12 Best Catamaran Sailboats

Best Catamaran Sailboats | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

The appeal of the catamaran sailboats in terms of speed , stability, and the ability to embark on long-range cruising has made them hugely popular with today's sailors. But what are the best catamaran sailboats?

Even though catamaran sailboats have become increasingly popular in the last few years, they have a truly rich legacy as one of the most sought after vessels for bluewater cruising.

Thanks to their incredibly wide beams and bigger daft, catamarans have become remarkably favorable for sailors looking to go for long-distance voyages, overnight cruising, and day sailing.

And if space is paramount for you when out there on the water, a catamaran sailboat is the only way to go as they offer extraordinary space to allow you to spend more time on the water with friends and family.

But even with all these amazing features, you're probably still wondering; what are the best catamaran sailboats?

Like their monohull counterparts, choosing the best catamaran sailboat can be quite overwhelming since there are lots of them out there. They come in a wide variety of designs and sizes ranging from small catamarans to huge ones.

The best catamaran sailboats can easily clock 250-mile voyages, offer incredible performance, and have layouts that can be easily optimized for individuals, charter markets, and great accommodation. In essence, the best catamaran sailboats offer respectable performance and offer good load-carrying ability.

That being said, here are some of the best catamaran sailboats that you can get your hands on.

Table of contents

Best Catamarans


Even though many multihulls are no longer built in the United States these days, the Manta 42 is a true American-built catamaran that brings good living and good value into one package. Designed cleverly for easy handling, this American built catamaran is a great choice for a liveaboard cruiser for sailors looking to go for long-distance voyages. Thanks to its trademark high bows and an enormously curved incorporated forward crossbeam, this catamaran is easily recognizable even from a distance.

It is designed with a uniquely fixed crossbeam, which is very different from conventional aluminum cross beams that support the tension of the forestay. This fixed crossbeam allows for a little bit of movement thereby helping in absorbing enormous twisting forces of the bows. As such, you have to keep in mind that there may be resultant stress crack particularly in the bow area of the vessel.

All in all, the Manta 42 is a superb offshore cruising catamaran that offers a good sail-area-to-displacement ratio as well as plenty of space and accommodation. The cockpit area is refined, luxurious, and is designed with additional stainless pushpit contraptions to help in holding objects such as wind vanes, dinghies, and solar panels. The boat's quality in terms of performance and stability is the benchmark of what a catamaran should be.

Fountaine Pajot Elba 45


Recently named the "Boat of the Year" for 2019 by Cruising World Magazine and Sail Magazine, the Elba 45 is the latest model in the incredible line of Fountaine Pajot catamarans. This boat was designed to replace the outgoing Helia 44 and stands to be one of the most popular catamarans with Fountain Pajot having sold over 100 Elba 45 hulls long before even the first one emerged from production.

This French-built cat brings to the fore a well-thought-out, safe, and dependable features with 10% less drag, efficient motoring, top-notch performance, and high speeds. It's also designed with fixed stub keels and slightly aft-raked bows, which are all essential in enhancing windward performance; something that most catamarans struggle with.

To improve on safety, the keels of this amazing catamaran sailboat are glued into a particularly designed recess in the hulls. This is to ensure that there are no keel bolts that can rip out and put the boat in danger if the boat gets grounded or in the event of a collision. The rig is also ICW friendly and is a true representation of a standard catamaran setup.

This is, without a doubt, a modern-looking cruising catamaran that has a low-profile lounging space on its deck, high topsides and bows as well as a more pronounced reverse sheer that's essential in minimizing the bulk of the windows while creating additional and useful volume below. This is a true catamaran that occupies a sweet spot for those looking to sail along the bay or for those adventurous sailors looking to set sail for more ambitious offshore cruising plans.


With its fine design, straightforward systems, and easy handling, the Leopard 48 has everything it needs to be ranked among the distinguished category of the best catamaran sailboats. This is an excellent multihull that is structured with advanced materials, designs, and innovations that are meant to be fun, spacious, and comfortable.

Designed in South Africa by Simonis-Voogd, is probably the best design in the Leopard family of catamarans. Its two hulls are vacuum-bagged using balsa core to offer maximum firmness while ensuring that the weight is on the minimum. This is done by articulately regulating the level of resin in the layup. With such types of hull shapes, this catamaran sailboat is very fast and can consistently clock 12 knots of speed against the currents.

The boat is also designed with shallow keels as they're filled with closed-cell polyurethane foam that's of great importance in increasing buoyancy and preventing water ingress. To enhance the safety of the vessel, the stern and bow both have bulkheads that are essential in keeping out that water if the sailboat is involved in a collision.

The hulls of this boat are deep and narrow, particularly below the waterline. They also curve higher up to practically reduce the wetted surface area while offering enough deck space and plenty of room for accommodations. Its cockpit is another excellent feature thanks to its lavish spaces that give you the chance of kicking back and relaxing.

This boat is designed to offer superior livability, quick and easy to handle features, as well as enough space for friends and family. It is designed with beautiful lines and immense practicality for those who want to go on long cruising voyages.

Antares 44i

While many people often believe that voluminous cruising catamarans should be used as charter boats, the Antares 44i brings a very different perspective altogether. Designed in Argentina as a complete bluewater catamaran, this is a boat that's specifically built for private boat owners looking for a sturdy and well-equipped bluewater cruiser. This is an absolutely gorgeous catamaran that has a fully-equipped cockpit just to ensure that you can safely operate it even when shorthanded.

Like most catamarans, the Antares 44i is designed with features that allow for long-distance voyages. It comes with a minimum bridge deck clearance of 30 inches, which is essential in mitigating bridge deck slap. The helm station is designed to offer excellent visibility over the coach roof without having to perch the helmsman high above the cockpit.

If you're planning to make those long-distance cruising to exotic places, you'll appreciate this boat's layout. The galley is put down in the port hull so that it doesn't compromise the size of the galley and the saloon. The forward-facing navigation station is up there with the best and is up to offshore standards. And that's not all; the Antares 44i comes with good mounting points for electronics, a large table, comfortable seats, and provides brilliant visibility outside.

This boat is perfectly suited for extended offshore cruising and is a great reminder for anyone who thinks that all catamarans are charter boats and all offshore boats are monohulls.


Designed by Philipe Pouvreau in northern Brazil, the Dolphin Ocema 42 is a truly unique catamaran sailboat that goes against the conventional norm of catamarans. It is equipped with daggerboards, which are essential in enabling it to point higher on the wind while reducing the wetted surface when running or anchoring in shallow surfaces. This, however, requires a higher level of expertise in sailing. This is because lifting the daggerboards higher up will expose the rudders while the daggerboards can also interfere with the hulls in the event that the vessel runs aground.

But even with that, the Dolphin 42 balances incredible performance and cruising comfort in a very compact package; something that is not very easy in bluewater cruising. That's why it's designed using a foam core to make it lightweight by reducing weight wherever possible. This vessel will most likely never let you down if you want to circumnavigate the bluewater on a high-performance boat that is safe and comfortable.

So if you've been looking for a real sailing catamaran that doubles up as a very comfortable liveaboard sailboat , look no further than the Dolphin 42.


Regarded as the best built and most stylish cruising multihull, the Catana 50 is a very huge catamaran sailboat. Measuring about 50 feet long with a beam of about 26 feet, this is an amazing catamaran that will test your sailing skills as a single sailor or if you're planning to sail shorthanded.

This boat is designed with a rig that gives you the option of using either a screecher or a self-tending jib. This may seem complex since the sheets are led to winches near each wheel while all other controls lead to a centerline winch that's located in the cockpit. But even with that, this sailboat can be easily tacked once on the course.

This is a real performance-oriented catamaran with efficient hulls and rigs allowing for top speed. This vessel is also designed with a long waterline and a subtle underwater shape at the bow to help in increasing volume while minimizing wave drag. The stern platforms can help in stretching the waterline length while also providing easy access from a dock or a dinghy. The board trunks are also very strong and sturdy to protect the integrity of the hulls if a collision occurs.

In essence, this is a very modern catamaran that's designed to safely make long-distance passages with ease. It is subdued in terms of styling but this doesn't mean that it falls short as far as performance is concerned.

Atlantic 42


Designed in 1993, the A42 has cultivated a legion of fiercely loyal fans thanks to its efficiency and aesthetic. This is the smallest of the Atlantic cruising catamaran line and is hugely popular with sailors thanks to its ease of handling, ocean-going capabilities, and superb use of space. From the forward cockpit, pilothouse to the sleeping cabins, and brilliant galleys everything about this cat is a true classic.

Unlike most catamarans, the Atlantic 42 is designed with a waist-high cockpit that's located forward of the pilothouse just behind the mast. It brings forth a solid construction thanks to the large metal girder-like bearers that run across the bulkheads. This helps the vessel in having the utmost strength, better air circulation under the engine, and a high level of flexibility as far as the size of the engine and its positioning is concerned.

Initially, the boat's style and its outlook were considered conservative but it soon became clear that it is built of high-quality materials and to last. The internal construction of the boat is impressive, to say the least. The exterior looks very beautiful and perhaps much more beautiful than most boats today. Its large aft cabin accommodation is a top drawer while the space separating en suite heads and shower compartments are considered a bonus.


If you were to board the French-built Fountaine Pajot Bahia 46, you'll agree that the high-quality of workmanship, layout, and efficient use of space is quite exciting, to say the least. This cat remains very popular among sailors thanks to its easy handling features and incredible performance under the sails. Well, this may not come as a surprise to many of us given that the Fountain Pajot is known for building some of the most remarkable cruising catamarans out there that it can be quite overwhelming to narrow down to a single vessel, but the Bahia 46 simply stands out.

This vessel is designed with hulls that are broader than those of many other catamarans. It's also designed with centerboards and daggerboards that are meant to enhance its performance. These are essential in minimizing draft while ensuring reliability, generous bilge, and in helping to protect the rudders and propellers.

This boat is big enough to manage any type of serious offshore sailing. This is one of the best cruising catamarans for anyone looking for the right vessel for long-distance sailing. This vessel has a very more generous rig than most cruising catamarans, which is essential in enhancing its performance. The six-post Bimini is very strong and clean and can perfectly hold dinghies.

In terms of its look, the Bahia 36 is designed with gorgeous lines with the deck and hulls sculpted with lines that add a touch of elegance to the overall look of an already excellent catamaran sailboat.

Gemini 105MC


Whether you're looking for a comfortable catamaran vessel to take you for a weekend sailing trip or a long sabbatical vacation on the oceans, the Gemini 105MC is a very satisfactory liveaboard catamaran vessel that offers spacious accommodation, thoughtful design, and a stable cruising platform for anyone who wants to have some good time on the water.

Designed by the legendary Tony Smith, this is somewhat a sailing cottage. Like a land cottage, it is cozy, comfortable, and very safe. This is essentially a 35 feet catamaran that offers great value for any sailing looking for a reasonably-priced catamaran sailboat for the weekend or holiday cruising.

This boat is designed with incredibly slim hulls, which are teardrop-shaped with flat bottoms and smaller wetted surface area. This is to ensure that drag is minimized and to lead to more leeway under sail. Each of the boat's hull is designed with a kick-up centerboard is of great importance in enhancing the vessel's windward pointing capability. This boat also has its rudders raised to enable it to seamlessly cruise in shallow waters where most vessels would otherwise run aground.

The eccentric narrow beam, which measures about 40% of the boat's length, is very different from today's 50%. However, its low center helps in keeping its stable, upright, and of course, safe.

Lagoon 450 F


If you're looking for a catamaran sailboat that offers prestige at its peak, look no further than the Lagoon 450. This cat is widely known for offering an all-around comfort without compromising its beauty, spaciousness, class, and elegance. This is an elaborate French catamaran that brings to the table fantastic craftsmanship while leaving nothing to chance.

