Which are the best ports to charter a sailing catamaran for a vacation with family or friends?
One of the best ports in the world to charter a sailing catamaran for a vacation with family or friends is Split in Croatia. This picturesque port offers easy access to some of the most beautiful sailing destinations in the Adriatic Sea, including Hvar, Vis, and the Kornati Islands. Split is also a great starting point for a sailing trip to Dubrovnik, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Croatia.
Another great port to charter a sailing catamaran for a family or friends vacation is the British Virgin Islands. Located in the Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands offer year-round sailing in warm and sunny weather. The islands are famous for their pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and excellent sailing conditions. The most popular ports for sailing charters in the British Virgin Islands are Tortola, Virgin Gorda, and Jost Van Dyke.
Finally, the Greek islands are a fantastic destination for a sailing catamaran vacation with family or friends. With over 6,000 islands and islets, Greece offers an abundance of sailing routes to choose from. The most popular ports for sailing charters in Greece are Athens, Lavrion, and Corfu. From these ports, you can explore the Cyclades islands, the Ionian Sea, and the Saronic Gulf, all of which offer unique landscapes, charming villages, and excellent sailing conditions.
Mallorca is a popular port for chartering a catamaran in the Balearic Islands, offering stunning coastlines, hidden coves, and crystal-clear waters. From Palma de Mallorca, you can sail to nearby islands such as Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera. With its lively atmosphere, picturesque villages, and excellent restaurants, Mallorca is an ideal destination for both sailing enthusiasts and those seeking a relaxing vacation.
Italy offers stunning catamaran destinations, such as the Amalfi Coast, Sardinia, Aeolian Islands, and Sicily. From Naples, Palermo, or Olbia, you can sail to explore the country's rich culture, natural beauty, and delicious cuisine. Whether you're an experienced sailor or a novice, Italy's picturesque ports and crystal-clear waters make for an unforgettable catamaran vacation.
From North to South you can rent catamaran yachts all along the Croatian Coast. To explore the Kvarner Bay at the south edge of Istria you charter best from Pula. Form Pula you can discover the beautiful islands, Cres, Lošinj and Rab. The Archipelago of the Kornati Islands (Ugljan, Sestrunj, Pag or Dugi Otok) you can reach with a hired catamaran from Zadar, Sukosan, Biograd, Sibenik, Rogoznica or Primosten. Among sailors, catamaran rentals in Croatia are very popular. The number of multihull boats in Croatian yacht charter fleets reach now more than 25%.
To sail with a catamaran into the South Dalmatian Islands, like Hvar, Brac, Vis or Korcula charter best from Trogir, Marina Kastela or Split. Another access to this wonderful world of islands is from Dubrovnik sailing up North.
When chartering a catamaran in Greece you can chose between three different sailing areas: In the Ionian Islands, you will find charter companies with bases in Marina Gouvia on Corfu. In Corfu are about 30 catamarans available for your boating vacation to select from. Further charter fleets offer multihull charters from Preveza at the main coast and Lefkas Island. The biggest selection of sailboat catamarans are available from Marina Alimos in Kalamaki near Athens. From the Marina Alimos in Kalamaki you can rent around 100 catamarans to start your sailing holiday into the Cyclades Islands. For exploring the Cyclades with a catamaran, you can also rent from the harbor town of Lavrion. Charter providers in Lavrion provide around 30 catamarans for rental. More south in the Aegean Sea you will find catamaran rentals from Kos and Rhodes. Fewer offers for catamaran sailingboats exist from Skiathos or Volos to sail into the Sporades. Make sure you book ate least five months in advance. This will give you a better choice of available rental boats.
Catamaran charter in Italy gets more popular as you go down south. In the north of the Italian mainland you can charter some sailboat catamarans from the Tuscany harbours of San Vincenzo, Piombino (Marina Salivoli) and Follonica (Marina di Scarlino). From these marinas, you have direct access to the 7 Island of the Tuscan Archipelago like Isola d'Elba, Giglio and Giannutri.
