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Catamaran vs Monohull

Sailing catamaran vs monohull sailboats – Pros & Cons

You are thinking of renting a boat and sailing holidays, but have not opted for a catamaran or  monohull sailboat charter. Below we will highlight the important differences between catamarans and sailboats. We hope to help you make your decision.

What is a monohull sailboat?

A monohull is a type of sailing boat having only one hull. The main characteristic of sailing boats is the stability. The stability is achieved by adding the ballast, the deep keel.

Although no one knows when the first sailboat was built, archeologists have found remains of primitive canoe-like vessels dating back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Sailing holidays from Split with Beneteau oceanis 46.1 Mila 8


The saloon and cabins are all located below deck on a monohull. The middle of the yacht houses the saloon which includes the kitchen, a dining room table, and captains desk. The cabins and WC are usually found fore and aft.

Elan Impression 40 3 cab layout

What is a sailing catamaran?

A sailing catamaran is a multi-hulled watercraft featuring two parallel hulls of equal size. Unlike sailboats, catamaran stability is achieved with wide beam.

The first catamaran-type vessels were an early technology of the Austronesian peoples, allowing  voyage to distant Pacific islands. Until the 20th century catamaran development focused primarily on sail-driven concepts. 

Catamaran charter Croatia Lucia 40


The cabins and toilets are located in the hulls, while the saloon is in the area between the hulls, on the deck.

Lagoon 450 4+2 cabins layout


When it comes to comfort, catamarans have a great advantage. First of all, the large deck saloon with kitchen, therefore, has more natural light.  The cockpit and living space in general is huge compared to a monohull, making living conditions  very comfortable and spacious.

Large deck area enables more space for water toys ( Canoes, SUP`s and other floaties). We would definitely recommend catamaran for a bigger groups, as they have more area for socializing, cockpit, font cockpit lounge, flybridge.

Stability - Heeling

The catamaran has limited heeling which results in a more stable experience while sailing. You can walk safely  from the cockpit into the saloon on one level. The stability and comfort in a catamaran is far superior. Cooking is easy and safer.

On the other side, the experience of sailing on a monohull is unlike anything else. It is a thrilling experience as the sailboat picks up speed heels at a 10-20 degree angle. If you are sailing enthusiast and looking for adventures, the monohull is the right choice.


Sailing boat charter in Croatia-Trogir-Elan-E4-Bella-Mia


Catamarans are faster both under power or sail compared to a similar sized monohull. Sailing catamarans can sail half the speed of the wind, depending upon their angle. Due to their lower water line surface area, catamarans are certainly faster. Typically, catamaran does not sail well upwind, therefore needs a different technique for tacking.



Docking - Anchoring

Having twin engines, catamarans are extremely maneuverable and easy to dock.  You can navigate into places you can’t get to with a monohull, and you can anchor closer to shore, due to shallow draft. Catamaran is more stable at anchor.

Monohulls maneuver better because you’re not dealing with two hulls. They can make sharper turns and navigate much more easily through narrow channels and tight spaces.



Catamaran vs monohull in price debate, definite advantage gets the monohull.  When chartering a catamaran, all costs are higher. Rental fee is 50-100% higher than for same size monohull. Marinas and port fees are 50% higher than for same size monohull.




Catamaran vs monohull charter – the final decision is on you. Both have advantages and disadvantages. No matter on your choice, when sailing with family and close friends, a perfect vacation is to be expected. 



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