We are continuing our quest for the 'right' performance cruising catamaran
in the 45' range.
Here are the boats that seem like they might be reasonable at this point. Some of them are by small-volume builders and its hard to figure out things like build quality etc.
471 (or a new C47). We understand this boat pretty well; we've chartered one and liked it. But - big blind spots from the helm
station make it very nerve-wracking to maneuver in close quarters. 471 has great reputation... but some say its a bit heavy by contemporary standards.
. The 45 seems a bit too tight on space. The 49/51 don't fit under the bridge at the mouth of the Severn River (my dock
is near the head
of the Severn).
Balance 451. I've talked with Phil a good bit. He makes a good case for the boat. But, I'm not 100% sold on it in terms of the interior
arrangement. Specifically, on the default 3-cabin version it appears that port stern cabin
doesn't have good access to the head
- you have to either go through the port forward cabin
or into the starboard stern.
Matrix "Vision 450 Signature". Supposedly they've redesigned it: lighter construction etc. The older Vision 450 had a reputation for slamming; they say the new boat doesn't have that problem. What's their reputation like in terms of build quality and sailing characteristics?
. Don't know much about Fastcat
; very small builder
. Builders talk a good game
but hard to get concrete info.
Voyage. Another small-ish builder
. Their mid-sized boats seem at least plausible on paper.
Right now I'm torn between Catana
and Balance but I want to make sure I don't overlook other boats that might be suitable. My basic goal is a reasonably fast boat with decent upwind performance that is comfortable with 3 couples.
No interest at all in a 'condomaran'.