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Best multihulls: We pick the best two and three hulled yachts

  • Rupert Holmes
  • June 29, 2022

Rupert Holmes picks the best multihulls for cruising focussing on the most popular and interesting mid-size multihulls from 37-43ft

twin hulled yacht

Few of us can have failed to see the rapid growth of interest in multihulls and this formerly niche sector is now a mainstream part of the new boat market.

Much of the appeal is obvious and is unchanged from the reasons for the popularity of Prout and other catamarans in the 1970s and 1980s, including spacious single-level living spaces offering great views. Today’s boats are also characterised by expansive outdoor seating and entertaining areas. These areas benefit from the near-universal adoption of the same fabric technology that enables motor yachts to leave cockpit cushions outside in all weathers.

Superior space

The full forward cockpit featured on a number of heavier and larger designs may appear to be a gimmick at first sight, yet they are practical in a number of ways. Firstly, a separate area can be ideal when sailing with larger complements of people on board – teenagers for instance may value a separate area. Other popular attributes include the amount of stowage on deck – ideal for those who want to carry a lot of watersports equipment.

In addition to decent cockpit lockers, you can expect to find a pair of deep lockers at the front of the bridge deck, plus further stowage in the bows. On boats above 42ft these areas are often large enough for conversion to single cabins, although it’s worth remembering that putting too much weight forward will compromise performance and the motion of the boat at sea.

Easy handling both under sail and power is an equally important theme. Twin engines make a cat easy to spin in its own length and handling in reverse is as easy as going ahead. This set-up also offers a degree of redundancy – if one engine fails you will often be able to reach port using the other one.

In some cases the nav station in the bridge deck saloon is an ideal place from which to con the boat while on watch in inclement conditions, making these boats as good as a conventional motor sailor in this respect, but with the potential for much better sailing performance. However, some designs lack the all-round visibility to make this feasible.

The International Multihull Show, which takes place in April at La Grande Motte, France, is a must for anyone serious about buying a new or recent boat. Although the show has a compact feel, it’s the only place in the world where dozens of multihulls of the same size can be compared side by side.

The impact of COVID

The British brokers I met at the show were universal about their experience of the UK market, which has changed considerably post Covid.

Their biggest client base for multihulls are now owners with plans for long-distance cruising. The increase in people working from home is also attracting a younger clientele than typical boat buyers, which is helping boost demand to unprecedented levels.

‘We’re seeing a big change in the way people are buying boats and what they’re looking for,’ Graham Laver of Ancasta, Lagoon’s UK agent, told me. ‘Most are not weekend sailors and don’t need a permanent berth – they have a lot more time on their hands.’

A scarcity of suitable berths in parts of the UK is therefore not a hindrance on this part of the market.

The major catamaran builders largely disregarded boats under 40ft for many years; however, there are welcome signs this attitude is changing. The Excess 11, unveiled at the 2020 Düsseldorf boat show, is a 37-footer by a new Groupe Beneteau brand that’s aimed at a younger audience than typical buyers of this value. It’s Excess’ first all-new design – the earlier 12 and 15 were based on the bottom third of Lagoon hulls, although almost everything above the waterline was new.

As with the two older models, there are helm stations aft in each hull, with wheels positioned right above the rudder stocks to produce the most direct feel possible.

The boat also has excellent visibility from the helm and is noticeably better in this respect than most cruising catamarans. Interior accommodation includes a well-proportioned bridge deck, with very generous headroom. There’s space for a decent galley, a full-size internal saloon area and a forward-facing navigation station.

On the downside, it lacks space for the ease of circulation of people seen on some larger boats and will therefore have more of an ‘excuse me’ factor when sailing with a full complement of crew.

Sensibly no attempt has been made to create peninsula beds in the aft cabins, so despite the boat’s relatively modest size both double beds measure a massive 2m by 2m. The huge stowage volumes under the bunks are easily accessed thanks to hinged top panels supported by gas struts, which enables far more of this space to be reached easily than the typical single drawer in the bunk front.

On the three-cabin design the starboard hull is given over to the owner’s suite, which includes a good desk/dressing table area and lots of extra stowage. Perhaps surprisingly, this doesn’t have the feel of living in a narrow tunnel – it’s a wide rectangular area that offers more comfort and practicality than many larger yachts.

Excess is also engaging directly with its client base via the Excess Lab. The online element of this discusses key issues that impact design choices, allowing the boating public to present its views in a way that helps inform development of new models. Recent topics include the balance between draught and windward performance, self-tacking jibs vs genoas, and refrigeration.

Excess 11 specifications

Price: €310,660 ex VAT LOA: 11.42m / 37ft 5in Hull length: 11.33m / 37ft 2in Beam: 6.59m / 21ft 7in Draught: 1.15m / 3ft 9in Displacement: 9,000kg / 19,800lb Builder: excess-catamarans.com

The chances are that if you’ve sailed multihulls of around 40-44ft at least one of them may have been a Lagoon. More than 800 Lagoon 42s have now been delivered, with the model proving equally popular with private and charter owners. It offers lots of space, even by multihull standards, in three- or four-cabin layouts.

Large platforms aft make boarding from a pontoon, quay or tender easy, while the big cockpit has multiple seating areas and plenty of space for easy circulation of people. There’s also a neat lifting system for the dinghy. The boat is sailed from a raised helm position on the port side, which has direct access to the winches. The two-person helm seat is configured to work well both when seated and when standing.

While this ease of sail handling is a key attraction for owners of most cruising- oriented multihulls, a downside of some raised helm stations is they can feel very removed from other people on board.

This can make others on board feel like passengers who are not fully involved in the sailing. Unlike a number of boats of this size, there’s no forward cockpit, but there is foredeck space for sunbeds that forms a separate area for socialising.

Interior bridge deck accommodation includes a decent galley to starboard, plus a generous forward saloon. This has a great view forward and to the sides, although vision is obstructed on both quarters, which limits the usefulness of the forward chart table as a place from which to con the boat when on watch in bad weather.

Even by the today’s standard of catamaran, accommodation in the hulls is very generous. The boat at La Grande Motte had the classic four-cabin, four-bathroom charter layout. Both aft cabins rival those of the owner’s cabin of many 50ft monohulls thanks to big peninsula beds and plentiful stowage. These are also airy and very well lit spaces, with an overhead hatch, big hull window and wide stern window.

Lagoon 42 specifications

Price: €426,600 ex VAT LOA: 12.80m / 42ft 0in Beam: 7.7m / 25ft 3in Draught: 1.25m / 4ft 1in Displacement: 12,100kg / 26,700lb Builder: cata-lagoon.com

The Neel range of trimarans is one of the most eye-catching of modern multihulls. The basic philosophy is hugely appealing – use performance trimaran hull shapes to create a platform for a spacious cruiser, while keeping the boat as simple as possible. Weight is also minimised, but in a practical way that doesn’t resort to eye- wateringly expensive high tech solutions.

I sailed one of the first 43s from La Rochelle last summer and found it a surprisingly rewarding boat to sail, with a feel on the helm akin to that of a monohull, yet it was significantly faster. On a reach in 14 knots of true wind we made a very relaxed 10 knots of boat speed reaching under only mainsail and jib. When the breeze picked up to 16-17 knots we were hitting a consistent, but relaxed, 11.5 knots at a true wind angle of 115º with an asymmetric spinnaker set.

Heel angles are greater than for a catamaran, as lifting the windward ama out of the water is an enormous help in reducing wetted surface area. However, monohull sailors will find the heel very modest and once it reaches 12-14º the boat is rock steady, even in gusts.

The amas of the 43 are too small for accommodation, so this boat has a largely open-plan layout, although the owner’s cabin is in a separate area to starboard on the bridge deck. There’s also a double berth to port that would make an ideal den area for kids, plus a further small double cabin forward at a lower level in the main hull.

A key feature of all Neels is a separate engine room and technical area below the saloon in the main hull, which is ideal for maintenance and fault-finding.

These are often thought to be expensive boats, yet the 43 is priced at a similar level to many other multihulls of this size. It’s perhaps no surprise they are leaving the factory at the rate of one a fortnight.

Neel 43 specifications

Price: €359,000 ex VAT LOA: 12.9m / 42ft 4in Beam: 7.4m / 24ft 3in Draught: 1.5m / 4ft 11in Displacement: 9,000kg / 19,800lb Builder: neel-trimarans.com

Nautitech open 40

This innovative boat set new standards when it was first launched and was a key influence in establishing the DNA of the open concept, with a big indoor/outdoor area aft under a hard top, combined with a smaller saloon forward. The effect is to create a huge outdoor living space that provides shelter from the elements – whether intense sun or rain.

