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Old 16-09-2013, 13:18   #1
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Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

The Orana is closing in on our top spot for a liveaboard cat just behind the L420. Any insight on stuff you really like or things we need to look for so we don't get burned should looking turns to buying. With the average price for former charter within our budget it seems that you get an awful lot of boat for the money.

Thanks in advance
Will
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Old 17-09-2013, 05:43   #2
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

according to these forums several have structural problems and one was condemmed as unsafe-just saying---
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Old 17-09-2013, 07:26   #3
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

I haven't owned one ... but have sailed one (and some others). My first bit of advice is what a delivery capt. once told me:

FP =~ Hyundai
Lagoon =~ Toyota
Leopard =~ Audi

There are probably a few other makers in the Leopard category and above. Also note that Hyundai make great cars.

Now, that being said, they're all beautiful boats. But having seen some from each, I feel the FPs are more designed to be small floating condos / trailers than hardcore sailing machines.

The 4cabin/4head version has pretty small heads IMHO. I had the door fly open once while I was right in the middle of my business!

Perhaps an owner's version Orana might be a good compromise there.

The way FP mounts all the equipment (eg,. GPS, wind, etc..) behind the wheel is nuts. When you're on auto-pilot you have two options when making an adjustment: play the "try not to get my fingers snapped" game or turn AP off and make your adjustments.

I was crazy about the Orana 44 for about a year and was also looking to buy one. Now, not so much.

I actually found the Lipari 41 (3bed/2bath) to be a better layout, but unfortunately also found the slightly shorter length to be a bit more prone to pitch poling in medium waves. Believe it or not, I could also feel that the Lipari salon was in fact a touch smaller.

As an aside, I had one of the wall panels fall off the Lipari in the master cabin while underway. I'm going to guess it had been removed a few times to do some work on something or other. Not a big deal, I put some wood plugs in the holes and screwed it back in (it wouldn't stay on its own as the holes had been stripped). But I was pretty shocked at the tiny little wood screws the factory was using to keep a decent sized wall panel in place. This was also a pretty new boat.

There has been a lot written about osmosis. From what I've read and heard from FP owners, the factory has fixed 99% of the problem hulls. But this is something you'll find out with a good inspection and it can of course be fixed. I'll bet FP fixes any issues you have there. In the end you might come out on the plus side with some brand new poly or other -thane coating.

I suppose it also matters where you're going to sail it. If you don't plan on much offshore sailing, then I suspect you'll love it. Even if you do, you still might. At some point it boils down to personal preferences.

But the replacement I have in my head now for an Orana 44 is a 45-47' Leopard. Sadly, Lagoons of the same length are still out of reach for me. Plus, I really want to sail many many more boats before I buy one now.

My dream boat is the Lagoon 560 at the moment.

My fantasy boat (which is likely impossible) is a cheap Salina 48 where I can convert a 4cabin/4head design into a 4cabin/2head one. For me, larger heads are very important.

Perhaps more than you wanted to read here.

Let me think ...

The lounge chairs behind the helm on the Orana were a big hit with the ladies.

It's a very pretty boat.

I was able to sail it single handed.

She was decently quick, imho but I only had 15kts of wind.

Piano hinge fridge is kinda cool. It holds a ton of stuff.

Two storage lockers up front was nice (vs one on the Lipari).

In summary, if you buy a boat (any boat) and fix it up and care for it properly (perhaps more-than-properly) then you should be fine. I don't think there are any huge deal breakers with FPs ... but that gets back to the personal preference thing. Similarly, a lot depends on how the rigging is set up, etc...

Also, if you can get one that has the newer style portal windows in the salon, that's good. The original design didn't have any windows you could open ... so no breeze-through.

What are your top priorities / needs in a boat?
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Old 17-09-2013, 08:10   #4
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

I have an Orana in charter with Horizon. I have not had any significant problems with the boat. It sails really well and is easy to single hand. I can't think of any "ugly" issues.
Quality wise I find the boat compares very well to the Leopard we owned previously. We attended an FP owner's rally three years ago and found many happy owner's. During the event we mentioned to the President of FP that we had a problem with our solar panels and he showed up the next morning with a volt meter and screw driver in hand. He found that the controller was defective. A replacement was sent out shortly after.
We chose the Orana owners version as it offered the most appealing layout in this size of vessel. We enjoy the full walk around master berth and the lounge behind the captains chair is the admiral's favorite spot when we are underway.
We plan to spend longer periods on board when I retire in a couple years and I have yet to see another cat that I would prefer for our needs.
Henry
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Old 17-09-2013, 17:09   #5
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

Comparing boats brands to car brands is specious nonsense. A very experienced boat skipper (hundreds of boats and 200K nm) told me never to buy a leopard due to wave slap, but I now know that the later models don't suffer this, so I take with a grain of salt what experienced boat skippers now tell me.

