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Old 09-02-2010, 16:57   #1
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Royal Cape Catamaran

Does anyone know anything about the Royal Cape Catamarans? There are 50 and 53 foot versions. They are made in South Africa but I have never seen one except at the boat show in Miami.

Thanks.
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Old 11-02-2010, 03:02   #2
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They're HUGE, VERY well appointed, and essentially very good value for the level of spec. I've seen their evolution via various incarnations, and they're now well-tried cruising boats. They are very tough- one fell of its trailer on the highway on the way to launch, and nothing moved or shifted, save a whole lot of paint and some divots in the keels! Off our East coast they've been pummelled by lots of gales, and they have all got through just fine! You'll never turn one over or fly a hull though- far too conservative for that. The developments have all been designed by a naval architect- as in the Navy type- and the nett result is a certain type of boat that will do its job very well. Don't expect record-smashing performance, but then if you're looking at a cat which will keep 10 or so guests in consummate comfort you've got maybe two choices- superyacht, or something like the RCC. You're unlikely to ever find one in the "for sale" pages, too, because they have a ready market in the charter industry, which is where all the predecessors of the current models seem to have ended up, even after being privately owned!
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Old 28-02-2010, 20:24   #3
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Royal Cape Majestic 530

I too had an opportunity to check out the Royal Cape Majestic 530 at the boat show">Miami Boat show. I also had the opportunity to demo sail one with Ken Bircher the owner of Royal Cape, his Production Manager James, and the owner of the boat Jean Mark along with other guests. These are the things I like about the Majestic 530:

Degree of customization- this boat offers lots of different configurations and finishes as compared to some the larger production manufactures. The boat we were on was set up for sport fishing and/or scuba diving. I have not seen these options as well executed on any other boat of this size.
Solid construction- you can't help but notice how sturdy this boat is built.
Large interior volume and plenteous flat exterior deck- 6 ensuite cabins available. Solid SS steel rails to protect cruisers on deck. Good access to all of the deck. Excellent slip resistant coatings- better than wood in my opinion when it gets wet.
Excellent galley- one of the largest, most functional, better equipped galleys I have seen in this size boat. I also liked the amount of storage space in the kitchen. Some of the boats catering more to the charter industry seem to skimp a bit on the galley, especially those with the galley up configuration. Not this boat. There is sufficient room and amenities for a cruising family to enjoy extended cruising.
Reserve buoyancy- The boat displaces 38,000 lbs according to the literature and has a gross tonnage capacity of 100,000 lbs. Lots of room for cruisers stuff.
Stability under sail- Given the wide hull configuration and beam, this boat won't win many regattas. It will however be very stable and comfortable to sail. We had no trouble hitting 6.5 knots in 14-16 knot apparent wind.

The bridgedeck clearance is a bit low as compared to other boats. I wonder if slapping would occur in heavy seas. We did not experience this on our demo sail. The lower bridgedeck allows for excellent headroom in the cabins. I'll take a little slapping for the extra room (if it occurs). The wider hulls probably help minimize this.

If I had the cash to put a boat into charter, the Majestic 530 would be on my short list.
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Old 28-02-2010, 22:52   #4
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Welcome to the forum pslive and Buffalo Bill...good posts.
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Old 01-03-2010, 04:40   #5
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Thanks Buffalo Bill. There are lots of things to like about the boat. Like you, I noticed the Royal Cape sits a little lower and has less free board than most other 50' cats. I'm wondering if that translates into a wet ride in rougher water.
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Old 01-03-2010, 16:21   #6
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Buffalo Bill , do you have any photos of galley and fitout for diving/fishing you can post?

Have seen a review but photos mainly showed externals. Not the best looking cat by anymeans however on the sea I will take practicallities over looks anyday.
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Old 21-03-2010, 19:36   #7
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Hi downunder-

Here is a link to the royal cape website that has lots of picture of the Majestic 530 and 500, inside and out:

royalcapecatamarans

I got one picture of some of my family and I on the deck- sorry. I was a bit hesitant to take many inside picture since this is a privately owned boat. The info on the website is better than anything I would have taken anyway.

One thing that is lacking on the website in my opinion are pictures of the boats systems. The stuff under the access panels. Engine compartments, genset access (under the rear starboard bed on this boat), anchor locker up front, electric closet (starboard hull toward rear). James, the production manager was kind enough to show me the bowels of the boat while on the demo sail.

You can see pics of the Majestic 500 and 530. We were on the newer 530. This longer version has the fish station on the back.

You will see subtle differences in the galley configurations in the pics on the website. It appears the layout has been changed slightly based on the clients preferences or as the new owner Ken puts his ideas into the design. The boat we were on had a raised shelf above the countertop separating the galley from the salon seating area. Ken indicated the latest thinking was to do away with this to keep the sight lines between the galley and salon seating more open.

