Catamaran 'Tigre' is a Catana S, build by Chantier Catana at Canet en Rousillion, France in 1988, hull no. 4. Designed by Australian Lock Crowther for fast and comfortable long distance affordable sailing. All in vinylester and herex foam core inclusive of bonded bulkheads. The boat has been set up for single handed sailing, runs exclusively on solar power and has all equipment for long distance trips. With 430W of solar the boat is fully autonomous and does not need any other machanical charging. Usually the battery is full at midday after 24hrs of sailing and there is sufficient capacity to run a watermaker.
There are large areas available for short and long term food storage.
The boat has been totally stripped down and rebuilt between 2013 and 2015 with all systems replaced.
Below water line peeled and relaminated, topsides dried and regelled, copper coat applied.
2 impact legs were added and 2 new rudders with stocks, to allow the boat to be beached.
The rig was stripped down, painted and refitted.
Two Volvo 2030 3 cylinder engines (from 2008) were fitted onto the new 130B Z drives.
Full rewire with all systems replaced.
Since then Tigre has crossed the Atlantic single handed and been a live aboard whilst cruising The Scilly isles, The Azores, Spain, Portugal, Canaries, Full Mediterranean circuit and is now based in the Canaries.
The boat is a great live aboard for up to 4 people and occasional guests to go anywhere with speed and comfort.
VAT was paid in the UK.
The boat is in a very good state, very reliable, good in light airs as well as rock steady when it blows and ready to go anywhere.
Tigre is for sale for £120,000.
Weight; light 6T, fully loaded 7.5T
Width; 6 M
Depth; 0.9 M
Quick 1000W anchor winch
2 Lewmar winches
Sparcraft double spreader mast
New trampoline 2016
Fibre rigging with Galigo terminals, new 2019.
Ribeye 4.2 M aluminium rib with 9.9 Mercury outboard
Rocna anchor under trampoline with 30M 8mm chain and 50m multiplat, Aluminium Danforth anchor with 60m 3-strand. Galvanised Danforth keg.
Fully battened main in Hydranet new 2018
Twin Profurl furling genoa and staysail
Code 0 with furler on bow sprit new 2018
Asymmetric spinnaker in snuffer
1 ounce ‘halfwinder’or heavy weather kite
Garmin GPS 4208 plotter with half the world in charts
Raymarine wind, depth, speed. 2 x Raymarine 6001 autopilots
Nasa battery monitor
Super B 100A Lithium battery with sterling alt to battery charger, 440 W solar panels with regulator all new 2020.
Victron 40A shore power charger 110 and 240V, 30A Hydro generator with regulator, Icom VHF, Stereo with cockpit speakers
Panasonic toughbook laptop with GPS and open CPN charts as back-up
Garmin 7211 portable GPS
Standard horizon handheld VHF
Nasa AIS receiver with alarm
Fused switch panel, all lighting LED, All wiring renewed in 2014
Shore power lead
New stainless rudder stocks and rudders
2 x Volvo 2030 new 2008 with new 3 bladed kiwi props 2019, around 1500 Hrs
2 x Volvo Z drives 130-B new 20008
2 x 80A alternators with regulators
2 x 22L calorifiers with 240V elements
New Lexan windows
Many spares for all systems in workshop on board
Large Frigoboat fridge/freezer 2014 top loading
Two burner ENO gas stove with ENO oven
2 x 10kg glassfibre LPG gas tank, 2 x aluminium gas tank 5kg in vented locker
New foam matresses and covers
Propex gas/electric space heating with 3 outlets
2 Life jackets with lanyards
SS Life lines
1 ACR EPIRB
2 McMurdo Crewfind
The present story of Tigre in actual use and in technical terms
Structure and shape
We have owned this Lock Crowther design for 10 years. I think the boat is clever, in the sense that a very good compromise has been struck between speed, comfort and safety. If you want a catamaran which is very dry, comfortable, fast and safe then this Catana 39 S does not disappoint.
The whole structure is made from 30MM Herex foam and triaxial glassfibre and kevlar bonded with vinylester resin inclusive of all bonded bulkheads. This creates a stiff and light structure. The underwater areas were treated against Osmoses in 2011 and the whole area was re-glassed in epoxy and another 4 layers of epoxy primer applied prior to the copper coat. Impact legs were added in front of the Z drives and 2 new rudders with stocks and bearings fitted. The boat can be beached for careening or maintenance and can be pulled easily up a slipway not requiring craneage.
