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Cruising Cat 44-45′ Poll

Which is your favourite cruising catamaran from the list below? These photos illustrate the compromises that designers have to make when thinking about comfort, space, performance and cost. You can’t have it all.

Tap or Click on an image and then the “VOTE” Button.

Which is your favourite?
Fountaine Pajot Elba 45
Excess 14
Bali 4.4
Nautitech 44
Aventura 45
Created with QuizMaker

Poll was featured on our Instagram feed on 9th Jan 20023.

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Can you Make Money Chartering a Catamaran?

Can you Make Money Chartering a Catamaran?

We recently sold our catamaran after 3 years of ownership. Can you make money chartering your own boat? Read on to find out.

We bought Gecko, a Nautitech 40 Open, in November 2019. The plan was to enjoy sailing her around Barcelona and the Balaeric Islands (we did plenty of that) while offsetting the running costs and maintenance with skippered charters managed through a small company in Port Ginesta, our closest marina.

Unfortunately, the plan didn’t quite work out. Despite Dream Yacht Charters posting a record year for rentals in the 2022 season, we only managed one 2 week charter in August. From a personal perspective, the project was a success. We’ve improved our sailing skills, logged many miles and explored Mallorca, Menorca and the Costa Brava.

But from a commercial perspective, not so successful. So what went wrong?

This article is a summary of our experience over the last 3 years. If you are are thinking of doing something similar, hopefully this will help you do the numbers.

Year One, 2020

The project started pretty well, despite the onset of Covid in early 2020. There are quite a few costs to absorb in the start up phase of a project like this to get the boat ready for charter. There’s the cost of the boat of course, plus mooring fees, insurance, maintenance and so on, and you’ll need to spec’ out the boat over and above the standard levels so you can charter with the appropriate safety kit (life rafts, life jackets, radar reflector, EPIRB and so on).

As a rule of thumb, you’ll need to spend between 5% & 10% of the value of the boat on running costs every year, depending on how much you do yourself. So let’s say the boat cost you €500k, you are looking at spending €50k a year. Now, if you are also enjoying the boat yourself, you can’t allocate this all to the business. Let’s call it €30k to break even on a cash flow basis (ignoring asset depreciation, more on that later). If you can cover more of the maintenance yourself, this cost comes down.

In year one, the operation paid for the running costs, and we even had a bit left over for contingencies. All good! So effectively, we had use of the boat for the cost of depreciation of the asset (the yacht). As second hand values remained strong, this wasn’t a big number.

Year Two, 2021

Covid pressure were starting to ease, but we ended the year with fewer bookings than the year before. This was a warning signal and we should have switched rental companies at this point.

We lost a whole week with a dispute with one of the bookings: a group of guys in their early 20s who were kicked off the boat by the skipper for excessive partying and dangerous behaviour. I’ve nothing against party boats, just not on Gecko, and these clients should have been turned down in favour of families early on in the booking process.

But again, we just about managed to cover our costs (the main aim) and missed the end of the contract period in September. I found a few professional looking companies offering charter management at the Barcelona Boat Show (Salon Nautico), but the timing didn’t quite work out, so we decided to press ahead with our current supplier.

The relationship started to deteriorate in the back end of 2021. Let’s just call it a difference in opinion on how to run the charters.

Morale of the story: if there is a problem, fix it fast or move on to another supplier immediately. We should have done the latter.

Year Three, 2022

The final year was not great on the numbers front. The charter agency only managed to sell two slots, one 2 weeker and a 10 day slot in August. Unfortunately, the skipper on the first charter collided with something hard on the way back into Port Ginesta, smashed the bow and damaged the starboard hull and keel. We had to cancel the second booking to fix the boat and any money we made on the first was swallowed up by the excess on the insurance and an additional paint job.

We’d enjoyed some fantastic trips on Gecko over the year (Mallorca, Costa Brava, Costa Daurada) but the rental side of the business wasn’t bringing in enough money and was taking up a large amount of time. We decided that, unfortunately, the model wasn’t working. On the positive side, boats weren’t depreciating much and the market was strong. We decided to sell. The silver lining was that the boat hadn’t depreciated much since our purchase due to lack of supply in the market.

So What Went Wrong?

The Partner

There are a number of reasons why things didn’t work out, but the main one was the deterioration of the relationship with the rental company. There are advantages to working with a small company (more flexibility for using the boat for example), but we experienced many disadvantages too, such as lack of maintenance resource, inflexible and inconsistent pricing, ineffective marketing, and surprisingly no repeat custom and no existing customer base.

