first met the boat Archer, a beautiful Outremer catamaran, in the US Virgin Islands while it was owned by Rick & Julie.  They sold the boat to the Hynes family (of The Sailing Family , one of the original cruising vlogs).  

Early in 2019, Archer was on a mooring ball in Bora Bora while the family was ashore for dinner.  The winds picked up, and although Archer is a very sleek and light boat, the mooring line broke and Archer blew onto the dock.  

Obviously, this was a tough experience and a hard lesson.  There’s a lot at play here, and I won’t get into fault, etc.  

However, this does not stop us from tying up to a mooring ball.  

How to Find a Mooring Ball?

To locate a mooring ball that you can use, consult your local cruising guide, forums, or, in the case of government public moorings, the local maritime department website.   For example, in Australia, we often consulted the website of the different states and were able to download charts with mooring balls marked on them.

How Much Does Tying up to a Mooring Ball Cost?

Mooring balls are almost always much cheaper than marina berths.  Prices can vary depending on your location. We’ve paid anywhere from $25 a night to absolutely free.  

In some cases, you need to make arrangements with the company that maintains the mooring ball onshore, usually when the boats on the moorings are primarily permanent residents.  Other times, a boat will come around to collect mooring fees, especially when the field is predominately transients. We’ve even paid using a floating honesty box in the mooring field!

Free mooring balls are often the government-run ones.  There are a variety of reasons why the government would encourage mooring balls use and we’ve seen a lot of successful programs with free mooring balls in Australia, New Caledonia, and the U.S. Virgins Islands.

Why Some Mooring Balls Are Colored or Have Writing

It can depend on the local policies, but some areas might designate one color for public moorings, one for private, and one for special use.   Or an area with private moorings owned by multiple people/companies may come to an agreement to color their mooring balls differently.  

Sometimes mooring balls have writing on them to identify who owns the mooring ball.  Additionally, they might have an identifying number on them, so you can locate a particular mooring ball.

Why Pick Up a Mooring?

There are a lot of very good reasons to pick up a mooring ball.

Mooring balls have several benefits over anchoring:

  • They protect the coral or sea bed from damage.  Even dropping an anchor in sand can disturb the aquatic life and kill sea creatures.  
  • Some sea beds are not good for anchoring.  When the mud is really soft, the seagrass very thick, or the sea bed is hard rock covered by a small layer of sand, your anchor is not going to hold no matter how good it is.
  • The entire mooring field has the same swing radius.  This allows boats to be more tightly packed together and there is less likely to be a chance of bumper boats.  We’ve been in anchorages with cruisers who’ve thrown out 9:1 scope when we only used 5:1. We’ve also been in situations where the depth of the seabed varies so much and messes with anchor swing radiuses.  But that’s a whole other discussion.
  • Sometimes there is no room to anchor or it’s too deep.  Neaifu in Vava’u is a great example, as the depth is around 100 feet!
  • Paying for a mooring should always come with shore access for your dinghy.  If there’s no public dock, a boat who has anchored out might find their dinghy unwanted everywhere else.
  • Usually paying for a mooring will get you access to other shore facilities if available.   Sometimes marinas have docks and moorings, so you can pay less for a mooring in exchange for the minor inconvenience of having to take your dinghy to shore, but still have access to shores, laundry facilities, etc.

The two biggest downsides are:

  • The potential poor quality of a mooring

How Often Did We Moor?

Our world circumnavigation took us 1,546 nights. We spent 134 of those nights on mooring balls, a rate of 8.66%. Where did we usually moor? Certain parts of the world are better set up for mooring than others. We moored often in the South Pacific and the Caribbean. Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean don’t have the infrastructure in place to have a lot of mooring balls.

Supplies to Grab a Mooring Ball

  • Two dock lines , each attached to cleats on either side of your boat.  This will serve as your mooring bridle.
  • A boat hook
  • Marriage Saver headsets (or hand signals)
  • Snubbers (optional, eliminate jerking movements with gusty winds or waves)

Our boat did not come with cleats that we thought were acceptable for a mooring bridle. The bow cleats were too far back, and a bridle would rub on the deck or the leading edge of the hull.  We installed cleats up at the very front, where nothing else is in the way.

How Long Should Your Mooring Line Be?

We keep our bridle to our mooring ball as short as we can.  An extra-long mooring bridle in a tight mooring field might mean that you bump your neighbor.

Another issue we’ve had is that when the wind and current are opposed, or the winds are very light, the mooring ball might bang into our hulls.  Having the bridle tight can prevent this from happening. Sometimes, if the pendant is too long, we have to readjust our bridle to attach to the buoy directly without the pendant.

Mooring Techniques

Maneuvering tip.

One of the most important skills for a boat captain to have is to be able to hold their boat in the water.  In all my life around the water, I can not tell you how many captains I have seen over-maneuver the boat – yes, even the professional ones!

What this means is that the captain overcorrects with the throttle(s). The captain will be attempting to keep the boat in one place.  The boat is moving too far forward, so they put the engine(s) in reverse until the boat starts to move backward. Then they’re going too far backward, so the engine(s) go back to forward and the whole thing repeats.  

While I’m not as familiar with monohull steerage, due to prop walk, this can really screw things up quickly.  Catamarans are more straight-forward in this regard.

To prevent this from happening, don’t throttle the engine up; always work with the throttles just in gear.  Work to identify the moment just before your boat’s momentum changes.  If you pop your engines back into neutral at just the right moment, your boat will rest in the water.

This is a handy skill to have in all docking environments, and also important for emergency situations.  It doesn’t just help is calm conditions; being able to properly still your boat means you’ll better understand the way your boat moves in strong winds and currents.

How to Pick Up a Mooring Ball the Normal Way

  • Sails down, engines on, autopilot off.
  • For catamarans, the captain and deckhand should agree on which hull to approach. This hull will be the ‘near’ hull, the other one the ‘far’ hull.
  • Get your equipment out first and have it on deck.  Take your two lines for the bridle and attach them to the bow cleats.  We use a bowline knot tied like a luggage tag to the cleat.   Walk the loose end of the far mooring bridle line forward and around any obstructions like the headsails and put it on the deck where you can reach it. David puts the two ends together and leaves them on the trampoline within reach.
  • Assess the wind and current.  What you really want to do here is determine which way the boats on the moorings are facing.  If the winds are light, this may be a problem. Try to scope out a boat with similar windage to yours.
  • Approach the mooring ball from the direction you will swing.  In most cases, this means approaching the mooring ball from the leeward side. 
  • Communicate with the captain about how far away the mooring is.  On our boat, I often can’t see the mooring ball once it’s close to our bow, so David helps guide me close enough.
  • Using the boat hook, grab for the pendant floating in the water and pull it up to the deck.  If there is no pendant, there’s usually an eye on the top of the mooring ball. That can be grabbed instead to pull the mooring ball up to the deck.
  • Pass the end of the near mooring bridle line through the eye. Still holding the boat hook, return the line to its original cleat and cleat it off.
  • Take the second (far) mooring bridle line and pass it through the eye.  Keep your grip on the loose end and drop the mooring buoy or pendant from the boat hook.  Put the boat hook to the side to free up both hands.
  • Your boat is secured to the mooring ball, so relax!  The next step is to get the far line back onto the same cleat it came from.  For us, that means taking the line forward and around the headsails, so it’s not as quick as getting the first line on.  
  • Continue to communicate with the captain until you have the bridles adjusted how you want them.  If it’s super windy, the captain may need to throttle forward to give you some slack to tighten the bridle.
  • Monitor your mooring set up to make sure there’s no chafing or stress on the lines or your boat.

How to Drop Your Mooring Ball

Super easy.  Release one of your bridle lines from the cleat and pull the loose end through the pendant and drop it on deck.  Repeat with the other side. This is an easy move for a single-handed sailor.

If it’s very windy, the captain might have to bump the throttles to give some slack in the bridle.

Picking up a Mooring Ball from the Stern

This is an option for if the pendant is too short and the mooring ball is too heavy to pick up.  It may not be any easier from the stern, depending on your boat.  

One major risk factor is getting the mooring entangled with your propellor.  Be very careful with getting too close, especially if the mooring has a long line to the base or a long pendant.  

In this scenario, you still align the boat into the wind but come up alongside the mooring ball instead of directly behind it.  In a catamaran, it’s best to do this on the side with the helm station so the captain can see better. The boat might need to be pivoted towards the mooring ball.

Once the mooring is at the stern quarter, feed an end of each of the bridle lines through the eye.  You may need to use your boat hook to accomplish this.  

Holding both ends of the bridle lines, keeping very little slack in the line, walk up the deck of the boat to the bow cleat.  The captain should let the boat fall back, perhaps pivoting gently to keep the boat in line with the wind.

Secure the near bridle and then pass the far one over and secure it to the other bow cleat.  

Mediterranean Mooring

Mediterranean mooring is a whole different technique and one we aren’t going to cover here.  Mediterranean moorings are when you pick up a mooring ball and back your boat up to the dock, typing stern lines to the shore or dock.  

Throughout our five years and 30,000 miles, we’ve only med moored once.

Sail Up to a Mooring Ball

This is really advanced boat handling!

Start by practicing this move on a single mooring with plenty of space around.  Plan your approach to the mooring to be sailing tight into the wind. Furl your headsail and rely only on the mainsail.  

The trick to this maneuver is to learn to time it correctly, which is really dependant on the wind.  At the right moment, adjust course to sail directly towards the mooring, which, if you planned correctly, will be directly into the wind.  The mainsail will luff, and the boat’s momentum should slow to a stop close enough to grab the mooring or pendant with the boat hook.

This move is easier in a catamaran, as you have more room for error with a wider beam.

Sail Off a Mooring Ball

This one is much easier.  While sitting on the mooring, your boat is (probably) facing right into the wind.  Hoist your mainsail before dropping the mooring ball.  

As the wind blows your boat away from the mooring ball, pivot the direction you want to go and the wind will fill in your sails and your boat will start sailing forward! 

Any Questions?

Hopefully, this guide will help you feel more comfortable picking up and using mooring balls. It should be easier than anchoring or docking, so if it’s not, keep practicing until you are comfortable! 

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Sailing technique on a catamaran: anchoring and mooring

Catamarans can be somewhat playful at anchor, but renowned katting specialist Nigel Ayrens has a couple of tricks that will make anchoring and mooring safer - and more comfortable as well. The advantages of cruising catamarans undoubtedly include the fact that the shallow draft gives them the opportunity to anchor in many hidden and attractive, but not deep places, often inaccessible [...]

Catamarans can be somewhat frisky at anchor, but from a renowned catamaran  Nigel Ayrens  There are a couple of tricks that will make anchoring and mooring safer - and more comfortable too.

To the pluses of cruise catamarans  undoubtedly it must be attributed that the shallow draft gives them the opportunity to anchor in many hidden and attractive, but not deep places, often inaccessible to yachts with large keels. 

