Ivan Fedorov, Evgenia Kazanskaya, photo from Fordak.Ru

It is believed that collapsible sailing catamarans are unreliable boats, but the fact is that catamarans also have undoubted design advantages. Because of this, a number of people prefer to buy them.

Among some yachtsmen there is an opinion that collapsible sailing catamarans are unreliable boats. That going out to them on the open sea is dangerous. We will not argue: of course, yachts have undeniable advantages in both comfort and seaworthiness. But the fact is that catamarans with inflatable floats also have undoubted design advantages, due to which a number of people prefer to purchase them. There are also people who go both on yachts and on sailing catamarans. In this case, a collapsible design is a good addition to the main boat and allows you to acquire additional mobility in the choice of water area.

A bit of history

Collapsible sailing catamarans appeared about 40 years ago. This means not just the fact of occurrence, but the initial stage of distribution. Serial production began relatively recently. Moreover, the developers did everything in good faith. They didn’t just invent a new model, but carried out serious testing. An example is the catamaran “Fiord” designed by V.N. Pikhtarev. A serious boat for serious people. Developed by aviation specialists and, in fact, practitioners. Base model 1993.

In 1984, the catamaran was used during a unique expedition on the Putorana plateau, where 766 km were covered by active means. Of these: sailing - 547 km in 13 days, rafting - 116 km in 5 days, walking part - 103 km in 8 days.
In 1987, the modernized model successfully passed from Severobaikalsk to the mouth of the Barguzin. In May 1990, in 22 hours, “Fiord” crossed the Sea of Azov from Berdyansk to Kerch (170 km). Of which 4 hours the boat was drifting and 4 hours it was close-hauled at a wind speed of up to 27 m/s (11 points!). The catamaran underwent a training program for crossing the Bering Strait.


Why are collapsible sailing catamarans popular? We tried to figure it out, and this is what happened:

Firstly, catamarans are very mobile and easy to transport: they can be transported both on the train and on the trunk of any car. Secondly, in a collapsible form, catamarans are easily stored in an apartment in winter. Thirdly, they are affordable: their average cost is from $1000 to $ 5000, depending on the class and configuration. Fourthly, thanks to the collapsible design, catamarans are light, and therefore they can develop a decent speed (up to 20 km / h on average, but this is not the limit) and quickly respond to wind changes. And, fifthly, despite all the complaints and accusations of fragility, these boats are quite reliable. For example, we can take an incident on the last VVR: we were almost run over by the yacht "Shalun" over the starboard side. We got off with a small repair of the upper stringer and, however, a very difficult fright of the sailor.

The weight

Separately, you can write about weight. It ranges from 40 kg to 250 kg. Typically, catamarans that are presented at regattas weigh about 90 kg. But here, as with yachts, it all depends on the class. The most common are catamarans with a sail area of 10 sq.m (the most numerous class), 13 sq.m, 8.5 sq.m (space), 7.5 (albatross) and 5 sq.m. There is also a free one - from 13 sq.m. Of course, they weigh accordingly and are more oriented towards a long voyage. They have an increased level of comfort and safety. You can put a cabin on them, where to put all things. And put the boards.

Design features

As for the designs of catamarans, there are a lot of them. Most catamarans with good sailing performance and high reliability use the so-called "spider", which ensures the rigidity of the hull. And thanks to the use of retractable moorings and rudders of various designs, the catamaran is not constrained by depth and can approach the shore almost anywhere. It can be thrown onto any unprepared shore, even in rough weather. And you can write more about it. Most of the rest takes place on the shore and only a few hours of transition from one place to another people spend directly on the yacht. At the same time, sailing on a collapsible catamaran has all the romantic attributes, except, perhaps, the dubious pleasure of fighting seasickness attacks among beginners when trying to fall asleep in stormy weather in a tightly battened-down cabin of a cruising yacht.

Who is doing

Hand made is appreciated everywhere - and in the sailing world too.

There are many different companies that make collapsible sailing catamarans. These are the St. Petersburg Triton, the Moscow Uspensky Shipyard, the Ukrainian Ducky and the Novosibirsk company Kulik. Here are the most famous and largest companies involved in the construction of sailboats. Of course, there are many more people who make good catamarans. With his golden hands, the master can build a boat based on individual needs and his goals.


Usually the biggest parties gather at regattas. This, of course, is a classic of the genre, as in the yachting world. There is also a rather numerous summer "base" in the Moshkovsky Bay, in Konakovo. There are usually about 70 boats located there, and the people themselves live in tents in the bosom of nature.

There are many opportunities for a sailing catamaran, let's not be modest. Naturally, this is a huge freedom in choosing a route for travel. Choose - I do not want. In order to go to the intended place, it is enough to throw the iron either into the car or onto the train. And go ahead. Through the valleys and over the hills ... to the desired reservoir. And if there are competitions, it is easy to bring the catamaran into racing form: remove the sides, set the desired windage, throw out excess weight. Everything will take no more than two hours. After the races - the same procedure in reverse order. And again the same time limit. And again on the road.


First hand experience

As for going to the open sea, we can share our experience. We walked along the Black, Azov, White and Baltic seas. On a sailing catamaran, just hand made. 13 sq.m., equipment - for travel. Moreover, along the Baltic - from Finland through the Alanian Islands to Sweden. The open sea was about 50 kilometers. This is without a doubt the most memorable trip. In 2001, when here in Russia, not to mention even in Europe, sailing was much less developed compared to now. A traditional rock festival was held on the Alan Islands, which was attended by an unexpectedly large number of yachts. Now it’s just funny to remember, but we were deeply impressed by the high yacht service - a specially equipped marina, where there is not just a toilet and shower, but also a cafe and even, lo and behold, a washing machine! Where we loaded our dirty things with great joy. Almost everywhere you could find a supermarket (or, at worst, a mini one). Needless to say, even the most modest minimarket in Finland or Sweden cannot compare with the most superstore in Karelia or on Beloy.

The Europeans, I must say, looked very carefully at our sailing structure. Apparently, in Finland and Sweden, yachtsmen do not often meet such people. But in Germany we were able to ride on a model similar to ours. Still, with a high level of service in the West, catamarans are not as popular there as in Russia. Perhaps when we have equipped marinas on Onega - Ladoga - Bely, collapsible catamarans will lose their relevance. But, in all soberness of the forecast, this will not happen soon. Not very soon.

Ivan Fedorov,
Evgenia Kazanskaya,
photo from the site Fordak.Ru

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