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September 7, 2011

11 Best Cruising Catamarans

Filed under: Lists — Tags: , — Richard Jordan @ 12:00 am

Name this Catamaran.

Three weeks ago I posted a list of reasons why catamarans might be better than monohulls. As a follow up to that post, I did a analysis of what models are available in the 40 to 50 foot range for 5 to 10 year old brokerage catamarans. The biggest limitation, albeit a shrinking one, to the widespread adoption of catamarans has been price. The post year 2000 models I cover below mostly retail in the $300,000 to $500,000 on the brokerage market which is surprisingly competitive to monohulls of the same vintage. Comparing based on equal square footage models instead of overall length, catamarans are many times less expensive than their equivalent monohull counterparts. Here are the results of the official Jordan catamaran survey:

  1. Alliaura Privilege 435 – French cat maker since 1989. A new 445 succeeds this 435 which sells for around $500k. There is a larger 495 sistership.
  2. Catana 431 – Higher end French cat maker. $500k for 431. New model is the 42 along with a larger 471.
  3. Dean 441 – Rarer South African built catamaran. $400k for a 5-year old 441. Also is a 440 Espace model.
  4. Fountaine Pajot Belize 43 – The highest volume catamaran builder. French company. Has Orana 44 and Bahia 46 sistership models. Price of $300k for brokerage Belize 43.
  5. Lagoon 440 – The most common model of catamaran, the 440, has been recently replaced by 450. Retails for $400k. Lagoon models including 420 and 470 sisterships have distinctive vertical windows. Built under Group Beneteau, the French conglomerate. Dominate charter catamaran.
  6. Leopard 4600 – Third highest volume under Robertson & Caine, a South African company. Has distinctive salon window steps. Other models include the 4300, 4500, and 4700. Many line the docks at Harbortown Marina, next to our office. Popular charter catamaran for the Moorings group.
  7. Manta 42 – Only design offered by Manta but pretty prolific. Prices range around $400k. Only USA catamaran maker who made this list with their Sarasota, FL yard.
  8. Nautitech 47 – Retails at $500k and is also available in 40 and 44 models. Another French builder.
  9. Outremer 45 – French builder and one of the less common in this list. Retails at $500k.
  10. PDQ Antares 44 – The only Canadian builder on this list. PDQ builds mostly power cats. This 44 sailing catamaran sells for around $600k on the brokerage market.
  11. Voyage 440 – Another South African builder. Retails for $400k along with 450 sistership.

What most strikes me is the dominance by France with 6 of the 11 makers and South Africa with 3 of the remaining. The only other countries highlighted are USA and Canada. Other catamaran brands that missed the cut include the Admiral 38, Prout Broadblue 42, Gemini 105, and Dolphin 460. One brand which I find particularly handsome, MaineCat, is too low volume to make the cut. Please feel free to suggest any additional brands below or feedback on the ones chosen.

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  • George

    Most of us cannot afford half a million , how about adressing the merits of the Gemi and Maine cats as entry level Boats

"Dear Jordan Yachts - I write with great appreciation for all that Tom Harney has done for us. My wife and I have just purchased our first cruising boat and we plan to sail for a couple of years in the Caribbean with our three small children. Tom has been so much more than a broker and his experience, dedication and commitment to Jen and I have gone way beyond our expectations. In many ways, he is like an “adopted” father who is looking out for me his “adopted” son as we moved into uncharted waters. There have been countless examples of his "above and beyond" execution from our first phone call to ultimately closing on the boat. For example, the official closing of the paperwork could have been the closure of the transaction but to Tom, he was much more interested in seeing that we properly outfitted the boat and provided many recommendations from his 30+ years in the marine industry of who to use and what equipment is needed. In addition, he personally got involved in managing the outfit of the boat well beyond the official closing. Words can't express our appreciation and I would welcome any inquires from potential clients as to the positive experience with Tom Harney - On behalf of my family, a sincere thank you --- www.loveatfirstsail.com" - Marc Konesco s/v adagio