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Old 12-11-2009, 22:26   #46
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Originally Posted by smj View Post
3 eagles,
The 1% of time you spend at the helm while bluewater sailing will probably be the 1% of the time that your autopilot can't hold a course. In other words it's when you would really want a good secure helm position because chances are 99% of the time the weather was a lot better. Makes an inside helm station sound like a good idea.
I assume you know that the Chris White Atlantic has a great inside helm?

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Old 13-11-2009, 08:26   #47
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saildrives -- they are generally a good product. if taken care of, they provide good service. the problem is that when they do need help, it really helps to be "at home" or very near civilization. alternatively, you can sail for decades with shafts and not have a problem. seems to me, this is often a discussion topic for cats because too many production cats use saildrives in order to make installation easier and accommodations grander. there are some great "remote" saildrive repair stories out there. check out s/v beachhouse's story (march 09) by googling them on the latitude38 site.

forward cockpit -- i'm still mystified by the forward cockpit's apparent popularity. indeed, the cockpit is secure and it is a good working area. it is a designer's dream, because you can deal with sail controls and big loads in a convenient and sturdy location near the mast. but for my experience, the pointy end of the boat at sea is wet, wet, wet. i just can't working up there (except to manage the spinnaker or do a rare change of headsail). alternatively, an aft cockpit is more complicated (in terms of running strings & stuff), but it can be as secure or more secure than a fwd cockpit... and MUCH drier. trimming or furling a jib in the aft cockpit protected by the bridgedeck structure is a non event. putting on the gear, and going forward in rough seas always gives pause... and please don't tell me you can open the front door when it's rough. having said that, i guess is you are committed to sailing downwind (as one should be), then the fwd cockpit & door would work fine.

helm location -- i'd second bluerhapcity's comment. the 1% (or so) that you're not on autopilot is probably when you don't want to be in a catana or switch style helm station out on the hull. also, most times, engine controls are hq'd at the helm station. that can mean trips out to an exposed helm station, even when the autopilot is working. we put about 30k miles on a beautiful sc52. the autopilot managed all but about 24 very scarey hours... yet it seemed that i was slogging back to the exposed helm station almost every passage day to start or stop the engine (being guilty of using main engine for charging on passage).

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Old 13-11-2009, 09:13   #48
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Kiapa, there are a number of benefits to the forward cockpit/inside steering stations utilized in Chris White's designs:

1. In tropical climates, the open cockpit makes for a much more comfortable environment than being seated behind a huge bulkhead; indeed, it also allows the crew to check out the scenery and see where they are going (something that typically cannot be done by anyone except the helmsperson in aft cockpit designs).
2. The forward opening door also provides much better ventilation for the saloon.
3. In inclement weather, there is a proper inside steering station - this not only keeps you out of the elements, it ensures that your chartplotter, radar display etc. are also out of the elements. This is to say nothing of being able to spread out paper charts by the helm, regardless of the conditions outside.
4. The inside steering station allows the installation of a relatively inexpensive, wheel-driven system as a backup to the below deck unit; the typical concern of failure due to exposure to the elements of these inexpensive units is eliminated as the system is now also effectively a 'below deck' system.
5. The forward cockpit separates the sailing space from the aft cockpit lounging space.
6. All lines are led directly to the cockpit without the the mechanical disadvantage of turning blocks, etc.
7. The forward door/cockipt not only enables much safer access to the mast, if required, it provides a shorter and safer passage forward to the furling gear should it jam. Further, it is much easier and safer to move forward with replacement sails, sea- anchors etc. than having to carry the same along often narrow side decks.
8. Forward visilbility is without parallel for both sailing and docking.
9. Visibility of the trim of the headsail/spinnaker is also without parallel, and does not require moving from one aft helm to another in order to accomoplish the same; the view of the luff of the main is also unobstructed.
10. Access to anchoring tackle is also without parallel (in adverse conditions, one can raise a dragging anchor from the relative safety of the cockpit).

It should also be noted that the short bridgedeck in Chris White's designs means that the cockpits are really forward center cockpits: this, in conjunction with fine hulls forward, means that they are nowhere near as wet in most conditions as one might otherwise expect.

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Old 13-11-2009, 10:11   #49
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southern star, thx for your considered reply. i'm with you on all 10 of your 10 points (although i remain a skeptic on #7). on our cat, we have a relatively small ventilation window where an atlantic (or a gunboat) has a front door. we can't leave this window open even a crack when underway... lest we get a giant dollup of salt water in the living room. someday, i'd love to go for a ride on a fwd cockpit cat. then maybe i'll get it... good sailing!
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Old 13-11-2009, 10:24   #50
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No thanks required, kiapa - it just strikes me that Chris White's solution to the age-old problem of helm location on a cat with bridgedeck accomodation is both innovative and elegant. Regardless, for now I can (and will have to) live with my single bulkhead mounted helm.

