catamaran or sail boat

Catamaran VS Sailboat, 9 Important Differences You Should Know!

catamaran or sail boat

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This is one of the never-ending questions out there, catamarans vs. monohulls (also known by some just as sailboats). The discussions are wild and are, many times, really hard to follow unless you’re already a vivid sailor. By then, you probably already have your own opinion on what the differences are.

In this post, I’m trying to take a little more pragmatic approach to describe the 9 most important differences that I think you should know about.

Table of Contents

1. Catamarans Have Two Hulls, Sailboats or Monohulls Have One

catamaran or sail boat

This is the most apparent feature that strikes you when you look at the two boats next to each other; one has two hulls, and the other only one. Mono, as you might know, means one (1).

Having two hulls also implies you need something that connects them, making the boat look a little bit like a manta ray, or is that only me?

2. Monohulls Will Rock From Side to Side

catamaran or sail boat

Catamarans don’t heel (leaning to its side in boat language). Therefore, they offer a very different sailing experience, which is more stable and usually more comfortable; this also applies when staying at anchor. The catamaran will move around with the wind, always staying flat, while the sailboat will rock from side to side and might even get you seasick .

This is especially noticeable when the wind is opposing the waves, making the boat have the wind pushing it from one side and the waves banging it from the other side. This makes for a very uncomfortable anchorage on a monohull. Basically, you are the iron, and the wind and wave are your hammer and anvil, not a perfect place to be.

3. Catamarans Offer More Space for the Same Length

catamaran or sail boat

For the same length of boat, let’s say 40ft, you’re getting a lot more space on a catamaran. This is due to the two hulls, but also the big deck that attaches the hulls. There will also be even more space on the outside of the boat, both fore and aft of the mast. In between the bows, you will have either a solid deck or trampolines , which will greatly increase the space.

4. Catamarans Make Horrible Noises While Sailing Upwind

catamaran or sail boat

The distance between the water surface and the deck’s underside is called bridge deck clearance ; if it is not big enough, even small waves will start smashing into the underside.

This repeated cycle of waves hitting the boat does induce not only great noise but also a lot of vibrations and discomfort to the crew.

This problem is something that just doesn’t exist on monohulls (only one hull) and also is a strong argument from those who prefer monohulls.

The noise might not be a big deal when traveling coastal waters for a few hours a day, but consider going days on end straight into the wind, hearing that banging noise, ad a little motion sickness, and you will pretty soon wish you were on a monohull 🙂

5. Monohulls Are Slower Than Catamarans

catamaran or sail boat

At least that is the short answer, this applies if we only compare the length of the boat, but if we compare the total length in the water, it’s a different story. Much of this speed comes from the decreased drag, bigger sails, and a catamaran’s lesser weight.

Here are some articles when you want to better understand catamaran speed:

  • Cruising catamaran speed
  • Fastest cruising catamarans
  • Catamaran hull speed calculator
  • Are trimarans even faster than catamarans?
  • 20 Performance cruising catamarans

6. Catamarans Offer Less Helm Feedback

6. Catamarans Offer Less Helm Feedback

One big benefit of having a boat that heels is that it’s a great way to get feedback on whether or not the boat is overpowered. Since a catamaran stays flat, it is harder for a new captain to understand when to reef.

This could be a safety issue for those transitioning from monohulls to catamarans, which I believe is the most common way people acquire a catamaran.

7. Monohulls Are Harder to Dock

7. Monohulls Are Harder to Dock

For a monohull to turn, it needs enough water passing around the rudder; for enough water to pass around the rudder, the boat needs to be moving. So this means once you stop your boat, you can’t turn; the things that move you are the wind and the current. This is the tricky part with a monohull, the timing needs to be perfect, or you’ll either go too fast and hit the dock, or you’ll go too slow and drift away.

On a catamaran, that’s different, you see; now you have two engines, much like a battle tank, you can now make a 360 turn on the spot. This means you can do a full stop, put one engine in forward and one in reverse, making the boat spin on its axis. That’s great! I wish my car would do that.

8. Catamarans Are More Fuel-Efficient

catamaran or sail boat

Saying a catamaran is fuel-efficient is like saying your Ford F150 truck is fuel-efficient. But, in comparison to its one-hull brother, it’s true, this really needs a lot more explanation for it to be a fair comparison, but only considering the lengths of the boat, the catamaran will consume less fuel.

This is mostly a consequence of the less drag a catamaran has since the weight is distributed over a greater area.

  • Catamaran fuel efficiency data contributed by owners
  • Electric vs gas: outboard engines. Which is the best?

9. Catamarans Offer More Comfort

9. Catamarans Offer More Comfort

Since catamarans have more space and don’t heel as much, they offer a more comfortable experience. One beautiful aspect of having a big deck is that you can hang out in the trampolines; they are basically two big hammocks, and since hammocks already are great, putting them on a boat makes them awesome.

And since it doesn’t heel, you can also freely move around on the boat without spilling your drink or being at risk of falling overboard. This also means that going inside to cook is a treat since you don’t have to cook while trying not to fall over.

Looks and Other Factors

All in all, catamarans are great, but so are monohulls; there are also many other factors that I haven’t mentioned yet; these are mainly factors of the heart.

Many people feel that it isn’t real sailing if it isn’t done like it was in the good old days, heeling over and all. And to some extent, I can totally agree with that, but on the other hand, enjoying those two trampolines while on a sunny weather cruise down the bay is something I can’t forget.

And also the looks, catamarans look great; I think they look and almost move like those manta rays you can see down in the Bahamas. On the other hand, there is not much cooler than seeing a solid old monohull dig deep into the waves and go almost straight into the wind; what a feeling!

What do you think? 

Owner of CatamaranFreedom.com. A minimalist that has lived in a caravan in Sweden, 35ft Monohull in the Bahamas, and right now in his self-built Van. He just started the next adventure, to circumnavigate the world on a Catamaran!

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Sailboat or Catamaran? Here’s How to Decide

catamaran or sail boat

There is nothing as magical and mystical as sailing out onto the open sea. You’re in for a realm of a wonderful adventure, beautiful sights, and escaping into the unknown as you relax under the sun. Whether you’re planning a luxurious trip with your loved ones or an exciting, fast-paced adventure, one thing you need to consider is what type of boat to use.

Two popular boats are the sailboat and the catamaran. So how can you decide which one is right for you and the adventure you’re seeking? In deciding between a sailboat and catamaran, there are several considerations to keep in mind. A catamaran is easier to sail and will provide a more spacious and luxurious experience. The sailboat, on the other hand, is more immersed in the water and provides a more realistic and exciting experience.

It can be challenging knowing which boat is right for you. That is why we are going to run down all the basic information and differences between these two boats. Knowing the major differences between the two will help you make the right choice.

The Difference Between a Sailboat and a Catamaran

To the untrained eye, a sailboat and a catamaran might look fairly similar. Therefore, you might think that the overall ride and experience are also the same. However, sailboats and catamarans are profoundly different and offer completely different rides. That is why it is so important to get the facts on these models before gliding them into the water.

The Major Differences Between the Two

Catamarans have become increasingly more popular due to the fact that they have better overall buoyancy than a sailboat, which is also referred to as a monohull . What does that mean for the riders? Well, buoyancy equates to a smoother and more enjoyable ride , which is ideal for those who are seeking a more relaxed experience.

Catamarans are also known for their ease in maneuverability compared so a sailboat. This, again, is ideal for someone who is looking for a relaxed ride, as it is a lot easier to sail than a typical sailboat. This also makes the catamaran a better choice for a newcomer who isn’t confident in his sailing capabilities.

The double engine of a catamaran makes it easier to dock and is also capable of doing a 360-degree turn if needed. Why is this important? Well, anyone who has ever tried to dock a boat knows that it isn’t the simplest task. You will be glad to know that the catamaran can turn more easily and be docked quicker than a sailboat.

However, don’t let these characteristics sway you from ever wanting to try your hand at a sailboat. Sailboats provide a more realistic feeling, which ultimately equates to a more thrilling ride. Anyone who is looking for an adrenaline rush will find that gliding through the water and hanging off the sails is exactly what the doctor prescribed.

Does that mean that monohulls are all about the thrills and excitement? While that’s the main goal, there is still enough room to sit back and relax in the cabin or get a good tan while sunbathing. There is, though, significantly less room, which doesn’t make for quite a luxurious experience overall.

Boat Design

As we mentioned earlier, it can be hard to tell right off the bat what the major differences between a sailboat and a catamaran are. It may be slightly obvious that the catamaran is a bit bigger, but the actual construction is incredibly different.

Sailboats are designed with a single hull as well as a single engine. The one engine will typically combine with a bow thruster, which is located at the front of the boat. If you’re not sure what a bow thruster is, it is essentially this:

  • A bow thruster is another small, electric engine located at the front of the boat. The main purpose of the bow thruster is to enable the yacht to move sideways simply by pressing a button. This makes it easier for the skipper (or person who is driving the boat) to maneuver through tighter areas, thus making the boat more secure.

On the other hand, a catamaran is designed with two hulls and two engines. The major benefit of having two engines onboard is that if one engine fails, then the other engine can keep the boat moving and help make its way back to the docking station. This provides more ease of mind for the skipper as well as the riders, making for a more relaxed and confident ride.

Aside from giving the riders peace of mind, double engines also work to ensure that there is greater maneuverability in the water. With two engines, the skipper is able to rotate the boat in an incredible 360-degree motion. With that type of capability, the catamaran is able to maneuver through even tighter spaces, which makes docking a breeze.

Space Differences

When it comes to overall spaciousness, the catamaran beats the competition. In fact, this is one of the major reasons why people choose to go with the catamaran: for space it provides.

This means that even though the catamaran and the sailboat might appear to be the same size, the catamaran actually has a larger cabin and salon area, with more room for sunbathing and other outdoor activities.

A lot of catamarans will also offer a large-sized net area located on the bow of the boat. This net area is available for the riders to lay back and relax, which is ultimately an incredibly unique experience you won’t find on a sailboat. The net is ideal for soaking up the sun when anchored on your favorite, most beautiful bay.

A large cockpit area is another benefit of choosing a catamaran. This is because the massive amounts of space ensure you can do just about anything in the cockpit, like hosting a large family dinner or even setting up a party space to get wild for your birthday.

For anyone who is looking for a relaxed, comfortable, and spacious experience out on the sea, the catamaran will be the best choice. On the other hand, those who want more thrills and aren’t overly concerned about room for dinners and parties should consider the exciting monohull sailboat.

Comfort and Stability

Another great benefit of choosing a catamaran is the comfort and stability they provide. Think about it: since the Catamaran is designed with two parallel hulls rather than just one, there is far more stability all around the boat. This means you can take a walk around the yacht, make your favorite meals for the family, or shake up some drinks in the cabin without worrying about anything tipping over (including yourself).

One of the other features you will only find on (most) catamarans is the inclusion of a separate flybridge. What does this unique piece of equipment do? Well, it provides the riders with a shaded area where they can take a break from the heat of the sun while enjoying a drink and d’Oeuvres.

The flybridge also makes sure that there is privacy on the boat, which is something you won’t find in a smaller, less roomy, and comfortable sailboat.

Sailing Experience

The main reason why multihulls, otherwise known as catamarans, are so extensively popular is due to the fact that they offer such a comfortable and luxurious experience . This means that the riders are reaching maximum pleasure while vacationing out at sea. However, there doesn’t mean that there are not any downsides to this model.

The major downside to catamarans is that they can sometimes pound and slap in the water. To put it simply, this is an incredibly annoying sound that can almost sound like the boat is being beaten and battered by the ocean, ultimately breaking into pieces. While this is certainly not the case, it sure sounds like it; and that is something nobody wants to hear.

So why does the catamaran have this sensation while monohull sailboats do not? The slapping and pounding noise coming from the boat is due to the fact that the low bridge clearance gets hit by the water when the sea is bumpy, and the boat is heading upwind.

Sailboats are able to cut through bumpy seas with ease and can handle wins extremely well. This is due to the fact that they are more immersed in the water. Catamarans, on the other hand, glide over the water rather than sailing through it. This is why they tend to be more smooth overall, but can’t handle winds or lumpy seas as well.

Another thing to keep in mind is that catamarans have less of a heel while sailing. In fact, a catamaran will rarely ever heel more than 5 to 10 degrees before you need to reef the boat. What does this mean for the riders? A smoother sail.

A sailboat, on the other hand, can heel over 20 degrees. The riders will need to brace themselves in the cockpit, so they don’t go falling over to the side. This is especially true when you are outside on a sailboat, as you don’t want to fall completely off the boat when it begins to heel dramatically.

Which One is Faster?

You might think that because the monohull sailboat is less spacious and cuts through the water that it will be faster. Well, thank again. Catamarans are ultimately faster than their monohull sailboat counterparts. But why?

The answer is simple: The two hulls are less immersed in the water. This is beneficial for the simple fact that the hulls won’t have any chance of being ‘dragged’ in the sea. Together, the double hulls stabilize the boat and won’t be challenged by waters, even when they might are choppy.

Aside from being faster overall, the quickness seems to be even more noticeable when the catamaran is sailing downwind. This, again, is because the catamaran’s hulls are not immersed in the water and therefore have no pull when it comes to the water. Gliding downwind creates an even faster movement.

Does that mean that they are slower when cruising windward? Not at all! Although it won’t be as fast as going downwind, the catamaran still beats the sailboat in terms of speed.

Price Differences

When you narrow down the differences by pricing, the differences are subtle. In fact, if there is plenty of supply of both boats, then you can expect the price of a sailboat to be around the same price as a catamaran. But which one is generally more expensive?

Well, since the catamaran has two hulls rather than a single hull, they are naturally going to be sold at a higher cost. Even though the price may not be overly significant, catamarans will generally be pricier than a sailboat.

Aside from the cost of the boat, you must also consider how much it will cost to dock it. Since the catamaran requires more space than a sailboat, it will be more expensive to dock it in a marina. The prices may be even steeper when you’re trying to dock your boat during peak seasons when space is limited.

Overall Emotion Onboard

This might not seem like something to consider when describing the difference between a catamaran and a sailboat, but each comes with their own emotions. Everyone who decides to set sail is looking for some type of experience, and these boats have two very distinct different emotions attached to them.

A catamaran is going to give you the utmost pleasure and relaxation. If you’re looking to release some negative thoughts and emotions and regroup, then this is going to be the best boat.

On the other hand, riding in a sailboat will deliver an experience like you will never have again. There is something about whipping through the sea, feeling the wind blowing against your face, and hanging onto the heel that will give you a rush and exciting experience you will remember for years to come.

Is One Safer than the Other?

This is a loaded question, as someone who has plenty of experience sailing and riding on boats won’t have trouble with either type of boat. However, it is fair to say that catamarans are generally safer than sailboats. But why?

  • Less heel means less chances of getting hurt or falling off. With little to no chance of the boat heeling, you can ride without thinking about falling over and hurting yourself or ending up completely hauled off the yacht.
  • Double hulls provide stability. This makes it easy for the riders to walk around the boat, lay down and sunbathe, or enjoy a meal in the cockpit without anything negative happening.
  • Level sailing means less chances of tipping over. Sailboats can sometimes tip over in harsh weather conditions. The good thing about a catamaran is the double hulls, and level sailing capabilities keep everyone onboard and keeps the yacht from tipping over.
  • Catamarans will float no matter what. In the extremely rare instance where a catamaran flips over or something has broken the boat and you fear sinking, put your worries to rest as catamarans will always keep afloat whether they are upright or not. This is because catamarans have excessive buoyancy.

Choosing the Right Boat

Now that you know all of the major differences between a catamaran and a sailboat, the decision should be exponentially easier. Just keep these few things in mind when picking the boat that is right for you:

  • Are you looking for comfort and luxury, or thrills and experience? Remember that the catamaran is all about luxury and comfort. It’s great for families, especially those with kids, because of the stability. On the other hand, those seeking a pulse-racing experience should acquire a sailboat.
  • How much room do you need? If it is just you and your buddy looking for a great time, then you might consider a sailboat. Someone looking for a fun family outing or even planning to throw a party of some sort should look into the spacious, more comfortable, and roomy catamaran.
  • How good are your sailing abilities? Catamarans are great for beginners as they are far easier to sail and maneuver through the water. If you’re worried about your skill level, catamaran might be the best choice.
  • How much money are you looking to spend? While you don’t have to worry too much about pricing, you should know that catamarans will be a bit more expensive due to double hulls and space. This is also true while docking, as catamarans, will require more room.

Choosing between a catamaran and sailboat can be tricky if you don’t know all of the facts. The best things to keep in mind is that a catamaran is the yacht that will provide more overall luxury and space, while the sailboat will ensure bone-chilling, heart-racing thrills that will give you a story to talk about for the rest of your life.

I am the owner of sailoradvice. I live in Birmingham, UK and love to sail with my wife and three boys throughout the year.

