Shopping for a new catamaran can be intimidating, even as consumers have more resources than ever to help them research from the comfort of their own home before they even contact a yacht broker. The great news is that there are a lot of great catamaran brands on the market right now. For us consumers, the catamaran market has evolved rapidly from what it was only just a few short years ago when monohulls were favored. On the flip-side, this can make it even more challenging to figure out which catamaran brands are the very best.
If you are a beginner in cruising catamarans, this article will help you learn the best brands that are out there with the best reputation amongst boaters. This article will help you get started in the world of catamarans, and I am trying to make it as beginner-friendly as possible. The catamaran brands on this list are mainly production boat companies, but some of them do offer custom designs. However, the added benefit of most of these brands is that there are many options on the used market. You will always be able to shop around for a good deal no matter where you are in the world.
Here are some of the best catamaran brands on the market today:
Lagoon – Groupe Beneteau
Lagoon is a French boatbuilder with an excellent reputation and sells the largest number of catamarans per year. The brand started back in 1984 and was one of the first catamaran brands to really convince people of the concept of multihulls. The philosophy of the Lagoon brand is good design, high-quality construction, and a decent cruising performance under sail. In other words, a Lagoon is the dream of every fan of sailing that looks for a catamaran that can provide everything, whether that is a fun toy for summer sailing trips or a year-round liveaboard yacht. What Lagoon did right, and the reason it has proven to be so popular is that it listened to its customers. That is why every new Lagoon catamaran has more space, more efficient layouts, and is always more comfortable than their previous version. There is no wonder why they have so many repeat customers.
Lagoon makes 9 sailing catamaran models and 2 powercat models, ranging in length from 40 to 78 feet. It also used to make shorted boats like the Lagoon 380 at 37 feet, but unfortunately, it was discontinued. You can find a Lagoon on the used market starting at $150,000 (like a 2002-2007 Lagoon 380) and as high as $5 million USD for their top of the line fully spec’d Lagoon Seventy 7, which comes with a jacuzzi on deck.
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Fountaine-Pajot is a French maritime construction brand that is specializing in catamarans. The company was established in 1976, but it launched its first sailing catamaran in 1983 and its first powercat in 1998. This brand is now famous for building both sailing and power catamarans that have a beautiful and innovative design, superior handling, excellent seaworthiness, and cruising comfort. Also, Fountaine Pajot was one of the first catamaran brands that was manufacturing their boats with environmental protection in mind. So, all of their models have options to include renewable energy sources. Their ECO-Cruising and SMART-Cruising options considerably reduce their yachts’ carbon footprint and provide the necessary clean energy for their sailboats.
Fountaine-Pajot makes both sailing catamarans and powercats, ranging in length from 40 to 67 feet. It also used to make shorted boats like the Lagoon 380 at 37 feet, but unfortunately, it was discontinued. You can find a Lagoon on the used market starting at $100,000-150,000 (like a 1990-2005 Fountaine Pajot Athena 38) and as high as $3.5 million USD for their top of the line fully spec’d Fountaine Pajot Alegria 67, which comes with a jacuzzi on the front deck.
Leopard is a boatbuilder located in South Africa and produces some of the best and most luxurious catamarans. You will find Fountain Pajor catamarans for sale also under the name “Robertson & Caine” because some Leopard cats are built by Robertson & Caine company. Leopards are mainly designed to be luxurious, big, and comfortable, but that usually comes at a cost, both in price tag and sailing speed and maneuverability.
Leopard Catamarans was established in 2000 their partnership with South African builder Robertson and Caine. This company was manufacturing custom-designed catamarans for the global yacht charter company The Moorings. While Leopard was focusing on sailing catamarans in the beginning, in 2007, they started making powercats as well.
Leopard is always designing their boats to have the optimal balance between interior space and performance, sheltered helm cockpit designed for offshore cruising and single-handed sailing, large lounge areas, optimal comfort, and ease of maintenance.
Nowadays, Leopard is making sailing catamarans between 42 and 58 feet and powercats between 50 and 53 feet. You can find a Leopard on the used market starting at $180,000 (like a Leopard 38) in good condition and as high as $2 million USD for their top of the line fully spec’d Leopard 58; however, they are not as luxurious as some of the other brand’s top-of-the-line models.
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Catana catamarans are a little bit more performance-oriented. They have features that make them sail faster and be more easily maneuverable than some of the other catamaran brands on the list. Many of their boats come with a feature called daggerboard that will help you sail faster upwind, something that most catamarans struggle with. Catana Group was originally called Poncin Yachts and has been building catamarans in France since 2001. It is famous for producing catamarans for owners who most often want to go bluewater sailing around the world comfortably and safely with a high-performance boat. This is not a famous brand, but it grows in popularity very fast. Year by year, I have noticed more and more Catana catamarans in the marinas I visit.
Catana Catamarans are built using foam sandwich vacuum infusion technology combined with carbon and aramid fiber. This combination guarantees the strength of the hull, significant weight savings, and because of this fact, higher speed.
Catana offers new boats from 42 to 70 feet. In the past, they were building boats as long as 90 feet. You can find a Catana on from the early 2000s’ on the used market for as low as $250,000, and as high as $4 million USD for a top of the line full spec’d brand new one.
