The Nautitech Open 46 is the second catamaran in Nautitech's Open range, following the successful launch of the Open 40 two years ago (see Nautitech Open 40 review: spacious sailing). The 46 features vast indoor/outdoor living spaces with an all-round view through huge windows, ultra modern finishes and an impressive amount of stowage. See our First Look Video of the boat, shot at the Southampton Boat Show, below.


Nautitech is now part of the Bavaria group (see Bavaria acquires Nautitech), although the boats continue to be built on the French Atlantic coast, but with all woodwork and interior fittings supplied from the main Bavaria plant in Germany.

The Open concept aims to blend interior and exterior living spaces as seamlessly as possible. As such it’s ideal for anyone who loves alfresco living in warm weather. Although you have the option to spend lots of time outside, there’s also ample protection from the sun under the solid hardtop bimini. Although this model has a similar layout to the company’s Open 40, it has the space for a much better galley and bridgedeck saloon, along with larger cabins in the hulls with additional privacy and stowage.

Nautitech 46 Open under sail

The Nautitech Open 46 under sail.

Below decks

The saloon and galley, located at the forward end of the bridge deck, have stunning all-round views through panoramic windows to the front and side. Wide patio doors open onto the alfresco dining and lounging areas below the protection of the rigid bimini. Removable canvas side screens can provide further protection from the elements or from insects here.

Sleeping cabins are within each hull, with a choice of three or four cabin layouts offered. Both have the same arrangement in the starboard hull, where there are two en suite double cabins, with a shared shower stall. There’s ample natural light and ventilation thanks to hull windows and a plenty of overhead hatches.

The arrangement in the starboard hull can also be mirrored in the port hull to provide a four-cabin layout. Alternatively the port hull can be given over to a giant owner’s suite that’s more than 30ft long. In addition to the double berth and a palatial en suite this provides masses of storage, a large dressing table and space for an office desk as well if required. Throughout the boat there’s an impressive volume of easily accessed stowage space, as well as ample room to move around without getting in the way of other people.

Nautitech Open 46

The light interior on the 46 is all part of the Open concept.

On deck and performance

The Open 46 was designed by one of France’s most renowned designers, Marc Lombard, who has an enviable record for designing top long-distance racing yachts and well as some of his country’s most popular cruising boats.

The standard arrangement has twin wheels, one at the aft end of each hull, which also form the hub of where the sail handling takes place. Compared to a more common raised helm, this gives better communication with other crew members in the cockpit, although on the downside visibility is more restricted. While the main socialising areas are at the back of the boat, under the protection of the hard bimini, there’s also provision for sunbathing on the open deck areas.

The designers and builders have worked hard to keep weight to a minimum, which will help to keep passage speeds up to good levels. This is certainly a design that in the right conditions ought to repeatedly put in effortless 24 hour runs in excess of 200 miles. Engine power is from twin 40hp Volvo Penta diesels with sail drive transmissions and sufficient tankage to give a range of several hundred miles.

Nautitech Open 46 forward cabin

The forward cabin on the Open 46.

Equipment and options

The Open 46 is offered in a number of configurations, with a choice of flybridge (dubbed the Nautitech 46 Fly) in place of the standard twin helm positions and there’s also a powercat version. All have a transom passage for easy access from one hull to the other, a rigid bimini giving complete shelter to the cockpit and inclined forward saloon windows for a sleek and elegant appearance.

The saloon and galley arrangements are also flexible, with different options for the number and location of refrigeration and freezer units. There is also ample space for the installation of generator and air conditioning units, while the top of the bimini would be suitable for mounting enough solar panels to give a significant capacity. The rig is designed with easily handled furling Code 0s and asymmetric spinnakers in mind to boost speed when running and reaching in light airs.

What the Nautitech Open 46 does best

This is a boat that offers a simply enormous amount of space, equivalent to a respectably sized apartment, and uses that space in a flexible manner. If you’re after style and comfort and enjoy spending as much time as possible in an outdoor environment then look no further. Given the huge amount of stowage, this boat has the potential to be very comfortable for those wanting to spend extended periods of time on aboard with guests.

This is clearly a boat that would be best enjoyed in warm weather, which may limit the potential for off-season sailing in more northern waters. However, the enclosed bridgedeck still offers a significant amount of space for socialising and dining.

Alternative boats

In addition to the Open 40 and Open 46, the range also includes a 54ft catamaran, the Nautitech 542.

There’s an on going trend in terms of opening up the accommodation of multihulls so that the distinction between inside and outside areas is blurred. Perhaps the most notable example in this size range is the Fountaine Pajot Helia 44, which was launched two years ago.

Nautitech Open 46 specifications

Length overall 13.71m
Beam overall 7.54m
Draught 1.45m
Light displacement 10,800kg
Mainsail 74 sq m
Self-tacking jib 38 sq m
Air draught 22.90m
Fuel 2 x 300 litre tanks
Water 2 x 300 litre tanks

If you like the idea of sailing cats, see 6 of the best comfy catamarans. For more information on the Nautitech Open 46 and the Nautitech range, visit Nautitech or Bavaria’s new catamaran website.

Written by: Rupert Holmes
Rupert Holmes has more than 70,000 miles of offshore cruising and racing experience, in waters ranging from the North Sea to the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn. He writes about all aspects of boat ownership and marine travel, including destinations, seamanship and maintenance, as well as undertaking regular new boat and gear tests. He currently sails around 5,000 miles per year and in the past couple of seasons has cruised from the UK to the Azores, as well as winning his class in the 2014 two-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race. He also owns two yachts, one based in the Mediterranean and the other in the UK.