Prior to departing, the American couple who owns this brand-new catamaran discuss their choices, feelings, future and dreams on board.
Buenos Aires, January 12th, 2018.- “The reason I like this boat is that it’s truly one piece manufactured together and does not squeak. You know, sailors say other catamarans talk to you all the time…” Jon looks happy on board of his first own boat ever, the 4458 Antares catamaran which was recently launched under the name ‘Moonrise’.
Jon is an American engineer from Tampa, Florida, USA, who is looking forward to sailing along with his wife, Muriel, a doctor. They are heading North through the Brazilian coast up to Grenada. Then they will travel freely by the Caribbean reaching Bermuda. And after that, they may go across the Atlantic or perhaps back to the Panama Canal to reach Galapagos, Philippines and New Zealand… The world is open ahead their two bows with the certainty they have the best boat to make their dreams come true.
“This one catamaran does not squeak because the construction way is inherited” –Jon continues– “all the build out is technically connected, so they truly have the structure of the boat. Moreover, the 40 Grados Sur built Catamaran, came with almost whatever you want. I did a couple little things different because I want a couple things that are not standard. However, in this boat, full solutions are integrated, because all comes from the factory and is all designed to work together. It is a fast boat, it is a durable boat, is a very reliable boat, a very comfortable boat, is a very safe boat. It is simply the better boat out there, the best boat available.”
Currently, Jon and Muriel are setting sail for the first time with the assistance of a captain who will support them on the forthcoming weeks. The boat is well rigged and provided at the mooring where 40 Grados Sur has delivered it to the brand new owners, at San Fernando, a pleasant town nearby Buenos Aires, over the mythical Río de la Plata.
Moreover, Jon and Muriel are extremely satisfied with the boat, shipyard and especially the team who assisted as they traveled four times to Argentina to monitor the construction process as well as request some customized features.
Fulfilling our customer’s needs and working on every single detail with the recognized skills of our technicians, is just one of the strengths that has forged the prestige of the Antares Catamarans built by 40 Grados Sur in Buenos Aires, one of the last remaining places where the finest arts of marine craftsmanship are still intact.
“In skill, between one to ten, these kids are twelve, and that is a big point ─adds Jon─… I can pick up the phone, talk to Mariano and ask: ‘Please, install this; I just forgot to tell you about it before…’ he says, ‘No problem’, and he does it. These guys are great to work with; everybody in the factory is great to work with. They know the boat, they know the problems, and they know what can be done”.
The American engineer continues: “It is truly a partnership: Can we do this? Well… let’s do that way. How can we do with this? Let’s do it. All the customizable stuffs, the colors, the layout, the logo, the sails, sunbrella, the power systems… For all of this, they all are interactive with us to make the best choice and install the best for the boat.”
Muriel agrees. She loves cooking and has not only changed the layout to make extra room for the galley and kept it separated from the salon, but she has also chosen a number of details related to the finishes and equipment. “All the custom is involved ─she says─. If you want these batteries , you get these batteries. Which color you want for the canvas? You choose the color. Everything is what you want. You really customize a lot on the boat.”
