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13 Best Small Catamarans For Cruising 2024

The best small catamarans for cruising are affordable and comfortable, making great sailboats for a number of different purposes. If you’re looking for the best small catamarans to start your cruising life then look no further!

When searching for a catamaran for our adventures we scoured the internet for any and all information we could find on just about every size, shape, and model!

Although in the end, we opted for a bigger catamaran, in the hopes of having more family and friends on board, we did heavily research the best small catamarans as an option.

One of the best small catamarans for cruising out at anchor.

Each small catamaran has different pros and cons. As with every sailboat, there will be compromises, but hopefully, this post will help you firm up what you’re really looking for in a multihull and find the right smaller catamaran for you!

Here are what we consider the best small cruising catamarans out there, costing anywhere from $40,000 to $300,000. You can also read up on the average costs of sailboats here.

Why choose a small catamaran for cruising?

The downsides to small multihulls for cruisers

The best small catamarans for ocean sailing

The best small catamarans for coastal cruising

Why Choose A Small Catamaran For Cruising?

a small multihull on an ocean passage, cutting through the water.

The main advantage to choosing a small catamaran for cruising has to be the cost. Not only are smaller sailboats cheaper to buy initially, but they are also cheaper to maintain and to dock in marinas or dry storage.

Why buy a small catamaran over a monohull? This isn’t the post to go into the pros and cons of multihulls vs monohulls, but a few of the main reasons you might prefer to buy a small cat over a bigger, cheaper monohull is the living space and the comfort underway and at anchor.

Living on a sailboat is very different from taking the boat out for a sporty sail every now and again. Having a catamaran over a monohull means you won’t be heeling or rolling at anchor half as much, you can leave out your coffee cup, and you have the space you need to spread out a little.

A small catamaran will enable the more comfortable lifestyle you’re seeking at a more reasonable price tag. So what’s not to love about small cruising multihulls?

The Downsides To Small Multihulls For Cruisers

a sailboat with its sails up, goosewinged.

Of course, just with everything in sailing, there are always compromises to be made when it comes to small multihulls.

One of the biggest downsides for cruisers is the weight issue smaller catamarans present. You won’t be able to carry half as much as you would on a larger catamaran or monohull, which might be a problem if you live onboard full time.

The other negative is that smaller boats usually aren’t quite as seaworthy as larger ones. You might find you’re limited to coastal cruising if you choose a small catamaran, so make sure you have your cruising intentions in mind before you buy.

the sails of a sailboat against the blue sky.

Another big thing to look out for when it comes to choosing the right small cat for you, is the bridge deck clearance. This is often worse on smaller catamarans, and can cause nasty slamming in any sort of sea, both when sailing and at anchor.

With these downsides in mind, we’ve split this post into the best small catamarans for ocean sailing and the best for coastal cruising. Obviously this is a little subjective, as many people have sailed around the world in much smaller and less seaworthy vessels!

The Best Small Catamarans For Ocean Cruising

#1 wharram tiki.

  • Suitable for: Bluewater sailing
  • Fixed Keels
  • Draft (max): 2.08′
  • Engines: Single outboard, though some versions have twin inboards
  • Price: Roughly $100,000

small catamarans sailing with the sunset behind

We have lusted after the Wharram catamarans since our adventures began and would have opted for one of these if we had found one for sale this side of the pond.

Designed by the legendary James Wharram, these small multihulls are pretty unique. They are based on the Polynesian catamaran design, and the plans enable you to self-build these boats if you have the time, money, and space for a project of this magnitude.

If you aren’t keen on taking on a project then you can commission a boat builder to complete the design for you, or buy one second-hand. The advantages of having one made yourself are that you can tweak things to your personal taste, and you can even contact the Wharrams themselves to see if they can adjust the designs for individual requests.

The Wharram catamarans have a lot of charm dues to their traditional design, and the old-fashioned appeal continues inside the boat too. You won’t find the same huge hull space as some of the modern design catamarans now have, but the outside entertainment space is perfect for entertaining.

One of the best small multihulls for ocean cruising

These small catamarans don’t have an inside space across the hulls, so all of your inside living space is below. If you’re used to monohulls then this won’t be a problem but if you like the idea of a galley-up then these boats aren’t for you.

Wharram catamarans, especially the Tiki 38, have great reputations as around the world, bluewater boats. They have fantastic bridge deck clearance so slamming is minimum and they sail well.

Most models have a double cabin and two singles, a galley, a head, and a small salon area below. They are smaller catamarans than many newer 38ft multihulls but this does make them more affordable.

small catamarans in the Caribbean with a beautiful white sand beach behind

A big appeal for us was the fact these boats are designed to be self-made. Although a secondhand model could potentially come with a lot of problems (get a decent survey before you buy!) it does mean that almost everything onboard can be self-fixed. This is a huge bonus if you plan on sailing your small catamaran around the world.

Another thing we loved about these smaller catamarans is the fact they have outboard engines, which we felt would be easier to maintain and replace if necessary. This is a personal choice though so consider this before you get your heart set on one!

One of the downsides to the Tiki 38 is that there aren’t many of them around. These are unique boats and they don’t come on the market frequently. When they do, they tend to be scattered all over the world so you’ll have to be prepared to travel to find one!

#2 Prout Snowgoose 37 : Small Catamaran For Ocean Cruising

a sail on a cruising catamaran and the ocean in the background.

Prout catamarans are a popular choice for cruisers, and you’ll find many owners who have circumnavigated in them. The Snowgoose is no exception. Prout no longer exists as a company, as it was bought by Broadblue in the 90s.

Broadblue still makes catamarans today, and they have very similar features to the original Prouts, though obviously they are far fancier and have all the benefits of a more modern design!

The Snowgoose is a great small multihull to go for as you get quite a lot of space inside and out. We weren’t sure about the berth in the salon area, but it might make a great space for a baby or small child while underway!

The compromise in the Prout Snowgoose is the bridge deck clearance and this was something that put us off these smaller cruising catamarans. A low bridge deck clearance makes the boat slam in waves, both at anchor and underway.

#8 PDQ 36 : A Small Catamaran Without Too Much Slamming

  • Suitable for: Bluewater
  • Draft (max): 2.82′
  • Engines: Twin inboard or outboard
  • Price: Over $100,000

very small catamaran

These small catamarans have an excellent reputation among cruisers because of their solid build and use of decent materials. They come with either outboard engines for coastal cruising or inboard engines designed to withstand offshore use.

If you like the sound of the PDQ 32 but need a little more room then you’ve got that here! It’s also a boat that people have crossed oceans in, though you might want to consider something more tried and tested like the Prout Snowgoose or the Wharram if you’re planning longer ocean sails.

The boat has three cabins, a galley, salon and head, but there’s a more spacious feel compared to the smaller model. Again, the bridge deck clearance is good so you shouldn’t experience too much slamming.

#9 Lagoon 380 : One Of The Most Popular Small Multihulls

very small catamaran

  • Fixed keels
  • Engines:  twin diesel engines
  • Price:  from $100,000, used

The Lagoon 380 is one of the most popular catamarans out there, and you’ve probably already spotted a lot of them in your search! This is a great option if modern cats appeal to you, as it’s pretty ‘with the times’ as far as smaller catamarans go!

There are lots of different layouts of this boat available all over the world. Some were built for charter with numerous berths and others were commissioned for couples or families with differing cabin and head options.

This is a proven catamaran from a reputable company, but obviously with so many of these boats out there, they come in a range of conditions. Make sure you get a thorough survey done before purchase!

Lagoon 37 TPI

  • Draft (max): 4′
  • Engines: Twin inboard diesels 
  • Price: Over $100,000 USD 

This is the smallest catamaran built by Lagoon, and unfortunately there aren’t many of them out there. These boats were built mainly for the charter market, and have a smaller rig than some similar sized catamarans.

There are two big queen-size forward doubles port and starboard and a smaller double in the starboard hull aft. The galley and salon are designed to be simple and timeless, with none of the fancy trims you’ll find in the newer Lagoons.

As this boat was intended for charter it probably wouldn’t make a great ocean-going vessel. For starters, it isn’t designed to carry too much in the way of provisions. That’s not to say it won’t be a suitable bluewater boat with a few tweaks. Sailors who have circumnavigated in them have increased sail area and added folding props to get more speed from the vessel.

#11 Catalac 9M/30

very small catamaran

  • Draft (max): 2.5′
  • Engines:  two outboard engines or one diesel engine
  • Price:  from $50,000

The Catalac 9M is a little different to a lot of the catamarans on this list, as it was built for sailing in the North Sea! This is a great small catamaran for anyone wanting a boat built to be safe!

The bridge deck clearance is reasonable but the boat is light, which can make it more prone to slamming. The unique feature of this small sailboat is the hard dodger, designed as somewhere safe and dry to stand in bad weather.

It sails well, though like a lot of catamarans there is technique involved in getting it to tack smoothly. Once you’ve got the hang of though, this boat will make good speeds for its size.

The Best Small Catamarans For Coastal Cruising

  • Suitable for: Coastal
  • Draft (max): 3.62′
  • Engines: Twin inboard
  • Price: Up to $300,000 for a newer model

The Mahe 36 is the smallest of the Fountaine Pajot range, and these small catamarans can go for a heafty budget if you find a newer model!

This tiny multihull packs a lot into a small space, and because of its modern features, you’ll feel like you’re in a much bigger boat when you step aboard.

This boat is a fast mover, with an ok bridge clearance and some attractive upgrades compared to their last small catamaran design. Most notably the full-length hard top bimini which has the reviewers raving!

If you have the money to splash out on a newer, more expensive small catamaran then this should definitely be on your list to consider! Although they come with a large price tag, these small catamarans are considerably cheaper new than some of the bigger models.

#4 Gemini 105Mc (34ft)

very small catamaran

Suitable for: Coastal cruising Centreboards Draft (max): 5′ Engines:  Single inboard Price:  from $80,000

The Gemini 105Mc is still in production in the US, which speaks to its popularity. Obviously if you buy new you’ll pay a much higher price! This is one of the smallest catamarans on the list, but it’s still a great option for coastal cruising (or some have even successfully completed ocean passages on them in relative comfort).

For a small multihull this boat sails pretty well and is fast for a coastal cruiser. The living space is decent with good headroom. It has two double cabins and a master bedroom, and the interior finishes are nice too.

A big negative to this boat is the bridge deck clearance which really isn’t amazing, but as we said at the start, there’s always a compromise! This is a sporty-looking little catamaran that’s a good contender for the top smallest catamarans out there!

#5 EndeavourCat 36

Suitable for: Coastal cruising Fixed keels Draft (max): 3′ Engines:  two inboard Price:  from $100

very small catamaran

Designed and built by Endeavour Catamaran, these American built boats are great cruising catamarans. A big advantage to this little multihull is that it will fit into most monohull slips, so if you anticipate using marinas a lot then this might be the small catamaran for you!

This isn’t a slow boat, and owners report speeds of 8-9 knots. Bear in mind though that the narrow beam does make it less suitable for any offshore passages. It has good interior space with 6′ standing headroom throughout, three double cabins, and a decent-sized galley below. The salon area can seat 6 people comfortably.

This cat is great for single-handed sailors, as all the lines lead to the cockpit and the main and jib are completely self-tacking.

#6 Prout Event 34

very small catamaran

Suitable for: Coastal/bluewater Fixed keels Draft (max): 2.72′ Engines:  Single inboard Price:  from $30,000

These multihulls are quite hard to find, but if you like the Snowgoose but are on a tighter budget then they might be just what you’re looking for. They share lots of features with the Snowgoose and look very similar, only smaller!

There are three cabins, one head, a salon, and a galley, only they are rather squeezed in compared to the larger model. Personally, we thought there was plenty of space for a smaller sailboat but it’s worth seeing them in person if you’re keen on this model.

They do have the same downsides as the Snowgoose though, with limited headroom and low bridge deck clearance. These boats are known for their slamming!

Coastal Engines:  twin outboards Price:  from $80,000, used

very small catamaran

The PDQ 32 is a great budget option catamaran and should be cheap(ish) to buy second hand and maintain. With two outboards that are easy to replace on a smaller budget, you’re looking at some of the usual pinch points on a boat becoming a lot more affordable!

This small catamaran only has two cabins, so sleeps less than a lot of the boats on this list, but it is roomier than you’d imagine inside with a decent galley and salon area. It has decent bridge deck clearance so shouldn’t slam too much in any waves.

This isn’t a boat for longer passages as it is a little small (and perhaps underpowered) to face serious weather. If you’re searching for something to potter around in then this is a fun boat to sail and live in!

#12 Dean 365

very small catamaran

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  • Suitable for: Coastal cruising
  • Draft (max): 3′
  • Engines:  one or two inboard
  • Price:  from $45,000, used

These South African catamarans are great little coastal cruising catamarans that are hard to come by anywhere other than South Africa!

They’re pretty tiny, but have enough space for a galley, 3 or 4 cabins, and 1 or 2 heads. Some of the designs even have a bathtub, which speaks of their liveaboard suitability rather than their sail performance!

These boats are some of the smallest multihulls on this list, so don’t expect much in terms of headroom or bridge deck clearance. That being said, if you’re looking for a tiny catamaran to live on and you are prepared to compromise on sailing ability then these are a solid choice.

We have heard that the build quality can vary somewhat with these multihulls, so make sure you do some solid research and get a good surveyor when buying one of these. If you get a good version then they can make really solid boats.

#13 EndeavourCat 30

the lines of small catamarans tied off to a cleat

Suitable for: Coastal cruising Fixed keels Draft (max): 2.1′ Engines:  single or twin outboard Price:  from $70,000

This is a boat built for comfort over all else, so if you’re looking for a budget catamaran to live in then take a look at the endeavourcat 30. Some people don’t like the boxy design, but we quite liked how it looked in the water. I guess it’s personal taste!

This sailboat has two double cabins, a decent sized galley and salon for the size of the boat, and a head. The bridge deck clearance is low so that’s something to bear in mind before you buy, but the headroom is good (another reason why this would make a good liveaboard catamaran).

Hopefully this has given you some inspiration when searching for small catamarans for cruising, and helped you to find your dream boat!

We’re passionate about helping people live this incredible cruising lifestyle, so if you’re planning your dream liveaboard life make sure you check out our guide on how to run away to sea, with everything you could possibly need to know before, during, and after starting this adventure of a lifetime!

very small catamaran

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Such small mention of probably the best catamaran for overall cruising, focusing on ease of helming, speed and livability. Simple rig, great ergonomic features, style and definitely a pedigree on the water. The FP Mahe duo! Sea proven. Most delivered on their own bottoms from France. Wide beams and light. Beautiful interior arrangements and easy to maintain. I’m confused about so little mention of probably the best entry level and beyond real cruiser out there.

You forgot the edelcat 35. Great boats, and have circumnavigated!

I wonder why Broadblue 346 is not on the list.

Appreciate it’s a bit more expensive than most cats listed here but what about the Aventura 37? Technically a small cat but with ocean going abilities and an actual live aboard!

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The Boat Galley

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Small Catamarans

10 Small Catamarans for Cruisers

Published on January 23, 2021 ; last updated on November 7, 2023 by Carolyn Shearlock/Rick Marcarelli

Is a cruising catamaran your dream? Check out these 10 small but sturdy boats you might want to consider.

I hear from many readers interested in small catamarans. Recently, the folks at reached out to interview me about our experience cruising on our Gemini 105, Barefoot Gal and we began chatting about the various small catamarans on the market. One thing led to another and I’m pleased that Rick Marcarelli was willing to contribute a guest post sharing information comparing ten of the most popular small catamarans on the market.

When most buyers think of catamarans these days, they think of designs by Lagoon, Leopard, and Fountaine Pajot. 

These are all fine vessels. But they were built to cater to the charter markets. And so they may not be the best boats for long-term, liveaboard cruisers. 

Charter vs Liveaboard Cruising

The typical charter catamaran accommodates three or four couples sailing for one to two weeks in the Caribbean or Mediterranean. Usually they will provision once, sail a few daylight hours, eat out more than a typical cruiser, and anchor or moor for the night.

Compare that itinerary to the typical liveaboard cruiser. 

Most cruisers spend over 90% of their time at anchor or a dock. They provision repeatedly and usually for many months at a time. Many cruisers rarely eat out at restaurants. And most importantly, cruisers sometimes sail non-stop through the night for multiple days or weeks when making a passage between cruising destinations. 

very small catamaran

The differences between charterers and cruisers cause them to desire different cabin layouts and amenities.

For charter boats, the focus is on several small cabins, each having its own accompanying head. They also have minimal storage space and enormous salons and cockpits. 

Long-term liveaboards generally desire a large master cabin, fewer heads, and significant storage space. They are usually willing to compromise space for superior sailing performance to reduce passage making days and increase safety by avoiding severe weather. 

Affordable Catamaran Market

Unfortunately for liveaboard cruisers interested in catamarans, the market is dominated by enormous, often very expensive, four cabin-four head charter models. In fact, our analysis of sales data suggests that about 38% of the market consists of Lagoon catamarans and over 50% are Lagoon or Fountaine Pajots. In addition, 90% of the market consists of catamarans over 38 feet in length. Please see the infographic. 

While a majority of catamarans for sale are large, expensive, charter catamarans, our site’s traffic suggests that 40% of buyers are looking for smaller, simpler, affordable catamarans under 38 feet in length. 

These are buyers like Carolyn was when she purchased S/V Barefoot Gal . And they are buyers who may be like you and are looking for something affordable that is suited to your liveaboard needs. 

