circumnavigation catamaran

9 Safest Catamarans For Cruising, Circumnavigation and Why!

circumnavigation catamaran

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Catamarans (cats) have become sailors’ favorite sea vessels in recent years, thanks to the extra space, comfort, and speed they offer. Additionally, they’ve built a reputation for their unrivaled safety. But which are the safest catamarans on the market?

The safest cruising catamarans offer a good beam to length ratio, sail fast, and are over 42ft. These include the Manta 42, the Lagoon 450F, and the Catana 44. They are stable, waterproof, easy to handle in stormy weather, and feature a sturdy design.

When boarding a boat, you expect to get to your destination safely, and with your bluewater boat intact, this is what cats are made for, but not all cats are created equal. Read on to learn what to consider when assessing a catamaran’s safety and check out my list of the safest cats available!

Table of Contents

What Does It Mean To Say a Catamaran Is Safe?

Cruising for weeks on open water comes with several risks, like strong winds, heavy rains, and other potentially dangerous obstacles. Because of that, you need a bluewater boat that’s designed to take a beating from the most demanding conditions because if you compromise your safety, you might end up in a very dire situation with possible deadly outcomes.

What does it mean to say something is safe?

In this context, the word safe means protected from danger , free from harm, or not likely to lose the boat, as well as not likely to cause danger or harm to either personal or cat.

Therefore, when a catamaran is said to be safe, it comes with features that protect you and your crew from danger. As a result, it would be best to consider a catamaran’s safety features before choosing it.

Here are some of the factors i (and sailboat engineers i should add) consider to be the most critical when determining a cat’s safety:

circumnavigation catamaran

Beam-to-Length Ratio

Although catamarans generally have exceptional stability, this aspect is always relative, as you’ll find some cats more stable in rough seas than others. Therefore, you’ll want to check their beam-to-length ratio. As a general rule, a boat in the 42 to the 48-foot range should have a beam to length ratio of about 50%.

A ratio lower than that can hurt your boat’s stability in heavy winds, but a larger boat can be okay with a lower value. On the other hand, a larger ratio can make sailing more difficult.

circumnavigation catamaran

Engine and Powertrain

Catamarans come with twin engines, which is a significant benefit since you can always use one if the other fails. However, a poor choice of engine location can be a safety risk. Generally, a central location distributes the weight evenly, which is better for safety.

On bigger cats, this is not much of a problem since the weight of the engines is only a small fraction of the total weight of the boat. But on smaller and lighter ships, weight location is of greater interest.

Nonetheless, a watertight bulkhead between the main cabin and engine room prevents flooding if the sail drive or shaft gets damaged. 

Having strong engines will also make the boat go faster and offer extra protection from getting stuck in bad weather.

circumnavigation catamaran

Build Integrity and Quality

Build quality is a critical factor when determining whether a given cat is safe, depending on the nature of your voyages. You’ll want to check the manufacturer’s reputation, the strength and quality of the materials used, and waterproofing features. 

For instance, catamarans made of plywood or cored balsas are could be less safe since they often have maintenance problems once water enters them.

The underwater section of a cat should be solid, impact-resistant, and easy to repair for the boat to be considered safe. A significant portion of the vessel must be made of lightweight fiberglass to prevent the hull from sinking during a collision or capsizing. In other words, you’re safer with your boat upside-down on the water surface than right-side-up but submerged.

circumnavigation catamaran

Check for Uncluttered and Flat Decks

A cat’s deck is another essential factor to consider when assessing its safety. Generally, uncluttered and flat decks tend to be safer for sailing since the risk of tripping or getting in stuck on something is reduced. Most notably, you should check if your boat comes with an aggressive non-skid surface to prevent slip and fall accidents among your crew. The deck should have robust, quality fittings and large backing plates to distribute heavy loads evenly.

Shrouds and stays should be located so they only minimally interfere with moving about on deck.

circumnavigation catamaran

Helm Placement and Cockpit Protection

The primary helm station should have an unobstructed view of all four corners of your cat that should be well protected from the elements, like wind and water, and accessible from the cockpit. The idea is to prevent damage to your cat by the weather and prevent flooding, which compromises your safety.

Cockpit Covers

Your cat’s cockpit cover can make or break it under heavy rains. A carefully designed cover protects it from water infiltration when it’s raining and allows for sufficient ventilation. 

Generally, the best cockpit covers come with removable curtains, allow for solar panel mounting, and can collect a significant amount of rainwater, which your crew can drink and use for washing.

Now that you have an idea of the things to consider when evaluating a cat’s safety, chances are you’re thinking of reviewing some of the boats on the market to determine if they’re suitable for your needs. To get you started on finding your dream boat I have put together this list, here are some of the best bluewater boats worth considering:

If you are looking for a specific type of cat i suggest you read on of my other articles such as:

  • Best cats under 200k
  • Best cats under 50ft
  • Best cats for couples
  • Best liveaboard cats

The Manta 42

Arguably, the Manta 42 holds near-iconic status among sailors because it has a solid reputation as a capable, practical long-range sailing bluewater boat. The laminated hull-to-deck joint and collision bulkheads create watertight compartments at the end of each hull, making the multihull flood-proof.

For additional structural integrity, the manufacturer joins the hull and deck using high-grade marine sealants and reinforces it with a 360-degree unidirectional laminate.

Overall, this is an excellent cruising cat. 

It offers an impressive sail-area-to displacement ratio and a pretty decent amount of deck and interior space, and its pushpit contraptions come in handy when you need to secure wind vanes, solar panels, and dinghies. Undoubtedly, this boat offers great performance and stability.

Lagoon 450F

The Lagoon 450F (F stands for Flybridge) is designed to deliver prestige and safety and features a deck layout centered on an easy-to-reach flybridge . Accessing the engine controls or steering station is a breeze, especially when you need to steer away from danger.  

The cockpit comes with a dining table to the left, an attractive comfort couch to the right, and a wraparound settee. The boat’s hard dodger comes with an apt opening hatch that offers good ventilation and sunshine in favorable weather and protection from harsh conditions in bad weather.

The construction is sturdy, waterproof, and durable. Besides, its construction can withstand high impact, a solid selling point. If you need a boat that gives you ultimate control and offers all-around comfort, spaciousness, and elegance, you’ll never go wrong with this elaborate cat.

Catana cats prove that the Bali Group means business when it comes to sailors’ safety. These boats are only produced in France, so the company maintains high-quality standards. Aboard Catana, you’ll immediately notice the manufacturer’s efforts to make it safe for cruising.

For instance, this boat’s foam sandwich construction is high density and lightweight, making it unsinkable, resistant to shock and impacts, and rigid. The use of aramid fiber makes this boat even more rigid and resistant to perforation. The helmsman can continue sailing even after impact.

It also comes with crash boxes and waterproof compartments to prevent water entry after a major impact. Arguably, this is a sure-fire way to guarantee buoyancy, making this boat hard to sink!

You can also use the multihull’s daggerboards to tack into strong winds and heavy weather, enabling it to glide over waves instead of capsizing. The high bridge deck clearance is another boost to safety since it prevents waves from reaching the cat’s deck.

Aventura 44

The Aventura 44 is the successor to the Aventura 43 built between 2012 and 2017, and its safety features are profound. 

The deck mold is integrated with its coachroof to make it lightweight and buoyant, while the hulls feature polyester with NPG Gelcoat. Its structural partitions come with laminated CTBX plywood, and the rudders come with foam-epoxy composite and a stainless-steel stock, making it solid and durable.

This boat can withstand high impact from waves, winds, and collisions because of its ingenious construction. The company proudly tells how they intentionally oversized much of the hardware just to make sure it is up for offshore cruising.

Fountaine Pajot Elba 45

The Elba 45 is a well-respected blue water cruiser, as it is safe, dependable, and beautiful to look at. The slightly aft-raked bows and fixed stub keels deliver excellent windward performance.

The multihull features keels glued into a recess in its hulls, ensuring no keel bolts will rip out if it gets grounded or collides. Because of that, this boat deserves to be mentioned among the safest.  

Safety aside, this boat provides ultimate bliss while cruising, as it comes with a generous living space with a large sofa, low dining table, and an open galley. The interior fittings in the cabins allow your crew to settle comfortably with an en-suite bathroom in each cabin.

As some put it, this is a true catamaran and it deserves a sweet spot for anyone looking for adventurous, open water cruising.

Dolphin Ocema 42

The Dolphin 42 is the ideal option for any sailor looking for a catamaran that defies all conventions. It comes with daggerboards, which you can use to point higher into the wind and also reduce the draft when anchoring or moving in shallow water thus reducing the risk of grounding.

This vessel balances stunning performance and remarkable comfort in one package, a rare feat in blue water boats. The foam core makes it lightweight and impact-resistant at the same time, making cruising in the most demanding conditions less strenuous.

If you need a cruising boat that will never let you down, then you can never go wrong with the Dolphin 42.

Caveat: Pointing high on the wind using this boat requires pretty decent sailing expertise. If you lift the daggerboards too high, you may expose the rudders or interfere with the hulls if it runs aground.

Atlantic 42

Since its introduction in 1993, the Atlantic 42 has grown its loyal fan base, thanks to its aesthetics and efficiency.

The multihull comes with a high-waist cockpit located in front of the pilothouse and behind its mast. As evidenced by the metal girder-like bearers that transverse the bulkheads, the solid construction is a selling point for any cruising enthusiast with safety considerations in mind. 

Most notably, these features make it stronger, improve circulation, and offers a helm position in the middle of the boat.

Although some consider this boat’s style conservative, its durable, impact-resistant build quality is unrivaled. Without a doubt, the Atlantic 42 is built with your safety in mind, but it also comes with beautiful interior and exterior finishes. If you need a boat that delivers comfort, safety, and efficiency in a compact package, you’ll never go wrong with this blue water cruiser.

Outremer 45

Looking at the Outremer 45, you can tell that it took careful, detailed planning to build. Its weight distribution is remarkably balanced for added stability, and it minimizes pitching, ensuring you have the smoothest sailing. Its parts meet international quality and safety standards.

The boat’s interior structure is pretty stiff since the components are directly laminated to its hull, improving its sturdiness.

It features the proprietary Jefa steering system, which is light and highly responsive to winds, a true mark of a quality multihull. If you try out its autopilot feature, you’ll immediately notice how its rigs and hulls balance remarkably.

In a nutshell, this boat is designed to take good care of your crew. 

It comes in different versions, like an owner’s version, a club version with additional berths in the owner’s hull, and a four-cabin version. Arguably, this multihull deserves to be on the list of the best and safest blue water catamarans.

What Is The Best Sized Catamaran For Ocean Sailing?

The best-sized catamaran for ocean sailing is around 42ft; it is small enough to be sailed by one person but big enough to provide safety and speed. But, of course, there are many variables to consider, if you want to understand why, I suggest you read my article on the topic:

Best sized Catamaran for Ocean Sailing and Liveaboard?

Wrapping Up

Cruising on a catamaran can be thrilling and worthwhile, as they come with impressive features that make them the favorite option for those seeking open water adventure. They offer incredible comfort, speed, maneuverability, and room space. Besides, they’re safer than monohull boats, thanks to their twin-hull design, which uniformly distributes their load.

Nonetheless, before buying any of the cats mentioned in this article, ensure you check the following specifications about them:

  • Their beam-to-length ratio
  • Helm placement
  • Their structural integrity and quality
  • Passagemaker: The Top Catamarans of 2020
  • Sail Magazine: 10 Great Cruising Cats
  • Catamaran Guru: Catamaran Safety
  • Dream Yacht Sales: Best Catamaran Brands Guide – 6 Top Catamarans
  • Aeroyacht: Catamaran Safety
  • Yachts International: Sailboat Debate: Monohull vs. Catamaran
  • PureTravel: Are Catamarans Safe in Rough Seas?
  • Ocean Navigator: Evaluating Modern Catamarans
  • Velmundi: Catamarans – Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Catamaransite: Brand: Manta 42
  • Multihull Solutions: Catana Safety
  • Sail Magazine: Boat Review: Outremer 45
  • Instant Sailing: Lagoon 450 F: Prestige at Its Peak
  • Sail Magazine: Heavy Weather Strategies When Sailing a Catamaran
  • Caribbean Multihulls: Fountaine Pajot Elba 45
  • Boat Safe: Best Catamarans (Plus Pro Tips and Buying Guide)

Owner of A minimalist that has lived in a caravan in Sweden, 35ft Monohull in the Bahamas, and right now in his self-built Van. He just started the next adventure, to circumnavigate the world on a Catamaran!

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circumnavigation catamaran

circumnavigation catamaran

The Maverick Life 

Enjoy the freedom to go anywhere you wish. Stay as long as you like in complete comfort, surrounded by space, light, and peace.


Eco-friendly & quieter

Maverick 440 Hybrid

More speed, more space

Maverick 440

Circumnavigation Ready

Maverick 400

circumnavigation catamaran

Maverick Yachts are for owners who  wish  to live aboard

Experience the ultimate freedom and lifestyle.

Go anywhere you want and stay as long as you like,

Live off the grid in an eco-friendly, autonomous way,

Enjoy the most stunning anchorages in luxury,

Explore the world with the ones you love,

Do the things you love.

Feast on fantastic meals .

Entertain and be entertained.

Let the water be your passion and peace.

Live the Maverick Life

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Sail with confidence with your loved ones

Maverick Catamarans are ideal for owners who wish to sail around the world independently.

You can sail shorthanded as a couple or family without a permanent crew.

Enjoy all the comforts of home, hobbies, water sports, and a peaceful sleep at night.

circumnavigation catamaran

Maverick Yachts are

Best in Class 

for its size and agenda

Longest range on engines (electric or diesel)

Most amount of fresh water capacity

Biggest load carrying capacity in our class

Most ventilation hatches to bring in fresh air

Most port lights for safety at night

Intracoastal Waterway (ICW)- friendly mast 

Shallowest draft keel catamaran keeps you safe on the ICW and shallow areas

Hull is designed to beach safely

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Mavericks have excellent handling characteristics in all conditions

Sails in just 4 knots of wind based on high-efficiency hull design and world-class sails from North Sails .

Tack & gybe easily with mainsail or foresail with her intelligent short-handed sailing configuration.

Tracks beautifully and is light on the helm, so you can keep well-rested on passages.

Sturdy & robust in storm conditions, keeping you, your yacht, and your loved ones safe.

Easy and precise handling on engines, making mooring and anchoring much easier.

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The Maverick Life is fun!

You can bring all your toys, and enjoy everything that the liveaboard cruising life has to offer.

You can  kayak and kite-surf straight off your yacht. 

