Stephen and I set off for Annapolis from Miami the day before the show started on October 3rd, ready and armed with our yacht brochures, iPads and cell phones, hoping for a good reception from sailing enthusiasts at
the show. What we encountered when we arrived at the show the next day, was heart warmingly wonderfull. We were greeted by an "army of warriors", ready to support us.
This "army" comprised of the Dream Yacht team but more importantly, the people we had sold boats to before and who believe in the product, the charter programs we recommended and the cruising lifestyle we so passionately believe in. We have done many boat shows over several years and I can honestly say that this was one of the most fun and the most exciting shows we have had in years. We had a blow out show and as I sit here writing, we are still burried under all the enquiries and contracts from the show a week later. How awesome is that?!
As far as the catamarans on display, there was certainly something for everyone. Both Lagoon Catamarans and Fountaine Pajot had attractive displays with several boats each. Lagoon had their 450 (the most popular model in their range), 560 and 620 but buyers were a little disappointed that the new Lagoon 400 S2 (see the video here) was not available. This is the replacement for the Lagoon 400 and all indications are that this catamaran will be a best seller.
The full FP range was also on display including the Sanya 57 but by far the most popular models seemed to be the Helia 44 and Lipari 41. All these catamarans are attractive for both charter & private use but we found that many people in the market for bigger catamarans for private ownership, loved the Sanya 57. Read a review of Sanya 57 here.
Leopard (Robertson & Caine) was also well represented and unveiled their 39PC. I did not have time to look at this Power Cat but Leopard Catamarans and The Moorings make a strong case that the new 39 Power Catamaran offers the liveaboard comforts and efficiency of much larger cruising boats. Any reviews from our readers are welcomed.
We had a Catana 47 on display that was duly admired by all the speed freaks and admirers of modern high tech building materials (carbon fiber everywhere!) and design. There is no doubt that the Catana 47 & Catana 50 are exciting boats to sail but we had so many people mention the "awkwardness" of the helm positions, exposed to the elements. It is also obviously a higher price point and therefor not for everyone but it sure is an exceptional performance boat and a magnet for every guy who likes good toys!
The Nautitech 441 is a very attractive catamaran and in my opinion has come a long way to appeal to the American market. For starters, the single helmstation as apposed to the two helms out on the side decks, more luxurious finishes inside, and the option for an owners version while still maintaining their performance oriented philosophy. It's a little higher priced than some of the other cats in this size range but a really well finished boat and voted "Boat of the Year" by Cruising World Magazine.
There were a few other models but our time was so limited and we simply did not have time to visit all the manufacturers. We would love to hear your reviews of the catamarans at the show.
Contact us for more information, specifications and brochures for any of the models mentioned here.