We will slowly add more and more here about our new boat!
Here are many photos.
Ligure 50, MY Blu Emu
She is a 15m (50′) power catamaran built in aluminium. Constructed in 1998 by Prometa in France, she is trans-ocean capable with 2000nm+ range. The “MY” stands for motor yacht (standard in Europe), otherwise known as MV or M/V in the USA meaning motor vessel – the same thing. Built to be the first of a new family of boats, called the Ligure 50, she was the demonstration boat for the new line. Unfortunately, as a number of other manufacturers found too, the market was not as mature for power catamarans in France. This was made worse by the laws whereby a boating licence was required for a power boat but not for sailing boats with secondary motors. She was therefore the only one built.
There are 4 double cabins, 2 single berths at the bows, and 4 heads (bathrooms!). The two aspects that make her unique from other power catamarans are the combination of aluminium build using the Strongall® method, and a narrow-for-her-length 4.8m wide footprint meaning she can go through the French canals. She also has central, full-height engine rooms which is very unusual for catamarans but is extremely sensible for weight distribution and makes working on the engines and generator much easier.
We have some facts and figures for the techy and numbers people, and some history of the boat from a magazine of the day that explains why she was – and is – special.
Built in 1998, she has had three owners before us. The first was the yard itself, as she was a demonstration boat for the founder. We are not sure of her first name, and the sea trials for the magazine article did not show a name. The next owner was a Frenchman living in the UK. We believe that she came across the Atlantic ocean under her own steam from France to the Caribbean sometime before January 2003, with the owner intending to keep going around the world.
By January 2003 if not before, she was called Saravi III, UK flagged and based in Oyster Pond,St Martin. She was kept in St Martin for some years, sold to a Frenchman from Guadeloupe, and changed to French flag. Electronics were updated, but she was not heavily used. She was chartered (at US$1,831/day, US$6,538/wk) but only with a captain, or for scientific missions examining whale/cetaceans. As Saravi III, she featured in 2016 as the “millionaire owner’s vessel” and scene of his “murder” on the BBC TV drama Death In Paradise, series 5, episode 1 “The complex murder“.
She was most recently sold to a Belgium gentlemanvideo around October 2016 while in the Caribbean, who renamed her Jnet (pronounced Jeanette). Cyclone Irma hit in late 2017 but no major damage was sustained, possibly because she was out of the water and without a mast did not have high windage – indeed you can see her still sitting pretty in a post-hurricane helicopter video (she is just coming into view at the bottom left at 2:04).
Prometa is a subsidiary of Meta, the French company known for building some amazing boats. It specialises in catamarans using the proprietary Strongall® aluminium construction. Well-known Prometa boats are the Banana 43 (French magazine article in English; Mowgli is a famous name of one boat from the yard).
The Meta boatyard itself is famous for many aluminium boats. Some, but not all, were designed by Michel Joubert and Bernard Nivelt, the designers of the winning America’s Cup boat Stars and Stripes among many, many more (such as the Fountaine Pajot 34, 35 and 37 foot power catamarans, the Beneteau Swift Trawler, etc.).
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