General plan of anchoring on the boat under the engine  much the same as on a monohall - approaching the place where you plan to drop anchor, setting to leventic and signal to the bow when you are ready to kick back the chain.

The only snag is the stubborn reluctance of the catamaran to maintain stability in the headwind in any wind, except perhaps a light breeze. But it is also true that  two motors allow good position and course hold giving you as much time as you need to take a good look around. However, try not to hover for a long time - otherwise the wind may take this as an "invitation" to take control of the boat. 

Sailing technique on a catamaran: under-engine control

Holding position

Once the anchor is at the bottom , you can step back using the throttle controls to stay to the left until you are at a point where the chain is sufficiently tucked up. 

If you are in the waters,  where there are no tidal or other currents then you can plan to lie on the leventic like other boats around. But the catch is in the already mentioned unwillingness of the kata to hold this way. However, with some luck, your catamaran will have a solution for this too. 

Here's what's going on  when the kat starts to wiggle around the anchor ... It all starts with the bow falling off to one side or the other and the boat is moving straight - say, at an angle of 45 ° to the wind axis. Gradually, the boat will be forced to bring its bow to the wind, because its direction of movement is limited by the radius around the anchor.

It slows down and is brought to the wind, but since the anchor pulls it by the bow in one direction, the boat rolls over the leventik point and everything starts anew. It's not hard to imagine that this scenario will repeat itself all the time, taking up too much parking space and unnerving neighbors. The physics of this phenomenon is not much different from the wobble of a flag in the wind. 

To solve this problem , the chain and the anchor cable should be tied to the bridle or mustache rather than directly to the reel on the bow. This means that the ends must be attached to the nose of each float and the middle of the resulting bridge to the anchor chain or bracket. And when the bow of the kata falls off the axis of the wind, the cable from the leeward side will take on the load if the windward one weakens. 

Such  asymmetric load   will be much more effective  in bringing the catamaran to leventic before it can pick up any speed.

Anchoring sequence

You can  experiment with bridle length but something that looks like an equilateral triangle (as seen from above) seems to work best. However, the boat you are sailing probably already has a bridle adjusted and ready to use.

Thus, the sequence of actions for anchoring is approximately as follows:

  • Choose the best anchoring site possible.
  • Approach the chosen location from the leeward side and let the crew prepare to drop the anchor at your command.
  • Move astern on leeward side while the anchor man releases the chain.
  • Install the bridle and loosen the anchor chain until the load transfers to the bridle. 
  • If the kat for some reason does not anchor securely - changeable winds, unwanted currents, or anything else - consider giving up a second anchor. 

The best way to do this is through a tender.  While the learning curve can be quite steep, a little trial and error will help you better prepare for the day when you have to wait out rough weather from a known direction.

Second anchor  must be given in such a way that the angle between the first and second anchor chain is between 90 ° and 60 °.

We select mooring

If you get up on mooring more often than anchored, then visibility - or rather the lack of it - can be a problem. So the old tactic tells us to send a crew member to the bow to hold the gaff and point them to the buoy — a much better way than just telling the helmsman what's going on. 

If the buoy you wish to attach to has no rope or chain, it will be nearly impossible to pass the temporary end through the ring without launching the tender, especially if you have a high freeboard. If so, you can moor the boat astern first.

To begin with, the helmsman needs both a good view of the buoy and the ability to communicate with the mooring sailor.  Once the end is attached, the helmsman must be able to maneuver the boat sufficiently so that the mooring sailor can drag the weakened end of the mooring onto the bow - but not so loose that there is a risk of winding it around the propeller. Which can be embarrassing at best and dangerous at worst. 

Mooring sequence

A summary of the procedure will look something like this:

  • Find a buoy that was allocated to you, or select the appropriate one if you did not have any specific instructions.
  • Walk up to him  on the leeward side and instruct a team member to hook the end with a hook, wind the non-main end and secure the free part to the duck or any other strong point that is at hand.  
  • That's all - you are safe!  It remains to install the bridle as above and you're done.

Anchoring or mooring  a catamaran is more difficult than a monohull yacht. This is due to the good old problem: catamarans are "more resilient" than yachts, are more susceptible to wind drift and have less hulls underwater.

This does not mean that training opportunities should be ignored when the anchorage is spacious enough and not crowded. Against,  practicing these skills in the right conditions helps build confidence and develop skills necessary to control the khat in various circumstances (for example, the Interparus school conducts training in La Rochelle, where the necessary infrastructure has been created to work out safe anchoring and mooring). 

The Interparus Yachting team is often called a catamaran team, because we actively work with double-hull yachts for sale, training and rental. On our catamaran courses, we try to convey the best that we have gained through our own experience over the years.

Ultimately,  most of the fun of sailing  involves mastering new skills and developing proficiency in handling whatever boat you are on.

Sailing technique on a catamaran: the transition from mono to multi

What should and shouldn't be done

  • Spend some  time for training holding the bow of the catamaran against the wind under the engines.
  • Anchor correctly so that you can feel the boat jerk forward slightly as you return the engine to neutral.
  • Make sure your crew is properly instructed in anchoring and mooring.
  • Remember to remind the anchor sailor to pause the chain recoil when the anchor is on the bottom until the boat has pulled back. This will keep the chain from getting tangled at the anchor. 
  • Do not drop anchor ,  if space is really small.  The catamaran needs more space than other boats as it is large and often quite playful at anchor.
  • Don't give up too easily  - after all, you have a stronger trump card than average monohull yachts. And therefore, you may find some pure water that is not available to them! In tidal waters, you can even go to the bottom and have a very peaceful night.

Interparus is one of the few that provides training on sailing catamarans at its yacht school. Our experienced instructors have many years of experience in driving, sailing, and teaching sailing techniques on catamarans. Call now  +33 644 14 21 68 (Sasha Goron ),  and sign up for a catamaran driving course from Interparus Yachting.

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mooring with a catamaran

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Catamaran Sailing Techniques Part 3: Anchoring and picking up a mooring – with Nigel Irens

  • Matthew Sheahan
  • February 17, 2016

Catamarans can be a bit frisky at anchor, but multihull expert Nigel Irens has some tips to make anchoring and mooring safer and more comfortable

mooring with a catamaran

The general game plan in anchoring on a cat under power is much as it is on a monohull – approach the spot where you intend to drop the anchor from dead downwind and signal to the foredeck when you are ready for it to be dropped.

The only snag is the catamaran’s stubborn desire not to remain in a stable condition head-to-wind in anything but the lightest breeze. It’s just as well, then, that the twin engines allow you to hold station and heading reasonably well, provided you’re firm with the controls and act with as much deliberation as you can muster.

It obviously helps if you can avoid hanging around too long in limbo with no way on – which invites that headwind to take control of the boat.

Keeping your position

Once the anchor is on the bottom you can drop back downwind – once again playing the engine controls to help the boat stay head to wind until the point where you have snubbed the anchor in.

If you’re operating in waters that are free from tidal movement or other currents you might expect to lie head to wind like the other boats around you, but there’s another snag that needs to be addressed before you can feel relaxed about this. The problem is related to the above-mentioned reluctance of a catamaran to lie head to wind, although with any luck your boat will already be fitted with a solution to this one.

What happens is that the boat starts to range around the anchor. This process begins as the bow falls off to one side or the other and the boat starts to ‘sail’ forward – say at about 45° to the wind axis. Eventually the bow will be forced to come head to wind because the direction of travel can only be a radius around the anchor.

Eventually the boat slows down and comes to wind, but because the anchor rode is still pulling the bow to one side the boat tacks through the eye of the wind and sets off with renewed vigour on the other tack.

It’s not hard to imagine that this cyclic pattern can repeat itself until the boat is careering about, taking up much too much space in the anchorage and generally winding up the neighbours. Viewed from above the physics of this phenomenon is not unlike that which makes a flag flap.

The bridle takes the load and the anchor chain to the boat is now slack. Note recovery line

The bridle takes the load and the anchor chain to the boat is now slack. Note recovery line

To solve the problem the anchor rode needs to be attached to a bridle rather than directly to the bow roller. This involves attaching one end of a rope to each bow and the middle of the resulting span to the anchor chain or warp. As the bow of the boat falls off the wind axis the tendency is for the rope on the lee bow to take the load as the windward one goes slack.

This asymmetric load will be far more effective in putting the boat back head to wind before it has had time to build up any speed than a single rode to the centreline.

Anchor sequence

You can experiment with the length of the bridle, but something approaching an equilateral triangle (as viewed from above) seems to work pretty well, although the boat you’re sailing probably has the bridle already set up correctly and ready to use.

Clear hand signals are also required when raising the anchor to help the helmsman reduce load on the windlass

Clear hand signals are also required when raising the anchor to help the helmsman reduce load on the windlass

So the sequence of events in anchoring is roughly as follows:

  • Pick the best looking spot to anchor
  • Approach the chosen spot from downwind and give the crew the go-ahead to drop the anchor when you’re in position.
  • Move astern downwind as the crew pay out the anchor rode and snub the anchor in.
  • Set the bridle and slacken the anchor rode until the load is taken up by the bridle.
  • If the boat won’t settle at her anchor for some reason – fickle winds, some unwanted counter current or whatever – you may have to think about laying a second anchor.

This is best done from the tender and although the learning curve might be quite steep, a bit of trial and error could leave you better placed for the day you need to ride out heavy weather from a known direction.

The second anchor should be set so that the angle between the first and second anchor chain is between 90° and 60°.

Picking up a mooring

If you are picking up a mooring rather than anchoring, visibility – or the lack of it – might be a problem, so the old tactic of getting a crewmember to hold the boathook aloft from the forward end of the boat and point it at the buoy is as good a way as any of telling the helmsman what’s happening.

If the buoy you’re aiming to pick up has no rope or chain leader attached to it then it might be almost impossible to get a temporary line through the ring without launching the tender – especially if your freeboard is high. If so there’s a cheeky work-around involving offering the boat up to the mooring stern first.

Using a boat hook to help guide the helmsman to the buoy that you want to pick up. Don’t worry about looking like a whaler about to launch a harpoon!

Using a boat hook to help guide the helmsman to the buoy that you want to pick up. Don’t worry about looking like a whaler about to launch a harpoon!

For a start the helmsman should have both a good view of the buoy and the ability to communicate with the line handler. Once a line has been attached, the helmsman should be able to spin the boat round easily enough so the line handler can to bring a slack mooring line round to the bow as the boat turns – but not so slack as to risk it getting sucked in by the propeller, which could be embarrassing at best and dangerous at worst.

Mooring sequence

A recap on the procedure would read something like this:

  • Find the buoy you have been allotted – or choose a suitable one if you haven’t had any specific instructions.
  • Bring the boat up to it from downwind and get the crew to bring up the leader with the boat hook, get a temporary line through the eye and secure the free end on a cleat or any other strong point that comes to hand.
  • That’s it – you’re safe! It just remains to set the bridle as above and you’re done.

