Daniel Snyman
Daniel Snyman

DANIEL SNYMAN offers some ‘nautical know-how for catamaran buyers

To captain your own catamaran might be a dream come true for many, but could also turn into a nightmare if the wrong catamaran is bought.

  • Research:

Being realistic about your sailing plans forms the basis of your purchasing decision. For example, what will suit your friends and family? Will you be doing cruising locally or do you plan to sail across the world? Questions related to space or size, sailing activities and distance as well as interior and exterior features should be explored.

  • Comfort vs performance:

Most modern catamarans are beautifully crafted with interior features such as fridges, counter tops and wooden finishes. While this is visually appealing, the added weight can influence the performance of the catamaran. Speed is not as much of a factor when sailing, but if crossing oceans safely is what you want to do, be mindful of weight and design. If you want a comfy spacious catamaran at anchor, go for wider hulls and open space.

  • What kind of catamaran?

Read as much as you can about monohulls and multi-hulls. Visit the internet forums. Go to boat shows, set up meetings with catamaran retailers.  Talk to owners of catamarans about their experiences. Their opinions will be  invaluable.

  • Budget
A cool catamaran.
A cool catamaran.

It’s time to crunch some numbers. Look at brokerage listings to get a feel for the range of prices on catamarans in the size range you are considering.  Make sure you factor in some funds for refitting and additional equipment, as well as delivery and insurance costs into your total budget.

  • Match the boat to your needs:

If your retirement plans include taking a long-distance cruise, the best option is not to purchase a large, offshore twin hull as this will be under-used on most weekend sailing trips. A smaller multi-hull would do the job in the short term and provide more use over a longer period.

  • Match your skill set to the type of boat you want:

Some buyers have great handling and navigational skills while others still have much to learn. Consider your level of expertise and ensure the boat is not too daunting to sail or maintain.

  • For more assistance buying a boat, call Leopards Catamarans on 021 200 1825 or email southafrica@leopardcatamarans.com.
  • Daniel Snyman is regional sales manager (Africa, Mauritius & Seychelles) for Leopard Catamarans Private Sales and Moorings & Sunsail Charter Yacht Ownership.
  • TUI Marine own the Leopard Catamarans range, the best selling brand in North America, having won Boat of the Year in 2005, 2007, 2010 and 2012.