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Old 15-06-2011, 19:57   #1
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Which Motorcat ?

Hi looking for a liveaboard powercat to reside at Darwin NT Australia with and poke around the Top End coast mainly.. but perhaps to venture further at times. Looking at roughly $250k (AUD or USD is similar).

Its for me and my wife and the more reading we do on living aboard it seems that many wish that they had got a smaller boat. We think (in our ignorance and all) that we could live on a 34' cat. We don't mind roughing it a bit and have lived in caravans etc in the past - we do a lot of camping etc too.

I really like the PDQ 34 but have never seen one in the flesh. I think that if economic conditions are similar I might be able to get one here for around $250k in a year or so when I'm ready to purchase. Might be stretched to go to $300k if need be if its a real good deal from the states. Catman here has given me some good advice that he thinks Australia makes fine (better?) cats anyway and I need not look to a PDQ in the states - and he's not so confident I'd get it for $250k.

But I'd love to get opinions from members here on what a consensus might be for someone in remote Australia. Its fairly calm conditions here if you watch yourself - we're protected from ocean swell and at most might have to put up with the odd 20 knot "chop" when crossing a bit of open water.

Features that I think I'd want are;
  • Economy (real world figures I've found on the PDQ 34' are about 2km/l @ 7kn, and 1km/l @ 16 knots which is pretty awesome
  • Ability to sit on sand/mud without worrying about props/keels/hull
  • Ventilation - its hot in Darwin! Don't want to be living with aircons/genset running... its all about getting back to basics!
  • Practicality preferred to luxury
  • Good for a newby at boat maintenance etc - not a real handy person but will learn - can service a car etc.
  • Flybridge - bigger the better...
  • Headroom
  • 2 cabins - queen size doubles... 1 head ok...
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Old 16-06-2011, 05:01   #2
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Re: Which motorcat?

Have a look at www.snodoglog.com for comprehensive information regarding all aspects of the design.

Hope this helps and good luck with your plans.
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Old 16-06-2011, 05:36   #3
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Re: Which motorcat?

To me, your location does give economy as highest priority. So, as long & thin hulls as you can get - 34' isn't much really, and you wont be able to carry much load at all without sacrificing performance. Two couples plus stuff could load it so that it becomes a bit of a dog. Going longer means a bit extra hull width, extra load capacity but you can still have good speed with low fuel consumption (small diesel or even high-thrust outboards could work for you and be much more simple for maintenance.

You will want to keep it light as possible, so good points about no a/c etc. But I'd suggest you avoid the flybridge. Sure, its nice up there but they create a lot of windage, which will cost you a lot of economy. And it tends to cascade - you opt for a flybridge, then want a bimini to be in the shade, then want some clears to keep out of the rain in squalls.....

A couple of sites worth looking at are Malcolm Tennant Multihull Design Ltd - Scimitar 11.5
and Maine Cat P-47 Overview
The latter is for a lot bigger boat, and has lots of equipment/systems, but both sites walk through the "Tennant canoe stern" efficiency story


I think the only way you'll get 2 x queen berths is to have them on the bridgedeck, accessed from the narrow hulls which will be mostly a passageway with limited storage, and head at stern.

With a big cockpit area (with a soft top), and some of the front windows being able to hinge up to open, you will have good shaded and well ventilated area to chill out.

Is such a beast available commercially in your budget range? Not sure, but I suspect you might have to build, or get a build completed. Like Catman, or Masalai (boatdesign.net)
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Old 21-06-2011, 19:20   #4
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Re: Which motorcat?

Thanks folks - agreed two queen doubles might be a bit much - I'm thinking one would be fine - the visitors can have the smaller bed

Thanks for the snodog link too!

I've found these NZ/Australian built Prowler 10.4 in my research recently and I'm really interested in them - be great to get any comments on them from the forum.

Here's a couple of reviews on them;

http://www.prowler.co.nz/Documents/P...0BNZ%20(1).pdf

http://www.formulacruisers.com/pdfs/...rld-Review.pdf

I didn't think I'd be interested in outboards but the more I read and think about them I think they might be a great option for a smaller cat trawler? (high thrust models)

Here are some of the pros/cons I reckon - be great to get your thoughts on them

Pros
Lighter
Cheaper
More space in hulls
Quieter at cruising speeds
Less fumes
Nearly as economical
Can raise out of water
Easier maintenance
Less maintenance (compared to diesel oil change interval, shafts etc)
Noise/heat not under my bed!


Cons
Smaller alternator
Storage of more volatile fuel
Not quite as economical
Stern clutter



These boats are a bit small for a liveaboard but I still reckon I could do it - not sure about the double beds though - we'd want at least one queen... no flybridge also but as Armagh says above maybe not a bad thing? The price even new isn't too bad also..
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Old 21-06-2011, 20:07   #5
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Re: Which motorcat?

The Prowlers are nice boats, no doubt about it. A pretty slick package and performance is excellent from those little outboards. But I'd want a bit bigger for extended cruising/liveaboard.

As to 'cons',
1. carry a Honda or Yamaha 2kva genny. Compact and very quiet. So alternators on outboards not really an issue.
2. Yes, have to manage fuel. But dedicated tanks installed properly = no major problem. Avoid temptation for loading extra fuel in portable containers though. If more range is required, then get extra tanks build-in.
3. Economy is a function of speed. I like the fact that if you don't mind the cost then you can get there faster. Some boats just don't give you that option.
4. Stern is pretty well designed.

I do like the product. I don't see any major cons, except one. Cost might be OK, but those $$$ would buy a larger sailing cat in USA ....just have to get it back home.