Fish, scuba, snorkel, surf and swim to your heart's content.

Bring your bicycles for when you go on-shore.

Stand Up Paddle (SUP) to keep fit or add a  TRX Suspension training hook in the cockpit.

The Maverick is designed to a be a social yacht for lots of space for entertaining and  fun for the whole family!


Planning a Circumnavigation


Last Updated on September 13, 2023 by Amy

Plotting world circumnavigation routes is a lot easier than it sounds.  There are cruising boats LITERALLY all over the world.  There are boats in the Northwest passage (up and over Canada), in the Antarctic, and everywhere in between.  There are a few key things to take into consideration, but 95%* of circumnavigation routes follow the same general course.

Table of Contents - Click to Jump

Insurance Restrictions on Circumnavigation Routes

There are two major restrictions put on us by our vessel insurance; stay out of highly pirated areas and stay out of named storm zones.  Insurance restrictions come with the option to ignore them.  You can always go to these restricted places, BUT if something happens, your insurance will not be covered.  Another option is that you can pay significantly more to be covered in these places as well.  We have made the choice for ourselves to follow the restrictions set by our insurance.

By definition, piracy is the act of attacking and robbing ships at sea.  By that main definition, the Caribbean is one of the worst places for piracy.  Petty theft of boats and their tenders is a major issue in some parts of the Caribbean, and steps should be taken to protect yourself and your assets.

However, the piracy of the biggest concern is murder and kidnapping.  There are two main hotspots where our insurance will not cover us;  the Philippines and the Red Sea/Suez Canal (hereby referred to as simply Suez).   Again, people cruise literally everywhere in the world, and there are people who cruise the Philippines (2015 reports state 200 yachts).  The other side of the coin is true too.  Just because you avoid the Suez or the Philippines does not mean you will avoid being kidnapped or murdered.

It’s up to you to decide the level of risk you are willing to take when planning out a circumnavigation route.

Tropical Storms

In North America, it’s a hurricane.  South of the equator, it’s cyclones.  In Asia-Pacific, it’s typhoons.  Either way, your insurance probably has a word or two to say about where you spend tropical storm season.

Our insurance requires us to avoid certain parts of the world during storm seasons.  This is why there is a mass exodus of boats from the Caribbean every year.  Our insurance requires us to be north of roughly the Florida-Georgia line.  Now, that doesn’t mean we are safe from hurricanes, but it does mean if something happens, we will have the  privilege of consoling ourselves of our losses by applying for an insurance claim.

For those moving quickly, your primary concern is systems in the southern hemisphere.  Just make sure you are moving from east to west quickly enough to pass through the storm zone.

World circumnavigation routes, like ours, usually have you dipping out of these storm zones for the season. It’s a great time to haul your boat out for annual maintenance, like we did in New Zealand, Australia, and Thailand.

Tradewinds for Circumnavigating

Around the equator lies the doldrums.  This is typically an area with very little wind.  However, each ocean has a wind pattern.  In the northern hemisphere, winds circulate clockwise.  In the southern hemisphere, winds circulate counterclockwise.  This means that on either side of the equator lies a band of wind flowing from east to west.  This is why 95%* of cruisers plan their circumnavigation routes to sail from east to west.

Factoring the Wind into Outfitting Your Boat

Knowing where you will sail will help you determine what kind of sail performance you are looking for in a boat.  For someone doing a typical circumnavigation route, sailing east to west, you’ll be sailing downwind a lot.  Some monohull owners have complained to us about how uncomfortable their boat is sailing dead downwind.  Catamarans, however, typically perform best downwind.  We have a very smooth ride when we are traveling with the wind and waves.

Outfitting your sail locker also factors in where you are sailing.  For a downwind circumnavigation, spinnakers are highly useful – or so we hear.  We’ve not had terrible success with our spinnaker, but find our screecher to be very useful.  That could possibly be because we deviate enough from the standard downwind route.

For more about sail configurations in a cruising catamaran, read our Sail Trim blog post.

Those Who Sail West to East Circumnavigation Routes

There are a few who do sail the “wrong way”.  It can definitely be done and done fast.  However, you need to have a boat that sails well to wind.  While most catamarans sail well downwind, we do not sail well into the wind.  However, if your catamaran has daggerboards, you’ll sail much better to wind than a catamaran without daggerboards.

Circumnavigation Routes & Bottlenecks

This is why most circumnavigations follow the same basic route.  There are major bottlenecks to passing around the continents, so again, we’ve got the 95%* of boats funneling into one narrow part of the world.

Panama Canal

We paid $1300 to transit the Panama Canal because the only other option is to sail against the wind and waves around either North America or South America.  Taking one of the high latitudes routes is pretty dang extreme, takes a significant amount of time, and a toll on ship and crew.  Ushuaia, a port of call in Argentina, reported 64 boats in 2015, versus 1,079 boats transiting the canal – 95% transiting the canal*.

Torres Strait

The Torres Strait occupies the space between Australia and New Guinea.  It’s fairly small, just 650 nm between Thursday Island and Indonesia’s first port of clearance.

There are some cruisers (like our friends on S/V Field Trip) who are going over the top of New Guinea to get to Southeast Asia.  Getting any further north than that requires dealing with the Philippines – either through or around the top of the Philippines into the South China Sea.

Cape of Good Hope

Traveling around South Africa requires tackling the Cape of Good Hope, which is not to be taken lightly due to the challenges in the winds and currents.  The alternative is the Suez.  There used to be a rally passing through the Suez.  The other alternative is to hire private security, but that’s pretty complex.  Reports show 358 boats sailing through Cape Town verses 19 through the Suez – again, 95% choose Cape Town*.   I know the Mediterranean is a great cruising ground, but we decided if we want to cruise it, we’d rather cross the Atlantic twice than go through the Suez.

How Long Should a Circumnavigation Take?

Barring racing yachts who are smashing world records, it’s not uncommon to complete a circumnavigation in a year and a half.  This is a fairly straightforward and quick route.

The World ARC is a one and a half year rally that circumnavigates the world.  They have a fantastic route and schedule on their website.

Longer circumnavigation routes still use the same general track, but add on detours.   For example, we extended our South Pacific portion into two seasons by sailing south to spend cyclone season in New Zealand.

We’ve met sailors who have taken 15 or more years to circumnavigate. That’s a lot of detours!

Our Circumnavigation Route

Our sailing circumnavigation route took us four years and three months to travel all the way around the world. You can read the summary of our world circumnavigation for more details.

Book: World Cruising Routes

This is LITERALLY the bible of sailing around the world. If you have ever asked yourself (or, god help you, asked on a forum) “I wonder when the best time to sail from X to Y is?” the answer is in this book.

Even though we know our route, I’m still pulling out this book every so often to look up possibilities. It’s a great guide to planning your circumnavigation route overall and planning each individual passage.

Buy Jimmy Cornell’s World Cruising Routes .

Book: Cornell’s Ocean Atlas

This handy reference book is full of windgrams  – “a summary of wind direction and strength derived from the individual windroses along a specific ocean route “. Basically this means you can open a chart for a particular region and month and you will be able to tell where the wind “usually” blows from.

Buy Cornell’s Ocean Atlas .

Book Review: How to Sail Around the World Part-Time

  • Who: Linus Wilson and his wife, Janna
  • Available: Kindle, Kindle Unlimited or Paperback
  • Published: January 2016
  • Editing (scale of 1-10, 10 is best): 10

Linus Wilson has been cruising part-time on his 31-foot Island Packet. This is his second book, and in it, he details how one could sail a circumnavigation part-time. I agree – it is possible and might be the solution more potential cruisers should consider.

Wilson pulls a lot of statistics about sailing. Did you know fewer people complete a sailing circumnavigation every year than climb Mount Everest? An hour spent above base camp on Mount Everest is 264 times more dangerous than an hour sailing?

One question unanswered is how long it would actually take to sail the world part-time. Of course, it depends on how much time you dedicate every year, but hypothetically:

  • Year 1: the Caribbean to Panama, store in Panama
  • Year 2: Panama to French Polynesia, store in FP
  • Year 3: French Polynesia to Fiji, store in Fiji
  • Year 4: Fiji to Australia, store in Australia
  • Year 5: Australia to South Africa, store in SA
  • Year 6: SA to the Caribbean

Of course, you’d see a lot less than you would on a 6-year circumnavigation like ours, but you get it done in a fraction of the cost and less risk.

Bottom line: it was a short, interesting, and informative read. If you don’t want to full-time sail, or can’t convince your partner to full-time sail, consider how fulfilling a part-time adventure could be.

*Jimmy Cornell is the foremost expert on tracking cruising boats, and the statistics for this blog post were pulled from his article Where do all the boats go?


Wonderful article. I am from Goa, India. I wish you had come to Goa. I would have happily looked after your boat, and you could have travelled through India and enjoyed its majestic and diverse cultures and sites. I am 67 years old grandfather. I have been coastal and competitive sailing for the past 50 years. I am now planning to go on a circumnavigation on a Leopard 39 sailboat starting from Goa. Hoping to do it in 2 to 3 years. Your article and videos have inspired me. All the best. Thank you for your well written and detailed articles.

Wow, great to hear from you! It is amazing to us when we hear from people like you all over the world! We have some friends who visited Cochin last year on their boat, I think that’s a popular stop for cruisers. I know that formalities in India are complicated.

I have never been, but I love the food and the culture that I’ve experienced so far! I hope we get to visit someday.

Do sail down to Goa anytime you want. I will sort out all you entry formalities. Wish you all the best. Keep inspiring us with your wonderful sailing and videos.

Hi, how many miles is it when circumnavigating around the earth please? Captain cook did it in 60k, but is this because you cant just sail direct around the earth due to islands and storms etc?

Hi! Our circumnavigation was about 34,000 nm. You can read more about it here:

Amy, when you and David are on a long passage, what kind of watch schedule do you keep? Assuming you’re both healthy (unlike your passage to St. Helena), what do you find to be a comfortable limit for the number of days at sea before exhaustion begins to set in?…or does it ever set in for you guys?

We do a soft 7-hour watch. The only actual watch is I do 7 pm to 2 am. Then David goes on watch while I sleep. When I wake up we switch, and he naps. Then when he’s up, I nap. By then it’s time to do the whole thing all over again! The worst night is the second. You’ve been tired, but not tired enough to sleep off your normal routine yet. But after the second night it gets a lot better. Exhaustion does not set in long-term – boredom does!

I really enjoyed reading your article, it’s very informative although that I don’t have a boat, it’s too expensive where I’m from, and it would take a fortune to be registered if it’s allowed in the first place, as authorities put a lot of restrictions for civil citizen to do so after military took over in 60s, for example we can’t camp as a first without a security permit bla bla bla that it raerly issued or thread fishing without a license and permit bla bla bla….etc, there isn’t a proper Marina for docking not even mention the amount of visas that it required. I love to sail one-day but till that time I’m really enjoy reading and watching. I’m from Egypt, and it makes me sad that sailors stop passing by, as we have a great shores, great diving spots, the Suez canal, and the right wind, but to be considered as unstable area for the Somalian pirates acts, and all the Egyptian governmental claims about fighting terrorist and repel ghost they imagine, this is horrible. It’s really tearing me that after around 8000 years on Earth people couldn’t yet handle their conflicts. I’m sorry to make it very long. Glad that some people had the privilege to try and be able to chasing stars and wind. Godspeed

Sarah, thank you for your comment! It’s amazing to us that we have someone reading from Egypt!

I recently read a memoir about a yacht who sailed through the Suez, and it sounded like they had a lot of difficulties, not just with pirates and corruption, but it’s hard sailing too! Egypt is very high up on my list of places I would truly love to visit because of its amazing history and culture.

We hope that somehow you get to enjoy sailing, even if it’s just continuing to follow us along.

You are amazing, all the best in your upcoming, and hopefully everyone can enjoy sailing in Egypt one day, and be able to see you here in the future.

Hi Amy, first, what a nice simple but very informative blog. I have run a ‘sailing for disabled people’ organisation for the last 25 years and as part of our 25th anniversary are planning to build a 20m cat for a round the world adventure. Planned for start in 2025 I need to get people to understand the real dangers and risks of such travel as well as the good things, would you mind if I used your blog in this matter, I would of course say that is yours. Details of us are under the ‘new projects button’ at

Hi Mike! You are welcome to link to our blog post. If you need anything beyond that, send us an email and we can talk more!

Excellent and informative article. I’d just like to point out the following statement where it states: “Ushuaia, a port of call in Chile, reported 64 boats in 2015….”

Please note that Ushuaia is not located in Chile, but rather within the Tierra del Fuego province of Argentina.

Thank you so much for the correction! I will fix it right away. Geography lesson of the day. 😉

Now you can completely delete my comment 🙂 It’s all sorted. Happy and safe sailing to you and your family. Antonella

Nice write up. Very helpful. Keep up the good work. However sailing through the suez is not really that dangerous. My friends Ingo and Maya sailed through from turkey to India and onward to thailand and had no probs with pirates.

I do hear that the piracy situation is improving. I do think there are a lot of good reasons to go around South Africa though, and I am glad we did.

Great informative article, thanks for sharing.

Where do you store your bladder when it is full? Also, thanks for all the info and videos. It has helped us a great deal in preparation for purchasing our boat,

Thank you! I’m glad you’ve found it helpful. We store the duel bladder in the cockpit.

On the longer passages, how much extra fuel do you carry in your blatter tank. What motering range do you think is sufficient for your longer passages?. I’m thinking the Helia goes about 750 miles on 125 gallons of diesel. Thanks Jon

Our fuel tank holds 125 gallons, plus four 5-gallon jerry cans, plus the 50-gallon fuel bladder, to total 195 gallons. If we motor at 1800 rpms with one engine it’s roughly .8 gph. Theoretically, our tanks should take us about 900 nm. Of course, we go months and thousands of miles without using all of our diesel.

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Can You Sail a Catamaran Around The World?

Can You Sail a Catamaran Around The World? | Life of Sailing

Last Updated by

Daniel Wade

August 30, 2022

‍ Many people have sailed around the world in traditional monohull sailboats, but has anybody tried with a catamaran?

Sailing around the world is hazardous and trying at times, so it pays to have a sailboat that's built for the job. Sailors place a premium on safety and comfort—so where do catamarans fit into the equation?

Yes, you can sail a catamaran around the world. In fact, full-size catamarans are some of the best circumnavigation sailboats on the market. They offer superior comfort, safety, storage space, and speed when compared to monohulls.

Catamarans have become increasingly popular since the 1990s, and they're seen in ports all over the world. If you consider their handling characteristics, it's no wonder they're so popular for circumnavigation. But what are the things that make cruising catamarans so good for long ocean voyages?

