sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Sailing Catamaran Fuel Consumption Data From Owners!

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. We may also earn commissions if you purchase products from other retailers after clicking on a link from our site.

As much as I love turning off the engine and only using the sails, sometimes I have found myself in situations where I was forced to rely on engine power. Situations like a brewing storm or the need to head straight into the wind.

Understanding catamaran fuel efficiency and how far you can go on a certain amount of fuel is vital to keep you away from bad situations.

Catamarans are more (fuel) efficient than a monohull (regular sailboat). During calm conditions, while powering under one engine, fuel consumption is between 0.3 gallons per hour (gph, of diesel) and 1.1 gph according to the data collected.

Below I have gathered fuel consumption data from catamaran owners.

Table of Contents

What Impacts Catamaran Fuel Economy?

Worth noticing is that going from one engine to two engines doesnt increase your speed by very much, but it doubles your fuel consumption.

Turning on engine number two will give us seven kts and fuel consumption of 4 L per hour. That’s actually a pretty good “return on investment” since the Catalac only gets one kts of extra speed while doubling fuel burn. Slowing down will almost always save fuel ( source )

Below are more of the data I have collected, let’s take a look at what it says.

The conclusion? Speed comes at a premium.

Time until empty

This column is based on the lowest possible fuel consumption with one engine. This is the number of hours that you are able to cruise when starting with full fuel tanks.

Distance until empty

This is how far in Nautical Miles, you are able to sail at cruising speed with one engine.

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

How You Can Improve Sailboat Fuel Efficiency, 10 Tips!

1. drive your boat as you drive your car.

Ok, maybe not as how you actually drive it, but the way your teacher told you to drive it, accelerate slowly, keep a steady throttle, and avoid high revs.

Every engine has an RPM (revolutions per minute) where the engine works the most efficiently; this is the sweet spot where you want to drive the boat.

This is usually around 75-80% of max RPM.

This RPM is not the same as the RPM of your boat’s top speed, but something you should consult is the datasheet of your engine, usually, this is somewhere between 2000- 2900 RPM on diesel, and 3000 – 4000 RPM on a gasoline engine.

Save fuel on your catamaran by   slowly accelerating and then keeping your boat in the RPM range stated in the datasheet; this will ensure you get the engine’s optimum efficiency.

Set the RPM, check if the speed is enough to get you where you want in the time you have, if you are ok with the numbers, then just relax and enjoy fuel economy at work (if there’s ever such a thing on a boat…)

2. Keep the Boat Light

Getting a boat to move requires energy, getting a heavier boat to move requires even more energy; keeping your boat light will significantly enhance your fuel economy.

Firstly, the boat will ride higher on the water; this means less underwater drag. Drag is something that dramatically impacts speed; this is one reason why Catamarans are faster than conventional sailboats/monohulls.

Removing weight can be done by only packing the stuff you need for the planned trip, this means that maybe you dont need full tanks of diesel and water, which can be more than a ton of weight. 

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

3. Use Your Sails When You Can

Using your sails when motoring will be more than doing just one of the two separately. See it as adding another engine, even if you were only doing 0.5 kts with the sails, these 0.5 kts will make the engine work less hard and thus decrease the amount of fuel needed to travel at the same speed.

Or, you can go faster with the same consumption.

4. Keep Your Hulls and Propeller Clean 

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Keeping everything below the waterline clean, just as discussed above, the more surface area under the boat, the more drag.

If the surface is is also uneven due to barnacles, then this also increases drag.

This is important for the boat to move smoothly through the water, but it is also vital for the efficiency of the props. 

A prop that is uneven and not in a hydrodynamically good state will be less efficient and will require higher RPMs to move the boat at the same speed as a clean and shiny one.

5. Avoid Going Straight into the Wind

Since a catamaran has such a high profile, it will catch wind even though there are no sails up, so if you head straight into the wind and waves, this will definitely slow down the boat’s speed.

Try going close to shore, where the winds might change in a favorable condition.

6. Running One or Two Engines?

On most catamarans you can run either one or both engines, as stated in the tables above, running two engines is mainly for increasing speed and not fuel efficiency.

You might gain a knot or two, but your fuel cost will almost double in most cases. 

If you choose to run your cat only on one engine, there are some significant savings to be done; just make sure you dont overstrain the machinery. Stay within reasonable RPM, as stated by the manufacturer, around 2000-3500. And when you need to go quick, start up the other engine and head for that bridge opening in time 🙂

The last tip on running two engines, try to run them for about the same amount of hours, this means they will be serviced and repaired at around the same time and will be in the same good condition.

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

7. Keep Your Engines in Good Shape

Service and maintenance play a part in fuel economy, although not as much as I think many people believe. Some aspects should be kept a careful eye on. Air filters can clog, this means the fuel to air mixture will be wrong, you won’t get the right amount of HP, and you will feel inclined to give it more throttle than needed.

Make sure you service or change your air filters regularly , so they are able to give your engines the fresh air they deserve! 

The same applies to fuel filters, although these usually can’t be inspected, make sure you change them according to your service manual , and if your dont have a manual, change it once a year.

Other stuff, such as timing, fuel pumps that you could check, but I would only mess around with those if you suspect that your fuel consumption is abnormally high.

8. Track Your Fuel Consumption

Every engine is a little bit unique if you find a way to measure your fuel consumption and record parameters such as; RPM, amount of diesel consumed, external conditions(waves, winds, currents, etc.), and boat condition (approximate weight).

Then you will know your fuel economy with reasonable precision. This makes trip planning more exact, and you dont have to bring extra fuel(increased weight). 

One way to measure is to get a fuel measure instrument such as this one ( Amazon link)

9. Using a Foldable prop

The foldable prop is just as it sounds; it is a propeller that can maintain two different positions.

When the prop is folded, the blades go from looking like a fan to something that makes way more hydrodynamical sense.

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

According to flexofold, the folding prop improves sailing performance by around 15%. Another cool thing is that once folded, the risk of getting stuck in a net or fishing line is also reduced.  

And when you turn your engine on and start revving it up, the blades fold out, and off you go!  

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

10. Electric conversion

So if you really want to save on diesel costs, then maybe an electric motor is an option. Although running on electricity isn’t free (you will have to charge them somehow), it can be a cheap option in the long run.

Electric conversions are getting more and more common and, therefore, also cheaper. The basic idea is that you switch your diesel engine for an electric motor, and instead of diesel fuel tanks, you will have a lithium battery bank.

These can be charged through solar, wind, or connected to a power source in the marina.

Going electric is different in some ways; let’s take a look. Firstly going electric is a more silent option.

You won’t have the diesel engine’s noise, although you will still have the noise from the prop, so just as an electric car is very silent when moving slow, once you get the boat going up to speed, the sound will also significantly increase.

Another more positive change is that you no longer will have to smell diesel fumes, refill diesel, or service all those parts. 

Here is a video of Sailing Uma running their electric motor.

How To Calculate Fuel Consumption

There is an easy way to calculate approximately how much an engine is able to burn at full throttle.

The calculation is an estimate and is based on full-throttle action, something that hopefully you won’t have to do for much longer than a few minutes at a time.

The calculations will give you an idea of how much fuel you will need. 

Are Catamarans More Efficient than other Sailboats?

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Due to the low drag (small wetted surface), low weight (no keel), and narrow hulls catamarans are more fuel-efficient than a comparable keelboat/monohull. This makes a catamaran more efficient whether under sail or when motoring.

Catamarans will therefore burn less fuel than heavy keelboats.

The lower weight is mainly due to not needing a lead keel to balance the forces interacting with the sails. There is no need for a keel since the catamaran is stabilized by having a wide beam(that means the boat has a broad base).

When the wind acts on the sail and pushes it to one side, the force is transferred to the leeward hull(the side that is not faced towards the wind).

A boat that has less drag, and weighs less, will need less energy to move. This means your boat will go faster at the same wind speed or if you are motoring, the ship will use less fuel.

How To Calculate Fuel Costs

Before you are able to calculate your fuel costs you need to gather some information. These are;

Approximate hours(h) you will run the engine (s) Approximate hours(h) you will run the generator Gallons per hour, gph, Generator Gallons per hour, gph, engine Price of fuel

Once you have gathered the information you can continue to the next step.

(Engine time in hours * gph Engine) * Price of Fuel = Cost of Engine Fuel (Generator time in hours * gph Generator) * Price of Fuel = Cost of Generator Fuel Cost of Engine Fuel + Cost of Generator Fuel = Total Fuel Cost 

This is a basic equation you can use when summing up the total cost of your fuel usage. You have to take into consideration different fuel costs if you’re using a standalone gasoline generator.

If you dont have a standalone generator, but you need more electricity I can recommend this one from Honda, it is the same one that I used when I was sailing the Caribbean, it is not the most high-end, but it did what it was supposed to.

