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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 Tom, I want to take this opportunity to thank you, and Jordan Yachts, for listing and selling our latest yacht. Our relationship has spanned over 20 years. We met you for the first time at the Newport Boat Show in the early 1990s. In 1994 you sold us a Stephens 47 cutter that we lived aboard until 1998. You personally installed a holding tank for us on the Stevens. You sold that boat in 1999 for 10k more than we paid for it. In 2003 we found a Bristol 41.1 on Yacht World located in the Sarasota, FL area and brought you in on the boat inspection, and eventual sale, because we trusted you and valued your thoughts and opinions. Because of your work, we negotiated an acceptable deal. You even helped us bring the boat from Sarasota to Ft. Lauderdale. We’ve enjoyed our time with the Bristol for 12 years and decided last December to put her on the market. We were in N Palm Beach at the time and you came up from Ft. Lauderdale to visit and to see what we had done to the boat over the years we had owned her. Last May, after our final cruise to the Bahamas, you came to our marina in SC to list and photograph our boat. The pictures and video you provided to Yacht World were critical in getting the buyers here from the Atlanta, GA area to view, and eventually purchase the boat. The coordination and support provided by Kathy at Jordan Yachts made the whole process seamless. Unfortunately, at age 76, my sailing days in “big” boats are over, but wanted to thank you and Jordan Yachts for providing expert and professional help in finding, and eventually selling for us, quality sailboats over the last 20 years." - PJ, S/V Dreamseeker 2