The word ‘Catamaran’ originated from the Tamil word ‘kaṭṭumaram’. Tamil is a language spoken by people in Tamil Nadu, a state in south India and in Sri Lanka.
In Tamil language, ‘kattu’ means ‘to tie’ and ‘maram’ means ‘wood’.Both the words joined together form the word ‘kattumaram’ which tells us how a catamaran is built by tying tow logs of wood together.
English visitors used the Tamil name to form and use the word Catamaran for sail and paddle boats built by two widely separated logs of wood.
The Catamaran was invented by a fishing community in the southern coast of Tamil Nadu called Paravas. It was also used by the ancient Tamil Chola dynasty to sail across and conquer surrounding regions like Burma, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Today catamarans are used for both, leisure boating and racing. The size of modern catamarans varies from as small as 10 feet to more than 80 feet in length. Catamarans are powered by a motor or sails or both. Ultra modern, high speed catamarans were used in the Americas Cup.
Image credits: Wikipedia