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 - www.yachtworld.com
1983 Siltala Yachts - Nauticat 52 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
Siltala Yachts - Nauticat 52 for sale on Boats.com
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