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  • Catamaran vs. Sailboat – Which one to choose?

A frequently discussed topic among sailors is what type of boat to choose for the next adventure. Should you go for a classic sailing yacht, catamaran or motorboat? Which boat is better? Each vessel can provide you with an unforgettable experience. It is impossible to say that a catamaran is better than a sailboat and vice versa. The question is, rather, what do you want, what are your needs, abilities and budget

Proponents of monohulls  love the typical wobbliness of these boats and the authentic sailing experience that they convey. On the contrary, fans of catamarans praise their luxurious spaciousness and stability. Both teams are right.

Let’s take a closer look at the differences between monohulls - such as sailboats and multihull boats - such as catamarans . For a better comparison, we will focus only on boats with sails. There are also multi-hull motor boats (power catamarans), three-hull boats (trimarans), or single-hull motor yachts and boats. Let’s compare charter sailboats and catamarans based on their handling, equipment, comfort, safety in different conditions and routes, and, last but not least, the price.

What is the difference between a sailing yacht and a catamaran?

Let's start with the basics. Sailing yachts are typically monohulls that are propelled by sails and have a single keel that runs along the bottom of the hull.

Discover the latest review of the Bavaria 46, one of the most popular sailboats

Catamarans have two hulls that are connected by a bridge. Catamarans are generally wider, more stable, and more spacious than sailing yachts, making them a popular choice among families and groups of friends looking for recreational boats.

Discover the latest review of the Lagoon 450F, one of the most popular catamarans

Handling and manoeuvring.

The catamaran consists of two hulls, twin engines and two rudders. Sails are similar to those on the sailboat. Due to a short keel, the catamaran has a shallow draft. The construction of the catamaran makes it move faster and, above all, with better stability than a monohull vessel. The experience of real sailing on a catamaran is impoverished by typical heeling and swaying. The catamaran will neither rock you from side to side nor tilt as it happens on a sailboat. But some crews can consider this as their big advantage. On the other hand, sometimes a catamaran has a tendency to slap on the water. 

On the other hand, the sailboat has a long keel and a triangular shape, thanks to which it slices through the water with less effort. The typical movement of the ship is rocking and heeling.

The speed of both vessels also depends on the direction of the wind. When sailing downwind , catamarans usually achieve greater speed than sailboats. Sailboats, on the other hand, perform better when sailing upwind . During turns, sailboats are better manoeuvrable and respond to a helm better, while catamarans lose the necessary impulse for a prompt turn faster.

Unlike a sailboat, a catamaran is practically unsinkable . However, from a physics point of view, it is easier to capsize a catamaran, although the probability of this happening is relatively low, and the boat stays afloat, providing a haven for the crew.

The limit of positive stability (or angle of vanishing stability), which can make the boat capsize, is considerably smaller in the case of a catamaran than in the case of a sailboat. A catamaran is not able to self-right. A strong gust of wind or a wave can tilt the sailboat over when heeled to a more than 90-degree angle (the keel of the boat protrudes above the surface), and it can still be able to return to its normal position by itself. Therefore, a sailboat works more smoothly in waves than a catamaran. However, large and breaking waves are equally dangerous for both types of boats, and you must sail perpendicular to the direction of the waves in such conditions.

Docking and anchoring 

Although a catamaran may seem more difficult to park at first glance due to its more massive appearance, the parking manoeuvre is surprisingly easier than with sailboats. You are able to turn the catamaran 360 degrees on the spot. This is not possible to perform with a sailboat. The catamaran is equipped with two engines that can be controlled independently. The disadvantage of the catamaran’s robustness is that it often takes up 1.5 - 2 times more space in the marina than a similarly long sailboat. Especially in peak season, finding a place to dock can be difficult. 

Sailboats and yachts in small port Near village Spartachori on Meganisi island, Greece

On the contrary, anchoring a catamaran can seem more complicated, at least at the beginning. If you are chartering a catamaran for the first time, be sure to inquire about the anchoring system when taking over the boat. When anchoring the catamaran, you need a bridle rope with a carabiner, which you tie to both the bows and the anchor chain in the middle. The anchor is then centred and the position of the rope prevents damage to the hulls from the chain.

The indisputable advantage of anchoring with a catamaran is its low draft. The absence of a very long keel allows you to drop the anchor even in shallow bays and closer to the shore, where you would not be able to stay with a sailboat.

A catamaran is definitely more comfortable . Both for the captain and the crew. It is more spacious and calmer during sailing. If you have a crew that often suffers from seasickness, such members usually feel better on the catamaran. Take in mind that a catamaran has its specific movements as well, and they may not suit everyone’s stomach either. Under the same conditions, you can chase mugs in the kitchen and wipe up spilt coffee on a sailboat, and on a catamaran, you can at most "complain" about boredom during the cruise.

During a gust of waves, the crew on the sailboat gets wet immediately; on the catamaran, you can hide and stay dry. Even such a detail as staying dry can uplift the crew’s mood during adverse weather conditions.

Catamarans are more often equipped with automatic winches. You don’t work so hard manually as you do on a sailboat. Working with the sails is also less demanding, and you have clear instructions for reefing the sails with regular charter catamarans.

Group of Caucasian man and woman friends enjoy party drinking champagne with talking together while catamaran boat sailing at summer sunset. Male and female relax outdoor lifestyle on sail yacht tropical travel vacation

You will appreciate the catamaran more on hot summer days. Air circulation is much better on catamarans. The view from inside the boat is more beautiful from the catamaran because the living part of the deck of the catamaran is located above the water level. You won’t see much from the saloon in the sailboat. As for the view of the ship itself, most sailors enjoy the sight of elegant and well built, agile sailboats more than of multihull "bulldozers" on the water.

Safety depends not so much on the type of vessel as on other factors - the age and state of the ship, the weather and the human element. If we talk about the safety of staying and moving on the boat itself, a catamaran is definitely a safer place for children and the elderly.

In extreme conditions, a monohull is more wobbly on the water and often a bit safer because a sailboat can take care of itself. It can "dance" in big waves more smoothly and independently than a catamaran. The captain needs clear correction and control in strong winds and high waves.

It is true that if you capsize a sailboat , it has the ability to self-right. When you capsize a catamaran, only the towing service will help you. However, once you’re in a situation where even your sailboat almost capsizes, chances are you’re already in huge trouble anyway.

Do catamarans flip easily?

The largest modern catamarans exhibit impressive buoyancy and outstanding resistance to rolling. This ensures that capsizes or inversions are unlikely to occur. When faced with 30-foot breaking waves, the boat gracefully sways from side to side.

You can enjoy long routes in greater comfort and with a longer period of self-sufficiency on catamarans. These are usually equipped with solar panels for electricity production, desalinators for obtaining drinking water and generous storage space.

A catamaran is more expensive than a sailboat of similar size. In addition, you will pay extra for parking fees in marinas and city piers, for entering national parks and sometimes for fuel. The price often wins as a decisive argument when choosing a charter boat. Although the price difference may not be negligible, a catamaran’s additional benefits (higher comfort, stability and spaciousness) often compensate for the higher price.

An example of a comparison of rental fleet prices: renting a catamaran Lagoon 42 from 2019 with a length of about 13 meters (6 cabins) will cost you about 480 euros per day; alternatively, renting a sailboat Jeanneau Sun Oddysey from 2019 with a length of about 13 meters (5 cabins) and with a bow thruster can cost from 200 euros per day. The price may vary depending on the month and discounts from the charter company.

How much does a sailboat cost?

Sailboat prices are different, but it is possible to get some idea of the price if we study markets and use several examples. The cost of cruising boats is usually €250,000 or less. The price of a new boat typically ranges between €100,000 and €1,000,000. The value of a used sailboat varies based on its size and year of manufacture, usually between €10,000 and €100,000.

Group of men and women enjoy party drinking champagne with talking together while catamaran boat sailing at summer sunset. Male and female relax outdoor lifestyle on sail yacht tropical travel vacation

If you long for a real experience of authentic sailing, you want to enjoy the heel and feel the wind in your hair, then a sailboat is an obvious choice. A sailboat will also be a better option if you plan to reach less accessible, narrow, and capacity-limited places where maneuvering a large catamaran could be problematic. A sailing yacht won’t hurt your wallet as much as a catamaran.

If you don’t like the adrenaline rush of sport sailing, you prefer bigger living space, and especially if you have children on board, you will fall in love with a catamaran. When choosing a catamaran over a sailboat, enthusiasts of diving and other water activities that require storing bulky items will also be grateful.

If you don’t want to lose the charm of yachting while sailing on a sailboat, but you are worried about the wobbly movement tendencies, for instance, while docking in a marina, choose a sailboat equipped with a bow thruster for easier maneuvering. 

What type of boat is better for a novice captain?

We recommend building practice first on a classic sailing yacht (monohull) for novice captains. You need to get enough feel for maneuvering the ship as such. A robust, comfortable, and stable catamaran will forgive many mistakes under normal conditions. Even a novice crew can be trained better on a sailboat - a catamaran "spoils" the crew more quickly.

An old sailor’s proverb says, “a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor” . So, if you are still at the beginning of your captain’s journey, a similar rule also applies when choosing a vessel :)

So, what is the best deal for your next yacht charter vacation? Whether a catamaran or a sailboat, a multihull or a monohull is better, there is no winner or a loser. Each vessel has different advantages and disadvantages. Very important aspects of life on a boat are a good captain, a friendly and capable crew and favorable conditions for sailing. Although we cannot guarantee this at Boataround, we are here for you when choosing a specific boat.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours:

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  • What's the difference between a catamaran and a sailboat?

A comprehensive guide to help you choose the best boat for your next holiday

  • Boat Models

Get ready to embark on a sea-faring adventure with us as we unveil the unique charms of catamarans and sailboats—the rockstars of luxury on the water. While we usually dive deep into the world of sailboats, we can't resist sharing the laid-back vibes and the comfort you'll find inside a catamaran. 

By zooming in on the differences, we're handing you the ultimate tool to pick out the perfect yacht for your holiday. Ready to set sail? Let's navigate the cozy corners and sail smoothly through the captivating world of catamarans and sailboats. Your ideal yacht escapade is within reach, and understanding these nuances is the compass that will steer you toward the perfect maritime retreat. Cheers to smooth sailing!

Yacht Charter: Book your holiday with Sailogy!

➡️  sailboat rental, ➡️  catamaran rental, what is the difference between a catamaran and a sailboat sailogy comparison, can a catamaran sail rough seas, what is the difference between a sailing catamaran and a power catamaran, are catamarans faster than sailboats, are catamarans harder to sail.

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Sailboat vs Catamaran Comparison

1. stability:.

  • Sailboat: Embraces the classic elegance of a single hull, providing a responsive and traditional sailing experience. The tilting motion, counterbalanced by the daggerboard, adds a dynamic element to the journey.
  • Catamaran: Boasts unparalleled stability with its two hulls, virtually eliminating the pronounced tilting effect. The absence of deep keels and ballasts enhances agility and lightness, offering a smoother ride. Ideal for those who are prone to experiencing a bit of seasickness!
  • Catamaran: Defines spaciousness, providing individual cabins with dedicated bathrooms. The square-shaped dinette mirrors domestic proportions, and the substantial, well-equipped cockpit encourages social gatherings.
  • Sailboat: Offers a cozy and intimate setting, utilizing space efficiently. While cabins may be more compact, the sailboat's design fosters a close-knit atmosphere among passengers.
  • Catamaran: Impresses with a wide footprint, enhancing onboard living space and comfort. The challenge lies in marina space during peak seasons, offset by the freedom to enjoy extended periods aboard without the need for frequent shore visits.
  • Sailboat: Navigates marinas with ease due to its narrower profile. While confined space might limit interior room, the sailboat's ability to find berths becomes advantageous during bustling harbor seasons. It's worth noting that this characteristic can vary depending on the model; for instance, new models such as the Bavaria C38 or the Dufour 44 (premiered in Düsseldorf and soon available) feature generous beams, providing more space, especially in the main front bedroom, and creating a general feeling of larger spaces, even on the deck.

4. All on the Same Level:

  • Catamaran: Integrates the dinette and cockpit seamlessly, creating a harmonious, unified space with a transparent sliding wall. Visual continuity fosters a connected and inclusive experience among guests.
  • Sailboat: Embraces a more compartmentalized layout, allowing for distinct areas that cater to different activities. This provides passengers with varied environments throughout the vessel.

5. Manoeuvrability:

  • Catamaran: Exhibits impressive maneuverability, thanks to two engines that facilitate precise control in tight spaces. The ability to turn within its own axis is particularly advantageous in crowded harbors.
  • Sailboat: Requires careful and deliberate maneuvering in harbors due to its single engine. While agility might be reduced, the sailboat's sailing capabilities shine when navigating open waters.

6. Speed and Sailing:

  • Catamaran: Hydrodynamically efficient hulls offer superior speed, especially in upwind sailing conditions. The catamaran excels in providing a swift and enjoyable journey, minimizing the impact of adverse weather.
  • Sailboat: Demonstrates versatility in sailing conditions, adapting well to upwind challenges. While not as inherently fast as a catamaran, the sailboat's overall speed ensures an engaging sailing experience.

7. Comfort on Board:

  • Catamaran: Appeals to first-time sailors seeking a home-like experience. Offers disengaged and domestically oriented spaces, ensuring privacy between hulls—a valuable feature for those with varying daily routines or sailing with a skipper or children.
  • Sailboat: Fosters a more communal atmosphere, ideal for passengers who enjoy close interaction. The sailboat's compact layout promotes shared experiences among travelers.

8. Autonomy:

  • Catamaran: Slightly compromised autonomy due to weight sensitivity. Limited fuel independence and water reserves necessitate more thoughtful planning. The presence of two engines enhances maneuverability, allowing for precise navigation.
  • Sailboat: Excels in fuel autonomy, providing extended sailing periods without the need for frequent refueling. A single-engine simplifies maintenance and promotes straightforward, self-sufficient voyages.

9. Organisation of Space:

  • Catamaran: Typically designed with a standardized layout, catamarans for charter often feature two cabins in each hull, strategically positioned at the extreme bow and stern. This layout, with two bathrooms centrally located, offers a consistent and practical accommodation setup. Innovative models feature an exterior galley integrated into the cockpit, providing a unique blend of space and functionality.
  • Sailboat: Boasting a more versatile structure, sailboats come in various layouts to cater to diverse preferences. Modern designs challenge traditional constraints with generous beams. This not only enhances interior space, especially in the main front bedroom but also creates a broader and more open atmosphere on the deck. The flexibility in cabin arrangements allows for a personalized and comfortable sailing experience, accommodating different preferences and needs. Ultimately, the organization of space on a sailboat is influenced by the specific model chosen, allowing for a tailored approach to onboard living.

catamaran or sail boat

Catamarans excel in rough seas, thanks to their twin-hull design providing enhanced stability and reduced heeling compared to monohull sailboats. The unique architecture allows for increased speed and maneuverability, making them efficient in navigating challenging conditions. 

Key to their rough-sea capabilities is the bridge deck —the space between the hulls—featuring ample clearance in well-designed catamarans. This minimizes slamming, enhances seaworthiness by reducing structural stress, and ensures a smoother ride in turbulent sea states. 

While catamarans can capsize in extreme situations, proper design, operation, and the skill of an experienced captain contribute to their overall capability in handling a variety of sea conditions, ensuring a secure and enjoyable sailing experience, even in rough seas.

A sailing catamaran and a power catamaran differ primarily in propulsion . A sailing catamaran relies on sails, offering a traditional experience with stability and efficiency. In contrast, a power catamaran uses engines, emphasizing speed and ease of handling. Power catamarans are chosen for faster cruising and covering more miles.

Catamarans are often considered faster than monohull sailboats due to their hydrodynamic design . With two hulls providing stability, reduced drag, and a wider beam for efficient sailing angles, catamarans excel in speed. However, sailboats showcase versatility, excelling in certain conditions such as upwind sailing. Overall speed comparison depends on various factors, including design and wind conditions.

Sailing a catamaran is often seen as less challenging for beginners due to inherent stability and reduced heeling. The dual-hull design provides balance, making catamarans forgiving in terms of capsizing. While novices appreciate stability, adjustments are needed for maneuvering and handling increased windage. Proficiency comes with practice, and experienced sailors may find catamarans offer a refreshing change in sailing dynamics.

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Power Catamarans vs Sail Catamarans, What’s the Right Choice For You?

Sail and power catamarans are both great boats with distinct advantages. To choose what is best for you, think about how you will be using the boat. The good news is they both work with our Business Yacht Ownership ® program.

