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About S/V Soggy Paws
St. Francis 44 MK II



Soggy Paws is a St. Francis 44 catamaran built in South Africa.  She was started in 2002 and finally launched in 2004.

Hull# ZA-XGF44038K203
US Doc # 1266612
Hailing Port: Melbourne FL.

We purchased Soggy Paws (ex Bluemoon) in June 2015 from a family who had purchased her in South Africa and cruised to Southeast Asia.  Bluemoon was in good condition and well-equipped for extended cruising, but we still felt we needed to do a few things.

For those of you that like to make improvements to your excellent St Francis 44, below find a few ideas from our work over the past 3 years:

Cockpit Upgrades

When we bought Soggy Paws, the cockpit had a flat sunbrella top over a nice stainless steel frame.  The problem was, when it rained, water would pool directly over the helm seat, and drip profusely right on the helmsperson's head.  There was only a narrow wooden walkway to get to the aft end of the boom. And there was no water catchment system built in.  So we had a hard fiberglass top made.

We also replaced the flimsy helm-seat-on-a-pedestal with a custom-made helm seat.

We added two smaller winches behind the primary winches to be able to use a winch to reef the jib.

Details on these upgrades are found on the Cockpit page.

Hull Extensions

The aft ends of the original hulls ended in a relatively small platform step that was constantly wet and grew green slippery slime. In order to prevent this we decided to raise the aft sections to the second step up and then extend them back to meet the underbody. This extended the hulls about 18� and raised the now 24�x48� aft platforms about 8� off the water.

The extensions are made of strongly fiberglass reinforced 1� honeycomb and PVC foam. In order to get a thru bolted folding SS ladder mounted and provide access to the interiors we installed 10� round hatches in each platform to allow access to the nuts inside. Benefits include a dry large swim platform with ladder access from the water, increased buoyancy aft which helps support the davit hung dinghy, and better access from a dinghy to the boat.

Aft Step Extension Photos


For many reasons, including the relatively small fresh water tankage on the boat, we finished off the mechanically driven 40 gph watermaker that the original owner had mostly completed.


We have upgraded both the refrigerator and freezer on the St. Francis 44.

The original 2.5 cubic ft RV refrigerator installed in the front of the galley was way too small for the style of cruising we do.  So we replaced it with a custom made 8 cu ft front-opening refigerator with good insulation.

The factory-installed Minus 40 freezer is top loading and with about 4 cubic ft of interior volume.  It is a nice unit, but we felt the BD35 air-cooled compressor was a little small.  So we replaced the BD35 with the bigger BD50 with a Frigoboat keel cooler.

Check out our Refrigeration page for more details on these upgrades.

Engines and Saildrives

We have done a number of major maintenance items and upgrades with the engines and saildrives, including:

  • Saildrive oil header tanks

  • Replacing saildrive seals

  • Protecting the aluminum saildrives from the copper bottom paint

  • Adding a Jackmaster Oil Filter system.

  • Replacing the 2-bladed fixed propeller with a 3-bladed Kiwi Prop

See everything we have done to maintain and upgrade our saildrives on the Engines and Saildrives page.

Electrical System

We replaced the original solar panels and solar controllers with 4 new 200-watt panels and an 60-amp MPPT solar controller.

We also upgraded the alternator charging system so they were a matched pair of alternators and each is equipped with a smart alternator regulator.

During our COVID time, we replaced the still-good but ageing Sonneschein gel batteries with LifePO4 cells.

See the details of the electrical system upgrades on our Electrical Systems page.


We have made a number of upgrades to the interior

  • Added fans to every space
  • Upgraded all interior lighting to bright LED's
  • Added shelving in a number of places

See the details on our Interior page.

From our previous boat, subjects that apply to the current boat: 

Deck and Anchoring
Ground Tackle
Wireless Windlass Remote

Stern Anchor Line Reel
Rig & Sails
Buying New Cruising Sails
Sail Makers
Roller Furling Code Zero Sail


Plumbing Systems
Engine Driven 40 GPH Watermaker
Water Tanks
Tank Valves

Security for Your Boat
Tools & Spares

Chart Plotter
Cell Phones
Precision Electronic Battery Tester
Laser Tachometer
12v Adapters for Computers

St. Francis Owners Association on Facebook

St. Francis Marine Website

Links to Boat-Related Suppliers












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