This is a very safe 45 feet catamaran that's not just comfortable but also very luxurious. The deck layout is centered on an amazing flybridge, which has been redesigned and redefined to offer both the traditional and modern outlook. You can very easily access the bridge, engine controls, steering station in a matter of seconds. As a result, this boat is efficiently designed to give you the ultimate control of almost every situation while on the water.

The spacious and luxurious interior of this boat is worth experiencing. The cabins and saloons are perfectly lit. We're talking about four to six cabins, eight to twelve berths, and up to four bathrooms. In essence, this boat can comfortably sleep eight to twelve people. This boat is designed to offer ultra-modern accommodations and amenities that come with little but amazing touches; all designed to make your life inside the catamaran enjoyable.


An original performance catamaran cruiser from the iconic Gunboat manufacturer, the Gunboat 62 has truly cemented its place as one of the best catamaran sailboats to ever grace the oceans. Honestly speaking, this cat-inspired a whole range of other incredible boats including HH66 Catamaran and the Balance 526.

This is a boat that can perform admirably well in storms with a speed of over 35 knots despite being built using epoxy and E-glass with carbon-fiber structural components. It's designed with a distinct angular outline than most catamaran sailboats of its size and category. This is a vessel that was built for people looking to add more stuff and more gear for their voyages. In other words, you can have all the gear and equipment on this boat and still outperform a racing monohull of the same size.

Thanks to its lightweight feature, this vessel can sail upwind at speeds of over 17 knots and pinch up to 30 degrees. Just for comparison, the Gunboat 62 can tack through 95 degrees and still outperform the best racing monohulls. This boat is designed with a comfortable helm seat that offers 360-degree visibility as well as plenty of storage space, a functional working surface, and a luxurious cabin. Like many performance catamarans, the Gunboat 62 can attain about 20 knots if the conditions are right.

Privilege 615


Combining elegance, comfort, and style, the Privilege 615 is a lovely catamaran sailboat that seems to be always ready for a long offshore voyage. The roots of this incredible cat can be traced back to the 1980s when Philippe Jeantot opened up a boat-building company in France. As one of the best productions from the company, the privilege 615 sports a flybridge that comes complete with twin wheels, a sprawling sunbed, and other excellent features that will make your bluewater cruising a breeze.

Whether you want the charter version or a privately-owned version, the Privilege 615 is one of the most versatile catamaran sailboats. Step inside this vessel and you'll instantly notice the quality of the wood finish and the elegance of design. The advanced navigation station is not only ultra-modern but is perfectly stationed at a dedicated corner where you can control everything while still having a conversation with your friends and family.

This boat comes with multiple sleeping configurations to ensure that you and your guests can live aboard the boat for months on end. Although the boat appears like some sort of maze on the inside, you'll easily get used to it when you enter the forward section. That's not all; this boat has gorgeous lines that make the exterior beautiful just like the interior. Its sleek profile, incredible volume, and versatile interior make it one of the best catamaran sailboats out there.

There you have it; these are the best catamaran sailboats out there. It doesn't matter the one you choose, these cats will make your day out on the water and will serve you just right for your offshore voyages or for day sailing along the bays.

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I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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8 Best Daysailers Under 21 Feet – Buying Guide



Chris Riley

It’s a sunny day, and you want to take a spin around the harbor. What better way to do that than launching a daysailer?

These sailboats are traditionally smaller than a cruise ship or yacht, but considerably bigger than kayaks , catamarans, inflatable dinghies , and other smaller boats. Owning an open sailboat shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg, but expect to spend some top dollar.

Here are 8 best daysailers that are 21 feet or under.



Let’s kick things off with the Catalina 16.5 sailboat. It might come as a surprise to find a Catalina boat listed among the best daysailers under 20 feet because the name is more known for bigger cruiser yachts. But there are a whole lot of small boats built by Catalina, too.

The Catalina 16.5 is one of the most versatile hand-laminated fiberglass sloops from this designer and can be purchased with the option of a 4-feet 5-inch shoal-draft keel or a centerboard that draws 5-inch with the board up.

Consider choosing the lead-keel option if you want to park it on a mooring or at the dock. It is built to remain stable in such conditions. On the flip side, getting the centerboard version is most suitable if you want to store the boat on a trailer.

Catalina builds all their boats with a self-bailing cockpit, and the 16.5 is no different. It comes with a huge self-bailing cockpit. There is a waterproof hatch and a stowage space forward of the boat. The boat also comes with standard hiking straps and a tiller extension if you want to step on to the side deck for some spray in your face and good visibility forward.

You can get out on the water with around ten grand or more. Check out current listings for Catalina 16.5 .

 Boats  →

Teaching your kids or anyone to sail requires a low-maintenance and very steady boat. This is where the Hunter 15 shines. It is a perfect knockabout sailboat that can take a lot of rough beating without breaking, thanks to its high freeboard and fiberglass construction.

The boat has a wide beam that ensures she’s steady no matter what. Crew-weight shifts or sudden crazy jibes that may happen along the way won’t do a thing to this boat. And even the most fearful and unsteady learner won’t fall out of it. It will take a tremendous effort to capsize this beautiful boat, making it one of the best daysailers any daysailer (or intending daysailer) would want to have.

But stability and durability are not the only pluses for the Hunter 15. It has a self-bailing cockpit that allows any water that gets into the boat to exit quickly. There is room enough to comfortably accommodate up to four people.

Getting a durable and high-performance sailboat that will cruise smoothly on the water is one thing; finding convenient storage is an entirely different ballgame. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend extra cash when it comes to this boat. The sailboat can fit into your garage while sitting on a trailer. And here’s another good thing with Hunter 15; you don’t have to worry about varnishing wood afterward.

But perhaps the best part of the Hunter 15 is that it is a very affordable boat. Although sailboats don’t come cheap, you don’t have to break the bank to own one of the beauties.

Prices for a new one range from around $10k, and you can find used ones for less. Check out the listings of Hunter 15 and other equally excellent models of the Hunter sailboat.


Ready for some painless daysailing? Renowned designer, Chuck Paine, has something classy and beautiful for you. The Paine 14 (obviously named after the designer) is a trailerable sailboat with exceptional performance and purposely styled after the traditional Herresholf 12 1/2 boat, except for its size. Paine 14 is a lot smaller in all aspects, which accounts for its considerable lightness.

It is fitted with a modern spade rudder and fin keel, giving the boat more agility and speed as she sails. And even with a lead-ballast keel almost her total weight, this sweet, small vessel maintains stability at top speed.

But why is a boat with an old-time appeal be listed among the best daysailers? Simple. It is a blend of the classic old and modern performance. Indeed, it is constructed from cold-molded wood with varnished gunnels and transom, but don’t be fooled by that century-old look.

Chuck Paine worked some modern magic into this cute beauty with the inclusion of a carbon mast and an extremely easy way to attach sails to it. Setting up sail is quick and simple, and you can get it done and over with in only a couple of minutes.

The boat can be gaff-rigged, or you can use a Marconi rig. Got a standard car? That’s all you need to trailer this light sailboat, and you are good to go.

Check here for Paine 14 listings .

 Chuckpaine  →


If you want a sailboat that will get your adrenaline pumping and bring out the competitive sailor in you, perhaps you should take a look at the Laser .

The 13-feet 10-inch Laser boat is not included on the list of the best daysailers for nothing. It is raced both as club races and as an international sailing category, featuring in world-class competitions, including the Olympic sailing championships.

However, you don’t have to take part in a competition to enjoy sailing this boat. And you definitely don’t need it for exercising. The Laser is a great choice even if you simply want to enjoy plain smooth sailing just for fun.

The Laser boat has an incredibly lightweight build with fiberglass and a powerful sail. It is an excellent choice for a single cruiser and works well for two adults, too. Be warned, though. It can easily capsize because it is lightweight, but it will also recover just as fast, too!

The boat is easy to transport, launch, and store, thanks to its kick-up rudder. Laser Performance built this model to have a single sail, two-part mast design, with a daggerboard.

This sailboat is very affordable. Prices start from $7k for new boats, and you can find used ones for far less than that. Check here for Laser boat listings .

You can’t go wrong with a design that has been in existence for over five decades and with more than one hundred thousand boats launched since it debuted in Southern California. The Hobie 16 is a long-lasting design that has stood the test of time and attracts quite a following.

This sailboat weighs only 320 pounds, so it is conveniently trailerable. It has ample room to accommodate a crew of four without straining it. The hulks are built from asymmetric fiberglass sandwich and come with kick-up rudders. This gives you the option of sailing all the way to the beach.

The Hobie 16 is designed to have great speed, thanks to its abundant high-speed gear. But that’s not all. It is also equipped with a spinnaker, a trailer, and a douse kit. The main and jib offer a wide sail area of more than 200 square feet.

Both adults and kids will enjoy having lots of fun in this spacious sailboat, especially in the summer. Little wonder it is one of the very best daysailers available on the market.

The Hobie 16 is a high-performance boat with starting prices for new ones in the $12K range. You can find used ones at a little less. But if you want a simpler, smaller, and more affordable option, take a look at the Hobie Cat Wave . It is not a high-performance design, but it offers loads of fun, too. It comes with roto-molded hulls and fitted with a boomless mainsail. This smaller version costs almost half the price of the 16’s, which is a pretty good bargain.



Looking for one of the best daysailers that will stand out from any crowd? The Norseboat 17.5 might just be the perfect sailboat for you. Dubbed as the “Swiss Army Knife of Boats,” this one-of-a-kind sailboat can be sailed or rowed.

But wouldn’t it take a lot of effort to row this boat? No. Not with the boat’s sheer. The fiberglass hull has lots of sheer – a deliberate and apt design to make rowing easy-breezy. So, even if there’s no wind, you can still have fun rowing while getting some exercise in the process. And if the wind is strong enough, you can relax and let the jib and mainsail do their thing.

The Norseboat 17.5 is the perfect choice for daysailers searching for a high-performance boat that comes with beautiful traditional lines. But even if you are a sea kayaker who is looking to move up, or a cruising sailor seeking to downsize a bit, you’ll find this legendary pedigree to be a good fit for you.

Some of its features include a fully battened mainsail, pivoting carbon mast, shallow draft, furling headsail, and a signature curved headboard. The lightweight boat comes with two rowing stations and performs excellently well, whether wind-powered or rowed. Plus, it has plenty of room to stow stuff.

The boat’s light weight makes transportation easy. All you need is a mid-sized car, and you can easily tow it. Storage is equally hassle-free, as the sailboat can fit into any standard garage.

Check out the current listings for Norseboat 17.5 .

 Norseboat  →


Traditional daysailers are small sailboats that you can take for a quick spin around the harbor. They lack accommodation primarily because they are not designed for spending the night (it’s even in the name!). But all that has changed over the years, and that distinction is almost non-existent with modern designs such as the Fareast 18 .

The boat is a Simonis Voogd design with incredibly high performance, high speed, low maintenance, and comes at a comparatively affordable price. The mainsail has a fully battened square-top and an asymmetrical spinnaker. This is an excellent choice for buoy racing with enough room for a crew of six to compete.

While you typically will not spend the night in a daysailer, there’s nothing wrong with taking a short break below deck. The boat can comfortably sleep up to three just in case you decide to spend the night on the water.

Fareast 18 design features a foam-core hull/vacuum-infused fiberglass, a carbon-structured contemporary bulb keel, and vacuum-infused foils. This high-tech boat is small enough to be rigged and launched by a single sailor.

Even with only one foot of water, this boat will float with the keel retracted and the rudder off. And it is quite easy to trailer this boat.

Check for the current price of new Fareast 18 boats .

