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Prout Snowgoose 37



prout catamaran reviews

I’ve always had a soft spot for Prouts as the first catamaran I sailed on was a Prout Quest 33. The Snowgoose is her more famous sister that evolved from the earlier 35 footer “Damn Kiwi” is a lovely example of one of these boats. Read Alan’s Prout 37 Owner’s Review for a great insight into the pros and cons of this catamaran.

The Prout Snowgoose is not a performance catamaran by any stretch of the imagination,  but she sails well for her length and performs admirably in light air. She can take rough weather very well with her canoe sterns.

Mast Back, Big Genoa Prout were the first proponents of the ‘mast-aft’ rig with a small main, large head sail and all lines & sheets leading back to the cockpit making her very easy to handle alone. You’ll need to leave the cockpit when you put up the spinnaker, but that’s about it. Interestingly, this mast aft trend has become fashionable again with everything from the Gunboat 68 to the Lagoon 46 catamaran using Prout’s old tricks.

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  • The Prout Snowgoose is a proven ocean crosser – a sturdy, seaworthy and affordable catamaran.
  • The sail plan, with the mast set aft, is well set up for single-handed or short-handed sailing.
  • She will fit into a standard marina berth – that keeps your running costs down
  • If you take the mast off, you can motor down through France on the Canal du Midi.
  • They are pretty manoeuvrable in the marina, especially those boats with dual aft engines.
  • With flat keels and narrow beam she´s easy to haul or beach – which again saves you maintenance cost.
  • Low windage with that profile.
  • There is not much headroom in the salon. Once you are sat around the table, it´s fine – very cosy in fact.
  • She has canoe sterns which work well dissipating wave energy from behind, but it is not so easy to get on and off the boat.
  • Not the fastest catamaran on the water, but you should be able to average 6 knots
  • With that covered foredeck and low bridgedeck you will get some slamming in rougher weather
  • Most Snowgooses were fitted with a single engine. That makes the boat less manoeuvrable than a dual engine cat.

Head for the Canals Snowgoose was built with mini-keels so you can dry her out in between tides to clean the hulls and her narrow beam means she is able to motor down the French canals to the Med and back again.

The single engine concept is popular with owners. While not as manoeuvrable as twin engines, you can swivel the drive through 30 degrees to get around corners. Some of the later Elite models were fitted with twin engines, I believe only around 5 37s were launched with twin engines but others have had a retro-fit. They are more manoeuvrable and you have the redundancy advantage, but it adds weight to the boat and you will lose some performance.

Watch out for Slamming The bridge deck is pretty low compared to modern cats like a Nautitech 40 Open , and that’s because she has a centre “nacelle” like a Privilege, and yes they do suffer from slamming if you don’t load them properly, but keep the weight off the bow and the aft and she is still a very seaworthy boat, as countless owners who have crossed oceans will tell you.

These aren’t condomarans with oodles of space, and they aren’t racing cats either, but they are very well-built, strong, sea worthy and cosy boats that will deliver you across the oceans without breaking the bank.

prout catamaran reviews

An Affordable Ocean Crosser More than 500 boats were built (not as many as the Lagoon 380, but still) and the number that have completed circumnavigations are in the hundreds. If your budget is around 100k and you want to sail around the world, you can do it on a Snowgoose.

The Prout family were building cats in the 1950s- this was a company with a long and rich history in multihulls before they sadly went bust in 2002 following a number of turbulent years.

The Snowgoose looks a bit dumpy and dated by modern catamaran design standards, but don’t let that fool you. She has a solid bridgedeck forward (something that Bali Catamarans have taken on), and while this isn’t as fetching as having nets, it does make for a very sturdy rigid boat with plenty of working and playing space forward.

A Narrower Beam Means Lower Marina Fees The beam is narrow compared to modern designs (the later Elite is wider) and the hulls aft don’t have sugar scoops for swimming platforms. The narrow beam means you pay standard monohull fees at most marinas: yet another saving on the running costs.

