Home Technical Sailing Videos The Truth Catamaran Brokers Don’t Want to Discuss

The Truth Catamaran Brokers Don’t Want to Discuss

written by Terysa December 7, 2020

Let’s start with a truth: Catamaran build quality varies wildly. In this episode we are going to go talk about how you can get this information and enable you to make a better decision.

To accompany this episode, we have made a FREE catamaran buyers guide for you. This should form a starting point for you to do your research, armed with the information that brokers don’t seem to always want to provide.

Now, unless you are a millionaire, your boat purchase is going to cost a whole lot of money and possibly be the biggest purchase aside from your house. So it is so, so important to know exactly what you are buying. In this episode we are going to discuss how the differences in build quality affect performance, weight, and comfort.

We are also going to discuss how build quality and materials are used to save money rather than deliver the best material for your money. And, I do ask that you use this episode as a basis for your research. The internet is a valuable tool for research. Use sailing forums, owners websites and scientific articles and videos for further information on the material science of construction material. Then the next time you are viewing or considering a boat, ask the broker these questions and see if you can get satisfactory answers.

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Oliver December 12, 2020 at 10:04 am

Looking forward to getting the check list! 🙂 For your information: Signing up to your news letter did not work on my phone – “ERROR: That action is currently not allowed.”

Patrick Couling January 29, 2021 at 6:21 pm

Hi Nick and Terysa: I watched your video about hull construction. You are right. Brokers generally don’t understand and most customers don’t care. However, I do. There is a HUGE difference in construction techniques amongst catamaran manufacturers. To a great degree, it depends on investment and capability. From there, the manufacturers will try to market their boats within the limitations that they are committed to (which includes price point, of course). Some South African boats and Antares especially, remain low tech simply because they cannot afford to upgrade. That includes Xquisite, a lovely boat, that has an especially low tech hull. Of course, there are performance boats like Outremer and Gunboat (from the same manufacturer) but there are the compromise “performance” boats as well like Balance and Seawind. They are quasi performance boats built on a budget. Try sailing on a Balance and an Outremer on the same day. The Balance feels flimsy and light. The Seawind more so.
One of the issue, that I continually harp on, is the design and construction of the bulkheads and cross beams (if the boat has them). Those are two separate things. I also ask manufacturers for the structural engineering reports on their boats. Most do not have them. Some, like Shuttleworth, Catana, Outremer, Leopard, do. There is a cost to that. Most customers do not care about that. Customers are interested in price. So, you have performance cats, semi-performance cats and general market cats which, of course, are the majority and includes the charter boats. What about the expedition cats? Yes, they are out there but you have to pay for that enhanced construction. Most people do not want to pay more and, as Phil Berman once told me, most customers have no intention of going through the Northwest Passage. He does not build boats to do that. So, to conclude, most customers have no idea how their boats are built and manufacturers tend to make claims that they cannot support. Buyer beware: The customer should do his/her research. Most don’t.

Sailing and crypto October 23, 2021 at 7:08 am

Hello Nick & Terysa, could you give me a download link for the buyer guide? Totally agree with what Patrick Gouling wrote about information released. Found out that a lot of builders don’t even have a CE certificate or pending on a specific model. They don’t disclose the name of the external auditor and so on. I avoid these builders in my search for my cat.

Thank you for all of your work!


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