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Old 06-10-2007, 06:07   #46
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Reply to Jims view of Fountaine Pajot

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.


Jean-François Fountaine used to be an Olympic sailor I believe and do a lot of racing! Also look at the names of their designers, all world top! I have owner an Athena myself and to me Jim's comments are far from my I experiences with the boat. And to claim that the boat is useless partly because you can spill water from the sink down the stairs is absolute bollocks!

The problem with storage in the cockpit should be understood from the argument of any cat designer - to much room adds to much stuff - which leads to overload and a sluggish sailing cat!

The argument of floater's from the head means that Jim's still in the 1980's. You DON'T emty your head directly into the water at the docks, try to disguise your effluent discharge by installing below waterline discharge lines is no acceptable solution. A tank should always be used and only discharged off to sea.

The FP's range of cat's are in my opinion acceptable considered their price and offer good sailing capabilities for a circumnavigating cat. Might not fill it up with as much stuff as some of the other cat's, but then again they sail pretty well. Anyone can check the results of the Caribbean charter races, most boats at the top of the list is FP's.

FP has been the second largest manufacturer of sailing cat's for a number of years so the argument that Jim hates them and they should have damaged cat's reputation sounds like a strange personal subjective argument with no root in reality! I think quite the opposite! FP design is perceived as good looking as far as my experiences goes.

I have sailed and lived in FP Athena, Mahe and Belize and Jim's argument re. the FP range should not be taken seriously by anyone who's asking advise on cat selection.

What Jim is quite correct in saying is that no yacht is perfect, they're all a compromise and to select the best one for YOUR particular purpose is probably the most difficult task any aspiring yacht owner goes trough. On top of that, when asking other people of what they think, you get useless or severly biased advise, it's frustrating.

I can advise anyone the Athena as I have owned one myself, I have sailed her in all sorts of tough conditions and she stoog up! My current Belize 43 obviously offers more of everything, but I found the Athena quite liveable and an agile sailing boat. We went out sailing and had a ball in 40-45 knots of wind. A Norseman 43 we shared the anchorage with gave up and retuned to sit out the weather. Spoke to tham a few days later and they said the BD slamming became to severe.

Happy lead free sailin
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Old 07-10-2007, 09:45   #47
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Had a long look at the Mahe at the Cape Town boat show over the last 2 days. She had a rough ride from France, got hammered in the BofBiscay, when around the Atlantic high to Southern Brazil and from there across to Cape Town, just north of the forties (36degrees south). Skipper reckons she handled it all no problem. Only slammed a few times with a big confused side on swell. The boat looks abolutely brand new after the trip...apart from one of the port side shrouds which started fraying at the crimp. Over the past week I looked at various Wildcats (Mark 1,11) (great layout=great boat at the price), a 99 Nose Be (same hulls, forerunner to the Admiral 38), a 2003 Parlay 40 (=Norseman) which has awesome layout but bad reputation for nose diving, 2001 Island Spirit 37 (my 2nd choice after the Mahe), Dean 360 (no ways), new St Francis 50 (I wish), 2005 Knysna 440 (maybe: trying hard too get the finances to work: most boat for the money), new Admiral 40 (to much fancy woodwork on the one I saw) and a new Leopard 40 (good looking boat, none 2nd hand yet).
In the under 40ft range the Mahe in my opinion comes out tops w.r.t. cabin width and layout, alround vision in the saloon (awesome), 1 big head with big shower etc (3 cabin version), engines are in own compartments, dedicated nav station within line of sight from steering bench etc etc. Also awesome bridge deck clearance. Also the construction is injection molded = lighter and stronger they say? However, compared to most SA built boats the Mahe's fittings generally look VERY lightweight, almost Mickey mouse excuse my French. Things like mast, winches, windlass, shrouds, tiny battery banks, 500watt invertor just enough to run a toothbrush, poor quality fridge/freezer, very lightweight and small hatches....not to mention the prices they charge for all the "essential extras". But then again in SA a lot of the fittings on the SA boats are probably overdesigned, erring on the side of caution.
The Mahe certainly looks like it will be easy to singlehand, looks like a light boat, relatively small sail area, easy to handle for hubby whilst mom is down below handling the two toddlers...but a lot of the fittings don't look like they will last past a year...Anyway, all things being equal I am probably going to order one soon! Would love to hear from guys who have had their mahe's for a while...I will probably pick it up in France, does anyone have experience in fitting extras in La Rochelle or nearby after receiving the boat from FP?
Thanks
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Old 07-10-2007, 10:45   #48
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RE: The Mahe; I'm sure they will happily install more robust fittings, for a price. Based on several recent reports on the commissioning/rigging people in La Rochelle, I'd check them out very carefully. Several of the 420 owner's have had damaged keels, poor rigging practices (several dismastings as a result),and very long delays for no apparent reason. And, of course, there's that whole "attitude" thing. (Real story, here, said by a factory rep, to me, after commenting on a poor construction practice that would take no more than $1 in materials and 2 minutes to fix: "We won't change it. You don't like how we did it? Nobody's making you buy the boat.") Maybe that wouldn't be true for the F-P's -- I certainly hope so.

