Why Choose a Power Catamaran vs. a Power Boat or Sailing Catamaran?

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.Throughout time, a lot of debates over which boat is better have been conducted.  The simple fact is they are all great boats.  Whether you choose a Power Catamaran, Sailing Catamaran or a Powerboat for your adventures, they all have advantages and disadvantages.

When it came time to research all three types of boats to utilize, this is what I have concluded:

Sailing Catamarans

Are wide and have the ability to transport a number of people.  They have a very smooth, quiet ride with the ability to take on a majority of bad weather conditions.  When it comes to fuel efficiency, you can’t beat it. They utilize dual power from wind and fuel.

One of the downside is their speed.  People will read this and argue that Sailing Catamarans have the ability to go faster.  This is a very true statement, but one factor is needed, WIND.  If there is no wind then they do not have the ability to perform as a powerboat with larger engines.   The truth is sailing catamarans usually travel at 10-15 knots.  In layman’s terms, for people like me, is 11 to 17 mph.  I have been in the Virgin Islands for 8 months now and have yet to see a sailing catamaran open up their sails on a day trip charter with a bunch of people on it.  With the speed of the vessel, a lot of the islands cannot be explored on a day charter, especially if you want to explore a bit further away like The Baths in Virgin Gorda.  Not saying it is not possible, just that it would not leave a lot of time to explore since the vessel would have to be back in the US Virgin Islands by 5pm in order to clear Customs.

Powerboats

more specifically, monohull, v shaped powerboats are on the other side of the spectrum.  They are much faster than the sailing catamaran.  You are able to do more in a day trip with this type of boat.  Powerboats are great if you have a smaller party.  They lack the space available on deck and below when compared to the Sailing Catamaran.  The major disadvantage to the powerboat is the amount of fuel it will take and cost.  As you can see with a majority of powerboat rentals, fuel is not typically included.  Why?  Cause the cost at the end of the trip will make your jaw drop.  Don’t get me wrong, I love powerboats and was on the brink of diving in.  The single deterrent though, was the amount to run the boat.  Passing that cost onto clients would be outstanding so I kept searching.

Endless Summer boat rentalPower Catamaran

As with the other boats mentioned, power cats have advantages and disadvantages. They are not as fast as a powerboat nor do they offer as much deck space as a sailing catamaran.  But the advantage of the Power cat is that it combines both strengths of the powerboat and sailing catamaran.  What do I mean?  Well the power cat is very comfortable and smooth at 15 knots.  It has the capability to get up to 25 knots, if the conditions are good.  They offer more deck space than a powerboat so you are not crammed into a small space.  Majority of power cats have a flybridge allowing more area to enjoy.  When the waters of the sea get a little more rough, the power cat handles them with ease. Unlike the powerboat that I had recently been on and was sick when returning from a day in the sun.  The power catamaran has the ability to turn on a dime.  Majority of the larger power catamarans have a salon, some type of bathroom(s), and areas to change.  And lastly, and most importantly, they are extremely fuel efficient.  They utilize less fuel than a powerboat nowhere near breaking the bank when taking it out day to day.  This is why we offer fuel included with the pricing versus you paying the bill once we return.  The only time fuel would be a little more would be if you were wanting to go to Virgin Gorda.  But the cost would be half of that, when compared to a power boat.

Conclusion

When it came time to purchase a boat to explore the VI’s without breaking the bank, the answer was easy.  The Power Cat was the answer.  I love to go fast but a smooth ride is also important, and the power catamaran offers both.
Want to see the smooth ride difference between a powerboat and a catamaran?  Check out this website.  They conducted a test to show the difference.

If you are looking for a boat that will stay closer to shore, not break the bank in fuel, and you don’t want to explore all of what the Virgin Islands has to offer, then Powerboat is your boat.  If you want to spend a few weeks out at sea and save money on fuel, then Sailing Catamaran is your boat.  But if you are wanting to explore the Virgin Islands on a day trip seeing a few of the different islands offered  or whether you want a week long charter to see a lot more of the Virgin Islands, then Power Catamaran is the way to go.

So which one should you pick? 

Well that all depends on what you are looking for in a charter.  Each boat is different and has pros and cons to offer each individual. I love Powerboats and Sailing Catamarans. But when it comes to traveling a fair distance speed, smoothness,comfortability, and fuel efficiency all play a major role.  As well, having the ability to be covered in case of bad weather and being able to withstand the rough seas is also a must.

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