Anchoring or picking up a mooring under sail is more difficult than would be the case in a monohull. This results from that old problem about catamarans being more skittish than monohulls, having more windage above the water and less hull below it.

That is not to say that it couldn’t be attempted when an anchorage is spacious enough and not overcrowded. On the contrary, taking on such challenges in the right conditions helps build confidence and develop the skills necessary to anticipate the way the boat will behave in different circumstances.

Ultimately much of the pleasure that sailing has to offer involves mastering new skills and developing prowess in handing whatever boat you happen to be sailing.

Inevitably doing so involves taking on challenges that will get your adrenalin popping from time to time – as it is meant to do. It was ever thus!

Do’s and don’ts

  • DO spend some time practising holding your catamaran head to wind under power.
  • DO snub the anchor in properly so that you can feel the boat being tugged forward when you put the engine back in neutral.
  • DO make sure your crew are properly briefed about their role in making anchoring and mooring a pleasure.
  • DON’T forget to make sure they know they should delay paying out more chain after the anchor has hit the bottom until the boat is visibly moving astern. This avoids the risk of chain piling up on top of the anchor and perhaps fouling the flukes.
  • DON’T drop an anchor if there really isn’t enough space. A catamaran needs more space than other boats because it is big and often a bit frisky at anchor.
  • DON’T give up too easily – you have an ace card to play in that you draw less than the average monohull so can probably find some clear water that’s no use to them! In tidal waters you can even dry out and have a very peaceful night.

Our eight-part Catamaran Sailing Skills series by Nigel Irens, in association with Pantaenius , is essential reading for anyone considering a catamaran after being more familiar with handling a monohull.

Part 4: Cruising upwind under sail – potentially a cat’s weakest point of sail

Series author: Nigel Irens

One name stands out when you think of multihull design: the British designer Nigel Irens.

His career began when he studied Boatyard Management at what is now Solent University before opening a sailing school in Bristol and later moving to a multihull yard. He and a friend, Mark Pridie, won their class in the 1978 Round Britain race in a salvaged Dick Newick-designed 31-footer. Later, in 1985, he won the Round Britain Race with Tony Bullimore with whom he was jointly awarded Yachtsman of the Year.

His first major design success came in 1984 when his 80ft LOA catamaran Formule Tag set a new 24-hour run, clocking 518 miles. During the 1990s it was his designs that were dominant on the racecourse: Mike Birch’s Fujicolour , Philippe Poupon’s Fleury Michon VIII , Tony Bullimore’s Apricot . Most famous of all was Ellen MacArthur’s 75ft trimaran B&Q, which beat the solo round the world record in 2005.

His designs have included cruising and racing boats, powerboats and monohulls, but it is multis he is best known for.

See the full series here

A special thanks to The Moorings, which supplied a 4800 cat out of their base in Tortola, BVI. www.moorings.com

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Successful anchoring on a long mooring line (part 1)

NauticEd is the #1 in nautical e-learning.

March 3, 2023

NauticEd is the #1 in nautical e-learning. Based in the United States, they specialize in boater training and navigation certification which is internationally recognized, not only by federations but also by charter companies! Today, this Wikipedia of online nautical training, gives us some tips on what is called the Mediterranean mooring.

A long warp passed ashore is a very practical method of mooring. Mainly used in the Mediterranean as the standard system, the method allows for several boats to moor in a short stretch of space. But it can also be useful anywhere, especially when there’s no dock or marina but only a bare undeveloped shoreline.

To sum up, this maneuver, known as “Med mooring”, consists of anchoring close to the shoreline, and after backing down on the anchor, securing one or more mooring lines from the stern of the boat to a fixed point ashore.

Here are some tips and techniques that will make your Med mooring, using long warps, more efficient.

As with everything, preparation is the most important element to ensure success. First of all, you need to select a suitable location. And there are a few things to consider when choosing your anchorage position.

Longue amarre

You must do a quick reconnaissance to assess the depth where you want to drop anchor, as well as close inshore. You can’t anchor too deep and you can’t anchor too shallow either, as your rudders might touch the bottom as you go astern towards the shore.

Rocher noeud

Then look for a specific point ashore that you’ll be able to tie to. It could be a well-placed tree, or a rock of a suitable shape, so that you can tie the mooring line to it without risk of it slipping off.

Ideally, it’s best to use floating mooring lines, but they’re not mandatory. They are easier to send ashore, and because they float, there’s less risk of them getting caught in your propellers. The mooring lines must be long – longer than you’d think at first sight – because the final position you choose could be anywhere between 6 and 45 meters (20 to 150 feet) from the shoreline.

You can attach mooring lines together to increase the overall length, but even then, they must be long. A pair of docklines probably won’t be enough. If you’re sailing a charter boat, make sure that the charter company provides you with at least two long warps.

Most likely, your long mooring lines will be deployed from the boat to the shore at an angle, so be careful not to secure the them on the wrong side of the pushpit or a stanchion, otherwise you might run the risk of ripping them out of the deck.

Two long mooring lines are the best solution to prevent the boat from swinging in the event of a wind shift. If you have the wind on the beam, the first line you run ashore must be the windward one.

When using very long mooring lines, you’re recommended to attach a series of floats to them to make them more visible to other boaters.

Amarres

Preparation:

Prepare the maneuver with the crew and communicate precisely what each person’s role is. There are a few important points to consider:

  • Will the mooring line be swum ashore or will it be taken in the tender?
  • What is the shoreline like? If the shore is rocky, shoes will be required for the person responsible for the mooring lines. Beware of sea urchins!
  • Who will be the most suitable and competent person to undertake this operation?
  • Will the chosen person be able to make a bowline or a round turn and two half hitches without making any mistakes?
  • Who will be in charge of anchoring and do they know all the relevant procedures?
  • What are the wind conditions? Winds from fore or aft are easy to detect, but if the wind is on the beam, you require a certain level of boat handling experience. If the wind is blowing at more than 7 knots, you won’t have much time to perform your maneuver, especially in crosswind conditions.
  • Catamarans are easier to handle than monohulls when you have to keep a stationary position.

There are two ways to get the mooring lines ashore: by swimming or using the tender.

Although swimming is fun and enjoyable from the beach, the wind is still a decisive factor (not to mention the water temperature). Swimming on the coast can take time and it can be difficult for the helmsman to remain stationary in the intended location if the wind is on the beam. Make sure your person is a competent swimmer who can also tie an effective knot. Remember to protect your feet once on the shoreline.

In the event of crosswinds, once the boat has backed down on the rode, and got the anchor dug in to its final position, the swimmer can take the end of the windward mooring line, which has previously been cleated off outside the pushpit, and then swim it to shore. A crew member will assist the swimmer by uncoiling the mooring line, reporting to the helmsman on the progress of the maneuver, and keeping the line away from the propeller. Once tied off ashore, the crew member back on board will take up his end on the cleat.

The swimmer can then return to the boat and take the leeward mooring line (in the case of a crosswind) ashore and secure it.

Even in the absence of crosswinds, you should consider that wind conditions can change. Also, it’s always wise to have your two mooring lines set at an angle.

Bateau plage

In the dinghy:

If you plan to use the tender to pass a long mooring line ashore, you’re going to have a bit more flexibility in relation to the wind. You can either pass the entire mooring line (not cleated-off) using the tender once the boat is in position, or in the case of trickier wind conditions, you can first use the tender (again with the entire mooring line on board and not cleated-off on the boat) before dropping the anchor.

In difficult wind conditions (wind on the beam), start by choosing an appropriate anchorage position and the right points for mooring to. Stop the boat a way off the chosen location, then send the tender ashore and both mooring lines, with the appropriate crew. The crew on board the tender will secure the windward line to the selected point ashore and bring it back to your intended anchorage position. Once this operation is completed, the helmsman can give the order to anchor, bringing the boat astern, and back to the tender, and attach the windward mooring line onto a cleat. Then, the crew in the tender will perform the same maneuver with the leeward mooring line.

See this tutorial detailing how to use the tender to get a long mooring line ashore.

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If the wind is favorable, the conditions are good for anchoring, set the boat to its final position and perform the line-handling maneuvers using the tender. As a reminder, a catamaran is easier to maintain in a stationary position because of its maneuverability under engine.

Once the long mooring lines and anchor are set, it is advisable to tension everything up, in order to prevent the wind from pushing the boat against neighboring boats that have done the same thing as you. To do this, using the engine, back down on the anchor, take up the slack from the mooring lines and cleat them off. Or, move ahead on your anchor by taking the slack in the anchor line to the windlass, which will put more tension in your mooring lines.

Ancre

Finally, if possible, it’s always a good idea to dive on the anchor to ensure that it is dug in and to check that the length of your mooring lines is sufficient.

We hope you found this article useful! This information doesn’t constitute strict rules and the responsibility for maneuvering a boat remains with the captain. Only the person in command can and should make decisions to maintain the integrity of the safety of his boat and crew.

Other articles are to follow, thanks to our  Club Lagoon  partner:  NauticED . Check their preferential rates for club members,  by clicking here .

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Mastering Catamaran Sailing: Essential Guide & Tips to Navigate the Waters

Alex Morgan

mooring with a catamaran

Sailing a catamaran can be an exhilarating and enjoyable experience for both experienced sailors and beginners alike. Unlike monohull sailboats, catamarans offer unique advantages in terms of stability and speed. If you’re interested in learning how to sail a catamaran, it’s important to understand the basics and master the necessary skills. This article will provide you with a comprehensive guide to sailing a catamaran, from understanding the fundamentals to maneuvering and handling the boat effectively.

To begin with, let’s delve into the introduction of sailing a catamaran, followed by understanding the basics of a catamaran. We’ll explore what exactly a catamaran is and how it differs from a monohull sailboat. we’ll discuss the advantages of sailing a catamaran, highlighting why it has become a preferred choice for many sailors.

Before setting sail, proper preparation is essential. This section covers the importance of safety equipment and checks, along with understanding wind and weather conditions. Planning your route is crucial to ensure a smooth and enjoyable sailing experience.

Once you’re prepared, we’ll move on to the essential sailing techniques for a catamaran. This section will guide you through rigging and hoisting the sails, tacking and jibing, trimming the sails, and controlling speed and direction. Mastering these techniques is key to maneuvering the catamaran effectively on the water.

Handling the catamaran also requires specific techniques. We’ll cover important maneuvers such as docking and undocking, mooring and anchoring, and addressing emergencies like man overboard recovery. These skills are vital to ensure a safe and successful journey.

We’ll provide you with essential safety tips for sailing a catamaran. Understanding right-of-way rules, handling rough seas and heavy winds, and maintaining balance and stability are crucial aspects of staying safe on the water.

By the end of this comprehensive guide, you’ll have a solid understanding of how to sail a catamaran and be well-equipped to embark on your own catamaran adventures while ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience.

