Catalac 12M Hurricane Damage

I was going through my photo archive and came across these boat damage photos caused by hurricane Wilma in 2005. This boat in this photo is a Catalac 12M and was owned by Stephen and Janet Metcalf.  As to what happened … the Down Easter monohull pictured below lost it’s mooring during Hurricane Wilma due to poor anchoring techniques. As she lost her mooring at the height of the storm, hurricane winds drove her into a very heavy Ferro cement boat. The rigging of the two boats became tangled and eventually the Ferro cement boat lost her mooring as well. The DownEaster and the Ferro Cement boats were then driven into the Catalac pictured in the upper photo. The collision damaged her port side and knocked her from her double helical screw mooring. Unfortunately, the wind speed was greater than 80 mph and the Catalac 12M was driven onto the rocky […]

Catalac 12M Information

Sold as Catalac 12M or Catalac 41 The 12M Catalac 41 is considered a limited production cruising catamaran designed for live aboard cruisers and perfect for passage making. The S/V Angel Louise, pictured above, completed an Atlantic crossing in July 2011 and back across again in 2014. Ed and Sue Kelly began the crossing from Brunswick Georgia and traveled to England via Bermuda and the Azores. These boats offer a seven berth layout in spacious style with furnishing and trimmings to match. Designed for living in style Full standing 6′ 5″ headroom in both hulls and wheelhouse, and of course plenty of room when you sit down to your meal in the main saloon  making entertaining on the Catalac an absolute pleasure. The galley is located in the port hull and offers hot and cold pressurized water, a refrigerator, a four burner hob, oven and stainless steel sink with integral […]

Catalac 11M Review

She started life as a ten-metre catamaran but when Hythe Marine Services bought the moulds and building rights, they decided that a pair of retrousse, sugar scoop transoms would improve both her looks and sailing ability. They also looked closely at her interior with an eye to updating the accommodation. So on a rather blustery day with a good F5 gusting to F6, I made my way to Hythe to investigate their new generation Catalac.

Catalace 10M Atlantic Monthly Boat Review

Of all the reasons for buying a catamaran, the one which applies overwhelmingly to the Catalac range and the 43ft, 10m, in particular, is comfort. Unlike almost every other production catamaran where weight consciousness and the need not to compromise the performance potential of two hulls have overriding priority, the Catalac has been designed with fully fitted, substantial furniture and hulls which are not shy of carrying the usual paraphernalia of cruising.

Catalac 10M Review

by Lloyd (Page) Simonson Our Catalac 10M is Serendipity, a 1985 10 meter Catalac (sail #2). We bought her in the Spring of 2004. and now have 3 major trips on her totaling nearly 4000 nautical miles, as well as numerable short trips. This review is based on our experience with her From the fall of 04 through the spring of 07 we were recovering from hurricane Ivan (Aug 04) in Pensacola, or in Oriental , NC or Green Cove Springs (near Jacksonville) working on solving the problems of a neglected 30 year old vessel and upgrading it with new or modern equipment.  We spent a bit more money and a lot more time than we had hoped and ended up with far better boat than we dreamed of.. In 2005 we moved her 500 NM from Oriental to Green Cove Springs and in March 2007 we moved her another […]

Mark Blaydes’ Catalac 9M

She looks like a steady, comfortable cruising catamaran — but there’s more to the 9m Catalac than meets the eye, as David Harding reports. When the Catalac was introduced in 1971, she took a few people by surprise. Here was a rather boxy-looking catamaran derived from Bill O’Brien’s chunky, chined, glassfibre-sheathed plywood Bobcats. She looked like a practical family cruiser for those who wanted space rather than pace, yet she sailed far better than the world expected.

Catalac Catamaran Research

Owning a Catalac 8M During what turned out to be many months of reading and research, I was actually considering buying a monohull. Cruising Catamarans kept popping up in my research, and I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t even aware of these boats at the time. The only catamaran experience I’d had was on a Hobie Cat. However, in reading the check of desired features, cruising catamarans were matching up better than a monohull and were definitely of interest. Cruising Catamarans were said to be much better at anchor than a mono, and they don’t heel while sailing. This last bit of information was of particular interest as most guys are well aware that women prefer a stable boat environment and detest heeling. It’s also no small matter that catamarans have more interior room than a monohull 50% larger, larger galleys than a monohull, full size to king sized beds […]