Sail Catamarans

Sail Catamaran : Power Catamarans vs Sail Catamarans

  • Sailboats are better if you want to follow the sun or do longer range cruising.
  • With the right prop and engine, sailboats can do 9-10 knots and are very sea-worthy. They provide comfort at sea. If you just feel like laying back and relaxing, you can almost forget the mast is there. But, when the conditions are ideal, you will be able to sail. New designs and technological advancements make sail handling easier than ever.
  • Sailboats are quiet and promote socialization. Generally, they can handle more guests at a time, whether they are socializing or sleeping.
  • Sailboats cost less per cubic ft. of volume. The Helia 44 has as much or more room/volume than the Cumberland 47.

Power Catamarans

Power Catamarans: Power Catamarans vs Sail Catamarans

  • They have low clearance. If your cruising plans involve a bridge with height restrictions, a power boat may be the better option.
  • A properly, dedicated purpose catamaran powerboat gives significantly better speed and range than a comparable monohull powerboat.
  • The Fountaine Pajot Motor Yacht offers the exceptional characterics of the catamaran platform, giving you a very comfortable ride and virtually eliminating rolling at anchor.
  • The Fountaine Pajot Power cat is less expensive to run than a monohull and can compete with the economy of a trawler. The power cat also offers the efficiency of the hull, which allows you to go faster when you need to (up to 22 knots or so). This is not possible under normal conditions with a trawler or sailing cat.

Learn more about power catamarans

Senior Sales Consultant, Partner [email protected] 410-703-5655 More from Eric >>  Boat Business Webinars, Videos, Blogs, Learning center and more.

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catamaran and sailboat

Catamaran Cruising is Different than Sailing a Sailboat— But Why?

catamaran or sail boat

Table of Contents

Start Planning Your Catamaran Rental or Sailboat Rental Today!

Catamaran sailing has become more popular with the general public over the past few years, mostly because catamarans are a lot easier to sail than other types of boats, and they can also be a lot safer, especially if you don’t really know how to sail. In the next few paragraphs, we will explain exactly what a catamaran is and what a sailboat is, and also look at some of the ways your sailing experiences might vary when you are using each type of boat. Finally, we’ll look at a few of the types of boats that you can start renting right away through Boatsetter.

Browse Available Catamaran Rentals Near You

A Basic Guide: What is a Catamaran?

Catamarans offer smooth sailing because they lie very flat on the water, and you anchor them in shallow water. A catamaran rental is ideal when you are looking for maximum comfort and relaxation. The most important thing to know about a catamaran is that it has two hulls that are connected to each other by crossbeams. Each of the hulls generally houses a sleeping room. This means there is a lot of individual space, which can make a catamaran ideal for longer rental periods. Some catamarans even feature another level called a flybridge , as well as netting between the hulls. You’ve probably seen pictures like this of people relaxing on the netting while sailing through placid waters.

Choosing a catamaran rental is often safer than choosing another type of boat because catamarans have two engines and two rudders, as well as level decks with wide passageways. These wide, level decks can help those who suffer from seasickness because they can feel more secure on the water. It is extremely rare for these boats to flip over. The only time that might happen is with very high winds, too much sail, and big waves breaking over the boat.

A catamaran rental is an excellent option if you are hosting a large group of people and if you plan to have a lot of food and drink on the boat. Some perfect occasions for a catamaran rental might include weddings , birthday parties, or any other special types of celebrations that involve a large crowd. The most noticeable difference when you are sailing a catamaran is that there is no “heeling”. In other words, the ship remains level on the water most of the time. This makes these types of boats more relaxing and convenient for casual sailors.

A Basic Guide: What is a Sailboat?

Sailboats come in a wide range of shapes and sizes and there is no easy way of defining a sailboat, except to say that it is a boat propelled partly or entirely by sails. Operating a sailboat can be great fun because there is a lot of skill and technical expertise involved in making sure the boat goes where you want it to go. On a sailboat, you can learn new skills or enhance the ones you already have, such as learning how to hoist sails or jibe and tack. Even learning how to tie a new knot can be quite a large accomplishment for a budding sailor.

When you rent a sailboat, it is best to know what you are doing, or if you are an inexperienced sailor, you also have the option of hiring a knowledgeable captain who can help you navigate rougher waters. Among other things, a boat captain will help you troubleshoot any mechanical failures on the sailboat, monitor the weather closely to help avoid a change in plans, act as an expert in an emergency situation, and help you docking/undock or load/unload the sailboat. Sometimes a captain will be able to share local boating and geographical knowledge as well.

If you decide to rent a sailboat, it is best to choose a boat that you are already comfortable with or something only just beyond your skill level. Sailboats up to 18 feet without a motor are generally the easiest boats to control, but even these require at least some level of technical expertise. If you do not have enough experience with the size of the boat you want to rent, then it is best to invite a fellow sailor along on the trip with you so that you have as much experience as possible at the helm .

So Which Type of Boat Should I Choose?

To be an effective sailor, it takes a good mixture of specific knowledge, honed skills, and a natural instinct for the wind and the feel of the boat . The entire sailing experience can be completely different depending on whether you rent a catamaran or whether you rent a sailboat. The motion of each of the boats is different, you have to trim the sails differently, and you also have to deal with lots of other factors that you might not be used to. As mentioned above, catamarans are better for those who perhaps don’t have the same level of sailing skill as other more experienced sailors. If you are really just hoping to enjoy a calm, peaceful cruise without much turbulence, a catamaran is certainly the better choice.

Sailing has a whole glossary of terms that you will need to know if you rent a sailboat. Words and expressions like port , starboard , leeward, halyard, helms alee, rode, tacking, gybing, and eye of the wind are some common sailing terms. We really recommend that you familiarize yourself with boating terminology if you are going to rent a sailboat. Here is a list of 50 basic sailing terms that every beginner should know .

If you seek more action and excitement while you are out on the water, deciding to rent a sailboat is the best option if you already have a fair amount of experience as a sailor. It is important to note, though, that sailboats (especially the bigger ones) can also be very hard to handle in rough weather, so it is always best to try and avoid any types of extreme conditions as much as you can. Again, if you don’t want to take on the responsibilities of captaining your ship, we have experienced boat captains available to do all the hard work for you.

How to Rent a Catamaran or Rent a Sailboat through Boatsetter

Whether you choose to be completely in charge of your vessel or whether you choose to hire a captain on the water, we can help you book an unforgettable adventure on either a catamaran rental or if you decide to rent a sailboat. Boatsetter connects boat seekers with all types of catamarans and sailboats in many locations throughout the USA as well as internationally. Remember, too, that here at Boatsetter, catamaran rentals and sailboat rentals can be booked within a wide range of budgets. To start browsing the entire Boatsetter fleet of catamarans and sailboats, visit Boatsetter and enter in your desired location.

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Catamaran Or Monohull? 27 Important Facts (Explained)

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Catamarans and monohull boats are two very different kinds of vessels.  Each craft offers distinct advantages and disadvantages that you’ll want to consider before choosing between the two.

In this post, we’ll go over some of the important things to consider when choosing between catamarans and monohull boats:

Table of Contents

Cost & Availability

Both catamarans and monohull boats come in small recreational sailing versions, larger motorboat versions, and larger sailing models.  In all cases, the catamarans will cost more and will be harder to find.

The reason catamarans are harder to find because there are not as many of them, and they’re mostly made overseas.

Also, there aren’t as many catamaran manufacturers, so sailors have fewer options when buying them.

On top of this, catamarans have only recently become popular in the United States and other areas of the developed world.  This means the used market for boats doesn’t have as many catamarans on it.  You might find that you have fewer options when making a used catamaran purchase, which could bring costs up to a premium.

Two Times The Fun with Catamarans

catamaran or sail boat

Another reason that catamarans are more expensive than monohulls is the fact that catamaran buyers have to purchase two hulls, two engines, and two of all of the components that help make an engine work.

Traditional sailboats and large powerboats with one engine don’t have this cost issue.

On top of this, a catamaran is much wider than a monohull, and thus you have more space to build and equip.

On the other hand, once you’ve purchased the boat, you do get to enjoy the benefits of having two of everything.  We’ll talk about the advantages of this further down in this post.

Maintenance Cost Makes A Difference

The maintenance on a catamaran is also more expensive than the maintenance on a monohull boat.  This goes back to the fact that there is twice as much of everything to maintain.

Catamaran owners will need to do preventative maintenance on two different engines, and they’ll have two hulls and a large deck area to clean and maintain as well.  If they’re getting the bottom of the boat treated, they’ll have to do this twice (once for each hull).

Even the interior components can usually be found twice.

Each cabin will usually have a head in it, so you’ll have at least two toilets and sinks to maintain, which obviously has its plusses and minuses.

One positive aspect of this is that catamaran owners do have the option of deferring some of their maintenance.  For example, if one head is no longer functioning properly, you always have the second one that you can use.

It also adds a bit of safety as well.

This is because while the catamaran does have two engines to maintain, the owner does have power even if one of the engines happens to go down.

Some catamaran owners also like to point out that maintenance may not have to be done as frequently.  This is because the engines don’t have to work quite as hard, and other items like additional bathrooms and sinks might only be used half as much.

How Much Space Do You Need?

catamaran or sail boat

A catamaran has more space than a monohull.  This is because the boat is wider, and it has a much larger deck area.  It also has twice as many hulls, so you have more overall space between the two of them.

The additional space is great for people looking to throw parties on their boats.

Most boat owners would agree that the catamaran is usually the party boat of choice at the docks.

Even if you aren’t into throwing parties, the extra space can still be nice for relaxing on the deck or getting a suntan.  The wide-open space also makes it easy to use the boat as a fishing platform.

Additionally, you have more space for stuff like surfboards, rafts, and other items that can easily clutter up the deck of a monohull.  Even fishing can be easier from a catamaran as the deck provides plenty of space between different anglers.

Catamaran owners also have additional space for carrying fresh water and adding generators and solar panels.

Interior space is generally more plentiful on a catamaran, and luxury catamarans have an easier time fitting large items like washers and dryers inside of them.  You can have these on larger monohulls as well, but it will be harder to make them fit than it is in a catamaran.

On the other hand, all of the additional space means the catamaran owner has more space to maintain and clean.  Also, all of the additional items that can be brought onto the boat will make it heavier.  A heavier boat will use more fuel, and it will travel more slowly.

Living Quarters Vary Between The Two

The living quarters on a catamaran are much different than they are on a monohull.  Most people would agree that the berths in a monohull are much more spacious than in a catamaran.

A monohull offers people the opportunity to have a large bed with space on either side to walk around it.  This is great for couples who want to get out of bed without waking up their partner.

Catamarans, on the other hand, have the advantage of being able to offer large above-deck salon areas.  The galleys, the dining areas, and the living areas can all be above-deck, while the two hulls can provide heads and berths.

Some boat owners say that living in a monohull is akin to living in a basement apartment .  Other boat owners prefer the monohull because it brings them closer to the water and gives them the feeling of being at sea.

Privacy Can Be Prioritized On Catamarans

A catamaran offers up many different living areas that people can take advantage of.  For example, each hull will typically have its own bathroom and bedroom.

This gives each sleeping area complete privacy from the other.

The living quarters are usually up on the deck, so early risers can wake up and move to these quarters without waking up the others.

The same holds for night owls.  A night owl can stay up late without bothering the people who want to retire to their beds earlier.

With two hulls, large catamaran owners can hire a crew and give them their own hull to live in so that there is separation between the cruisers and the crew.  This is a wonderful advantage for honeymooners looking to have their own space.

The downside to all of this, of course, is that sometimes a family may not want the additional privacy.  For example, a family with small children might not want their children in a different hull than they are.

Additionally, the extra privacy can make it hard for people on the boat to communicate.  This could become a big problem in the event of an emergency.

For this reason, it is often recommended that each hull have a radio in it so that the occupants can quickly communicate with each other.  Remember, even in inland areas, cell phone reception may not be very good inside the boat hulls.

Recreation In a Monohull vs. a Catamaran

Most sailors agree that sailing a monohull boat is much more exhilarating than sailing a catamaran.  Traditional sailboats heel, and sailors get instant feedback while they’re sailing.  For the most part, catamarans stay stable, and you don’t get the same feeling with the movement of the wind and the water.

When it comes to monohull powerboats, you have the advantage of being able to pull water skiers, kneeboarders, and tubers with ease, as long as the boat has the power and a planing hull.  A power catamaran usually doesn’t have the speed or maneuverability to pull off these recreational opportunities because they are displacement hull designs.

Catamarans excel in more leisurely recreational activities.  A catamaran makes a great party deck as well as a great cruising deck.  Catamaran owners can comfortably walk around a catamaran without having to worry that the boat might knock them over the next time it decides to heel.  This allows boaters to sit and talk with one another comfortably.

A catamaran can also be used as a beaching vessel.  This makes it a great platform for people looking to go swimming or fishing around sand bars and other shallow water areas.  It also makes it a great boat for sailors looking to sail a larger boat on a river or lake known for having shallow areas.

Swimming and Diving

Swimming and diving off of a catamaran are usually much easier than doing the same from a monohull.  The wide stance of the two hulls offers boat designers the option to put in staircases at the back of both hulls.

In between these staircases, some boats will have an additional diving platform and/or a dedicated frame for pieces of equipment and dinghy storage.  This makes catamarans great for swimmers, snorkelers, and divers.

On the other hand, modern monohull sailboats can also have good transom stairs for easy access to the dinghy and swimming.  Both types of boats can easily travel far out to sea, giving boaters the option of diving in areas that can’t be accessed from beaches and developed areas.

Boat Draft In Shallow Waters

For the uninitiated, the boat’s draft refers to how deep the boat’s hull sits within the water.

A monohull typically sits deep within the water, while a catamaran sits much higher on the water.  This is why we stated that a catamaran is good for shallow waters.

The advantage of having a boat that can go into shallow waters isn’t restricted to just recreational activities like swimming and fishing.  A boat that can go into shallow water is safer to operate in areas where a boat with a deeper draft might become damaged.

Additionally, a catamaran has more stability on calm waters.  This helps make a catamaran more comfortable to relax or sleep on while at anchor or the dock.

The deeper draft of a monohull boat has its advantages as well.  A deeper draft provides more stability in rough waters and allows a boat to go further into the sea.

For this reason, many coastal cruisers will prefer catamarans, while many ocean voyagers will prefer monohull boats.  In fact, some areas of the Caribbean and the Florida Keys can be off-limits to boats with deep drafts as it simply isn’t safe for the boat to navigate these waters.

This isn’t to say that you can’t navigate these waters in a monohull boat, but you will have to be cautious depending on how deep your monohull’s boat draft is.  You wouldn’t have this issue in a catamaran.

Stability On The Sea

catamaran or sail boat

A catamaran offers a lot more stability in shallow waters, in calm waters, at the dock, and anchorage.  This makes the boat great for cruising and for relaxing in port.

A monohull offers a lot more stability in rough waters.

This makes this boat great for heading out to sea and for navigating vast distances.

Safety Issues To Consider

Both catamarans and monohulls can be built to navigate the waters they were made for safely.  This will be determined more by the boat’s category designation rather than the type of boat.

However, each boat deals with unsafe situations in different ways.  For instance, a monohull boat is likely to right itself if it is capsized.

This means that even in rough seas, you’re unlikely to find yourself permanently capsized.

The downside to this is that should you become completely swamped from a capsize in a monohull boat, you are much more likely to sink.  In fact, if there is a hull breach on a monohull boat, your boat could sink.

Catamarans are said to be unsinkable.  This isn’t completely true, but it is very unlikely that a catamaran will sink.  Even if a hull is breached, you still have a second hull to keep the catamaran afloat.

However, a catamaran can’t right itself.  If you capsize your catamaran, it will stay capsized.

One other safety concern to consider is that a monohull sailboat will heel while a catamaran will not.  This increases the chances that someone could fall off the boat or onto the deck in a monohull boat.

Catamarans Are Faster Than Monohull Boats

A catamaran is faster than the average monohull boat.

This is because they face less water resistance, and their narrow hulls don’t have to deal with their own bow waves as a monohull does.

Of course, catamarans aren’t always faster.  Old cruising catamarans may not go faster than 8 knots, and modern monohulls can exceed 10 knots.

Monohull boats tend to sail downwind and in choppy seas better than catamarans.  This gives them a speed advantage during ocean voyages.

We have a separate post with complete average speeds per type of catemaran . It’s a must read if you are at all concerned about speed!

Fuel Consumption Considerations

Catamarans have two engines to burn fuel, which can drive up fuel costs.

However, a catamaran is lighter on the water, so it usually takes less energy to move a catamaran.  This means you’ll end up using less fuel in a catamaran than you would in a monohull.

On top of this, catamarans can decide to use just one engine in low wind areas.  This further decreases the amount of fuel that a catamaran consumes.

These rules only apply to calm waters.

A monohull navigates waters with high waves and strong winds much more efficiently than a catamaran.  In this case, you’ll use less fuel in a monohull than you would in a catamaran.