 Fareast  →

If you are in the market for a top-class daysailer, you might as well take a look at the Saffier Se 33 UD . Hennevanger brothers, the designers, threw in a lot of know-how and investment to bring this dream boat to reality. The production facility shows in the vacuum-infused build and quality finish of the boat.

Saffier has a collection of models that range between 21 feet and 37 feet, with each boat thoroughly tested to ensure seaworthiness. Considering the size of these boats, one will naturally assume they will be difficult to sail. But that’s not the case with these boats. Even the largest models can be sailed single-handedly and quite easily.

The Se 33 UD was launched in 2014 and done a sporty design. It sails smoothly in all weather conditions, thanks to its solid sprayhood. The sailboat features a practical self-draining cockpit to expel any water that gets into the boat. Included in the cockpit are a folding transform and two-meter benches. The boat is spacious enough for a crew of four, and you can even take a quick nap below.

This top-class boat is an excellent choice if you have deep pockets. Starting prices are in the range of $150k for new boats. You can also check out the new Se 27 model if you want something that is serious fun. The new models can clock up to 20 knots.

For more on pricing, you can check out listings on these boats.

How to Choose the Best Daysailers – Buying Guide

best day sailing catamaran

With well over a hundred different daysailers on the market, it can be daunting to pick just one. Here’s what to look for when deciding on which open sailboat to buy for yourself or family use.

Ease of Sail

How a boat behaves when the wind blows up can make it easy or difficult to sail. A lot of modern sailboats are incredibly fast and are great for racing, but can be quite tricky to handle.

You want to look for an open boat that is tamer and stable. This is the perfect choice for a family day sailing boat, especially if you want to encourage kids to learn to sail. Look for a boat that is heavy enough to remain stable regardless of the crew’s acrobatics. It should be easy to rig, launch, and sail, even by a single person.


While it is okay to take proper care of your boat, it is equally important to choose a boat that is easy to maintain. Go for boats with hulls designed to a beating without breaking down. Pay attention to the sails, too. Select one with tough sails that won’t easily blow out of shape after just one season of sailing.

Choose a Daysailer with Safety Features

Whether you will be sailing alone or with your family, safety should come first. Pick a boat that can cope with trouble in any condition or weather, and both on rivers or open waters. Look for a sailboat with positive foam floatation. Even if the hull gets filled with water or is punctured, the boat shouldn’t sink.

But because you cannot completely rule out manufacturing errors, even the best daysailers with safety designs can still capsize. However, you should look out for one with a “self-rescue” feature. In other words, choose a boat that rides very high even when it capsizes, so that the weight of her crew will quickly get her to recover without external help.

High Performance

Safety and stability are great, but that shouldn’t translate to a dull boat. You want a sailboat that provides safety as much as it offers some level of fun and exciting challenge even with your family on board.

Ample Space

Daysailers are typically small sailboats, but they should provide enough room to suit your purpose. Whether you want to sail with your family or a few friends, choose a boat that can comfortably accommodate the entire crew.

While not a requirement, a few modern designs include overnight abilities. Consider choosing these types if you spend a lot of time in the open water, even if you are primarily using an open daysailer. You never know when you will be tempted to spend the night cruising in the open water.

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10 Best Catamarans for 2023

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Table of Contents

Catamarans have taken the boating world by storm, becoming the fastest-growing segment, with both sail and power cats dominating the market. Some of the best catamarans have been launched in the past 12 months! Let us introduce you to five power catamarans and five sail multihulls, and then let us get you on the water with one! Here are the ten best catamarans for 2023 :

  • World Cat 260 CCX 
  • Four Winns TH36 
  • Leopard 40 PC 
  • Aquila 42 PC 
  • HammerCat 45 
  • Fountaine Pajot Tanna 47 
  • Bali 4.4 

Balance 442

  • Minicat 310 

Find the market’s hottest catamarans for half-day and full-day rent 

Power Catamarans:

World cat 260 ccx.


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The sixth model in the builder’s center console line , the World Cat 260 CCX , is compact but packed with features, including a wraparound U-lounge for relaxing or casting, a 30-gallon live well, a 120-quart insulated fish box and twin 200-hp outboards that draw on 180 gallons of fuel. This is a small but serious fishing machine.

Four Winns TH36

Four Winns TH36

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The new Four Winns TH36 is the first outboard-powered catamaran introduced by the builder. The dual console design has a walkthrough windshield and room for 15 or more guests. Power is provided by twin 300-hp outboards upgradeable to 350s, making this runabout speedy and fun.

Leopard 40 PC

Leopard 40 PC

Joining her 46- and 53-foot siblings, the new Leopard 40 PC is a couple’s cruiser with many of the same features as the two larger models but on a much smaller (and for some, more approachable) platform. Engine packages range from 250 hp to 370 hp, and a top speed of 20 knots is expected.

Aquila 42 PC

Aquila 42 PC

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The new 42 falls in the middle of the Aquila range and offers two staterooms, multiple sunbeds, a utility cabin , and numerous layout configuration options. She has engines from Volvo Penta and a spacious flybridge with steps that lead directly down to the foredeck for easy maneuvering.

HammerCat 45

HammerCat 45

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The new HammerCat 45 is versatile and can work as a sportfish platform, a dive boat, a day cruiser, or a superyacht tender. This center console has a hardtop and a Carolina bow and is built in epoxy and carbon fiber to keep weight down and performance up. Expect a 55- knot top end and a 30-knot cruise depending on the engine package selected. 

Sailing Catamarans:

Fountaine pajot tanna 47.

Fountaine Pajot Tanna 47

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This French-built sailing cruiser has space in spades. The new FP Tanna 47 is based on (and shares a hull design with) her predecessor, the Saona 47, but clever tweaks have made this a whole new boat. The cabin house and deck have been revamped, the flybridge is 40% larger, the salon/ galley has gained storage options, and the helm is more ergonomic than before.

Bali 4.4

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Bali has captured the hearts of sailors who love lots of living space, large household-style appliances, and simplicity. Bali cats are unique for their combination salon/ cockpit layout, and the 4.4 joins her siblings in this groundbreaking design. With the touch of a button, a “garage door” lifts, connecting the indoors with the outdoors with minimum redundancy in living arrangements.

balance 442

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Fast and packed with proven cruising features, the Balance 442 is the little sister to last year’s 482. Perfectly sized for couples, this boat was designed for distance cruisers by distance cruisers. There’s even an option for a large solar array to make living at anchor easy and just about carbon neutral.

Lagoon 55

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French catamaran builder, Lagoon, has introduced a new VPLP-designed cruising cat that you can test in charter soon. The Lagoon 55 slots just above the newly introduced 51and are offered as a large and comfortable flybridge model with up to six cabins to accommodate an overnight crowd. 

Minicat 310

Minicat 310

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Not all cats are of the large, expensive fiberglass variety. An affordable multihull can be had in Europe’s Minicat 310 Sport, an inflatable beach cat weighing only 77 pounds and packing down into a single bag. This cat has sophisticated big boat features like roller furling, a fully battened mainsail, keels, and an attachment for a small outboard.

Find catamarans for rent— NEAR YOU

These models, representing some of the best catamaran brands on the market today, are pretty new, so there aren’t many out there yet, but if you get a chance to step aboard one, you won’t be disappointed. One way to potentially test one is via a peer-to-peer boat-sharing service like Boatsetter that pairs owners, who can offset boat ownership costs, with charters, who can enjoy luxury boats without the long-term commitment. 

Check out the hottest boats in the market at Boat Types , and scroll through Boat Guises to find your next boating destination . Keep your eyes peeled to catch one of these ten amazing catamarans on the water!

About Boatsetter 

Boatsetter is a unique boat-sharing platform that gives everyone — whether you own a boat or you’re just renting — the chance to experience life on the water. You can list a boat , book a boat , or make money as a captain . 

List. Rent. Earn— Only at Boatsetter


Zuzana Prochazka is an award-winning freelance journalist and photographer with regular contributions to more than a dozen sailing and powerboating magazines and online publications including Southern Boating, SEA, Latitudes & Attitudes and SAIL. She is SAIL magazines Charter Editor and the Executive Director of Boating Writers International. Zuzana serves as judge for SAIL’s Best Boats awards and for Europe’s Best of Boats in Berlin. 

A USCG 100 Ton Master, Zuzana founded and manages a flotilla charter organization called Zescapes that takes guests adventure sailing at destinations worldwide. 

Zuzana has lived in Europe, Africa and the United States and has traveled extensively in South America, the islands of the South Pacific and Mexico. 

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13 Best Liveaboard Catamarans (For All Budgets)

If you want to enjoy long-term living on the water, a liveaboard catamaran can provide the perfect combination of comfort and adventure. However, buying and owning a catamaran can cost you a fortune. If you're not sure which one suits your budget, here are 13 of the best liveaboard catamarans on the market today, covering a range of budgets and lifestyles.

The 13 best liveaboard catamarans for different budgets are:

Nautitech 46 Open

Lagoon 450f, nautitech 46 fly.

If you're on a tight budget but still want to enjoy the liveaboard lifestyle, the Leopard 40, Lucia 40, and Lagoon 400 are some of your best options. If you have a slightly higher budget to live up to your dream life aboard, let's see which of these catamarans will suit your needs best.

  • Low-budget liveaboard catamarans cost anywhere from $350,000 to $450,000, while high-budget options range from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000.
  • The living space of the best liveaboard catamarans ranges from 77 sqm to 215 sqm, with the higher-budget options generally offering more space.
  • Most catamaran models come equipped with one galley and multiple heads, with the number of heads ranging from 2 to 4.
  • High-budget catamarans like Lagoon 52 and Catana 50 are built with advanced safety features such as a self-tacking jib and an automatic reefing system.

best day sailing catamaran

On this page:

Best liveaboard catamarans for all budgets.

When choosing the best liveaboard catamaran, there are questions you need to ask yourself such as:

  • Are you planning to live aboard full-time or just part-time?
  • Will you be traveling extensively or staying in one location?
  • Do you plan to fish or engage in other water activities?
If you plan to sail around the world and are not sure what catamaran size is perfect for your goal , you can get some tips from this article.

You may also need to check your budget. Keep in mind that the purchase price is just one aspect of the cost of owning a catamaran. See how much it actually costs to buy and own a catamaran in this article.

best day sailing catamaran

You may also need to factor in ongoing maintenance, repairs, and other expenses, such as docking costs. Docking costs depend on the location of the marina and the actual size of your catamaran, but to give you an idea of how much it costs to dock a catamaran , here's an article that can help you.

The best liveaboard catamarans have these most important features :

Living space Look for a catamaran with an open layout, large windows, and plenty of natural light to create a spacious and inviting living area.

Galley and heads Choose a catamaran with a well-designed galley that is easy to use and has plenty of storage space. The heads should be spacious and comfortable, with a separate shower area if possible.

Performance and handling You might want to opt for a catamaran with a good sail plan and sailing controls that are easy to operate. If you plan to do offshore cruising, perhaps consider a catamaran with a shallow draft and good seaworthiness.

Safety and seaworthiness Choose a catamaran with sturdy construction and good safety features, such as handrails and lifelines. You might want to make sure also that the catamaran is designed for single-handed sailing if you plan to sail solo.

Estimated price range: $400,000 - $500,000

Living space inside Leopard 40

The Leopard 40 has a spacious interior with a modern and stylish design. It features four cabins and two heads, providing ample living space for up to 8 people.

The cabins are well-ventilated and well-lit, with large windows that offer panoramic views of the sea. The saloon is also spacious, with comfortable seating and a large dining table.

Galley and heads of Leopard 40

The galley is well-equipped with a large refrigerator, freezer, gas stove, oven, and plenty of storage space. The heads are also well-designed, with separate shower stalls and electric toilets.

Performance and handling of Leopard 40

The Leopard 40 has a sleek and streamlined design that allows it to move smoothly through the water. The twin engines provide plenty of power, and the boat is easy to maneuver even in tight spaces.

