The M37 Island Hopper: A Cat That Feels Its Moxie
Pick a few sandy beaches, a blue-sky day, and a little bit of breeze, and you might have the perfect playground for this South African-built cat. A boat review from our July 2009 issue.
Living aboard the M37 will be a little more akin to camping than it would be in a "cruising" catamaran. While it does have a queen-berth cabin in each hull, its appointments verge on the spartan, simply to support the performance goals. Each cabin has a head compartment forward of it. The galley, located in the aft end of the starboard hull, has an Isotherm fridge/freezer, a two-burner range (but no oven), and double sinks in a space comparable to that of a monohull in the low 30-foot range. In the port hull, the aft end serves as a nav center or office. The foot well for the "desk" has a filler to convert it into the head of a double berth if desired.
In benign weather, the place to be when not sailing is in the lounging cockpit between the hulls. Two parallel benches seat eight around the table, and their backs fold down to become double berths. A vast icebox in the table ensures that there need be no shortage of cool beverages aboard. A rigid, carbon-fiber arched roof covers this area. Its low profile complements the lines of the boat's superstructure, but negotiating it when entering the cockpit from aft takes practice. Getting around the side decks would be easier if the roof had a more grabbable perimeter or handrails.
Access between the lounging cockpit and the working cockpit is through a circular opening in the main bulkhead, which can be fully or partially closed with clear plastic panels. The entire lounge area can be enclosed with plastic or insect screens.
For auxiliary power, the M37 has a pair of Lombardini diesels with saildrives. Effective insulation holds their noise down to a comfortable level. Jaspersen chose these engines for their aluminum blocks, which, as well as helping trim the boat's overall weight, are light enough that they can be easily lifted out of the boat and taken to a shop for service. He will substitute a more conventional brand if a customer requests it.
Jaspersen's aim with the M37 was to "create a coastal cruising boat with raceboat performance . . . yet be uncomplicated to sail." He's certainly achieved the sailing goal, and the execution of the structural work appears first-class. If some of the finish details on the cruising end are a little behind in finesse, perhaps that's to be expected in a prototype boat of this nature, and it shouldn't detract too seriously from anyone experiencing the lighthearted fun that the M37 both promises and capably delivers.
LOA 39' 6" (12.04 m.)
LWL 36' 0" (10.97 m.)
Beam 22' 0" (6.71 m.)
Draft (brds. up/dn.) 2' 3"/6' 11" (.69/2.11 m.)
Sail Area 555 sq. ft. (51.56 sq. m.)
Displacement 6,065 lb. (2,751 kg.)
Water 57 gal. (216 l.)
Fuel 32 gal. (121 l.)
Mast Height 54' 6" (16.61 m.)
Engine Two Lombardini 20-hp.
Designer Uwe Jaspersen
Moxie Yachts Ltd.
Jeremy McGeary is a CW contributing editor.