The Beneteau blue II catamaran.
Designed by Phillipe Briand, and built by Beneteau, the Blue II had all the makings of a success. Launched in 1985, with a dramatic helicopter shoot, this was a new departure for the famous boat builder. Sadly, the Blue II was a victim of her time and just 3 years later with only 48 boats sold, the curtain was pulled on this foray into the multi-hull world. Beneteau have, of course, since made up for this adventure and are now owners of Lagoon – the largest builder of catamarans on the planet.
Sadly the design was blighted by the positioning of the builder, as a mono-hull specialist and perhaps not fully confident of the new boat on two hulls, they filled the mast with foam fearing a capsize, and so immediately undermined confidence in the boat. She was then quickly overtaken by a reputation for poor sea keeping and windward performance, although it should be pointed out that this more reflects the opinion of staidly mono-hull sailors than any failing in the vessel design. As this catamaran weighs little over 3 tonnes, she is never going to punch into a head sea with the same kind of authority you would expect of a 6-7 tonne mono in a force 7, and certainly not when sailed as if it was a mono – which happened often. These days it is acknowledged that cats need to be sailed differently, and indeed, this she does quite nicely. It is also worth mentioning that this is a boat that can potentially hit 18 knots while sailing essentially flat.
I purchased my example in June 2017. She is a 1986 version, although somewhat modified from original. She has spent her entire life around the south coast of the UK, although one of her previous owners had plans to do an Atlantic circuit, I don’t know that he ever did. She came to me in slightly sorry state, being now 29 years old, and less than expertly cared for. She is however, still a pretty, and solid little ship, with fairly simple systems, so should not take too much to whip back into shape.