Following our readers' question in December's issue about the suitability of catamarans for world cruising, Dick Durham investigates. He spoke to three experienced sailors about their opinions and stories.
Cheered on by sailing books such asTaube, by Robin Lee Graham,Siren songs, by Ernest K. Gann and theHorn blowersStories, the student Charlie taught himself to sail. He learned the ropes in an 11-foot Sea Snark, a cheap styrofoam dayboat with lateen sails, off the coast of Maine.
Since then he has made seven transatlantic crossings and completed nearly 100,000 miles of ocean sailing, including multiple single-handed passages between the West Indies, Bermuda and the US East Coast.
He is married to a barrister, Clare O'Brien, from County Kerry, Ireland. "When we got married, she didn't take a slave name," jokes Charlie.
They have two daughters, Lucy, 15, and Una, 21.
Charlie now owns a Boreal 47,Craziness, which he and his wife sailed home from France in the spring of 2017.
His previous cruising boats included a Tanton 39, a Golden Hind 31 and a Pearson Alberg 35 Yawl.
He is the cruising editor of America's Sail magazine and has written on marine topics for The New York Times, Yachting Monthly and Yachting World.
Charlie Doane's story
Sail magazine cruise editor Charlie Doane, with whom I had the privilege to sail, tells Ocean Sailor about the only time he has left a yacht. He was flown by a broken down $400,000 catamaran on her maiden voyage in inclement weather. In 50 years of ocean sailing, it was the only time Charlie, 63, had to radio for help.
Be good too, was the first catamaran Alpha 42, designed by Marc Anassis and Gregor Tarjan. Her launch date was delayed and her new owners, a married couple, wanted to be in the Caribbean by January 2014, so she was put into service during a bitterly cold winter, even the ice had to be broken before she could leave the ship in Jersey City Marina in the Port of New York.
Charlie accompanied professional skipper Hank Schmitt and owners Gunther and Doris Rodatz for the delivery trip to St. John, US Virgin Islands. It doesn't take long before they realize the bilge pumps aren't working, the windows are leaking, the hatches aren't strong enough to withstand the 45-50 knot winds and high seas they'll soon encounter, and the bridge deck begins to dissolve. But the real problems start with the controls: the starboard spade rudder sheared off its shaft after hitting a big sea and flapped uselessly, the port spade rudder was permanently offset to starboard and the connecting rod between the two rudders was only held in place by tiny screws, who soon failed. After three days of drifting, making valiant attempts to get the boat to steer,Be good tooShe would just go round in circles. They were 300 miles east of Cape Hatteras and after discovering that no tow was available, Gunther decided to abandon ship. A Coast Guard helicopter lifted off all four souls (the full story with analysis is retold inThe sea is not full, see Mariner's Library).
Charlie tells Ocean Sailor he believesBe good toosoon capsized after not being spotted by any ship.
"I'll say the only time I was really concerned throughout the whole drama was when we laid a hull during the storm. Laying broadside in a breaking sea seems like a good way to get turned around in any boat. However, the movement was amazingly calm and steady, and at no point did itappearwe were about to cross over. I estimated the wave height to be less than our beam. My guess is that once the wave height exceeds the width, when you're at sea in a multihull you're vulnerable."
Three years laterBe good tooThe overturned and dismasted hull of was found washed up on the South Uist coast in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland. The rudders had been ripped off, only one saildrive remained and both hull tops - not the underside - were covered from bow to stern with long, well-developed swan-necked barnacles. She clearly showed that she was on the wrong track for many months, if not years.
"I can only assume that she was dismasted and turned over fairly early in her voyage across the ocean, otherwise she would have been spotted much earlier," Charlie said. Scattered all around her were parts of her deckhouse, which were ripped off as she was driven ashore.
Charlie who has tested countless boats forSegelMagazine, whether monohull or multihull, looks measuredly back at his rescue ordeal and says Ocean Sailor:
“I won't judge catamarans as a species, but personally I prefer monohulls for various reasons. There is a rhythm with a monohull, you can feel the sea and waves much more effectively. With two hulls that cannot heel, the reaction at sea is unpredictable and creates a jerky planing motion that I don't like.