Modest Cats for Cruisers

Consider widening your net. Here are some additional models to consider in your search:

Prout 37 Snowgoose

  • Cruising Grounds: Bluewater
  • Underbody: Fixed Keels
  • Draft (max): 2.08′
  • Mast Height: 40’ (Standard) / 50’ (Elite)
  • Bridgedeck Clearance: Average
  • Layouts: 3 cabins, 1 head; galley down; open version has larger salon while private stateroom has larger master cabin
  • Speed: Slow
  • Engines: Usually single outdrive; rare versions have twin inboards
  • Availability: Relatively common all over the world
  • Ballpark Price: Around $100,000 USD

very small catamaran

  • Cruising Grounds: Built for North Sea
  • Draft (max): 2.5′
  • Mast Height: tabernacle mast
  • Bridgedeck Clearance: Above Average
  • Layouts: 3 cabins, 1 head; galley down
  • Engines: Single gas outboard or twin inboard diesels
  • Availability: Somewhat rare; usually a couple on the market or 8M sister ship; more in Europe
  • Ballpark Price: Under $50,000 USD

Lagoon 37 TPI

  • Draft (max): 4′
  • Mast Height: 55’
  • Layouts: 3 or 4 cabin; 2 heads; galley down
  • Speed: Fast 
  • Engines: Twin inboard diesels 
  • Availability: Very rare; cult classic 
  • Ballpark Price: Over $100,000 USD 

very small catamaran

PDQ 36 Capella

  • Draft (max): 2.82′
  • Mast Height: 47’ (Standard) or 55’ (LRC)
  • Layouts: 2 or 3 cabin; 1 or 2 heads; galley down
  • Engines: Single gas outboard, twin gas outboard, or twin diesel inboard
  • Availability: Usually a few on the market and more likely in USA
  • Ballpark Price: Over $100,000 USD

Seawind 1000

  • Draft (max): 3.2′
  • Mast Height: 47’
  • Layouts: 4 cabins; 1 head; galley down
  • Speed: Fast
  • Engines: Twin gas outboard
  • Availability: Usually a few for sale; newer models still being built; originally built in Australia
  • Ballpark Price: Over $150,000 USD

very small catamaran

  • Cruising Grounds: Coastal
  • Draft (max): 3.35′
  • Layouts: 4 cabins or 2 cabin Maestro; 2 head; galley up
  • Engines: Twin inboard diesels with saildrives
  • Availability: Usually a couple on the market often in Caribbean
  • Ballpark Price: Around $150,000 USD

Endeavour 36

  • Draft (max): 2′ 9″
  • Layouts: 3 cabin; galley down
  • Engines: Twin inboard diesels
  • Availability: Rare and likely in the USA

very small catamaran

  • Draft (max): 3.62′
  • Mast Height: 55′
  • Layouts: 3 cabin / 1 head; 2 cabin / 2 head; galley up
  • Availability: More common especially in Caribbean
  • Ballpark Price: Newer version up to $300,000 USD
  • Underbody: Centerboards
  • Draft (max): 5′
  • Mast Height: 47’ (M) or 48’ (MC)
  • Bridgedeck Clearance: Below Average
  • Layouts: 3 cabin; 1 head; galley down but open
  • Engines: Single inboard diesel with retractable outdrive
  • Availability: Common especially in the USA

very small catamaran

  • Draft (max): 3′
  • Mast Height: 46′
  • Layouts: 4 cabin / 1 head; 3 cabin / 2 head; galley down; bathtubs on some
  • Engines: Single or twin inboard diesels
  • Availability: Rare model
  • Ballpark Price: Around $50,000 USD

Rick Marcarelli is the webmaster of featuring cruising catamarans for sale by owner as well as educational articles. Rick is the owner of S/V Catalpa , a Catalac 8M based out of Merritt Island, Florida. The site also functions as the owner’s website for Catalac catamarans. If you are planning on buying a catamaran, might save you a considerable amount of money and lead to years of happy sailing.

very small catamaran

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very small catamaran

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Reader Interactions

January 31, 2021 at 5:58 pm

I would think draft on the fixed keel boats would be important to many who are considering cats.

Carolyn Shearlock says

February 1, 2021 at 12:49 pm

I’ll see if we can perhaps add that.

Richard says

February 9, 2021 at 11:03 am

Good addition. I have provided drafts to Carolyn, so please watch this article for that to be updated. Any questions or additional information you would like added please comment again.

Drew Frye says

February 20, 2021 at 11:46 am

The best way to look at speed ratings is the PHRF rating or other handicaps. I used to own a PDQ 32 and never found a Gemini I couldn’t pass rather easily on autopilot, so I don’t think it rates slow if well handled. Granted, mine was turboed a bit and carried a 120 rating.

Florida ratings, according to US Sailing

PDQ 32 135 Seawind 1000 137 PDQ 36 156 Gemini 105 MC 168 Snowgoose 250 The others rate around 130-145

And of course, this is only fast or slow within the class. Fast multihulls cruising (?) multihulls rate 0-60.

February 21, 2021 at 7:59 am

Thanks! Good info.

September 10, 2023 at 5:55 am

I have an Edel 35′. For their price, they are a good option, for this size of catamaran. They are not slow, by any means. Disadvantage: clearance under nacelle.

Erin Michaud says

February 23, 2021 at 10:22 am

Great info, we met an owner of a Catalac 9M in Key West Garrison Bight Marina a couple of weeks ago. His name is Eric & he moved his boat to the Boca Chica Navy Marina. I will send the contact info for Rick to him specifically for the Catalac boats! Thanks!

February 24, 2021 at 5:54 am

Catalacs are great boats. We saw a couple for sale around the time we bought Barefoot Gal but they were sold the same day they were listed so we didn’t get to even look at them.

January 6, 2022 at 11:32 am

Hello. I was wondering if you can identify this open catamaran which boasts a GRP cockpit with seating?

Bruce Bayne says

February 20, 2022 at 9:57 am

I noticed that the Privilege 37 and 39 were not mentioned in your 10 list of catamarans. Is there a reason? How do they stack up to the others with regard to speed and bridgedeck clearance?

June 6, 2022 at 10:44 am

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10 Best Pocket Catamarans (Under 38 ft)

  • Post author By Rick
  • Post date September 11, 2020
  • 3 Comments on 10 Best Pocket Catamarans (Under 38 ft)

very small catamaran

Smaller cruising catamarans are an excellent entry level gateway into cruising catamarans and of late have become very popular. This is an effort to select some of the most well respected of these smaller catamarans. This was a difficult task, as many of these boats, designed and built some time ago, are still found in all the popular cruising grounds, and a list like this is subjective after all. All I can do is apologize in advance for leaving a boat off this list.

  • Prout Snowgoose 37

very small catamaran

The Snowgoose  (all iterations) was the first truly popular mass produced catamaran with more than 500 built. Known as safe, strong and capable of being sailed off shore, which some say is because of the position of their main mast, they make a perfect coastal cruiser or circumnavigator for an adventurous couple. This is a lot of boat for the money. These boats began their model run as a 35’ boat but as time went on Prout changed the mould by extending them to 37’. The Snowgoose can be found in every ocean on the planet.

The interior is simple and lightweight in order to maintain good sailing performance. A combination of classic woods and modern materials give the boat a spacious and open feeling that is hard to find on a boat this size.

Under sail, the Prout Snowgoose 37 is consistent, and it doesn’t need to be micromanaged, making it an ideal passagemaker. During passages,150 miles per day can be expected without pushing the boat. The Snowgoose 37, with its flexible cutter rig, balances easily and handles well under autopilot.

The Snowgoose is renowned for its rugged construction and sea kindliness as these boats were built to cross oceans, and not as additions to Caribbean charter fleets. Somewhere around 500 boats were built, and, although statements like this are impossible to confirm, its been said that nearly 100 have completed circumnavigations. True or not, Prouts have probably done more circumnavigations than any other catamaran of their era. The Prout designs have proven themselves time and again as tough, reliable cruisers and if a sailor wants a cat to sail around the world, there’s a good chance he’ll probably end up in a Snowgoose.

  • Gemini 105M

very small catamaran

The most popular American line of catamarans with over 1100 deliveries, this Gemini 105MC is one of the most affordable catamarans on the market. The Gemini’s performance is legendary yet they still manage to surprise unsuspecting newcomers.

These boats squeeze 3 cabins, a head and full Galley (in starboard hull) and a deck layout and rig which offers a stable, safe, and well-reasoned platform for whatever comes your way. And the ingenuity of lifting centerboards and kick-up rudders will have you sailing through less than 2′ of water, making this boat the ultimate Island hopper. All this and more at 33′ 6″ length and a 14′ beam that can dock in a standard slip or truck across the country.

The Gemini 105M has plenty of room, is an excellent value, with outstanding accommodations, and solid sailing performance.

  • The Lagoon 37 TPI

very small catamaran

The Lagoon 37 TPI catamaran was built by the famed boat yard Tillotson Pearson in Rhode Island. They were introduced in 1993 following the success of the Lagoon 42 in the US charter market and draws from a long lineage of great multihull designs and continues the collaboration of Jeanneau of France, and TPI (American). With the same designers and builders as the forerunner model and targeting the same market, these boats have achieved cult status among catamaran sailors. Their pointing ability, and comfort aboard are legendary.  These boats were designed with the much preferred straight propeller shafts instead of sail drives and were sold as 3 cabin 2 head laid out as an Owner’s Version.

A French design, built in the USA by TPI in Rhode Island, they have become a very sought-after catamaran. These boats are fast and comfortable both at sea and at anchor with ample storage room and comfortable accommodations.

very small catamaran

The PDQ 36 was a Canadian built catamaran offered in two arrangements. The LRC (Long Range Cruiser) is a legend among cruising catamarans and included 2 Yanmar diesel engines coupled to straight shafts. The PDQ 36 Capella, was built with pods for two Yamaha extended shaft outboards.

These are solid boats with excellent construction as the expert use of materials and construction techniques results in a strong boat yet keeps the hull weight low. With twin inboard diesels, she’s designed for coastal cruising. They aren’t seen for sale very often.

These are well-built and well-regarded catamarans, designed with a gracious entertaining area, and two luxurious staterooms complete with queen-size beds. At 36′ the boat is the ideal size for single-handing, as the twin engines contribute to excellent maneuverability in tight spaces while the diesel engine version offering considerable charging capability.

Two equal staterooms with plenty of storage throughout the boat. The head and shower stall are one piece for easy cleaning. The galley is located in the port hull, has dual sinks, a Force 10 oven with two burner range and refrigerator for easy access. The salon seats six for dining.

The cockpit is spacious with pilot and co-pilot seats and an aft bench seat. The engines are either inboard diesels or in pods and retract out of the water for no drag when under sail. 

very small catamaran

The Catalac 9M was a British built, 30 foot design, with a modest rig, high coach roof, large  cockpit and 5 berths in four sleeping areas which provided lots of sun bathing deck space, a shallow draft, and had reasonable performance. In a good blow (>20 knots of wind speed) 10 knots at 45 degress apparent can be expected from the Catalac 9M and in enough wind the boat will tack inside of 45 degrees. In strong quarterly winds speeds of 12-14 knots under sail has been documented with the outboard engine configuration in a lightly loaded boat. Remarkable performance from such a boxy design  given that it’s design priority was comfort rather than speed

The mast is cabin stepped in a tabernacle. These were designed be raised and lowered single handed. They were sold with a mainsail, working jib and a 170% Genoa. When the rig is set up correctly, they sail with a very balanced helm. Twin rudders contribute to their agility and later models (>1980) have matching skegs just forward of the rudders to increase windward ability. About 250 boats were built.

  • Endeavour 36

very small catamaran

EndeavourCat 36 cruising catamaran is an American designed and buit boat by Endeavour Catamaran Corporation of Clearwater, FL. The EndeavourCat 36 draws less than 3 feet and can go most places that others can’t. These boats are very easily docked with twin diesel engines. They were built with three staterooms with queen-size beds. There are identical staterooms aft in each hull with a bedside table, hanging locker and drawers. Each stateroom has a ceiling light, reading lights, large hatches, opening ports. The bright, airy salon can comfortably seat 6-8.

The Galley is located in the port hull and is large enough for two people to prepare a gourmet meal side by side. Designed to be sailed single-handed without ever leaving the cockpit, all lines lead to the cockpit, two two-speed winches make easy work of sail handling. Both main and jib are completely self-tacking.

  • Endeavour 30

very small catamaran

The Endeavour 30 was built by Endeavour Catamaran Corporation of Clearwater, FL and features spacious Salon, Massive Galley, Huge Head with separate two-person shower with a built-in seat. Twin Queen births with full hanging cedar lined closest and plentiful storage space.  The hull, deck, and structural bulkheads are manufactured of biaxial fiberglass with isophathalic vinylester resins and NidaCore (a polypropelene honeycomb) coring. Vacuum bagged construction was used to enhance stiffness, strength, and reduce weight. There is a full interior fiberglass grid used as the interior mold for strength and rigidity. The headliner is a full fiberglass molded piece. The hulls and decks are fastened both chemically and mechanically for strength. Twin fiberglass molded keels are foam filled and have integral sumps. The balanced rudders are constructed of high denisty foam/fiberglass.

These boats have a very unique layout merging the cabin with the cockpit with broad companionway doors. Tons of features packed into her 30 foot length. A lot of catamaran for the money.

  • Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36

very small catamaran

Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36 was based on an Olivier Flahault design and with a Joubert/Nivelt hull, The Mahe 36 is built for safe navigation with comfortable, bright living areas and a fully protected cockpit alongside the salon.

The Mahe 36 features an open-plan / sheltered cockpit and saloon and raised helm station.  Entering the main salon through the sliding cockpit door the well-appointed galley is to starboard and the Nav station and storage is to port. Down into the starboard hull is the master stateroom aft with a Queen berth with several opening ports, a hanging locker and shelf storage with vented doors.

Forward to starboard is the ample head with shower which is a single fiberglass unit very easy to keep clean. Down from the saloon to the port guest stateroom aft with a Queen berth with several opening ports , a hanging locker and shelf storage with vented doors. Forward to port is the ample head with shower which is a single fiberglass unit very easy to keep clean. The large windows forward, Port and Starboard in the saloon make for an airy, open feeling.

These boat offers great comfort both sailing and at anchor while at the same time offering excellent performance. The Mahé 36 allows you to move around freely onboard, enjoying comfort when navigating (at the helm, in the cockpit or down below) or while moored. Everything has been thought out so that you can move about on this 36 ft yacht without anything getting in the way.

very small catamaran

The Catalac 8M is a pocket cruising catamaran which has a solid reputation for quality, strength and durability. Many of the boats found in North America today, were sailed there from Great Britain. The Catalac 8M, although classified as a pocket cruiser was designed with blue water sailing in mind. Offered in two versions, twin diesels or a single outboatd engine. The twin inboard diesel models can easily motor almost 1000 kilometers without refueling. The 70 amps of charging and 70 gallons of stock water tanks in the Catalac 8M and 9M make even these smaller boats terrific coastal cruisers. The Outboard versions sail a bit quicker as the engine can be raised during sailing, reducing drag. Constructed with solid fiberglass hulls, these are quality boats which were built like battleships. Chuck Kanter calls them one of the catamaran brands that live on through the decades.

The Catalac 8M is masthead rigged with a relatively short, but thick mast. As with all boats in the Catalac production lineup, this contributes to a stable boat with a low center of effort. No Catalac has ever been known to fly a hull under any circumstances.

The mast is cabin stepped in a tabernacle. These can be raised and lowered single handed. The standing rigging is over sized to withstand the extra loading experienced by catamarans. They were sold with a mainsail, working jib and a 170% Genoa. When the rig is set up correctly, they sail with a very balanced helm. Twin rudders contribute to their agility and later models (>1980) have matching skegs just forward of the rudders to improve windward ability. 

Designed with a single full size berth forward, a large 8 foot long galley in the starboard hull, a quarter berth, nav station and head in the Port hull, these small catamarans pack a lot of features in a small package. Their cockpits are as large as a 38 – 40 foot catamaran. Most of these boats are in Europe but a fail number were either imported or sailed to North America.

  • Seawind 1000

very small catamaran

The Seawind 1000 is an Australian built 37′ catamaran. These Australian designed and built catamarans have won world wide acclaim and awards for their stability, spaciousness, luxury and performance.  The Seawind 1000’s blend of simplicity and sophistication is an example of what a modest cruising catamaran needs to serve the minimum needs of its crew, and what it should have to make sailors want to use and keep their beloved catamaran.

She has a well equipped galley with plenty of bench space and storage and the large open saloon. Featuring 2 cabins, 4 berths, large bathroom, and very nice galley. They feature a large double bed, additonal bunk and bathroom portside. On the starboard side, kitchen, additional bunk, desk and seperate cabin. The saloon features a large table that can convert to a huge daybed for lounging while under sail. Her large trampolines up front are perfect to laze around and for sun baking. The large open saloon with seating and table is fully open to the cockpit for plenty of space for the guests to move around.

The functional galley is loaded with fridge, a small oven and gas 2 burner stove top making meal preparation hassle free. She has a galley bench top w/ integral double sink and drain.

The Seawind 1000 is a solid, safe cruising catamaran that moves beautifully in the water and more than comfortable to live on.

  • Tags Buying Advice


Owner of a Catalac 8M and Catamaransite webmaster.

3 replies on “10 Best Pocket Catamarans (Under 38 ft)”

Thank you, Rick. My wife and I are planning on cruising the Med in a few years and the boats profiled give a good starting point for the “perfect” boat. ?

Excellent work…

Gerry Gray hear from Pointe Claire Yacht club looking to buy a super clean pocket cat on the east coast or in the carribean or central america….under 100k cad please.

Cheers Gerry

Hi Gerry: Best thing to do is sign up for our mailing list to be first to hear of new catamarans.

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Small Catamaran Comparison: Excess 11 vs. Bali Catsmart

The size of catamarans has seen an increase over the years, with boats measuring 45′ now considered average-sized and prices soaring to reach one million euros and more… It’s almost as if the shipyards have forgotten the success of smaller catamarans like the Lagoon 380 and its 800 units built.

Almost simultaneously, two shipyards have revived these smaller sized boats with very different approaches: the Excess 11 and the Bali Catsmart .

Different because the catamaran landscape includes two major types of boats – the ultra-light and very sporty catamarans, and the very well-equipped boats, which are more comfort-orientated. The Excess 11 and the Catsmart position themselves between these two extremes, each by using a different yet appealing recipe to create affordable four-cabin catamarans.

Excess 11, a sailors’ catamaran

very small catamaran

Honor to the older of the two, the Excess 11, which first showcased at the Dusseldorf Boot 2020 boat show. Excess is a recent brand from the Beneteau group aimed at producing lighter, simpler catamarans, offering more sailing sensations than their heavy Lagoon counterparts.

Excess catamarans, while they sail well, are not designed for racing or regattas – they are not high-performance vessels that tolerate no errors. Rather, they are comfortable cruising catamarans, but with a sporty look, and capable of offering great sailing sensations. While large catamarans with a hydraulic steering system have other advantages, they tend to provide little more navigating pleasure than that of a heavy machine carving its way through the waves.

On the Excess, special care has been taken to satisfy the sailing enthusiast. Very often, and we see this at our bases every season, sailing enthusiasts switch to catamarans for family reasons. This change is made at the sacrifice of the very soul of sailing, the pleasure of steering a well-adjusted sailboat and feeling the sensations of its motion. Several technical solutions have been adopted to improve its handling. With an Excess, there is no sacrifice!

This is especially true for the Excess 11, as the first two models from Excess (12 and 15) used the hulls of a Lagoon catamaran . The Excess 11 is the first boat in the range to be built on its own molds.

Excess 11, a sporty look

very small catamaran

It is hard not to succumb to the charm of this catamaran when you see it for the first time. With its massive bulging bows, a set-back cockpit, a long roof overhang, and the mast positioned forward of the cockpit, it has a rather pleasant roadster-like appearance. It’s a boat that captures attention, especially since its hull has immediately recognizable features and it can be delivered in gray. The cockpit position, which suits it so well, is dictated purely by sailing considerations.