Link to Amazon (actually they do not seem to have the one I used, but this looks similar)

Why Do Catamarans Have Engines?

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Sailboats have diesel or gasoline engines for a few reasons; to maneuver in and out of a marina, travel when there is no wind, generate electricity, and increase speed when there is little wind.

You might think that having an engine on a sailboat is unnecessary, you have the sails, right? 

Well, sailing is fantastic, but it is tough to sail in a confined area such as in a marina or through a tight section through a canal.

If you want to go upwind, many times on a catamaran, it is much faster and more comfortable to motor straight into the wind instead of tacking (turning from one side to another).

Another aspect is when there is wind but only enough for maybe 1-2 knots; then, you can combine motoring with sailing to make the boat faster and more efficient.

How Long Can You Run The Engine on full throttle?

This is a question I sometimes get; there are different ways to answer this.

The longest time you can continuously run your diesel or gasoline engine on full throttle is until it either overheats, runs out of gas, or gets destroyed.

That’s the short answer; the long answer is that it depends on the engine’s condition, the load on the engine, and how good is the cooling

Let’s start by looking at engine condition. If you want to get the maximum possible horsepower out of your engine for the most extended amount of time you should know that it’s going to take its toll on the engine.

This is not something I would recommend if the engine is something that you are dependent upon working, 

A well-maintained diesel or gasoline engine can go for days on full throttle as long as the engine load is balanced, hindering it from over-revving and causing it to break.

This is under the assumption that there is necessary cooling to the engine, which is not always the case if you are talking about a catamaran or any other engine that is in confined spaces and made for reasonably low RPM.

If all of those criteria are met, it will probably run until there’s no more diesel in the tanks.

Here are Some of My Favorite Catamaran Cruising Resources

Thank you for reading this article. I hope you found it helpful as you hopefully start your sailing adventures. Here are some resources that I use as a sailor that I hope you’ll also find helpful. These are affiliate links, so if you do decide to use any of them, I’ll earn a commission. But in all honesty, these are the exact things that I use and recommend to everyone, even my own family. Sailboats: If you’re looking for the best boat to suit your needs, I would recommend a catamaran. If you’re interested, I can show you the differences between catamarans and other types of sailboats .

Books:  For getting started, I really like  Cruising catamarans made easy . It is actually a textbook from the American sailing association; it is used to get a cruising catamaran certification. There are some other great books, and I have compiled a list of books about cruising catamarans that you will find useful.

Communication:  Being out on adventures, whether it be sailing or climbing mountains, good communications are essential to being safe. I recommend two things Google fi (incredibly simple cellular data all over the world) and Garmin inreach mini (for text and voice in remote areas without cell coverage)

Sailing courses: Online sailing courses are great for beginners starting out their sailing career; it’s an efficient way of learning the basics of navigation, throttle controls, and maritime safety. I suggest starting with two free courses from NauticEd .

To see all my most up-to-date recommendations,  check out this resource  that I made for you!

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Owner of A minimalist that has lived in a caravan in Sweden, 35ft Monohull in the Bahamas, and right now in his self-built Van. He just started the next adventure, to circumnavigate the world on a Catamaran!

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Save my name and email in this browser for the next time I comment.

Recent Posts

Must-Have Boat Gear for Catamaran Sailors!

Sailing is probably the most gear-intensive activity I've ever done; there are so many decisions to be made about what gear to buy now, for tomorrow, and what to definitely never buy. The gear on...

6 Best Trailerable Trimarans For Bluewater and Coastal Sailing

Having a boat costs a lot of money, even when you are not using it, marina fees, etc. And once it is in the water most sailors never go very far from their "home marina" and sailing will be somewhat...

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Fuel Calculator

Welcome to the West Nautical Fuel Calculator


To plot points on the map, click with your mouse - this will automatically update the distance table. Then enter the speed, fuel consumption, and fuel cost to determine the total cost of the trip.

Example 1: A fast 30m yacht cruising at 20 knots ( Lady Amanda ) will consume roughly 400-500 l/hour (more depending on engine type).

Exampe 2: A typical displacement yacht may cruise at 12 knots and consume 300 l/hour

Example 3: Some yachts can cruise at 10 knots ( Firefly ) and consume 100 l/hour

Example 4: A sailing catamaran can cruise at 8 knots and consume around 35 l/hour

Fuel prices can fluctuate, but typically fuel is between €0.8-1.2 per litre.

Get in touch with one of our client managers for a more accurate fuel distance calculation.

  • 0 Fuel Consumed (L)
  • 0 Total Cost

Powercat vs monohull fuel efficiency

FUEL EFFICIENCY : Power Catamaran VS Monohull

Thanks to their fine hulls and narrow bow entry a power catamaran hull creates very little bow wake and experiences minimal resistance to get onto plane. The net result of these highly efficient hulls provide powercat owners with lower planning speeds and greater top end performance. This enhanced efficiency results in increased cruising range and significantly greater fuel economy. In comparison to traditional motor yachts, catamarans have a smoother rise in speed and steady fuel burn. In addition powercats experience minimal spikes in fuel consumption throughout the power band. As an added bonus, power catamarans require less throttle to achieve equivalent speeds. This pust less strain on engines, significantly increasing their working life and reducing maintenance requirements and potential failures.

Power Catamaran vs Motor Yacht fuel efficiency

” The power catamaran delivered 36% better fuel efficiency at 3000 rpm “

Thanks to tests performed by Yamaha outboards, the above chart demonstrates the outcome of a like for like test of a 29’ power catamaran vs a 29’ monohull. Both vessels supporting 2x 300hp Yamaha petrol outboards. This chart demonstrates the miles per gallon (MPG) fuel burn at equivalent rpms. What is not immediately obvious in this chart however is that at any given rpm the power catamaran is typically running at a higher speed, we have therefore noted the speeds achieved at 3000 rpm to demonstrate the difference. Across the speed range the power catamaran achieves a similar speed to the monohull at around 500 rpm less.

Why should I care about fuel efficiency?

So what does this really mean? Well let’s consider this data in real life scenario: Miami, Fl to Bimini in the Bahamas is about 50 Nautical Miles.  Assuming you were wanting to make the trip and not break the bank you are motoring at 3000 rpm. You would make this trip in 4 hrs in a monohull burning 45 gallons of fuel, at $3.30/gallon that trip will cost you $148.50. In comparison you’ll do the same trip in a powercat in just under 3 hours using 33 gallons for $110. Or, if you are happy spending the $150, you’ll do the trip in just over 1 hour.

Learn more about the MAKAI M37 HERE>>

  • Get Newsletter
  • Privacy Policy

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

How Much Fuel Does a Sailboat Use?

Whenever I dream about long passages, I always wonder how much fuel a sailboat uses. I want to know how much fuel I should bring to carry on. So I crunched the numbers and in this article I'll share my results with you.

How much fuel does a sailboat use? Typically, an average sailboat uses between 1 - 2 gallons per hour. Small sailboats with smaller engines will use about 0.5 - 1 gallon per hour. Large sailboats use between 2 - 3 GPH. Of course, fuel consumption greatly varies with different engine sizes and water and weather conditions.

I'll go into the different factors that affect fuel consumption below. But first, let's get some ballpark figures for different sailboat sizes.

Two-masted, classical sailboat sailing under power

On this page:

Fuel consumption for different sizes, factors that affect fuel consumption, how to optimize fuel economy, how much fuel should i carry, related questions.

We measure fuel consumption in Gallons Per Hour (GPH), because the time the engine is running is the only fixed variable here. The distance you cover isn't fixed at all. Most sailboats cruise at a speed of 4 - 8 knots under engine. So the range on one hour of motoring can be anywhere from 4 - 8 nautical miles.

Of course, the size of the boat (and engine) and fuel consumption are related. So let's take a look at what different sizes use on average:

  • small sailboats use on average 0.5 - 1 GPH
  • mid-sized sailboats use on average 0.9 - 2 GPH
  • large sailboats use on average 1.8 - 3.3 GPH

Larger 50HP engines may use up to 2.5 GPH if the conditions are bad and you max it out at, let's say, 8 knots.

Let's get a bit more detailed even. I want to know a range for each engine size. I've found the average fuel consumption in the Yanmar manual.

  • Yanmar uses an average fuel consumption of 170 grams per hour per horsepower . - I want to remind you that these are the manufacturer's numbers, so they're probably optimistic.
  • So I've also added a more conservative estimate, based on 250 grams per hour per horsepower .

So if you want to calculate your engine's fuel consumption, simply multiply 170 or 250 with the amount of HP. The number is in liters, you have to convert it to gallons.

Here are the manufacturers estimates:

Here are my estimates for bad conditions:.

