The Caribbean yacht charter market is dominated by crewed catamarans, but the bareboat charter marketplace is still ruled by the monohulls. For the most part, this is due to the fact that traditional bareboat sailors long for the excitement of a heeling sailboat, waves lapping at the rails and the wind tearing into the sheets.
The bareboat charter marketplace is evolving, however, as more novice sailors turn to yacht charter vacations as a fun, new vacation experience. These new sailors are not lured by the “joy” of sailing, as much as they are drawn to the idea of a comfortable floating hotel for their island vacation.
This distinction is not lost on the Caribbean yacht charter companies. Catamaran sailing yachts are in huge demand due to the overwhelming number of advantages they offer. Out of charter use, there is no question for most traditional sailors that, when the offshore going gets tough, they would much rather be on a solid monohull than on a catamaran.
Thus, it is for the casual vacation sailors that we review the basic pros and cons of a catamaran.
The most noticeable “pro” is the sense of roominess. The cockpit, the highlight of catamarans, is usually huge, since it spans over both hulls. The cockpit and the salon are on the same level, which enhances the feeling of light and spaciousness, along with the typical huge panoramic windows. The foredeck area is very big as well and sports a big net between the hulls, the popular trampoline, which makes a great sun bathing and dolphin watching area. In any case, it is a great observation spot and a kids’ favorite.
As a result of this roominess, a catamaran rarely feels crowded, as it is relatively easy to get some seclusion and quietness from other members of the party.
Most cats are equipped with dinghy-davits at the transom, which is absolutely great: no more towing the dinghy, thus no more drag on the boat speed.
Roominess on a Caribbean yacht charter catamaran is as noticeable as the space enjoyed on the top deck.
The catamaran will provide you with considerably more room than a monohull almost everywhere on the boat: in the cabins and in the salon. There is ample headroom everywhere!
A typical 40 to 45 foot cat will offer 4 large staterooms with comfortable queen-sized beds (no more V-berths like those found on monohulls). Most cat cabins have ensuite heads and showers. All cats have an enormous salon/cockpit combination capable to sit and entertain about 12 to 15 guests in style.
When it comes to sailing, performance is less important to the casual charter customer as compared to stability. Catamaran sailing yachts have phenomenal stability – they do not heel under way and do not roll at anchor. This usually makes seasickness a non-event; a big plus for first-time charterers.
Catamarans also have shallow drafts. This means catamarans can get into places monohulls yachts often cannot reach, and that they can also anchor closer to shore.
So what are the “cons” to a bareboat charter catamaran sailboat? For the casual charterer – there are none, except for the fact a cat is usually 25% more expensive than a monohull with the same cabin/head count. OK, if you really press for more cons, you could say cats are harder to anchor due to the fact that catamarans have more “windage” than monohulls, and, without keel and ballast, they have a tendency to “bob” on the water when a gust hits.
In conclusion, only hard-core sailors normally find fault with a cat, as nothing but a monohull can deliver a pure sailing experience. If you are about to enjoy your first charter vacation, or bringing with you some folks who could feel apprehensive at sea, you’ll probably be better off with a catamaran!
Tags: bareboat charter, Caribbean, Caribbean yacht charter, catamaran sailing yachts, catamaran yacht charter, charter catamaran, charter catamaran sailboat, multihull, multihulls, sailing yachts, yacht charter, yacht charter vacations, yacht charters