DUNJA III Crossing – 780NM on a Catalac 8M

DUNJA III safely took us 780NM across the Mediterranean, from Leros in Greece to Malta. We sailed (actually mostly motored), from Leros to Aegina. Then through Corinth canal to Porto Germeno. From there to Port Killini where we had to be towed in for rudder failure. From Killini we crossed to Syracusa for refueling and great Sicilian food, having the last leg from there to Malta. It was an epic trip I can tell you… Lot’s of stories of broken rudder, 54kt of wind, high swell and currents that slowed us to 3kt… But we made it in less than 2 weeks, below and behind storm Daniel which devastated the Athens region at the time. Anyhow, the autopilot worked on the 2nd half, engine(s) failed due to bad fuel more than once, rudder broke due to human error (don’t rest it sideways on the rocks), mainsail got torn on 1st […]

PDQ 36 Review with “S/V Desert Star”

This is another episode of our reviews of common cruising catamarans. We spoke with Eric and Bonnie who own a PDQ 36. They contacted us because they enjoyed our PDQ 32 interview with Aurora and Dennis and agreed to tell us about their boat, Desert Star. Very thankful for their interest in our project and to all of you watching our videos and reading these transcripts. We welcome those who own catamarans and want to see them reviewed to please contact us to setup a Zoom call at your convenience. Eric, do you want to start off by telling us a little bit about your background and who you are and how you came to choose a PDQ36? Eric: Sure. I’m a semi-retired systems engineer. I’m a licensed captain. I do some boat deliveries, run a little video production company, and trying to live a semi-retired lifestyle, wintering on the […]

Seawind 1370 Review with Nick & Terysa of “S/V Ruby Rose”

We talked with Terysa and Nick of Ruby Rose, and they have an interesting story about how they are coming to their catamaran. They are working with Seawind Catamarans to design the first Seawind 1370. They have a tremendous following on their YouTube channel, so please check their videos out and subscribe. They video taped their search for their catamaran and reviewed many different catamaran models on the market. Could you start off with telling us how you got into cruising, and then what took you from monohulls to catamaran? We started sailing back in the UK. Nick started about 15 years ago and I started when I met Nick, so 10-11 years ago. We were just weekend sailors. We used to be part of a club and we would do weekend cruises and races, and it was all very low-key, just fun. We were, at the time, thinking about […]

Leopard 47 Review with Brioni and Iain of “Red Seas”

We interview new Leopard 47 owners Brioni and Iain about their catamaran search and why they chose the Leopard 47. They share their finding from 2 years of online research as well as their time living aboard so far. We talk about performance issues, layout considerations, and design flaws. Follow and support Brioni and Iain in their travels! https://youtube.com/redseas Facebook/Instagram/Twitter: @realredseas www.red-seas.com www.patreon.com/redseas If you enjoy this review of the Leopard 47, please comment and let us know. We love to get feedback from others thinking of purchasing a Leopard 47 or current owners. Key Takeaways for the Leopard 47 Many to choose from as it was a popular charter model in the early 2000’s. Usually quite a few to look at in the Caribbean. Affordable for its size compared to other newer catamarans over 40 feet in length. Better performing also than some of the newer more comfort focused […]

PDQ 32 Review with Aurora and Dennis of S/V Serenity

We spoke with Aurora and Dennis who have a 1998 PDQ 32 named Serenity that they bought in 2017. They tell us about why they chose the PDQ 32, the strengths and weaknesses of the model, and why it has been the perfect catamaran for them. They compare the PDQ 32 to Geminis, Maine Cat 30, Seawind 1160. Please watch the interview below and read on for a transcript with additional photos to illustrate the features spoken about. Key Takeaways of the PDQ 32 Inexpensive, simple learning catamaran that allows for weekend sailing with kids and longer travels as a couple Light and small enough that you can manhandle at docks which lowers stress and likelihood of scratches. Powered by twin 9.9 HP outboards which are inexpensive to maintain, easy to repower, and can be tilted up to gain 1 knot of speed. Wonderful simple sailing. Loves going downwind and […]

Lagoon 450F Review with Caroline of “S/V Fizzgig”