The boat also comes with a range of performance features, such as a large sail area, a self-tacking jib, and a full-batten mainsail.

Safety and seaworthiness of Leopard 40

The Leopard 40 is built to the highest standards of safety, with a strong and durable hull, high-quality rigging, and a range of safety features such as lifelines, handrails, and safety harnesses.

The boat also has excellent stability, which makes it very safe and comfortable to sail in rough seas.

Estimated price range: $450,000 - $550,000

Living space inside Lucia 40

The Lucia 40 is a spacious catamaran that offers plenty of living space for a family or a group of friends. It has a large saloon with a U-shaped sofa and a dining table that can comfortably seat six people.

The saloon is surrounded by large windows that provide plenty of natural light and a great view of the surroundings. The catamaran has four cabins and two heads, which provide ample sleeping space for up to eight people. The cabins are well-appointed and offer plenty of storage space.

Galley and heads of Lucia 40

The galley on the Lucia 40 is located in the saloon and is well-equipped with a three-burner stove, oven, fridge, and plenty of counter space for food preparation.

best day sailing catamaran

The two heads are located in each hull and are equipped with a shower, toilet, and sink. They are spacious and provide plenty of privacy.

The Lucia 40 is a performance-oriented catamaran

The Lucia 40 is a performance-oriented catamaran that is designed for cruising in comfort. It has a sleek and modern design that allows it to sail efficiently in a wide range of wind and sea conditions.

The catamaran is equipped with a full batten mainsail and a furling genoa, which provide excellent sail performance. The helm station is located on the flybridge, which provides excellent visibility and allows for easy handling.

The Lucia 40 is a safe and seaworthy catamaran

The Lucia 40 has a solid fiberglass hull and a structural bulkhead that provides excellent strength and rigidity. The catamaran is equipped with all the necessary safety equipment, including life jackets, flares, fire extinguishers, and a first aid kit.

It is also equipped with a comprehensive navigation system, which includes GPS, radar, and an autopilot, to ensure safe and accurate navigation.

Estimated price range: $350,000 - $450,000

Living space inside Lagoon 400

The Lagoon 400 offers ample room for passengers to relax and socialize. The main saloon is located on the same level as the cockpit, creating a seamless indoor-outdoor living experience.

The saloon features a large dining table and comfortable seating, while the cockpit provides additional seating and a table for outdoor dining. The cabins are also spacious and comfortable, with plenty of storage space.

Galley and heads of Lagoon 400

The galley is well-equipped with a stove, oven, refrigerator, and sink, making it easy to prepare meals while underway. The heads are also well-designed, with separate shower stalls and electric toilets.

The Lagoon 400 has good sailing performance

This boat has a generous sail area, a powerful rig, and a light displacement, which allows it to sail well in a variety of conditions. The boat's twin hulls also help to reduce drag and increase stability, which makes it easier to sail in choppy seas or high winds.

The Lagoon 400 is also equipped with twin engines, which allow it to be easily maneuvered in tight spaces or when docking. The boat's shallow draft, which is one of the advantages of sailing a catamaran , also makes it suitable for exploring shallow waters or anchoring in secluded bays.

The Lagoon 400 is designed to be safe and seaworthy

The boat's twin hulls provide excellent stability, which reduces the risk of capsizing. See a detailed comparison between catamaran and monohull in this article.

The boat is also equipped with a range of safety features, including a solid fiberglass hull, watertight bulkheads, and a high freeboard, which helps to keep the boat dry and reduce the risk of swamping.

The boat is also built to withstand rough seas and strong winds, with a reinforced hull and high freeboard. It also features a range of safety features, including lifelines, safety harnesses, and an emergency tiller.

The Bali 4.0 is a catamaran that offers ample living space

The cockpit and saloon are on the same level, which creates a large open-plan living area. The saloon has a U-shaped seating area, which can comfortably seat six people, and a large table that can be lowered to create a double berth.

Galley and heads of Bali 4.0

The galley of Bali 4.0 is located aft of the saloon and is well-equipped with a three-burner stove, oven, refrigerator, and sink. The boat has four cabins, each with its own en-suite head and shower. The cabins are spacious and comfortable, and the heads are modern and well-designed.

Performance and handling of Bali 4.0

The Bali 4.0 has a self-tacking jib and a fully battened mainsail, which makes it easy to sail short-handed. The boat is also equipped with a Code 0 sail, which provides additional downwind performance. The boat's helm is responsive and easy to control, and the boat is stable and predictable in a variety of conditions.

Safety and seaworthiness of Bali 4.0

The Bali 4.0 is a seaworthy boat that is designed to be safe and comfortable in a variety of conditions. The boat has a high freeboard, which provides additional safety and protection from waves and spray.

best day sailing catamaran

The boat also has a solid foredeck, which provides additional safety when moving around the boat. It is also equipped with a full suite of safety equipment, including life rafts, life jackets, and safety harnesses.

Estimated price range: $500,000 - $600,000

Living space inside Bali 4.3

The Bali 4.3 has a large saloon with panoramic views, plenty of natural light, and a modern design. The saloon is equipped with a large U-shaped sofa, a dining table, and a chart table. The cockpit is also spacious and features a dining table, a sunbathing area, and a helm station.

Galley and heads of Bali 4.3

The galley and heads on the Bali 4.3 are well-designed and offer plenty of space and storage. It is located in the saloon and features a 3-burner stove, an oven, a large refrigerator, and plenty of counter space. The heads are located in each hull and feature a separate shower, electric toilets, and plenty of storage.

The Bali 4.3 is a fast and agile catamaran. It features a self-tacking jib and a square-top mainsail, which make it easy to handle and maneuver. The boat is also equipped with twin engines, which provide good speed and maneuverability.

The Bali 4.3 is a very safe and stable catamaran

The Bali 4.3 features a solid construction, a high freeboard, and a wide beam, which make it very stable and comfortable even in rough seas. The boat is also equipped with a number of safety features, including lifelines, safety harnesses, and life jackets.

Living space of Catana 42

The Catana 42 has a spacious interior layout with plenty of natural light and ventilation. The saloon and cockpit are integrated into one living area, which provides a comfortable and functional living space.

Galley and heads of Catana 42

The galley is located in the port hull and features a three-burner stove, oven, refrigerator, and ample storage space. The heads are located in the starboard hull, with one head serving as the owner's suite en-suite and the other serving the remaining three cabins.

The Catana 42 an excellent performer

The catamaran is designed to be fast and stable, with a high bridge deck clearance and a narrow hull-to-waterline beam ratio. It also has a large sail area, which provides good speed in light winds.

The Catana 42 is built with safety and seaworthiness

The boat is designed to be self-righting in the event of a capsize , and the hulls are foam-filled for added buoyancy. The boat also features a robust construction with a reinforced keel and rudder, making it suitable for offshore cruising.

Estimated price range: $600,000 - $700,000

Living space of Nautitech 46 Open

The Nautitech 46 Open is a spacious and comfortable catamaran that offers ample living space, a well-equipped galley, and multiple heads for convenience. The living area is open and airy, with large windows and plenty of natural light.

Galley and heads of Nautitech 46 Open

The galley is fully equipped with modern appliances and ample storage space, making it easy to prepare meals and entertain guests. The heads are also well-appointed, with modern fixtures and plenty of space for comfort.

Performance and handling of Nautitech 46 Open

The Nautitech 46 Open is a capable and responsive catamaran that is easy to sail and maneuver. The boat's twin hulls provide excellent stability and make it easy to handle in a variety of conditions.

The boat's rig is designed for performance, with a large sail area and a well-balanced design that allows for easy handling and excellent speed.

Safety and seaworthiness of Nautitech 46 Open

The boat is built to the highest standards of safety and durability, with a strong and sturdy construction that can withstand the rigors of offshore sailing. The boat is also equipped with all the necessary safety features, including life rafts, life jackets, and safety harnesses, to ensure that you and your crew stay safe on the water.

Estimated price range: $700,000 - $800,000

Living space inside Lagoon 450F

The Lagoon 450F is a spacious catamaran that offers plenty of room for living and entertaining. The saloon is large and open, with plenty of natural light and ventilation.

The cockpit is also spacious and comfortable, with a large dining table and seating for up to eight people. The cabins are well-designed and offer plenty of storage space, and the bathrooms are modern and well-appointed.

best day sailing catamaran

Galley and heads of Lagoon 450F

The Lagoon 450F has a well-equipped galley that is perfect for preparing meals while at sea. The galley features a large refrigerator and freezer, a three-burner stove, an oven, a microwave, and plenty of counter space. The heads are also well-designed and offer plenty of space and privacy.

Performance and handling of Lagoon 450F

The Lagoon 450F is a fast and stable catamaran that is easy to handle. The boat is powered by two Yanmar diesel engines, which provide plenty of power and speed.

The boat is also equipped with a high-performance sail plan, which allows for easy and efficient sailing.

The Lagoon 450F is designed to handle a variety of weather conditions

This boat is built to the highest standards of safety and quality and is equipped with all of the necessary safety equipment, including life rafts, life jackets, and emergency flares.

The boat is also designed to be self-sufficient, with a large water tank and generator, which allows for extended periods of time at sea.

Living space inside Helia 44

The Helia 44 has a spacious and well-designed interior that maximizes living space. The saloon features large windows that provide plenty of natural light and offer stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

The seating area is comfortable and can accommodate up to 8 people. The cabins are also spacious and well-appointed, with plenty of storage space and en-suite bathrooms.

Galley and heads of Helia 44

The galley on the Helia 44 is well-equipped and designed for easy use. It features a large refrigerator, a 3-burner gas stove, an oven, and a microwave. The heads are also well-designed, with separate shower stalls and plenty of storage space.

The Helia 44 is designed for excellent performance and handling

The Helia 44 has a powerful rig and a high aspect ratio sail plan that provides excellent speed and maneuverability. The boat also has a shallow draft, which makes it easy to navigate in shallow waters.

The Helia 44 is built to the highest safety standards

This boat has a solid construction that provides excellent stability and strength. It also features a range of safety equipment, including life rafts, EPIRBs, and fire extinguishers.

Estimated price range: $700,000 - $1,000,000

Living space inside Leopard 48

The Leopard 48 features a spacious saloon with a comfortable seating area and a large dining table. The saloon is surrounded by panoramic windows that provide plenty of natural light and stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

The catamaran also has a large cockpit area with a dining table and comfortable seating, perfect for outdoor dining and relaxation.

Galley and heads of Leopard 48

The galley on the Leopard 48 is well-equipped with modern appliances and ample storage space. It features a large refrigerator, a freezer, a three-burner stove, and an oven. The catamaran also has three heads, each with a shower, sink, and toilet.

Performance and handling of Leopard 48

The Leopard 48 is a high-performance catamaran that is easy to handle and maneuver. It has a powerful sail plan and lightweight construction that allows it to sail smoothly and efficiently even in light winds.

The catamaran is also equipped with a powerful engine that provides excellent speed and maneuverability.

Safety and seaworthiness of Leopard 48

The Leopard 48 is a safe and seaworthy catamaran that is designed to handle even the toughest ocean conditions. It has a sturdy construction and a stable platform that provides excellent stability and safety.

The catamaran is also equipped with modern safety features such as a GPS navigation system, a radar, and an autopilot.

Estimated price range: $600,000 - $900,000

Living space inside Nautitech 46 Fly

The Nautitech 46 Fly is a spacious catamaran that offers plenty of room for living and entertaining. The interior is bright and airy, thanks to large windows and an open floor plan.

There are four cabins and four heads, making it a great option for families or groups of friends. The salon is comfortable and features a dining area and a well-equipped galley.

