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What is a sport catamaran?
Main features of a sport catamaran
The sport catamaran is a two-hulled, lightweight boat that does not have a cabin. This fast sailing boat can be manoeuvred by 1, 2 or, more rarely, 3 people, depending on the size of the multihull. A sport catamaran is equipped with a mainsail and usually a jib as headsail. Today, most sport catamarans are equipped with a self-steering jib and an asymmetrical spinnaker, making sailing manoeuvres easier.
Sport catamarans belong to the small sailing boat (as opposed to houseboats), meaning light ships where the most important load is the crew. As they have no ballast, sport catamarans can capsize if there is a steering error. To avoid this, especially if you're sailing on a sport catamaran, you should:
- keep the boat within its sailing lines to sail smoothly;
- keep the helm angle as low as possible, while making sure that the rudder does not slow the catamaran down too much;
- consider the apparent wind, the one you feel in the sails.
Sport catamarans measure between 12 feet and 22 feet long, allowing for 1 to 3 crew members. The bigger the sports yacht, the more powerful it will be. Even if the surface area of the boat touching the water is larger, the sail area is greater and the boat will then catch the wind better, going faster and delivering the kind of speed that sailing enthusiasts love.
Role distribution for a sport's catamaran's crew
When regatta sailing on a sport catamaran, each crew member has an assigned role: the helmsman is in charge of the helm and navigation while the crew member is responsible for the mainsail sheet and spinnaker. In order to counterbalance the heel caused by the wind, the sail crew member can abseil and if this is not enough, they can climb on the trapeze because adding weight to the outside of the boat to counter the heel allows the sailboat to right itself.
The sport catamaran: a perfect sailing boat for day trips
The sport catamaran is ideal for sports, leisure or competitions. You can also use a sport catamaran to sail along the beach because it can easily be accosted on the sand and the trampoline can be used to pitch a tent. Also, in English-speaking countries, you'll sometimes hear the term 'beachcat' or beach catamaran.
Popular brands of sport catamarans include:
- Hobie-Cat : the first manufacturer to create a sport catamaran with asymmetrical hulls;
- Sirena Voile: a French builder specialising in new and secondhand sport catamarans;
- and Nacra: a Californian manufacturer producing mainly racing catamarans.
Are you interested in day sailing on a light sailboat? Find your new or used sport catamaran among our boats ads on Band of Boats, and experience thrills you've never felt before.