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Old 31-12-2009, 09:34   #46
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Jeff Cameron-Gelcoat FP

Thanks "Lucky" for the observation about gelcoat shine being lack of maintenance. So there is hope that we can bring back that shine.
My boat I think sat for a year and we replaced all the lines except the jib halyard, then broke that and replaced it!
I am crazy about my Athena 38 because it's a nice size to maneuver in tight quarters, has very little windage with its design, and as for "light construction," it is light but it is also strong and solid. Therefore, it is quick and responsive. Even with just the main up, it is quick. People complain about there being some creaking in the floors in the two hulls, and it is true, but not an issue for me. The berths are spacious and comfortable. Maybe I'm just in my honeymoon period! But again, choosing the boat is really, really all about personal preferences... Choose wisely and act as though you can't sell the boat in two years
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Old 31-12-2009, 10:02   #47
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Lucky is quite correct about the gelcoat dulling. It is lots of work to bring it back, but it is possible. Last year, I tried out a new product rather than using wax:
Starbrite Premium Marine Polish w/PTEF

So far, I've been very impressed with it.

ID
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Old 31-12-2009, 10:34   #48
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Jeff Cameron-Gelcoat

Yes I have seen the ads in magazines that show dull before, shiny/colorful after... I will try that cleaner polish for sure!
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Old 01-01-2010, 21:11   #49
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Originally Posted by Blind Faith View Post
Yes I have seen the ads in magazines that show dull before, shiny/colorful after... I will try that cleaner polish for sure!
We just went over our FP Belize with Collinite 920 Cleaner and Collinite 885 Paste wax. Woody Wax on the non-skid. Gelcoat is very forgiving! It looks better than new.
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Old 02-01-2010, 02:43   #50
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gelcoat wax

Hi, Dot Dun

Sounds like you found the perfect treatment! Can you describe your process in achieving your perfect gelcoat? I'm particularly interested in how the Collonite cleaner was used and if you hand applied and buffed the wax or used a polishing machine.

Happy new year to you all.

Happy lead free sailin
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Old 02-01-2010, 15:30   #51
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Hi, Dot Dun

Sounds like you found the perfect treatment! Can you describe your process in achieving your perfect gelcoat? I'm particularly interested in how the Collonite cleaner was used and if you hand applied and buffed the wax or used a polishing machine.
First, it had only been a year, so the gelcoat wasn't too bad. Mostly water spots and some light oxidation (I'm in south Florida - intense summer sun). The Collinite 920 Cleaner is extremely easy to use and it cleaned up everything. I did use an orbital buffer with a wool pad for about half the boat, put the cleaner in a bottle, squirt the buffing pad and did a 2 x 3 foot area at a time. Wipe it with a clean cloth. The part I did by hand was also pretty easy. Once it's clean, the Collinite 885 wax gives a real deep shine. But, you have to follow the directions on the can, don't let the wax harden before buffing it off. I put wax on a 2 x 3 foot area and then hit with the orbital buffer with a terry cloth pad. Then finish hand wipe with a clean cloth. The buffer basically removed the majority of the (still wet) wax and the hand cloth gives the shine.

Practical Sailor rates the 885 wax as the longest lasting....I hope they're right!

BTW, it works much better with a helper to hold the dinghy for the sides. I have a couple of suction cup handles and a real helpful wife!

Good Luck!
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Old 06-01-2010, 10:58   #52
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I chartered a FP 38 in the BVI's and have mixed feelings. In terms of the hulls and overall construction, it seemed solid. The boat had obviously seem some charters and was still pretty dry. I've heard complaints about the floor boards being flimsy but we don't have any beefers in our family so that wasnt an issue. The throttle assembly (handles, linkage etc) is a hunk of junk....nothing but plastic. Getting it in and out of gear was the equivelant of shifting a 1969 Volkeswagen Beetle. Can't comment on the value equation but I can tell you that if you're purchasing a boat as an investment there are better opportunities out there !!
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Old 06-01-2010, 11:07   #53
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FP throttles

I will have to go back and look at the throttles now. My Athena 38 seems to work OK and maybe the throttle situation is different than the Athena that you chartered. As you probably know, the ease of shifting can be affected by a few different things and a charter boat may have been treated roughly.
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Old 07-01-2010, 08:54   #54
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After your opinion as FP sailors.

. . . There are numerous threads [in this forum] that criticize FP as being low quality [eg: multihull friends refer to the FP as a "Pinto" which is a low quality American car of some years ago]. Most of the negative posts have been to do with poor quality in the cabinet making, and creaking or noises in the floor etc.

.. How do you rate your FP, I think the line is value for money. Have you been disappointed with the finish - have you had to do much to improve the quality

.. How would compare them to say: its not going to compare with say a Privilege on one hand and a Lagoon on the other.
[try not to be too bias]
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Old 07-01-2010, 10:16   #55
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FP product

I have spent time with used FP models Belize and Bahia and recently bought the new Orana. I think they build a good quality boat. There are not priced at the level of the Privilege or an Antares so I don't expect the same level of finish but to compare them to a Pinto is not reasonable. I have previously owned a Beneteau monohull and a Leopard cat. I think the FP cats compare well with these builders.
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Old 07-01-2010, 11:37   #56
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FP Product

I have to agree with HenryV.

There is no perfect boat. Everything is a compromise, you must simply chose which ones you are willing to accept. If part of your criteria is $$, then set the range and compare within that range, but don't ask us to compare outside that range.