Many Italian charter bases for catamaran rental are on the island Sardinia. You will find more than two dozen catamarans for rental on Sardinia. At the stunning Emerald Coast, you can hire catamarans for your holiday with or without skipper. Just search available offers from Portisco, Olbia, Cannigione and other charter bases. From there you can have catamaran adventures exploring the Maddalena Archipelago, with its famous Pink Beach and the turquoise waters around the islands Budelli and Spargi. However, also the south part of Sardinia is amazing for sailing. It is just not so well known. Between Cagliari and Arbatax are numerous bays with extremly white sand beaches that are fantastic anchor grounds. Even in high season there is no competition for free anchorages.You could also visit the stunning coast between Santa Maria Navarrese and Cala Gonone with its famous bathing and snorkeling spots like Cala Goloritze and Cala Luna.
In the Gulf of Naples and the Amalfi Coast, there are catamaran rentals from Nettuno, which provides great escapes to the Pontinian Islands Ponza and Ventotenne. Around Naples there are charter bases with multihull sailboats from the island Procida, and Castellamare di Stabia near Naples. In the Gulf of Salerno, check charter bases in Salerno and Tropea for hiring your catamaran trip. Just book your sailboat from the Gulf of Naples or Salerno if you desire a catamaran trip to Capri or Ischia.
In the South of Italy you can chose among 50 catamarans from Sicilian ports. Just check the offers available from Capo d'Orlando, Portorosa, Palermo and Marsala. From these ports you can start your catamaran rental vacation into the Aeolian Islands, like Panarea, Stromboli and Vulcano. Also in the very western point of Sicily, there are multihulls to charter from Trapani.
The major departure port for a catamaran rental on the Balearics is definitely the port of Palma de Mallorca. Palma is the home base of more than 30 professional charter fleets, which offer all together around 40 cats. Besides, you can rent a variety of multihull sailboat also from the ports in Ca'n Pastilla, El Arenal or Portocolom.
More than 15 sailboat catamarans can be chartered from San Antonio and Eivissa on the Island Ibiza. If you like to sail on a catamaran to Menorca or Formentera, better search for charters from Palma de Mallorca and sail to these neighboring Islands.
In the South of Turkey, you can charter sailboat catamarans from 3 major ports. The biggest choice of cats you will find starting your catamaran cruise in Marmaris. Around 15 catamarans can be rented from the Marinas of Marmaris. Further opportunities for hiring a multihull with or without skipper exist from Bodrum and Fethiye. The turkish coast offers high standards for marina services and ensures relaxation and perfection for sailing guests. Furthermore, the turkish hospitality will surprise you. The people are extremly friendly and the cuisine is just amazing. The sheltered bays between Bodrum and Antalya surrounded by green pine forests are perfect for spending unforgettable sailing vacations.
If there is one sailing destination in the world that fits best for a catamaran charter, this is the Seychelles Archipelago! Because there are few marinas on the Seychelles, you will mostly anchor in natural bays. Therefore, you will have anyway enough space for a big catamaran and you will not be limited by tight marina berths. Besides a multihull is ideal for approaching as close as possible to the islands because a cat's draft is low.
Most of the islands on the Seychelles do not provide infrastructure for visiting yacht charter crews like showers or toilets. Therefore, arriving with a catamaran that offers spacious cabins and en-suite bathrooms is a great advantage. You can compare around 30 catamarans that can be rented from the port Mahe. You can hire them as bareboats or with skipper and hostess. In addition, diving experiences are available from local diving schools. Those also provide scuba equipment and local guides that can assist you on your cruise. A one week or two week sailing itinerary will allow you to visit 5 to 12 islands like Silhouette, Bird Islands, Praslin or La Digue with their beautiful granite rocks and white sand beaches. The island Coco is fantastic for snorkeling. On Curieuse you can watch huge turtles freely running around. The almost round island Cousin is a sanctuary for endagered birds, which is worth to explore.
The Antilles of the Caribbean offer plenty of escapes for a sailing vacation on a catamaran. In the northern Caribbean, the British Virgin Islands (BVI's) provide amazing bays and beaches to spend your sailing holiday. The main charter base is there the port of Tortola. On Cuba there are bareboat and crewed catamaran charters available from Cienfuegos.
