Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-10-2009, 04:23   #1
Marine Service Provider

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Marmaris
Boat: FP Orana 2010, Lipari 2011, Hélia 2013, Catana C 47 2013
Posts: 1,032
FP Range Comparative Test / Review

This summer I had a chance to sail all of the FP range catamarans in our charter fleet and pulled down a summary for those who are interested. The trials were made under similar conditions and at the same place, minimum for 5 hours and not less than 15 nm and in almost every angle to the wind. No geneaker was used, except for Lavezzi that has a furling one, which worked perfect in light winds.

5=outstanding, 4=excellent, 3=fair,acceptable, 2=poor, 1=not acceptable

Sailing caracteristics:speed, comfort and control under sail, ease of handling under sail,etc.
Fidji, Bahia:5, Belize, Athena:4, Orana, Lavezzi: 3,Salina: 2

Fidji is by far the winner in light winds, thanks to her norrow hulls and light weight, norrowest pointing angle to the wind. Bahia is the best in overall; perfect handling and feeling under sail, Orana probably the best but just above 20 knots of true wind.. Salina reached barely 7 knots @ 22-24 kts of true, way too heavy.. Belize and Athena are sailing reasonably well beetween 10-20 kts of true. (app. 55-60 % of true wind) Above this level, they definately need to be reefed and still they are not very comfortable in high seas..
Fidji was tested under flat water @ 22 knts of true and sailed easily 14,5 knts @ beam reach !! (Normally, we should have reefed but we didn't..)

Generally speaking , with the exception of Fidji, none of them are particularly good at close hauled sailing. They can sail up to 35-40 degrees to apparent wind but VMG is probably at around 50-55 degrees. They are all tacking pretty well at around 95-100 degrees if the boat speed is not less than 4-5 knots.
Orana is spectacular in this respect, if it blows 18 + knots..

Comfort/space utilization/design factor: behaviour in high seas/strong winds both under sail or while motoring, offshore capabilities, head clearance, etc.
Orana: 5, Belize,Salina, Lavezzi :3,Athena, Bahia 2, Fidji: 1

All FP's are coming with galley up. It should be noted that every new generation is clearly superior to its predecessor, in terms of overall design and , space for a given size.
Again, bridge deck clearance is more than acceptable in all of them. The least slamming was with Bahia and Athena, (no protrusion whatsoever..) worst with Orana.


Motoring:Note that FP range factory standard engines are claearly underpowered. One should definately go for one size larger engine.
All of the FP range is using Volvo engines sail drives (Yanmar is optional and the cost is € 2-3M extra) and with the exception of Salina's, no major issue with them. Latest generations (Salina and Orana) are heavier and much comfortable when motoring upwind and against high seas.

Orana,Salina, Bahia: 4, Lavezzi: 3, Athena, Belize, Fidji 2

Reliability, overall strength of the boat and rigging:

Orana 4, Bahia, Athena, Belize, Fidji 3, Salina 2 , Lavezzi 1*

*serious problems with the gear and sail drive of Salina, frequent osmose problems with Lavezzi.
It should also be noted that new generation FP's are coming with Furuno instead of Raymarine and Furuno equipment which means ongoing problems..New Lipari has been ordered with Raymarine at extra cost.
The rigging in FP's are not particularly strong and careful/periodical checks and maintenance are necessary althought we didn't have major problem with the exception of Bahia's mast.
The new generations are using Incidence sails and they are OK both in terms of performance and durability. Factory lazy bags last only 2 years max.
Generally speaking, few quality issues with FP's and the factory was allways helpful in warranty issues. Some of the boats have been in charter for 20 years (Fidji) and they still are in perfect conditions.

Buttom line, FP's for some reason are believed to be "lightly built" and for charter purpose primarely. I have seen many other cats (Catana, Lagoon, Antares, et.) since we have the service company as well. I can clearly say that this is not the case. They are not the lightest in weight, neither the fastest. But they all sail easonably well, easy to handle, maintain and reliable.
Very comfortable in general, capable of making long passage (I have some reservation for Salina..) with some extra like water maker, extra batteries, etc. The standard list of inventory is not complete and many items that are standard in some expensive boats are optional. Nonetheless, I believe they are reasonably priced for the value. Obviously design factors is a matter of taste. They go for galley up, sail drive, engine aft cabines and no retractable dagger boards but sacrificial keels.. All of that have some cons and pros.