We sourced the information used in this article from sailboat design guides and the online sailing community. We also considered the input of several experienced catamaran captains, most of which have embarked on circumnavigations in catamarans and monohulls.

Table of contents

‍ Can You Circumnavigate in a Catamaran?

You can absolutely sail a catamaran around the world! In fact, catamarans are preferred by many sailors for long ocean voyages, and dozens circumnavigate in all seasons each year. The number of catamarans continues to rise every year, and some of the world’s most influential long-distance sailors have switched to them from monohulls.

There are many benefits to choosing a catamaran for a circumnavigation, and we’ll cover some of those soon. But first, here’s what makes a catamaran suitable for an around the world sailing trip.

What Kind of Catamaran Can Sail Around the World?

Not all catamarans are ideal for long ocean voyages, but the vast majority above 25 feet in length are. The kind of vessel that's suitable for a long ocean voyage is called a cruising catamaran.

Cruising catamarans have a number of defining characteristics that make them ideal for Sailing around the world. Here are a few of them.

Cruising catamarans have extensive cabinet space. Smaller catamarans that aren't designed for large ocean voyages aren't designed for comfort. Cruising catamarans have between two and four staterooms, along with a large covered cockpit and standing headroom throughout.

High Freeboard

Cruising catamarans have a high freeboard, which means the decks are relatively high above the water. They also have a shallow draft, as a catamaran has no need for a centerboard, fin keel, or bulb keel.  

Catamarans are not as long as monohulls relative to their capabilities. A 35 or 40-foot catamaran has much more interior space than an equivalently-sized monohull. Catamarans split their living quarters between the two hulls and include an additional spacious covered cockpit above.

Cruising catamarans range in size from 30 feet to 60 feet in length, and they typically measure around 40 to 50 feet from stem to stern. The bottom limit for livable Catamarans seems to be about 25 to 30 feet. Catamarans that are smaller than this lack the space for comfortable living accommodations.

Benefits of Catamaran Circumnavigation

Catamarans are quick and robust, and they make excellent long-term cruising sailboats. They're spacious, safe, comfortable, and have exceptional handling characteristics in almost all weather conditions. Here are some of the main advantages of choosing a catamaran to sail around the world.

Speed is one of the most significant benefits of sailing a catamaran around the world. The ocean is a huge place—and unless you're sailing just to sail, it's always advantageous to shorten the time between destinations.

Catamarans are fast—really fast. A typical cruising catamaran can reach speeds in excess of 20 knots in the best conditions, which is more than twice as fast as a typical monohull. This is because catamaran hulls cancel out the hydrodynamic interference that limits the 'hull speed' of monohulls.

Speed also has other important benefits. For one, it reduces the amount (and cost) of provisions that you need to store aboard. Additionally, speed gives you more flexibility when planning and avoiding weather.

Comfort in Rough Weather

Speaking of weather, catamarans have another notable advantage: stability. Catamarans are inherently stable vessels, and they ride much more softly in the rough weather than traditional sailboats.

Catamarans distribute their weight between two hulls. These hulls are connected on the tops, and water is free to flow in between them. Catamaran hulls are also sharp and narrow, and their shape allows wave punching.

This allows them to cut through waves instead of riding over them, and the effects of lateral rolling are also greatly diminished. That means it won't roll as violently from side to side.

All that extra stability contributes to the overall safety of the catamaran design. Since they incorporate two hulls, catamarans are extremely difficult to capsize.

There's another hidden safety benefit of the catamaran design. If in the very unlikely event that you capsize, a catamaran will float just as well upside down provided the hulls split apart. This makes it an effective life raft in a catastrophic situation.

Extra Storage Space

Catamarans have tons of extra storage space, especially if you're traveling with a smaller crew. A typical cruising catamaran has accommodations for around eight people or more and usually includes at least four bunk areas in the hulls.

With all that extra room, there's plenty of space to store food, toiletries, emergency supplies, souvenirs, and personal items. There's also plenty of room for guests.

Room for More Passengers

Catamarans have many more sleeping spaces than an equally sized conventional sailboat. Catamarans usually include two master staterooms in the forward part of each hull and two aft.

The hulls typically contain at least one head in each, and usually two. Some catamarans include four large bathroom/shower combinations, which give each passenger or couple a private bathing area.

Larger 'Day Living' Spaces

Catamarans also have larger living areas between the hulls. The cockpit of a cruising catamaran is usually covered and spans almost the entire beam of the vessel.

This space often contains the galley and a large sitting area, along with a chart table and other essential equipment. The hulls can be accessed on either side of this space, and there's usually a large window forward.

There's standing headroom throughout the covered cockpit. It more than makes up for the lost space in the comparatively narrow hulls, as these areas are used primarily for sleeping.

Shallow Draft

Catamarans don't need an extended keel for stability. As a result, they draw very little water and can traverse shallow waters that similarly sized monohulls couldn't dream of accessing.

It's easy to beach a catamaran which makes it an excellent island-hopping boat as well. Plus, when the tide runs out, a catamaran will rest evenly on the seabed without any additional supports.

Cons of Sailing Around The World in a Catamaran

So what are the cons of sailing a catamaran around the world? We covered many of the benefits, and we'll touch on a few additional topics here. But there are some downsides that are important to consider.

Size Limitations

Size is your friend out on the open ocean. The wide beam and considerable length of most cruising catamarans make them exceptionally safe and comfortable in a variety of weather conditions. However, most marinas aren't designed for Doublewide boats, and size restrictions could cause headaches in many parts of the world.

The problem of having a wide boat extends beyond the marina. Many channels in passageways can't accommodate wide boats, and those that to me charge more for your passage.

Structural Deficiencies

The vast majority of cruising catamarans are extremely well-built and will never suffer any serious structural failures. However, the basic design of a catamaran makes it vulnerable in certain places, specifically where the hull meets the frames that hold them together.

There have been several cases of catamarans literally snapping in half, usually when under tremendous load or when improperly maintained. This can usually be attributed to a flaw in a specific vessel, and it's not very common. But it is a possibility, and monohulls are not susceptible to it.

Cost to Sail a Catamaran Around the World

Are you waiting for the downsides of sailing a catamaran? Cost is the biggest one. Catamarans are obscenely expensive compared to conventional single-hull sailboats.

The average new catamaran cost upwards of $300,000, and some cost as much as $750,000. An equivalent monohull, new from the factory, costs around $150,000-$200,000. Cruising catamarans don't lose much value either, and you're still likely to pay over $100,000 for one.

Compare that to a monohull. A conventional sailboat that's capable of sailing around the world (say, 40 feet or so in length) is likely to cost between $30,000 and $60,000. Some are even cheaper. For many people, the cost is the prohibiting factor when choosing a sailboat to circumnavigate with.

How Popular are Catamarans for Circumnavigation?

If you've spent much time in the sailing community, you've undoubtedly noticed the prolific number of catamarans on YouTube, internet forums, and sailing blogs. But are catamarans really as popular as they seem, or is it just a case of selection bias?

Catamarans are surprisingly popular these days, but mostly among buyers of new and lead model sailboats. Catamarans, as we know them today, weren't produced in great numbers until recently, and they've only been popular for sailing around the world since the 2000s.

Over the years, an increasing number of people have chosen a catamaran as their long-range cruising sailboat, and the sailing community widely accepted the superior handling and comfort of these vessels.

Catamaran Vs Monohull for Circumnavigation

So, which is better for sailing around the world, a catamaran or a monohull? When it comes to sailing around the world, a Catamaran is an obvious choice for a number of reasons. Speed, safety, and comfort or the primary benefits, and these are worth their weight in gold on a long circumnavigation.

Catamaran Vs Trimaran for Circumnavigation

But what about the trimaran? Many multihull sailors prefer the trimaran due to its superior speed, and many claim it has better motion comfort as well. A trimaran, which has three hulls, is a sizable upgrade from a monohull.

Comparatively, a trimaran is a much less considerable improvement over a catamaran. They also cost more, but the exceptional handling and motion comfort of a trimaran is worth it to many.

Related Articles

How to Sail Around the World

What Size Catamaran To Sail Around The World

I've personally had thousands of questions about sailing and sailboats over the years. As I learn and experience sailing, and the community, I share the answers that work and make sense to me, here on Life of Sailing.

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My Cruiser Life Magazine

Best Catamaran for Sailing Around the World — Best Cruising Catamarans

Sailing around the world is a dream of many. It’s the grandest adventure you can have in a sailing vessel—or at least one of the top five. But what kind of boat do you choose?

For many, the go-to answer has become a bluewater catamaran. These boats offer outstanding comfort and living space. They outperform most monohull sailboats of their size, and their bright and airy salons and cockpits will convert non-sailors to the ideas of what is possible with such a boat. 

Here’s a look at some of the best long distance cruising catamarans and why these boats are great choices for many crews.

Best Catamaran for Sailing Around the World — Best Cruising Catamarans

Table of Contents

Lagoon 440/450/46, leopard catamarans 42/43 (circa 2000-2007), pdq antares 44/44i, catana 471/47, fountaine pajot orana / helia 44, balance 482, what is a cruising catamaran, cruising catamaran pros, cons of catamaran offshore cruising, what to look for — best catamaran for sailing around the world, best cruising catamarans faqs, 8 popular choices for best cruising catamarans.

Every boat has strengths and weaknesses, and every list is biased. There are tons of boats out there, and it’s impossible to be familiar with every single one. Furthermore, as time passes and our needs change, the types of boats that catch our attention change. 

Sailing long distances, like around the world, is a very specific mission. It’s not something you wake up one morning and say, “Today, I’m setting off around the world!” 

No, a circumnavigation is the culmination of years of preparation and research. Just finding the right boat is a big part of that. Some experienced cruisers make their business helping people find the right boat to suit their needs. If you’re completely lost in the boat-buying process, reaching out to an experienced expert (not just a yacht broker!) is an important step. 

One such person is John Neal. Neal runs Mahina Offshore Services and is a consultant for folks wanting to cast off the lines. He’s written extensively about what makes a good bluewater cruiser and specializes in boat consultations. Be sure to visit his website and download his free ebook, Selecting and Purchasing an Ocean Cruising Sailboat.

Another great resource, especially if you’re considering voyaging with your kids, are Jamie and Behan Gifford of Sailing Totem . They work as consultants helping couples and families find their path to a successful circumnavigation—what they call “from dream worthy to seaworthy.” Totem and crew crossed their wake a few years back, and they write for Cruising World and often speak at events like Cruiser University at the Annapolis Sailboat Show in the fall.

Here’s a look at some of the most popular long-distance cruising catamarans. This isn’t an all-inclusive list, nor are these really recommendations. Rather, they’re a look at some boats, both good and bad, to consider for the ultimate sailing adventure.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Katamarans (@katamarans)

Lagoons are the ubiquitous production boat of the catamaran world. Next to Leopard, they dominate nearly every list of catamarans since the company makes so many of them. They’ve been cranking these boats out for over 20 years, longer than many other manufacturers. When you do the math, there’re more examples of individual Lagoon models out there than hulls made by many other manufacturers combined. 

What does all that mean for the buyer? For one thing, it means it’s not hard to find a Lagoon for sale. If you pick your model, you’ll probably find a few dozen for sale worldwide at any given time. A cursory look at Yacht World shows 23 listings for the 440 and another 77 for the 450 (not including those listed separately as 450F and 450S!). 

The 440 was the first of Lagoon’s popular flybridge models. This offers an upper level so that the helmsperson can see all points of the boat and is separate from the salon and cockpit area. Many liveaboard 440 owners have converted the upper flybridge with an enclosure to make it an all-weather helm. 

The 450 took the 440’s success and improved all the details. The updated design was one of the most popular boats Lagoon ever made. They eventually divided the lineup it the 450F, with the standard flybridge, and the 450S, with a “sporty” helm on the aft coachroof. 

Both are very popular boats and are sized right for world voyaging. They aren’t without problems, however. Around 2020, many owners began discovering serious problems with bulkheads delaminating from the hulls. However, Lagoon has an official fix, and many boats have been successfully repaired. As always, get a good survey, research, and ask the right questions!

Lagoon 450s are currently listed for anywhere between $400,000 and $800,000. 440s are older and can be found between $275,000 and $450,000. As always, keep your eyes peeled for the less common and much more comfortable owners’ version layouts with one huge master cabin.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Solo Deniz (@solo_deniz)

Leopard is another ubiquitous brand in the catamaran world. The company’s newer models, like the current (2023) Leopard 45, have a forward seating area and a large opening door on the front of the salon. In short, they’re perfect charter boats. Leopard habitually reuses their model numbers repeatedly, making getting the right model confusing. The newest Leopard 42 started production in 2020 and features the forward patio lounge. 

The Leopards included on this list are much older and lack this forward patio design. Instead, these original Leopards have a low-profile aesthetic perfect for ocean sailing. They’re comfortable and functional. They’re a little on the small size for world cruising but would be perfectly suited for a couple that wants the smallest boat they can get. 

The difference between the two models was only one thing—the 42 included a soft-top bimini, while the 43 had a hard top. Most owners have now converted their 42’s soft top to a hard one. 

Leopard 42s and 43s from 2000 to 2007 are currently listed between $250,000 and $350,000. The 43s, which are a bit newer, go for just a little more. Since so many saw charter use, finding good examples with owner’s layouts is hard. When you do, they’re worth the trouble to bring home.

If you’re looking for a bargain, the older Leopard 45 and 47 were remarkably similar in design. They are less common on the used market today, but if you find one in good shape, it’s worth a look. 

This boat started life built by Canadian catamaran builder PDQ. The design was wildly successful. However, when PDQ shut down, the hull molds made their way to Argentina and found new life. This is one of the few catamarans out there that is built for the specific mission we’re addressing here—a long distance cruising catamaran for a couple or a small family. 

The Antares is built from the keels up to be reliable, simple, comfortable, and safe. She’s not winning any races against the Outremers, Gunboats, or fastest catamarans of the world, but she makes up for it with her sturdy design and comfortable handling.

At 44 feet long, she’s the perfect length for a voyaging catamaran. She has impressive bridgedeck clearance and can handle most anything King Neptune throws her way. Her fit and finish are above average—excellent, in fact—and her layout is supremely functional. This is one catamaran that must be on your shortlist if you’re considering a circumnavigation.

Currently, two Antares are listed on the market, from $595,000 to $798,000. Only a handful of 44s are out there, and while the boat has been in production since around the year 2000, there just aren’t many to choose from. Those that are out there are coveted for their build quality and seaworthiness, so they don’t come cheap.

