Pros and Cons of Catamarans.
What are the advantages and the downsides of a catamaran?
A traditional sailboat is a monohull–in other words, it has only one hull centered around a heavy keel. A catamaran is balanced on two hulls, with the sails in the middle. It’s as simple as that. Depending on the size of the boat, the space separating the two hulls might be filled by a cockpit, a main cabin, and usually some netting (which can be a great place for relaxing in the sun).
Why are Catamarans Popular?
Size and stability are the main factors. With two hulls and the space in between, there tends to be more room on a catamaran, both above and below decks. Vacationers chartering a boat love cats for this reason. There’s space for a lot of people and a lot of stuff. Additionally, the stability offered by having two hulls means that the boat doesn’t heel like a monohull–it stays pretty much level. This means the sailing experience is less tiring, as you aren’t battling gravity. Catamarans don’t need as much water underneath them, so you can sail in shallower places than a monohull, and in your anchorage at night you won’t roll around. There’s also a bit more privacy for those onboard, as the two hulls are completely separate from one another.
Spacious & Stable
Catamarans are very spacious and stable just like a houseboat, so they make great vessels for a vacation or even for those who want to live on a boat.
Safety! Catamarans are safe for cruising and even safe for those adventurous people who want to cross the ocean. In fact, catamarans are often much safer than similarly sized yachts. Safety comes from increased motion comfort, great stability, speed, and excess buoyancy due to lack of ballast. Catamarans are good even in rough water.
Inside and outside steer
Captains have the option to steer from the inside during bad weather or when the water conditions are less than ideal.
Withstand high winds
If you are worried about windy weather, catamarans are also known for their excellent ability to withstand high winds.
Catamarans rely on the buoyancy of their two hulls as opposed to yachts, that only have a single hull. They can be in shallower water without losing stability or the ability to navigate. Yachts rely on a deeper draft to ensure the performance of the boat.
Less fuel? Yes, catamarans have less resistance to get on plane, which results in fuel economy. Their speed rises steadily and there is little to no spikes in fuel consumption.
For their popularity and comfort, catamarans are usually sold faster and have smaller losses in price in relative terms.
Stability for some is a no go!
For those that are into sailing sports, Catamaran yachts are not the most suitable. Why? Well, for the same reasons that make them great houseboats, stability. For that reason, half of the yachtsmen would never buy them.
Marinas can also be more expensive due to the width of the boat. Some yacht clubs may not even be suitable for catamarans.
More expensive to own and to charter. The fact that they are becoming more popular adds to the equation.
The services can also be more expensive. Remember, there are two engines instead of just one.
If there is too much sail exposed to the wind and the force of the wind is greater than the weight of the boat … wow… there it goes. The boat will literally trip sideways over the downwind side hull, capsizing. This can happen to small and large cats alike.