If you’ve spent many a pleasant weekend chartering or helming a cruising catamaran on the open sea, perhaps, just like me, you’ve started thinking about buying your own cruising catamaran. However, purchasing a cruising catamaran is no small decision; it’s essential to research the range of models to decide which will be best for you.
Some of the best catamarans for cruising are the Sunreef 60, the Leopard 45, the Saona 46, the Manta 42, and the Antares 44i. A good cruising catamaran offers plenty of space, extended range and is optimized for comfort and safety. A cruiser is slower and less exciting to sail than a performance cat.
If you would like to own a catamaran, but your budget doesn’t stretch to purchasing a new one, look for a used, older model. You should also think about whether you’d prefer a power or sailing catamaran. This article explores the best cruising catamarans on the market and gives you an insight into what model will work best for your circumstances.
Are you looking for a specific price range or size, check out my other articles such as Best catamarans under 200k.
Sunreef 60 (Power/Sail)
The Sunreef 60 is the epitome of luxury. It offers both powerful sailing performance and, with 60 feet (18.3 meters) in length, has an abundance of amenities for passengers.
- A large semi-open saloon that leads into the aft cockpit, the main deck, and the dining space
- An aft hydraulic platform which can be used for water sports and sunbathing
- A large flybridge that can house a pool, bar, and dining area
- An aft garage that can be used as extra storage space
- The ability to host up to 12 guests, with the owner’s cabin offering a spectacular front view
The Sunreef 60’s sailing specifications are equally impressive. Some of the catamaran’s specs include:
- An advanced navigation system that allows the Sunreef 60 to operate both with and without a crew
- A fuel capacity of 1585.03 gallons (6000 liters)
- A water capacity of 211.34 gallons (800 liters)
- A draft of 5.90 feet (1.80 meters)
- A fuel capacity of 463 gallons (1750 liters)
- A water capacity of 211.34 gallons (800 liters)
- A draft of 5.90 feet (1.80 meters)
- 2*110HP Engines
In 2020, Sunreef launched a variation of the Sunreef 60 – the 60 Sunreef Power Eco. This catamaran is equipped with a state-of-the-art solar power system and wind generators. Eco-responsible finishing materials have been used to construct several parts of the catamaran.
Both the Sunreef 60 and the eco version are excellent sailing crafts built for luxurious, long-distance cruises. They are still in production, so you can order a new vessel from Sunreef 60. Used Sunreef 60s can be found on TheYachtMarket.com.
As the Sunreef 60 is such a high-end vessel, be prepared to pay a premium price for one – new or used.
Sunreef 60 are priced between $1 488 000 and $2 914 000
Nautitech 47 Power or Nautitech 46 Sail
The Nautitech 47 Power is a sleek power catamaran, designed by Nautitech Catamarans and architected by Marc Lombard.
Catamaran enthusiasts applaud the Nautitech 47 for its short extended hardtop, modern navigation station, and excellent bridge deck clearance. This Nautitech 47 Power has similar attractive features, including:
- A large saloon with a 360-degree panorama
- Optimized hulls and an optimized hardtop
- A comfortable navigation station area that can seat two
- A spacious gallery with large benches for working on
- A generous flybridge and cockpit that provides plenty of room for lounging
- The flybridge can also be enclosed, protecting it from bad weather
- A lifting platform that can be lowered into the water to create a ‘beach’ in the middle of the sea
- Three cabins which can be converted into four depending on how many guests you are entertaining
The Nautitech 47 Power was launched in 2018 and is based on the Nautitech 46 Sail. It employs modern cruising and technical features, including:
- A draft of 3 feet 11 inches (1.20 meters)
- A fuel capacity of 2 x 170 gallons (2 x 645 liters)
- A water tank capacity of 2 x 79 gallons (2 x 300 liters)
- Two Volva Penta engines with a power of 225 HP
Nautitech 46 Sail offers :
- Two Volva Penta engines with a power of 40 HP
- A fuel capacity of 2 x 79 gallons (2 x 300 liters)
The only potential drawback of the Nautitech 47 Power is that it has exposed helms. However, you can fix this with a bimini, which will incur an additional cost.