The hulls are relatively narrow which greatly increases speed and directional stability. The boat feels on rails when barreling down waves and is therefore undemanding on the auto pilot, saving power. The hulls are asymetric, being flatter on the outside and more rounded on the inside. This shape, (akin to the Dart catamarans) decreases leeway whilst ensuring sufficient displacement for weight bearing.
The dagger boards decrease leeway again whilst going upwind and decrease wetted surface area whist going downwind, when pulled up. In addition adjustable lateral resistance is a great safety feature in heavy weather as it allows side slipping in large braking waves. The boat heaves too very well in heavy weather under 4 reefs and main only, peace returns!
The bulbous bows greatly increase displacement as they are pressed into waves by the rig loads also keeping the decks dry most of the time.
The cantered bows ensure that the boat never careers off track during fast wave descents, making it rock solid in heavy weather. The bow canter straightens up with the slight boat heel going upwind, ensuring that the bows do not fall away under lateral pressure. The boat therefore sails well upwind.
The internal layout is galley, nav area and seating up ,and sleeping with heads down in the hulls.
The seating is ample for 6 people with large long term storage under the seating. The seating is long enough to sleep on during night watches and the boat can be observed through the large windows in the central section during colder weather from inside. The galley benefits from the table as it provides an additional large worktop, and converts to dining table when required. The table can be turned during passages to form part of the galley and an infill can be added to the seating to form a large ‘divan’, very comfortable when underway for sleeping, reading, watching films etc.
The large (850 x 400 x 400) well insulated fridge can be split into fridge and freezer if required with separate controls. The freezer has never been used to date as we do not feel the need. Vacuum packed goods last for weeks in the fridge and no passages are longer then 3 weeks, in our experience.
Each hull has two double cabins and one large toilet with shower. One double can be extended width-wise to provide some extra bed space.
Up forward there is a water tight crash box which is empty. Aft from the heads there is an ample engine compartment allowing easy access for maintenance. Two doors to the central cabin prevent engine noise.
A workshop space is fitted to the starboard hull where all spare parts and handy bits live.
The two forward cabins can be accessed through the deck hatch and appropriate steps are fitted for direct access. The adjoining door can be closed for added privacy when underway or in port.
We have successfully lived on this boat for extensive periods of time and have found it very comfortable at anchor as well as whilst sailing. The boat is regularly sailed single handed for longer passages.
The large level cockpit allows for external dining and controlling the boat as all lines are fed back. A good view and protection from the wind reduces fatigue and increases safety through all round life wires with stanchions. The jack lines start on the side deck and reach the seagull striker for full ‘tied on’ access.
The large bimini protects from the sun and overheating of the area when hot or from the rain. There was a plan to fit a rigid cover over the very sturdy aluminium frame which could also facilitate rain water collection but there has been no burning need to date.
Oilskins are only worn in 30K wind or above as the cockpit is completely dry and wind free. All electronics and systems are kept inside for protection but can be viewed from outside easily.
The cockpit has extensive storage under the floor and in an integral box/seat which hides all the tools, wet suits, diving gear, spare water containers, safety gear and so on.
Rig and Sails
The fractional rig is a Sparcraft section with a set of double triangulated spreaders which forms a very stiff section up to the hounds. It can be set up as a cutter and I have fitted a Profurl staysail set up just inside the genoa. In the end I have removed it as I personally did not use it enough to warrant the slight reduction in head stay tension, it can easily be refitted.
New dyneema standing rigging was fitted by Allspars in 2019 as the stainless wire rigging was disappointing as it started to show signs of fatigue after only 5 years.
I usually reef at around 18K of apparent, which takes the head of the sail to the hounds. The main has 4 reefs to 15% of sail area as that is the best way to heave too on this boat, no headsail required. The Hydranet main has a flat top and is very powerful and therefore needs the extra reefs in stronger winds to slow the boat down. All the battens have Fredericson cars that fit the groove in the mast. It is possible to reef whilst going downwind by tightening the reefing lines at the leach to get the battens off the main shrouds to allow the sail to drop.
