We’ve all been curious at some point or another about what it would feel like to cruise around the world. At least I’ve been and so because I want to make it a reality, I’ve been researching catamarans like crazy.
After all, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me and many of you and we want the best experience possible. Nothing beats a catamaran. Why? They are normally longer than monohulls, even though their cabins and handling differ a lot in size. Yes, size does matter!
Forty-five to fifty feet is the ideal length for a catamaran to circumnavigate the globe. At most marinas, a catamaran between 55 and 60 feet long can accommodate long-term provisions and a cabin, with the smallest catamaran being around 30 feet long.
We’ll discuss the optimal catamaran sizes for crossing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It’s based on input from expert sailors and cat manufacturers.
1. Cat Size Matters When Sailing Around the World
Despite the wide variety of options for catamarans, even the smallest models lack the facilities needed to sail around the globe in comfort. It’s unusual for a catamaran shorter than 30 feet to have a cabin at all, unlike yachts.
Catamarans have to be significantly larger to contain a cabin. About 12 to 15 feet in length are the small recreational cats, used mostly for racing. However, they’re not suitable for open sea sailing. As a general rule, large cats that measure more than 20 feet long are referred to as “day boats.”
When a catamaran reaches 30 feet in length, it becomes a good option for long-distance voyages. Cabins are commonly seen on boats this size, which may comfortably fit two to four people. Catamarans are most helpful and comfortable when they’re longer than 50 feet, which is why they’re so widespread.
2. The Minimum-sized Cat Needs To be Well-equipped
Although a catamaran may theoretically sail great distances, a vessel large enough to house a crew and store provisions is required. For ocean-crossing catamarans, the bottom limit is 30 feet.
If you decide to take the trip in such a small cat, ensure that it has great headroom and is fully equipped. This one I’m about to mention comes highly recommended by many sailors who’ve made the trip.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend escape or a year-long adventure, the Maine Cat 30 is the perfect boat for you. It is possible to design a lightweight composite assembly that can withstand offshore conditions. It also remains trouble-free for years with no work thanks to the use of high-quality maritime components and equipment, plus innovative construction processes.
The open bridge deck is 8’x11′ and is protected from the elements by a hardtop with a height of 6’–4′′.
The Maine Cat 30 delivers on the ideal of true high-efficiency multi-hull cruising in a league of its own.
At 56 inches broad and 6’–8 inches long, the berth in the master suite on the starboard end of the ship had a 4-foot ceiling above it. Above a solid cherry-dangling storage cabinet, you’ll find a counter as well as a dresser in the center. The hanging locker is located on the right side of the daggerboard trunk. In addition to the pressurized water shower, there is a Lavac toilet and a 20-gallon storage tank in the colossal head.
The front bunk in the port hull is 44′′ broad and 6’–8′′ long, making it ideal for two people.
3. There’s a Perfect Cat Size for Ocean Crossing
As we’ve seen, a 30-foot sailing catamaran is stretching the boundaries of practicality. However, a catamaran may be made significantly more comfortable and appropriate for lengthy voyages with only a modest increase in length.
Roughly 40 to 45 feet in length is the average ocean-crossing catamaran size. With an extra 10 feet of length, designers can cram a tremendous amount of space into the hulls.
A little more length lets designers plus boat builders dramatically extend each hull and so make place for luxuries such as individual bedrooms with ensuite baths, several bathrooms, plus separate eating and food prep areas.
4. Floor Plans For Cruising Catamarans are Essential
The floor design of a Cat between 40 and 50 feet long is frequently mirrored. Each hull of a typical catamaran is identically laid out. In other words, if one of the boats has a private berth in the bow, along with a shower and toilet in the back, the next hull will differ.
It’s due to the galley and seating area being frequently retained in the middle console, where there is greater room to walk about. Crews have found it more comfortable to sleep in the thin hulls, which are utilized only at night or for short periods.
