Catamaran versus monohull

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Our guide to choosing between catamarans and monohulls for that Whitsunday getaway.

Traditionally, the monohull's sailing performance and handling has made it the preferred charter vessel around the world. Now, however, the sailing catamaran's space and stability is challenging the monohull for its crown. So. Which way to go? Monohull or sailing catamaran?  

∙ Catamarans.

They are, by nature, more stable than monohulls, they don't rock in large swells and so are a better option for comfort in less protected anchorages. Catamarans also have much larger cockpit areas, so in warm or temperate climates this is a definite advantage. Some catamarans have a galley up in the saloon making the transition from inside to outside living smoother - a configuration which doesn't exclude cooks as they whip up yet another delicious meal!

∙ Monohulls.

These generally can point into the wind better than a catamaran, so sailing upwind is faster and more comfortable. For the purist sailor, a monohull will always tack more easily than a catamaran, making the sailing experience more pleasurable. Whilst the aft cockpit area on a monohull has always been a point of discussion in comparison to the catamaran, the modern-designed monohulls boast a significantly beamier cockpit area which is perfect for the charter scenario. Whatever your choice, a firm discussion with the crew is required before finalising your vessel. Remember, a charter holiday is meant to be a relaxing adventure for all those onboard and sometimes negotiation is required to ensure everyone's comfort and happiness - after all, nobody wants a mutiny!

Sailing aboard a Beneteau Lagoon 403 catamaran