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Where Did Catamaran Originate? (A Look Into Its History)

catamaran meaning and origin

Catamarans have been around for centuries, but where did they come from? For those who are curious about the history and origins of catamarans, this article will explore the history of catamaran, from its beginnings to its current uses.

From the meaning of the word “catamaran” to its use in racing and cruising, this article will look into the history of catamarans and how it has shaped the sport today.

We will also look at how catamarans have been used for fishing, and how they are still used for this purpose today.

Finally, we will explore the ways in which catamarans are used for racing and cruising, and the ways in which they have become popular vessels for these activities.

Join us as we explore the fascinating history of catamarans!

Table of Contents

Short Answer

Catamarans are thought to have originated in the South Pacific region, likely in the islands of Polynesia.

The earliest catamarans are believed to have been constructed by the Austronesians around 1500 to 1000 BC.

These vessels were then spread to other cultures by trading and other means of communication.

Today, catamarans are used in various ways around the world, including for commercial and recreational purposes.

The Origins of Catamaran

Catamarans have a long and rich history that dates back to the Indian subcontinent.

The word catamaran is derived from the Tamil language of South India and literally means tied wood, referring to how two logs were tied together to form the original catamaran design.

This sturdy craft was originally used for transportation and fishing, but it eventually made its way to the West in the late 18th century as a recreational sailing vessel.

Today, catamarans are used for a variety of purposes, ranging from racing and cruising to fishing.

They are renowned for their stability, maneuverability, and speed, and they are popular with both recreational and professional sailors alike.

Catamarans are especially adept at handling choppy waters, as their design allows them to handle waves better than most other vessels.

This makes them an ideal choice for sailing in rough or windy conditions.

Catamarans are also praised for their spacious layout, with their two hulls providing more room than other types of vessels.

This makes them ideal for larger groups, as they can comfortably accommodate more people than a traditional sailboat.

Additionally, catamarans are renowned for their efficiency, as their design allows them to move through the water faster and more efficiently than other boats.

Overall, catamarans have come a long way from their humble origins in the Indian subcontinent.

Today, they are a versatile and popular choice for sailing enthusiasts of all levels, and their history is a testament to their durability and longevity.

The Meaning of the Word Catamaran

catamaran meaning and origin

The word catamaran is derived from the Tamil language of South India, where it literally means “tied wood”.

This refers to the traditional design of catamarans, which typically consists of two logs or planks of wood tied together with rope.

The original catamarans were used for transportation and fishing, and their widespread use in the Indian subcontinent has been documented since at least the 3rd century BCE.

Today, the term catamaran is often used to describe a wide range of multi-hulled vessels, from recreational sailing vessels to racing boats and even commercial vessels.

While all of these vessels share the same basic design, the modern catamaran has evolved over the centuries and now includes variations such as trimarans, trimarans, and even pontoon boats.

The development of the modern catamaran began in the late 18th century, when the first catamarans appeared in the West.

These vessels were developed for recreational sailing, and over time they have become increasingly popular for use in racing, cruising, and fishing.

Catamarans are well known for their stability and speed, and they are now used in a variety of applications, from leisure sailing to commercial shipping.

Ultimately, the word catamaran is derived from the Tamil language and it literally means “tied wood”.

Over the centuries, the catamaran has evolved and today it is used for everything from racing to cruising to fishing, and is renowned for its stability and speed.

Catamarans in the West

The first recorded appearance of catamarans in the Western world dates back to the late 18th century.

At the time, the vessels were brought to the Caribbean from the Indian subcontinent by traders and explorers.

They were quickly adopted by sailors for their speed and stability, as well as their ability to navigate shallow waters.

Catamarans were also popular among fishermen, as they could carry more cargo and could easily navigate shallow waters.

The vessels quickly spread across the globe, with catamarans becoming a popular recreational sailing vessel in the 19th century.

The vessels were a common sight in the Caribbean, and they eventually spread to other parts of the world, including the United States and Europe.

By the mid-20th century, catamarans had become a popular recreational sailing vessel, with many people using them for racing, cruising, and fishing.

Today, catamarans are used for a wide variety of activities, from recreational sailing to fishing and racing.

They are renowned for their stability and speed, and they are still popular among recreational sailors of all skill levels.

Catamarans continue to be used for transportation and fishing in the Indian subcontinent, where they originated, and they are still a popular sight in many parts of the world.

Uses of Catamarans

catamaran meaning and origin

Catamarans have long been used for transportation and fishing in the Indian subcontinent, where the word “catamaran” originates from the Tamil language, meaning “tied wood.” This origin refers to the traditional design of tying two logs together to form the original catamaran.

Today, catamarans are used for a variety of purposes, from recreational sailing to racing, cruising, and fishing.

Catamarans are renowned for their stability and speed, making them ideal for traversing large bodies of water quickly.

They provide a stable platform for activities, such as fishing and diving, and offer increased living space when compared to conventional sailboats.

The increased stability of a catamaran also makes them ideal for use in areas with high winds and choppy waters, as they can handle the conditions better than traditional sailboats.

In addition to transportation and fishing, catamarans are also used for a variety of recreational activities.

They are popular among sailors due to their speed and maneuverability, and can be used for racing, cruising, and day-sailing.

Catamarans are also popular among families and large groups, as they provide ample space for socializing and relaxing.

Catamarans have come a long way since their humble beginnings in the Indian subcontinent, and are now an integral part of the sailing world.

With their stability, speed, and ample living space, catamarans are a great choice for both recreational and commercial use.

Racing with Catamarans

Catamarans have become a popular choice for racing enthusiasts all over the world.

This is due to their remarkable stability and speed, which make them ideal for competitive sailing.

Catamarans are able to cut through the water more efficiently than traditional sailing vessels, and their light weight makes them easier to maneuver.

In addition, their dual-hulls provide more surface area, allowing them to catch more wind and push through the water faster.

This makes them perfect for racing, as they can easily navigate tight turns and sail upwind faster than any other type of boat.

Catamarans are also well-suited for long-distance sailing, as they typically have more space than traditional vessels.

This extra space allows for more storage and greater comfort, making it easier for a crew to stay out on the water for longer periods of time.

Catamarans also have a relatively flat bottom, which reduces drag and helps make them faster than traditional boats.

Today, catamarans are used in a variety of sailing competitions, including the Americas Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race.

These races typically involve multiple catamarans, making them exciting spectacles to watch.

Catamarans have also become popular in recreational sailing, and many people use them for pleasure cruises and fishing trips.

No matter how it’s used, the catamaran has become an icon in the sailing world.

Its unique advantages have made it a favorite of both racers and recreational sailors alike, and its history makes it an interesting topic to explore.

Cruising with Catamarans

catamaran meaning and origin

Catamarans are well-known for their stability and speed, making them a popular choice for recreational sailing.

Whether youre looking for a day of leisurely sailing or a thrilling race, catamarans offer an enjoyable experience that can be tailored to your individual needs.

Catamarans are especially suited to cruising, as they offer plenty of space for passengers and cargo, and their hulls dont require much maintenance.

Catamarans have a unique design that allows them to cruise efficiently and smoothly.

Their two hulls make them more stable than other boats, and their flat decks provide plenty of room for passengers to move around.

The spacious cabins provide plenty of space for sleeping, dining, and relaxing, and the cockpit is designed to make sailing easy and enjoyable.

Catamarans are also known for their speed and agility.

Their hulls are designed to cut through the water with minimal resistance, allowing them to reach speeds of up to 20 knots.

Their shallow draft also makes them ideal for shallow waters, allowing you to explore more areas than with a traditional monohull boat.

In addition to their speed and stability, catamarans are also known for their safety.

Their wide beam makes them less likely to capsize, and their two hulls help to spread the load, making them less susceptible to sinking than other vessels.

Catamarans also have a lower center of gravity, making them less likely to tip over in rough seas.

Whether youre looking for a leisurely day of sailing or a thrilling race, catamarans are an excellent choice for cruising.

With their stability, speed, and safety, they offer an enjoyable and accessible way to explore the open waters.

Fishing with Catamarans

The use of catamarans for fishing is nothing new, with the vessels first being used for the purpose in the Indian subcontinent thousands of years ago.

In the Tamil language of South India, the word catamaran comes from two words that literally mean tied wood, referring to how two logs were tied together to form the original catamaran design.

It was these vessels that were used for fishing, with two logs forming the base for the frame and a platform built on top for the fishermen to stand on.

These catamarans were incredibly versatile vessels, allowing fishermen to access shallow waters and maneuver quickly and easily to chase schools of fish.

They were also incredibly stable, and could carry a large amount of equipment and supplies, which made them ideal for long-distance fishing trips.

Today, modern catamarans are still used for fishing, with the vessels’ stable and maneuverable design still providing an ideal platform for fishermen.

Modern catamarans are made from a variety of materials, including fiberglass and aluminum, and are available in a range of sizes to suit different needs.

Catamarans are also popular for recreational fishing, with the vessels providing a great platform for anglers to enjoy their sport.

The popularity of catamarans for fishing is a testament to the versatility and effectiveness of these vessels.

With their stable and maneuverable design, their ability to access shallow waters, and their capacity to carry a large amount of equipment and supplies, they remain a popular choice for those looking to take to the water in pursuit of their catch.

Final Thoughts

Catamarans have come a long way since their humble beginnings in the Indian subcontinent.

From their simple design of two logs tied together, to today’s modern catamarans used for racing, cruising, and fishing, it’s amazing to think about all the ways these vessels have evolved.

Now that you know the history behind the word catamaran, why not take a sail and experience the thrill of these incredible vessels for yourself?

James Frami

At the age of 15, he and four other friends from his neighborhood constructed their first boat. He has been sailing for almost 30 years and has a wealth of knowledge that he wants to share with others.

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Definition of catamaran

Illustration of catamaran, examples of catamaran in a sentence.

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'catamaran.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Tamil kaṭṭumaram , from kaṭṭu to tie + maram tree, wood

1673, in the meaning defined above

Dictionary Entries Near catamaran

Cite this entry.

“Catamaran.” Dictionary , Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2024.

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Maritime Page

What Are Catamarans And Their History?

Catamarans are boats with two connected hulls that are joined by a bridge. Because they are faster, more stable, and capable of carrying larger cargo than their monohull counterparts, catamarans are growing in popularity.

As a result, designers and owners have greater freedom to accommodate space needs in terms of size and usefulness than they would with single-hulled vessels.

The name catamaran came from the Tamil word “kattumaram” which basically meant “logs which were bound together”. These traditional watercraft were basically used on the south coast of India and Srilanka. They were dated back to as early as the 5th century when they were used to transport troops from one island to another.

Let us get into more details to learn more about the different types of catamarans and their functions.

Sailing catamaran in harbor

What are the different types of catamarans?

Catamarans are mainly divided into two categories: sailing and power catamarans, however, both categories can be split into smaller groups by their size and use.

Sailing catamarans

These types of catamarans are mainly propelled with help of sails. The sails act as wings with which the vessel moves forward with the help of wind energy. The sailing catamarans have advanced significantly in recent years in terms of both design and performance attributes. Sailing catamarans are further subdivided based on their dimensions and functions and are classified into,

Small, mini, or sports catamarans

Depending on the size, these are also known as leisure catamarans and can carry a load of 6 persons on average. You’ve definitely seen some of them speeding through your local beach waters on hot, sunny weekends; some of them are made to be driven by one person. Those designed for use in sports have a trapeze that enables one to hike out and serve as a counterweight.

Small-day sailing cats are well-liked because they offer a secure and straightforward learning environment, and you can see fleets of them in resorts where guests with little to no sailing experience utilize them. These little cats are often made of roto-molded plastic or fiberglass, and as they frequently lack auxiliary motors, sails are their only means of propulsion

A trampoline that spans the two hulls of the sports catamarans acts as a bridge so that individuals can move from one to the other without falling into the water. They may be launched and landed from a beach as opposed to a dock because of their modest size. They have a rotating mast and a mainsail with full-length battens.

Cruising Catamarans

In the worlds of long-distance cruising and bareboat chartering, larger cruising cats have dominated. These are more stable than their monohull competitors, allowing them to securely transport people across continents. These are more stable than their monohull competitors, allowing them to securely transport people across continents.

For maneuverability, charter cats frequently have two engines—one in each hull—as well as a mast that holds a mainsail and at least one headsail.

Nowadays, cruising catamarans are more widely available than monohulls at bareboat charter firms with tropical bases, and those numbers are rising in places like the Mediterranean.

Power catamarans

Power catamarans, often known as “multi-hull powerboats” or “power cats,” are vessels without masts or sails but with larger and more powerful engines. They can be the most perfect choice for your first boat if you enjoy offshore fishing or other water sports. You get a great balance of performance, stability, and maneuverability with these powerboats. Power cats come in a range of different sizes and shapes. In terms of dimensions and functions, they are also divided into,

Center console fishing catamarans

The fishing industry is flooded with smaller power cat brands, while bareboat charter and cruise platforms are seeing the emergence of larger ones. The multi-hull performance boat frequently has a center console driver layout.  They can reach higher top speeds thanks to their higher horsepower, but these cats also need to be strengthened hulls to support the weight and power of these engines.

