Visit to Andrew Stransky's self designed and built catamaran "Fantasia"

I was fortunate enough recently to be invited out to have a look at Andrew Stransky's 50' cruiser/racer catamaran "Fantasia".  And also the pleasure of meeting Carolyn and daughter Mara.  They were in Melbourne so Mara could train in the Laser dinghy class at the Sailing World Cup that was based in St Kilda this year.  It was a pleasure to meet them and look over their now much travelled boat which has been up and down the coast and through South East Asia competing in races as they went and claiming quite a haul of silverware on the way.

She cuts a dashing figure on the water and approaching from a dinghy you get a feel for the slender hulls and high bridgedeck clearance and a very pleasant looking sheer.  The transom steps are dominated by a set of big dagger type rudders in a cassette.   These have been reworked with extra glass and now look super strong.  The transom steps provide easy access to the boat and due to the high freeboard are probably the only sensible place to board.  She is also equipped with daggerboards as you would expect on a performance boat that due to the height of the hulls don't protrude an undue amount through the deck when drawn up.

The cockpit is spacious with plenty of seating and plenty of shaded area which would be great in the tropics and is equipped with two long tillers that come up to the seating on port and starboard.  There is also centrally mounted wheel steering.  A very salubrious space to spend a day at the anchor.  There is a set of central davits for mounting up the dinghy and plenty of handholds where you need them.  The cockpit shelter also provides a spacious area for solar panels.

My overwhelming impression was of sensible simplicity in layout and execution.  The bridgedeck arrangement is one of the best I've seen on a cruising multihull and the extra waterline length really pays in terms of having a nice useable space in that area.  As well as an excellent galley there is very comfortable saloon seating and a table that could accommodate 8+ diners in comfort.  In the area too there is a comfortable navigation station and a double and single berth which would be great to use whilst on passage.  It is light and  airy and gives a good view outside, two opening hatches in the centre front of the bridgedeck cabin allow good flow through ventilation.

The hulls are long, slender and accommodate a good double cantilever berth and also aft berth/cabin for use by their daughter Mara.  There is space for useful storage in the hulls and due to the performance nature of the boat they are much more slender than you would see on most catamarans.  Headroom is excellent throughout the boat and the hulls have a nice open feel at shoulder height and are well ventilated. The daggerboard cases are angled outwards and don't detract much from the available space.  The hulls are constructed in 20mm Western Red Cedar with triaxial glass across the grain.  I didn't have a look in the engine bays but twin saildrive diesels are mounted there. 

The deck layout is simple and there is a self tacking headsail arrangement.  The fixed rig which was purchased from Allyacht spars has proved to be very strong and reliable.  The shrouds have composite chainplates that are sturdy and neatly constructed with plenty of bonding area over the bulkheads underneath.  The boat has nearly a full width traveler for the mainsail which must give lots of options to depower when needed.  We didn't go for a sail as the Sunday feeling was just too strong and it felt like more of an afternoon for a chat than anything more strenuous. 

The Stransky's are very happy with their boat and it's easy to see why as she provides all the necessities of a cruising boat combined with excellent sailing performance and a safe and solid platform with a comfortable motion.  If I was to look at building a performance cruising catamaran a boat like this would have to be high on my list.  If you would like to build to this design Andrew has compiled plans for the "Seven Seas 50" and is able to offer technical support through the build process he also still has the hull moulds to help accelerate the process.  You can contact him on you can also like their Facebook page at

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