If you are shopping around for an out and out high performance cruising catamaran that will get you places fast and win the occasional race, what yachts should be on your shopping list?
Well, there´s Gunboat of course, but you will need deep pockets for a 68, or anything smaller on the second hand market for that matter. A Marsaudon Composites would definitely get the nod based on their track record in races. Hudson Yacht´s HH66 and HH55 are also in this speed category. And if you really know your stuff, you would do well to head over to Cornwall in the South West of the UK to check out a Dazcat 1495.
This boat is the two hulled version of a J-Boat. She´s comfortable inside (you customise the look, but most owners seem to gravitate to a minimalist look) and she´s fast – a genuine offshore racer that will win races. The inverted bows, the boards, the high bridgedeck clearance, and the carbon give the game away. We´re in a totally different market here to boats like the Fountaine Pajot Lucia 40 and other crusing catamarans. The Dazcat is all about lightweight, fast and seaworthy performance. This boat is pitched at a similar market to Outremer, probably closer to Marsaudon Composites in reality.
Photos credit: Dazcat from Multihullcentre.com
- Blistering pace, thanks to the stiff, light construction
- Smooth ride in weather with that central weight distribution (engines are amidships for example).
- Direct helm feel
- The halfway up, halfway down galley really works! Why hasn´t this been done before?
- Custom build – design your perfect racing cruiser.
- It can be noisy down below, especially under power. Mind you, the idea is that you sail this boat most of the time and you could add noise insulation but there is a weight trade off.
- The helm can feel exposed. The first 1495, “Hissy Fit” has no helm seats, but this is an option (with that weight trade off again).
- The price can tick up into seven figures (and we are talking pounds sterling) once you have added all of the options. But remember, this is a carbon racing cruiser. She´s high performance.
The look is powerful and muscular – she´s direct competition to Marsaudon Composites across the channel. Weighing in at only 5.5 tonnes light (!) at 48ft with a powerful sail plan (the SA/D ratio is an eye popping 31 and D/L is a frugal 58 putting this cat in the very light category), you can understand where all of that speed and acceleration comes from.
The designer of these fast cats is Darren Newton – “Daz” to his mates, hence the name of the range : Dazcat. They are based in Millbrook, Cornwall.
These boats were deigned to take the rough weather that you´ll often experience sailing around these parts- she´s a comfortable ride in big waves thanks to dart shaped keels, boards and big rudder. She rides the toughs and crests well, and if you like a surf, you´ll see plenty of it on this boat. In the right condition, the 1495 will power up to 20 knots and the steering is very direct thanks to position of the twin helms which sit just behind the bulkhead next to the side decks. The sheet winches are tucked in close beside both helms with the traveler winches just behind, so it´s easy to spill the wind out of the sails – an important factor for her powerful sail plan. She´s been designed for short-handed sailing.
With those boards, she´s good upwind: sailing close hauled and tacking is fast as well with the self-tacking jib and direct steering mechanism.
The helms are pretty exposed like an Outremer this is a sailor´s cat after all, but the main story with this boat is that the Weight Police have been all over it with a fine toothcomb.
She´s powered by Lombardini engines (the lightest make available) and a lot of work has gone into getting the weight in the centre of the boat to optimise the motion and the performance. So the engines, tanks and systems all sit amidships. This gives you a big advantage on the weight distribution, but it does mean that she is noisy under power. This is a throaty Aston Martin Vanquish rather than a Jaguar.
You might notice a difference in the living spaces compared to other cats. The 1495 is galley down, which opens up the saloon into one big living space. Well actually, it is halfway between galley up and galley down as, remember, the engines sit amidships so the decking has been raised.
When you are cooking , your head pops up into that space anyway, so you are part of the action, but it keeps all of the pots and pans action tucked neatly away. It´s a solution that works well on the boat. There´s less pitching down here as well, and the horizon is always a glance away at eye level, which is not always the case in the saloon with that sculptured coachroof.
This is not a cheap option, by any means, but if we are talking pounds per knot then you get good value for money compared to her main competition. Dazcats are hand-built to a very high standard and their strong, stiff construction delivers on the performance front. This is a boat that has been designed to tame the gales that often blow up in the Rolex Fastnet race.
What is the price of a Dazcat 1495? How much do they cost?
The price starts from £935,000 plus VAT. Add £100- 150,000 for the options and extras
The 1495 is no first time owner´s boat: these yachts are for sailors with plenty of miles under the belt who want a blast. Literally. She´s a blue blooded racing cruiser that has few equals.