There is a code 0 on an endless furler which is a very useful and safe sail up to 12 Knots upwind and 18K down wind, ensuring good speeds. An asymetric spinnaker can be used up to around 18 Knots and is a very flexible sail, made especially controllable by the snuffer and the fore guys fitted with musle boxes to each fore peak. This will allow the spinnaker to be strapped down when used down wind making it very safe. We tend to use it a lot day and night in steady conditions, often without or deeply reefed main.
The old Volvo 2018 two cylinder engines were replaced in 2012, with two Volvo 2030 from 2008. The beds were adjusted, all fuel and cooling pipes renewed. Two new nylon fuel tanks of 100L were fitted. The 3 cylinder engines are much smoother, quieter and lighter then the previous ones.
Two new Volvo 130B Z drive legs were fitted in 2010. Two new Kiwi props were fitted in 2017.
The boat is easily driven by one engine and motor sails very well when under 5 Knots of wind, depending on the wind angle. The second engine is only used when manouvering. The Kiwi props work very well and give good adjustable thrust forward and brisk stopping power back. These props have greatly increased low rev power and reduced fuel consumption to anything from 1 to 2 L per hour depending on rev’s. The whole system is very reliable and stable. We tend to roughly use only 200L of fuel per 6 months, depending on where we are. During passage times less, and during time in the Mediterranean slightly more. As soon as the wind is over 4 to 5 K of wind the engines are not used as the boat tends to be faster under sail, depending on the point of sail. There are many maintenance parts on the boat such as filters, glow plugs, leg seals, starter motor, alternator etc.
The boat lives on its 20KG Rocna anchor wherever we go and it has proved to work well in all conditions. Rocky ground gives good holding but sometimes problems with retrieval due to the chain wrapping itself around rocks and such. Sometimes there is not the choice such as in some volcanic Islands.
The Anchor lives under the bridge deck to keep the weight back and not to have an anchor at the main forward cross beam, the weight would increase pitching and might foul spinnakers and so on. The 30M of 8 MM chain might seem short and small gauge but in practice it is plenty strong and with the bridal the length becomes 36M and I personally only anchor in less then 8M depth providing more then 4 : 1. This chain could be lengthened if need be. The whole rode is 70M inclusive of the rope.
The Fortress FX 23 is a great aluminium light weight anchor, easily launched from the dinghy, which we often use of the bow as secondary anchor and it provides great holding. We have sat out 50 to 60 Knots of wind several times like that. This anchor has a 50M 23MM 3-strand rode with 5M of 10MM chain.
There is also a galvanised fortress keg anchor with 50M of 3 strand, which I have yet to use.
The Quick anchor winch is positioned on deck for easy access but also to ensure clean chain runs and sufficient height for the chain not to get fouled up in its retrieval crate. There is no need to flatten the chain heap as it all seems to sort itself out due to the deep anchor locker. A secondary anchor switch is fitted in the cockpit for single handed retrieval.
Tender and outboard
The tender is a very good 4.2M aluminium rib-eye with 450MM tubes providing a solid fast and very stable access to shore. It planes easily with two people and therefore allows for more remote anchorages. The outboard is a 9.9 mercury 4-stroke which provides ample quiet power, with a good range through the remote 12L fuel tank.
Two large wheels can be fitted to the transom so that 1 person can pull the dinghy up the beach with the engine down. 2 people can hand carry the dinghy up the beech without the engine on. We tend to row a lot and not use the outboard much in practice.
The boat is easily accessed by dinghy through the transom cut outs allowing the dinghy to come along side the hull, usually into wind rather then squaring up to the transom with the wind on the side which can be problematic with loads of shopping.
The dinghy launches and retrieves from the transom davits by block and tackle and can be done by 1 person, don’t forget the bung! To be ready to go at any time and to avoid theft we raise the dinghy with the outboard every evening. It has a cover during passages to keep the sun of it.
The outboard is a little heavy at 33 KG but a pulley system guides it from the storage bracket on the aft beam, down to the launched dinghy, making retrieval relatively easy even in lumpy conditions by 1 person.
Electrics, electronics, lighting
The boat was fully rewired in 2013 and fully tinned wire was used throughout. The board was maintained but all new fuses fitted. 430W of solar with regulator was fitted on the bimini and fully supplies the boat with it’s electrical demand of up to 65A per day when sailing, around half when at anchor. A new 100A Super B Lithium battery was fitted in 2019, which seems like not enough but the system is working very well and there is only a daily defecit in renewable power when the sky is fully overcast, in that case run an engine after 1 day.
