cruising catamaran, catamaran cruising, catamaran photos, catamarans, sailing catamarans, catamaran construction
|Catamarans are a hot topic in sailing circles these days, and why not? People discover during their research
that catamarans have as much as 50% more room than a monohull of the same boat length, they are bright and airy,
do not heel (lean) under sail
and are incredibly stable both at anchor and under way. In other words, these boats are a lot more comfortable
than a comparable sailing monohull. So why isn't everyone sailing one?
Just about every monohull owner with a catamaran in his vicinity, is appreciative of the amount of room on these boats and quite a few prospective boat owners read about them in sailing magazines and at the very least, are curious about them. In talking with quite a few people, I've discovered almost everyone is aware of a catamaran's benefits and that the main factor limiting catamaran ownership seems to be their price tags.
We began this website to put together good information, and contribute what we know about a very famous boat brand in Europe and which few Americans have ever heard ... Catalac Catamarans. We consider these pages a Catalac information resource for American Sailors as the rest of the world seems to be a bit ahead of Americans in this category. Catalac catamarans, which in my opinion, are the best option going in small to mid level cruising catamarans, are a much more attractive alternative to $500,000+ cruising catamarans. Bottom line, this website is worth your time if you're interested in reading about what I would call 'Affordable Cruising Catamarans'.
We feel strongly that Catalac Catamarans are a solid boat design and good choice for anyone's next boat. With 600 cruising catamarans built, Catalac Catamarans are a boat building success story as well as one of the best values available in cruising catamarans today. Catalacs are very well known in Europe, yet not so much in America. It was surprising to discover that one of the highest volume catamaran builders in the world (Performance Cruising Inc., builder of the Gemini catamaran before Hunter Marine took over) is part of the Catalac Catamaran family tree.
As you begin to search for the right boat you will of course head for the internet, as it's full of information. In no time at all you'll have boat models swirling around your head. Usually, a lot of what you'll read on the internet has been written by a boat broker or someone trying to sell their boat. This makes for challenging research as to which model boats are good, or bad. Here, we put together info to help people who are serious in locating the right boat.
One option explored by many people is having a look at ex charter boats which have recently come out of charter. As a rule, we advise people stay clear of these Catamarans as they have the wrong boat layout (there aren't many couples we know who require 4 bedrooms and 4 baths). In addition these boats require significant refits (think ridden hard and put away wet) which could add $ tens of thousands, or even more, to their 'bargain price'. Not to mention the hundreds of hours of work they'll require to put them back in shape.
Catalac Catamarans are older, and by todays standards, smaller boats than what you see offered in newer boat models. They were built in Christchurch, Dorset England, by Tom Lack, a legendary builder of British catamarans. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as the boats were built with double thick fiberglass hulls and are much stronger than newer designs. Some years ago when I dug deep into the realm of pre owned Cruising Catamarans, Catalac catamarans surprised me by quickly rising to the top of the proverbial list. Their solid fiberglass hulls are a design feature which probably has something to do with the reason almost all of these boats are still sailing and some are crossing Oceans to this day (S/V Angel Louise, June 2011, Florida to London via Azores) and why they age so gracefully.
More on Catalac Catamarans here
It also would be fair to say that they just don't build them like this any more. You see, the majority of newer catamarans were designed strictly for the Caribbean charter market and its warm, gentle waters. Catalacs were designed to sail in northern British waters and are built more sturdy of necessity. Catalacs are built with thicker hulls, thicker decks and cabins, as well as sturdier masts and rigging than the Caribbean boats. They simply have more "in" them and therefor age very gracefully. This graceful aging becomes very apparent when shopping for a catamaran and coming across any Catalac in local boat yards. They still look fantastic compared to all alternatives. So good in fact, that more than one American has traveled to England, found a Catalac, and brought her back to America. There just aren't that many comparable stories.
This website has both builder and boat information and I'd suggest you take some time, flip through the pages here, and learn about a solid boat design which has withstood the test of time. Catalac Catamarans, which survived the worst recorded storm at sea earning these boats their well deserved reputation as one of the best built boats in the world. Coincidentally,they're also a terrific value in today's market (if you can locate one for sale). As for quality? Surveyors have been known to refer to Catalacs as the Hinckley of Cruising Catamarans (for those of you who aren't familiar with the term ...it's not an insignificant compliment).
Catamaransite.com is a hobby of mine and as such it's grown reluctantly or rather strictly as needed over the years. For example, the ' Catamaran For Sale Page'. . began as 1 catamaran ad to help a marina mate sell his boat, now it's grown into a multiple pages of boat advertisements ranked number 1 on the internet for "catamarans for sale by owner".
Since this website is a hobby, edits are done in brief bursts. Proof reading is sometimes sacrificed as the Admiral insists we lead a normal life. So, at times, mistakes are made on these pages. If you spot one, please email and let us know.
Catalac Research Notes page is a collection of thoughts on how I arrived at the decision to select a Catalac 8M as my first cruising catamaran. If you're curious about these boats, it's worth reading as there's some good information on that page concerning Catalac Catamarans. If not, feel free to explore the other pages. I enjoy receiving emails from readers, and if I'm able, I'll also answer questions on the boats via email.
For those who enjoy technical discussions (and videos), you'll find the Propeller drag test (under sail) very interesting, and if considering a Catalac purchase, Catalac boat inspection is a must read. If you are fortunate to own a Catalac catamaran, you might want to have a look at the Builder's Updates page where a collection of Builder warnings are posted.
This site is now more than 60 pages of Catalac information, and more than another 100 pages of Catamaran boat Advertisements. take your time and look around. The next logical web page might be.....Catalac Research Notes . ahhh never mind, go ahead and look at some boats for sale...
Lastly, let me say that the author of these pages is not a boat broker nor does he sell anything boat related for a living. Hopefully, the reader will appreciate this website as sailing resource, as the information it contains is thecollection of information resulting from a search for my 1st Cruising Catamaran purchase in 2005. If you are planning on buying a boat, this site might save you a considerable amount of money and lead to years of happy sailing.
My name is Rick, and I live in Florida. This is my boat, the S/V Catalpa