Luxury Catamarans: Good as yacht charter boats?
Are luxury catamarans better for a yacht charter than monohull yachts? Is the catamaran the best boat for yacht charter? Is the catamaran better overall for cruising than the monohull? This article compares the single hull to multi-hull . Go here for more information about luxury catamarans.
A catamaran is in its element when cruising or on charter. They say all sailors, even those who criticize the cat, secretly desire to experience ther pleasures. Like most sailors, I have a long heritage with monohull sailing yachts and monohull motor boats. This history means instinctively I never want to be too pro catamaran - if I can possibly help it. Monohulls do have some excellent benefits. There are, however, so many reasons why luxury catamarans make the perfect charter boat, that even I cannot ignore their merits.
Here are a few reasons why catamarans are so admired as cruising and charter boats:
1.Catamarans have a huge protected outdoor cockpit area. This means catamarans are excellent for sailing in comfort. This also makes cats ideal for entertaining in luxury and comfort, while on charter, especially if you want to have dinner or entertain outside.
2. Cats have exceptional stability. Whether you are moored in a bay, side on to a bit of chop, or sailing around between islands, they are far more stable generally than a monohull yacht. For me there has been no better example of the stability of catamarans than at the last America's cup in Auckland, New Zealand. Twenty of us cruised out to the start area in a 45ft charter catamaran in complete comfort and stability while we witnessed monohulls, many very large, rolling around quite dramatically in the boiling spectator wash. If you are like me and have felt the odd pang of seasickness every now and then, the catamaran's stability is very very good news. I?ve never felt sick on a cat. Stability is also reassuring for older crew members or those new to sailing. They can be great for introducing less experienced crew and guests to the pleasures of cruising because they don?t heal, roll or move around as much. They can also be safer for children moving around on the luxury yacht's deck.
3. Luxury catamarans are faster. They are faster under power or sail - no one doubts this. If you like the destination better than the voyage, or merely want to cover more miles and see more places on charter, they will get you around more quickly than a monohull.
4. Cats have shallow drafts. This means they can get into places monohulls yachts simply cannot go. I have particularly fond memories of poking my charter cat's nose up on a beautiful tropical shore in the Whitsunday's and having a swim and sunbath on the beach - all without the hassle of launching the dingy tender. They can also generally anchor closer to shore when in shallower bays.
5. Catamarans have huge fore deck areas. The fore deck normally features a net or tramp, at least on sailing yachts. This means there is plenty of room to retire to your favorite area of the yacht to siesta in seclusion. The tramps are also a hit to ride on when underway, especially with children when dolphins are about.
6. Cats have more room inside, as well as outside. The saloon is bigger and usually features large panoramic windows. All aboard can enjoy the scenery in comfort in bad or cold weather. The cabins and en-suites are often larger too. A typical 45 ft/13m catamaran will have 4 large staterooms, with queen-size beds - and each will have its own en-suite bathroom. This type of catamaran's salon and cockpit will be easily capable of sitting, and entertaining, 20 people. There is also greater privacy because of the separation between cabins - you don't get any unwanted noise from fellow guests when they are sleeping as they are often in a completely separate hull. It's hard to imagine a better yacht for charters with two or more couples. More room usually also means more headroom and a feeling of space. It should be mentioned, however, that most monohulls now also have sufficient headroom (unlike days gone past).
7. Large luxury catamarans have more storage room. They are especially good for stowing tender dinghies, which can stow easily on the foredeck or on davits at the transom.
8. Cats double up on many things. This includes engines and other essential engineering, which adds to safety in case something breaks down. Also, maneuverability can be greatly increased with two propellers and rudders. The autopilot will also tend track very well.
Does the catamaran have any weak points as a charter boat?
You may ask after reading about the catamaran's strengths: 'do they have many weaknesses at all'? Well the short answer is: 'not really'.
Here are the few that exist:
1. Some sailors find anchoring or mooring with a catamaran more difficult. They can be more susceptible to gusts because of its greater windage and shallower draft. Others sailors, however, have few problems. This is especially the case with those who are experienced with catamarans or those captains that predetermine their mooring strategy efficiently. It is true that catamarans take up more space. This can become an issue in the more busy Mediterranean ports and anchorages if you don't arrive early enough in the morning.
2. Cats do sail faster in general but they cannot point as close to the wind as monohulls.
3. If a catamaran sailboat capsizes it will not right it self, as will a monohull sailing yacht. This does not necessarily mean they are more dangerous than a monohull because a cat is more likely to remain afloat if there is a breach in a hull.
4. Perhaps the catamaran's most legitimate criticism comes from the mouth of many a seasoned monohull sailor. It goes something like this: "It's like sailing my living room." There is something in this comment. It's hard to ignore the weighty tradition of monohull yachting. Although they do not have quite the authentic feeling that comes from a powered up monohull, with its rail in the water, they can still be a lot of fun to sail in the right conditions. Don't forget cats can be fast.
Conclusions on the catamaran as a yacht charter boat.
Catamarans have my vote; they are my choice for charter. If you want the purist sailing experience - close to the water - stick with the monohull yacht. If experiencing your location in comfort and ease is what you desire, then a can't be beaten. The luxury catamaran is also more appropriate for larger parties, younger and older guests or those new to sailing and yacht chartering.