Have you seen Boston Whaler boats cut in thirds and still remain afloat? They are composite boats, and the same concepts remain true for our larger catamarans.
We can't say they are unsinkable (everyone learned that the hard way with the Titanic), but it is impossible to sink a yacht if the volume of the composite materials is larger then the weight of the boat. Also we have reinforced our bows, bottoms, and keels and seal the area into separate compartments so water does not move throughout the boat if there is a leak somewhere.
Catamaran's do in fact have a long tradition. Catamarans served in the pacific for thousands of years for fishing and transporting people between the islands. But catamarans are not suitable to carry heavy cargo, and were all but forgotten since the era of cargo ships, because they were not seen as ‘proper boats’ in the western world.
This conservative view was compounded when world-famous designer Nathaniel Herreshoff was banned in 1876 from the NY Yacht Club, when he showed up and won races with a revolutionary small sailing catamaran against the multi-million dollar yachts.
Yes, they can, just the same as any mono- or multihull yacht, if wind and wave conditions are extreme and the yacht is not handled properly. And just like any Sailing- or Motoryacht, which relies on form stability, it will not right itself.
Only sailing yachts with heavy keels can right themselves, but will sink quickly if filled up with water during a capsize or a collision. The advantage of a composite catamaran is that whether capsized or full of water, you still have a stable platform that is virtually impossible to sink.
We tested our 76 ft Sailing Catamaran in storms up to 66 knots (cyclone-strength) in the open pacific without facing any danger or problems.
There is no known storm loss of a modern composite catamaran even in events such as the NZ – Tonga race in 1994, where 6 monohulls got lost, but all catamarans survived that century-storm. The only catamaran damage resulted from a collision with a warship during a rescue operation.
A catamaran must be light in order to perform well and carry a decent payload. For example, a 76 ft Streamline Marine Catamaran built with composite epoxy material weighs in around 15 tons, whereas the same size production catamaran built from solid fiberglass or aluminum generally weighs over 30 tons.
The equipment and personal belongings you place on board need to be considered since it contributes to the total usable weight. Be careful of the pounds, they add up fast. Instead of carrying Tonnes of water, consider a water maker. Some production models push their range for selling purposes and must carry 10 tons of fuel to do it as well as slow down to 10 knots.
Are production catamarans really cheaper? NO! The price is about the same for a custom boat as a production boat. The bonus is, with a custom boat you get what you want, in the colors you want. With production boats you only have a choice of certain selections, then incur extra charges for minor changes.
Of course having a custom catamaran built for you will take time - generally 12-months for a 50' catamaran, up to 24-months for a 80' yacht. But you get exactly what you want!
Streamline Marine Catamarans purchases the latest blueprint from the designer for each multihull we build. The designers we use are constantly tweaking performance, and stay abreast of the latest materials they can use for weight and strength.
Production companies tend to use the same mold year after year in order
to recoup their initial investment.
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