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2022 Boat of the Year: Best Performance Catamaran

  • By Cruising World Editors
  • December 15, 2021

During and in the four days immediately following the US Sailboat show in Annapolis, Maryland, the  Cruising World  judges inspected and sailed on 27 boats vying for recognition. Learn more about the boats in our  2022 Boat of the Year  »

OK, confession time. When the roster of nominees for the 2022 Boat of the Year awards was released, the contest’s team and judging panel couldn’t help themselves, and quietly put three check marks, little symbols of anticipation, alongside a trio of boats: the untamed cats that would vie for the title of best performer in their class. After all, both Balance and Seawind had entered the winner’s circle in previous BOTY competitions, and it was clear they’d have a serious contender for the throne in yet another player from cat-crazy South Africa, the Kinetic KC54. How’d it go? Let’s just say, nobody was disappointed. The conditions on Chesapeake Bay were ideal for putting the three nominees through their paces, and the trio of scalded cats all acquitted themselves superbly. 

For 2022, if anything, the trend for flybridge catamarans is on a major upswing. New cats for 2022 from both Lagoon and Fountaine Pajot continued down that design path, putting an emphasis on living accommodations, not performance. But not aboard the latest Seawind 1600 , a brand originally built in Australia that is now produced in Vietnam. And that suits judge Tim Murphy just fine. “This boat was very dialed in,” he said, “and one place Seawind has always been innovative is with their helms. This one was really great; it was -outboard and aft with great visibility, sort of half-protected where you could step in and out. There was also good access to the boom and mainsail, which you don’t always see on cats. The deck layout was excellent, particularly the forward trampolines. Some cats have lacings with large openings where you can twist an ankle, but these were nice and tight.”

Seawind 1600

“Compared to other Seawinds that I’ve seen, I was just blown away with it in terms of what it could do and how it performed,” said Ed Sherman.  “It’s a fairly conservative boat in terms of technology compared to some of the other boats in the same category, which depending on a potential buyer’s state of mind, could be either a good thing or a bad one. I loved the centralized winch aft which is where all the sail-handling takes place. It’s pretty brilliant for a short-handed crew, and it’s all in a very safe and easy-to-access location that a cruising couple can deal with without scaring the heck out of themselves.”

The Kinetic KC54 is a fresh entry in the cat universe, and we’ll let Tim Murphy get right to the point: “This is a fairly new company that was started within the past couple of years. My breath was absolutely taken away by this boat; it was spectacular. I think it was the best-built boat in the entire fleet. It’s an all-carbon boat, with a foam core, epoxy resin, all infused–fantastic. The whole boat felt integrated. You didn’t feel like there was a conflict between the forces in terms of accommodation versus performance.” With a price tag approaching $3 million, it perhaps should not be astonishing. That was a major factor in evaluating the boat, and while it did not win its class, the experts panel did present it with a Judges’ Special Recognition prize to honor the boat’s overall excellence.

Kinetic KC 54

“It was my personal favorite in this year’s contest,” said Sherman. The materials that were used are absolutely the highest quality available in our industry at this point, and it’s a very high-tech boat in terms of systems.” Gerry Douglas was also duly impressed: “This was the Tesla of sailboats. I think that that was their model. In terms of design and execution and technology, it hit all three of those marks. This boat is built without compromise, and what it cost was not an issue, they just wanted to do the best they could in every aspect of the boat. The construction was impeccable, the fit and finish was amazing. There are some very clever design things in the boat, but it all really worked seamlessly.”  

With that level of competition, the Balance 482 had a tall order to overcome to win its class. And it did. “The sailing performance was excellent,” said Douglas. “The boat felt really good. The steering was terrific. The structure of the boat throughout was exemplary. Storage is really good. Visibility was good. Ventilation was great. There was even a rain collection system on the cabin top, which is the only one of the boats we looked at had that. It was very well concealed because the gutters formed a handhold going forward. The solar panel installation was also well done. The panels were encapsulated into a fiberglass tray that elevated the deck so the panels wouldn’t overheat. Very clever.”

Balance 482

The driving force behind Balance cats is Phil Berman, a world champ at racing beach cats who brought that passion to developing and marketing fully found cruisers. Judge Murphy knows him well: “Phil comes from a very strong view of wanting to see boats that have solid sailing performance. He’s also a strong proponent of daggerboard boats, which tends to be quick shorthand for the dividing line between cats that are more about payload versus cats that are about performance, but not so much where you’re going to fly a hull or break a rudder. There’s a balance within a boat that really performs that you can still live aboard.” A winning balance, it turns out, with the Balance 482 securing its position as the Best Performance Cruiser for 2022.

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Sailing around the world on a catamaran

Setting off around the world in a multihull, perhaps aboard a catamaran… It’s a dream come true! On the trade winds route, in the Atlantic, the Pacific or the Indian Ocean… Let’s discover together, in this article written with Bénédicte, owner of an Outremer 55, the most beautiful round the world stopovers not to be missed.

world sailing catamaran

It was the expedition of the Portuguese explorer Magellan in the 16th century that led to the first circumnavigation of the globe under sail. Setting off with five ships in search of a passage between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, the navigator discovered what would later be known as the Strait of Magellan. The explorer’s reduced squadron continued sailing from east to west around the world, and a single ship completed the circumnavigation. Three years later, he returned to his starting point in Spain and achieved the feat of the first circumnavigation by sailboat.

Even today, sailing around the world is a dream come true. Fortunately for us sailors, today’s conditions are very different and the adventure is much more accessible! It’s now possible to set off on a trip around the world fully equipped. Whatever corner of the globe you find yourself in, you can take advantage of the best instruments to help you navigate and guide you. You’ll also have the luxury of staying connected, so you can check the weather forecast, keep in touch with your loved ones and, above all, stay safe.

world sailing catamaran

Among multihull owners, Bénédicte Hélies can testify to this! She has been on two round-the-world catamaran voyages with her husband and children, and this is not the first time:

For her first voyage – aboard the Outremer 51 #39 named Moby, the family chose to follow the trade winds. Bénédicte, Loïc, Victor, Arthur and Anna headed for the world’s most famous ports of call, to discover 32 countries and 121 islands. All this in three years and 50,000 nautical miles aboard their catamaran on three oceans: the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Indian.

For their second circumnavigation under sail, this time aboard Saga – l’Outremer 55 #1, the crew is this time opting for new stop-off points, which were not part of the first itinerary. Still sailing from east to west, the family made stops off the beaten track, which they later recounted in the blog Le voyage de Saga .

At the heart of this second adventure, Bénédicte agreed to help us write this article, sharing her best tips for a great catamaran voyage.

Read also: Meet the GLYWO 500 crew: Marijke & Mark on an Outremer 55

Ports of call while sailing around the world, on the trade winds route

The Trade Winds route is the classic itinerary followed by most ocean-going catamarans. It promises crews the chance to sail around the world pushed by the wind, downwind, as long as they follow the rhythm of the seasons. It’s possible to sail a catamaran from east to west, crossing three oceans and stopping off at some fantastic destinations.

Leaving Europe, the yachts and their crews generally start by making a transatlantic crossing to the West Indies. They then sail through the Panama Canal to the Pacific Ocean, where they make several stopovers. They then sail, usually via the Torres Strait, to Indonesia and then the Indian Ocean.

From here, there are two ways to reach Europe: via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, or around the Cape of Good Hope to the Atlantic. With this second option, crews then generally cross the South Atlantic, followed by a final transatlantic crossing from west to east, in the northern hemisphere.

The first Atlantic legs, from Europe to the West Indies

You will probably start your journey from the Atlantic coast or the Mediterranean Sea. After crossing the Bay of Biscay or the Strait of Gibraltar, you’ll head for the Canary Islands and Cape Verde. Here, you can make your first wonderful discoveries, among friendly people who are used to the passage of voyaging yachts. These destinations are renowned for their sailing sports!

Some crews then stop off in Senegal, where they can also drop off humanitarian supplies taken on board in France. It’s not just a great cruise, it’s also an opportunity to help others…

Then it’s off to the West Indies. After your first transatlantic ocean crossing lasting several weeks, you’ll be able to envisage shorter crossings, between numerous islands that are well worth the diversions. From north to south: the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Saint-Martin, Saint-Barthélemy, Antigua, Guadeloupe, Dominica, Martinique, Saint Lucia, Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines, the islands of Trinidad and Tobago… All these destinations promise a sunny end to the year, as well as particularly pleasant sailing conditions. You’re sure to enjoy some exotic experiences!

If you have a little time before passing through the Panama Canal, you could consider sailing to the ABC islands of Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao, off the coast of Venezuela, which are ideal for water sports. The Cartagena region of Colombia may also be worth a visit.

Finally, before crossing the Panama Canal, the San Blas are a particularly popular destination for tour-dumondist sailors: highly renowned for sailing, the archipelago offers the chance to sail from islet to islet in idyllic landscapes…

In the Pacific Ocean, from the Panama Canal to Australia

After passing through the Panama Canal, you’ll continue to be amazed. A multitude of magnificent destinations await you in the largest ocean on our planet: the Pacific.

After exploring the Pacific coasts of Panama and Costa Rica, the Galapagos archipelago in Ecuador is a comfortable stopover before the trans-Pacific. From there, you can head for the Marquesas Islands and sail through the enormous territory that is French Polynesia, to discover all its riches!

