Zarafet : Prout 45 Owner´s Review
Many thanks to Michael, Monika, Max and their Great Dane Leon for helping us out on this Owner´s review. They give some great insights into this popular blue-water cruising catamaran. All photos featured here are from their blog.
You can follow their travels on Zarafet at Sailing Zarafet.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your boat. When did you buy Zarafet? What´s her history?
We purchased Zarafet in 2018 from the second owner who had her for nine years and who in turn purchased from the original owners in around 2009 following their circumnavigation
Why did you choose the Prout 45?
Price and style as they’re a lot of boat at a reasonable cost plus they have a very efficient usable sail plan that is comfortable for short handed sailing.
When was she launched?
Are there any areas in particular you would advise buyers to check on a survey?
Water ingress through deck fittings rudder tie rods and rudder bearings.
What’s the best thing about her?
The more wind the more she seems to like it as she is heavy displacement in catamaran terms.
What would you change if anything?
Hard to say as they have a semi custom interior and were fitted to original owner specs so every one is slightly different but we love ours the way she is.
What are the “Must Haves” for the boat? eg electric winch, engine size, folding props, heating, watermaker, inverter, solar, gen set etc….
We have solars so for sure that is needed. Diesel heating which we have used only 2 or 3 times. Engine size: they need the bigger 55hp engines as they are heavy. Our water-maker provides us with independence, so for me it’s a must have. we have folding props which cut down the drag enormously. Also, an inverter to use some of that free solar power.
What are the “Nice to Haves”?
More solar and possibly a powered winch for the control lines.
Which features are not worth bothering with?
We don’t have a Gen Set and get by ok.
How are the electrics, plumbing etc. I see you have solar and a 3000W invertor.. is that sufficient?
I think you can never have too much solar and as long as you don’t take away from the boat’s appearance, load them on.
Is she easy to maintain? Servicing engines, standing rigging etc
Engines are very accessible and maintenance tasks are not so difficult, however there are always tight places to squeeze into and a half hour job can become a day’s work but hey, I think all boats are similar as we push things to remote places to maximise space.
Is she easy to sail short-handed? To shorten sail? Easy to reach the boom?
Yes she is quite easy to manage. We just reef the main early in anticipation, as for us having to go head to wind can be daunting in big seas. If you are conservative on the main, the rest is easy from the cockpit and the staysail is a fantastic option to have, so in my view a well balanced sail plan.
What’s she like in heavy weather / a blow / big seas
She loves it of course providing the sailing angle is not too tight with 55 being the maximum. Even that is squeezing it a tad but from 60 degrees back no worries.
How is the helm position and visibility.
The helm is well inboard so its safe dry and comfortable with a good view all round.
How does she sail in light winds?
We have a 144 sq meter asymmetric spinnaker which helps and she will move in flat water but if there is any swell forget it: stick on the motors.
How does she sail close hauled? When do you use the stay-sail for example?
Close hauled OK, but 55 is a push and 60 is best . When the head sail is reefed by a third you can set the stay sail. As you ease off the wind full head sail and stay sail will work back to 120 off the wind. After that the stay sail blocks the wind from the headsail.
Any problems with bridge deck slamming?
In rough seas or breaking waves she will slam. I don’t think any more than other Cats however it’s not a nice sound and you never get used to it.
How about on a reach, heading down wind?
Down wind she is in her element. she can carry most her sail area up to 25kts after that you need to start reefing the main.
Typically, what’s your average speed on passage?
She can set a comfortable 6 knot average and more off wind in following seas.
What’s she like under power? Speed, manouevrability?
Under power we achieve 6 kts at 1300 rpm in flat seas after that you are adjusting for conditions. Any faster just increases the engine noise and burns more fuel with very little extra headway. 2500 will give you a max of 8kts: that’s a lot of RPM for 2 kts and fuel consumption goes through the roof.
Is she easy to dock, what’s the visibility like?
Visibility is good and the secret to docking a Cat is keep your hands off the wheel and use the engines only. Being low she does not suffer as much windage as modern Cats.
What is she like at anchor?
At anchor she is fine she rides waves and swell well and lies head to the wind nicely.
Is she comfortable down below? Cabins/saloon/galley/heads. I think you have the Family layout, right?
Yes the family layout works well. There are plenty of bracing points in the galley so cooking on passage is not usually a problem. The aft cabins are really comfortable with large berths. The salon with the large center table provides a usable interior at sea.
How is the storage space on the boat?
There are really 2 answers in that 1. is there ever enough storage ?? 2. Being a Cat she is weight sensitive and the space provided is more than enough to overload her.
Where’s your favourite spot on the boat? Foredeck? Aft cockpit.
We have a seat outboard aft which is a great place to sit while she surfs the waves yet you still have a full view of what’s going on.
How is the finish of the interior? Does she creak under sail?
Even after 25 years no creaks and as solid as solid as the proverbial brick sh!t house
Is she good for hosting guests? That bar looks good! 😉
We have had a maximum of 4 adults and 3 children comfortably – any more and you would all need to be best friends and possibly not any more after, but our version is more space less berths. Dinner parties we have catered for 8 comfortably and drinks 12 people but that was a squeeze.
What kind of modifications have you done and why?
We put a hardtop on as it improved the water proof integrity of the cockpit area and provided a platform for solars on the roof while also improving access to the mainsail and boom. It took 2 attempts to get it right but we are happy we did.
Any plans for further modifications?
On an older boat its always the question “does this add or detract value? Is it worth to do so really at this point?” We feel she works well for us and we are comfortable with her current layout.
If you were to swap her for another boat, what would that be? Or maybe you wouldn’t swap her?
Of course we dream of soemthing newer, bigger & faster but when all is said and done we like what we have. We are not afraid to use her and enjoy her: she is comfortable and safe. We can say 100%, we are happy with our boat.
How is the Prout Owner´s community?
The community is active and helpful with even former factory workers providing help and assistance. It is a great source of information and with so many refits and rebuilds, most problems have been met and overcome.
Anything else you would add to help people thinking of buying a Prout 45?
In my opinion they are a lot of boat for their current market price. Yes some are better than others so choose wisely. Every boat is a compromise, but a Prout 45 can tick a lot of boxes.