I obviously believe that FP produces more value for the $$ spent than others. The things I looked for prior to purchase, FP beat the competitors. The weight distribution for the capacity allows a well-balanced sail boat with a sound structure than doesn't scare me, I'll take it anywhere. Did I find a cabin sole that makes noise? Yes, but it was one spot that was easily fixable. Cabinets are good and plentiful, no complaints. Compared to the multiple $100K more I *could* have spent for the same size boat, I'm very happy.

Major characteristics that sold me:

1) Solid bulkheads between the engine rooms and living space, including enough room for any reasonable size genset. I don't lift mattresses to check engine oil, I don't have any diesel smell in the living space. Blow a water hose, it's contained to the engine room.

2) The keels are not an integral part of the hull. They will actually separate from the hull if you hit something hard enough, leaving the hull intact. Since I've never done that, I don't know what 'hard enough' is, but I feel safe knowing I won't worry about water in the bilge if I hit something with a keel. This takes the lower ~30" of draft out of the super-catistrophic category, moving it to semi-catistrophic? if I ever hit something. Lifting cabin soles at the boat shows on other cats and spotting that bilge pump at the bottom of a deep hollow keel scares me. First from a maintenance standpoint, but thinking about breaching that keel and what *could* happen scared me even more. BTW, if you 'pop' a keel off, it's foam filled and floats and they put a hole in the lower aft corner. Tie a line on it and pull it home!

3) It sails very well. Is it the fastest? No. But, it's certainly not the slowest, and I would put it in the upper-middle class performance-wise. Like any boat, the more you load it up, the slower it goes.
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Old 07-01-2010, 12:00   #57
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Multihull World Ltd, UK Brokers, in their Jan 2010 Newsletter include:
by the way, I apologise for advertising, I bought my boat there but have no other links.

Broadblue launch new 415 and 385

This month, premier cruising catamaran builder Broadblue Ltd hit two major milestones with first the launch of a new Broadblue 415 and then, on New Year's Eve, the launch of a new 385. Both were sold to UK clients who are very pleased with their new arrivals. The owners of the 415 intend to base her nearby in Gosport and have offered Multihull World the use of their pride and joy for viewings and test sails so if you have an interest in this first class long distance cruising cat then contact Ken@multihullworld.co.uk 

A contract for the build and purchase of Broadblue 385/037 was signed in November and 6 weeks later she was launched from the factory in Poland on her way to Emsworth for rigging and handover. She was craned into the canal alongside the factory on the last working day of 2009 and only escaped the inland sea with the aid of an ice-breaker tug!! She was reported today to be passing down the Dutch coast and is due in Portsmouth by the middle of January. A number of owner inspired improvements have also been included in the specification for this model so if you would like to have a test sail or viewing contact ken@multihullworld.co.uk

There's still just time to get a new 385 or 415 delivered thisseason so call or email to arrange a viewing and test sail

Broadblue 415 01 and 04 in the ARC

We were delighted to hear from John Macrae, owner of Broadblue 415/04 at the end of his atlantic crossing in the Atlantic Race for Cruisers (ARC) and to also hear that he and BB415/01 were the first two catamarans under 44ft to finish proving yet again that these are truly first class cruising catamarans. Perhaps the most important quote from John is "We have no issues at all to report. Nothing broke!!"
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Old 08-01-2010, 05:49   #58
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Originally Posted by henryv View Post
I think they build a good quality boat. There are not priced at the level of the Privilege or an Antares so I don't expect the same level of finish but to compare them to a Pinto is not reasonable. I have previously owned a Beneteau monohull and a Leopard cat. I think the FP cats compare well with these builders.
Thanks Henryv. Good responce [ps I dont know what a Pinto looks like or how bad they are].
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:26   #59
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I have to agree with HenryV.


I obviously believe that FP produces more value for the $$ spent than others. The things I looked for prior to purchase, FP beat the competitors. The weight distribution for the capacity allows a well-balanced sail boat with a sound structure than doesn't scare me, I'll take it anywhere. Did I find a cabin sole that makes noise? Yes, but it was one spot that was easily fixable. Cabinets are good and plentiful, no complaints. Compared to the multiple $100K more I *could* have spent for the same size boat,.
I think I did ask about value for money. I know Privilege are pointed to as top of the quality class but as you say you pay for it. At the same time you can have cheap without being nasty, that is: value for money.

What I am seeing is FP is at the lower end of the spectrum, but does offer good value.
. . . Would FP main rival be say, Lagoon.

FYI. You have turned me around somewhat, as I had completely ruled FP out.
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Old 08-01-2010, 16:35   #60
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[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]
What I am seeing is FP is at the lower end of the spectrum, but does offer good value.
. . . Would FP main rival be say, Lagoon.
I hope by lower end of the spectrum, you mean in price....

Yes, when I was looking, I was comparing straight up with Lagoon. I even chartered Lagoon, they build a fine boat. But as I stated previously with the keel arraignment and engine room, etc., I decided FP was my choice. Leopard got my attention right at the final stage of decision making, then their boat at the show (I think a 42) had the aft lower step under water (hmm, a little heavy?) and the bridge deck clearance was ~24". I did like their hard bimini, fancy interior lighting, and galley amenities, but went back to my first decision of FP. Then I wrestled quite a bit with saildrive vs. shaft/prop. The Leopard was traditional shaft/prop/sked mount rudder, so that got me thinking again. The outcome of which is obvious.

In the end, buy the one you feel comfortable with, then enjoy it and maintain it and I'm sure it'll give you many years of enjoyment.

Good Luck!
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