I prefer to use my gut to know when to reef. Following an intellectual exercise performed by someone seated at a desk does not fill me with confidence. Multihull manufacturers provide manuals that tell you when to reef according to wind force and for safety-related decisions, but having a "feel" helps one appreciate the ocean on an almost spiritual level. Such a symbiosis is more difficult to achieve at the helm of a catamaran.”
Charlie went on to say very kindly. “Having known about Ocean Sailor Magazine and Kraken Yachts for a while, Kraken is in many ways the perfect ocean crossing concept. Unfortunately, the traditional conservative voice in mass manufacturer advertising has been lost. The vast majority of cruising catamarans are not built for sailing, but to accommodate guests. Many of them have huge mainsails that are never hoisted, they just beam under the jib. I can't imagine any serious recreational cruiser sailing a multihull around the Five Capes.
Monohull or Multihull? Either
Charlie said he would sail a monohull or a catamaran offshore, but given the choice he would choose a monohull.
Paul Redman, 69, has been sailing since he was six, starting in the creeks of the Thames Estuary in a Heron inflatable boat with his twin brother Rob. As a teenager he sailed and raced day boat catamarans: Swifts, Shearwaters and Tornados and that's how I met him.
After five years as an Army bomb disposal expert, Paul became General Manager of Prout Catamarans at their Canvey Island, Essex shipyard where he built catamarans including the Snowgoose 35s and 37s, Quest 31s, Event 34s and Quasar 50s. He also delivered them and flew all over the world to solve warranty issues. He raced quirky designer Roland Prout's Wild Goose 35 in the Crystal Trophy, a multihull competition from Cowes around Wolf Rock and back. He built three of his own Snowgoose 35 and is currently sailing the Pelican, a Quasar 50 he keeps in Faro, Portugal.
Paul Redman's story
Paul Redman, 69, has made ten transatlantic crossings in catamarans, four of them solo. He enjoys the fast crossing potential that the catamaran offers, as well as the improved accommodation and living space. He recalls how unconventional catamaran designer Roland Prout was way ahead of his time with a 40-foot boat called Phantom Wake that had a vertical-sided hull and could reach speeds of 25-30 knots.
On a delivery trip in a brand new catamaran to the Southampton Boat Show at night, they came across an abandoned container in the English Channel. It punched a hole in a hull, leaving Paul and his crew waist-deep in the water. They reached Rye Harbor and put her up the bank, drained and made repairs before continuing on to Southampton.
"After new carpets were laid, no one knew anything else," Paul told Ocean Sailor, "until a visitor pulled open a bottom drawer and found silt in there! The point is that there was so much reserve buoyancy that we didn't sink. You don't keep an airplane aloft by filling it with lead,” he adds, pointing to the potential fate of a monohull if seriously punctured by a container or similar object.
Paul agrees that in the back of the catamaran newbie's mind is the thought that she might capsize, but recalls his old boss Roland Prout's assessment: "Waves don't capsize a cat, only sails and a skipper can." And his own Experienced 60 knots in the mid-Atlantic, saw his catamaran Quasar 50,pelicanunder bare poles, gliding down waves "like a duck". The hulls created their own shallow water "loop".
“Catamaran owners start out cautious and nervous,” Paul told Ocean Sailor, “but they soon realize that the boat is going to slide down the seas with the wind. On the wind, however, you have to accept that you could damage the boat if you push too hard.
Catamaran sailors have to be more aware of wind speeds, they have to pay more attention to the gauges... it's a different way of sailing. That means you don’t want to overwhelm a monohull either.”
Paul said.' Thewedding cakeType of modern cruising catamarans are all supplied with reef plans from the manufacturer. You start with something like… 15 knots, first reef in the main, 18 knots furling part of the genoa, 20 knots furling the genoa fully and 50 knots heading for the next land! Or words in that sense. I can't remember the last time I heard about a production catamaran capsizing.
