Dazcat 1295

Two hulls. No compromises.

While the British might have been the pioneers of the modern cruising multihull, since the mid-1980s the idea of “Britannia Rules the Waves” has lost some of its impact in the production of cruising catamarans and multihulls. France in particular, but also South Africa and the United States have largely taken over. Has the UK abandoned the market we’re interested in? No, not quite, as you can see in our Buyer’s Guide in this issue. Among the multihulls that are still hanging in there is the Dazcat, based in Torpoint, a small village in Cornwall. At the head of the band of English die-hards who run the yard, architect-boatbuilder Darren Newton offers some truly different catamarans. We got the chance to try out his latest creation, the Dazcat 1295.

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Test location: Plymouth, United Kingdom
Conditions: 5 to 8 knots of wind, slight sea

It’s been said that in medium conditions, all boats are good, and that only in light airs or heavy weather that successful boats really reveal themselves. The particularly calm weather we experienced on the day of our test should allow us to validate the adage (the light airs version) and discover whether the excellent reputation of the Dazcat is indeed justified. However, when we were planning this test sail in the English Channel in mid-October, full foul-weather gear and boots were expected to be the only outfit option: we were anticipating wind! But nature likes to remind us that she is still in charge: while the seasonal temperature could best be described as fresh, the waters of Plymouth Sound were holding their breath - its surface, the proverbial millpond. The conditions have no impact on the great mood of the team that welcomes us aboard though. There was the pair at the helm of the benchmark British multihull, Darren Newton (the “Daz” in Dazcat), and Simon Baker, accompanied by the lively Oriel Butcher, whose role is not dissimilar to that of an orchestra conductor on the day of our t...

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