One question many people ask is why they should choose to be sailing with a catamaran. Even many experienced sailors wonder if they should make the leap from their classic monohulls to the exciting world of catamarans. So, let’s start off by answering some common questions before we give the verdict.
Are catamarans safe?
First of all, while a catamaran that is holed may swamp, feel secure in the idea that it rarely sinks. Add to this the fact that catamarans generally have two engines and two rudders, and it’s easy to understand why they are safer than the one engine and one rudder monohull alternatives.
Are they fast?
This one depends of course on its size and design, its sails and how heavily it is loaded. To start off, if someone were to compare a cat with a monohull, it’s important to choose boats of similar length and performance pedigree. That being said, experience dictates that you can expect when sailing with a catamaran to be 20-30% faster than with a monohull. We should also mention the stability that catamarans provide, since they have two hulls. That means that you may not even need to keep your mainsail up, in order to be stable. To top it all off, the two engines provide unparalleled control while docking.
What about sailing windward?
Well, here is the main drawback of the catamarans compared to monohulls. Their performance windward seems to be worse than their counterparts. However, that depends and they generally don’t fall short by a lot. The question is, given that most sailing routes are downwinders, how much windward ability is really needed?
How is the motion aboard a catamaran?
For the monohull sailors out there the motion certainly feels different. The catamaran moves quick and has motions of small amplitude. That can save your coffee from being spilled dear sailor ;). Not to mention the excellent downwind feel, that’s unbelievably smooth. However, don’t imagine that sailing has become the breezest ride ever. You can of course get seasick, especially when sailing too fast. In that case, slowing a bit down can work wonders. The only downside catamarans have, is that belowdeck they are noisier than monohulls, due to the water passing through two hulls instead of one.
What payload they can carry.
Catamarans have more space available than monohulls, however you should be careful. Pack too much and you will lose the unbelievable speeds catamarans offer. You still be faster than a monohull though :P.
Let’s talk capsize
The stability of catamarans is unparalleled. We said it before and we say it again, you have to experience it firsthand to really believe it. They beat monohulls each time without fail.
How is anchor for catamarans?
Considering most boats spend 98% of their time(approximately :P) at anchor, that’s a great question to ask. I don’t want to bore you with the details, but anchor is simply one of their biggest advantages. As well as that, catamarans have a really safe and convenient spot for hoisting and stowing the ship’s tender. Also, their tender to boat access is superior to that of monohulls.
The most important equipment for a catamaran?
That would probably be the sails. Equip your cat with high quality material sails and it will sail according to its design’s intentions.
The Verdict: Sailing with a catamaran or a monohull?
So, the biggest question is, after sailing with a catamaran would we go back to sailing with a monohull? Absolutely not, and i believe most sailors would also tell you the same. Forget the sailors of the previous decade, who worship monohulls in a prejudiced way. With a catamaran you can sail fast and safe, all with the comforts of your own living room. Let’s open our minds and understand the superiority of catamarans and the new way of sailing!