Our service company serves every kind of boat including monohulls and have no commercial interest with FP, thus, I have tried to be as candid as I can be. Unfortunately, I have sailed many monohulls as well but not any other brand of cats to be able to make side by side comparison beetwen various brands.
Hope this will help giving another perspective to people who consider owning a FP, new or second hand and answer some of the questions raised for different models of FP range.

Cheers

yeloya
__________________

__________________
yeloya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2009, 09:25   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
sneuman's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Jamaica
Boat: Tayana 37 Cutter
Posts: 3,167
Images: 37
Interesting. If I had to sum up your test it would be this: Sailing performance and comfort are nearly inversely proportional. The best motoring yachts were typical the worst sailors and vice versa.

Is that roughly accurate?
__________________

__________________
Voyage of Symbiosis: http://svsymbiosis.blogspot.com/
sneuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2009, 09:33   #3
Registered User
 
Solitude's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: West Coast, BC , Canada
Boat: Cascade
Posts: 595
Very interesting and well done.
__________________
Go outside and PLAY!
Solitude is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2009, 12:42   #4
Marine Service Provider

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Marmaris
Boat: FP Orana 2010, Lipari 2011, Hélia 2013, Catana C 47 2013
Posts: 1,032
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
Interesting. If I had to sum up your test it would be this: Sailing performance and comfort are nearly inversely proportional. The best motoring yachts were typical the worst sailors and vice versa.

Is that roughly accurate?

Absolutely right.. But isn't it natural ? Wider hull = more space and comfort = reduced performance.

When I compare earlier models to the recent ones, there is a huge improvement towards making the boats more spacious, more liveable, more comfortable, easier to control and even safer.(smaller sail area vs. displacement)
Unfortunately all this at the expense of compromised performance. As I said, Fidji is sailing like a dream, but ,if you happen to see one of the new models, you probably wouldn't even put yr feet on it.

You cannot get space+comfort+superior sailing capability unless you pay at least the double that you would pay for a FP..

All boats are compromises, so are FP's. For their price ranges, they are sailing at least as good if not somewhat better than competition, finish is not spectacular but acceptable, they are well built, reliable cats. The rest is a matter of taste..

Yeloya
__________________
yeloya is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2009, 16:13   #5
Registered User
 
Jeannius's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Worcester U.K.
Boat: Privilege 435 Now Sold
Posts: 840
Excellent summary Yeloya. You have no Mahe in your fleet? They seem to be everywhere here in the Caribbean and very popular they are too!
__________________
Mike

http://sailingjeannius.blogspot.com
Jeannius is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2009, 17:40   #6
Registered User
 
Dreaming Yachtsman's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Kennewick, WA
Posts: 490
Images: 5
Send a message via Skype™ to Dreaming Yachtsman
As a satisfied owner of a 2003 Belize, I greatly appreciate the comparison.
Thanks,
__________________
John
Formerly S/V Yachtsman's Dream
Go sailing now. Life is too short not to enjoy it.
Dreaming Yachtsman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-10-2009, 21:26   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Tortola
Posts: 700
Images: 1
Send a message via Yahoo to bvimatelot Send a message via Skype™ to bvimatelot
I have always enjoyed sailing F-Ps, my favourite being the Bahia which I have had in some quite atrocious weather. I also happen to think that they are, for catamarans, really quite elegant.......Tony
__________________
bvimatelot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 03:10   #8
asb
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Turkey
Posts: 38
Thank you for the very informative review.

