Difference Between Sailing a Monohull and Catamaran

Written by Marin @Danielis on March 24, 2017 in Yacht Charter Advice


So let’s break it down, comparing monohulls vs. catamarans in a number of different categories.

1. Speed

If you are looking to cut quickly through the waters and turn sharply on the waves, you cannot beat a monohull. This is the classic sailing experience on a streamlined vessel which keeps water resistance at a minimum. For those who enjoy the sporting aspect of sailing, a monohull is the easy winner.

2. Handling

In terms of handling, both catamarans and monohulls offer certain advantages. As just mentioned, you can steer a monohull sharply thanks to its sleek design. But a monohull has only one engine; a catamaran has two. This provides the catamaran with an extra edge in maneuverability.

3. Space and privacy

As far as space and privacy go, you cannot beat a catamaran. If you are traveling with a large group (your family or friends), you will have a lot more space both on and below deck. Having two separate hulls can increase privacy. Children in particular, will have a great experience playing on the extended deck of a catamaran—and they will stay out of the way of adults and crew members.

4. Water access

Catamarans are designed to offer a smoother ride in calmer seas (by contrast, monohulls tend to offer a more stable ride in choppy conditions). So if you plan on doing a lot of water-based activities in tranquil waters, you will find that a catamaran is the perfect choice. Many catamarans even feature steps and ladders leading down to the water in back, just like you would find in a swimming pool.

5. Shore access

Getting to shore can be easier in a catamaran because it can sail in shallower waters than a monohull. This reduces hassles from a technical perspective and may offer you access to shores you cannot reach with a monohull. The downside however is that a catamaran takes up more space, so a berth at a marina may be pricier.

6. Cost

The cost of a monohull vs. catamaran will depend on a couple of factors. First of all, if the charter company only has a few of either type, it is going to charge a premium for whichever is in short supply. But if the supply of catamarans vs. monohulls is relatively even, the prices should be more or less comparable. All things being equal, a catamaran will cost slightly more than a monohull.

Conclusion: Choose a Boat Based on Your Needs


There is no single “best” choice for every vacationer. When you are planning your Croatia sailing getaway, you will need to weigh your needs and think about how you plan to spend your time to figure out whether a catamaran or monohull makes more sense.

Choose a catamaran if:


• You are traveling with a larger group, especially with children
• You want more space on and below deck
• You plan to stick to calmer waters
• You are going to do a lot of swimming, snorkeling, and other water-based activities
• You want to sail in shallower waters near the shore
• You can afford a slightly higher cost for the charter and marina berths

Choose a monohull if:


• You do not require as much space and want to cut back on costs
• You plan on sailing in choppier waters
• You enjoy speed and maneuverability
• You are a sailing enthusiast who really gets into handling the boat

So take some time and make a checklist of what is important to you. Whether you choose a catamaran or a monohull, selecting a vessel based on your specific needs will allow you to get the most out of your sailing holiday in Croatia!