Following in the footsteps of many other sailors, you can stop off in the Tuamotu archipelago, the Windward Islands, the Leeward Islands or, even further afield, the Austral Islands. A word of advice: allow plenty of time to get there, as the distances are great and the destinations are all magnificent… The programme is packed: discover the islands and pearl farming, snorkelling, diving and underwater fishing.

world sailing catamaran

Bénédicte and her family chose to visit the Gambier archipelago: “In Polynesia, to get off the beaten track, we chose to head for the Gambier archipelago. Getting there from Panama is demanding: nearly 3 weeks at sea, at less downwind than usual, on a beam. But with a 55-foot catamaran like ours, that’s no problem. The Gambier archipelago alone is a concentration of the best of the Marquesas, the Tuamotus and the Leeward Islands. As in the Tuamotus, there are motus and a magnificent coral reef with a rich underwater fauna. We had a wonderful time, both underwater and on land! There’s a very strong culture here, with very warm values of sharing and hospitality. It’s easy to make contact, especially when it comes to bartering for the fruit and vegetables that grow in the inhabitants’ gardens, just like in the Marquesas Islands. As in the Leeward Islands, you can enjoy lovely walks and hikes in the forest, along well-kept gardens, with magnificent views from the summits. You can also visit pearl farms producing some of the finest pearls in the Pacific.”

Many yachtsmen are won over by French Polynesia. Arriving at the furthest point on the globe from France, they often feel they have found the most beautiful place on earth and sometimes decide to call it a day. However, further down the road, there are so many other wonderful destinations to explore on a catamaran!

As you continue westwards, still in the South Pacific, you’ll discover other countries and peoples that are well worth a stop. In the Cook Islands, the Samoan archipelago, Tonga and Wallis and Futuna, your sails will take you to magical places, where you’ll come into contact with people who are, once again, very welcoming. In Fiji, you’ll enjoy traditional villages and numerous spots perfect for water sports. The stopover in Vanuatu should also provide you with some unique experiences…

world sailing catamaran

On the subject of New Zealand, Bénédicte confides: “Everyone thinks that it can only be visited by van, but it’s a well-kept secret that it can also be visited by sail! It offers three exceptional sailing basins, each with dozens of safe anchorages, splendid panoramas, magnificent walks and easy access to supplies. Not to mention the restaurants and vineyards!”

Finally, New Caledonia and Australia are also good stopping-off points before leaving the Pacific: as well as a change of scenery, you’ll find everything you need to maintain and refuel your catamaran before continuing your journey.

From the Torres Strait to the western Indian Ocean

While some yachts opt to sail around Australia, most take the Coral Sea and Torres Strait to reach the Indian Ocean. Explore Papua and the Raja Ampat archipelago, East Timor and the Komodo dragons, Borneo and the orang-utans, or enjoy cultural adventures and idleness in the world’s largest archipelago: Indonesia!

Some crews choose to sail all the way back to Thailand, sometimes leaving their boat in the town of Krabi for a while.

One of the little-known destinations on our westward journey is the small Australian archipelago of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: a stopover in the Indian Ocean that Bénédicte describes as “very interesting from every point of view” . She remembers an excellent anchorage, a magnificent stretch of water for wingfoiling, a pleasant and friendly beach, and some great snorkelling sessions. On the neighbouring islet, which is inhabited, there are also plenty of opportunities for cultural visits! After that, the journey continues, sailing across the Indian Ocean to Mauritius, the Maldives, the Seychelles or Reunion Island. For Bénédicte, Mauritius should be much more than just a stopover: “It’s the traditional stopover on a crossing of the Indian Ocean, where the boats think about stopping off, content to stay in Port Louis. It’s true that it’s a nice stopover, with the Caudan marina, its large open shopping arcade, its museums, its lively market, its restaurants… But Mauritius can also be visited by sail! On two occasions, with both Saga and Moby, we sailed around Mauritius, stopping at various anchorages: on the east coast, at Trou d’Eau Douce – which gives access to Ile aux Cerfs, Mangénie islet, Mahébourg – an old colonial town – and Blue Bay marine park; on the west coast, at Rivière Noire – which gives access to Gorges park – and Tamarin, with its surf beach and magnificent sunsets. Finally, to the north, Grand Baie and the surrounding area offer lively, beautiful beaches and several other pleasant little anchorages.”

world sailing catamaran

As well as this well-known destination, the yachtswoman recommends visiting other territories in the Indian Ocean: “The Chagos Islands, for example, are a nature reserve teeming with birds and fish! There are thousands of coconut crabs, frigate birds, dolphins and dolphinfish in the inner lagoon, as well as a wealth of underwater life. You can spend a maximum of three weeks here, with permission. And it’s a privilege to witness such a wild and abundant nature”. The deserted archipelago of Saint-Brandon is also well worth a visit: “It’s a well-known destination for yachtsmen from Mauritius and Reunion, where you’re guaranteed a change of scenery! It’s a semi-enclosed atoll made up of dozens of islets of varying sizes, renowned for its seabed and fishing. When it comes to board sports, it’s paradise: there are exceptional kitesurfing and wingfoil spots, wild beaches with rare shrubs and thousands of birds.”

n the end, Rodrigues is a small island with an old-fashioned, tranquil atmosphere, which the traveller still recommends: “We spent ten fantastic days sailing there. The island is very welcoming and offers two anchorages: in town, at Port Mathurin, and at Port Sud-Est. The first offers a very pleasant stopover with a market and small restaurants. The second is a spectacular anchorage on the inner edges of the channel, with direct access to the lagoon and ideal spots for wingfoil and kitesurfing.”

Bénédicte insists that, for her, the Indian Ocean’s great cruising destinations are poorly known and largely underestimated. For her, the Indian Ocean is an “exceptional sailing destination on a catamaran”.

world sailing catamaran

After visiting these destinations, it’s already time for your final stopovers in the Indian Ocean. Depending on the stopover points you have chosen and whether or not you wish to use the Mozambique Channel, you will make a stopover in Madagascar or Tanzania, or head straight for South Africa.

This country will be a compulsory stopover – but also a very pleasant one! – before your second Atlantic crossing: the stopover in Cape Town will allow you to prepare the boat for one of the last ocean crossings, in a port where everything is easily accessible. Here, you can wait comfortably for the right “weather window” to cross…

Sailing back to Europe from South Africa

You will cross the South Atlantic Ocean from east to west. On this occasion, you may make a stop on the territory of Saint Helena. But where to next?

In the Western Atlantic, before returning to Europe, you may be tempted to make the same stops as on your first passage. But if you want to see more, your round-the-world catamaran trip could be the perfect opportunity to visit some new destinations! Brazil, the Bahamas, Bermuda and the United States, for example, are still waiting for you.

Finally, for your last ocean crossing, the return Atlantic crossing, you will undoubtedly stop off in the Portuguese archipelago of the Azores. There’s no doubt you’ll meet other crews who, like you, have sailed around the world in a catamaran. It’s the perfect opportunity for us to look back together at all these beautiful stages…

world sailing catamaran

Gone are the days of the great explorations. You probably won’t have the chance to discover unexplored lands by sailing around the world on a catamaran these days. On the other hand, by choosing stopovers off the beaten track, you’re sure to feel like an adventurer! Just what you need to make your round-the-world sailing experience unforgettable…

Read also: Working remotely and sailing around the world: David and Inês are living the dream onboard their Outremer 5X

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Setting off on a catamaran with the best sailing weather

When you’re getting ready to set off on a sailing trip, it’s vital to find out about the seasons and weather phenomena in your chosen sailing area. Even before choosing your cruising destination or travel itinerary, or even selecting your yacht!

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Catamaran VS Monohull: what should you choose to sail around the world?

Sailing around the world is a dream come true: you discover the world to the rhythm of the wind and the stopovers, exploring new destinations every day as you sail. If you’re just starting to read this article, you’re probably nurturing this project. Are you planning to sail around the globe? Then the choice of ship for your next voyage is crucial.

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The Importance of Defining Success

In the Autumn of 2023, I ran a ‘Webinars for Women’ mini-series on transatlantic preparations. The first session was titled: “How to approach transatlantic preparation.” As I zoomed out of the nitty gritty of canned food recipes, spare parts inventories, and preventative sail repair and took a broader look at the framework for a successful crossing, I homed in on what I think the first and most important step is: defining your goal.

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A circumnavigation sailing trip on a catamaran : a 1,546-day adventure across 27 countries

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David and Amy

Round-the-world

Trip duration

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A round-the-world in 1,546 days

Onboard their Fountaine Pajot Hélia 44 “Starry Horizons”, the couple criss-crossed the seas and oceans for no less than 546 days, covering more than 34,140 nautical miles and 27 countries from the port of Antigua in the Caribbean, forming a loop around the equador.

catamaran-boat-fountaine-pajot-circumnavigation

Presentation of the crew

“We are David and Amy Alton, two thirty-something-year-old Americans. When we met, Amy was an engineer and David was in the oil and gas industry in finance. While Amy had grown up around boats all her life, David had only been sailing once!  Soon after we met, Amy took over the family business in the maritime industry.

Eventually, we both got our USCG 100 Ton Master’s licenses and David came to work for Amy driving her boats. This is why we call her the Admiral!”

Preparation for the circumnavigation

“Since we were both licensed captains and had been day sailing around Galveston Bay on our previous 30 feet catamaran, we had an advantage over cruisers who are starting from scratch. We did want to get more experience on bigger boats, so we chartered down in the Caribbean.

Of course, we read a lot of books, blogs, and magazines. There were hardly any sailing YouTube channels out at the time, so that wasn’t a big thing for us.”

catamaran-boat-fountaine-pajot-circumnavigation

A cruise of more than 34,140 nautical miles

“We picked up our boat from the factory in La Rochelle in October of 2014. From there, we did a self-delivery, bringing the boat to Florida in three steps to do some outfitting to kit her out for a long-term cruising boat.