Today’s version still has the original hull shape, marrying this with an updated and restyled deck, plus improved interior design. Twin aft helm stations that provide excellent visibility by multihull standards are also an important element. They also enable easy contact with the rest of the crew while you’re steering and there’s little barrier to stop them pitching in to help with deck work. This is therefore a sailors’ boat, with relatively narrow, easily driven hulls, high bridge deck clearance and deep rudders, even though it has fixed keels and not daggerboards.

Of course the nature of this boat means there’s less space for fully enclosed bridge deck accommodation. Nevertheless, it has a decent galley and in cold weather you can retreat into a cosy forward saloon, which has space for four to six people, plus an optional full-size drop-down dining table that makes a huge day bed. With an almost unobstructed 360° view, this also makes a good spot from which to con the boat in poor weather.

There’s a spacious and bright owner’s cabin in the port hull with a large double bed plus a dressing table/desk area. The starboard hull has a large double cabin aft and smaller one forward, which share a well appointed mid-ships toilet and shower. On some boats fitted out for long-term cruising the forward starboard cabin has been configured as office and/or workshop space.

Other boats in the range include a new 44 Open, which is based on similar principles, but has space for an impressively large galley and more volume in the hulls.

It also has numerous small improvements, including moving the mainsheet traveller from the hard top to the aft beam, which gives more precise sail control.

Nautitech open 40 specifications

Price: £404,795 ex VAT (sail away price) LOA: 11.98m / 39ft 4in Beam: 6.91m / 22ft 8in Draught: 1.35m / 4ft 5 in Displacement: 8,500kg / 18,700lb Builder: nautitechcatamarans.com

Marsaudon composites orc 42

A criticism often levelled at catamarans is that they lack feel on the helm and therefore aren’t fun to sail, but that’s not universally true. Lightweight boats with easily drivenhull shapes can be both quick and rewarding, with little of the noisy turbulence at the transoms and lack of pointing ability that can be associated with overweight models with grand accommodation and inefficient shallow keels.

This is the smallest in a range of three performance catamarans and was originally named the TS42. All three boats have direct tiller steering, combined with comfortable helm seats. They provide a great view of the sail trim, though the coachroof partially obstructs the view to leeward.

Despite offering 20-knot performance and the ability to cross the Atlantic in only 10 days, these boats also have lots of interior space. The 42, for instance, has a big bridge deck saloon, with a surprising large galley, plus an excellent forward-facing navigation station. When the weather dictates, this area is enclosed from the outer cockpit by canvas screens, thereby avoiding the need for heavy sliding doors. Equally, there are no moulded headlinings, though the deckhead can be faired to create a high-gloss finish that doesn’t add weight.

Both aft cabins have big double berths, while further forward the layout is flexible – owners can choose from additional double or Pullman style bunks, extra stowage, or extra-large heads and shower areas.

On the downside, these boats are built in small numbers on a semi-custom basis and lightweight construction, decent sails and quality deck gear are all expensive.

Marsaudon composites orc 42 specifications

Price: €520,000 ex VAT LOA: 13.05m / 42ft 9in Beam: 7.42m / 24ft 4in Draught: (fixed keel version) 1.5m / 4ft 11in Displacement: 6,400kg / 14,100lb Builder: marsaudon-composites.com

Fountaine-Pajot ISLA 40

Although launched last year, this model started life as the Lucia in 2016. However, it benefits from updates including a revised helm station that increases stowage – a move welcomed by many potential buyers looking at a boat for long-term cruising.

It’s raised up on the starboard side, with the wheel next to the halyard and sheet winches, making sail handling a simple matter when on watch alone. Steps up from the helm station give access to the hardtop for handling the mainsail, but there’s no option on this model for sunbeds up there.

There’s a large cockpit aft under the hardtop, with a substantial table on the port side. The foredeck has provision for sunbeds, but not a full forward cockpit. Stowage on deck is more restricted than on Fountaine-Pajot’s larger Astrea 42, but still far exceeds what’s available on most monohulls and includes two big bridge deck lockers, plus further space in the bows of each hull.

Bridgedeck accommodation includes a surprisingly large internal saloon, although this is achieved at the expense of a separate navigation station. The example at the show was a four-cabin, four head boat, but without separate shower stalls. Even so, to achieve this on a 40-footer is an impressive feat.

Both aft cabins have large peninsula beds, although floor space and stowage are reduced in size to give space for the two heads in each hull. Forward cabins have a double bed that tapers significantly at its forward end, but these are still far larger than the triangular forecabin vee berth of many monohulls.

Fountaine-Pajot ISLA 40 specifications

Price: POA LOA: 11.93m / 39ft 2in Beam: 6.63m / 21ft 7in Draught: 1.21m / 4ft 0in Displacement: 9,500kg / 20,900lb Builder: catamarans-fountaine-pajot.com

This 2020 design is another model that’s extremely popular in charter fleets. However, they are also sought after by private buyers and the numbers in the hands of individual owners will of course swell dramatically when they are sold on from charter operators.

As soon as you step on board this cat, it feels like a big boat for its size, with plenty of options for easy circulation of people. There’s arguably more separation between interior and exterior spaces than on many catamarans.

However, the Leopard 42 has a feature that few others offer in this size range. A full height door in the front of the saloon gives direct access to the large forward cockpit, which opens up the accommodation in a different way to most. This is also a semi-flybridge model, with an additional seating area on the hardtop that’s intended for use in port and at anchor.

A huge and very well appointed galley takes up almost half the saloon area and there’s further space under the floor to stow a considerable amount of dry supplies. There’s also a very good forward-facing navigation station/desk, although the internal seating area is relatively small.

The models that feature a three-cabin layout have a very impressive owner’s suite, which includes a large desk/dressing table, plenty of generous stowage and expansive floor space.

The other hull houses two double cabins, each with its own en suite and separate shower stalls. However, the downside of this arrangement is that there’s less scope to provide generous easily accessed stowage in these cabins.

Leopard 42 specifications

Price: POA LOA: 12.67m / 41ft 7in Beam: 7.04m / 23ft 1in Draught: 1.4m / 4ft 7in Displacement: 12,467kg / 27,485lb Builder: leopard catamarans.co.uk

This French yard set a standard by which all multihulls have subsequently been judged when it launched the Bali 4.3 Loft. It blends indoor and outdoor areas into a single vast space that can be closed off with the garage door-style aft bulkhead.

Since then the format has been greatly refined and the 4.2 offers impressively spacious layouts in both charter and owners’ formats. There’s also a full-size door to a spacious forward cockpit, with sunbeds extending the entire length of the solid foredeck.

Bali 4.2 specifications

Price: €424,780 ex VAT LOA: 12.84m / 42ft 1in Beam: 7.07m / 23ft 2in Draught: 1.22m / 4ft 0in Light displacement: 11,400kg / 23,100lb Builder: bali-catamarans.com

Aventura 37

This 20-year-old French-run but Tunisian-based company is one of the few that has actively addressed the market for smaller catamarans. The 37 is a semi-flybridge design with a big aft cockpit. It was launched a few years ago and is aimed at cruisers who want a spacious boat in a relatively compact package.

Nevertheless a key design criteria was an ability to sail at 7 knots in only 10 knots of true wind. The spacious accommodation includes lots of stowage, which includes a small walk-in wardrobe in the owner’s suite on three-cabin boats.

Aventura 37 specifications

Price: €237,500 ex VAT LOA: 10.9m / 35ft 9in Beam: 5.94m / 19ft 6in Draught: 1.2m / 4ft 0in Displacement: 7,900kg / 17,400lb Builder: aventura-catamarans.com

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Catamarans: Exploring the beauty of twin-hulled boats

  • Catamarans: Exploring the beauty of twin-hulled boats

Catamarans, with their unique twin-hull design, have gained popularity among boating enthusiasts worldwide. Offering stability, speed, and ample space, catamarans have become a favored choice for sailing, cruising, and even fishing. In this article, we'll delve into the world of catamarans, exploring their features, advantages, and various uses. Whether you're a seasoned sailor or considering purchasing your first boat, join us as we set sail to discover the beauty of catamarans.

Advantages of catamarans

A catamaran is a type of boat characterized by two parallel hulls connected by a deck. This design offers increased stability and reduced drag, allowing for smooth sailing and enhanced performance.