At the end of the day permutations of boats are endless, and like cars the same brand can produce a model that is a complete dud or a great success.

For instance the Orana 44 owners version is a great boat, but you want to watch models older than 2010 due to problems with osmosis, and a 4 cabin charter version I would not buy.

My view is if you want to buy second hand then you need to educate yourself on the market. If you set your mind on an Orana then one may not come up that is in the right configuration, price and condition. If you know a lot of boats and their relative strengths and weaknesses, then you are in a position to pick up a boat that suits your purposes, is in good condition, and at the right price.

I have no problems in saying that I bought an Orana because I wanted a Helia but in my view they were overpriced, and a late model owners model Orana became available at a very good price. The Orana is great and I have no reason to regret my decision, but I would have also taken a Leopard if a good one had come up (No Lagoon for me as the other half does not like the vertical windows).

My strong view is that you can spend years of your life studying the market and chartering boats, but you can never know what a boat is like until you own it, so whilst a certain amount of research is prudent, at the end of the day every person or persons pretty much knows what they like and the decision is most often not what boat but whether to buy at all, knowing that there is a risk of resale and trading up down the track.
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Old 17-09-2013, 17:24   #6
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

Also ignore the comment about the mounting of the equipment. On my Orana I can adjust AP from the helm, in the saloon or by remote. I have raymarine plotters at both the helm and saloon. This is a simple matter of how you configure your boat and is in no way related to brand.

You have to focus on the issues you cannot easily change which generally relate to the physical configuration and rigging.

For instance I insist on

Space, Space and more space (40" or below wont work for me)
Walk around master bed
Separate shower to head
No changes in floor height from cockpit to saloon
Good all round visibility
Practical position of saloon controls
Workable raised helm
Furled Genniker/Screacher on Bowsprit

The Orana can have all of these things, but of course so does the 44" Leopard and Lagoon. From there it is taste and price.
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Old 18-09-2013, 03:28   #7
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

I'm also in the process of buying a 40-45' cruising cat, and given that I'm looking at similar boats our buying priorities are probably very similar.

In terms of brands, the FP, Lagoon, Leopard are designed to a similar envelope so its just a matter of personal preferences which you prefer. I don't think it can be stated that one is better than the other, but fortunately they are all very good.

For me too, the Orana is a very attractive candidate. There is so much to like about this boat but I have two concerns I'm struggeling to ignore.

1, My budget have me into the earlier models of the Orana where as stated above FP had problems with osmosisin this time period. Even if the boat will pass the survey, I would be worried about problems down the road.

2, The Orana is very light. Below is the specs for similar sized boats. I'm a metric person, but its easy to convert.

Length / Width / SailArea / Weight (light)

Orana: 13,1 / 7,35 / 109 / 8,0T
Helia: 13,3 / 7,40 / 115 / 10,8T
L421: 12,6 / 7,50 / 102 / 12,6T
Leopard 44: 13,0 / 7,25 / 122 / 12,5T

Compared to the Orana, a Helia is 35% heavier, a L421 56% heavier, and a Leopard 44 56% heavier. The smaller Lipari's weight is 7,6T, only 5% lighter and considerably smaller.

Whilst light weight is good in many ways, I don't think FP has accomplished it by using exotic materials or superior building techniques. Manufactures can have different ways to measure weight, but the Helia is also much heavier than the Orana.

So my concern would be that the Orana is a more fragile than other similar boats, these three in this case. I haven't found any real evidence supporting this concern, but I'm struggeling to make it go away.
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Old 18-09-2013, 08:28   #8
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

Keep in mind that the original Orana specs were probably developed before the first production. Manufacturers weight numbers are often lighter than actual. Also much of the weight comes from other than structural elements.

