While catamarans are a relatively recent introduction to the sailing community for recreation and sporting uses, their history dates well back to before records were made. There is evidence of fishing tribes in India and Polynesia using a catamaran type boat (hybrids of these are still used today).
In the sailing community catamarans have received mixed reviews. There are those that support the concept and recognize the increase in stability and speed. On the other hand, many sailors feel the design is too different from a traditional mono hull boat and don’t like the fact that geometrics rather than weight are used to make the boat operate.
For those wanting to charter a yacht, a catamaran represents a great opportunity. Below the specific pros and cons of catamarans are discussed along with options of where to charter catamarans from.
The benefits of catamarans are as follows:
Stability: The twin hull provides a comfortable and stable deck environment when you are docked. If you spend a considerable amount of time sleeping on your boat then this is very beneficial.
Level sailing: The average sail boat heels between 35 and 45 degrees. A catamaran on the other hand heels between 5 and 10 degrees. This means you have a far more comfortable ride, and activities such as cooking and reading are on less of an angle and a lot easier. What’s more you don’t have to pack everything away at the start of the day.
Cruising in shallow water: As mono hull boats have a deep keel it is very difficult to cruise in shallow water. There are 1000s of examples on the Internet of what happens when things go wrong in shallow water. A Catamaran on the other hand has a shallow keel which enables easy cruising in shallow water.
View from the bridge deck: A lot of sailors overlook this benefit. On a normal sailing boat you are often down quite low and have a limited vantage point; on a catamaran the deck is high and you have a 360 degree view. This is great from both a sight-seeing and a safety point of view (you can see boats and objects in all directions).
Space: Another great benefit is space. On a traditional mono hull boat things are cramped. A catamaran on the other hand has a wide deck and a lot of space to sit and relax in the cabin. This is a particular benefit if you have a large number of people on the boat. The larger amount of space also increases privacy if you have different families or business guests on your boat. Who says you can’t buy privacy!
Safety: one of the most important benefits of a catamaran is safety. Many commentators state that catamarans don’t sink. We won’t make this bold statement, but we will say that they are a lot harder to sink, and also it is very rare that someone is thrown overboard. If you value safety on a boat then a catamaran is for you.
Speed: As a general rule racing cats are a lot faster than mono hull boats. There is no better feeling than passing another sailing boat…even when they have their engine running. This is itself converts many sailors.
While there are a range of positives for sailing a catamaran over a traditional mono hull sailing boat, there are several problems and limitations. The main problems are listed below:
Different sailing: A catamaran doesn’t give you the real feeling of sailing in the same way as a mono hull boat does. Many hardcore sailors argue that it feels like sailing a house boat!
Docking space: A catamaran takes up significant more docking space than a regular sail boat. This has the potential to limit the areas where you can dock. If you are taking a trip it pays to work out where you can dock beforehand. This has the potential to save you headaches when you are out on the water.
As can be seen from above there are a range of pros and cons for sailing or chartering a Catamaran. At the end of the day it is up to personal choice and where an individual would like to travel. If you like comfort, space and speed then a catamaran is for you. If you prefer to feel like a real sailor and hang over the edge of the deck on a 35 degree angle, then a mono hull sailing boat would better suit. At the very least, a catamaran offers a great holiday that mixes adventure with comfort. What’s more it is suitable for the whole family!
Where to lease or hire
Depending on where you are traveling there are a range of options for where you can charter a catamaran eg Croatia, Greece, Mediterranean, Caribbean, Thailand and elsewhere. You can go online, visit Navis Yacht Charter company website and organize a boat that suits. This will allow you time to organize appropriate training and licenses as required.
While the modern design of a catamaran is a relatively new invention, the concept has been around for centuries. While not popular with many of the hardcore traditional mono hull sailors, they offer space, comfort and a chance to explore shallow waters like reefs and inlets. In addition, they offer a smooth and comfortable ride which may be better suited to people who aren’t used to being on the sea.
As holidays go, chartering a sailing boat (in particular a catamaran) is one of the best. You can mix adventure, with relaxation and comfort, and can tailor the holiday and destinations to match in with your specific needs and requirements. See you out on the ocean!