When used for fishing, normally lesser than 50 ft, there are several options available for live wells, rod holders, gear storage, and built-in coolers for both fish and beverages. Depending on the length and design elements of the boat, certain consoles may locate closer to the bow or aft of the vessel.

Offshore powerboat racing catamarans

Offshore powerboat racing is the aquatic equivalent of off-road auto racing. Since its inception in the late 1960s, offshore racing has changed drastically.

Though V-bottom powerboat classes still exist, twin-engine catamarans with top speeds of 170 MPH in the most powerful classes dominate the sport.

The offshore race course may be the most dynamic setting in all of the motorsports because of the constant fluctuations in a swell, wind, tide, current, and other factors. The track might abruptly change from being friendly to antagonistic.

These boats are designed and built such that they are both lightweight but extremely strong using the most advanced materials like carbon fiber and Kevlar . Manufacturing methods such as infusion are adopted to make sure the properties of the materials are not lost during the production stages.

Motor yachts and ferries

For their roominess and speed, catamaran designs have also become popular among motor yachts and commercial passenger ferries. These cruise-centric yachts offer homelike livability for avid travelers, are fuel efficient, and are fairly intuitive to run.

Motor yacht catamarans have been designed with larger living spaces in mind, as well as more outdoor recreation places. The huge fly bridges provide additional space for relaxing and socializing, and electric boat davits make lifting the dinghy simple. Daily tasks like cooking can be done with ease because catamarans don’t heel.

Why Is There A Shift In Trend From Monohulls To Catamarans?

Recently, more and more often you can find catamarans in the harbors of large cities and small resorts. It can be unequivocally argued that catamarans are gaining popularity among both beginners and experienced sailors and even celebrities. But what makes them gain this popularity?

Catamarans In Terms Of Function And Utility

The enormous interior space expansion can provide the owners considerably more freedom to select furnishings without regard to size limits and more room for additional appliances like washers and dryers, which can make life on board much easier.

Due to their broader decks and roomier interiors, catamarans are frequently employed as party boats. The deck can accommodate more people without giving them the impression of being crammed into a small space.

In terms of storage, catamarans offer more alternatives than monohulls because both hulls can serve a variety of purposes, increasing the vessel’s overall capacity as well.

Catamarans are typically utilized as party boats since they have bigger deck spaces and greater room for movement. The deck can also accommodate more people without giving them the impression of being confined in a small space.

If any equipment breaks down, there is always a backup. For instance, if one of the engines on the port hull fails, we can always use the starboard engine to re-enter landfall. Likewise, if a generator breaks down, there is always a second generator that can be utilized as a backup.

Catamarans In Terms Of Performance And Stability

Due to the narrow hulls of catamarans, which serve to reduce drag forces, they frequently outperform monohulls. On performance power catamarans, the area in between the two hulls known as the “Tunnel” is built in a similar way to an aerofoil so that it behaves like a wing, boosting the aerodynamic lift forces and enhancing the overall effectiveness and top-end speeds of the craft.

Due to their stronger lift forces and lower water friction than monohulls, catamarans typically have a better fuel economy. This is because the strain placed on the engines as a whole is reduced, resulting in less fuel being used.

In terms of roll stability, catamarans are often more stable than monohulls. This offers them an advantage in terms of comfort and the ability to carry out various activities onboard the vessel with ease, as well as lowering the possibility of passengers falling on board. Because they are less likely to make passengers seasick, catamarans are typically used as ferries or passenger ships.

Catamarans provide a more comfortable ride whether they are in shallow water, deep water, or at anchor; they have a decreased chance of keeling over or capsizing in heavy winds.

Also, catamarans have a much lower draft when compared to their mono hull counterpart’s allowing them to easily ply over shallower waters.

What Are The Potential Drawbacks Of Catamarans?

Catamarans have a few minor limitations, much like any other kind of boat:

Finding dock space is frequently challenging and expensive for catamarans because they take up more room.

Power and sailing cats can both smash into the bridge deck when heading to the weather because of the way that they are built.

Additionally, because they have two hulls instead of one, sailing cats can’t necessarily aim as high into the wind as monohulls can.

Overall, a catamaran allows for greater speeds, but at the expense of much-reduced vessel control. Knowing when to accelerate and when to slow down is difficult when sailing a catamaran. A catamaran can be readily overturned in sea conditions that a monohull can maneuver securely in.

Finally, while it may be alluring to add more weight in a catamaran due to the space it provides, doing so will almost certainly degrade the performance of either power or sailing cat—something that is less of an issue on their monohull counterparts.

Catamarans are a growing trend due to their better advantages over their monohull counterparts. Despite having an ancient fundamental design, catamarans are a modern boating alternative that can be used by any boater for both commercial and leisure uses.

About the author

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I worked as an officer in the deck department on various types of vessels, including oil and chemical tankers, LPG carriers, and even reefer and TSHD in the early years. Currently employed as Marine Surveyor carrying cargo, draft, bunker, and warranty survey.

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When Was the Catamaran Invented?

Look at how multi-hulled vessels have evolved over the millennia to find out when was the catamaran invented.

Stefan Kristensen

Stefan Kristensen

When Was the Catamaran Invented?

The first modern catamaran was designed and built by Nathanael Herreshoff in 1876 and patented a year later. However, the concept and construction of catamarans and vessels that operate on the same principles date all the way back to the second millennium BCE among the Austronesian people.

In the rest of the article, we are going to learn what makes a catamaran different from a traditional boat and explore the long history of the vessel’s gradual development to fully answer the question of when was the catamaran invented.

What Is So Special About a Catamaran?

Although they are often perceived as a trend or a fad, catamarans actually do have significant structural differences compared to traditional boats. Catamarans have two hulls instead of only one. The two hulls of a catamaran are joined by the bridge deck to form a single vessel.

One of the most noticeable practical differences between the catamaran and monohull boats is that catamarans are a lot more stable. This is because the beam is significantly wider than a traditional boat’s, giving the catamaran a greater initial stability, albeit with a poorer secondary stability. This makes the boat less likely to capsize, but more difficult to recover once a capsize has begun.

Catamarans also have shallower drafts and displace significantly less water than comparable traditional boats, which means they experience less resistance from the water when moving forward. This, in turn, means that catamarans, whether they are powered by sail or motors, need less energy to move the same mass at the same speed compared to a similarly sized traditional monohull boat.

What Is the History of the Catamaran’s Development?

When most people think of catamarans, the type of vessel they picture traces its history to Amaryllis , a boat designed and built by American mechanical engineer and naval architect, Nathanael Herreshoff. While only in his 20s, Herreshoff created the modern catamaran design, raced his first one in 1876, and patented it the next year.

This kickstarted the modern industry and application of catamarans, but the principles that Herreshoff made use of to design Amaryllis were not all completely new. Similar designs had been trialed by Europeans since the 17th century and used by Austronesians in the Indian and Pacific Oceans going back thousands of years. So then when was the catamaran invented?

Early Austronesian Origins

The history of catamarans among the early Austronesian people is tied to that of outrigger canoes, which are boats that are stabilized through the use of a separate floating device which sits alongside the main hull. There is controversy among academics over whether outrigger canoes developed as scaled down versions of catamarans or catamarans as expanded versions of outrigger canoes.

There is history of both types of vessel going back to the second millennium BCE, though the earliest record that Europeans have of them is from 1521, when they were observed by sailors on Ferdinand Magellan’s expedition to circumnavigate the world.

Petty, Crisp, and the English Prototypes

The first European prototype of a vessel with two hulls was designed in 1662 by famed English economist, William Petty. Although as with any catamaran, this boat was designed to use less energy, move faster, and navigate shallower waters, the concept was just too experimental for Petty’s contemporaries, and it never took off.

A few decades later, toward the end of the 17th century, English navigator and pirate, William Dampier, was on the Indian subcontinent, where he learned of vessels with multiple hulls from the native Tamil speakers. He was the first English speaker to record the word “catamaran” for these, adapting it from the Tamil word “kattumaram.”

The first catamaran built by Europeans to see use was designed and built by English captain Mayflower F. Crisp in Burma in the early 19th century. His vessel was called Original , and Crisp documented its exploits and the rationale behind his design himself in his 1849 book, A Treatise on Marine Architecture, Elucidating the Theory of the Resistance of Water .

Original remained in service for a number of years, during which it largely navigated the Gulf of Martaban, enabling trade between Southeast Asian ports situated on the gulf. In spite of Original’s success, the work of Captain Crisp did not change sailboat designs among his contemporaries.

Herreshoff and the American Catamaran

The final big development in catamaran design came in 1876, when American engineer and naval architect, Nathanael Greene Herreshoff, designed and built his first catamaran, Amaryllis . Herreshoff patented this design in 1877, the year following Amaryllis’ maiden voyage.

Whether due to changes in design or the fact that he was the first to formally patent his design, many consider Amaryllis to be the first modern catamaran and therefore Nathanael Herreshoff to be the inventor of the catamaran, as we know it, in 1876.

Interestingly, Herreshoff never referred to his design as a catamaran in the patent . The patent itself is simply titled “Improvement in Construction of Sailing-Vessels,” and Herreshoff makes references to “the vessel” and “my invention” but never uses the Tamil word that the English had previously adopted for the design.

Catamarans saw a lull in popularity once again after Herreshoff’s design won and was subsequently excluded from a lot of yacht clubs for what was perceived to be unfair competition.

The catamaran design saw its final and longest lasting resurgence in the mid-20th century, when its construction and use started getting picked up across the globe. Perhaps the most popular adoption was by American surfing legend, Hobie Alter.

Alter’s company, Hobie Cat, manufactured and sold small catamarans bearing the same name. The Hobie Cats have become a world standard, with one vessel, the Hobie 16, having sold more than 100,000 units since manufacturing began.

Most people offer Nathanael Herreshoff’s Amaryllis in 1876 as the answer when asked when was the catamaran invented. While it is considered the first modern catamaran, we have learned today about the thousands of years of gradual development across cultures and continents that have shaped the vessel, from early Austronesian rafts to the Hobie Cats of yesteryear.

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[ kat- uh -m uh - ran , kat - uh -m uh -ran ]

  • a vessel, usually propelled by sail, formed of two hulls or floats held side by side by a frame above them. Compare trimaran .
  • a float or sailing raft formed of a number of logs lashed together, used in certain parts of India, South America, etc.
  • Canadian Dialect. a wooden sled.

/ ˌkætəməˈræn /

  • a sailing, or sometimes motored, vessel with twin hulls held parallel by a rigid framework
  • a primitive raft made of logs lashed together
  • old-fashioned. a quarrelsome woman

Discover More

Word history and origins.

Origin of catamaran 1

Example Sentences

It involved a private island tour, catamaran cruise, visiting Rihanna’s childhood home and more.

We were about to sail back to Puerto Vallarta, but the catamaran barely moved.

I think the crew just didn’t know how to maneuver the catamaran very well, the sea was not very rough nor was it too windy.

I can paddle my catamaran against both wind and tide; why cannot you do the same?

They never tired, I think, of seeing me handle my giant “catamaran” and the (to them) mysterious harpoon.

We also started building a catamaran, with which to navigate the river when the floods had subsided.

She had easily forced a way for the catamaran through the branches, and once past, had drawn them together again.

Yamba cried out to me to lie flat on the catamaran, and hold on as tightly as I could until we reached smooth water again.

Related Words

A Formula 16 beachable catamaran Bladef16-1up.jpg

A catamaran ( / ˌ k æ t ə m ə ˈ r æ n / ) (informally, a "cat") is a watercraft with two parallel hulls of equal size. The distance between a catamaran's hulls imparts resistance to rolling and overturning. Catamarans typically have less hull volume, smaller displacement , and shallower draft (draught) than monohulls of comparable length. The two hulls combined also often have a smaller hydrodynamic resistance than comparable monohulls, requiring less propulsive power from either sails or motors. The catamaran's wider stance on the water can reduce both heeling and wave-induced motion, as compared with a monohull, and can give reduced wakes.

Development in Austronesia

Traditional catamarans, western development of sailing catamarans, performance, swath and wave-piercing designs, applications, passenger transport, further reading.

Catamarans were invented by the Austronesian peoples , and enabled their expansion to the islands of the Indian and Pacific Oceans . [1]

Catamarans range in size from small sailing or rowing vessels to large naval ships and roll-on/roll-off car ferries. The structure connecting a catamaran's two hulls ranges from a simple frame strung with webbing to support the crew to a bridging superstructure incorporating extensive cabin and/or cargo space.

Succession of forms in the development of the Austronesian boat (Mahdi, 1999) Succession of forms in the development of the Austronesian boat.png

Catamarans from Oceania and Maritime Southeast Asia became the inspiration for modern catamarans. Until the 20th century catamaran development focused primarily on sail-driven concepts.