We spoke with Caroline who lives aboard “Fizzgig” a Lagoon 450F. She and her family have been aboard for about a year and currently are in Wilmington, North Carolina. Caroline tells us a little bit about the Lagoon 450F and what their plans are. She tells us about their former catamaran, a 2006 Fontaine-Pajot Lavezzi 40 and why they made the transition to a larger catamaran. Please see more from Caroline on her blog Sailing Fizzgig. Key Takeaways of Lagoon 450F Lagoon 450 is very comfortable and voluminous loaded with amenities and excellent separation of spaces for couple, daughter, and dog. This is owner version with three cabins. Headroom to accommodate 6′ 2″ person unlike the 40 Lavezzi where there were only a couple places her husband could stand up in. Lots of space and power for equipment such as air conditioning, washer – dryer, dishwasher, etc Excellent deck space […]

Lagoon 500 Review with John of S/V Wicked

John and his family are aboard a 2009 Lagoon 500 called S/V Wicked. He and his four kids and assorted pets and spouse have lived aboard boats for quite a few years from monohulls to a power catamarans. We’re going to learn a little bit about the Lagoon 500. Key Takeaways of Lagoon 500 Enormous salon with multiple places to sit. Galley that four people can stand in. A pantry. Many small cabin spaces for many people. Was the flagship of the Lagoon fleet in her day, so they invested all their resources as a company to show off what they could do. Built 150 hulls of the Lagoon 500 so there is good availability on the used market and many have crossed oceans or circumnavigated. Likely find one anywhere in the world. She will do seven and a half knots sipping fuel at 1800 rpm all day long. She […]

Lagoon 380 Review with Toast of S/V Don Quixote

Diane talked with Toast for a review on the Lagoon 380, a well known design that was a workhorse of charter fleets for the last two decades. She and her family sailed a 2001 Lagoon 380 Owners Version named S/V Don Quixote for about six years. They started in Seattle with three little children and then ended up in New Zealand several years later with much bigger children. It felt really tiny in the beginning and by the time we moved out the kids were willing to move into basically a fender locker. They’re like wow look at all this space, so we did change our understanding of what it was like to live and what you need to be happy. Toast on size and one of her daughters choosing to live in the starboard bow locker. You can read about her latest adventures on her blog. Key Takeways of […]

Broadblue 38 Review and Owner Interview – “WorldTowning”

We talked with Will and Jessica of WorldTowning who bought their Broadblue 38 Prestige called S/V Friendship via CatamaranSite.com’s for sale by owner listings. They bought her in France in September 2020 and are fairly new to cruising, but they already have some strong opinions about what life is like on their catamaran. We moved from a 21 foot RV. This is a palace! Will and Jessica on life aboard a 38 foot sailboat as family of four. They have great enthusiasm for travelling and share their adventures across their website, WorldTowning.com and number social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube. You can become a Patreon for special access to their adventures. Can you tell us a little bit about yourselves and about your boat? We have been traveling full-time since 2014, and we have now become newly indoctrinated into the cruising lifestyle. For the first six years,we were […]

Catana 431 Review and Owner Interview – “S/V Morning Glory”

In today’s interview we talk to Amy who sailed around the world with her family on their 2001 Catana 431 “S/V” Morning Glory from 2009 to 2016. Her enthusiasm for not just cruising but pure sailing comes through so clearly in this interview, and it is a wonderful thing to see. She tells us about what she likes, dislikes, and what surprised her about the Catana 431. Thank you so much to Amy for taking her time to sit down with us and share her experiences. Key Takeaways Loves the exposed helm position because of visibility and lack of clutter in cockpit. Was surprised because the helm position worried her pre-purchase. Loves the owner version with kids in one hull and parents in the other with large master suite and separate stall shower. Size was perfect, and she would not want any larger catamaran. Kevlar skin underwater is great protection […]

“S/V Dora’s Dream” – Admiral 40 For Sale By Owner Interview

Today we have a special interview with Sean of S/V Dora’s Dream who is selling his Admiral 40 on CatamaranSite.com and agreed to talk about the benefits of the model. Sean discusses the strengths of the Admiral 40 model, why he choose to purchase it, and what a buyer and new owner would need to update on Dora’s Dream. Please click on the for sale by owner link above for more information and to inquire to Sean directly. For additional owner, designer, and catamaran builder interviews, please go to our interviews page. S/V Dora’s Dream Owner Background Sean and his wife live in Cozumel Traveled all over for about a year to 18 months looking for a boat Bought in Bocas del Toro in northern Panama 14 months ago Chose Admiral 40 because of sleek style that stands out from the predominant Caribbean charter catamarans Plans to go and buy […]

