I have since owned a variety of small sailing dinghies, a 20ft weekender and finally a cat!
I sailed my US built catamaran - built by the same builder as the one in the magazine - in the Finnish archipelago for 10 years, but about 5 years ago we started escaping to Florida during the dark winters months. Floridian winters are much longer and warmer than the summers in Finland and I started seriously thinking about a boat in the US, albeit no longer equipped with a mast.
This started a long period of enjoyable but exhausting visits to numerous boat-shows, lurking on multiple web sites and generally trying to educate myself on boating in the US. Discovery of the existence of the ‘Great Loop’ further excited the senses, adding an extra dimension to the quest for the right boat.
We all agree that there is not one ideal boat. It is very personal and one needs to consider how and where the boat will be used. I looked at a few respected mono hull brands (stabilizers being a must-have) and worried about redundancy in those having a single engine. Certainly a deep draft would not be good for the Bahamas. I also wanted a flybridge; but the increased weight plus people on top of a mono hull compromise stability.
Let’s be honest, regardless of objective selection criteria, mono-hulls never really stood a chance, because once you have owned a cat you will find it very difficult to go back to anything else. Only if I would be considering serious offshore long-distance cruising would I reconsider. And then still I’m not sure, but it is not a decision we need to make.
Unfortunately, quite a few manufacturers did not survive the recent upheaval in the market and most others believe quality has to be luxuriously overpriced.
During my many visits to the shows I did run into Clark and visited hull #1 several times but she didn’t have the flybridge.
I don’t need to repeat what some of the other testimonials have already described about Clark’s low-key sales manner, the quality of the workmanship or clever design features. The only regret I might have today is not having waited another year and seen the new Havana 42!
Being an engineer I appreciate the solid build, huge space in the engine rooms and also that Clark has not skimped on any of the systems or fittings.
Having twin Yanmar engines, the boat is a delight to manoeuvre, something you really notice in a current when holding for a bridge or backing into a tight slip.
Choosing a boat is personal and emotional, but there is not much not-to-like about the Havana 42. I would suggest that anyone considering a boat for pleasure cruising make a point of including Cruiser Cats on the shortlist. "
Havana 40 Flybridge