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Excerpted from Practical Boat Owner, April 1993

Under Sail

Cat of Distinction

Dave Greenwell Sails the Sagitta

We were soon under way and it was fascinating to see how easily she slipped through the almost mirror sea. She handled well, tacking without hesitation and answering accurately to her helm. But in those light airs, even her 500 sq ft was insufficient to demonstrate what she could really do so up went a very large cruising chute, set on the end of a modem aluminium bowsprit. This improved matters a little and provided enough push to at least give a hint of what she was capable of

Her stability calculations certainly suggest that she has sufficient sail area to give her a very respectable performance and anyone thinking of using her exclusively for cruising may well decide to have the smaller sail spread of her cruising rig But that's one of the interesting features about this design. Within the range, the owner has a great deal of flexibility with a choice of rigs and whether or not to have the dagger boards. Certainly, dagger boards improve windward performance, and aboard the Sagitta, the simple rope-and-pulley mechanisms by which they are raised and lowered worked well. But here again, I felt that the dedicated cruising owner would probably choose the low aspect ratio keel version.

The gentle conditions certainly gave me that opportunity to sample the comforts of her very spacious bridgedeck cockpit area which has a proper well, two extremely comfortable side seats, complete with upholstered back rests which, with dodgers, provide good protection against the weather. Visibility forward, when sitting at the tiller bar, is excellent and the nicely balanced helm makes light work of steering the boat. Sheets and halyards are easily accessible but don't intrude into the sitting area.

The Sagitta is powered by a single 9.9hp 4-stroke Yamaha outboard mounted in a well, set beneath the rear cockpit seat. The installation certainly worked well and although it could be argued that twin diesels would provide far better manoeuvrability, the counter is that the outboard costs far less. avoids holes in the hulls and is a fraction of the weight.

The actual layout' is conventional with' a large table and seating `m, the bridgedeck with `working' and sleeping accommodation in the hulls. I suspect-that sea-cooks will be particularly impressed by the galley.

She's a thoroughly modern, practical catamaran with sufficient design flexibility to appeal to anyone looking for performance combining style with comfort.

A complete copy of this article can be obtained from Practical Boat Owner