Catamaran Structure – Bridge Decks and Cross Beams

Editor’s Note: Many thanks to Ted Clements of Antares Catamarans and Shane Grover of Seawind Catamarans for patiently answering our questions. There are a lot of reasons why catamarans are more expensive than monohulls. It’s not just the two hulls. There are many more complicated calculations and structures needed to build the complex shapes. Building a bridge deck and the structures around a pair of hulls is a lot more difficult to design and build than a single hull, and we’ll explore a little about why. Part 1: Forces on the Hulls Load and force calculations on a boat hull isn’t a simple calculation, and even monohulls take a lot of designing to build a shape which performs well and has the strength to hold together at sea. Land vehicles have fairly predictable forces and motion on them, but boats can take forces and stresses in any direction. Waves slam […]

Catana 42 vs Lagoon 440 Evaluation with Multihull Dynamics

We talked to Pat and Cal of Multihull Dynamics which is an excellent site to compare sailing characteristics of cruising catamarans. We walk through what their website can do by doing a comparison of the Catana 42 and Lagoon 440. They discuss why they started the site, various features of the site, touch on overall lessons they have learned from over a decade of analysis, and more. They are launching a new site within the next couple months, so please stay tuned and look for their enhanced site which will have more functionality, better look and feel, and an even larger database of cruising catamarans to compare to each other. You can go to their website and get in touch with Pat and Cal with questions, suggestions, and custom analysis. Welcome Pat and Cal! Can you give me a little bit more information on Multihull Dynamics? Hi. I’m Pat Ross. […]

Catamaran Importation Explained by Custom Broker Jay Reynolds

Today we have Jay Reynolds of JP Reynolds who talks about the basics of importation for your catamaran. If you considering buying one of the catamarans listed in the Caribbean on our website and sailing back to the USA or if you are selling a catamaran in the USA that you purchased in foreign waters, then this Q&A with Jay will give you an idea of the complexities of those details. If you are unsure whether importation is a concern, the best decision is always to contact a Customs Broker like Jay and get a quick opinion of if you should be concerned and what the key variables for your decision are. His details are below. Jay Reynolds Jay@jpreynolds.com 954-522-3763 Executive Summary All catamarans purchased in foreign waters and then US registered are dutiable on arrival. Foreign flagged vessels are not dutiable if they are only used for pleasure.  They […]

Catamaran Financing Explained by Jennifer Meyers

In this episode we talk to Jennifer Meyers of Yacht Closer Financial. We talk about the basics of financing catamarans with particular emphasis on current market conditions and the nuances of financing a catamaran located in the Caribbean. Her contact information phone at 954.816.1818 or email to finance@yachtcloser.com. The website is www.ycfinancial.com where you can fill out an application for marine financing. What is a marine finance agent? What do you do? We are primarily a service company that assists buyers with financing for boat purchases. Financing for boats is really based on the strength of the borrower but there’s so many programs to fit so many different types of borrowers and we have all of them as a service company. We have several different lenders that we work with and once we get someone interested in a purchase we will fit that borrower to the right program. We handle […]

Is a catamaran better for seasickness?

Unfortunately not based on my personal experience and watching others. That catamarans especially help with seasickness is a myth. In fact some catamarans seem to make seasickness worse because of their awkward, more unpredictable motion. I have sailed regularly the last decade thousands on miles in a variety of sea conditions on a variety of types of boats with a variety of crew. I also am prone to seasickness. While there is a difference in the motion of catamarans versus single hulled boats, the result for those who get seasick is usually the same. If you get seasick on one type of boat, you will likely get seasick on the other types. The more determining factors are the ocean conditions and whether you are taking anti-nausea medicine. I remember one of my early offshore deliveries from Fort Lauderdale to Annapolis on a Lagoon 440 and how I hoped I would […]

