PRE-LOVED BOATS: CHINCOGAN 520 CHURAKAI
This Grainger-designed Chincogan 520 Churakai sailing catamaran is kitted out to take you far away.
Churakai is an Australian designed and built luxury bluewater cruising catamaran. Conceived by world renowned multihull designer Tony Grainger, it was built at the Chincogan factory in NSW in 2002.
Safe and strong, with fantastic storage, this cat is equipped for extended periods at sea – the perfect place to start a world cruising adventure.
The current owner has had his fair share of adventures, many in the tropical latitudes of South East Asia.
This boat is for sale. Find more information here.
An iconic figure of the Gold Coast’s surfing heritage, he and his wife have explored famous surf breaks, feasted on fresh seafood and equipped their yacht for self-sufficiency.
Just listening to them regale their adventures, hearing of the friendships they made and the relaxed pace of life lived, created in me a real desire to return to the untethered life at sea.
Sailing a platform like Churakai around far-off lands, experiencing foreign cultures and forming lasting friendships with like-minded people, certainly has a lot of appeal.
As a cruising catamaran enthusiast, with many years of experience sailing similar sized cats around the Caribbean and Europe, I was very interested in seeing how this yacht stacks up on four specific aspects: safety, practicality, sailability and liveability.
BLUEWATER CRUISING CATAMARAN
The hull has a three pronged approach to safety. The first is the collision bulkhead in the bow of each hull and the second is sealed floors in the bows. If there was a hull breach, water would be confined to those areas. The third prong is the shift from a sandwich construction above the waterline to solid construction below. On the topsides, the uncluttered arrangement makes passage forward safe. In the cockpit the high sides offer safety in adverse conditions.
The owner has taken safety another step further and installed a forward-looking sonar. This helps identify what lies beneath the surface in poorly charted areas and shallow coral-strewn waters.
Being a cat, the scan area is doubled by having a transponder on each hull, giving the ability to navigate reef passes with greater certainty and drop anchor closer to shore.
When it comes to practicality the Chincogan stands out from the production catamaran alternatives.
Storage is abundant and convenient; finishes are clean and practical. Engine access is simple and generous in size.
Twin 47hp Yanmars power her along on one engine at 6kts and up to 12kts on both. Water tanks can be filled on the move, via the recently serviced Spectra watermaker, or using the subtle but effective rainwater collection system provided by the hardtop.
This catamaran’s ability to change a rudder with the yacht still in the water is also a very handy feature – it sure beats having to change plans and find a haul-out facility. Up top, more than 500W of solar panels provide power to the battery banks in a quiet and effective way to maintain your power requirements while cruising.
The distribution of weight and the clever daggerboard arrangement give this Grainger design excellent sailing performance, easily handled by two people.
A fully battened main sail with lazy boom is a great bluewater cruising setup. Not only does it make dropping the sail uncomplicated, but it also provides more options for a preventer in light downwind situations.
The aluminium rail won’t fade or wear out like a lazy bag and offers additional handholds when on the coachroof. A furling gennaker and genoa fill out the sail wardrobe
Manoeuvrability in close quarters is enhanced by excellent vision to all corners of the yacht from the helm, and this drastically reduces the communication required when berthing.
The expansive, uncluttered topsides and foredeck alone should be enough to tempt even the most diehard monohull enthusiasts to consider a cat.
It’s the usable and interactive space and one-level living, plus the stable platform that often convinces people to choose a catamaran.
The galley runs transversely across the starboard side of the saloon, facing out to the cockpit and a flip-up window from the galley brings fresh air and conversation inside, while providing a way to easily supply the cockpit with fresh food and cold drinks.
Accommodation is divided between the two hulls. Guest accommodation is in the aft double, amidships single and a forward single berth in the starboard hull and is accented by the same New Guinea rosewood found throughout the yacht’s interior.
The port side is the owners’ hull with a comfortable cabin aft. Forward of the cabin is a washing machine and the big surprise is the bathroom – probably the biggest I’ve seen on a cat of this size and sure to impress, with abundant storage, accessible power points and a head that is separated from the shower. The large deck hatch above provides welcome ventilation.
Performance, safety, self-sufficiency and ease of living, plus the great attention to detail, result in a superb adventure platform.
Churakai is an incredibly well setup yacht, fully serviced and ready to go.
Check out more photos, a comprehensive list of inclusions, specifications and the recent servicing on the owner’s website listed below.
CHINCOGAN 520 CATAMARAN SPECIFICATIONS
FOR SALE $695,000
YEAR BUILT 2002
MATERIAL Foam and glass composite
TYPE Grainger design catamaran
LENGTH 15.84m (LOA)
ENGINE Twin Yanmar turbo-diesels (47hp), with Kanzaki gearboxes
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