From Florida, we sailed the Bahamas, then up to Nova Scotia and Maine before heading down to the Caribbean. Three months later, we passed through the Panama Canal and spent two seasons in the South Pacific.

After seven months in Australia, we sailed up through Southeast Asia, then across the Indian Ocean, exploring lots of remote islands. In December of 2019, we passed the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa, and in March of 2020, we docked in Antigua,  crossing our wake and completing our world circumnavigation. “

catamaran-boat-fountaine-pajot-circumnavigation

Favorite sailing areas

“The South Pacific is easily our favorite sailing ground. The islands are remote and incredibly beautiful, and the people are amazingly friendly. French Polynesia is a dream destination, with rugged islands in the Marquesas, or idyllic atolls in the Tuamotus. Bora Bora exceeded expectations with crystal clear water and manta rays.”

catamaran-boat-fountaine-pajot-circumnavigation

Choosing the right catamaran for a circumnavigation

“When we were boat shopping, we had a list of requirements that we wanted. We did primarily look at the biggest production yards because we wanted to keep a strong resale value and yards like Fountaine Pajot have a good reputation – they’ve been building great boats for so long.

We went to the Annapolis Boat Show with a few models in mind, and when we got on the Helia is was an easy decision. The layout of the boat is amazing, and while she’s got plenty of space, she is definitely on the faster side for cruising boats.

All around the world we have meet Fountaine Pajots of all ages and sizes. Starry Horizons has held up very well in the nearly six years we have owned her, so we’ve been very pleased with our purchase.”

Circumnavigate on a catamaran

“On our entire circumnavigation, we spent less than 13% of our nights at sea. This means that 87% of the time we were stationary, at anchor or in a marina, taking advantage of the space our catamaran offered us.

Moreover, when we were sailing, we were mainly sailing downwind. Although we didn’t have much experience with monohulls, many friends complained about the performance of their boat downwind. Starry Horizons is super comfortable downwind.

It is also extremely performant and very safe, we always had confidence in our boat, even when the sea was rough, in squalls or tropical storms.”

Next adventures

“Right now, Starry Horizons is taking a well-deserved rest on the hard for hurricane season. We are back in Texas visiting our families.

We will launch again sometime within the next twelve months and cruise close to home; the Bahamas, Chesapeake Bay, or other nearby places. After that, we don’t have any plans!”

catamaran-boat-fountaine-pajot-circumnavigation

David and Amy regularly share tips and surprising anecdotes on their  blog  to accompany you in your navigations, the preparation for long cruises or simply to share their most beautiful sailing experiences and anchorages.

Starry horizons’ circumnavigation in a nutshell

  • Leaving Antigua on December 30, 2015
  • 10 navigations au long courslong-range navogations (1,000+ nm)
  • 1,546 sailing days
  • 4 crossings of the equator
  • 22 nautical miles/day in average
  • 34,140 nautical miles travelled
  • 6 hauls out
  • 27 countries and territories crossed
  • 7 home returns
  • 93.5% of the miles sailed as. a duo
  • Arrival in Antigua on March 26, 2020

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The best bluewater multihulls of all time: a complete guide

  • Toby Hodges
  • October 6, 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Best bluewater multihulls for performance cruising

Outremer 51/55.

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

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

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

Read more about the Outremer 51 and Outremer 55.

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Diego Yriarte

Seawind 1600/1370

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

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

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

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

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

Read more about the Rapido 50

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

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

Read more about the HH OC50

Balance 526

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

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

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Christopher White

Atlantic 47

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

Read more about the Atlantic 47

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

Catana 53/Ocean class 50

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

Read more about the Catana 53

Best bluewater multihulls for pedigree performance

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

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

Read more about the Gunboat 48

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

Chincogan/Lightwave

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

Outremer 45 G. Danson

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

Best bluewater multihulls for family cruising

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Nicolas Claris

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

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

Read more about the Lagoon 450

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Guilain Grenier

Fountaine Pajot Saona 47

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

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Tui Marine

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

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

Read more about the Leopard 45

world sailing catamaran

Photo: www.jfromero.fr

Nautitech Open/Fly 46

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

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

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Olivier Blanchet

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

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

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Christophe Launay

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

Broadblue 385S

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

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Christophe Breschi

Bali Catspace

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

Best bluewater multihulls for luxury cruising

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Nico Krauss

Privilège 510 Signature

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

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Jérôme Houyvet

Garcia Explocat 52

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

Read our review of the Garcia Explocat 52

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

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

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Richard Langdon

Discovery Bluewater 50

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

Read more about the Discovery Bluewater 50

St Francis 50 MKII

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

Xsquisite X5

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

Best bluewater multihulls for size & speed

Mcconaghy mc52.

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

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Florian H. Talles

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

world sailing catamaran

Photo: Mike Jones/Waterline Media

Ocean Explorer 60

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

Kinetic KC54

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

Best bluewater multihulls for ultimate performance

Marsaudon ts4/orc 42.

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

Dazcat 1495

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

Dragonfly 40

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

Looping 45/Freydis 48

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

Swisscat 48

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

Schionning Designs

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

Best bluewater multihulls for pedigree cruising

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

Casamance 44/46

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

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world sailing catamaran

The 8 Fastest Cruising Catamarans (With Speedchart)

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Cruising catamarans are some of the most comfortable boats to roam the water, making them fantastic for both long-term voyages and short-term vacations. Still, cruising catamarans can be great racing boats, but just how fast can they go?

Some of the fastest cruising catamarans include the Gunboat 68 (35 knots), Outremer 45 (25 knots), ORC50 (25 knots), FastCat 435 (20 knots), TS 42 (35 knots), and Lagoon 440 (20 knots). Yet, there are many more cats that can reach 35 knots safely. 

If you are interested in knowing about the fastest cruising catamarans, I have you covered. I will be discussing some of the most popular, fastest cruising catamarans and the features that make them so excellent for sailors in need of speed. You will learn more about each catamaran’s speed and amenities, and I will let you know a trick or two to maximize your speed under sail. 

CATAMARANSPEED (Knots)
Gunboat 6835+
TS 4235
Outremer 4525
ORC 5025
FastCat 43520
Lagoon 44020
Privilege Signature 510 (For reference)13
Fountaine Pajot Astréa 42 (For reference)10

How Fast Are Cruising Catamarans?

On average, cruising catamarans can reach top speeds of 15 knots , around 17.3 mph (27.84 kph). However, some exceptional, racing-designed cruising catamarans can reach up to 30+ knots in the right wind conditions. 

When you want to better understand catamaran hull characteristics, I suggest the book Catamarans a Complete Guide (amazon link) by the president of Aeroyacht catamarans and that you check out my article Why catamarans capsize .

Factors That Impact Speed

Weight & size.

When you consider a catamaran’s speed, you will need to keep in mind the boat’s weight and narrowness. A vessel that can travel at 15 knots will still move slower if the boat is heavy or has a wide, extensive hull. When increasing the total weight of the boat, the boat “sits” lower in the water, thus increasing water drag and reducing speed.

Why trimarans are faster than catamarans!

Now that we know how weight impacts sailing characteristics, it follows that; if you are planning on racing your catamaran, you should remove as much luggage or extra gear as possible. Eliminating as much weight as possible will help you travel at your cat’s maximum speed .

Narrow Hulls

The hydrodynamics of the ship will heavily affect your speed. Narrower boats can chop through the water with less effort, making slender ships with pointed hulls far faster than wide vessels. So if you are looking for the fastest one available, you should look for a slender hull.

Slim hulls vs. space is a common tradeoff for catamarans optimized for family sailing .

Wind will also affect your ship’s speed, so do not expect your cruising catamaran to reach the maximum speed without heavy wind. Generally, cruising catamarans have two large sails (at least) to power them through the water, and some are so efficient that they can travel even faster than the wind.

Although a strong wind is needed to energize the sails and move the boat, too much wind will instead make the sails less efficient, and maximum speed is most often attained at lower wind speeds but with flat water.

Light Weight Materials

Faster cruising catamarans are often made from carbon fiber materials and fiberglass to keep the weight down. If you are looking for the quickest catamaran that you can find, you should note the materials that the ship is made out of and try to get one that is primarily made from carbon, glass, and resin materials. 

While you are looking for the perfect catamaran for you, you should keep in mind what you NEED and what is NICE with your ship. Usually, this decision is between size and speed, but some of these excellent vessels have both. 

Lightweight materials are usually costly; for example, a carbon fiber mast will probably cost you +$20 000, depending on the cat’s size.

I have written a buyer’s guide that explains the concept of NEED vs. NICE , which will make choosing the right boat faster and more accurate.

Gunboat 68 (+35Kts)

Gunboat 68 is a cruising catamaran designed to reach the highest speeds possible. Made by Gunboat, the ship uses Grand-Prix racing boats’ designs to develop the speediest cruising catamaran on the market. 

Gunboat 68 is made entirely from carbon composites, which keeps the ship lightweight and fast. Gunboat 68 is the perfect catamaran for anyone who wants to reach the highest speeds possible while maintaining control of the vessel and not bouncing around too much. 

Gunboat 68 has comfortable, spacious living quarters, though it also has a spacious deck with luxurious seating. Indeed, this cat has it all, making it one of the best cruising catamarans for racers and casual sailors. The design maximizes all of the living spaces and uses lightweight materials to add elegance and luxury to a speedy racing catamaran. 

Gunboat 68 is one of the fastest cruising cats out there, with its maximum speed at more than 30 knots . Gunboat 68 can achieve these fast speeds, thanks to its lightweight construction and narrow hull design. 

Still, Gunboat can customize your ship’s plan to accommodate your needs. Whether you are looking for a faster, more lightweight boat with a more extensive sail or a more comfortable cruiser, Gunboat 68 is an excellent option for you. 

