Tips for choosing a sailing catamaran yacht

How do you choose a sailing catamaran yacht?

Before we look into the various considerations for choosing a catamaran sailing yacht, it is important to emphasis the many advantages of a catamaran:

  • Very stable on the water
  • The height of the deck and flybridge above water gives extras safety
  • Wide and spacious living and public space
  • comfortable spacious bedrooms, saloon and kitchen like you could find in luxury houses.
  • Has the potential for fast and efficient sailing
  • Shallow draft allows you to get closer to the shore while sailing or  at anchor in secluded bays

In the last twenty years, catamarans have turned from unique kind of boats in the landscape that were produced sparingly, into highly sought-after vessels in mass production in all the major factories in the world.

In accordance with the global trend of transition from a monohull yacht to a catamaran yacht, the demand for boats has increased significantly and the possibilities for buying a catamaran have expanded year by year. So making a decision about which manufacturer or even which catamaran model to choose, became much more relevant to the consumer.

fountain pajot range of catamaran
Photo by Fountain Pajot

What are the considerations for choosing a sailing catamaran yacht manufacturer or model?

To give a good answer, we must define the use we wish to make with the boat, but first of all let’s refer to the three elements of the “golden triangle” in boat design:

  • sailing performance
  • Comfort and safety of sailing and living
  • the cost of the boat

We will expand a little on these three elements, as they are very important to know and understand before choosing a model or manufacturer of your next catamaran yacht. Considering these elements will help you define your needs – which catamaran will suit you best?

יאכטה קטמרן באורך 59 פיט של fountain pajot
Photo by Fountain Pajot

High sailing performance and no compromises –

sailing performance and speed is controlled by the manufacturer in a number of design and equipment elements of a catamaran yacht:

  • Maximum weight savings
  • Construction of narrow and deep hulls from composite materials such as carbon fibre and epoxy
  • A large and powerful rig with advanced technology sails
  • Kevlar and dyneema fibre control lines
  • Daggerboards to increase pointing ability
  • Asymmetric downwind sails
  • Electronic devices at the highest level
נוחות הפלגה על יאכטה קטמרן samana 59
Photo by Fountain Pajot

Comfort and safety in sailing:

You can be sure that the yacht manufacturer makes all the effort that your catamaran will be as comfortable as possible. After all, the yacht will be your home. 

Let’s highlight some catamaran elements that make sailing and life on the boat more comfortable:

  • Spacious Flybridge that provides enough space for sunbeds and a gas grill
  • Wide cabins that allow even a king-size bed to be placed in the cabin
  • 360 degree vision from the helm position and high visibility 
  • An internal control station in addition to an external control station
  • All the control lines for the sails are lead aft into the cockpit
  • Electric winches for easy handling of halyards and control lines
  • The ability to remotely control the anchor 

Boat equipment:

Another element for a comfortable and luxurious catamaran, is the design regarding storage space and boat accessories which is an integral part of routine life on your catamaran:

A large domestic style refrigerator with a freezer and a separate mini bar for the cockpit, a washing machine and dryer, a dishwasher, coffee and ice machines, elegant furniture and a costume design for maximum comfort while at anchor or in the marina, a rigid inflatable (RIB) dinghy with a large engine, high-quality speakers and a t.v., a generator to run all electrical appliances And watermaker so that we don’t have to save fresh water. In short, all the luxury that you could think about.

 Fountaine-Pajot Sailing Catamaran, Alegria 67
Fountaine-Pajot Sailing Catamaran, Alegria 67

The cost of the boat:

Buying a yacht (like almost everything in life) is the art of compromise, most of the time this will dictate the final cost. Before you run to the bank to approve the new purchase, you should remember that the initial cost of purchasing the boat is only a part (although very significant) of the expenses involved in owning a boat. 

Besides the cost of the boat, there are other expenses that need to be taken into account:

Insurance, taxes, mooring fees, fuel, electricity and water bills, purchase of work tools and spare parts or payment to technicians, regular maintenance and wear and tear of equipment.

In a complex vessel like a yacht, even small and relatively marginal upgrades can cost quite a bit (especially if they are not part of the original design but aftermarket additions).

Fountaine-Pajot Sailing Catamaran, Alegria 67
Fountaine-Pajot Sailing Catamaran, Alegria 67

Which catamaran yacht would you like to purchase? The one that will meet your needs!

