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Old 22-10-2006, 19:20   #1
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FP Athena 38, offshore experiences

Hi, we are considering an Athena 38 for our next boat. Have been on board a rather tired charter vessel (Moorings) but notice on the web that there are several well-found vessels 4 sale through the Carribean, being sold privately. We would contemplate a passage through the Panama Canal down following the trades to New Zealand (our home). There is some small premium finanacially in sailing a cat down here and selling it but the exercise would be more for the experience. Would be interested in any views especially from owners of Athenas as to their capabilities in a seaway, daily runs, liveaboard facility, soundness of construction, suitability etc. They strike me as being as small as you would want to go for this passage but the dollar only goes so far the Venezia 42 seems more of a craft as far as Fountaine Pajot go. it may be that there are bigger or stronger types of cat but from a resale point of view the FP's seem well known.
This may be ground already covered in this forum?
Cheers
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Old 23-10-2006, 00:52   #2
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I have yet to see an ex-charter FP that does not look very tired. Ex-private and not very old should be fine, but I prefer something built a bit more solid.
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Old 23-10-2006, 05:32   #3
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Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada in the summer and fall; Caribbean in winter and spring aboard Cat Tales.
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FP Tobago 35, 1996

Cat Tales was in the charter trade for 6 years, and was certainly in need of some attention. I believe she was abused, and poorly maintained. I was still able to sail her home to NB, Canada from Martinique. She is in great shape after some maintenance, and no maintenance that would not be required even if she was privately owned. Either way, you can't trust any of the gear until you try it or at least totally inspect it.

I've since sailed her back to the Caribbean, and once more to Canada. My FP seems strong enough for me.
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Old 29-10-2006, 03:39   #4
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There aren't that many Tobago 35's around me. There is one docked in a marina 5KM south of me that I've always admired, but in 5 years it has never moved from it's slip.

How is your windward performance with Cat Tales?

Rick in Florida
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Old 29-10-2006, 08:50   #5
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1991 Fountain Pajot Antigua 37

Here is a Antigua 37's site that sailed around the world. Hope this helps.
Dan
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Old 29-10-2006, 09:15   #6
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Dan, No link viewable.
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Old 29-10-2006, 09:39   #7
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Sorry about that

http://www.ladybugadventures.com/

We are preparing to leave in December for a few years. We are on a Voyage 38 cat.
Dan
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Old 29-10-2006, 11:49   #8
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I chartered a new Athena 38 in the BVI's last year. We were only the 3rd rental of it since new. The boat ran ok and we didn't have any problems with it per se. Being a tall guy I had trouble with head room. I kept hitting my head on the top of the sliding door leading from the salon to the cockpit. The floors in each hull connecting the staterooms to the head creaked when you walked on them. Maybe this is common in newer cats but this lead me to get a rather cheesy impression of the interior construction of the boat. On the other hand we had 10 foot rollers and 20 knot winds and the boat felt solid from a handling perspective. Of course, this was in the bathtub of the BVI's and we didn't take it too far off shore with the exception of the 14 mile run to Anegada.
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Old 30-10-2006, 02:28   #9
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Thanks Saildude and others. The ladybug site is v good and suggests that essentially the FP's of this length (<40') can handle ocean cruising (With normal deference to sea and weather states). I found the interior fitting of the Athena to be light and creaky in parts, probably weight saving, but it was interesting to here that the hull sails well in a seaway.
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Old 19-11-2006, 18:51   #10
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Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada in the summer and fall; Caribbean in winter and spring aboard Cat Tales.
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Sorry for delay. I can't compare Cat Tales' windward performance with other boats, as I don't have enough experience. For sure, though, bearing off gets me there faster.
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Old 19-11-2006, 19:08   #11
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I delivered an ex charter Athena 38 from Sint Maarten to Charleston a few months ago: about 1100 miles. She (obviously) showed her age but considering the useage she had had in charter, was really not bad at all. I found her very liveable and, in common with all the F-Ps that I have sailed, very sea-kindly. We didnt have extreme weather but there were some lumpy bits. For cruising - do get yourself a screacher or assymetric spi. broad reaching through to quite a deep run, they eat up the miles for you. Tony
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Old 11-05-2007, 08:54   #12
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Previous Athena 38 owner

I can agree with what's been said on most of the previous replies. I owned a pre privately owned Athena that sailed very well also upwind! However as with any yacht - going downwind is the way if your're cruising and I have logged 20 knots in the british Channel with a 50knotter up my behind! Still felt safe and in full control with the situation, and the racer in me felt a fantastic adrenalin kick!

The Athenas do have some squiky floorbords and other minor impediments with the interiors. The felt used was not to my liking but if it's in good condition you'll get used to it.

Overall the boats from FP is very solidly built and they take a beating without problems. I sailed mine in some very rough conditions here in Scandinavia and in the Atlantic so a Pacific crossing would not be a problem from a construction point of view. Also the BD clearance is sufficient to avoid slamming.

I would look for a privately owned yacht for the following reasons:
1. Generally better equipped
2. Less hours used, both motors and sails
3. If you can talk to the previous owner very valuable info on the boats history can assist in assertaining what needs to be done of repairs not immediately visible during survey.
4. Buy one from a cooler climate, it is not that much "sun burned" and the sails have not been exposed to so much UV radiation.

That's my advise re the Athena.

Happy lead free sailin
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