Specifications

  • Maximum Speed: 35 knots
  • Length: 68 ft (20.75 m)
  • Beam: 29.9 ft (9.1 m)
  • Draft: 3.9 ft (1.2 m) board up and 9.84 ft (3.8 m) board down
  • Displacement: 23.7 tonnes

TS 42 (ORC 42)

The TS, or Tres Simple , cruising catamarans, designed by Marsaudon Composites, are some of the fastest cruising catamarans in the world. 

Marsaudon developed the ship’s plans using racing boats’ streamlined designs and combined them with a cruising catamaran’s comfortable living spaces. The TS 42 has an inverted hull which helps it glide on the water swiftly without requiring much fuel, but it also has a spacious below-deck area with plenty of luxuries.

TS cruising catamarans are often considered the fastest cruisers on the market, with their speed comfortably reaching upwards of 35 knots in the right wind conditions. Generally, TS catamarans can sail at 20 knots, even with moderate wind. They are the perfect catamaran for racers and high-speed travelers, and yet they still have the amenities of a pleasant live-in vessel. 

The TS 42 has a large galley and comfortable cabins, making it a cozy home or vacation vessel. With multiple bathrooms, large windows, and open lounge spaces, these catamarans are superbly comfortable to live in. 

The deck and cabin space are divided by a large, openable window, which adds extra light and ventilation to the living areas. It also has plenty of on-deck space, which is rare in such a small vessel with an inverted hull. 

If you think I’m using too many confusing nautical terms, you’ll find all the answers on my Catamaran parts explained page .

  • Length: 42.8 ft (13 m)
  • Beam: 24.3 ft (7.4 m)
  • Draft: 4.9 ft (1.5 m) with boards up and 7.5 ft (2.3 m) with boards down
  • Displacement: 5.8 tonnes

Outremer 45

Based in France, Outremer (pronounced uutremeer 😉 ) designed their Outremer 45 to be a long-lasting cruising catamaran that sails smoothly at high speeds. The Outremer 45 can reach about 15 knots, but the most comfortable sailing speed is 10 knots. However, it can travel up to 25 knots in the right wind conditions, making it a quick ship with all of a perfect cruising catamaran’s luxuries. 

It is made for durability from carbon, vinyl ester, and divinycell so that it can last many years without repairs. The Outremer 45 has a narrow hull, and it is designed to be as thin as possible to maximize speed and fuel efficiency. Outremer 45 still has comfortable living quarters with large windows and lounge spaces within the boat. Indeed, it sacrifices no comfort for speed.

In this article, I talk a lot about catamaran characteristics, both interior and exterior, if that’s something you want to better understand, then I recommend an article where I write about trade-offs in design choices .

The Outremer 45 was initially designed to be a boat that would last 50 or more years, and it excels in its durability. It has an open, uniquely expansive side deck and plenty of on-deck conveniences that make sailing a breeze in the ORC50.

With supreme safety features such as tall railings, slip-free grips on deck, and enclosed lounge spaces, it is one of the safest catamarans available (is safety your top concern? I wrote a list of the safest catamarans on the market). 

  • Maximum Speed: 25 knots
  • Length: 48 ft (14.6 m)
  • Beam: 23.3 ft (7.1 m)
  • Draft: 3.3 ft (1 m) with boards up and 6.7 ft (2.04 m) with boards down
  • Displacement: 8.2 to 11.1 tonnes

Marsaudon Composites ORC50

Marsaudon Composites designed the ORC50, or Ocean Rider Catamaran 50, with both speed and comfort in mind. The ORC50 can be used for cruising, but it is also a great racing boat that has been awarded honors from many races worldwide.

Marsaudon borrowed designs from racing skippers to plan the ORC50, bringing together a cruiser’s comfort with the speed of an award-winning racing boat. 

This cruising catamaran is lightweight, which allows it to gain speed at a fast rate, but still has comfortable living quarters inside the boat. It has a rotating carbon mast, which helps to eliminate turbulence over the mainsail and therefore increasing sail efficiency and speed!

With strong winds, the ORC50 can reach up to 23 knots , making it extremely fast for a cruising catamaran. The ORC50 can easily reach speeds much faster than the wind speed, which is a unique quality of this fast, yet comfortable catamaran.

The ORC50 is an excellent long-term living ship with its many organizational compartments, expansive galley, and well-ventilated sleeping cabin. It also has plenty of couches and seating areas built into the boat, and its intuitive design adds plenty of comfort to the cruising catamaran without weighing down the ship. 

  • Length: 50 ft (15.23 m)
  • Beam: 27 ft (8.2 m)
  • Draft: 5.6 ft (1.7 m) with boards up and 8.9 ft (2.7 m) with boards down
  • Displacement: 13 tonnes

FastCat 435

African Cat’s catamarans, including the FastCat 435, are designed for speed and racing. This ship is mainly composed of epoxy, fiberglass, and carbon components, making it very lightweight to ensure that it travels as swiftly as possible. 

The FastCat 435 may be as light as possible, but it is durable enough to last for many years in the most extreme conditions.

The FastCat 435 has comfortable living quarters and well-designed comfort spaces so that you can get the most out of your trips. The FastCat also has a green hybrid design, and it uses primarily electric power, which can help you prolong your sailing and use less fuel. 

I find solar-powered/electric cats pretty exciting, so much so that I wrote an entire article called The Best Solar-Powered Catamarans on the subject.

The FastCat is an excellent option for anyone who wants a smaller cat with a comfortable design and incredible speed. FastCat’s electric power is also a unique, favorable feature for anyone who wants to use less fuel. 

  • Maximum Speed: 20 knots
  • Length: 42.7 ft (13 m)
  • Beam: 24.4 ft (7.4 m)
  • Draft: 3.9 ft (1.2 m) with boards up
  • Displacement: 2.4 tonnes

The Lagoon 440 cruising catamaran, like the FastCat, has an electric powering version, which cuts down on fossil fuel usage and ensures that your ship will keep moving. The Lagoon 440 is also among the easiest catamarans to maneuver, thanks to its electric drivetrain and automatic engines. 

The speed of the Lagoon 440 usually maxes out at 10 knots with low winds, but with higher winds, it can quickly gain speeds up to 20 knots (some argue even higher, but I’m doubtful). The Lagoon 440 is an excellent cruiser and comfortable catamaran, but it is not an all-out racing cat.

Lagoon is a well-known brand, but there are some caveats, and are Lagoons still making good catamarans?

Below the deck, the living spaces in the Lagoon 440 are magnificent. The ceilings are high, allowing the tallest of passengers to stand in the cabin. The many storage compartments and furnishings have a modern, elegant design. The interior is one large primary cabin with a few private spaces below the deck. 

  • Length: 44.6 ft (13.6 m)
  • Beam: 25.3 ft (7.7 m)
  • Draft: 4.3 ft (1.3 m)
  • Displacement: 10.5 tonnes

Fountaine Pajot Astréa 42

Fountaine Pajot designs some of the most luxurious yet speedy cruising catamarans available in the world. They are renowned for their safe, durable designs that make sailing a comfortable, relaxing experience. And on a personal note, i think the name sounds beautiful!

Their cruising catamarans use an inverted hull design that has become a signature mark of Fountaine Pajot vessels. This hull type allows the water to pass beneath the ship quickly, which increases the speed and fuel efficiency of the cat. 

The Astréa 42’s primary benefit is its spacious, comfortable living quarters and large, open deck spaces. The ship’s interior spaces have large windows, large lounging areas, and plenty of storage compartments. 

The cabin’s ventilation is also excellent, which reduces the classic musty smells of sea living. You can also get two different models of this catamaran, either in a one-cabin option or a two-cabin option, making it an excellent vessel for larger or smaller families.

The Astréa is ideal for long-term sea living and family vacations (it is not as fast as some more racing-oriented cats). Although the Astréa is not the speediest cat available, with its speed maxing out at about 10+ knots, even in favorable wind conditions, its luxurious atmosphere and comfortable cabin spaces make up for its relatively slow speed. 

Don’t get me wrong, despite its lower speed compared to the boats on this list, the Astréa 42 can still get you places quicker than many other cruising catamarans (and most monohulls). So, if you want all of the elegance and comfort of a cat and are not too worried about racing, this ship is an excellent option for you.  

  • Maximum Speed: 10 knots
  • Length: 41.3 ft (12.6 m)
  • Beam: 23.6 ft (7.2 m)
  • Draft: 4.1 ft (1.3 m)
  • Displacement: 12.3 tonnes

Privilege Signature 510

The Privilege Signature 510 is a long-distance cruising catamaran designed for long-term voyages and sailing in extreme weather conditions. It features a durable, weatherproof design that will protect you from rainy and cold weather while sailing. 

The helm and living spaces are completely covered, making it safe to live in, even in cold or stormy weather. It also has an automatic sail adjustment system with the controls at the helm, allowing you to make any adjustments from the helm’s safety and comfort. 

Privilege Signature 510 also has an elegant, well-designed living space with plenty of amenities, including an accelerated cooling system, a spacious bathroom and kitchen, and plenty of windows for natural lighting.

With an elegant floor plan, this cozy ship is perfect for long-term living.

The Privilege Signature is not the fastest catamaran on the market, with a maximum speed of around 13 knots. Still, it is one of the quicker cats considering its elaborate amenities and comfortable size.

  • Maximum Speed: 13 knots
  • Length: 50 ft (15.24 m)
  • Beam: 26 ft (7.98 m)
  • Draft: 5 ft (1.57 m)
  • Displacement: 25 tonnes

Although cruising catamarans are great boats for slowly cruising along the water, they can also be swift, substantial racing boats that reach speeds of up to 35 knots. These speedy cruising catamarans still come with all of the amenities of leisure boats, but they also reach incredible speeds without rocking or tossing. 