Okay, so we learned that there are several variables that define the “character” of the boat. Now try to define the nature of the use you intend for your sailing catamaran yacht:

At one end there are spartan sailors who like to sail for long hours with a small crew without starting the engine, spend time in remote bays, fix and maintain the different boat systems on their own and cross vast oceans.

At the other end we find the yacht owners who want to enjoy marina views with friends and acquaintances, have a drink, go out for a short cruise and occasionally go cruising in a new area (and if possible, let it be in an easy place with a calm and clear sea, light wind and pleasant sun).

 Fountaine-Pajot Sailing Catamaran, Samana 59
Fountaine-Pajot Sailing Catamaran, Samana 59

Between these two options, we will find the vast majority of yacht owners: 

people who enjoy sailing for several weeks a year between islands and bays abroad, the challenge of maintaining a yacht and the peace of mind that can only be found at sea.

For each of these characters there is a yacht that will suit him, you must think carefully about your character as a sailor and the intended use of the yacht before the purchase, to avoid later frustrating situations made by the choices you made.

Remember there are no bad boats, only a boat that doesn’t suit your needs…

sailing catamaran astrea 42
Sailing Catmaran Astrea 42, fountain pajot

What size yacht should you choose?

The bigger the boat, the faster it can be sailed, with greater comfort and with a larger crew.

However, the cost of maintenance increases significantly as the boat gets bigger (more money for mooring in a marina, the systems are more complex and therefore more expensive, the equipment is heavier and stronger to handle the forces and pressures and so on..). It is important not to be tempted by comparisons along the lines of “Who has the bigger boat?” and instead concentrate on the question “What do I really want/need?” Which is the catamaran that will suit me best. 

Today there are catamaran yachts in the 40 ft range with an innovative, spacious and up-to-date design that will make you feel that you are sailing on a much larger boat.

Sailing Catamaran Isla 40, Fountain pajot
Sailing Catamaran Isla 40, Fountain pajot

What is your budget?

As you have already understood, the cost of purchasing the boat is the most significant limiting factor for those who just want to spend some time on the water.

Those who regularly browse websites that sell yachts or watch various YouTube videos may get the mistaken opinion that a good boat could be cheap and that complex repairs of old boats are done easily and quickly.

In the real world the situation is a little different, carefully examine the model that suits you best and define in advance your budget for the purchase of a catamaran yacht.

Sailing Catamaran, Alegria 67
Sailing Catamaran, Alegria 67

Buying a second hand catamaran yacht

When buying a second-hand boat, make sure to carry out a comprehensive and professional survey before the purchase, it is possible that the fresh paint hides cracks in the hull of the boat or that the engines have not been serviced for a long time, so you will have to replace them soon.

A well-known rule of thumb says that the annual maintenance cost is about 10%-20% from the yacht’s value every year, and any system that has not been used often (or alternatively treated with love and dedication), may break down at the least suitable time.

In such a case, ask the previous owner for a service log or documentation of the expenses for parts and new systems. If there is no such thing, consider once more whether the price offer you submitted is indeed suitable for the condition of the boat.

Sailing Catamaran, Fountaine-Pajot Elba 45
Sailing Catamaran, Fountaine-Pajot Elba 45

Buying a new catamaran yacht

Buying a new catamaran from the factory has many advantages, the manufacturer usually gives a warranty for a rather long period, the boat has a “new smell”,  all the systems are new and work well and most importantly, while in the planning or building stage you can make significant changes in the design of the yacht.

However, it is important to remember that even new boats have a trial period in which various faults may appear and, of course, the yacht cost will be significantly higher.

In such a case it is very important to find out who the local representative of the brand you are about to purchase is.

Sailing Catamaran, Fountaine-Pajot Elba 45
Sailing Catamaran, Fountaine-Pajot Elba 45

Buying a new boat is an exciting event with a lot of uncertainty, and you want to have the most skilled representative on your side, the kind of person who is familiar with the industry and connected to key people. An experienced and professional person who can give you advice, service, unique spare parts and support even after the purchase.

A.G Yachting specialises in the sale and maintenance of quality motor yachts and sailing catamarans from Fountain Peugeot shipyard. 

Contact us today for advice on purchasing your next yacht.

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