Catamarans offer several advantages over traditional monohull boats. These include:

  • Stability: The twin-hull design provides excellent stability, minimizing rocking and rolling even in rough waters.
  • Speed: With reduced drag and lighter weight, catamarans are known for their impressive speed and efficiency.
  • Spaciousness: The wide beam of a catamaran allows for more interior space, providing comfortable living areas, cabins, and deck space.
  • Shallow Draft: Catamarans typically have a shallow draft, making them suitable for cruising in shallow waters and exploring coastlines and coves that are inaccessible to deeper-draft boats.
  • Enhanced Safety: The twin-hull configuration offers redundancy and increased buoyancy, making catamarans less prone to capsizing.

Sailing catamarans

Sailing catamarans have gained popularity among sailing enthusiasts for their excellent performance and comfort. With their wide beam and efficient sail plans, they can achieve impressive speeds and provide a stable and enjoyable sailing experience.

Catamaran design and construction

Catamarans are constructed using various materials such as fiberglass, aluminum, or composite materials. They can be custom-built or manufactured by renowned boat builders who specialize in catamaran construction.

Read our top notch articles on topics such as sailing, sailing tips and destinations in our  Magazine.  

Catamaran sses and activities

Catamarans are versatile and can be used for a variety of activities. Some common uses include:

Cruising and liveaboard

Catamarans are well-suited for extended cruising and liveaboard lifestyles, offering spacious accommodations and the ability to carry ample supplies and provisions.

Chartering and tourism

Due to their size and comfort, catamarans are popular for chartering and tourism purposes, providing vacationers with luxurious and memorable experiences on the water.

Catamarans are known for their competitive edge in sailing races. Their speed, stability, and maneuverability make them a favored choice among racing enthusiasts.

Catamarans designed specifically for fishing offer stability, deck space, and specialized equipment, making them ideal for anglers seeking a productive and enjoyable fishing experience.

Small catamarans for recreation

For those looking for smaller recreational options, there are compact catamarans available that are perfect for day sailing, coastal exploring, or simply enjoying leisurely time on the water.

Buying a catamaran: Factors to consider

When purchasing a catamaran, factors such as size, budget, intended use, and maintenance requirements should be taken into account. Conduct thorough research, consider professional advice, and take your time to find the perfect catamaran for your needs.

Catamaran maintenance and care

Proper maintenance is crucial for keeping your catamaran in top condition. Regular cleaning, hull inspections, and routine mechanical checks are essential to ensure the longevity and performance of your boat.

Catamarans offer a unique and captivating boating experience. With their stability, speed, spaciousness, and versatility, they have become a popular choice for sailing enthusiasts, cruisers, and fishermen alike. Whether you're seeking an exciting adventure, a luxurious vacation, or a peaceful coastal exploration, a catamaran can provide the perfect platform to elevate your boating experience.

So what are you waiting for? Take a look at our range of charter boats and head to some of our favourite sailing destinations .

FAQs about catamarans

Catamarans - high speed and lots of comfort

A catamaran is a boat with two hulls that are parallel to each other and connected in different ways. The name comes from the Tamil language and means "bundle of logs". This design offers high stability on the water and often enables higher speeds than conventional monohull boats. Catamarans are built in different sizes and for different purposes, for example as small beach catamarans, large and comfortable cruising catamarans or fast sports catamarans. They are particularly popular because of their speed and stability, but also their comfort.

Catamarans - more than just two hulls

A catamaran is a special type of boat characterised by two hulls arranged parallel to each other. This distinctive feature gives the catamaran a number of advantages over conventional monohull boats. Firstly, the twin-hull construction offers increased stability. When sailing, catamarans have significantly less lean (heel) than monohull yachts and are also less prone to rolling in waves. Because of these significantly smoother sailing characteristics, the risk of becoming seasick is usually lower on catamarans than on monohulls.

Catamarans are often more efficient than conventional boats. Due to their lower water resistance, they require less energy to move through the water. For motorised catamarans, this can lead to lower fuel costs.

Different types of catamarans

Catamarans differ in size and intended use. A distinction is made between, among others

  • Cruising catamarans
  • Regatta catamarans

The cruising catamaran - when the centre of life is on the water

Both cruising sailing catamarans and motorised catamarans are designed so that the crew can live on them. They usually have the berths and wet cells for the crew in the hulls. Depending on the size and type of boat, the cabins are very spacious. In many cases, they are larger and more comfortable than on the classic sailing boat . The wider platform connecting the two hulls provides more space for passengers or equipment.

The superstructure between the two hulls usually accommodates the steering position and the Navigation corner . There is also a light-flooded saloon and a galley, the pantry.

Another advantage of cruising catamarans is their shallower draught compared to monohulls. They have no centreboards or keels, if they have flat stub keels at all. They can therefore also sail in shallower water or enter shallow bays.

Regatta catamarans - sailing in a different way

Regatta catamarans are characterised above all by their high speeds. However, a distinction must be made between small beach catamarans or sports catamarans for sheltered waters and ocean-going catamarans.

Beach and sports catamarans

The former are also known as beach cats and are specially designed for use near the coast and on shallow water. They are characterised by their lightness, which makes them easy to transport and allows them to be launched and landed directly from the beach. Their construction is generally simple, without cabins or other heavy equipment, which also contributes to their low weight.

Because of their lightness, beach catamarans can reach very high speeds. They are often equipped with centreboards to prevent drifting, one in each hull. These can be raised. The rudder blades can also usually be folded up, allowing these catamarans to be sailed directly onto the beach.

Despite their lightness and speed, beach catamarans offer good stability and are less prone to tipping than small dinghies, for example. This is why some people find it easier to learn to sail on a catamaran than on a monohull. However, the important feeling for tilting a boat is less strongly conveyed on a catamaran than on a dinghy.

Some well-known models of beach catamarans are the Hobie Cat 16 and the Nacra 17. These boats are popular for recreational sailing and racing.

Ocean-going catamarans

They are characterised above all by their high speeds. They are almost completely devoid of comfort, which makes them extremely lightweight. These catamarans also have no keel, which makes them even lighter than monohulls. However, like all catamarans, they can also capsize. If this happens, ocean-going catamarans, unlike beach catamarans, cannot be righted again without outside help.

Trimarans - one more hull for more speed

Like the catamaran, the trimaran is a multihull. High speeds are its trademark. In contrast to the catamaran, the trimaran has three hulls. The three hulls are arranged parallel to each other. The centre hull is almost always larger and wider than the two outer hulls, also known as floats. In principle, a trimaran is something like a very narrow yacht that rests on the floats to prevent it from tipping over.

A distinction must also be made between cruising trimarans and high-performance trimarans. In cruising trimarans, the hull is extended and accommodates cabins and the cockpit. Overall, however, this centre hull offers significantly less comfort than a comparably sized monohull yacht due to its narrow width.

High-performance trimarans, on the other hand, dispense with comfort altogether. They achieve their high speeds thanks to the favourable ratio of sail area to hull resistance.

Catamaran details

Most catamarans are equipped with sails that are also common on monohulls, Mainsail and genoa. The mainsail is often fully battened and has a very large sail area.

Catamarans have a double rudder, i.e. one rudder at the stern of each hull. On beach catamarans, the two tiller rudders on the rudder heads are connected to each other via a tie rod. The long tiller boom is then attached to the centre of the track rod. On larger cruising catamarans, the rudders are connected to each other via cables that are led to the steering wheel. This allows both rudders to be operated simultaneously.

Beach catamarans are often equipped with a trapeze or even two trapezes. The trapeze is a wire on each side that is attached to the top of the mast. A crew member can then use a harness with a hook to attach themselves to the wire and stand with their feet on the outside of the hull. This brings the crew's weight further outwards and counteracts heeling.

Catamarans - stability is important

The stability of a catamaran is based on its width. Unlike monohulls, where the heeling force from the sails is countered by a keel as a counterweight, catamarans use a different principle.

Due to the large transverse distance between the respective empty hull and the sails, the empty hull generates a high righting moment with a very effective lever. In addition, the windward hull acts as a kind of counterweight. Put simply, the buoyancy of the empty hull acts upwards and the weight of the windward hull downwards. Both forces provide the necessary counter-pressure to the pressure from the sails.

The greater the distance between the two hulls, the more effectively the principle works. Modern racing catamarans are therefore almost as wide as they are long. For cruising catamarans, however, space in the harbour and the design are limiting factors.

This is another reason why cruising catamarans like to anchor in bays.

Modern materials for modern boats

Different materials are used in the construction of catamarans depending on their intended use. Cruising catamarans from large-scale production are made from GRP, as are monohull yachts. There are cost reasons for this. GRP is the most favourable material for the desired properties.