Catana is a French builder that makes performance catamarans with retractable daggerboards. These improve upwind performance dramatically and reduce your draft when gunkholing. Proponents of daggerboard designs will also point to their improved handling at sea, allowing the boat to slip freely down waves, thereby reducing the likelihood of capsizing in extreme conditions.

Catanas also feature a unique helm layout. Twin helms are located outboard on each stern, so you can pick your driving position for the best visibility, the best shade, or the best breeze. You’ll be driving with the autopilot from the nav station at sea anyway. It keeps sailing a little more fun when you’re out there for the fun of it. 

The 47 and 47OC (Ocean Class) are the newer versions of the boat. All versions feature Catana’s uniquely strong, lightweight composite layups and distinctive asymmetric narrow hulls. They’ve got outstanding bridgedeck clearance and 

Catana 47s and 47OCs are listed between $360,000 and $700,000. The older 471 is a little harder to find. Catana has always been a higher-end, low-volume brand that makes fewer hulls each year than other makes. 

Fountaine Pajot is the third of the “big three” catamaran makers. The French brand is often compared to Lagoon and Leopard, but their designs have always stuck more on the performance side than the bulky cruiser side. In the ocean-going length, their 44-footers are just about right. 

Regarding layouts and features, it’s hard to imagine a more perfectly suited boat than the FP 44s. These boats are big enough to carry all your stuff and give you space to spread out. But they’re also good sailors and stable at sea. They feature the preferred coachroof-mounted helm, which is raised enough to provide good visibility without being disconnected from the action in the cockpit. 

Oranas are currently listed from $295,000 to $468,000, while the newer and more popular Helias go for anywhere from $447,000 to $649,000. These were popular boats with private owners, and in charter, so there are usually quite a few available. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by David & Amy (@outchasingstars)

Mantas are a well-built, American-made catamaran sailboat that went through several revisions. Overall, the hulls and layouts never changed from the early 38s to the last 42 Mark IVs. But the transoms were extended for speed and better handling, and the extra length of the later models makes them just right for a small ocean-going cat. 

Balance is a South African company that has made their business to produce a modern sailing catamaran for a new age of sailing. This isn’t a legacy brand, so you aren’t going to find one at a bargain price. Instead, these boats are being built on a semi-custom basis for owners like us who want to sail their boats around the world. 

The company describes the Balance 482 as a “trend-setting circumnavigator.” It won Boat of the Year from Sailing World Magazine in 2022.  

HH boats are built in Asia as cutting-edge sailing catamarans for the owner/sailor market. They’re designed by Morrelli and Melvin, one of the multihull world’s top design firms.

These boats are also semi-custom, so you won’t find many on the used market. They’re known for their modern innovations, including a fold-down swim platform and an EcoDrive hybrid system. You can spec your boat with either mini keels (OC or “ocean cruising”) or daggerboards (SC or “sport cruising”).

The HH50 is the company’s best bet for circumnavigating with a small family. There’s also the capable, smaller sistership, the HH44.

Why Are Catamarans Great for Long-Distance Voyaging?

Catamarans are immensely popular for a few reasons. For one thing, they’re some of the most comfortable boats for long-term living aboard. They offer lots of living space, storage, and tankage. They have panoramic views, with huge windows letting light and air into the open salon. Unlike classic monohull sailboats, they are not dark and stuffy at all. 

Catamarans also don’t heel like monohull sailboats do. This is good and bad, but most people (especially non-sailors) prefer it. It means when you’re sailing, you aren’t at an angle for days or weeks at a time. Your stuff isn’t constantly rolling downhill on the counter and falling out of the medicine cabinet whenever you open the door. They still move and rock on the waves, but the motion is always more upright than heeled to one side. 

There are a dozen other reasons folks prefer catamarans to monohulls for long-distance or long-term traveling. And, like all things in boating, every sailor is a little different. Some don’t like catamarans and prefer a beefy bluewater monohull’s stability and solid feel. Your mileage may vary, as the saying goes. 

Of course, the longest voyage of them all is sailing around the world. The typical downwind circumnavigation involves several long-distance passages and many months of hopping through remote island nations. The longest leg is typically from Panama or the Galapagos Islands to French Polynesia (The Marquesa Islands), a leg of at least 3,000 nm that typically takes 20 days or more. 

In total, a circumnavigation takes at least 18 months but commonly even longer. That’s a long time to spend on any vessel, so the comfort of a cruising catamaran makes a lot of sense.

A cruising catamaran is roughly defined as one designed to carry passengers and crew long distances. Obviously, this means it needs to be equipped with staterooms and heads, a galley, and a salon. But that also means it must hold enough fuel and water to keep its passengers safe for long voyages. 

The cat also needs to be designed to be stable enough for all of that to be used to capacity. Two to four people, plus enough supplies to keep them fed and healthy for months, weighs quite a lot. Then you add in spare parts, water toys, and other goodies, and it adds up. Catamaran speed and stability come from its lightweight design. If you make it too heavy and overload it, it will be slow and less stable in rough conditions. 

When you consider all of this, you’ll come up with a minimum size for a catamaran to carry all the stuff you need for such a long voyage. Generally, the smallest cats in this class will be around 42 feet long. This is the right size for a cruising couple that doesn’t often sail with others. A 44-footer will be a little more comfortable and make having occasional guests onboard a more pleasant experience. Once you get to 50 feet or longer, the boat is a bit large for most private owner skippers to handle. Costs start to balloon at this length and above, as well. 

What about a small catamaran ? Many people have successfully done the trip in smaller boats, of course. Generally, however, these smaller cats are pushed to their limits in terms of load carrying capacity. In most cases, circumnavigators will take on extra crew for longer legs (this is sometimes even an insurance requirement!). The ride in rough seas is not as good in shorter cats, which tend to hobby horse more in a chop. So, overall, 42 feet and above is about the sweet spot.

Cruising Catamarans

Comfortable Living Space

The huge salons and cockpits catamarans offer, with comfortable seating at big tables, truly improve your life at sea. The importance of all the light and air coming through those windows can’t be underestimated—it’s great at anchor when enjoying the sunset. But it’s also great to have an interior nav station where you can keep watch from the comfort of the salon. In short, a liveaboard catamaran is one of the most comfortable options for any type of cruising.

Better Speed, Especially Downwind

Compared to monohulls of similar length, catamarans are nearly always faster. This goes for fast catamarans, sure, but also for cruising catamarans. This becomes very apparent when traveling downwind, something that most monohulls struggle with. And downwind is the preferred direction to travel on a sail around the world route .

Comfort at Sea

The lack of heeling makes catamarans the preferred choice for long distance sailing. When given the choice of doing a 20-day passage perfectly upright or at a 10-degree tilt, which would you pick? Even the saltiest of sailors has to agree that heeling over is fun for a while but gets tiring quickly.

Redundant Systems and Structures

With two hulls, two engines, two water tanks, two fuel tanks, two sets of bilge pumps, and tons of other redundancy built in, catamarans offer owners extra layers of safety. 

If all of this sounds too good to be true, it’s because we haven’t discussed the most limiting factor for most sailors—the cost of the boat! Catamarans are expensive from the outset. When juggling all of the factors with an around-the-world cruise, boat cost is the biggest. 

Catamarans cost more than monohulls for many reasons. They are larger, but even still, they often sell for more. One reason is their popularity. These boats are in demand. Far fewer examples are on the market than monohulls, and more buyers are looking to purchase them. So prices are high and are likely to stay high. On the other hand, Monohull prices are much lower because there are more monohulls out there than there are monohull buyers.

With any boat, there is also the cost of keeping it once you own it. The larger the boat, the greater your expenses will be. This is true for everything from maintenance to storage. Catamarans cost more than monohulls in nearly every instance. For maintenance, you’ll be limited to facilities that can haul a boat with your width—which will be more expensive. You’ll have two engines, which means twice the maintenance and twice the replacement cost when that time comes.

Choppy Motion

Despite all the plusses and the flat ride, plenty of sailors out there just don’t like the ride a catamaran offers. You have to take one to sea to understand fully. A catamaran is light and tries to fly across the water, from wave to wave. It smacks each wave twice and always tries to come back upright after each impact. This leads to a choppy, jarring ride sometimes. 

A monohull is built heavy and is designed to slice through the waves and push the water out of its way. The wind pressure on the sails keeps the boat’s angle steady (in most cases). So, a heavy monohull can ride quite comfortably in a chop, whereas a catamaran might feel like it’s taking a pounding. Many heavy-displacement monohulls built for long-distance travel were designed to provide a soft, comfortable ride that allows the crew to rest. 

All sea conditions are different, as are all sailors and their expectations. So this is a personal choice as to which method you like better. And for every condition uncomfortable in a catamaran but smoother in a monohull, there’s something smooth and lovely in the cat and uncomfortable in the monohull. The ocean is just like that.

All cruising cats over about 40 feet are capable, and most have become proven circumnavigators in the past few decades. The right one for you simply comes down to the balance of cruising amenities versus performance. Fast catamarans are all the rage, but you’ll have to put a price on exactly how much performance you can afford.

To learn more about other boats before deciding, check out:

  • Catamaran vs Pontoon
  • Yacht vs Sailboat

What type of boat is best for sailing around the world?

The type of boat best suited to sailing around the world is a well-built, long-distance cruising boat. Many sailboats fall into the camp, both monohulls and catamarans.

This question has a million answers. Ask every sailor who wants to go around the world, and you’ll get a different one. And, once they’ve sailed around the world on that boat, they’d choose a different boat. The only rule is that there is no perfect boat. 

What is the best catamaran to sail Caribbean?

Catamarans are extremely popular in the Caribbean because their open-air living space allows cooling airflow. Their living space is supremely suited for the tropical environment—imagine living al fresco on the waterfront all the time! 

The right catamaran for the job depends on your group size and how long you intend to spend aboard. Full-time liveaboard couples prefer cats in the 38 to 44-foot range, while small families opt for something slightly larger. 

Are catamarans easier to sail?

Catamarans are easy to sail—but similar to sailing a similar-length monohull sailboat.  Beginners sometimes find them less intimidating because they do not heel and therefore seem more stable. However, monohulls are more forgiving of errors. Catamarans have large sails and rigging, and reefing early to avoid overloading the rig is extremely important on these boats. For more on beginner boats, check out my post: Best Boat for Beginners .

circumnavigation catamaran

Matt has been boating around Florida for over 25 years in everything from small powerboats to large cruising catamarans. He currently lives aboard a 38-foot Cabo Rico sailboat with his wife Lucy and adventure dog Chelsea. Together, they cruise between winters in The Bahamas and summers in the Chesapeake Bay.

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Sail Away Blog

Choosing the Perfect Size Catamaran for Your World Sailing Adventure

Alex Morgan

circumnavigation catamaran

Sailing around the world is a dream for many adventurers, and choosing the right catamaran size is crucial for a successful and enjoyable journey. A catamaran, with its stability, spaciousness, and ability to navigate shallow waters, is an ideal choice for long-distance cruising. In this article, we will explore the factors to consider when selecting a catamaran size for sailing around the world and the options available. We will also discuss important features and considerations, including stability, storage capacity, sailing performance, crew requirements, and cost. personal considerations such as budget, sailing experience, comfort, and navigational plans will be taken into account. We will provide some valuable tips for preparing and sailing a catamaran around the world, including safety measures, navigational tools, provisioning, weather monitoring, and communication. Whether you’re a seasoned sailor or embarking on your first long-distance voyage, this guide will help you make an informed decision about choosing the right catamaran size for your global sailing adventure.

Key takeaway:

  • Choosing the right catamaran size is crucial for sailing around the world. Factors like length, beam, draft, and displacement need to be considered.
  • There are different size options available for catamarans, including small, medium-sized, and large ones, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
  • Features like stability, storage capacity, sailing performance, crew requirements, cost, and maintenance should be evaluated when selecting a catamaran size.
  • Personal considerations such as budget, sailing experience, comfort, and navigational plans also play a significant role in determining the ideal catamaran size.
  • Preparation for sailing a catamaran around the world involves safety equipment, navigational tools, provisioning, water management, weather monitoring, and communication.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Catamaran Size

When it comes to sailing around the world, choosing the right catamaran size is crucial. In this section, we’ll dive into the key factors to consider when making this decision. From the length and beam to the draft and displacement, each sub-section will uncover essential aspects that can impact your sailing adventure. So, let’s sail through these factors and discover the perfect catamaran size to conquer the open seas!

The length of a catamaran is important when choosing a vessel for sailing around the world. It affects the boat’s performance and functionality . Consider the table below that shows the different lengths of catamarans and their characteristics :

When considering the length of a catamaran, it is essential to factor in personal preferences and needs. A longer catamaran may offer more space and stability but might be harder to maneuver in tight spaces. On the other hand, a shorter catamaran may offer better maneuverability but have limited space for amenities and storage.

Let’s share a true story about catamaran length. John , an experienced sailor, chose a 45-foot catamaran for his journey around the world. The moderate length allowed him to comfortably accommodate his family while still offering ease of handling. He appreciated the balance between agility and living space that the 45-foot catamaran provided, making his sailing adventure enjoyable and fulfilling.

When considering the size of a catamaran for sailing around the world, it is essential to take into account the beam . The beam , which refers to the width of the catamaran measured from one hull to the other, plays a crucial role in the stability and living space of the boat.

Smaller catamarans generally have a smaller beam , resulting in less spacious living quarters and potentially reduced stability. They compensate by being more maneuverable, and they also have lower initial costs and maintenance requirements.

For those seeking a balance between living space and stability, medium-sized catamarans with a moderate beam are an excellent choice. They are easy to handle, offer a good combination of living space and stability, and come at a reasonable cost in terms of both purchase and maintenance.

Large catamarans, with their wider beams , provide generous living spaces and enhanced stability. They may be slightly less maneuverable compared to smaller and medium-sized catamarans. They generally come with higher initial costs and maintenance requirements.

By considering your priorities regarding living space, stability, maneuverability, and budget, you can determine the appropriate beam size for your catamaran when embarking on a journey around the world.

When selecting a catamaran size for sailing around the world, the draft becomes a crucial consideration. The draft pertains to the vertical measurement from the waterline to the deepest region of the hull, including the keels or daggerboards.

– Opting for a shallower draft proves advantageous for navigating shallow bodies of water, such as coastal areas , lagoons , and coral reefs . A catamaran with a draft ranging from about 2 to 4 feet proves fitting for these particular conditions.

– A moderate draft achieves a desirable equilibrium between stability and performance . Catamarans with drafts ranging from 4 to 6 feet demonstrate versatility and aptitude in a broad array of sailing conditions.

