The question whether to choose a monohull vessel or a catamaran is an eternal dispute between two camps of yacht lovers, arguments for which are usually based not only on cold calculations, but also on a particular philosophy.
The popularity of catamarans has grown significantly since the concept of their design underwent a number of important changes, in the light of which even multi-hull sailing vessels have now ceased to represent only a class of sports vessels, turning from Spartan-like vessels into luxurious and most comfortable cruisers.
So why have so many charter agencies added sailing and motor catamarans in their fleets? (And some have even made them their main focus.)
A person who takes a yacht for a charter, would surely list a calm and predictable on-water vacation among his or her preferences. That would mean relaxation, enjoying the sea and the sun, glasses of delicious wine and beautiful fruit platter on the table. For many this wouldn’t get along with sea-sickness, rolling at 25 degrees and narrow cockpits of classic cruising yachts.
The catamaran hull offers high stability, a horizontal deck and unprecedented space for the whole family or group of friends, for whom moving around the ship becomes no more difficult than in a country-side house.
CATAMARANS’ MAIN ADVANTAGES:
1. Capacity and habitability
This is the first and main reason for the popularity of multi-hull yachts. The salon, huge by classical standards, is most often located at the level (or almost at the level) of the main deck, which saves the crew and guests from having to squeeze back and forth along narrow ladders, unlike monohull layouts. What’s more, one cannot take for granted the flybridge - unprecedented for sailing classics.
As for sunbathing and close observation of dolphins - there is an ideal place: the bow net between the floats. In addition, the skipper’s post at the steering is usually separated, so in case of a charter you will not interfere with each other.
When sailing in a company of three or more people, catamarans provide much more privacy: two blocks with living areas are located far from each other.
Cooking and dining with friends can be immeasurably pleasant on the spacious catamaran board.
Catamarans have two engines with drives located at the aft ends of the floats. Due to the distance between them, there is zero tactical circulation, which means the boat can turn almost without changing its position. Modern control systems and dynamic drives, along with bow thrusters, are surely able to deploy a monohull in the same manner, but such technical equipment in most cases is unreasonably expensive.
3. Fuel efficiency
The resistance of two low-loaded sharp hulls is less than that of a single one with a ballast keel. Therefore, one can feel the difference in fuel consumption. But only in good weather. When the weather is close to storm conditions, the monohull is more efficient and can take the lead in cost saving.
Many skippers run under one engine to save fuel, whereas both engines are used only for mooring manoeuvres.
For years advocates of classics have argued that catamarans are not as safe as their keel boats. But this statement can now be considered outdated as its origins lie back in the middle of last century, when the majority of catamarans were built by amateurs themselves. Even in calm weather they could easily be turned over, especially if one of its bodies lost its leakproofness due to damage.
For a well-built modern catamaran it is very difficult, if not impossible, to sink.
Modern structures are created based on computer modelling of any sea conditions. Cruisers, and charter options in particular, have the maximum possible safe sail area.
Overall comfort is another important issue, when it comes to choosing a yacht. A lot of sea-lovers, over the years of owning classical vessels, still haven’t been able to get rid of seasickness, and buying a catamaran could solve this problem.
Most catamarans don't even have galley stoves with hinges, which are just not needed.
Absence of a ballast keel slightly expands the possibilities and opens up access to some unequipped shores.
Multihull vessels are indeed more expensive, both to acquire or to charter. Prices continue to grow together with catamarans’ popularity. The purchase price is half the trouble, as the services are also more expensive than those for the classics - at least for the fact that there are two engines instead of just one.
The high cost of land transportation and storage, when necessary, can also be mentioned. Price for a place in the marina would be higher, whereas some yacht clubs are not suitable for catamarans and trimarans at all.
The consolation is that used catamarans are usually sold faster and have smaller losses in price in relative terms.
2. Lack of feedback while sailing
Catamaran yachts are not suitable for sailing sport. They can be just great to go for a vacation or even to live on them, just like in a houseboat, but it is exactly because of their stability that half of the yachtsmen would never buy them. On a catamaran there is no sense of wind, waves, flight, and of the boat itself.
It is extremely difficult to determine the moment when it is necessary to reef. While on a monohull this can be done by feeling, for catamarans there is an instruction at what winds the sails area should be reduced.
3. The noise and shaking
Catamaran hulls have an excellent feature of dampening low side waves, leaving the transversal line of the hull close to the horizon. However, oncoming or tangled medium-sized waves create a continuous soundtrack when trapped between the floats and the superstructure bottom. Strong flip-flops cause vibration. In this regard, it is recommended to choose catamarans with at least one metre of clearance.
Large windage of the surface part of the vessel, together with low draught, sometimes makes the catamaran a “toy” in the hands of the wind. And if multihull cruisers with distinct keel elements are quite like sailboats able to go into a strong side wind no worse (or even better) than monohull cruisers, models designed for calm charter trips would perform terribly. Though, to be quite fair, it should be noted that this feature is not so relevant under engines.