Catalac 9M Information

Sold as Catalac 9M or Catalac 30 The Catalac 9M was Tom Lack’s first venture into catamaran design. He commissioned John Winterbotham of MG Duff LTD to design the Catalac 9M in 1968, forming part of a range of cruising catamarans which eventually ranged from 8m to 12m. All were built at Lack’s yard in Christchurch.  This design was envisioned as the successor to Bill O’Briens venerable Bobcat Catamaran. They would be safe cruisers, aimed squarely at the family marketplace. Thought of as motor sailors because of the boxy design, these boats actually sail very well, don’t heel while sailing and with the 6′ 3 inches of headroom in the hulls, no one feels boxed in or forced to go ‘camping’. The Catalac 9M was constructed with solid fiberglass, chined hulls with lots of rocker and deep “V” sections forward which flattened out at the stern. The combination of “V” […]

Catalac 8M Information

Pocket Cruiser with impeccable safety record The Catalac 8M is a pocket cruising catamaran which has a solid reputation for quality, strength and durability. Many of the boats found in North America today, were sailed there from Great Britain. The Catalac 8M, although classified as a pocket cruiser was designed with blue water sailing in mind. Twin diesel models can easily motor almost 1000 kilometers without refueling. The 70 amps of charging and 70 gallons of stock water tanks in the Catalac 8M and 9M make even these smaller boats terrific coastal cruisers. Constructed with solid fiberglass hulls, these are quality boats which were built like battleships. Chuck Kanter calls them one of the catamaran brands that live on through the decades. The Catalac 8M is masthead rigged with a relatively short, but thick mast. As with all boats in the Catalac production lineup, this contributes to a stable boat […]

Bravo II: A British Built Bay Cruiser

Hak Kauffman, and bis wife Adele, bad been sailing for eight years when, in 1977, the middle-aged couple found their perfect combination of speed versus accomodation in their 27-foot Calalac cruising catamaran. They were anchored in Spa Creek this week during their annual summer cruise, and the Cherry Hill, New Jersey sailors took time to chat about their spacious little multihull, and their sailing. S/V Bravo II stays on the Middle River. east of Baltimore. The Kauffmans bought the English boat in Amityville, L.I. and he sailed it south on the maiden voyage. They have cruised to all parts of Chesepeake Bay, just all over, including the York River, up and down the Potomac with stops at St. Mary’s City, and down to the Rapahannock. Before the Catalac, they had a good sized Bristol — and still maintain their affiliation with the Chesapeake/ Bristol Club, which will he celebrate its […]

Catalac 8M Boat Show Review

That I first took the helm of the new catamaran after dark for a trial sail was novelty enough in itself, but I very soon discovered that connected to the other side of the wheel was an excellent blend of well-tried, sea-proven and moreover much-loved ingredients. The art of blending I believe to be a gift, which can be enhanced only by long carefully considered experience and Tom Lack and John Winterbotham between them seem to have thus concocted yet another first-rate cruising yacht.

Catalac 8M Diesel Engine Removal, Rebuild & Reinstall

One of my very few peeves about the Catalac 8M has to do with the inboard diesel engine placement. Apparently boat balance dictated the engine position in the boat. In actuality,  the Yanmar 1GM10s were placed so far forward in the engine compartments that the front of the engine is just 3 inches (75cm) from the rear bulkhead. The engines are almost literally mid engine mounted. Unfortunately, the Yanmar water pump, external oil lines, oil filter, thermostat ..etc..are all located on the front of the engine and are not easily accessible for normal maintenance. (Or I’m just too old to bend into a pretzel) For years, I’ve been forced to figure out long, time consuming ways to perform normal maintenance on my diesels. It’s been frustrating to say the least. Finally, an overly warm engine and leaking oil lines in my starboard engine, were the catalyst for me to pull […]

Catalac 8M upgrade Rudders and install Skegs

by Didier Grietencontact Didier Grieten When I bought my 8M, it was equipped with the older style lifting steel blade rudders.The rudder blades however were in very bad condition, with considerable corrosion and rust. Also, the wood support structure had to be replaced as it was rotting away and looking at the rudder blades showed they required some TLC as well. In some areas thickness was reduced to 50% and rust still working to get it even thinner… This meant some serious work on the rudders was required… Here’s what it was supposed to look like: I had three options, the first being replace the wood, remove the heavily corroded areas and weld in new material or just entirely replace the steel blades with new ones, get them galvanized and throw on a few coatings of paint… The second one was to replace the whole rudder setup with the newer […]