As you can see, fuel use widely varies. There are a lot of factors that determine how much your engine actually burn. Some of them are:

  • engine size, type, and power
  • hull type and shape
  • wind direction
  • water conditions

Engine size and power - Larger engines use more fuel. But if you're engine is too small, it could potentially use more fuel. The engine has to work too hard making it rev up (it runs on maximum RPM), burning more fuel. Most of the times people have too big of an engine, and sailboats don't require very large engines. But if you're on the open sea and have a large boat (let's say 40' and up), you want something stronger to deal with the current and wind. Most sailboats are fine with a 30HP engine in most circumstances.

There are some other engine factors, like type the number of cylinders. 2-stroke engines are more powerful but also use a lot more fuel for example. The right size propellor is also important.

If you want to read more on how to choose the right engine size, I've written this short guide on calculating the right size. You can find it here .

Hull type and shape - The shape of the hull determines how much water it displaces. The bulkier the shape, the more water it has to push away, so the more fuel it uses. Also, multihulls displace a lot less water, making them way more efficient. You'll see when you drive a catamaran: it uses WAY less fuel. Flat bottom boats use even less (but are less appropriate for sailing).

Wind direction - Driving straight into a headwind could almost double fuel consumption. Strong winds create high waves which will cause your fuel economy to sink.

Water conditions - As mentioned, high waves are not good for fuel consumption. If you have to head into a strong current, that's not good as well. Very strong (ocean) currents can also double the burn rate.

If you need to save your fuel, but you need to get out, for example in an emergency, you want to make sure you get as far as possible as fast as possible. So how to make it happen?

Don't drive at hull speed . This will cause the engine to rev up to maximum RPM. Engines are most efficient between 75-85% of their maximum RPM. It really improves mileage a lot if you take it down a knot.

Find the right course . Take the wind direction and current into account. Just as you would while sailing (but don't go overboard with this either).

Reduce the weight . If you carry ballast, now is the time to unload it. Lowering weight means a lot more range on that tank.

Pick the right engine size . Don't overpower and don't underpower your boat. You want your engine to run at the optimal RPM.

Choose the right prop size - The right propellor is crucial to get an efficiently-running motor. Too small and the engine will rev up in the red, too large and the engine won't even come near the sweet spot.

Make sure your hull is clean. A clean and waxed hull really helps with reducing friction from the water, so it increases your mileage.

Don't drive at maximal hull speed. If you have the right engine size, the optimal speed should be about 2/3 of the maximum hull speed.

Want to know the maximum hull speed for different boat lengths? Check my article with lots of examples here .

If you want to find the sweet spot for your motor, you need to find the specific fuel consumption curve of the engine (SFC) and also the propulsion efficiency curve. The best advice I can give here is to ask the salesperson you've bought the engine from. He or she usually has the data.

Taking it easy on speed is also better for the engine, so it will last longer and require less maintenance.

But it might not be worth your time. Sometimes you just want to get out there fast. Sure, by cruising at 6 knots instead of 8, you increased your range with (let's say) 10%, but you've also increased your drive time by dozens of hours.

Some sailors would argue the more the better. And sure, it's tempting to rev up the engine once you reach 3 or 4 knots. Especially if you have a long way ahead of you. But more fuel means more weight means more fuel consumption. So what's the sweet spot?

I'd say the ideal range for ocean passage is about 400-500 NM of fuel. The average motoring speed of sailboats is 6 knots. That translates to roughly 60-80 hours of motor time. At 2 GPH, you would need about 125-160 gallons of fuel.

If your boat is a bit more efficient, let's say 1 GPH, you would need about 60 - 80 gallons.

How Many Gallons of Fuel Does a Sailboat Hold? On average, a sailboat holds anywhere between 30 - 60 gallons of fuel on board. This provides a theoretical range of 350 - 600 nautical miles at a fuel consumption of 0.5 GPH. In practice, fuel consumption averages at 1 GPH, making the range 200 - 300 NM.

shane johnson

man i had a real hard time trying to find real info on fuel regards sail and power vessels. ime tearing my hair out deciding on a liveaboard for me over here in australia, i will be working sometimes so at a marina and other times out on the reef or werever the fish are. ime looking at a great fitted out light 50 footer with 2 yanmar 40 hp in her at the same time a steel 40 fter with sails and 2 50 hp diesels in her.all sails are furling including the mainsail and in my head i think sail would be a safety advantage wouldnt it? but the other is top shelf with room fitout electrics and weight. being 8 ton the steel being 12 ton.

Shawn Buckles

Hi Shane, glad you find the article helpful. If you’re a sailor, I’d say sails are definitely a great backup to have. Personally, I’d only go for the one with sails if I plan on actually sailing the vessel. If not, I’d opt for the larger, fully-outfitted one.

Well, in any case, you’ll have plenty of horses!

Great article. I did spot a calculation error in the fuel numbers. Try applying the specific gravity of diesel fuel to convert from mass in grams to liters of diesel fuel. A typical number for diesel is .823 g/L.

Multiply the results in the tables above by 1/.823 = 1.215 to get the correct consumption results.

e.g. 10 HP @ BSFC of 250g/hr would be 2.5Kg/hr * 1.215 = 3.04L/hr.

David van Niekerk

Dankie Shown Buckles I’m from the Boland (South Africa). I find your article very OK. I know now the fuel consumption of a normal sailboat@ 8kn (14.64km/u) is about 5.1 LPH. BUT, wat is the fuel consumption of a catamaran or even the newe hydrofoil’s? (A small aircraft is about 10+ LPH @80-100km/h)

Leave a comment

You may also like, what is the average speed of a sailboat.

When I try to figure out the duration of whatever sailing trip I have in the making, I always need to know this one thing first: the average speed of a sailboat - …

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

How Long Does it Take to Sail Across the Atlantic? (With Maps)

Lean sailboat in blue, protected waters with just the mainsail up

How Much Sailboats Cost On Average (380+ Prices Compared)

Map of the sailing seasons around the world

The Sailing Seasons Around the World (with Map)

Own your first boat within a year on any budget.

A sailboat doesn't have to be expensive if you know what you're doing. If you want to learn how to make your sailing dream reality within a year, leave your email and I'll send you free updates . I don't like spam - I will only send helpful content.

Ready to Own Your First Boat?

Just tell us the best email address to send your tips to:

  • Newsletters
  • Sailboat Reviews
  • Boating Safety
  • Sails and Rigging
  • Maintenance
  • Sailing Totem
  • Sailor & Galley
  • Living Aboard
  • Destinations
  • Gear & Electronics
  • Charter Resources

Cruising World Logo

Boat Review: Leopard 40 Power Cat

  • By Mark Pillsbury
  • October 23, 2023

Leopard 40 Power Cat sailing in The Bahamas

Sitting at the flybridge helm station aboard the new Leopard 40 power cat, taking in the view of Biscayne Bay and the Miami skyline, was an excellent way to spend a sunny February morning. It was the day after the 2023 Miami International Boat Show, where the latest model from South African builder Robertson and Caine had made its world debut. I was thoroughly enjoying my allotted time at the helm.

Did I mention that I was a thousand or so miles from the snow and ice back home in New England? Or that the three-person helm seat was far comfier than a similar-size chairlift on any ski hill? Or that the table, surrounded by an L-shaped couch directly behind me—never mind the adjacent chaise abutting a counter with grill, sink and fridge—promised nothing but fun times for both skipper and crew?

With another nine hulls already in the works, and more to come by year’s end when production is fully ramped up, the boat will soon be available for charter vacations with The Moorings. At first, it will be in the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas , Croatia and Greece, and eventually, it will join the company’s bases worldwide.

Off the Florida coast, we monitored miles per gallon at 500 rpm increments. In slow motion (1,000 rpm), the twin 370 hp Yanmar diesels sipped fuel at an estimated rate of 4.8 miles to the gallon. The boat’s sweet spot—3,000 rpm, where we cranked along at 17 knots—came at a cost of 0.8 miles per gallon. Any more or less, and efficiency dropped, according to onboard gauges. Top speed was a little better than 22 knots.

Leopard 40 interior

At cruising speed, the boat’s hydraulic steering felt nimble and responsive as I cranked the wheel into a turn. Conditions were fairly calm, but crossing our own wake, the 40 PC plowed on through the chop without missing a beat.

At low speed, the 40 PC turned easily when I adjusted the twin fly-by-wire throttles and shifted between forward and reverse. The sailor in me wondered if the builder really needed to include a bow thruster in the port bow, though the feature had made getting out of the tight slip at the marina a simple enough maneuver. For extra-tight quarters with a shorthanded crew, cameras can ­monitor the stern and bow, and deliver the imagery to either of the twin Raymarine displays at the ­upstairs helm station.

The 40 PC joins a lineup that includes the Leopard 46 PC (also sold as the Moorings 464) and Robertson and Caine’s flagship on the power side, the Leopard 53 PC. 

