Room to Roam

Cruising World - - Contents - By Mark Pills­bury

The Ma­jes­tic 530 can cater to a char­ter crowd or pam­per a pri­vate owner.



t the U.S. Sail­boat Show in An­napo­lis, Mary­land, last fall, multihulls from South Africa bridged the spec­trum from per­for­mance to lux­ury to char­ter to load-car­ry­ing cruis­ing cat, with Royal Cape Cata­ma­rans’ Ma­jes­tic 530 land­ing squarely in the cruiser cat­e­gory.

The Royal Cape yard is lo­cated in Dur­ban, where three dozen employees build each cata­ma­ran from the keels up. The com­pany has been in busi­ness since 2004. The 530 we sailed is hull num­ber 13. The boat is an evo­lu­tion of a Van de Stadt-de­signed 45-footer whose molds were ac­quired and used to build first the Ma­jes­tic 500 and now its 3-foot-longer sib­ling.

The 530’s hulls, deck, six struc­tural bulk­heads and bi­mini are vac­uum-bagged us­ing isoph­thalic resin. The hulls are solid glass be­low the wa­ter­line and balsa-cored above, as are all other struc­tures and the in­te­rior fur­ni­ture. Boat of the Year judge Tim Mur­phy deemed the fit and fin­ish of the maple wood­work to be note­wor­thy.

Each of the 530’s hulls is vo­lu­mi­nous, giv­ing the boat lots of pay­load-car­ry­ing ca­pa­bil­ity, which it needs if an owner chooses to go with the six-cabin, six-head char­ter lay­out. The boat we vis­ited had five cab­ins and five heads. The own­ers suite was for­ward to port, with an athwartship dou­ble bunk, desk, couch, and en suite head and shower. A guest cabin and head were lo­cated aft. Three cab­ins and heads filled the star­board

Ahull, with an athwartship bunk in the aft cabin and fore-and-aft dou­bles in the other two. A four-cabin lay­out is also of­fered.

Var­i­ous saloon lay­outs are pos­si­ble as well. The boat we sailed fea­tured a four-leaf din­ing ta­ble to port, sur­rounded by an L-shaped set­tee and up­hol­stered benches; a nav sta­tion sat for­ward to port. A large cen­ter is­land al­lowed for lots of counter space for the cook, and the gal­ley faced the cock­pit, an ar­range­ment that would make it easy to pass food out to a hun­gry crew.

The cock­pit it­self had two ta­bles, both fiber­glass, and lots of op­tions for kick­ing back to en­joy the ride. A fiber­glass cabi­net spanned the stern and pro­vided a place to mount a bar­be­cue, or stor­age for a com­pres­sor and dive tanks.

A rigid bi­mini cov­ered the raised helm sta­tions on the 530, al­low­ing the skip­per to sit in the shade while sail­ing on hot, sunny days. Due to the height of the main bulk­head and cabin top, the helm seat to star­board and a sec­ond bench and winch to port were el­e­vated, and I found it a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to climb up to them. Once seated, though, vis­i­bil­ity was good. A fly­bridge ver­sion, called the Panoramic, is also an op­tion.

Be­sides the well-equipped gal­ley, stan­dard gear in­cludes am­ple tank­age for long-range voy­ag­ing, so­lar pan­els, genset, wa­ter­maker, air con­di­tion­ing, mi­crowave oven, washer and dryer, cock­pit fridge and ice­maker, and even a dinghy — a lot of kit, in other words, is cov­ered in the $970,000 East Coast sail­away price.

Top­side, stays for the sin­gle-spreader rig are an­chored on the out­side of ei­ther hull, leav­ing the wide side decks clear for mov­ing about. Judge Ca­role Hasse noted that the non­skid un­der­foot was quite good and the seat­ing along the cabin sides ap­pre­ci­ated, and she ap­plauded the solid stain­less dou­ble life­line rails that ran up ei­ther side of the boat.

The cat we sailed had an op­tional Leisure Furl boom. Un­for­tu­nately, on the af­ter­noon of our sea tri­als, the wind took a hol­i­day, so we didn’t get much use out of the Ull­man Sails main or over­lap­ping stan­dard genoa. Too bad, the Ma­jes­tic 530 seemed like a boat that might en­joy a good breeze.

Mark Pills­bury is CW’S ed­i­tor.

For more photos and model spec­i­fi­ca­tions, go to cruis­ing­­jes­tic530.

The Ma­jes­tic 530’s bi­mini top does dou­ble duty as a plat­form on which slide-out so­lar pan­els are mounted.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.