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Old 23-11-2022, 17:29   #1
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Performance of charter cats?

Hello, long time lurker, first post...
Here is my background: my wife and I did the basic coastal navigation course in 2018 and have been chartering bareboat monohulls (Hunter 37, Jeanneau 39..) once or twice a year since. A few weeks ago we chartered a cat in the bahamas, a Bali Catspace (40ft). It is a very comfortable cat, and I understand it was built with comfort in mind mostly for the charter business, but I was surprised how poorly it performed. Under 15 knots of true wind we had to motorsail, we were barely reaching 4knots. 15-20 knots we were doing 5-6knots... I knew we were not going to be sailing a performance catamaran, with the flybridge and the self tacking jib, the sail area is limited, and the boat is pretty heavy with wide hulls...
For our next charter, I want to have a better sailing performance. I would be interested in knowing which makes/models in the 40-45ft range have a better sailing performance. We are more than willing to sacrifice some comfort. We are going to be chartering for a few years before we look into buying our own, so please don't suggest high performance cats as they are generally not available in bareboat charters. We are limited to charter boats, so mostly lagoon/fountaine pajot/bali...

Let me know if you've had a similar experience and how the Bali catspace compares to other models available for charter in a similar size. I've watched countless reviews on youtube but most are done by brokers or builders trying to sell the boat, so they do not hesitate to say they all perform pretty well under sail lol...

thanks!!
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Old 23-11-2022, 19:39   #2
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

Some companies (DYC? others?) have Catanas. These are performance cats. I'm surprised at how poor yours was. We did a 40' NaticaOpen and easily sailed at 8-11kts in 15-20kt beam reach (it also has the smallest self tacking jib. Obviously, it was not as heavy as the Bali you had.
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Old 23-11-2022, 19:57   #3
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I've only sailed the Bali 4.5, did not like it much but did get 11kts on a broad reach in 20kts of wind so maybe try one of those.. they do slam a bit much in head sea's 3ft> though.
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Old 24-11-2022, 01:00   #4
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

As used I was on a Bali once basically itís a block of flats with a sail on top !!
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Old 24-11-2022, 01:31   #5
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

I find it hard to believe you could not get 6knot+ out of it in 15Kn. Maybe bottoms were covered in barnacles, that will knock speed back considerably 1kn maybe , I presume it had fixed props, there goes another potential 0.5kn+ and then sailing a catamaran you need to foot off to get speed, pointing too high kills speed and increases leeway. Was that SOG or water speed, current may also have played a part.



Dream Yacht charters in some locations may still have some old Catana 42 - 47 around. These are better performers than equivalent length big 3 charter cats, they do go to windward better because of their dagger boards but they are by no means in the same performance class as Outremers and the like. But then you would have to like sitting at exposed helms along with the other ergonomic drawbacks of these types of boats. In fact if you charter a Catana for a week and the weather is inclement for that week you will discover how miserable they can be.


Also check out the Catanas here: https://www.sailconnections.com/yach...charter_type=1


Depending on your budget do a two week hire one week on a Catana 47 and one on a Lagoon 46 see what you think then.
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Old 24-11-2022, 01:37   #6
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

We call them fatermarans . They are not sailing boats. Motor boats with a handkerchief on a mast to fuel one's ego that your sailing.
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Old 24-11-2022, 05:21   #7
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by juliocharts View Post
Hello, long time lurker, first post...
Here is my background: my wife and I did the basic coastal navigation course in 2018 and have been chartering bareboat monohulls (Hunter 37, Jeanneau 39..) once or twice a year since. A few weeks ago we chartered a cat in the bahamas, a Bali Catspace (40ft). It is a very comfortable cat, and I understand it was built with comfort in mind mostly for the charter business, but I was surprised how poorly it performed. Under 15 knots of true wind we had to motorsail, we were barely reaching 4knots. 15-20 knots we were doing 5-6knots... I knew we were not going to be sailing a performance catamaran, with the flybridge and the self tacking jib, the sail area is limited, and the boat is pretty heavy with wide hulls...
For our next charter, I want to have a better sailing performance. I would be interested in knowing which makes/models in the 40-45ft range have a better sailing performance. We are more than willing to sacrifice some comfort. We are going to be chartering for a few years before we look into buying our own, so please don't suggest high performance cats as they are generally not available in bareboat charters. We are limited to charter boats, so mostly lagoon/fountaine pajot/bali...

Let me know if you've had a similar experience and how the Bali catspace compares to other models available for charter in a similar size. I've watched countless reviews on youtube but most are done by brokers or builders trying to sell the boat, so they do not hesitate to say they all perform pretty well under sail lol...

thanks!!
The self-tacking jib means it was likely a 100 vs the 135 most cats carry. What is not clear is some details---. What was the condition of the sails? Were there tell tales? Were you trimming the sail to the tell tales? If there were no tell tales, it takes a lot of experience to get a good shape out of the sail.

Finally, what point of sail were you on? Any AWA under 90 in a catamaran is a challenge, under 75 requires the engine.

That said, I am yet to find a polar for a Bali! So their performance is likely dodgy.

That said, I have delivered FPs and Lagoons and made good time. It comes down to the condition of the sails and the skillset of the sail trimmer. Sorry if this sounds pointed, but-aside from design- that is really what determines how fast a sailboat goes
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Old 24-11-2022, 05:50   #8
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

We have a Nautitech open 46. Try one,pretty good performance for a charter cat. She has a self tacking jib with a sprit mounted gennaker. Not as good performance as the Catana but much roomier.

