Multihulls Today

Modern Multihulls: A Look at the New Fleet for 2020

There is a lot going on in the world of modern multihulls. Having gone from a fringe of the sailing universe 20 years ago, multihulls are now as mainstream as they could be. The charter fleets are full of catamarans and increasingly the great cruising harbors of the world are becoming dominated by cruising cats. Multihulls just make sense if you are looking for great living and deck spaces, large and commodious cabins, a level platform when sailing and boats that can motor extremely efficiently.

Speed is another issue, too. Modern trimarans are super-fast sailing boats and will sail upwind with the monohulls. But, it is the catamaran fleet that has shown the way to superior cruising and sailing performance. Production cats from the world’s largest builders, Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot and Leopard, will out sail most monohulls of the same length but are not considered performance sailing yachts. But, the fleet of high-tech high-performance cats, led by companies like Gunboat, Outremer and HH Catamarans, have sailing speeds that can exceed 20 knots and the capability, if you so desire it, to make daily runs at sea of 300 miles or more.

Power cats are the next big thing. The charter fleets are adding them as fast as they can and cruisers who have always thought of themselves as sailors are discovering the pleasure of motoring upwind at 15 knots or making an easy 50-mile coastal run in four hours or less.

The world of modern multihulls is now dominated by two countries, France and South Africa, with a scattering of multihull builders in other countries around the world. Here’s our annual look ahead at the new multihulls that will be making waves in 2020.

Antares 44GS

The Antares 44GS is a boat that has evolved year after year as the builders, in Argentina, and their owners compare notes and innovate new solutions to the real-world issues that blue water sailors deal with. The 44GS is a pure live-aboard, blue water cat that takes an extremely practical approach to just about every aspect of the boat’s design, build and systems.

The cored hulls and deck are engineered to be as strong and as light as possible to avoid any delamination after a sudden impact. The tall, double headsail sloop rig, with lines and sheets running back to the raised helm in the cockpit, are easy for a single watch keeper to manage without leaving the cockpit. The cockpit is very secure and comfortable and even in a large seaway you do not feel exposed to the elements. With the hardtop and side curtains, this is a four-season cockpit for most sailors.

The master stateroom takes up the starboard hull and has a large double berth aft, a wardrobe and storage area amidship and a huge head and shower forward. The galley is amidships in the starboard hull in what is a called a “galley down” configuration. The guests’ cabins are forward and aft of the galley. The saloon, with its dinette and large chart table, has great visibility. The interior is finished in traditional varnished teak with teak and holly soles or floorboards and high-quality hardware and fixtures. You feel like you are aboard a proper yacht built with old-school values when you climb aboard the Antares 44GS and you know that this is a couple’s cruising boat that will take them anywhere.

Aspen C107

Aspen may be one of the most innovative powerboat companies in North America and their new C107 with twin outboards advances that assertion by a mile. Founded by Larry Graf, a veteran builder of power catamarans, the company’s mission is to build mid-range cruising cats that are fuel efficient, comfortable in a seaway, safe in all conditions and fast enough to expand your cruising grounds.

Starting with a proa hull design, with the port hull being 35 percent narrower than the starboard hull, Graf reduced hull drag and increased

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