Galley and heads of Nautitech 46 Fly

The galley on the Nautitech 46 Fly is well-equipped with a refrigerator, freezer, stove, oven, and plenty of counter space. There is also a double sink and a dishwasher. The heads are spacious and comfortable, with separate shower stalls and electric toilets.

Performance and handling of the Nautitech 46 Fly

The Nautitech 46 Fly is a pleasure to sail, with good speed and handling. The boat is responsive and easy to maneuver, even in tight spaces. The twin engines provide plenty of power and make docking and maneuvering a breeze.

The Nautitech 46 Fly is a safe and seaworthy vessel

The boat is designed to handle rough seas and strong winds, making it a great option for offshore sailing. There are also plenty of safety features, including lifelines, safety harnesses, and a well-equipped first aid kit.

Estimated price range: $1,000,000 - $2,000,000

The living space of Catana 50

The living space is designed for comfort and entertainment. The spacious saloon offers panoramic views and ample seating for guests.

The interior is finished with high-quality materials and features modern amenities such as air conditioning, a fully equipped galley, and plenty of storage space. It also has four spacious cabins and four heads, making it ideal for families or groups of friends.

Galley and heads of Catana 50

The galley on the Catana 50 is well-equipped with a large refrigerator, freezer, oven, and stove. The countertops are made of durable and easy-to-clean materials, and there is plenty of storage space for food and cooking utensils. The heads are spacious and feature modern fixtures and finishes.

The Catana 50 is designed for performance and speed

The catamaran's lightweight construction and high-tech materials make it fast and agile, while its twin daggerboards and rudders provide excellent maneuverability and control. The boat is easy to handle, even in challenging conditions, and offers a smooth and comfortable ride.

The Catana 50 is a safe and seaworthy vessel

The catamaran's hull design and construction are engineered to withstand the rigors of offshore sailing, and the boat is equipped with all the necessary safety equipment, including life rafts, EPIRBs, and fire extinguishers.

Need a complete list of safety equipment for your boat ? Here's an article that might be helpful for you.

The vessel also features a high freeboard, wide decks, and a sturdy rigging system, making it a stable and secure platform for sailing in all conditions.

Living space of Lagoon 52

The Lagoon 52 is known for its spacious interior and exterior living areas. The main salon is located on the bridge deck and features a large dining table, comfortable seating, and panoramic views.

The cockpit is also spacious and has plenty of seating for outdoor dining and lounging. The cabins are well-appointed and offer plenty of storage space and natural light.

Galley and heads of Lagoon 52

The galley on the Lagoon 52 is equipped with modern appliances and ample counter space, making it easy to prepare meals for large groups. There are also multiple heads on the boat, each with a shower and toilet, making it convenient for guests to freshen up after a day of exploring.

Performance and handling of Lagoon 52

The Lagoon 52 is designed for optimal performance and handling. It has a powerful sail plan and a lightweight construction that allows it to move swiftly through the water

The boat is also easy to handle, even with a small crew, thanks to its user-friendly design and advanced technology.

Safety and seaworthiness are top priorities on the Lagoon 52

The boat is built to withstand rough seas and harsh weather conditions, with sturdy construction and advanced safety features such as a self-tacking jib and an automatic reefing system.

The boat also has a spacious cockpit and wide decks that make it easy to move around and handle the boat in all conditions:

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17 Best Catamarans for Sailing Around the World

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Catamarans are quickly outstripping single-hull boats for long-distance journeys. They are more stable and comfortable , and some can travel more than 200 miles in a day. In today’s article, I have put together a complete (well almost) list of some of the best catamarans for circumnavigating the planet; the question is, which one is best for you?

The best catamarans for sailing around the world include: 

  • The Fountaine Pajot Ipanema 58

These cats focus on speed, safety, and comfort for longer journeys. 

This article will show you the seventeen best catamarans for long journeys, and why they’re the best. You’ll also learn some great tips on what to look for in a Catamaran and how to save money by buying a used catamaran. Let this list be a jumping-off point for your future research!

Pro-tip; here are the actual costs of maintaining a cat and here are considerations on how to circumnavigate .

Table of Contents

The Best Catamarans for Sailing Around the World 

A catamaran is a double-hulled boat with a deck or cabin area in between (bluewater cat definition in this article ). The double hull design means that the boat rocks less, sits higher on the water, uses less fuel to sail, and can be sailed in shallower waters than a single-hulled boat without worrying about grounding. 

Catamarans come in a variety of sizes and can be sail-powered or motor-powered and range from single-person sailing boats to family-sized yachts. Every catamaran design is different, and the twin-hull shape offers many ways to customize the layout of a ship. 

Each boat on this list is a larger catamaran (+40ft, more on size here ), so if you’re going to sail around the world, you want lots of space for provisions and rest.

Of course, there are tons of technical specs for each of these boats, but I’m going to focus on the overall features of each of these catamarans, what makes them stand out, and why they would each be an excellent choice for a transatlantic journey. 

Antares 44i 

The Antares 44i is an excellent option for sailing around the world and was explicitly designed for long-distance cruising. It performs well in any weather conditions, can be sailed easily by two people, and you’ll be able to sail long distances and live in comfort. 

Although it can be easily sailed by a crew of two I believe that a true bluewater cat should be set up for single-handed sailing, more on that in another article .

This catamaran features a stateroom on each hull and a forward cabin with plenty of storage space. The living and entertainment features include a flatscreen tv and a high-end deck speaker system. 

With this model, Antares dedicates itself to high-quality boats with optimal rigging and engine configurations. 

Atlantic 42

Atlantic is no longer building this catamaran, but there are usually a few pre-owned boats on the market. You can also get it made custom if you love the design, but be prepared to spend more money on a custom boat (custom boat also gets custom problems ;)). 

The Atlantic 42 is slightly smaller than some of the other catamarans on this list but is a seaworthy vessel. 42 ft is what most sailors I interview ( in this article ) said was the smallest cat to safely cross big oceans. It is also a decent size to counter the risk of capsizing (more on that here ).

It has a forward cockpit and pilothouse, which gives the owner a better use of space and makes the boat easier to navigate. With single-handed capability, one person can sail it easily and let the rest of the crew relax. 

One of the best-praised aspects of the Atlantic 42 is its galley, more extensive than most 42-footers (12.8-meter) can offer. 

One of the few 50 footers (15.24 meters) that can be sailed by just one person (many would of course disagree on this).

The Catana 50 is a catamaran worthy of an overseas journey. Its size adds to its stability on the open waters and its ability to sail straight through the choppy ocean and windy conditions. 

The Catana is also incredibly spacious on the inside, with substantial cabins and showers. The biggest downside to the Catana 50 is its price, as it’s much more expensive than most of its competitors. 

Catana also holds up well against some of the fastest cruising cats out there, here’s a list of the fastest cruisers if you are interested in that.

However, if you can find a gently-used Catana 50, you can rest assured that this boat will last! 

The Dolphin 42 is unique because of the use of daggerboards instead of fixed keels. This upgrade means that the boat has some pretty decent upwind performance while at the same time being faster downwind.

Centerboards and daggerboards offer some interesting downsides compared to mini keels. This is an interesting discussion and I suggest you read another one of my articles if you want to deepen your knowledge a little.

These catamarans are some of the lightest on the market. Not many Dolphins were made, so they are relatively hard to find. However, if you want a small, lightweight boat capable of going great distances, the Dolphin 42 is an excellent choice. 

Fountaine Pajot Belize 43

The Fountaine Pajot Belize is another well-built cruising yacht. Its core is made of foam instead of balsa, which reduces the risk of structural damage due to a rotten core in case of water intrusion. 

The design of Belize offers many options for customizability, with large open spaces and a combined saloon, navigation, and dinette area. 

There are two styles of Belize catamarans for sleeping quarters. You can either purchase a boat with an entire primary suite on one hull or one with two cabins in each hull. The first option is great if you are sailing the world alone and not expecting many guests, as it increases the storage capacity. 

Understanding what factors to consider when getting a cat can be hard, there are just so many of them (such as the daggerboard discussion above), I have tried to compile some of the most important in this article .

The boat also has wraparound windows to increase the sense of space in the galley. 

Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40

Fountaine Pajot is one of the best sailboat manufacturers existing today, as their boats are well made and highly versatile. The Lucia 40 is no exception – it’s a smaller boat but has a lot of room for moving around and on-board living. 

The living area is remarkably spacious on this catamaran for its size. 

The galley and lounge easily accommodate 6+people. The Lucia 40 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to sailing either, as the narrow hulls slice through choppy waters with ease. 

Most catamarans today are built to withstand rough weather but that doesn’t matter as much if the crew isn’t up for the task, I firmly believe that the most important thing a boat should consist of, is knowledge. Therefore taking online courses ( two free here ) or reading books ( my favorites here ) is imperative.

Gemini 105M

Gemini’s boats have been on the market for years and are solidly built for cruising. This boat is one of the most popular ever made, I personally would consider something different for offshore cruising, but since it has such a good reputation, I felt I had to add it to the list.

If you want to understand why I am hesitant to take this boat around the world, I recommend you read my article: What are trampolines on a catamaran?

The Gunboat 62 is a great catamaran and set the standards for the rest of the impressive Gunboat lineup. It’s sleek and spacious while being robust and capable of transatlantic journeys. You can easily travel the world in a Gunboat 62 with several people and not feel cramped. 

The yacht was made for speed and power and remains one of the fastest catamarans on the market, even rivaling the newer Gunboat models.  GABO

Although the earlier models of the Gunboat 62 weren’t designed for a lot of cargo, you can still find space for everything you need without compromise. 

Lagoon catamarans are known for their reliability and ease of use. If you are considering a catamaran for the first time and are unsure about the technicalities of sailing, a Lagoon boat is a great option. 

The Lagoon 380 is probably the smallest cruiser on this list, which makes it better suited for solo or couple sailing.  

When I go looking to buy something, whether it be a boat, campervan, or whatever, I create a checklist and classify all the things I want either by NEED or NICE to have.

I believe the Lagoon 380 to be sub-optimal for my NEEDS, even though it does check a lot of NICE boxes, there’s a step-by-step article on the NEED and NICE method here .

There are several cabin options available on the Lagoon 380, but if you’re sailing by yourself, you can settle for three cabins and a larger galley and living space. With a smaller cockpit and broader side decks, the Lagoon 380 packs a lot of practicality and ease of sailing into a more compact catamaran. 

If you like the idea of a Lagoon boat but want a little more space, the Lagoon 42 is the upgraded version of the Lagoon 380. With all of the same benefits, it comes with more space for cabins or storage, making it one of the best-selling Lagoons of all time. 

The Lagoon 42 is also a faster cruiser built for strength. While it’s not the fastest on the market, it works well in choppy waters and windy conditions, making it great for the beginning sailor to go on a more extended trip. 

Many people have completed an around-the-world sail with this ship.

Although there is a flybridge version, I would recommend the “open” version due to several factors, some including increased windage and a higher boom. More on flybridges pros and cons here .

For stability, safety, and durability, you can’t beat the Lagoon 42. 

The Leopard 45 performs better with less storage weight because of the relatively low bridge deck clearance. If the boat is fully loaded, you could experience some wave pounding. However, the cockpit is open and airy, with devices that block the sun and provide maximum comfort while sailing. 

The Leopard 45 is an incredibly beautiful boat,   and has a strong reputation for excellent build quality!

Leopard catamarans are one of my personal favorites, as such I have written an entire article about the brand, so if you want to understand its pros and cons then here is the link . Gabo

Designed in South Africa, it features a high rear arch for extra support and very smoothly connected decks. The galley is large and open, and most Leopards offer a four-cabin plan. If you are traveling with another person, this boat is an excellent option for you! 

The Manta 42 is another classic catamaran that you can buy used (at a decent price), as it is an incredibly seaworthy vessel. While still in production, the Manta was one of the most popular catamarans on the market. 

