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Old 31-10-2006, 12:29   #1
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Prout Questions

Hi all,
We've been seriously considering the Prout catamarans for our eventual cruising (long-term FL coast, Bahamas, Carribean, Central America). Our most likely choice would be a 37 snowgoose elite. While looking on yachtworld the other day I saw a 2004 Prout Meercat 34 listed. Does anyone know anything about these? I thought Prout went bankrupt back in 2001.
I really like the Prout 38 or 39, although I'm not sure our current budget would stretch that far. I have heard that there were some serious problems with the earlier models. Does anyone know what those problems were? What are the main differences between the 38 and 39 (other than size difference)? Thanks for all your helpful comments.

Cheers!
Iris
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Old 31-10-2006, 13:31   #2
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The Prout Event moulds were sold to South Africa so are probably the origin of the Meerkat.

The Snowgoose Elite is a much better load carrier than the standard 37ft Snowgoose, but none of the Prouts are ocean greyhounds. They are built solid and need a breeze to move. They are at their best in bad weather.

My personal Favourite is the Escale

Exposure and pa lo olo are both Elite owners who post on here occasionally
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Old 31-10-2006, 13:36   #3
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After Prout went out of business for the second or third time in a couple of years, most of the molds were sold and shipped to South Africa. I think this included the 34, 37, and 39. The newer 38 molds were kept in England and eventually used by Broadblue to launch their line of boats.

I know that several 39 hull's were pulled out of the molds in SA and built by a combination of owners and hired labor. My guess would be that this 34 is similar. It was probably pulled from the original 34 molds and then built to an owners spec. Many of the 39s I have seen were finished out nicely, but ended up very heavy with all of the interior joinery installed. I have seen them weighed down to the point that the bottom rear steps were under water. Not a good situation in my opinion.

The 34 may be a great find, or it may be an over built dog. I know of a surveyor in the Annapolis area who is very familiar with Prouts and could probably give a you a good survey and opinion if needed.

Woody
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Old 31-10-2006, 13:41   #4
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Hmmm....

The story on an unrigged prout 34 doing the great circle route rings a bell. I think there was a story on this boat in one of the sailing rags recently. I'll look around the house and see if I can find it.
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Old 31-10-2006, 14:44   #5
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We are also Prout drivers. A 1994 38' Manta model built in South Africa. Essentially the same boat as the 39 Escale but shorter sugar scoops. You may find an occasional one on the used market. There were about 35 (34? 37?) built. Ours is hull #17.

Not fast but hell for stout. Good boat in a blow.

Moe info on our web site.

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Old 01-11-2006, 08:06   #6
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Thanks for the information

I was coveting a Prout Manta (on yachtworld as a 39??), but it now has a sale pending -- oh well. We're not quite at the "buy the boat" stage yet anyway. There are a couple of 39's in Ft. Lauderdale that look nice too. Unfortunately, most of the Prout 38 and 39s are for sale overseas. We also like the 37's, especially the price of some of the older ones, but we would really prefer a twin engine, and most of the 37's we've seen have a single engine.
My reason for questioning the quality of the 39's was a website about a particular boat (Cat's Pyjamas, I think is the name), where they were having a lot of problems that needed correcting. I'm assuming that part of the problem is that it was an early hull # (2 or 3) and the production of that particular boat was rushed so it would be ready for a boat show. I assume most of the problems were addressed by Prout in later boats.

Is the quality of the South African boats the same as the boats build in England? Were both the 38 and 39 built in South Africa? I seem to remember that one was SA built and the other built in England.
Thanks for the input. Hopefully, we'll be enjoying sundowners at Norman's Cay in about 3 years on whatever Prout we end up with. You're all invited.

Cheers
Iris
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Old 01-11-2006, 08:31   #7
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"Is the quality of the South African boats the same as the boats build in England?"

Hard to say if quality is the same. I believe they are equivalent and after speaking to many SA Prout owners, have found none unhappy about the build quality.

One thing that is considerably different is interior. Many of SA boats were sold as kits and each owner finished the interior so there is a lot of variation in interiors, unlike the Brit built Escale which had 3 or 4 “standard” layouts. Much of their cabinetry is fiberglass and very “Euro” looking.

You can see some interior pictures of our boat at the web site. She is all teak plywood inside but generally has a standard layout. One nice variation we have is a font opening fridge in the galley and a stand alone freeze using some space in the main saloon. Ours was “factory” finished but there is opportunity for variance in interior quality since many were done independently.

Having said that, SA has a robust boat building industry and a reputation for sturdy well built cats, so there was good infrastructure to support owners who handled their own build out.

There was some evolution in the sugar scoops. Our hull is #17 and you can see the steps are bolted on. We were aboard hull #19, and she has molded steps like the Escale. I believe that when they made the sugar scoops longer, they went for 38’ to 39’.

One or two engines is a personal preference. Last week, the owner of a 37’ Elite was bending my ear about the ability to steer is out drive and of course, then there is no hole in the boat below the water line for a sail drive.

If you spend some time on this forum, you can find some real strong views on sail drives. Mine are OK. I like the redundancy and maneuverability of two engines.

There are lots of Prout drivers on this forum. One has created a Prout owners group at www.michaelbriant.com. Go to the “Prout Owners Unite” thread (http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1451) to follow the history.

Good luck on finding the boat. I would be glad to answer any questions you have. All answers are opinion as opposed to fact.

