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what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull

what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull

what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull

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What is a Catamaran?

A catamaran (from Tamil kattumaram) is a type of multihulled boat or ship consisting of two hulls , or Vakas, joined by a frame, formed of Akas. Catamarans can be sail- or engine-powered. The catamaran was first discovered being used by the paravas, a fishing community in the southern coast of Tamil Nadu, India. Catamarans were used by the ancient Tamil Chola dynasty as early as the fifth century C.E. to move their fleets to invade such Southeast Asian regions as Burma, Indonesia, and Malaysia.

Catamarans are a relatively recent introduction to the design of boats for both leisure and sport sailing, although they have been used for millennia in Oceania, where Polynesian catamarans and outrigger canoes allowed seafaring Polynesians to settle the world’s most far-flung islands.

In recreational sailing, catamarans and multihulls, in general, have been met by a degree of skepticism from Western sailors accustomed to more “traditional” monohull designs. The main source of that skepticism was that multihulls were based on concepts that were completely alien and strange to them, with balance based on geometry rather than weight distribution. The second source of that skepticism is that catamarans work better than traditional designs, and with less weight, therefore ridiculing the traditional concepts. In the realm of fast ferries, where their powering characteristics and spacious arrangements are of value, the catamaran has become arguably the hull form of first choice.

what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull
what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull

Deck Surface

One of the advantages of using a catamaran is its wide deck space. The two hulls are connected to a crossbeam, giving space for a stateroom below and a bridge deck and deckhouse above. You can use the two hulls to build two staterooms with their own private head. It can serve as a lounge or resting/sleeping room.

Above the hull where the crossbeams connect, you can build a deckhouse and bridge deck that you can use as a galley, a minibar or where you can simply sunbathe – perfect for an idyllic vacation with family or with your significant other.

Catamaran Hull Speed

Let’s not drive ourselves crazy over using the formula to calculate hull speed. Let’s leave that to the design engineers and manufacturers. We will make it simpler by determining speed knots, which is familiar to everyone.

The racing catamaran runs at a speed of 30 to 40 knots. The cruising catamaran run at a speed of 9 to 15 knots depending on its weight. The heavier it is, the less speed it runs.

Seaworthiness and Hull Performance

Seaworthiness means your boat’s ability to provide comfort and safety to you and your crew in any weather condition.  Note that the hull performance of a catamaran greatly differs from a monohull sailboat.

what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull
what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull

Bridgedeck Clearance

ALL catamarans slam (waves hitting under the bridge deck). The noisy and sometimes disconcerting slamming takes getting used to. The first catamaran I ever sailed an ocean passage on was a Shuttleworth 44. In the early 90’s and even today, it is considered to be a good design. However, after a few hours of sailing in some sloppy seas off the eastern coast of Africa, the slamming noise had me convinced that the boat was going to break up and sink. Now that I have a full understanding of the nature of a catamaran, it turns out that there was no need to worry. I have come to accept that slamming is just part of sailing a catamaran. It is the degree of slamming that makes the difference between a comfortable ride and a terrifying experience.

Bridge deck clearance is a key factor in predicting the slamming level of a catamaran design. A higher clearance produces less slamming. My rule of thumb is; 4% of the overall length is low, 5% is acceptable, and 6% is good.

When it comes to slamming, another important factor is weight. If the boat is heavy due to construction or payload, it will tend to go into a wave. This slams the chest of the boat into the wave. A lighter boat with more buoyancy will rise on the wave reducing slamming substantially. “The Space Between” by Sackville Currie, explains in detail the different options, problems, and compromises.


The catamaran relies on hull stability to avoid capsizing and heeling, and hull stability relies on the buoyancy and beam of the boat. A standard beam length of a cruising catamaran is about 50% of its size. Say, if your catamaran were 50 feet long, the beam would be about 25 feet wide to keep the balance between the heeling and righting moment.

what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull
what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull

Windward Ability

The average cruising catamaran has keels while high performance catamaran cruisers have dagger boards. Let’s look at the two schools of thought on this subject. The general perception that catamarans cannot point as high as monohulls is not entirely true. I have seen modern catamarans pointing as high as most cruising monohulls, especially in stronger winds. The issue is not how high the boat points, but rather how much leeway it makes. A monohull with a large keel (lateral resistance) makes less leeway than a catamaran with shallow keels. So, even if both vessels are pointing at 45 degrees, the monohull will be making a better track to windward.

