Most catamaran owners like to talk about how their boat feels; about what kind of emotions it provoked when they first saw it or first stepped aboard. They use phrases like ‘it felt right’ and ‘I just knew it was the one,’ as if they’re referring to a long lost soulmate. And, in a way, they are, because people tend to know very quickly if they have found their dream vessel.
It is no surprise then that lots of catamaran buyers consider these feelings to be the most important part of finding the right boat. If it doesn’t feel perfect, that’s because it isn’t. On the other hand, any skipper worth his salt also knows that there’s a lot more to the story than this. There are all kinds of little details to think about when purchasing your dream catamaran.
This guide to the most important things to consider before making a purchase will help you get to grips with the basics.
Galley Up or Galley Down
If, when you picture your dream boat, you see yourself socialising and relaxing with friends or family, you might best suit a galley up design. On galley down catamarans, you can’t always see out of the hull windows and this prevents whomever is inside from communicating with the deck. It also creates a space that combines all of the excitement of sailing, with the comfort and steadiness of being indoors; this is ideal for those with wobbly sea legs.
Visibility from the Helm
Ideally, you want superb visibility around the boat, particularly from the helm station. The helm should be easy to access too, because an arduous climb to the helming station is no fun for anybody. On the other hand, a lot of catamarans have to compromise on weather protection in order to provide this. So, it is worth considering which of the two priorities is most important to you out on the water.
Clutter Free Deck Space
If you’re a sprightly thing in the first flush of youth, you might not mind having to clamber over things and climb stairs to reach the decks. For slightly older people, however, it can be a real struggle. Generally, it is safer for all catamaran owners to have decks that are free of obstacles, so that movement is safe and unimpeded. Then again, this extra space may come with a compromise elsewhere, so make sure that you check the specs carefully.
Access to the Engines
Most people are on the hunt for a boat that doesn’t just look lovely, but feels it too. The configuration of key components is a big part of this. It is useful if the engines are outside of the accommodation, because you won’t have to disturb anybody to access them. Also, it will be easier to upgrade to bigger engines if this becomes a goal later on. It is something that lots of catamaran owners end up doing, because the cost to power ratio is impressive.
Good Resale Potential
It can feel a little strange to be considering resale value before you’ve even bought a boat, but the reality is that this is an investment. You wouldn’t buy a house without knowing it was valuable and sailing vessels are just the same. If you want to guarantee good resale potential, buy from a reputable vendor. The boats that sell for the most money, second hand, are owner models with a single hull. You might want to keep this in mind when shopping.
Why Technicalities Are Important When Buying a Catamaran
It is understandable to feel strong emotions when looking for your dream boat. For most people, the purchase is the culmination of a lifetime of saving and striving. It is a big decision and the heart has a key role to play in it. However, it is important not to rush headlong into a decision without considering all of the technical specs, features, accessories, and dimensions first. The details do matter here, so shop with a keen eye and ask the right questions.