Catamaran handling

The techniques for catamaran handling vary to some extent from one design to another. Whether you choose to sail a two-man boat or a single-hander, you will need to be Ht. Don't let the apparent lateral stability of the twin-hulled design lull you into a false sense of security — ability to concentrate and quick reactions are essential to cope with the higher speeds and most catamarans are unsuitable for beginners. You also need to be quite strong —although steering a catamaran normally only takes minor adjustments of the tiller, pushing or pulling the tiller over to tack or gybe the boat requires considerable effort.

To sail a catamaran well you need to have a very clear understanding of the difference between true and apparent wind (see Aerodynamics section) as the speed at which the catamaran sails exaggerates the difference between them, and the sails must be trimmed accordingly otherwise the boat will slow down or stall. Correct crew position is important in order to keep the boat level and to prevent it from nose-diving into waves.

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