– A deeper draft confers benefits in terms of improved upwind performance and stability amid rough seas. Catamarans with a draft of at least 6 feet emerge as a superior choice for offshore passages and ocean crossings.

– The draft of the catamaran also exercises influence on anchoring possibilities. A shallower draft allows for access to more shallow anchorages, whereas a deeper draft might necessitate anchoring farther from the shore.

Historical records illustrate the evolution of catamaran drafts over time. Early catamarans possessed comparably shallow drafts suited for coastal cruising. Nonetheless, advancements in design and technology facilitated the adoption of deeper drafts, thereby enhancing stability and performance. Presently, catamarans offer diverse draft options that cater to various sailing preferences and destinations.


When choosing a catamaran for sailing around the world, one important factor is displacement . Displacement refers to the weight of the water a catamaran displaces when floating.

Size of Catamaran Displacement

Small 10,000 to 20,000 pounds

Medium-sized 20,000 to 40,000 pounds

Large 40,000 to 60,000 pounds

The displacement of a catamaran affects its stability and how it handles waves and rough weather. A catamaran with higher displacement will generally have better stability and a smoother ride in challenging conditions.

It is important to note that higher displacement also means a larger and heavier catamaran, which can impact maneuverability and sailing performance. Smaller catamarans with lower displacement may be easier to handle and more nimble.

Ultimately, the choice of catamaran size and displacement depends on personal preferences, experience, and sailing goals. Factors such as budget, comfort, and navigational plans should be considered when making a decision.

Catamaran Size Options for Sailing Around the World

When it comes to sailing around the world, choosing the right catamaran size is essential. In this section, we’ll discuss the different catamaran size options available for this grand adventure. From small catamarans designed for maneuverability to medium-sized ones offering a balance of comfort and speed, and finally, large catamarans ideal for luxurious long-distance voyages. Join us as we explore the world of catamarans and find the perfect vessel for your nautical journey of a lifetime.

Small Catamarans

When considering small catamarans for sailing around the world, keep in mind:

– Length: Small catamarans range from 30 to 40 feet . These compact sizes make them easier to handle and maneuver in tight spaces.

– Beam: The beam, or width, of a small catamaran is usually around 15 to 20 feet . This provides stability and ample space for living and storage.

– Draft: The draft, or depth, of a small catamaran is typically shallow, ranging from 2 to 4 feet . This allows for navigation in shoal waters and easy anchoring.

– Displacement: Small catamarans have a lighter displacement compared to larger ones, typically ranging from 8,000 to 12,000 pounds . This allows for increased speed and agility.

One true story highlights the benefits of small catamarans . John and Jane sailed around the world on their 35-foot catamaran . The compact size of their small catamaran allowed them to access remote anchorages and explore hidden coves that larger vessels couldn’t reach. The shallow draft of their small catamaran also allowed them to navigate safely through coral reefs and shallow lagoons. The smaller size made it more manageable for just the two of them to handle all aspects of sailing. Their small catamaran provided them with comfort, ease of handling, and the ability to explore off-the-beaten-path destinations.

Medium-sized Catamarans

When selecting a catamaran of medium size, it is important to take into consideration various factors. These factors include:

Length: Medium-sized catamarans are typically between 40 and 50 feet in length. This size provides a good balance between spaciousness and maneuverability.

Beam: Medium-sized catamarans have a beam measurement of approximately 22 to 25 feet. This width ensures stability, which is essential for long-distance cruising.

Draft: The draft of medium-sized catamarans usually ranges from 4 to 6 feet. This shallow depth enables versatile sailing in different locations.

Displacement: Medium-sized catamarans typically weigh between 15,000 and 25,000 pounds. This weight range offers a harmonious combination of speed and comfort.

When making a decision on a medium-sized catamaran, it is crucial to consider your specific needs and preferences. Factors that should be taken into account include budget, living space requirements, and navigational plans. By thoroughly assessing these factors, you will be able to find a medium-sized catamaran that perfectly aligns with your sailing aspirations, no matter where in the world you wish to explore.

Large Catamarans

Large catamarans are the perfect choice for those looking to sail around the world. These magnificent vessels offer a plethora of advantages. They provide an abundance of living and storage space, ensuring utmost comfort during long journeys. Furthermore, large catamarans exhibit excellent stability even in rough seas, making them a safer option for extended offshore sailing .

Let’s take a look at a table that compares some key features of large catamarans :

Large catamarans are particularly suitable for individuals who prioritize space , comfort , and stability . It is crucial to consider the specific needs and preferences of the crew. For instance, a larger crew may be required to handle the size and complexity of a large catamaran .

Fun fact: Large catamarans often boast advanced navigation systems and modern amenities such as spacious cabins, lounges, and entertainment areas. These luxurious features provide sailors with an unparalleled experience while exploring the vast oceans of the world.

Catamaran Features and Considerations

When it comes to choosing the right catamaran for sailing around the world, understanding the key features and considerations is crucial. In this section, we’ll dive into the factors that can make or break your journey. From the stability that ensures a smooth ride to the storage capacity for all your essentials, we’ll cover it all. Plus, we’ll explore the catamaran’s sailing performance, crew requirements, and the cost and maintenance involved. Get ready to set sail with confidence!

Stability is important when choosing a catamaran for sailing around the world. A stable catamaran provides a comfortable and safe experience on long ocean passages. Here are some important points to consider:

1. Hull design: Look for catamarans with a wider beam for better stability. A wider beam offers a solid foundation and reduces the chances of capsizing.

2. Weight distribution: Proper weight distribution is crucial for stability. A well-balanced catamaran has evenly distributed weight across both hulls, ensuring stability at anchor and underway.

3. Center of gravity: The height of the center of gravity plays a significant role in stability. A lower center of gravity enhances stability, making the catamaran less prone to rolling in rough seas.

4. Bridge deck clearance: Bridge deck clearance is the distance between the bottom of the bridgedeck and the water. Sufficient clearance reduces the chances of ‘slamming’ when encountering waves, improving stability.

5. Wave-piercing bows: Some catamarans have wave-piercing bows that cut through waves instead of riding over them. This design can help enhance stability and reduce pitching in rough conditions.

Pro-tip: Find the right balance between stability and performance. While a highly stable catamaran is comfortable, it may sacrifice speed and maneuverability. Evaluate your sailing goals and prioritize stability accordingly.

Storage and Capacity

When considering storage and capacity on a catamaran, factors to take into account include:

  • Storage Space: Evaluate the available storage space for belongings, provisions, and equipment.
  • Cargo Capacity: Consider the maximum weight capacity for supplies, fuel, and water.
  • Cabin Layout: Assess the number and size of cabins to ensure enough sleeping space.
  • Deck Space: Consider the usable deck space for lounging, socializing, and storing equipment.
  • Accessibility: Check if storage areas are easily accessible and secure against rough weather.
  • Weight Distribution: Ensure even storage space distribution for stability and performance.

A true story highlights the importance of storage and capacity. A couple on a world sailing adventure underestimated their storage needs. The limited space caused inefficiency and frustration. This taught them the valuable lesson of considering storage and capacity for a smooth sailing experience.

Sailing Performance

Sail Area: The sail area of a catamaran greatly impacts its sailing performance, allowing for higher speeds and improved maneuverability in various wind conditions. The larger sail area provides better control and enhances the overall performance of the catamaran.

Hull Design: The design of the catamaran’s hull plays a critical role in optimizing its sailing performance. A sleek and streamlined hull reduces drag, enabling the catamaran to achieve faster speeds and increased efficiency during sailing.

Weight Distribution: Proper weight distribution is essential to ensure optimal sailing performance . A well-balanced catamaran with the correct weight distribution between the hulls maximizes stability and speed, ensuring smooth and efficient sailing .

Rigging and Sail Controls: The rigging and sail controls have a significant impact on the catamaran’s sailing performance. Efficient systems for adjusting sail shape, tension, and trim enable better control and enhance overall performance on the water.

Keel and Daggerboard: The keel or daggerboard on a catamaran provide stability and prevent lateral drift. The design and positioning of these components affect the catamaran’s ability to sail upwind and greatly influence its overall performance.

Fact: A well-designed and properly maintained catamaran can reach speeds of up to 25 knots or more , making it an ideal choice for those seeking exhilarating sailing performance on their journeys around the world.

Crew Requirements

When considering crew requirements for sailing a catamaran around the world, several factors need to be taken into account. These factors include experience, skills, physical fitness, teamwork, and emergency training.

A crew with sailing experience is important, especially for long-distance journeys. Crew members should have a good understanding of navigation, seamanship, and boat handling. Each crew member should possess the necessary skills for tasks like sailing, cooking, maintenance, and repairs. It is beneficial to have a diverse skill set within the crew.

Sailing around the world requires physical endurance , as crew members may need to perform physically demanding tasks, especially in challenging weather conditions or when handling sails. A harmonious and cooperative crew is essential for a successful voyage. Good communication, problem-solving skills, and the ability to work together as a team are crucial.

All crew members should be familiar with emergency procedures and have undergone appropriate safety training, including knowledge of life-saving equipment, man-overboard drills, and first aid. Ensuring that the crew meets these requirements contributes to a safe and enjoyable sailing experience around the world.

Cost and Maintenance

When considering the cost and maintenance of a catamaran for sailing around the world, keep in mind the following factors:

1. Initial cost: Catamarans can range in price from $100,000 to several million dollars, depending on size, brand, and condition.

2. Insurance: The cost of insuring a catamaran can vary based on factors such as boat value, navigational area, and owner’s experience.

3. Maintenance and repairs: Regular maintenance, including hull cleaning, engine servicing, and sail inspections, is required for catamarans. The cost of these tasks can add up over time.

4. Fuel: The cost of fuel for a catamaran can vary depending on the size and type of engines. Consider fuel consumption when budgeting for long-distance sailing.

5. Marina fees: Catamaran owners often have to pay mooring or berthing fees when docked in marinas. The cost can differ depending on location and facilities available.

Considering the cost and maintenance of a catamaran is crucial when planning to sail around the world. It is recommended to calculate a realistic budget that takes into account not only the initial purchase price, but also ongoing expenses. Research and obtain quotes for insurance, understand the cost of regular maintenance and repairs, and factor in fuel and marina fees to ensure a smooth and enjoyable sailing experience without any financial surprises.

Personal Considerations for Choosing Catamaran Size

When it comes to choosing the right catamaran size for sailing around the world, there are a few personal considerations to keep in mind. From budget and financing to sailing experience and skill level, comfort and living space, as well as navigational plans and destinations, each aspect plays a crucial role. So, let’s dive in and explore how these factors can influence the decision-making process and ensure a smooth and enjoyable voyage.

Budget and Financing

When selecting a catamaran for sailing around the world, it is essential to consider budget and financing. Here are some key factors to keep in mind:

1. Initial Cost: Take into account the total expense of buying a catamaran, including any customizations or upgrades.

2. Maintenance and Upkeep: Remember to think about the ongoing costs associated with maintaining and repairing the catamaran, such as regular inspections, hull cleaning, engine maintenance, and equipment replacement.

3. Insurance: Factor in the cost of insurance, which can vary based on the size and value of the catamaran, as well as your sailing experience.

4. Mooring and Marina Fees: Plan for the expenses related to docking the catamaran at marinas or moorings. Fees may vary depending on the location and duration of your stay.

5. Operating Costs: Set aside a budget for fuel, water, provisions, and other day-to-day expenses while sailing. Consider the length of your planned voyage and the destinations you intend to visit.

6. Financing Options: Take the time to explore different financing options, such as loans or lease agreements, to determine the most suitable and affordable way to acquire a catamaran.

Pro-tip: Prior to finalizing your budget, conduct thorough research on the used catamaran market. Purchasing a used catamaran can result in significant cost savings compared to buying a brand new one. Consider joining sailing forums or communities to gain insights from experienced sailors on how to optimize your budget and financing for your sailing adventure.

Sailing Experience and Skill Level

When selecting the appropriate size of a catamaran for sailing around the world, it is important to take into account your level of experience and skill when it comes to sailing. There are several factors to consider:

1. Previous sailing experience: It is crucial to assess your experience in sailing, including the types of boats you have sailed and the amount of time you have spent on the water. This will help determine the level of expertise needed to navigate a larger catamaran effectively.

2. Handling capabilities: Your ability to maneuver and handle a larger vessel needs to be taken into consideration. It is generally more challenging to handle larger catamarans, as they require advanced sailing skills.

3. Crew size and expertise: If you will be sailing with a crew, it is important to evaluate their experience and skill level as well. A larger catamaran may require a more experienced crew to manage the additional responsibilities that come with it.

4. Comfort level: Think about your comfort while sailing. Smaller catamarans are often more agile and easier to handle, especially in more challenging weather conditions.

It is crucial to objectively assess your sailing experience and skill level to ensure a safe and enjoyable sailing experience. Consider enrolling in sailing courses or gaining more experience before attempting to sail a larger catamaran around the world.

Comfort and Living Space

When considering the comfort and living space of a catamaran for world sailing, several important factors come into play. Cabin and common area size are crucial to ensuring a comfortable experience for everyone on board. It is important to find a catamaran with spacious cabins that can comfortably accommodate the number of people on board. The size of the saloon and cockpit should be taken into consideration for socializing and relaxing.

Layout and design also play a significant role in creating a comfortable living space on a catamaran. It is essential to look for a well-designed catamaran that maximizes space and provides separate areas for sleeping, dining, and lounging. Features such as multiple heads (bathrooms) and ample storage space should also be considered.

Ventilation and natural light are important for creating a comfortable environment on a catamaran. Good airflow is essential, so it is necessary to check for sufficient windows, hatches, and ventilation systems to keep the interior well ventilated and filled with natural light.

Stability and motion at sea are crucial for a comfortable sailing experience. A stable catamaran design provides a smoother ride and reduces the risk of seasickness. It is advisable to consider a catamaran with a wide beam and low center of gravity for enhanced stability and comfort while underway.

Comfort features greatly contribute to the overall enjoyment of a catamaran. Amenities such as a spacious galley, comfortable seating areas, and a well-equipped entertainment system enhance comfort and relaxation.

Personal preferences should also be taken into account when choosing a catamaran for comfort and living space. Some individuals may prioritize a larger master suite, while others may value outdoor living areas like a spacious flybridge or aft deck.

Ultimately, choosing the right catamaran size for comfort and living space depends on factors such as the number of people on board, personal preferences, and budget. Seeking advice from experienced sailors and visiting and inspecting different catamaran models can help in finding the one that best meets individual needs.

It is important to remember that comfort and living space are crucial for enjoying a journey around the world on a catamaran. Taking the time to assess requirements and finding a catamaran that offers the ideal balance of comfort and functionality is essential for a successful sailing adventure.