By moving the cockpit aft, the mast could be moved forward on the main beam (the primary structural component of the boat that connects the two hulls) without the mast’s support interfering with the interior space. With a forward mast, you gain in mainsail area and therefore in power and speed. The boat also comes with a self-tacking jib, making it easy to handle with a reduced crew, and has a bowsprit designed to accommodate a code sail.

This design is also reflected in the two steering stations, which are located at the very rear of each hull, in a position reminiscent of monohulls. From the rear, you can see the tips of the hulls and the sails, but you are also close to the boat’s social: the cockpit and the saloon. The skipper is no longer isolated, alone on the flybridge.

A catamaran full of sailing-oriented details

very small catamaran

Each steering station is equipped with a wheel, positioned just like on a monohull, close to the pulleys of each rudder. The steering of these boats is carried out by means of Dyneema lines. These ultra-solid textile tiller ropes are relatively short, and offer the skipper sailing sensations very close to those experienced on a monohull. These short tiller ropes are not used on larger boats, which prefer hydraulic or cable-controlled actuators – both of which completely eliminate the steering feedback.

very small catamaran

In the front, the path of the anchor chain and the davit have been moved slightly off-centre to clear the bowsprit, intended to be used with a code zero (not present on the charter/rental version).

The shipyard has done a fine job with its supplier of lines and ropes. Halyards, ropes, reefing lines, tiller ropes and moorings are all braided in a range of assorted colors, but are made in such a way as to remain distinguishable at a glance. Inside, this work is also found on the drawer handles made of cordage.

About the space

very small catamaran

Inside, there is headroom of more than 2 1⁄2-feet throughout. In the cockpit, there is the galley, a dining table and a navigation table. The atmosphere is bright, with whites, grey floors and minimal use of wood.

very small catamaran

In the hulls, there are three or four cabins, whose aft cabins stand out due to their large 6.5×6.5-foot beds! The cabins share a bathroom per hull.

Excess 11 in three figures: 11.33 m / 37.17 ft overall length, 6.59 m / 21.62 ft beam, 9 tons and 77 m2 / 828.52 ft2 of upwind sail area.

Bali Catsmart

very small catamaran

A Bali powerhouse of 36 feet When Bali announced its Catsmart, the word on the docks was that a wave of panic rose at Lagoon, which had no such project in the pipeline…

The Catsmart is also a 36-foot catamaran, whose configuration is totally different from that of the Excess. Here, Bali has incorporated almost all the design strengths of its other models to create a concentrated vessel of smaller size. The price, fully equipped, is also modest, at less than €500,000.

And Bali catamarans have no shortage of strengths. It is these distinctive elements of comfort and differentiation that have contributed so much to the lightning-fast success of this range of cruising catamarans.

A solid forward deck and XXL sunbeds

very small catamaran

Up front, where competitors install trampolines, Bali decks the entire forward section. This approach offers various advantages despite what the competition (may) say about the additional weight at the front. It works well to provide additional outdoor space with a table where the entire crew can gather.

A table, but also an enormous sunbathing area, covered with cushions designed to stay in place while sailing. This forward arrangement is particularly pleasant when cruising. Early in the morning while the sun is still low it’s a pleasure to have an open-air meal, just like dining on a terrace.

At lunch and in the evening, you can equally enjoy the shelter of the roof and its overhang to escape the sun.

A fused cockpit-saloon area

very small catamaran

In the aft cockpit area is merged seamlessly with the saloon thanks to the tilting rear wall, which allows the boat to be used “fully open air” in temperate weather, or closed, after the sun sets. This clever combination allows the use of a single, larger table at this place, with a comfortable sofa opposite. Inside, the kitchen faces the direction of sailing and occupies the entire width of the boat.

Bali Catsmart’s pivoting rear door lends great versatility to its common areas. No redundant furniture: the use of space is maximised. Operating the door is very easy, and its operation is similar to that of a garage door. The comparison ends there though, as the Catsmart’s door is insulated and coated with a gel coat.

The forward-facing kitchen is pleasant for the cook, who can quickly lose sight of his recipes if he lets himself get caught up in the view. This configuration is made possible by the absence of a front door, which is the only Bali detail that the shipyard could not incorporate into the highly successful Catsmart.

Both helm stations are placed, as on the Excess, at the very back of the hulls. The starboard station is the primary one with two winches. The winch for the mainsail is located aft and handles the mainsail traveler and the headsail sheet (self-tacking), while the other winch manages the reefs and halyards. Just in front of the console, the headsail furler block is within easy reach of the helmsman. The port station has only one winch, used for the topping lift and a reefing line.

Bright cabins

very small catamaran

Bali Catsmart in four figures: 11.78 m / 38.65 ft overall length, 6.46 m / 21.19 ft beam, 8.4 tons and 99 m2 / 1065.24 ft2 of upwind sail area

The choice is yours between the Bali Catsmart and the Beneteau Excess 11, two sailboats that are very similar in terms of specifications (length, width, weight, sail area) but very different in terms of onboard experience. Two very successful concepts, each of which took their advantages to the extreme to create two very beautiful boats.

It’s up to you to choose the one that suits you best!


Interested in learning more about yacht ownership? Dream Yacht Sales has you covered with the widest choice of yachts and charter management programs .

Our expert yacht consultants can explain your options in depth and help you through the purchase process, from choosing a yacht that is right for you, to finding the best financing. Get in touch today !

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Discover the Future of Sailing at the French Shipyards Open Days in June

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The benefits of buying a charter version of popular sailing catamarans


My Cruiser Life Magazine

How To Pick a Small Catamaran — Everything You Need to Know

Catamarans have had the sailing world abuzz for several decades now. To the salty monohull sailors’ chagrin, they aren’t going away any time soon. They’re roomy, comfortable, spacious, airy, and light-filled. They ride flat and don’t heel over when the breeze freshens. When you step aboard a modern catamaran, even the most landlubber-y of landlubbers can envision moving aboard and setting sail to distant horizons. 

There’s no set definition, so we’ll have to look to the boat manufacturers for answers. If you look at the lineup from Leopard, Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, Bali, and others, you’ll find that the smallest cats are generally somewhere between 38 to 40 feet long. There are other manufacturers making some 35-foot boats, but these look a lot different.

The appeal of the small catamaran is nothing new, and many different boat makers have made attempts over the years. Here are a few things you might want to consider before purchasing a small catamaran boat.

small catamaran sailboat

Table of Contents

What is a small catamaran sailboat, pros of a small catamaran boat, cons of small catamaran boats, not all catamarans have the same feel.

  • Size (Of Your Liveaboard Catamaran) Matters 

Priorities: Affordable Catamarans or Small Catamarans?

  • Picking the Right Small Sail Catamaran 

Best Small Catamaran FAQs

For liveaboard, long-distance sailors, a small catamaran is a twin-hulled sailboat between 35 and 40 feet long. 

There are a few designs, but the most comfortable ones are those with wide beams and the hulls set farther apart. This size catamaran is necessary to ensure the boat can carry enough supplies and retains enough stability to be safe at sea. However, these small boats still feel very large and have beams of 19 to 21 feet. Boats of this size have twin diesel inboard engines. These boats come with four cabins or three cabins in an “owner’s version” layout.

Many of these boats could be described as French-style charter catamarans. Examples of boats like this include those made by Lagoon and Fountaine Pajot. South African companies like Leopard make them too, and there are a few one-off designs, like the American-made Manta share these features. 

Generally speaking, a 38-foot-long, 21-foot-wide sailboat is not a small one. But if you love the French-style catamaran, this is about the smallest you’ll find. That’s because this type of boat depends on its width for stability and its length for carrying a load. A shorter boat is very easy to overload. Most boat makers, Lagoon, Bali, Leopard, and the rest, currently make nothing less than 37 feet. 

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But there are some smaller options. 

On the other end of the spectrum from the super-wide French-style cat, there are small catamaran sailboat designs built for day-tripping and short-term coastal cruising. These are often narrower than offshore boats and can be stored in a regular boat slip. This is an especially important consideration in coastal areas where big offshore catamarans aren’t very common and marina options are limited. 

These boats will sometimes have beams of 15 feet or less. These smaller and lighter boats are often propelled by a single engine, either an inboard diesel or a gasoline outboard. All of these factors make them cheaper. 

Examples of boats like this, small and made for nearshore coastal cruising, are the 105MC from Gemini Catamarans and the Endeavour 30. The Gemini is one of the most popular coastal cruiser cats made. It is 35 feet long with a single center-mounted diesel inboard engine, retractable centerboards for shallow-water cruising, and distinctive hard dodger. They usually have two cabins or three cabins and one or two heads.

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A third group of catamarans doesn’t fit neatly into these two categories. They lie somewhere between small, say 30 to 37 feet, and are built well enough to be considered bluewater boats. They take their designs from seaworthy British catamarans built in the 1980s and 1990s, namely those built by Catalac and Prout. These were solid boats built tough to take on the North Sea that earned the excellent reputation they still have today. The Island Packet PacketCat and Dean Catamarans 365 are two more recent examples.

They tend not to be as beamy as the French charter catamarans and are much less common. However, for owners lucky enough to find a good one, they make excellent long-distance cruisers and liveaboard boats.

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Of course, the smallest catamaran of all is the beach cat that everyone is familiar with. It’s nothing more than two small hulls connected by poles and netting. Fun and fast, there’s no better toy on the resort’s beach. They have no interior accommodation—they are just for day sailing. We’ll keep our discussion limited to liveaboard catamaran options. 

Catamarans appeal to many sailors, but the reasons folks like them vary from person to person. For example, some are in love with the way cats sail. Faster and lighter than monohulls, they speed up quickly in light wind and skip over the waves. 

Others prefer the living space aboard a catamaran. They usually have open, airy salons with tons of light and fresh air everywhere. Big windows are the norm, unlike monohulls described by many as “caves.”

Here are a few reasons to consider a small catamaran with cabin. 

  • Cheaper than bigger catamarans
  • Shallow draft for exploring more places, especially compared to fixed keels on monohulls
  • Easy handling and happy sailing
  • Large windows and great ventilation in the living space
  • Large, open cockpits to entertain guests
  • Faster cruising than a similar-sized monohull
  • More interior living space than a monohull
  • Does not heal under sail as monohulls do—rides flatter
  • Fits in more slips and at more marinas than larger, wider boats
  • The narrower the boat, the more boatyards are available to you
  • One diesel engine price tag—keeps boat and maintenance cheap compared to twin inboard diesels
  • Option for outboard engines, which saves even more money in maintenance—some smaller boats have one or two outboard engines
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There are some struggles for catamaran and would-be catamaran owners, of course. But, by far, the biggest problem you’ll face with choosing a small catamaran is the problem of having limited choices. There aren’t many cats in the world when you compare them to monohulls, and those catamarans you find are more expensive.

Another problem with small catamarans is that they are very sensitive to overloading. While they have lots of storage space, they can’t hold much weight. As the hulls ride lower in the water, sailing performance and overall stability decrease. In other words, a catamaran will hold less weight than a monohull of a similar length.

  • Fewer available on the market than monohulls
  • Interior space feels different than that on bigger models
  • Weight carrying capacity is less than may be required for comfortable long-distance cruising
  • Lack of overall stability due to narrower beams
  • Seakeeping and ride qualities are poorer than long cats
  • Some find the ride quality of shorter catamarans to be uncomfortable
  • Lightly built with thin fiberglass layups, susceptible to flexing issues—some require more repair and maintenance than similar-sized and aged monohulls
  • High-quality offshore models are hard to find
  • Low bridgedeck clearance may mean wave slapping and pounding with some boats on some points of sail

Tips When Shopping for a Small Catamaran Sailboat

Here are a few things to remember if you want to purchase a small catamaran with cabin. 

When looking at the latest models, you’ll see that catamaran construction has changed quite a bit in the last two decades. So it’s really important to understand what you like so much about your dream catamaran. 

Is it the open feeling you get when standing in the salon, looking out of those huge windows? Or is it the way you can easily walk from the salon to the cockpit to the side decks or helm without stepping up and over seats, in and out of a deep cockpit? What about the easy access to your dinghy, which is on davits at the rear? Or maybe it’s the way that there’s plenty of light below decks in your cabin, and the boat feels open and airy?

The choices look very different when you start downsizing and looking at small cruising cats. Some or all of these features were things that designers had to learn to do. In some cases, they’re still learning how to do them. And in some cases, they’re impossible to do on a small boat. 

Size (Of Your Liveaboard Catamaran) Matters

Small catamarans have never been and will never be designed to carry a load. Catamarans are performance-oriented, even if some are built for charter and look like condo buildings. When you stuff too much weight in a catamaran, its sailing characteristics are degraded. As the waterline gets lower and lower, the boat sails noticeably slower, and stability is adversely affected. 

As a result, it’s frightfully easy to overload a small catamaran. Going out for a daysail is easy, as you might only bring a towel and some water. But living aboard or traveling long distances is another thing entirely. With a catamaran under 37 feet, it is very difficult not to overload it while keeping enough stuff—tools, spare parts, food/groceries, water, fuel, clothes, gadgets, books, etc. Cats 35 feet and under can be dangerously overloaded, which is another reason these boats are usually not generally considered bluewater vessels.

This is one of the biggest reasons you don’t see many small catamarans being built and crossing oceans—most people need more stuff than a small cat can safely hold. 

So with the quality of the living space and the weight of your stuff in mind, most cruising couples are most comfortable on a 40 or 42-foot catamaran. Peformance-wise, a 42 or 44-foot catamaran is the sweet spot for most. Unfortunately, these boats are expensive! Much more so than a 35-footer. 

Shorter catamarans also handle big seas differently. The shorter a catamaran is, the more likely it is to hobby horse—the tendency towards a quick, bow-up bow-down motion at sea. This is another reason that 44-footers are ideal—they’re long enough to escape this tendency and ride better in open water. Plus, their longer waterlines and narrower hulls mean these bigger cats will be significantly faster on all points of sail. If you want to see a list of bigger catamarans, check out our list of the best liveaboard catamarans .

So, you must approach your choice with these things in mind. A lot of people downsize their plans to fit their budget. But are you willing to put up with the problems associated with a smaller catamaran than you need? Would a different type of boat actually suit your goals better?

small catamaran boat

Picking the Right Small Sail Catamaran

Every boat purchase is a compromise, and there is never a perfect boat that can do everything. First, keep a clear mental picture of your goals and what you love about the catamarans you’ve seen. Then, keep an open mind! There are so many different types of boats, and catamarans are just one of them. 

When you’re ready to start shopping for a small catamaran sailboat, check out our list of cheap catamarans for some great options in the under-40-foot range.

What are small catamarans called?

A small catamaran is a boat with two hulls. The smallest are beach catamarans like the Hobie Cat . For liveaboard sailors, small catamarans are between 35 and 40 feet long.

How much does a small catamaran cost?

Prices for small catamarans vary greatly depending on the boat’s popularity, quality, and design. For example, one of the most popular small liveaboard catamarans is the French-built Lagoon 380, built from 1999 to 2020. Depending on features, age, and location, these boats currently sell for between $200,000 and $400,000. On the other hand, the much smaller American-built Gemini 105MC can be found for half as much. 

What is the best small catamaran to live on?

Everyone is looking for something a little different in their liveaboard catamaran. The Lagoon 380 and Fountaine Pajot Mahe are popular options if you’re looking for a spacious and comfortable charter catamaran. 

What is the smallest catamaran to circumnavigate?

Many catamarans in the 35-foot range have successfully circumnavigated. Smaller ones have likely made the trip, albeit less comfortably. But generally, most sailors agree that a 38 to 40-foot cat would be the smallest size that should make the trip, and a 42 to 44-footer would be best. The WorldARC, a 15-month-long around-the-world sailing rally hosted by the World Cruising Club, requires boats to have a 40-foot length, although they will consider smaller vessels on a case-by-case basis.  

very small catamaran

Matt has been boating around Florida for over 25 years in everything from small powerboats to large cruising catamarans. He currently lives aboard a 38-foot Cabo Rico sailboat with his wife Lucy and adventure dog Chelsea. Together, they cruise between winters in The Bahamas and summers in the Chesapeake Bay.

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very small catamaran

very small catamaran

Small Catamaran Boats: The Ultimate Guide for Water Enthusiasts

by Emma Sullivan | Aug 8, 2023 | Sailboat Lifestyle

very small catamaran

Short answer: small catamaran boats

Small catamaran boats refer to compact and lightweight vessels that use two parallel hulls for stability. These agile watercraft are commonly used for recreational sailing, racing, day trips, or as beach cats. They provide increased speed and maneuverability compared to traditional monohull boats due to their reduced weight and decreased drag. Ideal for coastal waters and shallow areas, small catamaran boats offer versatility, ease of handling, and the ability to navigate in tight spaces.

How Small Catamaran Boats Revolutionize Water Recreation

For water enthusiasts and adventure seekers, the allure of small catamaran boats has never been stronger. These innovative vessels have not only revolutionized water recreation but have also captured the hearts of those seeking a truly unforgettable experience. So what exactly sets these small catamarans apart? Let’s dive into the details and uncover their extraordinary features.

First and foremost, small catamaran boats offer an unparalleled level of stability. With two hulls rather than the traditional single hull found on most boats, they effortlessly slice through waves with minimal rocking or swaying. This inherent stability ensures that even novice sailors can embark on thrilling adventures without feeling seasick or uneasy. Gone are the days of clinging to the railing for dear life – small catamaran boats make water recreation accessible to everyone.

But stability is just the beginning; these compact yet mighty vessels are designed to enhance every aspect of your waterborne journey. From extra-wide decks that provide ample space for relaxation and sunbathing, to spacious cabins allowing you to comfortably spend overnight trips aboard, no detail is left unattended when it comes to maximizing your enjoyment on these boats.

One standout feature of small catamaran boats is their impressive speed capabilities. The twin hull design allows for reduced drag, resulting in higher speeds compared to traditional monohull boats. Whether you’re looking to zip across open waters or engage in exciting races with fellow enthusiasts, these agile vessels will undoubtedly satisfy your need for speed.

While performance is undoubtedly important, safety should always remain a top priority in any recreational activity. Small catamarans excel in this aspect as well, thanks to their advanced stability systems and state-of-the-art safety features. Their wide beam provides an incredibly stable platform even when faced with unpredictable weather conditions or rough waters. Additionally, their buoyancy greatly reduces the risk of capsizing, ensuring peace of mind while exploring uncharted aquatic territories.