“S/V Barefoot Gal” – Gemini 105 M Review with Carolyn of The Boat Galley

The other day we were lucky enough to interview Carolyn of S/V Barefoot Gal who runs the excellent website The Boat Galley which has a tremendous amount of educational content about living on a boat. Our focus was a review of her 105 M in a continuation of our series on Gemini catamaran models. Please see previous interviews on the Gemini 3200, the Gemini 105 MC, and the Gemini 3000. From the salon of Barefoot Gal she talked to us about her experiences with the Gemini 105 M, how much she loves the design for coastal cruising, and how it differs from the Gemini 105 MC. We highly recommend her courses, books, and newsletter to anyone thinking of going cruising or currently living aboard. Please watch below our interview or read the transcript of this very special edition of our series of owner interviews. Tell us a little about yourself […]

Lagoon 400 Review and Owner Interview with Sailing Ocean Fox

We interview Carla and Simon who have extensively sailed over 25,000 miles on their Lagoon 400. They have a popular YouTube channel called Sailing Ocean Fox and also a website with the same name. Also on Facebook at Sailing Ocean Fox and Instagram. They were even featured by the NY Times for an article this summer titled The Seas as the Ultimate Coronavirus Isolation? Not. So. Fast. Please follow them and enjoy their adventures. Read below for their review of their 2013 Lagoon 400 Mark I. A big thank you to them for participating in our series of owner reviews of catamarans. Can you tell us about your Lagoon 400 and what you’re doing? We’ve got a Lagoon 400 Mark I from 2013. She’s an owner’s version, so the starboard side is entirely the owner’s cabin and head. On the port side, we’ve got two cabins and a single head. […]

Catalac 8M Review and Owner Interview “S/V Chateau Cat”

In this episode, we interview Simon who owns a Catalac 8M called S/V Chateau Cat. He’s had it for two years. Simon came to catamaran sailing after growing up with a monohull, so we’re really curious about how it’s been to have a catamaran for him. What kind of experiences he’s had. A big thank you for him in participating and generously sharing his stories and photos! Executive Summary Chose catamaran for space and larger solar footprint. Used to have a solar panel business and has 2 small children. 44 years old. Grew up on a 24 foot monohull with 2 brothers. Inspired by a sail on a Dazcat, he decided a catamaran would be more comfortable with better performance. The Catalac 8M was an affordable option that met his criteria. Built in 1980 (an 8m Mark II which as skegs in front of the rudders) in Chichester, South coast […]

Gemini 105 MC Review and Owner Interview – S/V Kid Cat

As we continue in our series about Gemini catamarans, Melissa interviews Eric from the Gemini Owners Group who owns a Gemini 105 MC called S/V Kid Cat and sails out of Montreal and is planning to go out the St Lawrence in the summer and to the Bahamas maybe next winter. He weighs in with a different perspective on the never ending debate whether Gemini 105’s are blue water boats. He outlines differences between the 105 M and 105 MC. He mentions some common problems of the 105 MC. And he recommends the model to everyone. Thank you so much again to Eric and the owners group! Executive Summary Reasons to Buy a Gemini 105 MC Gemini 105MC often do the Great Loop and are great for this purpose. Prior owner of S/V Kid Cat did the Great Loop. Killer feature that convinced him to buy a Gemini 105 was […]

“SV Tusitala” Leopard 43 Review and Owner Interview

Kevin owns a 2007 Leopard 43 named S/V Tusitala which he purchased through the for sale by owner listings on www.CatamaranSite.com. He talks to us about the Leopard 43 and also more general topics about sailing with five kids, why the ocean is like a desert, and his thoughts on how to prepare for a world cruise. You can follow him on his YouTube channel or website or blog all under the handle “Seven on the Sea.” Thank you so much to him for participating in our series of interviews with catamaran owners. Executive Summary Sailing with his wife and five kids ages 6 to 18 on a Leopard 43 Sailing out of San Diego and preparing to head offshore Tusitala is the nickname of author Robert Louis Stevenson and means “teller of tales.” Chose Leopard 43 because of space and affordability. He considered monohulls but accommodations were smaller and […]

Heavenly Twins 26 Owner Review and Interview “S/V Kittiwake”

