Quentin Warren reviews this responsive cruising catamaran.
Among the more comfortable new cruising catamarans to make 1996 debuts, the impressive Manta 40 consolidates roomy accommodations, refined deck systems and first-rate construction.
At 40 feet, the hulls are long and sleek enough to counteract visually the freeboard required for volume below. The fine, plumb bows, cutting a strikingly delicate wake, are spanned by a composite beam that supports port and starboard foredeck trampolines and ties structurally into the decks. The bridge deck’s rounded pod is fit with wraparound portlights forward. Our test boat was equipped with a "Radar Arch/Hardtop/Dinghy Davit Pac," featuring a welded, anodized-aluminum Bimini structure and davits for a sizable tender. The superstructure is substantial, but suits the boat’s cruising agenda.
Construction is fastidious, benefiting from the experience of Manta’s Pat Reischmann who has been involved in state-of-the-art composite technology since it first began to change the face of boatbuilding. All elements of the boat are vacuum bagged. Hull, deck and bulkheads utilize a varying schedule of traxial, biaxial and unidirectional cloth applied with isophthalic and vinylester resins. Below the waterline, the hulls feature solid glass and vinylester; above the waterline and in the deck, Nida-Core polyproylene honeycomb reduces weight and increases stiffness and strength. Where deck fittings occur, aluminum backing plates are inserted into the actual layup. The hulls-to-deck detail includes 3M 5200 adhesive sealant, mechanical fasteners on 10-inch centers and glass tabbing.
Access to twin 30-horsepower Volvos with Sail Drives is excellent. Plumbing lines, thru-hulls, filters, strainers, wiring, tankage and the like are impeccably organized and easily serviced and are fit with first-rate hardware. Two house battery banks totaling 360 amp-hours and a pair of dedicated 75-AH start batteries complement a 110-volt shore-power system that includes a 50-amp converter for battery charging. The Manta’s "Comfort Pac," from extra batteries and high-output alternators to a generator and an electric head, can take power options into the realm of luxury.
The light and cheerful interior, with a lot of easily maintained vinyl and acrylic, is accented with varnished teak trim and highly durable synthetic teak-and-holly soles. On the bridge deck, a brilliant U-shaped galley to port serves the dinette, across from which a serious navigation station sits. The hulls are reserved for sleeping and ablutions, the port hull for the owner’s double cabin aft and private head with shower forward.
Sail control lines in the cockpit are nicely choreograhed. A very roachy, full-batten main with controls at the helm and a self-tacking Camber Spar jib that virtually takes care of itself on the bow provide good but easily managed power. The boat is solid enough and stable enough to relish a blow; our light-air test at least gave us the opportunity to confirm that the 40 is a responsive performer in a wide range of conditions.
This newest Manta pleasingly blends sophisticated technology and beautiful construction with the features to fulfill the needs and desires of a typical cruising couple.
Manta Enterprises Inc.
7855 126th Avenue North
Largo, FL Phone:(813) 536-8446
Manta 40 Specifications:
* LOA: 39’8" (12.1 m.)
* LWL: 39’0" (11.9 m.)
* Beam (max): 21’0" (6.4 m.); 53% LOA
* Draft: 3’8" (1.12 m.)
* Disp: 13,000 lbs. (5,897 kgs.)
* Sail area: 798 sq.ft. (74.2 sq.m.)
* Mast above water: 59’6" (18.2 m.)
* Length/Beam (hulls): 9.5:1
* Underwing clearance: 2’; 5% LOA
* Cabin Headroom: 6’4" (1.93 m.)
* Disp/Length: 97.8
* SA/Disp: 23.1; Bruce #: 1.2
* Fuel: 100 gal. (378 ltr.)
* Water: 100 gal. (378 ltr.)
* Holding: 30 gal. (114 ltr.)
* Auxiliary: 2 x 30-hp Volvo diesel
* Designer: Manta Enterprises
* Base price: $204,950