Bluewater Sailboat – Catana 47


The bluewater sailboat Catana 47 made its US premiere at the Miami Boat Show in 2012 and is the Catana 471’s successor. She is lighter, faster, and completely redesigned. Safety-conscious bluewater cruisers seeking quick and simple passagemaking should find this boat to be quite tempting.

One of the innovators in the performance cruising catamaran market is Catana, which has its headquarters in the Catalan region of southern France. You may even claim that the Catana 47 is considered to be a classic.

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Catana 47
Catana 47
  • HEADROOM 6ft 11in
  • BERTHS 6ft 5in x 5ft 6in (fwd);
    6ft 5in x 2ft 2in (aft)
  • LOA 46ft // LWL 45ft 6in
  • BEAM 25ft 1in // DRAFT 3ft 7in (board up); 8ft 2in (board down)
  • DISPLACEMENT 21,800lb
  • SAIL AREA 1,035ft2 (100% FT)
  • FUEL/WATER/WASTE (GAL) 158/177/14
  • ENGINE 2x 40hp Volvo (saildrive)
  • ELECTRICAL 920AH (house); 230AH (engine)
  • DESIGNER Christophe Barreau
  • BUILDER Catana Catamarans, Cogolin, France


Since they produced the 47 for many years, this vessel is thoroughly tested. Designed to replace the 471 by multihull expert Christophe Barreau, the catamaran has been tested on numerous circumnavigations. The design has benefited from constant development over time; the most recent iteration has more carbon fibre than earlier models and is built from updated hull and deck moulds. The boats still have a familiar profile, though the most recent version is a little more angular and “muscly,” with tall twin daggerboards, open helm stations aft (a Catana trademark), and a powerful rig and sail plan.

Unlike boats like the Fountaine Pajot Elba 45 catamaran, which is positioned more on the comfort side of things, the boats were built for strength with an emphasis on keeping the weight down to maximise speed across the water. In locations with high loads, the vinylester/polyester laminate is strengthened using carbon fibre and other composite materials. During construction, the structure is vacuum-bagged, and the hull and deck are both cored with closed-cell foam.

To reduce weight, cored laminates are also used in the construction of the inside joinery. Overall, Catana was able to reduce the weight of the 47’s predecessor by about 700 kg. Though you won’t have as much space aboard her as you would on a larger sailboat, it’s still a comfortable vessel. Twaron aramid and carbon fibre are heavily utilised in the vinylester/polyester laminate of Catanas to make them light and sturdy. During construction, every component is vacuum-bagged, and the hull and deck are both cored with closed-cell foam. Even what looks to be solid maple interior joinery is comprised of cored laminates.

According to the manufacturer, the weight of the 47 has been decreased by almost 1,500 pounds. This results in increased speed and/or carrying capacity. Additionally, it enables the use of 40hp engines rather than the twin 50s of the previous design. A genset and a watermaker can fit in the roomy engine rooms on the aft ends of the hulls. Although the CE regulations do not mention tinned wiring, an American norm, the onboard systems are neatly fitted and comply with them.

Above Deck

The Catana 47 has plenty of deck and cockpit room, so guests and the working crew won’t have to worry about snarling up. The two exposed helm stations move the helmsman out of the social area, while the one central winch handles all the sail control lines. However, because these lines are very densely clustered, finding the line you want from the vast bank of clutches after clearing the winch is required to pull on any one line. Additionally, the main contains a bridle with two distinct sheets, each of which needs to be cut for a route adjustment. Everything is designed for tweaking, not for simplicity.

From the helm to the bow across the bow, there is a blind spot. Because the engine controls are solely on the starboard binnacle when docking, the skipper will need a crew man on watch to port. The helm seat is comfy, and you don’t have to strain my neck to see the engine gauges.

One benefit of having aft helms is the deck and cockpit room you receive on a Catana 47. The sailing is moved away from the living space by the dual aft helm stations, and most of the sail lines are managed by the recognizable central winches.

Below Deck

Belowdecks has plenty of room, which is highlighted by the light color palette and big windows. It will fit many people and is fairly attractive. Everywhere has tremendous headroom. However, open areas do necessitate good grab spots, and the Catana 47 may benefit from having more of them. The overhead rails are reachable if you are tall, but it is difficult for people with short heights.

The seating appears more comfy than it actually is. Because of the cushion’s extremely robust substance, one sits atop it rather than delves into it. Taller sailors will benefit most from the seat and back dimensions.