We weren’t impressed with the standard of skipper that they were able to supply, and they were getting terrible reviews from customers.

The company we worked with also ran charters on their own catamaran. This took priority of course and I think they just lost interest in chartering Gecko. They were trying to do too much with not enough resource and we were last on the priority list for marketing, sales and maintenance.


Port Ginesta isn’t ideal for running skippered charters either. Port Ginesta is close to some great sailing areas, but it’s still a 95 nm sail to get to Soller in Mallorca. We’d have been better off sending the boat off to the islands for 3 months for charter. Or basing her in Barcelona for more day-trip charters. The original plan was to send the boat over to the islands during the high season. It turned out that the charter company didn’t have the connections to make this happen.

There’s definitely a market for skippered charters on a 40 foot cat, but it’s not as big as the bare boat market. That wasn’t an option with this company as they didn’t have a team to sort any issues out mid charter. Again, we’d have been better off sending the boat out to the islands with a larger, professional yacht charter company in the islands for 3 months.


I don’t regret buying Gecko as we have had some great times on her, and I also have to factor in the fact that she has helped us grow our online business:

So what would I do if I did it all again? Here are some of my main learnings:

  • Think hard about where you base the boat to maximise annual revenue. In our case, that should have been in the Balaeric Islands (at least for 3 months of the year) or in the city for the day-trip market.
  • Partner with a larger company with a good reputation that has the resource for maintenance, customer service (in multiple languages) and the marketing skills to make the project a success. Book a boat through them- how was the marketing? How was the state of the boat? What was the pricing? Were there “extras” which wouldn’t generate commission for you? How was the customer service? Aim for a company that has the resources to manage at least 5 boats.
  • What are their processes like? Do they have any? For example, do they run a prioritised maintenance schedule? How do they support the skippers? (with technical questions for example). Do they have a Renter’s manual? What’s the support like off-base?
  • For smaller boats (40′), then bare boat is the bigger market. You can succeed with skippered charters, it’s just harder. Hand the boat over for 3 months and request it back in the same condition (this will increase wear and tear though which may increase your depreciation).
  • If you just want to do skippered, you are better off with a 45′ boat and bigger. I would even go Owner’s Version and go for less, higher quality rentals.
  • For skippered charters, go with a company with a large pool of professionals and make sure you meet them before you hand the keys over. Ideally, go for a sail with them beforehand to check them out.
  • Run the business through a company.
  • A realistic aim is to cover the running costs on your boat. If you can cover the running costs and the depreciation you are doing really well. If you can make a profit, you are smashing it!
  • If you are in a relationship that isn’t working, make the decision fast and switch companies. Otherwise another year rolls along.


It is possible to make this work if you keep your expectations modest and just aim to cover the running costs on the boat (we managed this for 2 years). Then you are getting to use the boat for just the cost of the depreciation. In our case, the depreciation was pretty low although we did have a one off tax bill to pay initially as we registered the boat with a Spanish flag.

If you can cover the depreciation as well, even better. The silver lining for us was that the boat didn’t go down in value much due to the strong market.

It is very hard to turn a profit on one boat, but not impossible: you probably wouldn’t have much personal use out of it.

Main points:

  • Spend time researching and getting to know your business partner before signing. Book a charter through them.
  • If the relationship goes sour and you can’t fix it, move on quickly.
  • Base yourself inside the cruising area to maximise your revenue potential.
  • Remember to enjoy the boat!

If you have further questions, contact us, we’d be happy to help.

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Designing the HH44 Interiors

Paul Hakes (CEO & Co-Founder of HH) and James Hakes (HH Naval Architect) in the second video of the series: how they and the team at HH Catamarans developed the all new HH44 Interiors. Welcome to “Yachting Evolved.”

Luxury Living Spaces

“The interior is where our clients live and as well as being inviting and comfortable they’ve got to be open and functional. I would like to think that after starting from the 66 seven years ago with all the models that we’ve done in between we’ve really cracked it with this one”.

“We’re quite fortunate in that all our boats are semi-customized. Despite us being an in-house design office, compared to a high volume production, we need to talk to the customer first to find out what they want, and design a functional space that suits them. That is how we developed the 44.”

“The 44 doesn’t have as much room for customization due to the price point so we had to design an interior that we could set in stone. The choices had to be limited on décor rather than arrangement and equipment.”

