A Sailing Adventure...
Last Updated: 2017-02-23
Why did I choose a Knysna 440, when I could have purchased any other model?
I wanted a sailboat more than I wanted a floating holiday home, I wanted a catamaran that was well designed with sleek hulls that would glide through the water with the least amount of energy wasted, in other words I wanted a boat that likes to sail.
I wanted a boat that could motor with its small 29hp diesel motors and 3 blade props comfortably at 8 knots on a flat sea running both motors at 75% power setting, or at 6 knots running one motor, and not have to fit 40hp motors to achieve the same results, less fuel burn (2.5l per motor, per hour), less weight, cheaper running cost as fuel is not readably available in East Africa, Madagascar and most of the Indian Ocean islands and Atolls, our first adventure site with our new baby.
I wanted a well build strong, yet light boat with a good track record, i.e. there are 64 Knysna 440 out on the ocean and most of them are blue water sailors, I wanted a boat that we could customise to our needs so that we could sustain a satisfying life onboard whilst cruising our amazing planet.
There was only one boat that fitted the profile a Knysna 440 designed by Angelo Lavranos and build by master boat builder Kevin Fouche and his competent team
The only negative with the Knysna 440 is the low bridge deck clearance of 300mm, or is it that such a negative, lets debate it?
In my opinion the bridge deck clearance subject seems to be the new buzz word around and is being used by boat builders to sell their boats, hey let’s face it what other marketing tool can be used to say buy my boat because it is better than the opposition, there is really nothing else that separates one catamaran from the other these days all have big saloons all give the option of galley up or down, all have queen size beds, the balsa wood versus foam core has been covered, the centre board issue has been covered etc.
Let’s look at some of the facts realistically, firstly catamarans are by nature noisy sailing vessels especially in confused seas. If you are not prepared to put up with a noisy vessel then I suggest you buy a Monohull.
The other fact is that all cats have bridge deck slap, and yes that is a fact, and yes some more than others, an interesting fact is the difference between the Knysna 440 bridge deck clearance and the cat with the highest bridge deck clearance is a mere 600mm so, when sailing or motor sailing the only time bridge deck clearance comes into play is in an unsettled sea, or when beating/reaching (sailing into waves or swells). In sea terms, a difference of 600mm in wave and swell height is really insignificant, so will 600mm really make such a significant difference as to that being the deciding factor on which catamaran to purchase?
Then again, like anything, there are always pros and cons. Higher bridge deck clearances have their own problems too, an example that comes to mind is lots more windage on the port or starboard beam due to the much bigger surface area which equals lots of fun when trying to dock in moderate winds whilst trying to avoid being pinned by the wind to someone else’s docked vessel!
Fun when anchored in tidal stream areas like the Knysna lagoon, Langebaan or along the Mozambique coast line where with moderate winds when one has wind versus stream situations and your boat is confused as to which way it should lie and swings 360 degrees every few minutes because the current turns your boat in one direction, then the wind hook’s onto your large protruding beam and overrides the current and swings you broad side or to the other direction most times unseating your anchor and usually this happens at midnight, the other thing that comes to mind with higher bridge deck clearance is more fibre glass and foam core is needed plus paint/gel coat which equals a much heavier boat.
An interesting debate, you decide?
Link to our boatbuilders website www.knysnayachtco.com
Catatude is a Knysna 440 built and launched late in December 2008, hull number 63 and registered in January 2009. She has a length of 44 feet (13.45 meters), has a beam of 23.7 feet (7.20 meters). Her displacement weight is 7,500Kg empty and her construction is GRP vacuum bagged foam sandwich.
Her sail power consists of a 75 square metre main sail, a 50 square metre Genoa plus a very large 3rd headsail called a schreecher on a roller furler, this huge piece of cloth is used in light airs or when sailing downwind as a spinnaker, she also has a tiny storm jib on its own inner forestay.
She also has 2x 29 hp Volvo diesel motors for propulsion and a water capacity of 400 litres and a fuel capacity of 400 litres.
She has 4 cabins, with queen beds and 3 heads (bathrooms), comfortably sleeping 8.
The extra’s we have fitted on Catatude for our comfort and for Blue water cruising are :
Spectra 47 Catalina water maker
3 x Electric Toilets
Oceanair blind hatches
Siemens Cooker tops, Gas & power and Microwave
Fisher Panda Genset
DVD players in all 4 rooms
Sailor 150 broadband internet dome and satellite phone system
Intellian i4 satellite TV system
Forward looking sonar
48mile 4kw Furuno Radar
Furuno 3D Navnet system
3 x solar panels
Upgraded from Std 2 blade props to 3 blade props
Extra 2 x house batteries giving us a total of 8x house batteries and 1x dedicated engine battery
Rocna anchor on 100 meters of anchor chain
MaxSea Time Zero navigational software for our Apple Mac Pro
Catatude had to be a home as well as a sailing boat. We chose the four cabin layout to accomodate visitors whilst we were cruising.
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