The cockpit is, shall we say, cosy, but step on board and you will quickly recognise that she is a solid, safe boat built to weather a storm.

Most Snowgoose 37s were built in the 1980s. A later model, called the Elite, has a wider beam. Both models evolved from the  Snowgoose 35. She has a cutter rig with a single-spreader mast.


You can’t call the Snowgoose 37 light for her length, with a displacement of more than 5,200 tonnes, but neither is she a block of lead. The hulls with stubby fixed keels are solid fiberglass, (newer models are solid below the waterline and cored above). With the solid bridgedeck she’s very rigid and strong, and the decks are cored with balsa or other materials to keep the weight down.

The newer Elite model went into production around ’86, and it’s around a foot bigger across the beam than the standard Snowgoose, so you get more room down below, but she carries more weight and has a slightly deeper draft.

The single engine has a rotating, retractable sonic drive gear. You may come across Prout 37s with twin engines as well, in particular some of the later Elites. In either configuration, the Snowgoose is very manoeuvrable.

The cockpit is small compared to modern cats but comfy enough with a bulkhead mounted helm that has great visibility. All lines come back to the cockpit. The mainsheet traveler is aft- it’s pretty short compared to newer cats. If the weather turns, the cabin door can be quickly closed to keep it nice and dry in the saloon.

She´s Seaworthy Although the side decks are narrow, there are plenty of handholds like the grab-rail that that you will use going forward. She feels safe, with plenty of lifelines and robust stanchions. The solid bridgedeck has two large forward lockers with plenty of storage space to keep things organised.

The majority of these cats are cutter rigged, with a furled genoa and staysail. The main is generally fully battened.

prout catamaran reviews

Easy Anchor Check It’s a cool place to sleep at anchor, and you can easily check your position from your bunk. The saloon has a horseshoe sofa and a big table for socialising. It’s a really cosy space with a few friends around- it’s surprising how many people you can sit around the table. The whole feel is more cosy monohull with headroom about 5 feet, 8 inches. The solid wood finish is high quality – she has a lovely feel about her.

Plenty of Space, especially in the Elite Forward in the starboard hull there is a changing area, storage, bookshelves and lockers. The galley  is in the down position in the centre of the hull, but the port-holes are at eye level, so you can see the horizon while you’re cooking. Although she’s galley down, you’re part of the scene and connected to the saloon with your head peeping out. The fridge and freezer are under the bunk in the aft cabin. This can be a fiddle.

Each cabin aft is a double berth, with a locker, a seat and shelves. These cabins are snug but comfortable.  On the port hull is a nice navigation station with a fold-down seat and traditional chart drawer. You’ll have no problems fitting your instruments and radios with the electrical switches on the forward bulkhead. There’s a single head forward that is pretty spacious.

Open Plan Option The other option is the open plan where the horse-shoe sofa goes all the way forward instead of having the cabin. You can convert the forward part into a decent sized berth.

Under Power

Most Snowgoose 37s you’ll see will have a single engine, normally with 30 or 40 hp of power  (Volvos or Yanmars generally).  The fuel tank holds around 135 litres that feeds the stern drive unit (eg the Sonic Drive by Sillette). This retractable drive turns as you move the helm for greater manoeuvrability. With skegs to protect the rudder, it’s perfectly possible to beach this cat.

Later models were fitted with twin engines (the Elite) and some owners have retrofitted them.

prout catamaran reviews

Beating upwind isn’t that much fun, but is it in any cat without daggerboards? She is helped on a close reach by that staysail. It is on this point of sail that you are most likely to experience bridge slam in heavy weather.

A Steady, Safe Mover She’ll be comfortably blown along by the trade winds, however, day in and day out with not much stress involved if you set her up right. 150 miles a day is more than achievable on these boats. OK, granted, you could do more than double that on a Gunboat 68 , but you could have a fleet of 50 Prouts for the same money. Or just buy one Prout and spend the rest in fancy restaurants when you get to Nanny Cay.

She’s well balanced and sails well on auto.

