“In December 2020, we moved aboard and began cruising in April 2021. We sailed from Texas to Florida and up the east coast to Chesapeake Bay.”
Daggers Down, Catana 47’
Interview with the Captain – Kitra Gray
About the Boat
Why did you choose to buy this particular boat and what else did you consider?
We were long time monohull sailors and racers. So initially we were looking for center cockpit boats such as a Hallberg Rassy or Hylas. However, upon further discussion and consideration of the fact that my wife has had two hip replacements, we decided that the stability of a catamaran might fit our needs better. Of course, with a racing background, it is important that we have a boat that would sail quickly, when needed, and one that can go upwind. So we began looking at catamarans with daggers. Hence, we bought a 2012 Catana Catamaran.
What boats have you previously owned?
As we were mostly lake sailors for many years, we initially owned small boats like lasers, sunfishes, Hobie Cats, and Catalina 22s. Later we purchased a Beneteau 36.7 which we raced on Eagle Mountain Lake in Fort Worth, TX.
What are the features you like most about your boat?
We love our four cabin and four head design as we enjoy having folks join us while cruising. While the Owner’s version is preferred by many, we find that dedicating a specific head for showering when we are alone or cruising with just 1 other couple gives everyone additional space and privacy. In addition, when we are making a long crossing, we have adequate room for a crew of 5-6. Overall, the layout of the boat is extremely functional with plenty of storage.
What features/improvements have you added or do you plan to add?
We bought our boat out of charter. Thus, it needed numerous upgrades and maintenance. We spent a year adding or replacing:
• Electronics- Chart Plotters, Radar, AIS, XM Satellite Radio
• Flexafold- Three bladed folding props
• AC/DC power upgrade- Convert AC from 230/50hz AC to 240/120-60hz and change to US AC Outlets, Firefly batteries 950AH, Solar panels 1330watts, Victron 3000 Multiplus Controller, Onan 7.5 KW Generator.
• Communication- WIFI Ranger for extended WIFI reception, XM Weather for Weather Radar
• Cooking- Converted Butane system to Propane w/ 2ea. 40lb bottles, replaced stove with Force 10 2 burner, added Magma grill, Microwave and Toaster Oven
• Cockpit- Added Side Enclosures
• Dinghy- New Achilles HB-315DX and 20 hp Tohatsu outboard motor
• Air Conditioner- New Webasto BlueCool C-Series 40,000 BTU Chilled Water System
We plan to add:
• Throttle/shift control to the port steering station for full functionality during the next haul out
• New stack pack.
Where have you traveled with your boat?/what do you have planned?
When we arrived in Martinique to take ownership of our boat and move it to St. Maarten for repairs, COVID hit and we had to sail her back to Kemah, TX instead. We worked on Daggers Down for a year. During the same time, we cleaned out our house to ready it for rental.
In December 2020, we moved aboard and began cruising in April 2021. We sailed from Texas to Florida and up the east coast to Chesapeake Bay. We plan to explore this area until December when we will move south toward the Caribbean.
Do you belong to a yacht club/marina or other boating organizations?
We are members of Fort Worth Boat Club.
What is the biggest challenge you have in servicing your boat?
The boat is French so converting those systems to US standards is more involved than one would initially expect. Since we are now on the move, it can be difficult to find technicians with experience on our systems to assist with repairs. Also, obtaining parts and shipments can be challenging.
Who first introduced you to boating?
My mother’s boss who was an avid sailor, racer, and very involved in the America’s Cup racing back in the 80’s and 90’s initially got me involved in sailing.
Do you have any advice for those looking to buy a catamaran like yours?
We discovered that Catanas can be difficult to find in the USA. So, using a broker who understands your needs as well as being flexible and willing to travel to evaluate a boat may be necessary.
Any recent boating-related purchase you’ve been enjoying (e.g.product/tool/equipment etc)?
We procured a full complement of 18v DC battery operated tools for working on the boat. For entertainment, we have an inflatable Paddleboard which has a Kayak seat attachment for investigating waterways, electric scooters for exploring or getting around town, and beanbag chairs for watching the sun set.
Do you have any other notable resources you use (apps, devices, etc)?
NavioticsActive CaptainFacebook forumsIPADHeadphones for communication (bow to stern)Waterway guides and Coast Pilots
What’s the story behind the boat’s name?
Having a Catamaran that can sail to wind was important to us. We named our boat Daggers Down because we think of it as like the phrase “put the pedal to metal.” We can put the daggers down, go upwind and get where we want to go quickly.
Blog Website: Daggers Down Sailing Saga https://daggersdownsailing.site/
Click the gallery below for more photos and information about Daggers Down!