Best Boats 2018: Maine Cat 38

Best Multihull Cruising Boat Under 40ft
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

 

Time was that the reason for sailing a multihull was to go fast—end of story. Over the years, however, catamarans, in particular, have also proved themselves to be a great means of providing expansive accommodations and lounging space afloat, to the point where in all too many cases their go-fast ancestry has long since become little more than a distant memory. Enter the Maine Cat 38, a cruising multihull that manages to strike a nearly ideal balance between boathandling and comfort afloat. Central to this ability is the boat’s rock-solid construction, which employs a thermo-formed Core-Cell PH core, around which the rest of the hull and deck layups are infused using 100 percent vinylester resin. The result is reduced weight—a critical factor in multihulls—as well as a tighter, more integral laminate as a whole.

Maine-based designer and builder Dick Vermeulen has also drawn a pair of narrow, slippery hulls, each with a waterline beam of just 3ft 2in, that then flare out to create 6ft of beam above the waterline, thereby creating plenty of volume for accommodations without impacting sailing ability. Topsides, the boat also features an open-bridgedeck cockpit and saloon arrangement that provides plenty of space to either lounge about or run the boat from the single, superbly sheltered helm station forward (from which you can also easily both see and control the rig overhead).

Three bunks, a narrow but workable galley and a small lounging area are distributed between the two hulls, while the boat’s reverse sheer provides a surprising amount of headroom. Best of all, the boat is fast. Vermeulen says he created the Maine Cat 38 expressly for sailors who love to sail, and he’s succeeded admirably, at the same time managing to pen a design that also takes great care of its crew. mecat.com

December 2018

Related

TOTW_PromoSite

SAIL's Tip of the Week

Presented by Vetus-Maxwell. Got a tip? Send it to sailmail@sailmagazine.com Check the waypoint  Most errors with GPS and paper chart navigation are caused by the operator punching in the wrong numbers or plotting the lat/long incorrectly. The surest way to double-check a ...read more

Furlex-Electric

Gear: Seldén’s Furlex Electric

Furl Power Seldén’s Furlex Electric offers an easy path into the world of sweat-free headsail furling. The compact unit can be retrofitted to an existing manual Furlex unit or installed as a replacement for whatever you’ve got now. Its DC-DC converter accepts your boat’s 12V or ...read more

11_DSC8423Tom-Zydler

Cruising: Nova Scotia

There’s a unique cruising ground that combines access to urban locations with easy escapes to wilderness and nature. Its native people may be the friendliest on the east coast of North America. Its coastline runs 250 nautical miles in a straight line, but that should be ...read more

01-LEAD-shutterstock_727849660

Boat Monitoring System

Boat Oversight In a world where you can track your friends’ locations in real time and stream yourself live on the internet, it should come as no surprise that you can also keep a close eye on your boat from the comfort of home. In fact, not only is there a plethora of options ...read more

pilot_saloon_42-_en_navigation_11

Boat Review: Wauquiez Pilot Saloon 42

Old salts grouse about modern aesthetics. It’s just what they do, and the hard lines and spartan interiors of today’s production boats give them many reasons to complain. French builder Wauquiez, however, seems to consistently be able to marry contemporary elements with ...read more

JuneWaterlines

Sights and Stories Cruising the Caribbean

Though I hate to think of myself as a “disaster tourist,” I can’t deny one of the things I was most curious about as I sailed south last fall to visit St. Martin, the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico was how much hurricane damage I would see. I’m sure no one needs reminding that ...read more