I've spent a lot of time on my friend's Mainecat 30 in the Florida Keys
and the Bahamas
. I think it is a great fair weather
boat, but my friend is very conservative when it comes to weather
. I have not been out in anything over about 6 feet, but it seemed to handle that well, taking some spray and green water on the dodger
occasionally, but nothing to worry about. I'm not very confident in the ability of that large flat dodger
window in the front to actually take a serious breaking wave. I would imagine you would be swimming in the cockpit
. If the hull
hatches were open you would take hours to get the water out as the bilge
pumps are pitifully small. Water capacity is limited, but the rain catchment system built into the hardtop and hulls works great and a good downpour can refill the tanks
. The boat is fairly simple to single
hand with all the lines leading back to the cockpit
. The solar panels
do a pretty good job with the power requirements as my friend notes his boat has never been connected to the grid. I do find the single
a bit worrisome, but it has never actually been a problem. I personnally would prefer two batteries just in case one failed, even if it was only big enough to start the engines. Despite the option of pull starting the engines access to the pull starter in the wells is not that great.
If you are planning a solo trip you can carry enough supplies that you should not have a problem for a couple of weeks. I've spent 10 days on her in the Bahamas
out islands with 4 people on board and no supply issues. Water was the big worry, but a few rain showers solved
that problem. One rainless week however we did run out of water and had to make for a port. A small watermaker
might be enough to solve that problem.
If you are planning on Island hopping and not making any thousand mile passages where you need to face the possibility of a major storm at sea, then the Mainecat might work for you. Just watch the weather carefully, especially on longer hops.
I would note that my Friend's Mainecat was built in 2002 and I've never found the outboard noise
to be that big of a problem. It's certainly much quieter than my diesels. The engine
pods do hang a bit close to the water so they slap quite a bit in a chop, but it's not that bad.
I agree that the boat does not go to weather all that well. My friend usually resorts to motoring or motor
sailing when going to windward. The screecher works very well in light air and I've seen 7-8 knots in 5-7 true.