A full double berth, a vanity table, lots of storage space, and a large head room with a separate shower up front make up the owner’s whole starboard hull, which is a delightful area in itself. A lovely, curved sliding door keeps them all apart from the rest of the sailboat.

The port hull includes a separate twin berth aft and a single berth front. These twins will be simple to enter and exit from the central aisle, and it will be easy to get them ready in the morning. It has a really useful design. There are no showers in the two heads for these cabins. The hulls of this new boat feel broader and roomier than those of the previous models, though this may just be an optical illusion. Nobody should feel cramped in these private quarters, unlike other multihulls.

A bright saloon with an L-shaped kitchen to port that contains a three-burner stove, twin sinks, and a sliding window that’s useful for passing food to the cockpit make up the 47’s basic layout. Close to the entrance, to starboard, is a front-opening refrigerator. Long-distance cruisers will value having a full navigation station, a feature that is quickly vanishing from current production cats. Even though most navigation these days is digital, this navigation station offers a distinct interior room for electronics (option of Simrad or Garmin), charts, and a desk.


When sailing, this 47-foot Catana feels different than older models. The bluewater sailboat is moving faster, but the smooth helm response is still present. The test boat’s “light ship” status (my former sails were all aboard cruise-equipped boats), the new hull design and construction, and the rougher seas near Miami must be to blame for the difference since the earlier models had similar sail areas. Regardless of the cause, the most recent Catana 47 accelerates more quickly and has a higher top speed. Additionally, it was discovered that it moves rather quickly in a seaway, which is especially apparent in the cockpit. This is a fascinating ride for experienced sailors who appreciate fiddling with sails to get the most out of their boats because the boat rewards good trim with swift speed changes.

The 47 produced 7 knots of boatspeed on a close stretch in a 9 mph breeze, and when the wind picked up to 12 knots in a gust, it quickly increased to 9 knots. As long as sail was quick with the manoeuvre and avoided getting stopped by approaching waves, tacking through 90 degrees was simple enough. The nacelle and underbridge designs appear to be effective because there was no evidence of the hull smashing in the waves. Typically, this boat is sailed with the daggerboards partially down. This is a fast sled for running in the tradewinds because raising them for downwind sailing minimizes drag. According to the builder, the boat has reached 20 knots in favorable windy circumstances.

But what makes a Catana stand out is its performance. The 47 reportedly surpassed 25 knots during her initial sea trials, according to the builder. She is predicted to routinely do 20 knots. When sailing upwind, her deep retractable keels help her point higher. The Catana’s keels may be drawn completely up into the hull, which is more significant because there are no fixed obstructions below the waterline for the boat to trip over in the event that she gets sideways in a big, choppy sea. Therefore, there is a lower likelihood of capsizing, which is the worst-case situation for any catamaran.

Performance and comfort generally go hand in hand, and sailboats are no exception. Sleeker models are frequently designed for speed rather than interior capacity. This also happens to the Catana 47. When comparing the Catana’s profile to that of a traditional catamaran built for large charter groups, you’ll see that the charter boat’s housing is longer fore and aft. This considerably expands the inside, giving it the appearance of a larger boat and greater living space. The Catana 47 is undoubtedly smaller than other boats of comparable length, which may make chartering difficult but provide plenty of room for a cruising couple and one or two kids.

Under power, the Catana 47 acts admirably, just like a good cat should. At a very low sound level (66 dBA), 7.4 knots were achieved at a low cruise speed of 2,200 rpm. Over 9 knots of boat speed were reported at 3,000 rpm with the throttle fully open. Not at all awful. With differential power to the engines, the sailboat can spin in its own water while revolving in a circle that is 1½ boatlengths in diameter. In the congested marina, it stopped and backed up precisely and was simple to control.

Quick Notes

The oestrogen level has been decreased while testosterone has been injected into this most recent generation of the Catana 47. Sailing is swift, fast, exhilarating, and well-suited for males. Maybe it’s just more French.

The most recent Catana 47 design is not particularly revolutionary; it is a tried-and-true performance catamaran that has developed over time and is still one of the most appealing sailboats in its class. In terms of development, the Catana Group appears to be concentrating on its Bali brand, which is where the volume is.

The 47 that is inspired by the more recent Catana 53, which has a more open sense between the cockpit and cabin. The Ocean Class, a second 50-footer with a bulkhead steering position, and the Catana 53 are the only two new sailboats in the Catana lineup at the present.

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