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Old 23-06-2009, 09:07   #1
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Norseman Catamarans?

This yacht builder made them in the '90s. Does anyone have any knowledge of them?
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Old 23-06-2009, 10:50   #2
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They are now known as Voyage. The current Voyage 440 is a slightly lengthened version of the Norseman 43 with slightly higher bridgedeck. They were primarily made for charter, but also do some owner versions. Not a lot of the Norsemans around, quite a few Voyages have been made.

We looked at a Voyage 440 when shopping. They have some interesting design features and a pretty nice layout. We didn't care for their quite spartan interior. Very beamy, even for a cat. I didn't particularly care for the engine room set up, but it did allow for more interior space. Liked their skeg hung rudders -- not that common on cats.

ID
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Old 23-06-2009, 12:02   #3
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I believe Richard Woods sailed one across the Atlantic and didn't have much good to say about it. He participates in this forum, so if he doesn't respond here you could probably PM him for a first-hand account.
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Old 23-06-2009, 13:23   #4
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I chartered one for two weeks in the Caribbean a couple of years ago.

I hated it.

My hatred was compounded by the poor condition of the particular example I was using, plus it was my first experience with a cat, and I didn't like that either.

My specific comments, for what they're worth since they're somewhat tainted by the other aspects of the experience:

1. Very plasticky fitout, similar to a MacGregor 65. Acres of white plastic on the inside. Unpleasant.

2. Cramped accomodations -- bunks way up high -- a number of steps above the cabin sole, awkward to get into, with very little headroom.

3. Tiny, nasty, plasticky heads compartments (four of them; maybe it was a charter version and other versions are better).

4. Poor ventilation.

5. Poor sailing qualities.

6. Uncomfortable helm position with poor vision, and no place to brace yourself in rough weather.


Put me off cats forever, I think.
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Old 23-06-2009, 13:41   #5
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LOL

.......But tell me how you really feel about it?!
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Old 23-06-2009, 13:49   #6
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Voyage/Norseman little sister

Makai is a Voyage 380 the smaller sister to the 430/440. One of the reasons we bought the boat was the bright and it is very easy to keep clean. Living onboard made it easy to clean, get a mop and bucket and wash and rinse. If you don't like white buy a gallon of your favorite color with mold resist in and roll on a new color. I have been in a lot of boats with beautiful dark wood- maintance, cheesy vynal walls-problems and maintance and on.
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Old 26-06-2009, 21:12   #7
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I have one so you may consider me biased as well as familiar with these boats. We had a smaller cat previously, so rather knew what to look for in a replacement. We also test sailed several cats prior to settling on the Norseman. We don't regret our choice, however we still realize that all boats are a compromise.

Since Dockhead's comments are convenient here, I'll respond to them.

1.I guess it's a matterof personal preference. We like that it is easy to clean, esp. as compared to some of the fuzzy interiors we have seen.

2. These are designed for the charter fleet so have many cabins(we have cruised with many teenagers on occasion, so like this), which then consequently might be considered small. Regarding the berth height, on cats the berths would either be up over the bridgedeck ( therefore high) or within the hull (muzzle loaders). Putting them over the bridgedeck gives you more floorspace, and allows a narrower hull or bigger berth. The Norseman has full sized queen berths, very large. I find it harder to get into a muzzle loader (which our old cat had) than what we have now, except when I need to climb over my sleeping wife.

3.I expect the heads on a 4 head model would be small. That's a lot of heads! We went with 2 heads.

4.This is a valid criticism when bashing to weather in rough conditions. Usually then only the ports in the heads can be opened, and then only the upper port on the windward side. Sometimes even that one must be closed.

5.We are quite happy with the sailing qualities, but it does need more wind than our smaller cat did. We do have very good sails, which most charter boats probably do not. We have chartered several similar sized cats and were disappointed with the sailing. Probably had a lot to do with the sails. Always makes us appreciate what we have.

6.I don't know how to respond to this one. I've never had a reason to complain.Perhaps on newer models the double wide seat doesn't give the lateral support of our single seat.In rough conditions I may be standing and leaning back against the seat.

Actually the 440 is slightly longer, but that was a result of the primary change, making the hull a little wider for more load carrying capacity.

And I have seen Richard Woods treatise on charter cats that focused on the Norseman. While there were a few valid points that he made, IMHO many were not.

I would prefer if our boat had a few inches more bridgedeck clearance, but this is not a major problem, unless the boat is overloaded. We try to consider weight when bringing stuff on board. The ribs under the bridgedeck tend to break up a lot of the impact. The objection is mainly one of sound.

We have owned ours 9 years, and still are happy.
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Old 27-06-2009, 02:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggray View Post
5.We are quite happy with the sailing qualities, but it does need more wind than our smaller cat did. We do have very good sails, which most charter boats probably do not. We have chartered several similar sized cats and were disappointed with the sailing. Probably had a lot to do with the sails. Always makes us appreciate what we have.

I am sure that this is true. How many charter boats have blown out sails, ruining the experience. One charter boat we rented, a 40-something Beneteau we rented from Sunsail in Bodrum (might as well name names), had a mainsail which was not only blown out, but was not even made for the boat it was on -- it was a couple feet too short and wouldn't go up to the masthead! Needless to say, that boat was a pig to sail.
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Old 19-01-2017, 00:32   #9
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Voyage 430 for sale

This forum was quite helpful when we bought our Catamaran Voyage 430 in 2008. For whatever reason it seems to be not active anymore.
Nonetheless: After 9 years of happy cruising we will put our Model 2000 Voyage 430 for sale this summer, when we get to Florida.
See Details on catamaran-voyage-norseman430.com
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