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the boat. We’re two keen travelers who love nature. We didn’t want to live the conventional career-focused life, and we really craved spending time doing what we love, rather than working to pay for things we don’t really need. That drove us, in 2017 to quit our jobs and sail away on our first boat, a little Heavenly Twins 26 Catamaran called Kittiwake. We sailed Kittiwake from the UK to Italy over two years and then sold her to buy our second boat, a Tayana 37 called Skua. You can read more about us on our website here and subscribe to our YouTube channel Sailing Kittiwake. Why did you choose the Heavenly Twins? The HT has a great reputation as a sturdy seaboat that can handle anything you throw at it. These little beauties have been sailed all over the world […]

Seawind 1600 Review and Owner Interview – Harbors Unknown

We talk to Kristin and Fabio who recently purchased a brand new Seawind 1600 named “S/V Wanderlust.” Follow them on their YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram channels all under the handle “Harbors Unknown.” In this interview they tell us about the new order process, why they chose the Seawind 1600, what they would change about the boat, and where they have been. A big thank you to them for sitting down with us! Executive Summary Live aboard their Seawind 1600 in Fort Lauderdale where catamarans are much more suitable than monohulls because of shallow waters. Used to have Beneteau 473 and Dragonfly 35 Chose 1600 because they wanted daggerboards, protected helm, and great visibility from helm. Considered also Catana 53, Outremer 45, Balance 526. Catanas have exposed helms. Outremer 45 is much smaller than you would expect from watching La Vagabonde. And the Balance is too spartan down below for their […]

Gemini 3200 Owner Review and Interview S/V Epiphany Hull # 316

Today we have Joseph of S/V Epiphany – a Gemini 3200. He refitted his 3200 from the ground up. He did a massive amount of work to spend a lot of money, and he is a great guy to tell us all about the model. He goes through all the issues he has had and gives invaluable advice to people considering buying a classic Gemini. Sailing performance, common issues, and maneuverability are all covered. Please see below for the video of our interview, refit photos, and a transcript of the Q&A. Key Takeaways and Tips on 3200 Total including purchase price of $55,000 into boat Renovated interior including painting, trim work, electrical, plumbing, and new windows. Renovated exterior including paint, centerboards, rigging. Previous owner was excellent resource while surveyors need to be carefully selected and monitored. Center boards are designed by Tony Smith so that if they hit an object […]

Prout 33 Quest Review with Michael Briant of Sailing Gently

In this episode, River interviews Michael Briant, a former owner of a Prout 33 Quest and an accomplished author of cruising guides and sailing videos. You can purchase them on his Gentle Sailing site. He also is a famous director and actor (with his own Wikipedia page). Finally Michael has a YouTube channel Sailing Gently which we highly recommend you subscribe to and follow for fantastic sailing videos including some interesting travels in times of Covid 19. Michael talks to us about Prouts and French canals issues with cats. Also he briefly mentions his adventures sailing through the French north coast ports. While he no longer owns Eloise (his Prout 33 Quest), he still hosts the Prout Owners Association. A lifelong sailor who has done multiple circumnavigations, he now is sailing a Westerly Ocean 43. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your adventures on Eloise? Michael: I’d […]

“Sailing Kallisto” – Prout Snowgoose 37 Elite Owner Review

Meet Dev & Caro of Sailing Kallisto who own a sexy orange Snowgoose 37 Elite! In this video River interviews them about their buying experience and adventures so far sailing. Follow along their story by subscribing to their YouTube channel. They also post on Instagram. Note: The Snowgoose 37 Elite is an evolution of the Snowgoose 37. The hull was redesigned, and Prout increased the beam 1 foot as well as 2 inches deeper draft, 5 inches taller mast, and a few kilograms heavier displacement. The Elite was built from 1986 to 2002 while the 37 Snowgoose regular version was built from 1978 to 1986. The two design are very similar and share the same layout configurations and engine arrangements, but the Elite is just a little bit bigger. Video Transcript Can you tell us a bit about yourself and Kallisto? I am 29. Myself and partner Caroline decided 3 […]

