Best Boats 2018: Maine Cat 38

Best Multihull Cruising Boat Under 40ft
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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

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