MULTIHULLS CRUIS­ING

SAIL - - Best Boats 2019 -

BALI 4.1

Pick­ing up where its pre­de­ces­sor, the Bali 4.0, left off, the Bali 4.1 checks many if not all the boxes for a mod­ern cruis­ing cata­ma­ran. Note­wor­thy among these are a spa­cious cock­pit/sa­loon area that es­sen­tially com­bine into one in nice weather or on the hook; a solid “in­te­gral” fore­deck in the in­ter­est of rigid­ity and pro­tec­tion; a for­ward cock­pit big enough to ac­com­mo­date the en­tire crew; and an el­e­vated loung­ing space along­side the raised helm sta­tion to star­board. A prod­uct of France’s renowned Catana Group, the boat also fea­tures the an­gu­lar lines found aboard many of to­day’s cruis­ing boats while a self-tack­ing head­sail pro­motes ease of use. Bali Cata­ma­rans, bali-cata­ma­rans.com

BAVARIA NAU­TITECH 40

OPEN The Bavaria Nau­titech 40 Open of­fers the same wide-open spaces pi­o­neered a cou­ple of years ago by the Nau­titech 46 Open (with the sa­loon and aft cock­pit blend­ing into what is ba­si­cally one large liv­ing space) only in a slightly smaller pack­age. A pair of out­board helm sta­tions set well aft pro­vide a clear view of the rig un­der sail, while the boat’s self­tack­ing head­sail makes com­ing about a snap. Bavaria’s pro­pri­etary VacuTec vac­u­umin­fu­sion tech­nol­ogy en­sures a pair of light­weight hulls—crit­i­cal to per­for­mance in a mul­ti­hull—while the rig’s pow­er­ful, high-as­pect, square-top main will pro­vide plenty of power at ev­ery angle of sail. Bavaria Yachts/Nau­titech, bavari­ay­achts.com

FOUNTAINE PAJOT ASTRƒA 42

Fountaine Pajot has long been known for its spa­cious, com­fort­able cruis­ing cats, and the Astréa 42 very much car­ries on the tra­di­tion with its scads of loung­ing space and an airy sa­loon. Top­side there’s not only room for two at the helm sta­tion, but a comfy re­clin­ing space im­me­di­ately in­board. Aft the op­tional in­te­grated plan­cha grill will be just the thing for en­ter­tain­ing in good weather. Sim­i­larly, the U-shaped gal­ley trans­lates seam­lessly into the cock­pit via a large, slid­ing pocket door. Yet another loung­ing space for­ward com­pletes this lux­u­ri­ous pack­age. Fountaine Pajot Sail­ing Cata­ma­rans, cata­ma­rans-fountaine-pajot.com

LAGOON 40

De­signed by VPLP, the Lagoon 40 fea­tures busi­nesslike plumb bows, an­gu­lar tran­soms, longer rec­tan­gu­lar hull ports for great light be­low and a coachroof that flows into an up­ward-an­gled com­pos­ite Bi­mini, mak­ing for a boat with a pur­pose­ful look. The wrap­around win­dows are still ver­ti­cal, but look more elon­gated than in past de­signs, even as they still give the 40-footer a very rec­og­niz­able “Lagoon” pro­file. Ex­tra at­ten­tion was paid to keep­ing the weight down, with vac­uum-in­fu­sion con­struc­tion and balsa cor­ing in the deck and the hull above the wa­ter­line. The boat’s larger genoa and smaller, high-as­pect main make for eas­ier short­handed sail­ing, while a larger reach­ing sail can be flown off a sprit. Lagoon, cata-lagoon.com

LAGOON 50

The Lagoon 50 is avail­able with or with­out a fly­bridge, and as is the case with a num­ber of the com­pany’s re­cent mod­els, the rig in­cludes a larger fore­tri­an­gle area with a self-tack­ing jib and a smaller, more man­age­ably high-as­pect main in the in­ter­est of mak­ing things eas­ier on the boat’s crews. Not sur­pris­ingly, loung­ing space abounds aboard this big cat. Nonethe­less, dur­ing a test sail on Mi­ami’s Bis­cayne Bay this past win­ter, the boat also showed a good turn of speed, es­pe­cially off the wind with a Code 0 un­furled. A va­ri­ety of in­te­rior lay­outs are avail­able, in­clud­ing an es­pe­cially en­vi­able one in which the en­tire star­board hull is given over to an ex­pan­sive owner’s cabin. Lagoon, cata-lagoon.com