The sportier the concept becomes, whether for a beach cat or a large sports catamaran, the higher the quality of the materials used, such as carbon fibre or aramid. The aim is to keep the weight as low as possible, as these catamarans focus on sailing performance, whereas cruising catamarans are more concerned with space and comfort.

The equipment of cruising catamarans

There are clear differences in the equipment of cruising catamarans compared to conventional ones Yachts . Due to the large amount of space available, there is more room for installations than on a monohull. For example, the tanks for fresh water and fuel are usually significantly larger than on comparable monohulls. With several hundred litres of fresh water, the crew can remain self-sufficient for longer, while the large fuel reserves allow a large radius of action under engine.

The interiors of cruising catamarans also differ from those of modern yachts. The cabins are located in the respective hulls and are therefore far apart from each other, allowing for greater privacy than on a monohull. The berths are located in the cabins. In addition, each cabin often has its own bathroom with toilet and shower. This turns each cabin into its own little flat.

The saloon and galley, usually located on the platform between the hulls, are more spacious than on monohulls. Depending on the size and price, the other Equipment options . Even air conditioning and heating systems are standard on cruising catamarans in many places.

The best sailing area for the catamaran

Here again, a distinction must be made between a sporty beach cat and a cruising catamaran. Sport catamarans can be sailed in almost any area, be it inland lakes or on the coast. They are not intended for the open sea, although very daring sailors have also sailed the oceans with such catamarans.

Cruising catamarans are mainly used in the Mediterranean and in tropical waters. There, they are characterised by their great self-sufficiency. Cruising catamarans are less suitable for the North Sea or Baltic Sea. However, this has nothing to do with their sailing characteristics, but with the conditions on land. There is usually a lack of suitable berths in the harbours.

The costs are higher than for a monohull

Two hulls, a special superstructure and the fact that catamarans offer more space mean that these special ships have higher acquisition costs, but also higher maintenance costs than a classic sailing yacht. The main factor in the purchase costs is that more material is used due to the larger enclosed space. In addition, more labour hours are required and the equipment is usually more expensive than on a monohull yacht.

Mooring costs are usually higher for a catamaran than for a monohull yacht, as it requires more space in the marina due to its large beam. However, the greater comfort and longer self-sufficiency of a catamaran also means that more time can be spent at anchor. In addition to the shallow draught, which opens up more anchoring options, mooring fees can also be moderate if marinas are frequently avoided.

The larger a catamaran is, the more varied the equipment options become. The price ranges therefore increase with increasing size.

Leading shipyards for the construction of cruising catamarans

There are many renowned shipyards that specialise in building catamarans. Here are five of the leading manufacturers:

  • Lagoon: As part of the Beneteau Group, Lagoon is a French manufacturer known for its wide range of catamarans.
  • Fountaine Pajot: also based in France and also with a wide range of products.
  • Catana Group: Catamarans for different requirements are built under the brand names Bali Catamarans and Catana Catamarans
  • Leopard Catamarans: Leopard Catamarans, manufactured by the South African shipyard Robertson and Caine.
  • Sunreef Yachts: This Polish shipyard is known for its customised luxury catamarans.

Buying a new or used catamaran?

When purchasing a catamaran, it is important to consider whether a new purchase should be made or whether a replacement should be made. used catamaran is purchased. Size, condition and equipment are important criteria for this.

If you are buying second-hand, it is always worth having a specialist at your side to inspect and assess the technical equipment and overall condition. If you buy from a specialist dealer, you can be sure that they are bound by a warranty. The probability of making a bad purchase there is lower than with offers from private sellers.

Charter a catamaran - these requirements must be met

Similar to motor yachts, houseboats and sailing boats, it is possible to charter a catamaran. And worldwide.

A Boat licence is required for cruising catamarans if the catamaran is to be skippered. If this is not available, a skipper can be booked with many providers.

Small beach cats can also be hired almost anywhere on the coast and usually do not require a licence. However, many hire companies require a certificate of competence, such as a DSV catamaran licence. However, you can usually obtain a licence from such providers by completing a sailing course.

Many package holiday providers also offer beach catamarans as part of a club holiday. It is often possible to obtain a licence.

The costs of chartering a catamaran

Sailing is an expensive passion. This also applies to chartering. The cost of a cruising catamaran varies depending on its size, equipment and length. Even the season plays a decisive role. Between 1,500 and 8,000 euros per week are quite possible for a catamaran in the charter sector, but also considerably more. Added to this are the deposit, mooring fees, catering, fuel, cleaning and much more. Costs are particularly high in the high season.

However, as a cruising catamaran offers plenty of space and comfort, it can usually be sailed with more crew than a comparable monohull. This means that the charter costs are spread over more people.

Which areas are worth chartering a catamaran?

Of particular interest in Europe are the countries Croatia , Greece , France , Italy and Spain . From a global perspective, the Caribbean a very popular sailing area with catamarans.

twin hulled yacht

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What is a Catamaran? The World of Twin-Hulled Boats

  • 14 April 2023
  • 5 minute read

Alice Martin


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Welcome aboard our nautical adventure as we look into what a catamaran is. If you’ve ever been interested by these twin-hulled vessels and wondered what sets them apart from other boats, you’re in the right place! In this post, we’ll explore their unique features and why they’re becoming an increasingly popular choice among sailors. We’ll also touch on the environmental benefits of chartering one, the science behind their stability. Lastly, we’ll provide you with a calendar of must-attend regattas and festivals. With summer approaching and boats ready to book with Click&Boat , let’s set sail and explore the world of twin-hulled boats!

What is a catamaran?

It is a type of multi-hulled boat, with two parallel hulls of equal size, also known as pontoon boats. This unique double-hulled design originated from traditional fishing boats and sailing vessels in the South Pacific and offers a range of benefits for sailors. They are available in various sizes and can be powered by sails or engines, making them extremely versatile.

Different types of catamarans

Catamarans come in different shapes and sizes, each offering unique features and benefits. Cruising catamarans are designed for leisurely sailing, with spacious cabins and amenities. Racing catamarans, are built for speed and performance, with lightweight construction and streamlined design. Power catamarans are perfect for those who want the speed of a motorboat with the stability of a catamaran. Finally, ferry catamarans are larger vessels designed for commercial use, with the ability to carry passengers and vehicles.

twin hulled yacht

Catamaran vs. Monohull: The Great Sailing Debate

The debate between catamarans and monohulls is popular in the sailing community, with both types of vessels offering unique advantages and disadvantages. Let’s explore some of the key differences between these sailing boats.

  • Speed: Generally, they have a speed advantage over Monohulls. This is thanks to their reduced water resistance and lighter construction. The top speeds can be up to 60 knots. This power of catamarans is particularly appealing for those interested in racing or covering long distances quickly.
  • Space and comfort: Typically they provide more living space and bridge deck than Monohulls. This makes them an attractive choice for families, groups, or long-term cruisers who value comfort and room for onboard activities. Monohulls, while more compact, can still be cosy and offer a more intimate sailing experience.
  • Draft and access: They have a shallower draft than Monohulls, allowing them to navigate and anchor in more shallow waters. This can open up a wider range of cruising destinations and reduce the risk of damaging sensitive marine habitats. Monohulls, on the other hand, are limited to deeper waters and marinas.
  • Manoeuvrability: Many sailing enthusiasts consider Monohulls easier to steer than catamarans, particularly in tight spaces or crowded marinas. Catamarans, while still agile, require more skill and practice to steer confidently.
  • Maintenance and costs: Catamarans are more expensive to purchase and maintain due to their larger size and the need for two engines or sets of sails. Monohulls, while potentially cheaper, can still be expensive depending on their age, condition, and equipment.
  • Sailing characteristics : Monohulls offer a more traditional sailing experience, with the boat heeling and responding more dramatically to wind and waves. This can be exhilarating for some sailors, while others may prefer the more level, stable ride of a catamaran.

The Science of Catamaran Stability

The stability is a result of its unique design, which offers several advantages over traditional monohulled boats. Let’s explore some of these!

  • Wide beam: This is the distance between its two hulls, provides a stable platform that resists rolling and heeling (tipping) when underway. This means that catamarans are less likely to capsize and provide a smoother ride for passengers in rough conditions.
  • Distribution of weight: The twin-hull design allows for a more even distribution of weight across the vessel. This reduces the boat’s center of gravity and makes it more resistant to capsizing, especially in comparison to monohulled boats with a narrower hull and a higher center of gravity.
  • Buoyancy and displacement: Each hull has its own buoyancy and displacement, which contributes to the vessel’s overall stability. This means that even if one hull were to become compromised, the other hull would still provide sufficient buoyancy to keep the boat afloat.
  • Damping effect: The wide beam of a catamaran also provides a damping effect on the motion of the boat. This means that when the boat encounters waves or wakes, the movement is less abrupt and more gradual, resulting in a smoother and more comfortable ride for passengers.