Owner of CatamaranFreedom.com. 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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Can You Sail a Catamaran Around The World?

Can You Sail a Catamaran Around The World? | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

August 30, 2022

‍ Many people have sailed around the world in traditional monohull sailboats, but has anybody tried with a catamaran?

Sailing around the world is hazardous and trying at times, so it pays to have a sailboat that's built for the job. Sailors place a premium on safety and comfort—so where do catamarans fit into the equation?

Yes, you can sail a catamaran around the world. In fact, full-size catamarans are some of the best circumnavigation sailboats on the market. They offer superior comfort, safety, storage space, and speed when compared to monohulls.

Catamarans have become increasingly popular since the 1990s, and they're seen in ports all over the world. If you consider their handling characteristics, it's no wonder they're so popular for circumnavigation. But what are the things that make cruising catamarans so good for long ocean voyages?

We sourced the information used in this article from sailboat design guides and the online sailing community. We also considered the input of several experienced catamaran captains, most of which have embarked on circumnavigations in catamarans and monohulls.

Table of contents

‍ Can You Circumnavigate in a Catamaran?

You can absolutely sail a catamaran around the world! In fact, catamarans are preferred by many sailors for long ocean voyages, and dozens circumnavigate in all seasons each year. The number of catamarans continues to rise every year, and some of the world’s most influential long-distance sailors have switched to them from monohulls.

There are many benefits to choosing a catamaran for a circumnavigation, and we’ll cover some of those soon. But first, here’s what makes a catamaran suitable for an around the world sailing trip.

What Kind of Catamaran Can Sail Around the World?

Not all catamarans are ideal for long ocean voyages, but the vast majority above 25 feet in length are. The kind of vessel that's suitable for a long ocean voyage is called a cruising catamaran.

Cruising catamarans have a number of defining characteristics that make them ideal for Sailing around the world. Here are a few of them.

Cruising catamarans have extensive cabinet space. Smaller catamarans that aren't designed for large ocean voyages aren't designed for comfort. Cruising catamarans have between two and four staterooms, along with a large covered cockpit and standing headroom throughout.

High Freeboard

Cruising catamarans have a high freeboard, which means the decks are relatively high above the water. They also have a shallow draft, as a catamaran has no need for a centerboard, fin keel, or bulb keel.  

Catamarans are not as long as monohulls relative to their capabilities. A 35 or 40-foot catamaran has much more interior space than an equivalently-sized monohull. Catamarans split their living quarters between the two hulls and include an additional spacious covered cockpit above.

Cruising catamarans range in size from 30 feet to 60 feet in length, and they typically measure around 40 to 50 feet from stem to stern. The bottom limit for livable Catamarans seems to be about 25 to 30 feet. Catamarans that are smaller than this lack the space for comfortable living accommodations.

Benefits of Catamaran Circumnavigation

Catamarans are quick and robust, and they make excellent long-term cruising sailboats. They're spacious, safe, comfortable, and have exceptional handling characteristics in almost all weather conditions. Here are some of the main advantages of choosing a catamaran to sail around the world.

Speed is one of the most significant benefits of sailing a catamaran around the world. The ocean is a huge place—and unless you're sailing just to sail, it's always advantageous to shorten the time between destinations.

Catamarans are fast—really fast. A typical cruising catamaran can reach speeds in excess of 20 knots in the best conditions, which is more than twice as fast as a typical monohull. This is because catamaran hulls cancel out the hydrodynamic interference that limits the 'hull speed' of monohulls.

Speed also has other important benefits. For one, it reduces the amount (and cost) of provisions that you need to store aboard. Additionally, speed gives you more flexibility when planning and avoiding weather.

Comfort in Rough Weather

Speaking of weather, catamarans have another notable advantage: stability. Catamarans are inherently stable vessels, and they ride much more softly in the rough weather than traditional sailboats.

Catamarans distribute their weight between two hulls. These hulls are connected on the tops, and water is free to flow in between them. Catamaran hulls are also sharp and narrow, and their shape allows wave punching.

This allows them to cut through waves instead of riding over them, and the effects of lateral rolling are also greatly diminished. That means it won't roll as violently from side to side.

All that extra stability contributes to the overall safety of the catamaran design. Since they incorporate two hulls, catamarans are extremely difficult to capsize.

There's another hidden safety benefit of the catamaran design. If in the very unlikely event that you capsize, a catamaran will float just as well upside down provided the hulls split apart. This makes it an effective life raft in a catastrophic situation.

Extra Storage Space

Catamarans have tons of extra storage space, especially if you're traveling with a smaller crew. A typical cruising catamaran has accommodations for around eight people or more and usually includes at least four bunk areas in the hulls.

With all that extra room, there's plenty of space to store food, toiletries, emergency supplies, souvenirs, and personal items. There's also plenty of room for guests.

Room for More Passengers

Catamarans have many more sleeping spaces than an equally sized conventional sailboat. Catamarans usually include two master staterooms in the forward part of each hull and two aft.

The hulls typically contain at least one head in each, and usually two. Some catamarans include four large bathroom/shower combinations, which give each passenger or couple a private bathing area.

Larger 'Day Living' Spaces

Catamarans also have larger living areas between the hulls. The cockpit of a cruising catamaran is usually covered and spans almost the entire beam of the vessel.

This space often contains the galley and a large sitting area, along with a chart table and other essential equipment. The hulls can be accessed on either side of this space, and there's usually a large window forward.

There's standing headroom throughout the covered cockpit. It more than makes up for the lost space in the comparatively narrow hulls, as these areas are used primarily for sleeping.

Shallow Draft

Catamarans don't need an extended keel for stability. As a result, they draw very little water and can traverse shallow waters that similarly sized monohulls couldn't dream of accessing.

It's easy to beach a catamaran which makes it an excellent island-hopping boat as well. Plus, when the tide runs out, a catamaran will rest evenly on the seabed without any additional supports.

Cons of Sailing Around The World in a Catamaran

So what are the cons of sailing a catamaran around the world? We covered many of the benefits, and we'll touch on a few additional topics here. But there are some downsides that are important to consider.

Size Limitations

Size is your friend out on the open ocean. The wide beam and considerable length of most cruising catamarans make them exceptionally safe and comfortable in a variety of weather conditions. However, most marinas aren't designed for Doublewide boats, and size restrictions could cause headaches in many parts of the world.

The problem of having a wide boat extends beyond the marina. Many channels in passageways can't accommodate wide boats, and those that to me charge more for your passage.

Structural Deficiencies

The vast majority of cruising catamarans are extremely well-built and will never suffer any serious structural failures. However, the basic design of a catamaran makes it vulnerable in certain places, specifically where the hull meets the frames that hold them together.

There have been several cases of catamarans literally snapping in half, usually when under tremendous load or when improperly maintained. This can usually be attributed to a flaw in a specific vessel, and it's not very common. But it is a possibility, and monohulls are not susceptible to it.

Cost to Sail a Catamaran Around the World

Are you waiting for the downsides of sailing a catamaran? Cost is the biggest one. Catamarans are obscenely expensive compared to conventional single-hull sailboats.

The average new catamaran cost upwards of $300,000, and some cost as much as $750,000. An equivalent monohull, new from the factory, costs around $150,000-$200,000. Cruising catamarans don't lose much value either, and you're still likely to pay over $100,000 for one.

Compare that to a monohull. A conventional sailboat that's capable of sailing around the world (say, 40 feet or so in length) is likely to cost between $30,000 and $60,000. Some are even cheaper. For many people, the cost is the prohibiting factor when choosing a sailboat to circumnavigate with.

How Popular are Catamarans for Circumnavigation?

If you've spent much time in the sailing community, you've undoubtedly noticed the prolific number of catamarans on YouTube, internet forums, and sailing blogs. But are catamarans really as popular as they seem, or is it just a case of selection bias?

Catamarans are surprisingly popular these days, but mostly among buyers of new and lead model sailboats. Catamarans, as we know them today, weren't produced in great numbers until recently, and they've only been popular for sailing around the world since the 2000s.

Over the years, an increasing number of people have chosen a catamaran as their long-range cruising sailboat, and the sailing community widely accepted the superior handling and comfort of these vessels.

Catamaran Vs Monohull for Circumnavigation

So, which is better for sailing around the world, a catamaran or a monohull? When it comes to sailing around the world, a Catamaran is an obvious choice for a number of reasons. Speed, safety, and comfort or the primary benefits, and these are worth their weight in gold on a long circumnavigation.

Catamaran Vs Trimaran for Circumnavigation

But what about the trimaran? Many multihull sailors prefer the trimaran due to its superior speed, and many claim it has better motion comfort as well. A trimaran, which has three hulls, is a sizable upgrade from a monohull.

Comparatively, a trimaran is a much less considerable improvement over a catamaran. They also cost more, but the exceptional handling and motion comfort of a trimaran is worth it to many.

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How to Sail Around the World

What Size Catamaran To Sail Around The World

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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Catamaran Hemisphere

44.20m, (145') - Sleeps 12 Guests

Home › All Yachts › Catamaran Hemisphere

Right from the start, HEMISPHERE is in a league of her own. The world's largest luxury charter catamaran, HEMISPHERE boasts the ultimate fusion of extravagance and dynamic performance. This stunning 44.2m (145') sailing yacht commands unrivalled presence whether sailing or at anchor. HEMISPHERE will be available for charter in the stunning destinations of the Grenadines and Costa Rica until May 2024 and then in the idyllic islands of French Polynesia from August 2024.