Nautitech is another catamaran brand located in France; I guess there is a pattern here. They have built a reputation for designing catamarans that are robust, seaworthy, and capable of putting sailing back into the heart of the liveaboard experience without compromising on comfort. Anyone familiar with catamarans can quickly appreciate the innovative nature of a Nautitech cat design. The brand was also the first one to introduce the concept of liveaboard living, which combines the saloon and cockpit into one spacious, functional living area.
Nautitech offers new boats from 40 to 57 feet. You can find a Nautitech on from the early 2000s’ on the used market (Like the Nautitech 40) for as low as $180,000. However, a new top-of-the-line Nautitech 54 can be spec’d up to $1.5 million USD; though, they are not as luxurious as some of the other brand’s top-of-the-line models.
The brand was founded in 1985 in France. Privilège Catamarans offer unparalleled expertise, know-how, and experience that facilitates the construction of some of the best catamarans on the market today. They can provide luxurious liveaboard life beyond coastal borders. Its elegant hull design ensures superb stability and comfort making then one of the best catamaran brands in the world right now. Every catamaran is custom-built according to the owner’s preferences and handcrafted with great craftsmanship and the finest materials.
The company specializes in the design and manufacture of some of the best, and luxurious bluewater catamarans on the water. Every new Privilege cat is built after multiple consultations between the shipyard and the owner. You can decide to either keep the catamaran in its pure and elegant look and also keep the cost as low as possible or to change it to your personal preferences and make it as high-end as you can afford.
Privilège makes both sailing catamarans and powercats, ranging in length from 51 to 75 feet. It also used to make shorted boats like the Privilege 435 at 43 feet, but unfortunately, they are now focusing on larger yachts. You can find a Privilege from the early 2000s’ on the used market starting at $300,000 (like the Privilege 435) but can easily surpass $5 million USD for their top of the line fully spec’d Privilege 745 or 740.
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Gemini is one of the few catamaran brands that make its boats in the US. It is a subsidiary of Performance Cruising Inc., and they have been making catamarans since 1981. Honestly, Gemini catamarans might not be the most good-looking and luxurious, but they are affordable and sail well. For that reason, they definitely deserve a spot on the list with the best catamaran brands.
You can find a used Gemini cat in good condition in good condition from the early 1990s, starting at around 50k and a newer model for as high as 500k. Overall this is a very affordable brand, and you will definitely enjoy one without breaking the bank.
Seawind Catamarans is a catamaran designer and builder located in Australia, producing high-end performance cruising sail catamarans since 1982. They have produced some of the world’s best and award-winning designs.
The Seawind brand is especially good for people looking for a catamaran that is not overly luxurious or expensive and is probably looking for a more reasonably sized yacht; however, they do offer a couple of larger, more luxurious models as well.
Seawind offers new boats from 35 to 52 feet. You can find one on from the early 2000s’ on the used market for as low as $150,000, like a Seawind 1000. However, a new top-of-the-line Seawind 1600 can be spec’d up to around $1 million USD.
Sunreef is the world’s leading manufacturer of luxury sailing and power multihulls. Each catamaran, motor yacht, and superyacht they make is a custom vessel. The company was established in 2002 in Gdansk, Poland but a Frenchman and was the first brand to build a 74-foot bluewater cruising catamaran.
This brand has pulled all the stops when it comes to luxury and comfort. Whether you are looking for a family-friendly liveaboard cat, a luxurious private floating villa, a dazzling party boat, or a fishing expedition superyacht fantasy, their designers will turn your vision into reality. Just be prepared to pay the price.
Sunreef makes both large sailing catamarans and powercats, ranging in length from 50 to 150 feet! You can find a Sunreef from the early the Mid-2000s on the used market starting at $700,000 (like the Sunreef 62) but can easily surpass $15 million USD for Sunreef 102. They also have the Sunreef MM460 CAT on their catalog, which is one of the largest catamarans even created. However, unfortunately, I was not able to get even an approximate price quote on it. If I had to guess, I would say at least $50 million to have one built.
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Bali Catamarans is another brand of the well-known Catana shipyard. And it is also the newest brand on the list established in 2014. Catana catamarans are the golden standard when it comes to high-speed cats. However, in 2014, they decided to start a production brand of fast, light, and easily maneuverable cruising catamarans. The Bali Catamarans collection has a unique design mainly; it has no mesh “trampoline” in the front cockpit. It features an open-space interior, a huge refrigerator in the inner saloon, and many other uncommon features.
Bali offers new boats from 39 to 50 feet. You can find a Bali on from 2014-2015 on the used market for as low as $300k (like the Bali 4.0). However, a new top-of-the-line Bali 5.7 can spec’d up to over a $2 million USD.
In order to compile the best list of catamarans, I took into account the built quality, comfort seaworthiness but also the number of yachts for sale on the used market. In my point of view, I shouldn’t have put a custom catamaran builder on this list because you wouldn’t be able to find one for sale anyway. For most of these brands, there are many boats for sale on the used market in pretty good condition and at reasonable prices.