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Life on board a catamaran

Trevor Joyce's avatar By Trevor Joyce | 03 Oct 2018
Bali 4.5 Saloon dining area

Strangers to sail boats are sometimes intimidated by the prospect of living in confined spaces and being deprived of the creature comforts of home. The builders of modern catamarans have responded to this challenge and we recently spent 12 days on such a catamaran with the space shared by 6 others.

With four cabins, each with private shower and toilet ensuite, full air conditioning, and a full sized two-door domestic fridge with ice maker, our forty five foot catamaran was more like an apartment than a boat. But this was a mobile apartment – we only had to unpack once.

Bali 4.5 catamaran cabin and ensuite

Our day would begin with coffee from the “kitchen” where three people could easily work together. Then would follow a swim from the platform on the back of the boat where a swim ladder provided easy return for breakfast in the spacious cockpit, which was more like a small apartment terrace with a sliding window through to the aforementioned kitchen.

kitchen Window from a catamaran looking out to guests on board outside

Then we would press the button to hoist the sail and slip silently across the calm turquoise waters of the lagoons, although we did have one crossing that provided a bit of excitement with some bumps along the way. 
The sailing was often interrupted by a swim stop in a bay where we on occasion enjoyed total isolation, except of course for an occasional turtle or a few sea birds.

A move to the front of the boat saw a couple of tables, at which we could take a cocktail at the end of the day, and a huge sun pad. 

guests on board a catamaran enjoying the outdoor deck space

There were two more cabins forward that we only used for storage of our empty bags and there was plenty of space in our huge double cabin for the contents. The shower and toilet compartment had a separating glass door and the toilet was a push button number so that our private life was pretty much the same as at home. It is still preferable that you don’t bring a hard suitcase!

The great thing about catamarans, apart from privacy and stability is the fact that they can visit shallow anchorages. At one of several we drove the front of the boat over the sand, dropped the anchor and drifted back with the wind into water just 4 meters deep, not a cruise ship in sight.