About Catalac Catamarans

What is it about catamarans that holds people’s attention? The America’s Cup actually went as a completely multihull event for a few years, and that got people’s attention. Then, of course, the Caribbean is literally overrun by catamarans, which has made them a popular topic in sailing circles these days. People are now including them in their boat research, and discovering cruising catamarans have as much as 50% more room than a monohull of the same boat length. What is just as interesting is they are bright and airy inside, they do not heel (lean) under sail and are incredibly stable both at anchor and under way. Catamarans do not roll at anchor, nor while sailing downwind. In other words, these boats are a lot more comfortable than a comparable sailing monohull and women love them. So why isn’t everyone sailing one?

In asking around in various marinas over the years, I’ve discovered most sailors are aware of a catamaran’s benefits and that the main factor limiting catamaran ownership seems to be their price tags.

Which brings me to why I created this website. Catalac Catamarans are older British Catamarans, designed and built in the 1980s. They are affordable, a solid boat design, and well built. In short, a good choice for anyone’s next boat. With 600 cruising catamarans built, Catalac Catamarans are a boat building success story and are very well known in Europe, yet not so much in America. Tom Lack, the builder, built 8 meter, 9 meter, 10 meter and 12 meter cruising catamarans. These boats were well built and widely respected, making them a hidden gem in today’s boat marketplace, and one of the best values available in cruising catamarans today.

More on Catalac Catamarans

Bottom line, these pages are worth your time if you’re interested in reading about what I would call ‘Affordable Cruising Catamarans’, as here you’ll find info to help people who are serious in locating the right boat. What you should also know is there’s no hidden agenda, as the author of these pages is a retired guy who is not a boat broker nor does he sell anything boat related for a living. This website reflects my views and is my hobby. 

Foredeck of Catalac 8M

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 (no coring) 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, and why they age so gracefully. Why do I say ‘age gracefully’? When you start boat shopping, you’ll understand. 

The Catalac boats look pretty good 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.Catalac Catamarans are one of the very few small Fiberglass catamarans crossing the Atlantic these days (these are links to the articles on each ocean crossing) Catalac 900 S/V Horizons 2013Catalac 10M S/V Blue Felix 2014Catalac 9M in 2016, and the S/V Angel Louise (2012), crossing from Florida to England and lastly S/V Angel Louise (2015) crossing from Europe to the Caribbean. Making Catalacs number 1 among older and smaller catamarans making ocean passages. It turns out that being an older and a smaller boat by todays standards doesn’t slow a Catalac down at all. 

Catalac 9M

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. 

It should be known that Catalac Catamarans were designed and built to sail the North Sea by Tom Lack, a legendary builder of British catamarans. The double thick fiberglass hulls are much stronger by design than designs of newer boats where build costs govern designed strength. Their boat design and build quality simply put more “in” them and is probably the reason Catalac Catamarans are still crossing oceans.

A Catalac Catamaran, survived the worst recorded storm at sea earning these boats their well deserved reputation as one of the best built boats in the world. 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).

It also would be fair to say that they just don’t build them like this any more. You’ve heard the saying “A boat is a hole in the water through which you throw money”. There is some truth to this. Because a cruising boat is in the water most of it’s life, things wear out and build quality affects how much money you’ll spend each season. Chances are a well built boat like a Catalac will reduce maintenence costs.

Catalac 9M – Sailing Catamaran

Catalac 9M catamaran under sail. These British built 30 foot boats cross oceans.

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 from all over the world. (This website is a really big deal in Kathmandu, Nepal)

Catalac 10M

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 10M

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.

Catalac 9Ms

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…(sailors call this ‘boat porn’). 

Hopefully, the reader will appreciate this website as sailing resource, as the information it contains is the collection 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. I answer catamaran / sailing questions if posted on the Catalac section of The Multihull Forum, where I can be found under my screen name – Tropic Cat. or You’ll find my posts under the name ‘TropicCat’ on the best budget minded sailing forum Sailnet.com.

We are Rick and Linda, and we live in Florida. 
and these are some photos of our boat….. S/V Catalpa

Catalac 8M (Catalac 27)


By Rick

Owner of a Catalac 8M and Catamaransite webmaster.

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