Cruising catamarans are some of the most comfortable, fastest boats to roam the water, making them fantastic for both long-term voyages and short-term vacations. Still, cruising catamarans can be excellent racing boats, and they are some of the best boats sail racing.
Some of the fastest cruising catamarans include the Gunboat 68 (35 knots), Outremer 45 (25 knots), ORC50 (25 knots), FastCat 435 (20 knots), TS 42 (35 knots), and Lagoon 440 (20 knots). Yet, there are many more cats that can reach 35 knots safely.
If you are interested in knowing about the fastest cruising catamarans, we have you covered. We will be discussing some of the most popular, fastest cruising catamarans and the features that make them so excellent for sailors in need of speed. You will learn more about each catamaran’s speed and amenities, and we will let you know how to maximize your speed under sail.
|Privilege Signature 510 (For reference)||13|
|Fountaine Pajot Astréa 42 (For reference)||10|
How Fast Are Cruising Catamarans?
Cruising catamarans are some of the fastest boats available, often used for racing. Still, cruising catamarans are very comfortable boats, and they are excellent for people who want both speed and the luxuries of a cruising boat.
On average, cruising catamarans can reach top speeds of 15 knots, around 17.3 mph (27.84 kph). However, some exceptional, racing-designed cruising catamarans can reach up to 30+ knots in the right wind conditions.
Factors That Impact Speed
Weight & Size
When you consider a catamaran’s speed, you will need to keep in mind the boat’s weight and narrowness. A vessel that can travel at 15 knots will still move slower if the boat is heavy or has a wide, extensive hull. When increasing the total weight of the boat, the boat “sits” lower in the water, thus increasing water drag and reducing speed.
Now that we know how weight impacts sailing characteristics it follows that; if you are planning on racing your catamaran, you should remove as much luggage or extra gear as possible. Eliminating as much weight as possible will help you travel at your cats maximum speed.
The hydrodynamics of the ship will heavily affect your speed. Narrower boats can chop through the water with less effort, making slender ships with pointed hulls far faster than other vessels. So if you are looking for the fastest one available, you should look for a slender hull.
Wind will also affect your ship’s speed, so do not expect your cruising catamaran to reach the maximum speed without heavy wind. Generally, cruising catamarans have two large sails to propel them through the water, and some are so efficient that they can travel even faster than the wind.
Although a strong wind is needed to energize the sails and move the boat, too much wind will instead make the sails less efficient, and maximum speed is most often attained at lower wind speeds but with flat water.
Light Weight Materials
Faster cruising catamarans are often made from carbon fiber materials and fiberglass to keep the weight down. If you are looking for the quickest catamaran that you can find, you should note the materials that the ship is made out of and try to get one that is primarily made from carbon, glass, and resin materials.
If you are interested in the fastest cat out there, we have you covered. While you are looking for the perfect catamaran for you, you should keep in mind what you want and need in your ship. Usually, this decision is between size and speed, but some of these excellent vessels have both.
Lightweight materials are usually costly; for example, a carbon fiber mast will probably cost you +$20 000, depending on the cat’s size.
Gunboat 68 (+35Kts)
Gunboat 68 is a cruising catamaran designed to reach the highest speeds possible. Made by Gunboat, the ship uses Grand-Prix racing boats’ designs to develop the speediest cruising catamaran on the market.
Gunboat 68 is made entirely from carbon composites, which keeps the ship lightweight and fast. Gunboat 68 is the perfect catamaran for anyone who wants to reach the highest speeds possible without losing control of the vessel or bouncing around too much.
Gunboat 68 has comfortable, spacious living quarters, though it also has a spacious deck with luxurious seating. Indeed, this cat has it all, making it one of the best cruising catamarans for racers and casual sailors. The design maximizes all of the living spaces and uses lightweight materials to add elegance and luxury to a speedy racing catamaran.
Gunboat 68 is one of the fastest cruising cats out there, with its maximum speed at more than 30 knots. Gunboat 68 can achieve these fast speeds, thanks to its lightweight construction and narrow hull design.
Still, Gunboat can customize your ship’s plan to accommodate your needs. Whether you are looking for a faster, more lightweight boat with a more extensive sail or a more comfortable cruiser, Gunboat 68 is an excellent option for you.
- Maximum Speed: 35 knots
- Length: 68 ft (20.75 m)
- Beam: 29.9 ft (9.1 m)
- Draft: 3.9 ft (1.2 m) board up and 9.84 ft (3.8 m) board down
- Displacement: 23.7 tonnes
TS 42 (ORC 42)
The TS, or Tres Simple, cruising catamarans, designed by Marsaudon Composites, are some of the fastest cruising catamarans in the world.