Prout 37 Snowgoose Brochures

prout catamaran reviews

Or click for the Prout Snowgoose 37 Elite brochure .

With thanks to Todd Weiler who is an active member of the Prout Catamaran Owners Group on Facebook.

I love the name on the featured boat on the first brochure: Mother Goose. Looking good!

That aft port double cabin looks cosy in the picture 😉

This design might be almost 50 years old, but it has stood the test of time and the Snowgoose 37 remains a popular choice for blue-water cruisers who don’t want to spend the earth on a circumnavigation.  She’s a rock solid ocean crosser with an unmatched track record.

From time to time we feature selected boats that come onto the market. Head to our Prout Snowgoose 37 For Sale page to see the latest listings.

How much should I expect to pay for a decent Prout 37 Snowgoose? Well, you have a whole range of options here. Do you buy a doer-upper? You might get on for €50k or less. How old? Later models, up to 2001 can approach €100k for a decent example. I would budget between €70k and €80k but make sure you leave a decent pot of funds for work. Do a comprehensive survey before you buy.

What´s the difference between a standard Snowgoose and an Elite Snowgoose? Prout started building the Snowgoose Elite in 1986. The Elite is a foot wider than the standard Snowgoose, so there is more space down below but she´s also heavier with 2 inches more draft. The original Snowgoose has outboard rudders, whereas the Elite rudders are smaller and below the waterline. Some of the later Elites were fitted with twin aft engines.

When was the Prout Snowgoose Built? The Prout Snowgoose 37 evolved from the 35 which was launched in 1970. By 1983 the 35 had evolved into the 37 and in 1986 they launched the Prout Snowgoose Elite. You can find Prout Snowgooses launched as late as 2001.

Technical Specification

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  • By Tom Neale
  • Updated: August 5, 2002

Laying to her mooring, the Prout 45’s sleek rounded hulls, tear-drop shapes astern and contoured bridge promise to handle seas with minimal slapping and jerking.

Boarding stairways molded into each hull usher the cruiser to comfortable cockpit seats and table. Close by are large storage compartments, hefty davits aft and a dedicated compartment for a survival raft, one of the boat’s many notable safety features. Hydraulic steering and dual engine controls are at hand from a comfortable helmsman’s seat secure within the cockpit but with a good view under a nice Bimini.

In light air, the boat performed for us quite well. She’d recently proven herself offshore by crossing the Atlantic and sailing through a roaring northeaster on an East Coast passage. An Aero Rig powered the boat we sailed (see “Straight Aero” Jan. 1997).

The standard marconi rig costs considerably less. Under power with two Volvo 30-horsepower motors and Sail Drives, the boat turned sharply and maneuvered easily while remaining relatively quiet (exhaust is by way of a waterlock muffler) and comfortable, doing a lively eight knots at 2,450 rpms.

You can choose from four cabin arrangements. The Charter model we sailed had extra staterooms and, thus, fewer creature comforts than the Family or Master Stateroom versions, which contain fewer heads but more storage and separate shower stalls. The galley is snug and convenient to the saloon and cockpit. The view is great from the saloon’s wraparound seating, which is served by a large dinette. Forward of the saloon, two large berths, separated from each other by a bulkhead, are accessed from either hull. The bulkhead between them and the saloon opens. Ten deck hatches and 10 opening ports ventilate belowdecks.

Equipment installations are nicely done. Stainless steel ladders from aft-deck hatches lead to the rudder systems, shaft seals, batteries and aft end of the engines, the forward ends of which are also accessible through large hatches under the aft bunks. Plumbing, refrigeration and other systems are generally accessible, and Prout promises to hinge future electrical panels.

The manufacturer’s agents assured us that this boat can carry about two tons of payload after adding a gen set and filling the tanks.

Mud on the ground tackle gave yet another sign that the boat could and had been doing its stuff. The dual-anchor system is well thought out. The primary anchor feeds out from the forward wall of the bridge, keeping its weight and that of the windlass and chain back toward the boat’s center.