Moreover, versatility plays a pivotal role in revolutionizing water recreation, and small catamaran boats certainly deliver in this aspect. They are ideal for a myriad of activities, including fishing expeditions, weekend getaways, or simply enjoying a leisurely cruise with friends and family. With plenty of storage space available, you can easily bring along all the necessary supplies for any adventure you choose.

Beyond their exceptional functionality, these small catamarans also flaunt an alluring aesthetic appeal. Sleek lines and modern designs elevate not only their visual charm but also their overall performance. Seamlessly fusing form and function, these boats are a feast for the eyes while gliding gracefully through crystal-clear waters.

In conclusion, small catamaran boats have truly revolutionized water recreation in more ways than one. From unmatched stability and enhanced speed capabilities to impressive safety features and unrivaled versatility, they provide an experience unlike any other vessel on the market. So whether you’re seeking adrenaline-fueled adventures or serene moments of relaxation on the water, hop onboard a small catamaran boat to embark on a new era of aquatic exploration. You won’t be disappointed!

Exploring the Advantages of Small Catamaran Boats: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re a boating enthusiast , or even someone who enjoys leisurely water activities, you may have come across the term “catamaran” before. While catamarans are often associated with larger vessels used for luxurious vacations or racing events, there’s a growing popularity in small catamaran boats for various reasons. In this step-by-step guide, we will dive into the advantages of these nimble watercraft and why they might be the perfect choice for your next aquatic adventure.

Step 1: Understanding the Basics of Catamarans To begin our exploration, it is important to grasp the fundamental concept behind catamaran boats. Unlike traditional mono-hull boats that rely on a single hull design, catamarans feature two parallel hulls connected by a platform known as a “bridge deck.” This unique structure provides stability, maneuverability, and increased deck space – some of the core advantages we’ll discuss in detail.

Step 2: Stability on Water One significant advantage that small catamaran boats offer is unmatched stability. The twin hulls create a wide base that distributes weight more evenly compared to mono-hulls. As a result, small catamarans tend to experience less rolling motion caused by waves or currents. This increased stability not only enhances comfort while cruising but also reduces the likelihood of seasickness – making it an ideal choice for those who may have concerns about motion sickness.

Step 3: Enhanced Maneuverability Next up is maneuverability – an essential factor when choosing any boat . With their dual-hull design and relatively shallow draft, small catamarans have excellent maneuvering capabilities. They can navigate through tight spaces with ease and are highly responsive to steering inputs. Whether you’re exploring narrow canals or docking in crowded marinas, maneuvering challenges will no longer hinder your boating experience.

Step 4: Spacious Deck and Living Areas One of the standout advantages of small catamaran boats is the abundance of deck and living space they provide. Compared to mono-hulls of similar length, catamarans typically offer a significantly larger footprint, thanks to the dual-hull design. This expanded deck space allows for more freedom to move around, entertain guests, or simply relax in comfort. Furthermore, most small catamarans boast ample cabin room with multiple berths, galley areas, and social spaces – making them excellent options for weekend getaways or extended cruising.

Step 5: Superior Safety Features Safety should always be a top priority when venturing out on water, and small catamarans excel in this aspect as well. The double hulls provide an inherent level of redundancy – even if one hull is damaged, the other can still keep the boat afloat safely . Additionally, because of their stability and self-righting capabilities, capsizing is extremely unlikely unless faced with unprecedented circumstances. This factor alone brings peace of mind to both experienced sailors and novices alike.

Step 6: Fuel Efficiency As environmental consciousness grows globally, fuel efficiency has become a crucial consideration for boat owners. Small catamaran boats tend to be more fuel-efficient compared to traditional mono-hulls due to their lightweight construction and streamlined shape. With reduced resistance against wind and water currents, these vessels require less power to attain desired speeds – ultimately leading to cost savings without compromising performance.

Conclusion: By understanding the advantages offered by small catamaran boats through this step-by-step guide, it becomes evident why they are gaining popularity among water enthusiasts worldwide. From enhanced stability and maneuverability to spacious living areas and superior safety features – these nimble craft offer an exceptional combination that appeals to both seasoned sailors seeking new experiences or recreational boaters aiming for leisurely escapes on the water. So why not consider exploring the world of small catamaran boats and embark on your next adventure with confidence and style?

Frequently Asked Questions About Small Catamaran Boats Answered

Welcome to our blog post where we will be answering some of the most frequently asked questions about small catamaran boats. Whether you are a seasoned sailor or a curious newcomer, this comprehensive guide will provide you with all the information you need. So, let’s dive in and debunk some myths while shedding light on these amazing vessels !

Q: What exactly is a small catamaran boat? A small catamaran boat refers to a type of watercraft that consists of two parallel hulls joined by a sturdy platform. These hulls are generally symmetrical and offer stability, speed, and exceptional maneuverability through the water. Small catamarans vary in size but typically measure between 14 to 25 feet in length.

Q: Why choose a small catamaran over other types of boats? There are several advantages to choosing a small catamaran boat over other types. Firstly, their dual-hull design ensures superior stability even in rough waters, making them ideal for sailing enthusiasts who value safety. Additionally, their wide beam provides ample deck space for recreational activities such as fishing or sunbathing. Furthermore, the lightweight construction and reduced drag allow for impressive speeds and outstanding fuel efficiency.

Q: Are small catamarans suitable for beginners? Absolutely! Small catamarans are often considered beginner-friendly due to their inherent stability compared to monohull boats. The broader base prevents tipping incidents commonly experienced by novice sailors aboard single-hulled vessels. Moreover, their maneuverability makes learning how to sail relatively easier and less intimidating.

Q: Can I take my small catamaran out in open seas? While small catamarans excel at handling coastal waters and inland lakes, they may not be your best choice in extremely rough or stormy conditions found at sea . However, this largely depends on the specific design and build quality of your chosen model. Some advanced small racing catamarans can handle more challenging conditions but require experienced skippers to operate them safely.

Q: Can I use a small catamaran for overnight trips or camping? Unfortunately, most small catamaran boats are not designed with extended overnight trips in mind. Their compact size often limits storage space, and they usually lack the necessary amenities for prolonged stays aboard. However, there are larger catamarans available that offer such features, so if you have your heart set on overnight adventures, exploring bigger options might be worth considering.

Q: Are small catamarans suitable for fishing? Definitely! The stability of small catamarans makes them an excellent choice for fishing enthusiasts. The wide platform offers firm footing and ample room to move around while angling. Additionally, their efficient design allows for quick access to fishing spots that may be difficult to reach with traditional monohull boats.

Q: How much does a small catamaran boat cost? The cost of a small catamaran boat can vary significantly depending on factors such as brand, size, materials used in construction, and additional features included. On average, you can expect to find small catamarans ranging from $10,000 up to $100,000 or more. It is vital to consider your budget along with your desired features and intended use when selecting the ideal vessel.

In conclusion, small catamaran boats offer an exciting and versatile sailing experience suitable for beginners and experienced sailors alike. With their stability, speed, and spacious decks making them perfect for recreational activities such as fishing or simply enjoying leisurely cruises along coastlines or calm lakes. However, before purchasing one of these vessels always consider your specific needs and budget to ensure you find the perfect fit for your adventures on the water !

Mastering the Art of Sailing with Small Catamaran Boats: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome aboard, adventure seekers! If you’ve ever dreamed of conquering the open seas and harnessing the power of wind in a small catamaran boat, then you’ve come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of sailing with small catamaran boats and unveil the secrets to becoming a master sailor.

Why sail with small catamaran boats, you might ask? Well, these nifty vessels offer numerous advantages that make them an ideal choice for both beginners and experienced sailors alike. With their lightweight design and twin hulls, catamarans provide unparalleled stability on the water , allowing for swift maneuverability and minimizing the risk of capsizing – a comforting thought for those new to sailing! Additionally, their shallow draft enables navigation in shallower waters that larger vessels simply cannot access.

Now that we understand why small catamarans are an excellent choice, let’s dive into the essential skills needed to become a proficient sailor .

First things first – understanding the wind is crucial for any sailor, especially when it comes to mastering small catamarans. Whether it’s a mild breeze or a gale-force gust, learning how to read wind patterns will be your compass out on the water. Familiarize yourself with terms like “points of sail” – close-hauled, beam reach, broad reach – and learn how different wind angles affect your boat ‘s performance. Remember: knowledge is power!

As you embark on your sailing journey, honing your boat handling skills is paramount. Catamarans respond quickly to sail trim adjustments and weight distribution. Learning how to gracefully adjust these elements will enhance both speed and stability. Experiment with different blade angles and sheet tensions while continuously keeping your weight evenly distributed across both hulls – finding that sweet spot will unlock your vessel’s true potential.

But wait… there’s a twist! Small catamaran sailing requires mastering another vital skill: trapezing . This exhilarating technique involves extending your body over the side of the boat , suspended from a trapeze wire or harness. By using your body weight as a counterbalance, you can tip the scales in your favor and keep your catamaran flying across the water – an awe-inspiring sight indeed!

Of course, no sailing guide would be complete without discussing safety measures. Always remember to wear appropriate safety gear, such as life jackets and helmets, when setting sail on your small catamaran boat. Familiarize yourself with marine rules and regulations, including right-of-way rules and navigation aids. And never forget to check weather conditions before embarking on any sailing adventure – storms at sea are best left to experienced sailors.

Last but certainly not least is the importance of practicing resilience and patience. Like any skill worth mastering, becoming a proficient small catamaran sailor takes time and effort. Don’t be discouraged by setbacks or occasional blunders; instead, embrace them as valuable learning opportunities that will propel you towards mastery.

So there you have it – a comprehensive guide to mastering the art of sailing with small catamaran boats! Whether you’re a seasoned sailor looking to broaden your horizons or a novice eager for new thrills, these nifty vessels offer an unforgettable sailing experience like no other. Prepare to set sail into uncharted waters and embark on an adventure filled with wind in your sails and endless possibilities!

From Assembly to Adventure: Building Your Own Small Catamaran Boat

Title: From Assembly to Adventure: Building Your Own Small Catamaran Boat

Introduction: Are you ready to embark on a thrilling maritime journey, cruising through crystal-clear waters, feeling the wind in your hair? If so, why not consider building your very own small catamaran boat? In this exciting blog post, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of assembling your boat, blending professionalism with a dash of wit and cleverness. So grab your tools and buckle up for an unforgettable adventure of boat building!

1. Laying the Foundation: Like any successful project, building a small catamaran starts with proper planning and organization. Picture yourself as both architect and captain – decide on the size, features, and materials needed for constructing your dream vessel. A meticulous blueprint is essential; it will serve as the cornerstone of your masterpiece.

2. Sourcing the Best Materials: Now that you have developed an impeccable blueprint, it’s time to gather all the materials necessary for constructing your small catamaran boat—wood, fiberglass, aluminum – choose wisely! Be on the lookout for durable yet lightweight materials that can withstand oceanic antics while ensuring optimal performance .

3. Assembling Like a Pro: Do you hear that satisfying clink-clank sound of tools hitting metal? That’s right; it’s time to put on your builder hat! Follow our foolproof instructions and turn those raw materials into something exceptional. With every joint seamlessly connected and every screw securely tightened, watch as your catamaran begins taking shape before your eyes.

4. Incorporating Nifty Features: Assembling your small catamaran isn’t merely about functionality; it’s also about making waves with cutting-edge features! Enhance its seaworthiness by incorporating solar panels or LED lights that illuminate its elegance at dusk. Let innovation flow through each rivet!

5. The Devil is in the Details: Attention to detail separates an ordinary boat from an extraordinary one – it’s time to make your catamaran shine! Sand, polish, and varnish like a master craftsman, ensuring every surface is smooth as satin. Personalize your masterpiece with a distinctive name or emblem that reflects its adventurous spirit.

6. Safety First, Adventure Second: Before launching into the depths, safety must take precedence over all else. Double-check every nut and bolt; inspect each sail meticulously. Ensure you have life jackets, flares, and extinguishers – because in the vast ocean, it pays to be prepared.

7. The Maiden Voyage: Finally, the day of reckoning arrives – your small catamaran is ready for its maiden voyage! Feel the excitement course through your veins as you hoist those sails high amidst wind-kissed waves . While embarking on uncharted waters is the essence of adventure itself, always remember to respect nature’s whims and never underestimate her power.

Conclusion: Congratulations on completing this remarkable journey – from assembling scattered materials to venturing into unknown waters! Building your own small catamaran boat not only imprints a sense of ownership but also allows you to craft enduring memories on endless aquatic horizons. By combining professionalism with wit and cleverness in each step outlined above, we hope we’ve provided you with both guidance and entertainment along this thrilling endeavor. So go ahead, awaken that inner explorer within you, and set sail towards epic adventures aboard your very own dreamboat!

Unleashing the Potential of Small Catamaran Boats for Every Water Enthusiast

Title: Unleashing the Potential of Small Catamaran Boats for Every Water Enthusiast: Sail, Swim, and Soar!

Introduction: Water enthusiasts looking to embark on an extraordinary aquatic adventure should look no further. We are here to unveil the untapped potential of small catamaran boats – a game-changer in recreational boating. These versatile vessels have revolutionized the way we experience water sports, offering a thrilling blend of sailing, swimming, and soaring capabilities. In this blog post, we will dive deep into why small catamaran boats are set to become every water enthusiast’s new best friend.

Sailing Perfection: Small catamaran boats excel in providing thrilling sailing experiences that are unmatched by traditional monohull sailboats. These craft feature two hulls connected by a central platform, ensuring superior stability and maneuverability even in rough waters . Whether you are a seasoned sailor or just starting your nautical journey, small catamarans allow for smooth handling and reduced heeling – enabling you to harness the full power of the wind with ease. Say goodbye to tipping over and hello to exhilarating speeds!

Swimming Paradise: Unleashing your inner aquaphile has never been easier than with a small catamaran boat at your disposal. Thanks to their shallow drafts and unique design, these nimble crafts can venture closer to shorelines or secluded coves that larger vessels often cannot reach. Picture yourself diving into crystal-clear waters directly from your own floating paradise! Embrace aquatic exploration like never before as you discover hidden snorkeling spots or paddle alongside mesmerizing marine creatures.

Soaring Above Limits: Prepare for an adrenaline rush as we address yet another standout feature of small catamaran boats – the art of soaring above waves! Designed for those who crave high-speed adventures on the water , these multi-hulled beauties boast exceptional planing abilities. Feel the thrill of gliding atop the water ‘s surface, propelled by the wind or a high-powered engine. Whether you choose to windsurf, kitesurf, or hydrofoil your way through the waves, these boats offer an exhilarating platform for riders of all skill levels.

Portability & Convenience: Beyond their thrilling capabilities on the water, small catamaran boats also score admirably in terms of portability and convenience. Their lightweight design makes them easily transportable – whether you’re heading to distant shores or seeking new experiences closer to home . Disassembly is a breeze too, with many models effortlessly disassembling into compact pieces that fit easily into a trailer or storage space. Say hello to newfound adventures in unexplored waters !

Conclusion: The potential of small catamaran boats is undeniable – they are destined to become every water enthusiast’s dream vessel. Offering the perfect blend of sailing perfection, swimming paradise, and soaring above limits, these nimble crafts cater to individuals craving unparalleled aquatic thrills. Moreover, their portability and convenience ensure that your next adventure is never out of reach.

So why wait any longer? Dive into this sensational nautical world and unlock limitless possibilities as you set sail on your very own small catamaran boat. Let the wind guide you gracefully across sprawling waterscapes and embrace an extraordinary marine lifestyle unlike any other!

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Best Small Sailboats for Beginners

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There are a number of classic trainers used by yacht club youth programs as well as techie new designs. Without mentioning specific models and brands, it’s difficult to outline which small boats are best but here are things to look for in good teaching boats.

Some of the best small sailboats for beginners include:

  • Boats with tillers steering
  • Boats with no winches
  • Sailing dinghies
  • Small sloops
  • Small catamarans
  • Rotomolded boats
  • Trailerable sailboats

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Boats with Tiller Steering

Steering by tiller (rather than a wheel) can make a difference when learning. Tillers are directly connected to the rudder that manages the boat’s direction. Tillers provide quick feedback about the strength and direction of the wind as well as the boat’s turning agility at various speeds.

Boats with No Winches

Boats that require no winches to manage the sheets and halyards are best for youngsters and new sailors. These boats usually don’t experience the same forces on the sails and rigging as larger boats, which can be a handful when the wind starts to blow. Winches are usually replaced with cam or jam cleats, which are easy to use.

Sailing Dinghies

Sailing dinghies are usually rigged with one mast and one sail and offer kids and new sailors simplicity so it’s easy to learn the ropes. Less overwhelming than boats with two sails, dinghies are light and responsive. They also have a shallow draft due to side or centerboards so they can be sailed just about anywhere. In some cases (whether from a wind gust or sudden crew weight shift) sailing dinghies can capsize so students should wear lifejackets and know how to swim. Sailing dinghies are usually sailed by one or two people.

Small Sloops

Small sloops with a mast that carries head and mainsails are the next step so students learn how sails work together. Headsails can be hanked on or attached to a small roller furler. These boats may have some or no winches, which also makes them easier to maintain. These boats can usually be sailed with one to four people.

Some sloops can scale up, providing a more challenging experience for sailors as they develop skills. Certain models can carry spinnakers and larger headsails to teach sail combinations and new sail trim techniques. Others offer the ability to hike out (shift crew weight well outboard to balance the boat against the wind pressure in the sails). This kind of sailing is more advanced.

Small Catamarans

Small catamarans provide extra stability for those who may be nervous about capsizing or aren’t fond of heeling (tipping while sailing). With two hulls providing a wide and stable base, catamarans area ideal for beginners, which may be why they’re often used by resorts as their beach sailing tourist boats. Rigged with one or two sails, small cats are tiller steered and usually have a trampoline that the students sit on and sail.

Rotomolded Boats

Small rotomolded boats are very forgiving due to their durable construction. Unlike fiberglass or wooden boats, rotomolded (a type of plastic construction technique) trainers can bounce off docks or other boats and cause or sustain little damage. Dinghies and catamarans can both be made via rotomolding.

Trailerable Sailboats

Finally, small sailboats that can be trailered to different locations add variety and that makes learning fun. Students can learn to sail in different wind and water conditions and enjoy their boats differently on vacation or with new friends.

Learning to sail involves all the senses and requires a level head and lots of practice and although it can be learned in many ways, the best way is to start with a boat that’s small, simple, safe and durable.

Read Next: Small Boats: What Are My Options?

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Learn the Basics of Small Catamaran Sailing: A Step-by-Step Guide

Alex Morgan

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Sailing a small catamaran can be an exhilarating experience, allowing you to harness the power of the wind and glide across the water. Whether you’re a beginner or have some sailing experience, learning the ins and outs of small catamaran sailing is essential for a safe and enjoyable adventure. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through everything you need to know to sail a small catamaran effectively.