Sailing Differences To Notice

Sailing a monohull boat can be exhilarating.  These boats can glide through choppy waters, and you get to feel the motion of the boat as the sea rushes by the cockpit and the wind causes you to heel.

This type of sailing also provides instant feedback as you’ll know what you need to do with the sails as you’ll feel what is going on through the boat’s motion.

Sailors all over the world have been using monohull sailboats for years, and you’ll find plenty of outlets for recreational sailing with a monohull sailboat.

Sailing catamarans do not heel like a monohull sailboat.

These boats, therefore, do not provide the sailor with instant feedback.  Also, if you incorrectly sail a catamaran, you do risk capsizing the boat more easily.

Training Can Be Quite Hard

Sailing a catamaran and sailing a monohull boat are two different experiences.  People looking to sail either should probably get professional training.

Obtaining this training will always be easier with a monohull boat.

This is because monohulls are more popular, so you’ll have more instructors available to you.

Do You (Or Your Friends) Get Seasick?

People who are prone to getting seasick easily might want to consider a catamaran.  A catamaran provides much more stability in calm waters, and you get a lot less movement.

On the other hand, people who are not prone to getting seasick might prefer a monohull in choppy waters.

This is because a monohull will deal with deep and choppy waters with high waves much better than a catamaran will.

As a result, a catamarans movement can seem extreme under these types of conditions.  People who have never gotten seasick before can end up sick under these conditions.

Here’s a separate article we wrote with everything you should know about seasickness on Catamarans . There are some things you can do and some things you should know!

Docking Is (Usually) Easier With A Monohull Boat

Docking a catamaran can be a difficult endeavor.

This is because catamarans are often too wide to be docked within the slips located in central areas of a marina.

Because of this, they need to be docked at the end of the dock.  This leaves them with fewer spots to dock.  It also makes docking more expensive.

Catamaran owners traveling through areas that are unlikely to have many catamarans in them may find it difficult to find a dock at all.  This is true in areas of the northern Atlantic where monohulls are much more popular than catamarans.

Storage Issues To Consider

Even storing a catamaran can be more difficult.  This is because storage facilities often do not have the equipment to get a catamaran out of the water.

The wide width of these boats requires special lifts, and not all boat marinas will have them.

Storage facilities that do get the catamaran out of the water will often charge more money for it.  They’ll charge additional fees for taking the catamaran out of the water, and they’ll charge additional fees for the actual storage of the boat as well.

Redundancy And Backup Equipment

We touched upon this earlier, but it is worth repeating that catamarans have many redundancy built into them.  This can be a big advantage when it comes to safety.

For example, if one rudder becomes inoperable, the boat can still be steered with the other one.  If one engine becomes inoperable, the boat can still be driven with the other one.

In extreme cases, a hull could become damaged, and you could still stay afloat because the other hull will keep the boat safely above water.  These safety advantages can save lives and keep people from becoming stranded out at sea.

The primary downside is the maintenance issue that we mentioned earlier.  All of these redundant components will need to be maintained.  As a result, maintenance costs will be close to twice as expensive in a catamaran.

Cooking Is Easier On Catamarans

catamaran or sail boat

Cooking on a catamaran is usually easier than it is on a monohull.  The main reason for this is that a catamaran doesn’t heel like a monohull, so you don’t have to worry as much about things falling over.

This not only makes cooking easier, but it makes cooking safer as well.

Additionally, catamaran galleys tend to have more space in them to move around.  Also, they are often up on the deck, so you don’t have to climb in and out of the hull with your dinner in hand.

Dinghy Storage

Monohulls and catamarans can both hold dinghies.  The larger the boat, the larger the dinghy can be.

However, catamarans have a wide area at the rear of the boat that is perfect for holding dinghies.

This makes getting in and out of the dinghy easier.  Also, people can often have larger dinghies on their catamarans because the boat’s stern is so accommodating.

Power Generation Is Easy On A Catamaran

A catamaran has a lot of space for solar panels and wind turbines.  Rigid panels can be placed in areas that won’t be walked on, like overtop of the bimini, and flexible panels can be placed in areas where the panels might end up getting stepped on.

The width of a catamaran even gives them more opportunities to put hydro generators into the water.

This means catamarans can generate more power than the average monohull boat can generate.

On the other hand, a monohull usually has less powered items to worry about.  Monohulls need less power to operate at full capacity, so you may not need all of the additional space for generating power.

Ventilation Issues To Think About

Some people feel that monohull boats don’t offer enough ventilation.  This is especially true in warmer areas of the world.

Catamarans also lack ventilation within their hulls, but fortunately for them, much of the living space is located up on deck.  This gives catamarans an edge when it comes to cruising in warm weather.

On the other hand, monohull owners aren’t exposed to the cold winds that you might find up on deck in harsher climates. 

This lack of airflow may actually be of benefit in this instance.

Some people find monohulls to be better looking than catamarans and vice versa.

This all comes down to personal preference, so you’ll have to decide for yourself which type of boat has the advantage in this case.

Some people think catamarans are the most elegant thing in the world while others prefer monohull boats as they look more classic.

Resale Value Is An Important Factor

If you read our extensive guide to boat depreciation per boat type , you know that no matter what boat you buy, it will always go down in value.  This is just a sad fact of boat ownership that people need to consider before buying a boat.

Many factors go into how much you’ll be able to get for your boat when you resell it.  These factors are the condition of the boat, the age of the boat, and the economy in general.  For example, people are less likely to want to buy boats during a recession.  This is especially true when it comes to smaller boats.

However, one additional factor that catamaran owners need to consider when thinking about resale value is the value of the dollar. 

People from the United States don’t have many American catamarans to choose from and will usually need to buy these overseas.

This means that a catamaran will be less expensive to buy when the dollar is strong compared to the Euro and more expensive to buy when the dollar is weaker in comparison.  This will affect the used market as well because higher values on new catamarans can help to bring up the value on the used market.

With a monohull boat, you may not have to consider situations like this as there are makers of monohull boats all over the world.

Don’t Let The Length Trick You!

One thought to keep in mind when comparing monohull boats and catamarans is that their different shapes account for different space advantages.

For example, a 40-foot long catamaran will have much more cubic space than a 40-foot long monohull.

Because of this, when comparing boats, you should look at the cubic space rather than the length. In this case, you may be comparing a 48-foot long monohull with a 40-foot long catamaran.

When you compare the two types of boats in this manner, the price differences aren’t quite as large, and the comparison is fairer.  It also may make the operating and maintenance costs more similar.

This is an important distinction to make because the length of the boats can trick you!

Consider Trying Both (Before Buying)

Boats can be an expensive purchase, so it makes sense to try them out before you decide to make your purchase.

Rent each type of boat and use it on the types of waters that you intend to cruise on the most.

Try the boat out in different weather conditions as well, and don’t be afraid to do multiple rentals before you make your final choice.  The time and money invested into making sure you get the boat you really want will be more than worth it in the end.

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Better Sailing

Catamarans vs Monohulls: Which is Better a Better Sailboat For You?

Catamarans vs Monohulls: Which is Better a Better Sailboat For You?

The question of whether to choose a monohull vessel or a catamaran is an eternal dispute between boat lovers. These arguments are usually based on one’s preferences and philosophy. In fact, the popularity of catamarans has grown significantly since their design facilitates many aspects of sailing. But, both mono-hulls and multi-hulls have their advantages and disadvantages. So, in this article, I’m going to list some details about both cats and monohulls so as to help you understand which one is better for you. Remember it all depends on what sort of experience you are looking for. Keep reading!

What is a Monohull?

In general, boats float due to the fact that they displace more water than they weigh. The hull is in “displacement mode” while a boat is stationary or moving slowly. That is, all of the upward forces that keep it afloat come from flotation, which is achieved by displacing water. With certain hulls, increasing the boat’s speed beyond a particular point causes the hull to lift up and skim along on top of the water. This is referred to as “planning.” Monohulls can be divided into two types; displacement and planing hulls.

Some hulls are only capable of moving at displacement speeds . This style of boat has generally slow speed, but it is incredibly efficient to operate. While moving, most have a smooth motion , though rolling (side-to-side movement) might be an issue. On the other hand, while on the sea, achieving fast speeds requires a hull that can readily transition onto a plane. Flat bottom surfaces from amidships aft, or from the middle to the back of the bottom, and a flat transom, or the back of the hull, are the main characteristics of a planing hull. Keep in mind that at a sharp angle, the transom must contact the bottom.

What is a Catamaran?

Nowadays, catamarans are becoming more and more popular. They’re particularly appealing to fishermen since they combine high-speed performance and a smooth rough-water ride with a solid angling platform. Catamarans have two primary disadvantages . Firstly, they require twin engines. Also, larger catamarans may be too broad to fit into standard marina docks. Another disadvantage is that there is less usable interior space than on a monohull of comparable length.

The two hulls of a catamaran are known as amas. These days, the popular phrase is “sponson,” but ama is still acceptable. Note that in comparison to its entire length, each ama is quite short. The narrow amas of a catamaran travel quickly through the water with little power. This allows for fast speeds even when the amas aren’t actively planning.

Trimarans on the other hand have three separate hulls. Sailboat designers have successfully employed this design to provide a large central hull for cabins. But, also for two outrigger amas for stability. The trimaran concept hasn’t been used much in powerboats, despite the fact that several “cathedral” hulls are related. Instead of three independent hulls, a cathedral design squishes them together to the point that they often share a similar planing surface near the transom.

are catamarans better than monohulls

Monohull or Catamaran? Let’s Take a Look at Their Pros and Cons

Catamarans are unsinkable because they are incredibly stable and have natural buoyancy. Yes, they can capsize in a major accident. But, being rescued while floating on the water’s surface is preferable to plunging to the bottom in a monohull. Furthermore, moving around on a flat deck is far safer than on an angled deck.

Classicists have long claimed that catamarans are not as safe as their keelboat counterparts. However, this remark is now regarded as archaic. Since it dates from the mid-nineteenth century when the majority of catamarans were made by amateurs. They could readily tip over even in calm weather, especially if one of their bodies became leakproof owing to damage. Sinking is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for a well-built modern catamaran. Modern structures are designed using computer simulations of various water conditions. Bear in mind that the maximum potential safe sail area is available to cruisers and charter possibilities in particular.

Monohulls , particularly sailboats, offer significantly stronger “self-righting” capabilities in the event of a worst-case knockdown situation. In a catamaran, once you’re upside down, you’re stuck there…And, who wants to be upside down in the middle of the ocean? Returning to an upright position gives you complete access to onboard safety equipment. This includes a liferaft, dinghy, flotation devices, EPIRBs, and strobe lights, which can save you if the boat sinks.

Generally, a catamaran’s high speed allows it to avoid adverse weather . While catamarans do not point as high into the wind as monohulls they are around 20% faster . Or, if they do, they create more leeway or slide sideways. This means that even if you sail upwind at a slightly broader angle to the wind than a monohull and cover a more distance, you will arrive at your destination sooner than a monohull.

A modern performance catamaran with daggerboards and strong sails may point as high as a monohull of comparable size. It will point similar to a comparable monohull but will sail far faster. This allows it to reach an upwind position far sooner than a monohull. However, it’s worth noting that the majority of production cats on the market are underpowered and have standard smaller sails. Many of these designs perform poorly in light breezes. Unless they’re equipped with larger headsails, a Code Zero, and a square-top mainsail.

While cats are more comfortable and safer in rough weather, we must admit that if the weather gets extremely terrible (60 knots of wind or more), it’s better to be on a monohull for survival reasons. For serious offshore single-handed sailing, I believe a monohull is superior since it is easier to hove-to in it. Bear in mind that when you’re in a cat during severe storms you won’t feel any danger, but it demands some nifty seamanship. And, keep in mind that even though a monohull can capsize in bad weather or even roll in a storm, they usually right themselves. A catamaran , on the other hand, is incapable of self-righting . However, the cat will usually stay afloat, providing a safe haven to wait out until aid arrives. Modern catamarans, on the other hand, are extremely difficult to capsize.

That being said, most catamarans can travel 200 to 250 miles per day, and with contemporary technology allowing one to control weather, it’s difficult not to deal with bad weather. In many circumstances, a faster boat is a safer boat because it can outrun heavy weather. A catamaran can avoid the worst weather and, at worst, put itself in the best position to avoid the brunt of a storm if there’s good weather routing information.

So, to sum up, cruising catamarans are quicker than monohulls, and sailing catamarans, depending on their angle, can sail at half the speed of the wind. It’s great to be on a boat that can swiftly attain high speeds and get you to your destination safely and on time. However, catamarans are faster because of their lower surface area , but their prices are generally higher than those of monohulls. Instead of fighting the elements, monohull designs operate in harmony with them . In addition, keep in mind that when sailing upwind, sailing catamarans are inefficient and tack slowly.

Fuel Consumption

Do you want to save money on gas? Then, in most cases, catamarans have less fuel consumption than monohull boats. Catamarans save a lot of gasoline since they have a less wetted surface area on their hulls. They can propel the boat with just one engine in weak winds. Also in flat water, and if the engines have the same number and horsepower. However, in heavier weather , where the higher efficiency of a monohull design provides less resistance , this is not the case.

Generally, catamarans have two fuel-burning engines, which can raise fuel expenses . However, because a catamaran is lighter on the water, it requires less energy to move. In a catamaran, you’ll use less fuel than you would in a monohull. Furthermore, in low-wind areas, catamarans might choose to use only one engine. This reduces the amount of fuel consumed by a catamaran even more . But, only calm waters are subject to these laws. A monohull is far more efficient than a catamaran in navigating waters with heavy waves and heavy winds. A monohull will consume less fuel than a catamaran in this situation.

Are monohulls better than cats

The best feature of catamarans is that all of the rooms are on the same level. The four-cabin arrangement is common with sailing cats and is popular among charter companies. Owner versions usually feature three staterooms, with one hull serving as a big cabin for entertaining. Most catamarans have a big central living room with not one, but two narrow staircases leading down into the hulls—one on each side. It’s a little like living in a tube in the hulls. They’re too thin to accommodate walkaround double/queen berths like those found in monohulls. But, in case of an emergency, it would be impossible to communicate with someone in the opposite hull.

Obviously, a monohull has less space than a catamaran. This is due to the fact that a cat is broader and has a larger deck surface. It also has twice as many hulls as the other, giving you greater total space between them. People who want to host parties on their boats will appreciate the extra space. The catamaran is usually the party boat of choice at the docks, according to most boat owners. Even if you don’t like to host parties, the extra room might be useful for lounging on the balcony or tanning. The boat’s large open space also makes it simple to utilize as a fishing platform.

You also have more room for equipment like surfboards, rafts, and other equipment that can easily clutter a monohull’s deck. Even fishing from a catamaran can be easier because the deck allows for plenty of space between anglers. Owners of catamarans also have more room for carrying fresh water and installing generators and solar panels. A catamaran’s interior room is often larger, and in luxury catamarans, it’s easier to install heavy appliances like washers and dryers inside. These can be fitted to larger monohulls as well, though it will be more difficult than on a catamaran.

All of the extra space, on the other hand, means the catamaran owner has more room to maintain and clean. Furthermore, all of the other stuff that can be brought into the boat will add to its weight . And, as well all know, a heavier boat will consume more fuel and move at a slower speed.

Maneuverability

With their twin motors, catamarans are incredibly agile . On a catamaran, the engines are widely apart, making navigating more easier and more precise than on a monohull, unless the monohull incorporates a bow thruster. Most of the time, a bow thruster isn’t required because the engines are around 20 feet apart. When there’s no bow thruster (as do few monohulls) you have to rely on prop-walk and prop wash on the rudder. On her own axis, a contemporary catamaran can turn 360 degrees. A monohull would be unable to accomplish this while it has a larger turning circle.

A monohull under sail, on the other hand, is far more maneuverable and will tack much faster than a catamaran. But, the ease of movement under motor on a catamaran, especially in close quarters, is substantially superior. They also feature shallow drafts , allowing you to maneuver into areas that a monohull cannot, as well as anchor closer to shore . However, monohulls are more maneuverable as you don’t have to deal with two hulls. They can make sharper turns and travel through small channels and small areas easier than cats. In addition, their hull displacements lessen the negative impacts of crosswinds in confined spaces.

Anchoring and Docking

While docking a catamaran is simple, its big size makes it difficult to fit into a standard slip. However, with some skill and good planning, finding room should be no problem. You may even anchor or moor the boat and dock it with the dinghy, which is much easier than a monohull. However, keep in mind that in most cases docking, hauling, and slipping a monohull is significantly easier, takes up less room, and is far less expensive.

Moreover, docking a catamaran can be a challenging task. This is due to the fact that catamarans are frequently too wide to dock in the marina’s core regions. As a result, they must be docked at the far end of the dock. Therefore they have fewer docking options and raise the cost of docking. Owners of catamarans sailing through places where there aren’t many catamarans may find it difficult to find a dock at all. This is especially true in the northern Atlantic, where monohulls outnumber catamarans.