I'm curious -- what did you find so objectionable about the Dean?

ID
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Old 07-10-2007, 12:57   #49
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Looked at a Dean 360 Aero. Very dated design: small cockpit, saloon is a very small cave with a sloping ceiling. The broker is 6'3 and when he opened the ceiling hatch in the saloon his head stuck out! (below the boom). Even though I am 5'8, I had to do a very arobatic lean over backwards manouvre to just to get to the stairs going down into the hull, never mind going down them...the layout in the hulls also very bad: bunks are super high, engine room access only under the back bunk...the side decks is basically a steep curve designed to make you slip, the head in the forepeak had no hatches at all (a black hole)....
I am sure the boat has redeeming features...bridge deck clearance looked ok, probably a good fast sailor...but as a comfortable live-aboard cruiser, NO WAY. There are in my opinion way too many other better cat designs for comfort on board which is my main priority. I am going to spend way more time in nice little anchorages than doing anything else....taking a few extra days to do a passage because my cat is not such a fast sailor is not going to bother me.
cheers
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Old 07-10-2007, 19:21   #50
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Originally Posted by Fishman View Post
When I first started looking I also liked the island spirit, great layout, great transom, but bridge deck clearance a bit low?, also some quality issues in threads that I read about elsewhere on this site. Still does not mean they are all bad...This looks like a good one:
Launching Photos
Anybody know anything about the kelsall 45?
I love this boat.

I wish I had the money.

This is the only boat I have seen were there was a place to drain the dishes.
http://sailingthecaribbean.com/image...%20drainer.JPG

Since I do the dishes I was wondering if everyone else just dries them and puts them right away? (Like my mom had us do!)

Not that it is a deal breaker or anything.
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Old 10-10-2007, 19:18   #51
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you know the kelsall 1999 looks like a great boat. I would seriously consider getting her were I shopping for a bargain boat. Nice clearance, they are very good D/L ratios, great sailors, nice simple dependable boat. The saloon area looks terrific.
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Old 14-10-2007, 13:19   #52
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Exposed helm

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Didn't like the Catanas due to the exposed helm.
....which doesn't matter when Ray is driving.

I can understand why some get turned off by the outboard helms. But they're one of the things I like. Sure helps when you're docking and the unobstructed view forward when sailing - no matter what tack you're on - is, well, unobstructed.

Just shows to go you that we all may have different preferences.

Dave
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Old 14-10-2007, 14:23   #53
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Got to agree with you 2Hulls. I just can not see myself steering a catamaran with the helm up on the bulkhead of the cockpit. It would seem to much like a motor boat. And as far as saying that your out in the weather with outboard helms well, maybe but, I see the auto pilot with remote taking care of that most of the time. As to the Catana and others with 2 helms you can alway get on the dry side if blowing weather start to be an issue. I got my eye on the 431 Catana(love those dagger boards and shallow draft), preowned but, the price would NOT be below 200K.

David
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Old 07-11-2007, 20:38   #54
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Privilege 39?

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the Privilege 39. Well built boat, you will have to go older, but the early models are now available for $200K +/-. There are non-charter versions out there that have been extensively cruised and maintained. The guy from Welcoming to Maxing Out is on this board, circumnavigated for many years and could give you some info.


I'm on a similar search, probably could go a little higher, but want to save some $ for refits and upgrades. I'm also looking at the older P42/43s for a bit more elbow room.
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Old 08-11-2007, 00:18   #55
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Quote:
....which doesn't matter when Ray is driving.
When the going gets tough Ray will be driving but my fingers will be all over his buttons just in case. Then I like that nice solid bulkhead and windscreen keeping the weather off me.
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Old 06-10-2014, 16:57   #56
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Re: SHORT LIST of $200k cats

Hi All
The Admiral and I are in serious cat shopping mode ( the sailing kind .. we already have one of the others) Where we are located in North Queensland is a bit limited for shopping options and therefore comparison inspections are difficult.. Much of our decision making for the thinning out process is guided by your collective input regarding speed/comfort/short handling and convenience factors.. A big thanks to you all
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Old 06-10-2014, 17:25   #57
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Re: SHORT LIST of $200k cats

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Got to agree with you 2Hulls. I just can not see myself steering a catamaran with the helm up on the bulkhead of the cockpit. It would seem to much like a motor boat. And as far as saying that your out in the weather with outboard helms well, maybe but, I see the auto pilot with remote taking care of that most of the time. As to the Catana and others with 2 helms you can alway get on the dry side if blowing weather start to be an issue. I got my eye on the 431 Catana(love those dagger boards and shallow draft), preowned but, the price would NOT be below 200K.

David
69 Morgan 30'
CaRolAnn
"...but, I see the auto pilot with remote taking care of that most of the time..." Which is exactly why the helm should be on the bulkhead. Ever helmed in a driving Caribe or Fl rainstorm? Piece of cake from the bulkhead.
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Old 06-10-2014, 18:46   #58
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Re: SHORT LIST of $200k cats

Guys, this thread is seven years old! Good chance some of the cats back then are approaching <200K now…

Mark
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