The Catamaran

Space, Separation and Sailing on the Level


Kids and adults, crew and guests – everybody needs their own space at times. The “square” footprint of a catamaran provides roughly equally sized cabins with ensuite bathrooms, located at each end of two hulls, separated by a broad saloon on the bridgedeck. The helm station is separated from the cockpit table and you can step aboard from either hull. The chef, paid or voluntary, has an unimpeded area in which to create small culinary miracles.


Compare this to a monohull. Firstly the hull shape provides imbalanced cabin accommodation


The narrower beam means you need a central passageway from stern to forecabin from which to access all areas of the boat. This corridor is impeded by the dining areas, the sailing controls and the galley. The space of a catamaran is obvious, but it’s the possibility for even a full capacity crew to move unimpeded through the boat and this separation of the functional areas that make such a huge contribution to your sailing enjoyment.


Cruising catamarans sail upright. This simple fact translates as a huge increase in enjoyment for everyone on board. Here’s how:

  • Move around the vessel in safety under sail (as an added bonus, most catamaran booms are a well above head height at cockpit and side deck level)
  • Prepare meals and drinks under way – catamaran stoves don’t have gimbals.
  • A much reduced incidence of seasickness among those so inclined: partly from the reduced rolling motion, partly as a result of the clear view of the horizon from the saloon. For those who suffer when they “go below” on a monohull, this freedom to enjoy the interior of the boat under way is quite a revelation!
  • Less tiring or inhibiting on long upwind passages: you don’t need to sit in a row on the windward side for hour after hour – just get up and go for a walk whenever the mood takes you.
  • Easier and safer sail and winch handling
  • No rolling at anchor.


What do I get from my charter catamaran?

Charter catamarans as small as 40′ in length will typically comprise four double cabins, two but sometimes four bathrooms, a galley and dining table inside, a kitchen area, one or two fridges, dining space for roughly six inside and out, a steering position that doesn’t conflict with the relaxation area and a huge sunbathing area forward. At the stern there will far larger tender than you would typically see on a monohull, easily launched and recovered from the davits.

Go up in size to 45′ and typically all the cabins have their own bathrooms. More comfort features start to appear, such as forward cockpits and raised steering platforms, icemakers, cockpit fridges and generally increased stowage capacity for luggage and provisions. Naturally, a larger the boat will sail faster and the motion will be smoother under way.

From 50′ or so, on-board luxury steps up to another level: room for up to 6 cabins, wet bars, separated galley and crew areas, upper “flybridge” decks and island beds in the cabins. 50’is generally the upper limit for a bareboat charter.

At roughly 55′ and above, while the number of cabins won’t necessarily increase, the feeling of space will increase dramatically and so will the general level of fit and finish: more luxurious wood and upholstery, sophisticated navigation and hi-fi systems, high-performance tenders and other guest “toys”. All yachts of this size and above will have a professional crew of two or more.

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