How it’s Arranged

“Let’s dive into the arrangement itself. On the port side as you enter the salon is the galley and it’s U-shaped. We’ve found this works really well on the 50. We’ve rotated it on the 44 but it is still fantastic on a fast moving boat that can move a bit and so you have room to brace yourself all around you.”

“It’s a very functional space for cooking. It’s important when you’re on passage, when even on a comfortable boat like this if you’ve got a meter or two meters of swell, the boat’s moving around.”

“Having a U-shaped galley is is a tremendous asset. We all love open spaces but on a boat, open spaces can be dangerous. There is a fine balance, a line that we had to walk when designing the interior. How much space do we offer? Lots of space looks great at a boat show but it’s not so good when you’re in the middle of the ocean when you’re trying to walk from one side to the other.”

“On the opposite side of the salon you have an L-shaped settee, two meters by two meters so you can lie down either side of it. The table even lowers into a pilot berth day bed”.

Work From Home

“One of my favorite areas in the salon is the nav station. You’ll notice it’s larger than on the HH50 in terms of surface area but we always seem to fill it up. I’m sure a lot of us experienced in 2020 a fair stretch of home working, and many wish they could have been working on a yacht somewhere at anchor.”

“A lot of our clients are buying boats for this very reason, so we paid a bit more attention to the nav station to make it functional not just as a navigation desk but also as an office desk, so you’ve got room for your laptop or a big screen, there’s storage and plenty of console space if you want to fit different electronics.”


Also in the salon, we should mention that the two forward windows swing open and that will create great ventilation. They swing forwards so when there’s light rain, you don’t have to close them. Also just behind the mast there are port lights that that actually open inwards.”

Keeping Cool

“One of the fantastic benefits of the hybrid is that in order to power it you need quite a large lithium battery bank to push the boat. In comparison to the power it takes to push the boat, air conditioners don’t use very much so, in a hypothetical scenario, if you weren’t using anything else but an air conditioner you could run it for a week non-stop.”

“Living on the boat every day you’re getting solar energy and if you are sailing the you’re charging. So you can run air conditioning all the time if you want and not have to worry about draining the batteries.”

Sleeping Well

“Another important aspect of the HH44 of course is luxury. We spend 30 percent of our lives sleeping, so we use proper sprung marine mattresses with plastic springs and memory foam on the top so you sleep well.”

“Even our cushions in the salon and cockpit we’ve developed over many generations to get the right combination of open cell high density and foam with a lighter density foam on top so that it feels nice to sit in for an extended period. This is what luxury is about: beautiful sculptured foam cushions!”


“An important one because the human race as a species has got taller quite dramatically over the last 40 years, and Americans are particularly tall. In the hulls you have between six foot eight and six foot six clearance.”

“Despite the good looks of the boat, with clever design we can provide great head room. In the salon it varies from six foor eight to six foot ten. That in itself creates the feeling of luxury.”

Room for your Kit

“Storage space I consider another luxurious thing and we’ve got really big lockers at the front where we can house scuba gear and a dive compressor thanks to the hybrid electric engines.”

“Instead of the engine room, we’ve got a an empty space (well it’s got some steering gear in there and some other functions) but it’s another good cockpit storage space with a big deep locker.”

“The lockers at the front of the boat have plenty of room for all your sails and toys and if it were just a couple aboard and storage was the primary consideration we do have the option for the forward starboard cabin: you can take out the double berth there and fit it out with a workshop space with additional refrigeration.”

“And you’ve still got the aft cabin on the starboard side for your guests to come aboard with a vip double queen bed. And you’ve got overflow into the salon should people need to sleep there. So whether that space is a pantry, a workshop with lots of storage and a big working bench surface is up to you.”


“Also adding to the luxury feel of the boat we’ve paid special attention to the lighting because that’s an important part of any environment: the feeling and being able to set the mood. A harsh spotlight makes the space feel smaller so we’ve used indirect lighting wherever possible with rope lights hidden in the furniture.”

“One of the features of this that I really like is that there are RGB lights so when you’re night sailing you can set all the rope lights in the boat to red to help with your night vision.”

“That’s form and function coming together beautifully. It’s one thing to design a beautiful interior but it’s another thing to keep the design as a performance boat.”

“And you know, we have a proprietary system of making our furniture panels. They’re all foam cored and weigh just over three kilos a square meter.”

“Well I think we have touched over everything beautiful about the inside of our boats, thanks for joining and welcome to Yachting Evolved on the HH44!”