The word "catamaran" is derived from the Tamil word, kattumaram (கட்டுமரம்), which means "logs bound together" and is a type of single-hulled raft made of three to seven tree trunks lashed together. The term has evolved in English usage to refer to unrelated twin-hulled vessels. [2] [3] [4]

A carved and painted voyaging catamaran with tanja sails of the Micronesian inhabitants of Hermit Islands, Bismarck Archipelago (c. 1914) Die Sitten der Volker- Liebe, Ehe, Heirat, Geburt, Religion, Aberglaube, Lebensgewohnheiten, Kultureigentumlichkeiten, Tod und Bestattung bei allen Volkern der Erde; (1914) (14591807039).jpg

Catamaran-type vessels were an early technology of the Austronesian peoples . Early researchers like Heine-Geldern (1932) and Hornell (1943) once believed that catamarans evolved from outrigger canoes , but modern authors specializing in Austronesian cultures like Doran (1981) and Mahdi (1988) now believe it to be the opposite. [5] [6] [1]

Hokule`a, a modern replica of a Polynesian twin-hulled voyaging canoe--an Austronesian innovation Hokule'a.jpg

Two canoes bound together developed directly from minimal raft technologies of two logs tied together. Over time, the twin-hulled canoe form developed into the asymmetric double canoe, where one hull is smaller than the other. Eventually the smaller hull became the prototype outrigger , giving way to the single outrigger canoe, then to the reversible single outrigger canoe. Finally, the single outrigger types developed into the double outrigger canoe (or trimarans ). [5] [6] [1]

This would also explain why older Austronesian populations in Island Southeast Asia tend to favor double outrigger canoes, as it keeps the boats stable when tacking . But they still have small regions where catamarans and single-outrigger canoes are still used. In contrast, more distant outlying descendant populations in Oceania , Madagascar , and the Comoros , retained the twin-hull and the single outrigger canoe types, but the technology for double outriggers never reached them (although it exists in western Melanesia ). To deal with the problem of the instability of the boat when the outrigger faces leeward when tacking, they instead developed the shunting technique in sailing, in conjunction with reversible single-outriggers. [5] [6] [1] [7] [8]

Despite their being the more "primitive form" of outrigger canoes, they were nonetheless effective, allowing seafaring Polynesians to voyage to distant Pacific islands . [9]

The following is a list of traditional Austronesian catamarans:

  • Island Melanesia :
  • Fiji : Drua (or waqa tabu )
  • Papua New Guinea : Lakatoi
  • Tonga : Hamatafua , kalia , tongiaki
  • Cook Islands : Vaka katea
  • Hawaii : Waʻa kaulua
  • Marquesas : Vaka touʻua
  • New Zealand : Waka hourua
  • Samoa : ʻAlia , amatasi , va'a-tele
  • Society Islands : Pahi , tipairua

The first documented example of twin-hulled sailing craft in Europe was designed by William Petty in 1662 to sail faster, in shallower waters, in lighter wind, and with fewer crew than other vessels of the time. However, the unusual design met with skepticism and was not a commercial success. [10] [11]

Nathaniel Herreshoff's 31 ft (9 m) long catamaran, Duplex, on the River Thames--built in 1877 Herreshoff Duplex Catamaran sailing in the Thames River--1880.png

The design remained relatively unused in the West for almost 160 years until the early 19th-century, when the Englishman Mayflower F. Crisp built a two-hulled merchant ship in Rangoon, Burma . The ship was christened Original . Crisp described it as "a fast sailing fine sea boat; she traded during the monsoon between Rangoon and the Tenasserim Provinces for several years". [12] [13]

Later that century, the American Nathanael Herreshoff constructed a twin-hulled sailing boat of his own design (US Pat. No. 189,459). [14] The craft, Amaryllis , raced at her maiden regatta on June 22, 1876, and performed exceedingly well. Her debut demonstrated the distinct performance advantages afforded to catamarans over the standard monohulls. It was as a result of this event, the Centennial Regatta of the New York Yacht Club, that catamarans were barred from regular sailing classes, and this remained the case until the 1970s. [15] On June 6, 1882, three catamarans from the Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans raced a 15   nm course on Lake Pontchartrain and the winning boat in the catamaran class, Nip and Tuck , beat the fastest sloop's time by over five minutes. [16] [17]

In 1916, Leonardo Torres Quevedo patented a new kind of ship, a multihull steel vessel named Binave (Twin Ship), which was constructed and tested in Bilbao ( Spain ) in 1918. The design included two 30 HP Hispano-Suiza marine engines , and was able to modify its configuration when sailing , positioning two rudders at the stern of each float, with the propellers also placed aft . [18] [19] [20] In 1936, Eric de Bisschop built a Polynesian "double canoe" in Hawaii and sailed it home to a hero's welcome in France. In 1939, he published his experiences in a book, Kaimiloa , which was translated into English in 1940. [21]

Roland and Francis Prout experimented with catamarans in 1949 and converted their 1935 boat factory in Canvey Island , Essex (England), to catamaran production in 1954. Their Shearwater catamarans easily won races against monohulls. Yellow Bird, a 1956-built Shearwater III , raced successfully by Francis Prout in the 1960s, is in the collection of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall . [22] Prout Catamarans , Ltd. designed a mast aft rig with the mast aft of midships to support an enlarged jib—more than twice the size of the design's reduced mainsail; it was produced as the Snowgoose model. [23] The claimed advantage of this sail plan was to diminish any tendency for the bows of the vessel to dig in. [24] [25]

Hobie 16 beachable catamaran Hobie Cat 16.jpg

In the mid-twentieth century, beachcats became a widespread category of sailing catamarans, owing to their ease of launching and mass production. In California, a maker of surfboards , Hobie Alter , produced the 250-pound (110   kg) Hobie 14 in 1967, and two years later the larger and even more successful Hobie 16 . As of 2016, the Hobie 16 was still being produced with more than 100,000 having been manufactured. [26]

Catamarans were introduced to Olympic sailing in 1976. The two-handed Tornado catamaran was selected for the multihull discipline in the Olympic Games from 1976 through 2008. It was redesigned in 2000. [27] The foiling Nacra 17 was used in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, which were held in 2021; [28] [29] after the 2015 adoption of the Nacra 15 as a Youth World Championships class and as a new class for the Youth Olympic Games. [30] [31]

A 45' catamaran under sail, showing minimal bow wave and wake resulting from the hulls being narrow, low displacement and long Brady 45' strip-built catamaran with fractional Bermuda rig.jpg

Catamarans have two distinct primary performance characteristics that distinguish them from displacement monohull vessels: lower resistance to passage through the water and greater stability (initial resistance to capsize). Choosing between a monohull and catamaran configuration includes considerations of carrying capacity, speed, and efficiency.

At low to moderate speeds, a lightweight catamaran hull experiences resistance to passage through water that is approximately proportional to its speed. A displacement monohull, by comparison, experiences resistance that is at least the square of its speed. This means that a catamaran would require four times the power in order to double its speed, whereas a monohull would require eight times the power to double its speed, starting at a slow speed. [32] For powered catamarans, this implies smaller power plants (although two are typically required). For sailing catamarans, low forward resistance [33] allows the sails to derive power from attached flow , [34] their most efficient mode—analogous to a wing—leading to the use of wingsails in racing craft. [35]

Catamarans rely primarily on form stability to resist heeling and capsize. [32] Comparison of heeling stability of a rectangular-cross section monohull of beam, B , compared with two catamaran hulls of width B /2, separated by a distance, 2× B , determines that the catamaran has an initial resistance to heeling that is seven times that of the monohull. [36] 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. [37]

Vangohh Seafarer, a catamaran motor yacht berthed at Straits Quay, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia Catamaran at Straits Quay, Georgetown, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia..jpg

One measure of the trade-off between speed and carrying capacity is the displacement Froude number (Fn V ) , [38] compared with calm water transportation efficiency . [39] Fn V applies when the waterline length is too speed-dependent to be meaningful—as with a planing hull. [40] It uses a reference length, the cubic root of the volumetric displacement of the hull, V , where u is the relative flow velocity between the sea and ship, and g is acceleration due to gravity :


Calm water transportation efficiency of a vessel is proportional to the full-load displacement and the maximum calm-water speed, divided by the corresponding power required. [41]

Large merchant vessels have a Fn V between one and zero, whereas higher-performance powered catamarans may approach 2.5, denoting a higher speed per unit volume for catamarans. Each type of vessel has a corresponding calm water transportation efficiency, with large transport ships being in the range of 100–1,000, compared with 11-18 for transport catamarans, denoting a higher efficiency per unit of payload for monohulls. [39]

A SWATH ship has twin hulls (blue) that remain completely submerged Small waterplane area twin hull swath1 large.jpg

Two advances over the traditional catamaran are the small-waterplane-area twin hull (SWATH) and the wave-piercing configuration—the latter having become a widely favored design.

SWATH reduces wave-generating resistance by moving displacement volume below the waterline, using a pair of tubular, submarine-like hulls, connected by pylons to the bridge deck with a narrow waterline cross-section. The submerged hulls are minimally affected by waves. [42] The SWATH form was invented by Canadian Frederick G. Creed , who presented his idea in 1938 and was later awarded a British patent for it in 1946. It was first used in the 1960s and 1970s as an evolution of catamaran design for use as oceanographic research vessels or submarine rescue ships. [43] In 1990, the US Navy commissioned the construction of a SWATH ship to test the configuration. [44]

SWATH vessels compare with conventional powered catamarans of equivalent size, as follows: [42]

  • Larger wetted surface, which causes higher skin friction drag
  • Significant reduction in wave-induced drag, with the configuration of struts and submerged hull structures
  • Lower water plane area significantly reduces pitching and heaving in a seaway
  • No possibility of planing
  • Higher sensitivity to loading, which may bring the bridge structure closer to the water

HSV-2 Swift, a wave-piercing catamaran, built by Incat in Tasmania, Australia US Navy 031104-N-0000S-001 High Speed Vessel Two (HSV 2) Swift is participating in the West African Training Cruise.jpg

Wave-piercing catamarans (strictly speaking they are trimarans , with a central hull and two outriggers) employ a low-buoyancy bow on each hull that is pointed at the water line and rises aft, up to a level, to allow each hull to pierce waves, rather than ride over them. This allows higher speeds through waves than for a conventional catamaran. They are distinguished from SWATH catamarans, in that the buoyant part of the hull is not tubular. The spanning bridge deck may be configured with some of the characteristics of a normal V-hull, which allows it to penetrate the crests of waves. [45]

Wave-piercing catamaran designs have been employed for yachts, [46] passenger ferries, [47] and military vessels. [48]

Emirates Team New Zealand's AC72 Aotearoa on foils in San Francisco Bay AC72 New Zealand Aotearoa San Francisco 01.jpg

A catamaran configuration fills a niche where speed and sea-kindliness is favored over bulk capacity. In larger vessels, this niche favors car ferries and military vessels for patrol or operation in the littoral zone.