The boat is built to Lloyd’s ISO 9002/BS 5750 certification and can be purchased in varying stages of completion. Hand-laid of solid fiberglass up to the waterline, the hulls’ topsides are cored with end-grain balsa. Some critical areas are Kevlar reinforced. Deck coring is relieved in the way of stressed fittings. Diagonal, torsion-control bulkheads are designed to handle the connective structure’s stresses. Four collision bulkheads and integral water tanks in the hulls’ bottoms add to safety. The boat comes with a five-year osmosis guarantee

Prout 45 Specifications:

  • LOA: 45’0″ (13.7 m.)
  • LWL: 42’0″ (12.8 m.)
  • Beam (max): 20’10” (6.4 m.); 46% LOA
  • Draft: 3’5″ (1.04 m.)
  • Disp: 21,450 lbs. (9,730 kgs.)
  • Sail area: 942 sq. ft. (87.5 sq.m.)
  • Mast above water: 60’6″ (18.44 m.)
  • Length/Beam (hulls): 8:1
  • Underwing clearance: 2′ (min) to 2’8″; 4-6% LOA
  • Cabin Headroom: 6’3″ (1.93 m.)
  • Disp/Length: 129
  • SA/Disp: 19.5; Bruce #: 1.1
  • Fuel: 85 gal. (322 ltr.)
  • Water: 160 gal. (606 ltr.)
  • Holding: 38 gal. (144 ltr.)
  • Auxiliary: 2 x 30-hp Volvo Penta
  • Designers: David Feltman, Rob Underwood
  • Base Price: $446,600

Prout USA, Inc. 326 First St., Suite 33 Annapolis, MD 21403 Phone: (410) 280-8500

  • More: 2001 - 2010 , 41 - 50 ft , catamaran , Coastal Cruising , multihull , Sailboat Reviews , Sailboats
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Prout 33 Quest Review with Michael Briant of Sailing Gently

  • Post author By River B
  • Post date December 6, 2020
  • No Comments on Prout 33 Quest Review with Michael Briant of Sailing Gently

prout catamaran reviews

In this episode, River interviews Michael Briant, a former owner of a Prout 33 Quest and an accomplished author of cruising guides and sailing videos. You can purchase them on his Gentle Sailing site . He also is a famous director and actor (with his own Wikipedia page ). Finally Michael has a YouTube channel Sailing Gently which we highly recommend you subscribe to and follow for fantastic sailing videos including some interesting travels in times of Covid 19.

Michael talks to us about Prouts and French canals issues with cats. Also he briefly mentions his adventures sailing through the French north coast ports. While he no longer owns Eloise (his Prout 33 Quest), he still hosts the Prout Owners Association . A lifelong sailor who has done multiple circumnavigations, he now is sailing a Westerly Ocean 43 .

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your adventures on Eloise?

Michael: I’d wanted to have a catamaran for years and years, and it just never it just never happened. Then I got back from a second navigation with my wife. She didn’t want to bounce about and she had liked catamarans that she’d seen. What she actually liked were 50 foot and 60 foot catamarans and what I was offering was i think uh what was that Elouise she was 34 32 something of that um something of that order.

Monique was madly disappointed, but she came with me over. I bought it, ddid a little bit of work doing it up, and then took my wife across to Portland’s. We picked her up there and had her put in the water and sailed her down to la Rochelle in France which is a distance about 500 to 600 miles if it’s by sea, but I cheated and took her across to Dieppe in France which is a 60 mile passage to 70 mile passage across the English Channel because the boat hadn’t sailed for three or four or five years.

The bouncy route in the channel swirled around the fuel tank and halfway across um the engine stopped all together and of course because it was new to me I had some tools on board. I didn’t have a clean filter. I didn’t have anything at all so I ended up sailing my brand new to my catamaran into the port under sail and it is a fairy port. It’s a port where cross channel fairies go into and have class submissions on. But it was fine. I mean so easy to sail. I mean really easy really surprised me i’ve never sailed a catamaran before.