I'll probably go for a 40' + motorsailer (mono), but won't have the shallow draft of the Prowler unfortunately.
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Old 21-06-2011, 20:16   #6
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Re: Which motorcat?

If you reckon a prowler (nz version) will suit, then have a look at the Oz version
Schionning Designs -
one for sale
Used 2006 SCHIONNING PROWLER 10 Boat For Sale - boatsales.com.au

also look at Argus Boats - E35 Cruising Power Catamaran

and http://www.givencats.com.au/

Bear in mind load carrying abilities and range (or lack of)
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Old 21-06-2011, 20:33   #7
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Re: Which motorcat?

Thanks catman - thats a nice looking little cat - you reckon it would run ok with smaller high thrust outboards? It would probably be almost cost neutral trading the big ones in for them if the boat would work with them...
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Old 21-06-2011, 20:43   #8
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Re: Which motorcat?

To me the flybridge versions look a bit top heavy. The extra windage might mean smaller outboards just wouldn't cut it.

Whilst the Argus also looks fine, getting into twin 90 HP outboards signifies to me unnecessary power/speed/fuel consumption. And as you say, CMD, watch out for lack of load capability and range. The Given just takes the size of outboards to silly levels for a cruiser, but some folks might still enjoy as a weekender.

I've had a couple of 28' cats with twin 200HP. Those boats are great for fishing/diving on day trips or weekends, but that's their limit. I want diesels if I have HP over about 150 (all up). And these days cruising at 15kn is all I would want, with 20 or so at WOT then I think that's all a cruiser would want.
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Old 21-06-2011, 20:52   #9
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Re: Which motorcat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djambalawa View Post
Thanks catman - thats a nice looking little cat - you reckon it would run ok with smaller high thrust outboards? It would probably be almost cost neutral trading the big ones in for them if the boat would work with them...
I doubt it would work
I think by putting smaller motors in you are trying to get the efficiency of a displacement hull from what is effectively a planing hull (look at the lifting chines).

Better in my opinion to start with the right vessel
If 10 to 15 is the speed you are after, on short hulls, then get a 10 to 15 knot hull.

In a smaller size perhaps something like this?
MultiMarket - Rumblers Up North

or

http://multimarket.multihull.com.au/...d=26&Itemid=45

she is for sale and Robin is a well respected designer
http://www.multihulls.net.au/index.php?page=ed&de=62237

I can deliver her for you as well (-;
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Old 21-06-2011, 21:04   #10
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Re: Which motorcat?

Yeah I should've mentioned sorry I think I'd be happy mostly cruising at 7-10 knots and be able to perhaps get to 14 knots if I was in more of a hurry... I guess 16 is great too if it can be done relatively economically

Those Argus' do look interesting.. they should run with something like the Yamaha 60 high thrusts I guess?

I like the rumbler - is it for sale? It seemed to be going by the description but I couldn't see it listed on the site.
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Old 21-06-2011, 22:41   #11
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Re: Which motorcat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Hunt View Post
Have a look at www.snodoglog.com for comprehensive information regarding all aspects of the design.

Hope this helps and good luck with your plans.

Gday Russel - I just had a look at your website from your signature - I like the look of these Buzzard Cats but don't know much about them. Would there be many on the 2nd hand market for prospective Australian buyers? (i'll do a search on yachtworld anyways) Do you know of anyone running them with smaller high thrust outboards? - ah its a semi-planing isn't it?

I like how you've set them up for a single couple without the compromise of trying to fit more in
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Old 21-06-2011, 23:18   #12
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Re: Which motorcat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by djambalawa View Post
I like the rumbler - is it for sale? It seemed to be going by the description but I couldn't see it listed on the site.
No idea
I know one was years ago but no idea now

Like I said, if you like the smaller size and you say in the post above how you like
Quote:
how you've set them up for a single couple without the compromise of trying to fit more in
Then the chamberlin is the boat

Chamberlin 10m Power Cat: Power Boats for Sale - Composite - Queensland (Qld) - Brisbane Qld

Designed as an economical displacement hull , has the reliability of diesels and has the range
It has 50hp motors, smaller again than what you propose
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Old 21-06-2011, 23:32   #13
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Re: Which motorcat?

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Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
Then the chamberlin is the boat

Designed as an economical displacement hull , has the reliability of diesels and has the range
It has 50hp motors, smaller again than what you propose

That is an interesting one thanks mate - definately worth checking out and keeping in mind too.
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Old 22-06-2011, 00:47   #14
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Re: Which motorcat?

I must be sounding like a spruiker here, but rest assured I have no interests in this vessel or the brokerage firm selling it.
But I do know that Robin is a well respected designer and has the runs on the board.
Here is some information on him, in case you haven't heard of him before
Catamaran Designer - Robin Chamberlin
and his website Chamberlin Marine - Quality Yachts and Marine Design
and here are some more pictures of that vessel
Chamberlin 10m Power Cat Photos
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Old 22-06-2011, 00:50   #15
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Re: Which motorcat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cat man do View Post
I must be sounding like a spruiker here, but rest assured I have no interests in this vessel or the brokerage firm selling it.
But I do know that Robin is a well respected designer and has the runs on the board.
Here is some information on him, in case you haven't heard of him before
Catamaran Designer - Robin Chamberlin
and his website Chamberlin Marine - Quality Yachts and Marine Design
and here are some more pictures of that vessel
Chamberlin 10m Power Cat Photos

Thanks heaps catman - mate what's your opinion on my pros/cons on outboards above?
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