If you’re interested in buying a Nautitech 47/46, visit NautitechCatamarans.com to find your nearest dealer. The dealer may offer you a sea trial where you can take the catamaran out to sea and judge its performance for yourself. You can also buy a Nautitech second-hand; browse YatchWorld.com to see some options.
Leopard 45 (Sail)
The Leopard 45 is a luxury catamaran that is popular with both charter companies and private owners. Simonis-Voogd designed the external shell while Robertson and Caine did the internal interiors. As its name suggests, the Leopard 45 is 45 feet (13.72 meters) long. It has been recommended by Gregor Tarjan, author of ‘The Complete Guide for Cruising Sailors’ and the president of Aeroyacht Ltd.
The Leopard 45 was launched in 2017 and carried forward some of the most popular features and design aspects of earlier Leopard models. For instance, the Leopard 45 has a flybridge lounge which includes space for a seating area, a sunbed, and a table. This feature won an award when it was included in the Leopard 50. Other positive attributes of the Leopard 45 include:
- An increased aft area with floating stairs lead up to the cockpit
- The option to have three or four cabins depending on the number of guests you have
- An open plan saloon and galley, adding to the catamaran’s overall spaciousness
- A protected helm station
- Hardtop lounge in the most recent models
Some of the technical specifications of the Leopard 45 include:
- A minimum draft of 4 feet 11 inches (1.5 meters)
- A bridge deck clearance of 2 feet 9 inches (0.83 meters)
- A freshwater capacity of 206 gallons (780 liters)
- A fuel capacity of 185 gallons (780 liters)
- Two engines with 45 HP each
A new Leopard 45 will be available for purchase directly from Leopard Catamarans in 2022. However, if you can’t wait or want one at a lower price point, consider buying a used one. A range of used Leopard 45s is available on YachtWorld.com.
A Leopard 45 costs between $957 000 – $234 000
Lagoon 440 (Sail)
The Lagoon 440 is a catamaran recognized for its large interior volume, making it a popular catamaran for charter companies. However, the volume also makes it an excellent catamaran for families or owners looking to host large parties. Lagoon also made a power-cat version called the Lagoon 44.
At 44 feet (13.7 meters) long, the Lagoon 440 is relatively heavy. However, it has several functional advantages, including:
- Four cabins with four en-suite heads
- A bimini top
- A cockpit with speakers and a shower that is easily accessible by guests
- A large galley with potential for island top benches
- Lazy jacks and a canvas catchment system that allows for easier sail handling
- Additional storage space in the aft and cockpits
Meanwhile, some of the technical specifications of the Lagoon 440 include:
- A maximum draft of 4.3 feet (1.30 meters)
- One engine capacity with a total power of 54 HP
- Freshwater tanks with a capacity of 237 gallons (897 liters)
- A fuel tank capacity of 172 gallons (651 liters)
While the Lagoon 440 has an excellent collection of features, it does have some drawbacks that users have noted. Some flybridge models of the Lagoon 440 have a high boom position that may make it difficult to access the sail bag. The saloon’s leading edge has a slight squaring, which may be challenging to get aesthetically used to.
Despite these drawbacks, the Lagoon 440 is still a great option if you are on a strict budget. The Lagoon 440 had a six-year production run, where over 400 of the models were produced. As a result, several Lagoon 440s are always available in the second-hand market. Visit YatchtWorld.com to explore catamarans of this model that are currently for sale.
A Lagoon 440 can be purchased at $290 000 – $525 000
Saona 47 (Sail)
Made by Fountaine Pajot, the Saona 47 is a luxury catamaran that is 45.7 feet (13.94 meters) long. Designed by Berret-Racoupeau Yacht Design, it has received several industry and maritime awards, including SAIL magazine’s award for the best multihull cruising boat (40-50 feet).
Launched in April 2017, the Saona 47 is relatively new on the market. As a result, it features a modern design and modern amenities. Some of the most enticing features of the Saona 47 include:
- Several spaces for passengers to lounge and relax, including a large sunbathing area, a lounge deck, and an open plan cockpit
- A lift that can also be converted into a swimming platform
- A large galley with an island bench
- Three cabins, with the master cabin having an en-suite bathroom. If you’re looking to charter it, there is a four-cabin version with space for a crew.