Introduction to Small Catamarans

Small catamarans are multi-hull sailboats that consist of two parallel hulls connected by a frame. They offer stability, speed, and maneuverability, making them popular among sailing enthusiasts. Before diving into the specifics of sailing a small catamaran, it’s important to understand the basics of this type of watercraft.

Getting Started with Small Catamaran Sailing

To begin your small catamaran sailing journey, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. Choosing the right small catamaran that suits your needs and skill level is crucial. Understanding the basic parts of a small catamaran, such as the hulls, trampoline, mast, and sails, is also essential. having the appropriate safety equipment, including life jackets, a whistle, and a first aid kit, is paramount for a safe sailing experience.

Learning the Fundamentals of Small Catamaran Sailing

Learning the fundamentals of small catamaran sailing will lay the foundation for a successful and enjoyable sailing experience. This includes understanding the wind and its impact on sailing, the different points of sail, and the techniques of tacking and gybing. Proper sail trim and controlling speed and power are also important skills to master.

Basic Maneuvers in Small Catamaran Sailing

Once you have grasped the fundamentals, it’s time to learn some basic maneuvers in small catamaran sailing. This includes upwind sailing, downwind sailing, reaching, and capsize recovery. Knowing how to effectively navigate different wind angles and recover from a capsize will greatly enhance your catamaran sailing abilities.

Advanced Techniques for Small Catamaran Sailing

For those looking to take their small catamaran sailing skills to the next level, there are advanced techniques to explore. This includes learning trampoline techniques for maximizing speed and control, as well as rigging and tuning your catamaran for optimal performance. For those interested in competitive sailing, understanding racing strategies and tactics will be invaluable.

By following this guide, you will gain the knowledge and skills necessary to sail a small catamaran with confidence and explore the open waters with ease. So, let’s embark on this sailing adventure together and discover the thrill and serenity that small catamaran sailing has to offer.

– Small catamarans maximize space: Small catamarans provide a larger deck area compared to traditional boats, enabling sailors to have more room for activities and storage. This is especially beneficial for sailors who have limited space or prefer a compact vessel. – Small catamarans offer versatility: With their twin hull design, small catamarans are highly stable and capable of sailing in various conditions. They can handle both calm and rough waters, making them a versatile option for sailors looking to explore different sailing environments. – Safety is key: When sailing a small catamaran, it is important to prioritize safety. This includes choosing the right catamaran for your skill level, understanding the essential parts of the boat, and ensuring you have the necessary safety equipment on board.

Embarking on the thrilling adventure of small catamaran sailing? This section is your compass to getting started! We’ll navigate through the essential aspects of this exhilarating water sport. From choosing the perfect small catamaran to understanding its vital components, we’ll set you on course for success. Safety is paramount, so we’ll also explore the necessary equipment to ensure smooth sailing. Get ready to set sail and dive into the world of small catamaran sailing like a pro!

Choosing the Right Small Catamaran

To choose the right small catamaran, consider key factors. Here is a table summarizing important aspects to take into account:

Determine if you’ll sail recreationally or competitively. This affects the size, design, and features you should look for.
Consider the water type, such as lakes, rivers, or the ocean. Some catamarans are better for specific environments.
Decide how many people you’ll have onboard. Catamarans can accommodate different crew sizes, so choose one that matches your needs.
Assess your sailing experience and skill level. Beginners may prefer a stable and forgiving catamaran, while experienced sailors may opt for a higher-performance model.
Determine your budget for a small catamaran. Prices can vary widely based on size, brand, and condition.

Choosing the right small catamaran is crucial for an enjoyable and safe sailing experience. Consider factors like type of sailing, location, number of crew, skill level, and budget to find the perfect catamaran that meets your needs and preferences.

Fact: The fastest recorded speed on a small catamaran was 51.36 knots (about 59 mph), achieved by Paul Larsen of Australia in 2012.

Understanding the Basic Parts of a Small Catamaran

To gain a comprehensive understanding of the basic parts of a small catamaran, it is important to familiarize yourself with the key components that make up this type of watercraft. These components include the following:

1. Hulls: The main floating structures of the boat consist of two parallel hulls.

2. Beams: These connecting structures hold the hulls together and provide support for the deck.

3. Deck: The flat surface area serves as a platform for sailors to stand on and move around.

4. Trampoline: Positioned between the hulls and the deck, this mesh material adds stability, distributes weight, and offers a comfortable seating or lying area.

5. Rudders: Found at the rear of each hull, these control the direction of water flow and steer the catamaran.

6. Daggerboards: Retractable boards located on the underside of each hull, these prevent sideways drifting and enhance upwind performance.

7. Mast: A tall, vertical structure that supports the sails and captures the power of the wind.

8. Sails: Small catamarans typically have multiple sails, such as a mainsail and a jib or genoa, which harness the wind’s energy.

9. Rigging: Various ropes and cables are used to control the position and shape of the sails, allowing for adjustment of the angle and tension.

10. Trapeze wires: These adjustable wires enable sailors to shift their weight outboard, providing balance and counteracting the forces of the wind.

Knowledge of these basic parts is essential for safe and efficient sailing. Each component plays a significant role in the performance and maneuverability of the catamaran, ensuring a pleasurable experience on the water.

Essential Safety Equipment

The essential safety equipment for small catamaran sailing includes:

Life jackets: Each person on board should have a properly fitted life jacket approved by relevant authorities. Ensure accessibility and good condition.

Safety harnesses and tethers: Sailors wear these to prevent falling overboard. Harnesses must be securely attached to strong points on the boat, and sailors should always be tethered when on deck.

Flotation devices: Keep buoys or inflatable cushions readily available in case of emergencies. They can be thrown to a person overboard to provide buoyancy and aid in rescue.

Navigation lights: Essential for sailing at night or in low visibility conditions, helping other boats see you and avoid collisions.

First aid kit: A well-stocked kit should be on board for basic medical care during sailing.

Fire extinguisher: Crucial in case of fires or emergencies. Regularly check and maintain the extinguisher.

True story:

One sunny day, while sailing on a small catamaran, our crew encountered unexpected strong winds and choppy waters. Suddenly, a crew member lost their balance and fell overboard. Thanks to the safety harness and tether, they remained connected to the boat, preventing a potential disaster. With quick action, we threw a flotation device to the crew member, who held onto it until we could safely bring them back on board. This incident highlighted the importance of having essential safety equipment and practicing safety procedures while enjoying small catamaran sailing.

Mastering the art of sailing a small catamaran begins with understanding the fundamentals . In this section, we’ll dive into the essential skills and knowledge needed to navigate these agile vessels . Get ready to explore the impact of wind on sailing , discover the various points of sail , learn the techniques of tacking and gybing , understand the art of sail trim , and gain insights into controlling speed and power . By the end , you’ll be well-equipped to embark on your catamaran adventure with confidence and finesse.

Understanding Wind and Its Impact on Sailing

Understanding Wind and Its Impact on Sailing is crucial for small catamaran sailors. Consider the following key points:

– Wind powers sailing by propelling the boat forward and determining the direction of travel.

– The speed and direction of the wind significantly affect the sailboat’s performance. A strong and steady wind increases speed, while changes in wind direction require adjustments to course and sail trim.

– Sailors must understand different points of sail. These include close-hauled (sailing as close to the wind as possible), reaching (sailing at a slight angle to the wind), and running (sailing with the wind directly behind).

– Wind shifts, or changes in wind direction, demand continuous adjustments to maintain optimal speed and efficiency.

– Be aware of gusts , sudden increases in wind speed. Strong gusts can affect stability and require quick reactions to stay in control of the catamaran.

– Consider the impact of wind on waves and currents, as they can further influence performance and require adjustments in technique.

A thorough understanding of wind and its impact on sailing is crucial for small catamaran sailors to navigate safely, optimize performance, and enjoy a successful experience.

Points of Sail

The sub-topic “ Points of Sail ” can be presented in a table to provide a clear understanding of each point of sail and the corresponding wind direction.

Each point of sail represents a different angle of the wind in relation to the boat. Understanding the points of sail is crucial for controlling the boat’s direction and speed. By adjusting the sail trim according to the wind direction, sailors can optimize the boat’s performance and make efficient use of the wind’s power. It is important to note that the boat’s movement and performance may vary depending on factors such as wind speed and sail size. By familiarizing themselves with the points of sail, sailors can navigate effectively and enjoy the thrill of small catamaran sailing.

Tacking and Gybing

To tack , steer the boat towards the wind to change direction. Release the mainsail sheet and jib sheet to allow the sails to luff. Turn the tiller or wheel away from the wind to bring the bow of the boat through the wind. Trim the sails on the new tack by pulling in the mainsail sheet and jib sheet. Adjust the sails as needed to find the correct angle to the wind for the new course.

To gybe , steer the boat away from the wind to change direction. Release the mainsail sheet and jib sheet to allow the sails to luff. Turn the tiller or wheel towards the wind to bring the stern of the boat through the wind. Trim the sails on the new tack by pulling in the mainsail sheet and jib sheet. Adjust the sails as needed to find the correct angle to the wind for the new course.

Tacking and gybing are essential maneuvers in small catamaran sailing. Tacking allows the boat to change course while sailing upwind, while gybing is used when changing course while sailing downwind. By following the steps above, sailors can effectively perform tacking and gybing maneuvers. It is important to release the sails and steer the boat correctly to ensure a smooth transition through the wind. Trimming the sails and adjusting them as necessary on the new tack or gybe will help maintain control and optimize the boat’s performance. Practice and experience are key to mastering these maneuvers and becoming a skilled small catamaran sailor.

When it comes to small catamaran sailing, proper sail trim is crucial for optimal performance. Here are some key considerations for achieving the correct sail trim:

– Adjust the main sail: Trim the main sail by tightening or loosening the main sheet. A well-trimmed main sail will have a smooth shape and minimal wrinkles.

– Trim the jib sail: Control the tension and shape of the jib sail using the jib sheet. The jib should complement the main sail with a balanced and efficient shape.

– Use telltales: Utilize telltales, small ribbons or strips of fabric attached to the sails, to gauge airflow. Observing the telltales will help determine if adjustments are needed.

– Consider wind conditions: Adjust sail trim based on prevailing wind conditions. In lighter winds, looser sails are needed to catch lighter breezes. In stronger winds, tighten the sails to reduce heeling and maintain control.

– Regularly reassess: Continuously monitor and reassess sail trim throughout your session. Small adjustments may be necessary as wind conditions change or as you change course.

By paying attention to sail trim and making necessary adjustments, you can optimize your small catamaran’s performance and ensure an enjoyable sailing experience.

Suggestions: Practice sail trim techniques regularly to improve your skills. Experiment with different settings and observe how they affect your boat’s speed and stability. Seek advice from experienced sailors or consider taking sailing courses to enhance your understanding and proficiency in sail trim.

Controlling Speed and Power

Controlling speed and power in small catamaran sailing is crucial and involves several important steps. One of the key steps is to trim the sails by adjusting their position to optimize their shape and efficiently catch the wind, which ultimately leads to increased speed and power. Another important factor is to adjust the weight distribution by shifting the body weight to balance the boat and effectively control the speed. Moving the weight forward will enhance the speed, while moving it backward will slow down the catamaran.

It is essential to utilize the rudder to steer the catamaran and make small course adjustments. By using the rudder effectively, one can maintain speed and control. Another aspect to consider is harnessing the wind . It is crucial to pay attention to the wind direction and strength and adjust the sails and course accordingly. This will help to maintain a consistent speed and power throughout the sailing.

Practicing proper technique plays a significant role in controlling speed and power. It is essential to master techniques such as tacking and gybing , as they enable smooth transitions and help in maintaining speed and power during maneuvers.

It is important to remember that controlling speed and power in small catamaran sailing requires practice and experience. By honing your skills and understanding the dynamics of the boat and wind, you can become more proficient in controlling speed and power effectively.

I can personally attest to the significance of constantly fine-tuning technique in optimizing speed and power in small catamaran sailing. In a sailing race, I found myself trailing behind other boats. By experimenting with weight distribution and sail trim, I quickly caught up to the rest of the fleet. This experience taught me the importance of continuously refining my technique to achieve the optimal speed and power in small catamaran sailing.

Basic Manuevers in Small Catamaran Sailing

Mastering the art of sailing a small catamaran starts with understanding the basic maneuvers. In this section, we’ll uncover the secrets of upwind sailing , downwind sailing , reaching , and capsize recovery . Get ready to glide through the water with precision and agility as we explore the techniques and skills necessary to maneuver your small catamaran with ease. So, tighten those sails, secure your position, and let’s dive into the thrilling world of catamaran sailing .

Upwind Sailing

Position yourself in the boat for upwind sailing: Sit on the trampoline with your feet facing forward, one foot in front of the other, for balance and stability.

Check the wind direction for upwind sailing: Look at the wind indicator, such as the telltales or flags , to determine the wind’s direction.

Trim the sails for upwind sailing: Adjust the sails to efficiently catch the wind. Increase the curvature of the sails for better lift.

Find the correct angle for upwind sailing: Point the boat’s bow slightly toward the wind direction, known as pointing upwind.

Use the telltales for upwind sailing: Pay attention to the telltales on the sails to ensure they are flying smoothly.

Sheet in the sails for upwind sailing: Pull in the sheets to control the sails, balancing power and speed.

Keep the boat flat for upwind sailing: Distribute your weight evenly on the trampoline and adjust your body position to counterbalance the wind’s force.

Practice active steering for upwind sailing: Use the tiller or steering controls to make small course corrections, maintaining a consistent trajectory.

Avoid excessive heel for upwind sailing: Control the heeling angle by depowering the sails or adjusting your weight distribution to prevent tipping.

Anticipate gusts for upwind sailing: Be prepared for sudden increases in wind speed and adjust your sail trim and body position as needed.

Stay focused for upwind sailing: Maintain concentration and constantly assess the wind and your boat’s performance.

By following these steps, you can effectively sail upwind and make progress against the wind. Remember to practice and refine your technique to enhance your skills in upwind sailing.

Downwind Sailing

Downwind sailing is an exciting technique in small catamaran sailing. Follow these steps to successfully navigate downwind:

  • Position your catamaran with the wind behind you.
  • Release or ease out the sails to capture as much wind as possible for optimal downwind sailing.
  • Keep a close eye on sail trim and make adjustments to maintain peak performance.
  • Utilize the rudders to steer the boat in the desired direction, noting that less rudder input may be needed when turning downwind.
  • Stay mindful of possible gybing, where the sail suddenly moves from one side of the boat to the other due to a change in wind direction. To prevent this, carefully monitor the wind and make necessary course adjustments.
  • Embrace the exhilaration of effortlessly gliding across the water, harnessing the power of the wind during downwind sailing.

Downwind sailing has been utilized by sailors for centuries, enabling efficient navigation of the seas. It gained significant importance during the era of sail-powered ships, as sailors discovered the advantages of utilizing favorable wind directions and currents to optimize speed and efficiency. The technique of downwind sailing continues to evolve with the incorporation of advanced technologies in modern catamarans and sailing vessels, striving to maximize performance and speed. Today, downwind sailing not only remains practical but also provides a thrilling experience for sailors, allowing them to embrace the immense power of nature and the captivating beauty of the open water.

Reaching is a sailing technique used in small catamaran sailing to sail at an angle where the wind is coming from behind the boat. It allows the boat to sail faster and more efficiently.

To reach , the sailor adjusts the sails to maximize surface area and catch as much wind as possible. This propels the catamaran forward.

During reaching , the sailor positions themselves on the trampoline or the windward hull for stability and control. They also monitor wind direction and make adjustments to maintain the desired angle and speed.

Reaching is exciting for sailors as it enables higher speeds and the thrill of the wind propelling the boat. It requires skill and practice, but once mastered, reaching enhances the overall sailing experience on a small catamaran.

Capsize Recovery

Capsize Recovery is vital for small catamaran sailing. Here is a guide to effectively recover from a capsize:

  • Stay calm and assess the situation.
  • Hold onto the boat and ensure everyone is accounted for.
  • Signal for help if necessary, especially in a busy waterway.
  • Try to right the boat by pushing down on the centerboard or daggerboard.
  • If the boat does not quickly right itself, climb onto the hull that is out of the water to make it easier.
  • Once the boat is upright, climb back onboard and assess any damage.
  • Bail out any remaining water using buckets or bailers.
  • Check all rigging and equipment for damage.
  • Restart the engine or raise the sails to continue sailing.

Pro-tip: Practice capsize recovery maneuvers in a controlled environment before sailing in challenging conditions. This builds confidence and improves your ability to react quickly and effectively in case of a capsize.

Mastering the art of small catamaran sailing goes beyond the basics. In this section, we dive into the realm of advanced techniques that will take your skills to the next level . Get ready to explore trampoline techniques that enhance stability, rigging and tuning methods that optimize performance, and racing strategies that give you a competitive edge. Brace yourself for a thrilling ride as we uncover the secrets to unlocking the true potential of small catamaran sailing .

Trampoline Techniques

  • Using the trampoline: The trampoline on a small catamaran is crucial for various techniques.
  • Getting on and off: When boarding the catamaran, step onto the trampoline from the boat’s side. To disembark, step off the trampoline onto a stable surface.
  • Balancing: While sailing, balance your weight on the trampoline to maintain stability and prevent tipping.
  • Leaning out: In strong winds, lean over the trampoline to counterbalance the force of the wind and prevent capsizing.
  • Jumping: Jumping on the trampoline can generate extra power and speed in light wind conditions.
  • Moving around: Use the trampoline to move from one side of the boat to the other. Step carefully and hold onto the boat for stability.
  • Handling waves: When sailing through waves, use the trampoline to absorb shock and maintain balance.
  • Practicing maneuvers: The trampoline provides a stable surface for practicing tacking, gybing, and other maneuvers.
  • Safety precautions: Always hold onto the trampoline when moving around the boat to prevent falling overboard.

Rigging and Tuning

Rigging and tuning are crucial for small catamaran sailing. Here are some essential aspects to consider:

– Rigging: It’s vital to set up and secure the mast, boom, and other rigging components correctly. Check the tension of the rigging wire to ensure proper sail shape and stability.

– Sail control: Understanding how to use control lines, such as the mainsheet and traveler, is key to adjusting sail position and shape. These controls optimize performance and balance the catamaran.

– Adjustable trampoline: Many small catamarans have an adjustable trampoline that allows for different sailing positions and crew weight distribution. This feature affects stability and handling.

– Wind indicator: Installing a wind indicator on the mast or sail provides valuable information about wind direction and intensity. It allows for adjustments in sail trim and steering to maximize speed and efficiency.

– Centerboard or daggerboard adjustment: Depending on the catamaran’s design, adjusting the centerboard or daggerboard position significantly impacts stability and overall sailing performance. Knowing when and how to adjust them is crucial.

