Hanse (which also owns the Moody, Dehler, Fjord and Sealine brands) has officially acquired the Privilège brand, a French shipyard specialising in top-of-the-range catamarans (and which has recently launched Euphorie 5). The German giant formalized the acquisition by buying the shipyard from its shareholder Aurelius.
The reason for this focus on multihulls is that the share of catamarans in the nautical market is expected to grow a lot by 2022 (but perhaps even sooner!), thanks also and especially to the thrust of the booming charter world where the greatest demand is for the rental of cats. All major manufacturers, specializing in monohulls, follow the market and add the missing piece to their offer, acquiring the know-how of the historic brands of multihulls.
The Hanse-Privilege agreement is the last in order of time: going backwards, last year was the economic/commercial agreement between the historic French shipyards Dufour and Fountaine Pajot (which markets catamarans from 37 to 67 feet), which created a group listed on the Paris Stock Exchange for over 150 million euros that produces hundreds of boats a year. In 2014, Bavaria “smelled” the trend, acquiring the shipyard Nautitech (which produces the 47 motorboat). In the beginning it was Beneteau, which already in 1996, with the acquisition of Jeanneau, also secured the brand Lagoon (which has in its “stable” the 630 and the Seventy8) and has now launched its line of ultra-luxury catamarans – for now only dedicated to sailing – Excess. A market situation has thus emerged with four large “mono-multi” giants.
How will this “concentration” affect the world of cruising? Still early to say. The fact remains that the multihull boom is an unstoppable phenomenon: they have great success and are gaining market share even among shipowners and not only among the fleets of charter boats. What are their secrets?
In the meantime, because it has been seen that many owners of sailing cats used their boats only by motor: then it’s worth taking off the mast and all the reinforcements that they need. But, in more detail, the advantages of the cat are many.
At the same length they have a space that is between 65 and 70 percent greater (catamarans are not twice as wide as a single hull of the same length). This counts a lot and the visual impact is striking: climb aboard a 40′ and you will find the square, the forward cockpit and the cockpit or the bow sundeck that you saw only on a 60′. In fact, the bow practically preserves the maximum beam, and then to have the same spaces in front of the deckhouse you have to go on an 80’… clear that such a thing strikes.
Second, the catamarans are more stable at anchor and sailing: on the one hand there is only one hull about a third of the length, on the other hand two hulls, or two points of support with a base that is two-thirds of the width.
Third, they are no longer fragile: the old fears of having the boat torn from the wave because the crossbars do not support the movements of the two hulls decomposed can be stored because now central cell and hulls are made as a single piece: no more use of crossbars to join the hulls together and with the central body.
Fourth point in favor: the technical and service spaces can be larger, having much more space available: it makes no sense, for example, to relocate the passageways when you already have one and a half times the space that you find on a monohull.
Fifth arrow to your bow, greater privacy: it is not uncommon for a shipowner to have a whole hull for his nightclubs. Finally, consumption. Multihulls have a higher efficiency when they have to advance. Limiting ourselves to displacement catamarans, the majority, the hulls have a very large ratio between length and width at the waterline: a single hull has 3:1, a cat about 8:1 and according to the laws of hydrodynamics the latter is the limit that eliminates the constraints related to resistance.
In other words, a boat with a length-width ratio of less than 8:1 can exceed the speed limit imposed by its length on the waterline only by gliding; if this ratio is higher, there is no longer this constraint and, as is well known, keeping a hull on glide is very demanding in terms of the energy required. It is no coincidence that almost all catamaran manufacturers use hulls that have a much narrower section below the waterline than the dead work.
The argument against it? The problem placed boat, ie the cost required by the marina for mooring. Here, too, if 10 years ago we generally asked for double the rates compared to a single hull of equal length, today things have changed. Many ports, three of them Marina di Varazze, Marina dei Cesari and Marina Sveva, have special rates for catamarans, but you can always find an agreement with the manager of the port, since in almost all marinas, especially Italian, there is more presence of places than boats.