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Old 09-11-2009, 04:40   #1
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The Ultimate Bluewater Cruiser?

We have sailed the South Pacific on our Lagoon 380, but are now looking to the future and our next boat (it's always fun to do that). Here are my top considerations for the perfect 42-44 foot cruiser that packs together performance and comfort for the best price (nothing bigger or smaller please).

What I need help with is the construction quality and long term hold up of the following manufactuers. Can anyone help me better understand the production techniques they use and why they are better? This seems to be the big mystery out there, so any help would be appreciated. With that said, here is my list:

Lagoon 420
Pros: Amazing interior space and comfort. The fly bridge design moves the helm out of the cockpit, increasing entertaining space. The beds extend into the bridgedeck, increasing interior room. The vertical windows in the salon allow for great visibility from inside and keep the sun out in tropical climates. Like having the galley up with sliding window design.
Cons: The downsides are that the flybridge is bad in anything but the best weather and it moves the mainsail up, decreasing square footage and rigidity. The hull is ugly! The bridgedeck clearance is extremely low, increasing pounding and long term wear on hulls. Some production quality concerns relating to hull construction.

Catana 41
Pros: The Catana Cats are built with bluewater sailing in mind and show it. The beds are integrated into the hull, not the bridgedeck, keeping clearance high over the water. The dagger boards allow for good sailing performance to windward and reduce the draft to just two feet. Their are two helm stations aft on the deck level, good for checking sail trim, docking and for increasing cockpit entertainment space. And production quality seems geared for off-shore conditions. Galley is also up.
Cons: The downside is they look kind of ugly and the interior room is not as spacious as that of a Lagoon (its a trade off). The salon windows allow light to enter, heating up the boat. Visibility from inside is also limited by comparison.

Nautitech 42
Pros: The integrated bimini is one of the better looking designs available. Similar to the Catana, the beds are part of the hull keeping bridge deck clearance high (although not quite as high as the Catana) and the aft located double helm stations increase cockpit entertainment room. Again, galley is up. Price is right.
Cons: There are no dagger boards, so windward performance is limited and draft is increased. I know very little about their production and build quality. Fewer available.

Alliaura / Privilege 44
Pros: Maybe unfair to include a 44 footer, but this is the smallest boat available from Privilege, which has a long history of making bluewater boats. Fit and finish is excellent, maybe the best of all listed here. Design is efficient and includes galley up. Production quality is assumed good.
Cons: Helm station is in the cockpit, limiting room for outside entertaining compared to the above (although larger size makes for a comparable space). Draft is deep for a cat. Price is one of the highest. Window design allows in light during the day, heating up the interior.

Antares 44i:
Pros: Similar to Privilege, unfair to compare a 44, but again the smallest available and a very very good history of making bluewater boats. Great fit and finish, excellent resale value (none available on the market, says a lot).
Cons: Galley is down. Heavy and comparatively slow for its size. Huge hulls, lots of windage. Helm again in cockpit, limiting room for entertaining, although a 44 footer. Price is one of the highest.

Thoughts please?
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Old 09-11-2009, 07:25   #2
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My counter question is: are you looking for the ultimate blue water cruiser or for the ultimate live aboard cruiser? I think (hope) it's the latter....

Also, which of the options is the one you prefer today?

cheers,
Nick.
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Old 09-11-2009, 13:51   #3
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The Perfect Boat

Every choice is going to be some form of compromise. We went thru your process and developed our wish list linked to our price limit and the result was an Orana 44.
The newer build boat is slightly different to early hull numbers. There has been a marked improvement in quality of build finish, fittings used, and the layout on the owners version where the bathroom is now in Stbd. bow with much more room and improved stowage and a small study-library area. The timber finish has also been enhanced giving an overall classy finish.
We have found our boat able to handle whatever nature throws at us and we do this with comfort and ease. A very easy boat to sail and manage from the helm layout.
Enjoy the selection process.
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Old 09-11-2009, 14:25   #4
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Get the one you love and make sure it will do the job (you have on your mind) well.

My personal choice would be a Catana closely followed by a Nautitech. I like Catana quality and sailability (daggerboards!!!) and Nautitech's design and layout.

The thing called Outremeer (or alike - French anyway) is cream too, if you are a bit at the racy end of spectrum.

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Old 09-11-2009, 14:26   #5
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BTW the Lagoon (in our case 440) pig as she is gives me a shocker when I look at her daily runs in far from perfect Atlantic conditions. Man she can sail (or at least run;-))

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Old 09-11-2009, 14:51   #6
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Thanks for your posts everyone. Jedi, we are actually looking for a blue water cruiser for the lower latitudes. We're not thinking of taking these boats to the roaring 40's, but for the typical circumnavigation route I think any of these boats would do well.

We really liked our Lagoon for comfort and I can say that I "know" Lagoon, but I need more feedback on the Catana and Nautitech cats, my new favorites. Are there any owner's out there that can provide feedback on these two?