Monohull or Multihull? Multi
Catamarans are safe for ocean crossings as long as you follow the sailing instructions and don't have to push hard upwind. Paul prefers catamarans to monohulls.
At the age of 11, John Passmore was inspired by a lecture by Francis Chichester on the first single-handed transatlantic race and before that by the books by Eric Hiscock that his father had loaned him. John made his own OSTAR aboard the Largo, his first Rival 32, in 1988.
He also completed the solo section of an Azores and Back race in the same boat.
A former chief correspondent for the London Evening Standard, he covered the First Gulf War in Tel Aviv, where we shared adventures as I was there for the Daily Star.
In 1989, John covered the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing for the Daily Mail.
He also wrote a column for the Daily Telegraph and Yachting World.
As a respected offshore sailor and renowned journalist, John now focuses on his blog:www.oldmansailing.com
John Passmore's story
As John Passmore grabbed onto the starboard keel of his capsized catamaran, breaking waves attempted to tear him off the slippery, inverted bridge deck. He'd read all the survival books and knew he couldn't even believe he wasn't going to make it. He yelled at the sky, "I'm not going to die," and he shouted at the waves, "I'm going to stay here and hold on to this stump." That's all I have to do and there's so much I can do.” And he focused on seeing his wife Tamsin and their three young children again.
John, an old friend and Fleet Street colleague of mine, had attempted to be the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the UK. It had taken him 10 days to sail from his home in Woodbridge on the River Deben in SuffolkLotte Warren, his 27-foot catamaran Heavenly Twins, before being engulfed in a north-west gale with sustained winds of between 40 and 50 knots and much higher gusts off the top end of Shetland.
When the storm hit, John was prepared with Heavenly Twins designer Pat Patterson's "Storm Management Handbook" from Pat Patterson's warp, from the starboard bow to the starboard stern, where a car tire rested in the bay. For the next 24 hoursLotte Warren, hopped over the waves, beam-to, like a duck.
Gradually the wind speed increased until John reached the third and final level of the "Storm Manual". At this point, the impact of waves hitting the beam against the hull became “shock-like”, making pounding noises and throwing objects around the cabin. John had to struggle on deck and slide along on his stomach, he laid the bow line on the port stern and the catamaran swung her stern out to sea and was suddenly loose: doing six knots under bare masts.
The first thing he knew of the vast sea that was about to endLotte Warren, was an insistent hiss of rushing water as she began to broach. "I saw the bulkhead wheeling and small items falling from cave lockers...I knew she was crossing."
Now upside down, John removed his EPIRB from its cockpit mount, tied its tether to the heads' pump and pushed it through the window. Next, to his horror, he saw that the aft cabin hatch was wide open and the liferaft was missing. The boat began to calm down and he was chest-deep in water as he crouched in the hull. Breathing rapidly, he realized he was using up the bladder of oxygen in the inverted shell. Then he climbed out and onto the inverted bridge deck. Luckily, John's ordeal only lasted three hours before the Coast Guard helicopter arrived. The pilot had to switch to manual to steer the craft down to 50 feet and negotiate between waves as high as 100 feet, John later learned.
John was flown to the nearest oil rig for immediate treatment for hypothermia before being taken to the hospital on land. The catamaran sank five days later after a Norwegian oil rig tender tried to salvage it.
Looking back on the events of 2000, John, 71, the Ocean Sailor says he believes the oars lost control in the whirlpool of the breaking waves and she was thrown broadside into a huge comb.
"I wouldn't have another catamaran," he adds while riding out a winter storm on boardSamsara, his rival 32, as he prepares her for the 2021 Jester Challenge, an unsponsored singles race across the Atlantic.
Monohull or Multihull? Mono
John would never buy a catamaran again. He prefers monohull boats.
Comments from the web
John, Charlie and Paul have all had very different experiences catamaran sailing, none fatal. Others weren't so lucky.
