Well, we’ve often wondered that ourselves, why choose a catamaran? Paul of course, has been sailing cats since the late 1980’s, but before then he’d spent 20 years in traditional keelboats. As for Jolanda it’s a different story, she’s only ever spent a few days on a monohull and more than nine years on a catamaran with Paul.
Large cockpit Large decks Beaching
If we were to limit our sailing to the Netherlands, with its’; narrow waterways, low bridges, locks and busy marinas, then we would probably be better off sailing a traditional keelboat.
Mooring-up in the Sixhaven in Amsterdam with a catamaran, on a daily basis would be a complete nightmare. We would never be able to rely on the consideration and flexibility of other sailors.
We’ve spent the last 5 years sailing outside Dutch waters and still have a lot of the world to explore. The many days and weeks spent at sea in our catamaran has taught us the advantages of sailing a twin-hull.
To name a few:
- A cat does not heel when underway, so cooking is easier.
- There is good all-round visibility from inside the cockpit.
- A catamaran has a sheltered cockpit and the bridgedeck is wide, so you’re usually 1.5 to 2 meters from the side of the boat and at least 1 meter above the waterline.
- The trampoline, cockpit and hulls are very spacious.
- A cat is easy to anchor, there is no heel, and it’s easier to reach shallow spots.
- Even beaching is comfortable.
- Speed. That is if you have a good design!
There are, of course, a few disadvantages:
- Mooring in marinas is more expensive.
- Cats cannot point as high into the wind as a monohull (unless you’ve got a good design).
- You have less contact with the water (unless you’ve got a good design).
We’ve had endless discussions about the pros and cons of catamarans, made lists, had sleepless nights, more discussions, slept on it, more lists, on board, on shore, more lists. . . In the end we decided to look for a fast catamaran that can point high into the wind and have enough living space on board for 10 people to live comfortably.
The search was on. . . . .
Gliding through the water playing with dolphins.
Every sailing week in the Algarve we met a large group of dolphins. Sometimes they play for more than an hour with the cat.