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Old 10-10-2008, 16:22   #1
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Annapolis Boat Show Report (abreviated)

I just got home from the show. All the usual suspects were there, but it just didn't seem to be as exciting as before. My old boss from Chesapeake Catamaran Center was there, selling a steel and aluminum gaff headed Schooner (OMG) He's returning from the Dark Side where he had been testing the waters in the trawler market.

I got a lot of reassuring information about AIS B, and N2K features from ACR and Garmin. Unfortunately I was there to watch a Flamer jump all over one the the Garmin Reps about something truly mundane. Kudos to the Garmin Rep, who dealt with the episode with admirable fortitude. I would have dowsed said Flame with a CO2 extinguisher, and rolled the frozen remains into the harbor. I'm so wishy-washy.

I checked out the current Gemini and have to say they have really improved the cabinet work inside. I suspect that if you added most factory options you still couldn't get the price over $200,000.

But the most exciting boat at the show is the Moxie 37, by Uwe Jaspersen in Capetown. This boat rocks!

Item: Resin infused carbon and glass fiber hulls from female molds as fair and shiney as anything I've ever seen. The bows are beyond plumb: they are just barely concave in profile and sharp enough to shave with. I can't imagine how much time the take to lay up and join.

Item: A cabin liner in a light weight cat would be like putting a football helmet on a ballet dancer; inappropriate. Instead the interior is finished with a pebbly surface that looks good and will be easy to clean with a soft brush.

Item: The dagger boards are assymetrical and curved from the longitudinal aspect, leaving really no obstructions to the interior. Brilliant.

Item: The controls for everything come to the open forward cockpit, with just enough room between the wheel and the mast to fit a big multifunction display. The mast is composite, manufactured in Uwe's facility, and rotates with sensible controls.

I was initially disappointed by the bulkhead between the helm and the rest of the bridge deck, but there are some reasons and advantages. I'll wait untill we've sailed to form an opinion.

There have been a few semi-open bridgedeck boats before now: The Aquilon 26, Main Cats, Seawinds, and the Great Barrier Express Sport Deck come to mind. There the similarities end. This Cat is light, clean, and functional. The quality of craftsmanship is superb. It is not meant to carry a complete household, and probably should not be loaded up with gadgets that would require more amps. The bridgedeck can be enclosed, and there are provisions to protect the helm from weather, but it's not a high lattitudes explorer. Boards up this thing will float in a heavy dew.

I like Uwe Jaspersen. My first impression is that he's a sailor, designer, and a consumate craftsman. I think he delights in making strong structure look airy. The bridgedeck roof has 1.5 inch coring, but it looks like its just floating above the boat.

This boat first appeared as a design for a 34' cat that caught the eyes of the Gunboat folks. The first one built was the Gunboat 37, which got mired in builder/marketer tensions. Then came the Jaz 37, which was hugely fast, but preferred to fly a hull under any provocation; a circumstance tending to provoke mutiny by some members of the crew.

Some magic happened, and this boat appeared. But sit down before you ask the price. Think two Geminis.

I'll be sailing it Tuesday at Demo Days, and might get back to the Show Monday. Anyone want something looked at?

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Old 10-10-2008, 20:16   #2
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Sandy, Be sure to empty your pockets and leave your shoes on the dock for weight issues.

Just kidding!!!

I though the show was a little "Light" but could understand this as a ticket cost $35!!
I thought this was about $10 out of line but as a life long resident here it does not suprise me that the local owner of the show would gouge that much.
I am a mono guy but the Moxie was hot. As were the Friendship boats fron NZ.

Will & Muffin
Lucy the dog

"Yes, well.. perhaps some more wine" (Julia Child)
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Old 11-10-2008, 17:55   #3
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I just got back from the show myself. I have relatively little experience with cruising cats, so I was pretty curious to see all the cats I've read about here and in reviews. I'm interested in smaller cats -- something under 40 feet.

I did enjoy seeing the Moxie. The cockpit was really neat; as I recall, all the controls led right to it, and visibility was terrific forward. If I remember right, the wheel was directly aft of the mast, admidships -- I've never seen a cat quite like that. I wasn't so sure about visibility to the rear, though. I did like the circular entrance to the cockpit; it felt very space-age, as if I were on a starship. The layout below seemed sensible enough, though I may have visited after a lunch or something -- some sort of odor put me off a bit, and I didn't want to stick around long. Still, on the whole it seemed like a very interesting boat. I can't remember what the asking price was -- do you remember?

I liked the Lagoons more than I expected I would. They've always looked a bit boxy to me from the outside, but I have to admit that they were very comfy and stylish inside. The layout below appealed to me quite a bit -- more than the Moxie's. On the 380, visibility from the helm was pretty good, though it felt like a long fall down into the cockpit if I somehow flipped over the guard rail! The 440, I think, had an amidships that I liked even more, but I suspect that boat is too big for my budget and single-handing ways.

I also really enjoyed seeing the Leopard 40. That is a really pretty boat. I thought visibility from the helm was pretty good, though I find myself stretching my neck to be sure I could see over everything forward. The interior layout appealed to me a lot. The berths seemed especially comfortable. This boat and the Lagoon 380 wound up on my short list.

One of the boats I'd been most anxious to see was the Gemini. I've seen plenty from the outside but never had the chance to walk through one. I liked the helm and cockpit a lot, and the optional hammock looks great. I was less thrilled with the interior, as one can only expect in a smaller boat; I hit my head once or twice, and I had trouble imagining any of my family members being happy about sleeping in those hulls! The main stateroom was fine, though, and someone could always sack out in the salon or cockpit. As many people say, this seems like a lot of boat for the money -- a good value.

I'd also been curious about the TomCat 9.7. For whatever reason, the name had always put me off -- a silly thing, but there it is. In person, the boat made a decent impression on me. More open than the Gemini, which was good and bad -- I didn't hit my head, but I wondered whether I'd prefer the Gemini's greater protection from the elements. Again the hulls did not look like inviting place to sleep. (But I'm a big guy; I have smaller family members who could deal with it.)

I looked at some monohulls too (Morris, Sable, Tartan, Hunter), but my heart wasn't in it. After all these light, airy, and spacious cat interiors, every monohull felt like a submarine down below.

Anyway, this was my first trip to the boat show, and I don't regret it. Great fun, and very educational.
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Old 12-10-2008, 04:36   #4
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Similar thoughts...but what do I know

Originally Posted by Grotius View Post
One of the boats I'd been most anxious to see was the Gemini. I've seen plenty from the outside but never had the chance to walk through one. I liked the helm and cockpit a lot, and the optional hammock looks great. I was less thrilled with the interior, as one can only expect in a smaller boat; I hit my head once or twice, and I had trouble imagining any of my family members being happy about sleeping in those hulls! The main stateroom was fine.
Funny you mention the Gemini...we too were curious about this boat, one of 4 we went on at the show. I know very little about catamarans and how the Gemini compares to other catamarans, especially the $ for $ value. Anyway, I share many of Grotius observations but would add that I was not impressed with the interior, mostly the cabinetry work. Everything seemed small...steps, cockpit seating, headroom, etc. I did like the helm station, hammock seat aft, salon table, and owners stateroom. I think it worth a closer look if we ever crossover
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