The hulls of the Orana are little changed from it's predecessor the Belize. Both models have a large numbers on the water with few reported problems. I have not encountered any structural or osmosis issues and have not met any other owners of these boats who have had such issues.
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Old 18-09-2013, 18:00   #9
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

Plenty of old Oranas that are fine. Also a few that have osmosis and to be fair have been corrected by FP. I do not want the potential problems so I would not buy an Orana older than 2010. On the other hand all older Leopards have wave slap issues.

Around 2010 all manufacturers started to listen to their customers and several obtained ISO accred. Prior to that their quality was somewhat arbritrary.

As to the Helia/Orana weight issue I have great difficulties believing these numbers. I have sailed both and they perform very similar with similar sail areas. Ergo, I deduce that their weights will be similar. I think you may find that the Orana weight is manufactured weight and the Helia figure is weight fully configured.

In regard to strength, you need not have any worries. Its construction is very solid and the boat performs well in extreme conditions.
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Old 19-09-2013, 00:31   #10
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

In regard to strength, you need not have any worries. Its construction is very solid and the boat performs well in extreme conditions.[/QUOTE]

Couldn't agree more. No problems in 40 knots at all.
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Old 19-09-2013, 17:35   #11
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

When selecting a Cat weight is an important consideration ,along with other factors, lighter normally means a quicker boat given similar sail plans.

A 2.8 tonne difference in the Fp Orana to the Helia appears explainable when you look at the difference in construction and hull shape, they are both FP's but designed by different designers, Both FP's have glassed in bulkheads which makes them strong enough to not use furniture etc to provide strength.

Lagoon use more material in bulkheads and furniture making for additional weight,they also use solid glass in more areas all the bulkheads are sealed into position with sealants

Leopards use solid glass in more places than the others

There are pluses and minuses for all of these systems, but critical factors in cats are not to be ignored.

1.Bridge Deck clearance vs hull design (read up about this)

2.Actual weight of boat

3.What amount of weight you can take on board while cruising (without overloading i.e. fuel,water,clothing food drink toys spares dinghy)

4 Sailplan vs weight will give you an idea how it should sail, then test sail to be
convinced that the boat you select is right for you.

5.Previous maintenance to the boat (make sure its been done or you may find more headaches)


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Old 20-09-2013, 22:57   #12
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

Thanks everyone for some really useful info, a rare thing it seems on the forum. The admiral and I will heading off to Annapolis in a few weeks to gather more intelligence and with luck preview an Orana in Edgewater. If it passes muster we will look for one to charter for a week next year.

Again thanks for the replies and keep them coming.

Will
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Old 25-09-2013, 13:55   #13
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clipper4730 View Post
Thanks everyone for some really useful info, a rare thing it seems on the forum. The admiral and I will heading off to Annapolis in a few weeks to gather more intelligence and with luck preview an Orana in Edgewater. If it passes muster we will look for one to charter for a week next year.

Again thanks for the replies and keep them coming.

Will
If her name is Jammin' I've sailed her. Nice boat. Was formerly named Sammaquan. Did have some osmosis issues on changover, fixed by FP. In fact, the owner lucked out and got two layers of poly coating (iirc polyester). So that particular boat will be good for a long while in that respect. I didn't really put her through her paces, but found her very nice and easy to sail overall.
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Old 25-09-2013, 15:31   #14
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

One of the things I have never been able to get my head around with the FP boats was the round sinks and hatches. I just look at the sink and wonder just how I would do the dishes. In the cockpit in a basin I guess............

And how do you secure and mosquito net a round hatch? Another thread I guess.

I see the Orana pics and see the sink they have in there now. WOW. That is a usable sink. And they have a master bunk that is not side-loading. This is on my list too.

Guess I better look again.

Is 2008 too old? Hmm.
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Old 25-09-2013, 15:41   #15
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Re: Orana 44 the good the bad and the ugly

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Originally Posted by Therapy View Post
One of the things I have never been able to get my head around with the FP boats was the round sinks and hatches. I just look at the sink and wonder just how I would do the dishes. In the cockpit in a basin I guess............

And how do you secure and mosquito net a round hatch? Another thread I guess.

I see the Orana pics and see the sink they have in there now. WOW. That is a usable sink. And they have a master bunk that is not side-loading. This is on my list too.

Guess I better look again.

Is 2008 too old? Hmm.
The round sinks have never been a problem, they are bigger than you think. The Goiot screens are all no-seeum screens and work well (even at Little Shark River!).
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