Maje thanks for the post. Here are some candid comments. In full disclosure, I spent about a year looking for the right cat. Looked at the Leopard
, St. Francis, Privilege
, etc. and recently entered into a contract
for a new Antares 44i. This was not without exhaustive research
, multiple boat trials/visits, trip to Argentina
, etc, etc.
Side by side, I tend to like the looks of the Leopard over the Antares. I do prefer the sleeker visual. For me frankly, that was the only item I preferred over the Antares.
Incidentally, I spent some time in Annapolis
looking at the Leopard with another potential Antares buyer - doing some more 'side by side' comparisons. He ended up moving forward with the Antares, and entered into contract
Key factors for me and my wife to purchase
the Antares vs any other cat were:
-- Fit and finish. We will be living on the boat. Circumnavigating. I pay particular attention to the build quality, squeaks, etc on a boat. There is frankly no comparison in the joinery work between the two boats. Antares is exceptional in their quality. No plastic laminated wood, no squeaky floors, just solid/light (sandwich wood) construction.
down/Kitchen. This was a big deal for my wife. The kitchen is excellent, tons of storage
, and still visible to main guest in the living space. Best layout IMO for the boat size.
-- Working lines organized in cockpit
. Big deal for us given we may at times be short handed, and want the simplicity of managing the boat easily from one space, while keeping the deck
clean and clear of lines.
-- Glass dodger
. In bad weather
, this is a plus, but we will still have adequate ventilation. Again, we will be on the boat year round...so this was important.
as standard on new boats. While this can be easily changed on any boat, it is nice to see Antares doing research
and moving with the Furuno radar
, plotter (NavNet 3d), etc. I was going to have this be my standard setup..and was pleasantly surprised to hear from Rob that they too came to a similar conclusion as had I, and already had this in place for future new boats.
features. We felt overall this was as safe if no safer boat that some of the other cats. Sealed crush points, enclosed cockpit
, etc, etc. were key. We will be having two kids
with us on our cruise
-- Performance. While not the fastest cat around, in our sea trials and researching others that own the boat, felt very comfortable we will get good performance for a cruising cat. Similar size in Lagoon
as an example -- the Antares has better performance. Probably not a big difference compared to the Leopard.
-- The People. In deciding to move forward with Antares, the people (Rob, Jeff, Todd, Salwa, etc) are great. Every piece of feedback we have received from owners and our own personal experience has exceeded expectations. For us we wanted to feel comfortable with the folks that will be supporting us if problems happen...and we will have problems as with any boat. Frankly, this may seem like a trivial item, but this did influence us towards the Antares. It is a relationship vs. a transaction when you buy an Antares.
Bottom line, I am very happy with our selection, and look forward to taking delivery
in Fall '10.
Good luck in your search and don't hesitate to ask me any questions.