What’s the difference?
There are obvious differences between catamarans and monohulls. Most notably, a monohull vessel has only one hull, or main body, whereas a catamaran has two hulls. Because of these two hulls, catamarans typically stay more level than their single-hulled counterparts. They also tend to offer more space, and arguably will go a lot faster. Lets dive in to what differentiates the two types of boats and what makes the Sail Maui vessels so great…
A monohull sailboat, as the name implies, has only one hull, and this hull is generally centered around a heavy keel. A catamaran has two hulls, with the spar and sails in the middle (amidships in sailor speak). The wide stance of catamarans means they don’t heel much (heeling is when the boat leans while under sail); in fact, a catamaran will rarely heel more than five to ten degrees before you need to reduce sail area. For these reasons, catamarans are especially good for families with young children or older, less agile people because the boats aren’t as susceptible to the wave action and walking around is easier on level ground. While any sailor enjoys the thrill of a monohull heeled over in perfect sail trim, enjoying a beverage on the deck or laying out a buffet lunch is certainly easier with minimum tilt! Seasickness can also be less of a problem on sailing catamarans, & if you’re concerned about feeling uneasy, be sure to read our blog on preventive tips!
Catamarans usually have more space than monohulls, both above and below deck. Though it increases windage, it is nice to have a covered salon area on deck as well as the luxury of spreading out and lounging in the cockpit. Prime seating on Paragon & Paragon II is the netted area in between the hulls called trampolines (no not the bouncy ones) which offer guests a great place to watch for whales and dolphins. This is also the wettest place, as the hulls are always on different points of a wave and sometimes they break under the boat!
Fast is fun!
There’s many benefits to both types of sailboats, and certainly everyone has their preference, but possibly the biggest factor for some in the question of catamarans vs monohulls is that performance built multi-hulled sailboats are able to reach higher speeds. This is due to limited drag and their power-to-weight ratio—in other words, there is a lot of sail power but very little weight and resistance in the water. Depending on the design, catamarans can be up to 25–30% faster than single-hulled boats of the same length. This is of course not always the case, as many of the catamarans you’ll find on Maui are built more for comfort than speed. Sail Maui is the fastest charter on Maui, and we regularly go in excess of 15 knots under sail during our charters in the tradewinds. **This isn’t always the goal, as we take our passengers enthusiasm for fast sailing into consideration before attempting to sail so aggressively!
Paragon and Paragon II
With Sail Maui, you can discover the beauty of our pacific island aboard one of two gorgeous, high-performance catamarans: Paragon and Paragon II. Both boats were built with carbon fiber rotating wing masts modeled after the America’s Cup winner Stars & Stripes. With this spar technology combined with our fractional rig, we are able to increase our sail area and point higher than traditional multihulls which enables us to achieve higher speeds all the while maintaining comfort and safety.
What’s better than exploring the breathtaking coastline and waters of Maui? Getting to do so on a spacious, fast, high-performance catamaran! Contact us today to learn more about our many different tours we offer through Sail Maui! Happy Sailing!