“Living Hakuna” Lagoon 420 Review and Owner Interview

On Monday November 23, 2020, we interviewed Alejo and Andrea of S/V Hakuna about their 2008 Lagoon 420. They purchased her through our for sale by owner listings on CatamaranSite.com and kindly sat down with us and explained what they really love about the Lagoon 420 and gave advice to catamaran buyers in the market for one. We also talked about their story, cruising plans, Akitas, and what it is like to be YouTube stars. Please follow along and support their journey on YouTube and join their crew on Patreon. Executive Summary Before moving onto Lagoon 420, they had a travel trailer. Love kite surfing and have been chasing the wind. Chose a catamaran and a Lagoon 420 specifically because of spaciousness, flat platform, and separate shower. They travel with two large Akita dogs which requires more space and stability. Charter version with 4 cabins and 4 heads. Considered chartering […]

Gemini 3000 Owner Interview “The Wayward Travelers”

This interview is of Roan and Karrie who have a Gemini 3000 catamaran and are sailing the Great Loop. Please follow along their adventures on their YouTube channel here. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the boat? Roan and Karrie Poulter, The Wayward Travelers – we’re on a 5 year Adventure plan that consists of Motorcycles across the U.S. Trans America Trail, Van from Prudhoe Bay to Ushuaia on the Pan American Highway, Sailing the Great Loop and Bahamas in our 1988 Gemini Catamaran, Backpacking Europe and taking the Trans Siberian Railway before Backpacking Asia. Why did you choose a Gemini 3000? Fits in a single wide slip, massive online community for questions and wisdom, we got a great price and with an ample salon we felt we gained liveability. When was she launched? In 1989 as a Charter. When we got her she was on the Hard […]

Prout 35 Snowgoose Review with Carl Michael

We interviewed Carl Michael who owns a Prout 35 Snowgoose which he bought from our for sale by owner listings. He kindly answered our questions about the Prout 35 after his Solo Atlantic Crossing in 2020 which is available to see on his YouTube channel. Please subscribe to his channel to follow for more awesome adventures. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and the boat? I’m a 30 something adventure motorcyclist turned sailor. Having returned from a 6 month motorcycling tour of South America, I was looking for my next adventure. Whilst cycling in France, I saw a number of boats cruising slowly along the Loire with their mast unstepped and drink in their hand and seemingly without a care in the world. Having been wild camping in the high altitude of the Bolivian Altiplano, the humidity of the rainforrest, and the harshness of Patagonia, a boat looked […]

Gemini 105 Review

No catamaran discussion would be complete without a nod to the 34’ Gemini 105M and 105 MC line of catamarans, created by designer Tony Smith. From modest beginnings in 1996, the Gemini 105 has become one of the most popular domestic-built catamarans in the United States, with over 1200 hulls splashed. Gemini Catamaran History Originally built in Maryland, the Gemini 105 model began with the 105M (meaning 10.5 meters) in 1995 and then a design change in 2004 to the 105MC, some notable differences being the extended cockpit cover to allow for a full enclosure and a slightly taller mast (while still remaining ICW-friendly). In fact, the “C” in the 105MC stands for “convertible,” likening the cockpit to that of a sports car. Gemini production moved to FL in 2009 after the 2008 financial meltdown. In 2011, Gemini offered the Limited-Edition Design TouchTM models, whose upgrades included cherry veneer finishes, […]

Leopard 42 Review

The Leopard 42 emerged in 2001 to replace the Leopard 45. Designed by Alex Simonis, the L42 extended the lines of the Leopard 38 and offered a 3-cabin, 3-head model and a 4-cabin, 4-head model. Approximately 50 Leopard 42s were made before being replaced by the Leopard 43 in 2004. Despite its heritage of award-winning catamarans, the Leopard 42 won no awards. However, the L42 is still highly sought-after by cruisers worldwide. Let’s look at why. Features Since Leopard announced their next iteration of the Leopard 42 in July 2020, we’ll talk first about the original model and then provide a few words on the updated version. Spacious Living Spaces. Like its predecessors, the Leopard 42 offers spacious accommodations disproportionate to their size. The cockpit on the L42 is quite large, accommodating more than 17 people on one lucky cruiser’s birthday off the Magnetic Islands, Australia. Skeg-Hung Rudders. These are […]

