Admiral Yachts

South Africa Luxury Yachts and Catamarans builder. Catamaran building company "Celtic" based in South Africa that has kept and developing luxury, sleek profile and fast catamarans - was first held by Admiral Yachts.

Company Information

South Africa's Premier yacht building company and the home of the Admiral range of exclusive luxury catamarans.

We invite you to become part of the Admiral Experience and discover first-hand the origins of our prestigious cruising catamarans for sale.

Admirals build quality and uncompromising attention to detail has earned Admiral Yachts its global reputation.

Admiral 38 Foot Catamaran

Boat Building:

  • Admiral 38 Foot Catamaran
  • Admiral 40 Foot Catamaran
  • Admiral 50 Foot Catamaran
  • Day Sailor
  • The Island Sprit
Admiral 40 Foot Catamaran


Physical Address: Cnr. John van Niekerk/Christopher Starke Streets, Atlantis, Cape Town,
South Africa.

Postal Address: PO Box 1674, Dassenberg 7530, Cape Town, South Africa

Telephone: +27 21 577 3400
Facsimile: +27 21 577 3800
Email: [email protected]

Admiral Yachts LTD Manufacturer | Publications


Admiral 38


by Rick Coroselli

published: Latitudes & Attitudes |

February 2009

See full text below, or click on images to view actual 4p article.

If you've spent any time in the Caribbean recently you would be hard pressed not to have noticed the proliferation of catamarans. And, they seem to be migrating farther north with each passing season. I, along with my wife Katie and our young daughter Hoku, have spent the last two years living aboard our catamaran Makana.

Our journey began after launching Makana in South Africa and has. temporarily, culminated 15,000 nm later in Southwest Harbor, Maine. Makana, an Admiral 38. was built in Cape Town by Admiral Yachts LTD. They bill the 38 as a CE certified offshore catamaran designed by Angelo Lavranos. Having had the opportunity to cross the South Atlantic aboard


I can attest to its ability to handle offshore conditions in a very civilized fashion.



has been building semi-custom catamarans in the 38 - 50 foot range since 1999 with a current production level of eight to ten boats a year. Most are delivered to owners in the US or Europe, all arriving under their own power. A unique feature offered to all future owners is a month-long vacation in Cape Town while overseeing final construction. This culminates with a passage to the owner's home port accompanied by a professional delivery captain. As David Bird, company president and passionate offshore sailor put it, "make yourself at home at our factory, as long as the doors are open you're free to wander about." My first impression upon viewing Makana dockside was its smooth lines and sleek profile portraying a catamaran eager to sail. Admiral offered either a three or four stateroom layout. Both versions included two heads. Makana is a three stateroom Executive version model equipped with all of the modern amenities currently available to cruisers. Admiral states the boat comes "sail away equipped." Our boat came well outfitted with just about everything needed for cruising; dock lines, fenders, life preservers, man-overboard equipment, bosun's chair, cockpit cushions, complete Sunbrella cockpit enclosure, tools and tool box. oil and filters with tools for changing, spare belts and alternators and full tanks of both diesel and propane. The only options we added were linens, EPIRB. dinghy, a life raft and food accompanied with an appropriate amount of fine South African wine to last a winter of Caribbean sunsets. Once aboard any new vessel my curiosity always directs me to where I end up spending a substantial amount of time, the galley. Two steps clown from Makana's cockpit, thru the large sliding doors, yields the saloon to starboard and galley to port.

Most catamarans

have their interiors finished off with large expanses of bare fiberglass which often has the resulting effect of creating a somewhat sterile environment. Once below Makana it's apparent how the manufacturer offset this by utilizing clear Beech woodwork that can be found throughout, giving the interior a more traditional and comfortable feel. The large C-shaped leather saloon easily seals six for meals or watching DVDs on the Hat screen TV mounted above the ample nav station.