You can book catamaran sailboats from Anse Marcel on Saint Martin. In the Windward Islands, the harbours of the Islands Martinique and Guadeloupe host Lagoon Catamarans for your next Caribbean Boat Rental Experience.
Inspiring video about a catamaran holiday on the British Virgin Islands (BVIs)
What are the prices for renting a catamaran?
Generally, charter prices for a catamaran are around 30 - 50% higher than for a monohull rental. In the Mediterranean, you can rent a classic 38 feet catamaran from 2,000 EUR per week
in low season. In the Caribbean, the rental of the same boat costs around 4,000 EUR per week in high season (December to March). Fifty feet crewed catamarans, which provide up to 10 berths will costs you more than 10,000 EUR per week during the high season months. For this budget, you receive a lot of space and comfort
for your charter cruise. Alone the cabins of a catamaran will appear to you like a little apartment if you are used to monohull cabin dimensions. New catamarans have usually a separate bathroom for each cabin
. Depending on where you are, marinas charge a surplus for the wider space needed on a multihull. Yet while mooring fees of marinas may be expensive with a broad catamaran. Nevertheless, due to its stability and shallow draft you have much more opportunities to anchor at night outside the harbours. If you opt for a crewed catamaran charter, there will be around 150 - 200 € per day to add for the skipper.
Which are the most popular catamaran brands?
Since years, catamaran rentals enjoy a growing popularity. The share of catamaran bookings reach meanwhile more than one quarter of all charter reservations. Most of the catamarans in yacht rentals are sailboats. Opposite, so called "Power-Cats" do not have a sailing rig, but are provided with two powerful engines. Popular catamaran brands are Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, Nautitech, Privilege from Alliaura Marine and Bali from Catana.
Why is a catamaran more stable than a normal sailboat?
Definitely, a catamaran is more stable than a monohull sailboat
with keel. It almost does not heel under sails. When underway, a monohull sailboat leans into the wind and it can get a bit tricky to do things like walking, cooking etc. Catamarans have a shallower draft
because they do not have a keel. Therefore, you can move and anchor closer to beaches and deeper in protected bays. It would also be possible on most catamarans to `dry out´ and run aground if need be or at low tide. Furthermore, catamaran boats providing more stability at anchor because they do not bounce that much when there is a swell. You can even reduce the horizontal movements of the catamaran hull by setting an Anchor Bridle.
What sails faster, a catamaran or a monohull sailing yacht?
Without the heavy lead keel, catamarans
are much lighter than monohull sailing yachts. Thank to this property, multihulls generally sail faster unless they are loaded quite heavily. This sometimes occurs due to the extended stowage space and large water tanks. Catamarans have a problem going upwind!
They need to use the engine earlier while a keel yacht still can tack against the wind. With much larger hull body in relation to sail area, catamarans have less forward driving force. The lack of a keel is another issue that leads to a significant lateral drift on high wind courses. Nevertheless, cats are great for sailing medium reach to downwind courses
. You can enjoy surfing down the waves with more than 10 knots.
Here is the new Lagoon 42 that you can charter from 35 ports
What is easier to manoeuvre – a catamaran or a monohull boat?
Even though catamarans have more deck space
than monohull sailing yachts they can easily be managed by a single couple. The only thing is that the distances between winches and mooring lines are longer due to the two hulls.
A huge asset of a multihull is the two separate engines, which allows you to turn a catamaran 360° on the spot
. This makes manoeuvers in tight spaces very easy. Therefore berthing in marinas is often less challenging as with a monohull sailboat. Nevertheless, you should be aware that some catamarans are lacking the complete overview over the boat when standing at the rudder. Make yourself comfortable if you are the first time skipper on a multihull. This could be also resolved by hiring an experienced skipper for the first day.
How safe is sailing with a catamaran?
Generally, you cannot say that cruising with a catamaran is safer than with a sailboat in relation to weather hazards. However, due to the extended space and horizontal decks
it is a little bit safer or easier for a larger group of people
to move around. When the sea gets rough, children stay in the salon, without giving them the feeling to be locked down in the "cellar".
Overall multihulls provide a lot of steadiness for your charter holiday. With their two engines, catamarans can also carry on in case of an engine problem or a rope in one of the propellers.