Jeanneau Lagoon 35 CCC Review

What does Jeanneau want the world to think with the acronym of “CCC” In the title? It’s the Coastal Cruising Catamaran. That’s it. Jeanneau was so transparent about the capabilities of their new cat, that they put it in the title. Thinking about racing to Bermuda? Look elsewhere. Designed by notorious sailing and design guru’s, Gino Morrelli and Pete Melvin (America’s Cup & Olympics), they chose performance over comfort. To understand the boat, I really needed a quick history lesson on Jeanneau’s production timeline. In 1984 they started production of their first generation Lagoon boats. They started big too. The Lagoon fleets of 55, 57, 67 and 67s models were the first boats that were splashed starting from the mid 1980’ up into the early 1990’s. Beginning in 1992 the production of any new models stopped. Looking back into the history glass, one can see the writing on the wall. […]

Leopard 40 Review and Common Problems

Leopard began their sailing catamaran line-up with a cruise-worthy 45-foot catamaran. When the charter industry took notice, they requested smaller sailing cats for their fleets, so Leopard provided the 38-foot model, as well as a 42-foot model. In 2004, Leopard partnered with designers Morelli & Melvin for their Leopard 40 model. Between 2004 and 2009, Leopard produced 136 Leopard 40s before replacing it with the Leopard 39. Then, in 2014, Leopard engaged with Simonis Voogd Design to launch a newer Leopard 40 model that is still in production today with over 210 vessels produced. The Leopard family is known for award-winning designs, and the Leopard 40 is no exception, having earned the following awards: Cruising World’s “Best Overall Import Boat in USA 2005” Cruising World’s “Best Multihull 40 Feet and Under” 2005 Sail Magazine´s “Best Boats 2005” The Leopard 40 was also honored for innovative achievements by the National Marine […]

Leopard 38 Review and Common Problems

Leopard didn’t start small, but rather, began their sailing catamaran line-up with a 45-foot catamaran in 1997 before moving to the Leopard 38 in 1998. All total, they built 124 Leopard 38s. The Leopard 38 (also branded as the Sunsail 384), was designed by Morrelli & Melvin, who have designed some of the fastest multihulls to glide across an ocean. No stranger to design awards, M&M’s Leopard 38 designs won the Cruising World 2010 Boat of the Year in two categories:  Best Multihull Cruiser of the Year, and  Best Import Boat of the Year That same year, they won SAIL Magazine’s 2010 Best Boat” in the Cruising Multihull Category. So, what features make these vessels so desirable? Let’s check it out. Features Though designed by individuals with a fetish for performance, the Leopard 38 falls closer to the comfort side of the spectrum. However, she will sail better than some of her […]

Leopard 39 Review and Common Problems

Leopard began their sailing catamaran line-up with a respectable 45-foot catamaran in 1997. Then, seeing a ripe opportunity in the charter industry, they next moved to the Leopard 38 in 1998. In 2010, Leopard announced the 39 model and proceeded to build 126 hulls of that size through 2015. Crafted from the same hull molds as the Leopard 38, the Leopard 39’s main upgrades include the full hardtop over the cockpit and a raised helm station, also covered with a hardtop. It’s little wonder that the Leopard 39 won the ‘Sail Best Boats 2010’ Cruising Multihull award. Robertson and Caine’s contribution to the catamaran market cannot be understated. In early 2012, Leopard launched their 1,000th Leopard Catamaran and to date, have launched over 1800 catamarans. Features Designed by Morelli & Melvin to replace the Leopard 38, the Leopard 39 is widely used by world cruisers as well as the Sunsail […]

Knysna 440 Review: Upgraded St Francis 44

In 2002 Knysna Yacht Company (pronounced “Knees-nuh”) set out to become a boutique builder for high quality, semi-custom catamarans. Building on the legacy of the South African catamaran industry, the company purchased the tooling for the Angelo Lavranos designed St. Francis 44 hulls. Then Knysna changed the cabin and interior layout and the weight balance to launch their own take on the cruising catamaran. The Knysna engineers found that the St. Francis 44, a successful cruising design, still had room for improvement in areas of interior volume, cabin height and weight distribution. The original design had center engine placement in the hulls, but the Knysna team moved the engines towards the stern and added a small stern scoop to to increase sea kindliness and motion. Moving the engines aft gave the new team more space to work with mid-ships in each hull and gave the boat more lift in waves, […]

