Second-hand is obviously cheaper and is often allows the opportunity to sail aboard a multihull that’s prepared to set off. From 35 to 45 feet, this size seems to be the sweet spot, with some excellent opportunities. Catamarans, after all, are the fastest-growing segment of the sailboat market — so we felt it was necessary to build a list of our favorite catamaran sailboats. You’ll find a variety of catamaran manufacturers that made the list.
Our Favorite Catamarans Sailboats:
1. Hobie 16
Revealed in Southern California in 1970 from the store of an ingenious surfboard shaper called Hobie Alter, the beach-based Hobie 16, using its trapeze fittings and asymmetrical fiberglass decks did nothing less than revolutionizing multihull sailing. Above 100,000 small catamarans later, the Hobie 16 is still a blast.
2. Corsair 27
credit: Tomas Ryan
The lone trimaran at the American Sailboat Hall of Fame, the clever Corsair F-27, employs designer Ian Farrier’s inventive folding ama system, which provides the dual-purpose cruiser/racer to be trailered, to match in a standard marina slip, and to be summoned for sailing in minutes flat.
3. Dragonfly 1000
Designed and built to exceptionally high standards in Scandinavia, the fast and slick 32′ 9″ Dragonfly 1000 is another racing/cruising tri that got Sailing World magazine’s 1994 Boat of the Year award. With its kick-up rudder, swing-wing foldable amas, and centerboard, the boat can be beached or berthed with ease.
4. Gemini 105M
Pioneering Catamaran builder, sailor, and designer Tony Smith launched the first of his 33-foot Gemini 105M’s (10.5 meters = 33′) in 1993 and shortly after found a fast and reliable group of sailors fascinated of their ship’s inexpensive price tag, compact size, and such variations as the nifty lifting rudder and transom levels.
5. Stiletto 27
The one-of-a-kind Stiletto 27 was invented and created by a pair of fresh Floridian administrators starting around 1979. Among the most striking things about this “beach cat on steroids” was its aircraft-like structure, the heart of which was reinforced Nomex honeycomb, which maintained the decks light through bulletproof.
6. Lagoon 380
No roundup of cruising cats is complete without several Lagoon entrances, and the best of that awesome bunch might well be the Lagoon 380. Formerly launched in 1999 and honored for its blend of volume, quality, and performance, with above 740 boats produced, the 380 is still going strong.
7. Seawind 1000
Built by sailor Richard Ward and Aussie surfer in 1982, the 33-foot Seawind 1000 is undoubtedly the most successful cruising cat ever developed in Australia (the company has since moved its production and management operations to Vietnam). Airy and roomy, these cats dot the coastline of eastern Oz.
8. Leopard 40/Moorings 4000
With an unmatched pedigree — produced by premier multihull naval engineers Pete Melvin and Gino Morelli, created by the Robertson & Caine boat in South Africa, also commissioned by leasing enormous The Moorings — the Leopard 40 was, perhaps unsurprisingly, _Cruising World’_s Import Boat of the Year in 2005.
9. Seawind 1160
If the Seawind 1000 was a minimalist strategy to cruising cats, the38-foot Seawind 1160 is the reverse side of this coin, a long-range voyager. One of the reasons it was called _CW_’s Most Sophisticated boat for 2007 is the unconventional “tri-folding” opening that stashes over to open up the saloon and cockpit to a spacious living room.
10. Searunner Trimarans
Composed by the famous Jim Brown and his partner John Marples — and inspired by another American multihull pioneer, Arthur Piver — Searunner tris’ wooden collection arrived in five dimensions: 25-, 31-, 34-, 37- and 40-feet. Designed for safe if spare circumnavigations, several a Searunner achieved that purpose.
11. Prout Snowgoose 37
Strongly made for long hauls, the Snowgoose 37 comes in the Prout family of boatbuilders, who started plying their trade in the U.K. in the 1950s. The Snowgoose, of which some 500 were reportedly built, mostly in the 1980s, was among the best vendors, and they may still be found in harbors all over the world.
12. Weta Trimaran
If we were to assess multihulls solely by their entertainment factor, the little 14-foot, 5-inch Weta trimaran would mount between the giants. Fine for teaching children to sail, the Weta’s no toy — in the right conditions, you will see speeds approximating 20 knots. Hulls are a fiberglass sandwich; the mast is carbon-fiber; and the plan is simple but flexible, with a boomless mainsail, jib, and roller-furling gennaker. Other manufacturers provided us a taste of what an easy-to-assemble, small, tri could provide, but New Zealanders Roger and Chris Kitchen arrived up with just the perfect mix of stability, performance and ultimately thrilled on the water.
13. Piver Lodestar 35
In the early 1950s and 1960s, World War II veteran Arthur Piver started a legendary career designing and constructing simple plywood trimarans and afterward sold do-it-yourself strategies for his ships in the collection of Popular Mechanics and other publications. His Lodestar 35, one of which he traveled over the Pacific, is representative of his remarkable body of work.
14. Maine Cat 30
One of the more versatile and smart cats ever made, the fundamental characteristic of the cool Maine Cat 30 is the open bridge living room sandwiched within the hulls and canopied by a rigid, permanent hardtop (the luxurious staterooms/accommodations are stationed at the hulls). Perfect for a winter in the Bahamas, but with the ability to sail offshore, it’s a boat for all seasons and reasons.
15. Telstar 28
The Followup to Tony Smith’s favorite Telstar 26 tri, the 28-footer, launched in 2003, used a smart rotary-pivot joint onto its outer hulls to convert 18 ft of the sailing beam into an easy 8.5 feet for storage and trailering. The ship’s fully-battened mainsail and extending jib provide plenty of horsepower under sail.
16. Sunsail 384
Every Sailboat is an accommodation, and in the case of the Sunsail 384 (also sold individually since the Leopard 38), that is a great thing, because architects Morrelli & Melvin and maker Robertson and Caine got the balance just perfect. Having four cabins, the 384 can carry the equivalent size bareboat charter crowd as her bigger siblings but does so with a determined bounce in her step. Known as the CW’s Import Boat of the Year in 2010, it is possible to gauge the success of the layout from the grins on the team as they move down Sir Francis Drake’s point in the British Virgin Islands.
17. Outremer 40/43
The light, lightning-fast 40-foot kitty that started over 250 sisterships — by a builder still going strong today — the Outremer 40/43 features slender, easily managed decks, a minimalist coach roof, and massive nets forward, all in the interest of maintaining weight and displacement low, and ship speeds in double digits.
18. Hobie Wave
Everybody has to begin somewhere, and in the event of soaring adjacent to a multihull, many people get their first feel for operating a hull on a Hobie Wave.
Tour a seaside resort about anywhere, and you are likely to discover a fleet of Waves prepared for the taking. A word of warning to the cat interested: The ride can become habit-forming.
19. Louisiane 37
According to the great Charente-Maritime, the Louisiane 37, created by Joubert/Nivelt and started by builder Fountaine-Pajot in 1983, was a light, agile liveaboard cruiser with full accommodations that served a radical departure from the heavy British cats that preceded it.