Thinking about a luxury yacht charter aboard a motor yacht? Well, there’s one class of yacht that’s gaining in popularity: The power catamaran.
Power catamarans – or power cats, as they’re more commonly known – are a relatively new addition to the nautical world. Sailing catamarans, of course, have been around for centuries. But since the 1970s, more and more catamarans have ditched the sails for motors. The result: A fast, smooth and luxurious ride that provides the best of both worlds (sailing and motor yachting)!
Compared to traditional charter motor yachts, power catamarans offer some key benefits, and although they’re not as ubiquitous as monohull yachts, you’ll find power cats in nearly every charter fleet in the world. In fact, you can charter a power cat in any of the world’s finest yachting destinations – from Australia, to the Caribbean.
Today, power catamarans are a popular choice in the Bahamas and British Virgin Islands due to their higher top speeds, great efficiency and cruising stability. If you’re more familiar with traditional monohulls, you might not know much about power catamarans. Want to learn a bit about this incredible class of motor yacht? We’ve laid out some of the power catamaran’s distinctions, as well as why you might consider one for your next BVI or Bahamas charter.
What Is a Power Catamaran?
The simplest answer is that a power cat is a catamaran that’s been fitted with a diesel motor(s). As such, in terms of how it’s propelled, a power catamaran is very similar to a motor yacht.
In terms of design, though, the power catamaran closely resembles a sailing catamaran, albeit without a mast or sails. All power catamarans feature two hulls and a low-profile stance. These boats tend to sit closer to the water, and have wider platforms due to the dual hulls.
There are many reasons you might consider a power catamaran over a sailing yacht or traditional motor yacht. Here are a few reasons:
- Stability – Thanks to the two-hull design, catamarans have much wider beams. That equals stability on the water. Even when cruising at max speed, power cats provide an incredible degree of stability. That’s why they’re such a popular choice for people who want a calm, relaxing ride.
- Speed – Compared to monohull yachts, power catamarans are nimbler and capable of achieving higher top speeds. This is due in part to the fact that catamarans have less drag. (Their wider platforms greatly reduce drag waves.)
- Efficiency – It might seem unbelievable, but even though catamarans are faster, they’re still more efficient. Because they reduce drag waves, power catamarans don’t have to work as hard to power through the water. As a result, compared to similar sized monohull yachts, a power cat might cost slightly less to charter.
- Spaciousness – The entire below deck space of a catamaran stretches across both hulls. And because the beam of a power cat is typically wider than a traditional monohull, the interiors of power cats tend to be much more spacious. As a result, catamarans typically provide guests with a larger salon and more privacy below deck.
- Relaxation – The wider beam also means more deck space, and as power cats don’t have sails, you’ll find much more space than a sailing catamaran. Most charter power catamarans have luxurious sundecks, beautiful aft decks and many have sky lounges with panoramic, 360-degree views.
Power Catamarans vs Sailing Catamarans
Whether you charter a power catamaran or a sailing catamaran, you can expect a truly first-class experience. Each night, you’ll be treated to a dinner made to your exact preferences, with impeccable service. Your cabins will be luxurious, and your captain and deck crew are happy to personalize your itinerary based on what you want to see and do.
Yet, beyond the service, there are some key differences between sailing and power cats. They include:
- Speed/Efficiency – As mentioned, two of the key benefits of a power cat is speed and efficiency. Powered catamarans can reach speeds of 20+ knots, with incredible fuel economy. A sailing cat, of course, is powered by the wind, and in the right conditions, can reach top speeds of about 10 knots. As such, you can typically cover more ground and see more during a charter on a power cat.
- Solitude – Sailing charters provide peace and quiet. It’s truly an experience for unwinding and relaxing. On a sailing catamaran in the right conditions, you’ll rarely use the motor, and as such, the onboard experience when cruising is more tranquil. With power boats, any time you are cruising, the motors are running (although as soon as you anchor, it’s just a peaceful). If you want the quiet, peaceful experience of sailing on the open seas, a power cat might not be the right choice.
