Catamarans are capable of creeping into the shallow water, can sail flat and fast, and are incomparably spacious. When it comes to the question of monohulls vs catamarans, catamarans win the numbers game hands down, so it’s easy to see why many people pick catamaran sailing as the best option to easy, fast cruising.

For even the most experienced monohull sailor, taking command of two hulls and two engines can seem a tall order.

No need for trepidation, though. The wind and sea remain the same. The theory of sailing is unaltered.

What does change when catamaran sailing (or sailing any multihull for that matter) are the handling characteristics and some basic seamanship rules.

These changes are the result of using beam (how wide the boat is) rather than ballast (like a traditional lead keel on a monohull) for stability.

Inherent in this is a lighter, more stable platform that accelerates quickly and has higher windage and different motion.

Are catamarans good for beginners?

Catamarans are a good option for beginners, as are other multihulls. But as with so much in sailing there are many caveats to that answer.

If you have just started sailing and are looking to form an understanding of how a sailboat works, a catamaran dinghy will offer much more stability in the water than a monohull would, so the likelihood of a capsize is reduced.

If you are looking to sail a yacht, which you could sleep on, then the difference is less clear as the likelihood of a capsize is reduced by a yacht’s lead keel ensuring that she does not capsize.

Some might argue that feeling a boat lean over (as a monohull does) is an important part of forming an understanding of how a boat is sailing and will help you learn faster and in a safer environment.

Certainly there are important specific catamaran sailing skills you need to learn if you are going to be sailing a catamaran or multihull over any significant distance.

What is the disadvantage of catamarans?

As with everything when it comes to considering the difference between monohulls vs catamarans there are plusses and minuses on both sides, and one person’s problem is another’s positive.

That being said multihulls and catamarans do have some disadvantages. If they flip over, they do not self right (as a keeled monohull will). They have more boat out of the water and less in the water, which means when manoeuvring they can be blown around a lot, and feedback from the boat heeling is more-or-less erased, which can make understanding when you are overpowered difficult.

Because they are so much wider than monohulls, the cost of keeping a catamaran in a marina is significantly higher than the cost of the same length monohull

What is the advantage of catamarans?

There are many advantages to sailing catamarans. They are faster than a similar size monohull and often offer much more space (typically a multihull will offer the same accommodation as a monohull 10ft longer).

As they usually don’t have a keel, a multihull or catamaran is able to sail and anchor in shallower waters than the equivalent size monohull. The stability of the platform under sail and at anchor is also a big plus for many owners.

Finally, although the lack of a lead keel means they do not self-right it also makes them slightly less prone to sinking should you be holed and with two engines (one in each hull) catamarans can usually turn in a much tighter space than a monohull.

Founded in 1994, Nautitech Catamarans have been part of the Bavaria Yachts Group since 2014, though they are still built in Rochefort in France. Previous models have offered options to…

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