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Knysna 440 or 480

Hi Everybody, we are a couple who are planning to buy a catamaran to liveaboard from summer/autumn 2021.
We'll buy 2nd hand and I like the look of Knysna, however the 500 will be too big and out of budget so I'm looking at the older 440 or 480. Does anybody have any stories to tell, good or bad?
Thanks in advance 👍👍
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Re: Knysna 440 or 480

The Knysna 440 was built from the old St. Francis 44 molds, so you can gain more information on the design aspects by also searching for SF44. I think Knysna raised the headroom a bit, and modernized the interior and equipment, but it is basically the same boat as the SF44.

Both of these boats had low bridgedeck clearance, as well as a long bridgedeck, so they could pound a bit more than others. The design is relatively narrow hulls, which won't hold a lot of additional weight well. Loaded heavily, the bridgedeck may almost be in the water.

Otherwise, the design is a very good one from a well-regarded designer. It won't be a stellar performer upwind, but it will be a good general and well-behaved performer.

The 480 was a new design done by Knysna, and was their first foray into making their own boat. It is designed by the same person who did the SF44. It was a transition boat to the Knysna 500, in that the only design difference is the addition of 2' to the sterns to make the 500. I don't know how many 480's were made, but don't think it was very many before they moved to the 500. Again, they are pretty much the same boat.

I was on the first 480 built. It had quite a few problems with gear, systems, and construction. Most of these could probably be chalked up to being the first boat of a new design, and the issues were likely quickly corrected back in manufacturing.

It is likely that the sterns were extended due to weight addition and need for a bit more buoyancy back there. This is very common among catamaran designs. The bridgedeck clearance isn't as low as the 440, but it still isn't very high.

If the 500 is too big, then the 480 will be also. They only differ in size by a bit of length on the back step, not in the actual boat itself. If you plan on sailing the East coast US, then the 480 rig is not bridge-friendly.

Mark

Dolphin 460 Catamaran "Reach"

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Re: Knysna 440 or 480

Really useful, thanks 👍👍👍
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Re: Knysna 440 or 480

We have crew chartered numerous times on both Knysna and St Frances models. Not much I can add to the above comments. Except one of the forward cabins on an older St Francis had very convenient storage lockers on the aft side of the bunk another boat had no storage there.

One had no drain in the head/sink area so water accumulated on the floor until mopped up. Other models drained into the bilge.

Mike
Currently: Heading to warm waters over the winter on a variety of boats.

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