- Good visibility from the helm and the opportunity to engage with other passengers
The Saona 47 also offers an excellent sailing performance. It has a carefully planned weight-to-value ratio, which allows for both speed and stability. Some of the technical features of the Saona 47 are:
- A draft of 4.3 feet (1.3 meters)
- A sail area of 828.8 feet (77 meters)
- A fuel capacity of 2 x 124 gallons (2 x 470 litres)
A used Saona 47 may cost between $600,000 – $999,000.
Excess 12 (Sail)
The Excess 12 was launched in 2019 by Groupe Beneteau, the same group which designs Lagoon catamarans. The Excess range has been created for performance-oriented sailing vessels. The catamarans in the range have been applauded for their sailing prowess and their space. The Excess 12 was the first of the range and has been named the best cruising multihull under 40 feet by Sail Magazine.
Designed by VPLP Design, the Excess 12 is considered a ‘sporty’ catamaran. It is 38 feet and 6 inches (11.74 meters). It has an open bimini and a light helm that gives it a feel similar to a monohull. Other attractive features of the Excess 12 include:
- A cockpit with a retractable roof that allows for direct access to sunlight
- The cockpit also has dining space for up to 8 people
- Room for two to three people in the helm
- The option between three or four cabins
- A high aspect rig ratio
- An aft double steering station
- Most areas of the Excess 12 are constructed with cedar and white blend woodwork and united windows, making for a beautiful, natural aesthetic
Reviewers of the Excess 12 note a minor drawback of the twin aft helm. Its location in the corner of the cabin can create a blind spot. Other than this, many of the sailing features of the Excess 12 are positively received. These include:
- A draft of 4 feet and 5 inches (1.35 meters)
- An upwind sail area of 82 meters (269 feet)
- A fuel capacity of 2 x 53 gallons (2 x 200 liters)
- The freshwater capacity of 79 gallons (300 liters)
Manta 42 (Sail)
The Manta 42 is one of the most popular models from Manta, an older brand known for its high-quality catamarans.
The Manta 42 was launched in the late 1990s and was in production until the late 2000s. It received the ‘Best Value Overall’ prize in CW’s 2001 Boat of the Year. Even though it is an older model, it remains a beloved model today and is an excellent option if you are on a tighter budget.
Designed by Eric Lerouge, a French naval architect, the Manta 42 has a variety of attractive features:
- Great sail to area displacement ratio, which makes for smoother sailing
- A spacious aft cockpit area that can be upgraded and customized to suit your own particular design needs
- High bows and curved forward crossbeam make for a streamlined appearance
- Room for three cabins and two heads. The owner’s cabin has its own en-suite bathroom with a large shower.
- Glass-enclosed cockpit
- The interior finish is made with maple and teak wood
Meanwhile, some of the technical and sailing features of the Manta 42 are as follows:
- A draft of 3.8 feet (1.2 meters)
- One engine with a total power of 60 HP
- Two holding tanks with a fuel capacity of 120 gallons (454 liters)
- The freshwater capacity of 100 gallons (379 liters)
If you decide to take the plunge and buy a Manta 42, you will become a member of the Manta Owners Association. This association connects you to other manta owners who offer advice and conversations about Manta maintenance and sailing.
You cannot buy the Manta 42 new. However, there are plenty of used Manta 42 models available on YachtWorld.com.
A used Manta 42 will cost you somewhere between $239 000 – $325 000
Antares 44i (Sail)
The Antares 44i is another older model that offers excellent value for money if you’re working with a lower budget. Its production began in Argentina in the late 2000s. This yacht was built with round-the-world sailing in mind, and it has excellent amenities from both a technical and passenger perspective.
