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Old 29-10-2012, 00:34   #1
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Nauticat 515 and 525 sailing ability

Hello cruisers,
I've been reading this forum for a long time, well first time posting. First a little information, I am looking for a boat not too small or big, 50-52 ft. After my humble research i liked Nauticats very much. They are definetely heavy and seaworthy, not racers for sure,very strong hulls, the tankage is awesome, the space inside is enough for 4-5. I like the classic look too.Too bad the information for 525 is so small. The 42 and below are too small for me, so i orientate to the bigger ones. The money arent big problem for the boat itself or the maintance. So to the main point: with equal waterline how do you think they perform in sailing. I know they arent rockets, but ... for such a heavy boat what rig do you think it suit better. The ketch is good looking, but is it worth the second mast in the cockpit. I like the raised cockpit in the ketch too. The upwind performance i suppose isnt fantastic for both, but with the ketch rig isnt it even worst? So all in all what do you think for the 2 boats. Thank you.
I am sorry for my bad english.
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Old 30-10-2012, 02:15   #2
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Re: Nauticat 515 and 525 sailing ability

I own a Nauticat 52. The 515 and 525 are adjustments to the same mold, they removed the quarterdeck aft to provide an uninterupted sheer line and lowered the pilothouse profile while removing the sliding side door. Their performance under sail is quite good. The original mold for the hull was acquired from Nautor (Swan) and was the hull mold for the Nautor Swan 50 MS. This was a Sparkman and Stephens design. Nauticat acquired the mold from Nautor and built new deck molds, as well as stretching the original hull mold a bit and changing the shape. The new design (Nauticat 52) was also done by Sparkman and Stephens, so the entire design process start to finish was done by Olin Stephens. They were designed to be long distance cruisers, and as a result have vastly better performance under sail than most motorsailors. Mine performs just as well as any "normal" boat in her size class, in fact just the other week I was surprised when it took a MacGregor 65 a whole afternoon to thoroughly overtake me in a tacking match to windward. He looked surprised too!
I recently had a client in the yard who was also a neighbor on the dock for a bit. He bought a new 515 and did the NW Passage west to east this last season with it. Pretty good testament to the sort of thing the design is capable of doing in comfort. I spent some time on his boat, and found that I much prefer my older ('83) Nauticat 52 to the newer boat for many reasons. I find some of the changes that have been made to remove some of the things I really love about the Nauticat 52, such as exceptional visibility from the pilothouse. The boat is definitely a bit "racier" with less emphasis on interior space and cruising creature comfort. I can see why they made the changes they did to appeal to the modern market. But if it was me I'd make sure to get aboard an older 52 before buying a 515 or 525, there are several nice ones on the market. I got mine for 300k and have put close to another 200k into a full refit with many new systems. My friends 515 (the one he just did the NW passage in) is on the market for $850,000.00. And as I said I prefer mine.
I'll post some pics of Upchuck (the NW passage 515), Raven (an available 52), and maybe a link or two. Love Nauticats, I've done a lot of research on them, so if you want to know more ask away. Pics of mine are in the link under my name. And welcome to CF!

2007 Nauticat 515 Sail Boat For Sale -

1983 Siltala Yachts - Nauticat 52 Sail Boat For Sale -

Siltala Yachts - Nauticat 52 for sale on

Northwest Passage 2012 dot com: Frank Rothwell's mussings about "Going Over The Top" through the Arctic Northwest Passage aboard S/V UPCHUCK while waiting for Pt. Barrow ice to melt in Nome July 21, 2012
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Old 31-10-2012, 05:39   #3
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Re: Nauticat 515 and 525 sailing ability

Thank you for replay as a nauticat owner. 52 is pretty good but i think i''ll stick to new boat with interior customized by me. I read about the upchuck and the northwest passage, true quality test. On the 515 i saw some storage aft and fore deck but on the 525 the aft storage is completely removed i think. I still wonder what will be the best choice , sloop or ketch but the only way to find out is to get on both boats.
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