Gitana 13, an ocean-racing catamaran Gitana 13.jpg

Recreational and sport catamarans typically are designed to have a crew of two and be launched and landed from a beach. Most have a trampoline on the bridging structure, a rotating mast and full-length battens on the mainsail. Performance versions often have trapezes to allow the crew to hike out and counterbalance capsize forces during strong winds on certain points of sail. [49]

For the 33rd America's Cup , both the defender and the challenger built 90-foot (27   m) long multihulls. Société Nautique de Genève , defending with team Alinghi , sailed a catamaran. The challenger, BMW Oracle Racing, used a trimaran, replacing its soft sail rig with a towering wing sail —the largest sailing wing ever built. In the waters off Valencia , Spain in February 2010, the BMW Oracle Racing trimaran with its powerful wing sail proved to be superior. This represented a break from the traditional monohulls that had always been sailed in previous America's Cup series. [50]

On San Francisco Bay, the 2013 America's Cup was sailed in 72-foot (22   m) long AC72 catamarans (craft set by the rules for the 2013 America's Cup). Each yacht employed hydrofoils and a wing sail. The regatta was won 9–8 by Oracle Team USA against the challenger, Emirates Team New Zealand , in fifteen matches because Oracle Team USA had started the regatta with a two-point penalty. [51] [52]

Yachting has seen the development of multihulls over 100 feet (30   m) in length. " The Race " helped precipitate this trend; it was a circumnavigation challenge which departed from Barcelona, Spain, on New Year's Eve, 2000. Because of the prize money and prestige associated with this event, four new catamarans (and two highly modified ones) over 100 feet (30   m) in length were built to compete. The largest, PlayStation , owned by Steve Fossett , was 125 feet (38   m) long and had a mast which was 147 feet (45   m) above the water. Virtually all of the new mega-cats were built of pre-preg carbon fiber for strength and the lowest possible weight. The top speeds of these boats can approach 50 knots (58   mph; 93   km/h) . The Race was won by the 33.50   m (109.9   ft) -long catamaran Club Med skippered by Grant Dalton . It went round the globe in 62 days at an average speed of 18 knots (21   mph; 33   km/h) . [53]

Catamarans for whitewater sports. Picture was taken in Altai, Russia Katamarans in Russia.jpg

Whitewater catamaran—sometimes called "cata-rafts"—for whitewater sports are widely spread in post-Soviet countries . They consists of two inflatable hulls connected with a lattice scaffold. The frame of the tourist catamaran can be made of both aluminum (duralumin) pipes and from felled tree trunks. The inflatable part has two layers—an airtight balloon with inflation holes and a shell made of dense tissue, protecting the balloon from mechanical damage. Advantages of such catamarans are light weight, compactness and convenience in transportation (the whole product is packed in one pack-backpack, suitable for air traffic standards) and the speed of assembly (10–15 minutes for the inflation). [54] All-inflatable models are available in North America. [55] A cata-raft design has been used on the Colorado River to handle heavy whitewater, yet maintain a good speed through the water. [56]

A Lagoon cruising catamaran Catamaran de croisiere Lagoon 560.JPG

Cruising sailors must make trade-offs among volume, useful load, speed, and cost in choosing a boat. Choosing a catamaran offers increased speed at the expense of reduced load per unit of cost. Howard and Doane describe the following tradeoffs between cruising monohulls and catamarans: [37] A long-distance, offshore cruising monohull may be as short as 30 feet (9.1   m) for a given crew complement and supporting supplies, whereas a cruising catamaran would need to be 40 feet (12   m) to achieve the same capacity. In addition to greater speed, catamarans draw less water than do monohulls— as little as 3 feet (0.91   m) —and are easier to beach. Catamarans are harder to tack and take up more space in a marina. Cruising catamarans entail added expense for having two engines and two rudders. Tarjan adds that cruising catamarans boats can maintain a comfortable 300 nautical miles (350   mi; 560   km) per day passage, with the racing versions recording well over 400 nautical miles (460   mi; 740   km) per day. In addition, they do not heel more than 10-12 degrees, even at full speed on a reach. [57]

Powered cruising catamarans share many of the amenities found in a sail cruising catamaran. The saloon typically spans two hulls wherein are found the staterooms and engine compartments. As with sailing catamarans, this configuration minimizes boat motion in a seaway. [58]

The Swiss-registered wave-piercing catamaran, Tûranor PlanetSolar , which was launched in March 2010, is the world's largest solar powered boat. It completed a circumnavigation of the globe in 2012. [59]

HSC Francisco; the world's fastest passenger ship Francisco Darsena Norte - 01.jpg

The 1970s saw the introduction of catamarans as high-speed ferries , as pioneered by Westermoen Hydrofoil in Mandal , Norway, which launched the Westamaran design in 1973. [60] The Stena Voyager was an example of a large, fast ferry, typically traveling at a speed of 46 miles per hour (74   km/h) , although it was capable of over 70 miles per hour (110   km/h) . [61]

The Australian island Tasmania became the site of builders of large transport catamarans— Incat in 1977 [62] and Austal in 1988 [63] —each building civilian ferries and naval vessels. Incat built HSC Francisco , a High-Speed trimaran that, at 58 knots, is (as of 2014) the fastest passenger ship in service. [64]

US Naval Ship Spearhead (JHSV-1) during sea trials in 2012 USNS Spearhead (JHSV-1) - 1.jpg

The first warship to be propelled by a steam engine, named Demologos or Fulton and built in the United States during the War of 1812 , was a catamaran with a paddle wheel between her hulls.

In the early 20th Century several catamarans were built as submarine salvage ships: SMS Vulkan and SMS Cyclop of Germany , Kommuna of Russia , and Kanguro of Spain , all designed to lift stricken submarines by means of huge cranes above a moon pool between the hulls. Two Cold War-era submarine rescue ships , USS Pigeon and USS Ortolan of the US Navy , were also catamarans, but did not have the moon pool feature.

The use of catamarans as high-speed naval transport was pioneered by HMAS Jervis Bay , which was in service with the Royal Australian Navy between 1999 and 2001. The US Military Sealift Command now operates several Expeditionary Fast Transport catamarans owned by the US Navy; [65] they are used for high speed transport of military cargo, and to get into shallow ports.

The Makar -class is a class of two large catamaran-hull survey ships built for the Indian Navy . As of 2012, one vessel, INS Makar (J31) , was in service and the second was under construction. [66]

First launched in 2004 at Shanghai, the Houbei class missile boat of the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) has a catamaran design to accommodate the vessel's stealth features. [67]

The Tuo Chiang-class corvette is a class of Taiwanese -designed fast and stealthy multi-mission wave-piercing catamaran corvettes [68] first launched in 2014 for the Republic of China (Taiwan) Navy .

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  • List of multihulls

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Multihull</span> Ship or boat with more than one hull

A multihull is a boat or ship with more than one hull, whereas a vessel with a single hull is a monohull. The most common multihulls are catamarans, and trimarans. There are other types, with four or more hulls, but such examples are very rare and tend to be specialised for particular functions.

A sailboat or sailing boat is a boat propelled partly or entirely by sails and is smaller than a sailing ship. Distinctions in what constitutes a sailing boat and ship vary by region and maritime culture.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Trimaran</span> Multihull boat

A trimaran is a multihull boat that comprises a main hull and two smaller outrigger hulls which are attached to the main hull with lateral beams. Most modern trimarans are sailing yachts designed for recreation or racing; others are ferries or warships. They originated from the traditional double-outrigger hulls of the Austronesian cultures of Maritime Southeast Asia; particularly in the Philippines and Eastern Indonesia, where it remains the dominant hull design of traditional fishing boats. Double-outriggers are derived from the older catamaran and single-outrigger boat designs.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Outrigger</span> Projecting structure on a boat

An outrigger is a projecting structure on a boat, with specific meaning depending on types of vessel. Outriggers may also refer to legs on a wheeled vehicle that are folded out when it needs stabilization, for example on a crane that lifts heavy loads.

A monohull is a type of boat having only one hull, unlike multihulled boats which can have two or more individual hulls connected to one another.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Outrigger boat</span> Boat with one or more lateral support floats

Outrigger boats are various watercraft featuring one or more lateral support floats known as outriggers, which are fastened to one or both sides of the main hull. They can range from small dugout canoes to large plank-built vessels. Outrigger boats can also vary in their configuration, from the ancestral double-hull configuration (catamarans), to single-outrigger vessels prevalent in the Pacific Islands and Madagascar, to the double-outrigger vessels (trimarans) prevalent in Island Southeast Asia. They are traditionally fitted with Austronesian sails, like the crab claw sails and tanja sails, but in modern times are often fitted with petrol engines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Proa</span> Type of multihull sailboat

Proas are various types of multi-hull outrigger sailboats of the Austronesian peoples. The terms were used for native Austronesian ships in European records during the Colonial era indiscriminately, and thus can confusingly refer to the double-ended single-outrigger boats of Oceania, the double-outrigger boats of Island Southeast Asia, and sometimes ships with no outriggers or sails at all.

A small waterplane area twin hull , better known by the acronym SWATH , is a catamaran design that minimizes hull cross section area at the sea's surface. Minimizing the ship's volume near the surface area of the sea, where wave energy is located, minimizes a vessel's response to sea state, even in high seas and at high speeds. The bulk of the displacement necessary to keep the ship afloat is located beneath the waves, where it is less affected by wave action. Wave excitation drops exponentially as depth increases, so wave action normally does not affect a submerged submarine at all. Placing the majority of a ship's displacement under the waves is similar in concept to creating a ship that rides atop twin submarines.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hobie Cat</span> Small sailing catamaran

Hobie Cat is a company that manufactures watercraft as the Hobie Cat Company. "Hobie Cat" can also refer to specific products of the company, notably its sailing catamarans. Its fiberglass catamaran models range in nominal length between 14 feet (4.3 m) and 18 feet (5.5 m). Rotomolded catamaran models range in length between 12 feet (3.7 m) and 17 feet (5.2 m). Other sailing vessels in the Hobie Cat lineup include, monocats, dinghies, and trimarans, ranging in length between 9 feet (2.7 m) and 20 feet (6.1 m). Its largest product was the Hobie 33, 33 feet (10 m) in length. The company's non-sailing product line includes surfboards, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and pedalboards. It was founded in 1961 by Hobart (Hobie) Alter, who originally manufactured surfboards.

The term beachcat is an informal name for one of the most common types of small recreational sailboats, minimalist 14 to 20 foot catamarans, almost always with a cloth "trampoline" stretched between the two hulls, typically made of fiberglass or more recently rotomolded plastic. The name comes from the fact that they are designed to be sailed directly off a sand beach, unlike most other small boats which are launched from a ramp. The average 8 foot width of the beachcat means it can also sit upright on the sand and is quite stable in this position, unlike a monohull of the same size. The Hobie 14 and Hobie 16 are two of the earliest boats of this type that achieved widespread popularity, and popularized the term as well as created the template for this type of boat.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wave-piercing hull</span> Hull with fine bow with reduced reserve buoyancy

A wave-piercing boat hull has a very fine bow, with reduced buoyancy in the forward portions. When a wave is encountered, the lack of buoyancy means the hull pierces through the water rather than riding over the top, resulting in a smoother ride than traditional designs, and in diminished mechanical stress on the vessel. It also reduces a boat's wave-making resistance.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sailing hydrofoil</span> Sailboat with wing-like foils mounted under the hull

A sailing hydrofoil , hydrofoil sailboat , or hydrosail is a sailboat with wing-like foils mounted under the hull. As the craft increases its speed the hydrofoils lift the hull up and out of the water, greatly reducing wetted area, resulting in decreased drag and increased speed. A sailing hydrofoil can achieve speeds exceeding double and in some cases triple the wind speed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Sailing yacht</span> Private sailing vessel with overnight accommodations

A sailing yacht , is a leisure craft that uses sails as its primary means of propulsion. A yacht may be a sail or power vessel used for pleasure, cruising, or racing. There is no standard definition, so the term applies here to sailing vessels that have a cabin with amenities that accommodate overnight use. To be termed a "yacht", as opposed to a "boat", such a vessel is likely to be at least 33 feet (10 m) in length and have been judged to have good aesthetic qualities. Sailboats that do not accommodate overnight use or are smaller than 30 feet (9.1 m) are not universally called yachts. Sailing yachts in excess of 130 feet (40 m) are generally considered to be superyachts.

Telstar trimarans is a line of trimarans most recently built by the Performance Cruising Inc shipyard in Annapolis, Maryland.

VPLP design is a French-based naval architectural firm founded by Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot-Prévost, responsible for designing some of the world's most innovative racing boats. Their designs presently hold many of the World Speed Sailing records.

James Wharram was a British multihull pioneer and designer of catamarans.

The Ocean Bird is a class of trimaran sailboat designed by John Westell and produced by Honnor Marine Ltd. at Totnes, Teignmouth in the 1970s, featuring fold-in lateral floats on a webless steel-beam frame chosen to provide stability against heeling, yet allow a compact footprint in harbour.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Kaep</span> Micronesian sailboat

Kaep is a traditional type of double-ended Proa sailboat native to Palau. Some of the essential design elements have also been adopted as a modern smaller multihull prototype variant.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Polynesian multihull terminology</span>

Polynesian multihull terminology , such as "ama", "aka" and "vaka" are multihull terms that have been widely adopted beyond the South Pacific where these terms originated. This Polynesian terminology is in common use in the Americas and the Pacific but is almost unknown in Europe, where the English terms "hull" and "outrigger" form normal parlance. Outriggers, catamarans, and outrigger boats are a common heritage of all Austronesian peoples and predate the Micronesian and Polynesian expansion into the Pacific. They are also the dominant forms of traditional ships in Island Southeast Asian and Malagasy Austronesian cultures, where local terms are used.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Austronesian vessels</span> Sailing vessels of Austronesian peoples

Austronesian vessels are the traditional seafaring vessels of the Austronesian peoples of Taiwan, Maritime Southeast Asia, Micronesia, coastal New Guinea, Island Melanesia, Polynesia, and Madagascar. They also include indigenous ethnic minorities in Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, Hainan, the Comoros, and the Torres Strait Islands.