Marsaudon developed the ship’s plans using racing boats’ streamlined designs and combined them with a cruising catamaran’s comfortable living spaces. The TS 42 has an inverted hull which helps it glide on the water swiftly without requiring much fuel, but it also has a spacious below-deck area with plenty of luxuries.
TS cruising catamarans are often considered the fastest cruisers on the market, with their speed comfortably reaching upwards of 35 knots in the right wind conditions. Generally, TS catamarans can sail at 20 knots, even with moderate wind. They are the perfect catamaran for racers and high-speed travelers, and yet they still have the amenities of a pleasant live-in vessel.
The TS 42 has a large galley and comfortable cabins, making it a cozy home or vacation vessel. With multiple bathrooms, large windows, and open lounge spaces, these catamarans are superbly comfortable to live in.
The deck and cabin space are divided by a large, openable window, which adds extra light and ventilation to the living areas. It also has plenty of on-deck space, which is rare in such a small vessel with an inverted hull.
- Maximum Speed: 35 knots
- Length: 42.8 ft (13 m)
- Beam: 24.3 ft (7.4 m)
- Draft: 4.9 ft (1.5 m) with boards up and 7.5 ft (2.3 m) with boards down
- Displacement: 5.8 tonnes
Based in France, Outremer designed their Outremer 45 to be a long-lasting cruising catamaran that sails smoothly at high speeds. The Outremer 45 can reach about 15 knots, but the most comfortable sailing speed is 10 knots. However, it can travel up to 25 knots in the right wind conditions, making it a quick ship with all of a perfect cruising catamaran’s luxuries.
It is made for durability from carbon, vinyl ester, and divinycell so that it can last many years without repairs. The Outremer 45 has a narrow hull, and it is designed to be as thin as possible to maximize speed and fuel efficiency. Outremer 45 still has comfortable living quarters with large windows and lounge spaces within the boat. Indeed, it sacrifices no comfort for speed.
The Outremer 45 was initially designed to be a boat that would last 50 or more years, and it excels in its durability. It has an open, uniquely expansive side deck and plenty of on-deck conveniences that make sailing a breeze in the ORC50. With supreme safety features such as tall railings, slip-free grips on deck, and enclosed lounge spaces, it is one of the safest vessels available.
- Maximum Speed: 25 knots
- Length: 48 ft (14.6 m)
- Beam: 23.3 ft (7.1 m)
- Draft: 3.3 ft (1 m) with boards up and 6.7 ft (2.04 m) with boards down
- Displacement: 8.2 to 11.1 tonnes
Marsaudon Composites ORC50
Marsaudon Composites designed the ORC50, or Ocean Rider Catamaran 50, with both speed and comfort in mind. The ORC50 can be used for cruising, but it is also a great racing boat that has been awarded honors from many races worldwide. Marsaudon borrowed designs from racing skippers to plan the ORC50, bringing together a cruiser’s comfort with the speed of an award-winning racing boat.
This cruising catamaran is lightweight, which allows it to gain speed at a fast rate, but still has comfortable living quarters inside the boat. It has a rotating carbon mast, which helps to eliminate turbulence over the mainsail and therefore increasing sail efficiency and speed!
With strong winds, the ORC50 can reach up to 23 knots, making it extremely fast for a cruising catamaran. The ORC50 can easily reach speeds much faster than the wind speed, which is a unique quality of this fast, yet comfortable catamaran. This cat is one of the best racing boats since it has a comfortable living space but can quickly gain speed due to its narrow, lightweight design.
The ORC50 is an excellent long-term living ship with its many organizational compartments, expansive galley, and well-ventilated sleeping cabin. It also has plenty of couches and seating areas built into the boat, and its intuitive design adds plenty of comfort to the cruising catamaran without weighing down the ship.
- Maximum Speed: 25 knots
- Length: 50 ft (15.23 m)
- Beam: 27 ft (8.2 m)
- Draft: 5.6 ft (1.7 m) with boards up and 8.9 ft (2.7 m) with boards down
- Displacement: 13 tonnes
African Cat’s catamarans, including the FastCat 435, are designed for speed and racing. This ship is mainly composed of epoxy, fiberglass, and carbon components, making it very lightweight to ensure that it travels as swiftly as possible.
The FastCat 435 may be as light as possible, but it is durable enough to last for many years in the most extreme conditions. Although this ship is lightweight, it is also durable and suitable for long voyages.
The FastCat 435 may be small and light, but it still has comfortable living quarters and well-designed comfort spaces so that you can get the most out of your trips. The FastCat also has a green hybrid design, and it uses primarily electric power, which can help you prolong your sailing and use less fuel.
