Many yacht enthusiasts will tell you that they are asked this question time and time again: is a catamaran (or multi-hull yacht) superior to a mono-hull? What are the major differences? As yacht enthusiasts ourselves, we thought we would break it down for you! Whether you are buying a yacht, or deciding to charter one, here are the Qualities of a Catamaran Yacht.
Because of its multiple hulls, catamarans (and trimarans) have incredible stability. Whether the yacht is anchored or sailing, catamarans rarely roll around and they do not heel under way.
This stability makes catamarans the ideal yachts for first time sailors, elderly people, children, and those prone to sea-sickness.
Catamarans are typically 25-30% faster than mono-hulls of the same size. In addition, Trimarans can double the sailing speed of most mono-hulls. Furthermore, Catamarans have more maneuverability than mono-hulls due to their 2 engines being spread apart.
Catamarans are much roomier than the other mono-hulls of the same size mainly because of their cockpit space, fly-bridge, deck space and below deck space. Catamarans rarely feel crowded since there is ample headroom almost everywhere on board.
Catamarans and their multi-hulled yacht counterparts have incredible stability due to their beam and the extra hulls. Because of this, they have no need for a ballast or a substantial keel, which reduces their weight significantly. This makes them much lighter as compared to the mono-hulls, allowing catamarans to explore shallow waters. Most catamarans can be beached or dried out at low tide.
Catamarans are ALMOST unsinkable. Because they are so stable, harsh weather doesn’t affect it as much as it would affect a mono-hull.
While having ample space may be a luxurious trait, finding a spot for the catamaran might be an issue. For hard-core sailors, skippering a catamaran does not give the ‘real’ feel of sailing due to its large size. You don’t feel the boat driving through the waves in the same way that you would with a monohull.
Catamarans do not sail well upwind and need a different technique for tacking and anchoring.
Anchoring a catamaran can be a little more complex. This is due to the fact that catamarans have more “windage” than monohulls, and, without keel and ballast, they have a tendency to “bob” on the water whenever a gust hits.
Catamarans do seem like they have more PROS than CONS, but it all depends on what kind of yacht experience you’re looking for overall. For new timers, we would definitely suggest chartering a catamaran!