One of my favourite performance catamaran designs is the Gunboat 48. They only ever built six of them, and they still change hands for well into 7 figures, so it has always surprised me that no-one has tried to fill this market gap. Outremer and Marsaudon have a 45 and a 42 respectively – slightly smaller, and they seem to sell well.
Well, no-one up until now that is, as the Italian yard C-Catamarans is launching the C-48 and she looks like she might clean up in this sector of the market. This Italian yard has a history of spotting an opportunity. They successfully launched a 37 footer: another market that has been forgotten by the major manufacturers.
This Italian boat is competing with the likes of the Windelo 50 catamaran in the performance cruising market. It’s a busy market.
The C-Cat 37 was designed by Marc Lombard, one of our favourite architects, and is a neat entry level cat. They plan to launch a range of high performance, top of the range catamarans: a 62 footer, a 56 footer and the C-Cat 48. Exciting stuff and they’ll be going up against the likes of HH, Icecat, Kinetic, Balance, O Yachts and even Gunboat.
This fast cat is the same length as the Bali 4.8 but that is where the similarities finish. This catamaran is all about safe performance.
- The look! This is a fantastic looking boat: Italian styling at its best
- The combination of twin aft helms and the interior helm station means that you get the best of both worlds: maximum sailing feel and protection when the weather turns nasty.
- With an SA / D ratio over 26, this is a fast, light boat along the lines of an Outremer (with more living space thanks to the Open design)
- Pretty good value compared to the competition
- Comar Yachts have plenty of experience in building boats.
- The quality of the interior finish is a cut above the competition.
- With twin 35 HP engines, she seems underpowered when the wind dies. I am guessing there will be an option to upgrade to more power here.
- With only 300 litres of fresh water capacity, you are going to need a water maker
- The fuel tanks are fairly modest too (2x 130 L). But then again, you should be sailing on this boat most of the time if you keep the weight off and your sail locker is full.
- Aft helms. They always go in the pros and the cons, don’ t they? Great for maximum sailing feel when the C-Cat 48 accelerates, but you are exposed back there if it blows up. There is a great option for an inside wheel at the nav station as well. That would be top of my options list after the gennaker, Code 0 and water maker.
The Team Who Love Fast Cats
The C-Cat 48 was designed by the Yacht Design Collective (François Perus and Romain Scolari) who are the team behind the ITA 14.99. It’s a catamaran that has been inspired by the likes of the Gunboat 60 and the Outremer 4X, but also has a healthy serving of Italian styling. This 48 footer has been designed to cross oceans at speed in safety and comfort. She is built in Fiumicino, about an hour from Rome at the C-Catamarans yard.
She draws many design cues from her smaller sister, the C-Cat 37.
The entire cockpit and saloon is designed along the “Open” lines so loved by Marc Lombard, the designer of the smaller boat. You are protected by a large bimini with the aft cockpit and the saloon on the same level, separated by a large sliding door which connects the 2 spaces into one large open living area.
Best of Both Worlds?
The C-Cat 48 is a catamaran for sailors along the lines of a Nautitech or a classic Catana with twin aft helms at the stern and all the running rigging led back so that you can manage the boat without having to leave the aft cockpit. She’s been designed for short handed crews. The only sails that you will need to deal with forward are the light wind sails (gennaker, Code 0 and so on). There is a Harken winch on the mast to help you.
Of course, the main concern for most with sporty aft helms is protection and safety in bad weather. The C-Cat 48 has an option for an additional interior helm station with an interior wheel which gives you the best of both worlds. I can only think of Kinetic who offer a similar solution, and they are in the 7 figure price bracket
The ride is smooth like an Outremer, with a high bridge-deck and low Displacement to Length ratio. This cat should get you out of trouble quickly. They have though about weight distribution carefully. The anchor is set back just forward of the mast for instance, to centralise the weight.
A Powerful Sail Plan
The SA / D ratio sits at over 26 with the mainsail and self tacking jib flying. There is also a genoa and options for a gennaker, code 0 and parasailor /Spinnaker. That should put the C – Cat 48 at the top of the performance cruiser category along with the likes of the Balance 482 (probably the closest competition?) There are also options for a carbon mast and longeron which will help you safely fly more sail area.
Modern and efficient, the C-Cat 48 is equipped with C-Foil daggerboards which should give you a bit of lift at speed.
This catamaran is constructed with a sandwich laminate structure infused with multiaxial fabrics and an epoxy-vinyl matrix.
The bulkheads are made of composite with local carbon reinforcements in higher stress areas. She’s pretty rigid which all helps to improve the performance of this catamaran.
In the interior, there are 2 customizable options available: Antigua: a cleaner, sportier finish if weight reduction is your top priority, and St.Barth for a more luxurious, comfortable finish, albeit with some weight penalty.
The C-Cat 48 is one of the most exciting designs to come out in the performance cruising category. It’s great to see this Italian catamaran out on the water. I’ll be queueing up for a test sail!
How much does a C-Cat 48 Cost? What is the price?
Well, as always, we will cover ourselves by saying that it depends on the options you go for, but a very nice example will set you back around €750k plus taxes.