- Jul 30, 2014
- Jun 19, 2014
- Apr 29, 2014
Although multihulls have been around for thousands of years, the beach cat is a relatively new invention—the brainchild of a generation of sailors, surfers and Navy vets all taking advantage of the new boatbuilding materials that became widely available in the wake of World War II.
For five years, Marlene and I have left Kansas City each May to board Different Drummer, our 39-foot Prout Escale catamaran, at the River Dunes, North Carolina, and set out for six months of sailing. It’s not always blueberries and chocolate ice cream, but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Nathanael G. Herreshoff didn’t (necessarily) mean to spark a yacht-design revolution when he launched the catamaran Amaryllis in 1875, but that’s exactly what happened…eventually.
Modern cruising catamarans make it easy to head off into the wild blue. Whether it’s a daysail to Discovery Island for a Pacific-coast picnic or a tradewind passage from the Cape Verdes to Antigua, you can count on a cat to keep you comfortable with plenty of elbow room.
I distinctly remember the first time I ever sailed a cruising multihull. It was a gray summer morning on England’s south coast, and a frigid 25-knot easterly was putting the boot into a fast-running east-going tide, kicking up walls of water that clashed and fell in all directions.