Monday, October 13, 2008

Boat (2)

The nitty gritty on the boats.

The Cats in order from top to bottom:

The Antares 44i sits at the top of the heap, the tip of the mountain, the peak of perfection; and is completely out of reach unless mounds of money fall from the sky and land in my back yard. (Money that is actually worth something that is.) To give some idea of how much this thing costs I heard that the one at the show is owned by the dude who runs Haliburton; or maybe it was Blackwater? Anyway we are talking serious throw weight.

The Leopard / 40 or 46 are my personal favorites. There is nothing about these boats I would change except, a) finding a way to put a washer/dryer on the 40, and b) having one registered in my name.

Admiral 38; a close run on the Leopard. I really liked the cathedral ceilings in the hulls that make for a wonderfully open feel to being "down stairs." The main complaint is the finish of the fiberglass inside the boat which is not up to the standards of the Leopard. As a result the boat has a "hollow" sound to it when one is inside and the hulls look a bit industrial.

Lagoon 380. Nice, really nice. Not much to change on this one either but the inside finish is just shy of the Leopard while costing a bit more. It also has vertical windows in the salon which are a good idea for a whole host of reasons; room, not focusing the sun, good visibility, etc. But I think they are a bit ugly. The Admiral looks like a sea-going space ship; the Lagoon like a floating apartment.

Foutaine Pajot Mahe 36. This was a boat at the top of my "going in" list. But for a variety of small reasons it just didn't tug at the heartstrings like the Leopard or Admiral. Still a nice boat and if anyone wants to buy me one for Christmas I promise not to be disappointed.

Seawind 1160. This was another boat I really expected to like. But when we first boarded her I was vastly underwhelmed and just walked off the thing. The next day we got on her again and (for reasons I don't really understand) I liked it much better the second time around. This is a boat that needs to grow on you a little. Still, I don't think it would be much of a colder weather boat without some work.

Mono Hulls
All of the Mono's that I liked are Center Cockpit boats. They are a bit more troublesome to get aboard since the helm station itself is in a kind of tub located about a third of the way forward from the stern. The interiors of all the mono's were glowing wood and well thought out floor plans. (Cats, being much more sensitive to weight, have a lot of white fiberglass.)

Passport. This thing was just flat beautiful inside and out. If I had a choice between this one and an Admiral Cat it would be a hard, hard decision to make.

Island Packet 465. All around very nice boat with a long, blue-water pedigree. It also had a really, really nice master cabin aft. Its big sister, the 485, includes an office that any smart CEO would want to call her own. If you promise not to tell anyone I think the Island Packet is probably the most reasonable, biggest bang for the buck, option that we saw. I would not be surprised at all if we landed on one of these a few years from now. (She also has lines very similar to those of little Nomad.)

Since Deb and I have never actually sailed on a big catamaran the list is a bit premature. (Of course not having done anything like this didn't stop us from jumping in with both feet when it comes to sailboats. I offer as evidence to our willingness to try about anything a 27 foot Com-Pac currently floating in our slip.) The next step of the plan is to spend a few days learning to sail a Cat and taking a coastal cruising course at the same time. There are several 5 day classes offered along the East Coast and we are hoping to take advantage of one of them sometime next spring.

On first brush another consideration is that all of the Cats seem slanted to "warm weather, island hopping" kind of sailing. The Mono's looked a bit more purposeful, like they could take on the Northern climes or Southern Sea and have a fair chance of giving their owners a good time and a cozy place to live. Probably an illusion but something I need to square away in my own thinking. I can easily imagine that Deb and I will not be just warm weather kinds of people, and may look for some sailing where you might find a little snow on the deck once in a while.

For now though, we are going to enjoy the changing season right here on our lake in IL. The next few weekends are "on the boat" weekends. (Well, I might have one contract trip on a Sunday.) I want to put some serious time in on Nomad and just enjoy having the boat and being on the lake. The leaves are starting to change around here and with any luck we will find some wind to play with this month.

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