Interview with Jens Schönberg


Overseas power catamarans have been a hit for years – one of the most popular power catamarans in these areas is the Aquilla Powercat. Now she has arrived to Europe and is available in the most popular holiday area, Croatia at Phönix Yachting. On this occasion, we talked to Jens Schönberg on the subject of power catamarans. As these boats are getting more popular lately, we would like to introduce Phoenix Yachting newest type of boat, just in time for the season 2019.

Phoenix Yachting: Even the most passionate mono-hull sailers get excited about a catamaran after chartering it for a week. Why is that? What is the secret behind it?

Jens Schönberg: Today a catamaran is, even if that is not important for many charterers, presents a greater prestige than a monohull in comparable length, as it is perceived more impressive, more sophisticated but also more sovereign. Also, the flybridge is usually twice as big as a monohull and thus the captain can feel like the „MASTER OF THE SEA“. Additionally, a power catamaran offers the advantage that everybody on the flybridge next to the skipper finds enough space and thus can experience driving together, which is impossible on a sailing cat.

Of course, there are other obvious benefits. It‘s just a lot of space on a catamaran, because you can create between two hulls a surface that is more than three times as large as a mono of the same length. This available space is the center of life on the water and also offers a 360 ° view over the water, just like on the power catamaran AQUILA 44 .

The fully air-conditioned cabins and rooms in the ship‘s hulls are only used for sleeping, body care or if someone wants to seclude himself. But even from the bed, the beautiful, wide and almost 180 ° view over the sea is provided.

Phoenix Yachting: How easy is a power catamaran to drive and handle in a small marina?

Jens Schönberg: A power catamaran has a very low draft, which can vary from 1.0 to 2.3 meters to a monohull. Of course, this feature automatically means that a catamaran is faster and can dock in any marina or almost at any pier. Thus, the radius of action for holidays is greater and the planning security increases.

Phoenix Yachting: Why are there fewer accidents and damages, even with less experienced skippers and crews?

Jens Schönberg: The maneuverability of a power catamaran is easy, even with smaller propulsion systems and inexperienced crews, and represents a huge advantage as well as improved safety, especially in constrictions and in stronger winds. The engines are just twice as far apart as monohulls. Thus, the KAT can be turned and maneuvered around exactly in one spot.

Due to the smaller wind-exposed area, the balanced center of gravity, and that the swinging around the anchor / buoy is much smaller, the anchor holds better even in strong winds and bad anchorage.

Those typical accidents that occur with a sailing catamaran e.g. by running rigging like ropes, are here almost non-existent.
In addition, of course, the easier handling causes less stress and thus reduces the accident frequency.

Phoenix Yachting: Why are catamarans so popular lately? Especially for family cruises, the Kats are increasingly trendy.

Jens Schönberg: A sailing catamaran up to 50“ requires at least 2-3 people with experience, a power cat can be handled by a skipper completely alone, which makes it more favorable for families.

The enormous space and storage space on a CAT leaves nothing else to be desired. Children also have fun on it as they find their own play area or room.

A catamaran is well received by every family, as there is almost no swaying and tumbling even on the rough sea. Not only is this a great safety feature, but it also makes it easier for women and children to feel comfortable on board.

Phoenix Yachting: There are only benefits? That is not very realistic … what would be the disadvantages from your point of view?

Jens Schönberg: Welll the disadvantages are different and do not affect safety or pleasure, but only your wallet. Catamarans are more expensive to buy (as there is more space and prestige) and therefore this also affects the charter price.

The width of the catamaran is reflected in the mooring fees of the marinas as well. This means 150 to 200% more mooring fees, which does not bother the crews when anchoring, as there are usually no fees due.

Another disadvantage is also that in relation to the demand there are simply not enough or almost no power catamarans available on the European market.

Phoenix Yachting: Dear Jens, thank you for the Interview!