There are quite a few candidate power catamarans that could do what we want (see Buying a boat (background) ). This page goes through many of the options we looked at (and discarded).
To remind us all, our requirements are:
- ability to go through canals of France and Europe
- ability to go to different cruising areas, especially Mediterranean, Great Loop (USA), Pacific NW, Asia, Australia-NZ
- power catamaran
It turns out that the hardest part to find is narrowness (<5m) and air height (<3.4m) for French canals, combined with size for ocean crossings. Almost everything else can be found in various combinations.
- This is a candidate as it’s a known brand with a good following showing what the boats can do. In particular, Snodog has a great site for showing the boats. It even went over to Europe as we want to (although not on her own hulls).
- Positives are size: 34′ is good, draft of 2’4″ is excellent, internal layout is ok although galley-up would be better, flybridge is good, speed is excellent and consumption is very good.
- The negatives are width at 16’10” (5.13m), range (max 800nm at 1L/nm @ 8kn), cost (US$190-250k), only two cabins (although both are queens).
The latter isn’t as important, but the range is as the 34′ doesn’t take extra weight nearly as well as larger boat, so getting her up to 2400nm range (Pacific or Atlantic crossing) is probably not possible. Note that a good owner calculates actual maximum range on internal tanks to be 550nm at 6.5kn.
- Positives are the size and carrying capacity, draft of 2’8″, number of boats hence availability, quality of manufacture, lovely main bed, high top speed (25kn), good consumption of 2G @ 7.5kn (1.1 L/nm) / 9G @ 17kn (2L/nm). She is supposed to be light (26,800lb/12,150kg)
- Negatives are the price (US$500k), beam is too much for canals (18′), height above waterline at 14’9″ is too much for most canal bridges, it is still only two cabin
Fountaine Pajot Greenland 34
- Positives are smaller size, known brand with 40+ examples out there, very good efficiency, able to go through canals in width and air height, three cabins, good price for what you get (100,000 euro or so)
- Negatives are ability to go oceans (1000nm @ 6.3kn without extra fuel), size of bunks, most have no internal helm (but can be added)
Fountaine Pajot Highland 35
- Positives are smaller size, known brand with 40+ examples out there, very good efficiency, able to go through some canals in width and air height, three cabins, generally better than the Greenland 34 but more expensive, good liveability if still small
- Negatives are ability to go oceans (1000nm @ 6.3kn without extra fuel), size of bunks, limit on air height for some canals makes this harder to modify, Volvo inboards
Fountaine Pajot Maryland 37
- Positives are smaller size, known brand with many examples out there, very good efficiency, older than the Highland 35 but still usable and good, possibly more expensive vs Greenland than it should be, good liveability if still small
- Negatives are ability to go oceans (1000nm @ 6.3kn without extra fuel), usually only two cabins, is right on the absolute width limit for most French canals (probably even too much and can’t be modified), limit on air height for some canals makes this harder to modify
- very few models around, has CE certification, average range of 1000nm, not sure about seakeeping qualities
- Seems to be a light, low consumption, highend powercat
- Has a very interesting/nice sunken front sitting area
- Built in Thailand from AMDesign house, very few models around
AB32 / AR980
- Built in Thailand in Andaman Boatyard from AMDesign house, very few models around
- Col Clifford’s designs are excellent examples of good design (though not necessarily of good build since they are not production but home/pro-built)
- They come up on the second-hand market every now and then, but there’s no telling when or what condition one is in.
- Like PH8 (54’/16m aluminium ocean going cat)
- Like Domino, exemplified by “Domino” (OMG: 60’/20m, 6.8m wide, 4000nm @ 10kn)