I'm planning on acquiring a catamaran
in the 47'-50' range in the next year or so.
My ultimate goal for this boat will be mid-distance cruising (but not circumnavigation) to the Caribbean
, 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.
Aiming more for speed than comfort. The main luxury items would be generator
maker, and air conditioning
. No microwave/washing machine/etc. I like sailing with daggerboards.
There is a 75' bridge at Annapolis
that I need to fit under (my dock
is on the Severn). Budget
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
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.
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.
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).
I've looked at and considered several other boats. Here are my thoughts on them.
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.
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
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.
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!