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.