Of all the boats on the water, the power catamaran is perhaps the least well-known. Plenty of sailors swear by sailing catamarans, but their engine-driven cousins enjoy a much smaller market share. Some people liken power cats to pontoon boats, which is a rather unfair comparison. Although both styles possess two long points of contact with the water, Pontoon boats remain on top of the water, while power cats cut through it. The weight distribution in a catamaran is much lower than that of a pontoon boat as a result. Essentially, if someone is honestly comparing these two types of boats to you they either don’t know what they’re talking about, or they have an ulterior motive.
Power catamarans are perhaps most popular among anglers. They have the size, stability, and speed necessary for ocean or Great Lakes fishing. But they also possess a shallow draft, which is ideal for cruising shallower fishing grounds, or for overnight anchoring. The latter quality also makes power cats desirable for power cruisers who want to spend time in the Bahamas or other shallow-draft areas. Their drawback is that unlike sail-powered catamarans, power cats usually have less interior space than their monohull brethren.
Power Catamaran Insurance
So, how does the power catamaran differ from a monohull powerboat in terms of insurance? As with all catamarans, the first thing you’ll notice is the price tag. Two hulls is nearly twice as much boat. For manufacturers that means more fiberglass, more resin, more of everything. You will often therefore find power cats more expensive than an equivalent length and style monohull. Your insurance company will notice this. Even if they don’t charge you more for a catamaran 1-3% of a higher cost will still be higher.
The question, of course, is whether the benefits of the power cat will outweigh those costs. Many boaters find power catamarans easier to drive than monohulls, and more maneuverable. Plenty of folks also find them more stable, both in heavy seas and at anchor. If a falling passenger is a real risk, or if your dock or mooring is a particularly tight squeeze, a power catamaran may be worth the extra money. In addition, if you fish or cruise and often find yourself in shallow water, a power cat might be right for you. Running any kind of boat aground can often mean a call to the insurance company. and they’re likely to raise your rates as a result. As always, your choice is the one that matters, but it is worth remembering that the insurance cost picture is not always as clear-cut as it may seem.
- Horizon is a luxury yacht brand. Used Horizons routinely sell for well upwards of $1 million. You get what you pay for, but what you pay isn’t cheap.
- Aspen makes luxury yachts in the 50′ range too, but they also build smaller, 28′ vessels that tend to come in at a little over $200k. Not a small sum, certainly, but more within reach of most cruisers and anglers.