Catamarans are Better Than Monohulls

Frozen snot Description of fiberglass boats by Lewis Francis Herreshoff It is not a debate anymore. People used to consider the advantages and disadvantages of cruising catamarans versus monohulls. Now it is simply a price consideration. “I don’t have enough money for a catamaran, so I am buying a monohull,” they lament. Catamarans have gone from 20% of the market in my home location of Fort Lauderdale to 50%. In the next decade they will go to 80% share of sailboats. They own the charter market. They own the coastal racing world. And someday soon they will own the bluewater racing and cruising worlds (ask Jimmy Cornell). And as their production surges and prices continue to drop, less and less people will be unable to afford them. It is not a debate anymore. It is a present reality; it is a future certainty. Traditional sailors including me (I own a classic […]

Should I Buy an Ex-Charter Catamaran?

I questioned 20 catamaran owners; if you were buying a used catamaran, would you consider a yacht from a charter company or only search privately owned vessels? 8 of the people said they wouldn’t consider ANY boat coming from the land of charters. Ten of the people said they would entertain the idea of buying a pre-owned charter boat and two already have purchased pre-owned charter cats and BOTH had good things to say about their experiences. Read on later in this article about specific experiences from one of the buyers. Searching for your next catamaran can get over-whelming pretty quick. There a plenty of cat’s out there to choose from; between all the different designs, years and location of the boats, one can become bewildered with hopefully choosing the “right” catamaran. This doesn’t even include whether or not the boat was used privately, or for charter. Knowing if your […]

OceanVolt ServoProps – Perfect for catamarans but are they ready?

Not yet. But advancements are coming in the next decade, and the long awaited emissions free cruising dream is nearly reachable. It has been a long time coming. Countless sailors have pursued the impossible over the last decade as lithium batteries have been advanced and costs lowered. How many sailors have attempted to power the air conditioning from lithium and ended up with failure or anemic units which act more like dehumidifiers? With power hogs like air conditioners and electric motors, how many wind and solar keep up? The new ServoProp saildrives from OceanVolt especially when doubled on a cruising catamaran give us hope. What They Are OceanVolt’s new ServoProp sail drives do the impossible, free wheel while you are sailing, harness the power your motion through the sea, and push that hydro generated energy back into you lithium power bank. Amazing and great idea executed finally in one integrated […]

Catamaran Construction – Hulls, Laminates, and Composites

It’s a given that catamarans are more sensitive to weight and loading than monohulls. Catamaran builders strive to build the lightest boats they can without sacrificing strength and stiffness, and have adapted new building techniques and materials to meet this target. Cutting weight allows more passengers and gear without sacrificing performance. And the marketing materials reflect it–they load every review and website with polysyllabic technical jargon describing the design and production choices each builder made to deliver the best boat they can. But when you’re reading a brochure and you come across phrases like “hand laid bidirectional GRP” or “vacuumed bagged e-glass with vinylester resin over a Divinycell core” do you know what that really means? All modern production catamarans are made with “FRP” construction (for Fiber Reinforced Polymer). Composites aren’t new–it’s just using materials together to strengthen the whole assembly. Straw was added to bricks centuries ago, and steel […]

How much does it cost to dock a catamaran?

A big consideration when purchasing a catamaran is how much it will cost to moor or dock it. The cost to dock a catamaran will usually be higher than a monohull since their greater beam means they take up a lot more room than a monohull. The cost of moorage can vary greatly between different areas of the world however. Rates can also vary depending on the season (winter vs summer) if peak season is much more popular than the off-season.  Besides just the cost, the availability of moorage in your desired area is something to consider as well. Since most marinas are designed primarily with monohulls in mind, they may not have much room available for catamarans. In some places, marina moorage is in such high demand that there are waiting lists to get in. If you’re looking for transient (nightly) moorage while out cruising, it will likely be […]

Should I Buy a Catamaran with Saildrives?