The 80A alternator in reality charge at 40A each but the Lithium battery takes all of that charge until full, resulting in engine charging at maximum 1 hour per 24hrs in overcast conditions as a top-up, none when the sun is out even for half the day. Usually the battery is full by mid-day and I could use the access power if I had a water maker of up to 60L per Hr.
There is also a hydro generator fitted to an arm extended of the Port transom, it is easy to set but does make some noise, slows the boat by ¾ of a knot and produces about 1A per Knot of boat speed. Now with the new battery and rapid charging system it does not get used anymore but is a good back-up if other systems fail. It has its own regulator and wiring to the battery.
The heavy financial investment in Lithium was fully worth it as the supply of electrical power has become a non-issue and is largely forgotten about. The boat is very rarely plugged into shore power but there is a 40A Victron battery charger which manages the Lithium and the starter batteries.
There is room for more solar panels but have not really felt the need as the system is balanced and working well in the way that we use it to date.
In my experience I have found wind generators to be expensive, noisy and under performing in reality. This is largely due to them only really working at 12K upwards. That means when sailing down wind you would need to have upwards of 20 Knots or over to make them work.
In my opinion solar is now so cheap that a couple of extra panels far outperform a wind generator, certainly in sunny climes.
All the lighting both internally and navigation are LED with an insignificant power use. The main saloon has multiple sailing lights, both red and white. The overhead saloon lights are dimmable. Furthermore throughout the boat there are reading and chart lights. The cockpit is lit by red and white LED’s.
The workshop has very bright tube lights.
The thinking behind the electronics is simplicity, doubling up and no integration but stand alone to increase reliability of vunerable but now essential systems for navigation and steering. Only the wind instrument and the auto pilot are linked to allow wind, rather then course driven steering.
Learned a lot about integrated systems failing through something trivial on very expensive cats whilst doing the 2 handed round Brittain and Ireland races.
To date the electronics are simple and very stable, fully doubled up in case of the plotter failing. A back-up Panasonic lap top with separate GPS and open CPN charts ensures continuity.
The other vital system is the auto pilot which runs 95% of the time.
A Garmin radar is fitted and works well but in practice I very rarely use it now that there is the AIS. Sometimes it is used as a back up when positions are not clear or looking for squalls. If it was not there I don’t think I would miss it. Would rather get the AIS upgrade for the Garmin as a back up.
The water system has an electric lift pump coupled to an accumulator, fed by the two new stainless steel tanks of 225L each. Water can be drunk straight from the tap and is good for tea without the need to filter anything. There is a freshwater foot pump at the galley, if all fails or if we want to save water.
The waste water shower pumps are switched manually at the showers, to reduce maintenance and issues. There are two manual gusher bilge pumps to each hull. The toilets are manual units and full sets of spare parts are on the boat.
There is a Propex blown hot air heating/ventilation system which can be electrically powered through shore power of 2000W or run on gas and produces 2500W when run on butane.
2 large 13KG fiberglass gas bottles provide about 1 year’s worth of cooking for 2 people.
The fridge is quiet and fully automatic, it has a keel cooler and in hot climates uses about 20A per day.
The boat is tiller steered which has, in my opinion, some real advantages. When you want to steer the boat the helm is very responsive, light and a joy and therefore very light on the auto pilot with insignificant power consumption. Our experience is that the boat is virtually always on auto pilot from the minute you pull up the anchor.
Tillers fitted directly to the rudder stocks are so simple as there is virtually nothing to go wrong or wear out. Personally I find twin wheel systems on cats nice but unresponsive (unless very well engineered) very likely to go wrong when you need them most, in heavy weather. On top of that the boat is always on auto pilot anyway so the least intrusive space and power saving system would be tillers.
This boat is steered by the smallest Raymarine S1 autopilot and never runs out
of range or strength under all conditions so far. Sailing to the wind gets a bit frustrating sometimes in variable wind conditions, when you need it most, as the 20’ off course alarm comes on regularly, stopping sleep! On the other hand it stops you sailing off into the blue yonder, the wrong way.
On balance, after having tried some different wheel driven steering systems, I recon that the Dazcats work the best but I cannot afford one. Which brings me back to tillers as the best low to no maintenance, safe and cost effective option for me.
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