Keep in mind that one of the most significant advantages of a sailing multihull is its stability . Not only at sea, when heeling simply does not – or should not – occur to any significant extent, but also at anchor. It also greatly expands one’s anchorage options to include areas influenced by the swell. This is quite common in the Caribbean, where a slight shift in wind direction may make a previously flat, quiet anchorage intolerable in a monohull. In addition, its fairly shoal draught expands the options even more.

Catamarans have a large platform, making them ideal for relaxing at anchor without the rolling motion that monohulls are prone to in a swell. Many monohull sailors had to leave anchorages because of the uncomfortable anchoring. This is because large rollers or swells entering an anchorage can make the situation extremely uncomfortable and dangerous.

Also, a bridle is tied to both bows and down to the anchor chain on catamarans , resulting in a fairly secure position at anchor . In heavy winds, many monohulls tend to sail at anchor since the bow acted as a sail (due to the high freeboard). They sail in one direction until the chain snatches, then tack across and sail in the opposite direction, almost completely dislodging the anchor. The catamaran, on the other hand, is much more stable at anchor and does not sway as much.

Catamaran vs Monohull Sailboats

Sailing Abilities

Most cruising multihulls won’t point like a monohull with a deeper keel upwind, and the motion may be rather unpleasant when sailing in rough weather. You must also keep a close eye on the sail area, but we’ll analyze this further below.

Moreover, catamarans are not suitable for racing and sailing sports. They can be fantastic for a holiday or even living aboard, but most racers would never buy one because of the stability. There is no sense of wind, waves, flying, or the boat itself on a catamaran. It’s quite tough to tell when it’s time to reef. While this can be done by feel on a monohull, there is specific instruction for catamarans as to what winds the sail area should be reduced.

When sailing to higher latitudes, like the North Atlantic, then a monohull would be a better solution than a catamaran. Residential areas are easy to heat and keep warm, and traditional metal may even melt thin ice. The contrary is true in the tropical zone, where huge catamaran salons would be unbeatable.

Monohulls can sail higher into the wind than most catamarans due to their keel. Daggerboards, which serve the same role as a keel and boost windward performance significantly, are common in some catamarans. However, daggerboards are not seen on 95 percent of cruising cats (those available for charter). Also, a monohull will be much easier to tack than a catamaran and glide lightly through the water. Moreover, in rougher seas, certain catamarans experience an annoying slapping of water on the bridge decks. A monohull responds to the helm more quickly than a multihull (in other words, they turn faster). This is due to the fact that most cruising cats have small “spade rudders” whose depth is dictated by the need for a modest draft. While with a keel, a monohull can have a more responsive rudder for its draft.

Monohull spreaders are 90 degrees to the mast, however, catamaran spreaders must be backswept. The reason for this is that a monohull has a backstay, and by combining it with the intermediates, you can achieve a lovely pre-bend in the mast. Keep in mind that the pre-bend is to flatten out the mainsail and allow for better performance.

Also, in order to pre-bend the mast on a catamaran without a backstay, you’ll have to utilize the backswept spreaders and diamonds. The reason I bring this up is that if you want to broad reach or run on a catamaran, you can’t let the mainsail out all the way because the backswept spreader tips could puncture the cloth. Because the spreaders on a monohull are at 90 degrees, you can let the main and boom out much wider, which is obviously more effective. This is one of the reasons why a catamaran should broad reach and tack downwind.

  • Maintenance

Because catamarans have two of everything, there is a clear trade-off between maintenance costs, reliability, and redundancy. One of the most significant advantages of having two of everything is that you have a backup . As a result, even if one component fails, you can typically still utilize the boat, such as running on one engine while the other fails. While redundancy is fine, lower maintenance and repair costs are generally preferable. Although having two of everything provides you some redundancy, I doubt you’ll want to take the boat out if one of the two hulls “fails.” Of course, this means two hulls to clean and antifoul, double the engine maintenance, and so on , but having two of the important pieces of equipment, such as engines, outweighs the disadvantages.

cat vs monohull

Due to their weight-bearing, catamarans have minimal to no heeling and do not roll at anchor. With sudden gusts, heeling on a monohull can be dangerous and uncomfortable, not to mention seasickness. Again, the trade-off is a noisy ride and fast movement, which many people find uncomfortable in bad weather. However, the heeling action of a monohull sailboat offers stability, spills wind from the sails, and provides safety.

Catamarans, unlike monohulls, do not have ballast in their keels, therefore they rely on beam and buoyancy for stability. Typical cruising catamarans have a beam-to-length ratio of around 50%, while several modern designs exceed this figure. A 45-foot catamaran will be around 22 feet wide, offering a highly solid sailing platform. Monohulls, unlike catamarans, cannot overcome rolling and pitching because of their narrow beam and lead ballast.

Rolling and pitching on a monohull while underway is quite dangerous. But, walking around on the deck of a catamaran while underway is easier because the boat is considerably more stable and does not heel. Sail adjustments and reefing are also significantly easier and safer for the crew as a result of this. The risk of falling overboard on a catamaran is far lower than on a monohull because of the rolling and pitching motion.

Generally, buying a catamaran is substantially more expensive than a monohull. So, if you opt for a cat you should also consider your budget before even starting your research. Pre-owned monohulls, on the other hand, are extremely inexpensive to purchase due to a current supply that considerably outnumbers the demand.

Nowadays, catamarans are in high demand , and they normally keep their worth far better and longer than other types of boats. And that’s why the market is currently centered to manufacture lots of them. Bear in mind that looking for a catamaran under $250,000 your options will be limited, and finding a catamaran under $100,000 is nearly difficult. Unless you opt with older boats like the Prouts or the less priced Geminis, a monohull is your best bet in this instance.

The cost of a cat rises if you need at least two of everything. But, keep in mind that due to their popularity, catamarans have a high resale value and a low depreciation rate , and they normally sell faster than monohulls. Due to the fact that most catamarans are not made in the United States, delivery expenses must be considered when purchasing the boat. Multihulls are becoming more popular, and as a result of the increased demand, they command greater prices in both the new and brokerage markets. Lastly, when considering a purchase, keep in mind that maintenance costs are substantially higher than on a monohull.

catamaran vs monohull pros and cons

Catamarans vs Monohulls – The Bottom Line

So, this is it! We’ve come to the end of this highly discussed topic among sailors. Obviously, everything would be determined by two basic factors: personal preferences and budget considerations. Both monohulls and multihulls have their pros and cons and it’s totally up to you to decide which one suits you best. Because the two types of vessels provide such a different experience, it is highly recommended that you rent and test each one before purchasing to compare everything. In any event, it’s reasonable to say that a catamaran is an excellent choice for a charter, if not for purchase. Despite its high price, it provides comfort, space, and stability but you have a better overall sailing experience with a monohull. So, I hope that this article will help you make the right choice according to your needs. I wish you good luck with your research!

Peter

Peter is the editor of Better Sailing. He has sailed for countless hours and has maintained his own boats and sailboats for years. After years of trial and error, he decided to start this website to share the knowledge.

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First time on a catamaran: what you need to know

  • First time on a catamaran: what you need to know

During your captain training, you'll have learnt how to manoeuvre a monohull sailboat . But what about when you have the opportunity to sail a catamaran?  Find out everything you need to know, including differences from monohulls, important factors to consider, pros and cons, and recommended destinations and catamaran models. If you're new to catamaran sailing, this is the perfect guide for you.

5 reasons to rent a catamaran

What are the main reasons why someone decides to sail on a catamaran? Here are the top benefits of choosing this type of boat.

1. Stability

The double hulls of a catamaran provide exceptional initial stability, allowing it to  remain afloat and stable in rough waters and wind. If you're looking for a smooth and peaceful sailing experience, especially with small children or seasickness-prone individuals, a catamaran is a great option. It's perfect for taking along your grandma or a nervous friend who's never been on a boat before.

YACHTING.COM TIP: Getting seasick is not only a major worry for novice sailors, but also holidaymakers on a boat trip. But it even can affect experienced sailors from time to time. Those with darker humour say it has two phases — in the first phase you become so sick you're afraid you're dying, and in the second, you're afraid you're not going to. The important thing, though, is to understand why it happens and try to prevent it. Although you'll significantly reduce suffering from seasickness on a catamaran, what works best if it does occur? Find out in our guide —  How to cope with seasickness .

A catamaran offers more space than any other boat of similar length. With spacious saloons , plenty of seating and lounging areas , and ample sunbathing spots (such as the netting known as the  trampoline ), you'll never feel cramped. The cabins are roomy and the bathrooms are as big as those in many apartments. People who dislike tight spaces or value their privacy will find a catamaran ideal. On larger models (50+ feet), you'll have so much space, you may have trouble finding each other. Despite its comparable length, a catamaran always feels larger than its monohull counterpart. If you're used to a 50-foot sailboat, try a 45-foot catamaran and you'll still feel like you have more space.

3. Amenities comparable to a hotel room

Not only are the cabins spacious, but they are also comfortable and cosy. They usually come equipped with high-quality bedding, pillows, shelves, reading lamps, and more, making them feel like a proper room. That's why we wrote an article highlighting 9 reasons why a sailing holiday is better than staying at a hotel and it's doubly true with a catamaran.

4. Added extras

Catamarans often come equipped with the latest technology and gadgets. These include solar panels, generator, a seawater desalinator, a modern plotter with GPS, and autopilot . These will make you more self-sufficient at sea without needing the facilities of a marina as often.

5. Shallow draft

The reason why catamarans are so popular with sailors, especially in exotic countries , is the very shallow draft — 0.9 to 1.5 metres, depending on the length of the vessel, which means skippers don't have to concern themselves so much about hitting the seabed. While caution and monitoring charts are still necessary, it provides greater freedom in choosing anchorage spots, allowing you to sail almost right up to the beach and anchor to enjoy the peace and tranquillity.

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Only small fishing boats can get as close to the shore as catamarans.

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Catamaran vs. sailboat: the main differences.

Sailors have differing preferences, with some sticking to single-hulled boats and others preferring catamarans. In fact, which is best has been a hot topic since sailing began. This makes understanding the benefits and drawbacks of each hull design essential so you can make your own choice.

1. Rental price

One major drawback of catamarans is their higher cost on the charter market. Single-hull sailboats can be rented for 1,000-2,500 euros per week, while a well-maintained catamaran typically starts at 3,000 euros per week. However, this may not be the case for all models.

YACHTING.COM TIP: If you want to save money on your catamaran charter, we recommend booking it in advance. Check out our  8 reasons why Early Bird deals are the best way to rent a boat .

2. Capacity

The higher cost of catamaran charters is offset by the extra space, comfort, and capacity — it can often hold up to 12 guests comfortably. This results in a per-person cost comparable to sailboats and cheaper than coastal hotels, making them popular for island cruising and party boats. However, for a safe and responsible party experience, we recommend checking out our guide — How to enjoy a party on a boat: 10 tips to keep your crew and your boat safe .

YACHTING.COM TIP: Never exceed the maximum capacity of the boat. And remember that even small children count as crew members.

A large number of people resting on catamarans

A large crew can comfortably sail on a catamaran

3. Port charges and marina fees

Keep in mind that having two hulls means a wider boat, leading to higher docking fees . This increased width can take up more space than two smaller sailboats. However, the cost per person can be offset by the fact that more people can be accommodated. 

4. Speed vs. consumption

Catamarans typically feature two high-powered engines , making them faster than similar-sized sailboats. Even without the power of the wind, you can be flying across the waters and with a better fuel efficiency than motor boats.

Catamarans typically have two basic sails: the mainsail and the foresail and operating them follow similar principles as on single-hulled sailboats. Self-tacking jibs can also be used, reducing the work required to trim and manoeuvre the sails. 

For those looking to enhance their sailing experience, a gennaker can often be rented with the catamaran, providing added benefits, especially in light wind conditions. Take a look at our 5 reasons to rent a gennaker .

6. Flybridge

This elevated deck is a common feature on catamarans. Here you'll find the helm station and sometimes additional seating or lounging space. It is a valuable addition that provides extra living space on the boat.

Exterior view of the catamaran's foredeck, cabin and bridge on a sunny day

The catamaran's second deck provides another spot to sit and enjoy views of the ocean

Who is the catamaran suitable for?

Catamarans are the preferred choice for a group of friends wanting a laid-back holiday on the water but are also popular for corporate team-building events  and specialised stays like yoga. As their spacious deck provides a safe play area for children , they are also ideal for multi-family vacations.

YACHTING.COM TIP:  If you are sailing with small children, safety is paramount. So, check out our guidelines for safe boating with kids , our article on how to survive on a boat with kids , the Skipper mom logbook: sailing with a baby and always try to stick to the 4 essential tips for smooth sailing with kids . If you don't have kids or don't want to bring them along, why not take your four-legged friend? Catamarans offer ample space for dogs to run around, and following these 7 tips can help make your pet a true sea dog.

On the other hand, we wouldn't suggest a catamaran to sporty sailors to chase the wind in, as the catamarans for charter aren't intended for racing or regattas. Due to their design, they have limited upwind capabilities (sailing boats can sail up to 30° wind angle, while charter catamarans can only handle up to 50° to 60° wind angle), making them unsuitable for competitive sailing.

YACHTING.COM TIP: If you have doubts about your ability to safely operate the boat, consider hiring a skipper. We can arrange a skipper for you who is knowledgeable about the area and can take care of the navigation for you or teach you any sailing skills you may be lacking. Remember when planning that the skipper will occupy one cabin or berth in the saloon. 

Specifics of sailing on a catamaran

The principles of sailing a catamaran are similar to those of a monohull sailboat, but there are some differences to keep in mind. These may have already been covered in your captain's training course.

Travelling on the engine

A catamaran has two motors , each of which can be controlled separately using its own throttle control. Want to turn on the spot? That's no problem at all with a catamaran — simply add throttle with one motor and reverse with the other. Once you get the hang of this trick, you'll no longer need a bow thruster, although catamarans are sometimes equipped with one. This makes docking your catamaran a breeze compared to single-hulled sailboats.

Travelling on the sails

Sailing varies mainly in what courses you can sail and how strong the winds are. Most charter catamarans perform best on courses at 50 to 60 degrees to the wind. This is a greater angle compared to sailboats. So be prepared to have to adjust your planned route.

If you sail a sailboat too hard, the boat itself will tell you that you've over-steered by heeling. A catamaran won't do that, so you have to be very attentive to when to reef the sails. Usually, you will put in the first reef at a wind speed of 18 to 20 knots and the second reef at 23 to 25 knots.

Best destinations for catamaran sailing

In addition to the more traditional locations of Croatia , Greece , Italy ,  Spain and Turkey , we rent catamarans all over the world. In these destinations, you appreciate plenty of space , comfortable access to the water via steps, stability on the waves and amenities such as a barbecue and air conditioning .

However, catamarans are perfectly suited for more exotic destinations . In remote locations, the low draft comes in particularly handy as the seafloor is often poorly charted and the beaches are stunning. The large water and diesel tanks, along with an electricity generator, a desalinator to produce fresh water from seawater, and solar panels are especially useful in exotic locations where the yachting infrastructure is less developed. These features help sailors to be self-sufficient and avoid the need to find a dock every few days.

Popular destinations for catamaran sailing include the beautiful Seychelles , Thailand , French Polynesia and the Caribbean (Grenada, St. Lucia, Martinique, Antigua, St. Martin, Cuba , British Virgin Islands, Bahamas, and Belize).

YACHTING.COM TIP: Don't be apprehensive about sailing to more tropical destinations! Check out our  guide to exotic sailing holidays . If you are headed to these warmer climes,  you will need to find out when the rainy season or the  hurricane season  starts.

Sunny tropical Caribbean island of Barbados with blue water and catamarans

Views in the Caribbean are picture perfect

The most popular catamarans

Popular charter catamaran brands include Lagoon , Bali , Fountaine Pajot , Nautitech , and Leopard . These are the models that have received positive feedback from our clients for years and that we confidently recommend.

The Lagoon 380 offers a true sailing experience, or the larger Lagoon 46 , where you may end up spending the whole morning lounging in its spacious cabin.

The Bali cat space  provides amazing seating up at the helm.

The Fountaine Pajot Elba 45 where you'll enjoy relaxing at the bow on the seating or the trampoline.

The Nautitech 46 with its huge saloon.

The Leopard 45 with its gorgeous bright interior, or the Leopard 50  that's so luxurious, you'll feel like a king.

YACHTING.COM TIP: For the discerning sailor, the Lagoon 620 and Dream 60 large catamarans are also worth mentioning. However, it's important to note that most captain's licenses are not valid for these giants and you'll need to hire a professional skipper.

Special types of catamarans

Catamarans have been around for quite some time, leading shipyards to continuously innovate and create new models with unique features and characteristics. So, what are some of them?

