I must admit to being in a very similar position to you having looked at the 440 with the wife and both falling in love with the quality of finish and general layout of the boat but with a few minor reservations.
I am no expert with not a massive amount of sailing experience but have set my heart on a 40ft+ cat within the next 18 months for initially coastal sailing until we are confident enough to go and explore the rest of the world.
I have though over the last 2 years read nearly everthing ever printed about cats, talked to lots of salesmen and listened to lots of very strong opinions on forums
such as this, YBW and sailing anarchy.
Taking all this information on board I believe nearly all the cats on the market can be divided in to roughly 3 specs (yes you can all shoot me down in flames in a minute).
1. In European car terms the BMW M series, Mercedes AMG type top end of the market flying machines. These boats are just 1 step down from full racing
cats with nearly always a price
tag to match. I am talking about Gunboat, Catana
, the new Alibi (yet to be built) to name a few. These boats normally have very slim hulls, carbon masts and full racing
rigs. Although they have all the bells and whistles that most people require these days they don't have the interior
capacity our wives require or the load carrying capacity that their wardrobes and cosmetics demand. Speed means being light and enjoying the thrill of travelling at speed rather than having 10 cubic metres of hanging rail space.
2. The rep mobile (travelling salesmans car), will do 100,000 miles a year at a steady 80 MPH, will never break down but will never win a drag race
, a cruising machine. In this section I include what most people seem to class as charter
cats, Lagoon, FP, Leopard
+ a few others. The same bells and whistles as above, sometimes even more because weight isn't a problem, thats only a worry for the speed machines. Wider hulls (to carry the extra weight) but good seaworthy
boats many 1000's of ocean miles clocked up over the years. Massive internal space and storage
3. The budget
range. Nothing specifically too wrong with either build or design but not quite the finish of 1 and 2 above. I won't name any boats here as this is just a personal rant and I don't want to upset any owners out there. As mentioned before Bumfuzzle went round the world
, ok a few problems but not as bad as a lot of people thought it might have been. Mid range speed together with mid range performance. You always get what you pay for in this world.
In conclusion I believe my cat will be in class 2. Class 1 is too expensive, although personally would love one. Even if I did have the money
to afford a class 1 boat the other half wouldn't like at as it wouldn't be a home from home that the majority of women require. Class 3 is a non starter as we are talking about our life depending upon this piece of floating plastic and if it meant taking risks for not a lot of difference in money
I just couldn't cut corners and hope nothing went wrong.
To come clean my shortlist at the moment is the 440 Lagoon and the new FP Salina 48 ( I reserve judgement until I see one).