In July 2019, three people died when a catamaran capsized off Newcastle on the New South Wales coast, Australia. A 16-year-old girl and her 50-year-old father were dragged by the overturned catamaran during the rescue, but the girl's 78-year-old grandparents and another unidentified sailor died in the accident. A distress signal was activated by the 11.7 meter long catamaran, which capsized about seven nautical miles offshore at Stockton Beach. Three bodies were found in the water and recovered by Marine Rescue. The father and daughter were taken to John Hunter Hospital where they were treated for hypothermia. The catamaran was en route from Port Stephens to the Central Coast when it capsized.
Acting Superintendent Wiseman said the crew of the Westpac rescue helicopter struggled in high seas and 30-knot winds during the operation. "What made the rescue quite difficult was an overturned ship, there was quite a lot of debris and ropes in the water at the time," he said. Acting Superintendent Grant Healey of NSW Police Marine Command said sea conditions had been extremely rough. “The conditions were difficult. We had westerly winds of 25 to 30 knots and a sea of one to two meters with an easterly swell coming from the other direction, so it was pretty chaotic out there,” he said at the time.
On another catamaran that capsized in the Solent, four crew members were lucky to survive the night. This catamaran capsized while sailing to windward under reefed mainsail and headsail in 25 knots of wind. The boat encountered an "unusual wave pattern" and the windward hull lifted so far from the surface that the boat lost stability and capsized. The crew had not had time to use the VHF and spent the whole night huddled on the bridge deck until they were spotted at dawn the next day. All four were hospitalized with hypothermia.
Can they capsize?
Browsing through the online blogs, websites and commercials of catamaran designers, builders and brokers makes the reader feel like Alice in Wonderland. Nothing is as it seems. Everyone involved in the multihull world declares that this is “almost impossible”; 'very unlikely'; It almost never happens that a catamaran capsizes, and yet every manufacturer gives guidance on how exactly this catastrophe can be avoided. There is also a clue to blaming the sailor for any reversal. One broker even went so far as to say: "Any skipper who capsizes a catamaran in winds below 70 knots is a clunker"!
Some, like designer Chris White of South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, in the US, offer real thought and advice. Two of his catamarans capsized. One, an Atlantic 42 on Lake Michigan in 2004, and the other, an Atlantic 57,Anna, 125 nautical miles from Tonga in the South Pacific. She was under a single reef when a 62 knot squall hit her.
"In order to reduce the chance of capsizing as much as possible, it's important to develop a method to avoid getting caught," explained Chris. Essentially his advice is to reef early, lighten the traveller, loosen the sheets, consider a course change and switch to manual rudder. Chris was honest enough to agree that a "methodology" was needed to avoid capsizing, even if he thought it was "unlikely"!
Others are more aggressive. Like Florida-based portal Catamaran Guru, a brokerage team led by experienced offshore catamaran sailor Stephen Cockcroft, who sells Lagoon and Fountaine Pajot brands, among others.
Their mission statement points out that catamaran sailing requires more careful seamanship. “While handling a catamaran in heavy storms requires a little more skill, the designs of modern catamarans have evolved to be extremely seaworthy and they don't just 'tilt'. In fact, the rig or sails should blow out before the ship capsizes because the righting moment on a cruising cat is so great that it's almost impossible even if you've tried. It really takes incredibly idiotic behavior to capsize a modern cat in sub-70 knot winds.”
This resiliency factor is shared by an Australian and New Zealand brokerage firm, Multihull Central, run by Director Brent Vaughan, which sells Seawind and Outremer catamarans. Under the heading: Do all catamarans capsize? According to their website, "Production cruising cats have far too much displacement to make capsizing a real possibility unless you get it all wrong - all sails up in cyclonic conditions with massive side waves... It's more likely that the sails." burst open or the rig collapses before a production cat capsizes.'
This kind of disparaging utterance can only lead to the question, "Is the fallback plan for a modern cat to come down the mast to keep her from capsizing?!
