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Old 22-01-2016, 19:39   #1
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Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

Hi all,

I'm planning on acquiring a catamaran in the 47'-50' range in the next year or so.

Usage My ultimate goal for this boat will be mid-distance cruising (but not circumnavigation) to the Caribbean, Mediterranean, maybe maritime Canada, as well as cruising my home waters in the Chesapeake. The boat needs to be manageable with 2 (my wife and I), but our goal is to cruise with 4 (occasionally 6) people on board.

Comfort/Speed Aiming more for speed than comfort. The main luxury items would be generator, water maker, and air conditioning. No microwave/washing machine/etc. I like sailing with daggerboards.

Constraints There is a 75' bridge at Annapolis that I need to fit under (my dock is on the Severn). Budget is $500k-$1m.

This puts me in the 47' to 50' range; I feel boats shorter than 47' are generally too cramped, and boats longer than 50' generally won't fit under the bridge. I will probably buy a used boat.

The List

At this point, I've got two boats on my short list and a few 'also rans'. I'd love to hear people's opinions on pros/cons of these boats.

Catana 47/471 I just got off a week-long charter on a Catana 47. We really like the way the boat sails, and it is quite comfortable. I'm seriously considering a Catana 471 because they are readily available on the used market and have a great reputation. The 'Carbon Infusion" 47s don't show up used at this point. The only real downside on the either boat is visibility: the outboard helm stations make it impossible to see the opposite corner of the boat... HUGE blind side. Out to sea that's OK, but maneuvering in marinas was very nerve-wracking, even with an attentive lookout to port.

Question: Does anyone have experience with using a forward-looking camera to provide some visibility on the blind side? Or other advice on the blind side? This really is the only major problem with the 47' Catanas.

Privilege 495 I've not yet been able to sail on one. On paper this looks like a nice boat... The SA/D and D/L numbers are comparable to the Catana. No dagger boards is a bummer, but the 'perfect' boat never exists. Looks to be both comfortable and fast and the mezzanine helm should have much better visibility. I'm willing to give up a bit of windward performance to get rid of the blind spot.

Availability of used boats is good.

Question: How does the sailing performance compare with the Catana? And how well does it sail to windward (this is of importance in the Chesapeake).

Also-Rans

I've looked at and considered several other boats. Here are my thoughts on them.

Balance I like many things about the Balance 451. BUT: Even allowing for the considerable reputation of the build/design team, this boat doesn't have much of a track record. AND, at least on paper, it looks somewhat underpowered. But, I like the lightness. The 486 looks intriguing, but I don't think I'm up for buying 'Hull 1' of a boat. And I'd need to chop a foot or two off the mast.

But, Balance is still in the running.

St. Francis Also looks nice... but there aren't a huge number of them on the used market. Looks to me similar in spirit to the Privilege.

Outremer Too small inside. The 50' might be big enough, but I'd have to order it with a shorter mast to fit under my bridge. I think this is too far on the 'performance' end of things.

Questions

First question: Am I missing any boats? That is to say: a cruising catamaran with sailing performance and comfort levels similar to the Catana 47, but without the blind spot?

Second question: Are there flaws in my research and reasoning about these boats?

All responses welcome!
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Old 22-01-2016, 21:50   #2
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

Were are in a similar boat, so to speak, and are looking at the 471 and the Lagoon 470. Our budget is less than yours, so our options are more limited. The lagoon is a nice fast(ish) boat, and has tonnes of room. Full sized fridge, king sized master birth etc...

I think the 471 has much better viability to the opposite corner than the 47, but that's not first hand experience.

The Balance is essentially a re-badged Montebello, so they do have some history. I like the looks of it, but the saloon looks cramped.
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Old 23-01-2016, 08:55   #3
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

I would recommend that you look at the size one more time. Those are big boats. Powerful, high from the deck above the dock when you are coming back from a sail, and potentially very demanding in a big wind. A lot of the folks with big cats will probably agree with me when they sail either with a small crew or they have a green crew that requires a lot of supervision to avoid possible injuries or accidents.

Also, remember, if the skipper or helmsman can't see EVERYTHING from the bridge, then someone else needs to be seeing and communicating to the person with the wheel in hand. And then there's the time when you anchor, attempt to pick up a mooring, load the dinghy, or, god-forbid, pick up a victim from the water. Sometimes, all of that space and sail area is a huge liability,
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Old 23-01-2016, 09:11   #4
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

Schionning?
Chris White Atlantic?

We just went through this excerise. It's a small market; you might have to travel to find what you want.
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Old 23-01-2016, 16:18   #5
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdazey View Post
Schionning?
Chris White Atlantic?

We just went through this excerise. It's a small market; you might have to travel to find what you want.
The Schionning might be interesting, but they don't seem to show up in this half of the world.

Chris White Atlantic ... I took a quick look at the specs on the Atlantic 48 and it looks nice. I'll do some further research on it.

And, yes, in that size range we'll need to travel to look at boats (outside of the Annapolis show, which is 8 miles up the river!)

Thanks!
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Old 25-01-2016, 19:26   #6
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

I've done some more reading and research...