The environmental benefits of sailing a catamaran

Calling all eco-conscious sailors! Did you know that catamarans are not only fast and comfortable but also offer numerous environmental advantages? Here’s why these boats are becoming more popular amongst sailing enthusiasts.

The boat design translates to less water resistance and energy consumption, making them a greener choice for those mindful of their carbon footprint. Their shallow draft allows you to navigate shallow waters without harming marine habitats like coral reefs and seagrass beds, with minimal environmental impact. Modern boats often accommodate solar panels and wind generators, allowing you to harness clean, renewable energy for guilt-free sailing. Some manufacturers are also turning to sustainable, recyclable materials to lessen the environmental impact of boat production. Click&Boat offers various eco friendly options for those who prefer more sustainable sailing.

Boat sailing over coral

Catamaran Regattas and Festivals: A Calendar of Must-Attend Events 2023

It’s time to finish with a list of the must- attend events of 2023! Here are our top recommendations.

Les Voiles de St Barths Richard Mille 16-22 April

With 1,200 sailing enthusiasts and 63 boats, this race takes place over 5 days on difficult coastal routes in the town of Gustavia .

Giorgio Armani Superyacht Regatta 6-10 June

If you are looking for a more glamorous event, this is the one for you. This prestigious event takes place over 4 days off the coast of Sardinia.

Round Texel Race 10 June

This Dutch event is the world’s largest catamaran race, with hundreds of competitors sailing around the island of Texel in the North Sea.

Cannes Yachting Festival 12-17 September

This event is a must-attend for both yachting enthusiasts in Cannes . This show will be one of the top yacht exhibitions in Europe, drawing in around 700 boats annually including luxury catamarans.

So now that you’re up to speed on everything catamaran, it’s time to set sail into the sunset!

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The 10 Most-Exciting Yacht Debuts at the Palm Beach International Boat Show

Besides the debut of smaller vessels, more than 60 yachts over 100 feet will be at palm beach this week. it promises to be a banner event., howard walker, howard walker's most recent stories.

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Palm Beach International Boat Show

For superyacht shoppers, the Palm Beach International Boat Show, kicking off its four-day run this week, is set to break records with more than 60 yachts over 100 feet long on display. Last year was also a banner year for superyachts at the show. 

Headliners will include the likes of the 295-foot Corsair Nero ,  the 278-foot Victorious by AKYacht, the 230-foot Turquoise-built Talisman C , and 213-foot Benetti Triumph among brokerage yachts, and in new yachts, the 113-foot Ocean Alexander Puro 35 is making its world debut.  

There are so many gleaming white vessels over 100 feet, in fact, that the fleet will be split between the Palm Harbor Marina at the main show site on the downtown West Palm Beach waterfront and the Safe Harbor Rybovich Marina two miles north. 

Now in its 42nd year, PBIBS will also showcase hundreds of models of dayboats, cruisers, and fishing boats, as well as marine accessories. Running from this Thursday through Sunday, the show coincides with the Palm Beach Modern + Contemporary art show, a fortuitous opportunity for yacht owners wanting to add new art to their collections.

Here are 10 must-see boats at this year’s show.

Corsair Yachts ‘Nero’

twin hulled yacht

The undisputed star of this year’s Palm Beach show? That would be the 295-foot, classically styled superyacht Nero , built in 2007 and inspired by American financier J.P. Morgan’s legendary 1930s steamer Corsair IV . Nero ‘s attendance at PBIBS marks its return to the charter market after an extensive refit in 2021. Now better than new, the boat is being managed by Burgess. With weekly charter rates from $497,000, the vessel offers five-star accommodations for 12 guests in six cabins, with pampering from a crew of 20. Part of the refit included a full interior refresh by Italian interior designer Laura Pomponi, plus a major focus on wellness. That meant the construction of a new, state-of-the-art gym and spa, the assistance of a certified onboard trainer, a masseuse and beautician. After PBIBS, Nero will spend the winter in the Caribbean before returning to the Med for the summer season.

Ocean Alexander Puro 35P

twin hulled yacht

Ocean Alexander is debuting the first of its new Puro superyacht series at PBIBS. The 113-foot Puro 35P comes from the drawing board of Italian designer Giorgio M. Cassetta and is a step back from the polarizing lines of OA’s recent Revolution and Explorer series with their bold, vertical bow designs. Aimed at long-distance cruising, the 35P can carry over 5,000 gallons of fuel and is powered by twin 2,000 hp MAN V12s for a 24-knot top speed. Twin 55kW Kohler generators can also keep the yacht powered at anchor for long periods. Other standout features include extensive glazing in the chiseled fiberglass hull, a forward deck plunge pool, and spacious accommodations for 10 guests. 

twin hulled yacht

Think of it as the “starter” Sirena. Aimed at a younger demographic, the Turkish builder’s brand-new Sirena 48 is making its U.S. debut at PBIBS after a global reveal at last fall’s Cannes boat show. Such is its appeal that 27 hulls have already been sold, with 13 of the orders coming from North America. Looking like a scaled-down version of Sirena’s popular 58, its distinctive, trawler-style lines are from Argentinian designer Germán Frers. With more interior space than a typical 48-footer, the yacht offers three staterooms—plus a crew cabin—a spacious, light-filled salon, a large cockpit, an oversized flybridge, and a vast forward social area. Take your pick from twin 550 hp Cummins QSB, or 670 hp Volvo D11 turbo diesels. Or the builder is also offering hybrid power with twin 285 hp electric motors charged up by variable-speed generators that are good for a 30-mile battery-only range.

Feadship ‘Olympus’

twin hulled yacht

Picture purchasing a classic 180-foot Feadship superyacht, and then getting a $10 million bill for a major refit. That was the case with Olympus , built by the Dutch masters at Feadship in 1996 to a design by Britain’s Andrew Winch and the celebrated naval architect Frits De Voogt. Sold in 2022, the new owner sent it to the Monaco Marine refit center in La Ciotat, France for a major makeover. It included overhauling the 2,600 hp Caterpillar engines and generators, repairs to the structure, substantial upgrades to the guest areas and crew quarters, and new paint throughout. With the work completed just last year, the vessel is said to be in mint condition. Offered jointly by brokers Fraser and Edmiston, Olympus has an asking price of $28.5 million. With accommodations for 16 guests in eight cabins, the boat’s highlights include two primary suites, tropical-spec air conditioning, and Palm Beach-chic decor.

Benetti ‘Triumph’

twin hulled yacht

Italian yachting powerhouse Benetti is showing off its superyacht-building skills with the 213-foot Triumph . Delivered in 2021, this Giorgio M. Cassetta-designed steel-and-aluminum world girder features six decks, a 1,400-square-foot primary suite with outdoor terrace and adjoining lounge, a 750-square-foot beach club, and a touch-and-go helipad. What sets Triumph apart, however, is its lavish interior furnishings put together by the owner along with Benetti Interior Style and Monaco-based Green & Mingarelli Design. It includes pieces by French glassmaker Lalique, marble from Marfil, Statuario and Armani, furs, silk and wool carpets, plus a collection of cool black-and-white wildlife photographs by British fine art photographer David Yarrow. The pièce de résistance? That would be the owner’s Triumph Bonneville motorcycle displayed in the salon.

Fjord 39 XP/XL

twin hulled yacht

Germany’s Fjord Yachts, part of the Hanse Group, has a new 39-foot day boat that it’s unveiling at the Palm Beach show. The 39 XP and XL keep all the bold design cues of the bigger Fjord 41 XP and XL, like a big, open cockpit, walkaround center console, vertical bow, mile-high windshield and stretched hardtop. As for the differences between the XP and XL, it’s all about power. The XL comes with a choice of twin 320hp Volvo D4 diesels, or bigger 440 hp D6 versions, both with Volvo stern drives. Likely more appealing to U.S. buyers will be the XP powered by twin 400 hp Mercury Verado V10 outboards giving a 50-knot top speed. Pricing starts at around $500,000.

