In the past 20 years, the catamaran segment has had a big make-over and expanded. These days, center console cats compete with monohulls as fishing and inshore power boats, and both sailing and motor cats cruise long distances, offering both large interiors and ample deck space, plus stability and safety. Whether you’re fishing closer to shore or cruising longer distances, catamarans are no longer seen as the less capable cousins. Some of the top brands in the sector have been driving the innovation for decades, but hot on their heels are daring and exciting newcomers who are pushing the boundaries. There are many excellent brands to choose from, and these are just a few of our favorites;
Leopard 50. Leopard Catamarans photo.
Best Catamaran Fishing Boats
Power cats used specifically for fishing are big business as more people realize the huge speed and stability benefits they offer compared to their monohull counterparts. Invincible have been instrumental in the popularity boom with their excellent range of 33- to 46-foot center console fishing power cats. With cruising speeds of 50 mph (and as much as 70 mph), as well as a suite of advanced livewell systems and accessories, they are one of the industry leaders in this category. Invincible boats for sale
Another major player in the power cat fishing sector are Freeman, whose 28- to 47-foot range of seriously hardy fishing cats offer incredible performance and speed (they can cruise at 80 mph) as well as huge fuel capacity and massive livewells. This means they’re perfectly equipped for offshore fishing adventures thanks to their four 450hp outboard engines and extremely comfortable ride even in rough sea conditions. Freeman boats for sale
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Freeman 28. Freeman Boatworks photo.
Best Power Catamaran Brands
Leveraging more than 30 years of building sailing catamarans, South African builders Robertson & Caine, with naval architect Simonis Voogd, has created today's range of Leopard power cruising cats, among the most highly regarded power cats on the market. The success of their seaworthy line of power cats over the last 10 years has included a 2022 International Best of Boats Award to the Leopard 46 Powercat and a Multihull of the Year award to the Leopard 53 Powercat. One of the smallest ocean-going motor cats is there new 40, which has been nominated as a European Yacht of the Year. Each model offers a spacious flybridge, modern and luxurious styling, and an impressive use of space, and even the 40 sleeps six in three private cabins. Leopard boats for sale
Aquila Power Catamarans
Power cat specialists Aquila are relative newcomers but have been taking the sector by storm with the variety and scope of their innovative models. Whether its fuel efficiency and stable cruising you’re after for covering long distances, the capability of reaching offshore fishing grounds, or sporty, coastal and day boating that’s on your mind, Aquila has a boat worth looking at. Their offshore, sport, and yacht lines run from pocket-sized 28-foot Molokai fishing cat, to the 70-foot flagship superyacht. In between, we find models such as Aquila 54 Yacht Power Catamaran designed to transport you to every corner of the globe. Aquila boats for sale
Aquila 47 Molokai. Aquila photo.
Best Bluewater Catamaran Brands
Long gone are the days when catamarans were purely coastal day sailers. Today, a whole new breed of boat is gaining huge popularity with bluewater and round the world sailors looking for more space and more stability than a monohull can ever offer (see our article on Catamarans vs Monohulls). Fountaine Pajot have been industry leaders in this sector for 40 years, remaining one step ahead of the game with their sailing and now power cats. While they offer an 80-foot superyacht, it’s their 40-foot Isla, the smallest in the range, which is their flagship, showing their dedication to creating strong, safe, durable, and family-friendly boats. Fountaine Pajot boats for sale
For those looking to buy a high-performance, safe, and incredibly spacious bluewater catamaran that can be handled by two people, the French Outremer brand should definitely be considered. The models feature daggerboards, unlike many cruising catamarans, and the result is superior upwind performance that can help you cover long distances much faster. The brand’s five models currently range from 45 to 55 feet, and in 2022, the Outremer 55 won both a European Yacht of the Year award and Multihull of the Year at the International Multihull Show. Whether you want an eco-yacht with electric power, or a larger family-friendly yacht complete with four full-sized cabins, Outremer has a lot to offer. Outremer boats for sale
Outremer 4.zero. Outremer photo.
Best Sailing Catamaran Brands
Sailing purists often lament that sailing a catamaran isn’t true sailing, but these days there is much to argue in that statement. Balance is a relatively new brand, now building a range of beautiful multihull sailing boats, and earning recognition for their efforts—both Sailing World Magazine and Cruising World Magazine’s Boat of the Year Awards in 2022. Their designers, who come from racing backgrounds, have found the right point between a high-performance sailing vessel built with higher-tech materials and a practical, easy-to-handle boat that can be sailed across the oceans by a couple. Balance boats for sale
Arguably one of the most famous names in the catamaran world, Lagoon was among the first to build practical, comfortable sailing catamarans and became the most popular brand worldwide. The brand has long been one of the top choices of catamaran charter companies the world over thanks to its spacious, practical, safe models. The boats are renowned for their ease of handling and a high level of comfort and luxury. The current model range of sailing cats starts at 40 feet and goes all the way up to 77 feet, while Lagoon power cats go a step farther, to 80 feet. Lagoon boats for sale
Lagoon 46. Lagoon photo.
