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AVENTURA 44: Just right for offshore sailing

You can’t fail to admire the course being steered by Aventura Catamarans: this medium-sized yard really knows how to take advantage of current trends and is evolving at its own pace with increasingly elaborate multihulls. The new 44, presented at the last Cannes Yachting Festival, clearly illustrates the controlled rise of this family-run boatbuilder.

A modern production facility

 

Today, Romain Roger manages the factory - more than 5,000m² (54,000 sq ft) under cover - in Menzel Bourguiba (near Bizerte, in Tunisia), while Eric Roger is in charge of sales. With some 60 staff and an in-house design team, Aventura Catamarans built 25 multihulls in 2019 and plans to produce 35 in 2020. The range is organized around two sailing catamarans (the 34 and the 44) and two powercats, the A10 and the A14 - the latter will be on display at the International Multihull Show in La Grande Motte, France. Historically, the yard first made a name for itself with the manufacture of sailing dinghies before moving on to coastal cruising catamarans - resuming the construction of the timeless Camping Cat and Diabolo 28. Signed respectively by Jacques Fauroux and Jacques Fioleau, they were renamed Aventura 23 and 28. But customer expectations have changed and they are now focused on more comfortable boats: the manufacturer is following this trend with a smaller and more relevant range, taking advantage of the strong demand for sailing and power multihulls.

 

The same hulls as the 43 but a new deck

 

The 44 has taken over from the 43, in build from 2012 to 2017. It’s the same catamaran, cleverly designed by Martin Defline, but profoundly re-designed by Samer Lasta. In order to save weight (over 600 kg/1,300 lbs), they had to create a deck mold which integrated the coachroof, by removing many of the manually laminated sections, and several other features (roof overhang, bench seats, and more) which were putting a strain on both production time and weight. Manufacture with a female mold is traditional for this kind of construction: the underwater hulls are in monolithic polyester with NPG isophthalic gelcoat, but the topsides are in vacuum sandwich. Structural partitions use laminated CTBX plywood, a very good solution. The skeg keels, made of polyester laminate and epoxy foam, are glued to the hulls and can thus play the role of a fuse in the event of a violent impact without damaging the hull. Credit must also go for the rudders which use foam-epoxy composite and a stainless-steel stock mounting with JP3 spherical bearings. Eight 15 mm (5/8”) Plexiglass panels make up the panoramic windshield. The simple shape of each part will allow, if necessary, easy and economical replacement without molds.

 

Successful design operation

 

The hulls and nacelle of the 43 were aesthetically pleasing and also had good dynamic qualities. So, it was entirely appropriate to restyle this catamaran. Samer Lasta created a completely new deck and an almost cubic roof. The superstructure remains elegant and skillfully integrates the windshield overhang and the bimini, two elements that are often difficult to deal with in terms of design. The slender, inverted bows merge with the pronounced chine that runs along the topsides. The raised nacelle is accompanied by a generous sail plan. All these elements give the 44 an almost sporty look. Only the davits are somewhat different, but these essential accessories can be difficult to integrate.

 

A completely new interior

 

The interior of a catamaran starts under the bimini, in the cockpit: a characteristic now seen on some up-and-coming monohulls, such as the Sun Loft 47. This terrace space is part of the success of the catamaran concept: here it is dealt with in the traditional way with a generous-sized bench seat (this covers the aft beam) around a convertible table. The four-panel sliding door in black-lacquered aluminum is elegant, ensuring a beautiful fluidity between the interior and exterior spaces while preserving the structural function of the bulkhead and the weight - the sliding glass panels are indeed frightfully heavy. The interior design by Samer Lasta is a bit of a revolution for Aventura: the way light has been dealt with, washed oak linings, comfortable mattresses, quality woodwork and high-end finishes create an intimate atmosphere that exudes quality. The hardware and fittings have been perfectly selected. Special mention should be made of the particularly accomplished design of the shower-room in the Owner's version. In the nacelle, the saloon, chart table and U-shaped galley take their natural place, and there is plenty of storage space suitable for permanent living on board. The 160 cm (5’3”) wide beds in the aft cabins guarantee a comfortable stay on board and a good night’s sleep.