  • ↑ "Origin and meaning of catamaran" . Online Etymology Dictionary . Retrieved March 1, 2019 .
  • ↑ Lück, Michael (2008). The Encyclopedia of Tourism and Recreation in Marine Environments . Wallingford, UK: CABI. p.   86. ISBN   978-1-84593-350-0 .
  • ↑ "Catamaran" . Unabridged . Random House, inc. 2016.
  • 1 2 3 Mahdi, Waruno (1999). "The Dispersal of Austronesian boat forms in the Indian Ocean". In Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew (eds.). Archaeology and Language III: Artefacts languages, and texts . One World Archaeology. Vol.   34. Routledge. pp.   144–179. ISBN   0415100542 .
  • 1 2 3 Doran, Edwin B. (1981). Wangka: Austronesian Canoe Origins . Texas A&M University Press. ISBN   9780890961070 .
  • ↑ Beheim, B. A.; Bell, A. V. (February 23, 2011). "Inheritance, ecology and the evolution of the canoes of east Oceania" . Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences . 278 (1721): 3089–3095. doi : 10.1098/rspb.2011.0060 . PMC   3158936 . PMID   21345865 .
  • ↑ Hornell, James (1932). "Was the Double-Outrigger Known in Polynesia and Micronesia? A Critical Study". The Journal of the Polynesian Society . 41 (2 (162)): 131–143.
  • ↑ Kirch, Patrick (2001). Hawaiki . Cambridge University Press. p.   80 . ISBN   978-0-521-78309-5 .
  • ↑ "Model of a twin-hulled ship - William Petty" . Royal Society . Retrieved August 8, 2014 .
  • ↑ "Sailing with an Achilles' keel | General" . Times Higher Education . September 22, 2000 . Retrieved August 8, 2014 .
  • ↑ Bertie Reginald Pearn (1938). A History of Rangoon . Corporation of Rangoon. p.   136.
  • ↑ M. F. Crisp (1849). A treatise on marine architecture, elucidating the theory of the resistance of water   : illustrating the form, or model best calculated to unite velocity, buoyancy, stability, strength, etc., in the same vessel   : and finally, adducing the theory of the art of shipbuilding . Maulmein: American Baptist mission press. p.   94.
  • ↑ Nathanael Herreshoff (April 10, 1877). "US Patent Number 189459: Improvement in construction of sailing-vessels" .
  • ↑ L. Francis Herreshoff. "The Spirit of the Times, November 24, 1877 (reprint)" . Marine Publishing Co., Camden, Maine. Archived from the original on January 24, 2008 . Retrieved December 2, 2014 . {{ cite web }} : More than one of | archiveurl= and | archive-url= specified ( help )
  • ↑ Sampsell, Lorillard D. (March 1898), "The Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans" , Outing: Sport, Adventure, Travel Fiction, Volume 31
  • ↑ Counce, Oliver J. (2000), "The sesquicentennial of the Southern Yacht Club of New Orleans, 1849-1999   : 150 years of yachting in the Gulf South", Metairie Franklin Southland Printing , OCLC   46836336
  • ↑ Aviación Digital (May 31, 2020). "La "Binave" de Torres Quevedo: El precursor de los modernos catamaranes" .
  • ↑ Rodrigo Pérez Fernández. Francisco A. González Redondo. On the origin, foundational designs and first manufacture of the modern catamaran , International Journal of Maritime History , SAGE Publishing , Volume 34, Issue 3, February 1, 2022.
  • ↑ Patentes de invención de Don Leonardo Torres Quevedo , España Registro de la Propiedad Industrial, 1988. ISBN 84-86857-50-3
  • ↑ The Voyage of the Kaimiloa , London, 1940 (translated from French: Kaimiloa   : D'Honolulu à Cannes par l'Australie et Le Cap, à bord d'une double pirogue polynésienne ), Editions Plon, Paris, 1939 ( Au delà des horizons lointains 1 ).
  • ↑ Bird, Vanessa (2013). Classic Classes . A&C Black. p.   65. ISBN   9781408158906 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
  • ↑ Charles E. Kanter (November 2001). "Reviewing the Prout Snowgoose 34 catamaran" . Southwinds Sailing . Archived from the original on May 19, 2006 . Retrieved February 27, 2019 . {{ cite journal }} : More than one of | archiveurl= and | archive-url= specified ( help )
  • ↑ Sailor's multihull guide to the best cruising catamarans & trimarans . Jeffrey, Kevin, 1954-, Jeffrey, Nan, 1949-, Kanter, Charles E., 1930- (3rd   ed.). Belfast, P.E.I.: Avalon House. 2002. ISBN   0962756288 . OCLC   51112242 . {{ cite book }} : CS1 maint: others ( link )
  • ↑ Andrews, Jim (1974). Catamarans for cruising . London: Hollis and Carter. ISBN   0370103394 . OCLC   1273831 .
  • ↑ "Hobie 16 2012 Class Report 2012" (PDF) . Retrieved October 1, 2015 .
  • ↑ Forbes, John; Young, Jim (2003). "A Brief Tornado History—The Story of the Tornado, the Olympic Catamaran" . International Tornado Class Association . Retrieved January 27, 2016 . .
  • ↑ Nelson, Gunnar (November 15, 2016). "World Sailing confirms Nacra 17 Foiling version for Tokyo 2020" . . Catamaran Racing News and Design . Retrieved August 21, 2017 .
  • ↑ Wong, Jonathan (October 18, 2015). "Perfecting their craft" . The Straits Times . Singapore Press Holdings Ltd . Retrieved November 1, 2017 .
  • ↑ "Youth World Sailing Championship – Multihull selection" . . Australian Sailing . Retrieved August 21, 2017 .
  • ↑ Johnson, Tim. "Nacra 15 selected as the next Youth multihull" . Yachts and Yachting .com . YY Online Services Ltd . Retrieved August 21, 2017 .
  • 1 2 Garrett, Ross (January 1, 1996). The Symmetry of Sailing: The Physics of Sailing for Yachtsmen . Sheridan House, Inc. p.   133. ISBN   9781574090000 .
  • ↑ Yang, C.; Löhner, R.; Soto, O. (August 22, 2001). "Optimization of a wave-cancellation multihull using CFD tools". In Wu, You-Sheng; Guo-Jun Zhou; Wei-Cheng Cui (eds.). Practical Design of Ships and Other Floating Structures: Eighth International Symposium . Vol.   1. China: Elsevier. ISBN   9780080539355 .
  • ↑ Weltner, Klaus (January 1987). "A comparison of explanations of the aerodynamic lifting force". American Journal of Physics . 55 (1): 52. Bibcode : 1987AmJPh..55...50W . doi : 10.1119/1.14960 .
  • ↑ Nielsen, Peter (May 14, 2014). "Have Wingsails Gone Mainstream?" . Sail Magazine . Interlink Media . Retrieved January 24, 2015 .
  • ↑ Biran, Adrian; Pulido, Ruben Lopez (2013). Ship Hydrostatics and Stability (2   ed.). Butterworth-Heinemann. p.   67. ISBN   978-0080982908 .
  • 1 2 Howard, Jim; Doane, Charles J. (2000). Handbook of Offshore Cruising: The Dream and Reality of Modern Ocean Cruising . Sheridan House, Inc. pp.   36–8. ISBN   1574090933 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
  • ↑ Newman, John Nicholas (1977). Marine hydrodynamics . Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press . p.   28 . ISBN   0-262-14026-8 . .
  • 1 2 Watson, D. G. M. (2002). Practical Ship Design . Elsevier Ocean Engineering Book Series. Vol.   1 (Revised   ed.). Gulf Professional Publishing. pp.   47–48. ISBN   0080440541 . See Fig. 2.1 'Slender' and 'Swath' figures.
  • ↑ Wilson, F.W.; Vlars, P.R. (September 1981). "Operational Characteristics Comparisons" . AIAA 6th Marine Systems Conference . American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics: 11 . Retrieved March 31, 2017 .
  • ↑ Eames, Michael C. (April 15, 1980). "Advances is Naval Architecture for Surface Naval Ships" (PDF) . Proceedings . London: Royal Institution of Naval Architects: 31. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 1, 2016 . Retrieved January 31, 2016 . {{ cite journal }} : More than one of | accessdate= and | access-date= specified ( help ) ; More than one of | archiveurl= and | archive-url= specified ( help )
  • 1 2 Misra, Suresh Chandra (2015). Design Principles of Ships and Marine Structures . CRC Press. ISBN   978-1482254471 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
  • ↑ Helfers, John (2006). The Unauthorized Dan Brown Companion . Kensington Publishing Corp. p.   271. ISBN   0806535806 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
  • ↑ Jane's high-speed marine craft (24   ed.). Jane's Information Group. 1991. ISBN   0710612664 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
  • ↑ Husick, Charles B. (2009). Chapman Piloting, Seamanship and Small Boat Handling . Sterling Publishing Company, Inc. p.   16. ISBN   9781588167446 . Retrieved January 26, 2016 .
  • ↑ Caprio, Dennis (July 2001). "Loomes 83" . Yachting . Vol.   190, no.   1. pp.   81–84. ISSN   0043-9940 . Retrieved January 26, 2016 .
  • ↑ Yun, Liang; Bliault, Alan (July 8, 2014). High Performance Marine Vessels . Springer Science & Business Media. p.   206. ISBN   978-1-4614-0868-0 . Retrieved January 26, 2016 .
  • ↑ Brumley, Jeff (October 5, 2011). "Unusual ship visits Mayport after 6-month deployment to African waters" . Florida Times-Union . Jacksonville . Retrieved January 26, 2016 .
  • ↑ Berman, Phil (March 1982). Catamaran Sailing: From Start to Finish . W. W. Norton & Co. Inc. ISBN   978-0393000849 .
  • ↑ "BMW Oracle wins America's Cup" . ESPN. Associated Press. February 14, 2010 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
  • ↑ "Ben Ainslie's USA beat Team New Zealand in decider" . BBC Sport . September 26, 2013 . Retrieved September 26, 2013 .
  • ↑ "Oracle Team USA completes greatest comeback in America's Cup history, defeating Emirates New Zealand" . New York Daily News . September 25, 2013. Archived from the original on September 29, 2013 . Retrieved September 26, 2013 .
  • ↑ Zimmermann, Tim (2004). The Race: Extreme Sailing and Its Ultimate Event: Nonstop, Round-the-World, No Holds Barred . Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN   0547347065 .
  • ↑ Fox, Peter (May 26, 2016). "Cataraft Testing on the Clackamas River" . Northwest Rafting Company . Retrieved March 3, 2019 .
  • ↑ Steelhammer, Rick. "WV guides on US team in world whitewater rafting championship" . Charleston Gazette-Mail . Retrieved March 3, 2019 .
  • ↑ Lindeman, Phil (January 31, 2017). "Take 5: On the Grand Canyon 'cataraft' with the U.S. Whitewater Rafting Team" . Summit Daily . Retrieved March 3, 2019 .
  • ↑ Tarjan, Gregor (2007). Catamarans: The Complete Guide for Cruising Sailors . McGraw Hill. ISBN   9780071596220 . Retrieved January 25, 2016 .
  • ↑ Sass, George Jr. (October 3, 2007). "Lagoon Power 43—An exceptional first powerboat from a builder of sailing cats" . Yachting . Retrieved January 25, 2016 .
  • ↑ Gieffers, Hanna (May 4, 2012). "Ankunft in Monaco: Solarboot schafft Weltumrundung in 584 Tagen" . Spiegel Online (in German) . Retrieved May 5, 2012 .
  • ↑ "First Westamaran Revisited" (PDF) . Classic Fast Ferries. October 7, 2003.
  • ↑ Bowen, David (May 4, 1996). "Forget the tunnel; all the talk on the high seas is of 50   mph (80   km/h) super ferries. And Britain doesn't make any of them" . The Independent . London . Retrieved January 29, 2016 .
  • ↑ "History" . Incat. 2016. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 . {{ cite web }} : More than one of | archiveurl= and | archive-url= specified ( help )
  • ↑ "Our story" . Austal. 2016 . Retrieved January 27, 2016 .
  • ↑ Note: Because many of the fast multihull ferries are known as "SeaCats", it is presumed that they are catamarans; in fact they are trimarans with a large centre hull.
  • ↑ "Strategic Sealift (PM3)" . . Archived from the original on June 27, 2008 . Retrieved November 1, 2015 . {{ cite web }} : More than one of | archiveurl= and | archive-url= specified ( help )
  • ↑ "INS Makar commissioned into the Indian Navy" . Economic Times . September 21, 2012 . Retrieved September 1, 2013 .
  • ↑ Axe, David (August 4, 2011). "China Builds Fleet of Small Warships While U.S. Drifts" . . Retrieved February 4, 2012 .
  • ↑ "Taiwan Navy Takes Delivery of First Stealth 'Carrier Killer' Corvette" . December 24, 2014.
  • Marchaj, C. A. (2000). Aero-Hydrodynamics of Sailing . Tiller Publishing. ISBN   1-888671-18-1 .

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catamaran meaning and origin

What Is a Catamaran? Things You Need to Know

catamaran meaning and origin

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Whether you’re a sailing enthusiast or have recently adopted an interest in yachts, you’ve probably heard of catamarans. It can be confusing as the term seems to describe boats, ships, and even massive-cruise vessels. So, what is a catamaran?

A catamaran is a boat with two hulls and a bridge between them. Catamarans can be designed as sailboats or motorboats. A catamaran stays stable since it has a wide base, it does not have a deep keel as on a monohull . Cats are known for not heeling, increased comfort, more space, and faster speeds.

