The editor of Cruising World Magazine, Mark Pilsbury, set us a challenge with a recent [June 2014] post of a list of the “The 40 Best Catamarans and Trimarans. Ever.” We went through the list and while we agree that each of the multihulls has a place on the list, we have a few of our own nominations.
Although catamarans have been used for a very long time in the oceans, it was only recently that catamarans have become more popular among sport and cruising sailors. Seafaring Polynesians used catamarans to settle the world’s most far-flung islands. In the 1870s, an American, Nathanael Herreshoff, built catamarans to his own design. The speed and stability of these new vessels soon made them popular pleasure craft in America.
In the twentieth century, the catamaran inspired an even more popular sailboat. Hobie Alter, introduced the catamaran to the masses with “a small catamaran that you could easily take out into the water and sail and take back in.” In 1967 he produced the first 250-pound Hobie Cat 14, and two years later the larger and even more successful Hobie 16. That boat remains in production, with more than 100,000 made in the past three decades.
Catamaran design and technology have improved by leaps and bounds as the Americas Cup Catamarans have showed us. The major manufacturers in South Africa, France, New Zealand, Australia and China are building lighter, faster, bigger, safer and more impressive multihulls and they are increasingly focusing on super catamarans – catamarans over 60ft in length. Presently, the catamaran market is the fastest growing segment of the entire boating industry.
our Top Ten List of Catamarans in Alphabetical order:
Contact us for more information about these or any other makes of catamarans.