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Do You Need a Cathedral Hull on Your Boat?


Modern boats come in a choice of various hull types and the best design depends on the intended use of the boat. The Cathedral Hull is popular among boating enthusiasts and professional fishermen for its enhanced safety features, but not everyone agrees that it is a superior design. While it's not the best choice for every boater, some could benefit from its features. If you're wondering if you need a cathedral hull on your boat, here is everything you need to know about the design to help you decide.

What is a cathedral boat hull?

A cathedral boat hull is a type of trimaran hull that is best explained by Definitions, as a single-center hull with two side hulls designed so close to the main Vee hull that there is no space in between them. The cathedral hull has the main hull that has an extension on either side that extend nearly the length of the center hull. The three hulls interlock with one another in a tri-hull design. The side hulls are called sponsons. The cathedral hull is most commonly seen on boats that are rectangular with a broad bow to accommodate the size of the triple hull. The Cathedral hull was developed after fiberglass made it possible to create this hull from a form. It caught on during the 1960s and 1970s as a trend.

What are the benefits of a cathedral boat hull?

A cathedral boat hull is a modern development that adds stability to watercraft when compared to the traditional V-shaped single hulls. Most boats with cathedral hulls have a broad bow. They provide greater stability when boats traverse choppy waters. Another benefit is that the hull creates more working space in a boat and additional cargo space, according to Wikimotors. The cathedral hull is also faster than a flat bottom hull, which makes it a good choice for cargo-bearing boats or those that carry several occupants. The waterplane area of a cathedral boat hull is high when at rest, which makes it safer for occupants to stand near the side of the boat without causing it to tip. Additionally, in light choppy water, boaters enjoy a dry ride, and owners appreciate the good fuel economy. It's also better in shallow waters, making it easier for the hull to float in shallow water without scraping the bottom as quickly as a traditional single V-hull.

What are the drawbacks to a cathedral boat hull?

Most boaters can appreciate the added stability that a cathedral hull offers, but it's not the best choice for all boating applications. There are drawbacks to the designs for some boating activities. Cathedral hull is more expensive than traditional hull types. When waters are rough and excessively choppy, the design creates a far less preferable ride with hard pounding against the waves. It can become uncomfortable for boat occupants as the ride becomes bumpy. The Cathedral hull reduces spray in light chop, but in heavily choppy waters, over the bow spray increases and can soak everyone near the bow of the boat.

Where are cathedral boat hulls the best?

The most useful application for cathedral boat hulls is for deck boats that are used in rivers and inland lakes. It's a design that can be used in many different boat types, and it's suitable for some recreation and fishing boats because of the added stability. Any type of flat-decked boat that carries passengers can benefit from a cathedral hull. It offers extra safety from accidents for boats that feature standing areas near the edge of the deck.

Do you need a cathedral hull on your boat?

If you're shopping for a new or used boat and you wonder which type of hull is the best, it's wise to consider where you will use the boat. What kind of activities do you have planned? The small hull on either side of the main hull gives you added stability. If you plan to boat in calm waters, it's likely to be a superior choice. It's also good for boats that are made to hold multiple occupants such as party barges or any other kind of deck boat. It's essential to weigh the pros and cons of a cathedral hull before you make your final decision. Cathedral hulls can ride on top of the waves, but when the waters get rough, they can slap the waves hard. and jolt the occupants. The cathedral hull is a good choice for a ski boat as it can move the vessel through the water faster than a flat-bottom boat. The trimaran design can help to cut the waters when it's calm on the surface.

Final thoughts

Buying a new or used boat requires thought and consideration before deciding which type of hull would be best. A trimaran-style cathedral hull is an option that is best for any boating activities that take place in calmer waters and require stability. Cathedral hulls are an excellent choice for water-skiing boats. Some prefer the cathedral hull for fishing boats or deck boats. It's safer for flat-bottomed boats with multiple occupants on board. Like any design, cathedral hulls have their upsides and their downsides. If you frequently boat in bodies of water known for choppy or rough waters, it's probably not the best choice as you're likely to take a beating. The advantages of a single vee hull in these situations are a smoother ride with a vessel that can cut through the waves instead of riding them to the top and pounding down hard. Boaters more likely to engage in activities at inland lakes and rivers may benefit. A cathedral hull may be worth considering. No hull design is perfect for all situations or boating applications. The cathedral hull is not as popular as it was fifty years ago, but there are situations where it may be a benefit. with the pros and cons to decide before you decide if you need a cathedral hull on your boat.

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Dana Hanson

Written by Dana Hanson

Dana has extensive professional writing experience including technical and report writing, informational articles, persuasive articles, contrast and comparison, grant applications, and advertisement. She also enjoys creative writing, content writing on nearly any topic (particularly business and lifestyle), because as a lifelong learner, she loves to do research and possess a high skill level in this area. Her academic degrees include AA social Sci/BA English/MEd Adult Ed & Community & Human Resource Development and ABD in PhD studies in Indust & Org Psychology.

Read more posts by Dana Hanson

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