Navigational Plans and Destinations

When considering navigational plans for sailing around the world, it is important to take into account factors such as distance, weather conditions, and amenities at ports. When creating your navigational plans, make sure to consider the following key points:

– Distance: It is crucial to determine the length of your journey and plan your route accordingly. Take into consideration the travel time between destinations and ensure that you have enough provisions for the duration of the trip.

– Weather conditions: Research the weather patterns in the areas where you plan to visit. Make note of storm seasons or extreme weather conditions in order to avoid any risks.

– Ports and marinas: Identify the ports and marinas along your route that can accommodate the size of your catamaran. Make sure that they have the necessary facilities and services such as fueling stations, repair facilities, and provisions.

– Attractions and activities: Consider the attractions and activities available at each destination. Choose destinations that align with your interests, whether it be pristine beaches, diving or snorkeling opportunities, or cultural experiences.

– Cultural considerations: It is important to take into account the local culture and customs of the destinations you plan to visit. Show respect for protocols and regulations in order to have a positive experience.

Pro-tip: It is advisable to keep a flexible itinerary and be open to adjusting your navigational plans if needed. Adaptability can enhance your overall sailing experience around the world.

Tips for Preparing and Sailing a Catamaran Around the World

Preparing and sailing a catamaran around the world requires meticulous planning and attention to detail. In this section, we’ll discover valuable tips that can enhance your journey. We’ll cover essential aspects such as safety and emergency equipment, navigational tools and charts, provisioning and water management, weather monitoring and predictions, and communication and connectivity. From ensuring your safety to optimizing your resources, we’ll provide insights to make your catamaran adventure a success.

Safety and Emergency Equipment

When sailing a catamaran around the world, it is vital to prioritize the safety and well-being of the crew by ensuring the presence of essential safety and emergency equipment on board. Here are some crucial items to consider:

  • Life jackets: Each crew member should have a properly fitting, easily accessible life jacket in case of an emergency, ensuring their personal safety.
  • First Aid Kit: A well-stocked kit containing bandages, antiseptics, and medications is indispensable for promptly addressing injuries or illnesses while at sea.
  • EPIRB: An emergency position-indicating radio beacon (EPIRB) functions as a distress signal device, enabling swift alerting of rescue services to your precise location during an emergency situation.
  • Fire extinguishers: Strategically placing fire extinguishers on the catamaran allows for efficient management of onboard fires, ensuring the safety of the vessel and its occupants.
  • Flares: Hand-held and parachute flares serve as crucial signaling devices for seeking assistance when in distress on the water.
  • Emergency rations and water: It is of utmost importance to have an ample supply of emergency rations and potable water on board to sustain the crew during prolonged emergencies or unexpected loss of supplies.

Always remember that prioritizing safety is paramount while sailing. Possessing proper safety and emergency equipment significantly enhances the ability to handle emergencies successfully.

In 2013, the Vendée Globe yacht race witnessed a harrowing incident involving sailor Alex Thomson , whose catamaran collided with an unidentified submerged object, resulting in its capsize. Fortunately, Thomson’s meticulous adherence to safety protocols and the presence of necessary emergency equipment proved crucial. He promptly activated his EPIRB, wore a life jacket, and safely abandoned the sinking vessel. By being prepared and utilizing the available safety and emergency resources, Thomson was ultimately rescued by a passing ship and managed to survive the ordeal. This true account serves as a poignant reminder of how proper safety measures and the presence of appropriate emergency equipment are indispensable when embarking on sailing journeys.

Navigational Tools and Charts

Navigational Tools and Charts play a crucial role in sailing a catamaran. They ensure safe and efficient navigation, helping sailors plot courses, track positions, and avoid hazards. Here is a table showing the essential navigational tools and charts:

Charts are essential visual references for sailors, providing detailed information about coastlines, water depths, and navigational aids. Sailors should carry appropriate charts for their sailing area. Common chart types include:

Pro Tip: Regularly update charts and ensure the reliability of navigational tools to maintain accuracy and improve safety during your catamaran journey.

Remember, proper use of navigational tools and charts contributes to a successful and enjoyable sailing experience.

Provisioning and Water Management

One crucial aspect of sailing a catamaran around the world is provisioning and water management . It is essential to plan and prepare adequately for a smooth journey.

– Create a detailed list of necessary provisions , including non-perishable food items , cooking ingredients , and toiletries . – Take into account dietary restrictions and preferences when stocking up on food supplies. – Consider the storage space available on the catamaran and utilize it effectively for provisioning. – Prioritize long-lasting and easily storable food items to minimize the need for frequent resupply. – Keep track of expiry dates and rotate food supplies regularly to maintain freshness and prevent spoilage.

– Estimate the amount of freshwater required for the voyage, considering the number of crew members and the duration of the journey. – Install efficient water storage tanks and consider implementing a watermaker to generate freshwater from seawater. – Monitor water usage throughout the journey, promoting responsible consumption to conserve valuable freshwater resources. – Familiarize yourself with water treatment techniques to ensure the safety and quality of the onboard water supply. – Plan for potential contingencies by carrying additional jugs of freshwater or researching freshwater sources at various destinations.

Proper provisioning and water management are vital for the success of a catamaran journey around the world. By carefully considering and planning for these factors, sailors can ensure they have the necessary resources for their voyage and enjoy a safe and comfortable experience.

Fun Fact: A typical crew of four will require approximately 2-3 liters of freshwater per person per day for drinking and cooking during a long-term sailing trip.

Weather Monitoring and Predictions

Weather monitoring and predictions play a vital role in navigating a catamaran around the world. It is crucial to stay updated about weather conditions to ensure safe navigation.

To achieve this, it is important to regularly check weather forecasts from reputable sources such as meteorological agencies or weather routing services. These forecasts provide valuable information on wind patterns, storm systems, and ocean currents.

Equipping yourself with onboard weather monitoring systems is also essential. These systems provide real-time data on important factors such as wind speed , atmospheric pressure , and sea surface temperature . By having access to this information, you can make informed decisions regarding route planning and avoid adverse weather conditions.

Utilizing advanced technology is another key aspect of effective weather prediction. By utilizing advanced weather prediction models and satellite imagery, you can anticipate and track weather patterns. This knowledge allows you to plan sailing routes accordingly, avoiding heavy storms or dangerous weather conditions.

Having redundancy in receiving weather information is also critical. It is advisable to have backup means such as satellite phones or long-range radios in case of equipment failure or limited connectivity.

Seeking professional advice is highly recommended. Consult experienced sailors or weather experts who specialize in oceanic weather conditions. Their knowledge and expertise can provide valuable insights and guidance.

It is important to remember that weather conditions at sea can change rapidly. Therefore, prioritizing safety and adjusting the route if necessary is crucial. By closely monitoring weather patterns and making informed decisions, you can minimize risks and enjoy a smooth sailing experience around the world.

Here’s a fun fact: Sailors have relied on weather signs and natural indicators since ancient times to predict weather conditions. These indicators include observing clouds , wind patterns, and animal behavior .

Communication and Connectivity

When sailing a catamaran around the world, reliable communication and connectivity are crucial for staying connected with the outside world and ensuring safety. Cellular and satellite communication systems play an important role in staying connected, even in remote areas. These systems allow for voice calls , text messages , and internet access .

A working VHF radio and a valid operator’s license are essential for communication with other boats, marinas, and emergency services. On top of that, having Wi-Fi and internet access on board allows sailors to stay connected with family and friends, access weather updates, and perform online research. Navigation systems , including GPS , chart plotters , and radar systems , are also necessary for safe navigation and efficient communication with other vessels.

In case of emergencies, it is important to have emergency beacons such as EPIRBs and SARTs on board. These devices can send distress signals and help search and rescue teams locate the boat. Having a satellite phone as a backup communication device is advisable if cellular networks are not available or unreliable.

Having reliable communication and connectivity systems on a catamaran ensures that sailors can stay in touch with loved ones, receive important updates, and call for help if needed during their journey around the world.

The perfect size catamaran for sailing around the world is between 37 to 47 feet long.

  • ✅ Smaller catamarans have limited living space and cargo capacity, while larger ones are more expensive and difficult to handle.
  • ✅ Catamarans shorter than 30 feet usually do not have cabins and are not suitable for open sea sailing.
  • ✅ A catamaran needs to be well-equipped and have enough space for a crew and provisions for ocean-crossing voyages.
  • ✅ Catamarans between 40 and 45 feet are the average size for ocean-crossing and offer more space and amenities.
  • ✅ Catamarans have a high freeboard, reducing the risk of being washed over by large waves.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal size of a catamaran to sail around the world.

The recommended size range for a catamaran to embark on an around-the-world voyage is typically between 37 to 47 feet long. This size provides a good balance between living space, cargo capacity, and manageable handling.

Are smaller catamarans suitable for sailing around the world?

Smaller catamarans can still be used for world cruising if you adopt a minimalist lifestyle and stay light with your equipment and supplies. They have limited storage space for necessary provisions such as food and water.

Are larger catamarans better for long-distance voyages?

While larger catamarans offer enhanced levels of comfort and amenities, handling a bigger boat requires more skill and may require additional crew. Expenses increase with boat length, and bigger boats may face extra charges for services and marina slips.

What are the advantages of sailing around the world in a catamaran?

Some advantages of catamaran circumnavigation include speed, comfort in rough weather, safety, extra storage space, room for more passengers, larger living spaces, and a shallow draft, which allows for easy beaching and access to shallow waters.

How do catamarans compare to monohull sailboats for circumnavigation?

Catamarans are generally considered a better choice for circumnavigation compared to monohulls due to their stability, spaciousness, and comfort in rough weather. It’s important to note that the ideal choice ultimately depends on individual needs and preferences.

Where can I find catamarans for sailing around the world?

You can find catamarans suitable for sailing around the world through various sources such as boat shows, catamaran manufacturers, online listings, and yacht brokerage firms like Simpson Marine. They offer new and preowned yachts and catamarans for all budgets and usage plans, along with services like yacht management, design, and refit.

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Prout Snowgoose 37



circumnavigation catamaran

I’ve always had a soft spot for Prouts as the first catamaran I sailed on was a Prout Quest 33. The Snowgoose is her more famous sister that evolved from the earlier 35 footer “Damn Kiwi” is a lovely example of one of these boats. Read Alan’s Prout 37 Owner’s Review for a great insight into the pros and cons of this catamaran.

The Prout Snowgoose is not a performance catamaran by any stretch of the imagination,  but she sails well for her length and performs admirably in light air. She can take rough weather very well with her canoe sterns.

Mast Back, Big Genoa Prout were the first proponents of the ‘mast-aft’ rig with a small main, large head sail and all lines & sheets leading back to the cockpit making her very easy to handle alone. You’ll need to leave the cockpit when you put up the spinnaker, but that’s about it. Interestingly, this mast aft trend has become fashionable again with everything from the Gunboat 68 to the Lagoon 46 catamaran using Prout’s old tricks.

Charter a Prout Snowgoose 37 Catamaran

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  • The Prout Snowgoose is a proven ocean crosser – a sturdy, seaworthy and affordable catamaran.
  • The sail plan, with the mast set aft, is well set up for single-handed or short-handed sailing.
  • She will fit into a standard marina berth – that keeps your running costs down
  • If you take the mast off, you can motor down through France on the Canal du Midi.
  • They are pretty manoeuvrable in the marina, especially those boats with dual aft engines.
  • With flat keels and narrow beam she´s easy to haul or beach – which again saves you maintenance cost.
  • Low windage with that profile.
  • There is not much headroom in the salon. Once you are sat around the table, it´s fine – very cosy in fact.
  • She has canoe sterns which work well dissipating wave energy from behind, but it is not so easy to get on and off the boat.
  • Not the fastest catamaran on the water, but you should be able to average 6 knots
  • With that covered foredeck and low bridgedeck you will get some slamming in rougher weather
  • Most Snowgooses were fitted with a single engine. That makes the boat less manoeuvrable than a dual engine cat.

Head for the Canals Snowgoose was built with mini-keels so you can dry her out in between tides to clean the hulls and her narrow beam means she is able to motor down the French canals to the Med and back again.

The single engine concept is popular with owners. While not as manoeuvrable as twin engines, you can swivel the drive through 30 degrees to get around corners. Some of the later Elite models were fitted with twin engines, I believe only around 5 37s were launched with twin engines but others have had a retro-fit. They are more manoeuvrable and you have the redundancy advantage, but it adds weight to the boat and you will lose some performance.

Watch out for Slamming The bridge deck is pretty low compared to modern cats like a Nautitech 40 Open , and that’s because she has a centre “nacelle” like a Privilege, and yes they do suffer from slamming if you don’t load them properly, but keep the weight off the bow and the aft and she is still a very seaworthy boat, as countless owners who have crossed oceans will tell you.

These aren’t condomarans with oodles of space, and they aren’t racing cats either, but they are very well-built, strong, sea worthy and cosy boats that will deliver you across the oceans without breaking the bank.

circumnavigation catamaran

An Affordable Ocean Crosser More than 500 boats were built (not as many as the Lagoon 380, but still) and the number that have completed circumnavigations are in the hundreds. If your budget is around 100k and you want to sail around the world, you can do it on a Snowgoose.

The Prout family were building cats in the 1950s- this was a company with a long and rich history in multihulls before they sadly went bust in 2002 following a number of turbulent years.

The Snowgoose looks a bit dumpy and dated by modern catamaran design standards, but don’t let that fool you. She has a solid bridgedeck forward (something that Bali Catamarans have taken on), and while this isn’t as fetching as having nets, it does make for a very sturdy rigid boat with plenty of working and playing space forward.

A Narrower Beam Means Lower Marina Fees The beam is narrow compared to modern designs (the later Elite is wider) and the hulls aft don’t have sugar scoops for swimming platforms. The narrow beam means you pay standard monohull fees at most marinas: yet another saving on the running costs.

The cockpit is, shall we say, cosy, but step on board and you will quickly recognise that she is a solid, safe boat built to weather a storm.

Most Snowgoose 37s were built in the 1980s. A later model, called the Elite, has a wider beam. Both models evolved from the  Snowgoose 35. She has a cutter rig with a single-spreader mast.


You can’t call the Snowgoose 37 light for her length, with a displacement of more than 5,200 tonnes, but neither is she a block of lead. The hulls with stubby fixed keels are solid fiberglass, (newer models are solid below the waterline and cored above). With the solid bridgedeck she’s very rigid and strong, and the decks are cored with balsa or other materials to keep the weight down.

