I composed this reply before reaching your third iteration of questions and don't feel like rewriting my reply. Hope this information helps you out, even though it sounds like you won't be looking too hard at Fountaine Pajots. The only other cruising cat I have sailed is a FP Athena 38 for a 10 day charter
in 2003 so my comparison numbers (x/10) don't mean much.
These answers refer to our 2003 FP Belize 43
Maestro version, hull
1. True Solo Sail Ability
- (8/10) Not a problem: I sailed the boat myself most of the time from December 2011 to May 2012, including anchoring
, grabbing mooring
buoys, and entering marinas
2. Heavy Weather Safety / Survivability / Comfort
- (7/10) Owner's manual states the boat is designed to withstand 60 knot winds. We have been in 30+ with gusts to 40, seas to 12 feet, and not had a problem. The "crash zone" at the bottom of the bows gives me a warm fuzzy feeling.
3. Carrying Capacity
- 3400 kg per manufacturer's label plate under the helm. We have more clothes than we ever will use, plenty of storage
space for wife's kitchen gadgets, and have close to 6 cubic feet of food
in the freezer
. Of course the wife always complains there is not enough storage
space but she still wants to have her Kitchen Aide mixer.
3. General Build Quality / Durability
- (9/10) Excellent. One worker at a fiberglass
shop noted the sturdy construction as he was grinding out a delamination
being repaired as warrantee work. Main cleats
did not have backing plates
coming from the factory.
4. Ease of Maintenance
- (8/10) Most items are not bad. However, false overheads need to be removed to access nuts on main cleats
. Boat needs to be hauled out to change saildrive oil
5. Performance Both Under Sail and while Motoring
- (7/10) Sails
very well except when beating to windward. Tacking angle is about 110 degrees, can sail 45 degrees off wind
but usually experience 8-10 degrees slip. Motoring is boring so I don't do that.
6. Natural Ventilation / general livability
- (9/10)Great ventilation, especially when anchored in waters calm enough to open the escape hatches
and let the wind
blow through the cabins. Obviously when underway, side ports
must be closed so the hulls get a bit stuffy. Also if spray is coming over the bow, the main saloon
hatches must be closed to keep the saloon
dry, making the interior
quite toasty. At anchor
, though, the boat is usually quite comfortable, even without air conditioning