In this article, we will explore everything you need to know about this design, including its origin and its advantages.

Table of Contents

Catamaran: A Basic Overview

The term catamaran comes from a 17th-century Tamil term kaṭṭumaram . The Tamil word stands for “tied wood,” but those vessels do not share the same working principle as catamarans. 

Even though most “tied wood” rafts in the 17th century India used two logs to keep the deck afloat, the logs acted more like pontoons than catamaran hulls. However, the commonality of two logs translated to catamarans, as these vessels generally have two hulls.

catamaran meaning and origin

Since the term refers to the design, it is correct to refer to any vessel with two hulls connected by a bridge as a catamaran. However, technical accuracy doesn’t necessarily mean general-use correctness. While cruise ships can have catamaran design and small rafts may feature two hulls, the term is most often used for yacht-sized cruising sailboats.

Buyers who would not previously afford any vessel close to a mid-sized yacht can easily order a brand-new catamaran. Even investors interested in collecting income from catamaran renting opt for medium scale catamarans to hedge against depreciation and damage. Therefore, the term catamaran has become synonymous with medium-scale yachts with two hulls.

For the rest of this article, we’ll use the term to reflect these vessels, and if a catamaran-style cruise-ship or smaller boats are brought up, the distinction will be highlighted. It is also worth noting that even when dealing with manufacturers and industry literature, the word will refer to medium-sized yachts unless specifically differentiated.

What Are Catamarans Made Of?

One of the most interesting subjects in the overall catamaran conversation is the materials used to manufacture these vessels. That’s because different brands use different technology to compose the materials required for the hulls and other areas of a catamaran. 

Hulls of a Bali catamaran are built with sandwich infusion technology using polyester and closed-cell PVC. The brand’s catamarans are fitted with daggerboards, and material variety includes Kevlar in regions of impact and carbon fiber in the lower-weight areas.

catamaran meaning and origin

Lagoon catamarans have a history of using solid glass below water level , but newer models have a balsa core in the submerged region . While the specifics of composting technology and materials may vary from brand to brand or even model to model within the same brand, the fact that most of these vessels are made of composite material remains consistent.

Parts of a Catamaran

One cannot ask what a catamaran is without getting curious about the various parts of such a vessel. Here is a breakdown of the various parts that go into this vell’s construction:

Unlike monohulls, a catamaran has two of these. They’re usually hollow and fitted out with beds and even a glass window to look out into the water since they’re not submerged. The hulls’ function is to push down on the water, so the water reacts by pushing the vessel up. Therefore, they play an essential role in the catamaran’s buoyancy.

catamaran meaning and origin

Cross Beams

Because the hulls exert force on the water, there needs to be something that ensures the water’s reaction (upwards force) doesn’t break the deck. Crossbeams serve as connectors between the two hulls and hold them together such that water’s upward force is distributed evenly across the surface between the hulls. 

catamaran meaning and origin

Depending on the size of the vessel, the number of cross beams may vary. Some of the critical characteristics of cross beams include high density and low surface area. 

A bridgedeck, as the name suggests, is a deck that serves as a bridge between the hulls. Manufacturers make a compromise between space and sailing efficiency when deciding how to design a bridgedeck for their catamarans. A bridgedeck is given significant clearance to allow for smooth sailing but not too much to leave behind, only the deck for living space. 

catamaran meaning and origin

What you should keep in mind about a bridgedeck is that the smaller its clearance, the more water hits its bottom, causing discomfort for those sailing and dealing damage to the vessel. Also, you can’t minimize the bridgedeck without affecting the hull size, which means you have to compromise between the two.

Bridge deck slamming explained

Other Parts

While the aforementioned parts are key to a catamaran’s construction, they are by no means an exhaustive list of every vessel’s component. 

Catamarans have a topdeck, oftentimes a saloon, and separate chambers depending on the size. The standard vessel will have the interior fitting of a yacht of a similar size. Since none of these parts are specific to catamarans, a detailed breakdown of each isn’t necessary.

Catamaran parts explained

How Long Does a Catamaran Last?

Since catamarans aren’t impulse-buys, you must consider the longevity of the specific model you wish to buy. If you go with a boutique manufacturer without knowing about materials and construction, you may be sold a vessel that may last only seven years. 

On the other hand, brands that list their construction methods with transparency regarding materials used are more confident in their product, which has five times the longevity of a cheaply manufactured catamaran.

catamaran meaning and origin

Suppose you wish to purchase a catamaran you want to have for 15+ years. In that case, you may avoid buying a “performance” catamaran that focuses on lightweight in favor of sailing speed and effortlessness on the waves. This conversation becomes more complicated when you consider sailing frequency and its impact on different vessels.

Generally speaking, expecting your catamaran to remain functional and smooth sailing for fifteen years is reasonable. That doesn’t mean any catamaran you purchase will fit this criterion but only suggests that you will find vessels with this longevity with relative ease.

Is It Easier to Sail a Catamaran?

It is essential to address different sizes of catamarans when this question arises. Sailing a catamaran sailboat is different from captaining a standard (yacht-sized) catamaran. Since yacht-sized catamarans can come with an autopilot, as can their monohull equivalents, the question becomes more about the sailing experience.

catamaran meaning and origin

Your guests are more comfortable in a catamaran as the sailing experience doesn’t translate water resistance and wind to the vessel’s interior as much as it does in a monohull. Monohulls get hit by waves that pass between the two hulls of a catamaran.

As for physically sailing a catamaran-design vessel, the experience is different but not objectively easier. For instance, if you’re a seasoned monohull sailor, you’ll find what you’re used to much easier than adjusting two catamarans. 

Final Thoughts

Catamarans are self-balancing and easy to learn, making them a preferred sailing choice among novices and time-strapped sailing enthusiasts. They have recently become symbols of luxury with comfortable interiors and ample living space.

Owner of 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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catamaran meaning and origin

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Meaning of catamaran in English

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  • cabin cruiser
  • dragon boat
  • rubber dinghy
  • As soon as the boat anchored, a catamaran put out, and brought Charlie and his followers to shore.  
  • Next morning we were visited by a party of natives from the neighbouring island, consisting of six men in a canoe, and one on a catamaran or raft.  
  • Soon we were surrounded with catamarans and canoes, with three or four natives in each.  
  • The horses and cows were taken on a species of catamaran, or large raft, that is much used in those mild seas, and which sail reasonably well a little off the wind, and not very badly on.  
  • When we reached the lagoon, a catamaran with three natives on it came off to us.  

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catamaran meaning and origin

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catamaran (n.)

East Indies log raft, 1670s, from Hindi or Malayalam, from Tamil (Dravidian) kattu-maram "tied wood," from kattu "tie, binding" + maram "wood, tree." It also was used in the West Indies and South America.

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Dictionary entries near catamaran

  • English (English)
  • 简体中文 (Chinese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Français (French)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese)
  • 1.1 Etymology
  • 1.2 Pronunciation
  • 1.3.1 Synonyms
  • 1.3.2 Hypernyms
  • 1.3.3 Hyponyms
  • 1.3.4 Coordinate terms
  • 1.3.5 Derived terms
  • 1.3.6 Related terms
  • 1.3.7 Descendants
  • 1.3.8 Translations
  • 2.1 Etymology
  • 2.2 Pronunciation
  • 2.4 Further reading
  • 3.1 Etymology
  • 4.1 Etymology
  • 4.2.1 Declension

English [ edit ]

catamaran meaning and origin

Etymology [ edit ]

From Tamil கட்டுமரம் ( kaṭṭumaram ) , from கட்டு ( kaṭṭu , “ to tie ” ) +‎ மரம் ( maram , “ tree, wood ” ) .

Pronunciation [ edit ]

  • ( UK ) IPA ( key ) : /ˌkæ.tə.məˈɹæn/ , /ˈkæ.tə.məˌɹæn/
  • ( Canada , US ) IPA ( key ) : /ˈkæ.tə.məˌɹæn/ , /ˌkæ.tə.məˈɹæn/

Noun [ edit ]

catamaran ( plural catamarans )

  • 1838 , [Letitia Elizabeth] Landon (indicated as editor), chapter XV, in Duty and Inclination:   [ … ] , volume II, London: Henry Colburn ,   [ … ] , →OCLC , page 218 : Swift over the seas the vessel drives; Madras appears in sight. The first object catching the eye, upon the anchor being cast, was an Indian upon his catamaran , who, making a sudden motion, sprung to the side of the ship, grappled there for a moment, and the next was on the deck.
  • 1889 , William Makepeace Thackeray, Hobson's Choice : She meddles with my prescriptions for your wife; she doctors the infant in private: you'll never have a quiet house or a quiet wife as long as that old Catamaran is here.
  • 1808–10 , William Hickey , Memoirs of a Georgian Rake , Folio Society 1995, p. 90: Three or four strange-looking things now came close to our boat, which I understood were called ‘ catamarans ’, consisting of nothing more than two or three large trees, the trunk part only strongly lashed together, upon which sat two men nearly in a state of nature [ … ] .
  • ( obsolete ) An old kind of fireship .

Synonyms [ edit ]

  • ( twin-hulled ship or boat ) : twinhull

Hypernyms [ edit ]

  • ( twin-hulled ship or boat ) : multihull

Hyponyms [ edit ]

  • ( twin-hulled ship or boat ) : AC45 , AC72

Coordinate terms [ edit ]

  • outrigger canoe

Derived terms [ edit ]

  • cat ( diminutive )

Related terms [ edit ]

Descendants [ edit ].

  • → Portuguese: catamarã

Translations [ edit ]

French [ edit ].

From Tamil கட்டு ( kaṭṭu , “ to tie ” ) +‎ மரம் ( maram , “ tree, wood ” ) .

  • IPA ( key ) : /ʁɑ̃/
  • Homophone : catamarans

catamaran   m ( plural catamarans )

  • catamaran , a twinhulled ship or boat

Further reading [ edit ]

  • “ catamaran ”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [ Digitized Treasury of the French Language ] , 2012 .

Norman [ edit ]

Borrowed from English catamaran , from Tamil .

  • ( Jersey ) catamaran

Romanian [ edit ]

Borrowed from French catamaran .

catamaran   n ( plural catamarane )

Declension [ edit ]

catamaran meaning and origin

  • English terms borrowed from Tamil
  • English terms derived from Tamil
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catamaran verb

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What does the verb catamaran mean?

There is one meaning in OED's entry for the verb catamaran . See ‘Meaning & use’ for definition, usage, and quotation evidence.

Entry status

OED is undergoing a continuous programme of revision to modernize and improve definitions. This entry has not yet been fully revised.

How common is the verb catamaran ?

How is the verb catamaran pronounced, british english, u.s. english, where does the verb catamaran come from.

Earliest known use

The earliest known use of the verb catamaran is in the 1820s.

OED's only evidence for catamaran is from 1820, in the writing of Henry Matthews, judge and traveller.

It is also recorded as a noun from the late 1600s.

catamaran is formed within English, by conversion.

Etymons: catamaran n.

Nearby entries

  • catalysor, n. 1901–
  • catalysotype, n. 1853–
  • catalyst, n. 1902–
  • catalytic, adj. & n. 1836–
  • catalytical, adj. 1889–
  • catalytically, adv. 1845–
  • catalytic converter, n. 1955–
  • catalytic cracker, n. 1951–
  • catalytic cracking, n. 1927–
  • catamaran, n. 1697–
  • catamaran, v. 1820–
  • catamenia, n. 1764–
  • catamenial, adj. 1851–
  • catamidiate, v. 1656
  • catamite, n. ?1552–
  • catamited, adj. 1697
  • catamiting, adj. a1641–
  • catamount, n. 1664–
  • catamountain | cat o' mountain, n. ?a1475–
  • catanadromous, adj. 1753
  • catananche, n. 1798–

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catamaran, v. was first published in 1889; not yet revised.

catamaran, v. was last modified in September 2023.

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Father's Day took longer to catch on than Mother's Day. The history behind the June holiday

catamaran meaning and origin

We celebrated the mothers and mother figures in our life this past weekend. Soon it will be time to celebrate the fathers.

Like Mother's Day, Father's Day started off as a local tradition that soon blossomed into the holiday that we know now. But there is a tragic reason that the first known Father's Day actually occurred in the United States.

The first known Father’s Day service occurred in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908. It was to honor the hundreds of men that died in the worst mining accident in U.S. history, according to the Farmer's Almanac . The event was for the local community to come together after the incident and didn't become an annual event.

It would be decades until it became an official holiday celebrating and honoring all those with the moniker of father.

Which came first Mother's Day or Father's Day?

Mother's Day did.

The first Mother's Day celebration happened in a Methodist church in Grafton, W. Va., also in 1908 thanks to Anna Jarvis. It wasn't officially recognized as a holiday in the rest of the U.S until 1914, according to

Who came up with Father's Day?

Father's Day had several incarnations before becoming an official holiday like Mother's Day.

