I don't think these discussions change much really, but I'm going to add my two'penneth anyway.
I have an FP Athena 38 and have just agreed the sale
of my FP Maldives
32. The Maldives
has good accomodation for it's size and performance but is obviously not as comfortable as the Athena. Performance wise the Maldives is fantastic, 18.5 kts flat out and 7 or 8 on most days on the South Coast of the UK.
We are summer liveaboards on the Athena and find it perfectly acceptable although it is much smaller than an equivalent Lagoon
or even a current
generation FP. Looking at photos and speaking to someone who owns a Outremer 51 in our winter Marina it would appear that habitability on the two boats is about the same, though the running cost of the Outremer would be double. So do I miss the performance of the Maldives? Well yes both my wife and I do. Would we go back to Maldives and loose the space? No. Would we go for the same space and even better performance? You bet we would. Could we afford to do it? Sadly no, and I don't think I could persuade even my performance oriented wife to buy an older Outremer.
Performance wise the Athena is not bad and much better than current
offerings from FP, we were faster over a 60nm open sea broad reach than an FP Saba
50 and that is a sad indictment of the current generation of cruising cats but she is still a bit sluggish in light airs. The magic of our Maldives was not the 18.5 kts but the 7s and 8s in 12 kts of wind
. The problem is that even if I had the money
I wouldn't buy one of the current generation of cruising cats. I have often been heard to say that if people don't care about the sailing qualities, let them buy power cats and leave the sailing boats to be influenced by people who want to sail.
So please Outremer, don't be influenced to follow the herd and keep building boats that I can at least dream of owning