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Old 30-05-2010, 05:08   #16
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The helm positions on all the new FP's, Lagoon's, and RC's are designed for the tropics. Thats the typical reason cruisers don't like them. They are to exposed on passages.
Some interesting observations from Sanctuary Cove here...and ample evidence that it's 'different strokes for different folks' when it comes to boats!

We spent 3 days @Sanctuary Cove, basically looking at cruising (predominantly coastal although island-hopping as well and 'at sea' for extended periods) cats with a bias for comfort, rather than speed, although it is a high priority for us to be able to sail in light air. We don't want to spend a lot of loot to end up listening to diesel engines on long passages in light airs!

We're disappointed at the new 'trend' (if we can call it that?) of the continuous roof line from saloon to the bimini with the helm position then sticking up somewhere. We much prefer the stepped roof line (with the bimini a bit higher) so that the helm is fully covered and the helm line-of-sight sweeps across the saloon roof...and there's more room for the sails! Alas...no-one asked us though.

In our view the Lipari is a particularly poorly designed helm. In addition to the exposure (which it shares with the others of the above trend) the Lipari helm line-of-sight is blocked from the stern -- There's plenty of times when I want to see what's happening at the stern! -- and blocked off (socially) from the cockpit area as well...and the instruments are tucked in behind the wheel where they're very awkward to both see and access. It's a great galley area though!
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Old 30-05-2010, 16:53   #17
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santuary cove

The new Freeflow range of cats being promoted on the Stallion Marine stand which featured a Spirited 380 ticks all the boxes.

News

I took the opportunity to look over the Freeflow46 Open Ocean under construction at Upper Coomera. Perfect setup for tropical reef cruising with raised full covered hardtop and helm looking over the saloon. Incredible vessel - absolutely the next generation of crusing cat. Ticks all the boxes. Their new 40 will lead the way.

Charts of the GBR are excellent thesedays and as long as you have good visability from helm, all chain anchor rode you can spend months amongst the reefs and cays with fantastic anchorages. Few sailors crusing the GBR actually get out and enjoy the GBR rather they just cruise the mainland islands. eg Keppels, Percys, Whitsundays, Palms, Lisard Is.

For me the Spitited 380 doesn't have the load carrying in the hulls for long distance crusing however it has the best designed absoutely flat decks with tamp at same level. Next best decks on display were the FP range.

The Australian built Montebello's Lightwave, Seawind and Spirited vessels had better quality finished than the French cats.

The molded decking on the Lightwave 38 had the worst (least safe) access to the fore deck.
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Old 30-05-2010, 16:59   #18
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Yes that makes good sense on the bimini, what my wife realy hated was the big steps that one encountered on many boats, this was where the Mahe 36 was really good but alas it doesn't have enough berths for us.

3 days is a good effort did you see everything we only covered a porton of what was on offer.
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Old 30-05-2010, 17:10   #19
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I'm no expert, but the forward helm stations (like on Chris White designs, Gunboat) make the most sense to me, especially when there's a second inside helm station for poor weather. How come catamaran designs seem focused on placing the helm behind so much of the boat, and often requiring strange work-arounds to do so? (oddly shaped windows, raised helms, dual helms, etc).
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Old 30-05-2010, 17:25   #20
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For me a good sized rear cockpit, well protected from the elements (sun,rain) and that has room the diving equptment , barby, dining, dancing, etc is a must.

To then have a foward cockpit would require at least a 55ft cat.
My compromise no foward cockpit.
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Old 30-05-2010, 18:21   #21
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For me the Spitited 380 doesn't have the load carrying in the hulls for long distance crusing however it has the best designed absoutely flat decks with tamp at same level. Next best decks on display were the FP range.

The Australian built Montebello's Lightwave, Seawind and Spirited vessels had better quality finished than the French cats.
We agree on the importance of load carrying ability. The relatively narrower hulls are great for speed and pointing into the wind, but we want to be able to carry lots of fuel and water...and occassionally(!) guests too! So we're very inclined toward the 'fat' hulls...and we like the internal volume as well.

For all our time at Sanctuary Cove, it seems we missed Freeflow. Perhaps it was because it was their larger (and out of our desired solo-sailing range) vessel on display, but perhaps too it was missed due to the weather on Friday being a bit of a write off for boats so we spent most of Friday in the pavillions. In any event I'm now regretting missing Freeflow based on the other comments here...argh! What was the hull volume like on the Freeflow?

For us the best decks by far were the Lagoon 400...wide and flat...although the jump up to the saloon roof was not easy. Lots of people denigrate that vessel calling it a floating apartment, but we love the volume and load-carrying ability...and we sailed the L380 and found it quite reasonable, especially in light air. You won't beat a Schionning in a Lagoon, but most of our cruising time is spent either on passages or, especially, 'on the hook' when internal volume = comfort...and we're not racing!

For finish, the L400 was the worst -- Amoung the Frenchies the Lipari was much better --and we agree the Seawind and Lightwave were very good; the latter is improving heaps since we started looking 3 years ago. We're toying with thoughts of retro-finishing the L400 to take advantage of the favourable exchange rates, but...

Amoung the Aussies, the Seawind 1250 would be our favourite...a great sailing vessel with great local support and great volume at the bridgedeck level, although the hulls are still a bit squeezy and with the climb-up berths. The price is a bit of scary though.

Why don't the French offer better quality sails as a option?
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Old 30-05-2010, 20:39   #22
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D & D,

Although freeflow shared a stand on a Spitited 380 they don't yet have a completed vessel, the 46 under construction will be in water around November and should be a FF40 at least at next years boatshow.

