I had the good fortune of spending 10 days in the Caribbean on a 47-foot Catana cat and I grew to really respect that boat. We had six of these boats on our recent flotilla down around the Grenadines where the water is big and the wind is even bigger – we’re not in the BVIs anymore. Wind average 20-25 knots and on some days more like 250-30 knots. I put one reef in the main and never worried about the boat again. It was truly a pleasure to sail. Now, there’ a new, slimmed-down version of this design with a slightly tweaked interior that includes a dedicated, forward-facing nav station.
The newly launched Catana 47 appeared on US shores at the Miami boat show this year where I toured the boat that is now a lighter, faster and fully updated version of her predecessor, the Catana 471. The new model is 1500 pounds lighter due mostly to the use of Twaron in the infused sandwich construction. Twaron is an engineered fiber that is stronger than steel but half the weight of fiberglass and has been used in other high-end yachts like Hylas. The Catana’s slimmed down weight means she can sail faster and with her 64’ mast and two deep daggerboards, the she’ll sail well upwind but with the boards up, can also glide along nicely downwind.
A trait all Catana’s share including the 47 is twin helms – one on each hull (with one set of engine controls on starboard.) This doubling-up of systems is good for redundancy in case of failure but it does leave the helmsman exposed when hand-steering. Catana owners I’ve spoken to don’t seem to worry much about that because they insist they use their autopilots most of the time so they do not spend a lot of time out in the elements. That’s an argument for a really good autopilot and a full sized crew because it takes two men and a boy to dock this big dog. The visibility is so bad, it soon became a topic of discussion among our skippers.
With the helms outside, the covered cockpit is dedicated to entertainment and storage. It’s an ideal place for six or more guests to congregate and the sliding door seamlessly connects the interior with the exterior. There are two line boxes on the rear beam, one storage locker under the seat and two large lockers under the cockpit sole so there’s plenty of room for gear and toys.
The interior of the Catana 47 is by Linea Concepts and takes the accommodations a step above the basic utilitarian surfaces of production catamarans – as it should since Catana builds semi-production boats focused on luxury. The salon of the boat in Miami was bright due to the panoramic views from the large windows, liberal use of light wood and the white upholstery on the circular settee.
The standard layout of the 47 includes an L-shaped galley on port with a three-burner stove, twin sinks, and a sliding window to the cockpit that is handy to pass food outside or to remain part of the conversation even when cooking. A front-opening fridge is to starboard next to the entryway. I was glad to see a full nav station, a feature that is fast disappearing in production cats these days. The Catana 47 still offers a dedicated interior place for electronics (choice of Simrad or Garmin), charts, and a workspace even if much of the navigation these days is digital.
In the three cabin version, the owner’s stateroom is on starboard and five steps down behind a roller door. For long range cruisers, a smart idea here is the separate desk which keeps the clutter off the dedicated nav station but still provides an area to attend to ship’s business. It’s a small but useful space that is often overlooked on other designs. Forward is a good-size bath with an electric head and a separate stall shower behind a glass door. Aft, is an ample bed with a foam mattress and there’s plenty of storage throughout for everything from linens to clothes.
Twin guest cabins are in the port hull. The forward cabin has a full-sized berth and the aft cabin has twins separated by a narrow table. Each cabin has a head and shower combination and it seemed to me that for a cruising couple without a full boat of guests, one of these heads would make a great wet locker.
I noticed the overall effect of the interior was more upscale than most cats, featuring a nice finish, plenty of LED lighting, lots of wood to break up the white surfaces, and a compact and efficient layout.
Systems & Performance
When you build a lighter boat, you can put more stuff on it without detracting from performance. The Catana 47 carries almost 180 gallons of water and 160 gallons of fuel both of which will get a cruising couple a long way. The boat is powered by twin 40 HP Volvo diesels with Saildrives in engine rooms that can accommodate an optional genset and/or watermaker.
The Catana 47 has a base price around $750,000 depending on the exchange rate with the Euro and that’s FOB the factory in France. Electronics, commissioning and delivery will take it up from there.
According to the builder, on her initial sea trials, the Catana 47 was clocked at nearly 25 knots. She is expected to reach 20 knots regularly so this is a fast boat that will have the ability to reel off the knots on long passages. And in the end, getting there might be half the fun, but it seems being there is always more than half the fun. Odd math, I know.
Specs for Catana 47
Designer Christophe Barreau
LWL 45’ 6”
Beam 25’ 1”
Draft (shoal/deep) 3’ 7” - 8” 3”
Sail Area (100%) 1,446 sq. ft.
Ballast 22,000 lbs.
Displacement 50,200 lbs.
Water 177 gallons
Fuel 158 gallons
Mast Height 70’ 6”
Engines 2 x 40 HP with Saildrive