Catamaran Drives Types – Outboards, Inboards and Drive Shaft Configurations

Catamarans these days have many options for their engine based propulsion, even more than monohulls due to the more diverse configurations of a catamaran. The traditional twin diesel engines is a popular arrangement, and dual or single outboard configurations are also becoming popular. When choosing an inboard engine, you then often have a decision to make in drive shaft configuration: traditional straight shaft, or a saildrive.  The drive type has long lasting consequences for how you use and maintain a boat, so it’s an important factor. It affects how much power you have for motoring into strong winds or against current, fuel economy, reliability, maintenance needs, and purchase plus maintenance costs. And let’s not forget noise level and liveability – the choice between diesel inboards vs gas outboards can have a big impact on cabin storage areas and engine noise level. Single Gas Outboard Outboards have always been common in […]

Why You Should Sell Your Catamaran For Sale By Owner

When a new salesperson starts in catamaran sales, often they start their journey to building a clientele by contacting for sale by owner sellers and trying to convince them into listing their catamaran on a brokerage basis. The process involves searching online for sellers on FSBO sites like this one and cold calling owners. In an ever more sophisticated internet world, this article questions the viability of brokering as a value additive for do it yourself sellers. Can these salespeople really offer something more than you can achieve on your own? We doubt it and argue the real vulnerability of a seller is a lack of patience and confidence in the FSBO process. Further this article seeks to educate you and provide you additional confidence in your ability to sell FSBO especially with the service and support of the webmasters here at CatamaranSite.com. Why Brokers No Longer Offer Non-Exclusive Listing […]

What Size Catamaran Should I Buy?

The decision of what size catamaran to buy is an important one, and also a surprisingly difficult one. The best size catamaran will depend a lot on your needs for the boat – how you plan to use it, how many people you’ll typically have onboard, and what your expectations are for boating liveaboard life.  A larger boat will be more spacious and comfortable for living onboard, capable of comfortably housing more people, but has higher costs for purchase and maintenance – and a larger catamaran can also require more skill (or crew) to safely sail. Choosing what size catamaran to look for is the first key step in your purchasing process because it will narrow down the field of options, and can have a big impact on how happy you end up with your decision. Costs The biggest factor that typically comes into play is cost – the larger […]

10 Best Pocket Catamarans (Under 38 ft)

Smaller cruising catamarans are an excellent entry level gateway into cruising catamarans and of late have become very popular. This is an effort to select some of the most well respected of these smaller catamarans. This was a difficult task, as many of these boats, designed and built some time ago, are still found in all the popular cruising grounds, and a list like this is subjective after all. All I can do is apologize in advance for leaving a boat off this list. Prout Snowgoose 37 The Snowgoose  (all iterations) was the first truly popular mass produced catamaran with more than 500 built. Known as safe, strong and capable of being sailed off shore, which some say is because of the position of their main mast, they make a perfect coastal cruiser or circumnavigator for an adventurous couple. This is a lot of boat for the money. These boats […]

Dockside – AC Line Voltage by Country

International Power Standards(Courtesy of ASEA Power Systems,Inc.) Country Frequency Nominal Voltage American Samoa 60Hz 120/240 or 277/480 Antigua 60Hz 230/400 Argentina 50Hz 220/380 Aruba 60Hz 127/220 or 115/230 Australia 50Hz 240/415 or 250/435 Azores 50Hz 110/190 or 220/380 Bahamas 60Hz 120/240 or 120/208 Bahrain 50Hz 230/400   60Hz 110/220 Balearic Islands 50Hz 127/220 or 220/380 Barbados 50Hz 115/230 or 115/200 Belgium 50Hz 220/380 Belize 60Hz 110/220 or 250/440 Benin 50Hz 220/380 Bermuda 60Hz 120/240 or 120/208 Brazil 60Hz 115/230 or 127/220 or 220/380 Brunei 50Hz 240/415 Bulgaria 50Hz 220/380 Burma 50Hz 230/400 Canada 60Hz 120/240 or 120/208 or 277/480 Canary Islands 50Hz 127/220 or 220/380 Cape Verde 50Hz 220/380 Cayman Islands 60Hz 120/240 or 120/208 Chile 50Hz 220/380 China (PRC) 50Hz 220/380 Columbia 60Hz 110/220 or 120/208 or 150/260 Costa Rica 60Hz 120/240 or 120/208 Cyprus 50Hz 240/415 Denmark 50Hz 220/380 Dominica 50Hz 230/400 Dominican Republic 60Hz 120/240 or 120/208 […]