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Win Tickets for the 2022 International Multihull Show!

Note: this promotion has now ended.

We have 10 tickets to give away for the 2022 International Multihull Show in La Grande Motte, France.

Here’s how to enter

  1. Join the Katamarans Club: subscribe to our newsletter at
  2. Follow us on Instagram if you haven’t already @katamarans
  3. Send us an email at the address below to confirm your entry, email address and Instagram handle.

That’s it! We will be holding a prize draw and announcing the ticket winners by the 10th April 2022.

Terms and Conditions

You will be automatically entered into a free prize draw when you subscribe to our newsletter at, follow us on Instagram if you haven’t already @katamarans and send us an email to confirm your entry, email address and Instagram handle.

By entering, the participant agrees to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
– There are 10 tickets to the 2022 International Multihull Show in La Grande Motte to be won.
– The winner will be selected at random from all entries received.
– The free prize draw is ongoing until Katamarans notifies
– The draw will take place on the 10th April 2022.
– Winners will be notified by e-mail or Instagram.
– The winner can chose the day of visit from the 20th to the 24th April 2022.
– The prize is not transferable and no cash alternative is available.
– Katamarans will not take responsibility for any lost tickets – replacements cannot be issued.
– The Promoter is Baraca Planet SL, C/Diputacio 297 2-1, 08009 Barcelona, Spain.
– The Promoter reserves the right to withdraw this offer or amend these Terms and Conditions at any time without notice.
– In the event of any dispute regarding the Terms and Conditions, the conduct, results and any other matters relating to this prize draw, the decision of the Promoter shall be final and no correspondence or discussion shall be entered into.

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Designing the HH 44

Paul Hakes (CEO & Co-Founder of HH) and James Hakes (HH Naval Architect) on how they and the team at HH Catamarans developed the all new HH44. Welcome to “Yachting Evolved.”

As part of our deeper dive of HH Catamarans, we’re going to cover their five-part mini series on their new, groundbreaking and disruptive performance catamaran: the HH44. HH are calling this “Yachting Evolved”.

We’re going to go take an in-depth look at some of the design features on this boat.

The HH44 has been designed as standard with electric propulsion and a Diesel Hybrid backup, 3,190 watts of solar, hydro power generation, swing helms, folding transoms, forward opening windows, 48 volt deck systems, shaft-drive folding propellers, pre-preg carbon fiber C-shaped daggerboards, and near wind-speed sailing performance.


This performance cruising has been designed from the ground up as an ECO yacht with electric hybrid power and has many new features: folding transoms, swing helms, great ventilation, gorgeous finishes, great sailing performance (being part of the HH catamarans family it has that racing pedigree).

These are no compromise boats built from carbon fibre which makes them light, comfortable and safe.

No Compromise Yacht Building

This no compromise philosophy has been evident at HH from the very start of their builds and goes right through the range which started with the HH66, then the HH-50, the HH55, a 77 and now even an 88 in construction: a true superyacht

All these boats benefit from strong lightweight construction and a race pedigree. The 50s and the 55s are the most popular to date because they can be owner operated while being great boats for a family who want to cruise around the world.

But the the 50 is still a big powerful boat. There is a market out there for people who want something a little smaller.

James Hakes, Naval Architect: “..the conversation turned to, well, how small should it be? It still needs to maintain the performance characteristics of an HH catamaran but we really needed to decide what goes into it. It still has to be a world cruiser. So we started with a couple or a small family. What do they need and what do they demand of an HH catamaran in terms of luxuries, amenities, space, the features and the equipment?”

This defined their starting point and then they looked at:
– How much weight does that mean?
– What sort of hull shape are we going to need to support that payload?

A world cruiser needs a good payload: that defined the waterline length they were looking at. The beam to length ratio sits roughly between 50% and 55%. So they took the HH50 and and shrunk it down, a natural design process to follow but it didn’t work out: it was too top-heavy.

Aft Swing Helms

The HH50 has the most spectacular helm stations you could want on a cruising boat, but that design just didn’t work on the smaller model.

So they started playing around with moving the helms into the aft cockpit and this morphed to the swing aft helms. Interestingly this is something that HH launched in 2014 with their very first HH66 swing helm and it worked well. It’s interesting that many competitors have claimed it as their innovation (!)

What they’re putting in the aft cockpit of the HH44 is an off the shelf product from Jefa that really works. It’s tried and tested and many monohulls and trimarans use it: essentialy a pedestal that can swing from side to side.

