Catamaran Hull Design

The catamaran hull design is very special as it is many hundreds of years old. The concept was first discovered from a fishing community in Tamil Nadu, India, around 400 AD. However it is thought that they were used by the Tamil Chola dynasty, which invaded much of South East Asia in ancient times.
The first catamarans were like two canoes with a plank of wood holding them together and the concept hasn't changed much. In fact most hulls look exactly the same shape as canoes do, just completely covered up.

Catamaran hulls are filled with air to keep the structure buoyant on the water, which is different to mono-hulled dinghies, which have a deck and so are less buoyant as less air is stored in side the boat. This makes it difficult to sink a catamaran, if impossible, unless one of the hulls are breached (again unlike a dinghy which can take on water and eventually sink).

This makes catamarans very safe to use, however they are still prone to capsizing and catapulting. Bringing a capsized catamaran back up is usually quite difficult, because the size of the hulls makes it difficult to hold on to. Catapulting (as seen in the into video) is quite easy on a catamaran, because of the double hulls being twice as likely to go under water.

So as can be seen the catamaran hull design has still kept its roots from ancient times and is still a very popular, yet still is an unusual structure of boat.

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