Multihulls have a lot to offer for charter cruising
Is it comfortable sailing with a high recreational factor you are looking for in your charter holidays? If so, you should consider a multihull when it comes to choosing your charter yacht!
Modern double- or triplehulls offer a completely new sailing experience, with many surprising impressions, especially for experienced monohull sailors. We have compiled some practical tips and advice for multihull newcomers, especially if it is your first time on more than one hull!
Advantages on Charter Cruises
Asking around, the potential charter customer hears quite a few apparently empirically acquired views: Catamarans don't go upwind, they don't go through the wind without an engine or you can't find moorings. But also the fans don't hold back: "Multihulls are faster than monos, don't roll, have endless space above and below deck". In reality, the assessment of current serial production multihulls is much more difficult. Basically, the advantages of catamarans - the word comes from the South Indian term for "bound logs" - are so great in charter operations that their market shares are continuously on the rise.
Ample Living Space
The space available on two hulls is ample, not only in terms of the personal living space in the saloon, the double berths and bathrooms, but also in respect to storage options. In practice, this means: from check-in to provisioning to joint meals up to the "cozy hour" on board, catamarans offer a lot more individual living space, the crew does not get in each other's way and life on board is more relaxed, more restful. However, all touring catamarans react sensitively in their sailing performance when there is too much weight.
No more than 50° upwind
When a 40-foot multihull sails downwind under moderate sea conditions at 5 Beaufort, it will leave a monohull of equal length well behind. If the same catamaran faces the same conditions going upwind, the crew will soon see the transom of the keel yacht. In concrete terms: with waves and wind, hardly more than 50 degrees to the wind are possible for touring catamarans, and especially higher waves require you to bear away in order to reduce slamming. This is due to the impact of the waves against the bridge deck, which always slows down and moves the catamaran.
"Catamarans don't pitch and toss on the waves." Well, it is better to say, catamarans don't roll! Catamarans show no strong yawing movements - which are known to strongly promote seasickness. However, they do still pitch on the waves, and because it is always two hulls to go across the waves, a catamaran can be tossed around on waves as unpleasantly as a monohull. For the skipper and crew, this means that while seaworthy stowage is almost unnecessary under normal conditions on board, preparation for bad weather is not just advisable on a catamaran, but mandatory as well as a sign of good seamanship.
Marina berths? Needless!
"There are no berths for large touring catamarans." Perhaps one should answer to the critics "it doesn't need one either". This is because berths in harbours and marinas are less important, thanks to significantly improved behaviour at anchor. Those who have spent a quiet evening sitting at anchor in the large cockpit will be convinced of the two-hulls. While the keel yachts can never come to rest in the eternal swell - and neither the crew in their berths - the catamaran lies still like a raft. Catamarans find a place in almost every bay, because the shallow draught allows a close approach to the shore. The principle "enough water under the keel" naturally also applies to keelless yachts.
Don't be afraid of big boats
Those who need land connections - water, electricity - can rely on the manoeuvrability of two engines. Since in southern marinas boats are almost exclusively docked at moorings rather than in berths with poles, there is also no real problem of space. And held at four corners, the multihull lies very calmly in its place. A tip: Once the skipper is familiar with the ship's stopping distance, the turning manoeuvres should be carried out with determination and the catamaran should not be exposed to lateral winds for too long. Two crew members can be helpful, who transmit distances to the quay wall and mooring buoy by simple hand signals. The helmsman is often unable to see the "ends" of the catamaran. If the crew is in contact with the quay and the bow-line or stern-line is secured, the manoeuvre is excellently completed by inching forward into the line. Catamaran beginners should not be afraid of large ships and courageously dare to approach the unfamiliar length/width ratio. You will quickly get used to the new dimensions.
Start reefing early
Especially under sails catamarans need the full attention of the skipper. While a keel boat heels considerably in stronger winds, thus reducing wind pressure and "signaling" the crew to reduce the sail area, the signs a catamaran sends out are more subtle. Multihulls converts increasing wind pressure first into speed, which is a lot of fun for experienced crews. A touring catamaran will lift the windward hull only slightly, even in stronger winds, so that the rig must absorb the entire wind pressure. Less experienced sailors should therefore heed the sailing instructions of the manufacturers and reef early according to the reefing tables provided. Listen to the rig, watch the movements of the ship. You will quickly see when the catamaran needs less sail area. Standard catamarans are all underrigged, and to avoid serious damage, the manufacturers have installed "weak points" as security measure. Concretely: The halyard shackle of the main sail will break before the windward hull really lifts.
A completely new sailing experience
Before you start the engine on downwind courses due to lack of speed, change your sailing tactics: Beat upwind with the catamaran. The resulting jibes are really unproblematic. The art is to find a good compromise between maximum wind angle and speed. After a few hours and the first harbour manoeuvres you will have "your" ship under control and will redefine sailing on touring multihulls. Enjoy the generosity of the cockpit, spacious salons with panoramic views, relaxed sailing without heeling and total comfort in double cabins and bathrooms.