I bought Jade in May 2017, after spending more than six months searching for an affordable yet blue water capable catamaran.
Jade is a 1977 Prout Snowgoose 35 built to Lloyds Standard in the UK. According to the registration she’s 10.36 meters. A length that works well when it comes to paying mooring fees in the crowded Mediterranean, but on recent measurement I found the length to be closer to 10.67m (35′). I suppose it all depends on whether you include the rudders of not. Either way, what’s 30cm between friends.
The Snowgoose 35 is a three cabin catamaran by design with additional berths in the saloon. Jade however, has undergone something of a conversion, with the starboard bow cabin being turned into a dressing room, and the forward saloon berth partitioned off and turned into a double ‘owners cabin.’ Compared to vessels like the Heavenly Twins 27 and the Commanche 32, I find it to be a wasteful design, but it does keep the boat nice and compact.
In theory, the current layout could sleep five people, six if there is a couple along. In reality, the owners cabin is a true double at 135cm wide, and is the only cabin with standing headroom on entrance. The Port quarter cabin is a decent sized single berth, but is a crawl space. The starboard quarter cabin has been turned into a storage room. Interestingly though, on a passage from Mainland Portugal to Maderia, I did have couple share the port side cabin. Perhaps they hadn’t been together long, or were just cosy sleepers, either-way it did seem to work for them.
This really limits the possibilities when searching for crew, or when having guests on board. It is something that I would like to address at some point in the future.
Compared to similar vessels, I find the bathroom/head, and galley to be spacious, especially considering that I’m sailing single-handed. I’m sure when cooking for more than a couple of people, or taking turns to shower that the space shrinks dramatically. Still, it’s good for now.
The boat was previously owned by a couple who sailed her for around 4 years. It was obviously kitted it out to suit them, but unfortunately some of the design choices leave a lot to be desired. Blue linoleum anyone?! This will be addressed at a later date.
Prout Snowgoose 35
Length: 10.36m or (10.72m)
Sails: Furling main (13.5m2), staysail, genoa (36m2), symmetric spinnaker
Fresh water: 300l (150l per hull)
Fuel capacity: 125l
Engine: Yanmar 3GM30 (coupled to Sonic drive leg)
Electricity: 400w solar panels
Batteries: 6 Trojan T-105 (in series giving 675amp/h @ 12v) plus a 100Ah AGM starter battery, and 80Ah windlass battery.
In standard trim, Jade weighs in at roughly 3.6 metric tonnes, and while light, she’s not a fast catamaran. The western world was skeptical of multihull boats back in the 60s and 70s, so the Prout brothers, who formerly raced catamarans, set about designing a strong, solid, and most importantly safe cruising catamaran.
The result was the Snowgoose 34. At some point someone must have actually measured one, because they later decided to call it the Snowgoose 35 (since the mould was tad over 34′). Later models had solid GRP hulls with a sandwich core deck, but Jade and those before her are solid GRP throughout. That means there’s little need to worry about rotting balsa core and badly sealed deck hardware, which is alway a bonus on boats.
Back in the 70s she would have been the height of sophistication, and considered truly blue water capable. After all, these boats were built to withstand a pounding sailing around the British Isles. These days with everything getting larger and heavier, she’s considered by some to be a little small for serious offshore duty, but don’t tell that to the many Prout owners that have successfully and comfortable circumnavigated the globe in safety.
Modifications and upgrades
I’ve taken something of a laid back approach with regards to replacements and upgrades for the boat. Instead, choosing to enjoy her for what she is at the moment, and get some miles under my belt before considering refurbishment. By the time I’m ready to winter somewhere (possibly Greece), I’ll have a nice long list of items that need repairing, replacing, and upgrading, as well as idea on decor and other items.
Dometic Masterflush 7210
One item I have changed is the head. The boat came with a standard Jabsco manual toilet. I soon found that having to pump a good 25+ times to properly flush the toilet, was something of a pain. As the waste hose all needed changing anyway, I decided to opt for a Dometic electric fresh water toilet. No more funky smells, blisters, or confused guest.
Refrigeration on boats is always something of a compromise between space, weight, and power consumption. Jade has an excellent Danfoss compressor built into an under counter unit and very well insulated. Unfortunately it stunk. And despite multiple attempts at cleaning it out, I couldn’t find the root of the problem so set about tearing out the whole unit.
This was a bigger job than I initially anticipated, and wanting to get sailing sooner rather than later I opted to seal up the unit, and purchase a Dometic CFX50 portable refrigerator/freezer. At £700, and 20kg, it’s neither light on the wallet or in weight, but it’s probably one of the best portable units on the market.
More to Come
I’ll be working on Jade, throughout the summer, while trying various products and upgrading items as and when necessary. When something worthy of sharing comes along, I’ll update the details and list them here.