All About Boats: What is a Catamaran?

All About Boats: What is a Catamaran?

Jan 29, 2024

catamaran boat

San Juan del Sur is preparing to welcome tourists worldwide for the upcoming summer. Nicaragua’s relaxed atmosphere and beautiful beaches are the main attractions for tourists and nationals. Additionally, this country’s diversity of things to do makes it a tourist favourite.

Visiting San Juan del Sur allows you to enjoy various outdoor activities such as fishing, snorkeling, swimming, surfing and catamaran sailing.

But what is a catamaran? Most people have yet to learn what it is until visiting this tropical gem. No need to fret, though. This article will provide all the information you need regarding catamaran boats, so pack all your essentials and let’s get started.

what is a catamaran

Catamaran 101

A catamaran, or “cat” for short, is a multi-hulled boat with two hulls running parallel. This vessel uses geometry stabilization instead of relying on a ballasted keel like a monohull boat. This means its stability comes from the width of its beam. This also makes it the best for people who get sick when sailing.

These boats are powered by sails, engines, or a combination of both. Catamarans are the most popular type of multi-hulled boats. Also, they have various accommodations to make your trip a one-of-a-kind. 

Is a Catamaran a Yacht?

A catamaran and a yacht are two distinct types of boats. If you’re wondering what it looks like, the key difference lies in its design.

A catamaran is a “multi-hull” boat, which means it has two hulls or points of contact with the water. These two hulls are joined by a platform over the top, creating a single boat shape. On the other hand, a yacht or traditional sailing boat has only one hull that rests on the water.

Since the catamaran has two hulls, less of it is submerged, allowing it to sail in shallower waters. As a result, in some areas of the Caribbean, they are almost exclusively chartered.

Is a Catamaran a Sailboat?

Yes, it is indeed a type of sailboat. However, it differs from monohull sailboats by having two hulls instead of one. Large sailing catamarans provide plenty of room for passengers, are quite stable, and can travel great sea distances.

Because they have two hulls, catamarans are not constrained by hull speed restrictions. With superior travel times, they can move up to three times faster than comparably sized monohulls.

Due to their broad stance and short draft, these boats are more steady than monohulls in rough waters. The two hulls effectively mitigate the effects of strong winds, preventing tipping. In addition, contemporary sailing boats can ‘wave pierce,’ or cut through, waves rather than simply riding them.

Sailing catamarans feature roomy interiors thanks to the cockpit in the middle of two hulls. The typical layout of this cockpit includes a seating area, a hallway connecting the hulls, and areas for cooking and eating. The hulls typically hold living quarters and are near-identical to one another.

Other Types of Catamaran



There are other types of catamarans that you might not know, such as:

Sailboat Catamaran

Sailing catamarans have significantly advanced in recent decades. Small daysailing catamarans are well-liked for their safe and straightforward learning environment. They are commonly seen at resorts, where even novice sailors can enjoy using them. Typically made of roto-molded plastic or fiberglass, these small catamarans usually rely solely on sails for propulsion as they do not have auxiliary engines.

Power Catamaran

Power catamarans offer broader uses than sailing catamarans, serving purposes like party platforms, ferries, and patrol boats. Engineers and marine architects have recognized the hydrodynamic benefits of power catamarans, leading to their creation. Additionally, constructing a larger catamaran using less material is achievable due to their design, making them popular for car transportation.

What is a Catamaran Tour?

Catamarans are not only used for private ownership but are also popular for charter tours and excursions. Esmeralda Sailing, for example, offers catamaran tours that allow you to explore the stunning Pacific coastline of Nicaragua. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a multi-day adventure, our tours provide an unforgettable experience on the water.

Discover Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast With Esmeralda Sailing

Join us aboard the Catamaran Esmeralda for a once-in-a-lifetime sailing adventure through Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama.

Our boat docks in San Juan del Sur, Rivas, a Nicaragua’s southwest coast town. Our friendly and bilingual staff will make your journey exceptional. We offer custom packages to provide a tailored experience for your group.

Our packages come in mid-day, full-day, and even custom packages to enjoy the beauty of different Nicaraguan beaches around the Pacific Coast. Contact us today and get ready to set sail!

More On This Topic

Sailboat Rental: What Can You Expect to Pay?

Can a Catamaran Be Sailed Solo?

What to Wear on a Catamaran: A List With the Essentials to Go on Board

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