Why do it? Swing it inboard to get out of the weather, swing it outboard to look down the side deck with a clear line to your sails.


Moving the helms aft gave HH a lot of freedom and flexibility to restyle. They looked at sharp windows that fully open to maximise ventilation when needed. Since they lowered the helms into the aft cockpit they decided that they needed to make things really safe so one of the most striking features of the exterior of the boat are the transoms: something not seen before on other catamarans.

This is a big part of the design. For a 44 footer, the boat actually looks a bit bigger, a bit longer and a bit sleeker. HH noticed on their other boats that washboards across the transom were a popular option. These keep the cockpit safe for children and pets and keep out following seas. When Huson Marine (who own HH) were building the Gunboats 60s it was a popular choice back then.

So for the 44, they have designed something permanent that looks great and is functional. It effectively extends the boat. Typically in a 44-foot boat sailing in the ocean you’ve got your stern and your transom steps and while sailing that’s not usable space. On the HH44 you have livable, usable space all the way to the back of the catamran. It’s almost as if you have the space of a 48 footer. Fold down the transoms at anchor and the overall length does become 48 feet. It’s a unique design in the market

Solar Power and Low Boom Power

Also moving the helms into the aft cockpit opened up the coach roof for a world leading solar installation. The HH-44 comes with 3.2 kilowatts of solar power as standard. It allows them to lower the boom, lowering the center of effort of the mainsail, so you can put more power safely into your sails without heeling. They’ve lowered the boom so that you’re getting all this power down low, which is exacltly where you want it driving the boat.

Paul Hakes (CEO): “We set about it with the design philosophy that we’re creating a boat for years to come. This isn’t a boat that that is is going to be next year’s fad, this is going to be an industry leader and that’s why we I call it highly disruptive. It’s highly disruptive in its style, its design and its technology and will be a leader in the marketplace for many years to come”.

Eco Drives

On groundbreaking technology, the biggest part of that are the eco drives. The HH44 has a parallel hybrid system: electric, quiet, fume-free propulsion at a good speed that piggybacks on reliable, trusted diesel technology. You just flick on the hybrid system giving you all the advantages of electric motoring with the reliability of diesel.

You get instant torque for maneuvering, hydro regeneration, so you’re generating electricity while you’re sailing and a big area to generate solar power.

HH are already building the first boat, infusing carbon into the first mold. Stay tuned for the next episode in the series.

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Building HH Catamarans

We had a chat recently with HH Catamarans to get an idea of how this performance multihull company has grown since the launch of the first HH66 back in 2016. It’s been quite a ride as their range and customer base has expanded.

Let’s take a look at where they have come from and where they are heading to by taking a look at some of the yachts they are building in their yard.


In the Spring of 2016 HH Catamarans launched HH6601 R-SIX, the first in its new line of full carbon, luxury performance cruising catamarans. The stunning 66’ clear-coated carbon hull set a new benchmark for the segment. Fast forward six years and 15 launches later, HH continues to raise the bar and redefine what’s possible in a performance cruising cat.

Expanding the HH Range

Over the past several years HH Catamarans has expanded its range of offerings to include models from 44-88’, introducing a new model every two years.

The newest design, the Parallel Hybrid Eco-Drive HH44, is set to become the brand’s most successful model, with 14 hulls sold on spec. HH4401 will launch in early 2023, with subsequent hulls launching bi-monthly.

HH44 Outer Hull Mold Gelcoating

The refined and performance optimized HH60 which sits neatly between the 55 and the 66 is set to launch later this year, along with the world’s largest all carbon performance cruising catamaran, the HH88, complete with enclosed flybridge and jacuzzi. Those are options by the way.

HH60-01 and HH55-07 Heading for the Paint Shed

With 16 boats on the water, 10 currently under construction, and an additional 15 on order, it’s safe to say the brand is securely positioned as one of the world’s strongest builders in the semi-custom category.

Hudson Yacht Group

HH Catamarans’ parent company, Hudson Yacht Group employs 250 people and 600sqm between three main production halls.

HH50-06, OC50-02 with HH88-01 at the far end

The newest shed alone is 200m long by 60m wide, with three mezzanine floors, four 5 ton gantry cranes, 2 industrial elevators and a 40m long EPA compliant spray booth. Plans for further expansion are underway, including an onsite marina.

