Home Blog Trimaran VS Catamaran – Are They So Different?

Trimaran VS Catamaran – Are They So Different?

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Most sailors will eventually have to debate Trimaran VS Catamaran with themselves.

Some seasoned sailors swear that the difference between the two is astronomical, but others will claim that the differences don’t amount to much.

Let’s explore what makes a catamaran and trimaran unique vessels on their own, so you can choose the one that is right for you!

 

Comparisons Between Trimaran and Catamaran

The main difference between a trimaran and a catamaran is the hull. The cat consists of a double hull design, which is classic, simpler, and sleeker.

A trimaran, on the other hand, is a multihull vessel that possesses smaller outrigger hulls attached to the main hull and looks a bit like a spaceship to some, with a more futuristic design that stands out among other boats. However, there are other differences as well.

Accommodation

Catamarans are renowned for their impressive amounts of space, for both storage and living accommodations. The trimaran is somewhat lacking in this area, resembling a monohull on the space front. The trimaran is more compact and wasted space is minimal, but roominess is not among its virtues.

 

Interior

Both types of boats are designed to be comfortable and simple about their furnishings and layouts. Even with a disadvantage of lack of free space, the trimaran is still very comfortable as long as it is not overcrowded with guests.

 

Exterior

A catamaran’s exterior is the most classic of the two vessels and will garner less attention. The trimaran stands out, due to its unusual hull design. The exterior is a matter of personal taste in most cases. Some sailors love the boat that is vaguely reminiscent of a UFO, while others are sticklers for traditional designs and look down on the trimaran.

 

Under Sail

The multi-hulled trimaran wins this category due to its purpose of being a sailing vessel used for sport. This makes it quicker to respond, rig, and build speed. A catamaran is designed for cruising at a leisurely pace, not racing around the water.

 

Speed

The trimaran can build up to a greater speed than the catamaran. This makes for a more exhilarating ride, but if you want a more sedate boat, go with a cat.


The Pros & Cons of the Trimaran

A trimaran is best suited for the more adventurous types of sailors. You want to charter this boat if you want to move fast!

 

Pros:

  • Faster than its single or double-hulled counterparts
  • Modern design is eye-catching
  • Very safe in all weather/sea conditions
  • Point better to windward

Cons:

  • The exterior is not appealing to everyone
  • Not as much storage and livable space than the catamaran
  • Can’t carry as much weight as a catamaran

Conclusion

The choice between a catamaran and a trimaran must take into account the needs of the sailor, as well as personal preference. A sailor looking for a peaceful trip at a slower pace should find a catamaran. On the other hand, if you want to zip through the water and get your blood pumping, find a good trimaran! Make the right choice now and you can find yourself skippering your own charter tomorrow!

 

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Have you sailed a catamaran or a trimaran? If so, please share your experience in the comments below.

 

24 COMMENTS

  1. Hey, well I’m definitely the Catamaran girl. I love my space and don’t really need the thrill of the ride as much as I value the relaxation and holiday-type feeling. What’s your personal choice? Well since I’m more the sailor’s wife than the sailor, those other problems don’t really apply to me, do they? hahahaha what’s your personal choice?

    • Hi May,

      We have something in common, because I am not a fan of racing . I love comfort and space, so I would go for a Cat!

      Have a great day:)

  2. This is a very informative comparison of the trimaran vs. catamaran style sailboat. They look similar on the exterior to the untrained eye – but it seems like the differences are pretty dramatic. If someone was looking to charter one for a vacation – do you have a specific experience or preference for one or the other?

    • Hi Jeff,

      It will depend on your personal preferences!

      What are your needs? Can you be more precise?

      I personally love to sail in comfort, I also need a lot of storage, so a cat is my favorite yacht!

      Have a wonderful day:)

  3. I have sailed ON a cat but never sailed one myself. Certainly a wonderful experience unlike a single-hulled vessel that rocks and rolls with the swells. That leads me to ask: if caught in rough weather (large swells and strong winds), how reliable is the trimaran? Does either configuration have limitations in this regard?

    • Hi Tom,

      For the same size of boat, a trimaran have higher sailing performance ,a better ability to tack and go windward. So to answer to your question, a trimaran will handle better in strong winds and will go faster! But! Bear in mind that no matter if it’s a cat, trimaran, or monohull, the safety will all depend on when the sail will be shortened and how the boat will be handled in bad weather.

      I hope it helped and if you have any other question , please feel free to get in touch:)

      Have a great day!

  4. Awesome write up on the differences between the two beauties. I have learned something new here. I am more of the adventure like person and your quick analysis of the Trimaran, tells me that I probably would lead to this option when choosing between the two.I will certainly browse around your site to check out other interesting articles you have on offer.Take Care, Roopesh.

    • Hi Roopesh,

      Thank you for the compliment and you are very welcome to stroll around my website.

      Take care too and wish you an awesome day!

  5. It’s interesting to see the different opinions shown concerning of a debate. I don’t know about these vessels but I enjoyed reading it.