Prout 39 Escale Review

The Prout 39’ Escale was built in Essex, United Kingdom in 1991. Finding one of these cats is a rarity, since it’s to be believed that only a mere 200 some are left sailing the seas; a cruising class gem, designed by two brothers, Francis and Roland Prout. The two brothers spent their youth learning the ropes of design and boat-building within the families’ business, building folding canoes and dinghies. The brothers even raced canoes in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics! Before the Prout Cruising Classes were built, the brothers designed smaller day sailing boats and also the infamous Shearwater class, under the families business. The Brothers domination of the catamaran cruising world began in 1975, when their company, “Prout Catamarans” was founded. From 1975 to when they shut their doors in 2002, Prout Catamarans manufactured close to 4,300 boats; 658 of which were the Escale 39 Series. From looking at […]

Gemini 3000 Review: A Budget Boat with an Offshore attitude

Gemini Catamarans have gotten a reputation among sailors as a cheaper cruiser with a gift for sailing to wind. But it has been my experience that no catamaran goes to wind well and to compare cats on their windward performance is like picking a gold medal winner in the 50 yard dash from a field of sloths. Gemini is no different than any other cat I have sailed, but what they lack in performance and style, they make up for in affordability and modability. My first mate, Matt entered into the world of Catamarans when he found a used Gemini 30 in an estate sale in Connecticut. I joined him for the 12 hour drive from North Carolina to offer my expert opinion and eye for deals and when we came upon this one what a deal it was. The gentleman who owned it had passed and there was a […]

Leopard 44 Catamaran Review

History / Background South African boat builders Robertson and Caine have built over 2,000 catamarans over the last three decades. The Leopard 44 results from another successful collaboration with American catamaran designers Morrelli & Melvin. The goal was a solid, affordable mid-sized catamaran capable of blue water sailing and good for the charter market. Multiple awards and the boat’s enduring popularity show how well they hit the target. The Leopard 44 starts with a hull construction of vacuum-bagged balsa cored e-glass with vinylester resin. This makes for a light, strong and blister resistant foundation to bond the fiberglass liner. The interior layout is open, to make a galley and living area combination which keeps the cooks in the mix with everyone. The common area living plan feels open, and social and light, like a casual dining roomand open kitchen plan in a house. They built two versions of the boat—a […]

Seawind 1000 Catamaran Review

The Seawind 1000, designed by Richard Ward and Scott Judson, was first built in Australia in 1994. The debut model was the first catamaran ever to be awarded “Australian Cruising Sailboat of the Year.” Over 225 Seawind 1000 series boats have been built, and while many might scoff at a sub-35’ catamaran tackling long ocean passages and 80+ knot storms, this light, nimble catamaran just might surprise you. History After initially launching with an inboard Bukh diesel engine, charter companies requested a model with twin outboards for ease of maintenance and maneuverability. This outboard model was a clear success and so became the standard for the 1000 model family. Since then, the Seawind 1000 was placed in Australian charter companies in the Whitsundays, Pittwater, Sydney Harbour, the Gold Coast, Darwin, Perth and Melbourne. The 1000 series has also been placed into charter in the U.S., Caribbean, Southeast Asia, Brazil, and […]

Seawind 1200 Catamaran Review

Perhaps the rarest of all Seawind models, the 39’ Seawind 1200, first produced in Wollongong, Australia in 1998, saw roughly 25 produced in its 5-year run. The model was primarily popular among charter companies in Australia, with only a few known to cruise privately. As with all Seawind models, the 1200 is a strong sailor with a spacious layout, but there may be more than a few reasons the company replaced it with the wildly-popular 1160. History Seawind was founded by Richard Ward in the early 1980s. Over the course of two decades, the Seawind factory pushed out the Seawind 850, launched in1991, the 33-foot Seawind 1000, launched in 1994, and the Tony Grainger-designed Seawind 1200 in launched in 1998 for the Australian charter company Whitsunday Escape. Though briefly replaced by the Seawind 1160, the 1200 model line continued in 2011 with the 41-foot Seawind 1250, which launched in 2011, […]

Seawind 1160 Catamaran Review

First launched in 2004, the 38’ Seawind 1160 has been a popular, award-winning vessel for cruisers and charterers alike. Whether due to good design or simply good marketing, the Seawind 1160 seems to have a bit of a cult following, bringing the vessel into high demand. We sort out the reality from the hype to help you make the most informed decision you can before purchase. History Seawind was founded by Richard Ward in the early 1980’s. Over the course of a decade, his Seawind designs matured to include the Seawind 850, launched in 1991, the 33-foot Seawind 1000, launched in 1994, and the Seawind 1200 in launched in 1998 for the Australian charter company Whitsunday Escape. In 2000, Ward purchased Venturer, a luxury power catamaran builder. In 2004, the Seawind 1160 emerged, a culmination of the best elements of its predecessors. The 1160 series includes the standard 1160, the […]

