The boating world has been revolutionized by the increasing popularity of cruising catamarans. Once overshadowed by bluewater monohull sailing yachts, catamarans are now making waves with their spacious, safe, and seaworthy designs. They offer double the living space of a monohull, panoramic views, full-sized galleys, multiple cabins and heads, and expansive decks. Unlike monohulls, they provide a stable and comfortable ride without heeling over under sail.
Numerous boatbuilders are producing both sailing and motor catamarans, each with its own unique features and advantages. The key is to find the best catamaran that suits your specific needs and preferences. Whether you require a large owners’ cabin for long-distance sailing, multiple cabins for voyages with family or friends, or a catamaran that can be easily sailed solo, there is a perfect option for everyone. In this article, we explore some of the top cruising catamaran brands that specialize in ocean-going vessels under 60 feet. Be sure to check out Rightboat’s extensive listings for both sailing and motor catamarans to find the perfect match for your boating adventures.
The Top Sailing Catamaran Brands
Fountaine Pajot: For over 40 years, Fountaine Pajot has been a leading name in the catamaran industry, revolutionizing the world of cruising cats. Their dedication to innovation has earned them numerous awards, with their 40-foot Isla serving as the flagship model. Fountaine Pajot's focus on creating strong, safe, and comfortable boats reflects their commitment to providing cruising families with the ultimate adventure experience. From their smallest 40-foot model to their luxurious 80-foot superyacht, Fountaine Pajot consistently delivers unrivaled luxury, innovation, and the pure joy of sailing.
Lagoon Catamarans: Another key player in the cruising catamaran industry, Lagoon has mastered the art of stability, performance, and luxury living. Their accolades, including the recent Multihull of the Year 2023 award in the Sail Cruising category, speak to their success. With a range of models, each showcasing the classic Lagoon style, the brand continues to impress with its strength, thoughtful design, and improved performance. Lagoon's clever interior and deck design have made them a top choice for charter companies worldwide, offering spacious communal areas, multiple cabins, and an elegant, light décor style.
Top Power Catamarans for Cruising
Leopard Catamarans: When it comes to power catamarans, Leopard Catamarans are definitely a force to be reckoned with. While they are known for their impressive sailing models, their power cats have also made a significant impact in the industry. Leading the way in the small bluewater motor catamarans sector, the Leopard 53 Powercat, Leopard 46 Powercat, and the more recent Leopard 40 have all been well-received. The spacious designs of these vessels, featuring the largest flybridge ever seen on a 40-foot vessel, have truly set a new standard for motor-cat cruising. With features like a full L-shaped galley, 360-degree visibility, and multiple cabins and heads, Leopard Catamarans are a game changer in the world of power catamarans.
Prestige Catamarans: While Prestige Catamarans may only have one motor cat in their lineup, it is certainly a standout offering. At 50 feet, it falls on the larger end of the scale for power cats and showcases the impeccable styling that Prestige is known for. Equipped for long passages, the flybridge can be outfitted with a large T-top to protect the upper deck in all weather conditions. Inside, the living spaces can be configured to provide luxurious accommodations with spacious en-suite cabins. Despite the dominance of big shipyards like Fountaine Pajot, Sunreef, and Lagoon in the cruising motor catamaran market, Prestige is making a strong impression with the Euphorie 5.
Top Offshore Cruising Catamarans
Antares Catamarans: When it comes to long-range sailing catamarans, Antares Catamarans from Buenos Aires, Argentina, stands out as a top choice. The design of their catamarans is focused on comfortable living aboard, with meticulous attention to the living spaces. Even the aft cabins offer an impressive 6.75 feet of headroom, setting a new industry standard. Their flagship Antares 44 now offers a hybrid version with electric motors, solar energy, and a hydrogenerator that can produce 640 watts/hour at 7 knots. For those seeking to embark on extensive round-the-world voyages, Antares is a top contender.
Outremer: Outremer is known for building "the ultimate blue-water cruising catamaran," and their range of models from 45 to 55 feet lives up to this reputation. The Outremer 45, for instance, allows single-handed ocean crossings with easy control from the helm station and forgiving handling. The Outremer 4.zero, at 48 feet, features a 100% electric motor, making long-range cruising possible with zero CO2 emissions. Whether it's the family-friendly Outremer 51 with its four-cabin layout or the innovative Outremer 5X, designed to be easily handled by two people, Outremer has truly elevated the standard for bluewater catamarans.
The Best Catamarans for Coastal Cruising
Maine Cat Catamarans: Based on the MidCoast of Maine, Maine Cat Catamarans has been crafting top-tier composite sailing and power catamarans since 1993. Their lineup includes three models - the 30, 38, and 41 - each tailored for sailing enthusiasts. The smallest model is perfect for weekend getaways, while the 41 is capable of covering over 200 miles a day, making it ideal for longer adventures. Whether it's a short solo trip or an extended journey, all Maine Cat models are well-equipped for various sailing experiences.
Nautitech: Nautitech's stunning catamarans are not just designed for coastal cruising but are also highly capable of venturing into the open waters. However, we are highlighting them here for their ability to provide an exceptional sailing experience. With models like the 40 Open, 44 Open, and 48 Open, Nautitech offers a perfect blend of performance and luxury. These catamarans are spacious and luxurious, making them ideal for leisurely activities such as dining with friends and exploring picturesque shorelines with sandy beaches and hidden coves. Their design also allows for long-distance voyages with comfort and ample space for the journey.
