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Old 25-03-2007, 10:32   #1
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Any experience with African Cats

I've been looking at the Catana 50, Gunboat 50 and now the African Cat FastCat 525 VK. I'm looking for a comfortable, safe, fast world cruiser that can be 100% electric and never have to tie up to the fuel docs. African Cat seem to have several industry leading innovations such as:

1. Everything on the boat is super light. Hull, batteries etc.
2. Everything is low power consumption. super light, Electric Mot, LEDs ect.
3. New approach on motors - retractable regenerating torpedo drives
3. Factory support for solar, wind and regeneration power.

Does anyone have any experience with this company?

Has anyone sailed the FastCast425 VK hybrid?

Thanks in Advance,
Tim
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Old 26-03-2007, 10:56   #2
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I think the hybrid has just come out. I would contact the manufacturer and see if they any customers local to you. Most of the time the manufacturer is happy to introduce you to their customers and those customers are happy to show off their boat. I'd agree with you, I think they have the biggest WOW factor for any catamaran out there, probably more comfortable than the gunboat and faster than the catana.
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Old 26-03-2007, 13:20   #3
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fastcat electric







these are some pictures from the electric Fastcat during the commissioning/ building
I don't understand the language from the website...
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Old 28-03-2007, 13:31   #4
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Thanks Frank,

The german site didn't bubble to the top of my search results for some reason. Thanks and good find.

It seems dificult to make a decision on a boat that's built in South African that doesn't frequent boat shows and has limited production. I really like the design goals but you can never tell how your going to feel about the "pride of ownership" or "wow" factor from just pictures. When I saw the gunboat in Annapolis my wife and I completely fell in love with the boat. The attention to detail and clean lines were fantastic. I know the Gunboat is also built in South Africa and everyting else I read seems to suggest that they are a good place to build a boat.

Anyone have any experience with buying in boat in South Africa if they go bankrupt or have production issues? I've heard stories of fraud, but I guess that's equally true everwhere on the planet. Do you have to understand international law to know your rights?

Tim
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Old 04-04-2007, 05:30   #5
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Price?

I have also looked at the FastCat 435 and I'm very impressed by it. Do you know what the price of a finished boat is?
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Old 04-04-2007, 06:23   #6
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Two years ago, a reasonably outfitted 435 Hybrid was 500K Euros (about 660K USD), not including delivery and their special "extra light" outfitting. With the price of oil having risen, I wouldn't be surprised if this is now 15 to 20% more.

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Old 04-04-2007, 06:36   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intentional Drifter
Two years ago, a reasonably outfitted 435 Hybrid was 500K Euros (about 660K USD), not including delivery and their special "extra light" outfitting. With the price of oil having risen, I wouldn't be surprised if this is now 15 to 20% more.
Ouch! ... "Slightly" above my budget.

Are there cats built along similar lines of thought, not necessarily hybrids, at a lower price tag? (Sorry, I don't mean to hijack this thread.)
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Old 04-04-2007, 22:10   #8
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The 525 is about $900K. A Little less than the Catana and a lot less than the Gunboat.
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Old 05-04-2007, 08:12   #9
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SA Cats

Anyone looking at cats from SA should check out Bumfuzzle.com, and badboats.net . At least consider the downside.
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Old 05-04-2007, 10:19   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thanna5
Anyone looking at cats from SA should check out Bumfuzzle.com, and badboats.net . At least consider the downside.
These two sites quoted relate to ONE S. African builder only. The S African boatbuilding industry is MUCH wider than this and many of them are producing an exceptional product. The Moorings is an excellent example of a large company selecting the best possible yachts for their fleets and have chosen the S African built "Leopard" catamarans over many years. There are MANY other GOOD builders in S Africa with many customers who have good stories to tell. Don't judge a whole country's boat industry on ONE builder. S African boats are generally well built and better value for money than most.

Please note that although I am a S African I have no direct interest in the boatbuilding industry - I cruised on a SA built yacht for 5 years.
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Old 05-04-2007, 11:14   #11
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In point of fact, South Africa has more winners of Boat of the Year contests for Multihulls then anyone else in the last 5 years.