5. Not suitable for high latitudes
The best choice for the North Atlantic is an aluminum trawler motor yacht. And, of course, if we consider sailboats, a monohull would be a better solution than a catamaran. Residential areas are easier to heat and keep them warm, metal classics can even go through thin ice.
However, the opposite is true for the equatorial zone — spacious catamaran salons would be beyond competition.
6. Not so romantic
The majority of sea-lovers claim that classical boats are more romantic than multihulls. In fact, this is a strange and controversial statement, as catamarans have their own special charm. A dinner with a panoramic view over the sea and the stars - what can be more romantic?
WHO IS FASTER
For some reason, it is often believed that a sailing catamaran is faster than a monohull. This is true if you compare a sports catamaran with an average cruiser. However, this would hardly be applicable to, for example, charter modifications of catamarans. Such models only go well at up to half-wind and almost won’t go at sharper courses. However they lie better at anchor.
TO SUM UP
As normal, everything would surely depend on two main factors: personal preferences and the financial aspect.
The two types of vessels give a completely different feeling, so it is highly recommended to rent and try each of them before buying - to compare the feelings. In any case, it is safe to say that a catamaran is just an ideal option - if not for purchasing, but surely for a charter. Although it is expensive, it offers quite a lot.
(Based on the article by Mikhail Safronov)
Spectre - the winner of the 2019 Displacement Motor Yachts between 500GT and 1,999GT World Superyacht Award
As we are continuing the series of the 16 winners of World Superyacht Awards , let's discuss boat number 14 - Spectre.Spectre won an Award in the category of Displacement Motor Yachts between 500GT and 1,999GT. Spectre is a 69 m / 226′5″ luxury motor yacht. She was built by Benetti in 2019. She has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. She is powered by engines giving her a maximum speed of 20 knots. The motor yacht can accommodate guests in cabins and an exterior design by Benetti, Giorgio Cassetta. The name pays tribute once again to James Bond after “Quantum of Solace” and “Diamonds Are Forever”. It’s first owner John Staluppi fell in love with the leading character in the series of films inspired by the novels of Ian Fleming.This original superyacht was developed around the latest marine technologies and combining different styles and philosophies of interior decoration. References to Art Nouveau in France mixed with modern details designed by Giorgio M. Cassetta. He said that he was very fond and proud of this project. As it was the perfect example of the ideas of the owner and the shipyard. John and Jeanette Staluppi, with their outstanding energy, pulled us together on to imagine and develop with everything that could be desired on a boat this size.The style of the interiors, created by Benetti’s Interior Style Department, feel of some French hotels and boutiques, standing out from Staluppi’s previous yachts in a more classical way. For example, the floor in the main lounge draws inspiration from the Art Nouveau style flooring in a Paris resort, with symmetrical forms and clean-cut geometrical patterns. Other references to French taste are the windows, a reminiscent of Paris’ typical Art Nouveau shops.The megayacht features with a swimming pool and touch and go helipad. Accommodating 12 guests in unforgettable comfort, the layout has two owner’s cabins: one has a private terrace, a sun lounging area and a hydromassage tub; two VIP cabins on the Main Deck and two guest cabins on the lower deck. Benetti’s most advanced construction technologies is the Ride Control technology by Naiad Dynamics - the system significantly increases stability during navigation and improves comfort on board with the help of four stabilising fins and three vertically-adjustable blades.The lines of the hi speed cruising hull by Dutch firm Mulder Design, deliver maximum navigation efficiency, with a range of 6,500 nautical miles at 12 knots and a top speed of 21.2 knots, which is 30% more than a traditional displacement hull.A seven Full Custom yachts planned in 2018/2019, including 3 giga yachts over 100 meters each, now are building in parallel at the Benetti’s Livorno shipyard.
