Catamarans vs Cruisers, what’s the difference?

It’s a question that is asked a lot from our customers. Should I hire a Catamaran or a cruiser style boat?

A traditional cruiser is a monohull, as in one capsule to hold the passengers. 

A catamaran is composed on two hulls. Between the 2 sides of a catamarans hulls lies the middle of the boat which is occupied by the cockpit and the boats front netting, (a popular spot for laying in the sun). This makes catamarans wider and more stable.

Why are catamarans so popular?

Over the last few years we have seen a rise in client chartering catamarans for private boat hire. In most cases we find that people prefer the large footprint size of a catamaran, mainly  to soak up the sun. 

Catamaran Cruise Sydney

Catamaran charters are extremely popular in the summer day time with all the open space they offer. We tend to see people chartering catamarans for a family/friends day out, birthday cruises, Christmas parties, and other social cruises. 

Catamarans are definitely a far more casual style charter boat than cruisers with the open layout providing more of a laid-back affair, however this makes catamarans a less popular boat charter option for corporate style cruisers and more formal events.

Another reason why Catamarans are so popular for boat charters is that they generally cost less than a cruiser type boat, mainly because the running costs of fuel are a little less, thus making it cheaper for us to sell to guests.

Catamarans also can take more passengers. Their space allows them to take more passengers in their survey. So generally a catamaran that is the same size as a cruiser can take more passengers, making it a better value boat charter for the client.

We find that in the end the most popular feature of a catamaran is the boat hire price. This we think is what most people are conscious of when hiring a boat.


Advantages and disadvantages of Catamarans

As mentioned, the advantages with catamarans are that they are great value and excellent summer boats with open space for soaking up the harbour atmosphere.

Catamarans are also more stable for cruising, so for those that are concerned about rocking then maybe a catamaran is more appealing to you them.

One of the disadvantages with catamarans is the weather component. If the weather isn’t on your side there is minimal cover from rain or wind, leaving passengers quite exposed to the elements. 


Advantages and disadvantages of Cruisers

The advantages of a cruiser are that they look slim and sexy. Seaduced Boat Sydney

The appeal is that most cruisers look quite cool and people are drawn to this especially if they would like to make an impression on their clients to entertain, staff for Christmas parties, family who are visiting Sydney etc. Cruiser charter boats provide  more undercover space in comparison to a similar size Catamaran.

The disadvantages of cruiser style charter boats are that they are narrower than catamarans and provide less outdoor space. Cruisers are also generally more expensive per person as they can’t take as many people as the same size catamarans.

2 of the most popular Catamarans on Sydney Harbour

The Hestia and Wanderlust are proven to be the most popular catamarans on the harbour – purely for the space and guest capacity of each boat as well as the very competitive hourly charter rate. They also have BBQ options on board where you bring your own BBQ goods (meats, sausages, kebabs, vege skewers etc) and the crew will assist with cooking them and serving them for you.

OzCat boat Sydney    Wanderlust boat Sydney

2 of the most popular Cruisers on Sydney Harbour.

The Highlander has been a favourite charter boat for every one that has Boat Charter Sydneyeither visited Sydney as a tourist or locals that enjoy a Harbour day out with family or colleagues. She is a cruiser that definitely offers you a lot of value for money. Spacious enough to host up to 18 people and a very competitive hourly rate for a boat of her size.

The captain and stewardess are very personable and ensure the guests enjoy their cruise time on Sydney Harbour. We have hosted many private cruises on board the Highlander and everyone’s expectations are met.


John Oxley yachtAnother favourite of ours is the John Oxley, again a whole lot of boat for your buck, a traditional wooden motorboat that has been refurbished to a luxury homestead standard. This cruiser will leave you wanting more! Spacious indoor area with an open plan upper deck lounge area and sunbeds throughout. Spacious enough to host an array of functions and very very popular for Christmas party cruisers.

John Oxley slide

The one standout feature is their giant slide which can be added as an extra entertainment option for your private boat charter.

The slide is amazing fun and becoming a hit with summer charters and many charters boats have this additional option. 


In the end you choose the boat that you are more comfortable with. The staff and crew on all our private charter boats do such an amazing job of keeping their boats clean and offering friendly service so you have an enjoyable private boat charter experience.