South Beach Diet

Weight matters! Just ask this guy!  Weight especially matters on a catamaran.  Catamarans have less displacement than a monohull.  This results in less 'stuff' on your boat without having a significant impact on performance.

I have become obsessed about weight on our boat.  We are putting our boat on the South Beach Diet!  Limiting the weight of 'stuff' is very important to me.  I want to eek out as much performance without having too many compromises.  This isn't always easy.  There are always trade-offs.

As we have been reviewing options for our boat, we have also been VERY cognizant of the potential weight implications from our decisions.  In some cases the weight savings are small and the compromise to functionality is not deemed 'worth it'.  All weight savings add up.

Here are some decisions we have made regarding weight:
  • Pound for pound 2 stroke outboard engines are better performers.   We are saving 65lbs and will have better performance and easier maintenance on our 25hp Yamaha outboard.
  • Spectra Drogue vs. Nylon Drogue saves 35lbs
  • Winslow vs. other life rafts saves 30-40lbs
  • Aluminum vs. Fiberglass hull dinghy saves about 15lbs (less than you would expect)
  • Hookah dive setup saves at least 140lbs vs. traditional tank dive systems
  • 200ft of G40 vs. BBB anchor chain saves 40 - 45lbs
  • Switching fuel and water capacity saves 35lbs (did not make this change based on weight, it is a fringe benefit)
In total, these decisions represent a weight savings of over 370lbs (approximate weight of guy photo) without compromising functionality.

Tricel with wood laminate
The good news is I am not the only one obsessed with weight.  Antares Yachts is also very particular about 'how' they build their boat and save weight.

For example, most finished wood is sandwiched with Tricel and laminated to save considerable weight.  This creates a beautiful hand finished, warm look in the boat without adding dramatic weight.  In fact, the wood used on the Antares boats is lighter than the same cabinet made out of fiberglass (FRP) - found on most other catamarans.

Excess plywood removed
In addition, excess plywood that is used for flooring and other areas is removed to reduce weight without affecting structural integrity.  This is a detail that you will never see on a boat without peeling back 'how' it is actually built.

Think about it.  Every single piece of plywood has been analyzed with CAD (computer aided design) to determine how much can be 'cut out' to save weight.  Amazing.

With such attention to detail by the builder on weight, it would be a shame for us as owners to fill Field Trip up with excessive weight and turn our boat into a porker.  

For an in depth technical overview about catamarans and weight, click here.  A great article by Ted Clements.


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