– Regular maintenance: It’s important to inspect rigging components for any signs of wear, tear, or damage. Regularly checking knots and connections ensures they remain secure and in good condition.

– Experience and guidance: Rigging and tuning a small catamaran can be challenging for beginners. Seeking guidance from experienced sailors or professionals will help improve sailing skills.

By giving attention to rigging and tuning, sailors can optimize the performance and handling of their small catamarans, resulting in a smoother and more enjoyable sailing experience.

Racing Strategies

  • To maximize performance on the water, it is important to start with a good racing strategy. This includes determining wind direction and planning the best position to gain an advantage.
  • One crucial aspect of racing strategies is mastering boat handling. It is essential to practice maneuvering your small catamaran smoothly and efficiently, especially during mark rounding and tight turns.
  • Another key racing strategy is learning to read wind shifts. By observing wind patterns and anticipating changes, you can adjust your sailing strategy accordingly.
  • It is imperative to understand racing rules in order to compete fairly and avoid penalties. Familiarizing yourself with small catamaran racing rules is essential.
  • Staying aware of the competition is a vital part of racing strategies. By keeping an eye on fellow racers, you can identify their strengths and weaknesses, aiding in tactical decision-making.
  • Developing a strong downwind strategy is crucial. This involves utilizing techniques like gybing and surfing waves to maintain speed and gain an advantage.
  • Being adaptable is key in racing. Racing conditions can change rapidly, so it is important to be prepared to adjust your strategy and tactics as needed.

Fact: Small catamarans are known for their speed and agility, requiring effective racing strategies to excel in competition.

Some Facts About How To Sail A Small Catamaran:

  • ✅ Learning how to sail a small catamaran can be an exciting and freeing experience. (Source:
  • ✅ Familiarize yourself with the essential parts of the catamaran and common sailing terms. (Source:
  • ✅ Understand the points of sail, steering, and turning the catamaran. (Source:
  • ✅ Raising and trimming the sails is crucial to capture the wind effectively. (Source:
  • ✅ Slowing down and stopping the catamaran can be achieved by loosening the sails to spill wind. (Source:

Frequently Asked Questions

1. how do i position a small catamaran when sailing on a beam reach or a broad reach.

When sailing on a beam reach, the wind is coming directly across the side of the boat at a 90-degree angle. To position the catamaran, the sailboat’s direction should be perpendicular to the wind, with one hull leading the way.

On a broad reach, the wind is coming between the stern and the side of the boat at a 45-degree angle. To position the catamaran, adjust the sailboat’s course so that both hulls are approximately facing the direction of the wind.

2. What are the essential parts of a small catamaran?

The essential parts of a small catamaran, also known as a beach cat, include the hulls, tiller, rudder, keel, mast, mainsail, foresail, and boom. These components work together to control the direction and speed of the catamaran when sailing.

3. How should I handle the tiller when sailing a small catamaran?

When sailing a small catamaran, it is important to sit in the opposite direction of the sail to counterbalance the tilting effect caused by the wind. To steer the catamaran, use the tiller by moving it in the opposite direction of the desired turn. It may take some practice to get used to the opposite directions of the tiller.

4. What sailing gear do I need when sailing a small catamaran?

When sailing a small catamaran, it is important to have the appropriate sailing gear. This includes shoes, gloves, sunglasses, a windbreaker, a logbook, a compass or GPS, and a first aid kit. These items will help ensure your safety and comfort while on the catamaran.

5. How do I turn the catamaran into the wind when sailing close-hauled?

To turn the catamaran into the wind when sailing close-hauled, a maneuver known as tacking is used. Move the tiller toward the sail to pass the bows through the wind. Exchange the mainsheet and tiller extension, and then straighten the tiller to complete the turn.

6. How do I slow down and stop the catamaran when sailing?

To slow down and stop the catamaran when sailing, you can loosen the sails to spill the wind. Let out and loosen the sails until they luff or flap. You can also turn the boat towards the wind to maximize resistance, bringing the catamaran to a halt.

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The most common types of small sailboats include dinghies, daysailers, sloops, and catamarans. Dinghies are small, lightweight boats that are easy to launch and sail, while daysailers are slightly larger but more comfortable. Sloops are characterized by a single-mast rig, while a catamaran has two hulls, which provide stability.

To choose the right small sailboat for your needs, there are three important factors to keep in mind: your skill level, the intended use of the boat, and your budget limits. Let's find out how each of these factors can affect your choice.

  • Dinghies are lightweight and easy to transport, but they can capsize easily, have limited space, and are not suitable for long distances or overnight trips.
  • Daysailers are more spacious than dinghies, but they are heavier and less maneuverable.
  • Small sloops are more spacious and comfortable than dinghies or daysailers; however, they are heavier and more expensive and require a larger vehicle or trailer for transport.
  • Small catamarans are fast and fun to sail but may require more maintenance and are less comfortable than sloops for overnight trips.
  • If you plan to race, you may want a boat that is lightweight and fast, such as the J/70 or the Melges 24, but for day sailing, opt for small sailboats like the Hobie 16 or the Flying Scot.

very small catamaran

Types of Small Sailboats

Below is a table showing the different types of small sailboats and a short list of popular sailboats under each one:

Small, lightweight sailboats that are easy to maneuver and great for learning basic sailing skills. 6–15 feet in length Optimist, Laser, Sunfish, 420, 29er
Slightly larger sailboats that can accommodate small groups and are good for day trips and weekend outings. 16–20 feet in length Catalina 16.5, Flying Scot, Precision 15, O'Day Daysailer
Larger sailboats that are more spacious and comfortable than dinghies or daysailers. Good for day trips and overnight trips. 20–30 feet in length Catalina 22, Hunter 22, J/22, San Juan 21
Fast and fun sailboats that can accommodate small groups and are good for day trips and weekend outings. 14–20 feet in length Hobie 16, Nacra 15, Prindle 16, Dart 16

Dinghy is a common type of small sailboat

A dinghy is a small sailboat that is typically used for racing or sailing in shallow water. It can be sailed by one or two people, and they are usually very lightweight and easy to handle.

They also cost less compared to other types of small sailboats. If you're curious as to how much a dinghy costs , here's an article for you.

very small catamaran

They are also very versatile and can be used for a variety of different sailing activities. Here are the pros and cons of choosing a dinghy:

  • Pros: Lightweight and easy to transport, great for racing, maneuverable, good for learning basic sailing skills.
  • Cons: Can capsize easily, limited space for passengers, not suitable for long distances or overnight trips.
To know which type of dinghy suits you best , you can read this article.

Daysailers are another popular small sailboat choice

Daysailers are slightly larger than dinghies and are designed for day sailing. They are usually between 16 and 20 feet in length and can be sailed by two or more people.

very small catamaran

Daysailers are designed for comfort and ease of use, with features such as a small cabin or cockpit for shelter and storage. They are also often equipped with amenities such as a small galley or a portable toilet.

  • Pros: More spacious than dinghies, can accommodate small groups, good for day trips and weekend outings, stable and easy to handle.
  • Cons: Heavier and less maneuverable than dinghies, may require a trailer for transport, not suitable for long distances or overnight trips.

Small sloop is a classic and versatile small sailboat option

A sloop is a type of sailboat that has a single mast and a fore-and-aft rig. This means that the sails are set parallel to the centerline of the boat.

very small catamaran

Sloops are one of the most popular types of sailboats because they are easy to handle and can be sailed by just one person. They are also very versatile and can be used for racing or cruising.

  • Pros: More spacious and comfortable than dinghies or daysailers, can accommodate small groups, good for day trips and overnight trips, good for learning intermediate sailing skills.
  • Cons: Heavier and more expensive than dinghies or daysailers, may require a larger vehicle or trailer for transport, may require more maintenance.

Small catamarans are a lightweight and stable small sailboat option

A catamaran is a type of sailboat that has two hulls instead of one. The hulls are connected by a trampoline, which provides a stable platform for sailing.

Catamarans are very fast and can be used for racing or cruising. They are also very spacious and can accommodate a lot of people.

  • Pros: Fast and fun to sail, can accommodate small groups, good for day trips and weekend outings, stable and easy to handle.
  • Cons: More expensive than dinghies or daysailers, may require a larger vehicle or trailer for transport, may require more maintenance, less comfortable than sloops for overnight trips.
If you want to know the costs of buying and owning a catamaran , either new or used, you might find this article helpful.

Small Sailboats for Different Skill Levels, Intended Use, And Budget

Below is a table showing how to choose a specific small sailboat model based on skill level, intended use, and budget:

Beginner Day sailing, learning $1,000-$4,000
Intermediate-advanced Racing, day sailing $2,000-$9,000
Intermediate-advanced Racing, day sailing $5,000-$15,000
Intermediate-advanced Cruising, day sailing $10,000-$20,000
Advanced Racing $10,000-$30,000

Choosing the perfect small sailboat based on skill level

very small catamaran

When choosing the perfect sailboat for you, try to choose a boat that matches your skill level so that you can enjoy sailing safely and comfortably.

Small sailboat for beginner sailors

If you are new to sailing, you may want to choose a small dinghy or daysailer that is easy to handle and control. Boats like the Sunfish or the Laser are popular choices for beginners, as they are lightweight and simple to rig.

These boats are also relatively forgiving, which means that they are less likely to capsize or cause injury if you make a mistake.

Small sailboat for intermediate sailors

If you have some sailing experience but are not yet an expert, you may want to consider a slightly larger boat that can handle more wind and waves.

Boats like the Catalina 22 or the Hunter 26 are popular choices for intermediate sailors, as they are larger and more stable than dinghies, but still relatively easy to handle. These boats also offer more amenities, such as a small cabin or a head, which can make them more comfortable for longer trips.

Small sailboat for advanced sailors

If you are an experienced sailor, you may want to choose a larger boat that can handle more challenging conditions. Boats like the J/105 or the J/120 are popular choices for advanced sailors, as they are designed for racing and cruising in open waters. These boats are more complex to rig and operate, but offer greater speed, stability, and control in high winds and waves.

Choosing the perfect small sailboat based on intended use

Are you planning to use the boat for day sailing, racing, or cruising? Different boats are designed for different purposes, so choose a boat that is well-suited for your intended use.

Small sailboat for day sailing

If you plan to use your boat for day sailing, you may want to consider a small dinghy or daysailer that is easy to launch and retrieve. Boats like the Hobie 16 or the Flying Scot are popular choices for day sailing, as they are fast and fun to sail in open waters. These boats are also relatively easy to rig and maintain, which makes them a great choice for recreational sailing.

very small catamaran

Small sailboat for racing

If you plan to use your boat for racing, you may want to consider a lightweight and fast boat that is designed for speed and agility. Boats like the J/70 or the Melges 24 are popular choices for racing, as they are designed to be fast and responsive in all conditions. These boats are also highly maneuverable, which makes them a great choice for competitive sailing.

Small sailboat for cruising

If you plan to use your boat for cruising, you may want to consider a boat that is more comfortable and has more amenities. Boats like the Catalina 27 or the Hunter 31 are popular choices for cruising, as they offer more space, storage, and comfort than smaller boats. These boats are also designed to be stable and seaworthy, which makes them a great choice for longer trips.

Choosing the perfect small sailboat depending on your budget

Consider choosing a boat that fits within your budget so that you don't overspend and end up with a boat that you can't afford to maintain or use. The price for used dinghies ranges from $1,000 to $5,000.

For used sailboats within 20–40 feet, the prices range from $5,000 to $50,000 . Keep in mind that there are also additional costs to consider, such as storage, maintenance, and repairs.

To get an idea of the pricing for used sailboats , you can use this article as a reference. Meanwhile, for the annual maintenance costs for sailboats , here's an article you can refer to.

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A Complete Catamaran Guide

There you are, out on the water when a strange craft approaches.  Is it a sailboat? It sure looks like one until it turns to face you.  That’s when you notice this boat doesn’t have just one hull. It has two hulls and it’s called a catamaran.

Catamarans are unique, and highly stable watercraft.  We’ll explore all the ins and outs of sailing the waters in one of these weird, and awesome multi-hulled craft.  Join me as we explore the wild world of sailing catamarans.

A small sailing catamaran sits on a beach.

A History Of The Catamaran

It is believed that the first people to use a catamaran design were those living in Australasia.

A map showing the region where the catamaran originated.

The succession of boat design in this region was actually very interesting.  The beginning of boats in the area was simple, albeit conventional rafts. These were fashioned from logs strewn together with plant fiber lashings such as those formed using bamboo fiber.  

Catamaran Evolution

An info graphic showing the progression of the evolution of the catamaran.

The conventional raft gave way to a minimal raft.  This design was basically a conventional raft with two cross beams added in the form of logs.  These would be eventually hollowed out to improve buoyancy.

The next step in the evolution of boats in the Australasian region was the double canoe.  This proved to be the first real catamarans.  

After some time, the form evolved further into the asymmetrical double canoe design.  In this design, one canoe was large and the other attached canoe was smaller.

The asymmetrical design quickly evolved into the single-outrigger boat like the one shown in the photo below.

A monohull canoe with an attached exterior outrigger is shown in this file photo.

The final stage of the evolution of the catamaran in the region was to gain a second outrigger.  This in effect created the trimaran with the single central hull and dual outriggers.

Eye Witness Accounts Of Catamarans

In 1697, William Dampier wrote of witnessing a type of seafaring vessel off the coast of Coromandel.  He noted how the locals called the type of boat a catamaran. He also noted that it had multiple hulls (logs) and that they were small vessels that the person operating would have to hang partway into the water, straddling the hull (log).

The name catamaran came from the Tamil.  And yet, it was easily applied by the European visitors to the two hulled sailing vessels that sped across the water in the region.

Although Dampier may have described the catamaran in the 1690s, the type of boat was actually used as early as the 5th century by the Tamil Chola dynasty.  They used boats to move their troops from one island to another. Using this design of boat allowed them to travel heavy, travel quickly and was partially responsible for the conquering of neighboring Burma, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

Building A Boat – Basics Of Catamaran Construction

A boat is usually thought of as being a single-hulled vessel that travels along the surface of the water.  It can have multiple types, shapes, and designs of the hull. However, it is often only thought of as having a single hull.  But, what if it had two hulls? Would that be like taking two separate boats, and making a raft over both of them? In essence, that is exactly what a catamaran is:  two boats made into one.

Advantages Of Multiple Hulls

  • More stability than a monohull
  • Wide supporting base allows for larger sails than monohull craft of the same length
  • Hull does not require the deep-running keel of a standard monohull sailboat
  • Less hull drag in the water than a monohull
  • Less power required to drive a catamaran forward than a monohull boat

Disadvantages Of Multiple Hulls 

  • Due to multiple hulls, construction is more expensive than a monohull design
  • Catamaran speed relies on lightweight materials to make a lightweight craft.  This also drives up the cost of construction.
  • Extra engineering requirements for multi-hull craft also increase the cost of construction.

Conclusion?  Well, it looks to me like everything about catamarans points towards superiority over monohulls in nearly every way.  But, you get what you pay for. I think the same thing likely applies to cars too. For instance, I have a performance car that cost me about 10k more than the equivalent non-sports car within the same class. 

Yet to drive the vehicle, it performs so much better than the normal version of the car, it really speaks volumes to the difference between a common vehicle, and a performance one.

Speaking of performance vehicles, let’s take a look now at the different kinds and uses of a catamaran.

Catamaran Types

Commercial catamarans – ferries.

Catamarans are often used as a ferry to transport people and vehicles across bodies of water as shown in this photo.

One of the most common uses for a catamaran is the commercial use of the vehicle design when it comes to ferries.  This is likely due to the wide, flat deck possibilities of a catamaran versus a monohulled boat. Not only that, but the catamaran is also a much more stable bodied vessel.  This again makes it a superior design for transporting larger land vessels like trucks and so forth. They can easily drive on the ferry without fear of the ferry tipping over.

Some ferries are designed for taking vehicles, like the one you might find in the city of Toronto.  Where it transports cars from the mainland to Toronto Island. Others are designed specifically with the sole purpose of transporting people. I took a look at one such ferry that operates in Germany.  Take a look at the following case study.

Commercial Use Case Study – The Ferry

The FRS Helgoline is a ferry catamaran operating out of Flensburg, Germany, close to the Danish border.

A map showing Northern Germany, Denmark and Poland.

According to the ferry company’s website, the ferry runs using four main engines which are run to a capacity of 12,182 hp combined.  This blasts this ferry at a speed of 35 knots or 65 km/hour. This is equivalent to 40 miles per hour. That’s pretty good considering the size and weight of the ship body this catamaran can carry.

Speaking of capacity, the ship can carry 680 passengers. At 56.4 meters long (185 feet) by 14 meters wide (45.9 feet), that’s a decent passenger capacity. 

Catamaran Passenger Capacity Versus Monohull Boat Passenger Capacity 

The general rule for calculating passenger capacity for a boat is as follows.

Length x Width / 15 = Passenger Capacity

Therefore, the FRS Helgoline should have a calculated capacity calculated as follows.

185 x 45.9 / 15 = 566  

But it actually has a capacity of 680 which is a 20% increase in capacity over a standard monohull.

For comparison, let’s look at a superyacht.  A 48.5m (159 feet) long by 10.7m (35 feet) beam (width of the boat) Palmer Johnson Supersport 48 (valued at about $28.5 million dollars) should have a capacity calculated as follows.

159 x 35 / 15 = 371

In short, 26 feet of difference in length equates to 309 fewer passengers.  It is almost half of the capacity of the catamaran at 26 feet longer length.

A super yacht sits like a golden blade floating in the water.

Photo courtesy of

Commercial Catamarans – Service Vehicles

In port in Australia, a service catamaran sits docked in this photo.

Although Catamarans are typically used as ferries due to their stability and ability to carry wide loads on their flat decks, there are many different service catamarans out there as well.  From a support vessel to a crew transfer or search and rescue, catamarans are a solid and stable platform to build a ship on.

This is the Ardea which is a 20 meter (65.6 feet) catamaran to be used for crew transport and as a support ship.  This ship was built by the Echo Marine Group and delivered to Western Australia in early 2019. This particular vessel is in the service of the Cape Preston Sino Iron Project.  

Catamarans are used all around the world, for a variety of tasks, not just ferries or support craft.

Commercial Catamarans – Cruise Lines

A large red and white catamaran cruise ship sits idle in the waters in front of a bustling metropolis in this photo.

Now these are the catamarans we all want to be aboard, aren’t they?  Due to the wide stance, these ships can feature massive halls and wide-open interior areas.  These ships are stable, and some would say even more stable and safer than monohull design ships.  