Power catamaran

The popularity of power catamarans has been increasing lately due to the fact that they provide the stability and spaciousness of a catamaran without the need to handle sails.

Do you believe that more is always better? Not satisfied with just two hulls? Then we have a unique chance for you to rent a trimaran , a three-hulled catamaran that offers an unparalleled sailing experience. Trimarans are still rare, so you're sure to attract attention wherever you go.

All catamarans in our offer:

Not sure if you want a catamaran or a sailboat no problem, we'll be happy to assist you in finding the perfect vessel. just let us know..

Denisa Nguyenová

Denisa Nguyenová

Faq sailing on a catamaran.

What are the main differences between a sailboat and a catamaran?

  • Number of hulls = stability
  • More space = higher passenger capacity
  • Higher charter and port charges
  • Speed per engine
  • Marine Supplies
  • Maintenance & Boating Guides

Catamaran vs Monohull: Pros, Cons & Main Differences

By: B.J. Porter Editor

Catamaran Vs. Monohull

The choice of catamaran vs monohull ultimately comes down to preference. What’s critical for one buyer may mean little to another. If your partner refuses to set foot on a boat which heels, that’s a deal-breaker for a monohull. But if you’re passionate about classic looks and styling, your quest for beauty may override other considerations and rule out catamarans.

We can’t tell you whether a catamaran or a monohull is right for you. But we can help you with the pros and cons of each for your search.

Catamaran vs Monohull

The Strengths and Pros

No matter your choice of monohull or catamaran, there are safe, comfortable, and excellent sailing boats of both types. Neither has an exclusive lock on any strength, and both sail safely and comfortably. But there’s a different emphasis on how they do it. No matter what you are trying to do – sail fast, cruise the world, or just host a crowd at the dock, there are monohulls and catamarans that can work for any requirement.

Catamaran advantages

Catamaran advantages

Space and comfort: Two hulls and a wide beam make a very stable platform with lots of volume in the saloon and cockpit. Most living space is above the waterline, with wonderful light and airflow. Cabins in the hulls offer better privacy and isolation, usually with standing headroom.

Straight line speed: Most catamarans are faster in straight-line sailing speed (1) that similar sized or even longer monohulls. Without a lead keel, they’re lighter, so more driving force from the sails converts to speed, and narrower hull forms may have less drag than wide hulls with deep keels. Some heavier cruising catamarans may not be faster, especially if they keep rig size small for ease of handling.

Stability : The beam of two hulls with a bridge deck leads to much higher stability and resistance to roll (2). Waves in an anchorage that induce violent roll in a monohull may make a catamaran bounce or bob. Under sail, catamarans do not heel appreciably even when powered up.

Twin engines. : With one engine in forward and balanced in reverse, most catamarans can spin in a circle in place and make sharp adjustments to the boat’s direction. If you have an engine failure, you also have a second engine, giving a safety edge when you can’t sail. 

Monohull advantages

Monohull advantages

Upwind sailing performance: While catamarans have the edge at straight-line speed, monohulls sail closer to the wind. When you’re racing or you have to sail upwind to get to the next island, this can get you there faster.

Sailing feel and responsiveness : The “feel” of sailing a monohull is much better. With a single hull, you’ll feel wind pressure and trim adjustments immediately for a more responsive helm and a better ability to sail to the wind.

Maneuvering under sail: Monohulls are quite nimble tacking and turning under sail, and there’s less risk of slow or missed tacks.

Righting Moment: The primary offshore safety argument for monohulls is their ability to right when capsized. The heavy keel keeps the boat deck up when sailing, and most monohulls will come back upright even after a complete capsize.

Cargo and Loading: A higher displacement boat with thousands of pounds of lead hung from the bottom isn’t going to be as affected by loading as a relatively light multihull.

Aesthetics: This is subjective, as many catamaran enthusiasts love how they look. Classic sailboat styling, with swept sleek looks, springy sheer lines, and all the “right” proportions are more common on monohulls.

Also read: The 5 Best Electric Anchor Winches

Weaknesses and Cons

Like strengths, weaknesses are relative; just because one class has a strength doesn’t mean the other doesn’t. There are spacious monohulls and beautiful catamarans, just like there are cramped catamarans and unattractive monohulls. The differences have to be highlighted relative to each other, and the weaknesses of one are most apparent compared to the strengths of the other.

Catamaran Cons

Catamaran Cons

Upwind performance: Cats don’t sail as close to the wind, but they make up for it by sailing faster off the wind. You’ll sail a less direct course upwind. Even if you get in at the same time, you’ll have to sail farther.

Less responsive sailing: Two hulls with two rudders and a very broad platform reduce the helm feel when sailing, cutting responsiveness sailing in shifting wind and wave conditions. It also makes tacking slower.

No-flip zone: It is very difficult, but not impossible, to flip a large catamaran (3). But if a catamaran capsizes, it will not flip back over by itself.

Large in marina/close quarters: You have two problems in marinas. Beamy cats are tough to maneuver in tight spaces because they’re big and visibility is tough over the hulls. And many marinas charge extra because the wide beam extends into the next slip. The good news is that twin engines make tight maneuvering easier.

Price point: Catamarans are more difficult to build and need more materials. This is directly reflected in the cost of the boats.

Monohull Cons

They are heavier: Every large monohull needs a keel for stability (4). They can not sail or stay upright without thousands of pounds of ballast, and this makes them heavier and slows them down. Tiny monohulls can use a centerboard or daggerboard for stability, but most boats big enough to sleep on need ballast.

Darker interiors : Most monohull living space is lower in the boat, where you can’t put enormous windows for light and circulation. It’s very hard to get space as bright and airy as catamaran saloons.

Less living space: With one hull and no bridge deck saloon, most monohulls feel cramped compared to spacious catamarans.

More prone to rolling motions : Only one hull makes monohulls susceptible to rolling in waves, and the movement can be quite uncomfortable.

Heeling: Tipping is just part of sailing monohulls upwind and is unavoidable. It can be reduced on some other points of sail, but not eliminated. Many people, especially non-sailors and new sailors, find this movement uncomfortable or distressing.

You might also be interested in: How to Buff a Boat | A Detailed Guide by a Boating Expert

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Americans whose yacht was hijacked in Grenada were likely thrown overboard and died, police say

Two Americans are presumed dead after they vanished from their yacht in Grenada , leaving behind evidence of a bloody struggle, police in nearby St. Vincent and the Grenadines said Monday.

While loved ones of Kathy Brandel and Ralph Hendry are hopeful that the American retirees and sailing enthusiasts could still turn up alive, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Superintendent Junior Simmons offered a more somber assessment.

"Based on the investigation thus far, it is presumed that Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel are deceased," Simmons said in a video statement Monday afternoon .

Kathy Brandel, front left, and Ralph Hendry, front right, with family.

Hours earlier, police in Grenada said there's still hope to find the couple.

But Royal Grenada Police Commissioner Don McKenzie also said he's offering “condolences” to the family of the two American boaters, who were most likely “disposed of” at sea by escaped prisoners. McKenzie said there's a “low probability” Brandel and Henry might be alive.

Three accused criminals escaped from jail on Feb. 18 before they "commandeered" the couple's boat, called Simplicity, and headed north, McKenzie said. Police have said the escapees boarded the boat while it was docked in the St. George area of Grenada.

"They headed to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Information suggests that while traveling between Grenada and St. Vincent, they disposed of the occupants," McKenzie told reporters.

Asked whether investigators have an idea where the "missing" Americans might be, McKenzie flat-out said, "No."

"We have nothing conclusive to say that the individuals are dead," he added. "We still hold out hope that, in spite of what might be a low probability, they will turn up alive somewhere, that they're alive."

Simmons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines left little doubt of his opinion in the probe “into the disappearance and presumed death of two United States citizens ... Ralph Hendry and his common law wife Kathy Brandel.”

In an interview that aired Monday on NBC Nightly News, Rob Maher, a friend of the couple who acted as their emergency contact, said that the situation was “like a bad Hollywood movie.”

“It’s hard to think of their last moments with the idea that they might have been thrown overboard alive. It’s difficult to conceive for a friend,” he added.

Couple's sons are in the Caribbean

The couple’s sons called the pair’s disappearance “the rarest of the rare occurrences.”

Brandel’s son, Nick Buro, and Hendry’s son, Bryan Hendry, told NBC Washington that they first learned the couple were missing after U.S. consular officials in Barbados contacted them.

A good Samaritan who found the pair’s abandoned boat contacted the Salty Dawg Sailing Association , whose flag was flying on the mast, and word made it to the two sons, too.

They said they were told the couple vanished after three men escaped from police custody Feb. 18 and boarded their boat in Grenada the next day, Buro said.

Buro said they were told an “altercation of violence took place" on the boat, adding that there was evidence of the violence and that the couple’s possessions were "strewn around all over." Items had also been stolen.

McKenzie said, "What I can say to the family is my condolences and we are still hoping for what I consider a positive outcome, which is we still have the hope that our worst-case scenario will not be a reality."

The scene on the couple's boat was "consistent with signs of violence," Simmons in St. Vincent and the Grenadines said.

"Several items were strewn on the deck and in the cabin, and a red substance that resembled blood was seen on board," he said. "There was no discovery of bodies on board the yacht."

The escapees were caught by police in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Wednesday and are in custody there, according to Buro and officials.

Police told Buro that they have questioned the suspects multiple times, and he said the family expects charges soon.

Buro and Hendry are in the Caribbean and have been speaking with authorities, including the St. Vincent and the Grenadines police and coast guard, and they expressed their appreciation.

A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department said it is aware of the reports involving two citizens missing in the vicinity of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines but did not identify the couple. The official added that U.S. authorities are coordinating with local law enforcement officials as they carry out their search efforts.

“We are monitoring the situation and seeking additional information,” the spokesperson said. “The Department of State has no higher priority than the welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad. We stand ready to provide appropriate assistance to U.S. citizens in need and to their families.”

Life on the water

The couple met in Virginia and have been married for 27 years. They raised the boys together in the state, where they lived until 2013, selling their home in Alexandria to trade it in for Simplicity and life on the water.

"They wanted to see the world. They wanted to experience life. They wanted to see what the world had to offer outside of their small window of living in one place and being mobile and being able to have a different adventure every day — that’s like the definition of living," Buro said.

Buro said that the family has always been close and that they talk often. He considers Ralph Hendry his father and Bryan Hendry his brother, and he said he knows Hendry feels the same way about him and Brandel.

The couple “lived with a sense of wonder and love,” Hendry said.

“They loved immersing themselves in different cultures and meeting people and spreading their love wherever they could,” he said.

Buro echoed his stepbrother’s sentiments.

“You’ll never meet more beautiful people than Kathy and Ralph,” Buro said. “They were there for people when they needed it most, and I just, they’re my inspiration for everything, and I can’t express how much I love them, and I know everybody else who knows them feels the same way.”

The couple had been planning the trip down to Grenada — their first to the Caribbean island — for “years and years and years, training themselves, preparing the boat, preparing themselves ... to make the trip,” Hendry said.

It was going to be a “very long trip, not to be taken lightly,” and the couple felt they had “prepared themselves adequately,” Hendry said.

They made the voyage down with the Salty Dawg Sailing Association, and everyone arrived safely, Buro said.

Bob Osborn, the association's president, said the situation was upsetting and tragic.

“In all my years of cruising the Caribbean, I have never heard of anything like this,” he said in a statement.

Yacht 'was their home'

Buro thinks his mother and stepfather could still be alive.

“We still think there’s a chance that they’re out there," he said. Because the investigation continues and St. Vincent and the Grenadines police were "quick to apprehend the suspects and are searching," there is hope.

"We still hope that they are OK and that we can bring them back," Buro said.

He said that the entire situation "is something that is completely unexpected" and that they are trying to understand the "senseless act of violence against two people that were just living their lives in their home."

Buro said the couple worked hard on their dream and had become seasoned sailors. Simplicity “was their home,” he said.

He said the couple’s top priorities were always safety and security, “to make sure everything they did was safe and was going to keep them safe.”

“To have that turn out in a way where something out of their control took that away from them is what’s so horrific about this and so sad, because they were just, this is just something that they’ve always wanted to do, and they did it, and it’s just, it breaks our hearts,” Buro said.

Rebecca Cohen is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

Mauricio Casillas is a reporter for NBC Washington.

catamaran or sail boat

David K. Li is a senior breaking news reporter for NBC News Digital.

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Police suspect U.S. couple are dead after their boat was hijacked in the Caribbean

The Associated Press

catamaran or sail boat

The yacht "Simplicity", that officials say was hijacked by three escaped prisoners with two people aboard, is docked at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coastguard Service Calliaqua Base, in Calliaqua, St. Vincent, on Friday. Kenton X. Chance/AP hide caption

The yacht "Simplicity", that officials say was hijacked by three escaped prisoners with two people aboard, is docked at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coastguard Service Calliaqua Base, in Calliaqua, St. Vincent, on Friday.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — A U.S. couple whose catamaran was hijacked last week in the Caribbean by three escaped prisoners were presumed dead and likely had been thrown into the ocean, police said Monday.

The accounts by police in Grenada and in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were a blow to those who were independently helping search for Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel and had hoped they were alive.

Don McKenzie, commissioner of the Royal Grenada Police Force, said at a news conference that the three prisoners escaped on Feb. 18 from the South Saint George Police Station. They hijacked the catamaran Simplicity on the following day and then headed to St. Vincent, where they were arrested last Wednesday, he said.

"Information suggests that while traveling between Grenada and St. Vincent, they disposed of the occupants," McKenzie said.

McKenzie said he had no conclusive proof that the couple was dead but cited a "low probability" they were alive.

Jamaica and the Bahamas are pushing back against U.S. travel warnings

Jamaica and the Bahamas are pushing back against U.S. travel warnings

Hours later, the main spokesman for the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force posted a video saying that while no bodies have been found, the couple is presumed dead based on the investigation so far.

Police report signs of violence aboard the abandoned boat

The suspects were being investigated for several criminal acts, including "bodily harm to the couple," spokesman Junior Simmons said in the brief recorded statement. There were signs of violence on the couple's boat found abandoned in St. Vincent, he said.

"Several items were strewn on the deck and in the cabin, and a red substance that resembles blood was seen on board," he said.

The nonprofit Salty Dawg Sailing Association has said that Hendry and Brandel were "veteran cruisers" and longtime members of the association, calling them "warm-hearted and capable."

It said the couple had sailed the yacht in last year's Caribbean Rally from Hampton, Virginia, to Antigua, and were spending the winter cruising in the eastern Caribbean.

A son of Hendry and a son of Brandel did not immediately return messages for comment.

A GoFundMe page created to raise money for the couple's family noted that Brandel had recently become a first-time grandmother, and that the sailing community was "shattered" by what happened.

"Kathy and Ralph, experienced adventurers, spent their retirement sailing aboard Simplicity, spending summers in New England and embracing the warmth of Caribbean winters," the page stated.

A massive search for 3 missing American sailors off Mexico coast has been called off

A massive search for 3 missing American sailors off Mexico coast has been called off

McKenzie, Grenada's police commissioner, said a five-person team was sent to St. Vincent to help with the investigation.

After his brief announcement on Monday, McKenzie and other police officials took questions from local media, including one reporter who asked, "Who is really to be blamed for this massive failure to keep these prisoners under the control of the (Royal Grenada Police Force) which has now resulted in this tragedy?"

The prisoners' escape is being investigated

McKenzie said police have launched an investigation into the escape and are looking into whether it was "a system failure" or a case of a "slip up."

"All aspects of that investigation are on the table," he said, adding that the police holding station where the three men were being held has "sufficient safety to prevent an incident like that (from) occurring."

When the reporter asked why the three men who were arrested remained in a holding cell instead of prison, Vannie Curwen, assistant police commissioner, said the men first had to see a magistrate who would decide whether to grant bail or order them remanded.

The escaped prisoners, Trevon Robertson, a 19-year-old unemployed man; Abita Stanislaus, a 25-year-old farmer; and Ron Mitchell, a 30-year-old sailor; were charged a couple of months ago with one count of robbery with violence. Mitchell also was charged with one count of rape, three counts of attempted rape and two counts of indecent assault and causing harm, police in Grenada said.

Simmons said the three men appeared in court in St. Vincent on Monday and pleaded guilty to four counts each of immigration-related charges, including entering the island as a "prohibited immigrant" with no passport. They are scheduled to be sentenced on those charges in March.

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Catamaran Vs Monohull

Catamaran Vs Monohull | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

August 30, 2022

Monohulls and traditional sailboats, once ubiquitous, are giving way to modern catamarans. But how do these designs differ?

Monohulls have a single hull, and catamarans have two hulls side-by-side. Catamarans are faster than monohulls of the same length and displacement, but monohulls are stronger and more spacious. Monohulls are also cheaper and easier to build than multi-hulls.

