A catamaran is a double-hulled boat. It was once used for traveling, for war and for fishing. However, in recent years, it has been used in travel and racing. A double-hulled catamaran is a speedy type of boat. Propelled by either wind or rudders, it can weather stormy seas because it’s more rigid and is easier to maneuver. They are normally small, but with a flat surface between the hulls, a large private area and a view deck that allows for a full view in every direction. There are many ways to learn how to sail a catamaran, but if you’re not near the sea, you might be hard-pressed to find an instructor. If you want to learn how to sail a catamaran, here’s a list of schools online offering catamaran charters and lessons.
- Offshore Sailing School. Touted as America’s #1 Sailing School. Offshore Sailing School offers the best in catamaran sailing lessons with their Live Aboard Cruising on a Catamaran course, a hands-on course where you can bring your friends and family along for the lessons. If you don’t have much time, however, they also have a Fast Track course in a catamaran where you will learn the bare basics of catamaran sailing from the professionals. If you want to learn the full course, they have a “super” course in Catamaran sailing in Catamaran Live Aboard Navigation course, which is a full course, for six days in the Virgin Islands. However, for their Catamaran Live Aboard Navigation Course, you need Basic Cruising and Bareboat Cruising certifications, which they give because the information they give you is more technical. Their offices are in Florida and you can sail from there to Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Their website is at offshoresailing.com
- CatamaranSailing. Another sailing school in the British Virgin Islands, it combines both the joys of a charter with the formality of a class. Although they don’t hand out certificates for catamaran sailing, they have many captains who are more than equipped to teach you. To learn how to use the catamaran, however, you must first learn how to cruise in monohulled boats, basic coastal cruising, bareboat chartering, and navigation. The reason for this is because used catamarans are trickier to sail and that most of their courses are hands on so it’s best if you learn how to sail on a monohulled boat first. Their website is at catamaransailing.com
- Rob Swain Sailing School. A member of the ASA, or American Sailing Association, Rob Swain Sailing School offers licensed catamaran Caribbean sailing in the Sir Francis Drake Channel in the British Virgin Isles. They have a large array of catamaran boats and yachts. They have a full 47 point expectation table that includes basic sailing knowledge with the ability to name all parts and terms in a catamaran; the ability to handle the boat in fair or heavy winds; how to deal with a person overboard and the orders the captain will give; docking the catamaran with different ways of anchoring; and tying the boat to the pier. They have videos of each which you can learn these too, but you’ll have to be there to be certified.