There are many cruise ship catamarans in use today around the world.  Some of the more ‘famous’ catamaran cruises are those which investigate the Galapagos Islands.  There are several high-end, small fleet, cruise lines operating to the Galapagos which utilize catamaran design vessels as their primary ship type. 

These ships can be extremely comfortable and stable and often offer some reprieve to those who may otherwise feel seasick. It won’t stop the feeling, but the more stable the hull, the less the boat rocks around.

Military Catamarans

The USNS Spearhead races forward along the water in this file photo.

Catamarans make excellent military transport vessels.  They are stable and the potential to have a large, flat and wide deck for transporting land craft, troops or acting as a landing pad for vertical take-off aerial craft.  The stability of the two hulls makes the vessel an excellent candidate for military use, and thus it is used for said purpose.

A photo of the rear of the USNS Spearhead - a military catamaran.

As you can clearly see in the image of the USNS Spearhead, the rear of the vessel has a moveable ramp that can be used for loading and unloading land vehicles.  The interior bay of the craft is visible in the image as well, a large area for storage of vehicles, supplies and more. The crane arm on the back of the ship also shows how it is a versatile craft, set up to act as an excellent support craft with a helicopter landing pad and ample storage and freight capacity.

Recreational Catamarans

Siting on a beach, a small catamaran sail is set against the wind swept clouds and blue sky.

Catamaran Personal WatercraftThe wind is in your hair, the warm spray from the hull cutting over the edge of each wave as you skip over the water.  That is life, let me tell you. Personal watercraft have come a long way over the years and the small one, two, three and four-person catamarans have come a long way as well. 

This image shows a homemade catamaran.

Depending on the options, you can get a small one or two-person catamaran for as little as $1500 new.  That might be an inflatable though. There are some very nice, rigid hull designed catamarans for 1-4 people that range from $3500 to $15000.  And these are basically open, personal watercraft like that shown in the image below.

Using a small catamaran can be quite challenging to learn at first.  Sailing is not for the faint of heart. It requires skill, technique, knowledge of the wind and sea, and a bit of hard work.  But it can be fun, rewarding and a great way to catch some sun and fresh air out on the water. It’s a relatively GREEN sport as well.   Given the use of sails over gas-powered motors that is.

‘Sailing Cats’ – Sailing Catamarans – Yacht & Luxury Class

This photo shows a luxury sailing catamaran yacht.

Here’s where we get into the dreamy boats of the rich and famous.  I priced out a small 43’ luxury Leopard 40 sailing catamaran. Even before I added any extras at all, the base price was $399,000 USD.  I imagine if I added a few of the multiple extras available, and some tax, freight and that sort of thing, I’m easily in half a million dollars.  And that’s the smallest base model.

There are all kinds of luxury catamaran shipbuilders across the world.  From Asia to Europe and The Americas, it seems any major boating country has at least one company building luxury catamarans.  It’s weird that you don’t see more of them on the water though, don’t you think?

Being sailing vessels, these luxury cats require some training in sailing before you get behind the wheel.  And considering the price point, I would definitely want to be at least a semi-decent sailor with some good few years experience under my belt before I would comfortable at the helm of a half-million-dollar sailing cat.  It’s all relative I suppose. I imagine a billionaire might bat an eye at the prospect of wrecking a half-million-dollar boat. But to me, and most of you reading this, that’s likely a lot of money.

‘Power Cats’ – Powered Catamarans

A powered catamaran is shown in this file photo.

The powered catamaran is one of my favorite boats.  They have sort of a muscle car appearance with the wide and often tall front end of the boats.  I find it to be reminiscent of a large air intake on the front hood of a rally race car like the Subaru WRX, for instance.  These boats are fast, they are stable and handle very well. Catamarans are often considered the boat of choice for long sea voyages due to their stability.  

A powered catamaran will definitely cost more than a powered monohull boat of the same length.  Why? Well, the powered catamaran has one crucial downside. That is, it needs two engines. One for each of the two hulls.  Otherwise, it’s off balance for propulsion. These two engines or motors have to be in sync with each other or again, the propulsion will be off-balance.  Because they have two motors, they have double the maintenance when it comes to maintaining the propulsion system.

More components also means a greater chance of things breaking down.  In essence, it doubles the chances of the ship having a motor break down. The saving grace is that should one motor break, they have a backup, even if it does mean very unbalanced propulsion.  In contrast, a monohull vessel of the same length may only have half the chance of motor failure due to only having one motor, but if that one motor breaks, then what? Call for help, that’s what.  A cat would have a struggling chance to get itself back to port. A monohull would be dead in the water unless it was carrying spare parts or another motor onboard somewhere.

Catamaran Frequently Asked Questions

What is a catamaran cruise.

very small catamaran

A catamaran cruise is simply a cruise on a dual hull design boat.  Often used for river cruises, the catamaran which is used as cruise ships are often considerably smaller than their giant monohulled counterparts.

What is the purpose of a catamaran?

A catamaran is a design for a boat that utilizes two hulls.  Due to the flat, platform-like-potential for the deck of the boat, the catamaran is often purposed with transporting materials, vehicles, and people.  For instance, catamarans are quite often used as ferries.

Is catamaran safe?

Catamaran are very safe water craft.   The design of riding on two hulls separated by a gap in between, in essence is like giving a car a double-wide wheel base.  The wider the stance, the more stable the craft, from side to side anyway. And if the length of the boat is proportional to the width, then it becomes an extremely stable craft.  That is why catamarans are often considered the best to be used for long voyages. Yes, catamaran are safe.

What is the difference between a catamaran and a sailboat?

A traditional sailboat is a deep, monohull vessel that has at least one mast extending high into the air above the deck to hold sails.  A catamaran refers to the design of a dual-hull boat and really has nothing to do with sails. Although, catamaran do make excellent sailing boats as well, they are quite capable of acting as power boats and do not require sails if they have the correct amount of powered motors to propel them.  Sailboats, although also able to be powered if a motor is provided, are traditionally monohull and wind-powered exclusively.

Do catamarans have small interiors?

The size of an interior cabin on a boat is typically proportional to the size of the boat itself.  If a catamaran has above-deck cabins, they will likely be able to be of a larger design than those you would find on deck of a monohull boat.  This is because a catamaran has a much wider footprint than a monohull boat of the same length. This extra width would allow for larger on deck cabins.  

How much does a catamaran cost?

A personal watercraft (1-2 person) inflatable catamaran will run you anywhere from $1500-$12000 USD, depending on the quality and features.  The rigid hull catamarans of the same size start at about $4500 USD.

A small cabin cruiser type of catamaran will typically start at about $60000 for a small base model and the price just goes up and up depending on size and features.

For Instance, a 40’, 3 cabin with 1 washroom cat will cost you about $500,000 USD for the base model.  They are considerably more expensive that a monohull of the same length. However, the trade-off is greater stability and a smoother, more comfortable ride.

Is a catamaran more work to maintain?

Technically yes.  Due to having two hulls and if powered, two motors and likely also water jets, this means you have double the oil changes of a boat that would have a single motor.  Once you get past the basic engine and hull maintenance, a catamaran is not that much more work than a monohull ship of the same length.  

The trouble with catamarans in terms of maintenance, is that once they reach a certain length, the width becomes more than a standard lane on the road.  That being said, if you ever need to transport the boat via land, it can be quite the challenge. Especially if you need to pay to have a police escort for an extra-wide trailer.  And special licensing might be involved as well.

What is the difference between a catamaran and a trimaran?

A trimaran is shown in this photo.

A catamaran is a dual hull boat.  In other words, it has two hulls. A trimaran has three hulls.  

Is a catamaran considered a yacht?

According to Oxford dictionary, a yacht is a medium-sized sailboat equipped for cruising or racing.  A catamaran, on the other hand, is a boat with two hulls. Therefore, a catamaran can most certainly also be a yacht.  And likewise, if a yacht has two hulls, then it is a catamaran as well.

Can you get seasick on a catamaran?

Seasickness occurs when a person feels nauseous from the swaying motion of a rocking ship.  These feelings may be lessened on a catamaran, due to their extra stability. However, a catamaran may be slightly more stable than a monohull of the same length, but it is still a boat.  And it will still make someone who experiences seasickness continue to feel the ill effects.

Are catamarans more stable in rough seas?

Catamarans are known to be more stable than monohull ships of the same length.  This is why catamarans are often the ship type of choice for long sea voyages due to their stability.

Why do catamarans capsize?

Catamarans are not known for capsizing.  The larger vessels that is anyway. But, it does happen from time to time.  Catamarans are known for their stability, so typically if a capsize event should occur, it is typical for them to be extreme circumstances.  

Personal watercraft catamarans are a different story though.  These are in fact known for tipping over. Not because they are less stable than their monohull counterparts of the same length.  But instead, because they are able to go considerably faster than monohull personal watercraft of the same length (not including powered craft though).  This is due to the sailing cats being able to have a larger sail than a small monohull sailboat of the same length.

Due to the extra sail, they are able to travel faster than monohull sailboats of the same length.  This allows them to whip around on the water and at higher speeds, whipping your cat about quick can easily send it over sideways. Extra speed means fast turns carry momentum in the direction of travel and that extra speed equates to tipping over if turned too fast.  To sum up, they capsize due to user error or extreme events.

Which is safer, a catamaran or a monohull?

Due to the extra stability of having a wider footprint than a monohull, a catamaran of the same length is the safer vessel.

Are catamarans safer than sailboats?

The same rule applies to stability versus the length of the hull.  A cat will always be the more stable length for length. However, due to their ability to go much faster than a monohull sailboat, this kind of cancels out some of the added safety due to stability.  With that in mind, they may just be about the same but there is one generalization we can make when comparing the safety of catamarans vs sailboats: At the same speed, and of equal length, sailing or power catamaran will be safer than a monohull sailboat.

How fast can catamarans go?

The speed a catamaran can go is entirely dependent upon the hull design, weight of the vessel, the strength of propulsion (be it wind or powered) and so on.  The general rule is that in terms of sailing cats vs monohull sailboats, a cat of equal length can typically go faster than a sailboat.  

In terms of powered cats vs powerboats, a powered catamaran will typically require less energy to move forward than a monohull of the same sort of hull design (but monohull of course) and thus a cat should, in theory, be able to go faster than a monohull when both are using propulsion that is equal in power.


  • Wikipedia – Catamarans
  • Mahdi, Waruno (1999). “The Dispersal of Austronesian boat forms in the Indian Ocean”. In Blench, Roger; Spriggs, Matthew (eds.). Archaeology and Language III: Artefacts languages, and texts . One World Archaeology. 34 . Routledge. pp. 144–179. ISBN 0415100542 .
  • Wikipedia – Spearhead -class expeditionary fast transport

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Best Catamarans For Beginners (Liveaboard, Beach, Cheap and more)

very small catamaran

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In this article, I will list the best Catamarans for beginners sorted into the following categories; Ocean sailing, Cheap sailing , Weekend sailing, Beach catamarans, catamarans for kids, and ends with a discussion of the specific demands for liveaboards.

There is no such thing as a “beginners catamaran,” but some boats are better suited for beginners than others. Such a boat should be cheap, easy to handle, and can be repaired on your own. Most boats are not like this, continue reading to understand why!

This article is intended to get you looking in the right direction for the perfect boat for your specific needs.


Table of Contents

Best Beginner Catamarans for Ocean sailing

I have chosen boats around 40ft in length ( read this to understand why 40ft is the right size for an offshore catamaran). I have also looked into whether or not the boat is possible to sail singlehanded; I believe this to be an important aspect since sooner or later, parts of the crew will get seasick or in any other way unable to sail the boat. This makes it essential that it is possible to sail without assistance.

Another aspect to consider in this category; is the boat equipped with trampolines or a sold deck? this makes a world of difference when it comes to offshore and big wave sailing. A trampoline will shorten the time it takes from when the bows get buried under a big wave until all water is cleared off the deck, and the boat can sail again; this is very important so that you avoid pitchpoling and capsizing your boat.


The ease of maintenance should not be overlooked on a blue water catamaran , easy access to both engines while underway is an important safety aspect. If for example, you need to go outside and stand on the sugar scoops or hang off the stern (to access the engines), this might compromise safety and even risk a man overboard situation.

Living on a boat, which you will have to if you intend on doing long crossings, requires a lot of space for the crew and a lot of room for food, diesel, equipment, and tools. Having enough space to stand up and cook your food greatly enhances your living standards while sailing.


Lucia 40 is known for being easy to sail; (many argue that this is partly due to the use of a low hanging boom which increases accessibility). On boats that use a flybridge, the boom is situated very high and can make handling difficult.

The visibility on this cat is excellent and thus increases the feeling of being under control since you can keep a 360 outlook on your surroundings.

very small catamaran

The Lagoon 380 is the world’s most common cruising catamaran ; over one thousand boats have left the production facilities during its production time. This means it is a tried and true boat with a big community and, therefore, a lot of knowledge and experience that you can learn from.

It is a sturdy ocean crosser, which is still easy to handle due to its small size. The 380 is not a race boat, but it is very comfortable for its size, and it has a decent level of performance.

Since the Lagoon has been in production for so long (from 1999 to 2019 if I am not mistaking), then there are, of course, variations in design and performance depending on what year you choose.

The Leopard 44 is a very sturdy and well-built boat from South Africa; the exciting thing with this model is the forward cockpit. The forward cockpit is accessible through the central area, which means that you no longer have to go out and around to reach the bow; not only is this very practical, it also makes sense out of a safety perspective.

From the forward cockpit, you will have full visibility of what’s coming ahead of you, perfect for sunny days where you want to enjoy the excellent weather, but also maintain control over your surroundings.


The Saba 50 is often spoken about as a fast boat where many sailors attest to regularly achieving speeds above 10kts and sometimes up to 13+. These speeds are attained through using a lighter construction where the cabin and deck are molded into a single part instead of several, bolted together. This design makes the boat lightweight and more robust.

In contrast to many other catamarans, and thanks to the fixed keels, the Saba 50 sails pretty well upwind, 

Best Beginner Catamarans for Weekend Sailing

The demands on a weekend sailing boat differ in many ways from an ocean-going vessel. Since usually coastal weather doesn’t include stormy seas and giant waves, the need for a trampoline is reduced, and a solid deck absolutely makes sense! 

Interior space on a coastal cruiser is less of a factor , yes it is nice to stand tall and cook, but most people can fully enjoy a few days of sailing without all the necessities of your house back onshore. Some even argue that this is the beauty of weekend sailing, to come back home and enjoy a warm shower and a big sofa.

Safety should always be the primary concern  when sailing, but when the risk of encountering storms is low, and a safe harbor is close, there are some gear and skills that are not as important as during an offshore passage.

Communications can many times be reduced to a single VHF  radio since you most often will have cellular reception on your phone, and while sailing close to shore, a life raft might also be of less significance. I want to point out that this is merely a guideline, and it is very much up to the captain of the boat to decide what equipment is necessary and what is not.

Having enough bridge deck clearance is fundamental on an offshore boat since heading upwind and having big waves slam into the boat will tire out the crew and increase wear on the ship. But sailing close to shore, you are more likely to encounter choppy bays and small waves, thus reducing the need for high clearance.

Gemini Legacy 35

The Legacy 35 is an American classic and offers some interesting and useful features. The small draft of only 34 inches opens up for coming really close to shore without damaging the boat. This can be very useful when trying to find your perfect spot that is not already filled with boats.

Since it is also very narrow, the boat can be put on a truck and moved to wherever you want it to go without employing special machines or trucks.

The small size also adds to reduce costs since you will be able to dock in a standard size slip and therefore pay standard slip fees.

The Endeavor is easy to handle and an elegant catamaran that fits the costal cruising mold perfectly. T he boat offers lots of inside and outside space to enjoy a day on the water. 

The boat easily sits six people, and each hull offers privacy from the other.

It employs trampolines instead of solid decking, which reduces weight and increases safety.

This is one of the few boats of its size and price range built with a solid fiberglass hull and not with a balsa core. Since there is no core that can get wet and start to rot, there is little chance of having to do hull repairs unless you wreck your boat on rocks or any other type of notable mishap.

The sloop rig also makes it easier for less physically able sailors to handle the sails, and for a boat of this size, the bridge deck clearance is ok.

Best Beginner Catamarans for Cheap Sailing

In boating,  most costs are in relation to the size of your boat . What I mean by this is if you are on a bigger boat, this boat will require bigger sails, sturdier standing rigging, more bottom paint, more space in the marina, and more massive machinery to haul you out of the water. All of this means higher expenses, so a critical factor when trying to sail on a minimum budget is to keep your boat size to a minimum. 

Check out  this article  on some in-depth information on how to choose the right sized boat.

Another aspect is  how much money you will have to spend on repairs . Most larger catamarans utilize a twin-engine system; this means a lot of benefits such as an extra engine if one fails, but it also doubles maintenance cost, and you will also have to  repair   two engines instead of one , something that sooner or later will happen. If you chose a smaller catamaran, there are options with single engines, such as the 26’Heavenly Twins or Prout Quest 31 listed below.

26 Heavenly Twins

Made contemporary famous by the youtube couple of the channel Sailing Kittiwake the heavenly twins is a small but very cheap boat. Kittiwake claims to have sailed and lived on this boat in the meds for under 700 USD a month, which I would argue is very cheap. You can find more info on how they did their calculations on their website.

The boat in itself is small, and that, of course, comes with some disadvantages, low bridge deck clearance, and a lot of banging heading upwind, the narrow beam making it rolly when wakes start growing.

A cool feature is the aft cabin, which is separate from the main cabin and creates a separate space aft of the cockpit.

Prout Quest 31

Buying the Prout Quest might initially be a little more expensive, but the robustness and standard to which it is built by is argued by many to be of greater importance in the long run. Prouts might be a little slammy going upwind, and they are definitely not the fastest, but if you are on a tight budget but still have big ambitions, then this might be perfect for you.

In comparison to the Heavenly Twins, the Prouts are considered more of a bluewater boat that can handle big seas. I might not be overly confident about that statement, but I believe it is a better fit for offshore adventure then the Heavenly Twins.

Price: USD 39 000

Catalac Catamarans have a slightly divided reputation. Some say they are way too small for any big ocean sailing, but some would argue it might be small, but it is so well built you can take it anywhere you want.

And maybe this is the reason why you still can see Catalacs crossing the Atlantic safely.

Compared to many other catamarans, the Catalacs are built with a solid fiberglass core below the waterline; this is great if you’re looking for an older boat since the risk of a crack in the fiberglass, making the balsa core rot doesn’t exist. 

The Catalac is nothing exciting when it comes to speed, but it does well on safety due to its low mast height and a wide beam. The pricing of a Catalac is usually much cheaper for something of the same age and condition.

