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5 things you probably didn't know about catamarans
Imagine waking up on a stunning, classic catamaran in the middle of the sea with secluded bays and crystal clear beaches around you: their comfort and stability will totally provide you with some lifetime moments you should not miss. However, how well-informed are you about this type of boat? Let’s dive together into some important things you may not know about catamarans!
1. Their main design had been used thousands of years ago:
Although catamarans have become more popular in recent years, the truth is that they have been around for ages! More specifically, many historians are those who believe that the basic design of catamaran has been in use since at least 1500 BC by the wooden rafts, in order to make their long voyages in the Pacific Ocean. However, thousands of years later, there was an adventurer from England named William Dampier who first got impressed by this type of boat while he was travelling in the Pacific Ocean, visiting Tamil Nadu in South India around the 17th century. Yet, it was not for another hundreds of years until today's form of catamaran was first built. It was an American called Nathanael Herreshoff who first designed the modern catamaran around 1870, which pretty soon became a famous pleasure and racing craft for boat lovers.
2. They became a big deal in the 1960s:
It was this decade when the Hobie Cat, one of the world’s most famous catamarans, was designed and created by Hobie Alter who’s work managed to increase interest in catamarans around the whole world, especially in the over populated USA and Europe. All this effort to promote a new type of sailing culture revolutionised the sailing industry and very soon it became a huge phenomenon in Southern California, which was mostly amplified after a relative feature in the magazine called LIFE. Today, catamarans still remain a well growing segment of the boat industry, attracting more and more boat travellers to explore its unique design and way of sailing.
3. Their design is mostly based on geometry, not weight:
Catamarans own great speed while gliding through, stay close to the water and are more stable than other types of boats, because of their design with the two connected primary hulls. Although catamarans are faster and weigh less than common sailboats, they are more likely to stay upright in a heavy storm and have less drag on the hull due to their unique design with a smaller surface area being in contact with water. However, what needs to be mentioned is that catamarans can be more difficult to turn than monohull boats, due to their lightweight and design. Nathanael Herreshoff’s marvellous design of catamarans was so successful that catamarans not only are one of the greatest options for people’s boating holidays, but also for organised racing competitions.
4. They can be pretty massive:
Although catamarans come in all sizes and shapes, the truth is that they can be quite larger as we may think. If we dive into the biggest catamaran that has ever been built, we will find the Hemisphere Superyacht which measures approximately 44 metres in length, can easily take up to 10 crewmembers and 12 passengers and has a jacuzzi and a trampoline in it. Interestingly, there is a company providing Loch Ness tours which aspires to break this record soon as it’s working on building a huge catamaran, able to accommodate 220 passengers! Pretty cool, right? While there are inflatable catamarans which measure less than 10 metres, it seems easy for catamaran lovers to find larger ones for their boating holidays, which they combine size, speed and safety.
5. The way you handle them varies:
Compared to the common sailboats, catamarans can be faster and more flexible regarding the way they move. However, they are not always as easy to handle as we may think. In case there are windy conditions or bad weather days, handling a catamaran can be a challenge. Imagine travelling upwind with a catamaran - there is going to be quite a hard time for you to make progress in sailing, while there is a difficulty to turn. They can easily be dangerous and hardcore to handle, so you need to be prepared and well informed about its unique and interesting way of sailing, in order to enjoy as much as possible your journey on them.