Check out the downloads section of the website. Plenty of good stuff.
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Old 03-02-2014, 07:53   #8
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Re: Royal Cape Catamaran

Own one since 2012.....safe stable,no slap,great speed considering the unbelievable amount of gear we packed on her....plus extra dinghy/motor,scuba,compressor,fishing,2 paddle boards,walker bay sailboat,6 kids worth of clothes,games ,books,tons of food for months in bahamas....love the boat....may sell since can't get away from NZ enough....or will get across Pacific and park in the bay of islands. If sold.....get a new one delivered in a couple of years when the youngest kids a bit older. 2nd choice StFrancis Leopard,Lagoon.
Nowhere near the space/storage....not as well set up up for diving /fishing. Like the less mod. look too,not so bland and more like home. Great galley....very practical for feeding hordes.
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Old 05-02-2014, 15:18   #9
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Re: Royal Cape Catamaran

... just wanted to say that RCC has the BEST galley down config!!!! They are my dream galley..
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Old 05-02-2014, 15:56   #10
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Re: Royal Cape Catamaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash Gordon View Post
SNIP

Don't expect record-smashing performance, but then if you're looking at a cat which will keep 10 or so guests in consummate comfort you've got maybe two choices- superyacht, or something like the RCC.

SNIP
Never seen the boat and did not even look at the pix.

But it may be time for a reality check here.

Or else my definition of '10 guests in consummate comfort' (which implies at the least one more person how is the host of the guest even if the host does not enjoy consummate comfort) is very different than Splash Gordon's definition of '10 guests in consummate comfort'.

Not to mention dealing with what ten or more folks would do to the holding tanks.
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Old 05-02-2014, 21:02   #11
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Re: Royal Cape Catamaran

....6 kids 4 adults...months in Bahamas..in comfort. Levels of comfort based not on just boat but all pitching in and helping out day to day. The hosts need help too.

we had experienced SA skipper and wife on board to help and mentor....fantastic way to learn the ropes over the past couple of years. We ALL have a great time.


Boat being practical helps. If you have a bunch of kids and want safe comfortable cruising RCC works. Lots of choice out there.....looking is half the fun. As a newbie....whole new world. Get to meet amazing people that have done amazing things.....and are only to happy to pass it on.

As is repeated often on forums..all about compromise and what works for your needs....

By the way Bahamas is a great place to cruise. I had not been back since mid 90s. Ran a dive based biz. on grand Bahama. Seems to have actually improved....less drugs flying around. Folk on out islands friendly,diving good,safe. Highlight....tornado on green title cay during festival as National band was playing !!!!
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Old 06-02-2014, 01:04   #12
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Re: Royal Cape Catamaran

I have delivered one of the 53's from South Africa to Trinidad. It is really a safe, solid boat with all the toys, bells and whistles, ideal for a charter boat or for a large family. The boat to Trinidad was a 5 cabin version and had everything aboard to make life easy and enjoyable. She sails well in good winds but is a bit slow in light airs. But then she had massive fuel tanks and good TC motors for when things slowed down too much. Very comfortable boat in big seas or at anchor in a nice quiet bay. Easy to sail with all lines lead aft to the cockpit.

Also delivered one from Fort Lauderdale to London and back. On the journey down from the UK we experienced good solid storm conditions off the Bay of Biscay. The boat handled it well although we lost a couple teak planks off the front walkway and had a small leak on one of the forward windows when having 10 metre waves breaking over the boat for about 12 hours. Other than that, she handled the seas well. We also had a masthead spinnaker block part a few days out of St Lucia and lost the bag. Nice boat, solidly built, safe and easy to sail short handed.

John
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:17   #13
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Re: Royal Cape Catamaran

Thanx for the input John. You guys do the hard yards....10 m waves for 9 hrs!!!!

Had similar report from the skipper that delivered my boat from Durban,handled huge seas with aplomb.

As an owner ,we love our boats ,hence not too objective. Good to get a good honest report. A bit irritating reading negative comments based on hearsay only.
I guess the boat you delivered back to US was the one on sale in Lauderdale. Bargain at the price..2009 boat i hear in good nick...if only folk knew!!!

I think Ken and the boys have a new boat at the Miami show...anyone looking don't pass up the chance to get on and have a look. Ken great to deal with and James very helpful with parts. I had new tramps sent last year and new canvas cockpit fittings sent up year before (and a toilet seat !)


Lot of forum comment on wave slap....i have found it negligible. Never been in 10 m waves though.

Yes she likes a bit of wind...if on the nose...can cruise on vovos at over 7 with revs just over 2000. Found her economical.

Growing up in Africa,RCC has the same feel as a big old land cruiser...you know she will get you there and not fall apart...rugged. I like the looks too...functional is pretty! As i said....im one eyed!~
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Old 06-02-2014, 02:31   #14
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Re: Royal Cape Catamaran

sorry...Lauderdale boat...Ultima Life 2010...even better.( mine 2009.) Wish i could get away from NZ for Miami show. Wouldn't mind seeing latest gunboat...
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Old 19-08-2014, 19:33   #15
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Re: Royal Cape Catamaran

Hi newcatcruiser
Why do you think the 2010 version is better than the 09? I have seen Ultima Life as well as Karizma.
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