Good sailing to you as well amigo!

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Old 19-11-2009, 07:28   #51
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3 Eagles,

I f you get 1000 answers to those of questions, you would probably get 900 different answers.. So I won't challenge yr short list. But if you are "unimpressed" with the quality of FP, there is no reason for being impressed with Lagoon.. They are pretty much the same, the interior of Lagoon may be a bit more impressive (matter of taste) but FP's are clearly sailing better. The one with flying bridge , to me, is clearly unsaileable..

The others are another class in terms of price but not necessarily in terms of value. Again it's matter of taste. I always kept on saying, as a value for money, probably FP's are better , if not the best.
For the rest,
-unless you plan to sail a lot of down wind, forget the daggerbord, an ongoing trouble...
-to me helm station position and shorthanded sailing abilities are key. Orana is by far better there.
-be aware; Catana's are overcomplicated in every respect and difficult to deal with when you are away of technical assistance. In Lagoon and FP's you can solve out most of the problems on yr own. This is not the case for Catana's.. They are excellent sailors althought I am told that the new models are significantly heavier.
-Antares is very well built and solid boat but I'd suspect it's worth the price. They are not fast either..

So, yr call. Good luck

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Old 22-11-2009, 14:42   #52
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There hasn't been a lot on this post specifically on the Catana 41 or Catana's new line, so I'll throw my two-cents in. They do weigh more than the previous generation boats, but they also have a totally new hull shape designed to prevent hobby-horsing to an even greater extent than on previous models.
The new hull shape also draws less than the previous boats. What the Catana 41 definitely have on the the rest of the crowd is two foot of draft. TWO FEET! A Hobie 16 draws close to two feet. Honestly, I can't recall another 40 foot cat drawing so little. Imagine the cruising grounds open to this boat.
The fit and finish on the now Poncin-built Catanas is said to be much better than the previous range. Mind you that the previous boats were pretty good in this department. Some Catanas have suffered delamination, but I haven't heard of any recent boats having issues. At any rate the 41 is now built by Poncin and has a 5-year warranty on the hull.
It's undeniable that Catanas are complicated, but when everything is working they are a push button yacht. Of course this means there's more pieces to break, but at least all the hardware is top notch.
Catanas have always been very bluewater capable. Generation one and two boats have crossed every ocean, made numerous circumnavigations, and some have made extremely impressive voyages in the Southern Ocean.
For me, a smooth riding bulletproof hull, above average speed, and two feet of draft makes the Catana 41 hard to beat.
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Old 23-11-2009, 12:03   #53
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Can't see how moving production to Poncin could improve Catana. I have always seen Catana as high quality boats, while Poncin's Harmony I saw last year was not even up to present day Bavaria's finish.

I also disagree with the statement that Catanas are 'complicated'. What would this mean? The one I sailed (gen2) was not complicated.

Thus a question to rob777: where do you draw your opinions on Catana from?

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Old 23-11-2009, 18:32   #54
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It's interesting that you picked this diverse range of boats. The lagoon 42 is the heaviest catamaran with the lowest SA/D of any catamaran, but huge interior. The catana has far less interior room and is much faster boat, with decent performance and good quality. The Antares is probably one of the best made, italian light fixture, gourmet galley, best quality finishes, perhaps one of the safest boats with the highest percentage of built in structural bouyancy, mid engine placements, and a displacement of around 17,500 if memory serves me correctly, which is still 10,000 lbs less than the lagoon. There's a book on the worlds finest yachts and PDQ (when it was made by PDQ) was the only catamaran to ever make it onto the list due to the quality of the fit and finish. I would go onto each boat on a cold, rainy day. You'll find the cockpit of the PDQ extends the interior space wonderfully, really haven't found another that exhibits the same sense of space.

Anyway, you're range of boats indicates to me that your still looking at really what you want in a boat first. If it's interior comfort and quality of fit and finish with acceptable performance, Antares would be a good choice. While the Antares has high hull design, it has narrower hulls, a very good underwater profile, and is made with core materials that make it ligher than many. If you're willing to accept a bit less comfort and room for more performance, catana would be a good compromise. If you wanted to accept a lot less room, then you could do the really narrow hulls of the Outremer with its limited tankage and stowage.

If you wanted something very roomy, Privilege is a good choice. The 435 fits your specs and has a very good build quality. And if you wanted to motor in anything less than 10 knots of wind, the lagoon 42 with it's extremely wide hulls would be a choice.
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Old 24-11-2009, 04:32   #55
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Once again I'm late to the party.