– Sailing a catamaran offers the advantage of maximizing space with its two hulls, allowing for more comfortable living quarters and a larger deck area. – Catamarans provide a stable and balanced sailing experience, making them a safer option for beginners and those prone to seasickness. – Proper preparation, including checking safety equipment, understanding weather conditions, and planning your route, is crucial for a successful catamaran sailing experience.

Understanding the Basics of a Catamaran

Understanding the basics of a catamaran is essential for safe and enjoyable sailing. A catamaran is a boat with two parallel hulls connected by a deck. It has advantages over monohull boats. Catamarans are stable due to their wide beam, reducing the risk of capsizing . They can access shallow waters because of their shallow drafts . Catamarans also offer more space and comfort with larger cabins, living areas, and deck space.

To control a catamaran, the skipper uses the helm to control the rudders. Adjusting and trimming the sails allows the skipper to use the wind’s power and steer the boat efficiently. Balancing the sails and maintaining stability while sailing is important.

Knowing the key components, how to control the boat, and handle the sails will help you navigate the waters confidently. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or a beginner, familiarizing yourself with the fundamentals of catamarans is crucial.

What Is a Catamaran?

A catamaran, also known as a cat , is a type of boat that features two parallel hulls connected by a platform or bridge deck. This unique design provides it with stability and speed, making it a popular choice for sailing enthusiasts. Unlike traditional monohull sailboats, a catamaran offers a wider beam , which results in more space and greater stability . As a result, the sailing experience on a catamaran is smoother and more comfortable .

There are several advantages to sailing a catamaran. One significant advantage is its shallow draft , which allows it to navigate in shallower waters that are inaccessible to other types of boats. The dual hull design of a catamaran minimizes drag and enhances speed , making it highly efficient for long-distance cruising . The spacious interior layout of a catamaran provides ample room for accommodations , amenities , and storage .

When sailing a catamaran, it is essential to consider the wind and weather conditions for safe navigation. Understanding the right of way rules and knowing how to handle rough seas and heavy winds are crucial skills for catamaran sailors. Maintaining balance and stability is of utmost importance to ensure a smooth sailing experience.

A fun fact about catamarans is that they have been utilized by Polynesian cultures for centuries, proving their effectiveness and versatility in various sailing conditions.

How Is a Catamaran Different from a Monohull Sailboat?

A catamaran is different from a monohull sailboat in several ways. A catamaran has two parallel hulls connected by a deck or bridge, whereas a monohull sailboat only has one hull. This dual hull design provides greater stability and balance on the water.

In addition, the hulls of a catamaran are wider and shallower compared to those of a monohull, allowing for a shallower draft and improved maneuverability . This also results in a higher cruising speed and faster sailing speeds for catamarans.

Catamarans also offer more interior space and are known for their spaciousness and comfort , thanks to their wider beam. When sailing upwind, catamarans experience less heeling , which translates into a smoother and more comfortable ride for passengers.

Catamarans are better suited for cruising in shallow waters and can anchor closer to shore due to their shallow draft . The dual hull design of catamarans also provides greater redundancy and safety in the event of hull damage or collision.

Unlike monohull sailboats, which typically have a keel, catamarans rely on centerboards or daggerboards to prevent sideways sliding. The main differences between a catamaran and a monohull sailboat lie in their stability , speed , comfort , and maneuverability .

Advantages of Sailing a Catamaran

– Stability: Catamarans offer excellent balance with their twin hulls, making them less likely to tilt or capsize compared to monohull sailboats.

– Spaciousness: The wide beam of catamarans provides more interior and deck space, including comfortable living quarters, larger cabins, and ample room for socializing and entertaining.

– Speed: The design of twin hulls reduces drag, allowing catamarans to sail faster and provide exhilarating experiences.

– Shallow Draft: Catamarans have a shallower draft than monohull sailboats, enabling them to sail in shallower waters and access a wider range of cruising grounds.

– Comfort: The wide beam and stable design of catamarans offer a smoother and more comfortable sailing experience, eliminating the heeling common in monohull sailboats and reducing the chances of seasickness.

– Maneuverability: Catamarans are more maneuverable than monohull sailboats, providing better turning ability for navigating tight spaces, docking, and anchoring precision.

– Sailing Performance: Catamarans excel in light wind conditions, thanks to their large sail area and light weight, allowing them to catch even the slightest breeze and maintain good boat speed. This makes them ideal for destinations with calm weather patterns.

Preparing for Sailing a Catamaran

Preparing for a thrilling catamaran sailing adventure requires careful planning and essential knowledge. As we dive into the section on “ Preparing for Sailing a Catamaran ,” we’ll explore vital aspects such as safety equipment and checks , understanding wind and weather conditions , and planning your route . Get ready to uncover expert tips and strategies to ensure a smooth and enjoyable catamaran journey on the open waters.

Safety Equipment and Checks

Prioritize safety when sailing a catamaran. Thoroughly check and prepare your safety equipment before setting off on your adventure. Consider the following important safety equipment and checks :

  • Life jackets: Ensure enough properly fitting life jackets for everyone on board.
  • Flotation devices: Have throwable flotation devices readily available for emergencies.
  • Fire extinguishers: Have the appropriate type and number of fire extinguishers on board.
  • First aid kit: Maintain a well-stocked kit for handling minor injuries or medical emergencies.
  • Navigation lights: Ensure all navigation lights are functioning properly, especially for sailing at night or in low visibility conditions.
  • Communication devices: Carry reliable communication devices such as a marine VHF radio or satellite phone for calling for help if needed.
  • Engine and safety equipment checks: Regularly inspect engines, bilge pumps, anchor systems, and other safety equipment to ensure good working condition.

Remember, safety is crucial. Check your safety equipment before every trip and ensure proper working order. Familiarize yourself with specific safety requirements and regulations of the sailing area. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy your catamaran sailing adventure with peace of mind and be prepared for any unexpected situations.

Understanding Wind and Weather Conditions

Understanding wind and weather conditions is crucial when sailing a catamaran. You must have a comprehensive understanding of the wind direction, speed, and weather changes that may impact your sailing experience. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

1. Wind direction: It is essential to know the direction from which the wind is blowing. This knowledge will assist you in planning your sailing route and selecting the appropriate sails.

2. Wind speed: Pay close attention to the wind speed as it could potentially affect the speed and maneuverability of your boat. Higher wind speeds may necessitate reefing the sails or adjusting your course.

3. Weather changes: Remain mindful of any approaching storms, rain, or fog. These conditions can have a significant impact on visibility and create challenges when sailing.

4. Sea state: Take note of the current sea state, which includes wave height and frequency. Rough seas may require you to adjust your sailing technique and speed to ensure the stability of the catamaran.

5. Weather forecasts: Always remember to check the weather forecasts before embarking on your sailing trip. This will provide you with an overview of the expected weather conditions.

By possessing a thorough understanding of wind and weather conditions, you can make well-informed decisions to ensure a safe and enjoyable sailing experience aboard a catamaran. Keep in mind that conditions at sea can change rapidly, so it is essential to stay vigilant and adapt your plans accordingly.

Planning Your Route

When planning your catamaran sailing route, it is important to consider several factors for a safe and enjoyable journey. One of the first things to do is assess the weather conditions by checking the forecast for potential storms or strong winds. It is crucial to avoid adverse conditions as they can pose risks to both the crew and the catamaran’s safety.

In addition, it is necessary to identify key destinations and conduct research on navigational challenges. This will help in finding suitable anchorages or marinas along the way. Creating a timeline is also essential to plan the duration of the journey, taking into account the distance to be covered and the catamaran’s speed. It is important to remember to account for any time constraints or events that may affect the plan.

Using navigational charts, it is advisable to plot the course, noting any potential obstacles along the way. It is also a good practice to plan alternative routes in case they become necessary. Considering currents and tides is another crucial aspect of route planning. Studying tidal patterns and current directions will allow for incorporating these factors into the planning process for greater efficiency.

Another important consideration is fuel and provisions . It is necessary to determine the locations of fuel stations and provisioning points along the route. Planning fuel stops and stocking up on supplies will ensure that you have everything you need during the journey. Communication and safety should not be overlooked either. Identifying channels to communicate with other sailors and emergency assistance is vital . It is also important to familiarize yourself with emergency procedures and have access to contact information in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

It is recommended to regularly review your route plan and make adjustments based on real-time conditions and feedback. This will help ensure that you are always up to date with any changes that may occur during the journey. By carefully planning your route, you can optimize your sailing experience, safely navigate waters, and fully enjoy your catamaran adventure.

Essential Sailing Techniques for Catamaran

Mastering the essential sailing techniques for a catamaran is the key to harnessing the power of wind and water. From rigging and hoisting the sails to controlling speed and direction, each sub-section in this guide will unlock the secrets that seasoned sailors swear by. So, get ready to tack and jibe , trim those sails just right, and experience the exhilaration of sailing a catamaran like a pro!

Rigging and Hoisting the Sails

To rig and hoist the sails on a catamaran, follow these steps:

1. Assemble the mast, boom, and rigging securely and properly aligned.

2. Attach the main halyard securely and tensioned to the head of the mainsail.

3. Attach the jib halyard properly tensioned and secured to the head of the jib sail.

4. Connect the main sheet to the boom to control the angle and tension of the mainsail.

5. Connect the jib sheets to the clew of the jib sail to control the angle and tension of the jib sail.

6. Attach the reefing lines to the mainsail, if applicable, to reduce sail area in strong winds.

7. Check all rigging and lines for proper tension and adjustments, ensuring everything is secure and aligned.

8. Raise the mainsail by pulling on the main halyard while guiding the sail up the mast, using winches or other mechanical aids if necessary.

9. Raise the jib sail by pulling on the jib halyard while guiding the sail up the forestay, using winches or other mechanical aids if needed.

10. Adjust the main sheet and jib sheets to achieve the desired sail shape and trim for optimal boat performance.

Rigging and hoisting the sails on a catamaran is crucial for a smooth and exhilarating sailing experience. By following these steps, you can confidently prepare your catamaran for sailing adventures.

Now, let’s appreciate the history of rigging and hoisting sails. Sailing has been a vital mode of transportation and exploration for centuries. The technique of rigging and hoisting sails has evolved from simple square sails to more efficient and versatile fore-and-aft sails used on catamarans. Today, catamarans are equipped with advanced rigging systems and modern materials that enhance speed and maneuverability. Rigging and hoisting sails remain a vital skill for sailors, connecting us to our seafaring ancestors and enabling exploration of the world’s oceans with grace and agility.