FYI, we have been unimpressed with production quality of the FP, Seawind, Leopard and others, thus the omission. Outreamer is another good thought, but living conditions seemed sparce and do not fit the blend we are looking for. We also like the Dolphin Cats, which we forgot to include. Thoughts?
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Old 09-11-2009, 16:29   #7
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Have sailed Catana 47 (47X actually), carbo spar, spectra sails. Very comfy, very stable, good build quality. The owner hated the exposed steering positions, I loved them - the boat goes by auto anyway and when it is time to take over visibility is excellent no matter which side you dock. The boat was fast 15 knots+, but not over-responsive - blessing on long downwind days, less so in the marina. 140 Nm a day was the basis for planning. Hull made stronger by Kevlar inserts, special design in the bows to prevent the boat digging into the seas.

Nautitech have not sailed but been onboard (40+ footer, 2006). Much heavier than Catana and slower but I liked the bridgedeck layout and the cabins. Also, the deck layout was very easy and the stick was much shorter. Or at least it seemed much shorter and the boat was ... super-sturdy.

Personally catana, but Nautitech may be a better floating caravan.

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Old 09-11-2009, 16:32   #8
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Budget?
Nautitech now offer 441 and 442 with "normal" steeringpositions, one or two steeringwheel.
And if i remember right the Antares 44i is 42 foot.
The outremer is nr.1 for ME, followed by freydis.
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Old 09-11-2009, 16:39   #9
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for bluewater use, i'd think features: good sailing performance, bridgedeck clearance, prop shafts (vs saildrives), pilot & nav station locations, etc. then see what's available.

one can get used to much of the other stuff -- bunks, storage, looks, etc.

except maybe take on the galley up vs down question...
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Old 09-11-2009, 18:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freetime View Post
Budget?
[...]
The outremer is nr.1 for ME, followed by freydis.
Agree, Outremer... the 45 because of the blue water requirement.

cheers,
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Old 09-11-2009, 20:04   #11
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I agree with the Outremer as well, nice boat. The 45' is fast, but you may have to go to the 49' to get enough space. I'll be at the Salon Nautique in Paris next month where I can hopefully report back on the comparison between the two in terms of space. I read an article recently where they were sailing an Outremer 45 at 4.5 knots of boat speed in 5 knots of wind!

The Privilege 445 is a lot heavier than the Outremer, but a bit lighter than the Nautitech 44x. The disadvantage with the Privilege is the low bridgedeck (because of the transverse master suite) and it carries more weight forward, so pitching might be an issue.

If you can go up a few of feet to the 44 to 48 foot range you have more choices, because the load carrying ability of the shorter performance boats may not be enough for extended bluewater family cruising.

I'm surprised that you included the Antares 44i in your list. It's heavy, slow and very expensive. I expect Antares owners have close relationships with their motors! . In fact for the price of the Antares you could get either an Outremer 49' (lovely boat) or a Catana 47.

I agree with you, doing the research and weighing the pros and cons is a lot of fun!

Cheers,
Doug
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Old 09-11-2009, 21:12   #12
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LOL.. for 1/5th the price of one of these very expensive boats, you can have all kinds of nice ones. I guess there are a lot of people out there with more money than sense. Or maybe I am just cheap, or broke.
But for me, a older 37-42' monohoull will cost a SIGNIFICANT amount less than a lot of other boats out there. Spend some money and time refurbishing it and you have your self a winner.
Or send lots of cash, and always be afraid that your large investment will... hit a reef, wind up on rocks, be stolen, delaminate.... etc.
Also the bigger they are the more it costs to:
upgrade
paint the bottom
stay a night in a marina
replace the light bulbs
fill the fuel tanks
buy sails.
all for just 1 to 2 knots more in speed, and a ton of money.
I know a lot of people have done well in the stock market and housing market.. so go spend your cash on big expensive boats. Hope they don't sit to long in the marina.
(sorry I must be having a bad day.. )
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Old 09-11-2009, 21:22   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Eagles View Post
We have sailed the South Pacific on our Lagoon 380, but are now looking to the future and our next boat (it's always fun to do that). Here are my top considerations for the perfect 42-44 foot cruiser that packs together performance and comfort for the best price (nothing bigger or smaller please).

What I need help with is the construction quality and long term hold up of the following manufactuers. Can anyone help me better understand the production techniques they use and why they are better? This seems to be the big mystery out there, so any help would be appreciated. With that said, here is my list:

Lagoon 420
Pros: Amazing interior space and comfort. The fly bridge design moves the helm out of the cockpit, increasing entertaining space. The beds extend into the bridgedeck, increasing interior room. The vertical windows in the salon allow for great visibility from inside and keep the sun out in tropical climates. Like having the galley up with sliding window design.
Cons: The downsides are that the flybridge is bad in anything but the best weather and it moves the mainsail up, decreasing square footage and rigidity. The hull is ugly! The bridgedeck clearance is extremely low, increasing pounding and long term wear on hulls. Some production quality concerns relating to hull construction.

