Excited new owners of a Catana 42 share their story

Posted: 18 October 2013.

Buying our boat will be a life changing experience. Similar to having a baby, now we must wait. Our new girl will be ours in June 2014. If you know nothing of the boat we have purchased let me paint the picture …

Vital Statistics

  • Name: “Miss Catana”
  • Brand: Catana Catamaran
  • Architect: Christophe Clever Barreau
  • Nationality: French but adopted by Australian parents
  • Birth Year: 2014
  • Length: 12.58 m / 41.27
  • Waist: 6.90 m / 22.64 ft
  • Fresh water capacity; 670 l / 177 us gal
  • Fuel capacity:430 l / 113.6 us gal
  • Engines: 2 @ 30 hp
  • Structural warranty: 5 years

Catana’s Promise: To be world leaders in innovation, performance, construction and safety. (Mum note that last word)

A Little About the Boat

Catana Cats are favoured by long distance cruisers and mutihull sailors the world over. The Catana yard do not mass produce and they personalise their yachts to price rather than standard. In saying that, the Captain and I have kept our Miss fairly standard with some options added but nothing like the possibilities available to the unlimited wallet.

Options we have chosen include bowspit, dual engine controls, upgrade on electronics to Garmin, the freezer (yep not standard), the cushion pack, and fly screens.

My Must Have’s: Washing Machine and Water Maker. These are yet to make it aboard, but Captain assures me one day…

Outside the Miss

The back of the boat, correction Stern is a space to live, entertain and share in. The table and couches have been designed for long term comfort and ease in and out. The hard top Bimini is great for sun cover and protection, plus the shade covers that drop down seem a good idea. Unlike some other designs the “ropes, sheets or control lines” can be all be accessed from within the cockpit, my Captain tells me this is good for safety. (I obviously am yet to get a grip on the nautical names used).

There seems to be an abundance of room and this is allowed because the twin helm stations are at the rear of the boat.

This helms position is seen as both a weakness and strength depending on to whom you are talking. However all boats have compromise and design is around different aims. The Captain tells me as a sailor the Catana design is spot on and when the weather is bad, and the auto pilot is not an option, you choose the side that is given protection from the boat itself. Before we purchased I read a great deal of forums and from what I can gather those who own Catana’s are for the main very happy with the helm position. It is those who have alternatives who wouldn’t swap, and this is exactly as it should be.

Positives of the twin helms include great control from being able to work from both sides, plus the best viewing platform for sailing or looking very cool such as this chap on the promotional video – click here.

What the boat is made from is impressive or so Captain enthusiastically tells me. (I am quoting this bit) Construction methods include, ” Composite Resin, Infusion Molding, Foam Sandwich and Hi-Tech fiber content which results in structural strength, while reducing weight by an average of 15% to 20%.”

Reduced weight is a language I do understand, less in a Cat is definitely more.

Dagger Boards – once again I am relying on the knowledge of others but I do know that dagger boards are a feature of the Catana Catamarans. Right from the onset the Captain was excited about dagger boards because they allow the boat to point into the wind, allow you to go much faster as a result and you can enter shallow waters with greater ease. My Captain tells me dagger boards improve stability and in crosswinds you can raise the boards to help remove the risk of a “trip” or “tripping”. (not sure what a trip risk is besides the trip risk of drinking too much red).

The feature that did impress me on our test sail was that in a big swell and going fast. our boat was like a hot knife in butter – we cut through and the Catana owned it! Handy Patrick suggested that other boats would be experiencing slap at this point. The technical marvel behind the hot knife effect is the high clearance and the Beam/Length ration apparently.

On the outside the Miss I must mention that there is storage everywhere, front and back of the boat.

My final “outside the Miss” feature to impress, and the one I tell all my mum about is that these cats are designed to take “shock and awe”, advertised as unsinkable (I know so was the Titanic) its a point that gives me great comfort.

In the unlikely event of a major crash you can apparently still sail to safety because the front & back “fore and aft crashboxes” stop the water from entering the living areas of the boat. We will aim to avoid testing these safety features as much as humanly possible.

Inside the Miss

The inside of the Catana Miss does not fail to impress. Everything is made to a high standard and the finish is fabulous. The upstairs kitchen / galley has lots of storage and my favourite features are the big standard stainless steel fridge and not standard freezer. As cooking is in the Captains domain I must confess I didn’t give the stove a second glance, but I did note its presence. The lounge was comfy and the table could be one of three layouts. There seemed to be plenty of storage spaces throughout the entire boat, which is obviously a major requirement of the live aboard cruiser.

The living area is very sound insulated and being able to close off the hulls to all was appealing when you need to get away or get some sleep. The master bedroom on the left / port side was a compromise on other boats in a similar price range. Climbing into bed is always a pleasure for me so I see this as a minor in the scheme of things. I know your not meant to, but while on the boat on our own I did test out the climb on the bed and to see if comfortable.

Bed Test gets a huge tick of approval. Sleep Test – yet to happen…

I loved the bathroom, no I will not call it a head, and the modern materials and minimalist style I found appealing to the wannabe designer in me.

I am still yet to decide where my computer, printer, scanner and all my “geek kit” will stay, but there is a small office desk and space in front of the master bed. I’m not sure if this is a place I would like to work, but in reality I have no idea what life on a boat will be like and how I will live aboard, this is a revelation that awaits.

Beauty in Design

The Catana 42 design is beautiful. To look at her from afar, close up or on board everything is kind to the senses.

I have always wanted to love my boat for all reasons, including her beautiful lines. Does this make me sound shallow…I didn’t think so either.

Colour You Can Live With

I love white boats on the water. I have never been a fan of yellow, red or green hulls except perhaps if search and rescue are looking for you. This is isn’t to say that these boats aren’t beautiful, just for me I love a white neutral base from which you can change the accent when it suits you. However on a boat as I am discovering the accent is introduced and remains long after colour choices move in and out of favour.

Currently I am considering colour for the Miss. Like a name, colour choice is a big decision and one that will live with us for a very long time. I am favouring a charcoal grey for the cushions inside, the shade sheets outside in seagull grey, the seating in seagull grey with red trim (I think jockey red) which will be used on the sail bag and trim on the sails. I will be talking with hand Patrick soon to discuss.

Sunbrella are the suppliers -Your welcome to tell me your colour scheme of favour. www.misscatana.com

Words to Describe This Cat:

Clever, Outstanding, Powerful, Fast, Light, Strong, High Performance, Unsinkable, Spacious, Generous, Comfortable and the most exciting word of all – Ours.

Video of our first viewing:


The Miss




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