"Sail into luxury, glide with elegance."

The Origin of Catamarans

Catamarans were initially a collection of fallen trees that were shaped and joined with vines to form a stable floating platform. The next evolutionary step was to tie two canoes together with a central seating platform. Ideal for the fisherman. Eventually, they built a mast, fitted sails, and constructed a small shelter, enabling boats to go further afield and cross large oceans.

The name catamaran is a Tamil word – Kattumaram.   Kattu - bind together  Maram - timber, wood, tree. The Tamil people initially used these boats to fish around the coasts of India.

Extremely Comfortable Cruising - The Design

The design covers the hulls and central deck area known as a bridge deck with a deckhouse or saloon and provides accommodation in the hulls.

Today, a catamaran provides extremely comfortable cruising under sail or motor. The saloon with panoramic views on the same level as the large cockpit, ideal for entertaining. 

One advantage as a sailing boat is that it does not need ballast in the hulls; this makes a sailing catamaran light and fast. The catamaran has an engine in each hull, giving the boat exceptional manoeuvring ability. The interior layout on an average 40 ft cat is four double cabins.  Two double cabins and a central bathroom in each hull. Ideal for the leisure market.

Nathaneal Herreshoff and his Fast Racing Catamarans

In the 1870’s Nathaneal Herreshoff, the designer of many America’s Cup Boats and famous boats of the time, designed and built a range of fast racing catamarans that were ahead of their day this didn’t go down at all well with the racing traditionalists, racing and consequently building ceased.


Key Differences Between a Yacht and Catamaran


Catamarans are known for their stability due to their wide hulls, while a monohull yacht can heel or tilt more.


Catamarans are often faster than monohull yachts of the same size because of reduced hull resistance, and in comparison, they are much lighter boats and do not need a weighty keel.

Interior Space

Catamarans generally offer more interior and deck space, making them suitable for larger groups and the charter market.


Catamarans are more expensive than monohull yachts of similar size due to their advanced design and features.

Choosing between a yacht and a catamaran depends on your preferences, intended use, and budget. Yachts are traditional and luxurious, while catamarans are modern, stable, and spacious, making them very suitable for live aboards, family groups especially those people that suffer from sea sickness, children and elderly sailors enjoy the stability of a cruising catamaran.


None-Destructive Testing (NDT)

The None-Destructive Testing (NDT) technique is a very good tool for inspecting spars and standing rigging connections for hairline cracks. The Ultra-Sound is very effective but needs training to understand the kit and resulting data, the Dye Penetrant system below is much easier to use.

The Dye Penetrant Crack Detection System comprises three aerosol sprays, a cleaner, the dye, and a developer.  Follow instructions carefully and photograph the results; cracks will show as a distinctive red line.  Ideal for checking cracks in solid stainless-steel rigging, chain plates and toggles, masts and booms where there could be stress-related cracks behind tangs, spreader roots, and connections, ideal for testing the area around the foot of the mast.

PTFE – Spray Lubricant

PTFE spray is ideal for sheaves, cars and travellers, winches (not the greased areas), furling gear etc. it does not absorb dirt and dust and is suited to the sailing environment.


Modern Diesel Engines

To reduce harmful emissions from Diesel engines the  search for cleaner emissions has resulted in engine manufacturers redesigning fuel delivery systems.  Common rail diesel delivery is one system.  Injector pressures in the '70s were around 300 bar (4,351 psi); today, pressures exceed 2,500 bar (29,000 psi); this higher injection pressure is a key factor in reducing an engine's untreated emissions.  It also improves atomisation by having a better fuel-air mixture ratio, meaning optimum combustion is achievable, giving enhanced power output and efficiency.

Diesel Fuel-Sulphur Content

The sulphur content of diesel fuel over the last few years has reduced from 500 parts per million to 15 ppm.  This fuel is now known as ULSD (ultra-low sulphur diesel).  This dramatic reduction has resulted in problems for manufacturers and operators of diesel engines and diesel fuel distributors. 

Modern Engines

Modern engines have a higher power-to-weight ratio and are more reliable and cleaner than older engines.  Many now have electronic controls to optimise fuel consumption and efficiency. .


Catamaran Maintenance

The maintenance of catamarans is described fully in the main section. Click here to find out more.

Team imardex-marine  


Imardex Marine’s ⚓ Boat Information Directory

Welcome to Imardex Marine’s Boat Information Directory (Boat-InfoD) for mariners and nautical enthusiasts. Here, you can quickly find information on boating and nautical themes in our frequently updated directory.

“Set sail with us - your ultimate boating information hub!”



Main Section Content
Auxiliary Machinery Generators, Bow & Stern Thrusters, Bilge pumping Systems.
Bilge Pumps Bilge filling with water
Boat Insurance Click here for more information.
Boat Terminology Astern, Ahead, Abaft
Boatyard Work Your guide to work and costs in a boatyard
Cruising the French Waterways Cruising the Canals & Rivers of France
Domestic Systems Gas, Fresh Water, & Toilet Systems...Cats & Dogs Aboard
Electrical Systems AC and DC Systems, Solar Panels, LED Systems
Flag Etiquette Flag Etiquette, Dressing a Yacht, Bunting.
Flares & Signalling Devices Flares, Signalling Devices.
Green Energy Content coming soon
Main Engine All the parts and information on your boats Diesel engine.
Maintenance Information Information on Imardex Marine’s Maintenance Programme
Navigation Systems Radar, AIS, GPS...
Old Navy Jargon Scuttlebutt, Pipe Down, All Hands on Deck...
Safety Systems Man Overboard, Emergency Fuel Shut Off...
System Training Modules Information on Training Programmes for boaters.
Underwater Systems Sea cocks to Anti Foul...
Winterising Winterising - The list
Yacht Terminology Baggywrinkle, Baby Stay, Clew, Bob Stay.
Waste Management & Emissions Control Sustainability and Responsible Boating Practices.
Captain & Owners Responsibilities An overview of respective responsibilities.


Safety Systems


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