A word of explanation here: Robertson and Caine enjoys a somewhat unusual relationship with Travelopia, which owns The Moorings and Sunsail, and oversees the Leopard sales team. All of Robertson and Caine’s sailing catamarans go into the charter companies’ fleets or are sold to private owners as Leopard Catamarans. Robertson and Caine’s power models are branded as Leopards or Moorings models, depending on how an owner plans to use the boat. All of Robertson and Caine’s current models—power and sail—are developed by the in-house design team, along with Alex Simonis of naval architecture firm Simonis and Voogd, and Franck Bauguil, vice president of yacht ownership and product development at Travelopia. Bauguil also manages sales of all three brands.

At present, he says, approximately half of Robertson and Caine’s sailboats are sold for charter, and half are for private use. The same is expected to be true for the 40 PC. Robertson and Caine plans to build 20 of the boats this year and increase the number to 31 next year. A well-equipped model, delivered from South Africa to the United States ready to go, comes in at under $1.2 million. 

The three current power models comprise the fourth generation of power vessels from Robertson and Caine in terms of design. Previous generations shared some furniture modules with boats from the sail side, but Bauguil says that this new line started with a blank sheet of paper. The result is increased volume for interior accommodations without disturbing performance.

The boat in Miami was powered by optional twin 370 hp Yanmar diesels. Charter models are fitted out with 350 hp Yanmars, and 250 hp Yanmars are also available. Tankage is cruiser-friendly, with 370 gallons of fuel and 170 gallons of water.

Leopard 40 stateroom

Aboard the 40 PC, the owner’s stateroom occupies the starboard hull. It has a queen berth aft and a head ­compartment forward with a shower in the forepeak. Amidships are a desk and ­television, hanging lockers, and a fair amount of stowage.

The port hull includes guest staterooms fore and aft, each with a queen berth, and a shared head between them.

It’s bright and airy in the salon, thanks to windows that offer a near 360-degree view, a sliding door that opens to the cockpit, and another door forward that leads to the foredeck, where a couple of cushioned sun beds await. The cockpit is shaded by the flybridge, with a cushioned seat across the transom, and a dining table.

The salon itself is well-laid-­out, with an indoor helm station tucked into the forward starboard corner. To port, an L-shaped couch surrounds a coffee table (a dining table is optional); opposite is an upholstered chair. The galley is adjacent to the cockpit, with a full-size, home-style fridge to starboard and an L-shaped counter to port that includes an induction stove top, a convection microwave oven, a sink, and a dishwasher.

On deck, a solid stainless-­steel rail around the boat provides secure handholds for moving about underway.

Inside and out, the lines of the 40 PC are sharp and stylish. Bauguil says early orders indicate that the boat is appealing not only to multihull sailors who want to make a jump into power, but also to powerboaters looking for the efficiency gained by two hulls. As for charterers, I can state it pure and simple: Put me on a 40 PC somewhere warm and sunny for a week, and I’ll guarantee a good time.  

Leopard 40 Power Cat Specifications

  • More: Boat Review , catamaran , leopard catamarans , power cat , Print August 2023
  • More Sailboats

Lagoon 43 catamaran

Sailboat Preview: Lagoon 43

Overhead of Neel 52

Sailboat Preview: Neel 52

Leopard 48 Sailing

For Sale: 2017 Leopard 48

2018 Beneteau Oceanis 41.1 in shallow water

For Sale: 2018 Beneteau Oceanis 41.1

Boat anchored in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Mexico

How We Built Our Own Bulwarks

Overhead of Neel 52

PredictWind Introduces PredictCurrent App

Leopard 48 Sailing

  • Digital Edition
  • Customer Service
  • Privacy Policy
  • Email Newsletters
  • Cruising World
  • Sailing World
  • Salt Water Sportsman
  • Sport Fishing
  • Wakeboarding
  • 0 No item in your cart
  • The magazine

Current issue

  • All the issues
  • My magazines
  • Technical specifications
  • Multihull of the Year
  • Classified Ads
  • Destinations
  • Online store
  • All the magazines
  • Subscriptions
  • Accessories

Multihull of the year

Cruising on a Power Multihull

Cruising multihulls have the reputation of being fuel efficient compared to equivalent single hull units. Having two or three hulls rather than one would seem to be an intrinsic advantage... but in these times of uncertainty regarding diesel and gasoline prices and above all of ecological awareness, the need to further reduce consumption is becoming increasingly urgent. How can you achieve this when your engines often exceed 300 HP? What are the best ways to go about it? In this article, we give you some tips on how to reduce the time you spend at the pump.

Create a notification for Multihull

We will keep you posted on new articles on this subject.

Avatar de Norbert Conchin

Published 28/10/2022

By Norbert Conchin

Issue: SP19

Published: dec. / jan. 2023


Choose the option that suits you best!


Issue #: SP19

Published: December / January 2023

  • Price per issue - digital : 7.90€ Digital magazine
  • Price per issue - print : 11.90€ Print magazine
  • Access to Multihulls World digital archives Digital archives

The Power Multihull sector has experienced a remarkable boom in recent years - few sectors in the boating industry can boast double-digit growth. In this buyer’s guide - which has become a special motor issue over the past two years - no less than 120 models are presented. Out of all these 15 to 100-foot power multihulls, almost all of which are habitable (we have deliberately stopped at 100 feet), the category we have chosen for this issue is the 40 to 50 footers. These models already have most of the attributes for a successful summer or long-distance cruise. Charter companies like Sunsail/The Moorings operate powercats from 43 (soon to be 40) to 53 feet. In this issue’s buyer’s guide, the seventeen 40 - 50 foot power multihulls are all catamarans equipped with two engines whose power ranges from... 90 to 860 HP. By filtering out the most extreme engines (including outboards), we arrive at a convergence of between 250 and 400 HP inboard. We will use this order of power as a benchmark to help us understand how to limit fuel consumption under way.

Two hulls are better than one!

These benefits begin, as we mentioned above, with powercats having a much more frugal appetite than their monohull counterparts. When under way, the drag of two thin hulls is much lower than that of a single wide hull, and this leads to much lower fuel consumption. If we compare a powercat with a boat of the same volume, the evidence is conclusive. Prestige Yachts, which recently arrived on the power catamaran market, would not disagree. The Prestige 590F burns about 30% more diesel than the brand new M48, which requires just 12 gal (45 l)/h at 10 knots and 20 gal (75 l)/h at 14 knots. Yet the powercat has a similar livability despite being 11 feet shorter. It should be noted that the M48 manages with two 320 HP engines while her big sistership requires two 600 HP units. However, the monohull has an advantage when it comes to its top speed - it can reach nearly 30 knots, while the M48 will not go faster than 20 knots. Also worthy of note is that while in the past, a top speed of more than 20 knots was a determining factor in the purchasing decision of boatowners, this trend is rapidly disappearing. For the first models of our target category, the advantage in terms of consumption in favor of powercats remains. If we look at a Sedan version with minimal windage like the Fountaine Pajot MY4.S, the two 250 HP engines consume 6.6 gal (25 l)/h at 11 knots while the Bavaria E40 trawler, with its 2 x 300 HP, burns 8.7 gal (33 l)/h at the same speed. At 15 knots, once the schedule is set, the on-board instrumentation will show respectively 10.6 gal (40 l) and 13.2 gal (50 l)/h - that is to say a 20% fuel saving for the catamaran, which is considerably more welcoming for its passengers. Let’s close this comparison between powercat and monohull with a brief incursion into the top of the range, well beyond our 40-50 feet. On board a Fountaine Pajot 67 Power equipped with a ...

Subscribe to Multihulls World and get exclusive benefits.

Most-read articles in the same category

FP Owners Rendezvous BVI 2024

FP Owners Rendezvous BVI 2024

New Zealand

New Zealand

2024 MOTY

Who's Who : Nigel Irens

A Wonderful Nautitech Gateway

A Wonderful Nautitech Gateway

International Multihull Show

International Multihull Show

What readers think.

Post a comment

I have a new Fountaine Pajot MY6 with Volvo IPS 650 motors being delivered to the BVI in February 2023. I am wondering why (and if) the incredibly efficient Sharrow propeller will ever be available for this boat. See If the tests are correct, as they appear to be, then this will be a great step forward to better fuel efficiency.

MW #196 - July / Aug 2024

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Lagoon Escapade

Multihull Fest

Multihull Fest


Subscribe now

The latest news from €3 / month

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Video of the month

Our latest YouTube hit!

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

The Multihull of the Year

The 2024 results

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Classified ads

image description

Lagoon 450F - 4 cabins

image description


image description

Weta Trimaran

image description

Catamaran Lagoon 380 S2 Papeetisé

Vous avez ajouté " " à vos favoris., vous avez supprimé " " de vos favoris., in order to add this article to your favorites, please sign in..