Seth I think you're right in that a lot of it boils down into construction quality for the overall longevity of the craft. The Lagoon seems just ok, I'd have to say the same perhaps a little less for the FP (not completely turned away from it but it's not at the top of my list anymore). The Antares build seems a little better but honestly 44 is just too small for us so it was ruled out quickly and I have the usual concern about the design of the low bridgedeck clearance. I love the Catanas with the exception of the one HUGE deal breaker for me is the outboard helms. Call me crazy but I prefer to sit at the helm as much as possible. (ok so I'm a control freak). That means that the Nautitech's are ruled out as well. I really don't like the hull design of the Privilege so we didn't look closely at those.

If I had to stick to your list & could live with a 42'ish boat I'd probably go with the Lagoon.

FWIW, any larger on the Lagoon and you get into the flybridge design. While I absolutely LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this (carryover from the sportsfishing days) I'm not so sure it's all that practical on a sailing vessel given the amount it reduces sail area and raises the boom. My favorite design from the beginning has been the Chris White, Morelli & Melvin/Gunboat design. But unless you go full custom like one of the M&M customs like the one recently built by Lyman Morse (so far my absolute favorite Lottery boat, prepare to drool) there's still going to be some compromises on interior space. Chris though seems to have found somewhat of a sweet spot with the Atlantic 48 (even though it's still tight for my party of 6) and since you've been on Zen you can attest to Tom & crew's success with that design.

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Old 24-11-2009, 08:45   #56
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Barnie -

My comment about Catanas now being built under Poncin, was originally intended to be less indicative that things were better under Poncin, than it was that the delamination issues of previous boats probably shouldn't apply to the new 41. My reasoning being it's a new design, built by a different ownership group, several years removed from the delaminated boats.

However, based on the reviews of the Catana 50 and several hi-resolution photos on the web, I would say that Catana has again raised the bar on their fit and finish (granted the below pictures are of polished boats under bright boat show lights). Perhaps "much better" is an overstatement, but I did try to temper it with saying the previous boats were pretty good in this department.

Яхтенная фотогалерея. Фотоальбом: Яхтенная выставка в Дюссельдорфе. Фото 22 января.
Яхтенная фотогалерея. Фотоальбом: Парусный катамаран Catana 50

As for complicated, I was replying in part to Yeloya's comment that "Catana's are overcomplicated in every way". I don't believe they are overcomplicated at all, but Yeloya has a point that having dagger boards, lines ran thru tunnels under the deck, passed around multiple blocks to electric winch, connected to a switch at the helm station is a lot of parts and pieces all working in concert. Perhaps not complicated, but certainly complex.

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Old 24-11-2009, 12:34   #57
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Hi all,
I would like to support Yeloya's comments earlier and support the Orana, I know its an FP boat, but as we have discovered a very capable boat. Able to entertain 8 very comfortably, with an elevated helm position with great vision to all four corners of the boat, a very dry boat at sea with the high deck height ( I know more windage ). The latest built boats have now incoporated all the mods to fix problems identified by the early owners and an upgrade in the fixtures, new timber finish and also layout on the owners version, the finish quality we felt has improved and this we confirmed on a recent factory visit. For the cost a very worthy contender when put against the other boats of same length,the main difference is the amount of room available to enjoy the live aboard function of these style of boats,and as we have discovered a very capable sailing boat.

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Old 24-11-2009, 18:41   #58
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I have been doing a fair amount of research on a similar thread and came to the following conclusion while I like the performance of the Outremer 49, in my case the winner comes out to the Antares 44i every time.

It comes down to I plan to live aboard mine and use it as dive platform mostly in tropical waters and the living quality and "livability" is unmatched so sure it might take 2-5 days more to cross the Atlantic but that only happens one every couple of years then for the next year it will be lazy sailing around the West Indies and so on, I know just one more opinion but the real question is how much time do you sail long distance versus spend in coves and make a 1-3 hr sail to the next island/mooring?

I would not buy a gunboat if I won a lottery but rather have a custom 50ft built out of carbon and then put back all the weight into dive and living gear. But 50ft is the limit for what you can sail easily single handed and many smaller places are hard to maneuver a large cat into (even with very shallow draft), so sure I would love to have 1-2Mill to build a dream but in the meanwhile a used 44i is my plan.

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Old 25-11-2009, 04:54   #59
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Maybe I'm challenged but I can't think of any 50' cat that is easily singlehanded given all conditions.
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Old 25-11-2009, 06:57   #60
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smj, not all conditions no that is fair but then in some conditions Nothing is easy to sail singlehanded. The problem is navigation in tight spots like some anchorages and ports gets really hard. Ofcourse wireless remote controls for the engines do help a lot!


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