It is still in high demand amongst circumnavigators. Buying a used Manta 42 usually means that you inherit some of the previous owner’s boat upgrades! 

The Manta 42 also made it to my list of the 9 safest catamarans on the market ( link ).

This blue water cat can be sailed by one or two people, making it ideal for liveaboard couples or long-distance shorthanded sailing. The galley is in the saloon ( instead of in one of the hulls ), making the cabins below more spacious and better equipped. 

Overall, the Manta is well equipped for sailing around the world. 

Nautitech 44

Nautitech is an excellent brand of the catamaran, with several different designs per boat. The Nautitech 44 has a unique feature, you can have it with two options for steering: twin wheels or a single wheel.

The Nautitech 44 also features a cockpit on the same level as the saloon. The door between the two is more convenient than a hatch and dramatically reduces the risk of water damage during rain pour. 

This is also the same boat that aeroyacht president Gregor owns, he has offered some great insights into Nautitech in the book Catamarans (amazon link )

Outremer 45

Outremer is famous for being one of the fastest brands of catamarans on the market. If you need speed, the Outremer 45 might be the perfect choice for you. It has a top speed of 16 knots, which is higher than almost every other catamaran of its class. 

While the Outremer 45 is known for speed, it doesn’t compromise on the quality of living. 

You can settle into life on this boat with complete peace of mind. Even as a beginning sailor, the steering is simple and easy to use, and the autopilot is top of the line, so you’ll be able to sail across the ocean in an Outremer without issue. 

Privilege Serie 5

A French-designed catamaran, the Privilege Serie 5 is one of the most comfortable 50-foot (15 m) yachts available. The unique cabin layout includes the master cabin in the boat’s center instead of in one of the hulls. 

The Privilege Serie 5 is also incredibly easy to sail, despite its larger size. 

The sails and controls lead to the helm, where the raised deck makes it easy to see all around the deck. If you want to cross the ocean with a full crew then the Privilege Serie 5 might be perfect for you! 

Seawind 1000

The Seawind 1000 is the smallest boat on this list, measuring 33 feet (10 meters) long altogether. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not livable. If you are sailing on your own or with a partner, there is more than enough space to live in the Seawind 1000, which includes the option of a centered cabin or two hull cabins. 

Because it’s small, the Seawind 1000 is easy to handle. The mast and sails are all manufactured for extra stability and ease of use. 

Overall, the Seawind 1000 is an excellent example of a simple, safe, and seaworthy catamaran. 

Note: since this is a small catamaran it will also be more sensitive to heavy weather so trip-planning becomes even more important.

The Voyage 44 is one of the oldest cats on this list, having had its hay-day in the mid-1990s. However, this also means that a used Voyage 44 will be cheaper than a newer boat. If you can find a Voyage with previous responsible owners, you will inherit any upgrades and fixes that they’ve made on top of a very seaworthy boat. 

The Voyage 44 has more storage and space than most cruisers of its size and is known for behaving very well in choppy waters. 

This catamaran does its job well while providing adequate space for cooking, sleeping, and living aboard. 

What To Look For in a Long-Distance Cruising Catamaran

If you are planning to sail around the world, you need to be very careful about which kind of catamaran you decide to use. Many of the things you want in a boat really comes down to personal preference, so be sure you know what design preferences you want before you start shopping! 

Size and Payload

The most important thing to consider when buying a catamaran is how much space and cargo you need because the larger the boats are, the bigger the payload it can handle. Decide how long you want the ship to be and how much you’re taking with you. 

It’s vital not to overload a catamaran, this will reduce performance and increase risk of unwanted behavior in heavy seas.

Cabin Placement  

Most catamarans have options for a “Maestro” cabin placement, where one entire hull is the master suite, and the other cabins are located on the opposite hull.

Cockpit and Protection From The Weather

Is the cockpit on the boat you’re looking at covered or open? This can make a difference on the high seas, especially during rainy weather. 

The size of the ship also can affect how many people you need as a crew. If you’re traveling by yourself or with one other person, you don’t want to buy a boat that needs a larger crew. 

Buying Used? 

If you don’t want to spend the money on a brand new catamaran, I don’t blame you. Several of the ships on this list are out of production and can only be found used. However, for circumnavigation, you do want a boat of high quality to keep you safe and dry until you make it to your destination.  

When buying a suitably used catamaran, it’s essential to look at the refit history of the boat more than the year it was made. Catamarans are sturdy, and the general design has been the same for at least the past decade. 

If you find a newer, larger, cheaper boat, you should look into its history. 

Your best bet to save money while buying a catamaran will be to buy an older, probably smaller boat with an excellent refit history and no serious issues. It will still be an investment, and a sturdy used catamaran will serve you well. 

Final Thoughts

No matter which catamaran you decide to buy for your journey, you’ll be able to sail safely and comfortably. Catamarans are great yachts for long-distance sailing, and the ships on this list are the best of the best. These brands are time-tested and ready to accompany you on an adventure around the world! 

Here are Some of My Favorite Catamaran Cruising Resources

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you hopefully start your sailing adventures. Here are some resources that I use as a sailor that I hope you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission. But in all honesty, these are the exact things that I use and recommend to everyone, even my own family. Sailboats: If you’re looking for the best boat to suit your needs, I would recommend a catamaran. If you’re interested, I can show you the differences between catamarans and other types of sailboats .

Books:  For getting started, I really like  Cruising catamarans made easy . It is actually a textbook from the American sailing association; it is used to get a cruising catamaran certification. There are some other great books, and I have compiled a list of books about cruising catamarans that you will find useful.

Communication:  Being out on adventures, whether it be sailing or climbing mountains, good communications are essential to being safe. I recommend two things Google fi (incredibly simple cellular data all over the world) and Garmin inreach mini (for text and voice in remote areas without cell coverage)

Sailing courses: Online sailing courses are great for beginners starting out their sailing career; it’s an efficient way of learning the basics of navigation, throttle controls, and maritime safety. I suggest starting with two free courses from NauticEd .

To see all my most up-to-date recommendations,  check out this resource  that I made for you!

  • Wikipedia: Catamaran
  • Cruising World: A-Z Best Cruising Catamarans 
  • Dreamy Yacht Sales: Four Best Catamarans for New Buyers
  • Atlantic Cruising: Good Cat/Bad Cat
  • Yachting World: Catamaran Sailing Across the Atlantic
  • Boat Affair: What is a Catamaran? 
  • Nautilus Sailing: Catamaran Sailing

Owner of A minimalist that has lived in a caravan in Sweden, 35ft Monohull in the Bahamas, and right now in his self-built Van. He just started the next adventure, to circumnavigate the world on a Catamaran!

3 thoughts on “ 17 Best Catamarans for Sailing Around the World ”

I like the efforts you have put in this, regards for all the great content.

Thanks Elisabeth I really appreciate the kind words 🙂

I appreciate you sharing this blog post. Thanks Again. Cool.

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2024 Boat of the Year: Best Cruising Catamaran Over 50 Feet

  • By Herb McCormick
  • December 15, 2023

Fountaine Pajot Aura 51

It was perhaps fitting that Fountaine-Pajot and Lagoon Catamarans—two longtime pillars in the production catamaran community—came head-to-head for the title of best cruising cat over 50 feet for 2024. Talk about symmetry: Both boats measure in at about 51 feet. A nearly exact price point of just around $1.6 million. Each is produced by one of the pioneering French multihull builders that’s been at the game for decades. In some ways, this matchup was not unlike a heavyweight boxing bout between Ali and Frazier, or a good old-fashioned feud like the Hatfields and McCoys. It was a duel that the judges relished and dreaded because the competition would undoubtedly be close—but there could be only one champ. 

Winner: Fountaine-Pajot Aura 51

During deliberations, judge Mark Pillsbury summarized the overall layout of the Aura 51, a viewpoint shared by his fellow panelists: “A length overall of 51 feet is enough space to give designers options when it comes to how a cruising cat is laid out, and Fountaine-Pajot takes advantage of this by offering a variety of layouts, with up to six cabins in charter mode. The boat we sailed in Annapolis had what they term a ‘double Maestro layout,’ i.e., a master cabin aft in each hull, with guest quarters forward. It would be a boat that two owners might share, sailing separately or together occasionally. I really liked their decision to locate the helm station on the Aura partway between the cockpit and the flybridge, which they called the sky lounge. That way, the skipper stays in contact with guests below and above, and has good visibility astern when docking. I also like the separation between the steering seat and the three winches on the cabin top. Shorthanded, the autopilot can be engaged when the skipper steps forward to trim sails, and with crew, the trimmer has room to work and the skipper room to steer. We had light wind the day we sailed, only about 5 to 8 knots, and the Aura made 4 knots closehauled—a good run for a big, well-stocked cruising cat.

Judge Herb McCormick weighed in: “I really thought that this category was a toss-up. Both boats will be sold to private owners and will also be set up for the charter trade. At the end of the day, what leaned me toward the Aura was that helmsman’s arrangement, centered between the cockpit and the top deck. I loved that big flybridge on the Lagoon, which will be a great space especially on charter, but this is the best ‘cruising’ cat, not best ‘charter’ cat, and that one feature I believe is better-suited to real cruising.”

Runner-up: Lagoon Catamarans 51

Lagoon 52 being tested during Boat of the Year

The French boatbuilding industry is to be applauded for its forward-thinking approach to sustainable building practices and exploring next-generation powering and propulsion systems. Judge Tim Murphy focused in on Lagoon’s approach: “This is largest Lagoon fully intended for owner-operators. Beginning with 55, the next size up in the range, a professional captain is expected to be involved. Lagoon produces 275 boats per year. From this year’s Boat of the Year fleet, Lagoon is at the forefront of carbon-positive materials: 35 percent biomaterial in the polyester resin (compared with 14 percent last year), with hemp fibers employed instead of glass in some of the smaller molded parts. The production plant is certified ISO 9001, 40001, 50001, which is notable for the commitment to sustainable manufacturing.” 

Unlike McCormick, judge Mark Pillsbury liked the Lagoon’s helm station just fine. He said: “The 51 is a big boat, but the layout of the helm station on the flybridge makes the boat simple to operate with a shorthanded crew. All sail controls are led to three winches on the cabin top, and there is a Harken electric sidewinder winch adjacent to the wheel to control the traveler. And for a large cruising cat, I thought that the 51 sailed well. The steering was very smooth. In 8 to 12 knots of breeze, we saw boatspeeds in the high 6s and 7s depending on our point of sail. The view from the helm was tremendous.”

  • More: 2024 Boat of the Year , Fountaine Pajot , Lagoon Catamarans , Print January 2024
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The best bluewater multihulls of all time: a complete guide

  • Toby Hodges
  • October 6, 2021

Toby Hodges and François Tregouet consider the best bluewater multihulls and look at the options for sailing the oceans in spacious comfort

best day sailing catamaran

What are the best bluewater multihulls for long term cruising? The one you own, or the one you can afford is the simple answer.

There is a wealth of proven designs to suit bluewater sailing and a variety of budgets. While we have focussed here on the best bluewater multihulls in production, we’ve also included some cracking pedigree multihulls which tour the planet and might occasionally pop up on the brokerage market.

If you can afford to, then pushing towards the 45-50ft length will buy you space, pace and that extra payload capacity needed to take all the items you’d want on your home afloat.

When looking at the best bluewater multihulls, the choice will come down to that perennial balance between comfort/space and speed/weight. Choosing a lighter weight performance design will obviously help you cover distance voyages more rapidly and potentially allow you to outrun weather systems. It means you can sail faster, with less sail up and less load and stress. But you’ll have to sacrifice some luxuries and need to be quite scrupulous about keeping weight down and centralised in order to maintain high average speeds.