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

BoatUS Boating Association Logo

Service Locator

  • Angler Endorsement
  • Boat Towing Coverage
  • Mechanical Breakdown
  • Insurance Requirements in Mexico
  • Agreed Hull Value
  • Actual Cash Value
  • Liability Only
  • Insurance Payment Options
  • Claims Information
  • Towing Service Agreement
  • Membership Plans
  • Boat Show Tickets
  • BoatUS Boats For Sale
  • Membership Payment Options
  • Consumer Affairs
  • Boat Documentation Requirements
  • Installation Instructions
  • Shipping & Handling Information
  • Contact Boat Lettering
  • End User Agreement
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Vessel Documentation
  • BoatUS Foundation
  • Government Affairs
  • Powercruisers
  • Buying & Selling Advice
  • Maintenance
  • Tow Vehicles
  • Make & Create
  • Makeovers & Refitting
  • Accessories
  • Electronics
  • Skills, Tips, Tools
  • Spring Preparation
  • Winterization
  • Boaters’ Rights
  • Environment & Clean Water
  • Boat Safety
  • Navigational Hazards
  • Personal Safety
  • Batteries & Onboard Power
  • Motors, Engines, Propulsion
  • Best Day on the Water
  • Books & Movies
  • Communication & Etiquette
  • Contests & Sweepstakes
  • Colleges & Tech Schools
  • Food, Drink, Entertainment
  • New To Boating
  • Travel & Destinations
  • Watersports
  • Anchors & Anchoring
  • Boat Handling
  • ← Seamanship

The Planing Power Catamaran: A Different Kind Of Cat


Planing powercats deliver the high speeds dayboaters and weekend anglers crave — but without so much pounding in choppy seas.

Rear view of a dual hull catamaran with two 200 horsepower outboard engines, a bimini top with fishing rods attched to it moored  in turquoise blue water

The air cushion ­created between the two hulls dramatically reduces wave impact at running speeds. (Photo: World Cat)

Powercats are different beasts than sailing cats, and the powercats you're most likely to see on your local waters are those in the 20- to 40-foot range (like my 22-foot Glacier Bay). Unlike the big cruising powercats, which are more like cat trawlers with top ends maybe a little over 20 mph, smaller cats have planing hulls that perform much like today's modern powerboats.

Depending on the engine package, there are a few cats that top out in the lower 30s, lots in the lower 40s, some in the 50s, and a few that break 70 or even 80 mph.

While a similar length monohull may have a 40-mph cruising speed in a 2-foot chop, the monohull captain will pull back the throttles and cruise at 30 to avoid being beaten up. The cat guy, on the other hand, may be able to keep on doing 40 thanks to the smoother ride. But having two hulls underfoot does create some interesting similarities in how these different types of boats react to input from the helm. So you'll see a few of the tips here mirror those used for sailing or cruising catamarans. Whatever type of cat you may be captaining, remember the following:

  • Center the wheel and use only the throttles to control the boat. Powercats have their engines exceptionally widely spaced apart, and are far more responsive than monohulls when steered via throttles. Generally speaking, turning the steering wheel will only serve to reduce the effectiveness of working the throttles. This, of course, is assuming you have two engines. There are a few rare cats with one engine.
  • At identical rpm, the engine in forward will create more thrust than the engine in reverse. So even if the throttles are set evenly when opposed, the boat will likely slide forward a bit as opposed to spinning in its own length. As a result, when attempting to speed up the maneuver it's usually best to favor giving the reversed engine extra oomph as opposed to the one in forward (assuming you don't want to move forward while turning the boat).
  • Check the speed and direction of the wind before docking , and remember that some cats, particularly those with low draft, can be blown around more easily than many monohulls as there may be less hull below the waterline.
  • When docking in a new slip for the first time with lines that haven't been preset, bear in mind that once you're docked, securing the boat can be difficult in some situations because few powercats have centered cleats. Most will have a single cleat on either side, in some cases obstructed by a bow rail and/or pulpit, which can make crossing lines difficult.
  • Never shut those engines down until all the lines are secured . Again, remember that many cats can get blown out of kilter faster than the average monohull, and if you don't have lines preset, it may take a moment to figure out how to best secure them. Many a captain has done a perfect docking job and then shut off the engines, only for a gust of wind to push the boat right back out of the slip before the lines can be tied. Keep those engines running until the boat is 100% secure so you can apply power, if necessary, to maintain position.

Why Two Hulls?

Like all boats, catamarans come with distinct advantages (smooth ride, draft), and areas of compromise (docking, turning). Regardless of design aesthetics, the first question is usually: Why two hulls?

Mike Myers, vice president of product development for World Cat explains: "Catamaran hulls experience little to no drag or resistance to get on plane, resulting in greater fuel economy. They have a steady rise in speed and fuel burn with little to no spikes in fuel consumption."Planing powercats have a unique trait — which many cat lovers consider the top advantage over monohulls — the impact-absorbing cushion of air created by a compression tunnel between hulls.

And when it comes to beam, catamarans' parallel hulls create reliable stability, which helps to avoid heeling and capsizing, and greatly reduces the vessel roll at rest and at trolling speeds.

"Many boats are primarily designed around comfort for the captain. This usually means anyone at the front or sides of the boat takes most of the jostling,"Myers says. "The catamaran-style hull delivers ride comfort, smoothness, load distribution, and stability."That stability draws anglers to powercats of typically 20 to 40 feet; and cruisers to sailing cats 40 to 60 feet and beyond.

— Rich Armstrong

Taming The Cat

When it comes to handling powercats in open waters, the most important thing to remember is that all boats are different. Just as you wouldn't lump the handling characteristics of all monohulls together, the same goes for powercats. But many have a few common traits to consider.

  • Some powercats have relatively low buoyancy in the bow compared to monohulls, as many have very narrow hull entries . As a result, in some cases, idling into a sea can allow waves to break over the bow. Gaining some headway so the bow rises a bit and packs air into the tunnel can alleviate the issue.
  • Some planing powercats will run smoother at faster speeds than slower speeds, as they compress air in the tunnel between the two hulls. In these cases, speeding up may actually provide a more comfortable ride in some sea states as compared to slowing down. Depending on your boat, its tunnel may result in other differences from the monohull that you may be familiar with. Learning about these will improve you experience.
  • Some powercats display a "snap roll,"which is a very fast righting motion that can rock the boat uncomfortably, especially when drifting in a beam sea. In these cases, people who may want to drift often (such as anglers) will sometimes deploy a drift sock off the bow to reduce rocking and rolling.

Man wearing a white long-sleeve t-shirt fishing off the bow of a power catamaran as it cruises through the water

Photo: World Cat

  • In general, powercats are often more weight-sensitive than monohulls, especially when the bow is loaded down . It's always best to be aware of how you're loading your boat, and if the tunnel is slapping or the bow is digging into waves, consider shifting weight aft.
  • Some powercats, particularly older models, lean out in a turn rather than banking in. There's no way to eliminate this phenomenon (although trimming up an outboard engine when initiating a turn may reduce it a bit), so it's important to give passengers a warning to hold on before making any aggressive maneuvers.
  • "Sneezing,"or blowing a puff of mist out the front of the tunnel that the boat then runs through (getting everyone aboard damp), is a phenomenon associated with some powercats. In many cases, trimming the bow up a bit will significantly reduce or even eliminate sneezing.

Related Articles

The truth about ceramic coatings for boats.

Our editor investigates the marketing claims of consumer-grade ceramic coatings.

Fine-Tune Your Side Scan Fishfinder

Take your side-scanning fishfinder off auto mode, and you’ll be spotting your prey from afar in no time

DIY Boat Foam Decking

Closed-cell foam flooring helps make boating more comfortable. Here’s how to install it on your vessel

Click to explore related articles

Lenny Rudow

New Boats, Fishing & Electronics Editor, BoatUS Magazine

Top tech writer and accomplished sports fisherman, BoatUS Magazine Contributing Editor Lenny Rudow has written seven practical boating books, won 30 awards from Boating Writers International — many for his marine electronics articles – and two for excellence from the Outdoor Writers Association of America. He judges the NMMA Innovation Awards, and is Angler in Chief at FishTalk, his own Chesapeake-based publication. A great teacher and inspirational writer, Lenny hosts many of BoatUS Magazine’s very-popular how-to videos, which can be found on the BoatUS YouTube channel, or at

BoatUS Magazine Is A Benefit Of BoatUS Membership

Membership Benefits Include:

Subscription to the print version of BoatUS Magazine

4% back on purchases from West Marine stores or online at

Discounts on fuel, transient slips, repairs and more at over 1,200 businesses

Deals on cruises, charters, car rentals, hotel stays and more…

All for only $25/year!

We use cookies to enhance your visit to our website and to improve your experience. By continuing to use our website, you’re agreeing to our cookie policy.

Your source for the latest news on yachts, boats and more. Read through our articles to find out how to compare boats and find the right fit for you!

