||05-14-2008 11:22 PM
Welcome to Cruiser Log,
Pleased to read that you are interested in a Catamaran, The St Francis 44's have found their way to most most parts of the world. A couple of points to take into account, most of these that you see in the Caribbean and Florida were brought in as Charter boats (4 cabins each with their own heads) as such they may not have had the care and mantainance that is necessary to keep them in top condition. Another factor is that they are relatively slow when run under engine power alone, the standard 27 HP engines do not provide enough oomph! The engines placement is not desirable - heat & fumes need to be removed by running blower fans continuously. The bridge deck clearance in the older models was not sufficient to prevent pounding. The hull beam's narrow diameter results in having to make sure that the payload is kept to a minimum - privately owned 44s will generally be over-loaded and therefore slow when compared to chartered 44's which don't have all the normal cruiser's baggage.
If the boat is more than 5 years old - make sure that the rudder shafts are surveyed and check the gel coat for bubbles. Make sure that the bottom of the transom is out of the water.
Regards and good hunting