Maine Cat 38

SAIL - - Best Boats -

Time was that the rea­son for sail­ing a mul­ti­hull was to go fast—end of story. Over the years, how­ever, cata­ma­rans, in par­tic­u­lar, have also proved them­selves to be a great means of pro­vid­ing ex­pan­sive ac­com­mo­da­tions and loung­ing space afloat, to the point where in all too many cases their go-fast an­ces­try has long since be­come lit­tle more than a dis­tant mem­ory. En­ter the Maine Cat 38, a cruis­ing mul­ti­hull that man­ages to strike a nearly ideal bal­ance be­tween boathandling and com­fort afloat. Cen­tral to this abil­ity is the boat’s rock-solid con­struc­tion, which em­ploys a thermo-formed Core-Cell PH core, around which the rest of the hull and deck layups are in­fused us­ing 100 per­cent vinylester resin. The re­sult is re­duced weight—a crit­i­cal fac­tor in mul­ti­hulls—as well as a tighter, more in­te­gral lam­i­nate as a whole.

Maine-based de­signer and builder Dick Ver­meulen has also drawn a pair of nar­row, slip­pery hulls, each with a wa­ter­line beam of just 3ft 2in, that then flare out to cre­ate 6ft of beam above the wa­ter­line, thereby cre­at­ing plenty of vol­ume for ac­com­mo­da­tions with­out im­pact­ing sail­ing abil­ity. Top­sides, the boat also fea­tures an open-bridge-deck cock­pit and sa­loon ar­range­ment that pro­vides plenty of space to ei­ther lounge about or run the boat from the sin­gle, su­perbly shel­tered helm sta­tion for­ward (from which you can also eas­ily both see and con­trol the rig over­head).

Three bunks, a nar­row but work­able gal­ley and a small loung­ing area are dis­trib­uted be­tween the two hulls, while the boat’s re­verse sheer pro­vides a supris­ing amount of head­room. Best of all, the boat is fast. Ver­meulen says he cre­ated the Maine Cat 38 ex­pressly for sailors who love to sail, and he’s suc­ceeded ad­mirably, at the same time man­ag­ing to pen a de­sign that also takes great care of its crew.

Maine Cat 38

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