The galley

is ideal for creating culinary delights with its three burner stove and oven equipped with a rotisserie. Large, properly fiddled Corian countertops, a microwave, double stainless steel sink and separate refrigerator and freezer round out the galley's amenities. Four steps down the starboard hull leads to the owner's suite or as referred to by our daughter, "Mom and Dad's side."

A large head/shower combination

forward and a queen size berth aft are separated by a passageway with closets lining both sides. The port hull. "Hoku's side." houses a queen herih aft. a double berth forward with a head/shower combination between the two.


is more than sufficient all around. We keep a full size mountain bike in the port hull and windsurfing equipment in the starboard hull. Open lattice facing on all cabinet doors allows ventilation and the large sliding storage drawers under each berth are a nice addition. As an added touch to the already luxurious finishes each berth has a ceiling mounted fold down DVD/CD player with surround sound speakers, making it quite difficult to make it through a movie without dosing off.

We spend 90% of our time aboard under the hardtop covered cockpit which has seating for six in an L- shaped bench with a table containing a drop in cooler for entertaining. The starboard side helm, remember it's a South African boat, has its instruments well laid out and visibility is excellent. A pleasant addition to the helm is the oversized swiveling chair with room for two, or in our case, three. Access to each scoop for swimming or boarding the dinghy is via a walkway along the transom. The port scoop is equipped with a swim ladder and shower with hot and cold fresh water. Underway the 775 square feet of sail area is more than adequate to push the boat at double digit speeds. We also have an asymmetrical spinnaker which we use often for running downwind. Our top speed to date of 16.9 knots is impressive, however when the wind or currents pipe up creating large chop and slop, some bridge-deck slapping is experienced, not uncommon to all catamarans in such conditions. The roller furled jib lines run cleanly to each side of the cockpit with a dedicated winch for each. A trip to the mast is necessary to raise and lower or reef our main. When making a trip forward the strategically placed hand holds are appreciated and give one a sense of security. We've also added netting to the lifelines which was originally intended to keep our daughter aboard, but more often than not it's the captain who truly appreciates the addition. The mainsheet traveler, mounted on the cockpit hardtop, has lines leading to a dedicated winch next to the helm. And when the wind won't cooperate the two 29 hp Yanmars with folding props have us making way with minimum noise or vibrations. With both engines wide open Makana lops out at 8.7 knots. We usually motor with one engine pushing us along at 5.6 knots at 2000 rpm while burning only six gallons of diesel every 24 hours.

The manufacturer touts the boat as an offshore catamaran. The constniction is solid with hand-laid FRP laminate, vacuum-bagged over end grain balsa core which we were more than thankful for each time we ran aground coming up the ICW last year. The isolated enclosed bow crush areas are a good preventative measure which we hope to never utilize.

The mechanical and electrical layouts and installations

are first-rate with exceptional detail found throughout. A watermaker, SSB, autopilot, radar, chart plotter, wind, depth and speed displays, VHP. stereo system, hot water heater and two air conditioning/heating units are all standard as is the automatic fire suppression system in each engine area. To power all these luxuries a 4.2-kilowatt genset runs for about three hours a day when not motoring. Two solar panels mounted on the cockpit roof along with high output alternators on each engine are also used to recharge the six house batteries. Each engine has a separate isolated starting battery as well as the ability to use the house batteries in an emergency. Tankage is excellent with 120 gallons each dedicated for fuel and water.


is an excellent example of just how well craftsmanship has developed in Cape Town. We've found the Admiral 38 to be a safe, well built catamaran, fully equipped with all the amenities needed for a luxurious week-long cruise or a lifetime of circumnavigating. The only item which an Admiral 38 may be missing is you.


Model:Admiral 38 (Executive version)
Designer:Angelo Lavranos
Sail Area:775 sq. ft.
Displacement 15,400 lbs.
Water:120 gal.
Fuel:120 gal.
Engines:Two 29-hp Yanmar saildrives
Admiral 38 (Executive version)

Cat Admiral


Reviewed: Sailing Magazine 2009