In this article, we’ll cover the differences between catamarans and monohulls, along with the benefits and drawbacks of each design. We’ll also cover the sailing characteristics of each and why catamarans so easily outrun equivalently-sized monohulls.

We sourced the information used in this article from trusted sailboat design resources, along with manufacturer specifications and boat market analysis.

Table of contents

‍ What is a Catamaran?

Catamarans are a kind of multi-hull sailboat with two hulls joined together. They are often short and wide, resembling a square or rectangle from above.

Catamarans are colloquially distinct from outriggers, which are double-hulled vessels with one large primary hull and a small outboard stabilizing hull.

Catamarans usually have hulls that mirror each other, both in size and arrangement. Sometimes, the interior layouts are mirrored, too—but this varies between designs and manufacturers. Catamaran hulls are narrower and taller than most monohull designs of equal lengths.

Catamarans have limited commercial and military utility, as these applications favor space and ease-of-construction over handling characteristics. That said, there are some commercial uses for catamaran designs—most commonly passenger and car ferries.

What is a Monohull Sailboat?

A monohull is probably what you traditionally think of as a boat. Monohulls are longer than they are wide. It features a single hull—it’s that simple. Sailing monohull designs have evolved over the centuries into many distinct types, usually distinguished by keel type.

Monohulls come in many shapes and sizes . For example, sailing monohulls designed for offshore use have long keels that sometimes extend much further below the waterline than the freeboard and cabin extend above it.

Monohull sailboats are also designed for other purposes, such as inland sailing and racing. These vessels have more contemporary characteristics, such as rounded shallow ‘canoe’ bottoms, V-bottoms, and fin keels.

Monohulls aren’t just sailboats. Virtually every cargo and container ship, warship, and many passenger ships are monohulls due to their strength, ease of construction, and high cargo capacity.

Are Monohull Sailboats More Common?

Monohulls are more common in every application, though multi-hulls are becoming more common for ferries. Monohulls have numerous benefits over multi-hulls, and these benefits only increase with scale.

Monohulls are easy to construct. They’re also cheap. Large monohull ships, such as container ships, can be built with very little material and effort. This is because the vast majority of the length of a monohull is just a box, with a bow and stern welded onto the end.

Sailboat construction is more intricate, but the costs are still lower. Plus, monohull designs are robust, and cabin space is plentiful. There’s a lot more study in the field of monohull design, which was the universal truth until somewhat recently.

But all in all, the reason why monohull sailboats are more common is that they work just fine. Most sailboat owners aren’t interested in breaking speed records or hosting dozens of people aboard their boats. As a result, a standard, simple, and easy-to-control monohull are more than sufficient.

Are Catamarans Faster than Monohulls?

Catamarans are most certainly faster than monohulls. This is almost always the case. Even the fastest production monohulls can’t hold a candle to the average cruising catamaran.

But why is this the case? Aren’t catamarans restricted by the same hydrodynamic forces as monohulls? As it turns out, they aren’t. This has to do with the unusual way hull waves impact speed.

Hull Speed Limitations

Monohull speed is limited by something called hull speed. Hull speed is determined using a formula that calculates the maximum speed a displacement hull can travel under normal power and conditions.

When a displacement hull moves through the water, it kicks up a set of waves at the bow and stern. These waves travel along the side of the vessel and create drag, which slows down the boat. Normally, the power of the wind can overcome this drag—but only to a point.

At a certain speed, the waves kicked up by the bow will sync with the waves kicked up at the stern and begin ‘working together’ against the boat. The speed at which this occurs is the hull speed, which is calculated from the length of the boat.

Hull speed limitations for monohulls aren’t universally true all the time. Some vessels exceed it, and some don’t—but the number is a useful estimate of the limitations of monohull designs. Modern monohulls with clever hull shapes can defeat hull speed calculations.

Do Hull Speed Limitations Apply to Catamarans?

Surprisingly no—hull speed calculations don’t work for catamarans. This is because, for one, the hulls are shaped differently. Alone, catamaran hulls wouldn’t float correctly. But together, they create different hydrodynamic effects and cancel out the effects of hull speed.

This means that catamarans can easily exceed the speeds of even the fastest monohulls of equal length—and sometimes beat them by a margin of 50% or more. It’s not unheard of for 40-foot catamarans to exceed 20 knots, whereas 40-foot monohulls rarely get past 10.

Are Catamarans More Comfortable than Monohulls?

Catamarans can be much more comfortable than equivalently-sized monohulls—up to a point. This is because catamarans engage in ‘wave piercing’ and have a wider and more stable footprint on the water.

Catamaran hulls, when properly designed, can slice through parts of a wave instead of riding over every peak and trough. This effectively reduces the height of the weight, which reduces the amount the boat rolls.

Additionally, the wide footprint of a catamaran allows some waves to simply pass right under it, keeping the boat level for longer durations. Catamarans also don’t heel under sail—instead, they plane slightly, raising the bows out of the water and reducing bumps.

Monohull Benefits

Monohulls are proven in all conditions. A well-designed displacement monohull sailboat can ride out the strongest storms, and monohull workboats can support enormous loads and move them efficiently. They can be fast, comfortable, and also easy to sail (even for beginners).

Monohulls are cheap to build and forgiving, as precision doesn’t have to be microscopic to get them to sail right. They’re robust and strong, featuring a naturally stress-resistant hull shape. They’re also easy to modify and aren’t required to meet as strict of dimensional ratios to operate.

With a monohull sailboat, you have a lot of interior room to work with. This means that monohulls are available in numerous cabin layouts and are just as easy to modify as they are to build. Monohulls often have a center of gravity at or below the waterline, which enhances stability at steep heel angles.

On the water, displacement monohulls can weather extreme conditions with ease. They lack the initial stability of multi-hulls, but they can recover from knockdowns on their own, and they’re very difficult to push past their rollover point.

Why do Catamarans Cost More than Monohulls?

Catamarans cost more than monohulls because they’re more expensive to build, more complex to engineer, and require more material. This isn’t always the case, but the design of catamarans requires much more careful engineering and strength-of-materials analysis than comparatively simple monohulls.

There are several critical structural points on catamarans that monohulls lack. In fact, the very shape of a monohull is physically strong—so it has inherent durability. Catamaran hulls must be joined in the middle, and the mast must have a strong point far from the inherently sturdy hulls.

This requires stronger materials and more care during design or construction. This is why catamarans remain a premium part of the sailboat market and why they still aren’t the most popular sailboats despite their numerous performance and comfort benefits.

Catamaran Cabin Layout

Catamaran cabins are split between the two hulls, and there’s usually a large pilothouse in the center. Pilothouse catamarans can be quite spacious, primarily due to the large space between the hulls.

The pilothouse is usually where kitchen and sitting areas are located, along with cockpit access and the controls of the sailboat. The mast is also located in this area.

Catamaran cabins sometimes mirror each other. For example, each hull may contain two identical bedroom/bathroom combos, while the center console area contains the kitchen and living spaces.

The two identical hulls sometimes make for unusual design decisions (such as small catamarans with four master bedrooms), but owners say this gives their passengers a much better experience than a monohull cabin.

Monohull Cabin Layout

Monohull cabins, with the exception of split-cabin sailboats with a center cockpit, have only one large interior space to work with. It’s usually much wider than catamarans of equal length.

Monohull cabins are usually accessible from the bow (via a flush deck hatch) and the stern via a traditional companionway. They run the span of the hull between the bow and the cockpit and sometimes include spare berths under the cockpit seats.

These spare berths are often used as convenient sea cabins, as they offer quick access to controls in case of an emergency. Catamarans often have convertible berths in the center console for the same reason.

Monohull cabins are traditional and include everything that catamaran cabins do—albeit with slightly less room overall. That said, individual spaces are often much wider, and facilities are more appropriate.

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Va. couple’s boat is found without them inside. Authorities suspect foul play.

catamaran or sail boat

A skipper discovered a catamaran on Wednesday off the blue Caribbean coast of St. Vincent — anchored and abandoned — bearing the vestiges of violence.

Onboard, Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel were nowhere to be found.

Experienced sailors, the couple had recently completed their sailing club’s “Caribbean Rally” — cruising from Hampton, Va., to Antigua — before finishing out the winter bobbing along a chain of islands making up the Eastern Caribbean, according to a statement from the club, which suggested their vessel might have been taken by fugitives on the run.

Hendry and Brandel were last seen on Feb. 18 near white-sanded Grand Anse Beach in Grenada, according to a GoFundMe to raise money for their family.

After the skipper alerted the Coast Guard in St. Vincent of the empty yacht, the agency took possession of the vessel and started an investigation with St. Vincent Police, along with the Royal Grenada Police Force and the U.S. Embassy, authorities said.

Details of what exactly happened remain unclear — but authorities in Grenada say the incident is likely connected to the escape of three men from a prison there. They broke free on the same day the couple was docked nearby. The GoFundMe said when the yacht was found, investigators discovered “chilling evidence of a violent struggle.”

On Thursday, the Royal Grenada Police Force posted on Facebook that the men had fled 80 miles from Grenada to St. Vincent via a stolen catamaran. This is the same path the couple’s yacht took, according to a live tracking map monitored by their sailing club.

“The RGPF is currently working on leads that suggest that the two occupants of the yacht may have been killed in the process,” police said Thursday. “It is believed that the occupants of the yacht were American citizens.”

The men — whose various charges include robbery with violence, rape, indecent assault and causing harm — were recaptured on Wednesday, police in Grenada said. That is the same day Hendry and Brandel’s catamaran was discovered.

On Saturday, the couple’s children, Bryan Hendry and Nick Buro, released a joint statement thanking the community for their help — and asking them to stand down in the search.

“We also want to applaud the St. Vincent authorities for their quick actions … and their brave, swift response that led to the apprehension of three dangerous fugitives,” they said.

In a statement posted on the couple’s sailing club website on Saturday, Salty Dawg Sailing Association president Bob Osborn said that “this does appear to be a tragic event.”

“In all my years of cruising the Caribbean, I have never heard of anything like this,” Osborn said in the statement.

Lifelong adventurers, the couple spent winters at sea and summers in New England. Recently, Brandel had become a grandmother, where — according to the GoFundMe intended to help pay for the couple’s funerals and other costs — she “found immense joy in the presence of her grandson.”

Fellow sailors described them as being “warm-hearted and capable.” Reminiscent of the life they were enjoying in retirement, the couple had the perfect name for their yacht.

Simplicity.

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catamaran or sail boat

17 Sailboat Types Explained: How To Recognize Them

Ever wondered what type of sailboat you're looking at? Identifying sailboats isn't hard, you just have to know what to look for. In this article, I'll help you.

Every time I'm around a large number of sailboats, I look around in awe (especially with the bigger ones). I recognize some, but with most of them, I'll have to ask the owner. When they answer, I try to hide my ignorance. The words don't make any sense!

So here's a complete list with pictures of the most common sailboat types today. For each of them, I'll explain exactly where the name comes from, and how you can recognize it easily.

Gaff rigged white schooner

So here's my list of popular sailboat types, explained:

Bermuda sloop, sailing hydrofoil, dutch barge, chinese junk, square-rigged tall ship, in conclusion, how to recognize any sailboat.

Before we get started, I wanted to quickly explain what you should look for when you try to identify a sailboat.

The type of sailboat is always determined by one of these four things:

  • The type of hull
  • The type of keel
  • The number of masts
  • And the type of sails and rig

The hull is the boat's body. There are basically three hull types: monohull, catamaran, and trimaran. Simply said: do I see one hull, two hulls (catamaran) or three hulls (trimaran)? Most sailboats are monohulls.

Next, there is the keel type. The keel is the underwater part of the hull. Mostly, you won't be able to see that, because it's underwater. So we'll leave that for now.

The sail plan

The last factor is the number of masts and the sail plan. The sail plan, simply put, is the number of sails, the type of sails, and how the sails are mounted to the masts (also called rigging ).

Sailboat are mostly named after the sail plan, but occasionally, a sail type is thrown in there as well.

So now we know what to pay attention to, let's go and check out some sailboats!

Row of sailing dinghies in golden hour at the dock

Dinghies are the smallest and most simple sailboats around.

They are your typical training sailboats. Small boats with an open hull, with just one mast and one sail. Perfect for learning the ways of the wind.

On average, they are between 6 and 20 ft long. Mostly sailed single-handed (solo). There's no special rigging, just the mainsail. The mainsail is commonly a Bermuda (triangular) mainsail. Dinghies have a simple rudder stick and no special equipment or rigging.

Dinghies are great for learning how to sail. The smaller the boat, the better you feel the impact of your trim and actions.

How to recognize a sailing dinghy:

  • short (8ft)
  • one Bermuda sail
  • open hull design
  • rudder stick

Common places to spot them: lakes, near docks

Three Bermuda Sloops in bright blue water

If you'd ask a kid to draw a sailboat, she'll most probably draw this one. The Bermuda Sloop is the most popular and most common sailboat type today. You'll definitely recognize this one.

How to recognize a Bermuda Sloop:

  • triangular mainsail (called a Bermuda sail)
  • a foresail (also called the jib)
  • fore-and-aft rigged
  • medium-sized (12 - 50 ft)

Fore-and-aft rigged just means "from front to back". This type of rigging helps to sail upwind.

Any sailboat with one mast and two sails could still be a sloop. Even if the sails are another shape or rigged in another way. For example, here's a gaff-rigged sloop (more on the gaff rig later):

Gaff Rigged Sloop in white in front of coastline with flat

If you want to learn all about sail rigs, check out my full Guide to Understanding Sail Rig Types here. It has good infographics and explains it in more detail

The Bermuda sloop has a lot of advantages over other sailboat types (which is why it's so popular):

  • the Bermuda rig is very maneuverable and pretty fast in almost all conditions
  • it's really versatile
  • you can sail it by yourself without any problems
  • it's a simple setup

Common places to spot a sloop: everywhere. Smaller sloops are more common for inland waters, rivers, and lakes. Medium-sized and large sloops are very popular cruising boats.

Cutter motorsailor against sun in black and white

Cutters have one mast but three or more sails. Most cutters are Bermuda rigged, which means they look a lot like sloops.

How to recognize a cutter:

  • looks like a sloop
  • two or more headsails instead of one
  • commonly one mast
  • sometimes an extra mast with mainsail

Cutters have more sail area, which makes them faster, but also harder to sail single-handed. There's also more strain on the mast and rigging.

Common places to spot a cutter: everywhere. Cutters are very popular for cruising.

They mostly have a Bermuda rig, which means triangular sails. But there are also gaff cutters and naval cutters, and some have two masts.

Here's an example of a two-masted naval cutter with an extra gaff mainsail and top gaff:

Dutch naval cutter with top gaff sail

The Hydrofoil is a pretty new sailboat design. It's a racing sailboat with thin wing foils under the hull. These lift up the hull, out of the water, reducing the displacement to nearly zero. The foils create downforce and keep it from lifting off entirely.

This makes the hydrofoil extremely fast and also impressive.

The hydrofoil refers to the keel type. There are both monohull and multihull hydrofoils.

How to recognize a hydrofoil:

  • it flies above the waterline and has small fins

Common places to spot a hydrofoil: at racing events

Cruising catamaran at dock in blue waters

Famous catamaran: La Vagabonde from Sailing La Vagabonde

A catamaran is a type of cruising and racing multihull sailboat with two hulls. The hulls are always the same size.

Most catamarans have a standard Bermuda rig. The catamaran refers to the hull, so it can have any number of masts, sails, sail types and rig type.

How to recognize a catamaran:

  • any boat with two hulls is called a catamaran

Common places to spot catamarans: coastal waters, The Caribbean, shallow reefs

The advantages of a catamaran: Catamarans heel less than monohulls and are more buoyant. Because of the double hull, they don't need as deep a keel to be stable. They have a smaller displacement, making them faster. They also have a very shallow draft. That's why catamarans are so popular in the Caribbean, where there's lots of shallow water.

Catamarans are nearly impossible to capsize:

"Compared with a monohull, a cruising catamaran sailboat has a high initial resistance to heeling and capsize—a fifty-footer requires four times the force to initiate a capsize than an equivalent monohull." Source: Wikipedia

Trimaran in green-blue waves

How to recognize a trimaran:

  • any boat with three hulls is called a trimaran

Trimarans have three hulls, so it's a multi-hull design. It's mostly a regular monohull with two smaller hulls or floaters on the sides. Some trimarans can be trailered by winching in the auxiliary hulls, like this:

Extended trimaran hull

This makes them very suitable for long-term cruising, but also for regular docking. This is great for crowded areas and small berths, like in the Mediterranean. It sure is more cost-effective than the catamaran (but you also don't have the extra storage and living space!).

Common places to spot Trimarans: mostly popular for long-term cruising, you'll find the trimaran in coastal areas.