Tacking and Jibing

Tacking and jibing are essential maneuvers when sailing a catamaran. These techniques allow you to change direction and make the most of the wind. Consider these key points:

  • Tacking: This maneuver is used to sail against the wind. Turn the bow of the boat through the wind to switch the sails to the opposite side. This allows you to zigzag towards your destination.
  • Jibing: Use this maneuver to change direction with the wind at your back. Turn the stern of the catamaran through the wind to move the mainsail to the other side. Control the boom to prevent dangerous swinging.
  • Preparation: Before tacking or jibing, ensure that the crew is aware and in a safe position for stability during the turn.
  • Wind direction: Success with tacking and jibing depends on understanding the wind. Assess the wind and plan your maneuvers accordingly.
  • Practice: Perfecting tacking and jibing requires practice. Start with gentle maneuvers in light wind conditions and gradually progress with experience.

During a sailing race, a crew utilized their knowledge of wind patterns and executed a flawless maneuver by tacking right before the finish line. This tactical advantage secured their victory.

Trimming the Sails

Sailing a catamaran requires mastering the skill of trimming the sails . Properly trimmed sails greatly impact the catamaran’s performance and maneuverability. Here are some important considerations for sail trimming:

1. Adjusting the tension: Properly adjusting the tension on the sails is vital for achieving the desired shape and angle. The main sail should have a slight curvature called camber , which generates lift and power. Trim the jib sail to maintain smooth airflow on both sides.

2. Controlling the angle: The angle of the sails in relation to the wind direction is crucial for maintaining optimal speed. Adjust the sheets to trim the sails closer or further from the wind based on sailing conditions and desired speed.

3. Monitoring the telltales: Telltales , small yarn or ribbon pieces attached to the sails, provide valuable airflow information and indicate proper sail trimming. Continuously observe the telltales to ensure smooth and even flow.

4. Reefing: In strong winds, reducing the size of the sails through reefing is necessary to maintain stability and control. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for reefing and ensure proper securing of the sails.

5. Constant adjustment: Sail trimming requires constant attention. Continuously monitor wind conditions and make necessary adjustments to optimize performance and maintain control.

Mastering the art of sail trimming leads to smoother sailing, improved speed, and enhanced overall performance on a catamaran. Practice and experience are essential for developing this skill, so head out to the water and start honing your sail trimming abilities.

Controlling Speed and Direction

To effectively control the speed and direction of a catamaran, it is important to follow these steps:

1. Sail Adjustment: Optimize the power and speed of the catamaran by trimming the sails. Utilize the mainsail and jib sheets to manipulate the sail angle, taking into account the wind direction.

2. Utilize the Traveler: Fine-tune the speed and stability by adjusting the traveler. This tool, located across the cockpit, allows you to modify the mainsail sheeting point and control the angle of the mainsail.

3. Sail Plan Modification: Alter the sail plan as necessary to either increase or decrease speed. Reef the sails in strong winds to reduce the sail area, and unreef them in light winds to allow for greater sail area.

4. Daggerboard Adjustment: Maintain stability and control the direction of the catamaran by raising or lowering the daggerboards. These adjustments contribute to achieving balance and maneuverability.

5. Rudder Tweaking: Make slight adjustments to the rudder angle using the tiller or wheel, ensuring smooth steering of the boat.

Pro-tip: Enhance your ability to control speed and direction on a catamaran through practice and experience. Continuously monitor wind conditions and make minor adjustments to optimize performance.

Catamaran Maneuvers and Handling

Get ready to conquer the waters as we dive into the art of sailing a catamaran. In this section, we’ll navigate through the thrilling aspects of docking and undocking , the essentials of mooring and anchoring , and the crucial skill of man overboard recovery . Brace yourself for a wave of practical tips and tricks that will enhance your catamaran sailing experience. So, grab your compass, adjust your sails, and let’s set sail on this exciting journey!

Docking and Undocking

Docking and undocking a catamaran can be daunting, but with the right techniques and precautions, it can be done smoothly. Follow these steps:

  • Approach the dock slowly, keeping an eye on the wind and current.
  • Assign crew members to handle lines and fenders for a safe docking process.
  • Shift into reverse as you near the dock to slow down.
  • Turn the helm to steer the catamaran parallel to the dock as you stop.
  • Have crew members ready with fenders to protect the catamaran.
  • Engage reverse to back closer to the dock, using brief forward bursts to maneuver if needed.
  • Once close, crew members should step off the catamaran with lines to secure it to the dock.
  • Secure the catamaran using docking lines , ensuring they are properly fastened and have enough slack.

True story: One summer, while docking our catamaran in a busy marina, a strong gust of wind made our docking process challenging. Thanks to our crew’s quick reflexes and knowledge, we maneuvered the catamaran safely and secured it to the dock without damage. It was a valuable lesson in being prepared for unexpected situations while docking and undocking a catamaran.

Mooring and Anchoring

Mooring and anchoring are integral skills when sailing a catamaran. It is important to consider several key points when engaging in these activities. Make sure to choose the appropriate anchor that matches the type of seabed you will be navigating. Inspect the anchor line thoroughly to ensure it is in good condition and securely attached. Next, carefully select a mooring spot in a protected area that offers solid holding ground. When approaching the mooring, take into account factors such as wind and current, and proceed slowly. To secure the boat, use mooring lines that are connected to cleats or deck fittings. Safeguard your boat from potential damage by utilizing fenders . Prioritizing safety and accounting for your boat’s unique conditions and requirements is crucial. By practicing these techniques, you can enhance your proficiency and guarantee a safe and enjoyable sailing experience.

Man Overboard Recovery

  • Assess the situation: When facing a man overboard situation, it is important to stay calm and promptly evaluate the circumstances. Take into account the distance between the catamaran and the individual in the water, as well as any nearby hazards or obstacles.
  • Alert the crew: Immediately inform the other crew members about the man overboard incident. This ensures that everyone is informed and prepared to provide assistance.
  • Initiate the man overboard recovery process: Throw a life buoy or any floating object towards the person in the water, offering them something to hold onto. This will help keep them afloat during the recovery process.
  • Turn the catamaran: Skillfully maneuver the catamaran to create a controlled loop or figure eight pattern around the individual in the water. This will slow down the vessel and facilitate their retrieval.
  • Bring the person back on board: Once the catamaran is properly positioned, utilize a ladder, swim platform, or any available means to assist in bringing the person back on board. Assign crew members to provide support and ensure the individual’s safety throughout the recovery process.
  • Monitor and provide medical assistance: After the person is safely back on board, promptly evaluate their condition and administer any necessary medical attention. Check for injuries, monitor vital signs, and administer first aid if needed.

Pro-tip: Conduct regular man overboard drills and practice recovery procedures with your crew to ensure that everyone is familiar with their respective roles and responsibilities. This will help reduce response time and enhance the likelihood of successfully recovering individuals in emergency situations.

Safety Tips for Sailing a Catamaran

Discover essential safety tips when sailing a catamaran in this section. From understanding right of way rules to dealing with rough seas and heavy winds, you’ll learn how to navigate challenging conditions with confidence. We’ll explore techniques for maintaining balance and stability, ensuring a smooth and secure sailing experience. So hop aboard and let’s dive into the world of catamaran sailing safety !

Understanding Right of Way Rules

Understanding Right of Way Rules is crucial for safe sailing. Follow these guidelines:

1. Sailboats have the right of way over powerboats. Be aware of your surroundings and give way to any sailboats in your path.

2. When encountering a vessel on your starboard side, yield and give them the right of way. Alter your course slightly to avoid a potential collision.

3. When overtaking another vessel, keep a safe distance and give them the right of way. Maintain a slow and steady speed to avoid creating a dangerous situation.

4. In narrow channels or crowded areas, vessels going uphill or against the current have the right of way. Yield to any vessels navigating in these challenging conditions.

5. Always be cautious and maintain a safe speed when crossing paths with other vessels. Slow down if necessary to ensure a safe passage.

By understanding and adhering to right of way rules, you can navigate the waters confidently and reduce the risk of accidents. Remember, safety should always be the top priority when sailing a catamaran.

Dealing with Rough Seas and Heavy Winds

Dealing with rough seas and heavy winds is crucial when sailing a catamaran. Here are tips to navigate challenging conditions:

1. Check the weather forecast before setting off. If rough seas and heavy winds are expected, consider delaying your trip or changing your route.

2. Ensure all crew members wear appropriate safety gear, such as life jackets and harnesses. Secure loose items on the deck.

3. Maintain a steady speed when encountering rough seas to keep the boat stable. Avoid sudden changes in direction or speed.

4. Adjust your sails by reefing to maintain control and prevent overpowering by strong winds.

5. Be cautious when navigating large waves. Approach them at a slight angle to minimize the risk of capsizing. Maintain a firm grip on the helm.

6. Be aware of the sea state. Avoid crossing large waves head-on; instead, cross them diagonally or at a slight angle.

7. Communicate effectively with your crew. Assign roles and responsibilities to ensure everyone is working together for safety and control.

In rough seas and heavy winds, safety should be the top priority. Stay alert, remain calm, and rely on your training and experience.

Pro-tip: Consider advanced sailing courses or consulting experienced sailors to enhance your skills and confidence in dealing with rough seas and heavy winds.

Maintaining Balance and Stability

Maintaining balance and stability is absolutely crucial when sailing a catamaran. It is important to ensure that weight is evenly distributed on both sides of the catamaran in order to achieve stability .

One way to accomplish this is by having passengers and crew members move to the opposite side when the wind picks up. Another key aspect of maintaining balance is properly trimming the sails to adjust their angle in response to wind changes. This helps to prevent excessive heeling and ensures stability .

Paying attention to the centerboards can greatly enhance stability . Deploying the centerboards can counterbalance the force of the wind and prevent tipping over.

Steering also plays a significant role in maintaining balance. It is crucial to steer steadily and in a controlled manner in order to keep the catamaran on course and avoid any imbalance.

It is important to be aware of weather conditions and understand how they can impact stability . When faced with heavy winds and rough seas, it is essential to adjust sailing techniques accordingly and make any necessary adjustments to maintain balance and stability .

Some Facts About How To Sail Catamaran:

  • ✅ Sailing a catamaran requires adjusting to the different motion and sail trimming compared to monohull sailboats.
  • ✅ Catamarans provide more space and stability compared to traditional monohull sailboats.
  • ✅ Catamarans do not heel like monohulls, providing a less tiring sailing experience.
  • ✅ Catamarans can sail in shallower places and prevent rolling in anchorage due to their lower drafts.
  • ✅ The American Sailing Association (ASA) offers a specific course, ASA 114: Cruising Catamaran, to provide practical sailing skills and confidence when sailing a catamaran.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. how do i sail a catamaran.

Sailing a catamaran involves adjusting to its different motion and sail trimming compared to monohulls. You’ll need to take a sailing course or gather practical sailing skills to ensure confidence and enjoyment while sailing a catamaran. The American Sailing Association (ASA) offers the ASA 114: Cruising Catamaran course designed specifically for individuals with monohull cruising experience transitioning to catamarans.

