Saturday, November 25, 2006

Antigua 44's

It should be noted that Antigua 44's are not CSY's.

Different names because, they were different companies.

Antiguas were built by the Coats brothers in St. Petersburg, Florida. They bought the molds from Van Ost's Tampa, Florida operation when he was closing down the CSY operations.

Antiguas were built in a much smaller facility in northern St. Petersburg. Most of the employees were different and the emphasis was different. Antigua only produced 'one' model of the 44' Hull-a shoal draft Walk Thru and with different specs. Built using the Walk Through/center cockpit "molds" , which I noted sat outside for years at the Antigua plant. Few were built. Antigua ALSO built I think ONE sailboat, called an Antigua 53' which was a actually a Morgan 51 with a slanted stern popular in the mid 80's race boats. IT or THEY were sloop rigged, rather than the original Ketch rig to probably bring down cost and therefore the selling price. Price was very important in those years of high Oil/Resin Prices. Boat builders were going under and Antigua was trying to start and then survive in this troubled market.

I have known 3 of the Antiqua 44's. There were "non-CSY problems" with each. I personally saw blisters the size of eggs on the bottom of one Antigua being ground out by the owner and filled with fairing compound(not what would be considered a quality/structural repair for such a deep glass penetration) This was noted on two separate haul outs here in St. Pete during the mid 90's. Big blisters were 'not' a problem on CSY's.

Other problems noted by Antigua owners were serious problems with water and fuel tanks, so beware and make your 'survey' extensive to be informed and do not use the history of CSY Walk-thru models. The boats might look alike, but were different companies. I believe Antigua decks were cored rather than a solid layup and would look for evidence of other cost savings in any area of construction/manufacturing if surveying an Antigua 44. Antigua Chain Plates were simple 4 bolt "T" weldments, not the 6 bolt CSY plates. I have been in interiors of Antiguas as well as one or two unfinished CSY hulls which were completed by the Coats brothers and sold off as Antiguas. Also there were private owners- that finished bare hulls or partially completed hulls that I believe were documented as Antiqua's. One such vessel"Pelikan", was finished here in the Tampa bay area by Vietnamese carpenters. There ARE differences. A big one is Displacement. The CSY was 37,000 lbs. and the Antigua was "I think" 33,000 lbs. TWO TONS, (11% of CSY displacement)..was not put into the Antiquas.
Since all the equipment is probably the same...the difference is 4,000 pounds less fiberglass and resin!

I personally feel CSY's to be a better built vessel and as such, they should be consciously separated from Antiguas in any discussion. Any hype and BUC numbers that seem to reflect a quality difference are only numbers and marketing hype that have not been cleared up. It's your money but......................................... an Antigua 44, is not a Caribbean Sailing Yacht 44' Walk Thru Model.

Shop apples to apples.

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