November 17, 2020
Cecilia - the winner of the 2019 Displacement Motor Yachts Between 300GT and 499GT - 48m and Above World Superyacht Award
As we are still talking about the 16 winners, let's mention boat number 13 - Cecilia.Cecilia won an Award in the category of Displacement Motor Yachts Between 300GT and 499GT - 48m and Above.Cecilia is a 49.56 m / 162′8″ luxury motor yacht. She was built by Wider in 2018. With a beam of 8.43 m and a draft of 2.29 m, she has an aluminium hull and aluminium superstructure. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 499 tons. She is powered by MAN engines of 725 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 13 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots. Cecilia's maximum range is estimated at 3000 nautical miles. The motor yacht can accommodate 12 guests in 5 cabins. The yacht was designed by Fulvio de Simoni.Credits: Wider s.r.l
November 17, 2020
Dutch yard Feadship with the French studio Marveille Yachting presented plans for a 77.11 metre Eco Explorer concept.The concept encompasses the most of motor and sailing yachts and features a much lighter hull shape, one of the features that helps further reduces fuel consumption.Cantenot revealed that work began on the project a year ago. One key feature is a mast system with wings “that can be propelled at twice the strength as a traditional rig,” Vollet said, meaning that fuel consumption is vastly reduced on board. Cantenot and Vollet stated the Eco Explorer’s computerised wings, which eliminate heeling while underway, mean this concept is likely to appear to traditional motor yacht owners.The computer-controlled wings make the sailing experience on board e like a motor yacht than a sailing yacht. “You use it as a motor yacht although the wind is going to be one of the major components of propulsion,” he added. Eco Explorer's speeds range up to 18 knots in a regular wind, while its top speeds can get up to 25 knots.Credits: Feadship
November 17, 2020
The 110 metre Oceanco superyacht Kaos has been spotted off the coast of Gibraltar. The 110 metre Oceanco superyacht Kaos has been spotted on her maiden voyage off the coast of Gibraltar. Previously named Jubilee, Kaos is a 110.1 m / 361′3″ luxury motor yacht. She was built by Oceanco in 2017. With a beam of 16.4 m and a draft of 4.4 m, she has a steel hull and aluminium superstructure. This adds up to a gross tonnage of 4523 tons. She is powered by MTU engines of 4828 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 18.5 knots and a cruising speed of 14 knots. Jubilee's maximum range is estimated at 5000 nautical miles. The motor yacht can accommodate 31 guests in 16 cabins with an interior design by Sam Sorgiovanni and an exterior design by Igor Lobanov.Not only her size makes her that special, but it’s more even about the way she looks and feels. Jubilee combines fast lines and smart surfaces with elegant proportions. The whole look of her is very modern and, at some point, is futuristic. “The hull shape is deliberately minimalistic to contrast with the superstructure,” says Igor Lobanov of Lobanov Design, which created Jubilee’s exterior. “At the same time, a massive white funnel pins the entire layers down to the white hull, leaving a feeling that the white structure goes inside through the decks.”From overhead, the superyacht looks like a contour map of an island, with each deck appearing at different heights above sea level.“The 3-D modeling was quite a challenging task, which pleased my mathematical part of the brain,” Lobanov says. “Each of the layers meets and splits under certain rules, which can be noticed from different angles.”Her top speed is 18.5kn and she boasts a maximum cruising range of 5000.0nm at with power coming from two 4828.0hp MTU diesel engines.Credits: Giovanni Romero
November 16, 2020
Viatoris - the winner of the 2019 Displacement Motor Yachts Between 300GT and 499GT - 30m to 47.9m World Superyacht Award
As we are still talking about the 16 winners, let's talk about boat number 12 - Viatoris.Viatoris won an Award in the category of Displacement Motor Yachts Between 300GT and 499GT - 30m to 47.9m:Viatoris is a 40 m / 131′3″ luxury motor yacht. She was built by Conrad in 2018. With a beam of 8.32 m She is powered by Caterpillar engines of 670 hp each giving her a maximum speed of 13 knots and a cruising speed of 12 knots. Viatoris's maximum range is estimated at 4000 nautical miles. The motor yacht can accommodate 10 guests in 5 cabins with an interior design by Conrad and an exterior design by Reymond Langton Design.In May, 2018 YachtHarbour reported that 40-metre superyacht Viatoris was launched by Conrad Shipyard. Now, Polish boatbuilder Conrad Shipyard has delivered its largest yacht to date, the 40-metre superyacht Viatoris. After development period and a building time of two years, the Conrad C133 named Viatoris, will be not only the largest yacht to-date for the Conrad Shipyard, but also the largest luxury motoryacht ever built in Poland. She will be premiered at the Monaco Yacht Show 2018. Viatoris is set to leave Poland to head north to the fjords of Norway. She will then make stops at other northern European cities before proceeding to her base in Croatia.Reymond Langton Design was commissioned by Conrad Shipyard to create this graceful 40-meter luxury yacht for an experienced yachtsman and repeat client of the yard. The design brief was for an elegant, yet aggressive vessel that has modern and unique lines, which will remain timelessly stylish. Built to the highest Northern European standards, she features finest luxury interiors and a layout with elements of a much larger yacht. Conrad Shipyard is pleased to announce that this harmonious marriage between the prestigious design by Britain’s Reymond Langton and proven naval architecture by Diana Yacht Design of the Netherlands, in partnership with Conrad Shipyard’s world class Polish engineering and craftsmanship, is now offered as a semi-custom model.With a focus on safety, quality, and efficiency, this full-displacement luxury motor yacht was engineered to meet the most demanding technical and safety standards of Lloyd’s Register and MCA. Built with a robust steel hull and a light aluminum superstructure, we worked with the most trusted specialists, consultants, and surveyors, using only the best equipment available. The result is a luxury yacht that can safely, efficiently, and comfortably cross the Atlantic while being operated by a relatively small crew.Luxury and highest quality has been the guiding theme throughout this outstanding vessel, and the interior design and finishing are no different. Designed by Conrad Shipyard’s in-house design team in close cooperation with the owner, the interiors boast finest materials and elegant yet understated design details, which are both aesthetic and functional. Decorations were sourced from Europe’s top design houses in London, Milan, and Paris. Conrad Shipyard’s design team happily works directly with the owner, or designer of choice, to create custom interiors to meet our clients’ vision.Check our Timeline platform to get the full access to our analytics platform, that offers you a detailed report on the timeline of each superyacht, real time market view to see the yacht market developing and much more!
November 16, 2020