Catamaran Considerations – What to Look for in a Boat

Buying a boat is an exciting and somewhat difficult task – the difficulty coming from knowing what you want, what you need, and what is going to be the perfect fit for you and your family. Attending boat shows adds to this excitement, and can be informative, but there is a definite need to look at the boats through a filter that blocks out some of the sales pitch. Here’s some key points you need to know about buying your first boat.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Find a catamaran that fits your needs and experience. You may dream of sailing out across the open seas in a large multihull, but if the reality is that you are only going to be moving between bays and keeping the shoreline close by, then a smaller cat is better suited and will be much easier to manoeuvre. Bigger boats will generally also come with lower performance ability and before long you might find yourself watching other boat move through the water with ease while you seem to be pushing your way through.

Try Before You Buy

If you’re able to charter the boat you are interested in, it’s a great way to really get a feel for how the boat handles and what it can do, hopefully in varying conditions that will test its capabilities and give you a taste of things to come.

Carry That Weight

Consider the load capacity that the boat has been built to handle. Catamarans with larger hulls will be slower, however one with narrow hulls that is overloaded will be difficult to handle and not respond well at all. Consider how you want your boat to be able to perform. Although speed is rarely considered a safety factor, having the power and ability to quicker maneuver out of trouble can safe you from getting caught out. Just like in a car on the roads, sometime having that power and speed to get out of harm’s way can be a huge benefit.

Check Your Calendar

If you know that you’re only going to be able to take your boat out a few times a year consider all buying options or look at chartering your new boat. A lot of people share their boat, dividing the year into segments when the boat is in their control, while others work with owner charter programs that makes a lot of financial sense if you’re only going to have the time to take your boat out a few times a year. So you need to be realistic, and make sure you get the most out of your catamaran.

You should also think about the upkeep of the boat, and how much use it will get. If it won’t be used much, will it lead to any chronic mechanical problems? Just different things to think about and consider, as to how often it is used, to see if getting one is going to be worth it.

Cash Considerations

Owning a boat is expensive, and it’s generally going to cost more than you expect, so it’s always good to over-budget. If you think you can do a lot of the maintenance work yourself, you’re probably wrong unless you have a lot of experience and a lot of time on your hands. A multihull is going to cost you for any repairs or refittings, refurbishings, and additions you want to make. Always over budget for anything that has to do with your boat. You might hear stories of people paying far more than they need to, and that does occur, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll work out cheaper for you to try and do the work yourself.


Basically you have to know what you want. Carefully consider what you, or others that might also be using the boat, intend to do and what capabilities are important to you. Once you know what you want, do your research and test what you can in a range of conditions. Buying a boat is not something you want to rush into, otherwise it may result in a very costly and disappointing exercise. Make some careful considerations and enjoy your days at sea!

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  • The longer the boat means the longer the lines which are run (ropes attached to sails and various things). This is more money when they need replacing. It is also more money in the form of larger winches. Bigger sails (which cost more) require more human power to adjust and trim, and they typically have fatter lines, and all this means larger winches.

  • Really a great article about things to look for when buying a catamaran. But i think you should also mention what a catamaran is for those who do not have much about this boat type. Do you know there are almost 20 different types of boat; so its better if you kindly add the small definition for catamaran on your next update. Anyway best of luck for your blog!
    Amit Abhishek recently posted…What Is CrankCase Explosion & How Do It Occurs?My Profile

  • I like that you pointed out that the boat should at least be able to be quick enough to maneuver out of any trouble. I will keep that in mind now that we are looking for a yacht that we would rent. We would be using it to cruise the sea as a surprise birthday trip for my daughter, so we should definitely make sure that we’ll be safe.