Turquoise ‘Talisman C’

twin hulled yacht

Chandeliers don’t come more dramatic than this. Cascading down the central spiral staircase of the Turkish-built, 231-foot superyacht Talisman C , this jaw-dropping piece of art comprises an array of multi-colored glass balls threaded on stainless-steel rods and illuminated by hanging fiber-optic strands. It’s the creation of Prague-based Crystal Caviar and is one of a number of glass installations on this sleek, low-profile superyacht. Built in 2011 by the Proteksan Turquoise shipyard, Talisman C was designed inside and out by London-based studio H2 Yacht Design, with naval architecture by Italy’s Hydro Tec. With cabins for 12 guests, one of its highlights is a huge primary suite, which boasts more crystal chandeliers and a private library. Twin 2,447 hp Caterpillar diesels give a top speed of 18 knots and a transatlantic range of 7,000 nautical miles at 12 knots. It’s listed with Burgess for $59.9 million. 

Sanlorenzo 44 ‘Kamakasa’

twin hulled yacht

Delivered in 2020 and sold to a new buyer just last August, the 146-foot Sanlorenzo 44 Alloy Kamakasa will be for sale at PBIBS. The asking price, through the Italian Yacht Group, is $23.75 million. Lack of use might also be the issue here; the yacht’s twin 2,600 hp MTU V16 diesels have a mere 289 hours on the clock. Built in aluminum to a design by Rome-based Zuccon International Project, Kamakasa was the second hull in the Sanlorenzo 44 Alloy series. One of the top features is a primary suite that spans three levels and almost 1,600 square feet; it also comes with a private Jacuzzi, separate bathrooms, a walk-in closet, and a private study. The yacht’s lightweight construction and MTU power combine to deliver an impressive 20-knot top speed.

Bahama 41 GT2

twin hulled yacht

As ultimate, reel-’em-in, fishing center consoles go, the Bahama 41 from West Palm Beach-based Bahama Boat Works is as hard-core as they come. But when owners kept asking for a little more comfort for the family, the builder responded. The result is the brand-new flagship 41 GT debuting at PBIBS. While the proven, wave-slicing hull stays the same, the cockpit layout is new. In place of the single bench seat, there are now three-across bucket seats with a second row behind. The wider console now has space for a pair of 22-inch Garmin screens, while the new extended hardtop features sun shades and even a rain shower. Outboard choices stay the same with either twin Mercury V12 600s, or four 400 hp Mercury V10s, good for a 65-knot-plus top speed. Pricing is from around $920,000.

Heesen ‘Book Ends’

twin hulled yacht

Launched in 2022, this 164-foot Heesen is part of the Book Ends collection, owned by an American couple who have had more than 18 yachts with the same name. The exterior design of this Heesen was by Omega Architects, while Dutch studio Van Oossanen did the naval architecture. The yacht is part of Heesen’s fast cruising series, which is more efficient than other vessels its size, and can reach 23 knots at full speed with its MTU 16V 4000 M65L engines. The yacht is listed through Ocean Independence for 42 million Euro, or about $45.7 million.

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Cape Horn Engineering

SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull)

twin hulled yacht

Cape Horn Engineering have proudly worked with Naiad Dynamics, ship motion control experts, on the CFD design optimisation for the stabilisation fins to improve the longitudinal stability of the Service Operation Vessel (SOV).

Recently launched at the CEMRE shipyard in Turkey, ‘Groene Wind’ is chartered to Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy for the maintenance of offshore wind farms in Belgium. This is the first DP2, twin-hulled SOV in the world and the first to serve three different wind farm sites. The SWATH provides a stable platform and large, broad decks for offshore crew activities services. The new vessel significantly improves safety, comfort and workability for wind farm technicians – even in the roughest sea conditions.

twin hulled yacht


The 60m twin-hull ship is designed to minimise the hull cross section area at the sea’s surface. The greatest benefit of this is that the waves have much less of an effect on the vessel, so it does not react as much to a heavy sea state. This improved seakeeping characteristics of the SWATH concept means there is a much more stable platform compared to a traditional monohull SOV, useful when approaching wind turbines and for safe crew transfers in waves.  

The bulk of the displacement is located beneath the waves, where it is less affected by wave action. The design of SWATH is considerably more complex due to the structural complexities inherent to the design. With high surface drag, yet low wave drag, the SWATH is less susceptible to wave motion, but more sensitive to payload, which affects the pitch and the draught.


The vessels second generation Dynamic Positioning (DP2) technology means that the vessel can hold its position in rough seas but at the same time operate with lower fuel consumption when compared to traditional SOVs. An impressive fuel consumption reduction of up to 50% can be achieved compared to a monohull SOV, further reducing the cost of wind farm maintenance. In line with her green credentials, environmental considerations are integral to the vessel design and include a waste heat recovery system and a Clean Design notation.

CFD Analysis

SWATH vessels are known for their inherent low longitudinal stability. They have the tendency of trimming bow down at maximum speed. To overcome this issue, the vessel was fitted with Naiad Dynamics’s stabilisation system – a pair of stabiliser fins mounted on the inner sides of both hulls, a short distance aft of the bow thrusters. The effects of the tunnels on the flow into the fins and thus the ability of them to perform properly and efficiently were a cause for concern.

CFD performance analysis were run for the whole vessel, including the rudders and fins, with the aim to achieve a better understanding of the correlation between rotating the fins, and regulating the SWATH’s trim. The analysis was performed over the range of operating speeds.

There were two main questions to be answered during the analysis of the SWATH; Firstly, are the installed fins capable of maintaining level trim while sailing at maximum speed, Secondly, which angle attacks give neutral lift for a range of boat speeds.

twin hulled yacht

Simulation Setup

The simulations were carried out following Cape Horn Engineering’s best practices at full scale with 2 Degrees-Of-Freedom (sinkage and trim), free surface deformation, viscous and turbulent flow. We use the best in market CFD code STAR-CCM+ by Siemens PLM. The simulations are run on a High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster, the mesh used had around 5 million cells so each simulation took about XXX hours to run until converged.

twin hulled yacht

Results for level trim at 12 knots

One of the investigations was to determine which fin angle would allow to achieve a 0 degree trim while sailing at 12 knots of boats speed.

The first step was to run a simulation of the model using the static centre of gravity with 12 knots of boat speed and the fin at 0 degree. This simulation showed the vessel to have a trim of -2 degrees, with approximately 20 kN of downward force generated by one fin. To reduce the bow down behaviour, the fin was rotated to a positive angle of attack (AoA) to produce more upward lift. Thus an iterative process was initiated, using linear interpolation to obtain the next best guess. This process reached a value for level trim having the fin at a moderate 7.8 deg.

Results for neutral lift

In the same manner as to find the angle of attack for level trim at 12 knots, an iterative method combined with linear interpolation was used to find the fin angles that produced zero lifting force at a rate of speeds. Run speeds of 8, 10 and 12 knots were completed first, from observations of these results, a better initial guess were used for the runs of 9 and 11 knots. The previous simulations with an AoA of zero were also considered.

While processing the simulations, linear and polynomial trends were observed for the Lift and the Trim at each speed. From these, it was possible to interpolate values for a more complete dataset. The aims of these interpolations being to provide a more detailed set of values, for Naiad Dynamic to be able to set-up the control system of the fins. A useful way of presenting the results is to link Lift generated with Trim, Fin angle and Boat speed.

twin hulled yacht

Investigations on the effects of the bow thruster tunnels on the performance of the stabiliser fins

A simulation was run to see to what extent the bow thruster tunnel being just in front of the fin impacted its performance. It was decided that the simulation would be run at the maximum speed of 12 knots, as this is where any effect would be most noticeable. The fin was set-up at 7.8 degrees, which according to the previous analysis correspond to level trim when the tunnels are open. Several elements were observed. First of all, the behaviour of the SWATH was a lot more stable without the open tunnel. The oscillations observed for trim and lift were significantly smaller with the tunnels closed. Moreover, the lift generated was almost 30% larger, thus the fin angle that produced level trim with open tunnels now produced 4.3 degrees of bow up trim.

APPENDIX – Simulation Specifics

The CFD simulations are processed on a High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster running the latest version of the general purpose commercial code STAR-CCM+ by Siemens PLM. The code solves the Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes Equations (RANSE), i.e taking into account viscosity. The k-omega SST turbulence model is applied with an all y+ treatment. An all y+ formulation switches from the traditional wall-function approach to a low Reynolds number approach with a blending function that is a function of the Reynolds number based on wall distance. The water-air interface is taken into account through the Volume Of Fluid modelling technique and the simulation is run in unsteady mode until a steady solution is reached and the forces and moments are converged to a tight tolerance of 0.1% over 200 time steps.