HEMISPHERE At Anchor

Built by Pendennis and designed by renowned naval architects and multihull specialists, Van Peteghem Lauriot Prévost, her interior concept by Michael Leach Design can be described as "Polynesian Six Star Luxury": 15 varieties of stone, 18 different leathers, a soothing palette and blend of finishes including walnut soles, brushed oak and wengé, make HEMISPHERE a charter connoisseur's dream.

At 44.2m, her imposing size allows ample room for all the luxuries her charter guests could desire. A performance catamaran, HEMISPHERE is stable at sea as well and quick to respond when her 2 x 490hp Caterpillar engines are employed. HEMISPHERE accommodates up to 12 charter guests, and no two staterooms are identical. The two VIP masters are located forward of the main saloon, both with ensuite shower rooms. These staterooms can be adapted into a single master suite via a retractable joining door. In addition charter guests are accommodated in 2 double staterooms plus a twin stateroom with two pullman berths, all with ensuite shower rooms. The TV room on the main deck, boasts a Kaleidescape system where charter guests can choose from hundreds of movies and games. Wi-Fi and socket connections, Satcom and Cellular communications facilities, Satellite TV, iPod docking stations and MP3 connections are throughout the vessel. There's a 61" plasma TV in the lower saloon, 42" plasmas in the VIP staterooms and 32" LCD TVs in charter guest staerooms.

Outside, the flybridge affords massive deck space for recreation, and an inviting seating area surrounds the spa pool. The main aft deck features a fascinating oval-shaped glass table, etched with a map of the world's seven continents. The lavish formal dining area is located on the deck below.

As for water sports and toys, HEMISPHERE'S options are nearly limitless for charter guests. In addition to an 8.2m Scorpion tender with 315hp Yamaha inboard, HEMISPHERE comes equipped with a 16.4m (54ft) F&S custom sport fishing boat for game fishing, diving and guest excursions. There is a 4.5m Castoldi jet wave rider with Yanmar 125hp engine, full scuba diving gear for 12 guests, water skis, five water scooters, two Seabobs, wake boards, kneeboard, kayaks, paddle boards, tow toys, a 4.8m inflatable water trampoline and a 1m high 2.4m professional diving board!

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This New 115-Foot Electric Sailing Catamaran Can Cruise the Seas Sans Emissions

Sunreef's new 35m eco is outfitted with custom batteries, electric engines, and solar panels., rachel cormack.

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Sunreef 35M Eco

Sunreef ’s lineup just got even bigger and greener.

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Sunreef 35M Eco

Spanning 115 feet, the newest composite multihull is fitted with Sunreef’s custom-engineered batteries and state-of-the-art electric engines. Solar panels will also be embedded into the hull sides, superstructure, and bimini, allowing the cat to generate power from the sun. The yard has previously added this patented “ solar skin ” to several models, such as the newly unveiled Explorer Eco 40 , the Eco 100 , the Zero Cat , and the 80 Power Eco .

Sunreef didn’t share any details regarding speed or range for the new 35M Eco, but the aforementioned 80-foot cat is powered by 360 kW electric motors that can push it to 10 knots. The newcomer theoretically has an “infinite range,” given it can continuously get power from the sun so long as it’s shining. The clean, emissions-free energy would also power the hotel load at anchor.

Sunreef 35M Eco

The 35M Eco is not only sustainable but also spacious and stylish. With a beam of 48 feet, the yacht offers expansive living areas onboard. Positioned in the bow of the main deck, the owner’s stateroom provides stunning panoramic views and private access to an outdoor terrace. The luxurious guest accommodation, meanwhile, is located in the hulls and is fully customizable.

The 35M Eco offers an abundance of alfresco lounging areas, too. The vast walkaround aft deck, which Sunreef calls the “ocean lounge,” gives seafarers easy access to the sea and a hidden garage stocked with water toys. In addition, the sprawling flybridge features a plunge pool and bar.

Rachel Cormack is a digital editor at Robb Report. She cut her teeth writing for HuffPost, Concrete Playground, and several other online publications in Australia, before moving to New York at the…

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The Alternative to Huge Cruises? 3 Masts, 28 Sails and Wind Power.

We checked out the 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit on a Mediterranean cruise. In this era of gargantuan ships, its elegant clipper design, wooden decks and relatively small size stands out.

world sailing catamaran

By Ceylan Yeğinsu

From the bridge of the three-masted windjammer, the Sea Cloud Spirit , the captain called out the words we’d all been waiting for.

“Let’s set the sails!” he cried, after turning off the engines, while maneuvering to maintain an optimum angle for his 18 deckhands to climb into the shrouds and unfurl the ship’s 44,132 square feet of sails by hand.

Like acrobats, the crew scurried up the masts to the upper topgallant sails that rose nearly 200 feet above us. The ship’s captain, Vukota Stojanovic, later insisted that none of it was for show. “Whenever there is an opportunity to sail, we sail,” he said.

world sailing catamaran

For the next hour, the crew hauled the ropes until the 28 sails were billowing in the wind, propelling the 452-foot-long ship — the world’s largest passenger sailing vessel on which the sails are raised by hand — toward its first port of call, Portofino, Italy.

At a time when cruise lines are packing their ever-more-gargantuan ships with water parks and basketball courts, the 136-passenger Sea Cloud Spirit, with its old-fashioned clipper design and wooden decks, stands out. It is the newest ship from the Hamburg-based Sea Cloud Cruises , and while it is the company’s biggest, Sea Cloud said it wanted to leave space for passengers to connect to the surrounding elements.

“Wherever you are on the ship, it feels like you are sitting on the water,” said Amelia Dominick, 71, a retired real estate agent from Cologne, Germany, who was on her third cruise onboard the Sea Cloud Spirit.

I had arrived for a four-night “taster sailing” from Nice, France, to the Ligurian region of Italy, designed to entice passengers to sign up for a longer cruise. Here’s what I found.

The ship and cabins

The Spirit has many comforts and luxuries, including a fitness center, library, hair salon and a spa with a Finnish sauna that overlooks the sea. The deck layouts are spacious, with nooks carved out for privacy and relaxation.

Sixty-nine spacious cabins have windows that open onto the sea. My room, a junior suite on the third deck, had two large arched windows, mahogany tables, a balcony and a comfortable couch and armchair. The marble bathroom was lavish, with a gold-plated sink and large jetted bathtub.

The elegant interior design is inspired by the original Sea Cloud, built in 1931 for Marjorie Merriweather Post, the American heiress of the General Foods Corporation, with glossy wooden panels and gold trimmings. The Sea Cloud was the largest private sailing yacht in the world before Post handed it over to the U.S. Navy for use as a weather-reporting vessel during World War II. The four-mast, 64-passenger ship has since been restored to its former glory and will sail across the Aegean and Adriatic this summer.

world sailing catamaran

The experience felt authentic — even before the sails were set — with a detailed safety drill. On most cruises, the drill entails a safety video and signing in at an assembly point. But here, passengers put on their life jackets and walked through emergency scenarios that included rationing food supplies and fishing from the lifeboat.

Each day, the sails were set, even during heavy rain and wind speeds over 30 knots. Guests wanting to participate in the rigging are usually invited to do so, but the weather conditions made it too risky for this sailing.

“It was amazing to watch the work go into putting the sails up and down and to experience the wind power pulling the ship so fast without the engines,” said Malte Rahnenfuehrer, a 50-year-old psychologist from Zurich, who was traveling with his partner and two children.

A man with dark hair wears navy blue and white clothing as the captain of a large windjammer sailing vessel. He stands on deck, a walkie-talkie-like device in his hand, beneath the ropes and riggings of the vessel's sails.

The captain

It is rare for cruise passengers to see the ship’s captain after the initial welcome drinks or gala dinner. But Capt. Vukota Stojanovic was omnipresent throughout the cruise, from setting sails to lifeguarding to mingling with guests.

Originally from Montenegro, Captain Stojanovic piloted container ships for years. When he was asked to consider helming the original Sea Cloud nearly 10 years ago, he hesitated because he had no experience sailing. Even after he learned the ropes — and there are 340 ropes (known as running rigging) on the vessel — he was unsure. “I grew to love the sailings, the boats, the crew the lifestyle, but I still felt I belonged on container ships,” he said. “It would be a big adjustment, especially because I would have to shave every day,” he joked.

Eventually, he accepted the opportunity and worked tirelessly to learn how to sail and operate the ship. Today, he keeps an “open bridge” policy, allowing passengers to visit the control room, even when he is wrestling with the wind.

“The crew and the passengers are all part of the experience, and I like to meet people and receive their feedback,” Captain Stojanovic said.

Environment

Sea Cloud Cruises aspires to take a “gentle” approach, using wind power to drive its ships wherever possible, even if that means changing course for optimal weather conditions. When sailing is not possible, the Spirit has two diesel-electric engines that run on low-sulfur marine diesel fuel. The company is also working with ports that have shore power capabilities to plug into the local electric power.

Onboard, there is an emphasis on reusable bottles and paper straws, and crew members separate solid waste to be compacted and removed when in port.

Excursions and Activities

We made stops in Portofino, San Remo, Italy, and St.-Tropez, France, anchoring offshore and getting to land by tender — a contrast to the big cruise ships with their loud horns and thick plumes of exhaust spewing from their funnels.

For passengers wanting to take a dip (there is no pool), the crew marked an area in the water with floats and an inflatable slide. The water was frigid, but many passengers took the plunge from the swimming deck. Guests could also take “Zodiac Safaris” around the ship to get views of the vessel from the water.

world sailing catamaran

Excursions ranged from food and wine tours to e-biking and beach trips. In Portofino, passengers were free to explore the sights independently, including the Castello Brown Fortress and the lighthouse on Punta del Capo rock. There was ample time to eat meals on shore as the ship did not depart until 11 p.m. Over the summer, the Sea Cloud Spirit will sail to Spain, Portugal, France and the Azores, among other destinations. On Nov. 11, she will depart for St. Maarten in the Caribbean for the winter.

