Last Update: January 13th, 2018
At boot Düsseldorf 2018, the latest trends in catamarans and trimarans will be on show and visitors can experience in direct comparison how the market of new boats is currently set up – roughly speaking, it is split between fast multihulls for sailing purists and luxurious cruising cats for living on the water.
There are, for example, the Outremer 4X and 51, designed consistently for fast blue water cruising: robust and practical in their handling, with a good sailing performance yet still offering great living comfort on board. The majority of shipyards have placed the issue of comfort ever more clearly at the centre of their yacht design. The flybridge, a classic motor yacht feature which was quite daringly introduced to multihulls by Lagoon some time ago, is now to be found on quite a few sailing catamarans. An interesting, new concept.
This development from pure performance catamarans to more comfort and luxury on board is, maybe, best exemplified by Catana, which were once really fast but rather sparse multihulls. Over the years they grew more and more comfortable in character. However, Catana has not at all lost sight of their aim to design fast and well-sailing catamarans at the same time. As an example, the shipyard stays true to the concept of centreboards. One such design is the almost classic Catana 47, light yet solidly built with carbon fibre laminates in all the important places; sailing well and comfortable, designed for circumnavigating the world as well as sailing in your local waters.
If you are sailing in southerly destinations or even in tropical waters, where on-board living almost always takes place on deck outside, any multihull yacht has obvious and big advantages over monohulls due to its larger deck and cockpit areas. Especially as the cockpit and the saloon are usually on one level, often even the kitchen, too. Even years ago, Nautitech has consistently pursued and developed this concept, with hardcover cockpits. But this development came to an end only with the Nautitech Open 40 and its bigger sister, the Open 46, on which interior and exterior spaces almost fluently merge into each other. Perfect for a cruising or charter yacht, especially if it is intended for ailing warm destinations.
Yacht Charter Market
Catamarans designed for the yachtcharter market, such as Leopard, Bali of Catana or Fountaine-Pajot, constitute a category of their own, which is, in fact, also rather popular with yacht owners for family and holiday cruising. Also, most Nautitech models (now: Bavaria Nautitech) have always been conceived as charter catamarans, but in this market segment they, too, have great popularity among private owners who appreciate uncomplicated handling and comfortable living space.
In regard to performance there is one easily recognizable feature that makes the difference: centreboards. Sailing catamarans with centreboards are sailing faster. Although this is a sweeping statement, it is almost always true. Simply because centreboards with their long and narrow profiles are that much more effective when sailing upwind compared to long, shallow keels. A major issue when talking about performance.
There are, however, good reasons also to have cruising cats equipped with keels. Such keels are easier and cheaper to build, uncomplicated in daily operation as nothing can get stuck or start rattling. Cats with keels can fall dry easily, as they just sit on their keels, rudders and sail drives well protected. It is just when you want to sail really fast that centreboards will be your first choice. As will be a light rigg with masts made from carbon with PBO stays rather than aluminium masts with stainless steel stays.
Today, there are tailor made multihulls for every purpose, taste and personal preference. To be seen and compared best at the world’s leading boat show, boot Düsseldorf.
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