1.)  Origin and history of the Patin.

The PATIN is a very sportive multihull (catamaran), looking like a snowsleigh, of Catalonian (Spain) origin, and  built on an artisanal way in wood (and now also in fibre) in the surroundings of Barcelona. In fact the Pati Catala is the oldest sports catamaran (multihull) in the World. In the beginning of the XX century , the Patin originated from a lifesaving float, to encompany swimmers in the sea, and was driven with a long paddle.

Later they began to experiment in Catalonia with sails on this rowing mutihulls. This explains why they never put rudders on this vessel (the Patin was a rowingboat) and the gear is simple with only a big sail without lats or boom. The boat now evolved to a thoroughbred catamaran.

In regattas one sails the Patin solo. Because of the lacking of a rudder and swords, the position of the weight of the sailor, determines the sailing course. This is unique. The Pata a Vela is navigated by the position of the sailor. He (she) has to position his weight without fault to sail the right course.

The sailingsleigh weighs less than 100kg and can easily be set ready for sailing by one sailor. The multiple trimming possibilities of the gear make of the patin a very technical, though easy to sail vessel. This makes sailing on a patin a passionating game.

In Spain, and mainly represented in the sailing clubs in Catalonia, but also fleets in Andalusia are growing, the Patin forms one of the most active regatta sailing class.  At the present the Patin is a unified sailing class and counts in regional and national big regatta’s the biggest number of participants (more than 100) after the Optimist class.

Also in Belgium there is a fleet Patin’s since the end of the sixties, with the biggest concentration in De Haan and Bredene. From 2000 on the class knows a revival, by youning the fleet and initiatives to promote the class by NOSEPASA (North Sea Patin Sailing Association)

2.) Description Measures


5.60 meter


1.60 meter





Mast length

7 meter

3.) Advantages of sailing a Patin:

  • The Patin is very robust and sustainable, adapted also to the hard life at the Northsea beach between sand, salt and sea.
  • The Patin is light, with the help of a beach trolley with big wheels the sailor can bring the Patin all alone to the waterline.
  • The Patin is easy: a bigsail without strips, no boom, no rudderblades, easy set up, easy transported
  • The Patin is safe: because of compartments in the hulls, they cannot fill up with water. Even when hit and as a result a canonball big whole, you can continu sailing. Without the boom you won’’t have injuries.
  • The Patin is after capsizing almost instantly turned up. In case of a whole 180° turn, mast down, it is still possible to turn it up alone and without help of others.
  • The Patin is sailed solo in regattas, but gives also with two sailers double fun.
  • The Patin is cheaper as well in buying as in maintenance opposite a catamaran.
  • The Patin gives the sailor the same fun and speed as a catamaran. The speedpotential is comparing with that of a Hobie Cat 16. Only a trapeze is not provided, you have to hang out with your feet under the footstraps, what makes it even more sensational.

The Patin : essence of sailing !!!

4.) How to navigate ?
One navigates a Patin by changing the sailing point, or by changing the axis of the boat.

1. Changing the sailing point:

By means of the mast: in front: boat tends to lee, leeward ; mast to the back: boats tends to luff up

By means of the sail opposite the wind: when the sailor pulls the mainsheet more than necessary then the patin falls back, leeway. When the sailor loosens the mainsheet then the Patin luffs up to the wind, windward.

2. Changing the axis of the boat:

When the sailor put his weight to the front the Patin will luff up. When the sailor put his weight to the back , then the boat falls back.


The sailor walks ! to the mast on the outer hull (1) to luff up, windward. Then he walks back (2) on the leeside and leans against the sail (3). Afterwords he lets the sail slip over him and sits down on the new luffhull.





The sailor putst his weight back to fall back. When the Patin sails before the wind, the sailor sits on the leeside and let his feet slip into the water to form a rudder, which helps to get the wind in the other side of the sail. Once giped: a little more breaks with feet in the water and regain normal position on the luffhull.

5.) Trimming of a Patin

 The sailor sits mostly on the back third of the boat

The fine tuning is done by:

  • The changing of the mastposition to the current wind and heading.
  • The trimming of the sail through the cunningham and stretcher and because of the arrangement of the mastbow.

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