Catamaran yacht charters have skyrocketed in popularity over the last two decades, especially in the Caribbean. The fact that they do not “lean over” when they are under sail makes non-sailors feel more at ease during a first time yacht charter experience. By comparison, monohull sailing yachts do heel or “lean over” under sail, slicing through the waves, and offering an exhilarating ocean adventure.
First, let’s assume you know nothing about sailing – while understanding a catamaran vs monohull sailboat, the basic difference is that a catamaran has two hulls and a monohull has one. So the first distinction is that a 60-foot catamaran is going to be almost twice as wide as a 60’ monohull with more space ondeck and in the cabins.
Let’s take a look at some of the differences between a sailing catamaran vs monohull. Keep in mind that this comparison applies to catamarans and monohulls that are not superyachts – which means they are less than 80’ in length. Once we are in the superyacht category, the differences between the two are less distinct.
In moderate seas like you have in the BVI, a catamaran is going to feel more stable and easier to walk around while it is sailing. A big plus for families with kids and first time sailors. For anyone susceptible to seasickness, the motion of a cat is typically easier to tolerate.
Catamarans generally provide more living space both ondeck and below. The interior space on a 55’ cat could be similar to a 75’ monohull.
Typically, the cabins on a catamaran are located in the corners of each hull and do not share common walls which allows for more privacy.
Cats usually have a shallower draft (the amount of the hull that is under the water) than monohulls which means you can anchor closer to the beach or shore.
Even the smallest of new catamarans are adding a second deck which is called a Flybridge. This not only adds more space but offers stunning, panoramic views. By comparison between a catamaran vs monohull sailboat, only the larger and higher end monohulls offer this flybridge feature.
Most catamarans are not designed for agility or the ability to sail close to the wind. For those who appreciate the exhilaration and challenge of true sailing, a monohull is going to offer a more authentic experience.
I don’t think that anyone in the word, sailor or landlubber, would deny that monohulls “turn heads in a harbor” and display the beauty of sailing.
Most catamarans are designed for six or more guests whereas there are some smaller monohulls that cater to just 2 or 4 guests and will be more cost effective.
Although catamarans offer several advantages, there are many parts of the world where they are not as readily available. The Caribbean has many more charter catamarans than the Mediterranean or New England. In Turkey and Croatia, the most popular yachts are gulets which are large traditional monohulls that offer large cabins and tremendous deck space.
Our charter experts at Ocean Getaways can help you understand the differences between a sailing catamaran vs monohull and decide which type of yacht is best suited to you.