A catamaran is quite different to a dinghy – to state the obvious, a cat has two hulls – a dinghy has one! Two hulls has two main advantages – a very stable platform (ideal for learning) and width (more sail power converted to speed). A sports catamaran is typically between 14 and 20 feet long, sailed by a crew of 2 (but there are plenty of single handed designs). Most cats have trapezes – a wire that attaches to your waist so that you can stand on the side and get your weight right out – for speed and thrills! This unique combination of twin hulls and trapezing makes catamaran sailing one of the most adrenalin pumping and fastest watersports available.
There are many types of catamaran available – this site will link you to all of the manufacturers, class associations and clubs in the UK. This site is maintained by the UK Cat Racing Association, and is not biased to any class or club.
You will find hundreds of keen sailors and many clubs who will welcome you into our sport. Cat sailors are friendly!
Get in touch with a local club – they will fix you up with a sail. You can start off by crewing on someone’s cat, and then progress to owning your own cat.
When choosing a cat, remember that sailors love their own class – that’s why they sail them! But the choice is yours! Sometimes it is better to choose a class that is popular at the club nearest to you – but a lot of cat sailors travel from event to event. A brand new state of the art, twin trapeze cat with 2 or 3 sails (the third sail being a spinnaker) can cost as much as £20000, but there are lots of decent second hand cats from around a grand – and all prices in between. Do your research – there is a cat for everybody. And don’t forget that cat sailing is one of the best value sports going. Once you have your cat, a few hundred pounds a year for insurance and club membership, a wet suit and harness is all it takes. In fact it is sad that the biggest expense in this and most sports is the fuel to get you there!
A powerboat can consume £100 of fuel in a day – fast cats can hit 20 knots in a stiff breeze – it’s brilliant!
Most cat sailors love to race! there are two main types of race – course racing, where you race around a marked course, on the sea or a lake, and long distance racing, where you race an offshore course – often lasting as long as 6 hours. All cats are suitable for both types, but it is fair to say that the bigger types around 18 to 20 feet are preferred for long distance racing.
Whether traveling or club racing you will find the best social scene in any sport! Some cat event Saturday night parties are legendary!
So look no further – you have found the sport you are looking for! Use this site to get all the info you need.
See you on the water!
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