This category is all about using sailboats as a long term (comfortable) survival shelter.

Having lived in Toronto, and then on a farm in Northern Ontario, my move to a catamaran sailboat on the ocean 6 years ago was a big change, but a welcome one. Six years of living on the oceans has taught me a lot, and re-affirmed my belief that a sailing catamaran is the ultimate in survival shelters.

Self-sustainable farming on a sailboat

Found a great article about a sailor who grows their own food onboard.

Three hulls, one planet: Neel 51 owner explains how he went self-sustainable (opens in a new window)

As an experienced live-aboard cruiser, I disagree with a few points in his article. A few examples:

  • He states "Desalination puts brine back into the sea, which contributes to the eutrophication of the marine environment". First off, evaporation from the ocean surface removes much more water than a sailboat would. Second, the water you take from your watermaker will all end up going back into the ocean, thereby diluting the salt content back to normal. I also have rain catchers on our boat, but while Wolf uses them as his primary source, and watermaker as secondary, we use the watermaker as primary and raincatchers as secondary.
  • Re-using grey water is needed if you are relying on rain catching. While I am not opposed to having a grey-water system, we found it was easier just to use potable water for everything. The amount of waste from a single boat is minimal, and the ocean naturally bio-degrades it.
    Our reliance on potable water may partly be because we have excess electrical power, and so can "waste" the energy to use our watermaker as we please. Wolf has 3kw of solar and a 10kwh battery bank, compared to our 4.5kw solar and 29kwh battery bank.

Generally, however, he has some great ideas, and it's good to see other people making the switch to a cruising lifestyle. Definitely worth the read.

Top 10 Favourite Kitchen Items for Cruisers

A few things of note:

  • We have a pretty large solar array with lithium batteries. This means we can run some electrical appliances that others may not be able to, depending on the setup.
  • Our boat, a 15m catamaran, is roomier than some, which provides more space for storing bulkier appliances.
  • We do not monetize our page and we do not earn any money from the links below. I included them merely for reference. Anything you see on our pages comes from us sharing our experiences only.

Now, without further ado...

What Size Catamaran To Sail Around The World

Comfortable CatamaransWhat Sizes Are Catamarans?

Catamarans come in all shapes and sizes, but the smallest models don't have the accommodations required to sail around the world. Most catamarans under 30 feet in length don't have a cabin at all, which is a stark difference that they have with monohulls.

Small monohull sailboats often have cabins, as there's plenty of room below on a wide single-hulled sailboat. Monohulls can be as small as 16 to 18 feet and still have a cabin, but catamarans must be much larger to have suitable accommodations.

The smallest catamarans are about 12 to 15 feet long. These are small recreational craft used primarily for racing, and they aren't designed for the open ocean. Larger catamarans in the 20-foot range can (and have) been used on the ocean, but they're usually classified as day boats.

Catamarans become practical for longer excursions once they hit about 30 feet in length. A boat of this size is large enough for a cabin and can usually accommodate between two and four people comfortably. Catamarans commonly stretch beyond 50 feet, which is where they're the most useful and comfortable.

Are Catamarans Safe For Ocean Crossing?

Catamarans aren't the most common ocean-crossing sailboats, but they're surprisingly safe and capable offshore.

Author sailing his 38' Catamaran in the Caribbean

Catamarans are safe for ocean crossings. In fact, catamarans are often much safer than similarly-sized monohulls offshore. Safety comes from increased motion comfort, great stability, speed, and excess buoyancy due to lack of ballast.

In this article, we’ll examine if catamarans are safe (or safer) than monohulls for offshore cruising and ocean passages. We’ll also examine the benefits of cruising catamaran design, along with how these vessels handle in different offshore conditions.

We gathered the information used in this article from offshore sailing guides and reputable catamaran experts. We also examined design guidelines for offshore cruising boats, including head-to-head tests done between catamarans and other vessels.

Pros & Cons of a Bug-Out Boat

Bug-out SailboatHaving a bug-out boat is similar to a bug-out vehicle or a bug-out location, but combines the best of both.


  • you can escape any disaster area, even when governments want to stop travel. Police/military can close roads, you can't close the ocean.
  • gathering food is simple. Anyone can fish, while hunting/trapping takes skill
  • you can generate your own electricity and water
  • when travelling you take your house and all your supplies with you. And all your comforts too... if you have to leave your house are you going to take your Playstation & 50" TV? We've got ours!
  • being on the water is much safer than being on the land. 2021 saw 132 incidents of violent crime on all the oceans (ICC International Maritime Bureau). There were likely more violent crimes in your state every single day.
  • sailing is easy to learn. We taught ourselves with books and videos, but lessons are easy to find
  • you can start relatively inexpensively. If you can afford a house, you could have bought an ocean crossing boat