It is unfair to suggest that the Antares
44i is now being marketed as a world cruising boat for couples/small families because charter
companies would no longer purchase
them; rather, the Antares
44i (and its predecessor, the 42) were never
intended for, nor marketed to the large charter
companies. Characteristics beyond the relative lack of beam and corresponding interior
space were and still are at play here:
- on more recent boats, a cockpit
with a solid windshield/wipers that provides perhaps the ultimate in protection/comfort for the helmsperson. This is not required in a charter boat that will generally be sailing for relatively short distances in relatively benign conditions, but matters in a boat intended to circumnavigate, as per the wishes of the OP.
- prop shafts versus saildrives. Typically more reliable, albeit the engine placement does take up some additional interior
space. They also permit
servicing from the interior - a much safer and drier environment
than through small exterior hatches mounted on the aft decks. Again, not an issue for a charter boat where space is king and where all sevicing will be done by the charter company.
- a properly braced galley
. The galley
down has bracing on all sides, important in a seaway for a circumnavigator. It is much less important to charter parties who will virtually never prepare meals
- a walkway dividing the forward trampolines. Again, important to the circumnavigator for a couple of reasons: 1. the tramp is stronger in that there are two smaller tramps supported on 8 sides, rather than a much larger one supported on 4 sides (keep in mind that the large tramps on some charter-type cats have been blown out in heavy conditions offshore). 2. It is a much more secure way to go forward to the roller reefing , should it jam when underway. Again, neither of these features matter to charter parties.
- interior with rounded edges/doors and real wood trim/veneers. This isn't just 'old fashioned', or 'dated' styling as one poster suggested. Rounded edges/doors are more expensive to produce, but they save injuries while underway! Real wood veneer/trim is also more expensive, but then so is quality wood furniture rather than Ikea junk, modern in appearance or not.
- skegs on the rudders. Again, this adds expense, but it also ensures that steering
will not be disabled offshore
by a bent rudder
stock, such as occurred to Alpha 42 hull number one, requiring its abandonment.
- adequate, well-placed hatches for ventilation. Important when sailing offshore and when under anchor
in tropcial climates, albeit while adding additonal expense in manufacture.
- proper steering
systems. Expensive, but both more durable and able to provide more feel.
- superior bridgedeck clearance (especially in view of the relatively narrow beam, which is proabably the critical factor) in relation to the cats designed for the charter market. Again, not so critical for charter parties due to the relatively short sails
in relatively benign condition that can be anticipated.
I could go on, but must agree with 2hulls that we are comparing apples and oranges when comparing the Antares 44i with a boat of similar size that has designed and built primarily for the charter market. As to performance - as has been pointed out, that is not simply a question of what boat sails
at what speed in certain wind
conditions. The ability to sail comfortably
at a certain speeds in heavy conditions is undeniably an aspect of real world
performance - something which is enhanced by higher bridgedeck clearance, a secure galley, a well-protected helm
, rounded joinerwork, etc,etc.