Bahamas Navigation Lights

(Light Houses) Light House Town Area / Island Duration Visible Range Bird Rock Lighthouse Crooked Island Northern entrance to Crooked Island Passage Two white flashes every 15 seconds. 18.5 miles Castle Island Lighthouse Acklin Island Southeastern entrance to Crooked Island Passage Two white flashes every 20 seconds. 20.0 miles Cay Lobos Light Cay Lobos Old Bahama Channel, south fringe of the Great Bahama Bank, 30 miles from Cuba. Two white flashes every 20 seconds. 21.0 miles Dixon Hill Lighthouse San Salvador South West Point, San Salvador Island Two white flashes every 10 seconds. 21.6 miles Egg Island Light Spanish Wells Off northern tip of Eleuthera, west of Royal Island White flash every 3 seconds, range 12 nautical miles 18.5 miles Elbow Cay Lighthouse Hope Town Elbow Cay, west side of Hope Town Harbour Five white flashes every 15 seconds. 19.1 miles Eleuthera Point Light Bannerman Town Southeastern tip of Eleuthera […]

iPad Chart plotter

by Emile du ToitCatalac 8M8-192I have been looking for a way not to buy a dedicated chart plotter and finally started investigating software options for the iPad. I tried and like two of them. 1) iNavx available for iPad and iPhone has some nice features for integrating data from your instruments if that is desired. It mainly uses NOAA RNC raster United States waters marine charts. Although these are free, I dont like them much as primary source since they are not auto quilting, meaning as you move off of one, you manually have to choose the next appropriate chart. Personally I don’t like that. iNavx has a nice feature where it shows you your VN=Vesseal name, SOG=Speed over ground, VAR, HPE, LAT, LON, and VPE in real time. 2)NAVIONICS makes a great iPad navigation app called Marine&Lakes USA HD version 2.5.1 that does not require internet access for the navigation part […]

Simple Accessory Voltage Regulator

(for battery operated devices) There are times when batteries in electronics are a pain in the butt, as they go dead at the most inconvenient times. Since a boat has a 12V battery bank and since our electronic gizmos run on a somewhat lower voltage, I thought a voltage regulator circuit was in order to have my boat battery bank run my electronics. There are a 100 voltage regulator circuits but I found that the least expensive solution was using a common 7805 fixed voltage regulator found at Radio Shack, it is possible to design a custom voltage output regulator for $2.00 which is current limited to slightly more than 1 amp. Most of the time, that’s all we require. This regulator is desirable if you have a bunch of battery operated devices which accept an external power source. You can eliminate all your batteries as you can design any […]

Fuel Additives for Marine Diesel Engines

Before EPA began regulating sulfur in diesel, diesel fuel contained as much as 5,000 parts per million (ppm) of sulfur. This sulfur was utilized by all diesel engine designs as a fuel system and injector lubricant. When the American EPA regulated sulfur out of Diesel fuel in 2006, this created a problem. All diesel engines were designed to use the sulfur in diesel fuel as a lubricant. Now it’s gone. I don’t know about you, but I certainly didn’t get the memo. Why should I? I’m a sailor not a diesel mechanic. Originally, ULSD (Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel) fuel was mandated for use in all on road diesel engines in 2006. Then in 2015 this mandate was extended to include all marine diesel fuel. This fuel burns cleaner and is less polluting … but ULSD contains just 15 ppm of sulfer … which is less than 1% of what the […]

Protecting your boat in a Hurricane

When a hurricane is forcast to head your way there are steps that should be taken to protect your boat. Look at the hurricane after photos here to see what happens when you don’t pay attention to anchoring in a storm. Hurricanes are the reason I only sail 11 months of the year here in sunny Florida. I sailed through one once (necessity) and didn’t like it very much. First step is always to reduce the boat’s windage by removing all sails, panels, Bimini. Some folks even remove the halyards. The top preference is to haul the boat out in advance of the storm to a place that has boat ‘tie downs’ bedded in concrete. If the boat yard doesn’t have tie downs, don’t go there. If you can’t haul her out and Mangroves are available, tie the boat into the Mangroves No Mangroves? Run the boat up a creek or canal […]

We have Pirate Treasure on our beaches!!