Lagoon 42 Review: Week Charter in Antigua

My wife and I took 5 friends down to Antigua this year to do some quantitative easing in that fine country. This review of our boat, the Lagoon 42, is based on my experience showing and moving them in Lauderdale as well as from this 7 day charter with Dream Yachts out of Jolly Harbor. Let me get this done with at the start. Lagoons are not the highest quality catamarans. They or as a close second to Fountaine Pajot might be near the bottom of quality for mass production catamarans depending on the model. But for what they lack in quality, they make up for in outstanding space and light inside. They have gotten better and better at maximizing space, so much so that in the 2018 Lagoon 42 we chartered there were 4 good sized heads along with the 4 cabins and 2 pilot berths forward. The salon […]

Leopard 46 Review: Better than a Lagoon?

Clients often debate about which of the production catamaran brands to purchase. Is there a significant difference between a Fountain-Pajot, Lagoon, and Leopard? After an 11 day delivery of a Leopard 46 from Fort Lauderdale to Cartagena, Colombia and a delivery of a Lagoon 440 in March from Fort Lauderdale to Annapolis, in many respects the Leopard out classed the Lagoon including performance, durability, and comfort. My colleague and super star sailor Kevin Bray lauded the Leopard throughout the delivery. “After working on this boat for 3 months and now sailing her, I can honestly say I like this Leopard 46 design, and there are not a lot of boats that I can say that about,” shared Kevin. In a few areas, I give the edge to Lagoon. Read on to see which.

Lagoon 440 Review: Delivery to Annapolis

I wish I could take delivery of every yacht I review here, but I am usually restricted to a short seatrial at best. Hearing from owners the qualities of a vessel is one thing, but experiencing them yourself makes the unique qualities more vivid and altogether leads to a superior review. I hope that is the case here as I am still yearning to be offshore after my 12 day delivery of a Lagoon 440 catamaran from Venice Isle, Fort Lauderdale to Gibson Island, Annapolis. Lagoon was established in 1984 as a development of the legendary Jeanneau Advanced Technologies racing division. Lagoon went on to achieve fame for building the trimarans for the blockbuster movie Waterworld starring actor and inventor Kevin Costner. Lagoon’s first era of production ran from 1987 to 1996 and included production of 55, 47, 57 and 67 models meant as bluewater cruising catamarans for private purchase […]

Catalac 900 Information

Catalac 900 Ocean passage After Tom Lack’s Catalac production ended in the mid 1980’s, the company was reformed in the early ’90’s under the new name, Blue Water Catalacs.  The old Catalac 9M moulds were sourced and it was possible to put the boat back into production under the new ‘Catalac 900 banner. The Catalac 900 was a major rework of the twenty year old Catalac 9M design, with a sleeker and more modern look, achieved mainly by the removal of the old individual aluminum framed windows and replacing them with sealed full length tinted Perspex ones. The boat featured other refinements like an enclosed helm,  hot and cold running water as standard and the fitting of twin diesels (either Volvo or Yanmar units) with saildrive transmissions as standard equipment. Replacing the old shaft drive setup meant the engines were now mounted further towards the rear, allowing for a huge […]

Catalac 900 Review

by Terry Kennedy The Catalac 900 is the pilothouse version of the Catalac 9M. The pilothouse not only allows for the helm to be inside, but offers standing head room around the salon. The Catalac 900 is a warm, dry and comfortable vessel when inclement weather arrives. This is a dramatic difference from the 8M and 9M’s with their helms exposed to the weather in the cockpits, and their low ceilings in the salon area that only allows for sitting. Naval Architect John Winterbotham designed the hull for the Catalac 8M/9M/900 based on the Sunderland, a British WWII era sea plane. By design, the vessels will slip sideways when the wind is strong rather than lift the windward hull. Because of this wide flared load bearing design, and significant storage space, the Catalacs are easily overloaded. They can hold a lot of weight without squatting down in the water and showing […]

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 […]