Struck by Lightning while under way

I should be dead I imagine that if you live in the lightning capital of the world, itS unavoidable. Sooner or later the boat will be hit by lightning. However, usually it occurs when no one is on board. I should be so lucky. In our case, we had a front row seat as we were hit by lightning on what began as a perfect sailing afternoon. Southwinds, a sailing magazine, recently featured an article on lightning strikes and boats in their June 2009 issue, and mentioned my experience in their story.  Click here to read my Lightning hit story in print. (It’s on page 44.) Afternoon storms are as regular as clockwork in summer months in central Florida. For that reason I usually leave the dock just as offshore winds are building in mid morning and try and be back in our slip before the storms hit. One Saturday, household chores […]

Sailing through a hurricane

Caught in a hurricane When I completed the sales transaction and took ownership of my Catalac 8M, I was hundreds of miles from home. I couldn’t wait to bring her home and put out a call to friends and family for crew. I accepted my brother’s gracious offer to give me a hand. He has a solid power boat backround these days and when we were kids we spend every minute we could in boats on Long Island Sound and the north Atlantic, and we both survived it. At the time, I really thought he’d enjoy the trip, as this was Florida. Tropical breezes and all that. What’s not to like? In retrospect, my brother didn’t fully appreciated the max speed under power of 6.5 knots we achieved with Catalpa. I still picture him shoving the throttles to their stops, with a quizzical look on his face when she didn’t go […]

Why buy a Catalac Catamaran?

During what turned out to be many months of reading and research, I was actually considering buying a monohull. Cruising Catamarans kept popping up in my research, and I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t even aware of these boats at the time. The only catamaran experience I’d had was on a Hobie Cat. However, in reading the check list of desired features, cruising catamarans, with their shallow draft, were matching up better than a monohull and were definitely of interest. Cruising Catamarans have a much brighter interior, (not a cave), they are much better at anchor than a mono (no rolling), and they don’t heel while sailing.  It didn’t take very long to learn a couple of things during this information gathering period.  First, what affect 2 hulls had on boat pricing (ouch) and second, the trend in the industry to design cruising catamarans for the charter market. Every year […]

Sailing 6000 Miles on the Catalac 10M S/V Blue Felix

by Sven and Sabine Seren continued from page 2 Atlantic Crossing with a Catalac 10M Part 3 What a difference it makes to sail downwind!! As we drew closer to the island, we had the current with us and made 7 to 10 kn consistantly over ground with the mainsail still in the second reef and the Genoa only half out. Our new destination would be St. Laurent du Maroni. This small city is located on the French side of the border river Maroni between French Guayana and Suriname. In all rivers on this side of the Atlantic strong tidal currents occur and it makes no sense to enter the river with the water flowing out. In addition, the buoyage is not reliable and in most cases unlit. All calculation couldn’t change it, we would arrive at the river entry in the middle of the night and the tidal current […]

Sailing 6000 Miles on the Catalac 10M S/V Blue Felix

by Sven and Sabine Seren continued from page 1 Atlantic Crossing with a Catalac 10M Part 2 Our Atlantic crossing could now begin. Ahead of us were about 1800 nautical miles until French Guiana where we wanted to make for the Îles du Salut which are a group of small islands of volcanic origin about 11 km off the coast of French Guiana in the Atlantic Ocean.  The first day under sail was dominated by local wind effects from the Cape Verde islands. On the second day the conditions were more constant and we had during the day most of the time force 4 to 5 from north to northeast. During the night the wind freshened up but seldom exceeded force 6. Again, we had the main sail in the first reef most of the time which enabled a comfortable and relaxed sailing and relief for the autopilot as the […]

Sailing 6000 Miles on the Catalac 10M S/V Blue Felix

by Sven and Sabine Seren Atlantic Crossing with a Catalac 10M We, Sven and me, Sabine, found our Catalac 10M S/V Blue Felix, sail. number 35, at the German Baltic sea in summer 2012. The purchase and the handing over passed without problems due to the good and ready to sail condition of S/V Blue Felix including a set of new sails. Our Catalac 10M has been named S/V Blue Felix since his launch in 1988. He has two Yanmar engines with 27 hp each with saildrives and folding props. S/V Blue Felix has the boat layout which has the enhanced pantry instead of the small bunk in the starboard hull, which is a huge advantage for two of us .  After the purchase, in July 2012, we completed a two week trip over the Kiel Canal to the North Sea. From Cuxhaven we continued directly to Delfzijl in Holland. […]