Some of the best passenger facilities the Antares 44i offers are:
- An extended galley with plenty of storage space
- Three cabins, with two at the hulls and one forward cabin on the port side
- Stainless steel arch aft with plenty of space for dinghies
- A cockpit with room for a BBQ and room for lounging
While it is an older model, the Antares 44i still has plenty of modern sailing features and storage room, making it a great long-distance cruiser. Here are some of the attractive technical features:
- A maximum draft of 4 feet (1.2 meters)
- A bridge clearance of 62 feet (18.9 meters)
- Two engines with a total power of 80 HP
- Fuel tanks with a capacity of 120 gallons (454 liters)
- Freshwater tanks with a capacity of 150 gallons (568 liters)
Today, the Antares Catamarans company has built a newer version of the Antares 44i – the Antares 44, which you can consider if you want to buy a new catamaran. However, the Antares 44i continues to be a great option. You can buy a used Antares 44i on YatchtWorld.com.
Price: $495 000 – $860 000
Catana 50 (Sail)
The Catana 50 is another older model that can hold its own against many more modern cruising catamarans. Like the Antares 44i, it is a more pocket-friendly option that doesn’t compromise sailing quality and passenger amenities.
Catana is one of the world’s best catamaran producers, known for creating stable yet fast boats and for their quality finishes. Besides being produced by Catana, the Catana 50 has been architected by Christophe Barreau, a world class naval architect. Some of the best features that the Catana 50 boasts are:
- A length of 50 feet (15 meters)
- Deep daggerboards allow for excellent windward performance
- Made with carbon fiber which allows for stability and speed
- Hardtop over cockpit
- Twin aft helm stations
- Three cabins which can sleep 6
- Satin oak interior finishes
Meanwhile, the technical specifications of the Catana 50 include:
- A draft of 4 feet (1.2 meters)
- A bridge clearance of 23.7 feet (7 meters)
- Two engines with a total power of 150 HP
- Fuel tanks with a capacity of 227 gallons (860 liters)
- Freshwater tanks with a capacity of 211 gallons (800 liters)
Catana does not produce the Catana 50 anymore. However, you can look for a pre-owned Catana 50 on the CatanaServices website or YatchtWorld.com. There are models of the Catana 50 available for secondhand sale across the world.
A Catana 50 will set you back somewhere between $644 000 – $692 000
Atlantic 42 (Sail)
Like the Manta 42, the Atlantic 42 is a smaller-sized catamaran. It is 42 feet (12.8 meters) long but is spacious and fuel-efficient. It was designed by Chris White, who specializes in designing high-performance catamarans.
The Atlantic 42 was in production in 1999 but boasts many classic features found in modern-day catamarans. The Atlantic 42 has been the recipient of Cruising World magazine’s Boat of the Year award. Noteworthy features in the Atlantic 42 include:
- A high waist and forward cockpit
- Custom aft deck allowing for easy access to the dinghy storage
- Interior design constructed with teak and holly wood
- Navigation station with space for two seats
- A secure, raised pilothouse that allows for excellent visibility in stormy weather
- A galley with enough space for long-distance cruises
- Two double cabins and two single cabins
In addition to good passenger amenities, the Atlantic 42 has some excellent sailing specifications, including:
- Water capacity of 80 gallons (302.8 liters)
- Fuel capacity of 80 gallons (302.8 liters)
- A bridge deck clearance of 62 feet (18.9 meters)
- Engines with a total power of 58 HO
Price: $325 000 – $450 000
Seawind 1160 (Sail)
The Seawind 1160 is a long-distance cruiser produced by Seawind Catamarans, a leading catamaran manufacturer designing and building catamarans for over 35 years.
This catamaran is available in two styles: the lite Seawind 1160 and the deluxe Seawind 1160. The deluxe catamaran operates with diesel sail drives that allow for excellent torque and fuel capacity. Meanwhile, the lite version works with outboard motors that reduce the catamaran’s overall weight. It also has more storage internally on the boat, and lower maintenance and replacement costs.
