Stopover in South Africa. The other catamaran country.

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Since the turn of the century and the emergence of piracy in the Red Sea and the north west of the Indian Ocean, South Africa has become a vital stopover for those who want to rejoin the Atlantic and finish their world tour. With the south of the African continent now an obligatory part of the route, the number of boats stopping over has increased, and there are more and more catamarans. Whether they’re coming from Madagascar, Réunion or Mauritius after crossing the Indian Ocean, most round the world craft stop in South Africa. But don’t forget those who are sailing down from Europe or coming from South America, Brazil or Argentina perhaps, and who also stop in this zone…

 P'tit Filou au mouillage. Le catamaran est maintenant en vente…

From November to March, there is a kind of migratory pattern to those sailing around the east coast from Richards Bay to Cape Town before rejoining the South Atlantic, and waiting for the next weather window in between stopovers: Richards Bay; Durban; East London; Port Elizabeth; Mossel Bay… to mention the main destinations. In many of them there are marinas or Yacht Clubs, but there are also some lovely anchorages in the region. It’s worth joining the Zululand Yacht Club- a simple formality- which will allow you to get better rates at the other Yacht Clubs, most notably, Cape Town. Some marinas struggle to accommodate multihulls. This is the case at Port Elizabeth. There is only the fishing boat quay but you risk seeing your warps chafe through or the boat scraping up and down the dock walls. On our cat we were lucky enough to be able to do the trip from East London to Cape Town in one hit.  

 Villes tentaculaires, mais mouillages déserts et intérieurs des terres luxuriants, l'Afrique du Sud est multiple, et justifie une escale longue.

Some long haul sailors make the most of this stopover to leave the boat on the hard or in a marina, to go back home or to visit the interior. It’s worth noting that getting a multihull out of the water here can pose problems depending upon the beam and weight of your boat. You could take your cat or your tri out at Richards Bay. But this will be a trailer system which takes the catamaran from underneath… otherwise if your boat is too big or too heavy, you will have no chance but to head for the Cape Town or Durban region to find a crane or a Travelift which will allow you to get the boat out easily.  


Historically, all South Africa and more particularly Cape Town and its two mythical Capes-Good Hope and Agulhas- are along the way of the great maritime routes. There is a lot of sailing activity as well as an industry around it. The country is the second biggest producer of catamarans after France. There are numerous, well known shipyards like Robertson and Caine, Royal Cape Catamarans, Two Oceans Marine, Matrix Yachts, Maverick Yachts, Voyage Yachts, but also Xquisites Yachts and Nexus Yachts, St Francis Marine, Knysna Yachts to name but a few… South Africa has shown that it is a competent and professional multihull builder, and has built up a network of businesses and services which allow the projects to get finalized. Every week 4 or 5 sailing or motor catamarans ...

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