Lake Como as you can imagine, has many sailing and windsurfing schools in the area due to the winds that sweep up and down the lake attracting lots of sports enthusiasts. Many of these schools usually have other watersports on offer, one of which is learning to sail a catamaran.
Catamarans originated from the people of Polynesia and were used for exploring and transport of getting from one island to another as well as being used in war. These boats are made up of two connected hulls (or a single hull with two parallel keels). The Polynesian people often used two logs for the hulls which resulted in the boat looking more like a raft. These log style catamarans or “kattumaram” (the word derives from the Tamil people of South India and North-east Sri Lanka and means wood tied together) are still used today of the South Indian coast. The wood used to build the catamarans is very light and comes from a local fibrous palm tree. It wasn’t until the 19th century that Western boat builders started to construct catamarans.
The catamaran is very stable and can be paddled or sailed even in strong waves. The modern catamarans of today often have a motorboat as well as a sail and have since become a very popular recreational activity. Because of the design and the how lightweight the structure is, these boats can reach high speeds of 40 knots and over. The size of the catamaran varies from around 3 metres to 96 metres in length. These larger catamarans have been adapted to allow for on-board accommodation for cruising and even ferries and ships have adopted the catamaran hull construction to allow for faster speeds. (Just have a look at images of the Seacat Ferries that used to run between Scotland and Northern Ireland between 1991-2004).
Lots of visitors to Lake Como want to try sailing or go on a boat tours but the catamarans can be a lot of fun so you should take a look at some courses and maybe set yourself a challenge to try something new. You will find many of the catamarans sail up near the top of Lake Como, as there are normally not so many speedboats racing up and down this part of the lake.
Please click on the map pins below to see location and contact details of places where you can sign up or indeed possibly hire out a catamaran (you are only able to hire a catamaran if you are qualified).
LAKE COMO SAILING