Issue: January 2005
The Voyager 1040 Flybridge Cruiser is a luxurious vessel that takes full advantage of her larger beam to give an abundance of living space for extended cruising in style and comfort. But that’s not all this boat was designed for. While the V1040 offers the ultimate in high performance offshore cruising, she still remains an extremely attractive bare boat charter investment. It all boils down to engines. With alternative engines – engine options range from twin 75hp through to twin 250s her advanced low drag hull is just as happy cruising around at 10 knots on charter, as it is powering along at 25 knots heading out to ‘The Shelf’ in search of the big ones.
Then, when you take into consideration that this boat has more interior living space than many much larger mono-hulls, the Voyager V1040 is one of the most versatile cruisers on the market. She boasts a variety of layouts, three double berths with one or two bathrooms, or an owner’s queen-sized bed in one cabin, a double in the other and twin single berths in the third. The V1040’s Charter Layout features two bathrooms and three double cabins with a dinette that converts into additional berths if required.
This makes this boat a top vessel for two couples, each with two children, to holiday onboard. Single or dual helm stations are also available, so with the added cost savings from only having the flybridge helm station, it is possible to purchase one of these stylish 34-foot cats for under $400,000 and still have all the electronic goodies thrown in. The test boat was Voyager Catamaran’s demonstration vessel. She was fitted with dual helm stations and featured a queensized bed in the master stateroom, a double bed in the starboard cabin and twin singles in the aft cabins.
While the interior of the V1040 is luxurious, she doesn’t have as much of the glossy wood paneling that many of her mono-hulled competitors normally do, but this is what makes this boat such a top family vessel. She’s easier to clean and maintain and the kids can’t accidentally scratch and damage all the high gloss timber. Which is also why this boat is ideal for the bare boat charter industry. Although they may not intend it, but people on charters are never going to be as careful with a vessel they don’t own. And accidents do happen.
Still in the charter/ family boat vein, unlike many other cats on the market, the V1040 was designed with the galley in the saloon, not down in one of the pontoons. This keeps everyone in the one area, even the cook and allows for the two bathrooms and three-cabin layout. The galley is compact, but fully functional with a two-burner stove, twin sinks and good bench space. Opposite, on the port side, is a U-shaped dinette that’s upholstered in attractive blue leather. The lower helm station is a duplication of the flybridge helm and features a sports steering wheel and bench-type seating.
The aft cockpit is one of this boats biggest assets; it’s enormous. There’s a stack of room to fish from here. This cockpit features a transom sink/tap unit, a barbeque and plenty of locker storage in the cockpit walls and transom. Up on the flybridge the skipper and navigator’s Reelax seats are set to the rear of the bridge, giving the driver an uninterrupted view of the transom when berthing, or backing down on a big fish. Forward of the helm station is the best seat in the house and it’s built for entertaining. A heavily padded, almost D-shaped lounge can comfortably seat eight and it’s a top spot for socialising. Like the lower helm station, this seating arrangement keeps everyone in on the conversation.
A bimini top keeps the sun off the people riding up on the flybridge, but if you need to wash the sweat from your brow there’s a sink and tap unit so you can. Out on the water the big cat came into her own slicing through wakes and swells with ease and riding softly on the air trapped in the tunnel between the pontoons. The ride is so good that even headon into some reasonable swells didn’t stem her progress or toss the skipper a crew about. Stable and surefooted is the only way to describe the V1040. This boat is also super stable at rest, which is another reason why she makes a good family/charterboat.
At anchor there’s no rocking and rolling, which is sure to keep the wife and kids more comfortable at night when they are trying to sleep. The boat was powered by twin 140hp Steyr diesels and cruised beautifully at 2800rpm doing 17 knots. At that speed she uses only 24lt per hour and has a range of around 430 nautical miles. Drop the revs back to 1600 and the V1040 does 8 knots, uses only eight litres per hour and can travel up to 600 nautical miles.
At 3600rpm she uses 55lt per hour and does 24 knots, but her range drops to around 240 nautical miles. So, when you add up all of this boats pros stability, soft dry ride, ability to sleep eight, one level saloon and galley, huge aft cockpit, extended cruising range, excellent flybridge seating arrangements and super tough foam-sandwich core construction you’ll get the same impression that we did. This is one extremely versatile 34-foot boat and for under $400,000 it represents pretty good value for money.
Words by Ian Macrae