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the Catalac 900 – S/V Horizons

continued from page 1 by Jeff & Diane Curran We were making good progress, averaging 90 miles but after 5 days the wind died and we were then faced with the prospect of grossly exceeding our ETA at Barbados. The last thing we wanted to happen was for our girls back in the UK to become worried because were unable to contact them or let them know in any way that we were ok (in fact, this became the greatest concern during the trip). In hindsight we should have invested in a SAT-phone for such an eventuality. Actually, we set off with a five day weather forecast and with only VHF aboard, called up the occasional passing ship for an up to date forecast. We deployed the Cruising Shute, something we thought would never be needed for this passage, particularly as the Trade Winds should have been firmly set for […]

Crossing the Atlantic Ocean on the Catalac 900 – S/V Horizons

by Jeff & Diane Curran (Jeff and Diane were kind enough to share the story of their Atlantic crossing in 2013 aboard S/V Horizons, their Catalac 900 catamaran. – Rick In 2012 Jeff reached the Canaries aboard Horizons a Catalac 900 having sailed from Madeira single handed. It was not without some difficulties, gale force winds certainly helped him on his way but halfway through the journey the electronic auto helm broke. Hove to, a repair was attempted but it became apparent that the wheel pilot motor had burnt out. There was nothing more to do than get some well earned rest whilst hove-to before continuing the journey by hand steering. Horizons finally reached the anchorage at Playa Blanca in Lanzarote on the evening of 10th November where a decent meal and sleep were the order of priorities before going into Marina Rubicon the next morning in order to have the […]

Atlantic Crossing in a Catalac 9M Continued

Continued from Part 1 By Christopher Langham and Esther Minter During my brief stop in Spain, my paternal Grandfather passed away and in the midst of trying to compose myself in dealing with my grief, I continued moving forward despite my lapse in funds and having to refit the Genoa. I tried to figure out a way to leave the boat and fly home, but I couldn’t. No more credit, no money to pay the marina, and only provisions to do one thing… Continue moving forward and I’m glad I did, because God always provided enough funds to keep moving forward.  (Nothing more:-) While in Muxía, two lovely people from Frankfurt were in the slip next to mine; they fed me, played my granddads favorite game Yahtzee with me, lit candles in memory of him, and were there for me in all capacities. Although my family isn’t German, my Grandfather […]

Trials and Tribulations of an Atlantic Crossing in a 40 year old Catalac 9M

By Christopher Langham and Esther Minter When I started my journey in late June 2015, I envisioned emblematic escapades. Nevertheless, what I encountered was tremendous challenges that I never could have fathomed. These surprise factors after embarking on the journey from Largs, Scotland to St. Thomas USVI were mostly unnecessary, and had I known in advance what fiascos were ahead of me, I never would have left the comfort of my Government Housing Subsidized Apartment, in the Crime ridden projects of St. Thomas.  You see, I live on the island of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands; to outsiders it’s a virtual paradise, but to live here, not so much unless you have millions to spend or you’re one of the original settlers here by heritage and with privilege.  Having given you some background, I’d been looking into a Catalac 9 meter Catamaran with its original equipment, including the original Dolphin […]

Catalac Catamarans Design Review

Catalac Catamaran Some of the arm chair sailors prowling around on the boating forums have called Catalac Catamarans a ‘dated design’ because of their hardchined hulls. You will note that catamaran hull design migrated to rounded bilge designs in the ’90s (ie… Gemini). The reason I mention this is that if you paid attention to the America’s Cup racing series last year you may have noticed that BMW Oracle uses a hard chine main hull on their boat, and they’re obviously very successful campaigning that boat.  Catamaran designer Richard Woods noted that when run through hull design software, we discover that surprisingly, the added hard chine reduces WSA, which results in less hull drag, leaving us to conclude that a hardchine hull (as used on Catalacs) is better than people think, and in addition to lower WSA, they allow greater loads to be carried. He went on to say that […]