A catamaran is a boat that has two hulls (offering it better stability and balance) instead of a single hull which the traditionally designed one-hulled boats have. Catamarans were designed to be fishing boats though their use has increased and widened manifold in today’s times. 
A polynesian sailing ship with 2 hulls
  The catamaran was first coined by the fishing community ‘Paravas’ in Tamil Nadu in the 17th century. offered a lot of stability and balance as compared to the other fishing boats of that era. This concept of two-hulled boats was adopted by the British and then made popular across the world.     
A modern catamaran of Porsche design  

Today, catamarans have evolved in the usage, design and construction of these boats. There are two basic design types of catamarans known as the Pontoon and the SWATH (Small Waterplane Area Twin Hull).


A Pontoon boat

The former, is quite small, compact and uses floats (known as pontoons in the marine slang) as a major technology to propel in the water along with the dual hulls.  These boats are cheap and easy to make, require no ballast and have good performance.Since no displacement is lost towards ballast, therefore yielding huge operational efficiency.

The latter is quite large and is designed primarily to maintain the balance in areas of sea which have unpredictable currents and tides.These are also used as research vessels. It has to be noted that in today’s times all variations of catamarans are motorised and engine-powered making them even more reliable than what they used to be before.

A SWATH boat


These catamarans are also known as luxury catamarans or ferry catamarans. This is because they offer the best possible luxury to the passengers who take a trip in such ferries. And the addition of engines has made such ferries even more attractive with the crowd. The speedier nature of such ferries ensures that the passengers get the cruise trip of their choice without any lapse in time.

Sailing catamarans are used for recreational purposes by people who want to experience the life of a sailor. Catamaran sailing does not involve any place for residing in the boat. In other words, catamaran sailing can also be referred to as yachts.

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