Best Cruising Catamaran Brands
Whether cruising coastally or traversing great oceans, the capable, comfortable, meticulously crafted sailing cats by Antares are up there with the best of the best. Currently, the boutique brand builds six of its 44-foot models annually at their factory in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The creation of Canadian designer Ted Clements, the 44 has long-term living in mind, focusing on interior space (there’s even an industry-leading 6.75 feet of headroom in the master cabin), as well as long-term sustainability. A hybrid version is available that carries electric motors, a hydrogenerator and extensive solar panels. Antares boats for sale
Built in Cape Town, South Africa, Xquisite catamarans are another relative newcomer making waves since their launch in 2014, recently earning awards from Cruising World and Sail magazines for the X5 Plus, a 54-footer. With a range of luxury power and sailing catamarans, unique styling, high performance, and emphasis on comfort make them very competitive in the cruising cat category. From their trailerable pocket-sized 30 SportCat sailing catamaran, to their Sixty Solar Sail and Sixty Solar Motor (using all green energy), as well as their two power cats, it’s a diverse and innovative range. Xquisite boats for sale
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Xquisite Sixty Solar Sail. Xquisite photo.
Best Liveaboard Catamaran
Catamarans offer twice as much interior space as a monohull of the same length, making almost all of them ideal liveaboards. If you’re looking for modern styling in the interior, you’d do well to start with one of the 38- to 54-foot models offered by BALI. Utilizing an open-space concept, a solid forward deck with built-in comforts, and the unique BALI doors that open the main saloon to the world outside in good weather, BALI Catamarans put an emphasis on liveaboard comfort, and even their models under 44 feet offer impressive amounts of space. Produced in France, by the well-known Catana shipyard, the brand has small-scale production ensuring each boat is of the highest quality. BALI boats for sale
Relative newcomers to the catamaran world, HH launched in 2012 as a performance catamaran brand and is now giving some of the bigger brands a run for their money. Working exclusively with the successful US design firm of Morelli & Melvin and building at its own factory in Xiamen, China, the HH range now encompasses eight models between 44 and 88 feet in length. Hulls, decks and structures are very high-tech—100-percent carbon using infused epoxy resin. These semi-custom boats allow you to choose everything down to the layout of saloon and galley (as well as the helm positions) ensuring you have the perfect spaces for long-term living. With eco-credentials, elegant styling, and lightning speed, HH are collecting awards left, right, and center. HH boats for sale
HH 55. HH Catamarans photo.
Best Small Catamaran Brands
Nautitech are one of the top names in the industry and their catamarans, built in France, are well-designed for both coastal cruising and bluewater sailing. Their range of small sailing catamarans—the 40 Open, 44 Open, and 48 Open—offer a good balance of performance, luxury, space, and safety, and as the name “Open” indicates, the main saloon can be opened wide to integrate saloon and cockpit spaces. Owned by Bavaria Yachts since 2014, Nautitech uses quality materials ensuring their boats, while smaller than many other brands, are equipped for long-distance adventures. Nautitech boats for sale
Built in Australia, Seawind catamarans come in five models from 38 to 45 feet long (plus a 52-footer) and demonstrate lively performance in keeping with their relatively lighter weight and use of modest-sized diesel sail drives or outboard engines. The well-engineered boats are designed for those who wish to sail their own boats and have easy access to all control lines from the cockpit, while steering from helm stations either to port or start, well-protected from the elements. The brand has evolved over the years since its founding in 1982 but continues to produce according to its mission “innovative design, quality of finish, outstanding performance and sea-handling ability…”. Seawind boats for sale
Nautitech range. Nautitech photo.
Best Catamaran Brands for the Money
Catana are not inexpensive catamarans—in fact they are semi-custom in a production sense—and they’re not intended to be your typical series-built white, fiberglass model. It’s the performance and style that you get for your money that has put them on our best-value list. Part of the BALI Group, Catana has a long history of building high-performance, strong, capable, and spacious cats with daggerboards for upwind performance. Most recent models are 49 and 53 feet long, built with carbon-infusion hull construction. The small-scale of production means every vessel is constructed to top quality, meaning you’re getting exactly what you want for your money. Catana boats for sale
Beneteau’s Excess range is a recent introduction that offers good- performing, cruising catamarans at good value for the price, from the largest boatbuilder in the world. Built by CNB/Lagoon in France using their long-standing catamaran know-how, the Excess line of four models—37 to 49 feet—are lively performers without the price tag and complexity of other high-tech, high-performance sailing cats. Nonetheless, Excess lead designer Bruno Belmont has managed to pack a huge amount of features into even their smallest models, meaning you’re getting many of the features of a larger boat for a considerably lower price tag. Beneteau boats for sale
Beneteau Excess 11. Beneteau photo.
Best Luxury Catamaran Brands
Described by one reviewer as the “Tesla of sailboats”, Kinetic’s range of luxurious catamarans are in a league of their own, built without compromise. In light winds, Kinetic cats can sail faster than wind speed. Founded in 2018, Kinetic catamarans are seriously high-quality, high-performing cruisers crafted in South Africa of all-carbon and infused epoxy resin construction to innovative designs by Simonis Voogd. The fact that they’re semi-custom allows owners to choose everything from the layout, to the rig, as well as the interior furnishings, fixtures, and equipment. While it probably doesn’t come as a surprise, these are some of the most expensive cats on the market by size, but the quality and build is flawless. Kinetic official website
Sunreef’s range of exquisite custom-built sail and motor catamarans see them placed well into the superyacht category, with their luxury models ranging from 60 to 88 feet for power cats and 50 to 80 feet for their “smaller” sailing range. Established in Poland, Sunreef—and their founder and president Francis Lapp—were pioneers in the luxury catamaran sector, and remain ahead of the game today with consistent innovation and dedication to eco yachts including green propulsion, renewable energy, and sustainable finishing materials. Sunreef boats for sale
Sunreef Eco Yachts 80 Sunreef Power. Sunreef Yachts Eco photo.
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