(NEWSER July 15, 2013) – “You may want to pack your snorkeling gear the next time you’re headed to Florida’s eastern coast. The owner of a shipwreck-seeking salvage company has announced that he discovered 48 gold coins worth as much as $250,000 off Wabasso Beach on Saturday. And as CNN reports, he made the find just 100 feet from shore, at a depth of just 6 feet. The coins seem to be in good condition, so much so that their dates can be read—they were made between 1697 and 1714…..” How about a totally Kool Florida Vacation? Regular people are finding shipwreck coins on and just off our local Florida beaches by snorkeling or using an inexpensive metal detector. I’m talking about real pirate treasure from pirate shipwrecks. Right here on a Florida beach about an hour from the Orlando theme parks. Check out the article above….  When I first […]

Women Love Catamarans

Women want to feel safe and secure When the decision is made to begin the search for the perfect boat, every one of us sits down and makes a list of the boat features and benefits that are important to us. When I did it, my check list of desired features lead me directly to cruising catamarans.  With their shallow draft, they were matching up to my sailing area better than a monohull and the research showed that Cruising Catamarans have a much brighter interior, (not a cave). They also tend to be the social hub whereever you are, as catamaran cockpits simply hold more people comfortably than a monohull. It’s not hard to see that catamaran galley and salon areas were made for entertaining. From the sailing aspect, catamarans are much better at anchor han a mono (no rolling), and they don’t heel while sailing.  This last bit of information […]

Propeller Drag Under Sail Test

Propellers are a sailboat subject which sometimes turns into extremely heated exchanges when sailors gather and discuss propeller drag under sail. There are two schools of thought, of course. One school says that for best performance, propellers should be locked in reverse when sails are raised, and the engine(s) stopped. The other school of thought says that our transmissions should be put in neutral, and the propeller(s) allowed to free wheel while sailing with the engine off.  This is of particular concern for us cruising catamaran owners as we have two propellers in the water and double the drag. We all know that underwater drag under sail is drag we can do without. So, which school of thought is correct? Hint …you don’t have Helicopter rotors on a boat. I have never seen so much misinformation on a sailing subject tossed around the sailing forums as there is on propeller […]

Catamaran Design Formulas

with permission from Terho Halme – Naval Architect This next section has the basic equations and parameters of catamaran design, courtesy of Terho Halme. There are also a few references from ISO boat standards. The first step of catamaran design is to decide the length of the boat and her purpose. Then we’ll try to optimize other dimensions, to give her decent performance. All dimensions on this page are metric, linear dimensions are in meters (m), areas are in square meters (m2), displacement volumes in cubic meters (m3), masses (displacement, weight) are in kilograms (kg), forces in Newton’s (N), powers in kilowatts (kW) and speeds in knots.  Length, Draft and Beam There are two major dimensions of a boat hull: The length of the hull LH and length of waterline LWL . The following consist of arbitrary values to illustrate a calculated example.  LH = 12.20      LWL = 12.00 After deciding how big a […]

Catamaran Hull Design

Notes from Richard Woods and Terho Halme Since the America’s Cup experimented with going multihull, there’s been a lot of interest in catamaran performance and the catamaran hull designs that define performance. Many guys are investigating whether to buy a catamaran or design and build their dream boat. Let it be said here that building a large catamaran is not for the faint of heart. People begin building 100s of boats a year, yet few are ever completed, as life always seems to have a way of interfering with a good boat build.  Never the less, since the rest of this website is about selecting and buying a boat, it only seems fair to have at least one webpage that covers catamaran design. This page contains notes on boat hull design goals and the mathematical formulas used in actual catamaran hull design. It has become a popular research stop and […]