Sailing catamarans are catamarans that are intended for sailing, i.e. sailboats or sailing yachts with two hulls . They are primarily used as cruising yachts or as extra-light, fast sports equipment .
In 2006, Bruno Peyron reached 766 nautical miles in 24 hours with the almost 37 meter long maxi catamaran Orange II . This Etmal was set up during a record-breaking Atlantic crossing in 4 days, 8 hours and 23 minutes.
Thomas Coville has improved the one-handed Etmal with his 32-meter maxi trimaran Sobedo . During his circumnavigation of the world, the French covered 628.5 miles in 24 hours (average speed 26.2 knots ).
Cruising catamarans offer the great advantage that, in relation to the length of the ship, they offer significantly more space than sailing yachts with only one hull. The hulls (from ten meters in length) usually house the cabins and wet cells, while the bridge deck is used for the salon, pantry and navigation. Cruising catamarans hardly heel and therefore offer more comfort when sailing. The upwind performance depends on the boat concept, whether cruising or regatta, whether equipped with keels or swords. Catamarans have a higher purchase and maintenance price, not least due to two engines. These in turn offer excellent maneuverability and additional safety.
In sailing, open racing catamarans are not divided into classes, as is usual in sailing, but into divisions from A to D. These are defined by the respective maximum dimensions for length, width and sail area (limit dimension classes). The once Olympic tornado , for example, is one of the B catamarans. In addition, various national and international class associations can be found for alleged shipyard classes and boat classes . A selection:
Inflatable sailing catamarans
Leisure or hobby catamarans with sails, which have two inflatable hulls and can be used up to about five Beauforts and low waves, are called inflatable sailing catamarans. Depending on the manufacturer and type, there are sails from 8 to 16 m². The advantage is that it can be completely dismantled for transport in several large bags. This also means there is no permanent berth. The assembly or dismantling time of the catamaran is between 20 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the manufacturer and the level of skill of the assembler.
There are also very different variants of inflatable catamarans. You can find light, sporty and very fast types. These are optimized for high speeds and quick assembly. One example is the Czech MiniCat range . But there are also very robust variants suitable for expeditions. Especially in Russia these were developed. They are characterized by high stability, safety and a multi-chamber system in the floats , but are also significantly heavier and more complex to assemble.
The stability of a sailing catamaran results from the boat width, on which the lever arm of the height of the sail pressure point above the construction waterline acts as a factor . The sailing catamaran is not weight stable and can therefore theoretically capsize. As a compromise, a lower rig is usually used for cruising catamarans, which increases stability through a low sail pressure point , which in practice leads to less height on the wind . Depending on the shape of the hull, the size of the boat, the weight of the boat and the sailing skills of the crew , the high speed potential of sailing catamarans can compensate for the moderate upwind performance.