The first known event in West Virginia in 1908 was proposed by Grace Golden Clayton. A year later, on the opposite side of the country Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, proposed the idea of a day to honor the fathers of the community after being inspired by Jarvis and her single father who raised her and five brothers after her mother died in child birth, according to the Farmer's Almanac.

The 27 year old's idea also led us to celebrate Father's Day in June.

The first, widely publicized, Father's Day event happened on June 19, 1910. It was a hit and led to the question of; should Father's Day be a recognized U.S. holiday?

It wouldn't happen until Dodd was in her 90s.

When did Father's Day become a holiday?

Fathers didn't have their own official holiday until 1972. You may be wondering why it took so long for Father's Day to become holiday and it's because many men didn't want it, according to the Farmer's Almanac.

For the first half of the 20th century, men played a different role in the family. It was felt by many men, in the patriarchal society, that a special day to exalt fatherhood was a "silly" idea, when it was the mothers who were underappreciated, according to Lawrence R. Samuel, the author of"American Fatherhood: A Cultural History".

In 1913, President Woodrow Wilson tried to have Father's Day become a holiday, but it failed to pass through congress. Eight years later, President Calvin Coolidge signed a resolution “to establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.”

But as times changed and the role of a father, so did the notion of having a holiday.

More than 40 years after Coolidge's resolution, an executive order was signed by then President Lydon Johnson that had Father's Day celebrated on the third Sunday in June. Congress didn't make it a national holiday until 1972.

When is Father's Day USA 2024?

Father's Day is the third Sunday of June every year. This year it will be, June 16, 2024.

What are the colors of the Lesbian Pride Flag? Get to know variations of the Pride Flag

catamaran meaning and origin

In the LGBTQ+ community, there are many flags that signify pride . From the Rainbow Pride Flag to the individual sexual orientation Pride flags, there are various and unique symbols representing the joy, pride and persistence of the LGBTQIA individuals.

According to a  2023 Gallup poll , 7.6% of U.S. adults self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or something other than heterosexual. In the last 11 years, this statistic has increased by 4.1%. Today, over 20% of  Gen Z  adults – those between the ages of  18 to 26  – identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community, Gallup reports.

Whether you identify with the community or want to learn more, here is what to know about the Lesbian Pride Flag from its history to the meaning of its colors. 

What are the colors of the Lesbian Pride Flag?

There is no single, official lesbian flag; there are several  which represent the lesbian community. The most widely accepted is the "Orange-Pink" Lesbian Flag. 

In 2018, a new flag was created featuring a seven-stripe layout with colors ranging from orange to pink. The colors represent : 

  • Dark orange: gender non-conformity
  • Orange: independence
  • Light orange: community 
  • White: unique relationships to womanhood
  • Pink: serenity and peace
  • Dusty pink: love and sex
  • Dark rose: femininity

LGBTQ Pride flags go beyond the classic rainbow. Here's what each one means

History of the Lesbian Pride Flag

Throughout history, there have been many iterations of the lesbian flag.

The  Labrys Lesbian Flag was created in 1999 by Sean Campbell. It features a white labrys in an inverted black triangle on a purple backdrop. In the 1970s, the labrys was adopted by the lesbian feminist community as a symbol of empowerment. The usage of the inverted black triangle reclaimed the symbol once used by Nazi Germany to identify lesbian women in concentration camps. 

The " Lipstick Lesbian " Flag was created by Natalie McCray, who posted it on the blog "This Lesbian Life" in 2010. The flag features six shades ranging from pink to red with a white stripe in the center. The original "lipstick lesbian" flag also featured a kiss on the top left corner, but the non-kiss version was more frequently used.

While some still use this version of the lesbian flag, others oppose it. McCray's blog, which is now deleted, contained racist, biphobic and transphobic statements, leading many to stop using the flag. "Lipstick lesbian" is also a derogatory term within the community. 

The " Orange-Pink " Lesbian Flag was created in 2018 by Tumblr blogger Emily Gwen. It initially had seven stripes but a five-stripe version was later introduced, featuring the colors: dark orange, light orange, white, pink and dark rose.

When is Pride Month 2024? How the celebration of LGBTQ+ identities came to be.

More Pride Flags explained

Pride Flag |  Progress Pride Flag | Transgender Pride Flag | Bisexual Pride Flag | Pansexual Pride Flag | Asexual Pride Flag | Intersex Pride Flag | Gender Identity Flags

Just Curious for more? We've got you covered

USA TODAY is exploring the questions you and others ask every day. From " What are the colors of the Intersex Pride flag? " to " When was gay marriage legalized in the U.S.? " to " What does deadnaming mean? " − we're striving to find answers to the most common questions you ask every day. Head to our  Just Curious section  to see what else we can answer.

catamaran meaning and origin

What is the meaning of the word 'eclipse'? Here is its origin ahead of April 8 event.

Where does a solar eclipse get its name? Why is it called an "eclipse"?

As Michiganders prepare for the viewing of the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024 - which is crossing a large swath of the United States, including a small sliver of southeast Michigan - let's delve into the etymology of the word "eclipse."

Why is it called an 'eclipse'?

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

The term "eclipse" traces its roots to the Latin  “eclipsis,”  drawn from the Greek  “ekleipsis.”  That Greek noun is related to the verb  “ekleipein,”  consisting of  “ek”  (meaning “from”) and  “leipein”  (meaning “to leave”). So literally,  eclipse  means “to fail to appear” or “to abandon an accustomed place.”

The sun and moon are hidden from sight in lunar and solar eclipses.

More: Detroit's last total solar eclipse was more than 200 years ago: What the city was like then

The Greeks built on Babylonian astronomy to make their observations of eclipses, and the word  “ekleipsis”  appears as early as the fifth century B.C. in Thucydides’s history of the Peloponnesian War, according to the Wall Street Journal .

The noun and verb “eclipse” came to be used more metaphorically by the late 16th century, to describe someone or something being surpassed or overshadowed.

In other customs, early writings show evidence of people trying to make sense of eclipses around the world. In Chinese the term for eclipse is "shi," which translates to "eat," and correlates with the mythological explanation of a dragon eating the sun.

Eclipses also have inspired fear and awe among civilizations throughout history , from the Aztecs to the ancient Hindus. They're also associated with some major religious events, including the darkness that accompanied Jesus’ crucifixion in Christianity and, in Islam, the passing of the Prophet Muhammad’s son, Ibrahim.

What is a solar eclipse?

Solar eclipses occur when the moon passes directly between the sun and Earth’s orbits , creating an eclipse of Earth’s view of the sun.

The path of totality is the predicted path of the eclipse from Mexico, through the U.S. across Texas and North America to the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The expected duration of totality is around 4 hours, starting around 11:07 a.m. PDT and ending around 5:16 NDT.

States  in the path of totality  for the 2024 solar eclipse include Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

In Michigan, a small sliver of southeast Monroe County is in the path of totality, meaning the sky will get dark as the moon crosses the sun.

USA TODAY contributed.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: What is the meaning of the word 'eclipse'? Here is its origin ahead of April 8 event.

A photo on a banner of a total eclipse of the sun is pictured during the Super Solar Eclipse Saturday program at the Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, March 23, 2024.

Orcas have sunk another vessel off the European coast. Why won't they stop ramming boats?

Ocean Race

The orcas are at it again: for the seventh time in four years, a pod of whales has sunk a boat after ramming it in Moroccan waters off the Strait of Gibraltar. 

The 15 metre-long yacht Alborán Cognac, which carried two people, encountered the highly social apex predators at 9am local time on Sunday, Spain's maritime rescue service said.

The passengers reported feeling sudden blows to the hull and rudder before water started to seep into the sailboat. It is not known how many orcas were involved.

After alerting rescue services, a nearby oil tanker took them onboard and carried them to Gibraltar, a British overseas territory on Spain's southern coast.

Nothing could be done to save the sailboat, which drifted and eventually sank. 

It's the latest incident in what has become a trend of hundreds of interactions between orcas and boats since the "disruptive behaviour" was first reported in the region in May 2020. 

The origin of this new behaviour has baffled scientists, though the leading theory suggests this "social fad" began as a playful manifestation of the whales' curiosity.

Where have orcas interacted with boats?

The latest data from the Atlantic Orca Working Group (GTOA), an organisation that contributes to the animals' conservation and management, shows that there have been at least 673 interactions since 2020. 

GTOA defines interactions as instances when orcas react to the presence of approaching boats with or without physical contact. 

The map below shows the highest numbers of encounters from April to May 2024 took place off Spain's southern coast in the Strait of Gibraltar (red zones), with some lesser activity in surrounding areas (yellow zones). 

Orca encounters

A 2022 peer-reviewed study published in the Marine Mammal Science journal found the orcas in these areas preferred interacting with sailboats — both monohulls (72 per cent) and catamarans (14 per cent) — with an average length of 12 metres.

A clear pattern emerged of orcas striking their rudders, while sometimes also scraping the hulls with their teeth. Such attacks often snapped the rudder, leaving the boat unable to navigate.

"The animals bumped, pushed and turned the boats," the authors of the report said. 

Adding this week's encounter, there have been seven reported cases of orcas damaging a boat so badly that it has sunk, though the people onboard were rescued safely each time.

In June 2023, a run-in with the giant mammals in the Strait of Gibraltar forced the crew competing in The Ocean Race to drop its sails and raise a clatter in an attempt to scare the approaching orcas off. 

No-one was injured, but Team JAJO skipper Jelmer van Beek said that it had been a "scary moment".

"Three orcas came straight at us and started hitting the rudders," he said.

"Impressive to see the orcas, beautiful animals, but also a dangerous moment for us as a team ... Luckily, after a few attacks, they went away."

After analysing 179 videos and photos of these types of interactions, which lasted on average 40 minutes, researchers concluded there was no reason to classify the events as intentionally hostile behaviour.

"The behaviour of orcas when interacting with boats is not identified as aggressive," they said.

"One of their main motivations has been identified as competition with boats for speed."

Still, the researchers of the study admitted they were not sure what triggered the novel behaviour in 2020.

"We are not yet certain what the origin of these interactions is, but it is still suspected that it could be a curious and playful behaviour," they wrote.

"[The behaviour] could be self-induced, or on the other hand it could be a behaviour induced by an aversive incident and therefore a precautionary behaviour."

Are the same orcas responsible for these incidents?

Out of around 49 orcas living in the Strait of Gibraltar, GTOA researchers found a total of 15 whales  from at least three different communities participated in the unusual interactions with boats between 2020 and 2022.

Most of those that engaged with greater intensity were juveniles, though it's unclear if others have since joined the group.

These giant mammals, which belong to the dolphin family, can measure up to eight metres and weigh up to six tonnes as adults.

The director of the Orca Behaviour Institute, Monika Wieland Shields, has said there is no evidence to prove the theory these whales were seeking vengeance against humans for a past trauma.

"While I'm sure it feels like an attack for the people on board, for the whales themselves, it really looks more like play behaviour," she said.

"There's something intriguing or entertaining to them about this [boat rudder] mechanism and they're just showing a lot of curiosity about it."

Ms Wieland said it's likely this new behaviour spread through the population as a kind of "social fad".

"Orcas are highly intelligent, very social animals, and with that comes a tendency to be curious about and explore your environment," she said.

"One thing that we see are these kind of fad behaviours that will appear in a certain population.

"One whale discovers something, they find it entertaining or interesting, or fun — it's some type of game. And then they will teach that to other members of their family group."

Are orcas dangerous to humans?

While orcas have earned their fearsome reputation for preying on other marine animals, there is no record of them killing humans in the wild. 

In captivity, orcas have killed four people since the 1990s, though it's unclear whether the deaths were accidental or deliberate attempts to cause harm.  

Ms Shields said she was worried the recent interactions between orcas and boats would skew people's perceptions of these mammals.

"I am concerned that people are going to react with fear, potentially injure or shoot at some of these whales," Ms Shields said.

"We really need to educate boaters about the best things that they can do to make themselves less attractive to the whales and the best case scenario would be the whales lose interest in this and move onto something less destructive."

Spain's Transport Ministry advises that whenever boats observe any changes in the behaviour of orcas — such as in their direction or speed — they should leave the area as soon as possible and avoid further disturbance to the animals.

The ministry also states every interaction between a ship and an orca must be reported to authorities.

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Definition of catamaran noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

catamaran meaning and origin

‘It’s deeper than slavery’: Lisbon street project reclaims Portugal’s unseen black history

Plaques in city now mark the places where its African community has lived, worked and transformed the city

I t takes just a short stroll around Lisbon’s Sâo Domingos church to get a sense of its centuries-long history; a monument bearing the Star of David commemorates the thousands of Jews killed by a mob in 1506, while the church’s scorched pillars hint at the 1959 fire that ravaged its interior, laying waste its gilded woodcarvings.

What has long remained hidden from view, however, is the church’s deep connection to the city’s African population, as the seat of a 16th-century black religious brotherhood.