The CFD domain consists of a large box surrounding the vessel with the boundary conditions at least 2 or 3 boat lengths away from the vessel, so that no blockage effect is encountered. The symmetry of the simulation allows us to perform the analysis on half of the geometry to reduce computation effort.

The volume mesh has a resolution of around 5 million cells. They are composed of unstructured trimmed cells, i.e. predominantly hexahedral cells, with refinement prisms close to the body surfaces. The mesh also contains volume refinement zones. These are situated: around the fins to capture its motion relative to the hull; in the bow thruster tunnels to monitor the flow disruption in these areas and at the free surface to capture the waves generated by the SWATH around the hull and fins. These areas are where the flow gradients are the largest and a higher detailed representation of the geometry is required.

The effect of thrust of the propellers is considered in the trim attitude of the SWATH by applying a force in the direction of the propeller shaft. This force is obtained by considering its horizontal component equal to the computed drag of the vessel during the simulation. This method captures the main trim moment produced by the propulsion and is a good approximation if not enough information on the propeller is available.

Cape Horn Engineering Ltd.

Gatcombe House, Copnor Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO3 5EJ United Kingdom

[email protected] +44 (0)7821 717 383

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twin hulled yacht

What is a multihull

Definition of multihull

: a vessel with two or more hulls or with multiple side-by-side hulls

Above are illustrations of a typical hull for a motor yacht, sailing yacht with a keel, and a catamaran that features two separate hulls with a centre piece connecting the two hulls. The actual design of a catamaran hasn’t changed for thousands of years.

A little bit of history…….

The origins of the Multihull have been reportedly traced as far back to the 4,000 BC as a means of transport for the great migrations throughout the Pacific and Indian Ocean over thousands of years. Multihulls derived from an Oceania pirogue, more associated by the Polynesians, inherited their seafaring culture from their Austronesian ancestors, who began their migration from Southeast Asia into the Pacific in ocean sailing craft thousands of years ago. Antonio Pigafetta an Italian scholar and explorer described the vessels as flying objects during the World’s first circumnavigation in 1521.

The Polynesians’ used a double canoe made of two hulls connected by crossbeams to provide stability and capacity to carry heavy loads while a central platform laid over the crossbeams provided the needed working, living, and storage space. Sails enabled the canoe to move swiftly through the seas with long steering paddles to help keep it the canoe on course.

The main types ………..

Catamaran (double-hull) A Catamaran is a twin-hulled that can be a sailing yacht, or a motor yacht developed for sport and recreation. The design is originally based on a raft consisting of two logs bridged by planks used throughout Polynesia and Micronesia as seen above by the illustrations by artist Herb Kane.

In 1870 U.S. designer of America’s Cup boats Nathanael Greene Herreshoff designed and built many yachts as well as catamarans and has an amazing back catalogue at his dedicated museum in USA. In 1876 Herreshoff catamaran Amaryllis won the New York Yacht Club’s Centennial Regatta, the win resulted in multihulls sailing vessels being banned at the time from organised competitions, due to its superior performance.

In a letter to the editor of the New York Herald, Herreshoff wrote: “There are two important principles of speed which constantly work against each other. If we increase the power to get more speed, we must increase the stability of the hull correspondingly.

An increased hull has more resistance ….”

“I kept on following this principle, getting the keel higher and higher until, by and by, the keel came out of the water, when, lo and behold! There was the double boat! Nothing else to be done but take a saw and split her in two, spread it apart a little way, and cover all with a deck, and there you are!”

In the 1950s production of the current form of catamaran began which averaged about 12.2 metres (40 feet) in length. Over the next 30 years naval architects across Europe, United States and Australia improved the efficiency and speed to produce very fast catamarans achieving speeds of 32.19 km (20 miles) per hour.

In 1988 the high-performance wing-masted multihull “Stars and Strips” was the first multihull to win the American Cup, today multihulls are the main feature of this prestigious race.

Later the addition of engines made the catamaran a popular motor-cruising boat and are now becoming a growing popular choice for families to charter.

Trimaran (double-outrigger)

Like a catamaran, a trimaran (or double outrigger) originated from the Austronesian culture of Southeast Asia, where it remains a dominant hull design for traditional fishing boats. The design comprises of a main central hull with two smaller outrigger or floats attached by transverse beams.

Victor Tchetchet (1891-1974) inspired by the catamaran design was a pioneering multihull sailboat designer who devised the early trimarans and believed to have invented the term. Ukrainian born and emigrated to America in 1923 further experimented with catamarans and trimarans and in 1945 launched his first trimaran, of 24 ft (7.3 m) length. In 1946 Tchetchet participation in the Marblehead Race Week, helped to reintroduce and started to breakdown the prejudices against multihulls. During his time in the United States, he designed and built many Multihulls with the most notable: T26 (trimaran) – 26 ft (circa 1949) and Egg Nog (trimaran) – 24 ft (circa 1955)

Sailing Trimarans are known for there speed across the water due to how it can displace water over 3 points in comparison to a catamaran 2 points or a monohull one. The design of the trimaran for racing and due to its structure can be more streamlined and hydrodynamic to allow it to basically lift out of the water to increase its speed.

In 2023 the Solo Ultim World Tour is planned, the first single-handed race the world in 100ft foiling trimarans that are capable of sailing at 45 knots.

Entries include the world-famous record-breaking sailors Armel Le Cleach, Charles Caudrelier and Thomas Coville

Trimarans also take on the role as passengers’ vessels, luxury yachts and warships due to the increased speed and stability in the water helping to reduce sea sickness. High speed passenger vessels were devised to cut journey times and the need to provide overnight accommodation especially on popular mainland to island routes.

SWATH (small water area twin hull)

A Swath multihull is a twin hull vessel with slimmer hulls at the water surface to allow it to pierce the water more effectively and the buoyancy hydromantic hull under the water to offer greater stability. The swath hulls are ideal for rougher seas and further limits seasickness, the draft is greater than a catamaran and more power is needed.

What are the benefits

In terms of space the two separate hulls of a catamaran can provide up to double the space than a monohull of the same length. An average monohull yacht of 24 metres will have a bream of 5 – 5.6 metres compared to a multihull of the same length with a beam of 11 – 11.6 metres. The additional space allows for the flexibility of the layout and innovative designs especially in the main saloons. Open plan living spaces can seamlessly flow to the exterior deck’s ideal for entertaining larger groups and families.

Stability and Accessibility

The catamaran and trimaran design acts as a natural stabilizer limiting the side-to-side motion that can cause seasickness.

twin hulled yacht

The difference is even greater when comparing to a sailing yacht that has a keel to support stability. Sailing Catamarans do not have keels so doesn’t have the pendulum affect as seen in the example, the 2-hull structure offers the stability. Multihulls can be more pleasurable to experience especially for families and people who are prone to seasickness. Multihulls have a shallow draft that allows for further exploration and accessibility to beautiful tucked away harbours, coves, and beaches without the use of a tender, unlike monohulls that typically have a deeper draft.


Catamarans are of course wider than a monohull of the same length, so it is important to be able to manoeuvre the yacht within marinas and harbours. Cats have two separate engines, one on each hull to allow the yacht to turn around on the spot. The placement of the engines gives you more control and limits the impact of the tide and wind when navigating through narrow marinas or when underway.

twin hulled yacht

What are the disadvantages

Main disadvantages higher marina costs and availability.

Marina costs and Availability

The advantage of having nearly double the space of a monohull, ultimately means nearly or more double the price for berths in marinas. It can also be difficult to find availability of two berths next to each other in crowded and popular marinas especially in the summer months in the Mediterranean. Pre-planning and pre-booking if possible are essential.

With the advantages and disadvantages considered multihulls can offer an amazing charter experience, so don’t delay and book well in advance. To help with your planning please see a selection of the most luxurious multihulls available for charter.


Sunreef Yachts 2022 24.4m / 80ft, 8 Guests 4 Cabins 4 Crew

twin hulled yacht

The newly completed Sunreef 80 Relentless II is available for charter in the Caribbean from 2022. The beautiful and spacious interiors and exteriors are stylish and fresh. Fully equipped with onboard entertainment systems and wide range of water toys. Accommodation consists of a master king suite with a large walk-in shower and 3 spacious queen cabins. The exterior offers Alfresco dining on Aft deck lounge, a Fly-bridge with 360° views, and luxurious sky lounge with a hot tub aboard this fantastic catamaran.

