The best catamarans of 2024 for Americans are these


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Last April 3 during the International Multihull Boat Show set up in La Grande Motte, France, the award ceremony of the Multihull of the Year competition organized in cooperation with the U.S. magazine Multihulls World was held.

In recent years, catamarans have become widely used in the sailing community. Credit certainly goes to their stability and safety qualities, and especially to the great comfort capabilities they offer the crew. Shipyards and designers contribute each year to the evolution of these multihulls in terms of design, ergonomics, fittings and ease of operation.

A privileged place to learn about the state of the art of the catamaran world and explore the latest innovations offered by the serial shipbuilding industry is certainly the International Multihull Boat Show, the boat show dedicated to catamarans that opens its doors April 3-7 in La Grande-Motte, on the Mediterranean coast of France.


Winning catamarans for design, performance and comfort

Also this year during the event, an award ceremony was held for the Multihull of the Year competition organized in cooperation with the U.S. magazine Multihulls World. The first night of the major multihull event in La Grande-Motte, southern France, saw four of the nominees become winners.

The event, presented by Gwen Dorning and Emmanuel van Deth, the magazine’s marketing director and publisher, respectively, was attended by 200 people and followed in real time on social media. To be honored were the Vaan R5 in the “Sailing Cruise” category, theOutremer 52 for the “Sailing Performance” category, the Gunboat 72 for the “Multiyacht” category, the New Windelo 54 for the IMS Premiere category (jury prize), and finally the Catana 471 for the “Capt’n Boat” category (skipper prize). Below are all the winning catamarans with their respective reviews, photos and data sheets.


Vaan R5, ideal for long cruises

The latest addition to the range from the Dutch shipyard Vaan Yachts, the 14.95-meter Vaan R5 is the perfect multihull for family cruises, long sailings and world tours. It also lends itself well to those couples who decide to live on a boat. Among its strengths is its modern look, sustainable and circular materials, such as recycled aluminum, cork blanket (Fsc certified), and natural fibers and organic fabrics used in the fittings. Then of course the fact that it is an all-electric boat.

The Vaan R5 is available in 2 versions: with an open cockpit or the R5-LA version, which is “live-aboard” with a closed cockpit. The main difference is the sliding door, which in the LA version is placed more aft. Although it may seem like a small thing, such a solution creates ample space in the indoor living room that allows for layout options that can be customized to suit one’s needs. The basic version of the Vaan R5 is available from 895,000 euros plus VAT. But for a fully equipped model with self-loading electric motors, Code-0 sails, solar panels and desalinator, and many other components, you have to shell out at least 1.45 million euros.

Data sheet

Length: 14.94 m

Width: 7.99 m

Displacement: 17 t

Electric motor: Oceanvolt AXC30

Designer: Studio Dykstra

Shipyard: Vaan Yachts

Outremer 52, the king of “blue water cruiser” catamarans

The Outremer 52 represents a milestone in the evolutionary journey of the French shipyard Outremer Catamarans. Beautiful, sporty and very innovative, it embodies the icon of the “blue water cruiser” catamaran, designed to sail safely and quickly around the world. The hulls have sinuous and elegant lines, while effective solutions stand out on deck, such as the starboard rudder wheel that can be used in as many as 4 positions, or at the bow the two net triangles that make the bowsprit accessible where the gennaker is walled for safe reach. Lowering the mainsail on this catamaran is also not dangerous: the boom is reached by walking on the dinette roof, and the lazy bag is at the height of one’s shoulders.

Inside, the dinette is arranged to be fully enclosed, allowing the boat to be used even in winter or in more temperate climates where, the charting station, positioned in the direction of travel, also allows the boat to be driven on autopilot from the inside. In the 3-cabin configuration, one hull is entirely dedicated to the owner, and the forward bathroom is huge. But a 4-cab version is also available. The second hull accommodates 2 large VIP cabins with bathrooms.

Data sheet

Length: 15.73 m

Width: 7.89 m

Draft: 1.1 – 2.3 m

Displacement: 12.5 – 15.7 t

Engine: 50 Hp x2

Designers: VPLP, Patrick Le Quément, Darnet Design

Sail area: 155 square meters


Gunboat 72, the first sailing catamaran with fly bridge

A real treat from the Gunboat shipyard, which specializes in building carbon sports cruising catamarans, the Gunboat 72 is a cat more “pushed” toward cruising. In fact, its big innovation is the fly bridge, the upper deck, which has never been seen on catamarans from this shipyard. This is where the wheelhouses and all the rigging are located: 4 winches, halyard stopper, large rudder wheel, and square top mainsail carriage. Also on the raised deck is a living area designed with a C-shaped sofa and a table, just like on pure cat cruisers. The lower cockpit is totally shaded, connected with the inner square by a sliding glass door. Just as glazed is the entire deckhouse, laterally and on the front face, a detail that enriches the interior with light.

Despite the decided orientation toward the cruising world, the Gunboat 72’s sporty vocation remains. Just look at the two fine bows, the net between the two hulls, as well as the ever-present, slightly curved side drifts, capable of improving performance especially upwind and beyond.

Data sheet

Length: 22 m

Width: 9.40 m

Draft: 1.7-3.8 m

Displacement: 29 t

Shipyard: Gunboat

New Windelo 54, the cat with all the maneuvers in hand

The New Windelo 54 replaces the 54. This catamaran offers a truly different alternative to its competitors on the market. To build it, the shipyard turned to two architects, Neuman and Barreau, who envisioned it as a high-performance yacht capable of sailing fast and for long distances while preserving the safety of the crew. The layout is unique, with a cockpit installed at the foot of the mast. All sailing and even anchor maneuvers are done here, in front of the two helmsman’s stations. This keeps the crew dry. This position is also popular during on-call shifts. Just behind a sliding glass door is the salon fully integrated into the navigation area.

The New Windelo 54 is available in 3 or 4 cabins and in 3 versions, Adventure, Yachting and Sport, each with a different level of finish. While the aft cabins offer double berths, the forward cabins can be double berths, children’s berths with two bunks or an office with 2 additional bunks that fold along the bulkhead. As for motors, it uses 2 electric motors that can be supported by a generator.

Data sheet

Width: 16.24 m

Length: 7.98 m

Draft: 1.05-1.35 m

Displacement: 12.80 t

Sail area: 199 square meters

Shipyard: Windelo

Catana 471, the most loved by skippers

Catana represents a high-end line of performance catamarans suitable for cruising. The Catana 471, a successful model produced in about 80 examples, is no exception. Strong point is the wide cockpit with the fixed table where 8 people can eat. Aft of the two hulls, lockers contain engines and systems. All rigging (Harken or Antal) is deferred in the cockpit. The helmsman has two somewhat exposed positions, but good for keeping the catamaran under control.

The interior, designed by architect Barreau, accommodates a dinette, decent-sized charting contrasted with the galley that faces via sliding window to the cockpit table. The two hulls have different layouts: the starboard one is the “owner’s” hull with a large bed in the stern and a bathroom in the bow, beyond which is the watertight sail locker accessible from the outside. In contrast, the port hull offers 2 cabins with one bathroom. The aft berth is decomposable into two single beds. Pricing for the Catana 471 starts at 350,000 euros and goes up to 450,000 for a newer, well-maintained model.

Data sheet

Length: 15.20 m

Width: 7.60 m

Draught: 0.9-2 m

Displacement: 9.80 t

Sail area: 180 square meters

Engine: 75 hp x 2




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