For the majority of cruisers, however, it is the amount of space multihulls offer once you’ve reached your destination that really appeals. As well as the non-heeling living area and real estate they provide, they’re well suited to typical tradewind sailing .

If you’re considering your first or next multihull, we hope the following will serve as a taster.

Best bluewater multihulls for performance cruising

Outremer 51/55.

When you think of multihulls designed for bluewater cruising, Outremer will likely be one of the first names that comes to mind. Its heritage lies in building catamarans that can sail fast and are built strong enough to do laps of the globe.

The 51, the current version of which launched three years ago, is an archetypal example of what to look for in terms of blending speed and space is a dream design for a family circumnavigation.

The French yard’s new 55ft VPLP design may look boldly different from its past models, but the philosophy behind it remains the same. It is designed to match windspeed up to 12 knots and Outremer reasons that its ability to sail in 5 knots of breeze will allow it to sail for 95% of the time on a circumnavigation.

Read more about the Outremer 51 and Outremer 55.

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Diego Yriarte

Seawind 1600/1370

For nearly four decades the Australian Seawind brand and its founder Richard Ward have been gearing catamarans around safe bluewater sailing, including performance, protection and ease of handling. Its Reichel Pugh-designed 1600, which launched three years ago, is an elegant looking cat with relatively low, long lines and some smart solutions for fast bluewater sailing.

Seawind also launches its new 1370 later this year, a staggering 60 of which have sold on plans alone.

This first 50 is built from a composite sandwich of basalt fibre, a cloth made from volcanic rock, and PET foam from recycled plastic bottles, which helps to reduce carbon emissions by nearly 50% when compared with traditional glassfibre methods.

This new 50 footer is perhaps a more appealing and practical prospect than Rapido’s previous 60 (with its significant fixed beam), particularly as the amas on this new model can fold to reduce beam to 18ft.

Infused carbon foam sandwich construction is used, along with beams, daggerboards and rudder in pre-preg carbon to keep displacement to 8,200kg.

Read more about the Rapido 50

This OC50 is designed as a more affordable cruising alternative, than the HH models which have preceeded it. This model targets ocean sailing.

It’s still stiffened and strengthened by carbon, but built in vinylester composites with a gelcoat finish. This adds an additional 300kg or so over a full carbon HH50, but cost savings are in the region of $400,000.

Read more about the HH OC50

Balance 526

The 526 launched four years ago, designed to suit short-handed sailors and families looking to sail long distances, hence it can carry large payloads and promises easy maintenance. It looks good too.

Berman’s Versahelm design is a key feature. The wheel cantilevers, allowing the helmsman to steer from outboard with clear sightlines or from the hardtop protection of the aft cockpit.

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Christopher White

Atlantic 47

The A47 suits short-handed fast ocean sailing at an approachable size. Lengthening it to 49ft allowed for an aft cockpit. It is available as a sloop or with White’s patented MastFoil ketch rig – rotating aerofoil masts designed for easy short-handed cruising without sacrificing performance.

Read more about the Atlantic 47

A combination of sharp design from François Perus and high build quality brings plenty of appeal to this sporty Italian-built cat. The first example launched three years ago with a light displacement of 10.5 tonnes, thanks to an E-glass epoxy-infused build with carbon strengthening. The yard offers semi-custom construction and full hybrid packages.

Catana 53/Ocean class 50

Catana’s performance model from 2017, sports twin aft helms (which may not suit ocean sailors), reverse bows and carbon daggerboards. The high topsides help create good bridgedeck clearance and plenty of accommodation. Its new Ocean Class 50 seems more in the shipyard’s bluewater DNA. The light weight, and dynamic and modern shape with slim hulls and a relatively short nacelle suggests a seaworthy nature and high speeds.

Read more about the Catana 53

Best bluewater multihulls for pedigree performance

Veteran multihull designers Morrelli & Melvin designed this smaller model for the Gunboat range. It was built to be more manageable for an owner-driver yet still capable of up to 300-400 mile days.

The Gunboat 48 is something of a rare breed, just six 48s were built between 2004 and 2009. Oh, to have a spare €1.3m right now… one of them is actually on the market.

Read more about the Gunboat 48

At the start of the Millennium, Catana offered fully equipped boats as standard for long distance cruising. The Catana 471 or 472 (one or two helms respectively), represented at the time the optimum in ocean-going catamarans.


Tony Grainger has been drawing fast multihulls for 35 years, including racing trimarans and the Lightwave and Chincogan cruisers. The popular Lightwave 38 has admirable performance and comfort, and the Chincogan 52 (pictured) has the length to clock high average speeds.

Outremer 45 G. Danson

With its characteristic roof, narrow hulls and daggerboards, the Outremer 45 is a standout design which has become somewhat iconic. Despite a rather spartan interior, it has been a great success with fast cruising enthusiasts. On board, family ocean crossings at an average of 10 knots are the norm.

Best bluewater multihulls for family cruising

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Nicolas Claris

The Lagoon 450 remains the most popular model in Lagoons already popular range. It exemplifies the VPLP/Nauta design partnership which has made these the very definition of modern mid-size cruising catamarans which can appeal to families and charterers alike.

Indeed the 450 marked the modern look of Lagoon and was the first with interior styling from Nauta. It originally launched over a decade ago as a flybridge design with central helming position (450F), before this ‘sport top’ option (450S) was offered with a starboard helm station and lower boom.

Read more about the Lagoon 450

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Guilain Grenier

Fountaine Pajot Saona 47

The 47 has a modern shape, with straight bows and a reverse sheer line. It incorporates significant volume in the hulls below the bridgedeck to create room for the optional athwartships cabins. Cabin space is a prime selling point, particularly the owner’s suite to port, where there is also abundant natural light and headroom.

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Tui Marine

Leopard Catamarans, together with designer Simonis Voogd and builder Robertson and Caine, produce the archetypal dual-purpose owner-operator or charter boat in their modern catamaran range.

Key features of the 45 are the amount of light in the saloon and the incredible volume and space on offer in the cabins above the relatively narrow waterlines. Vast social living areas include the flybridge, saloon and dual cockpits.

Read more about the Leopard 45

best day sailing catamaran


Nautitech Open/Fly 46

During the 1990s and noughties Nautitech earned a good reputation for its elegant catamarans. The 441 is a timeless example and the 44 can be credited with the ongoing trend in hardtop biminis. While its acquisition by Bavaria seven years ago helped Nautitech implement industrial build techniques, the French brand has retained its DNA at its Rochefort sur Mer yard.

The modern Marc Lombard designs have tall rigs with generous square-top mainsails. Twin wheels in the aft quarters of the Open 46 offer a direct feel on the helm, however those spending long periods in the tropics may prefer the shade of the bimini-equipped flybridge option. The layout is also open, with a saloon more outside than in. Styling is clean, modern and simple, and the standard of build and finish are good.

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Olivier Blanchet

First impressions of the Neel 51 are sure to centre on its sheer size and space inside. But as you’ll see from our review of the Neel 43 on page 83, when you sail one overriding impressions quickly centre on its performance.

These trimarans are becoming a popular mass production-built option.

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Christophe Launay

The Excess 11 packs plenty of potential as the smallest yacht offered by the big production yards. A little like the Lagoon 380 of old, it presents a good value new entry-level boat for genuine cruising in a more sporty, modern and enticing design. Some may argue against aft helms for ocean sailing, but those coming from monohulls will appreciate the more direct steering they offer.

Broadblue 385S

Broadblue is a UK brand which offers a distinct line of cruising and Rapier performance catamarans. Its staple 385 packs a lot of cruising comfort into its length, including generous tankage, and has been sailed all over the world. Broadblue built its first electric drive catamaran 12 years ago and offers the only all-electric production sailing catamaran under 40ft in Europe.

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Christophe Breschi

Bali Catspace

For those looking for maximum volume within 40ft, it’ll be hard to beat the Catspace – although it is more of a holiday apartment than a traditional bluewater cruiser. Bali’s garage style sliding aft door does help offer an enormous amount of enclosed (or open) living space.

Best bluewater multihulls for luxury cruising

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Nico Krauss

Privilège 510 Signature

The 510 is designed to take a serious amount of cruising gear – up to six tonnes of it in fact. The excellent helm station now has a fixed windscreen and all lines lead to hand. Finish quality including the electrical installation is first class and Privilege’s trademark, an admirable full beam (26ft) forward cabin, is sumptuous.

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Jérôme Houyvet

Garcia Explocat 52

Garcia Yachts has cornered the market for series-built aluminium monohulls and multihulls in the last decade and this new Explocat 52 is sparking real interest. We ran a full test report in our February issue, describing it as a go-anywhere cat with an enticing combination of space, pace and rugged construction.

Read our review of the Garcia Explocat 52

Built in Argentina, the Antares 44 is the ultimate evolution of a model launched 21 years ago. Entirely dedicated to bluewater cruising, it is the yard’s only model and is constantly being improved according to owner feedback.

Time seems to have no hold on this boatyard and, against the trend, the standard equipment of the Antares 44 is extremely complete

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Richard Langdon

Discovery Bluewater 50

This luxury Bill Dixon design may be a decade old now and into its third iteration, but the concept behind its original appeal remains. For those used to sailing high-end thoroughbred monohulls, here is an option to consider for a comparative level of build quality and fit out when moving to a multihull.

Read more about the Discovery Bluewater 50

St Francis 50 MKII

With this latest version of its original model, this experienced South African builder has optimised a catamaran cut out for the unforgiving seas of the Indian Ocean and the South Atlantic. The MKII allows for an increased load capacity, an important point in long distance cruising.

Xsquisite X5

Intelligent features on the X5 include the protected helm station with glass windscreen, integrated rainwater catcher, UV-protective glass and generous tankage.

Best bluewater multihulls for size & speed

Mcconaghy mc52.

The MC50 (now MC52) was the first and promises some high speed sailing, but it’s the open plan main living deck which will attract the majority. It incorporates an intelligent centreboard system, which hardly affects interior space, but arguably its exposed helms at the aft end of the flybridge will not suit serious ocean cruising.

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Florian H. Talles

HH in Xiamen is building some really impressive large, luxury fast cats up to 90ft. This was its second model to launch, a high-end, high performance Morelli & Melvin design capable of rapid passagemaking speeds and enjoyable regatta sailing. Features include C-shaped boards and central or aft helms.

best day sailing catamaran

Photo: Mike Jones/Waterline Media

Ocean Explorer 60

If Nautor’s Swan made catamarans, they may look like this… The Ocean Explorer 60 uses the same designer in German Frers and some of the same builders who worked at the famous Finnish yard to produce this world cruiser. The resultant quality shines through. A new OE72 is due soon.

Kinetic KC54

A young company with plenty of experience, Kinetic produces custom fast ocean cruisers, which can occasionally race. Its 62 is a serious performance vessel with carbon hulls, rigs and rigging, daggerboards or centreboards. With fast bluewater cruising the goal, carbon is used to minimise weight so features/toys can still be added. The swim platform and hardware on the newly launched 54 weighs just 90kg, and the generous sized tanks are all in carbon too. Views from the saloon and forward cockpit also look special.

Best bluewater multihulls for ultimate performance

Marsaudon ts4/orc 42.

Few catamaran builders produce genuine performance cruisers at this ‘smaller’ size: this one is kept minimalist and light weight (around 6 tonnes) – the yard’s philosophy is ‘simplicity, then add lightness.’ The 42 is a cruiser-racer with the ability to outpace most yachts across the Atlantic, win a regatta and still offer some space for island hopping. Standard tankage is minimal however. Marsaudon recently rebranded its TS range to Ocean Rider Catamarans (ORCs) and has an ORC 57 in build.

