I went to see this boat last Wednesday, back when it was still listed in an eBay auction
. The Hirondelle cat is a pretty remarkable design all in all, and I am glad I drove nearly two hours to finally see one. Built like a tank, surprisingly spacious belowdecks (standing headroom
in the hulls for me (5' 8") and the 10' beam does wonders for the space), and some well-thought-out ideas - especially given the time it was conceived. All lines lead aft, dual companionways, lots of storage
lockers and cubby holes, and worthy of some distant adventures yet all in a small trailerable package. I think a multihull-only cruising couple on a strict budget
would be happy with one of these.
This boat is a MK 1, which means it has the taller rig and greater sail area. That said, if you want/expect stellar performance this boat will still disappoint as it is heavy. MK 2 models have a shorter rig as the home waters of the North Sea and Solent were possibly a bit too windy for the MK 1 much of the time. The MK 3 has hollow fixed keels and a bit more space below at the expense of bridgedeck clearance.
This MK 1 has clearance of ~12" at its lowest, slightly better than an older Gemini
. This boat also had a nice but not great trailer
with new tires and hubs, 9.9 Suzuki extra long motor
, two crispy sails
, a few nice electronics
with newer electric panels
, and fair bimini
; the dodger
looked shot. The topsides were okay, the deck
and painting soon, and belowdecks needed sanding
, painting and updating everywhere years ago (pretty depressing). Most of the blocks were the original brown Tuffnol, The traveler was original and shot, the original daggerboards were cracked, the rudders were simple bare planks of wood
and their cassettes were solid but ugly. The gudgeons and pintles looked undersized but were newer. All of the newer plexi windows were beginning to craze and were screwed instead of thru-bolted into place with questionable bedding - inviting leakage. Clearly, much is necessary before this boat can earn the asking price. Sure, others may hold a different opinion; but I wrote this to save people time and effort.