Scaling Up

You can get an idea of the scale of the operation from this shot below of the deck of HH50-07 with HH88-01 in the background.


Launches to-date and boats currently under construction include:

  • HH66: 5 boats launched
  • HH55: 5 boats launched, 5506 underway (photo below)
  • HH50: 5 boats launched, 5006 and 5007 underway
HH55-06 Looking Good Sleek with her New Bimini Design

OC50: 1 boat launched, OC5002 and OC5003 underway


HH60: 6001, 6002, 6003 underway
HH44: 4401 underway
HH88: 8801 underway

With a proven track record, an eye for innovation, and the ability to adapt and evolve, HH Catamarans have the wind in their sails.

More Information

To learn more visit or contact

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Excess 14 Catamaran Launch

Thanks to Thibaut and Herve from Excess Catamarans for sharing the designs and thoughts behind their new model: the Excess 14.

Like her smaller sister the Excess 11, the 14 has been developed from the ground up by Excess along with VPLP and Nauta design. She’s a completely new design. You can read our Excess 14 review on Katamarans.

First Impressions

They have followed the sporty look of the 11 with aft helms and a low boom for maximum sailing feel on the water. Some of the innovations we picked up on include:

Asymmetric hulls.
According to Thibaud, they have spent a lot of time modelling the hull shape to get the best balance between speed through the water and living space. The cross section profile of the hulls is asymmetric.

Overlapping Gennaker
The 14 will be powered by an overlapping genoa. Like the 11, the 14 will be available with a standard rig or powered up with a Pulse Line rig.

Deeper Keels
One of the other areas they have been looking at, is the depth of the keels: modeling sailing performance for different depths of fixed keel. The starting point was daggerboards, but have stuck to fixed keels and gone slightly longer. The draft will be just over 1.4m.

2 Bowsprit Options
There are 2 bowsprits you can go for, both are part of the structure of the boat rather than being bolted on- a configuration similar to high performance brands. The standard bowsprit takes the boat length from 13.34m up to 13.97m. An optional longer bowsprit will take the total boat length up to 15.99m (including davits)

New Helm Seat Design
The helms remain aft, but Excess have developed a new design for the double helm seat on each side of the boat. I’m looking forward to seeing more details on those.

Flexible Living Space Down Below
It looks like they have developed some very interesting options in the forward cabin where you can flex the space between 2 single berths and a walk in wardrobe.

It sounds like the Weight Police have been busy on this boat. Projected weight will be between 12-13 tonnes. It’s not an area that they are obsessing over to gain (for example) half a knot, but at the same time, the idea is to design and produce a comfortable cruising catamaran with good sailing sensations.

More details to follow when we have them!

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2022/1 Catamarans Awards Summary

10 minute read

It’s that time of the year again: the Awards Season where sailing publications around the globe publish their thoughts on the best new boats. We’re not quite there yet, as not all of the winners have been announced. But let’s take a look at the winners so far, and the contenders for the remaining prizes.

The market for catamarans continues to grow, and multihulls are increasing their share of the awards in line with the overall market.


It can be tricky to keep track of all of the nominations and awards, so we have compiled a summary to see which designs are coming out on top in the sailing category. We have also included the 2021 British Yachting Awards as they announced their winners at the end of 2021, part of the awards season.

Below are the sailing catamarans over 40 feet that are competing for the awards with number of entries (in brackets).

In terms of number of appearances, the Balance 482, Lagoon 55, Neel 43 and Windelo 55 top the list with 3 entries each, followed by the Kinetic KC54, Leopard 42 and Outremer 55 with 2 entries each.

3 Entries
Balance 482 (3)
Lagoon 55 (3)
Neel 43 (3)
Windelo 50 (3)

2 Entries
Kinetic KC54 (2)
Leopard 42 (2)
Outremer 55 (2)

1 Entry
Bali 4.2 (1)
HH OC50 (1)
Independent IC36 (1)
Majestic 570 Fly (1)
Outremer 4 Zero (1)
Ocean Explorer 72 (1)
Privilege Signature 580 (1)
Rapido 50 (1)
Seawind 1370 (1)
Wave 50 (1)

European Yacht of the Year 2022

The European Yacht of the Year was started by German sail magazine YACHT in 2004, and has expanded to total 12 European yachting magazines from all over Europe who test and judge the boats. Many of the trials were done in our home base: Port Ginesta this year. You’ll find all of the nominated catamarans below:

Bluewater Cruiser
Outremer 55
Windelo 50

Windelo 50

Family Cruiser
Neel 43

Neel 43

Luxury Cruiser
Lagoon 55

Lagoon 55

Performance Cruiser
IC36 Independent Catamaran

Independent IC36

Multihull of the Year 2022

Industry awards launched by Multihulls World Magazine and Multicoques Mag, in 2017. Different models have been selected by jury in various categories, and the winners will be decided by votes from their readers.