Catamarans with dagger boards are able to point much better than catamarans with keels. The claim is that a catamaran with dagger boards is safer because if the boards are up and the boat gets sideways on a wave, it will skid down the wave sideways. Dagger board proponents believe a keel trips the boat as it tries to navigate down the side of a wave causing capsize.

I can only speak from personal experience. I was caught sideways on a 20-foot wave a few days out of Cape Town on a 40ft catamaran with keels. The boat was hit by successive three waves before we could get it back on track. The boat skidded down the waves and there was no capsize, but it took some nifty maneuvering at the helm. My personal belief is that both types are safe and acceptable provided they are operated correctly.

Ease of Handling

Deck layout is an important factor because most cruising catamarans are sailed short-handed. On catamarans with one helm, all lines should run back to the helm so there is a static position from where the entire boat can be controlled. I recommend electric winches and single line reefing for at least the first reef, but also the second reef, if possible. All of these of lines should come back to the static control station at the helm:

  • Both jib sheets
  • The sheet from the opposite side of the boat should be run through a turn block and across the coach roof through a clutch to the helm
  • Main sheet
  • Jib furling line
  • Single line reefing lines
  • Main halyard
  • Outhaul
  • Traveler control lines.

Visibility from the helm is also very important. All round visibility while underway, maneuvering, or docking is key to safety of your boat and others’ property and life. When standing at the helm, you should be able to see both bows or, at the very least, the pulpits. The center of the crossbeam where the anchor is handled from should be visible as well as both sterns for when you dock “stern to”. If all these stations are not visible while standing at the helm where the engine controls are, you may encounter problems because of blind spots.

what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull
what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull

what is a characteristic of a catamaran hull,

As opposed to a monohull, the catamaran has two hulls that are linked by crossbeams. Located in the hulls are the staterooms, each with their own exclusive head. Some catamarans also include an additional level called the fly bridge. The Moorings Sailing catamarans provide a picturesque trip system for creating memorable moments on the water. In addition: Thanks to their two hulls, catamarans supply a whole lot of private space, that makes the time on board a great deal even more relaxing.

They lay like a raft on the water and sailing them is simple with no heeling. Catamarans can anchor in almost any bay as their reduced drafts make it feasible to get closer to shore than a monohull. The helmsman has the ability to carry out mostly all sailing maneuvers solitarily as the essential lines are being rerouted to the helm as well as he can rely upon the autopilot for support. Catching a mooring round is also easier with a catamaran.

The catamaran’s low draft aids in navigating superficial reef flows as well as enables you to anchor closer to coast. They are also commonly lighter and also have much less wave impedance, for that reason in some cases making them faster than a monohull, particularly when cruising at getting to angles.

catamaran hull

Electric davits make lifting the dinghy very easy and the spacious fly bridges use added room for lounging as well as delighting. As catamarans don’t heel, daily tasks like food preparation can be carried out at ease. A crucial function of a charter private yacht is security, that includes simple access to the control panel and also the capability to interact effortlessly with staff in the deckhouse, public house as well as on deck.

The clients’ demands need to establish the design as well as building and construction of a sailing catamaran as convenience and high quality are essential. This consists of ideal hull layout for more volume in the inside, large deckhouses,

interior as well as outside space that are gotten in touch with each various other, and seating choices on the bridge deck for taking in the stunning views.

What is a characteristic of a catamaran hull be 40?

Catamaran has multiple hulls, usually two parallel hulls of equal size. This geometric feature gives the craft an increased stability because, it derives extra stability from its wide beam, in the place of a ballasted keel employed in a regular monohull sailboat.

What is the advantage of a catamaran hull?

Stability. Catamarans’ parallel hulls create reliable form stability,

which prevents heeling and capsizing, and greatly reduces the vessel roll at rest and at trolling speeds. One of the most obvious advantages of catamaran stability is in the elimination of seasickness for passengers.


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