Catana 41
Pros: The Catana Cats are built with bluewater sailing in mind and show it. The beds are integrated into the hull, not the bridgedeck, keeping clearance high over the water. The dagger boards allow for good sailing performance to windward and reduce the draft to just two feet. Their are two helm stations aft on the deck level, good for checking sail trim, docking and for increasing cockpit entertainment space. And production quality seems geared for off-shore conditions. Galley is also up.
Cons: The downside is they look kind of ugly and the interior room is not as spacious as that of a Lagoon (its a trade off). The salon windows allow light to enter, heating up the boat. Visibility from inside is also limited by comparison.

Nautitech 42
Pros: The integrated bimini is one of the better looking designs available. Similar to the Catana, the beds are part of the hull keeping bridge deck clearance high (although not quite as high as the Catana) and the aft located double helm stations increase cockpit entertainment room. Again, galley is up. Price is right.
Cons: There are no dagger boards, so windward performance is limited and draft is increased. I know very little about their production and build quality. Fewer available.

Alliaura / Privilege 44
Pros: Maybe unfair to include a 44 footer, but this is the smallest boat available from Privilege, which has a long history of making bluewater boats. Fit and finish is excellent, maybe the best of all listed here. Design is efficient and includes galley up. Production quality is assumed good.
Cons: Helm station is in the cockpit, limiting room for outside entertaining compared to the above (although larger size makes for a comparable space). Draft is deep for a cat. Price is one of the highest. Window design allows in light during the day, heating up the interior.

Antares 44i:
Pros: Similar to Privilege, unfair to compare a 44, but again the smallest available and a very very good history of making bluewater boats. Great fit and finish, excellent resale value (none available on the market, says a lot).
Cons: Galley is down. Heavy and comparatively slow for its size. Huge hulls, lots of windage. Helm again in cockpit, limiting room for entertaining, although a 44 footer. Price is one of the highest.

Thoughts please?

Not to mention the obvious, but all these boats are pretty ugly IMO..
Yeah they got deck space and a nice large salon. But still there is that.... plastic look and feel all cats have. I guess if you like that sort of thing...

I love the pic of them all doing yoga on the deck, as if there is not a shoreline or marina near by they could do it at. Then I think of that deck at sea, with 30-40 knot winds and having to go forward to fix the roller furling that is now flapping all over the place.. I bet you would wish you had a much smaller foredeck then.. .lol
Yea, tonight I am evil.
Sorry but to me there is no way to say a cat is a great blue water sailor.
They are great charter boats. They are great inshore boats. They would do fine for a lot of places, but blue water is not one of them.

But to each his own.
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Old 09-11-2009, 21:56   #14
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The Catana is a great boat in many ways and I would have no qualms about owning one but the bridgedeck clearance is not as it appears. As it was the most prolific catamaran crossing the Pacific last season we spoke with many different owners. To obtain the space in the hulls they flair out just above the water line under the bridgedeck before turning up again to the main bridgedeck height. Owners report that this lower section is slapping the waves creating a fair racket inside.
I share the sediments posted about the Antares being slow, I sailed one they are slow but not sure they are any slower than the other boats on the original list.
If you add Dolphin to your list they would be on top with Catana from my point of view. The Outremer is a wonderful boat but cannot be compared to boats on the original list. It would be near the top of my list though.
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Old 09-11-2009, 23:18   #15
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Barnakiel, thanks for the very informative comments. I too like what I see in the Catana. 15+ knots is fast so I am surprised you didn't use more than 140 miles a day for your planning purposes (as we used 150nm/day on our Lagoon 380). I'll look into the Kevlar Inserts, sounds like what I am looking for...

Stuck in Texas, also thanks. I like the outreamer (had a friend I met in Bora Bora on this one here). It was certainly fast, but you are right about needing to go up a size to get the comparable interior space. For that reason, I think it would be excluded for what we want.

Bobfnby, try to stay positive man! I agree with you that Cats are not as sleek looking, but for a comparable cost we got a catamaran and loved it! In fact, our Lagoon 380 had the same interior space and cruising speed as a 45 or 50 foot monohull, so when I compare costs that way I figure it is pretty even (and you don't use marinas very often if you are blue-water cruising). And my wife DID do yoga almost every day on our bow and having that room was important to her (see picture). And speaking from experience, in over 14,000 miles of off-shore sailing I was always happy to have that big, wide bow area to go forward on rather than a small, narrow one that I could fall off of more easily. And with proper gear like jacklines and harnesses, it shouldn't really matter.

To each his own, but for me, bluewater cruising is much nicer, more comfortable, faster and similarly priced on a catamaran...
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