Power Catamarans: A Complete Guide

Dec 06, 2023

less than a min

Power Catamarans: A Complete Guide

Power Catamarans, often termed as the epitome of modern maritime engineering, are gaining popularity for all the right reasons. Their distinct design, enhanced stability, and cruising efficiency set them apart from traditional monohull boats and even their sail-driven counterparts. This guide dives into the world of Power Catamarans, shedding light on their advantages and how they compare to other vessels like monohulls and trimarans.

Historical Prelude:

The concept of catamarans traces its roots back to ancient maritime cultures. However, the power catamaran is a relatively modern innovation that marries the traditional twin-hull design with powerful engines, offering a unique blend of speed, stability, and space.

Distinguishing Design:

Power Catamarans are characterized by their twin hulls, which significantly reduce the drag, thus enhancing speed and fuel efficiency. Unlike monohulls, they have a broader beam, which contributes to increased stability and more living space. The absence of a ballast for stability further lightens the vessel, contributing to its speed and fuel economy

Speed and Handling:

One of the significant advantages of power catamarans is their speed and handling. The twin hulls allow for a smoother glide over the water, making them particularly favorable for watersports enthusiasts. Their handling in rough waters is superior to monohulls, thanks to the inherent stability provided by the dual-hull design.

The stability of power catamarans is unparalleled, especially when compared to monohulls. The wide beam and twin hulls provide a stable platform, reducing the rocking and rolling common in monohulls. This stability is not only comforting in rough seas but also crucial when docking or anchoring.

Comfort and Space:

The spacious design of power catamarans offers homelike livability, with ample room for cabins, lounges, and even onboard amenities like grills and bars. The wide beam also allows for large deck spaces, ideal for sunbathing or enjoying the scenic ocean vistas.

Economy and Redundancy:

Power catamarans are economical, with fuel efficiency being one of their selling points. The redundancy built into their design, with separate engines for each hull, provides an added layer of safety, ensuring that the vessel can return to shore even if one engine fails.

Regular Upkeep and Care:

Power catamarans, given their unique design and structure, come with their own set of maintenance requirements. Like all boats, routine checks and upkeep are essential to ensure smooth sailing. The twin hull design means double the underwater gear – from propellers to rudders, which necessitates regular inspections for any signs of wear, tear, or fouling.


Given that power catamarans have a larger surface area underwater due to their twin hulls, they may be more susceptible to marine growth. Regular antifouling treatments can help in keeping the hulls clean, ensuring optimal performance and fuel efficiency.

Engine Maintenance:

One distinct advantage of power catamarans is their dual-engine setup, but this also means double the engine maintenance. Regular oil changes, cooling system checks, and filter replacements are crucial. It's beneficial to synchronize maintenance schedules for both engines to ensure consistent performance.

The lifespan of a power catamaran largely depends on its build quality, materials used, and how well it's maintained. With proper care, a power catamaran can last for several decades. The engine's maintenance significantly impacts the catamaran's lifespan, with gasoline engines requiring maintenance at 1,200 to 1,800 hours and diesel engines at around 5,000 hours​​. The construction materials play a crucial role; for instance, fiberglass catamarans, when well-maintained, can last for many decades, while aluminum cats might change ownership after 10-15 years but can last a lifetime with proper care​.

World-Renowned Builders:

The power catamaran sector boasts several reputable manufacturers such as Lagoon, Leopard Catamarans, Fountaine Pajot, and other notable names like Seawind Catamarans​.

Lagoon, a revered name under the Beneteau Group umbrella, has carved its niche in crafting luxurious, spacious catamarans. A prime example is the Lagoon 630 Motor Yacht, embodying opulence with its nearly 250 sq. ft. aft deck and 900 sq. ft. interior, comfortably housing up to 12 guests. Known for its superyacht styling, it boasts superior fuel efficiency and a commendable average velocity-made-good of 9 knots.

Leopard Catamarans:

Emerging from the reputable Robertson and Caine shipyard in South Africa, Leopard Catamarans is synonymous with innovation and efficiency. The Leopard 53 Powercat is a testament to this legacy, showcasing excellent seakeeping abilities, offering 3 or 4 cabin configurations, and achieving a top speed of 25 knots.

Fountaine Pajot:

A trailblazer since 1976, Fountaine Pajot constantly redefines catamaran design. The Fountaine Pajot MY6 is a shining example, encapsulating the brand's visionary ethos. Stretching 15 meters, the MY6, equipped with dual engines of up to 2 x 353 Kw and 2 x 480 hp, promises dynamic sailing. Crafted meticulously by Pier Angelo Andreani, the interior mirrors a 20-meter monohull's spaciousness, reflecting modern aesthetics and comfort that stand as a benchmark in the Motor Yacht world.

These manufacturers continue to innovate, offering a blend of luxury, performance, and efficiency in their power catamaran models, making them a popular choice among maritime enthusiasts.

Comparing with Monohulls and Trimarans:

While monohulls are traditional and often cheaper, they lack the stability and space offered by power catamarans. On the other hand, trimarans, with three hulls, provide even more stability but at the cost of additional drag and less interior space.

TheBoatDB - Your Gateway to Maritime Exploration:

If you’re looking to delve deeper into the world of power catamarans and other vessels, TheBoatDB offers a comprehensive boat database. Explore various catamaran models, compare them with monohulls, trimarans, and other types of boats, and make an informed decision on your next maritime adventure.

In summary, power catamarans encapsulate a modern engineering marvel in the maritime domain. Their blend of speed, stability, comfort, and economy makes them an attractive option for a broad spectrum of boaters. Whether you are a long-distance cruiser, a water sport enthusiast, or someone who cherishes the tranquility of the sea, a power catamaran could be the vessel that transforms your maritime adventures into unforgettable experiences.

You might like these too

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Sailboat or Motorboat – Learn the pros and cons lg ...

Aug 24, 2022

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Types of Catamaran Boats: Sailing, Power, and Luxury Catamarans lg ...

Feb 10, 2023

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Which is better a wooden boat or fiberglass boat lg ...

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

What are the main types of sail rigs for sailboats lg ...

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Which is the Best Economical Catamaran lg ...

Oct 04, 2021

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

What is a Chine on a Boat lg ...

Oct 01, 2021

You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

  • Sailfleet Sailboat Yacht Charter in Fethiye, Gocek and Marmaris Turkey
  • Request an Offer

Motor Power and Fuel Consumption of Sailing Boats

  • What is Transit Log?
  • Boat Charter
  • How to get a Certificate of Competence For Operators of Pleasure Craft
  • What is Flotilla?
  • Blue Tour Or Blue Cruise
  • Chartering a Sailing Boat
  • Point of sail
  • Places to visit by sailing boat
  • Services available in marinas

Depending on their power, engines use 4 to 8 liters of Diesel Oil per hour. During one-week rental period of a sailing boat, the engine is operated 15 to 30 hours. Depending on their size, the boats have usually 30 to 110 horsepower diesel engines. With engines that do not make too much noise, the boats can make 7-8 nautical miles of speed.

Sailboat Owners Forums

  • Forums New posts Unanswered threads Register Top Posts Email
  • What's new New posts New Posts (legacy) Latest activity New media
  • Media New media New comments
  • Boat Info Downloads Weekly Quiz Topic FAQ
  • Classifieds Sell Your Boat Used Gear for Sale
  • Parts General Marine Parts Hunter Beneteau Catalina MacGregor Oday
  • Help Terms of Use Monday Mail Subscribe Monday Mail Unsubscribe

Fuel consumption on 40' Hunter

  • Thread starter Doug13104
  • Start date Apr 19, 2010
  • Hunter Owner Forums


Just wondering if someone can give me a rough idea what the fuel consumption would be on a 40' Hunter sailboat? The engine is a Yanmar 4JH3 44Hp diesel with a three blade Max Prop. My first sail, with this new to me boat, will be a 700 mile trip to my home Port. Thanks, Doug  

Don S/V ILLusion

Don S/V ILLusion

Figure 1 gal/hr at a reasonable cruising RPM, slightly more if below 2000 RPM. You can find burn rates vs. RPM at the site.  


Doug, The burn rate for a 4JHE in a Hunter 40 Legend at 2,700 - 2,800 rpm (which is the correct rpm for this engine) will be about 1 gal per hour. So 6.5 knots average is 7.5 MPH so 700 miles will take the better part of 100 gals of fuel and five days. Unless you can sail most of it or a lot of it depends on the route you will be taking. Where is the trip to and from? Open ocean? My Hunter 40 came from Ft. Pierce FL to Beaufort NC on the 38 gals in the tank and six 5-gal Gerry cans on deck. Open ocean direct 3.5 days Just as important as to how much fuel you have is does it have a Racor between the main tank and the engine and do you have a good supply of filters for the Racor and the filter that is on the engine? At least 5 of each. If you are in open ocean the stuff on the bottom and sides of the tank is going to be jarred loose and it will clog the filters. Capt. Ron you want to chime in here?  