St Francis 50 Best Cruising Catamaran Winner 2006,
Moorings 4000 Boat of the Year Winner 2005
Voyage 580 Best Cruising Catamaran Winner 2003
Voyage 440 Overall Best Cruising Boat (monohulls included) 2002, Gunboat 62 (Boat of the Year Winner for Innovation) is faster than any other production boat in the world and does it with finesse

All South African boats. Admiral catamarans is a great manufacturer, Dean is also very good. While there are wonderful boats that didn't win BOTY made elsewhere, the BOTY award is at least one standard of quality. I don't think we should get into trashing any make of boat on this forum, as they all have faults. But an entire country? Especially when it's so obviously untrue.
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Old 05-04-2007, 20:05   #12
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Have other folks had good experiences with SA corporations building boats for them. I suspect there is a difference between a US based company that have a yard in SA and a SA based company?
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Old 07-04-2007, 13:36   #13
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When did Moorings start "selecting the best possible yachts for their fleets"? They select boats based on layout and cost. Has nothing to do with the boat being "best" except for charter.

Next thing is people who take the "awards" seriously. These are purchased awards. Done by the magazine to sell advertisement. Not that they are bad boats but always choose what fits your needs, not what fits the magazine's advertisement schedule.

The Norse and Voyager are unsafe as cruising boats in my regard. Walking down the side decks underway or even at the pier, exitting the cockpit, especially if you have a dinghy, and low bridge deck clearance. People do cruise them successfully and I've sailed on them, but I still think they are unsafe...not structurally but for just walking around and getting things done on the decks. The older 430 even had terrible non-slip which combined with the narrow decks and slope is a real hazard.

Fast cat electric. You can only motor for 3 hours. Means you can't take your boat out on many days with low winds. Means you've pretty much got a marina queen and you certainly can't cruise the thing. JMO
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Old 07-04-2007, 15:13   #14
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You say
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kapena
Fast cat electric. You can only motor for 3 hours. Means you can't take your boat out on many days with low winds. Means you've pretty much got a marina queen and you certainly can't cruise the thing. JMO
I think your missing the concept of a requirements for a cruiser as apposed to a weekend sailor. They are very different. If you want to motor sail like so many do then I would agree with your opinion and simply put in a genset. However, when you live on the water and anchor out all the time, then axillary power is just that. With a very light and fast catamaran, it doesn't take a lot of wind to reach typical motoring speeds.

If you go without a genset then for the same weight you can increase the battery capacity and by using Lithium Ion batteries I suspect it's reasonable to get closer to 10 hours or power.
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Old 07-04-2007, 22:01   #15
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Blue...I'm out cruising...are you? I left Hawai'i and am now in New Zealand, getting ready to head out again at the end of the month. I sail as often as possible and carry only 50 gallons of diesel. Had I not motored for 36 hours from Tonga to New Zealand I would have ended up in a 70 knot storm, sitting there waiting for it as there was no wind to get me to Opua. I also motored for 8 hours to cross the ITCZ. I didn't HAVE to motor but I'd probably have been stuck for several WEEKS. It unrealistic to think that cruisers never motor. We motor quite often when the situation calls for it. If you're running a genset then why not just run a motor and charge the batteries at the same time?

Here's the scoop....You take 1 amp out of a battery and it requires 2 amps to charge it. Before you even get started running a genset you've lost half the power. A 2KW gennie is 2.5 hp, half of that is lost. Next deal is who wants to run a 42 foot boat with just 10 or 15 hp of electric motors? It'll never power you away from harm in a breeze on the nose. Never get you off a lee shore, back you down to a pier in a stiff stern breeze or keep you ahead of a weather front. Max the tiny motors out and now you've only got power for an hour. Cloudy day and you're screwed. Still JMO but it's from a cruisers point of view, not the hype spouted by a company trying desperately to sell one of these to somebody.
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