There are three major catamaran hull designs, each yielding a different ride. The basic fundamentals of the hulls remain the same across all three types, but subtle variations between them give each design unique advantages and disadvantages.

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  • Planing

    If you have the need for speed, then planing catamarans are for you. By employing a flatter V-bottom surface, these boats get on plane quicker for maximum speed. That speed comes at a cost, however: because of the flat surface of the hull bottom, planing catamarans tends to have more of a slamming effect when coming down. However, since catamarans are inherently more stable than other designs, this effect isn't nearly as severe as it is in a monohull, but it's still very noticeable when compared to other power cats. There is also a problem with lateral movement, which can be overcome with the use of trim tabs.
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  • Semi-displacement

    Semi-displacement catamarans are truly the best of both worlds. The wide oval bottoms of these hulls provide the best lift, stability, and load bearing capability. Greater buoyancy allows for higher horsepower ratings and the best balance of comfort and efficiency. There is very little lateral movement, and no enhancements are needed to make this hull design perform. It has the widest footprint in the water, offering the best stability and speed to comfort ratio. The design allows for large fish boxes, deep storage in hulls and maximum usable space. The fuel efficiency and range is unmatched, making it a great choice for the serious offshore fisherman or pleasure boater.
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  • Full Displacement

    For maximum comfort in heavy seas, you need a full displacement catamaran, which features a tall and narrow hull. This design offers most seaworthiness in rough conditions, offering a more responsive behavior, a deeper hull, less beam, and a larger range of positive stability. However, the narrow hull does not allow for maximum load capacity, and has more lateral movement than other designs. There is also considerably more vertical movement at rest than other designs due to narrower hull design. Maximum horsepower ratings are lower due to hull speed and ability of narrow hulls to hold weight.
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Jim Ferri
Point Pleasant Boro, NJ
"On a 25 DC, in the ocean, just amazing in seas about 3-4 feet, a dry ride as well."