If the vessel is just for showering and sleeping, there’s more storage in the hull’s depth. Although distinct hull layouts are possible in this size span, the mirrored layout is significantly more frequent.
5. The Pacific Coast Has Fewer Stopping Points than the Atlantic & Gulf Coasts
In recent times, 45-foot catamarans appear to be the norm for this trip type.
In comparison to the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean has a smaller surface area, and several nations bordering it have improved their seashores. This means that you may get away with a smaller boat because you don’t have to overstock on food and the journeys are shorter.
a. Not every Dock Accepts Large Cats
Meanwhile, some marinas on the Atlantic can’t accept a cat over 55-feet, and those who do can prove quite expensive. So, a catamaran from 40 to 50 feet in length is appropriate for crossing the Atlantic.
You can find a marina for this size yacht in most of the wealthy nations along the Atlantic, as well as shallow enough depth to explore the Atlantic Islands’ coral reefs. Catamarans of 40 to 50 feet are just as seaworthy as larger vessels, and their upkeep is way more affordable.
b. Many Anchorages Line the Coast
Marinas and safe anchorages dot the Atlantic Ocean on the US East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico along the South, unlike the US West Coast, which is sparsely populated. There are full-amenity marinas about every hundred miles along the Southern US coastlines and sections of Central America.
As you sail around the world’s many islands, you won’t need to stock up on food and water for long. Because your requirements differ from those of a Pacific sailor, you have a lot more leeway when it comes to picking a size plus the layout plan.
Some catamarans are better suited to the Pacific Ocean than others, notwithstanding their versatility. A catamaran is a good option for Pacific travel because the expanses between docks and rest stops tend to be higher there.
a. Not Many Piers
As a result, there are just a few piers and protected docks along the US West Coast. Longer voyages in the Pacific require a catamaran that’s 45 to 50 feet long to accommodate food and other necessities.
Even a short trip along the coast from Seattle to California might take you through countless miles of steep, rock-strewn mountains with no places to stop. While traversing the Pacific Ocean, you may not come across any ports, let alone full-service marinas, for many hundreds or even thousands of miles.
b. Larger Cats Fear Better
You don’t want to run low on fuel and supplies hundreds of miles from your destination. One captain told me that, even when nothing but blue sea surrounds you for long stretches, larger cats make you breathe easier.
6. World Cruising Requires a Crew
If you’re considering a world cruise or a circumnavigation, you’ll need a boat large enough to accommodate your crew and supplies.
Additionally, you’ll need a cat that’s tiny enough to fit into most marinas, yet seaworthy enough to withstand whatever you’ll find ashore, such as rough seas.
7. Plan for Months of Supplies
The ideal length for most people appears to be between 45 and 50 feet. Several months’ worth of food and supplies may be stored on a 50-foot catamaran. Up to six people can also easily stay in this home for long periods.
It is also possible to circumnavigate the globe on a catamaran that is from 40 to 50 feet long. A 50-foot catamaran may nearly always be found in any isolated port where sailors frequently gather.
8. Medium Cat Saves You Money at Many Marinas
A 50-foot catamaran may be moored in nearly any marina, and most boatyards are equipped to handle basic maintenance and repairs on such a large vessel. According to most marinas, large yachts must be at least 60 feet long to be charged a fee. The medium boat category will be maintained, saving you tens of thousands of dollars.
9. You Can Limit Your Cat Options to Avoid Confusion
You have multiple ways to limit your options when it comes to selecting the correct catamaran size. After all, looking at every option available could leave you confused.
The first step is to think about how you intend to use the container. If you have a small crew, a catamaran between 30 and 40 feet in length may be the best option for you. Bigger cats can easily accommodate eight or more guests in comfort.
However, some charter captains may require additional space. It’s sufficient for most people. Larger catamaran sizes, such as those of 50 feet or more, would be preferable for families with young children who like to run around and get into mischief.