The Human Factor
Jon and Muriel always felt very comfortable during their visits to Buenos Aires. “Here people are very kind and helpful”, says Jon, and Muriel adds, “They ‘ve been extremely pleasant; even if you don’t speak the language, they never are angry or upset …”
How and why did they pick the Antares Catamaran to make their dreams come true? Jon remembers:
“I started sailing as just a young boy in the south of Florida, just in daysailers, on day trips with little racing boats, and I loved it, enjoyed it for years. Later, I had to get to school and make money, but when we became closer to retirement, and though we have worked enough, I said, ‘”What would I like to do? Let’s get a boat!”. But I had no idea what kind a boat to get. Then, I started looking, reading about how a couple could sail comfortably, enjoy sailing, enjoy traveling, because those are things we would like to do. Then, after several months, I started looking at catamarans. I never considered the catamarans until then. For me, they were not enough like sailing boats, like a kind of a house on float. You know: for monohull sailors often there is a prejudice about catamarans…”
“However, the more I looked, the more I found catamarans would be very well suited for us: stable, large enough to live in and being comfortable, but still a good quality sailboat ─adds Jon─. Therefore, I started looking at catamarans, and I finally found what I consider the best one, which was the Antares Catamaran. In addition, the more I looked the Antares, the more I liked what it had to offer: excellent combination of the fast, capable sailboat with the comfort of a catamaran. Moreover, by far, this boat is superior in both human quality and sailing quality. Most of the other catamarans, maybe all the other catamarans, are mass manufactured, like cars, in order to bring their costs down. So, they make things in patchable way and place them in a sticking process… They are big boats, but not durable ones. In addition, they give you a basic boat. But if you wanna make it usable, you need to take all the optionals and you spent almost twice what you paid for the base boat”
The Technical Factor
The choice was clear for Jon. But it wasn’t always this way. “The first time I heard the name of Antares was from a friend of mine who sails. I asked him: ‘Steve, if you have to get a catamaran, which one would you get?’ Steve said, ‘Antares is at the top of the list… if you can afford it.’ In fact, people say the Antares is the most expensive catamaran, but it’s worth every penny. Through blogs and websites, I researched information from people who’ve referred a relationship with Antares and they say that it has all the cards facing up. For example, websites say that naturally, you’ll have a generator, but Antares talks about this specific generator and I can go to the website and read about it. Everything is described: sizes, pictures, layouts… Finally, why did I buy it? I found generally everybody loves Antares, everybody wants to get one, and they are sailors… There were a lot of previous customers telling me why it was the best boat…”
Happy with the imminent change in their lives, Jon’s wife recalls the moment of taking the final decision, “when we could actually walk around the boat and touch things” ─she says─. “We went to the first boatshow and there, we looked at the boat and everything on board. We could also talk to the owner, who lived on the boat, and we noticed many details, as everything is rounded, there are no corners and this is for safety, and the wood is real wood. I also noticed the attention to details, the obvious quality in manufacturing and the quality of materials.”
And by this way, the American couple will sail the seas of the world at the helm of a boat that they like to define as the one that “is built for blue water cruising directly from the factory”.
“We say the youth is wasted at the young” ─ philosophizes Jon when provisioning and enlistment are done─. “If you don’t realize that you’re young and you can do so many things, time goes by… Everybody waits for something… I recommend people don’t wait.”
In addition, as a good doctor, Muriel points out: “We have the hope to have the health to do that a long time. That is a problem when you get older… When you’re at home, you’re always busy. You have to do so much. But when you’re on a boat like this, it’s all okay, you don’t have to do so much, you can read a book or do something else. It’s a different notion of time…”
Now, they are sailing North. Meanwhile, nearby, five Antares Catamaran are under construction in 40 Grados Sur shipyard. They will make so many other families happy.
About 40 Grados Sur
40 Grados Sur shipyard is located in San Fernando, a suburb on the outskirts of Buenos Aires, on a tributary of the Rio de la Plata. The finishing facility is within 500 meters from the water and has wide opening doors that span the side of the whole building, allowing easier maneuvering of hulls and decks.
40 Grados Sur also has a secondary facility strictly for FRP, which isolates the spraying and layup from the rest of the building process.
The shipyard takes advantage of Argentina’s nautical tradition that goes backnearly two centuries and makes the country the birthplace of expert yachtsmen and, also, some of the world’s most prominent naval architects who design top-of-the-line racing yachts.
A real plus when building in Argentina is the dedication and commitment of the qualified workforce. One of the big challenges builders face all over the world is the constant shifting of workers. This could translate to too many hours spent training a new workforce without any real confidence that they will be there all through the entire construction of the boat.
The Argentinian workforce comes from a legacy of boat builders who have carried this tradition from one generation to another and consider themselves as professional boat builders by trade, not mere plumbers, electricians and cabinetmakers who happen to be building a boat. Less time spent on training new employees means more time to perfect the necessary skills a boat demands.
Guillermo ‘Memo’ Castro is the founder and owner of 40 Grados Sur, the shipyard that has been the building facility of Antares Catamarans since 2010. In the past, Memo managed the construction for several yachts such as the Open 30 ─a sailboat with an innovative moving keel─, the Milonga 35 ─a tender designed by German Frers─, a 42-foot classic Marcopolo trawler, and many others.
By the age of 50, Memo has also spent a lifetime as a professional sailor, as skipper. His career includes sailing to Antarctica, Cape Horn, and Ocean crossings. Memo also gained building experience by managing the refurbishment and construction projects of a number of cruising and racing yachts, and has worked with all available materials, including carbon fiber, FRP, wood and steel.