First I couldn’t find the entrance, so I actually had to check out a way from the beach in order to find the entrance into the port. I got into the port, called up the marina, and said hey guys got no energy in here. They came out they gave me a tow and it was great and parked up there. I had the stainless fuel tank cleaned out. I took around to a port where the 1418 war mainly happened, and from there took it down through the French canals to the Mediterranean.

You mentioned your wife not wanting to bounce about and that’s a perfectly reasonable request how comfortable is the Prout 33 Quest?

It is a very different movement from a monohull so having sailed 30-40 thousand miles in monohulls walking into a smaller catamaran was a big change. On a reach or downwind, they are just so gentle and so comfortable it’s lovely going to windward.

I have to say um the movement tends to be a bit jerky but that that could be particular so that sort of catamaran. I’m not experienced enough i haven’t owned i haven’t sailed really any others.

I sailed on a Catalac once. I sailed with Tom Lack who actually built them designed and built going to windward. They are they have got a bit more bounce on them than a monohull and I think that’s partly because they don’t they don’t go down in the water so much i suspect that’s the reason for the balance but it’s nothing to worry about. It’s nothing offensive it’s just different from a monohull.

What about heavy weather? Did you encounter any heavy weather while you were sailing?

Yeah I make it a practice to avoid heavy weather as much as possible um i didn’t really during the time i owned um Eloise myself out of la Rochelle in France um i didn’t encounter anything much above a sort of six i don’t think and then i just reefed down and you know that was fine. I was never out there in a gale or whatever. She was fine. She never gave me any worries and i was never concerned about being out in bad weather. I had a good friend in the Caribbean who had a Prout 37 which was one of the reasons I had bought a Prout.

Absolutely beautiful boat um which i um was on board in Martinique and various other places and he was he was a German guy. He sailed her from Prouts in England to uh down to the mediterranean then across to the Caribbean. He never had he said to me he never had a moment doubt about him he’d been out in some heavy weather in earth and he had never had a moment’s worry um they were good so and he was a good sailor, so his confidence in his Prout 37 gave me my confidence in my Prout 33.

Anything that you would have changed or actually did change about the boat when you owned Eloise?

I put in a high chair. I put in a stool behind the wheel. I mean that you’ve got this little wheel which of course is very small compared to you know a huge great monohull wheel so uh you’ve got this little wheel and you should remember this little wheel because the windows are not very far behind you. I found since I didn’t like standing up, so I put in a high chair.

I bought a stainless steel captain’s chair on the internet and the next time i had it laid up. It was just a matter of get so simple to fit backing plate underneath and a few bolts and really comfortable really nice one foot on the side other foot there and the gear lead levels down there and the lever for swinging the outboard engine round is right in front of you excellent.

You certainly need to get the high chair I think if you’re going to um go very far. The radar i moved below a little bit along the port side, so in fact from my hike area, I could just lean down look through the um look through the hatch and i could see the radar. Those are the main things. Also we did the head linings, but I think everybody with all your boats whether they’re Prouts or Moody’s or Westerlies or even American boats, I’m sure of that era you end up redoing the head linings. It’s easy on a catamaran because they’re such big flat distances very few curves nice.

How did she handle on the canals? Was it tight at times? Do you have any problems with maneuverability?

Just before you just before you called me, I got my French canal Route to the Mediterranean book out to check it and the beam in the main canals and that’s in the locks of course. The maximum beam is five meters, and I can’t remember what the Quest 33 was but i think it was something like four point fifty four meters that sort of size and when you add the fenders on either side and most people if they’re sensible have got a scaffolding board running outside the fenders you’re going into those locks with maybe only a foot foot and a half clearance on either side

To get in them you have to line up at absolute right angles and the only place there is any current in a French canal is just outside the lock gate because the locks if you’re coming uh if you’re going up a level the top lock is entering um the water’s coming into the uh into the lock bay the lock basin bit and it’s coming out around the entrance and vice versa if you’re going up the levels are changing so you line yourself up you get a little bit way back you line up absolutely a hundred percent with the full length of your boat so it’s straight on into that canal lock and as you get there the current sweeps you to one side or the other side

In the Prout i was able to do it without having another breakdown and without actually doing it ever. I did meet another couple in a rather larger catamaran one time who were in tears because it was just you know if you’re on the limit of getting in there you know you only got a few inches either side. Probably a catamaran of that size shouldn’t be shouldn’t be doing it. They were in tears because they were dinging it.

