My wife and I, with an awesome crew of 2 other couples, spent last week on Let It Be our Helia 44 in the BVI's under charter
with TMM. We came home from the week as happy about our purchase
as when we first saw her at the dock
. Here are our first impressions.
1. Performance - With an apparent wind
angle of 52 degrees set in the autopilot
and an apparent wind
speed of 16-18 knots, we averaged 7-8 knots of SOG on the sail from Virgin Gorda to Anagada. Very reasonable for a cruising catamaran
. We had no bridgedeck slapping during this sail. We are very novice
performance - The 40 horsepower Volvo's seem adquate for this boat in these conditions. With both engines running 2200 RPM
we motored at about 7.4 knots.
handling - The helm
is a very light feel but certainly quite comfortable and responsive. For some it may not be enough "feel"; however, you never tire helming this cat by hand.
- The galley
is amazing for a 44ft sailboat. The galley really accomodates 2 people quite easily especially if one person stands forward of the galley counter by the companionway
going into the port hull
and works on the end of the counter. The fridge is opposite the galley opening adjacent to the entrance to the salon
. The fridge, freezer
and the cockpit
fridge all work very well and easily accomodate provisions for 8 people for 7 days.
station - This space has been well thought out for a cruising catamaran
with emphasis on Caribbean
chartering. The helm seat easily accomodates 3 people with spacious area in the adjacent bridgedeck lounge area. At the sime time the helmsman has excellent lines of communication with someone in the galley or the cockpit
. The lines led to the helm station take some sorting out at first to prevent them from getting intertwined during use. The electric Harken winch
is a beautiful option.
6. Cockpit and dining table - We ate on the outside dining table every meal. We are so glad the salon
table is a coffee table only.
The not so good
1. Dinghy davits
- They are completely unusable for a dinghy
with an outboard
. They are much too low to the water
and not strong enough. FP is aware of the problem; however, they have not spoken with us or TMM yet about a fix. I cannot see any other fix than a complete redesign. They make wonderful racks for our SUP's.
2. The cockpit/ salon door/window. The full opening of the window and door continue to be one of our favorite features; however, the window didn't close all the way or latch and the door was difficult to close much less lock to the window. This may just be a FP warranty adjustment issue.
attachment vs anchor bridle
attachment - The anchor
bridle attachment points work very will with the anchor and anchor locker
. However, the boat needs another attachment point/cleat on each hull
ball bridle attachment.
This really is a complete list of the items needing improvement and a very imcomplete list of the items that we liked. I did not elaborate on many of the other items that we enjoyed such as cabins, heads, storage
, access to the sails
and spars, etc.
We appreciate the fabulous work that TMM has done commissioning this Helia 44 with a Northern Lights
genset, CruiseAir A/C units and a neat and tidy electrical installation
Don't hesitate to PM me or bring up questions in this forum for the benefit of all of us.
I look forward to hearing from other Helia owners,