Sail Away - January 2006

Charter CatsThanks to the unusual nature of my job—I give thanks frequently—I’ve sailed on a lot of charterboats with (often) people I’d never met before in (sometimes) unusual weather patterns. It’s not unusual, however, that many of these boats have been catamarans, given the proliferation of cats in charter fleets worldwide. So I can claim a certain authority in
Author:
Publish date:
charterlead

Charter Cats

Thanks to the unusual nature of my job—I give thanks frequently—I’ve sailed on a lot of charterboats with (often) people I’d never met before in (sometimes) unusual weather patterns. It’s not unusual, however, that many of these boats have been catamarans, given the proliferation of cats in charter fleets worldwide. So I can claim a certain authority in saying that, in many circumstances in addition to shallow waters, cats make ideal platforms for charter vacations. This is because of three important characteristics: cats have lots of space, they sail level, and they offer more privacy than monohulls of similar length.

If you’re planning to charter with a crowd of friends, you can be sure that a cat that is said to sleep eight will in fact fit eight—in the cockpit, around the dining table (should you be forced to eat in), in the cabins, and on the decks. If not, there are other places to hang out. And there’s plenty of room for boat toys, too—windsurfers, kayaks, dive gear, what have you—and cameras and other fragile objects are likely to stay where you put them.

If you’re chartering with friends who have cruised for years on monohulls, they’ll be equally happy chartering on a monohull. But if you’re chartering with non- or not-very sailors, all three characteristics of cats come into play. Many nonsailors find it difficult to adjust to life at an angle and to the closeness of living on a boat, especially the concept of sharing a head; they’ll appreciate having their own cabin with ensuite head (readily available on charter cats), a level platform for sailing, and a choice of places on the boat where they can get away from you, their carefree experienced-sailor friends, for a while.

If you’re sailing with children young enough to need supervision, you’ll be glad you chartered a cat. If you restrict them to the cockpit while under way, they’ll have enough space to keep them happy (at least for most of the passage); when the boat is anchored, they’ll love playing on the trampoline and sitting in the seats in the bows or on the sterns. If your kids are toddler-age or under, you’ll find room in the cockpit for a safe container—car seat or portable crib—plus room on the boat for all the stuff you have to bring.

If any of your party finds it difficult to get around—I sailed shortly after knee surgery—it’s easier to move around a cat, and to get on and off via the sterns.


Amy Ullrich

Related

2019BestBoatsPromo-04

Best Boats 2019

Some years ago, the book Aak to Zumbra catalogued—and celebrated—the incredible diversity of watercraft that has evolved over the centuries, a diversity that remains evident to this day in the 11 winners comprising the “Class of 2019” in SAIL’s Best Boats contest. Indeed, it ...read more

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell.Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.comGuaranteed result What you see on the end of this halyard isn’t a beautiful Flemish Eye worked by a rigger, but it will make a big difference when you have to “mouse” a line through the mast. If the ...read more

dometicadler-700x

How to: Upgrading Your Icebox

The time has come when the prospect of cold drinks and long-term food storage has you thinking about upgrading your icebox to DC-powered refrigeration. Duncan Kent has been there and done that, and has some adviceFresh food must be kept at a refrigerated temperature of 40 degrees ...read more

Jet-in-Belize

Cruising: Evolution of a Dream

There’s a time to go cruising and a time to stop. As Chris DiCroce found, you don’t always get to choose those timesAlbert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, ...read more

01a-rosemary-anchored-at-Qooqqut,-inland-from-Nuuk

Cruising: A Passage to Greenland

When a former winner of the Whitbread Round the World Race invites you to sail the Northwest Passage, there is only one sensible answer. No.More adventurous types might disagree, but they weren’t the ones facing frostbite of the lungs or the possibility of having the yacht’s hull ...read more

Allures-459-2018

Boat Review: Allures 45.9

Allures is not a name on the tip of many American sailors’ tongues, but it should be. After the debut of its 39-footer last year, the French company has made another significant entry into the U.S. midrange market with the Allures 45.9, an aluminum-hulled cruiser-voyager with ...read more