Gaff rigged white schooner

Gaffer refers to gaff-rigged, which is the way the sails are rigged. A gaff rig is a rectangular sail with a top pole, or 'spar', which attaches it to the mast. This pole is called the 'gaff'. To hoist the mainsail, you hoist this top spar with a separate halyard. Most gaffers carry additional gaff topsails as well.

Gaff rigs are a bit less versatile than sloops. Because of the gaff, they can have a larger sail area. So they will perform better with downwind points of sail. Upwind, however, they handle less well.

How to recognize a gaffer:

  • sail is rectangular
  • mainsail has a top pole (or spar)

Since a gaffer refers to the rig type, and not the mast configuration or keel type, all sailboats with this kind of rigging can be called 'gaffers'.

Common places to spot a gaffer: Gaffers are popular inland sailboats. It's a more traditional rig, being used recreationally.

White schooner with two headsails

Schooners used to be extremely popular before sloops took over. Schooners are easy to sail but slower than sloops. They handle better than sloops in all comfortable (cruising) points of sail, except for upwind.

How to recognize a schooner:

  • mostly two masts
  • smaller mast in front
  • taller mast in the back
  • fore-and-aft rigged sails
  • gaff-rigged mainsails (spar on top of the sail)

Common places to spot a schooner: coastal marinas, bays

Ketch with maroon sails

How to recognize a ketch:

  • medium-sized (30 ft and up)
  • smaller mast in back
  • taller mast in front
  • both masts have a mainsail

The ketch refers to the sail plan (mast configuration and type of rig). Ketches actually handle really well. The back mast (mizzenmast) powers the hull, giving the skipper more control. Because of the extra mainsail, the ketch has shorter masts. This means less stress on masts and rigging, and less heel.

Common places to spot a ketch: larger marinas, coastal regions

White yawl with two masts and blue spinnaker

How to recognize a yawl:

  • main mast in front
  • much smaller mast in the back
  • back mast doesn't carry a mainsail

The aft mast is called a mizzenmast. Most ketches are gaff-rigged, so they have a spar at the top of the sail. They sometimes carry gaff topsails. They are harder to sail than sloops.

The yawl refers to the sail plan (mast configuration and type of rig).

Common places to spot a yawl: they are not as popular as sloops, and most yawls are vintage sailboat models. You'll find most being used as daysailers on lakes and in bays.

Clipper with leeboards

Dutch Barges are very traditional cargo ships for inland waters. My hometown is literally littered with a very well-known type of barge, the Skutsje. This is a Frisian design with leeboards.

Skutsjes don't have a keel but use leeboards for stability instead, which are the 'swords' or boards on the side of the hull.

How to recognize a Dutch Barge:

  • most barges have one or two masts
  • large, wooden masts
  • leeboards (wooden wings on the side of the hull)
  • mostly gaff-rigged sails (pole on top of the sail, attached to mast)
  • a ducktail transom

catamaran or sail boat

The clipper is one of the latest sailboat designs before steam-powered vessels took over. The cutter has a large cargo area for transporting cargo. But they also needed to be fast to compete with steam vessels. It's a large, yet surprisingly fast sailboat model, and is known for its good handling.

This made them good for trade, especially transporting valuable goods like tea or spices.

How to recognize a Clipper:

  • mostly three masts
  • square-rigged sails
  • narrow but long, steel hull

Common places to spot a clipper: inland waters, used as houseboats, but coastal waters as well. There are a lot of clippers on the Frisian Lakes and Waddenzee in The Netherlands (where I live).

Chinese Junk sailboat with red sails

This particular junk is Satu, from the Chesapeake Bay Area.

The Chinese Junk is an ancient type of sailboat. Junks were used to sail to Indonesia and India from the start of the Middle Ages onward (500 AD). The word junk supposedly comes from the Chinese word 'jung', meaning 'floating house'.

How to recognize a Chinese junk:

  • medium-sized (30 - 50 ft)
  • large, flat sails with full-length battens
  • stern (back of the hull) opens up in a high deck
  • mostly two masts (sometimes one)
  • with two mainsails, sails are traditionally maroon
  • lug-rigged sails

The junk has a large sail area. The full-length battens make sure the sails stay flat. It's one of the flattest sails around, which makes it good for downwind courses. This also comes at a cost: the junk doesn't sail as well upwind.

White cat boat with single gaff-rigged sail

The cat rig is a sail plan with most commonly just one mast and one sail, the mainsail.

Most sailing dinghies are cats, but there are also larger boats with this type of sail plan. The picture above is a great example.

How to recognize a cat rig:

  • smaller boats
  • mostly one mast
  • one sail per mast
  • no standing rigging

Cat-rigged refers to the rigging, not the mast configuration or sail type. So you can have cats with a Bermuda sail (called a Bermuda Cat) or gaff-rigged sail (called a Gaff Cat), and so on. There are also Cat Ketches and Cat Schooners, for example. These have two masts.

The important thing to know is: cats have one sail per mast and no standing rigging .

Most typical place to spot Cats: lakes and inland waters

Brig under sail with woodlands

Famous brig: HMS Beagle (Charles Darwin's ship)

A brig was a very popular type of small warship of the U.S. navy during the 19th century. They were used in the American Revolution and other wars with the United Kingdom. They carry 10-18 guns and are relatively fast and maneuverable. They required less crew than a square-rigged ship.

How to recognize a brig:

  • square-rigged foremast
  • mainmast square-rigged or square-rigged and gaff-rigged

catamaran or sail boat

How to recognize a tall ship:

  • three or four masts
  • square sails with a pole across the top
  • multiple square sails on each mast
  • a lot of lines and rigging

Square-rigged ships, or tall ships, are what we think of when we think of pirate ships. Now, most pirate ships weren't actually tall ships, but they come from around the same period. They used to be built from wood, but more modern tall ships are nearly always steel.

Tall ships have three or four masts and square sails which are square-rigged. That means they are attached to the masts with yards.

We have the tall ship races every four years, where dozens of tall ships meet and race just offshore.

Most common place to spot Tall Ships: Museums, special events, open ocean

Trabaccolo with large yellow sails

This is a bonus type since it is not very common anymore. As far as I know, there's only one left.

The Trabaccolo is a small cargo ship used in the Adriatic Sea. It has lug sails. A lug rig is a rectangular sail, but on a long pole or yard that runs fore-and-aft. It was a popular Venetian sailboat used for trade.

The name comes from the Italian word trabacca , which means tent, referring to the sails.

How to recognize a Trabaccolo:

  • wide and short hull
  • sails look like a tent

Most common place to spot Trabaccolo's: the Marine Museum of Cesenatico has a fully restored Trabaccolo.

So, there you have it. Now you know what to look for, and how to recognize the most common sailboat types easily. Next time you encounter a magnificent sailboat, you'll know what it's called - or where to find out quickly.

Pinterest image for 17 Sailboat Types Explained: How To Recognize Them

I loved this article. I had no idea there were so many kinds of sailboats.

i have a large sailing boat about 28ft. that im having a difficult time identifying. it was my fathers & unfortunately hes passed away now. any helpful information would be appreciated.

Jorge Eusali Castro Archbold

I find a saleboat boat but i can find the módem…os registré out off bru’x, and the saleboat name is TADCOZ, can you tell me who to go about this matter in getting info.thank con voz your time…

Leave a comment

You may also like, guide to understanding sail rig types (with pictures).

There are a lot of different sail rig types and it can be difficult to remember what's what. So I've come up with a system. Let me explain it in this article.

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Prison Escapees Hijacked Boat of Missing American Couple in Grenada, Police Say

Kathy Brandel and Ralph Hendry were traveling on their yacht when three prison escapees took control of the vessel and “disposed” of the couple, the authorities said on Monday.

Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel pose and smile. He rests his left hand on her left shoulder.

By Johnny Diaz

The authorities in Grenada said on Monday that they believed an American couple who had been traveling in their catamaran in the Caribbean were hijacked by three escaped prisoners who “disposed” of them last week.

The couple, Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel, had departed from Virginia and were spending the winter cruising in the Caribbean, where they went missing while sailing off Grenada. On Feb. 21, their boat turned up empty in neighboring St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

On Monday, the Royal Grenada Police Force confirmed that three prison escapees in Grenada made their getaway after they hijacked the catamaran, called Simplicity, with Mr. Hendry and Ms. Brandel aboard.

“Information suggests that, while traveling between Grenada and St. Vincent, they disposed of the occupants,” Commissioner Don McKenzie of the Royal Grenada Police Force said at a news conference on Monday.

The police would not say explicitly that they believed Mr. Hendry and Ms. Brandel were dead but that they were still considered missing.

“We have nothing conclusive to say that the individuals are dead,” he said.

“What I can say to the family is my condolences,” adding that he was “still hoping for as what I consider a positive outcome which is, we still have the hope that a worst-case scenario will not be a reality.”

According to the Salty Dawg Sailing Association , a nonprofit that brings together sailing and cruising enthusiasts, a skipper notified it on Feb. 21 that a member’s yacht, Simplicity, was found anchored and abandoned off a beach on the southern coast of St. Vincent.

The skipper boarded the catamaran and noted that its owners were not onboard, the association’s statement said. The missing boat owners were identified as Mr. Hendry, 66, and Ms. Brandel, 71, by the association and Ms. Brandel’s son, Nick Buro.

Mr. Hendry and Ms. Brandel, who were married for 27 years, were experienced sailors who lived on their boat.

They recently completed their sailing club’s “Caribbean Rally” — cruising from Hampton, Va., to the island of Antigua to end 2023 with a celebration — and they were spending the remainder of the winter cruising the Caribbean, according to a statement from the club.

The association said that it had a tracking map to follow members’ boats and that it showed that Simplicity was anchored in Grenada before docking off St. Vincent.

Separately, the Royal Grenada Police Force said in a Feb. 22 statement that three men who escaped from a prison in Grenada on Feb. 18 made their way to St. Vincent using a yacht that had been docked in the St. George area of Grenada.

The prisoners were recaptured on Feb. 21, the same day that the couple’s vessel was found.

The authorities identified the prisoners as Trevon Robertson, 19; Abita Stanislaus, 25; and Ron Mitchell, 30.

They had been previously charged, jointly, in a violent robbery case in December. Mr. Mitchell also faced various separate charges that included causing harm, indecent assault and rape, the Grenada police said.

It was not immediately clear on Monday what charges they may face regarding the couple’s disappearance.

The police commissioner said a team of investigators from Grenada and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard were dispatched to St. Vincent to help in the investigation.

In a joint family statement on Saturday, Mr. Buro and Bryan Hendry, Mr. Hendry’s son, thanked the cruising community for its support and help in the search but asked them to stand down.

“We also want to applaud the St. Vincent authorities for their quick actions in securing Simplicity and their brave, swift response that led to the apprehension of three dangerous fugitives,” according to the statement.

Bob Osborn, president of the sailing club, described the couple as warmhearted and capable and called their disappearance “a very upsetting event.”

A GoFundMe page started by a family friend described Mr. Hendry and Ms. Brandel as “experienced adventurers” and said they had “spent their retirement sailing aboard Simplicity, spending summers in New England and embracing the warmth of Caribbean winters.”

Johnny Diaz is a general assignment reporter covering breaking news. He previously worked for the South Florida Sun Sentinel and The Boston Globe. More about Johnny Diaz

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US couple whose catamaran was hijacked were likely thrown overboard and died, Grenada police say

Police in Grenada said the U.S. elderly couple Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel, whose catamaran was hijacked a week earlier, were likely dead. (AP Video: Kenton X. Chance)

Relatives stand nearby as investigators from Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines stand aboard the yacht "Simplicity," which they say was hijacked by three escaped prisoners with two people on board, now anchored at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Calliaqua Base, in Calliaqua, St. Vincent, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. Authorities in the eastern Caribbean said they were trying to locate two people believed to be U.S. citizens who were aboard the yacht that was hijacked by the three escaped prisoners from Grenada.(AP Photo/Kenton X. Chance)

Relatives stand nearby as investigators from Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines stand aboard the yacht “Simplicity,” which they say was hijacked by three escaped prisoners with two people on board, now anchored at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coast Guard Calliaqua Base, in Calliaqua, St. Vincent, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. Authorities in the eastern Caribbean said they were trying to locate two people believed to be U.S. citizens who were aboard the yacht that was hijacked by the three escaped prisoners from Grenada.(AP Photo/Kenton X. Chance)

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The yacht “Simplicity”, that officials say was hijacked by three escaped prisoners with two people aboard, is docked at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coastguard Service Calliaqua Base, in Calliaqua, St. Vincent, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. Authorities in the eastern Caribbean said they were trying to locate two people believed to be U.S. citizens who were aboard the yacht that was hijacked by the three escaped prisoners from Grenada. (AP Photo/Kenton X. Chance)

Investigators from Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines stand aboard the yacht “Simplicity”, that they say was hijacked by 3 escaped prisoners with two people aboard, now anchored at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coastguard Service Calliaqua Base, in Calliaqua, St. Vincent, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. Authorities in the eastern Caribbean said they were trying to locate two people believed to be U.S. citizens who were aboard the yacht that was hijacked by the three escaped prisoners from Grenada. (AP Photo/Kenton X. Chance)

Read the latest: Here’s what to know about a US couple missing in the Caribbean

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A U.S. couple whose catamaran was hijacked last week in the Caribbean by three escaped prisoners were presumed dead and likely had been thrown into the ocean, police said Monday.

The accounts by police in Grenada and in St. Vincent and the Grenadines were a blow to those who were independently helping search for Ralph Hendry and Kathy Brandel and had hoped they were alive.

Don McKenzie, commissioner of the Royal Grenada Police Force, said at a news conference that the three prisoners escaped on Feb. 18 from the South Saint George Police Station. They hijacked the catamaran Simplicity on the following day and then headed to St. Vincent, where they were arrested last Wednesday, he said.

“Information suggests that while traveling between Grenada and St. Vincent, they disposed of the occupants,” McKenzie said.

The yacht "Simplicity", that officials say was hijacked by three escaped prisoners with two people aboard, is docked at the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Coastguard Service Calliaqua Base, in Calliaqua, St. Vincent, Friday, Feb. 23, 2024. Authorities in the eastern Caribbean said they were trying to locate two people believed to be U.S. citizens who were aboard the yacht that was hijacked by the three escaped prisoners from Grenada. (AP Photo/Kenton X. Chance)

McKenzie said he had no conclusive proof that the couple was dead but cited a “low probability” they were alive.

Hours later, the main spokesman for the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force posted a video saying that while no bodies have been found, the couple is presumed dead based on the investigation so far.

The suspects were being investigated for several criminal acts, including “bodily harm to the couple,” spokesman Junior Simmons said in the brief recorded statement. There were signs of violence on the couple’s boat found abandoned in St. Vincent, he said.

“Several items were strewn on the deck and in the cabin, and a red substance that resembles blood was seen on board,” he said.

The nonprofit Salty Dawg Sailing Association has said that Hendry and Brandel were “veteran cruisers” and longtime members of the association, calling them “warm-hearted and capable.”

It said the couple had sailed the yacht in last year’s Caribbean Rally from Hampton, Virginia, to Antigua, and were spending the winter cruising in the eastern Caribbean.

A son of Hendry and a son of Brandel did not immediately return messages for comment.

A GoFundMe page created to raise money for the couple’s family noted that Brandel had recently become a first-time grandmother, and that the sailing community was “shattered” by what happened.

“Kathy and Ralph, experienced adventurers, spent their retirement sailing aboard Simplicity, spending summers in New England and embracing the warmth of Caribbean winters,” the page stated.

McKenzie, Grenada’s police commissioner, said a five-person team was sent to St. Vincent to help with the investigation.

After his brief announcement on Monday, McKenzie and other police officials took questions from local media, including one reporter who asked, “Who is really to be blamed for this massive failure to keep these prisoners under the control of the (Royal Grenada Police Force) which has now resulted in this tragedy?”

McKenzie said police have launched an investigation into the escape and are looking into whether it was “a system failure” or a case of a “slip up.”

“All aspects of that investigation are on the table,” he said, adding that the police holding station where the three men were being held has “sufficient safety to prevent an incident like that (from) occurring.”

When the reporter asked why the three men who were arrested remained in a holding cell instead of prison, Vannie Curwen, assistant police commissioner, said the men first had to see a magistrate who would decide whether to grant bail or order them remanded.

The escaped prisoners, Trevon Robertson, a 19-year-old unemployed man; Abita Stanislaus, a 25-year-old farmer; and Ron Mitchell, a 30-year-old sailor; were charged a couple of months ago with one count of robbery with violence. Mitchell also was charged with one count of rape, three counts of attempted rape and two counts of indecent assault and causing harm, police in Grenada said.

Simmons said the three men appeared in court in St. Vincent on Monday and pleaded guilty to four counts each of immigration-related charges, including entering the island as a “prohibited immigrant” with no passport. They are scheduled to be sentenced on those charges in March.

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