Under 40 Feet
Tricat 6.90
Libertist 703
Marlin 33

40-50 Feet
Bali 4.2
Neel 43
Leopard 42
Seawind 1370

Seawind 1370

45-55 Feet
Balance 482
Rapido 50
Wave 50
Windelo 50

Wave 50

Over 55 Feet
Lagoon 55
Outremer 55
Majestic 570 Fly
Privilege Signature 580
Ocean Explorer 72

Outremer 55

Sailing World Boat of the Year 2022

Winners selected by Sailing World’s team of judges. Sailing World is based in Middletown, Rhode Island in the US, 4 hours drive from New York.

Best Multihull
Balance 482

Balance 482

Cruising World Boat of the Year 2022

Cruising World is based in Orlando, Florida, in the US. The winners in the following categories were selected by Cruising World Judges.

Best Cruising Catamaran Under 50′
Leopard 42

Best Cruising Catamran (Over 50′)
Xquisite X5

Best Performance Catamaran
Balance 482

Special Judges Award
Kinetic KC 54

Leopard 42

British Yachting Awards Multihull of the Year 2021

These awards are organised by UK magazines: “Sailing Today” with “Yachts and Yachting” magazine. The winners are chosen by their readers.

Lagoon 55

Runner Up
Outremer 4 Zero

Windelo 50 Adventure
Neel 43

Outremer 4 Zero


The smart money this year is on Balance 482, Lagoon 55, Neel 43 and Windelo 50 to scoop the most awards. Let’s see how the European Yacht of the Year (Jan 22) and the Multihull of the Year (Apr 22) plays out.

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Fusion 40 Catamaran Build

7 Minute Read

Many thanks to Shane and Carmen, who are building a Fusion 40 in Australia, for agreeing to share their experiences on the project.

Fusion Catamarans design and sell a modular marine construction kit of components: resin infused, gelcoat and fibreglass components that enable you to build your own performance cruising catamaran or outsource the work to a yard.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your plans. Why did you decide to self build a Fusion 40? Are you planning a big trip, for example?
We decided to build a Fusion as this will be our home and we want to ensure it will meet our demands of travelling around the world
Priorities are that we want this to be a fast and comfortable boat.

Why did you choose the 40? Did you sail a Fusion Cat prior to deciding?
No, we have never sailed a Fusion Cat (yes you read that right, we have never sailed one and yet we are building one!)
We did a lot of research and decided on the 40 because we thought it looks stylish and it has the design aspects required for an ocean-going catamaran (ie. bridge clearance and beam)

Were there any other brands you considered?
Our original plan was to purchase a Dehler mono (42ft). Then we realised we would struggle with the lean factor on lengthy ocean crossings!
We looked at Schionning but didn’t like the balsa core and amount of labour involved. Fusions are foam and divinycell. We also looked at Seawind but were put off by the inability to customise the boat and the large capital outlay

Did you consider buying a second hand yacht?
Yes. We initially looked at Sonra, a Fusion 40, which was built in 2010. We seriously considered the purchase however due to the engine hours, having to replace the rigging, dated electrical coupled with the capital outlay (when we weren’t yet ready to cruise) it didn’t feel like the right decision at the time

How long will she take to build?
Our estimate is approximately 3 years

Can you share some of the challenges you have faced /expect to face on a project like this?
There are too many to list here!
Some of the main challenges:
Fatigue! Being self-motivated means long hours!
Moving to a new location without our friends and family close by for support
Working with nasty chemicals…boat building is a very undesirable job!

Have you made any significant modifications to the design? Is there a process to do this with Fusion?
We have completely rebuilt the bows from the standard kit. Now 13 degree reverse bow adding another foot to the waterline.
Increased the cockpit length and hull bridge by 2 feet.
We have also modified and extended the sterns by 3 feet, including modified transoms (another 3 feet at waterline)
So in a nutshell, we have made 3 major modifications to the original design (bows, bridge, transoms)

How much space do you need for a build like this?
We are currently leasing a slab at a local slipway approx 40 x 8 x 25 ft but can’t stress enough the importance of a dome cover for shelter.