Best Beginner Beach Catamarans 

very small catamaran

Beach catamarans get their name from how they enter and exit the water, you guessed it! by pushing it off or up the beach. This is possible since the cat is made from lightweight materials, is small, and is configured with two hulls instead of one (a monohull).

Most beach cats consist of two pontoons fixed together by a frame covered with a trampoline instead of a solid deck. Usually, they are easy to assemble and disassemble, making it easy to transport the boat to and from the beach.

Beach Catamarans are very small boats made for water activities/sports rather than transportation as in the case of a “regular” catamaran.

Different types of Beach catamarans

Depending on your goals with the sailing there are different types of beach catamarans to choose from;

  • Singlehanders  are designed to be enjoyed by a single sailor; they are also optimized to be handled safely without assistance. One significant aspect of sailing alone is that you will significantly enhance learning speed since you will have to do everything on your own. The apparent downside is that you will have no one on board to share laughs and ask questions.
  • Family / Multiperson  are, just as the name implies, a vessel made to be sailed by more than one person. It is an enjoyable way to sail with friends and is an excellent way to learn from a more experienced sailor since you can have them on board and let them give you feedback in the moment.
  • Beach catamarans for cruising  are usually slower but offer more space and can relatively comfortable seat, 2-6 crew members making it perfect for a family that wants to enjoy the water in a less intense way than sail racing.
  • Catamarans for kids  are the smallest and lightest of them all. Some even encompass extra safety features as; no sharp edges and increased ease of maneuverability, everything needed for a small child to start sailing safely, and her parents feeling at ease.


Topcat k4x .

The TOPCAT k4x is lightweight(115Kg) and, therefore, suitable for beginners . Even though the price might seem high, as far as I can tell, this boat is of high quality and very customizable with a bigger sail area if wanting a little bit more sporty feel. 

The low weight also makes it possible to assemble, disassemble, and right a capsized boat without the need for extra help.

The boat is recommended for kids as young as ten all the way up to grandmas age.

Price: ~USD 9000

Even though this catamaran is longer than the K4X and allows up to four people on board, it is still possible to sail it singlehanded. T he K2X is a fast and reliable boat in the TOPCAT arsenal, and this particular model has increased buoyancy to allow for more people on board . 

Hobie Bravo

The Hobie Bravo is known for being one of the most simple and easy to sailboats there is, just perfect for this list 🙂 

In fact, the boat is so simple that it doesn’t even have a boom, only a mast, and two lines. Since it is also a rotomolded construction, which is very solid and robust, you don’t have to worry about breaking anything while beaching or docking.

Price: USD 4200


  • Length:  12′ / 3.65 m
  • Beam:  4′ 5″ / 1.35 m

*Specifications from

Family / Multiperson

Just as the Hobie Bravo, the Nacra 500 does not use a boom, this makes it easy to assemble and more lightweight. The Nacra employes an automatic rudder system that folds up in case of collision.

With its almost 17ft, this is a somewhat bigger boat and, therefore, a little harder to handle, but on the upside, you will have more buoyancy and able to fit more people.

Price: USD 10 000

  • Length: 5.0 M / 16.4 ft
  • Beam:   2.44 M / 8.0 ft
  • Crew Capacity: 1-4 / 1-4

Hobie Getaway

With its 17ft of length, the Getaway is a big catamaran suitable for up to 6 crew and family. The size of this catamaran makes for some excellent features such as extra storage . This cat is all about comfort, stability, and enjoying a day on the water with family and friends.

  • Length Overall: 17 feet
  • Beam: 7 feet 8 inches

Catamarans for Kids

A catamaran for kids should be small, easy to handle, stable, and allow the little sailor to make mistakes without risking severe injury. And most importantly, it should be fun to sail! Many parents think it is nice to have your kid on a catamaran where you can also join them in the same boat; this creates a team spirit that will make a strong bond between you and your child.


Chico is a small beginner catamaran that can be enjoyed by up to three little sailors. Since the hull is flat; it is straightforward to handle in tight spaces, perfect for a beginner wanting to learn in a safe and fun manner. 

Another cool aspect of the chico is that it has been designed to reduce sharp edges so that the kids are not in unnecessary risk of injury.

Hobie Catsy

This cat is easy to sail and easy to assemble, and just like most other Hobie’s, it is well built by one of the biggest beach catamaran producers you can find.

Price: USD 2500


  • Length: 3.10 m / 10′ 2″
  • Beam: 1.66 m / 5′ 5″

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!

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10 Best Small Sailboats (Under 20 Feet)

Best Small Sailboats Under 20 Feet | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

December 28, 2023

Compact, easy to trailer, simple to rig, easy to maintain and manage, and affordable, the best small boats all have one thing in common: they offer loads of fun while out there on the water.

So whether you're on a budget or just looking for something that can offer ultimate daytime rides without compromising on safety, aesthetic sensibilities, alternate propulsion, and speed, the best small sailboats under 20 feet should be the only way to go.

Let's be brutally honest here; not everyone needs a 30-foot sailboat to go sailing. They come with lots of features such as electronics, entertainment, refrigeration, bunks, a galley, and even a head. But do you really need all these features to go sailing? We don't think so.

All you need to go sailing is a hull, a mast, rudder, and, of course, a sail. And whether you refer to them as daysailers, trailerable sailboats , a weekender sailboat, or pocket cruisers, there's no better way to enjoy the thrills of coastal sailing than on small sailboats.

There are a wide range of small boats measuring less than 20 feet available in the market. These are hot products in the market given that they offer immense thrills out on the sea without the commitment required to cruise on a 30-footer. A small sailboat will not only give you the feel of every breeze but will also give you the chance to instantly sense every change in trim.

In this article, we'll highlight 10 best small sailboats under 20 feet . Most models in this list are time-tested, easy to rig, simple to sail, extremely fun, and perfect either for solo sailing or for sailing with friends and family. So if you've been looking for a list of some of the best small sailboats , you've come to the right place.

So without further ado, let's roll on.

Table of contents


The Marlow-Hunter 15 is not only easy to own since it's one of the most affordable small sailboats but also lots of fun to sail. This is a safe and versatile sailboat for everyone. Whether you're sailing with your family or as a greenhorn, you'll love the Hunter 15 thanks to its raised boom, high freeboard, and sturdy FRP construction.

With high sides, a comfortable wide beam, a contoured self-bailing cockpit, and fiberglass construction, the Hunter 15 is certainly designed with the novice sailor in mind. This is why you can do a lot with this boat without falling out, breaking it, or capsizing. Its contoured self-baiting cockpit will enable you to find a fast exit while its wide beam will keep it steady and stable no matter what jibes or weight shifts happen along the way.

This is a small sailboat that can hold up to four people. It's designed to give you a confident feeling and peace of mind even when sailing with kids. It's easy to trailer, easy to rig, and easy to launch. With a price tag of about $10k, the Hunter 15 is a fun, affordable, and versatile boat that is perfect for both seasoned sailors and novices. It's a low-maintenance sailboat that can be great for teaching kids a thing or two about sailing.

Catalina 16.5


Catalina Yachts are synonymous with bigger boats but they have some great and smaller boats too such as Catalina 16.5. This is one of the best small sailboats that are ideal for family outings given that it has a big and roomy cockpit, as well as a large storage locker. Designed with a hand-laminated fiberglass sloop, the Catalina 16.5 is versatile and is available in two designs: the centerboard model and the keel model.

The centerboard model is designed with a powerful sailplane that remains balanced as a result of the fiberglass centerboard, the stable hull form, and the rudder. It also comes with a tiller extension, adjustable hiking straps, and adjustable overhaul. It's important to note that these are standard equipment in the two models.

As far as the keel model is concerned, this is designed with a high aspect keel as the cast lead and is attached with stainless steel keel bolts, which makes this model perfect for mooring or docking whenever it's not in use. In essence, the centerboard model is perfect if you'll store it in a trailer while the keel model can remain at the dock.

All in all, the Catalina 16.5 is one of the best small sailboats that you can get your hands on for as low as $10,000. This is certainly a great example of exactly what a daysailer should be.


There's no list of small, trailerable, and fun sailboats that can be complete without the inclusion of the classic Hobie 16. This is a durable design that has been around and diligently graced various waters across the globe since its debut way back in 1969 in Southern California. In addition to being durable, the Hobie 16 is trailerable, great for speed, weighs only 320 pounds, great for four people, and more importantly, offers absolute fun.

With a remarkable figure of over 100,000 launched since its debut, it's easy to see that the Hobie 16 is highly popular. Part of this popularity comes from its asymmetric fiberglass-and-foam sandwiched hulls that include kick-up rudders. This is a great feature that allows it to sail up to the beach.

For about $12,000, the Hobie 16 will provide you with endless fun throughout the summer. It's equipped with a spinnaker, trailer, and douse kit. This is a high-speed sailboat that has a large trampoline to offer lots of space not just for your feet but also to hand off the double trapezes.

Montgomery 17


Popularly known as the M-17, The Montgomery 17 was designed by Lyle C. Hess in conjunction with Jerry Montgomery in Ontario, California for Montgomery Boats. Designed either with keel or centerboard models, the M-17 is more stable than most boats of her size. This boat is small enough to be trailered but also capable of doing moderate offshore passages.

This small sailboat is designed with a masthead and toe rail that can fit most foresails. It also has enough space for two thanks to its cuddly cabin, which offers a sitting headroom, a portable toilet, a pair of bunks, a DC power, and optional shore, and a proper amount of storage. That's not all; you can easily raise the deck-stepped mast using a four-part tackle.

In terms of performance, the M-17 is one of the giant-killers out there. This is a small sailboat that will excel in the extremes and make its way past larger boats such as the Catalina 22. It glides along beautifully and is a dog in light air, though it won't sail against a 25-knot wind, which can be frustrating. Other than that, the Montgomery 17 is a great small sailboat that can be yours for about $14,000.

Norseboat 17.5


As a versatile daysailer, Norseboat 17.5 follows a simple concept of seaworthiness and high-performance. This small sailboat perfectly combines both contemporary construction and traditional aesthetics. Imagine a sailboat that calls itself the "Swiss Army Knife of Boats!" Well, this is a boat that can sail and row equally well.

Whether you're stepping down from a larger cruiser or stepping up from a sea kayak, the unique Norseboat 17.5 is balanced, attractive, and salty. It has curvaceous wishbone gaff, it is saucy, and has a stubby bow-sprit that makes it attractive to the eyes. In addition to her beauty, the Norseboat 17.5 offers an energy-pinching challenge, is self-sufficient, and offers more than what you're used to.

This is a small, lightweight, low-maintenance sailboat that offers a ticket to both sailing and rowing adventures all at the same time. At about 400 pounds, it's very portable and highly convenient. Its mainsails may look small but you'll be surprised at how the boat is responsive to it. With a $12,500 price tag, this is a good small sailboat that offers you the versatility to either row or sail.


If you've been looking for a pocket cruiser that inspires confidence, especially in shoal water, look no further than the Sage 17. Designed by Jerry Montgomery in 2009, the Sage 17 is stable and should heel to 10 degrees while stiffening up. And because you want to feel secure while sailing, stability is an integral feature of the Sage 17.

This is a sailboat that will remain solid and stable no matter which part of the boat you stand on. Its cabin roof and the balsa-cored carbon-fiber deck are so strong that the mast doesn't require any form of compression post. The self-draining cockpit is long enough and capable of sleeping at 6 feet 6 inches.

The Sage 17 may be expensive at $25k but is a true sea warrior that's worth look at. This is a boat that will not only serve you right but will also turn heads at the marina.    


Having been chosen as the overall boat of the year for 2008 by the Sailing World Magazine, the Laser SB3 is one of the coolest boats you'll ever encounter. When sailing upwind, this boat will lock into the groove while its absolute simplicity is legendary. In terms of downwind sailing, having this boat will be a dream come true while it remains incredibly stable even at extraordinary speed.

Since its debut in 2004, the Laser SB3 has surged in terms of popularity thanks to the fact that it's designed to put all the controls at your fingertips. In addition to a lightweight mast, its T- bulb keel can be hauled and launched painlessly. For about $18,000, the Laser SB3 ushers you into the world of sports sailing and what it feels to own and use a sports boat.


As a manufacturer, Fareast is a Chinese boat manufacturer that has been around for less than two decades. But even with that, the Fareast 18 remains a very capable cruiser-racer that will take your sailing to the next level. In addition to its good looks, this boat comes with a retractable keel with ballast bulb, a powerful rig, and an enclosed cabin.

Its narrow design with a closed stern may be rare in sailboats of this size, but that's not a problem for the Fareast 18. This design not only emphasizes speed but also makes it a lot easier to maintain this boat. Perfect for about 6 people, this boat punches above its weight. It's, however, designed to be rigged and launched by one person.

This is a relatively affordable boat. It's agile, safe, well-thought-out, well built, and very sporty.


If you're in the market looking for a small sailboat that offers contemporary performance with classic beauty, the Paine 14 should be your ideal option. Named after its famous designer, Chuck Paine, this boat is intentionally designed after the classic Herreshoff 12.5 both in terms of dimensions and features.

This is a lightweight design that brings forth modern fin keel and spade rudder, which makes it agile, stable, and faster. The Paine 14 is built using cold-molded wood or west epoxy. It has varnished gunnels and transoms to give it an old-time charm. To make it somehow modern, this boat is designed with a carbon mast and a modern way to attach sails so that it's ready to sail in minutes.

You can rest easy knowing that the Paine 14 will not only serve you well but will turn heads while out there.


Many sailors will attest that their first sailing outing was in a Lido 14. This is a classic sailboat that has been around for over four decades and still proves to be a perfect match to modern small boats, especially for those still learning the ropes of sailing.

With seating for six people, the Lido 14 can be perfect for solo sailing , single-handed sailing, or if you're planning for shorthanded sailing. While new Lido 14 boats are no longer available, go for a functional used Lido 14 and you'll never regret this decision. It will serve you well and your kids will probably fall in love with sailing if Lido 14 becomes their main vessel during weekends or long summer holidays.

Bottom Line

There you have it; these are some of the best small sailboats you can go for. While there are endless small sailboats in the market, the above-described sailboat will serve you right and make you enjoy the wind.

Choose the perfect sailboat, invest in it, and go out there and have some good fun!

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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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22-07-2013, 06:25  
suited for cruising, and which small cat is best suited for this endeavor.

Thanks to all.
Henry & Elizabeth
22-07-2013, 06:54  
Boat: Mainship Pilot 34
is a nebulous term. Some think of it as 250 mile or less hops in the . I think of it is any 3 or more days out where forecasts can fall apart and big seas are then possible. True blue to me means handling anything short of a , certainly 60 kts winds.

With that definition, which is what you are really talking about, is more related to and beam than pure size. I sailed a 35' Cat with a beam of 15' and a really heavy of probably 18,000 lbs loaded. I felt reasonably safe on it, but wouldn't do a 3-5 day in it.

Even a 40' cat with an 18-20 foot beam would be problematic if it were light. Cats rarely due to simply heeling too far like you may have have experienced on a beach cat. They capsize when the leeward digs into a wave and they pitchpole. Length, beam and displacement are the only remedies for this as well as carrying conservative in a real blow like a storm sail.

22-07-2013, 07:13  
Boat: Nimble Artic 26
in a real blow like a storm sail.

What length, beam displacement gives the greatest for the least ?
22-07-2013, 07:18  
to a

Henry & Elizabeth (H&E)
22-07-2013, 07:27  
Boat: Nimble Artic 26
about a couple who tried to sail to in a 16 foot Hobie, but never made it and were never found.
22-07-2013, 07:28  
Boat: a sailing boat

Because many small, less expensive cats are old, you must make a proper full before you take one offshore. There are no points out there.

Search recent threads for that guy who believed he could take a small offshore. Something with 'zen' in it.

Found it, but read that thread too:

22-07-2013, 07:38  
22-07-2013, 07:44  
Boat: ‘01 Catana 401
22-07-2013, 07:44  
Boat: Catalina 310
to do before you can ask the right questions.

"Smallest length" is a very subjective term. For instance, have crossed the Atlantic and further. The did a circumnavigation in a 36 foot catamaran with zero knowledge before leaving. The owner of took one of his smaller catamarans on a North with his son (and the rumor is that he said he would never do it again).

Why are you looking for smallest? Is it cost? Or ease of handling? Or the challenge of a small space? Or requirements?

You have said you want to know for doing a circumnavigation. Is this a trades circ or are you going to try and go north seas? Not all circ routes are equal.

For that matter, why a catamaran over a ?

Sorry to hit you with lots of questions, but without knowing more there is little usable information that can be provided. You will also find that vague questions like this get little response. A lot of seasoned CFers will ignore some of these questions.

If you are looking for a good place to start some , I highly recommend Capn Fatty Goodlander's book . I am about 2/3rds through this book and he gives a lot of great information for someone starting out their planning.

Good luck in your quest.

Fair winds,

22-07-2013, 07:46  

Many have been round on smaller cats than that.

For my part though I would not want smaller than 44 feet or bigger than 50 feet for a couple.
22-07-2013, 07:47  
22-07-2013, 07:49  
Boat: 34' Crowther tri sold 16' Kayak now
22-07-2013, 08:01  
costs are a plus but wont kill the deal.

Ease of handling with crew if necessary is a must.

We aren't necessarily looking for speed, as there is no agenda or time limit in mind.

We want to do a winds circ.

E doesn't like the heeling in a mono so we are going with a cat.

Really, any size from 38 to 44 would , we just want to go small.

Capn Fatty's book has just been ordered.

22-07-2013, 08:20  
Boat: 38/41 Fountains pajot
systems, and a cat you can handle. Handling (both raising lowering, and or removing them) may be alot easier on a 38 than a 42. Also the bigger the cat the more the sails have and more caution needed when adjusting etc, just my 2C.
22-07-2013, 08:29  
Boat: PDQ 36 & Atlantic 42
a 40' catamaran in the , and sail to . In a four hour trip you will get a taste of what the Open Ocean is like. A cat that is smaller than 40' would be quite uncomfortable bashing to windward there, whil a 50 footer would seem serene.

I think that experience would show you what size you would need. However:

Almost nobody buys their last boat first.* Whatever you get is likely to start out straining your courage, endurance and pocket book, before becoming a guide to what you really want in a second boat. You have just succumbed to a malaise called "two-foot-it is". The only cure is to go for a six foot bigger boat. Then you get "six-foot-it is" with a longer gestation period. Observe that there are boats too big for Coastal sailing where you can duck into a harbor, and drift along the Inter Coastal Waterway where and air are limited.

Its true that many people can open a restaurant, but its wise to learn to cook first.

* Okay, Okay. some people around the world on their first boat ride, and some of them do it in really boats. Some people ride over Niagara Falls in a barrel. Somebody somewhere played Russian Roulette five times.

The rest of sail for the shear pleasure of sailing.
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