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Old 06-06-2010, 20:33   #1
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Catana 471 or St. Francis 44 for Blue Ocean Sailing

Have any of you done some sailing on both? Also a Voyage 44 how they
compare for ocean sailing.
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Old 06-06-2010, 21:37   #2
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we are lifelong monohull sailors who recently bought our first catamaran, a Voyage 50. It sails quite well, thank you. We have not sailed the Voyage 44 (or the others).
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Old 08-06-2010, 14:18   #3
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I have a St Francis 44 MK II, and have been aboard several catanas and the Voyage. Regarding similarities, both the SF and Catana are great sailing boats but I would give the edge to Catana for upwind sailing. Both would be great boats downwind or on a broad reach. Very different boats when it comes to cost and appointment of the interior. The Catana will largely be far more plush with generally better finish, but with less space. The St Francis has a larger galley, and probably more storage. The SF will cost less than the Catana by 100k or more.

I'd say the defining difference between these boats is their cost really and all that this implies. Both are made well, both use foam cores, both are truely good circumnavigation boats that should be treated as more performance boats and not loaded down with a boston whaler on the back.

But I wouldn't minimize the costs of cruising and outfitting a boat either. You may easily want to spend 35k to bring a used boat up to par.
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Old 09-06-2010, 17:34   #4
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We also have a St Francis 44 and would concur with schoonerdog on most of his comments, so I'm just going to add a point.

Think about what you want in a helm station. The Catanas (like almost every Catana built) have twin helms on the aft quarters. Great for docking. Very sporting. But, they don't call them "shake and bakes" for nothing. When (not if) something happens with your autopilot. or the conditions are such that the AP just can't handle it (and that means storm conditions) and you're faced with hand-steering for hours (or days), where would you prefer to be?

The first one is the Catana, the second is the St. Francis.

Don't get wrong, I'm not dissing the Catana, they're great boats and have lots of wonderful qualities and the helm station might not be a big one for you.

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Old 15-06-2010, 13:57   #5
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Catana all the way for the bridge deck clearance.
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Old 18-06-2010, 13:37   #6
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I think it would be a good idea to ask a few Catana owners. I have very good friends that brought the exact Catana you are looking at and had a hard time with the complex systems and after a year of cruising from Trinidad to New Zealand I asked him what he would do differently and I quote " we got there a week before everyone else ( From Galapagos to MArquesas )....we were rested and happy and safe ..... and the trip was almost always pleasant, however there was definitely a lot higher price for that level of comfort.....both in the purchase and on the maintenance. " He spent about 20 % of his purchase price on maintaining the boat and said no matter what he would not have brought such a complex systems boat again.
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Old 18-06-2010, 18:14   #7
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Have to say a few things about Voyage,,I have had a 430 and now a 500.
The old standard saying was that Catana was the fastest of all the cruising cats but Voyage was second, Having won the Cape to Rio race.
Now however there are a few new speed demons on the market that blow us away. But,,, all thing considered as far as value, quality, comfort and ease of maintance, Voyage wins. My 500 is now 5 years old and with a little bit of effort I can make her look brand new inside and out by myself. Not sure why voyage gets a hohum but maybe because the older 430s were low clearance. The 500 is a higher clearance and is exactly the same as the new 50' Privledge, I measured it one day while snorkeling in Marsh Harbor. I live on mine most of the year and find it just as comfortable as home. Just sayin.
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Old 18-06-2010, 19:27   #8
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Intentional Drifter's comments regarding steering location should not be taken lightly. I'd even put up with the lower bridgedeck just to avoid having to hang out in the wind/spray/rain/sun at the steering position on the Catanas. Surrrre, they sayyyy 'who cares, just use the autopilot' but there's too many times I've had to quick switch to hand steering for one reason or another and running outside to the helm just isn't practical or quick. Of course, I don't even care for the SF's steering location, but ID's pics show that it could be 'tolerable'.
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Old 18-06-2010, 22:06   #9
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reef early,keep it lite,,if your over 50 go for the shelted helm station (its not fun standing under a hose for 4 hrs.)
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Old 19-06-2010, 08:18   #10
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I wasn't aware of Voyage winning the cape to rio race, when did it do that?
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