- Range – Sailing catamarans are a favorite for offshore, long-range sailing. If you want to cover long distances at sea, they’re the better choice (for example, if you’re going on a two-week Tahitian cruise). Power cats, though, offer more efficient cruising on shorter charters. They’re perfect in the BVI or Bahamas, allowing you to island hop more efficiently.
In both a sailing or power catamaran, you can expect the same stability. The wider platform eliminates almost all rolling and keeling, while cruising. At anchor, catamarans also tend to be more stable. Charter guests who are prone to seasickness tend to prefer catamarans over monohulls.
Power Catamaran Manufacturers
More and more luxury yacht manufacturers are entering the power catamaran market. Yet, the catamaran space is dominated by three luxury yacht manufacturers: Lagoon, Sunreef and Horizon.
This trio of catamaran builders are delivering some of the most luxurious and innovative power cats on the market (including several superyacht catamaran concepts). Most charter fleets have power cats available from each of these three builders, and all three offer something a little different.
- Lagoon – The French-based Lagoon, which is a part of Beneteau Group, has been a leading catamaran builder for years. The shipyard is known for producing high-end, well-designed power cats, including its flagship, 24-meter Seventy8. All of Lagoon’s cats are custom builds, with each offering unique accommodations (like flybridge Jacuzzis, meeting rooms, and luxurious staterooms).
- Sunreef – Sunreef has founded in 2002, and in its brief history the Poland-based company has established itself as a leader in catamaran design. The company offers both sailing and power cats. Its line-up of power catamarans includes favorites like the 70 Sunreef Power JAMBO, one of the first double-decker, ocean-faring power cats on the market. Sunreef yachts have sleek, athletic profiles, and immaculate interiors. The brand is well-known for its performance capabilities, and most of its modern yachts include IPS Volvo propulsion. Sunreef also has introduced several concept power cats ranging in size from 90 to 210 feet.
- Horizon – Horizon is one of the world’s largest luxury yacht builders, and offers a wide range of custom motor yachts including monohulls and multi-hulls. It’s line-up of power catamarans – the PC Series – includes some of the most beautiful and agile boats on the market. The PC60 and PC74, two favorites, feature Horizon’s sleek, classic yacht designs, matched with gorgeous interiors. Another signature feature: The PC Series yachts all feature sundecks and open flybridges. The top-of-the-mark model, the CC80, is an 80-foot yacht with a 28-foot beam, provide impressive spaciousness for a yacht of its size.
Bahamas Power Catamarans
The Bahamas make an ideal destination for a power cat charter. One reason – whether you’re in the Abacos or the Exuma Islands – you’ll likely be hopping from island to island. You need a yacht that’s designed for speed and efficiency, like the power cat. A speedier yacht will allow you to reach more of the Bahamas’ stunning islands, while on charter. Plus, power cat charters in the Bahamas offer calm, relaxing cruising, as well as plenty of space to unwind on- or below-deck. The shallow drafts also allow you to cruise into shallower waters, which is perfect for exploring the Bahamas’ remote reaches.
BVI Power Catamarans
Power catamarans are one of the most popular yacht choices for BVI charters. The reason: Power catamarans allow guests to cruise apace to all of the out islands – from Jost Van Dyke, to Norman Island – and reach more of the BVI’s hidden coves and sparkling lagoons like The Baths. BVI catamarans with spacious sundecks are the perfect option, allowing you and your guests to relax on-deck and take in the stunning scenery. Plus, this type of yacht is perfect for cruising in the BVI’s calm waters – reaching 20+ knots won’t be a problem. Powered catamarans are available for charter throughout the British Virgin Islands.
Book a Power Catamaran Charter Today
Escape to the Caribbean aboard a powered catamaran. Worldwide Boat offers a wide selection of catamarans for charter, including nimble and spacious power catamarans. Contact your broker today with Worldwide Boat to learn more about your choices and charter rates in the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, or your favorite charter destination.