My pleasure. First, if you are seriously interested in one of these boats I recommend you join the Catana
Owners Forum on Yahoo groups. This forum, run by the owners, is likely one of the best boat owner's forums
in existence (although I haven't seen them all
) and is THE source for all things Catana. Send me a private message and I'll give you the details for joining.
As for the hull construction the pre-Poncin boats were constructed with two outer hull molds and one inner hull/bridgedeck mold
that were vacuum bagged using vinylester resin, cored with PVC closed cell foam with unidirectional cloth for outer laminate & Twaron aramid cloth for inner laminate. This was over the entire hull. The separately molded daggerboard trunks were laminated to be seven times stronger than the daggerboards. All 21 structural bulkheads were cored with Nidacore honeycomb core
with carbon fiber on both sides. The spade rudders have self-adjusting JP3 bushings with solid, mechanical Whitlock rack & pinion steering
. Some buyers chose hydraulic steering
for reasons lost
on me. I cannot speak to the post-Poncin boats, but inasmuch as the hulls are the same, I would suspect the construction process was the same for the hulls.
As for generators, I don't have one and the original owner (I'm the second owner) was a weight nut and mine might be the lightest 471 (for several other reasons in addition to having no genset) whenever I switch to Lithium Ion batts, as other owners already have. Not sure when that will be.
I am aware of some owners adding gensets to 471s without them originally. Removing one would be easier than adding one to save weight.
That would be a personal choice consistent with your style of cruising. But to get the full benefit of that weight reduction you would also have to remove whatever used that power. If that includes, e.g., an AC water
maker, you're into replacing that expensive component with an expensive 12v DC water
maker, and possibly increasing the size of your battery
bank and adding solars and/or wind
gens. If the boat has air cond, you either remove that as well or run it only when you have shore power
and continue to lug it around the rest of the time. We get by on solars alone, but cannot keep up on multi-day passages due to the annoying lack of sun at night. But we do have a second big alt on each engine
, so when we have to charge with an engine
, it's efficient.
Now for some honesty: If my boat had had a genset when I bought it, I doubt I would have removed it just to save weight. These boats offer a really nice compromise between sailing performance and comfort and high build quality and high finish quality. They are not the lightest boats out there. If you know how, you will out sail almost all similarly sized cats out there, especially upwind - but not all of them. Pick yer poison.