Custom 2019 39.2m / 129ft 12 Guests 5 Cabins 10 Crew

twin hulled yacht

Eye catching painted exterior ‘The Beast’ is very much a family friendly yacht designed for adventure. Set up with a fully functional fishing boat (baby beast) and a wide range of water toys to cater for all age. The award-winning yacht is extremely spacious with a huge 12 metre beam providing 4,000-square-feet of living space. The balance between industrial and luxury is cleverly realised with the chic muted dark interiors that are both subtle and stylish. The exterior includes a sheltered dining space and large sundeck with a bar and a featured teppanyaki grill that makes this catamaran unique.

Pendennis 2011 44.2m / 145ft, 12 Guests 5 Cabins 10 Crew

twin hulled yacht

One of the largest luxury catamarans, with exceptional volume offers a high degree of luxury. The elegant interior is contemporary and stylish with a wide range of alternative spaces to relax and lounge in. Award winning for interior design and layout has two VIP cabins on the main deck each have access to a terrace lounge forward, two double cabins and one twin cabin. The Water sports facilities on board are unique with the starboard lazarette holds the usual superyacht toys and the port hull contains a dive centre with a full range of equipment capable of both Air and NITROX tank fills.

Multihulls are a popular choice and developments of concepts of fully sustainable multihulls are the future, below are some examples

Hannah Sahra – concept design

M/Y BOnd Girl is a futuristic and stealth like 70m trimaran concept with exterior by George Lucien and interior by Hannah Hombergen.

twin hulled yacht

210 Sunreef Power Trimaran

An ambitious 210ft three-hulled concept, it fully utilizes the space within and between the hulls to reach a living area of nearly 1000m².

twin hulled yacht

Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/technology/catamaran

Transpacific project: http://www.transpacificproject.com/index.php/ocean-sailing-craft/

The Philippine Diary Project: https://philippinediaryproject.com/about-the-philippine-diary-project/about-the-diaries/about-antonio-pigafetta/

Herb Kane Illustrator: https://www.herbkanehawaii.com/

Cruising World: https://www.cruisingworld.com/how/how-dock-catamaran/

New York Yacht Club: https://nyyc.org/home

Cup Experience: https://cupexperience.com/amaryllis/

Craft sail blog: https://sailcraftblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/16/the-real-story-of-amaryllis-and-the-first-racing-catamarans/

Sail-World: https://www.sail-world.com/news/239323/Solo-Ultim-World-Tour-confirmed-for-2023

Gitana: http://www.gitana-team.com/en/

Austal: https://www.austal.com/ships/benchijigua-express

Sunreef Kokomo Catamaran: https://www.sunreef-yachts.com/en/news/80-sunreef-power-kokomo-a-private-beach

Pendennis: https://pendennis.com/yachts/hemisphere/

Lomocean: http://www.lomocean.com/projects/pleasure/39m+-+the+beast

Hannah Sahra: https://sites.google.com/hannahsahra.com/hannah-sahra/interior-design/my-bondgirl

Breed Photography: https://www.breedmedia.com/collection

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twin hulled yacht

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Roam Shadow with inflatables.

ROAM Boats unveils ROAM 35 Shadow support vessel

Related articles.

ROAM Boats has revealed renderings of the latest addition to its series of twin-hulled shadow vessels named ROAM 35 Shadow.

Following in the footsteps of the 24 metre and 27.5 metre models, the 35 metre support vessel is the flagship of the Shadow range and boasts a number of upgrades including a touch-and-go helipad, increased crew accommodation and a higher-capacity crane. With an aft deck completely dedicated to storage, the ROAM 35 Shadow is built as a toy carrier and can accommodate a variety of tenders and toys, including submersibles and vehicles.  

Developed in collaboration with a team of designers and naval architects, ROAM’s sturdy Shadow models have been described by ROAM as "4X4s of the sea". 

The go-anywhere model is capable of reaching top speeds of 22 knots and features an impressive transatlantic range coupled with a shallow maximum draft of 1.7 metres. Unfolding bulwarks add additional deck space and this model is also expected to have a hydraulic swim platform for loading and off-loading toys and tenders. 

Six crew members can be accommodated on board the 35 Shadow, but owners can choose to beef up their accommodation according to their needs.

Josh Richardson, chief executive of ROAM  states that “There are no compromises with the ROAM 35. Space and range restrictions don’t apply, so this vessel ticks every box, there is pretty much nothing that it can’t take.”

The launch of their latest model comes after the news that ROAM Boats teamed up with submarine specialist U-Boat Worx to bring their models to market, offering the ROAM Shadow for sale with a two-seat NEMO submarine in tow. The 2,500kg submarine has been designed with the superyacht market in mind with its compact footprint -  requiring less storage space than a pair of jet skis - and single lifting point.

The ROAM Shadow prioritises functionality over comfortability, with a pared- back interior that can be livened up at the discretion of the owner. 

The ROAM 35 will be built in aluminium and will be equipped with twin Caterpillar C32 engines.

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Home > KNOWLEDGE > Content

A Yacht Or Boat With Twin Hulls

Jul 07, 2020.

The design of the includes lifts technology that allows the ferry to switch to barge mode by lowering and lifting the mid-deck. The two hulls and swells are designed to provide the ship with maximum balance and buoyancy. 

The arrangement of the hulls should make it easier for the ship to sail when high tide and fast currents meet with full force. The full hull houseboat is built with compartments sealed with waterproof bulkheads, and there is a full hull with the double hull and a double deck. This makes them an ideal vessel for high tides and high currents and makes it ideal for long-term sailing in the ocean. 

Where the full-hull houseboat can store batteries, generators, and the like on the deck, the pontoon houseboats have them stored upstairs. They occupy valuable space and can be, at least on older boats, an eye-catcher, but are easy to reach and maintain. 

Consumers are looking to the market to take advantage of the space in the two-hull compartments. Construction workers say this helps the ship perform better because it does not tilt, as many catamarans will. 

The boat has a solid fiberglass hull interspersed with a high-quality polyethylene polyurethane (PPE) and a divinycell-cored side. It is easy to design an interior that matches the design of the boat and its unique design features. The variable angles in the fuselage make it possible to move the surface at an angle of about 30 degrees from the center of gravity and at a constant angle to the wind. 

This creates a soft ride that keeps the deck dry and creates superior fuel efficiency for medium-sized boats. To give larger boats improved fuel economy, the design lowers the waterline to allow for a faster, drier ride while increasing performance. This ensures the smoothest ride, keeps the decks dry, and creates superior fuel efficiency. 

A stepped hull allows ships to run with twin engines instead of triple engines and helps to create the fastest boats in the market segment. 

The present invention concerns a double-hull boat equipped with a large number of hydrofoils on the twin hulls. Today, conventional twin-hull boats are equipped with hydrofoils transversely, with the stern protruding from the hull of the twins and the bottom of the trunk and stern secured by a predetermined HydroFOIL, while the plural hydrofoil is attached to the bottoms, trunks or trunks of a twin hull. In order to drive at high speeds, test runs were carried out under conditions in which the boats travel at speeds of up to 100 km / h. 

The following guideline is based on the maximum theoretical displacement and hull speed, which is likely to be achieved by a clean, polished hull and side position in calm seas. On the basis of the results of these experiments, the hydrofoils attached to the twin-hull boats were finally determined. 

For example, racing yachts can opt for an engine that is primarily used to reach or leave a berth and is not necessary to reach the maximum theoretical hull speed. To ensure that adequate safety factors are in place, those deployed in heavy seas and strong tides can opt instead for engines with 30% or more power. This is easily the most efficient way to achieve the theoretical minimum displacement and hull speed in calm seas, but also the best way to achieve it in rough conditions. The propeller is selected according to its speed when delivered under sail and not according to the speed of the propellers.

This means that a double hull 21 can sail with high efficiency, but the resistance generated by the double hulls of 21 at high speed can be minimized by securing a keel of 23A, which is significantly higher than the keels of the 23a. This invention prevents the twin-hull of boat 21 from floating completely on the surface of the water. 

The double hulls of the boat 21 can also be double-walled - with a keel of 23A, which is much higher than the keel of the 23a. 

Boat owners protecting their twin keel yachts in West Sussex, UK, from weeds as they prepare for the new sailing season. Boat owners Antifouling her twin keel yacht with rollers Marine weed prevention in East Sussex in the UK. Boat owners who protect their twin quills with rolled seagrass prevention products In West Sussex - UK boat owner AntIFOULING their double-winged Twinskeel yacht with rollers Marine Weed Preventions in East Sussex and is preparing for the latest sailing season. 

Two 66s are fast, traveling at a top speed of 30 knots (60 km / h) on the east coast of the UK, with a range of over 1,000 miles.

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