2. What are the advantages of sailing a catamaran?

Catamarans offer numerous advantages over monohulls. They are more spacious, providing larger living areas above decks and expansive cabins located in the hulls. Catamarans are incredibly stable, making them ideal for longer voyages and providing maximum comfort and relaxation. They also have lower drafts, allowing navigation in shallow reef passages and anchoring closer to shore. Catamarans do not heel like monohulls, providing a more comfortable and less tiring sailing experience.

3. How can I charter a catamaran from The Moorings?

The Moorings offers innovative and top-quality catamarans for sailing vacations. To charter a catamaran from The Moorings, you can visit their website and access their charter resources. They are known for their exclusive access to Robertson & Caine catamarans, distinguished for their quality and comfort. There, you can find information on boat availability, reputation, and customer reviews to choose the right catamaran for your needs and preferences.

4. What is the ASA 114: Cruising Catamaran certification?

The American Sailing Association (ASA) offers the ASA 114: Cruising Catamaran certification. This certification is designed for individuals with monohull cruising experience who want to transition to catamarans. The course covers the advantages and disadvantages of multihull sailing, as well as practical sailing skills specific to catamarans. Obtaining this certification ensures that you have the necessary knowledge and skills to confidently sail a catamaran.

5. Are catamarans safe for offshore sailing?

Yes, catamarans are safe and stable for offshore sailing. They are designed to offer stability and comfort in various conditions. Catamarans have two independent hulls, making them less likely to sink completely. They also have duplicate navigation systems, including two engines and rudders, for onboard safety. Catamarans remain stable even in bad weather and do not capsize easily. Their advanced design and safety features make them a reliable choice for offshore sailing.

6. Can I sail a catamaran without previous sailing experience?

Sailing a catamaran without previous sailing experience is not recommended. It is essential to have some sailing knowledge and skills before attempting to sail a catamaran. Taking a sailing course, such as the ASA 114: Cruising Catamaran course, will provide you with the necessary skills and confidence to safely operate a catamaran. Spending time onboard and obtaining a sailing diploma or certification will ensure a better understanding of catamaran sailing fundamentals.

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Humans tend to gravitate into tribes of like-minded enthusiasts, enjoying the encouragement, support and sense of identity, while often looking askance at others; sailors at motorboaters, cruising sailors at racers, monohull sailors at raft, I mean, multihull sailors, and everyone looks askance at jet-skiers.

Large cruising catamarans (40ft now counts as a small one) are a world apart from monohull sailing, but there’s a sub-tribe of sailors dedicated to life on three hulls and builders such as Dragonfly, Corsair, Farrier, and Astus give them plenty of choice.

I’ve been sailing a 22ft (7m) Astus 22.5 this season, with just enough space for a family of four and a minimum of creature comforts. Thanks to her VPLP-designed hulls and 650kg all-up weight, we can sail upwind at 7-plus knots and downwind at over 10 knots with ease, all on a roughly even keel, while the kids play Duplo down below. It can also be beached and is towable behind a car.

Having, it seems, caught the trimaran bug, I wanted to get better at sailing and handling the boat, but my monohull sailing experience and habits were proving something of a hindrance, so we sought advice from some existing trimaran owners, and well as the UK’s top multihull sailors.

Much of the advice will apply to all multihulls , whether two or three-hulled, while other parts are just for small trimarans. I also found that brushing-up some of my rusty dinghy sailing skills helped get my head around what we were trying to do.

To try out our expert tips we went out sailing to see what difference they made. On the day, we got a solid Force 4-5 southwesterly, averaging 16 knots, but fluctuating between 12 and 20 knots true.

mooring with a catamaran

Blasting about on a sporty trimaran is a whole world of fun, but is much calmer than it looks

Trimaran sail trim

One of the biggest differences between a cruising monohull and a multihull is how the mainsail is trimmed. Leech tension on a yacht is often largely controlled by the kicker and the backstay, while the mainsheet sheets the mainsail in and out, predominantly controlling the angle of the boom to the centreline, and there may be a short traveller.

On a mulithull, however, there’s more than enough space for a good, wide traveller. Those who sail on performance monohulls will also be used to this. The sail shape is mainly controlled by the mainsheet, and the traveller then moves the boom towards or away from the centreline.

This is exaggerated on a multihull which has wide shrouds, swept well aft with no backstay, making space for a powerful square-top mainsail with full-length battens. There’s no backstay to bend the mast and flatten what is anyway a pretty rigid mainsail.

mooring with a catamaran

The mainsheet purchase creates enough power to control the leech of the square-top mainsail

Depowering a trimaran

Sailing on a monohull, heel and weatherhelm and eventually a broach give loads of warning that you’re pushing too hard. With straight hulls and little heel, those warning signs don’t really apply to multihulls.

In reality, however, there are a host of warning signals that it’s time to back-off; they’re just a bit different. Even then, there’s still a large safety margin before you get close to danger.

By way of reassurance, with the boat powered up on a beat, Hein, from Boats on Wheels, the boat’s owner, stood on the leeward hull and lent on the shrouds. Even as his feet got wet and the wind gusted at the top of Force 4, the boat didn’t bat an eyelid, thanks to the huge buoyancy of the floats.

mooring with a catamaran

Even with a person on the leeward float the boat was extremely stable

On the water – sail trim

My first inclination was to point the boat as high upwind as possible, pin the sails in and go for height. Doing that resulted in a not-terrible boat speed of 5-6 knots and a good pointing angle.

Free off by a handful of degrees however, and ease the sails just a smidge, and the speed leapt up to 8-9 knots – over 50% more; a huge increase. So, don’t pinch. If you had a decent chartplotter on board, you could find your optimum speed to angle using velocity made good (VMG).

I was also tempted to pinch in the gusts, but it’s better to hold your course and let the speed increase until the main needs easing.

mooring with a catamaran

On the wind, it’s time to get the boat fully powered up

If that’s the case, drop the main down the traveller an inch or two or ease some twist into the mainsail and it makes all the difference in the world, but not so far that the top battens fall away and invert – that really isn’t fast. Push too hard and the boat will slow down, largely from the drag of submerging the leeward float and crossbeams. If you’re still overpowered and the main is luffing, it’s time to reef. Downwind is different, but we’ll get onto that later.

After we put a reef in the main, our boat speeds upwind remained largely the same, and the boat was much happier. I came away feeling reassured that even a little trimaran like this would be pretty difficult to capsize, and there were always plenty of warning signs telling me to take my foot off the pedal a little.

Article continues below…

mooring with a catamaran

Catamaran sailing skills: Mooring and anchoring a multihull

How do you make an average passage speed of 7 knots, fit in three double cabins and a huge saloon…

Monohull multihull

Monohull or multihull: which is best for blue water?

As former editor of Yachting World, David Glenn has plenty of experience of both monohull and multihull cruising. Here he…

Tacking and gybing a trimaran

Everyone knows that multihulls don’t tack as well as monohulls. Straight hulls and wide beam don’t lend themselves to turning, especially when coupled with the displacement and fixed keels of big cats. Trimarans are a little easier, with a single central daggerboard to act as a pivot, and one or other of the floats will generally be clear of the water. On the downside, light displacement means that there isn’t much momentum to keep you going through the turn and plenty of windage to stop you.

mooring with a catamaran

On a trimaran the central daggerboard helps the boat to turn by providing a central pivot point that catamarans lack

Speed is your friend. Build speed up before the tack to give you as much momentum as possible. The helm needs to steer positively into and through the turn, and if necessary, keep the jib backed on the new windward side to help the bow through the wind. Don’t worry about scrubbing speed off, but you don’t want to get stuck in irons.

When it comes to gybing, speed is again key. The turning bit isn’t going to be an issue as you’ll be scooting along, but the faster you’re going, the less load there will be on the sails. The more you slow down, the more the true wind will pile up.

Trimaran sailing skills

Tacks took a bit of practice. It felt plain wrong to jab the tiller across the boat, slamming a big break on in the water but I ended up putting us through the tacks far too slowly, losing a lot of speed. A more aggressive approach worked better. On the Astus, the traveller was between me and the tiller, so the tiller extension needed to be swung around the stern behind the mainsheet onto the new side.

Similarly, old habits of controlling a gybe needed to be modified. With the asymmetric set, we were planing at well over 10 knots, and the ideal is to stay on the plane. Heading dead downwind and centring the main lead to a more violent manoeuvre than flying into the gybe as fast as possible and, as the boom was never that far out thanks to the apparent wind angle, it didn’t need much extra controlling.

Coming up onto the wind after the gybe helped the asymmetric around the front of the jib and to fill on the new side. Stay too deep and it’ll get blanketed by the main. Once we had built up some apparent wind, we could bear away again.

mooring with a catamaran

You’ll be on a course deep downwind before you know it, hitting speeds in the double digits

Downwind in a trimaran

Upwind cruising may be fun in a multihull, but bearing away and going with the wind is what it’s all about. Easily-driven hulls, a generous sailplan and light weight mean you can be up and planing, leaving displacement boats wallowing in your wake.

The big difference comes from apparent wind. If you’re in a boat that can do 15 knots downwind in 20 knots of true wind, the resulting wind angles can really mess with your head.

To get going then, says Brian Thompson, ‘Use those leech tell-tales again when sailing downwind and reaching to set the correct twist through the mainsheet, and use the traveller to set the correct angle of the whole sail to the wind.’

As the wind and your speed builds, bear away and trim the main accordingly.

In theory, you shouldn’t need to ease the traveller at all, but you may need to if you want to sail deep downwind. As the gust fades, you’ll find the boat slows down, so you can come back up towards the wind a little to pick up some more breeze, and then bear away as you accelerate again.

mooring with a catamaran

Bear away as the boat accelerates. Your course will be something of a slalom as you look to keep a consistent wind angle

This results in something of a ‘slalom’ course, and will also be accentuated if you’re sailing down waves, but that’s all quite normal for apparent wind sailing. Ultimately, you’re looking for a consistent apparent wind angle, even if the resulting wake isn’t straight.

It’s worth remembering that apparent wind reduces the felt effect of the wind, so you need a sailplan to suit the true, not apparent wind speed.

I found that the boat was more sensitive to having a balanced sailplan and trim downwind than upwind, largely because you’ve got almost double the canvas up, with the bowsprit as an extra lever. When weather helm built, I needed to ease the mainsheet to increase twist to depower so that I could bear away. I must admit, getting the boat balanced, sailing fast and light on the helm at 15 knots was something I came away feeling I needed more practice at.

Reviewing the images, I suspect the asymmetric was sheeted in too hard, with too much twist in the main.

mooring with a catamaran

Getting a float fully submerged is when it’s time to back off

On the water

Unfurling the gennaker worked best on a beam reach, giving plenty of airflow over the sail to help it fully unfurl. This was also roughly the fastest point of sail, ideal for getting up some speed for apparent wind sailing. We mostly had the sails set for a close reach, even when we were beyond 120º off the true wind on a broad reach.