Wherever the vessel goes, said Mirell Reyes, president of Sea Cloud Cruise for North America, the company tries to “stay away from the crowds and ports where big cruise ships spit out 6,000 passengers.”

Summer prices, which include food and beverages, range from $3,995 for a four-night sailing in a superior cabin to $9,420 for a veranda suite. Seven-night sailings cost between $6,995 and $16,495.

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

Ceylan Yeginsu is a travel reporter for The Times who frequently writes about the cruise industry and Europe, where she is based. More about Ceylan Yeğinsu

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ASA Sailing Schools in Southern California

Click on the red cluster circles to zoom in, or on the individual pins for more information.

Directory of American Sailing Association sailing schools located in Southern California where you can take beginning to advanced sailing lessons.

Aventura Sailing Academy Dana Point, Southern California

(949) 493-9493 aventurasailing.com.

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Aventura Sailing Academy is Dana Point Harbor’s Premier Sailing Club and Academy. For over 44 years we have been successfully teaching students, from the beginner to the advanced. We are a West Coast leader in producing well trained Sailors.

USCG Master Class 100T Captain Ric Dahlin (Director of  Academy) is also a Collegiate level sailing instructor, and as a professional educator, Aventura’s classroom and lectures have been providing “best in class” sailing instruction with top results. All of our Certified ASA instructors are friendly and dedicated to your sailing instruction. Aventura Academy’s classes are challenging, fun and engaging but most importantly highly effective.

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Blue Pacific Yachting Marina del Rey, Southern California

(310) 305-7245 bluepacificyachting.com.

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Let Blue Pacific Yachting help you realize the joys of sailing. Learn to sail in a safe and supportive environment under the expert guidance of our certified instructors. Students gain hands-on experience and acquire the knowledge and confidence to sail aboard a modern, mid-sized, fully-equipped yacht.

Bluewater Sailing Marina del Rey, Southern California

(310) 823-5545 bluewatersailing.com.

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Sailing lessons in Marina del Rey, the Pacific Ocean and beyond. In addition to our ASA courses, we offer year-round innovative sailing possibilities that are tons of fun with many opportunities to get out on the water and meet others in our vast community of sailors with all levels of experience. 

California Sailing Cooperative Marina del Rey, Southern California

(909) 861-5673 www.californiasailingcoop.org.

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California Sailing Cooperative (CSC), founded in 1994, is a non-profit club and school offering comprehensive sailing instruction, including ASA certifications, at an affordable cost on a well maintained Catalina 36. The teaching team, headed by Training Director Capt. Charlie Hentges, consisting of CSC’s ASA certified instructor/skippers and club mates, all of whom have completed at least 3 ASA courses. CSC earned the 2012 ASA “School of the Year” award.. CSC’s training philosophy permits members to work on their ASA certifications at their own comfort level, setting their own time table, thus combining expert instruction with at-sea experience. Every sail is …

Freeman Marine Institute Newport Beach, California

(916) 792-8478.

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Freeman Marine Institute is devoted to excellence in teaching, learning, and helping students gain access to the amazing world of Sailing.

Harbor Sailboats San Diego, Southern California

(619) 291-9568 www.harborsailboats.com.

Harbor Sailboats, San Diego, CA ~ ASA Certified Sailing School

Harbor Sailboats is San Diego’s Premier Sailing Club, offering award winning instruction aboard Southern California’s most modern fleet of sailboats. Founded in 1969, Harbor Sailboats offers ASA sailing courses from Basic Keelboat to Advanced Coastal Cruising. In addition to offering the International Proficiency Certificate for European/Mediterranean chartering, Harbor Sailboats also offers learn to sail vacations. Spend the week aboard a luxurious sailing yacht while a certified instructor prepares you for a lifetime of confident sailing.

Learn to Sail San Diego San Diego, Southern California

(619) 316-6430 www.learntosailsandiego.com.

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We offer live aboard and learn to sail courses in beautiful San Diego. All of our classes are private, so only you and your friends or family will be on board our Beneteau 36s7.

Leo Robbins Community Sailing Center Ventura, Southern California

(805) 658-4746 www.cityofventura.net.

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Quality instruction, award winning instructors, affordable pricing and scheduling.

Los Angeles Yacht Club San Pedro, Southern California

(310) 831-1203 www.layc.org.

Los Angeles Yacht Club (LAYC) - Certified ASA Sailing School

Offering beginning and advanced ASA certification courses, Los Angeles Yacht Club’s mission is to bring its sailing heritage and tradition to everyone. Our ASA certified instructors will teach you to sail our 22’ Capris safely and confidently over five, 4-hour lessons. Classes are offered Tuesday through Sunday in a group setting, with no more than three students per boat. Private and family lessons are also available.

Marina Sailing – Channel Islands Oxnard, Southern California

(805) 985-5219 www.marinasailing.com.

Marina Sailing is Southern California’s oldest and largest sailing charter and instruction company. Started in 1962, our six locations along the coast offer a wide range of boats from 22 to 50 feet, including monohulls, catamarans, and powerboats.

Marina Sailing – Long Beach Long Beach, Southern California

(562) 432-4672 www.marinasailing.com.

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Marina Sailing – Marina del Rey Marina del Rey, Southern California

(310) 822-6617 www.marinasailing.com.

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Marina Sailing – Newport Beach Newport Beach, Southern California

(949) 548-8900 www.marinasailing.com, marina sailing – redondo beach redondo beach, southern california, (310) 318-2772 www.marinasailing.com.

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Marina Sailing – San Diego San Diego, Southern California

(619) 221-8286 www.marinasailing.com.

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Naos Yachts Marina del Rey, Southern California

(310) 821-8446 naosyachts.com.

Naos Yachts, CA

The Naos Yachts team consists of offshore, coastal and dinghy racers, as well as long distance cruisers. Our instructors are all ASA certified and we provide instruction on brand new Beneteau yachts and Lagoon catamarans.

Newport Beach Sailing School Newport Beach, Southern California

(949) 209-9931 www.newportbeachsail.com.

world sailing catamaran

The Newport Beach Sailing School is unique in that we specialize in private and semi-private sailing instruction off the coast of Southern California. Our motto is ‘The best value in private sailing lessons.’ We are dedicated to providing highly personalized instruction, and the classes are scheduled according to your availability.

Redondo Beach Recreation Redondo Beach, Southern California

(310) 318-0610 ext. 3399 www.redondo.org, sail channel islands oxnard, southern california, (805) 750-7828 www.sailchannelislands.com.

Sail Channel Islands

COASTAL CRUISING AND BAREBOAT TRAINING in Channel Islands NationalPark. That’s what I do. That and cruises for up to four people just for the fun of it. In terms of ASA qualifications, I only do private lessons – just you and your crew. And if your crew is a spouse who just needs a vacation, that’s fine, too.

San Luis Yacht Club Avila Beach, California

(805) 546-3132.

world sailing catamaran

Learn to sail in the San Luis Yacht Club flagship, the 30 ft. Bermuda sloop “Second Wind”, on beautiful Avila Bay, California. These classes bring participants, ages 16 and up, to ASA 101 (beginner level) standard. Classes cover basic sailing theory, parts of the boat, crew communications, tacking, jibing, sail trim, crew overboard recovery, safety and more. Fee includes a textbook and tests. Upon successful completion of class and passing the ASA 101 Exam, an additional $39 will be collected by the instructor for students wishing to get certified. The certificate is internationally recognized and can be used to help …

Santa Barbara Sailing Center Santa Barbara, Southern California

(805) 962-2826 www.sbsail.com.

The Santa Barbara Sailing Center offers award winning instruction in one of the finest training locations in the world. We average 10-15 knots of wind right outside The Santa Barbara Harbor for our ASA 101 & 103 courses. During our 104 & 106 courses, we average 20-25 knots of wind at The Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary. Training Vessels include Catalina 22’s, 28’s, 32’s, 36’s, 42’s & 50’s. All instructors all USCG licensed & ASA certified. We offer world renowned Corporate Regattas which emphasizes Team Building.

Seaforth Boat Rentals San Diego, Southern California

(888) 834-2628 www.seaforthboatrental.com.

world sailing catamaran

At Seaforth Boater Education we offer sailing classes and lessons for every level of sailor, from beginner to advanced. If you are just starting out, we offer the Amercian Sailing Association’s Basic Keelboat Sailing course designed to teach the beginner the fundamentals of sailing. If you have been sailing for a while in the bays and are interested in getting more out of your sailing, take a look at our 3-Day or 4-Day ASA 103/104 Combo Class where you can learn more advanced coastal sailing techniques. All of our classes are designed to allow you to get the most out …

South Bay Sailing Redondo Beach, Southern California

(310) 937-3180 www.southbaysailing.com.

