First of all WELCOME TO THE CRUISERS FORUM...... POST NUMBER 1!
Helia 44 "AVALON" here... Two things, the Abacos is really a great place, a favourite cruising ground of mine 25 years ago.. Man O War Key, Green Turtle Key, conch salad, conch fritters, and diving
out front on the blue sea side to the east is magnificent... The Candy Cane striped Lighthouse is a must from sunset on with drinks anchored there by it... Also, on the way south of Green Turtle Key is a little uninhabited island, you can only get to by dinghy
, through the reef in calm weather
, and it will be LOADED on the east side with flotsam and jetsam blown in from the east winds... Fish
floats galore.. Enjoy the area, seven days is enough.... March is a little cool still, no thunderstorm shampoo showers on the foredeck, but a really great area..
Secondly, I am forty years experienced, and looked at everything I could, and decided the best value for money
is the Helia 44... I have the most well equipped one I have heard of, and am offering a topic below this one on improvements you can do to them. I think all are valid.. You have good taste. There are faster and stronger, but none are a liveable that I have seen. I mean if you were circumnavigating around Cape Horn or Cape of Good Hope, a Catana
is possibly your boat. However, outboard
helms are for young and hearty and the vessel is just no where near as liveable as the Helia..
A quality Production boat was for me as: Custom boats require luck to get one with few errors... I have found that every builder
would have done 37 things different if he had the opportunity to do it over.
In the Helia, in the past few years Fountaine Pajot
have progressed to blue water
quality, in its own class, about in between the Lagoons and the Catanas IMO, and probably the most attractive and liveable of the lot. I like the idea of the Leopards, but the 44 is a bit too small with the passageway forward to the front chopping it up, and the 48 I have tried to come to terms with twice and failed due to not being able to even SEE the port bow due to the overhangs... IMO tough on docking
and such.. In truth it is only about the living area of the Helia 44 anyway...
I congratulate your good taste, just know that if you are not on the Maestro version, you should see one, as THAT is probably your boat. The whole starboard hull
is owners cabin
, desks and dressers and closet lockers, then laundry
and large shower
then walk thru to hatch
Enjoy your trip, nice location, nice boat..... kind regards, Helia 44 "AVALON"