I agree w/ Capt. Vinny, you don't state where this 700 mile trip takes place from where to where?? meaning are you offshore, ICW, a combination of both?? an example of the variables you might encounter offshore trip south to north you could take advantage of the gulf stream and pick up 2/3 knot boost., going the opposite way prevaling winds are starting to switch out out of the SE or SW could be on you nose?? ICW you have tidal currents that will affect you and knock your speed up or down depending on how you catch the current. and as Vinny said take plenty of extra fuel filters for the primary as well as the engine filter. aand if you don't have a Racor primary filter on the boat I would sure put one on before I made the trip. On my delivery from Ft. Lauderdale to (planned New Bern, NC) 2nd day out about 60 miles off the coast of SC an un-forecasted Northeaster blew up (25 to 30 knot's and 12'+ seas for 16 hours) end result was running out of fuel 120 miles offshore of Wrightsville Beach NC (40 gal tank plus 4/ 5gal gerry jugs) and had to get towed in to Wrightsville Beach, NC no problem there, but it added an extra day to our trip as we continued the balance of the trip motoring up the ICW, and trust me it's no fun changing fuel filters in 12'+ seas. The point being, just be prepared for the worst case scenario, because "if it's going to happen, its going to happen out there!" Capt. Ron.;  

About 1 gallon an hour, it is the approximate burn rate for the engine. The boat, wind strength and direction and currents will just determine the speed and range you will have with that burn rate under power.  

When calculating range it is best done on the water, on course accordying to to the prevalent conditions. A 15% of the fuel in the tank should be considered as a reserve and not used as part of the calculations. Not all the fuel in the tank is usable as a couple of gallons are usually required to prevent the fuel pickup from sucking air. If you are doing a coastal trip you can plan for refueling points but if it is an offshore passage you will need need to carry all the fuel you can and then have a conservation plan.  

I always assume 1 gallon per hour. However, on my trip from San Francisco to La Paz, MX. I was closer to .75 gallons per hour. This was on a '08 Hunter41, 54HP Yanmar. Virtually all downwind and about 22-2400rpm. I was very easy on the engine.  

Graysailor said: Virtually all downwind and about 22-2400rpm. I was very easy on the engine. Click to expand

Whoa. Lets see, the guy drives from SF to Mexico @ 2200-2400 rpm and he doesn't get the engine up to "temp"? I don't think so. What fact are you refering to?  


sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Fred7825 said: Whoa. Lets see, the guy drives from SF to Mexico @ 2200-2400 rpm and he doesn't get the engine up to "temp"? I don't think so. What fact are you refering to? Click to expand
Vinny said: Not easy at all. The time on the engine is the time and if at that rpm you did not maintain the internal parts to the proper temp then you were harder than if you would have run at 80% of full throttle. Just a fact. Click to expand
Graysailor said: Ran at 75% on the low side and 80% on the high side. Engine temp was just fine. Not sure what you are referring too. Click to expand
  • This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register. By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies. Accept Learn more…
  • European Union
  • South Africa
  • Photos & Videos

Virtual Tour

Leopard 40 Powercat European Boat of the Year

Leopard 40 Powercat

Exhilaration at sea.  A reinvention in the Leopard Powercat series, the Leopard 40 Powercat presents a new generation of cruising possibilities. Bringing optimal reliability, speed, stability and fuel consumption, this vessel joins the successful Leopard 46 and Leopard 53 models as a world leader in the cruising power catamaran market. Built by Robertson & Caine and designed by naval architects Simonis Voogd, the Leopard 40 Powercat is masterfully engineered, maintaining an excellent weight and trim ratio rarely found in catamarans of this size. Research using computational fluid dynamics tools has enabled this feat and made the Leopard 40 PC a class leader. The Leopard 40 Powercat embodies all the distinct design characteristics of the Leopard series but with a new modernity. Superior craftsmanship and materials, including Leopard’s signature side glazing that runs the length of the planking, show off the vessel’s elegant lines. Its smart design also includes an interior steering position that provides maximum safety, with a perfect peripheral view of the sea while remaining sheltered from the elements. Enjoy outdoor living with large aft cockpit as well as the largest flybridge found in a 40-foot vessel.  Step aboard and experience exceptional living at sea. Each living space is intentionally designed with comfort and functionality in mind. Ample communal space is found throughout, including the aft cockpit, flybridge and aft decks. Unique to the Leopard line, sunbathing areas are accessible through the side decks or directly from the saloon by way of the front door. Whether for group gatherings or solitude reflection, there is always a space to manifest the next milestone in your journey. Venture further and discover accommodations that put you right at home. At the bow, the saloon brings everyone together to relish another day at sea. The fully equipped L-shaped galley is conducive to conversation and brings greater ease when preparing meals. The three cabins feature generous island beds and sea views in the hulls. Two heads are located in the passageway on the port side and forward on the starboard side and offer a spacious setting with a separate shower. Intentionally designed to avoid disturbances, the two technical areas are located at the rear and are isolated and accessible only from the outside. They are equipped with two engines of 250, 320, or 370 horsepower that satisfy the Leopard 40 Powercat’s high performance and reliability standards. With capabilities of reaching 17 knots at cruising speed and more than 20 knots at top speed, passengers will find agility and remarkable seaworthiness with the new Leopard 40 Powercat.


sailing catamaran fuel consumption

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

  • LOA: 40 ft 0 in / 12.19 m
  • LWL: 39 ft 7 in / 12.07 m
  • Beam: 21 ft 8 in / 6.61 m
  • Draft: 3 ft 7 in / 1.1 m
  • Bridgedeck Clearance: 2 ft 4 in / 0.7 m
  • Max height above W.L. (excl. antenna stalks): 18 ft 5 in / 5.61 m
  • Engine: 2x250hp
  • Engine Upgrade: 320hp, 370hp
  • Propeller Dimensions: 4-blade 23in x 22in (370 hp option)
  • Maximum Speed (in light ship conditions): 23 Knots
  • Cruising Speed (in light ship conditions): 15 Knots
  • Engine Max Power: 250 HP
  • Max Power RPM: 3800 rpm
  • Engine No. Cylinders: 4
  • Consumption Curves:  View Leopard 40 Powercat Performance Curves
  • Fuel: 370 gal / 1400 L


  • Water: 169 gal / 640 L
  • Displacement: 30488 lbs / 13829 kg
  • Load Carrying Capacity: 12410 lbs / 5629 kg
  • Holding Tank Capacity: 42 gal / 160 L

All Leopard Catamarans are NMMA and CE Certified.

Related Boat Reviews

Leopard catamarans feature - passagemaker, leopard 40 powercat - southern boating catamaran buyers guide, leopard 40 powercat review - southern boating.

Make an appointment for a boat show, a sea trial, or simply receive a phone call from our expert agents.

Other Leopard 40 Powercat Buying Options

Check for current availability of used Leopard Catamarans and new Leopard Catamarans in charter programs on our sister sites

  • My View My View
  • Following Following
  • Saved Saved

Cleaner shipping fuel is contributing to ocean warming, scientists say

  • Medium Text

A boat sails on the Gulf Of Thailand during the sunset at Ko Samui in Thailand

Sign up here.

Reporting by David Stanway; Editing by Tom Hogue

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. New Tab , opens new tab

sailing catamaran fuel consumption

Thomson Reuters

Reports on climate and environmental topics, including the state of the oceans and the long transition to clean energy. Spent 21 years in China as a correspondent covering energy, mining, the country's war on pollution and the growing impact of climate change on cities and ecosystems, as well as the outbreak and origins of COVID-19.

A wind turbine is pictured near Martigny

Business Chevron

Chanel store in Paris

Luxury prices in spotlight as Chanel enters new chapter

The departure of Chanel's top designer early Thursday sent ripples across the $1.62 trillion luxury goods industry at a time when all the major global players are at a crossroads.

Volvo Cars launches EX30 electric SUV in Milan


  1. Sailing Catamaran Fuel Consumption Data From Owners!

    sailing catamaran fuel consumption

  2. Sailing Catamaran Fuel Consumption Data From Owners!

    sailing catamaran fuel consumption

  3. Sailing Catamaran Fuel Consumption Data From Owners!

    sailing catamaran fuel consumption

  4. Sailing Catamaran Fuel Consumption Data From Owners!

    sailing catamaran fuel consumption

  5. Sailing Catamaran Fuel Consumption Data From Owners!

    sailing catamaran fuel consumption

  6. Sailing Catamaran Fuel Consumption Data From Owners!

    sailing catamaran fuel consumption


  1. Are Performance "Cruising" Catamarans Safe?

  2. Why Catamarans SUCK

  3. What It’s Like To Work On Jet Engines

  4. Austal Hull 393 (Molslinjen Express 4) Launch

  5. Skoota 20 trailable powercat in 2011.wmv

  6. Why build a Power catamaran? Why we changed from sailing catamaran. Part 4


  1. Sailing Catamaran Fuel Consumption Data From Owners!

    Catamarans are more (fuel) efficient than a monohull (regular sailboat). During calm conditions, while powering under one engine, fuel consumption is between 0.3 gallons per hour (gph, of diesel) and 1.1 gph according to the data collected. Below I have gathered fuel consumption data from catamaran owners. Show entries. Model. GPH single engine.