In your opinion, what kind of experience is required to successfully pull off a project such as this?
Ha! So many things some to mind!
– Resilience
– Teamwork
– Planning
– Diligence
– Perseverance

Are you completing the build on your own or do you have a team?
It’s just us! Shane and Carmen. With occasional help when required. Our mate Mark has been helping us out of late (thanks Mark!)

Can you give us an idea of the rough price differential between a self-build and a comparable manufactured cat?
Differential – It’s hard to say as we are capitalising on some unique items such as the rig, sails, electrical etc. At a guess we would say the rough saving of building (as we are owner builder) vs a production boat is approx. 20%.

What are the main advantages of a self-build catamaran like this over a production cat?
The main advantage is we have had the ability to modify and we have been able to increase the structural integrity of the boat to suit harsher ocean conditions

Are there any disadvantages?
Physical labour has been very taxing on our bodies!
Being in a rural area has restricted our ability to secure qualified labour
This build journey has meant Shane has stopped working in his trade
We are always itchy and sometimes we have questioned why we are even doing this! 😂

What is the best thing about the design?
You can make it what you want by being able to customise and modernise to suit current and modern designs and trends (which we have done)

Is there a design feature you don’t like? What would you change if anything?
We think the hatch behind the mast looks cumbersome. It breaks up the flush look of the windows. The installation of a flush hatch is a consideration if the area is not required for the mast rotation system.
This is “Pie in the Sky “ and applicable to an extended version only. If we could change the design we would alter the underwater profile from the mini keel aft to the sterns to have less camber (turn) and more width (fatter and flatter). The aim would be to provide greater volume and a smoother release.

What are the “Must Have” options for the boat over and above the essentials? eg electric winch, engine size, folding props, heating, water maker, inverter, solar, gen set etc….
12Vdc, 24Vdc and 240Vac systems
24V High output alternators coupled with Lithium-Ion Batteries

What are the “Nice to Haves”?
– Rotating carbon fibre wing mast with a Harken Split track car system
– Reefing Hooks
– OneSails carbon sails
– 39HP (vs standard 29HP) Yanmars
– Harken Electric winch
– Beautiful sports steering wheel
– Coffee machine and a kick ass stereo

Which features are not worth bothering with?
Integrated air-conditioning! Expensive!
Washing machine (says Shane 🤣)

How will you configure the helm?
Single helm station port side
Hydraulic steering

How will you configure the living space – is there room for personalisation here?
Galley up
No gas (full electric)
Full domestic appliances including induction cooktop
Customised feature coffee table
Swinging chart plotter
No navigation table
3rd bedroom will be interchangeable to a workshop

What kind of average speed on passage are you aiming for?
11 knots. Maximum 20+ ⛵️

How is the market for second-hand self-built Fusion cats?
We hear good things! We have already got brokers ringing us

What kind of finish are you aiming for in the interior?
Clean, light and modern. Neutral colours and soft textures.

How is the Fusion Owner’s community? Do you get good support from Fusion?
The Fusion community of owners has been amazing. Very grateful –
Call out to Nev and Amanda from Bossanova. Thankyou!!

Anything else you would add to help people thinking of building a Fusion 40?
Research research research and research some more. The kit is only the beginning. There is a lot of work to consider on top of assembling the kit itself. Would seriously consider buying a Fusion already semi built and refit/modify as required to save time (and frustration!)

You can follow Shane & Carmen’s progress at

Or on their Instagram and Facebook page.
They are posting with the following hashtag: #sailingstraitlines

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Catamaran Manufacturing: New Build Survey

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Have you purchased a new catamaran within the past 5 years? We’d love to hear from you. How was your experience?
You can find some initial results HERE. We would like to try and continue to build the sample size, so please contribute or share with someone you know who has recently bought a catamaran to help.

Please answer this short questionnaire to help us all understand the differences between the different manufacturers. It shouldn’t take you more then 5 minutes. All feedback is anonymous, the only information we require is the catamaran brand and year of launch. You can also access the questionnaire HERE if you are having problems scrolling the embedded form on your phone.

We’d love to hear from people who have had a good experience as well as those who have experienced issues to balance the feedback. Feedback can be subjective, of course, but this should give us a steer on which companies perform well in this area and will help us to develop a more scientific approach in the future.

Higher volume manufacturers will of course have higher volume feedback than more bespoke manufacturers which we will take into account when making any comparisons.