The Seawind 1160 has won Cruising World’s ‘Most Innovative Boat’ award in 2007. It won this award thanks to its tri-folding door, which opens the saloon and the cockpit to form a living or lounging area. Other significant design aspects and passenger amenities include:
- Twin helm stations
- 360-degree visibility from the cockpit
- Grey wash and timber interior to make for a highly modern interior
- Three cabins in the owner’s version of the catamaran with a queen-sized bed in the master cabin
- Hulls made of fiberglass
Meanwhile, the sailing and design specifications of the Seawind 1160 are as follows:
- A diesel fuel capacity of 95 US gallons (360 liters)
- A freshwater capacity of 185 US gallons (700 liters)
- A draft of 3 feet and six inches (1.1 meters)
Price: $230 000 – $460 000
Bahia 46 (Sail)
Produced by Fountaine Pajot, the Bahia 46 has a sophisticated design that makes it an excellent choice. The Bahia 46 was also designed in conjunction with Joubert-Nivelt and Oliver Flahault.
Some of the stand out features of the Bahia 46 include:
- Larger than usual hulls
- Daggerboards are strategically placed to minimize draft
- A six post-bimini that can hold dinghies
- Isolated engines that prevent passengers from being disturbed by the house and smell of the engines
- Generous cabin area with an enclosed space that provides protection from severe weather
- A large cockpit with a dining space that can seat 10
As well as offering excellent passenger and design amenities, the Bahia 46 has some attractive sailing features and specifications. These include:
- A draft of 4 feet 3 inches (1.30 meters)
- A fuel capacity of 100 gallons (378 liters)
- A freshwater capacity of 220 gallons (833 liters)
- Two engines with a total power of 80 HP
Price: $170 000 – $328 000
Aquila 48 (Power)
The Aquila 48 is a state-of-the-art power catamaran. While production of the Aquila 48 was discontinued in 2020, it is still an incredibly popular catamaran in the resale market.
The ambient and design features of the Aquila 48 include:
- A hardtop flybridge made with stainless steel and with air conditioning
- A forward cockpit with a removable table
- The choice between a four or three-cabin version
- A helm station with a canvas cover that offers weather protection
- An expansive galley with room for a range of facilities, including a microwave, a fridge, and a double sink
- Interiors finished with olive wood
The Aquila 48 is a power catamaran that allows for easy, stable, and fast cruising. Other specifications include:
- A maximum draft of 3 feet (0.91 meters)
- Two engines with a maximum of 330 HP
- A freshwater capacity of 103 gallons (389.9 liters)
- Fuel tank capacity of 178 gallons (673.8 liters)
Price: $550 000 – $699 000
Depending on your budget and sailing style, there is a range of cruising catamarans you can choose from. Some of the best power catamarans include the Aquila 48, Sunreef Power, and Nautitech 47 Power. Meanwhile, some of the best luxury catamarans are the Saona 47 and Leopard 45. If you’re after an older catamaran that you can buy secondhand, the Manta 42, Antares 44i, and Lagoon 440 are excellent options.
The next step in your catamaran journey is to see some of the models in their real-life glory. Contact some of the owners or dealers of these catamarans to see the catamarans up close and take them out for a trial!
- AntaresCatamarans: Antares Brand
- Catana Services: Pre Owned Boats
- CruisersForum: Nautitech 47
- Chris White: Atlantic 42 Catamaran
- CrusingWorld: 40 Best Cruising Catamarans
- Excess Catamarans: Excess 12
- FlagstaffMarine: International Awards and Nominations for 2020
- Flagstaff Marine: Excess 12
- Fountaine Pajot: Saona 47
- Leopard Catamarans: Model Availability
- MantaOwners: Manta Owners Association
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- Nautitech Catamarans: Nautitech 47
- Robertson and Caine: Leopard 45
- SailTahiti: Catana 50
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- SailWorld: 60 Sunreef Power
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- Sunreef Yachts: Eco Sunreef 60 Power
- Sunreef Yachts: Sunreef 60
- YachtingWorld: The Sunreef 60
- YachtWorld: Antares Boats for Sale
- YachtWorld: Atlantic 42
- YachtWorld: Catana 50 for Sale
- YachtWorld: Nautitech 47 Boats for Sale
- YachtWorld: Leopard 45 for Sale
- YachtWorld: Lagoon 440 for Sale
- YachtWorld: Saona 47 for Sale
- YachtWorld: Excess 12
- YachtWorld: Fountaine Pajot for Sale
- YachtWorld: Aquila 48
- YachtWorld: Manta 42 Boats for Sale