  2. Fuel Consumption of 40ft Cat, or Why Buy Sails?

    From what I've read, a rough estimate of the fuel consumption to push a 40ft cat at hull speed is about .7-1.0 gallon per hour, at a speed of about 6-8 knots. This is roughly 8 miles per gallon. This is much better than I'd expect! It really isn't too bad at all. Looking at taking my boat to La Paz,

  3. Fuel Calculator

    Welcome to the West Nautical Fuel Calculator. HOW TO USE: ... this will automatically update the distance table. Then enter the speed, fuel consumption, and fuel cost to determine the total cost of the trip. Example 1: A fast 30m yacht cruising at 20 knots ... A sailing catamaran can cruise at 8 knots and consume around 35 l/hour.

  4. Power Catamaran vs Motor Yacht: Fuel Efficiency Put to Test

    As an added bonus, power catamarans require less throttle to achieve equivalent speeds. This pust less strain on engines, significantly increasing their working life and reducing maintenance requirements and potential failures. " The power catamaran delivered 36% better fuel efficiency at 3000 rpm ". Thanks to tests performed by Yamaha ...

  5. How Much Fuel Does a Sailboat Use?

    On average, a sailboat holds anywhere between 30 - 60 gallons of fuel on board. This provides a theoretical range of 350 - 600 nautical miles at a fuel consumption of 0.5 GPH. In practice, fuel consumption averages at 1 GPH, making the range 200 - 300 NM. Whenever I dream about long passages, I always wonder how much fuel a sailboat uses.

  6. 50' + Decent Fuel Consumption

    My sailing catamaran can cruise at 6 knots on about 3 liters per hour and 1 engine or 7 knots on 6 liters per hour with both engines running. This boat comes in a power version that has twin 315 hp engines standard and carries 500 gallons of fuel.It of course can go much faster than 6 knots. One option might be to see if a power cat manufacturer would put a sailboat sized engine or maybe just ...

  7. Leopard 40 PC Power Catamaran Review

    Above: 2023 Leopard 40PC power catamaran. Photo by Leopard Catamarans. Handling while on plane was precise with no slipping or digging in. Visibility was good forward and along the starboard hull. When driving from either the upper or lower helm, it would be beneficial to add a backup camera. Slow speed maneuvering was excellent with the twin ...

  8. Sailing Catamaran Fuel Consumption, With 10 Fuel Saving Tips! to the data i have collected. The fuel consumption of a sailing catamaran, during calm conditions, while powering under on...

  9. Boat Review: Leopard 40 Power Cat

    The boat's sweet spot—3,000 rpm, where we cranked along at 17 knots—came at a cost of 0.8 miles per gallon. Any more or less, and efficiency dropped, according to onboard gauges. Top speed was a little better than 22 knots. Each living space is designed with comfort and functionality in mind. Courtesy The Manufacturer.

  10. How can we limit our fuel consumption?

    When under way, the drag of two thin hulls is much lower than that of a single wide hull, and this leads to much lower fuel consumption. If we compare a powercat with a boat of the same volume, the evidence is conclusive. Prestige Yachts, which recently arrived on the power catamaran market, would not disagree.

  11. PDF Speed(Knots)/Engine RPM Leopard 40PC (Based on Trial Data) Yanmar 4LV

    Fuel Consumption (Statute Miles per Gal) Boat Speed (Mph) Speed(Mph)/Fuel Consumption(Statute miles per Gallon) Leopard 40PC (Based on Trial Data) Yanmar 4LV 250 Hp B9001 Trial Cond. (36940 Lbs) B9001 Half Load Cond. (39317 Lbs) B9001 Full Load Cond. (43168 Lbs) Notes: Revised estimate with Yanmar 4LV 250 HP based

  12. Powercat Fuel Consumption Comparisons

    Even below 10 knots the Escape is only burning 60% of the semi's fuel. This means more than 40% more range for the Escape at a given speed. At all speeds compared, the planing cat was using more fuel than the Escape. At the planing cat's drag hump at around 11 knots the Escape was using only 43% of the horsepower of the other boat!

  13. The Planing Power Catamaran: A Different Kind Of Cat

    Mike Myers, vice president of product development for World Cat explains: "Catamaran hulls experience little to no drag or resistance to get on plane, resulting in greater fuel economy. They have a steady rise in speed and fuel burn with little to no spikes in fuel consumption."Planing powercats have a unique trait — which many cat lovers ...

  14. 50 Fuel consumption, range

    Hi all, I'm delivering a 2019 Lagoon 50 to Tahiti from Tortola (BVI) and the owner has no information on fuel consumption, range, etc. The boat holds 1020 Litres in 2 tanks. Any help appreciated. May. live data. lagoon 52 fuel consumption: 22 l/h average. but this is a charter boat and VOLVO 2 X 75 HP.

  15. Aquila 54 Yacht Power Catamaran (2021-)

    The Aquila 54 Yacht Power Catamaran has a length overall of 54'2" (16.5 m), a beam of 25'2" (7.68 m) and a draft of 4'5" (1.37 m). With an empty weight of 49,659 lbs. (22,525 kg), 45% fuel and five people onboard, we had an estimated test weight of 56,339 lbs. (24,120 kg). With a pair of Volvo Penta 480-hp D6 diesels turning 4 ...

  16. Sea Trial and Review of the Leopard 53 Power Catamaran

    (Leopard says they clocked the boat at 25 knots.) The fuel comsumption on the yacht thoroughly impressed me, a real advantage of its powercat configuration and efficient Yanmar propulsion. At a cruise speed of 17.2 knots at 3000 rpm, it sipped just 9.4 gph total, and fuel use only increased to 16 gph at WOT.

  17. Power Catamarans: A Complete Guide

    However, the power catamaran is a relatively modern innovation that marries the traditional twin-hull design with powerful engines, offering a unique blend of speed, stability, and space. Distinguishing Design: Power Catamarans are characterized by their twin hulls, which significantly reduce the drag, thus enhancing speed and fuel efficiency.

  18. Motor Power and Fuel Consumption of Sailing Boats

    Depending on their power, engines use 4 to 8 liters of Diesel Oil per hour. During one-week rental period of a sailing boat, the engine is operated 15 to 30 hours. Depending on their size, the boats have usually 30 to 110 horsepower diesel engines. With engines that do not make too much noise, the boats can make 7-8 nautical miles of speed.

  19. Fuel consumption on 40' Hunter

    The burn rate for a 4JHE in a Hunter 40 Legend at 2,700 - 2,800 rpm (which is the correct rpm for this engine) will be about 1 gal per hour. So 6.5 knots average is 7.5 MPH so 700 miles will take the better part of 100 gals of fuel and five days. Unless you can sail most of it or a lot of it depends on the route you will be taking.

  20. The Silent 62: A Self-Sufficient Electric Catamaran

    YachtWorld speaks to Franz Boese, Chief Marketing Officer of SILENT yachts about the new iconic SILENT 62 3-deck. SILENT yachts are leading the change as one of the first ocean-going yachts to use solar energy for propulsion and household appliances on board. SILENT yachts' energy system can reduce a vessel's fuel consumption by up to 100%.

  21. Fountaine Pajot Catamaran Motor Yacht MY 44 Review

    The Fountaine Pajot 44 MY comes standard with 260 HP Volvo Penta IPS 350 diesels but an upgrade to 435 HP IPS 600 is available. The IPS drives add joystick control and although cats are already a snap to drive with the props set far apart, the joystick now dials in fingertip docking. Like motor yachts (and unlike sailing cats) the MY 44 has ...

  22. Leopard 40 Powercat

    Propeller Dimensions: 4-blade 23in x 22in (370 hp option) Maximum Speed (in light ship conditions): 23 Knots. Cruising Speed (in light ship conditions): 15 Knots. Engine Max Power: 250 HP. Max Power RPM: 3800 rpm. Engine No. Cylinders: 4. Consumption Curves: View Leopard 40 Powercat Performance Curves. Fuel: 370 gal / 1400 L.

  23. Fuel consumption and range values for motoryachts

    As an example, while at 1000-1 revs the hourly fuel consumption is 7.6 liters. At 2650-1 revs this has increased to 84.9 liters. Thus, the hourly consumption has increased more than TEN fold. At the same time, range and way made good per unit fuel has decreased FIVE fold. At this example the "good" revs are 1500 - 1750 revs.

  24. Cleaner shipping fuel is contributing to ocean warming, scientists say

    A boat sails on the Gulf Of Thailand during the sunset at Ko Samui in Thailand March 3, 2020. ... SUV fuel economy rules, much less than first proposed June 7, 2024. Business.