 

A catamaran that’s dynamic and easy to handle

 

The two four-cylinder Nanni Diesel engines (built on the excellent Japanese Kubota base, 184 kg/405 lbs including the sail drive) are carefully housed in soundproof engine compartments. There’s room around for maintenance. The 2 x 37.5 HP engines are more than sufficient for good maneuvering performance, and give an economical cruising speed of 7 knots. The folding propellers on our test model are of course indispensable for good performance under sail. The low friction track and sliders system for hoisting the mainsail is pleasant to use and requires little effort, especially with the excellent Harken 52 electric winch, something I highly recommend. This 52 is at the heart of a simple and rational deck layout that would allow a 12-year-old to master all the sail trim. Worth noting is the clarity of sail handling both forward and aft. The management of the traveler, in particular, is perfectly clear and fluid - this is an essential adjustment point on a catamaran. The sturdy 17.50m (57’5”) Z-Spars mast with two sets of spreaders supports a simple and modern sail plan with a roached mainsail (it could still gain another 1m² - over 10 sq ft - at the top with a maximum luff). Our test catamaran was equipped with an overlapping genoa. I recommend this configuration as it makes the 44 more lively in light airs, especially upwind, without making tacking too complicated. Around the Lérins islands in September, a short distance from Cannes – France -, the sea breeze remains light, but the steady 8 to 11 knots ultimately is plenty to get our 44 moving with ease in these light conditions. The anti-leeway plan works well and allows a very satisfactory upwind angle and speed for this type of comfortable multihull. The only thing that lacks a little is the feel of the helm, which is the inevitable price to pay for hydraulic steering transmission.

 

Conclusion

Our test of the Aventura 44 was a pleasant surprise. I'd never tried a catamaran by this brand before and I like the builder's approach. The yard is in fact close to their boats’ future owners (the Mediterranean isn't that big!) and their guiding principle is quite clear: to offer few models and to identify the clientele while remaining responsive to market trends. With two powercats and two sailing catamarans between 10 and 14 m (33 and 46’), Aventura have opted for a segment where demand is strong, but which remains (especially for the two 10 m/33’ versions) less invested-in by the big builders. The 44, for her part, is obviously in head-on competition with the core market. But her positioning and personality set her apart from the leading models. The main strong points: her silhouette, which is as original as it is attractive, her successful restyling, her visible quality, her performance and her well-positioned price.

 


A word from the builder

By Eric Roger

Even though the hulls are the same as those on the 43, everything else is different. Architect Samer Lasta accompanied us through the changes in the manufacturing process (the coachroof is now integrated into the deck), the construction is lighter by about 600 kg/1,300 lbs because there is less laminating between the elements, which are now integrated into the molding. The fittings are also different with the bathrooms outboard against the topsides - they were inboard on the 43 - for better ventilation and the finishes have also improved.

 

Technical specification 

Builder: Aventura Catamarans/STGI

Design: LASTA DESIGN STUDIO

Hull length: 13.20 m / 43’4”

Beam: 7 m / 23’

Light displacement: 9,500 kg / 20,950 lbs

Draft: 1.30 m / 4’3”

Air draft: 20.50 m (mast: 17.50 m) / 67’3” (mast: 57’5”)

Upwind sail area: 115 m² / 1,240 sq ft (with 40 m² / 430 sq ft genoa, optional 31 m² / 335 sq ft self-tacking solent)

Diesel capacity: 2 x 200 L / 2 x 53 US gal

Fresh water capacity: 2 x 300 L / 2 x 79 US gal

Black water capacity: 2 x 45 L / 2 x 11.9 US gal

Refrigerator capacity: 12/24V: 190 L / 6.7 cu ft

Engines: 2 x 37.5 HP Nanni Diesel saildrive

EC type-approval and design category: A/8 B/12 persons

Standard configuration: 3 double cabins/2 heads

Optional configuration: 4 double cabins/4 heads

Price ex-tax: € 349,500 (€ 356,500 for the 4-cabin version)

 

Principal options ex-tax in €:

Cockpit upholstery: 3,919

Davits: 2,616

Electric winch: 3,652

80 m² / 860 sq ft Gennaker with deck hardware: 6,529

Three-blade folding propellers: 5,519

Watermaker 100L (26 US gal)/h: 12,127

Solar panels 4 x 100 W: 4,987

Electronics pack with autopilot: 9,724

Epoxy treatment of hulls and antifouling: 6,439

Safety equipment: 9,847

Launching: 3,450

 

THE ESSENTIALS

-      The silhouette is spot-on

-      Definitely fun to sail

 

MULTIPLUSES (reprendre l’idée pour l’appliquer sur les précédents essais – EC53 et Lagoon SIXTY 7)

[Faut peut-être discuter pour l’anglais ? – Graham]

Attractive silhouette

Pleasure of use

Build quality

 

MULTIMINUSES

The cockpit upholstery lacks form

The hydraulic helm

Aesthetics of the davits

 

THE COMPETITION

BUILDER

BALI

LAGOON

FOUNTAINE PAJOT

LEOPARD

 

MODEL

4.3

42

ASTREA

45

 

UPWIND SAIL AREA IN m²/sq ft

89.5/963

84/905

111/1,195

120/1,298

 

LIGHT DISPLACEMENT in T

11.3

12.1

11.58

14.5

 

PRICE EX-TAX in € ???

329,500

327,000

381,981

469,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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