Hire A Sailing Catamaran Or A Powerboat In The Whistundays Islands

Hire a Sailing Catamaran or a Powerboat in the Whistundays Islands

Getting a private charter to visit the Whitsundays Islands is probably one of the most amazing holidays ideas ever. But what kind of boat should you choose? No one is born knowing the difference between vessels, the pros and cons of catamarans and yachts. We strongly recommend you to learn about it before making your decision so you can get the best of your visit to the Whitsundays Islands and choose the option that suits better to your group.

Let’s start with the basics 

Everyone knows that Airlie Beach is the main access to the Whitsundays Islands and the supply of boats and models is abundant. Most of the offer is based on sailing boats or powerboats. But which is the main difference between them? Which one best suits the type of vacation you are looking for? 


A powerboat is a motorboat or a speedboat, which means is powered by an engine. This kind of boats is usually the one used for Day Tours since its speed is perfect to visit the main attractions of the Whistundays Islands like Whitehaven Beach and snorkelling spots on the same day. 

Powerboats usually can get from Airlie Beach to Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island in about 1 hour and a half and although the ride can be bumpy, depending on the weather conditions, is great for those adrenaline catchers. 

Powerboats in Airlie Beach are a great option to discover the Great Barrier Reef in a very short time. You don’t necessarily need to book a Day Tour to explore the Whitsundays Islands on a powerboat, you can also hire a private bareboat and go at your own pace!

  • Speed. If you have the need for speed, then a powerboat is the right choice for you. Powerboats typically travel at speeds of around 15 to 20 knots on a calm day.
  • Convenience. They don’t rely on wind. Whenever you get the urge, you can turn the key and go wherever your heart desires.
  • Less training. Unlike sailing boats, driving a powerboat is pretty much easier.

  • Fuel. You can get as far as your tank fuel allows you.
  • Motor sound. You can’t move without the motor on, so you will need to get used to its sound.
  • Unsteady in the wind. They are not as steady as sailboats when the wind is strong and can be scary.

Sailing catamarans


Who doesn’t love the peace and comfort that a sailing catamaran can provide? Sailing around the Whitsundays Islands, passages and secrets is a completely different experience than the one on a powerboat.

You just feel the breeze of the wind, the quietness of the ocean and the company of marine life when you hire a private catamaran in the Whitsundays Islands. 

Although most of the catamarans in Airlie Beach also have an engine, they are not as fast as powerboats and that’s not even a problem. Sailing is what makes it awesome. 

Catamarans are big “multi-hull” boats, unline yachts, which make them more stable and better for those who suffer from seasickness. They are big boats and perfect for people who want to switch off and connect with nature in all its forms.  

Of course, a sailing catamaran takes longer to go from place to place but you know what they say … enjoy the ride. Since learning how to sail requires training and experience, the best option is to hire a skippered private charter and focus only on enjoying. Overnight trips on a private catamaran around Whitsundays Island is probably the best way to do it.

  • Environmentally friendly. They literally use the wind for power and much less fuel.
  • Spacious. Since they are double-hull boats, or sometimes even three, space is not a problem.
  • Adventurous. Mapping a trip to the weather and tides makes it more spontaneous and real.
  • Stylish. It can’t get better than a shinny white and beautiful catamaran. Quiet. Just the sound of nature.


  • Wind reliant. If the wind isn't cooperating, you can't sail, which means your trips may not go as planned.
  • More training. Learning how to sail requires years of experience.
  • Time-consuming. Sailing is more detailed-orientated and sometimes takes longer to get to destinations.

Wings Sailing Private Charters

Looking for a Whitsundays private skippered charter instead?

Find out more at wings.com.au