They all at least concede that production cats are most at risk when coming down very big waves and surfing at high speeds of 20+ knots with too much sail on top and risking the bow digging into the bottom of the next wave.
Briton Nigel Irens, who notably drew Ellen MacArthur's record-breaking trimaran and is the designer of other large catamarans including the Gunboat, Vantage and Allegra variants, wrote an eight-part series on multihull sailing for Yachting World magazine.
While stating that "capsizing is very unlikely with most modern catamarans," he nonetheless thought it useful to go into great detail on how to prevent such a catastrophe. "The level of risk depends a lot more on the skill of the skipper than the qualities of the boat." Many cruising catamarans really are "underpowered floating houses," he added, "...you have to make an effort to win one." Bet to cause a capsize.'
However, he acknowledged that the worst can happen and that when sailing upwind in severe weather conditions, steering path must be maintained. "If you stop, you could be pushed back by a large breaker that could dig into the stern, which in extreme cases could even cause a stern capsize."
He continued: “Don't trust a blunt catamaran with large volume bows. Far from piercing downwind waves, it could simply stumble if pushed too hard.”
If the catamaran sailor is unfortunate enough to capsize, Nigel advises taking shelter in one of the hulls, “…if she settles in the water the bridge deck will soon be close to the water, making an attempt to exit risky. It's important not to rush to the escape hatch... If you open it, some air will escape from the boat, causing it to float lower in the water."
In 1995, experts from the Wolfson Unit at Britain's Southampton University conducted experiments for the Maritime & Coastguard Agency based on 124 "stability incidents" including 33 catamarans; 67 trimarans; two proas; and 22 multihulls of unknown types. Multihulls under seven meters were not included. Most catamaran casualties, they discovered, occurred in winds between Force 6 and Force 9. "Often, capsizing has been attributed in part to wave action lifting a hull," the report says.
Peter Johnstone, writing for US magazine Sail, would agree. In an article titled "Heavy Weather Strategies when Sailing a Catamaran," he explains, "As the boat approaches 10 degrees of heel, the luff hull will be about to lift. It's safe to say that a cat mustn't raise its weather protection on a travel passage!"
Peter also says: “The boat manufacturer should give you a sail selection chart that gives safe sailing limits for all conditions. On most offshore passages, advanced communications and weather information should rule you outalways(my emphasis) experiencing a true storm or surviving conditions.”
In my opinion, it is just such misguided advice that puts the newcomer at sea in grave danger. No “Handbook to Safe Sailing” or satellite weather station will save you from yourself.
If speed is your thing then a catamaran should be on your list. I have done several long coastal passages in them and I would agree that they are certainly exciting to sail. However, they are not on my list. I can't ignore the fact that if they go overboard they won't come back up and to paraphrase Charlie Doane I'd rather rely on my experience and survival instincts than a focus group manual on when to cut the sail .
I was just looking at the issues from a cruising perspective, and from that perspective I think safety should be more important than speed, so I prefer...it has to be a monohull.