Check out this video about a Catamaran Vacation on a Lagoon 450F
Once used to steer a catamaran
, the mooring with a catamaran is less likely to cause problems compared to a monohull sailboat. Thanks to the two engines, multihull boats are able to turn on their own axis and manoeuvre very precisely and predictably. This is a big surplus for a stress-free boat rental holiday.
Can I rent a catamaran only for one day?
Day charters, also often called "private catamaran charters
" are offered mostly from skippers or couples that live on their own boats. They can make some money during season times to be able to maintain their boat and finance their living on the sea. You can hire a trip with such private catamarans for a single day up to a whole week. We cannot provide such arrangements with private yacht owners because they are often not licensed. However, you can find such private crewed charters in many ports of the Mediterranean. Just stroll along the harbour front and you might notice some notifications about offered cruises on the boats moored there. In aaddition, you might ask at the reception of your hotel. The staff members often can give useful advices with whom to sail.
Which are the accommodation benefits of catamarans?
The salon on a catamaran
is usually located at the same level as the cockpit. The salon of a catamaran is more spacious than on a sailboat and offers very bright 360° views
. Catamarans generally provide more space and more stowage possibilities. The cabins tend to be more comfortable
and identical than on a monohull. Ideally, a catamaran has four cabins of the same size, each with an en-suite bathroom. Because they are located in two separate hulls, this leads to more privacy than on a sailboat. You can put up different groups in each hull – for instance parents in one and kids in the other or you can split the two hulls between individual couples. In addition, you might find cooking easier in a catamaran galley, as those boats are steadier.
You can rent a catamaran
from almost all charter ports in Croatia, Greece and Italy. For the European winter, it is especially tempting to hire a boat in the tropical charter destinations. Those are the Seychelles, the British Virgin Islands, the UVIs or Cuba in the Caribbean Sea, Thailand or Polynesia in the Pacific. Rental catamarans over 49 feet length mostly are offered as crewed charters with skipper and or hostess. With our YachtFinder you can compare charter prices
and book them online. We also have surprises! Just check the YachtBooker Specials Listing for discounted offers
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What are the possibilities to spend a vacation on a catamaran?
There are basically the following possibilities to spend a vacation on a catamaran. We assume that you want to go sailing with your family or own friends and therefore a berth charter is out of the question.
These are your options to start your sailing vacation:
A. You rent a catamaran for the time of your vacation as bareboat or with skipper
B. You may use the catamaran of a friend (more for the sake of completeness)
C. You buy a catamaran exclusively for private use
D. You use a purchase charter model to profit from the chartering of the catamaran you purchased
E. You enter into a timeshare model to take advantage of part ownership of a catamaran
So, quite a few options to make a sailing trip on a catamaran a reality. Now, which of the options shown above best fits your personal needs or family circumstances, recreational habits, or willingness to invest? In the following sections we will look at the options for a sailing vacation on a catamaran from the perspectives of finances, commitment, time, flexibility and complexity.
A. Renting a catamaran for vacation
A small 38 foot catamaran with 4 cabins can be rented in the Mediterranean outside the main season from around 3,000 euros per week. Luxurious catamarans with more than 45 feet length cost rather from 5,000 euros the week upwards. A crewed catamaran with 50 feet length can already cost between 10,000 - 20,000 euros the week. If you are only planning a one-time vacation or want to try out this form of vacation, renting a multihull is certainly the easiest and most non-binding way. However, if you want to make a sailing vacation more often or even consider a long-term charter of a catamaran, then a high budget would have to be available. In this case, an own catamaran or a part ownership would be quite interesting.
Advantages of a catamaran charter:
+ One-time charter fee, no further costs after the end of your vacation
+ Boating vacation in changing areas possible
+ Rent of newest yacht models possible
Disadvantages of a catamaran charter:
- Accumulating rental costs for long term charters or repeated vacations.