South Bay Sailing has been offering a wide range American Sailing Association Certification Courses, Charters, Rentals, Youth Lessons/Camps, Social Events and much more since 2005. Learn basic through advanced sailing skills or just enjoy the day on the water with a twist of performance aboard one of our J/80s or our Farr 40. And why not hold your next team building regatta on actual race boats! No matter what sailing option you choose, our ASA certified sailing instructors will have you on the open ocean minutes after your departure. South Bay Sailing has always prided itself in making sailing accessible …

West Coast Multihulls San Diego, Southern California

(619) 365-4326 charter-catamaran.com.

world sailing catamaran

Catamarans and trimarans are not just another income stream for West Coast Multihulls, they are our passion. If your sailing goal is to become a proficient confident multihull sailor, we are the school for you. Our staff and Instructors have decades of multihull, training, sailing and live-aboard experience to draw from and share with you. We sail out of beautiful San Diego, CA with sailing classes offered year-round from the Sunroad Resort Marina. San Diego enjoys a comfortable, moderate climate with light to moderate winds throughout the year. We are the only catamaran and trimaran specialists in California. West Coast …

See all schools in California

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Melvin, Findlay and Burnham head the National Sailing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024

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NEWPORT, Rhode Island (AP) — Pete Melvin, who helped design breakthrough boats for the America’s Cup as well as the Nacra 17 used in the Olympics, and Conn Findlay, who won Olympic medals in sailing and rowing, head the list of 12 inductees in the National Sailing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024.

As part of the firm M&M, Melvin helped design the giant trimaran that tech tycoon Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing used to win the 2010 America’s Cup in a one-off regatta against Alinghi of Switzerland’s giant catamaran. M&M also drafted the design rules for the 72-foot catamarans used in the 2013 America’s Cup, which ushered in foiling in sailing’s marquee regatta.

M&M designed the Nacra 17 catamaran that debuted in the 2016 Olympics. For the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, the Nacra 17 added foils. Melvin sailed in the 1988 Olympics and has won numerous national and world titles.

Findlay won a total of four Olympic medals, including a bronze medal with Dennis Conner in the Tempest class in 1976. In rowing, he won two golds and one bronze in coxed pairs. He sailed in the America’s Cup three times, including with winning skipper Ted Turner aboard Courageous in 1977.

Stu McNay, right, and Lara Dallman-Weiss campaign in the mixed-gender 470 category at U.S. Sailing Olympic Trials, off the coast of Miami Beach, Fla., Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. McNay is returning for his fifth Olympics and teaming up with Dallman-Weiss, who competed in the women's 470 in the Tokyo Games, in the new mixed-gender category. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Also entering the hall is Kevin Burnham, who won a silver medal in the 470 class in the 1992 Olympics with Morgan Reeser and then won gold with Paul Foerster in 2004.

In one of the most memorable races in Olympic history, Foerster and Burnham aggressively match-raced the British boat to the back of the fleet and stayed ahead the entire race to win the gold medal. At the finish line, Burnham, then 47, waved to race officials, let out a whoop and then did a backflip into the Saronic Gulf off Athens, barefoot and still wearing his sunglasses. Burnham died in 2020.

The induction will be Oct. 4-5 at the Chicago Yacht Club.

Among the other inductees are Jan C. O’Malley, a three-time US Sailing Yachtswoman of the Year and the first winner of the IYRU Women’s World Sailing Championship; Charles Ulmer, a national champion and race winner throughout the 1970s and 80s; and Richard Tillman, the 1965 Sailor of the Year who held national, North American and world titles in the Snipe, Finn, Laser, Sunfish and Windsurfing classes.

Also going into the hall are Franklin Wood; Allegra Mertz; brothers Eric Hall and Ben Hall; Gary Mull; and Carl Alberg.

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Melvin, Findlay and Burnham head the National Sailing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024

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NEWPORT, Rhode Island (AP) — Pete Melvin, who helped design breakthrough boats for the America’s Cup as well as the Nacra 17 used in the Olympics, and Conn Findlay, who won Olympic medals in sailing and rowing, head the list of 12 inductees in the National Sailing Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024.

As part of the firm M&M, Melvin helped design the giant trimaran that tech tycoon Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing used to win the 2010 America’s Cup in a one-off regatta against Alinghi of Switzerland’s giant catamaran. M&M also drafted the design rules for the 72-foot catamarans used in the 2013 America’s Cup, which ushered in foiling in sailing’s marquee regatta.

M&M designed the Nacra 17 catamaran that debuted in the 2016 Olympics. For the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, the Nacra 17 added foils. Melvin sailed in the 1988 Olympics and has won numerous national and world titles.

Findlay won a total of four Olympic medals, including a bronze medal with Dennis Conner in the Tempest class in 1976. In rowing, he won two golds and one bronze in coxed pairs. He sailed in the America’s Cup three times, including with winning skipper Ted Turner aboard Courageous in 1977.

Also entering the hall is Kevin Burnham, who won a silver medal in the 470 class in the 1992 Olympics with Morgan Reeser and then won gold with Paul Foerster in 2004.

In one of the most memorable races in Olympic history, Foerster and Burnham aggressively match-raced the British boat to the back of the fleet and stayed ahead the entire race to win the gold medal. At the finish line, Burnham, then 47, waved to race officials, let out a whoop and then did a backflip into the Saronic Gulf off Athens, barefoot and still wearing his sunglasses. Burnham died in 2020.

The induction will be Oct. 4-5 at the Chicago Yacht Club.

Among the other inductees are Jan C. O’Malley, a three-time US Sailing Yachtswoman of the Year and the first winner of the IYRU Women’s World Sailing Championship; Charles Ulmer, a national champion and race winner throughout the 1970s and 80s; and Richard Tillman, the 1965 Sailor of the Year who held national, North American and world titles in the Snipe, Finn, Laser, Sunfish and Windsurfing classes.

Also going into the hall are Franklin Wood; Allegra Mertz; brothers Eric Hall and Ben Hall; Gary Mull; and Carl Alberg.

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Premier catamaran sail & snorkel, kona, hawaii.

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Sail on a sleek catamaran to beautiful Kealakekua Bay and snorkel its sheltered waters, which are teeming with colorful marine life. The bay lies off the western shore and holds the Big Island’s only underwater state park, a marine sanctuary renowned for the clarity of its waters. The cruise will be immensely pleasurable as the 50-foot catamaran offers plenty of room to stretch out in the sun and relax in the shaded but open-air cabin. On the way, you will dine on classic Hawaiian cuisine and hear about the island’s history, especially while passing the spot where legendary British explorer Captain James Cook was killed in 1779. Still, the underwater wonders are the star attractions, including marine life found nowhere else in Hawaii such as lizardfish and flame angelfish, a flashy species often seen grazing on coral reef algae. Feel free to enjoy the open bar on the return cruise.

  • Cruise to Kealakekua Bay on a 50-foot catamaran with spacious sunny and shaded areas.
  • Snorkel the bay’s crystal-clear waters, which are teeming with brightly colored marine life.
  • Look for species of fish not found anywhere else in Hawaii.
  • Enjoy a lunch of traditional Hawaiian dishes and an open bar onboard.
  • Dress in weather-appropriate clothing with a swimsuit underneath.
  • Bring a towel and reef safe sunscreen.
  • Wear flat comfortable walking shoes.

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    The best catamarans for sailing around the world include: Lagoon 42. The Fountaine Pajot Ipanema 58. Manta 42. Catana 50. Dolphin 42. Gunboat 62. These cats focus on speed, safety, and comfort for longer journeys. This article will show you the seventeen best catamarans for long journeys, and why they're the best.

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  6. 2022 Boat of the Year: Best Performance Catamaran

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    The Polish yard unveiled a new "sailing super catamaran" on Thursday, taking the total number of models on offer up to 23. The new Sunreef 35M Eco utilizes advanced green tech to ensure a ...

  24. Learn To Sail with the American Sailing Association

    You don't need to go far to learn to sail, there is a local school near you. With over 400+ locations, the ASA is the largest association of sailing schools in the world. Our standardized class system allows you to take classes at a local school in your region, or immersive multi-day courses at destinations around the world.

  25. Sailing the Mediterranean on a 136-Passenger Windjammer

    The Sea Cloud was the largest private sailing yacht in the world before Post handed it over to the U.S. Navy for use as a weather-reporting vessel during World War II. The four-mast, 64-passenger ...

  26. Southern California ASA Sailing Schools

    California Sailing Cooperative (CSC), founded in 1994, is a non-profit club and school offering comprehensive sailing instruction, including ASA certifications, at an affordable cost on a well maintained Catalina 36. The teaching team, headed by Training Director Capt. Charlie Hentges, consisting of CSC's ASA certified instructor/skippers and ...

  27. Melvin, Findlay and Burnham head the National Sailing Hall of Fame's

    The induction will be Oct. 4-5 at the Chicago Yacht Club. Among the other inductees are Jan C. O'Malley, a three-time US Sailing Yachtswoman of the Year and the first winner of the IYRU Women's World Sailing Championship; Charles Ulmer, a national champion and race winner throughout the 1970s and 80s; and Richard Tillman, the 1965 Sailor of the Year who held national, North American and ...

  28. Catamaran Sunset Sail With Champagne

    Key West is known for its world famous sunsets. Make your Key West vacation complete with a sunset sail on the Marquesa, a fast 69' sail catamaran. Book today o. The premier source for events, concerts, nightlife, festivals, sports and more in your city! eventseeker brings you a personalized event calendar and let's you share events with ...

  29. Melvin, Findlay and Burnham head the National Sailing Hall of Fame's

    M&M also drafted the design rules for the 72-foot catamarans used in the 2013 America's Cup, which ushered in foiling in sailing's marquee regatta. ... a three-time US Sailing Yachtswoman of the Year and the first winner of the IYRU Women's World Sailing Championship; Charles Ulmer, a national champion and race winner throughout the 1970s ...

  30. Premier Catamaran Sail & Snorkel

    Sail on a sleek catamaran to beautiful Kealakekua Bay and snorkel its sheltered waters, which are teeming with colorful marine life. ... The cruise will be immensely pleasurable as the 50-foot catamaran offers plenty of room to stretch out in the sun and relax in the shaded but open-air cabin. On the way, you will dine on classic Hawaiian ...