Randy asked me to post some of my thoughts and experiences with the Privilege
. So, here goes.
I have had the boat for a little more than an year and a half now. The first year I spent rebuilding it systems, I have now spent a while sailing up and down the intracoastal water
way, the Bahamas
and Turks and Caicos
I purchased the boat as an insurance salvage
, one of the hulls got submreged durring a hurricane
. I have since installed new engines and saildrives, installed new sails
and running rigging
, removed almost all the old electrical wiring
and replaced all electronics
. I have replaced the stove, refrigeration
. I stripped off all the old bottom paint
, applied Interprotect 2000 and new bottom paint
I performed 95% of the work myself. I have a pretty good idea of the systems within the boat and what subsequent owners have done. Some of my obervations.
The boat is extremely well engineered, not quite as elegant as a German automobile, but put together very well.
o The original wiring
was all routed through conduits, the electrical
connectors were robust, not ABYC, but CE compliant.
o The plumbing
was okay, it was flexible PVC, not the rubber hose I would have prefered. There are two water tanks
, a major stainless Steel
110 gallon tank that is mounted accross the two hulls right at the center of gravity of the boat. EXCELLANT! The second tank is a small auxillary 24 gallon tank mounted in the forward chain locker. Nice to have the spare, but with a watermaker
, I wanted to remove it. The only thing that stops me is running out of water a couple of times and being able to readily tap into the reserve to finish a shower
o The original engines were Yanmar 3GM30
engines. There installation
and routing of fuel
, control, and panel was very well done. The only issue is the fuel tank
is very small. I have two 26 gallon tanks
that give me affectively 24 gallons. I would much prefer larger tanks. The engine
is situated so all the pre-departure checks and routine things can be accessed by opening hatches mounted under the aft cabin
racks. We can get to the belts, oil
level, raw water
pumps, alternators strainers, and fuel pump
purge valves. Convient! there are 4 battery
boxes in one cabine and one in the other. We have 740 amp/hours of house and a 240 amp starting battery
. I was at first concerned about not having seperate starting batteries for each engine
. After being on the boat, I am VERY happy with this configuration. The house batteries water level I check monthly or so. The Starter batter is an AGM
battery that does not need much maintenace. I can start the engines with either the house batteries or starter battery. In a pinch I can run the house systems from the starter battery, but have only done so for diagnosis and fooling around.
o The rigging
is outstanding, the mast
stepped and sits on a pedestal
that extends to hard mounting points within the cross member
and hulls. At 61 foot it is excellant for going down the intracoastal (well, except for down in Miami). I might have constructed a broader mainsail
to give a little more sail area, but there is no issue with having too much canvas
up. I have, ahmmm, been caught in 28 - 35 knot
beam winds with both headsail and mainsail
up. The boat was still rock solid. Interesting trying to bring the sail down and furl in these conditions, but after the panic, easy. The main halyard
and reefing must be done by going forward, not the best. The head
sail travelers are mounted far back and in cockpit
. They are rather worthless for changing sail geometry. I use preventers cleated on to the mid ship cleats
. A temporary solution to a poor design. The newer privileges mount the travelers and the winches on the cockpit
roof. Probably a LOT better. The boom is a bit low. When we hoist the sail the boom will sit on the bimini
. I'll have to either cut the sail so the boom rides higher or install a lower bimini
. The problem with the lower bimini is there in only a little head
room when I am seated at the helm
o The escape hatches
are VERY poorly implemented. The reason one hull
sank was the configuration of these hatches. They are Lewmar
Ocean hatches that were NEVER designed for underwater operation. They are mounted about 3 inches above the empty water line. If one is familiar with this hatch
, it has a locked position and a ventalation position. The prior owners had let someone use the boat. They opened these hatches and when they battened them they accidently left them in the vent position. Durring a hurricane
large swells within the marina caused water to repeatidly broach above these hatches. Since they were in the vent position water found its way in to the port hull
. The auto bilge
switches were broken, so after a while the water that was finding its way into the hull caused the boat to ride lower and lower. Eventually, the hatch
was below water and the hull sank. Good thing is, it didn't fully sink. Just the aft cabin
were flooded. So, great floatation.
o When I stripped off the old paint
the hulls were in great condition. Maybe 12 very small blister. When I drilled the hull for new through hulls, the hull was at least 1 inch of solid fiberglass
. I also ran aground once on rather hard bottom. The hull pounded for maybe 5 minutes. When I had the boat pulled and inspected, no hull damage. Thank goodness for full keels. Thank goodness the rudder
is shorter and protected by the keels. The saildrive
leg is even further up. VERY well protected.
o The rudders are amazing. They are wonderfully balanced and VERY robust. I pulled them because of a stiff steering
issue. Each one weighs about 100 lbs. Nice and solid! But the steering
is one finger easy, even in 30 knot
winds. No weather helm
whatsoever. The rudders are mounted in floating duralyn (sp ???) bushingings wonder design. The issue is after 5 years or so, they swell. This results in VERY stiff steering. Easy to fix, if the boat is hauled.
o Anchor locker
and sail lockers are excellently placed and very functional. There are watertight crash bulkheads in the bows.
o The boat has no detectable flex if feels absolutely solid.
o We have the 37 foot version and we get as much functional space as the 42 foot Manta
. The interior
design is Outstanding. We have had dinner for 6 in our salon
and dinner for 8 in our cockpit. GREAT space!!! The master cabin is forward, across the two hulls. it is very roomy and comfy. Seems a lot bigger than it is. I have not seen this configuration in any other catamaran
o The head room is excellent. I am 6'4" and have great headroom
everywhere except going through the doors. The salon
door is a solidly built aluminum
framed sliding door that is very thick, yet convient to use.
o "We have a seperate frig and freezer
. WAY too big for this size of boat, but we LOVE it.
o The interior
with the wood and finishing is comprable to some of the mega yatchs we have been aboard. It is all finished wood and vinyl. No exposed fiberglass
anywhere. We do have some sag in the vinyl in spots and we will have to resolve. We also have staining due to the flooding that took place. But, can't fault the design or implementation.
Overall we absolutely love the boat. I could not have designed a better boat. Gotta run, my wife is finished the laundry
and wants to get back to the boat.