The newer Elite model went into production around ’86, and it’s around a foot bigger across the beam than the standard Snowgoose, so you get more room down below, but she carries more weight and has a slightly deeper draft.

The single engine has a rotating, retractable sonic drive gear. You may come across Prout 37s with twin engines as well, in particular some of the later Elites. In either configuration, the Snowgoose is very manoeuvrable.

The cockpit is small compared to modern cats but comfy enough with a bulkhead mounted helm that has great visibility. All lines come back to the cockpit. The mainsheet traveler is aft- it’s pretty short compared to newer cats. If the weather turns, the cabin door can be quickly closed to keep it nice and dry in the saloon.

She´s Seaworthy Although the side decks are narrow, there are plenty of handholds like the grab-rail that that you will use going forward. She feels safe, with plenty of lifelines and robust stanchions. The solid bridgedeck has two large forward lockers with plenty of storage space to keep things organised.

The majority of these cats are cutter rigged, with a furled genoa and staysail. The main is generally fully battened.

circumnavigation catamaran

Easy Anchor Check It’s a cool place to sleep at anchor, and you can easily check your position from your bunk. The saloon has a horseshoe sofa and a big table for socialising. It’s a really cosy space with a few friends around- it’s surprising how many people you can sit around the table. The whole feel is more cosy monohull with headroom about 5 feet, 8 inches. The solid wood finish is high quality – she has a lovely feel about her.

Plenty of Space, especially in the Elite Forward in the starboard hull there is a changing area, storage, bookshelves and lockers. The galley  is in the down position in the centre of the hull, but the port-holes are at eye level, so you can see the horizon while you’re cooking. Although she’s galley down, you’re part of the scene and connected to the saloon with your head peeping out. The fridge and freezer are under the bunk in the aft cabin. This can be a fiddle.

Each cabin aft is a double berth, with a locker, a seat and shelves. These cabins are snug but comfortable.  On the port hull is a nice navigation station with a fold-down seat and traditional chart drawer. You’ll have no problems fitting your instruments and radios with the electrical switches on the forward bulkhead. There’s a single head forward that is pretty spacious.

Open Plan Option The other option is the open plan where the horse-shoe sofa goes all the way forward instead of having the cabin. You can convert the forward part into a decent sized berth.

Under Power

Most Snowgoose 37s you’ll see will have a single engine, normally with 30 or 40 hp of power  (Volvos or Yanmars generally).  The fuel tank holds around 135 litres that feeds the stern drive unit (eg the Sonic Drive by Sillette). This retractable drive turns as you move the helm for greater manoeuvrability. With skegs to protect the rudder, it’s perfectly possible to beach this cat.

Later models were fitted with twin engines (the Elite) and some owners have retrofitted them.

circumnavigation catamaran

Beating upwind isn’t that much fun, but is it in any cat without daggerboards? She is helped on a close reach by that staysail. It is on this point of sail that you are most likely to experience bridge slam in heavy weather.

A Steady, Safe Mover She’ll be comfortably blown along by the trade winds, however, day in and day out with not much stress involved if you set her up right. 150 miles a day is more than achievable on these boats. OK, granted, you could do more than double that on a Gunboat 68 , but you could have a fleet of 50 Prouts for the same money. Or just buy one Prout and spend the rest in fancy restaurants when you get to Nanny Cay.

She’s well balanced and sails well on auto.

Prout 37 Snowgoose Brochures

circumnavigation catamaran

Or click for the Prout Snowgoose 37 Elite brochure .

With thanks to Todd Weiler who is an active member of the Prout Catamaran Owners Group on Facebook.

I love the name on the featured boat on the first brochure: Mother Goose. Looking good!

That aft port double cabin looks cosy in the picture 😉

This design might be almost 50 years old, but it has stood the test of time and the Snowgoose 37 remains a popular choice for blue-water cruisers who don’t want to spend the earth on a circumnavigation.  She’s a rock solid ocean crosser with an unmatched track record.

From time to time we feature selected boats that come onto the market. Head to our Prout Snowgoose 37 For Sale page to see the latest listings.

How much should I expect to pay for a decent Prout 37 Snowgoose? Well, you have a whole range of options here. Do you buy a doer-upper? You might get on for €50k or less. How old? Later models, up to 2001 can approach €100k for a decent example. I would budget between €70k and €80k but make sure you leave a decent pot of funds for work. Do a comprehensive survey before you buy.

What´s the difference between a standard Snowgoose and an Elite Snowgoose? Prout started building the Snowgoose Elite in 1986. The Elite is a foot wider than the standard Snowgoose, so there is more space down below but she´s also heavier with 2 inches more draft. The original Snowgoose has outboard rudders, whereas the Elite rudders are smaller and below the waterline. Some of the later Elites were fitted with twin aft engines.

When was the Prout Snowgoose Built? The Prout Snowgoose 37 evolved from the 35 which was launched in 1970. By 1983 the 35 had evolved into the 37 and in 1986 they launched the Prout Snowgoose Elite. You can find Prout Snowgooses launched as late as 2001.

Technical Specification

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circumnavigation catamaran

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circumnavigation catamaran

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What Size Catamaran Can Sail Around The World?

Although it is possible to undertake a long voyage with almost any size catamaran, the recommended minimum sized catamaran to embark on an around-the-world voyage is around 30 feet in length which includes just enough space for a cabin and storage space for long-term provisions. A better option, reported as being the best-sized vessel for such a voyage, is 45-50 feet with widened hulls that afford the crew a better level of comfort with features such as multiple bathrooms, private cabins, and separate cooking and dining sections. Leaning towards the upper-sized catamarans for around-the-world voyages, the maximum size is 55-60 feet which offers significantly enhanced levels of comfort.

Can you sail a catamaran around the world?

circumnavigation catamaran

As touched upon above, the answer to the question “Can you sail a catamaran around the world” is yes you can but traveling in comfort can make all the difference and bigger is generally better. This is not to say that smaller vessels do not have what it takes to deliver a trouble-free voyage around the world, but levels of comfort must be considered for trips of a long duration.

Cataman features

circumnavigation catamaran

Freeboard : Cruising catamarans,the type best suited to world circumnavigation, have a high freeboard, which means that the decks are situated relatively high above the water which mitigates most of the risk of being washed over by large waves.

Cabin: Cruising Catamarans boast a large cabin space consisting of between 2-4 staterooms, a covered cockpit, and standing headroom throughout. This contrasts with smaller catamarans which may have a cockpit of some description and minimal accommodations but aren’t designed for long voyages.

Speed: Catamarans are, by cruising standards, very fast, with an average cruising catamaran reaching speeds of 20 knots and more in perfect conditions. The superior speed not only reduces the time spent travelling from A to B but also enables the Captain to avoid bad weather and also reduces the amount of provisions that need to be stored onboard as they can be replenished more regularly.

Comfort and Stability:  Catamarans are well known for their stability and exceptional handling characteristics in comparison to traditional sailboats, this is particularly beneficial in rough weather.

Storage Space: Another great benefit of using a catamaran for a circumnavigation is the extra space in comparison to single-hull vessels of a similar size. The average cruising catamaran can accommodate at least 8 people and still leave plenty of space for storing food, emergency supplies, and personal items.

Safety:  The extra stability of a catamaran contributes significantly to the safety of the vessel. The two hulls mean that catamarans are extremely difficult to capsize even in the roughest of weather conditions. In the rare event that the catamaran does capsize it will float just as effectively, making it a viable life raft in a worst-case scenario.

Larger Living Area: As a feature of their design, cruising catamarans boast a relatively large living area between the two hulls. This space usually contains a galley and a large sitting/dining area. For sailors on long voyages, this type of space can provide an area of relaxation and respite from crewing obligations at least for a while.

Shallow Draft: Due to their design, catamarans don’t need an extended keel and a benefit of this design is that they draw only minimal amounts of water making them perfect for shallow waters. Another benefit of the design is that they are easy to beach, making them the perfect solution for island hopping during the voyage.

Are there any cons to sailing a catamaran around the world?

circumnavigation catamaran

Although the positives of using a catamaran for a circumnavigation of the world far outweigh any negatives, it’s important to note some of the possible disadvantages of the vessel. These potential issues should, of course, be addressed at the planning stage.

  • Size Limitations at Marinas: Although the size of a cruising catamaran presents zero issues when out on the open sea, some issues can occur when it comes to accessing marinas. Although boat design is firmly positioned in the 21 st century the same can’t be said about many marinas across the world which are not designed for doublewide boats. Prior planning and advice from the professionals at Simpson Marine can perhaps negate any potential docking headaches.
  • Structural Deficiencies: Although extremely rare and virtually unheard of by reputable and established yacht brokers, the design of a catamaran can make it vulnerable in certain places, specifically where the hulls meet the frame. To reiterate, the vast majority of catamarans are well built using quality components and tested extensively before they are sold or chartered.

The Verdict – Are catamarans the best choice for a global circumnavigation?

circumnavigation catamaran

As you can see from the numerous advantages detailed above, a catamaran is the ideal choice of vessel for an around-the-world voyage. With key benefits including enhanced safety, comfort, speed, and stability there are few places you can’t go with a catamaran.

If you are a confident and experienced sailor there’s no reason why you can’t start making plans today. Ensure your planning is as thorough as possible and get acquainted with the destinations you will be visiting as well as local maritime regulations and entry requirements.

If you need help purchasing or chartering a catamaran don’t hesitate to get in touch with Simpson Marine , Asia’s leading new yacht sales , brokerage , and service company. We are partnered with the world’s leading yacht brands including Aquila Power Catamarans , Sanlorenzo , Fairline , and others, and offer new and preowned yachts and catamarans for all budgets and usage plans. In addition to sales, we also specialize in luxury yacht charters, yacht management, design, and refit. Our head office is in Hong Kong with regional offices in Thailand , Malaysia , Singapore , China , Indonesia , and Taiwan . Contact your local office or alternately refer to the contact information at the top of the page.

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Wadadli Cats

Antigua water tours.

circumnavigation catamaran


This 60-mile adventure will take you right around Antigua’s amazing coastline. After picking you up from various points on the west coast we will head up to a reef off the northwest corner of the island where you will be able to snorkel and admire the colourful marine life. Our trip continues along the north coast of Antigua, past Great Bird Island after which for a short while you will experience exciting open ocean sailing. Back within the calm reef-protected waters, we will serve you a sumptuous onboard lunch, before stopping over at Green Island for a relaxing beach stop.

The tour takes place 3 days per week – Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday and takes approximately 6 hours to enjoy the entire island as well as a stop for a Caribbean-style buffet lunch and snorkeling.

Cost: Adults US$110, Children (3-12) US$55.

circumnavigation catamaran

If you have questions, please fill in the form here:

Eagle Discovery Transfers & Tours

circumnavigation catamaran

Circumnavigation Island Tour

Circumnavigation island tour, a powerboat catamaran boat excursion around antigua..

Discover the secrets of Antigua and Barbuda on the luxury of Excellence. CIRCUMNAVIGATION Island TOUR join us as we cruise around the coastline of Antigua aboard our 5 star, state-of-the-art luxury catamaran. This passage is about 28 miles.

We welcome you aboard for a full circumnavigation tour of our island’s magnificent coastline. Think you’ve seen all that Antigua has to offer? Wait till you experience the views by sea!

$120/ per adult

$65 per child | $25 per child

Flexible Cancellation

Must cancel at least 24 hours prior to schedule date of tour.

circumnavigation catamaran

The sensation you will feel, as the alluring coastline glides by with its rolling hills shimmering in the distance, is one you will never forget. See areas such as the Pillars of Hercules, Jumby Bay, Bird Island and the natural spectacle of Devil’s Bridge, up close and personal. Be at peace with the world as you gaze at slender coconut palms swaying in the crisp breeze and listen to rhythmic calypso and reggae music as we sail along.

We will whisk you away to a secluded and uninhabited Green Island, where you can relax on the beach, explore the nearby reef or swim in the warm turquoise waters. Back on board the friendly crew will cook you a delicious lunch of chicken or fish accompanied by salad and local vegetables. Drinks are served to you by our crew from the open bar.

Next we will cruise across to English Harbour, where you will discover one of the most prestigious and renowned historical sights in the world.

Before we return to port our journey will take us passed the exotic western coast of Antigua in crystal clear waters, where virgin white sandy beaches and pristine bays can still be found. Excellence is not just our name; it’s our way of life!

Tour details

6 hours approximately

  • Experienced Captain & Crew
  • Delicious Lunch & Open Bar
  • Use of Snorkeling equipment
  • A day of Relaxation

Monday, Wednesday, Saturday

Front Desk area at the resort.

You will be dropped off at the same point where you were picked up

  • Please be at the pick point 15 minutes prior to departure.
  • Please bring sunscreen, towels, swimwear, and any additional clothing you may need.
  • Please secure your electronic devices; we will not be responsible should they sustain water damage.

Cancellation Policy

  • Guest must cancel at least 24 hours prior to schedule date of tour, a 10% applies admin fee applies.
  • Cancellation 24 hours or less to tour date, 100% penalty applies

circumnavigation catamaran

circumnavigation catamaran

Excellence Circumnavigation Tour, a powerboat catamaran boat excursion around Antigua

Tour overiew.

Discover the secrets of Antigua and Barbuda on the luxury of Excellence. Join us as we cruise around the coastline of Antigua aboard our 5 star, state-of-the-art power catamaran. This passage is about 28 miles.


We welcome you aboard for a full circumnavigation of our island's magnificent coastline. Think you've seen all that Antigua has to offer? Wait till you experience the views by sea!

The sensation you will feel, as the alluring coastline glides by with its rolling hills shimmering in the distance, is one you will never forget.  We pass popular areas such as the Pillars of Hercules, Jumby Bay, Bird Island and the natural spectacle of Devil's Bridge, up close and personal.  Be at peace with the world as you gaze at slender coconut palms swaying in the crisp breeze and listen to rhythmic calypso and reggae music as we sail along.

We will whisk you away to the uninhabited Green Island, where you can relax on the beach, snorkel the nearby reef or swim in the warm turquoise waters.  Back on board the friendly crew will cook you a delicious lunch of chicken or fish accompanied by a salad, rice and peas and pasta. Drinks are served to you by our crew from the open bar. No alcohol is served until after snorkeling unfortunately.

Before we return to port, our journey will take us past the exotic western coast of Antigua in crystal clear waters, where virgin white sandy beaches and pristine bays can still be found.

Excellence is not just our name; it's our way of life! Join us on our most popular tour.

Important Info

Check-in location.

Lower Recliffe Street, St John's Antigua

Check-In time

Important information.

Not recommended for persons with back or neck problems and women who are pregnant.

