Sails : Sails 28 October November 2014
muLtihuLLs 053 t oday’s batch of cats reflects a fairly wide cross-section of cruisers, ranging from the entry level seawind 1160 lite to the almighty leopard 58, with plenty in between to suite your budget. On the topic of budgets, seawind’s large price drop of $100,000 on its popular 1160 has the chat forums busy with comments. the myriad of different models illustrates the strong growth in catamaran cruising, as it reflects a major investment in innovation across the board with all builders. these now include leading monohull yard, Bavaria which has jumped onboard with its acquisition of established French builder, nautitech. Bavaria’s deep pockets should mean we can expect more boats like the new nautitech Open 40 that debuted in Cannes. local distributor, ensign yacht Brokers are sailing this new model as i write so i took forward to testing one when it arrives in Oz. MuLTipLe choiceS Choice has never been better when it comes to catamarans but many of the fundamental questions remain when seeking a new multihull. For many buyers layouts are a major factor, especially if it’s going to be a family cruiser. this often dictates that the boat will be stable, roomy and easy to sail. Fitting this description are several boats including the brand new Fountain Pajot saba 50 that just splashed at the recent Cannes yachting Festival. a larger version of the helia 44 i tested the other week, this new 50-footer has flybridge lounging space and cavernous hulls with up to six cabins. Flybridges are a feature of the other two larger boats in this selection – the pugnacious lagoon 560s2 which is a practical performer, along with leopard’s flagship 58. a flybridge gives the helm station commanding views to make handling these large boats much less imposing, as i found out when manoeuvring the lagoon 52 last year. the number of helm stations also varies throughout this listing with many of the mid-sized models such as the lightwave and schionning s49 using a single one, while others such as the Outremer 45 and Catana 53 have two. Purists can even choose twin tillers on the Outremer for that direct feel of the rudders. helm position and the number of wheels are especially important for handling in close quarters.
Sails 29 December January 2015
Sails 27 August September 2014