NEEL 51

The cel­e­brated Neel con­cept blends tremen­dous amounts of ac­com­mo­da­tion space with out­stand­ing per­for­mance, thanks to a com­bi­na­tion of the boats’ three nar­row wave-pierc­ing hulls and a pow­er­ful, well-bal­anced rig: an ap­proach that works es­pe­cially well with the ad­di­tional LOA that was avail­able to vet­eran mul­ti­hull naval ar­chi­tects Michel Jou­bert and Bernard Nivelt when it came time to draw the Neel 51. Weight be­ing crit­i­cal to mak­ing the most of a boat like this, the hull, deck and cab­in­top mold­ings con­sist of PVC foam cores sand­wiched be­tween quadrax­ial fiber­glass rov­ings and in­fused with isoph­thalic and vinylester resins. In­te­rior bulk­heads and most fur­ni­ture are also foam sand­wich con­struc­tions. Neel Tri­marans, neel-tri­marans.com

OUTREMER 45

If you’re the kind of sailor who rates a cruis­ing cata­ma­ran by the num­ber of cock­pits and loung­ing ar­eas it has, then you might not be im­pressed by the Outremer 45. How­ever, if you’re the kind of sailor who likes reg­u­larly blast­ing through ocean swells at sus­tained dou­ble-digit speeds, then this just might be the boat for you. In ad­di­tion to well-ap­por­tioned ac­com­mo­da­tions the Outremer 45 fea­tures long, nar­row hulls with plumb ends to max­i­mize their sail­ing length; a pow­er­ful rig with a large, square­top main; su­per-cool out­board tiller helm sta­tions (in ad­di­tion to a stan­dard in­board wheel set to port); dag­ger­boards; and a low, nicely sculpted cab­in­trunk that works to min­i­mize both windage and weight—all with an eye to­ward fast pas­sage times and great sail­ing in gen­eral. Outremer Yacht­ing, cata­ma­ran-outremer.com

SEAWIND 1260

Founded in Aus­tralia and now build­ing its boats in Viet­nam, Seawind Cata­ma­rans has long been known for its tough, fast blue­wa­ter cruis­ing cats, and the newly ar­rived Seawind 1260 more than car­ries on this tra­di­tion. The boat’s twin helm sta­tions serve im­me­di­ate no­tice that this is a true sailor’s boat, as the clear views they af­ford both for­ward and aloft al­low you to make the most of the 1260’s shapely hull form and large rig. The two hulls’ re­verse sheer and win­dows ad­mit plenty of am­bi­ent light, while a pro­pri­etary “Tri-Fold” hinged door­way al­lows you to, in essence, cre­ate a seam­less whole out of the cock­pit and sa­loon. The boat’s mod­u­lar com­pos­ite fur­ni­ture also serves to stiffen the boat’s over­all vinylester-in­fused struc­ture. Wouldn’t it be great to see more of these fine boats here in North Amer­ica! Seawind Cata­ma­rans, sea­wind­cats.com

VI­SION 444

The Vi­sion 444 is a sleek new en­try into the per­for­mance cata­ma­ran mar­ket that should be on the list of any sailor look­ing for boat that isn’t just com­fort­able, but is also a good sailer. All com­po­nents are vac­uum-in­fused with vinylester resin for light weight, dura­bil­ity and blis­ter re­sis­tance. The boat’s low pro­file serves to re­duce windage and also helps cre­ate a seam­less tran­si­tion from the helm sta­tion to star­board to the side decks. Dual helm sta­tions are also avail­able, and the hulls come stan­dard with foam sac­ri­fi­cial bows in the in­ter­est of safety. Clean an­gu­lar lines sug­gest a boat that looks as good as it sails. Vi­sion Yachts, sail­away­cata­ma­rans.com

LEOP­ARD 50

The Leop­ard 50 takes the place of the pop­u­lar Leop­ard 48, and in­cludes the same rock­solid build qual­ity and smart de­sign for which the boat’s South African builder has long been known. The hulls are vac­uum-bagged in E-glass hull with an end-grain balsa core, while ring frames of car­bon fiber add stiff­ness with­out adding an un­due amount of weight. A pioneer of the for­ward cock­pit, Leop­ard has not sur­pris­ingly in­cluded one in this good-sail­ing 50-footer, and it re­mains as fun as ever, whether you’re un­der­way or at an­chor. For those in search of a bet­ter view, there’s also a loung­ing area along­side the boat’s raised helm sta­tion. Leop­ard Cata­ma­rans, leop­ard­cata­ma­rans.com s

Lagoon 50

Fountaine Pajot AstrŽa 42

Lagoon 40

Bavaria Nau­titech 40 Open

Bali 4.1

Leop­ard 50

Seawind 1260

Outremer 45

Vi­sion 444

Neel 51

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