Catamaran a type of boat with two hulls side by side, parallel but separated, attached by means of braces, and sometimes decked over. The two hulls may be identical, or one may be much smaller than the other. In the latter case the smaller hull may be little more than an outrigger, which floats on the water, being too heavy to rise and too light to sink, and thus keeps the boat from capsizing in a heavy wind. Boats are sometimes equipped with two outriggers, and, correspondingly, a catamaran-type boat with three hulls, called a trimaran, may be used. In most catamarans, the sails or oars are confined to the larger hull. Motor-driven catamarans have been built, with the engines mounted on a deck supported on two identical hulls.
Catamaran Sailing in Rough Weather In really rough conditions the sealed hulls of catamarans enable them to be sailed safely. However medium strength wind conditions are best for building up your experience with high performance craft as the catamaran sails at the optimum speed. Crews can learn how to quickly raise and lower the gunwale to the after most trapezing position and to handle the trapeze system when tacking. Catamaran sailing in rough weather such as strong winds and heavy seas should only be attempted by very experienced sailors. The two main points to bear in mind are to make sure the catamaran is balanced, keeping the hulls level by sheeting the sails well out and bearing away in gusts and to keep the catamaran moving as fast as possible. When your catamaran is being sailed in rough weather, tacking should be kept to the minimum and where possible carried out in smaller waves as and when they appear. Be prepared to reverse rudder if your catamaran fails to get around the tack. To lessen the pressure on the sails you will often have to retract the centerboards on a reach but you must have the boards at least three-quarters down to tack. Crew weight should be kept well aft at all times when urging the catamaran over the crest of a wave. The crew must brace themselves securely using the foot loops or toe straps as acceleration and deceleration will be very rapid. Visibility in rough weather may be made difficult by spray or breaking waves. Some crews prefer to wear ski or swimming goggles for eye protection. As the spray in rough weather can be painful when it strikes extra protective clothing will be necessary.