DRAFT: Multihulls have a shallower draft than a similar-sized monohull, which enables them better access to inlets and lets them anchor much closer to beaches. This is particularly helpful when coastal cruising, as multihull sailors can enjoy more exploring and anchor out of uncomfortable wind and tidal conditions.What is the difference between mono and multihull? ›
Monohull boats are classic sailing boats that have only one hull. Catamaran boats are multihulls boats. Mostly they have two hulls but there are also versions with three hulls called trimarans.What are the pros cons monohull vs catamaran? ›
Catamarans are more stable, faster, and spacious. They also offer safer anchorage and are easy to control. Monohulls are more maneuverable, have lower costs, and better when sailing upwind.Is a monohull or catamaran better for rough seas? ›
During rough sailing, you must be more vigilant when on a catamaran. The feedback from the wheel of a cat is not as obvious as that from a monohull. In high winds, you'll need to know when to reduce sail. However, monohulls tend to roll more in stormy weather, while catamarans stay pretty level even in rough seas.Why are catamarans good in rough water? ›
Yes, catamarans are good in rough water. One of the reasons for this is that boaters have the option to steer from the inside during bad weather. What's more; the size, bridge, and bridge clearance all contribute to catamarans being a joy to drive when the water conditions are less than ideal.What are the advantages of a monohull? ›
Monohull vessels are the typical kind of oceangoing vessels. Their advantage is that they are stable and can handle severe weather conditions. Even a relatively small vessel will have very good seafaring characteristics from all directions.Are monohulls safer than catamarans? ›
Catamarans are much more stable than monohulls, and so people are less likely to fall overboard, which does make them safer in this aspect. They are larger, more stable boats, and so in most situations this will make them a “safer” sailboat than a comparably sized monohull.Why are catamarans more expensive than monohull? ›
Catamaran Vs Monohull Maintenance Costs
But for typical fiberglass sailboats, catamaran maintenance usually costs a bit more than monohulls of the same overall length. This is due to the increased strength requirements and more complex engineering.
Because a catamaran does not heel over like a monohull, it offers far more comfort underway because the motion is mostly fore and aft pitching and very little beam-to-beam rolling. On all points of sail, a catamaran tracks upright and significantly reduces crew fatigue and seasickness.Why are catamarans not popular? ›
Catamaran yachts are not suitable for sailing sport. They can be just great to go for a vacation or even to live on them, just like in a houseboat, but it is exactly because of their stability that half of the yachtsmen would never buy them.
A large modern catamaran has plenty of buoyancy and exceptional roll inertia. Together these make a capsize, or inversion, highly unlikely. A 30-foot breaking wave hitting a cat abeam will simply make the boat surf sideways.What is the most efficient hull shape? ›
What's the most fuel efficient boat hull design? The answer to that question is a planing hull. Planing hull boats are designed to glide smoothly on top of the water when enough power is applied. Both flat-bottom and vee-bottom hull shapes are considered to be planing boat hulls.What is the disadvantage of catamarans? ›
Because a wide bridge deck is strapped between two hulls, there can be slapping or pounding while underway in heavier seas. The slapping can become annoying, but is easily resolved by reducing sail. Unfortunately, that means reducing speed as well.
Multi-hulled boats are some of the most stable on the water. They also require more room to steer and turn. Examples of common multi-hulled boats are catamarans and pontoon boats .What hull shape is best for rough water? ›
V-shaped hulls are also planing hulls. They are typical among powerboats, as they allow the boat to reach high speeds and plane on the water while remaining steady in choppy conditions. The deeper the V shape, the better the boat can handle rough water.
What is too windy for sailing? Generally, anything over 20 knots can be too much to handle for many sailors, especially if they're in a gusty area. More experienced sailors will head out in up to 25 knots (gusting 30-32). You should decide when to stay at the dock based on a variety of factors.Does a catamaran hull pitch in waves? ›
When a catamaran encounters a wave at the bows it will first immerse the bows more deeply which starts them rising upward due to the increased buoyancy of the immersed hull. As result the boat will rotate (pitch) positively.Is a deep V hull better? ›
Deep V Hull
Your priorities are what matters when it comes to choosing a boat. If tackling slightly choppy and wavy water on the deeper side is what you are looking forward to, then a Deep V is highly recommended.
Since the buoyancy is on the outer edges of the boat, a twin hull design also provides remarkable stability and less roll when drifting or trolling, compared to a mono-hull. This stability allows multiple anglers to fish on one side with minimal listing, even when boating a big tuna.Are catamarans safer than yachts? ›
Since catamarans are more spacious and have more flat and open spaces than a yacht or monohull sailboat of the same size, they can store a large amount of onboard safety equipment, particularly one that is essential for your safety, including modern covered life rafts.
