Catamarans are a beautiful thing. My admiration for these boats is rooted in their aesthetically sleek form and purely functional design. A double billed hull has two benefits; the first, to increase stability and the second, to maximum speed. The fastest boats in the world are catamarans.
My first run in with one of these boats was about 15 years ago back in Bayfield, Ontario (my hometown). I was watching the boats come in from Grand Bend on the Lake Huron poker run. There I met with an arrogant french man with a catamaran speed boat, outfitted with four 500 horsepower motors. When waves are at the right size, this kind of boat runs at its optimal speed, spending more time in the air than in the water. I was hardly impressed with the character of the captain or his gas guzzling array of engines, but I couldn’t help but be enamoured by the mastery of physics displayed in the functionality of that craft.
Since then I’ve dreamt of sailing. While I don’t consider myself a speed junkie in the fashion that most males do, I can’t help but fantasize about hanging off the side of a catamaran under full sail with one hull skimming just above the surface of the water, feeling the wind in the ropes in my hands and, well, just sailing.
So when we arrived at our little cabana on the beach at Seakunga and there was a small catamaran sitting right in front of our door, my heart skipped a beat. I knew we had to find a way to get on that thing. Our host at Seakunga was much obliged and kind enough to take us out for a spin. It was fantastic to cut through those waves and get a taste of being out on the water powered only by the forces of nature.
I’m not at the point where I can hang off the side of a boat by myself and master the winds, but I am one step closer. I’m happy with knowing that this is just the beginning of a beautiful thing.