What's Included

  • Experienced Captain and Crew
  • Beach Break
  • Guided Snorkeling

What's Excluded

What to bring, tour itinerary, book your tour now.

100% Secure backed by excellent customer support

This tour is currently unavailable

Excellence barbuda by sea, a boat tour to barbuda, mystic lobster lunch cruise excursion, a catamaran boat tour in antigua, mystic ii sunset cruise tour and boat cruise in antigua.

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Best catamaran for circumnavigation

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Hi there, I am completly new to this forum and I don't know if this is an old subject, if somone touched it before, but i would like few opinions about a catamaran able to circumnavigate. I'm in late 30s and have saved enough to think about 4-5 years break. I have never sailed and I am ready to take classes and get some experience before going around the world. I want to buy a boat and and cruise the carribean for 1-2 years. My final intention is to circumnavigate and that's why I want a boat able to do it even tough I will first use it localy (around South Florida). I am interested in a safe catamaran (in rough sea), 45'-50' long, ~$500.000, to be able to rest in normal sea condition, easy to handle.  

circumnavigation catamaran

Hmmm....tell me how you can afford a half million dollar boat while still in your thirties and I'll give you my list! Just kidding (in a serious way). There are a lot of designs out there to look at; everything from the older British cats such as Sail Craft, Catalac, and Prout to the newfangled South African cats. Gunboats are extraordinarily fast, but I don't know if the interior layouts are all that great. Privilege is a name that comes up a lot for the long-distance sailors. There are others out there....  

circumnavigation catamaran

Put Voyage Catamarans on the list, also.  

circumnavigation catamaran

What kind of name is freesail? And a catamaran ? Welcome to sailnet.  

Thanks 99! I'm not in sailing bussines. I'm here for pleasure and it's my free will... Why a catamaran? I think with a proprer training is a safe boat to be handeled without extra crew...  

tell me how you can afford a half million dollar boat while still in your thirties and I'll give you my list! Just kidding (in a serious way).  

I'm lost with the posting and reply procedure... My wife and I are both dentists. We have been working for the last 12 years and saved money living in a 500/month efficiency and making approx 30k/month. I drive a 95 Corrola and she has a 98 Civic. We now want to buy an office and hire like 4 dentists, hygenists...etc. and a good manager to keep the finances safe while away...  

FreeSail said: My wife and I are both dentists. We have been working for the last 12 years... Click to expand...

circumnavigation catamaran

Voyage, Seawind, Prout, Leopard, PDQ, Gunboat, Chris White Designs, all make catamarans that would be suitable. The real question is can you handle the boat. First of all, you've never sailed. That's a huge strike against you. Second, handling a boat that is 45' or larger takes a fair amount of strength and skill. Are you going to have crew? Sailing a boat that large is going to probably require crew to do so safely, especially given your absolute lack of experience. Third, a large catamaran is probably one of the worst boats to learn to sail on, and this is coming from a multihull sailor. Fourth, have you had any boat ownership/maintenance experience? I'm getting the feeling that you haven't. If not, learning the skills that cruising requires may take you quite some time. The average cruising sailor is often his own rigger, plumber, electrician, boatwright, painter, mechanic, etc.... Finally, do you have any clue what the maintenance and ownership costs of a 45'+ catamaran are going to be like? Seriously, finding a marina that will accept such a boat is going to be VERY, VERY expensive. Finding one that is capable of hauling and working on a boat is going to be fairly difficult  

sailingdog said: ...handling a boat that is 45' or larger takes a fair amount of strength and skill. Are you going to have crew? Sailing a boat that large is going to probably require crew to do so safely, especially given your absolute lack of experience. I do not intend to sail alone. I have a friend who is a mechanical engineer and has some experience ...a large catamaran is probably one of the worst boats to learn to sail on, and this is coming from a multihull sailor. I intend to take classes and will not jump in bluewater immediately. Fourth, have you had any boat ownership/maintenance experience? I'm getting the feeling that you haven't. If not, learning the skills that cruising requires may take you quite some time. The average cruising sailor is often his own rigger, plumber, electrician, boatwright, painter, mechanic, etc.... You are right, I don't have that experience but I will give a try and I really don't think you need a PhD to learn the basic and the principles. Finally, do you have any clue what the maintenance and ownership costs of a 45'+ catamaran are going to be like? Seriously, finding a marina that will accept such a boat is going to be VERY, VERY expensive. Finding one that is capable of hauling and working on a boat is going to be fairly difficult Click to expand...

I'm not really interested in a super fast catamaran, I don't need a super luxury interior but I am looking to a nice confortable, spacious deck cabin considerg the extensive trips I'm planning... Thanks for your suggestions so far... I am in the process of studing them.  

Once again, I apologize for my replies. I experiece technical dificulties... Sailingog, I came in US when I was 23 with 2 suitcases and nothing elese. I know I'm missing basicaly everything but I couldn't do it othrway. It is my dream to have a yacht and navigate it. I don't even know if I will like it in reality. All I know I have made a lot of sacrifices to pursue my dream and is nothing there to dicourage me or stopping at least of trying... I got all your pertinent concerns and believe me I am the kind of guy that takes all precautions... Thanks again for your opinions, advices and concerns. I do appreciate them and take them seriously.  

The best thing you can do is start going to boat shows and demo days and even do a charter trip or two. You need to feel them out yourself and see which one works for you. I will agree that handling a 40+foot cat as a rookie couple is going to be challenging. You CAN learn on a cat though, but it wouldn't hurt to start racing locally to get your feet wet on smaller monohulls. My husband and I were both small boat racers and then our first boat we bought together (when we were still dating) was a PDQ36 cat. LOVED that boat and was the perfect size for a couple (though not a round the world boat). That boat was a kind and patient teacher on the hard knocks of cruising. But it helped that we had basic sail handling under our belts from racing and small boat sailing. So what I am saying is, start sailing NOW before you buy a boat. There are some sturdy smaller cats like Prouts, Admirals, and Privelege (39). 40+ feet is a lot to clean, dock, maintain, and sail. If we didn't start having kids, we would have stuck to the 36-39 foot range. Best to you!  

Recommended Book Hey Freesail, Your plans sounds epic. I was hoping to cruise the Caribbean in my Wildcat 350 then the economy turned sour so I sold the boat to an awesome family that's cruising the Caribbean as we speak. So glad the boat is doing what I originally intended it to do. Life's too short. Pursue your dreams while you're still young and healthy. You only live once, I think.., To gain knowledge I highly recommend the book "Catamarans: The Complete Guide for Cruising Sailors (Hardcover) by Gegor Tarjan. Lots of insight into catamarans and full of awesome photos. Available on Amazon. And best of luck with your vision.  

circumnavigation catamaran

Here's a couple going around the world in an Antares 44. Just the two of them most of the time. This is the Main Page  

Welcome Freesail...great idea..I have a couple of recommendations which may help you get u to where u want to go.. 1.) Do not buy a $500k boat right now, while u may think a cat is the way to go, after 1 or 2 years of sailing your requirements will most definitely change 2.) Buy a used $50k 27-31 ft sailboat, learn how to do the simple repairs and maintenance that always come up, get familiar with handling a smaller boat. See what u like in the boat, see what u do not like and for your next boat set it up based on your expertise. 3.) Southern Florida and the Caribbean are a great place to learn and one of the world best places to sail. Get proficient (not comfortable, PROFICIENT)with navigation, sail handling, port of entry protocol, provisioning, anchoring, sea keeping, weather interpretation and a host of other skills which you need once u slip the lines. 4.) As sailing dog mentioned a catamaran as your first boat may not be the best to learn on, I would recommend that you learn on a monohull, get your certification and then rent both thru one of the many liveries in the Caribbean, then make your decision. Your goals are great, just go about this project as you would any business venture. Listen, learn, learn some more, go out and have fun. Sailing is a great lifestyle, your timeline is reasonable, this website (along with others) is a great resource. Welcome aboard.  

If you're serious about multihulls, I'd highly recommend you pickup Chris White's The Cruising Multihull and Mike McMullen's Multihull Seamanship. As for learning to sail... My recommendation to you is to spend your first year coastal cruising and doing progressively longer sails and working your way up to short blue water passages and then longer and longer passages. I'd also recommend that you take at least a basic ASA 101 learn to sail course, which will give you a solid foundation to base your learning on. Better yet, take the whole sequence, including the 101, 103, 104, 105 and 106 courses, which would give you the basic fundamentals of cruising on a sailboat... along with the navigation skills you'll need. If you want to learn how to do this yourself, the basic 101 course is a minimum IMHO, and will get you off to a fairly decent start. I'd recommend you pick up the following books: Dave Seidman's The Complete Sailor Richard K. Hubbard's Boater's Bowditch Beth Leonard's The Voyager's Handbook Richard Henderson's Singlehanded Sailing Don Casey's This Old Boat and Complete Illustrated Sailboat Maintenance Manual The Annapolis Book of Seamanship or Chapman's. This basic library will give you a basic sailing primer, a basic book on navigation techniques, a book on cruising, a book on sailing long distances singlehanded, two books on sailboat maintenance and upkeep, and a book on the rules and traditions of seamanship.  

circumnavigation catamaran

Three year old thread mate - reply unlikely!  

Look seriously at the Freydis. It's designed by Eric LeRouge as a blue water performance cruiser. It's comfortable and fast and easy to sail by a couple and at a push can be singlehanded. I've been sailing one that I bought used for about $310,000. It's 11 years old now (I've owned it for almost 7 years) and there have been no problems. I've cruised from Australia to India and now have it in Malaysia. I wouldn't trade it for a heavier Privilege or more expensive Gunboat. They do make them new but there are a couple or used ones around ( search for Snow Leopard) . Good luck! And don't listen to those who might discourage you because you don't know how to sail. I've met lots of cruising people who bought their boat and the learned to sail including circumnavigators. Not a problem!  

Fantastic dream but take some time in preparing. For your plans ASA 101-105, charter 2-3 boats for 1-2 weeks at a time in nice and not so nice weather. I too always dreamed of sailing, emigrated with 1 suitcase, put myself through college and dental school and in my fifties stopped getting sea sick. Now sailing Chesapeake on a Bristol 35.5.  

While I see this is an older thread I have gleaned some great info. Thanks to pontiakos, wide openDDS and sailingdog, in particular, for the list of books which I will look in to. I am moving to Pensacola area soon and, while I have a lot of water and boat exp, I have only limited sailing and sailboat ownership under my belt. My wife and I took ASA 101 and I truly want a multihull (space, safety, comfort). Top dream boats seem to be the Antares line but I think finances will prevent that. I am seriously considering a monohull approx 30-40 feet to learn on for about 2-3 years. Does this seem like long enough to get proficient before moving to multi? I will also take the other ASA courses. I know all boats aren't bluewater but assume with proper provisioning they can be. I have much to learn and am thankfull to anyone who shares their knowledge herein. The goal is to spend serious time aboard once proficiency is gained in 3-5 years.  

circumnavigation catamaran

I realize this is an old thread, but it seems to have some sound advice for those of us with BIG dreams and financial matters in order. It seems that the biggest safety issue with cats is regarding capsizing due to too much sail area in heavy wind. Would the moral of the last statement be don’t get in a hurry; keep your sails in a bit and speed less than max for a margin of safety? All comments welcome!  

I am almost in the same situation of FreeSail, I live in Europe and I was thinking to buy an used Lagoon 440 that seems a good deal to me, but in this thread nobody talks about Lagoon catamarans for circumnavigate  

Why don't you and your wife consider chartering a catamaran with an experienced crew for a time or two, choose the area you plan to sail alone, ask them specifically to let you handle the boat so you can feel what you're getting into, you can sail it, docking is the question, a lot comes at you fast, the wind isn't always your friend.. Take your dream and run with it.. Education is important in all endeavors.. Good Luck ..  

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Chinese sailor Guo Chuan plans to set a record through the North East Passage – in a giant trimaran

  • Elaine Bunting
  • April 7, 2015

Chinese sailor Guo Chuan is planning to go through the North East Passage in the 97ft trimaran that Francis Joyon sailed round the world

Guo Chuan trimaran Qingdao

What’s the ideal yacht for attempting to set a record transiting the North East Passage?

You might think a steel yacht, or aluminium perhaps, something that resists crushing by ice, a sturdy craft equipped sensibly, if not beautifully, with a pilothouse or other shelter on deck.

You mightn’t think: the best yacht would be a round the world racing trimaran.

But Chinese sailor Guo Chuan did. He has just bought has bought Francis Joyon’s 97ft trimaran IDEC. Surprisingly, he didn’t buy it to better Joyon’s lone round the world record – or at least not for now – but to set a record, the first officially recognised speed record, for going through the North East Passage.

Guo Chuan and Francis Joyon

Guo Chuan and Francis Joyon

Guo Chuan, former Volvo Ocean Race crew and the first from his country to sail solo round the world, took over the Nigel Irens-designed trimaran in La Trinité sur Mer last month and will train with Joyon throughout April before renaming the yacht Qingdao.

The project follows nearly two years’ research on the feasibility of attempting the North East Passage from Murmansk to Providenya. The World Speed Sailing Record Council has agreed to adjudicate on the first attempt of this world record challenge, skippered by Guo Chuan with an international crew from the UK, France, Norway and Russia.

After attempting to set a North East Passage record, Guo plans to sail along the maritime silk road from China back to Europe. His team says: “Guo has no plan to sail round the world with this boat yet, but we do have plans for the next three years.”

But going through the North East Passage is not guaranteed in one year. The route can often be impeded by ice, with every possibility of having to spent two seasons making the long journey through the Bering Strait. The map below shows the remoteness and length of this most difficult ‘sea voyage’.

Who is Guo Chuan?

Guo, 50, is an aeronautical engineer who got the bug for sailing back in 2000 when he joined friends from the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club for a day on the water. In 2008 he was picked to be the media crewmember on the Irish-Chinese Volvo Ocean Race entry Green Dragon and in 2012/3 he set a record as the first Chinese person to sail solo round the world, sailing a Class 40.

North East Passage

North East Passage

The North East Passage

The passage from Novaya Zemlya or Franz Josef Land to the Bering Strait was first completed in 1878 by Swedish scientist Nils Adolf Nordenskjöld in the ship Vega.

The first modern yacht to do so was Apostle Andrew, skippered by Nicolai Litau from the Moscow Adventure Club in 1999, who sailed from Murmansk back to St Petersburg.

It is now commonly used by the people of Russia as the shortest water route between Russian ports in Europe and the Far East, and this passage offers a saving of 5,000 miles. It is, however, carefully guarded, and taking a Russian crew is often a precondition of gaining the necessary permissions.


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