Modern catamarans are very durable, even in rough seas, and they have excellent buoyancy. The risk of a reversal is certainly poor, it can withstand sustained waves and wind. There are areas where time can change abruptly, but not to the point of surprising a boat unless you sail on ocean routes.Are catamarans good for open ocean? ›
Catamarans are safe for ocean crossings. In fact, catamarans are often much safer than similarly-sized monohulls offshore. Safety comes from increased motion comfort, great stability, speed, and excess buoyancy due to lack of ballast.What is the best size catamaran for ocean sailing? ›
The best size catamaran to sail around the world is 45 to 50 feet. The smallest catamaran with space for long-term provisions and a cabin is around 30 feet in length, and a 55 to 60-foot catamaran is the largest that can be accommodated at most marinas.What is a good size catamaran to live on? ›
Size. The best liveaboard catamarans range in size between 30 and 50 feet, width 40 feet being the comfortable average. In general, vessels smaller than 30 feet simply lack the space to include a practical interior layout.Are catamarans hard to sink? ›
When speaking about safety, the main argument for catamarans is that they are unsinkable. Sailboats can sink, but very rarely can capsize, because they have better abilities for straightening.Do catamarans ever capsize? ›
Capsize is very unlikely in most cruising catamarans, but it does happen occasionally so, as with most seamanship issues, the smart move is to be on top of the subject and prepared for the worst.Do catamarans hold their value? ›
While there is no fast and hard depreciation scale – because some catamarans hold their value at lot better than others – it goes something as follows: Year 1: -10%, Year 2: -7%, Year 3: -5%, Year 4: -4%, then another -2 percent decline per year until the boat is 12 or so years old.What are the advantages of catamarans? ›
Catamarans' parallel hulls create reliable form stability, which prevents heeling and capsizing, and greatly reduces the vessel roll at rest and at trolling speeds. One of the most obvious advantages of catamaran stability is in the elimination of seasickness for passengers.What is the advantage of a double hull boat? ›
The Advantages of Double Hull Tankers
Studies show that depending on impact speed, the extra layer can reduce the likelihood of marine pollution following an incident that damages a ship's hull by more than 60% when compared to a single hull structure.
- Because a wide bridge deck is strapped between two hulls, there can be slapping or pounding while underway in heavier seas. ...
- You won't get the same amount of feedback from the wheel of a cat as from a monohull. ...
- Cats take double the space to dock and often cost double to dock too.
Catamarans are much more stable than monohulls, and so people are less likely to fall overboard, which does make them safer in this aspect. They are larger, more stable boats, and so in most situations this will make them a “safer” sailboat than a comparably sized monohull.What is a disadvantage of a multi hull? ›
The advantage of a multi-hull sailboat is that it can achieve stability without a heavy keel, so that multi-hulls are typically lighter and faster than monohulls. One disadvantage is the width, so that docking space may cost double that of an equivalent monohull.What is the advantage of multi boating? ›
Less heel means they are less likely to flip or capsize. And, if they do, multihull boats are far less likely to sink. The speed of a multihull can be considered a benefit as it can give you an edge both in outrunning poor weather or getting to help in an emergency. Enhanced maneuverability can help avoid danger.Are catamarans safe to sail across the Atlantic? ›
Catamarans are safe for ocean crossings. In fact, catamarans are often much safer than similarly-sized monohulls offshore. Safety comes from increased motion comfort, great stability, speed, and excess buoyancy due to lack of ballast.Is a catamaran more stable than a yacht? ›
Whilst you'll get more adrenaline on a yacht, the flip side of the sailing experience is that a catamaran, precisely because it has two hulls, is better balanced – so it is a lot more stable to sail on.What type of hull is best for rough water? ›
V-shaped hulls are also planing hulls. They are typical among powerboats, as they allow the boat to reach high speeds and plane on the water while remaining steady in choppy conditions. The deeper the V shape, the better the boat can handle rough water.
Modern catamarans are very durable, even in rough seas, and they have excellent buoyancy. The risk of a reversal is certainly poor, it can withstand sustained waves and wind. There are areas where time can change abruptly, but not to the point of surprising a boat unless you sail on ocean routes.