In 2010, there were just 14 multihull entries in the well-known Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. Four years later, this number had more than doubled to 36. The expansion reflects a change that is occurring throughout the industry. People are no longer looking at catamarans as ‘floating caravans’ which require a level of skill above and beyond your average cruiser.
Now, the multihull is entering a new phase of its evolution and becoming a popular choice for short trips and casual adventures, as well as extended charters. This is an important development, because it is driving a lot of changes to the shape and function of new catamarans. They are becoming sleeker, faster, and perfectly shaped for cruising.
This guide to the reasons why you should consider a multihull for cruising will explain how the story of the catamaran is changing.
More Space, Easier Handling
One of the main reasons why sailing couples, in particular, tend to go for cruising cats is because they want all of the luxury and space of a multihull, without having to constantly worry about control and handling. With the right catamaran, you can cruise in the lap of luxury – with a huge amount of room above the waterline – but still manage the vessel easily enough in a pair. This is especially important for older people, who prefer to opt for boats that aren’t going to become a strain as the years go by.
Above the Waterline Living
For some people, it is all about comfort. With a multihull, you don’t have to choose between performance and above the waterline living. If you hate spending time below deck or your love of the water comes with recurrent seasickness, a catamaran is the right choice. For long distance cruising, they provide a huge amount of stability and are, therefore, much easier on those with a need for balance and calm.
All the Room in the World
The first thing that most people marvel at when they step inside a multihull is the sheer amount of space on offer. It is not uncommon for a catamaran to have two or more large leisure and seating areas, with plenty of room for those onboard to settle in and relax. Most have the capacity for supersized dinghies as well, which means that anchored expeditions are safer, easier, and more enjoyable. Ultimately, the more space there is to utilise, the more privacy and comfort is afforded to those on the vessel.
Increased Safety Out At Sea
The catamaran is a safer, more stable vessel when it comes to sailing downwind in a following sea and this is what you’ll find on most westabout journeys. With increased stability and a hefty, wide stance, multihulls provide a better radar range and an improved VHF radio range too. Plus, with two engines and no spinnaker pole, they are extremely difficult to sink. This makes them one of the safest choices for short and long term cruising.
Some Helpful Advice on Shopping for a Multihull
The best piece of advice that you could ever be given when shopping for a catamaran is to seriously consider size and manageability. If you cannot handle the vessel by yourself or in a pair, you’ll need to look for crew every time that you want to head out cruising. While this is a perfectly common arrangement, it is worth thinking about if you’d prefer private family or couples adventures.
It is also important to recognise the fact that all kinds of sailing and cruising become harder as you get older. This is why it is worth picking a catamaran that suits your future as well as your present needs. It is a big investment, so don’t rush into a purchase; take your time with viewings and account for your unique needs.