History of the Catamaran

What is a catamaran?

The catamaran is a very popular option due to their high stability, the amount of space and safety. It is a type of boat that consists of two helmets joined by a skeleton. It can be sail or motor, but usually have two engines, one for each hull.
Catamarans are relatively new designs with respect to modern leisure or work vessels, and had to face great skepticism on the part of some sailors accustomed to more “traditional” designs. From this, new proposals, designs and patents emerged, giving rise to the FOILCAT or the WAVE-PIERCING of two floating helmets.


The British pirate and adventurer William Dampier, of Catalan family, who toured the world in the 1690s, was the first to describe catamarans in 1697, which he had seen in the Tami Nadu region of India, while navigating the Bay of Bengal. The catamaran used by the paravas, a community of fishermen on the south coast of Tamil Nadu, and the ancient Tamil Chola dynasty used them from the V century d.C. to transport their troops to conquer regions of Southeast Asia, such as Burma, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Three or four millennia ago, the Austronesian navigators used double-hulled canoes to colonize Polynesia and settle in the most extended group of islands on the planet.

Navigation with catamaran

The catamarans have some peculiarities:

  • Comfort: The list is practically nil.
  • Dizziness: The incidence of dizziness is much lower since the movement is pitch and not swing, movement that tides the crew.
  • Speed: They have a higher average speed, less time for the intended destination.
  • Habitability: The surface in square meters of habitability practically doubles to equal length, better ventilated, more luminous and its 360 vision from inside is unbeatable.
  • Comfort: Thanks to its low draft, we can get closer to the coast or go through places where a monocoque would be impossible.
  • Independence: Having two helmets joined by the room, we get an independence on board, allows two families to live independently or starboard for parents and port for children.

Catamarans as competition boats or yachts

In the competition, the catamaran, like the trimaran sail, has become one of the protagonists in ocean racing. All new megacatamaranes were built in carbon fiber for greater strength and less weight. The maximum speeds of these boats can exceed 50 knots. It takes up to a year to complete the construction of one of these great catamarans and represent the enormous progress made in the design of this sector.
One of the reasons for the megacatamarán’s growing construction was “The Race”, a circumnavigation challenge that started from Barcelona on the eve of the New Year of 2000.

We have two-helmeted sailboats when talking about catamaran yachts. But a recent development in the design of the catamaran has been the introduction of the motorized catamaran.
One of the biggest advances during the past decade has been the arrival of the catamaran to the world of large yachts, with multihulls over 60 feet in length, custom designs.

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