Contact FF for actual numbers but from their brocure the 40 has a displacement of 7900kg at DWL and max displacement of 9900kg. I doubt the vessel will weigh much more than 6T being of resin infused foam. Beauty of its layout is essentially custom and can suit individuals unlike French production vessels. You can assemble yourself as a kit or bare sailaway.

For me the decks of L400 were good until it got to tramps which were a dangerous drop down from deck and unsupported in centerline thus not firm to walk on.
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Old 30-05-2010, 21:23   #23
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Info on FF40

Cruisers & Sailing Forums - downunder's Album: Sancuary Cove boatshow 2010 - Picture
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Old 30-05-2010, 21:31   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downunder View Post
Contact FF for actual numbers but from their brocure the 40 has a displacement of 7900kg at DWL and max displacement of 9900kg. I doubt the vessel will weigh much more than 6T being of resin infused foam. Beauty of its layout is essentially custom and can suit individuals unlike French production vessels. You can assemble yourself as a kit or bare sailaway.

For me the decks of L400 were good until it got to tramps which were a dangerous drop down from deck and unsupported in centerline thus not firm to walk on.
Thanks downunder

We'v made enquiries now with both FF and Stallion; we also know the latter from some earlier correspondence about the Spirited 380.

Think "dangerous" might be a bit overstated re the L400 tramps, especialy given the prominent catwalk at the center. As far as firmness goes, there's the two schools of thought favouring either the rope or the fibregalss tramps with the latter typically much more firm. 'Blue water' people, however, say the rope should be preferred for its superior ability to evacuate green water. Who knows...we have lived with both such that it's no longer a priority issue for us. We do, however, really like having the catwalk for security when things need to be done at the forestay.
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Old 30-05-2010, 22:27   #25
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Interesting comments Downunder regarding the Freeflow 44. We didn't look at the construction, but I understand that tours were organised for those interested.
Their prices for the Freeflow40 seem a bit high (A$162,800)for what is basically a flat panel kit with few moulded components. Compare this with the Fusion 40, which is a fully moulded infusion moulded vinylester and foam core kit boat of a proven design, currently costing less than A$125,000 for a kit.
Both these boats are not production boats, which is what is being compared on this thread. If you wish to go custom, and kits allow a high degree of customisation, then that is a "different kettle of fish". Details such as hardtop canopies are easily modified on a custom build.
The Freeflow boats may turn out to be the most revered cat design of the 21st century, but they aren't yet. It is a huge "leap of faith" to pay such a large amount of money for a custom build of a new and unproven design. I admire anyone who has the guts to do it!

IMHO there are easier ways to get a sheltered helm position that still offers good visibility!
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Old 31-05-2010, 00:53   #26
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tuskie,

Fair comment. The price of the fusion 40 must have dropped significantly as I was quoted a $165,00 12 months ago. Fusion is a nice looking vessel, too small for me unfortunately. I have watches progress of several fusion builds of a Fusion builder in Mackay.

For me being tall the Fusion is somewhat problematical and load carrying whilst Ok for coastal crusing is inadequate for me with diving equipt further off the beaten track.

Your Quote "The Freeflow boats may turn out to be the most revered cat design of the 21st century, but they aren't yet. It is a huge "leap of faith" to pay such a large amount of money for a custom build of a new and unproven design. I admire anyone who has the guts to do it! "

Fair comment and I am observing at present planning about 18mths out before committing. The build though ticks all the boxes for me and I have researched everything I can find on the web.It should be a faster build than the comparable Spirited model.

Yes it is built using kit componets all resin infused foam although not full molds like Fusion and FP.

As you are based in Brisbane it makes it easy for you to observe the procress of 46 and 40 as construction advances. I can't wait to see them in the water.

cheers
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Old 31-05-2010, 03:05   #27
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Freeflow 44 looks like a big 44 footer! As you said the centre raised helm and solid hardtop sure ticks the box for shelter and visibility. I like the island queen sized beds too.
If you are commercially diving the gear weight quickly adds up. So I can understand the need for this size vessel. We believe a 40 footer will do us for extended cruising: Kimberleys, Louisiades etc but my diving gear consists of tank and reg for recovering stuck anchors, and snorkel and speargun for food.
We will keep in touch with Nathan and Jo regarding the Freeflow 40: you never know!
Meanwhile I'm closely watching the sums on the Fusion 40. The kit is priced at 82,000 Euros, so the price drop is simply due the conversion between the A$ vs Euro. This is likely to suddenly change for the worse just before I decide to buy! Mind you, as any builder will attest ,the kit price represents only a minor part of the overall cost of the completed boat.
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Old 31-05-2010, 03:19   #28
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Tuskie,

The vessel in the photos is the 46.

The 44 uses the same shoe mold as 46 2 ft shorter,slightly lower sheerline and saloon and cockpit 200mm shorter.

Still the 44 is still close to many 50ft vessels.
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Old 31-05-2010, 06:35   #29
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Just an aside on Freeflow - I have known Nathan and Jo for a number of years, not close friends at all - but professional colleagues, and I have found them to be "good people". Same goes for Roger and Louise at Lightwave. And Peter Kerr at Lizard Yachts.
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Old 31-05-2010, 14:05   #30
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I'm no expert, but the forward helm stations (like on Chris White designs, Gunboat) make the most sense to me, especially when there's a second inside helm station for poor weather. How come catamaran designs seem focused on placing the helm behind so much of the boat, and often requiring strange work-arounds to do so? (oddly shaped windows, raised helms, dual helms, etc).
I personally can't see a forward helm working. On every cat I've sailed, we take on water periodically. Either it's spray or a wave or water hits the tramp and it comes across the boat. Being 20' closer to that doesn't appeal to me. It also cuts up the boat as you have a small forward helm area, a small bridgedeck cabin, and a small rear cockpit.
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