According to the back cover of Cruising Catamaran Communique, Charles E. Kanter has been a marine surveyor for over 36 years, and has been a liveaboard-cruiser for 15 of those years. So to say that he is qualified to write a comprehensive book on multi-hulled sailboats would be an understatement. In addition to his hands-on experiences, he co-authored Sailor’s Multihull Guide in the 1990s, wrote Cruising On More Than One Hull in 1992, and Cruising In Catamarans in 2002. As I was reading, there was no doubt in my mind that the man knows what he’s talking about. However, the title may be a bit deceiving as the book contains useful information on trimarans as well as catamarans.

Very early in the book, Kanter gives a fairly good treatise on cruising and much of the information is pretty generic and can be applied to mono- as well as multi-hulled vessels. He then goes on to extol the virtues of multi-hulled boats over mono-hulls, citing such obvious things as their shoal draft and stable ride. He also gives a lot of useful information on docking, hauling out, anchoring, the advantages of two engines over one, trampolines, and many other details on the characteristics of these boats. The back of the book contains some tips on having a survey done, a glossary of terms that he uses throughout the text, and a bibliography of other informative sources. All three of these sections contain information that, again, could be applied to all boats, regardless of the power source or number of hulls. In addition to all of this information, he reviews over 60 different multi-hulls, most of which are accompanied with line drawings and/or photographs.

There are some mechanical problems (spelling, grammar, etc.) that could have been avoided with more careful editing, but unless you’re an English teacher like me, these probably won’t bother you much. The layout also seems a bit awkward to me. For example, the section on anchoring would fit better with the rest of the technical information. Instead, it’s after the boat reviews, which makes it seem a bit out of place. Given these minor concerns, Cruising Catamaran Communique will be a valuable asset to anyone thinking about purchasing a boat for cruising, or anyone who would simply like more information on multi-hulled sailboats.

Cruising Catamaran Communique by Charles E. Kanter, AMS (SAILco Press, 2007; 407 pages)