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Old 11-10-2005, 19:10   #1
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Looking for feedback on Athena 38's

We are considering buying a 1999 Athena 38 and would appreciate receiving feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of this design.

Although the design is dated and has shortcomings, it appears to me be the "most cat for the money." Am I wrong?

A couple of people have said that I'd be better off spending the additional money required to get a Lagoon 380; are they right?

Thanks for the info and guidance!!
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Old 11-10-2005, 19:30   #2
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Fountaine Pajot

I bought a Tobago 35 in 2002, sailed her home from Martinique to Canada, worked on her for two summers, and sailed her down to Trinidad via Bermuda, where she is waiting for me. Same manufacturer, similar lines. Very much like the Athena in quality, styling, sail plan, rigging, engine and saildrive. I really can't think of any weaknesses. One silly little strength that we enjoyed is the standard, nice sized bimini; providing more shade than most other cats in the size range, and an opportunity for an economical vinyl windshield. I guess the Tobago has limited space in the salon for food storage for passagemaking, but can't say the Athena is better or worse.

My broker, Phillip Berman, describes the FPs as the "Ford" of catamarans, being the best deal for the money, having all the necessities, but certainly no "Cadillac".

Your needs may be different than mine, and surely your buying power is greater. All I can tell you is that I am so happy with my FP Tobago 35, that I am not interested in moving up even to the FP Athena 38.

Buy more if you can, but don't be afraid of the Athena.
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Old 11-10-2005, 20:41   #3
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i love my athena. when i first went looking for a cat i wanted a 40 to 50 ft boat that i could fix up the way i wanted so i looked at some twenty or so cats. than i realised i didnt want to spend several years fixing it up i wanted to sail.and i wanted a boat i could single hand and a blue water boat. when i saw the athena i was impressed. most of the time when you are sailing you are in the cockpit, the athena has a large cockpit and the best seating i found.its the only cat that i can sit either in the salon or cockpit and have an almost 360 view. it is comfortable with 3 couples sailing. the only thing i dont like is the wet helm so i am replaceing the bimini with a hard top and dodger.and adding storage space for me its more than i could want......jt
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Old 12-10-2005, 04:33   #4
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I cant claim personal knowledge of owning an Athena, but from what I have seen, if you are buying a privately owned boat from new, it should be fine, but a charter version will not only be sparse on storage, but will also be very tired. They are lightly built so go very well, but the downside is that everything about them is as lightly built so will deteriorate faster than a slower more heavily built cat.
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Old 14-10-2005, 22:08   #5
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Thanks to all repliers. Appreciate the feedback!
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Old 15-10-2005, 13:47   #6
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360 View

Holy Cripes Jeez YES!!! That is one of the strongest points for the FPs. I can sit at the nave station during my watch and see 360 degrees, with the door to the cockpit closed, and the freak waves hitting the door. It is fabulous. Humming along to the stereo while moving around the north Atlantic, dry and at least a little warmer, with no loss of level of safety.

I get on a Priviledge 37, the obvious cadillac, with all its beautiful wood, better arranged storage, fabulous salon, excellently arranged nav station and kitchen facilities, and I'll drool over some of it; but you can't see squat! Even the Priviledge cockpit gives a feeling of claustrophobia compared to an FP cockpit, with the windows through the salon forward and sides.
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Old 20-10-2005, 15:12   #7
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I have sailed both the Athena and the Lagoon 380 and I felt that the Athena is a better sailing boat although not as well appointed and somewhat flimsy.
FP build them pretty cheap and the Athena is no exception but she is so far the best FP I have sailed ( the rest of the range being pretty much crap).
You may want to look at the Island Spirit 37 as well...a friend of mine owned one and swore by it.
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Old 20-10-2005, 16:13   #8
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Thanks for the feedback.

How did you like the Lagoon? What are your thoughts about it?
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Old 21-10-2005, 04:33   #9
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Have a good look at the new Broadblue range. I am very taken by the new 385.


See here
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Old 21-10-2005, 12:55   #10
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Quote:
Lightfin once whispered in the wind:
Thanks for the feedback.

How did you like the Lagoon? What are your thoughts about it?
The lagoon 380 is very comfortable and nicely appointed but...she is a bit butt heavy due to the location of the engines in the sugar scoops and so is prone to hobby horsing in head seas. OTOH the high bridge deck prevents slamming quite efficiently.another plus vs the Athena when crusing is that she can be loaded a bit more...

check out Buddy's site at indigo moon for good info on the 380
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Old 21-10-2005, 12:57   #11
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Quote:
Talbot once whispered in the wind:
Have a good look at the new Broadblue range. I am very taken by the new 385.


See here
If i am not mistaken Broadblue is being build by the same builder that built the Wildcats which have some serious quality problems
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Old 21-10-2005, 14:05   #12
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If i am not mistaken Broadblue is being build by the same builder that built the Wildcats which have some serious quality problems
You are very mistaken

Wildcat are built in South Africa

Broadblue are built in UK, their origins are from the old Prout Company.

If you look at the designs you can see the emphasis on being able to deal with rough seas rather than long swell.
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Old 03-11-2005, 15:26   #13
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Cool Feedback on FP Athena

My wife, son, and 5 close friends chartered an Athena from TMM in Belize for 10 days in the summer of 2003. Therefore, because my association with that specific model was very brief, take my comments below with as much salt as you like.

The boat sailed quite well after we tuned the sails a bit and got the hang of big cat sailing. One of our guests was a national class Hobie 20 sailor but the leap from 20 to 38 feet was significant. We had plenty of room for the 8 of us aboard, though it became a bit cozier after the incident described below.

The biggest drawback to the boat design is having the engines under the aft bunks. That became a serious problem when a hose clamp on the fuel line to the stbd engine broke, spilling about 1.5 liters of diesel fuel in the bilge. Even after we replaced the hose clamp and cleaned up the fuel, residual fumes made that cabin unusable.

Consequently, when we purchased our own Cat, I was adamant that our engines have their own compartments separate from living spaces. Hence, our selection of the FP Belize, which we thoroughly love!

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Old 03-11-2005, 18:07   #14
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Good point. Thanks.

I've heard that when the engines are far astern (e.g. Lagoon 380) that it makes them tend to "hobby horse" more when underway.

Have you found this to be true?
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Old 05-11-2005, 13:17   #15
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Hobby Horsing

By now we have had our Belize in just about all types of sea states and weather, short of a full gale [have seen 30 knots wind, seas to 6 feet (2 m), swells of 12 feet (3 m)] and have not noticed ANY hobby horse effect. IMHO, engines far back in a cat actually improves performance by keeping the bows up.

John
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