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Law Offices of Preston Easley
 Maritime Accident Attorneys • Serving California & Hawaii

Experienced Trial Lawyers for Maritime Injuries and Accident Claims Involving:


• Passengers

• Seamen

• Longshoremen

About Catamaran Accidents

California and Hawaii Maritime Lawyers • Law Offices in San Pedro, San Diego, Ventura, Honolulu

Catamarans are boats that have been used for thousands of years in the Pacific islands.  A catamaran has two parallel hulls joined by a frame or other type of superstructure. Although ancient boats were not motorized, today, catamarans can be engine, sail, or oar-powered.

The main advantage of catamarans over more “traditional” boats is that they are significantly faster and can hold more passengers and their double hulls gives them added stability in the water. For these reasons, catamarans are often used for sport sailing, and have become increasingly popular as passenger ferries.

The Dangers of Catamarans

Catamarans are a relatively new addition to American ferry fleets and recreational facilities and are sometimes piloted, or maintained, by people unfamiliar with their operation which increases the risk of accidents, serious injuries, and even boating deaths.  For example, an engine-powered catamaran ferry, even fully loaded with passengers, is capable of reaching speeds great enough to cause serious accidents if they ram another boat or a dock.

Catamaran yachts are among the boats most frequently struck by lightening, especially in the Caribbean.  According to an article by expert seaman, Guy Matthews, Multihulls Viewed From the Claims Desk, catamarans present a multitude of other safety issues:

  • The catamaran is more exposed to lightning strikes and dismasting than is the conventional monohull.
  • The downwind voyage to the US mainland of a catamaran coming out of charter service poses an unusually high risk for catastrophic loss.
  • The very nature of catamaran boating attracts those whose interests are more sensory than nautical, hence the seamanship level of many catamaran sailors and owners is far below that of traditional cruising sailors. The vessel’s stability and ease of management can cause over-confidence and a false sense of security, factors which are prime causes of marine accidents.
  • The beam of the catamaran sometimes limits dockage options and access to repair facilities, resulting in a greater exposure to loss and adversely affecting repair options and costs.
  • Any vessel equipped with escape hatches in the underside of the hull, and sacrificial keels, displays indications that extraordinary caution is required for safe operation.

Multihull Boats, Catamaran Injury and Fatal Maritime Accident Attorneys

Free Consultation • Serving Hawaii and California

If you have been injured in a catamaran accident, or your loved one has been killed in a catamaran accident, you may have recourse for damages against the catamaran’s owner or captain.  Maritime law is a separate body of law from general civil laws that govern most types of personal injuries, and because maritime laws can be complicated and to get the best results possible, you need the skills and experience of an attorney who specializes in maritime law.

Attorney Preston Easley has maritime law experience you can rely on to get you the best possible outcome for your case.  At the appellate level, he has been a pioneer in expanding the rights of injured workers, frequently reversing lower court decisions and making new law. [Published Decisions]

Attorney Easley practices primarily in California and Hawaii.  His clients include longshoremen, shipyard workers, tugboat crewmen, dredge crewmen, pile drivers, marine construction workers, merchant seaman and tour boat/recreational boat crews and passengers.  His background in the Navy, and hands-on experience working in the maritime industry gives him a unique perspective on maritime accidents. For a free initial consultation, email or call (310) 832-5315

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