It was possible to soak deeper downwind, but lose the apparent wind benefit downwind and our speed dropped off dramatically, prompting us to point a bit higher to find some more speed.

As the boat powered up, it paid to hold a slightly higher angle than I would have done in a monohull for the boat to properly take off and get up into double digit speeds – topping out at 15 knots. Lymington to Cowes would have taken us just half an hour at that speed. It’s easy to give yourself a heck of a beat back!

We were sailing on a pretty flat day, so didn’t have to contend with any waves to speak of. On the recent RTI this is what caused the capsizes of at least two multis, a sobering reminder that you need to sail much more conservatively in lumpier conditions.

mooring with a catamaran

The bows want to point downwind, so a stern-first approach works with rather than against the boat

Coming alongside

A 650kg boat with no draught and plenty of windage feels dreadfully skittish when manoeuvring in confined spaces. Straight hulls with no forgiving curves and fragile-looking sharp bows make berthing tricky. You’ve got a couple of advantages on your side, however. In the Astus, the floats are at pontoon height making stepping off easy.

Whether you have an engine in each hull of a cat, or one in the central hull of a tri, there’s also a lot more leverage to play with to turn the boat and drive her on or off the pontoon. A steerable outboard gives you even more options.

If the boat has a lifting keel or daggerboards, put them down if there’s enough depth to give you a pivot and to resist drifting. Think about getting corners onto the pontoon, rather than putting the boat alongside. On tris, you won’t be able to get to the bow to fend off as it’s too narrow. You can rig a fender up forwards on a line, and two fenders are enough on the flat sides.

mooring with a catamaran

Steering with the outboard towards the pontoon will drive the stern in more; steer away to drive the bow in more

Offshore wind

Coming onto the pontoon with wind blowing off, it worked well coming in stern first. If there’s a tide running, you’ll want to be heading into the tide, so find a spot down wind and down tide to start your approach so you come in at an angle.

On our first attempt we had a bit of tide under us to start with so we came in at a much steeper angle, almost 90º, although this worked out OK in the end.

The crew could then step ashore, taking a line from the stern quarter round a cleat.

Drive forwards against the line and the bow will obediently drive up towards the pontoon, bringing you flat alongside. Getting off was simple, releasing the bowline, and allowing the bow to swing out the before slipping the stern line.

mooring with a catamaran

Coming in astern and stopping upwind of the berth meant the bows blew towards the pontoon far to quickly

Onshore wind

Getting onto and off a pontoon with onshore wind proved rather trickier. On our first attempt we came in stern first. The issue was that once we were just upwind of our desired berth and stopped, we lost steerage and the bow immediately blew off with alarming speed towards the pontoon.

Going ahead would only increase the force of the impact, while going astern only increased the bow’s sideways drift. I managed to back out without smashing the bow, but only just, and ended up awkwardly stern to the wind with the bows pointing at the pontoon.

On our second attempt we came in bows first but having aimed at the berth, I had to motor the stern to leeward to stop the bow hitting, making for a rather forceful coming alongside.

On take three, I came in forwards and began ferry gliding towards the berth early, keeping the bows to windward of the stern. Being able to steer with the outboard meant I could go ahead to keep the bow up, and go astern with the engine pulling the stern down toward the pontoon. In this way, it was possible to come in pretty well controlled and parallel to the berth.

mooring with a catamaran

To get out, motoring astern against a bow line pulled the entire boat clear before slipping the line

Leaving was a different proposition all together, as I didn’t want to drag the bow along the pontoon, or to drive hard onto it to spring off. Instead, we rigged a slip-line from the forward cross beam. Going astern against this, and then turning the engine towards the wind, I could pull the stern, and the rest of the boat, out and away from the pontoon.

Keeping power on astern, once we’d reached a decent angle, we slipped the line and went astern, finding steerage way almost at once, with the bow following obediently in our wake with more control than I had anticipated.

Whether the wind is blowing onto, or off the pontoon, you want the engine to be driving or pulling the boat off the pontoon with a line on the corner you are going away from. That way you avoid point-loading fine ends where it’s hard to fender.

mooring with a catamaran

You’ll want a bridle to reduce swinging, but keep the pick up lines on the bow as backup

Anchoring and mooring a trimaran

While mooring a catamaran is complicated by the lack of a central bow, things should be simpler on a trimaran, and they are, mostly. Picking up a mooring buoy from the main hull bow with a low freeboard and dropping the pick-up line onto a cleat is easier even than a monohull.

The bow may be narrow, but for any lines that pass through a ring on the buoy, you still need to take it back to the same cleat to avoid chafe. That should be it, but windage from the two extra bows and the lack of keel mean the boat can dance merrily around the mooring buoy in a breeze.

mooring with a catamaran

Rig the bridle so the buoy sits to one side to stabilise the boat

In practice, we found that a trimaran benefits from a mooring bridle in the same way that a catamaran does. It can’t be rigged from the floats’ bows, as there are no mooring cleats, so a line passed around the outboard ends of the forward beams gave a pretty good angle, again with long lines passed through the mooring and back to the same side. The main pick-up lines stay as a safety backup.

The other trick is to rig the bridle asymmetrically so that the buoy sits to one side or the other, just enough to not be dead head to wind, making it much more stable in the wind.

On the plus side, the lack of draught or keel means that you’ll nearly always be lying head to wind, so the cockpit remains nice and sheltered whatever the tide’s doing.

We ran out of time on the day to try anchoring, but rigging a bridle, effectively a long snubber to a point on the anchor chain in a similar way wouldn’t be tricky.

If you needed not to swing, or to behave more like deeper boats nearby, hanging a bucket over the stern can help, or there’s always anchoring with a kedge, either out ahead in a V, or in line astern.

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mooring with a catamaran

I live on a catamaran boat with my two kids – they don’t have to go to school and we do use five-star hotels for free

  • Elizabeth Abbott
  • Published : 10:37, 1 Jul 2024
  • Updated : 11:51, 1 Jul 2024
  • Published : Invalid Date,

ANY parent will know just how hard it can be to get children off their phones.

But dad-of-two Mick Becker doesn’t need to worry about tech addiction as he raises his kids on a boat, where they go with "very limited data" for long periods of time.

Mick says moments spent travelling can be 'unreal.' He speaks of a time when he found a fresh water spring right by the beach.

Before they had children, Mick and his partner Laura, also known as Lozi, would travel for six months each year, working the rest of the time.

Both from Australia, the pair would commonly travel around Asia - to places like Indonesia and Thailand.

But after Laura unexpectedly fell pregnant during their travels, they decided to raise their children on a boat.

The couple even gave their daughter the middle name Oceania - "because that's where she's from."

Both Mick's children have their own bedrooms on the family's catamaran.

After many years of living on a catamaran, even raising babies on the boat, Mick said the family "craved" society - so they decided to move back to land and open a café.

But they missed the open sea and returned to living on a boat, with Mick discussing all on a 2022 episode of the Off The Grid Podcast .

He loves boat living because "you're never bored."

"You've got freedom. It’s volatile and beautiful and scary all at the same time," he adds.

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On a boat, he can spend more time with his kids too.

When he was living on land, he said he was “never 100% present.”

Constantly busy, he would “have to cut off [his children’s stories] after 15 minutes” to get back to work – adding that “it does get a bit old.”

He says he worried that “time just slips by and you’re bloody 67 years old and you’ve got six months to live.”

Mick thought living on their boat once more would be a great way for the family to build more memories together.

The children’s lives are certainly unconventional.

Not being able to attend school while out in the ocean, they have no formal education.

“It’s not an education in that you’re going to come out with an A-B-C-D but the boat kids that we have met in our travels… it’s incomparable [to children that went to school]," he says.

“A 14-year-old girl that’s been on a boat and a 14-year-old girl that’s been in Sydney. They’re just two different creatures.

“One of them you can actually sit down with an have an amazing conversation with, the other one is sort of like where are we here, we’re on the phone.”

Mike thinks “everything” you learn on a boat is “transferable” to other aspects of life.

He says: “The whole thing is education. You’re not just flapping time away."

Mick says when you're travelling you don't attach as many things to your identity, you are 'just another human dealing with another human.'

On the boat, "there's never a thing that you've done, that you're not going to be able to bring to [another job] - whatever it is.

"Whether it's coming up with a budget or working out how many miles [you need to travel], it pays to be good at calculations.

"To work out how you're going to get from a spot to a spot, you need to do maths.

"Everything's problem solving, decision making, adventure seeking. It's a different world."

What are the rules for living on a boat?

In the UK, you need a long term license to live on a boat.

You either purchase a 'residential mooring' or 'continual cruising' license.

A residential mooring spot is for if you want to stay in one place - it is often more competitive and expensive than continual cruising but is necessary for people that have children at a local school.

A continual cruising license means you can stay anywhere on the towpath for up to 14 days, except if there's visitor sign with a time limit or you’re near a lock.

A license costs around £500-£1,500 a year.

You can buy or renew a boat licence on the Canal and River Trust Website .

Mick says they have to be "smart about power" on the boat, admitting they charge their laptops and "any devices with a battery" as soon as they switch the engines on.

There is no late-night scrolling for his children.

“You don’t go playing on your computer at night [because you can’t]. You tend to get more in the rhythm of the world.”

The experiences they have can be unpredictable - and exciting.

One day, when the family were anchored at a bay, they stumbled across a local security guard who worked at a five-star hotel.

The security man recognised the family because Mick had previously offered his cousin a mackerel to eat.

He recalled how he said: "Come in, come in. Use anything you want. There’s pools, there’s tennis courts".

As a result, the family had full use of the resort for a week, having hot showers and swimming in the pool.

Mick says him and his family are 'in a process of constantly trying to find balance'  - working out how they can live their travelling life sustainably.

Despite the positives, Mick said they faced some challenges while living on a boat.

In one instance, the family almost fell prey to pirates.

Mick explained how the boats "shot out" right in front of them and chased his catamaran down.

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He offered the other sailors "grab bags" of tobacco, food, and water to get away.

Mick adds there can be very long days on the catamaran, with him not sleeping for 20 hours at a time.

  • Back to school
  • Children parenting and family life
  • Cost of living
  • Schools reopening

mooring with a catamaran

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Between a Sailboat or Catamaran for Your Sailing Adventures

C hoosing between a sailboat and a catamaran for your sailing adventures is a significant decision that depends on various factors, including your sailing preferences, experience level, budget, and intended use. Here's an ultimate guide to help you make an informed decision:

1. Sailing Experience:

  • Sailboats: Typically require more skill and experience to handle, especially in adverse weather conditions. Ideal for sailors who enjoy the traditional feel of sailing and are willing to invest time in learning and mastering the art.
  • Catamarans: Easier to handle, making them suitable for beginners. The dual-hull design provides stability, reducing the learning curve for those new to sailing.