Since the start of the year, the Batoto Yetu association, a Swahili name meaning “our children”, has been working to change this, installing a series of 20 plaques across Lisbon that aim to reclaim the city’s African history.

“This is Portuguese history,” said Djuzé Neves of Batoto Yetu, as he pointed to the small, ivory-coloured plaque near the church that tells of the black brotherhood and its efforts to advance the rights of black people in Lisbon. “This is history that has been erased, silenced, ignored and whitewashed.”

Believed to be one of the first projects of its kind in Europe , the plaques offer a glimpse into the mark left by a community whose presence in the city stretches back centuries.

A pale-coloured plaque embedded in stonework with the title Cais do Sodré and a long paragraph of text in Portugurese beneath

“It’s deeper than just a focus on slavery,” said Neves. The plaques cover about 500 years of history, offering a tangible record of a community that included enslaved and free people. Some were pioneering doctors and journalists, while others had technical skills useful in the local shipbuilding industry. Others kept the city going with door-to-door sales of everything from food to coal.

In Terreiro do Paço, today a tourist-filled plaza facing the city’s harbour, a plaque marks the place where many enslaved Africans first set foot in the city.

It’s a starting point that speaks to the singular challenges that the community faced, according to historian Isabel Castro Henriques, who was a consultant on the project. “These men, women and children came stripped of everything, treated as merchandise and were dehumanised constantly and continuously,” she said. Despite all of this, they soon became part of the city’s rich fabric, whether through work, the Catholic church or participation in cultural events.

At the Terreiro do Pelourinho Velho, or Old Pillory Square, a plaque tells how it was once home to a 16th-century marketplace where enslaved people were sold, while another in the trendy Cais do Sodré neighbourhood notes that as much as 10% of the city’s population was enslaved in the mid-1500s.

In the central square of Rossio, tourists mill around a plaque that marks the spot as a longstanding meeting place for people of African descent, who would congregate in the plaza to sell their wares and skills.

For Batoto Yetu, a cultural organisation focused on youth, the project was partly aimed at fostering a better sense of belonging among Lisbon’s sizeable population of African descent. “The idea is to show that we are not just here because my parents migrated from Santiago, Cape Verde. We are here because this is our place, we were here,” said Neves. “And to show that we didn’t come as empty avatars: we brought knowledge.”

Djuzé Neves poses for a picture in a yellow hoodie

After years of offering tours that delved into this history, association members began brainstorming about how to reach more people. They decided on a citywide installation of plaques, allowing them to directly challenge how Portuguese history – including colonialism and slavery – had remembered centuries of black lives in the city. “We didn’t learn anything about any of this in school,” said Neves.

They began pitching the idea in 2018. City officials soon signed up, helping them with some of the funding. As Batoto Yetu sketched out plans for 40 plaques – later whittled down to 20 due to costs – the pandemic took hold and elections ushered in a new mayor. As delays began to set in, the cost of the project grew, forcing the association to seek donations.

Six years after Batoto Yetu launched the idea, it has finally become a reality. “Shouldn’t we have got more help?” Neves said. “We don’t have power, we don’t have money, we don’t have the museums, resources, historians – this is not just something for Africans, this is something for everyone. This is Portuguese history.”

The project is coming to fruition as Portugal grapples with how best to confront its colonial and slave-trading past. Last month, the country’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, suggested Portugal should “pay the costs” for slavery and other colonial-era crimes, a suggestion swiftly dismissed by the country’s new centre-right coalition government.

For Henriques, the debate shows why the time is right for projects such as the plaques. “History is today giving a voice to black people, to Africans,” she said, describing it as a powerful tool to “help dispel the myths and prejudices that marked and continue to mark Portuguese society”.

With just one plaque left to install, Neves is already dreaming up other ways to make the city’s long-overlooked histories more accessible. “This is just a small contribution,” he said. “Now we need bigger goals. We need to think about concrete stuff, such as a museum or schoolbooks.”

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“Frère Jacques”: The History of the Classic Nursery Rhyme

By jane alexander | may 13, 2024.

Somebody better wake Jacques up.

The nursery rhyme “Frère Jacques,” also known as “Brother Jacques” or “Brother John” in English, tells the tale of a monk who is being summoned to ring the bells, which he seems not to have done yet because he’s still asleep. The French lyrics are:

“Frère Jacques, Frère Jacques Dormer-vous? Dormer-vous? Sonnez les matines! Sonnez les matines! Din, din, don. Din, din, don.”

While the song seems to tell a simple story, “Frère Jacques” has actually been the source of more debate over the years than you might expect, from disagreements over the most accurate translation of the lyrics to speculation over whether the central character was inspired by a real-life figure to the possibility that the true author of the music was one of the most important French composers of the 18th century. Here’s a look at the story—and some of the unanswered questions—behind the nursery rhyme we know today as “Frère Jacques.”

Who Wrote “Frère Jacques”?

The meaning of “frère jacques”, who was the real frère jacques, the influence of “frère jacques”.

The origin of the song “Frère Jacques” isn’t entirely clear. According to American Songwriter, the melody seems to have first appeared under the title “Frère Blaise” in a manuscript called “ Recueil de Timbres de Vaudevilles ” that dates back to around 1780.

Portrait Of The Composer Jean-Philippe Rameau (1683-1764). Creator: Lemoine

Research into who composed that music has identified one of the most notable 18th century composers as a candidate. In 2014, the classical music scholar Sylvie Bouisseau presented a research paper arguing that the music was written by the French composer Jean-Philippe Rameau . Among other evidence, Boisseau notes that Jacques Joseph Marie Decroix—a collector of scores who compiled a number of Rameau’s works that were given to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France— included it in a manuscript of canons and attributed the music to the composer.

In addition, Bouisseau pointed out that the first time the music appeared in print (as opposed to the handwritten form of the 1780s manuscript) was when it was published in 1811 by the Société du Caveau, a group of composers that counted Rameau as a member. This added further credibility to the idea that he may have been the composer of “Frère Jacques”; his membership would explain why the group was in possession of the music. That said, Rameau died in 1764, and the music wasn’t published until almost half a century after his death—raising the question of why the society would have kept a piece by such a renowned composer under its hat for so long.

In addition to the questions surrounding its authorship, the meaning of “Frère Jacques” has been muddled over the years thanks to translations of the lyrics from French to English.

Some early English versions of the rhyme, for example, turned Frère Jacques into Brother John . But John isn’t the direct equivalent of Jacques in English; it’s a closer match for the name Jean , with Jacques having more similarity to Jack .

The third line, “ Sonnez les matines ,” was also once translated as “Morning bells are ringing”—but that doesn’t accurately communicate the situation to which the poem is alluding. This is because matines has sometimes been mistakenly translated as a reference to “morning,” due to the word’s similarity to matin , which translates to “morning” in French. But matines actually refers to a canonical hour in Christianity which takes place in the early hours of the morning. The summons to “ring the matins” is therefore a call to ring the bells to usher in this period for prayers. A more recent English language version translates the line as “ring the matins,” which is a more accurate version of the original.

There has also been speculation about whether the title character of the nursery rhyme was inspired by a real person. Some have theorized that the real Frère Jacques was Jacques Beaulieu , a pioneering lithologist who sometimes wore a monk’s habit and referred to himself as Frère Jacques, even though he wasn’t actually a monk. He was one of the first to take a lateral approach to perineal lithotomy (a surgical operation for the removal of calcium deposits like kidney and bladder stones via the perineum) and performed around 5000 lithotomies over the course of his career. 

But a 1999 research paper into the history of the real Beaulieu didn’t find a direct connection between him and the nursery rhyme character, instead concluding that the rhyme was more likely to refer to a number of monks who were prone to oversleeping.

Whatever the truth about the origins of the rhyme, “Frère Jacques” has been influential in a number of ways.

The melody has been important to the legacy of classical music—and that would be true whether Rameau composed the music or not.  “Frère Jacques” became an inspiration to the composer Gustav Mahler, who knew it by its German name, “Bruder Martin”; he used the melody in the third movement of his Symphony No. 1.

It also has its place in music history outside of the classical genre: George Harrison and John Lennon slipped “Frère Jacques” into the Beatles’ song “Paperback Writer” (listen carefully during the third verse).

It’s in its nursery rhyme form that “Frère Jacques” is most frequently heard today, and it’s sometimes cited as a good choice to use for educational purposes. Leonard Bernstein, for example, asked the audience at one of his Young People’s Concerts to sing the rhyme as a way to illustrate how sequence can be used in composition.

A 2019 survey even suggested using “a musical mnemonic” based on the song, which, according to researchers, “can help learning and remembering of the proper [handwashing] technique.”

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  9. Catamaran

    A catamaran is a watercraft with two parallel hulls of equal size. The distance between a catamaran's hulls imparts resistance to rolling and overturning. Catamarans typically have less hull volume, smaller displacement, and shallower draft (draught) than monohulls of comparable length. The two hulls combined also often have a smaller hydrodynamic resistance than comparable monohulls ...

  10. CATAMARAN Definition & Meaning

    Catamaran definition: a vessel, usually propelled by sail, formed of two hulls or floats held side by side by a frame above them.. See examples of CATAMARAN used in a sentence.

  11. Catamaran

    History. Catamarans from Oceania and Maritime Southeast Asia became the inspiration for modern catamarans. Until the 20th century catamaran development focused primarily on sail-driven concepts. ... An outrigger is a projecting structure on a boat, with specific meaning depending on types of vessel. Outriggers may also refer to legs on a ...

  12. catamaran noun

    Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and more. ... Definition of catamaran noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's ... enlarge image. a fast sailing boat with two hulls compare trimaran Topics Transport by water c2, Sports: water sports c2. Word Origin early 17th cent.: from Tamil kaṭṭumaram ...


    CATAMARAN definition: 1. a sailing boat that has two parallel hulls (= floating parts) held together by a single deck…. Learn more.

  14. What Is a Catamaran? Things You Need to Know

    A catamaran is a boat with two hulls and a bridge between them. Catamarans can be designed as sailboats or motorboats. A catamaran stays stable since it has a wide base, it does not have a deep keel as on a monohull. Cats are known for not heeling, increased comfort, more space, and faster speeds. In this article, we will explore everything you ...


    CATAMARAN meaning: 1. a sailing boat that has two parallel hulls (= floating parts) held together by a single deck…. Learn more.

  16. Catamaran Definition & Meaning

    1 ENTRIES FOUND: catamaran (noun) catamaran /ˌkætəmə ˈ ræn/ noun. plural catamarans. Britannica Dictionary definition of CATAMARAN. [count] : a boat with two hulls — see picture at boat. CATAMARAN meaning: a boat with two hulls.

  17. catamaran

    catamaran. (n.) East Indies log raft, 1670s, from Hindi or Malayalam, from Tamil (Dravidian) kattu-maram "tied wood," from kattu "tie, binding" + maram "wood, tree." It also was used in the West Indies and South America. also from 1670s.

  18. catamaran noun

    Definition of catamaran noun in Oxford Advanced American Dictionary. Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and more.

  19. catamaran

    catamaran (plural catamarans) A twin - hulled ship or boat . Swift over the seas the vessel drives; Madras appears in sight. The first object catching the eye, upon the anchor being cast, was an Indian upon his catamaran, who, making a sudden motion, sprung to the side of the ship, grappled there for a moment, and the next was on the deck ...

  20. catamaran, n. meanings, etymology and more

    What does the noun catamaran mean? There are four meanings listed in OED's entry for the noun catamaran, one of which is labelled obsolete. See 'Meaning & use' for definitions, usage, and quotation evidence. ... Entry history for catamaran, n. catamaran, n. was first published in 1889; not yet revised.

  21. catamaran, v. meanings, etymology and more

    The earliest known use of the verb catamaran is in the 1820s. OED's only evidence for catamaran is from 1820, in the writing of Henry Matthews, judge and traveller. It is also recorded as a noun from the late 1600s. catamaran is formed within English, by conversion. Etymons: catamaran n.

  22. Kattumaram

    The term "kattumaram" is also the origin of the English word "catamaran", which later evolved to mean the unrelated double-hulled outrigger boats of the Austronesian peoples. Etymology. The English word "catamaran" is derived from the Tamil word, kattumaram (கட்டுமரம்), which means "logs bound together".

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    History of the Lesbian Pride Flag. Throughout history, there have been many iterations of the lesbian flag. The Labrys Lesbian Flag was created in 1999 by Sean Campbell. It features a white labrys ...

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    A group of at least 15 orcas off the coast of Spain have sunk seven boats over the past four years. The origin of this new behaviour has baffled scientists, though the leading theory suggests they ...

  27. catamaran noun

    Meaning, pronunciation, picture, example sentences, grammar, usage notes, synonyms and more. ... Definition of catamaran noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's ... a fast sailing boat with two hulls compare trimaran Topics Transport by water c2, Sports: water sports c2. Word Origin early 17th cent.: from Tamil kaṭṭumaram, literally 'tied ...

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