    To me, I’ll go for Trimaran because of the modern interiors. I mean, it’s the modern feel that I’m looking for. That’s my main, personal factor.

    Still, overall, I think it’s also suffice to say that these two cannot be compared because it’s not like with like. But that’s just my opinion. Trimaran for the win anyways!

    • Hi Tar,

      So nice to see you again on my website:)

      Yes, the trimaran Neel 45 has a modern look, but not every trimaran. Also, they are much faster than catamarans, sailors usually use them more for racing and catamarans for cruising.

      Thank you for the comment, I really appreciate:)

      I wish you a wonderful day!

  6. I think now the Neel have brought out the 51 the game has changed somewhat. Lots more room ,walk around bed in master room. Lare shower in main head, the inside outside Cocloon as they now call it. Heaps of space below, fantastic headroom down below in central Hull. Much more classic looking boat on the exterior. Add the speed, stability and affordability compared to similar sized Cats and there really does not appear to be any more to be said. Of course it’s just my opinion and if money was not an option i think the Gunboat 60 would be the final choice, but for around 600k the Neel 51 has definitely set the standard. Take a look https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-997AEXfsk

    • Hi Kevin,

      Well, that’s a beautiful trimaran you have here, effectively, this one looks much more comfortable and wider than the Neel 45! I would definitely choose the 51 over the 45! I’ve really enjoyed watching the video, and it would be interesting to write an excellent review on the 51:). I agree with you, the Gunboat is such a beautiful cat, and now it makes it even harder to choose between the two of them:)
      Thank you for the comment and wish you a wonderful day!

      • Late arrival here but after reading and watching so many negative reviews about the Neel trimarans and the Neel 45 images of one build showing their train wreck quality, there is absolutely no way you can compare a Gunboat and a Neel. You’d be better off comparing it to the Yugo automobile.

        The “Sailing Yacht Ruby Rose” did a recent video review of the newer Neel 47 posted on July 18, 2019 showing very clearly that its build quality is extremely lack luster. Although it was the Neel Trimaran that gave me the sea bug, one probably couldn’t purchase a poorer quality boat at any price. It’s an awesome concept but it’s a manufacturer no individual should consider buying from. I’m hoping one of the premium Cat builders will take on the task of providing a similar concept when I’m ready with my money.

        • Hello Eso,
          The beautiful thing in life is that everyone has different taste and opinion. I am glad to have you here and thank you for sharing your experience with the readers, this will certainly be useful to many people.
          I wish you a fantastic day!

  7. Yes I’ve been looking at the Neel 51,
    Its turning my attention some what.
    It would make world cruising just that little bit faster and with room and comfort.
    PS I like the engine room.

    • Hi Mercury,

      Thank you for the comment!
      The Neel 51 is a beautiful boat. She is more spacious and comfortable than the 45 Neel, but the 65 is even better!
      However, the 51 is an ideal cruising trimaran to sail in comfort. She provides everything sailors have ever dreamed of such as speed, stability, space, and luxury. What more to ask for:)

      Thank you again for the comment and wish you a wonderful day!

  8. I own a Catana 47 with one owner and two guest cabins. I and my wife want four cabin boat so that We can sail with our two daughters and their family including grand children. Should I buy Catana 53, Outremer 51 or Neel 51?

    • Hi Rajen,

      Thank you for commenting!

      I am not a boat seller, but I will be more than happy to answer your question. The Catana 53, Neel 51, and Outremer 51 are fantastic boats. And to be honest, I would personally buy the Neel 51 because she is extremely spacious, lightweight and more stable than any catamaran out there.If you bring children, then you would want the boat to be safe.
      The other boats are also great but tend to perform less well in strong winds and heavy seas than the Neel 51. So yes, the Neel 51 is unbeatable in all categories! At least to me:)

      I hope it helped and, please, feel free to contact me if you need to know further information. I am always happy to assist!

      Thank you again for the comment and wish you a lovely day!

  9. It’s really a good Information. I have never been in any one of the rides but I feel personally Cat is better.
    Do you guys know anything similar to this other then Cat trimaran like Semi-Submersible, drone etc. as I am doing a project that will help you to ride Cat Yourself alone!. Wish me good luck and please help me achieve my goal fastly, by sharing your precious knowledge and time. thank you in advance.

    • Hi Mohammed,

      We would like to help you, but we didn’t really understand your question, could you be more specific, please?

      Thank you for the comment!

      • Hello Daniella,
        Firstly thank you very much for your kind response.
        I would like to have some info about the Stability equation of Catamaran and different steering Mechanisms.

          • Dear Daniela
            Thankyou very much for your Kind help.
            Could you please give some Information about the construction guidance of Catamaran.
            I want to construct my own for my experimental purposes.
            Thankyou
            Regards
            Moulasaheb Md

          • Hi Mohamed,

            I would like to help you, but you are not in the right place for this. If you are looking for sailing holiday, then I’ll be more than happy to help!

            If you want to construct your own boat, I highly recommend you to check other websites.

            Thank you for the comment and wish you a great day!

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