The FastCat is an excellent option for anyone who wants a smaller cat with a comfortable design and incredible speed. FastCat’s electric power is also a unique, favorable feature for anyone who wants to use less fuel.
- Maximum Speed: 20 knots
- Length: 42.7 ft (13 m)
- Beam: 24.4 ft (7.4 m)
- Draft: 3.9 ft (1.2 m) with boards up
- Displacement: 2.4 tonnes
The Lagoon 440 cruising catamaran, like the FastCat, has an electric powering system, which cuts down on fuel usage and ensures that your ship will keep moving. The Lagoon 440 is also among the easiest catamarans to maneuver, thanks to its electric drivetrain and automatic engines.
The speed of the Lagoon 440 usually maxes out at 10 knots with low winds, but with higher winds, it can quickly gain speeds over 20 knots. The Lagoon 440 is an excellent cruiser and comfortable catamaran, but it is not an all out racing cat.
Below the deck, the living spaces in the Lagoon 440 are magnificent. The ceilings are high, allowing the tallest of passengers to stand in the cabin. The many storage compartments and furnishings have a modern, elegant design. The interior is one large master cabin with few private spaces below the deck.
- Maximum Speed: 20 knots
- Length: 44.6 ft (13.6 m)
- Beam: 25.3 ft (7.7 m)
- Draft: 4.3 ft (1.3 m)
- Displacement: 10.5 tonnes
Fountaine Pajot Astréa 42
Fountaine Pajot designs some of the most luxurious yet speedy cruising catamarans available in the world. They are renowned for their safe, durable designs that make sailing a comfortable, relaxing experience.
Their cruising catamarans use an inverted hull design that has become a signature mark of Fountaine Pajot vessels. This hull allows the water to pass beneath the ship quickly, which increases the speed and fuel efficiency of the ship.
The Astréa 42’s primary benefit is its spacious, comfortable living quarters and large, open deck spaces. The ship’s interior spaces have large windows, large lounging areas, and plenty of storage compartments.
The cabin’s ventilation is also excellent, which reduces the classic musty smells of sea-living. You can also get two different models of this catamaran, either in a one-cabin option or a two-cabin option, making it an excellent vessel for larger or smaller families.
The Astréa is ideal for long-term sea living and family vacations since it is not as fast as racing vessels. Although the Astréa is not the speediest cat available, with its speed maxing out at about 10 knots, even in favorable wind conditions, its luxurious atmosphere and comfortable cabin spaces make up for its relatively low speed.
Despite its lower speed, the Astréa 42 can still get you places quicker than other cruising catamarans. So, if you want all of the elegance and comfort of a cat and are not too worried about racing, this ship is an excellent option for you.
- Maximum Speed: 10 knots
- Length: 41.3 ft (12.6 m)
- Beam: 23.6 ft (7.2 m)
- Draft: 4.1 ft (1.3 m)
- Displacement: 12.3 tonnes
Privilege Signature 510
The Privilege Signature 510 is a long-distance cruising catamaran designed for long-term voyages and sailing in extreme weather conditions. It features a durable, weatherproof design that will protect you from rainy and cold weather while sailing.
The helm and living spaces are completely covered, making it safe to live in, even in cold or stormy weather. It also has an automatic sail adjustment system with the controls at the helm, allowing you to make any adjustments from the helm’s safety and comfort.
Privilege Signature 510 also has an elegant, well-designed living space with plenty of amenities, including an accelerated cooling system, spacious bathroom and kitchen, and plenty of windows for natural lighting. With an elegant floor plan, this cozy ship is perfect for long-term living. The cat also has two anchors, which can make a huge difference in safety when it comes to harsh weather.
The Privilege Signature is not the fastest catamaran on the market, with its maximum speed around 13 knots. Still, it is one of the quicker cats considering its elaborate amenities and comfortable size. Generally, this catamaran is perfect for anyone who wants to live in-ship and enjoy the comfort that it can offer on long-term trips.
- Maximum Speed: 13 knots
- Length: 50 ft (15.24 m)
- Beam: 26 ft (7.98 m)
- Draft: 5 ft (1.57 m)
- Displacement: 25 tonnes
Although cruising catamarans are great boats for slowly gliding along the water, they can also be swift, substantial racing boats that reach speeds of up to 35 knots. These speedy cruising catamarans still come with all of the amenities of leisure boats, but they also reach incredible speeds without rocking or tossing.
All of these catamarans will take you where you want to go in style and comfort, but they can also get you there in quick time, ensuring that even at the highest speeds, you will experience the best smooth sailing around.