This has been a fun thread to read, but I'm a bit surprised that nobody mentioned the 90' Catana
at the show! I still can't decide if it was impressive or ridiculous.
My son and I were there on Sat in the rain, which made for a very short line @ Gunboat. Impressive boat, but perhaps a bit too much technology - I wonder at what point automation takes the fun out of sailing. (autopilots are great for steering
for long periods, but I'm not sure I want my main to decide on its own that it needs to be eased.)
After doing a preliminary look @ the cats on Sat, we came back on Sunday with my wife to show her our "short list".
Features of the Leopard
44 appeal to my wife, but the Sunsail version didn't really show off Leopard
in the best light - talk about a plastic boat! The 48 at Leopard's booth looked much nicer. We will probably do a charter
next summer to see how they sail.
39 looked intriguing on paper, but it certainly doesn't seem to be built for somebody looking to maintain their own boat. I recall
checking the engine
compartment to find the motor
tucked so tightly up against a forward bulkhead I can't imagine checking, much less changing, a belt or impeller. The boat definitely seemed to appeal to those who focus on the pretty decor and living space. I personally am more concerned about how the systems and sail rig are set up.
The Isara 50 imho was a beautiful boat, but I'm not a fan of fly bridges. Hope to see the 45 before we make a commitment. I do like the hybrid power systems - they make a lot of sense to me (I'm sure others would respectfully disagree.
The Maverick 440 has a lot of appeal. It's not the prettiest boat on the outside, but there are definitely a number of thoughtful features in the design and everything was accessible for my wife who is only 5'2". We actually went out on Tuesday for a test sail - loved how she handled. Helm
feel was much better than the other cats we've sailed.
The Helia 44 still shows much better than the newer Saba
50. Helia seems like it could be the "safest bet" when looking at a production boat in this size.
was impressive but honestly overkill for how we intend to use the boat. Expecting to mainly split time between the Carib and Chesapeake, I feel like the Antares
would be the equivalent of buying
a serious off road vehicle to travel to the local grocery store.
Scarlett, I think we are in a very similar situation as you - planning for the move to a cat in the next couple of years, sailing our 30' mono as much as possible on the bay to gain more experience. We also plan on chartering whenever possible to evaluate different cats and really see what we like and don't like. I just wish there was a Seawind
1250 on the East coast
that I could check out.
Sorry for the long post - end of work day Friday and this thread just reminded me of what a great time we had at the show last weekend.