Top Performers in the World of Cruising Catamarans
Catana Catamarans: With a history dating back to 1984, French manufacturer Catana has played a pivotal role in the evolution of the multihull sector. Specializing in fast, high-performance catamarans, they have focused their energy and expertise on two current models, the Catana 53 and the Ocean Class. These models are designed to offer speed, excitement, and performance, while also prioritizing strength, safety, and luxurious finishes. Through the use of lightweight construction, inverted bows, and daggerboards, Catana catamarans are built for high-performance sailing over long distances in challenging sea conditions.
Kinetic: Although this list primarily focuses on catamarans under 55 feet, it's impossible to overlook Kinetic’s KC54, which received a Special Recognition award in Cruising World’s Boat of the Year contest. Referred to as the “Tesla of sailboats” by experts, Kinetic’s cruisers are known for their exceptional performance, all-carbon and infused epoxy resin construction, innovative design, and stylish finishes. As a semi-custom yard, Kinetic offers owners the opportunity to personalize their yacht's layout, rig, sail plan, interior furnishings, fixtures, and equipment. While the cost may run into the millions, the result is a tailor-made cruising catamaran perfectly suited to the owner's sailing preferences and destinations.
Top Catamarans for Couples to Sail the Seas
When it comes to choosing the perfect catamaran for couples, two brands stand out as exceptional options: Balance and BALI Catamarans. Both of these brands offer unique features and benefits that cater to the needs of couples looking for comfort, performance, and safety in their sailing adventures.
Balance Catamarans: Perfect Harmony of Performance and Practicality
Balance catamarans are easily recognizable by their elegant and brightly colored hulls, making them a standout choice for couples looking for a stylish vessel. What sets Balance apart is their commitment to achieving the perfect balance between high-performance sailing and practicality. The Balance 442, the smallest yacht in the company’s range at 44 feet, embodies this philosophy perfectly. It is designed by racers who understand the needs of couples, offering a high-performance sailing experience without compromising on ease of handling. Whether it's island-hopping or trans-oceanic voyages, the Balance 442 is an agile and compact bluewater liveaboard that exceeds expectations.
BALI Catamarans: Unparalleled Living Space and Comfort
When long-term cruising is the goal, comfort becomes just as important as performance. This is where BALI Catamarans shine with their unique approach to space and comfort across their four models under 44 feet. The focus on creating an exceptional amount of living space, panoramic views, natural ventilation, and uncompromised safety and seaworthiness makes BALI Catamarans an ideal choice for couples. The owner versions of these catamarans prioritize spacious master cabins, expansive saloon spaces, and twin helm stations for easy handling, making them an excellent option for couples embarking on round-the-world voyages.
Top Compact Cruising Catamarans
Seawind Catamarans: Seawind, an Australian company, is known for its range of small bluewater cruising catamarans. These compact vessels, all under 45 feet, have gained global recognition for their clever layouts, efficient use of space, and excellent performance when sailed by a small crew. Featuring carbon- and Kevlar-reinforced hulls, watertight collision bulkheads, and fully protected dual helm stations with 360-degree visibility, Seawind catamarans offer a home-like comfort that belies their small size. This makes them an ideal choice for couples and families looking to embark on extended offshore journeys.
Excess Catamarans: Excess Catamarans manufactures some of the smallest bluewater cruising catamarans available, with their models starting at just 37'5'' and 38'7''. Despite their compact size, these catamarans deliver impressive performance, owing to their design by the renowned French racing firm VPLP. Additionally, they offer an exceptional level of comfort and spaciousness, making them suitable for long-term living at sea. Equipped with safety features for offshore passages and a 6.5-foot square bed in the master cabin, these catamarans can take their owners to distant destinations. With twin helm stations, a sleek design, and ample well-planned features and storage, Excess Catamarans have established a new standard for small cruising catamarans.
More Options for Cruising Catamarans
When it comes to cruising catamarans, there are several other top brands worth considering. These brands offer a wide range of models and features to suit different preferences and needs.
One of the top cruising catamaran brands is known for its sleek design and innovative technology. Their catamarans are built for both performance and comfort, making them a popular choice among sailing enthusiasts.
Another reputable brand in the cruising catamaran market is known for its spacious and luxurious catamarans. With a focus on high-quality materials and attention to detail, their models are designed to provide a premium cruising experience.
This brand stands out for its versatile catamarans that are suitable for both leisurely cruising and adventurous sailing. Their models are known for their durability and stability, making them a reliable choice for long-distance voyages.
For those looking for environmentally friendly options, this brand offers eco-conscious catamarans that prioritize sustainability without compromising on performance. Their innovative designs and energy-efficient features make them a great choice for eco-conscious sailors.
Finally, this brand is recognized for its customizable catamarans, allowing customers to tailor their vessels to their specific preferences. With a focus on flexibility and personalization, their catamarans offer a unique and tailored cruising experience.
Consider exploring these other top cruising catamaran brands to find the perfect vessel for your sailing adventures. Each brand has its own unique strengths and features, providing a variety of options for sailors with different priorities and preferences.
Was this page helpful?