Catamaran buyers out there in the world have explicit demands and preferences when it comes to the layout of their catamaran. Things like dagger boards versus keels, Yanmar versus Volvo, flybridge versus bulkhead helms and the list goes on. A hot topic these days is that of the buyer of a straight shaft engine, or the other guy who would like a saildrive unit instead, on his catamaran. Traditionally, there are more straight shaft drive monohulls and more catamaran’s built with saildrives today. This rule tends to go out the window on vessel’s over 50 feet. Just to gain some perspective, I drove down to the marina by my house, where there are about two hundred vessels tied up in season and about half that being full time slip holders. The marina is known to be the home for many of the Mid-Bays catamarans. It was a beautiful Saturday morning […]

What are the best practices for escrowing funds when selling for sale by owner?

One of the most uncomfortable aspects for a buyer and seller in a for sale by owner catamaran transaction is the escrowing of funds. We see that purchase and sale paperwork is formalized and examples are available online. Closing paperwork is easily handled by a marine documentation agent for a reasonable fee. But escrow services has more complicated options, costs, and risks involved. In a for sale by owner situation, escrowing can take many forms. A buyer may not provide a deposit which then exposes the seller to costs incurred in the case the buyer disappears without paying the haul out, survey, or any other costs as agreed upon. A second dangerous scenario is when the buyer provides his or her deposit directly to the seller for safe keeping. But if this deposit is agreed as refundable, the incentives in the transaction weigh heavily against the interests of the buyer […]

How much is a 45 foot catamaran? 5 Great Options.

Quick answer is $300,000 to $600,000. But you could also pay as much as $1 million for a fully loaded catamaran like La Vagabonde’s brand new Outremer 45 or as little as $150,000 for a late 1990’s Prout 45 or Leopard 45. These prices are all considering you are asking about a catamaran in reasonable condition and with appropriate cruising equipment. Project catamarans could end up costing much less initially although very likely much more eventually as typically you pay a premium in sailing for the “refit experience.” The upside is a long escape working in a boatyard that allows you to escape from your wife and children if that is your goal. We do not recommend the approach and this website while offering a wide selection of catamarans prefers to advertise that are in good condition at great prices to our visitors. Another budget aspect to consider is maintenance […]

What are the parts of a catamaran called?

This article is a dictionary of sorts of common terms used whether slang or professional among catamaran sailors. balsa cored (adj.) – description of a type of building technique common on catamaran used for weight saving purposes. End grain balsa is sandwiched between two layers of fiberglass to stiffen, lighten, and insulate the hull and deck of many catamarans. Usually balsa coring is discussed in terms of concerns about water logged or “wet” coring material which is a significant expensive as well as a common issue especially as catamarans get older. beach platform (n.) – a type of platform at the back of catamaran in particular the Voyage 440. The platform runs the whole back width between the swim platforms and function as a place behind the cockpit combing to layout, fish, and dangle your feet. beachable (adj.) – describing a class of catamaran which can safely be run aground […]

Top 10 Common Mistakes When Selling Your Catamaran FSBO

After a decade of watching sellers and their success on selling catamarans themselves, we now often provide advice to sellers on how to best market their catamarans for sale by owner. We see our success of our boutique FSBO services directly linked to our reputation of quickly and smoothly selling catamarans. Please see our listing page for information on how to sign up for our service and advertise on this website. 1. Price: Obviously a primary determinant of your success in selling your catamaran is picking a proper price. And all boats especially cruising catamarans are prone to what behavior psychologists called the “endowment bias.” Essentially humans are wired to value more what items that they own that have significant memories associated with them than the market does. It is very hard to justify a premium versus comparable catamarans even when your boat deserves it. We can help by providing […]

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 […]

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 forecast 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 like the catamarans for sale by owner on this website. 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 […]

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

Part 2: With permission from Terho Halme – Naval Architect While Part 1 showcased design comments from Richard Woods, this second webpage on catamaran design is from a paper on “How to dimension a sailing catamaran”, written by the Finnish boat designer, Terho Halme. I found his paper easy to follow and all the Catamaran hull design equations were in one place.  Terho was kind enough to grant permission to reproduce his work here. Below are 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 […]

Catamaran Hull Design

Part 1: Notes from Richard Woods 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 an accompanying page from Terho Halme has mathematical formulas used in actual catamaran hull design. It has become […]