Any advice about uh navigating the canals in a catamaran aside from don’t put a big one in there?

No I mean they they they’re brilliant because you can get right alongside. One of the problems with the monohull in the french canals is that because of the key it isn’t that deep alongside the banks. You know the canals are they’re not sort of concreted size they’ve got soft um they’ve got soft um soft canal sides.

The toe path there’s not sort of stone work. It’s quite soft so the center of the canal is deep the central canal is you know uh one five foot nine 1.8 meters so in a monohull that’s absolutely fine but once you go to park up for the night and you go alongside some leafy canal side and all the rest of it you can’t get to one of her in.

But the catamaran she slides right in there alongside the bank very easy to drive in a couple of stakes um into the bank and tie up put the plank on and walk short so they are perfect they are absolutely perfect.

Can you tell us a little bit about Gentle Sailing ?

It’s a youtube channel I started. I had a load of videos actually i did a second navigation, so I shot a lot of film on digital which sold very well with sort of West Marine and Defenders and so on, but that was also about 10 or 15 years ago. For some reason recently I looked at all these films and because they stopped selling after a whil because they you know all films.

I think i’ll put them up if I’m not making money out of these. So I think I put them up on YouTube for free. Then I discovered that you start a youtube channel. I started one called Michael Briant and that’s all that’s not very good. So i made a subsidiary channel called Gentle Sailing and started putting all these old films up on there.

With a bit of conversion a bit of editing and so on and and they were you know they were quite successful people seemed to enjoy them people seemed to like them and then this year um I went. They were never getting mega views. They were never going viral.

This year i went off sailing down the French coast down the normally goes between the two covered Covid lockdown incidents and I put cameras which i didn’t have before you know those tiny little GoPro cameras plastered them all over my boat and started making videos and um i’ve been doing i did a couple of videos about getting the boat back from um England to France during the first lockdown which was quite an experience because the French didn’t want to let me in.

Then i’ve done videos about all of the Normandy coast um from the Lion to Sherbal which I shot between the two lockdown periods on my GoPro cameras and they’ve been doing very well indeed they’ve been doing very well um i’m really pleased about those.

They’re just like pilots it’s just like having a pilot book and i do it visually and show you how to get into the port of these little French walls which view which is a bit the same as um the intercostal waterway which i sailed up. I should have had a catamaran for the intercostal waterway because it would have been perfect for sure

All right well that’s all we have time for today. I’m River Braun with CatamaranSite.com. You can see more about Michael Briant’s work on Gentle Sailing on his Youtube channel and also on on CatamaranSite.com for more information on how to make your next catamaran purchase thank you so much.

  • Tags Catamaran Interviews , Catamaran Reviews

River B

River is a licensed USCG Captain with a lifetime of experience on the water. From the San Francisco Bay to the South Pacific, blue water to clear water, he’s sailed a wide variety of catamarans and crawled around in the bilges of more than he can count. You can follow his misadventures at www.tilted.life.

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Prout 45 – Boat Review

By Tom Neale Laying to her mooring, the Prout 45’s sleek rounded hulls, tear-drop shapes astern and contoured bridge promise to handle seas with minimal slapping and jerking. Boarding stairways molded into each hull usher the cruiser to comfortable cockpit seats and table. Close by are large storage compartments, hefty davits aft and a dedicated compartment for a survival raft, one of the boat’s many notable safety features. Hydraulic steering and dual engine controls are at hand from a comfortable helmsman’s seat secure within the cockpit but with a good view under a nice Bimini. To read complete story – click here for Prout 45 – Boat Review on Cruising World website

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