George
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Old 01-11-2006, 08:49   #8
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Thanks George for your thoughtful reply. I've actually been to your website many times -- one of the reasons I really covet the Prout Mantas and Escales. I guess when the time comes to start intensively looking at sailboats to buy, we'll find the one that "feels" right. My S/O currently lives aboard a 48' motor vessel with huge twin caterpillar diesels -- talk about $$$$$ trying to fill up the tanks and go anywhere. Needless to say, he's not moving it around much lately. I know it will be hard for him to give up the space in his current boat. That's one of the main reasons we've decided on a catamaran rather than a monohull. We spent some time on a Privilege 39 this summer and were impressed with the ride, but didn't like the "skylight" windows. We'd prefer being able to look out the windows. Also, the saloon seemed very cramped for such a large cat. We also don't need 4 staterooms -- 2 would be plenty. Also, I'm more interested in safety and comfort rather than speed. Anyway, I'm doing my due diligence in researching and narrowing down our future options.

Any other opinions or information on the Prout cats would be most welcome.
Cheers
Iris
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Old 01-11-2006, 13:03   #9
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Quote:
My reason for questioning the quality of the 39's was a website about a particular boat (Cat's Pyjamas, I think is the name), where they were having a lot of problems that needed correcting. I'm assuming that part of the problem is that it was an early hull # (2 or 3) and the production of that particular boat was rushed so it would be ready for a boat show. I assume most of the problems were addressed by Prout in later boats.
I wouldn't be so quick to jump to that conclusion. We bought our boat from the original owners who had it built for them in 92-93, and who lived near the factory in England. They visited at least twice a week during construction. They had some pretty interesting stories of the problems they caught and had corrected. Most seemed to be around the rigging and electrical installation. At least by now, ten years later, most problems have either been neglected and the boat will show it, or they were corrected or done right in the first place.
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Old 02-11-2006, 10:08   #10
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Originally Posted by iknoebl
That's one of the main reasons we've decided on a catamaran rather than a monohull. We spent some time on a Privilege 39 this summer and were impressed with the ride, but didn't like the "skylight" windows. We'd prefer being able to look out the windows. Also, the saloon seemed very cramped for such a large cat. We also don't need 4 staterooms -- 2 would be plenty. Also, I'm more interested in safety and comfort rather than speed. Anyway, I'm doing my due diligence in researching and narrowing down our future options.
Cheers
Iris
Iris.... Take a look at the Privilege 37. They are a generation later than the 39 and have a much better salon with an excellent owners suite going right across. Here's a link to a reasonable priced example... http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi..._id=53169&url==
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Old 02-11-2006, 11:03   #11
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Iris: When we were making the decision to go cat, we chartered a Privilege 37 for a couple of weeks in BVI. It was indeed a nice boat. We didn't like climbing up into the master berth but over all it was roomier than our 38 Prout.

INHO Privilege is the best built of the current makes of French cats. Now I catch it from all the Lagoon and FP drivers out there. Ouch. Sorry.

George
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Old 03-11-2006, 12:34   #12
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Originally Posted by Sunspot Baby
INHO Privilege is the best built of the current makes of French cats. Now I catch it from all the Lagoon and FP drivers out there. Ouch. Sorry.

George
George... I agree 100%, but then I'm biased. They should be a higher quality because they cost a lot more to buy in the first place. You get that back at resale time though so that and the quality makes the extra outlay worthwhile.

Prout... I was always going to buy a Prout. I spent years deveouring the excellent owners magazine that used to be published with stories from the people out there doing what I longed to be doing. The only reason I didn't buy a Prout 45 was that they went bust the year I was ready to buy. Fortunately I came across Privilege and signed up pretty quickly for a 435.
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Old 03-11-2006, 18:34   #13
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Me Too

Hey,

Pa La O La here, had our Snow Goose Elite three years now, we live abord here here in FL. Love her. True we are no speed demon but I'd got a power boat if speed was the need. We'll get there, its the trip that's the reason not getting there fast. We have her loaded down because we still have land ties (jobs) but we still do as well as any mono hull our length.

Good luck

Gary
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Old 28-03-2007, 11:48   #14
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Am cosidering an elite model .Do you do as well upwind as monohull your size?
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Old 19-05-2008, 12:59   #15
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I've been studying the smaller prout's, the solo short hand option for some time. Retirement beckons, house is maybe sold. I'be been mainl looking at 'Multihullworld' where they specialise in affordable boats. I,ve got my eyeon the Catello, a 34' Event with the extended inwards bunks and a higher roof line but there is a lovely, maybe a bit heavy 'goose 37 in near mint conditionthere. We are both tall, found the saloon headroom limited, but I loved the style of the whole package. My brother sailed one exstensively, loved it, his performance figures shame most modern boats, we certainly had a dismal trip recently on a Priviledge 435. You do need a good surveyor who knows Prouts, and trust him. The 'goose at Emsworth is at 50k sterling. That leaves enough to re-rig with a forty foot mast, re-fit all sails and standing rigging, update the white goods and re-wire and so-on. Say 80k. Good as new (subject to survey). Don't look at Catello but next to it is another 34' Event. By the way the extended bunks can be retro fitted to a 'goose fairly easily, even professionally.
I'm sure you know about the sweet running, close hauled, low wake etc. The steering, retractable drive leg is a marvel for manouvring, not as good as twin drive but a lot lighter! cheaper, more economical Those clean running hulls don't need HP.
Enjoy, and please test drive or at least have a goodwalk round one of each. Trev
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