B. You are allowed to use the catamaran of a friend
(more for the sake of completeness)
Should your friend unselfishly make his boat available to you, you will only pay costs for marinas and fuel - congratulations, it doesn't get any better than that! Perhaps you will simply be invited to a cruise. This variant is certainly ideal if you are alone or only want to take a partner on the trip. You may have to forego taking your entire family or several friends along, so as not to strain the hospitality of the friendly boat owner. If your friend is open to your ideas about the cruise and the chemistry is right, nothing can stand in the way of a great sailing vacation.
Advantages of sailing with a catamaran owner friend:
+ Incurring costs for marinas, fuel, etc. are low compared to the rent.
+ You can express your gratitude and deepen your friendship
+ The owner knows the area and is usually an experienced skipper.
Possible disadvantages of sailing with a friendly catamaran owner:
- A friendship can also suffer should the sailing trip not proceed to the satisfaction of both parties.
- An invitation might expect appropriate quid pro quos that one cannot or will not provide.
C. You buy a catamaran exclusively for private use
Having your own boat the dream of many water sports enthusiasts. If you have a lot of time that you want to spend on your yacht, you are well advised to have your own boat. You can equip it individually, make it more comfortable for your needs or perfect it technically. Larger catamarans even allow you to live comfortably on it and set up a remote workspace. Digital nomads appreciate the comfort and independence of having their own cat. However, the annual ongoing cost of boat maintenance can add up to over 5% of the new price. So for a 46-foot catamaran, which costs about 600,000 euros new, there would be about 30,000 euros in annual maintenance costs. So as an owner, you should have adequate financial freedom so that boat ownership doesn't eat up your budget. It should also be remembered that the resale value of a sailboat halves about every 5 years. To be able to live somewhere, currently a property is therefore undoubtedly the better investment.
Advantages of buying a catamaran:
+ To fulfill a private dream
+ You can equip and furnish the boat individually
+ Spend more time on the water
+ Use the cat as a (second) home or as a digital nomad if necessary.
Disadvantages of buying a catamaran:
- High one-time purchase costs
- Not insignificant ongoing maintenance costs
- Tied to a specific sailing area
D. You take advantage of a catamaran charter ownership model to create revenues
If you have already chartered and philosophized with the manager of a charter base about a multihull purchase, then a yacht ownership model will certainly have been explained to you. Basically, charter fleets need to be constantly on the lookout for potential investors for new boats in order to renew their fleet on a regular basis. Each base strives to replace about 10% of their boats with new ones each year. On average, about 2,000 new charter yachts are launched annually worldwide. Around 25% of them are multihull boats. Most charter boat owners spend less than 4 weeks per year on their yacht. A good booking utilization is considered to be 20 - 25 weeks per year, depending on the area. There are charter companies that promise single digit returns on an investment in a charter vessel. Included in this rate of return is the expected resale value of the boat after a typical 5 to 7 years of use. Our tip: It's better to think of a yacht ownership model as a life-style investment, rather than a profitable business. Then, if the bottom line is a return, it just went well.
Advantages of a catamaran charter ownership model:
+ Often the purchase can be financed through a bank.
+ One can equip and furnish the boat individually
+ VAT is a pass-through item as a result of commercial use
+ There is a management that takes care of the boat and its maintenance
Disadvantages of a catamaran charter ownership model:
- The yacht suffers more wear and tear as a result of charter operations
- Return expectations should be kept low
- If the booking load suffers due to crises, the costs may no longer be covered by revenues
- Tied to a specific sailing area
E. You are entering a timeshare model to sail a catamaran
A timeshare model exists not only for vacation homes but also for leisure boats. In this form of boat ownership, your investment either gives you part ownership of a specific boat or you become a quasi "co-owner" of a pool of yachts. With the latter model, the boats can also be located at different bases. The common feature is that the boats are always under the management of the company offering the sharing model. There are timeshare models that also provide for chartering out the unused weeks to generate revenue to help cover costs.
Advantages of a catamaran timeshare model:
+ There is a management team that takes care of the vessel and its maintenance.
+ The cost of maintaining the vessel is shared by several members
+ Some timeshares also allow yachts to be used in different cruising grounds
Disadvantages of a catamaran timeshare model:
- There is usually no return on investment with timeshares
- You are not the sole owner of a particular vessel
- With your commitment you are financially bound for some years