Everyone has an opinion out there and all of us come from a different spot. I have been a multihull
for about 9 years doing charter
work East Coast
. Sailed pretty much everything under 55 ft. Don't own one, don't need to, don't want to.
Some things are pretty constant. South African boats all have 2 trampolines and are comfortable. Most smaller French boats have 1 tramp and it is net. People all look for different things. All builder
think they are building the perfect boat, that boat does not exist. All boats compromise something.
You will spend more time hanging out on these boats than you will spend sailing. You will load these boats with gear
and they will slow down. Speed is about the same on all these boats. Solar
are must have for cruising, charter
companies could save money
Items I like
comfort at the helm
, access in and out
ability to get to your anchor gear
when you foul it
places to hang out on deck
getting in and out of berths
sit on the toilet on any boat you are considering
Ease of in and out of a dinghy
Places to store food
You can't shop for boats on the internet
you need to go see the boats! Most brokers don't know multis like they know monos.
Maxim 38, best looking cat in its size. The galley
where the sink was is lower than the rest of the bridge deck and really slammed. I couldn't sleep aft starboard side due to low clearance at my feet. The boom crane for the dinghy is a horrible idea. Now I know why no boats are shown at boat shows with dinghy aboard. It completly blocks the aft walkway. this boat like the Manta
has the walk through heads, which for cruising is fine for guests, it doesn't work for charter.
38 haven't sailed, so really don't want to offer any opinion.
, boat sails
great, probably best for the size. Great berths and nice heads, probably best for the size. There are 2 versions of this the older and newer S2. There is minimal cockpit storage
on the boat. You can't have the bimini
closed when sailing due to low clearance., so you are in the sun Hard to get in and out of the helm
and you can only go to port side to get out. Mainsheet comes down to aft of the cockpit
and you can't get it tight enough if you are motoring, it will always squeak.
storage area or decent food prep, this boat was just built for charter work.
410. Better galley
, with better refrigeration
. Same small cockpit. The heads are smaller than the 380 and not wide enough for me to clean up after doing my business. The aft berths are turned sideways and over the bridgedeck, these really are low and slam while passagemaking. Also I am too tall to sleep aft as I go bulkhead to bulkhead. These boats seem to have more hull
creaking noises AKA flex than any other I have sailed. Due to all the fancy wood work you never see the cracks.
- very poor construction quality, but the boat looks good. The electric
just isn't working, which is why they are now going to diesel
. But not in price
range to consider
Island Spirt 37 a great sailing boat. Very popular with guests, the space is incredible, this boat uses all 37 feet of her length. Very interesting story on the design of the boat, built by a cruiser. Some of these boats were factory built some sold as hull
deck and bulkhead. So quality varies. Heads are a bit tight, galley has tons of storage for anything. The deck area is wide with a lot of seating in logical places. Maintenance history
is dubious on many of these as they have been passed around to several charter fleets. Some of these can be had cheap
and worth putting money
into. Can be setup for singlehandling.
Island Spirit 400 great improvement over the 37, there are several in charter in the virgins. Same layout as the 37, but a lot of tweaks. These boats do not have a walk through head
as someone thought earlier. The heads could be bigger. Definately designed for liveaboard
rather than for the charter market. Too bad the original owners sold the factory and it since failed. There were not many of the 400s built and they are the sleeper on the market as most people have never heard of them. All setup for single
Island Spirit 401 a poor redesign - haven't sailed one, just been aboard. Seem to be built with cheaper materials. The company failed while building these which would explain the cheaper materials.
Admiral 38 - the early ones were crap in every sense of the word. The newer ones 2005 and younger are great. It just took Dave Bird a while to mature in the construction. The cockpits are small as they have the walkway aft. These have the same davits
and you have to go under the dinghy to get out of the cockpit. Put regular davits
and you will have a great boat.
The new Admiral 40 not in price
Fountain Pajot Athena 38, IN MY opinion the worst boat ever built. Early 90s design with very rounded hulls. No cockpit with no storage. The galley sink backs up to a companion way and you really have to watch for water
on the steps. Had many charter accidents on these. Head
discharge is ABOVE the waterline, so everything is a floater! These boats are the reason I hated cats early on and what gave cats a bad reputation. Horrible trampolines and no seating forward.
Lavezzia 40. Poor use of space same poor ideas as the other FPs
I don't think the FP designers are sailors.
3800. Nice layout, nice seating all over. Could do without the large cockpit table. With the 42 hp engines she doesn't sale
Leopard 4000 - not in price range so I won't comment but very narrow.
Leopard 4500 probably the most popular charter boat. Very large boat. I have seen some with a retrofit hard top which would be the way to go. Great refrigeration
. But for cruising do you want 4 heads? The berths are very high and you have to crawl over someone to get out of bed
Cockpit table is too big and it needs a better davit system. Not a great live aboard due to size.
Voyage 430, very fast boat. Low to the water and very wide. Cockpit is tiny, berths are nice, heads are nice. You have to walk down to the aft berths at an incline. They should have done just 1 companionway
on each side. Boom crane for the dinghy. Some 430s have openings from the cockpit and some do not. The decks are narrow and slope outboard
, I never felt comfortable at night.
Voyage 440 tweaks the 430, a rocket sled! Great berths, but not good living area. Not in price range
36/Wildcat. A well thought out boat, just very early in the construction stage, if they were still building, they were getting better. It is 36 feet of living area, unlike an Athena 38 which loses about 6 feet for the dinghy and is really only a 32 ft boat. For just coastal work I would consider one of these.
I think that is about all I have sailed in that size/price range. Again these are my opinions and I have sailed a lot of boats.
IF I was buying
in the used market, I would look hard at the Admiral 38 or Island Spirit 400 for cruising, the Jaguar
36 for coastal or weekend sailing.