Dazcat 1495

Dazcat builds fast, seaworthy cats from its Multihull Centre in Cornwall. The 1495 is a true ocean cruiser-racer, which is stiff and rewarding to sail, with direct steering linked to carbon rudders. The 1495 can hit 20+ knot speeds with relative ease, but it is the consistent high average speeds which will attract those looking to cover serious miles. Weight is centralised including engines, tanks, and systems all located amidships to help reduce pitching. Dazcat has a semi-custom build approach and creates all sorts of weird and wonderful craft for all abilities.

Dragonfly 40

Dragonfly trimarans are known for their high quality construction and ability to delight sailors with their ease of planing speeds. For those who can live without the space of similar length cats, the new flagship 40 is large enough to offer cruising space, while folding outriggers and retractable appendages mean you can dry out where others wouldn’t dare.

Looping 45/Freydis 48

These two designs by Erik Lerouge both offer a high-performance vision of ocean cruising. The Loopings were built individually and the Freydis in small series, and on both you can sail as fast as the wind in complete safety. Interior quality depends on whether finished by an amateur or by a shipyard.

Swisscat 48

An attractive combination of luxury, comfort and performance, the S48 is a stiff, go-anywhere premium cat that is easy to manage single-handed. The lightweight build (11t) is in epoxy infusion with carbon reinforcement.

Schionning Designs

Jeff Schionning has catamaran design in his blood. His designs exude performance and seaworthiness with flowing, even aerodynamic lines. On all tradewind routes you’ll find a G-Force (models from 12m to 23m) or an Arrow (12m to 15m) sailing more quickly than the rest. His latest venture is with Current Marine in Knysna, South Africa.

Best bluewater multihulls for pedigree cruising

The long-time best-seller from the world leader in catamarans, with more than 1,000 produced over almost 20 years from 1999. With its characteristic vertical windows, the 380 and its big brother the 410 made the purists scream when they were presented. But the 380 proved a pioneer of its kind. Safe bow volumes and light displacement (7,260 kg) helped its seaworthy behaviour. The high number of boats on the market makes this the most affordable bluewater cruising multihull for its size, even if price range is as wide as condition is variable.

Casamance 44/46

Between 44ft and 46ft depending on the year of construction and the length of its transoms, the Casamance was an impressive catamaran on launch in 1985. The design by Joubert/Nivelt offered good volume and load capacity. Of the 490 units produced, many joined the charter fleets. The exterior of the Casamance is dated, but the interior in grey ceruse oak has retained plenty of charm.

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Cruising Sea

7 Days Abacos Sailing Itinerary – Your Guide to the Abacaos

Beach on Abacos islands

The Bahamas possess more than 700 beautiful islands and cays that offer some of the most spectacular views in the world! So… you would agree with me that a sailing trip in this heaven is a getaway not to miss out on! If it’s your first time chartering in the Bahamas region and you are looking for a sample 7-day Abacos sailing itinerary , then you came to the right place!

Table of Contents

Day 1 # Man-O-War Cay

Start your sailing trip from the Marsh Harbor and enjoy an excellent lunch aboard your chosen yacht while slowly making your way to Man-O-War Cay.

This place is entirely different from any other Abacos island and also renowned for being one of the most beautiful islands in the Abacos.

Marina in Man O War IslAND

Man-O-War Cay is a conservative and “dry island”; you will be able to find just a few restaurants, four little churches, a grocery, one hardware store, a boatyard, and some narrow lanes. This town in the middle of nowhere is so tiny that it will only take you less than 1 hour to explore the place. The people are quite conservative and reserved but very friendly and polite. There are a few beautiful beaches where you can spend the day, sit back and relax. You’ll find endless opportunities for kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, and sunning.

Where to eat

A couple of good eateries are to be found here, but the “Hibiscus” Cafe is the best restaurant in the area since the food and the service is consistently fantastic. If you crave something tasty, try the fish club sandwich and the coconuts fried, it is absolutely delicious!

What to visit

Take the opportunity to explore the building history, well-known for its wooden boats that were built on this island, as well as a lovely store called “Norman Albury Sail Shop,” where you can stroll and enjoy seeing handcraft bags before heading to another beautiful heaven!

Day 2 # Great Guana Cay

If kicking back and relaxing with no schedule is your wish, the Great Guana is the right place for it! The beauty of this Cay is that there are very few choices of restaurants and a small service store.

Beach in Great Guana Cay

Where to stop

Make a stop and tie your boat at the Fowl Cay Marine Park for snorkeling in the clear blue water to see beautiful Barracuda swimming among coral reefs. Just north of Great Guana, you’ll find a fantastic beach surrounded by a tree-lined cove from where you can enjoy watching the most beautiful topography of the island.

Have some tasty meals at Orchid Bay Yacht Club. They offer a wide variety of local dishes. Another great place to have fun and eat is the Grabbers Bed, Bar & Grill, where you can take a live music show and enjoy the sunset right from the bar.

Day 3 # Green Turtle Cay

From Great Guana, set sail for another beautiful island called Green Turtle Cay. There are so many things to do on this island, and snorkeling is one of the main activities you’ll enjoy there.

Turtle swimming in the sea

Whether it is to do a picnic on the beach, dive with wild dolphins, swim with turtles, feeding the no-name pigs, Brendal and his family team will guide you all along with those fabulous discoveries. An excursion not to miss!

The best-laid-back places to enjoy food, a swimming pool, live music, good wine, and excellent services are the Green Turtle Club and Marina. After a long sail, this tourist dollar bill place will meet all your needs. Oh..before you leave, make sure to stick one of your personalized bucks on the wall!

Where to visit

Green Turtle Cay’s history will get you to go back in time to the Albert Lowe Museum! Once used as a fisherman’s home, today, it has become a famous place on Abacos where you’ll discover fascinating history, each posted on the wall, which will add to your journey unforgettable memories.

Day 4# Treasure Cay

Once you arrive at Treasure Cay, make a stop for snorkeling in the clear blue water among all kinds of bonefish at Manjack Cay, a perfect place to relax, swim, fish, and …enjoy! A few private houses for vacations and a beautiful beach are all you will find on this lovely little bay, which is more than enough to have a relaxing journey!

Beach in Treasure Cay

Windward Point is another spot to visit while you are at Treasure Cay, with 3.5 miles of white sand beach and clear blue shallow water. You will be mesmerized by the beauty of this long sandbar.

If you wish to have a great family adventure, “Abaco Tours and Activities” offers guided excursions as well as fishing trips, kayaking, and all you need to have a good time!

  Day 5 # Hope Town

Ok, after having had great moments at Treasure Cay you can now head to Hope Town.

Boats in Hope Town

There you’ll find a museum with the famous Candy-Striped lighthouse that was controlled by the British government in 1812 during the war. A great place to visit!

Jason and Francis, a professional, friendly crew from Froggies Out Island Adventures, will take you for a snorkel excursion to the most spectacular coral reef region to explore beautiful fishes and rays. You can pack your own equipment or if you prefer, rent them there.

Looking for something to eat? The best place I can suggest to you is the “Firefly Bar & Grill”; the food is terrific, and the ambiance is fantastic! Everyone arrives by boat at this 5 stars restaurant to enjoy the food, the drinks, the music, and the spectacular view from the balcony on Elbow Cay. To top it all, the dockage is free:)

Day 6# Little Harbor

Beach in little Harbour

Sailing to the North of Little Harbor will bring you to the Pelican Cays Land and Sea Park at Sandy Cay. Please… take your underwater camera with you because if you don’t, you might regret it! This is one if not the best place in the world for snorkeling.

You’ll have the chance to explore Turtles, beautiful fishes of all kinds, fantastic coral reefs, undersea caves, Spotted Eagle Rays, and red arrows. Even if you decide to come back year after year, you will never get bored here! Sometimes the current can be strong, so I would suggest you go only at slack tide.

It’s always great to have a good dinner after a long snorkeling tour. Pete’s Tavern will be the best option to enjoy excellent services, tasty food, refreshing drinks, and a fabulous ambiance. Extremely recommended!

Day 7# Elbow Cay

Elbow Cay is a pleasant place to hang out for a while, and walking through this paradise is just magical. There are a few marinas to dock your boat, some nice resorts to stay in, beautiful beaches to relax in, great restaurants abound with tasty food, friendly people, and the famous lighthouse.

View on a the sea of Elbow Cay

If you can, anchor at Tahiti beach to swim in the clear blue water, find some seashells, explore small sea life, have a couple of pictures, and have fun with your family or friends. Bring some provisions with you, as there are only a few private villas on this beach. This is the perfect sandbar to lay in the shallow water and have a sea nap.

End your trip pleasantly in Abacos Inn restaurant, where you’ll find the best conch fritter and Goombay Smash. But, slowly, with this Bahamian cocktail, it is strong:)

Back to Marsh Harbour

Now it only remains for you to sail for about 10 miles trip to get back to Marsh Harbour.

How to get there

They are two ways to arrive at Marsh Harbour Many people find it much easier to take their departure from Florida to Abacos.

The first way:   is to take a ferry or a taxi boat from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbour.

The second way: is to take a flight from Fort Lauderdale to Marsh Harbour

When is The Best Time?

May to Jun is the best time to sail to the Abacos, as the hurricane usually blows from June to November.

1) Make sure to bring mosquito repellent with you, as they are plenty of them in the early morning and after sunset.

2) It is better for you to bring a light jacket or a sweater, as it can get cooler in the evening.

3) Take a copy of “Steve Dodge’s 2010 Cruising Guide to the Abacos” with you and use it as a guideline. It is full of the best anchorages and places to have fun!

4) Choose only a catamaran yacht to sail the Abacos. It will allow you to anchor near the shore thanks to its shallow draft, and you’ll have more space and comfort

In Conclusion

There is no doubt that the Abacos is the best cruising ground in the Bahamas; this itinerary will help you plan your next trip to these beautiful islands. Don’t waste any time; pack your clothes and book your yacht for an unforgettable holiday in the Abacos!

Want More Sailing Places?

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Do you know other places to sail in the Abacos? If so, please, feel free to share them in the comment below.

Picture of Daniella

Daniella has been passionate about travel, the sea, and nature for many years. As a child, she frequently traveled throughout the Mediterranean and continued with her journeys throughout her adult life.

Her experiences have created the desire within her to share her love for traveling with other passionate and adventurers who want to discover beautiful horizons and new cultures.

4 thoughts on “7 Days Abacos Sailing Itinerary – Your Guide to the Abacaos”

Hi Daniella

I have to go to the Abacaos after this post. Little Harbor in particular sounds amazing. Is there a time of year that is recommended, and more importantly what is in the Goombay Smash? I take it Man-O-War Cay does not offer any Goombay’s. Is there any surfing in the area? Nice post

I am glad that this article inspires you to travel to the Abacos!

Little Harbor is a must to see when sailing to the Abacos islands.

As it is written in the article, May through June is the best time to sail to the Abacos, and the Goombay Smash is a tasty cocktail made of rum and juices. It is really delicious!

You will find plenty of opportunities to surf as there are many beautiful beaches. Just check the weather and see if there are enough winds to surf:) under 15 knots will be perfect!

Thank you for the comment and wish a wonderful day!

Abacos! very interesting place for a trip with the beauty i have seen in the post i feel like want to even to develop myself with wings and fly to there but since you have provided me with sufficient information on how i can reach there i regard my self as being on the safe side ever. thanks for updating me about one of the most attractive leisure site in the world cheers jose

You are very welcome and thank you for the comment!

Hope to see you soon on board:)

Have a wonderful day!

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Zhik 2024 March - MPU

2024 Etchells World Championships at Fremantle Sailing Club - Day 1

Martin Hill-Noel, Drennan, Sean ORourke, Nagisa Sakai (AUS) on day 1 of the 2024 Etchells World Championships - photo © Alex Dare, Down Under Sail

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