2. Space and Comfort:

  • Sailboats: Generally have a narrower beam and less living space. However, some sailboats may offer comfortable cabins and amenities.
  • Catamarans: Wider beam creates more living space. Catamarans often have multiple cabins, spacious saloons, and expansive deck areas, providing a more comfortable living experience.

3. Stability:

  • Sailboats: Monohulls can heel (lean) while sailing, which some sailors enjoy for the thrill but can be discomforting for others.
  • Catamarans: Greater stability due to the dual hulls, providing a more level sailing experience. Reduced heeling makes catamarans suitable for those prone to seasickness.

4. Performance:

  • Sailboats: Known for their upwind performance and ability to sail close to the wind. Some sailors appreciate the challenge of optimizing sail trim for efficiency.
  • Catamarans: Faster on a reach and downwind due to their wide beam. However, they may not point as high into the wind as monohulls.
  • Sailboats: Typically have a deeper draft, limiting access to shallow anchorages and requiring deeper marina berths.
  • Catamarans: Shallow draft allows access to shallower waters and secluded anchorages, providing more flexibility in cruising destinations.
  • Sailboats: Generally more affordable upfront, with a wide range of options available to fit different budgets.
  • Catamarans: Often more expensive upfront due to their size and design. However, maintenance costs may be comparable or even lower in some cases.

7. Mooring and Docking:

  • Sailboats: Easier to find slips and moorings in marinas designed for monohulls.
  • Catamarans: Require wider slips and may have limited availability in certain marinas, especially in crowded anchorages.

8. Intended Use:

  • Sailboats: Ideal for traditional sailors who enjoy the art of sailing, racing enthusiasts, or those on a tighter budget.
  • Catamarans: Suited for those prioritizing comfort, stability, and spacious living areas, especially for long-term cruising and chartering.

9. Resale Value:

  • Sailboats: Generally have a more established resale market, with a wider range of buyers.
  • Catamarans: Growing in popularity, and well-maintained catamarans often retain their value.

10. Personal Preference:

  • Consider your personal preferences, the type of sailing you plan to do, and the kind of lifestyle you want aboard your vessel.

In conclusion, both sailboats and catamarans have their advantages and disadvantages. Your decision should be based on your individual preferences, experience level, budget, and intended use. If possible, charter both types of vessels to experience firsthand how they handle and to help make a more informed decision based on your own preferences and needs.

The post The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Between a Sailboat or Catamaran for Your Sailing Adventures appeared first on Things That Make People Go Aww .

Choosing between a sailboat and a catamaran for your sailing adventures is a significant decision that depends on various factors, including your sailing preferences, experience level, budget, and intended use. Here's an ultimate guide to help you make an informed decision: 1. Sailing Experience: 2. Space and Comfort: 3. Stability: 4. Performance: 5. Draft: 6....

IMAGES

  1. Catamaran Sailing Techniques

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  2. How to Pick Up a Mooring Ball

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  3. How To Pick Up A Mooring In A Catamaran

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  4. #162t How to sail a Catamaran

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  5. Picking Up a Mooring With a Sailing Catamaran at Catalina Island

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  6. Catamaran sailing skills: Mooring and anchoring a multihull

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COMMENTS

  1. HOW TO MOOR

    In this episode, Joe teaches us how to approach and successfully and safely secure a catamaran to a mooring ball, as well as the bridle set up. We'll demonst...

  2. How To Pick Up A Mooring In A Catamaran

    Catamaran Mooring Maneuvers. Arguably the greatest feature of the catamaran is its maneuverability, and that is on full display whenever approaching a mooring. Because almost all cruising catamarans come with twin engines, your ability to pivot on a dime and to maneuver at low speeds without having to deal with prop walk is unrivaled by any ...

  3. Anchoring and mooring a catamaran

    Anchoring a catamaran is not a lot different from anchoring a monohull in terms of process, but like any slower-speed maneuver done on two hulls, windage becomes a much bigger factor. Any maneuver can fall apart quickly if the wind gets involved in pushing a catamaran's bows around. It makes sense to act with purpose and limit the amount of ...

  4. How to anchoring and pick up a mooring

    Catamarans have many advantages over monohulls when it comes to sitting at anchor or on a mooring. In particular, their shallower draft means that you can ge...

  5. Catamaran sailing skills: Mooring and anchoring a multihull

    Catamaran mooring conclusions. Once you've relinquished your grip on the wheel, splitting the sticks soon becomes intuitive and you can achieve an impressive amount of control through the infinite throttle combinations. The difficulty in handling a catamaran is not in learning new catamaran skills but forgetting the old ones. And handing the ...

  6. Mooring Retrieval and Bridle Setup

    Aim for mooring - (Halfway between centre and helm side of the catamaran). Initial approach to the mooring ball will be using the wheel and the engines in conjunction. Guiding the boat and getting it on track from downwind. Lock the wheel about a boat length from the mooring ball (making sure it's centred)

  7. How to Pick Up a Mooring Ball

    In a catamaran, it's best to do this on the side with the helm station so the captain can see better. The boat might need to be pivoted towards the mooring ball. Once the mooring is at the stern quarter, feed an end of each of the bridle lines through the eye. You may need to use your boat hook to accomplish this.

  8. A Beginner's Guide to Catamarans

    The Moorings catamarans are exclusively designed by renowned boat builders Robertson & Caine, a South African company best known for their Leopard brand of ownership yachts. We are especially proud of the fact that The Moorings was chosen as the only charter company that can offer the award-winning Robertson & Caine catamarans to its clients.

  9. Sailing technique on a catamaran: anchoring and mooring

    Catamarans can be somewhat frisky at anchor, but from a renowned catamaran Nigel Ayrens There are a couple of tricks that will make anchoring and mooring safer - and more comfortable too. To the pluses of cruise catamarans undoubtedly it must be attributed that the shallow draft gives them the opportunity to anchor in many hidden and attractive, but not deep places, often inaccessible to ...

  10. Five Days on a Catamaran in the British Virgin Islands

    I wasn't prepared for how attractive until I went on a 5-day, 10-person catamaran trip around the British Virgin Islands with The Moorings — a premier yacht charter company with a fleet of over 400 yachts across more than 20 destinations around the globe. More than half of those vessels — 254, to be exact — occupy the British Virgin Islands, as they have done since 1969, making it the ...

  11. Catamaran Sailing Part 3: anchoring

    Catamarans can be a bit frisky at anchor, but multihull expert Nigel Irens has some tips to make anchoring and mooring safer and more comfortable TAGS: catamaran Catamaran Sailing Techniques ...

  12. Successful anchoring on a long mooring line (part 1)

    Catamarans are easier to handle than monohulls when you have to keep a stationary position. There are two ways to get the mooring lines ashore: by swimming or using the tender. Swimming: Although swimming is fun and enjoyable from the beach, the wind is still a decisive factor (not to mention the water temperature). Swimming on the coast can ...

  13. Picking Up a Mooring With a Sailing Catamaran at Catalina Island

    Mooring description in Catalina Island:http://www.visitcatalinaisland.com/avalon/boat_mooring.phpThis video shows my first time picking up a mooring with a s...

  14. Swing mooring technique for catamaran

    Boat: Lightwave, Catamaran, 11.5m (38') Posts: 1,000. Re: Swing mooring technique for catamaran. We pull the mooring line attached to the public mooring until its so short the buoy cannot touch either hull. We have a mooring cleat just behind and in the centre of the cross beam (and a central bow roller).

  15. Multihull anchoring and mooring buoys

    Handling a catamaran in manoeuvres can sometimes be easier than with a monohull, but there are a few surprising differences. Paul Hayes showed Will Bruton how to do it. ... Mainly due to their shape and size, catamarans behave differently at anchor and on a mooring buoy. The secret is to play to the boat's strengths rather than treating her ...

  16. Sailing Catamarans for Charter

    Sail Catamarans. Our world-class Sail catamarans are specially designed by renowned builder Robertson & Caine with The Moorings charter guests in mind. Contemporary styling, spacious integrated indoor/outdoor living spaces and the latest technological advances come together for the ultimate charter vacation platform offering stability and ...

  17. Mastering Catamaran Sailing: Essential Guide & Tips to Navigate the Waters

    The Moorings offers innovative and top-quality catamarans for sailing vacations. To charter a catamaran from The Moorings, you can visit their website and access their charter resources. They are known for their exclusive access to Robertson & Caine catamarans, distinguished for their quality and comfort.

  18. Moorings 4800

    Length Overall 48'5''. Beam 25'. Draft 4'10''. Sail Area 1555 ft². Water Capacity 206 gal. Engine 2 x Yanmar 57 hp. Fuel Capacity 185 gal. Air Conditioning This yacht has generator powered A/C. Convertible Saloon Most of The Moorings 4800 models have a convertible saloon, however some do not.

  19. Easy way to moor a catamaran single handed

    When tying up to a mooring ball you have to run 2 lines - 1 from each bow to the ball and back to the same bow each whence they came from. With wind blowing ...

  20. Wow, that was fast! Why trimarans are SO much fun to sail

    Anchoring and mooring a trimaran. While mooring a catamaran is complicated by the lack of a central bow, things should be simpler on a trimaran, and they are, mostly. Picking up a mooring buoy from the main hull bow with a low freeboard and dropping the pick-up line onto a cleat is easier even than a monohull.

  21. I live on a catamaran boat with my two kids

    After many years of living on a catamaran, even raising babies on the boat, Mick said the family "craved" society - so they decided to move back to land and open a café. ... A residential mooring ...

  22. Moorings 4500

    The new Moorings 4500 features four spacious staterooms, all with en-suite baths - and delivers the solid performance expected from this world-renowned line of catamarans, and more - for an unrivaled mid-size catamaran charter experience. Perfect for a family or group of up to 11, the 4500 boasts an interior volume and spaciousness ...

  23. Moorings Yacht Charters: The British Virgin Islands

    The 5800 Moorings Catamaran. Stepping aboard the 5800 Moorings Catamaran combines luxury and adventure in the beautiful British Virgin Islands. This private yacht offers the perfect blend of sailing excitement and resort-style comfort. It boasts a comprehensive kitchen, free Wi-Fi, and expansive deck areas for basking in the sun and socializing ...

  24. The Moorings 5000 Catamaran Tour

    For more information on where to charter The Moorings 5000, visit https://hubs.li/Q01DDM5h0.Courtesy of Cruising World magazineSailing a 50-foot catamaran in...

  25. The Ultimate Guide to Choosing Between a Sailboat or Catamaran ...

    Sailboats: Easier to find slips and moorings in marinas designed for monohulls. Catamarans: Require wider slips and may have limited availability in certain marinas, especially in crowded ...

  26. What's Included in Your Yacht Charter

    Water, Ice & Fuel*. The Moorings sailing yachts are delivered with a full water tank, full fuel tank (excluding the Mediterranean ), and 2 bags of ice in your cooler. Complimentary water and 2 additional bags of ice are available from any Moorings base. A full tank of fuel is included in the price for all The Moorings sailing yachts.