As you also service Lagoons, do you have any info about reliability, engine, rigging problems, osmose etc. for this brand?
__________________
asb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 04:57   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Hellerup, Denmark
Boat: no boat, but dreaming of ~ 40 foot cats
Posts: 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by yeloya View Post
Reliability, overall strength of the boat and rigging:

Orana 4, Bahia, Athena, Belize, Fidji 3, Salina 2 , Lavezzi 1*

*serious problems with the gear and sail drive of Salina, frequent osmose problems with Lavezzi.
It should also be noted that new generation FP's are coming with Furuno instead of Raymarine and Furuno equipment which means ongoing problems..New Lipari has been ordered with Raymarine at extra cost.
Not being very experienced with cats yet, but having had at least one experience, some of it is described in this tread, I have a question. The Raymarine you upgraded the Lipari to, is that the autopilot? Can you describe the difference in more detail?

Thanks for the labor you put into the review.

/\/
__________________
berntsen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 05:23   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
sneuman's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2003
Location: Jamaica
Boat: Tayana 37 Cutter
Posts: 3,167
Images: 37
Doesn't a larger beam translate to higher stability/more sail and faster speeds?
__________________
Voyage of Symbiosis: http://svsymbiosis.blogspot.com/
sneuman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 08:16   #11
Registered User
 
Nordic cat's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Denmark
Boat: FP Tobago 35
Posts: 721
Quote:
Originally Posted by sneuman View Post
Doesn't a larger beam translate to higher stability/more sail and faster speeds?
We need to diffrentiate between hull beam at the waterline. Wider is normally slower for a given waterline length.

The Beam on the centreline is relative to the stability for the same weight, and yes, would imply the possibility og carrying more sail.

We have to remember that the primary market for these boats is the charter market, closely followed by first time cat owners. All these boats are conservatively rigged, some more than others.

As a rule of thumb, they will do around 50% of windspeed, the "good" ones 10-15% more on a beam reach, or if they use the asymmetric.

Pointing ability is generally from around 40 degrees relative, plus 5-15 degrees drift depending on seastate and wind strength.

Yeloya, thanks for the great review. I have sailed 3 of these boats as well as the Mahe and the Tobago.

Do you have any imput on how much difference the square top mains give?

Alan
__________________
Nordic cat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 09:48   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: San Diego, CA
Boat: Will be a 50' Cat
Posts: 382
Thanks Yeloya... If you were in the market for a 40-45' CAT not more than 5yrs old for a crusing family of 4 which of the FPs would you buy...

Cheers
__________________
capcook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-2009, 10:55   #13
Marine Service Provider

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Marmaris
Boat: FP Orana 2010, Lipari 2011, Hélia 2013, Catana C 47 2013
Posts: 1,032
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeannius View Post
Excellent summary Yeloya. You have no Mahe in your fleet? They seem to be everywhere here in the Caribbean and very popular they are too!
Mahe is and excellent boat but as it has no 4 cabins version , we went for Lipari 4 cabins. It cost € M 50 more but we thought it could be justified.

" If you were in the market for a 40-45' CAT not more than 5yrs old for a crusing family of 4 which of the FPs would you buy..."

This has been discussed in length here. It all depends on yr needs, budget, priorities, etc. If you say not older than 5 years and 40-45 ft range you have to choose beetween Orana, Belize, Lavezzi or Lipari. If you can find a used Orana that you can afford and don't mind too much light wind performance, you may consider it. I am not against others, but for me hard top bimini is a must.

For some reason, including the equipment installed on mine, Furuno has created a lot of problem. As I said on new models, FP is using this brand. I am specifically talking about chart plotter, auto pilote, anemometer and depth, speed gauges. When ordering we told FP that we want the boat without any navigation equipment. As some equipmeny were already included in the pack we took, they discounted only 900 € ! Complete set of Raymarine will cost us around € 6.000 including the installation in La Rochelle. I know Furuno is a reliable brand and worked with less problem on Salina's. On all other boats we are using Raymarine with no issue at all.
"Do you have any input on how much difference the square top mains give?"

FP has started using on all of his range square top since last year. Therefore, the first on the fleet will be the new Lipari. I expect (and hope) that for the same sail area it will give 5-7% more power.
Alan, I haven't sailed Tobogo and Mahe. Why don't you give us yr impressions on the same scale ? So, the FP range would be completed..

Cheers

Yeloya
__________________

__________________
yeloya is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
reviews

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Charger Review GordMay Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 0 12-12-2005 04:35



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 15:03.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.