Our previous boat was a Freydis that would sail faster than the wind and I am fairly happy with the Nautitech’s performance.

She’s in Charter with TMM in the BVI Charter co would want to see significant experience before they allowed the gennaker use

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Old 24-11-2022, 06:03   #9
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

Iíve bare boat chartered the following catamarans: Leopard 46, FP Helia 44, Lagoon 42, and Leopard 40. They are all complete dogs with respect to performance, nice cats they just do not sail well. Some have mentioned older Catanaís or Nautitechís which would be a step up, and probably as good as you are going to get in the regular charter market.

Having sailed a few thousand miles on true performance catamarans Iím not sure I could ever go back. Now if you are willing to spend some big bucks, there are independent guys out there running crewed charters on 50í+ catamarans (nobody is allowing bareboat in their $1-$2M boatsÖvery easy to break stuff!). A week will cost you probably $25-$30k, just be careful though because after sailing at 14 knots in 16 knots of true wind it will spoil you.
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Old 24-11-2022, 13:01   #10
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

Try Fastsailing.gr they have an Outremer 4x and a TS52. I don't know if they allow bareboat, I should hope not for the owners/charterers sake.
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Old 24-11-2022, 15:50   #11
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

You neglected to note what point of sail this was supposedly on? Less than 70į Iím guessing? Iíve been on FP and Leopardís and while definitely not ďperformanceĒ cats, they were respectable for what they were. Without daggerboards, most wonít point much higher to wind.

I donít like the Bali with itís flybridge and complete separation between helmsman and cockpit/cabin. Plus the boom is way the frick up there. Not sure how much sail it has or you were carryingÖ but Baliís are way down on my list whether chartering or ownership. But thatís MY listÖ everyone is different.
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Old 24-11-2022, 18:15   #12
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

Itís also not uncommon to have to use the engine to tack with charter cats.
The combination of under-sized (and tired) sails and poor hydro- and aero-dynamics mean you can easily get stuck in irons.
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Old 25-11-2022, 03:47   #13
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

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Itís also not uncommon to have to use the engine to tack with charter cats.
The combination of under-sized (and tired) sails and poor hydro- and aero-dynamics mean you can easily get stuck in irons.

Only in the hands of an incompetent skipper.
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Old 25-11-2022, 05:36   #14
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

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Only in the hands of an incompetent skipper.
Who are we kidding, 95% of these boats when on charter never even attempt to tack, hell 70% donít bother putting up the sails, if they do itís because the wind happens to be coming in on the ideal point of sail to their destination.

At least this has been my observation over 6 months or so of time spent aboard on charter. Now maybe some owners of these charter cats will go ahead and tack through 130 degrees multiple times and take an extra 4 hours to go what takes an hour to motor, but even thatís rare. But hey whatís the rush : )
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Old 25-11-2022, 06:20   #15
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Re: Performance of charter cats?

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Originally Posted by Tin Tin View Post
I find it hard to believe you could not get 6knot+ out of it in 15Kn. Maybe bottoms were covered in barnacles, that will knock speed back considerably 1kn maybe , I presume it had fixed props, there goes another potential 0.5kn+ and then sailing a catamaran you need to foot off to get speed, pointing too high kills speed and increases leeway. Was that SOG or water speed, current may also have played a part.



Dream Yacht charters in some locations may still have some old Catana 42 - 47 around. These are better performers than equivalent length big 3 charter cats, they do go to windward better because of their dagger boards but they are by no means in the same performance class as Outremers and the like. But then you would have to like sitting at exposed helms along with the other ergonomic drawbacks of these types of boats. In fact if you charter a Catana for a week and the weather is inclement for that week you will discover how miserable they can be.


Also check out the Catanas here: https://www.sailconnections.com/yach...charter_type=1


Depending on your budget do a two week hire one week on a Catana 47 and one on a Lagoon 46 see what you think then.
It was SOG so I don't know the speed over water but that was over a week of sailing in different currents, wind directions and points of sail ranging from 60 degrees to 150 degrees. It was a 2021 model so sails were in fairly good condition. We were going for a week so diesel tanks were full and water tanks full as well, not helping the huge weight of these boats. There were telltales, I spent a good amount of time trimming the sails. The first thing I noticed when we got to the dock is how high the boom was. It looks like it has half a mainsail. I do not have thousands of miles of experience on a sailboat and will admit there might have been some improvement possible with the trimming, but we have been sailing regularly at 7 knots on a 40ft Jeanneau in 15-20knots of wind on previous charters. I will also say i've been a windsurfer since I was young and I spend 2 weeks every year windsurfing in Cape Hatteras, I have a very good understanding of the wind and how to plane at 20 knots in 15 knots of true wind on a board.

I will look into chartering a Catana or Nautitech! Not worried about being exposed to weather, if I absolutely want to stay dry and protected i'll go on a Royal Carribean cruise ship. I am not interested in a crewed charter, it takes the adventure out of the experience in my opinion. I understand the lagoon and FP could be a tiny bit better... If I go in that direction I will try to make sure it does not have a flybridge and a tiny mainsail. Longer is probably faster as well..


thanks for the input everyone.
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