I like the idea of the forward cockpit on the Atlantic, but in practice it seems to result in the aft cockpit being quite small, and the helmsman is rather isolated... I don't think that works for me.

I've done some reading up on the Privilege. On paper it looks light and well powered, and the 'dry weight' is quite reasonable (23,000 Lbs for the 495)... but they seem to be considered 'comfortable and slow'. So... it sounds like they are probably heavily loaded with equipment. Right?

Finally: the Catana 47/471 is continuing to look really good... except for the blind spot. Does anyone have experience with this?
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Old 25-01-2016, 20:17   #7
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by craig.stanfill View Post
I've done some more reading and research...

Finally: the Catana 47/471 is continuing to look really good... except for the blind spot. Does anyone have experience with this?
Hi Craig I have a 471, hull #45 which is a late 2001 build. The hardtop design for this vintage upto mid 2002 I'm guessing (pre Poncin company ownership) provided for excellent 360 viewing angles. This was an important consideration for me...and other owners. When Poncin came out with a hardtop redesign the 360 viewing angles were lost and this was a major stepback imo...
Do a search on this forum for aft helm positions and visibilty, there are many! threads and I posted a picture of my helm positions and the 360 viewing angles I enjoy.

Bob
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Old 25-01-2016, 20:30   #8
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

Under the or??? Catagory, how about a https://www.bavaria-yachtbau.com/cat...s/open-46.html although the mast might be a bit high for you and the helms maybe restricted view as well. There's always the flybridge option but that's a performance sacrifice..
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Old 25-01-2016, 20:41   #9
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by REsCat View Post
Hi Craig I have a 471, hull #45 which is a late 2001 build. The hardtop design for this vintage upto mid 2002 I'm guessing (pre Poncin company ownership) provided for excellent 360 viewing angles. This was an important consideration for me...and other owners. When Poncin came out with a hardtop redesign the 360 viewing angles were lost and this was a major stepback imo...
Do a search on this forum for aft helm positions and visibilty, there are many! threads and I posted a picture of my helm positions and the 360 viewing angles I enjoy.

Bob
Great info, and I'd love to hear more about the 471. Last year my wife and I did a crewed charter on a 471 (Green Flash out of Santa Barbara) and really liked the boat. And we just spent a week on a newer 47.

Here's one question: How much weight does AC/Generator/Water Maker add to the boat, assuming you don't go nuts? On our recent charter of a 47, the generator was out of service for several days while we were off the coast of Dominica. It was pretty unpleasant... even with ports open our cabin reached about 93. So I'm pretty sure I'll want like to add A/C but I am also concerned about the weight.

Thoughts? Can you add enough generator & A/C capacity to the 471 to keep the interior no higher than 80 degrees without weighing the boat down?
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Old 25-01-2016, 20:51   #10
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
Under the or??? Catagory, how about a https://www.bavaria-yachtbau.com/cat...s/open-46.html although the mast might be a bit high for you and the helms maybe restricted view as well. There's always the flybridge option but that's a performance sacrifice..
Thanks for the info on the Open 46. I've been aware of this boat but I hadn't seen any hard data on it until you pointed me in the right direction.

That having been said, it doesn't look like a good fit to me. The visibility from the helm station is at least as bad as the Catana (maybe worse), the sail plan looks to be a bit underpowered, and with a 75' mast it won't fit under the Naval Academy bridge unless I order it with a shorter stick. Fly bridge.... ecch. I understand some people love them but I'm not going to throw away so much sail area.... this is probably why the air draft is unusually high for a 46' boat.

But, thank you SO MUCH for the response!
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Old 25-01-2016, 21:00   #11
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Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

Yes Craig, I figured it may not be a good fit (and no dagger boards ) . I wonder if the air draft quoted is for the flybridge or the non flybridge version. It does seem a bit high for a not so heavy 46'er. As far as helm visibility, it's possible there's pretty good vis right through the saloon and out the windows but that remains to be seen.

Edit. I just checked, both versions have the same mast height. The fly version has 4m2 less mainsail area so I guess the boom is about 1m higher.
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Old 26-01-2016, 16:40   #12
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

I've done some more digging.... although the SA/D and D/L ratios on the Privilege 495 look good on paper, there seems to be a consensus that they are "Comfortable and slow", which is not what I'm after. Also, I don't like the sail handling... it looks like the main Halyard is led to the main, not the cockpit, and the main winches for the jib sheets are awkwardly placed.

Could someone who is familiar with this boat confirm these observations?
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Old 27-01-2016, 01:37   #13
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

I owned and circumnavigated the next model down, the 435/445. In light winds, they are slow compared to Outremer, older Catanas and things like that but certainly fast enough for me. In heavy winds they are very reassuring. Crossing the Indian Ocean we spent ten days in continuous beam-on seas and winds usually above 30 knots topping out at 55 knots and always felt safe. They are very well built and very strong. On long trips, on my own in the middle of an ocean, strength is more important to me than speed.


You pays your money and takes your choice.
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Old 27-01-2016, 04:06   #14
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Re: Short List: Catana 471, Privilege 495, or ???

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Craig.
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