Strictly Sail Miami has turned out into one of the country’s largest multihull shows where sailors from all over the world congregate to see the newest boats. Here’s the annual MQ preview (Published Winter 2016)
Strictly Sail Miami at Miamarina in Bayside Miami will be the venue for a huge collection of multihulls from around the world and will see the introduction of many innovative and interesting designs.
The world’s largest two builders of cruising and charter catamarans, Lagoon and Robertson & Caine (Leopard/ Sunsail/ The Moorings) always bring a full selection of their boats to the Miami show and often will sell dozens of boats during the show.
The new Leopard 40 and Lagoon 400 compete at the smaller end while the Leopard 58 and Lagoon 62 sail together in the big boat fleet. The new Lagoon 42 will be launched at the Dusseldorf show in Germany in January but you will be able to pick up a brochure for it in Miami. The two builders represent more than half of the total worldwide cruising cat market and deliver boats that have proven durable, comfortable and eminently seaworthy since most of the boats they build go into the charter fleets and get there by sailing across oceans. Both Lagoon and R & C deliver a lot of boat for a great value.
The new Gemini Legacy 35 is the most popular cruising cat ever built and continues to sell more boats per year than just about any other model, with perhaps the exception of the most popular Leopards and Lagoons. An ideal smaller cruiser for a couple, the Gemini Legacy 35 will take you just about anywhere your wandering heart desires without breaking the bank. The boats are now being built by Catalina in their Florida plant and are as good in quality as any production cats out there.
Privilege Yachts from France usually has two of their mega cruising and charter cats at the show. For sheer opulence and volume these boats are truly outstanding. The Privilege 615 is huge but the 745 really takes the cake—wedding cake, that is, since it is so tall and has so many layers. These are amazing private yachts that will also be excellent crewed charter boats. Privilege is known for the high quality of craftsmanship that goes into their boats.
Outremer from France builds high performance cruising cats for sailors who want speedy passages and fine sailing characteristics. Equipped with a square topped mainsail, bowsprits and daggerboards, Outremers can give you 200 mile days offshore and will reduce the size of your cruising grounds with fast fun daily runs. Look for the 51, the 5X and the new 45. The boats are built to very high technical standards because they are built to be light and easily driven. Cored panels make up most of the furniture and the boats have been kept simple and uncluttered. For go-fast sailors, Outremer should be on your short list.
So should Balance. Balance Cats are the new line of boats introduced to the market by multihull maven Phil Berman, who has sold more cats to more cruisers than just about anyone. The Balance 451 is a true performance cat that will appeal to sailors who want a boat that makes fast passages and sails like the wind. Check out the Balance 451 and the new Balance 526 that Berman is building in South Africa that are going to be show stopping. These boats are light, designed for fast cruising and built to a very high level of detail.
The Antares 44i, which is built in Argentina, is one cruising boat that every dyed in the wool cruiser should look at. Small enough for a couple to handle easily yet roomy enough for living aboard full time, the Antares offers a uniquely high degree of detail and comes equipped for cruising right out of the box. The 44i is the type of boat you could take around the world and is built to a level of quality that is often compared to Oyster Yachts. Because they are built to order and to a customer’s specs, you can build a 44i that is very specific to you while benefitting from the many, many years of experience that the Antares team brings to your new boat.
Last year Bavaria bought the French cat builder Nautitech and has introduced their new Open 40 cruising cat to a new and very modern design. The 40 has its helms aft on each hull so you really feel the breeze in your face as you are sailing. The boats sail exceptionally well for a design in this size range and will be a pleasure to cruise anywhere. Last fall as a new 40 was being delivered down the Chesapeake Bay to the Annapolis show, the dealer aboard texted MQ to say that the boat had hit 16 knots under working sail. Plus, the 40 has a ton of accommodations for a boat of this size.
South African multihull builders have adopted the Miami Show as their main venue in North America and with support of the South African government and the export council, a half dozen or more boats will be on display.
Among the boats that are most popular from South Africa you will find the St. Francis 50, which is a solid blue water cruising boat built on a semi-custom basis. The 50 has many long and successful voyages to its credit and a number of circumnavigations. The boats are built in St. Francis Bay by a crew of craftsmen who have been working together for many years.
The Knysna 48 is a cruising cat that has long legs for passage making and is built with a lot of care and quality in a small boutique shop. Like the St. Francis cats, the boats built by Knysna (in the town of Knysna) are solid, good sailing cruising cats. The boats are designed for voyaging couples who put a premium on easy of handling, comfort and high average speeds. The quality of the build and the custom attention to each owner’s needs are what the company is all about.
The Royal Cape cat is the sumptuous Majestic 53 that has large hulls and a very fine finish; you and your whole family could live aboard in true style and comfort. The hulls are more voluminous than you will find on most cats and the saloon and cockpit are vast. If you are looking for a cat to cruise the world in ultimate space and comfort, then you should checkout the Royal Cape cat in Miami.
The Maverick 440 is a classic couple’s cruising cat that is built in a small shop and offered with a high degree of customization. The company is seven years old and run by its founder whose passion for sailing and his cats is built into every boat. This is a good size cat for a couple since it is easy to handle and can be kept quite simple and affordable.
Last but certainly not least, the Xquisite 50 is a futuristic and thoroughly modern cruising cat that redefines the way saloons and after decks are conceived on big cats; the boats are available as either sailing or powerboat versions and are positioned at the true luxury end of the cat marketplace. The distinctive cockpit arch sets the boat apart visually and gives it a very modern almost Star Wars look. The finish work of the 50 is elegant and luxurious. This is an exceptional yacht with everything a cruising couple could need for fine living while world cruising.
For the latest information on the boats and companies that will be on display at the 2016 Miami International Boat Show and Strictly Sail Miami, log on to: