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Old 16-08-2010, 13:34   #1
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Cat for Beginners ?

Question for you all, but first some background - I'm a new sailor, not very skilled but very interested and motivated. Wife and I want to sail around the world and think we will be ready to do so in about 15 years. At this point we've pretty much settled on a Cat as our transport of choice (purely a personal decision, I am not denigrating single hulls at all!). We're reading and doing as much as we can to learn about sailing and boats.

Now the question - what kind (make/model) of Cat do you recommend for us to learn on while we work toward our circumnavigation? Is there such a thing as a "starter Cat"? I read in another thread here someone is looking for a Cat under $50k USD, that struck me as a great idea for Wife and I as well. We could buy something like that and learn with it, then perhaps sell it as we prepare for our big trip.

Any thoughts appreciated!
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Old 16-08-2010, 14:16   #2
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Originally Posted by Rolf the Rotten View Post

Now the question - what kind (make/model) of Cat do you recommend for us to learn on while we work toward our circumnavigation? Is there such a thing as a "starter Cat"?
Yes there is Rolf

I sailed on performance mono's before getting into cats, but my "starter" cat was a seawind 24
SEAWIND 24 MK II CUSTOM boat details - BoatPoint Australia




Good weekender and can even be coastal cruised (boom lifts to head height when parked and a large battened roof can be installed under boom) relatively fast (and wet) and relatively forgiving, but it did give you a good start as to how cats perform, what you can and cant do and how they sail differently to a mono.

GBE would be another I would choose, but they are more expensive.
GBE SPORTSDECK CATAMARAN Boat Sales at Boats To Buy

http://www.multihull-maven.com/Boats...arrier_Express


Have fun
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Old 16-08-2010, 14:26   #3
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I would definitely recommend a small racing cat to learn on. Although the sailing is different, they are responsive and quick and allow you to feel the changes that you are making. Even a Hobie, Prindle or Nacra would allow you to learn. After that, you may want something that has a cabin.
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Old 16-08-2010, 18:34   #4
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Thanks cat man do and scook1, appreciate your thoughts. cat man do, looking at those links now!
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Old 16-08-2010, 18:38   #5
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There is so much more to learning about boating and sailing that the differences between a cat and a monohull are trivial by comparison. I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference what kind of boat you learn on. You can always learn the difference between a cat and a monohull closer to when you are actually ready to purchase that boat that you plan on making that big trip on. I would be VERY careful to not a buy a boat that would be difficult to sell. There are some real turkey designs out there in both cats and monohulls that you do not want to get stuck with or have to take a big loss just to dump it.
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Old 16-08-2010, 18:42   #6
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Thanks David, definitely agree that I don't want to end up with something I can't sell off at a reasonable price. Also figure I'll be spending plenty just to learn my new found craft, I don't want to spend TOO much on a starter boat -- and a starter boat for me and Wife is ~really~ a starter boat!
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Old 16-08-2010, 18:46   #7
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Consider something then with broad based appeal and is popular. Something like a J-24 might work. There are plenty of them, they have a huge racing fleet and once they have depreciated down enough, they do not depreciate much more. Because of this, they are easy to sell. Also, smaller boats do not cost you nearly as much in maintenance.

There is also not much difference in your exposure to sailing and boating in a small sailboat versus a larger sailboat. In fact, smaller sailboats are much less of a hassle to get underway which actually makes it easier and therefore more encouraging to go sailing.
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Old 16-08-2010, 18:52   #8
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I think a Gemini would be a good learner boat. they can be had for under $50,000, are easy to handle and are large enough inside to be comfortable. They also seem to retain their value.
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Old 16-08-2010, 23:53   #9
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I started sailing beachcats (Hobies, Nacra's) and they are very fun Cats, but very wet too! You certainly learn alot of the basics of sailing on them.

My suggestion would be to enlist the help of a yacht broker who specializes in sailboats (and there are a bunch of them around the Clear Lake/Kemah area) and they will be able to answer alot of your questions personally and profesionally.
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Old 17-08-2010, 00:09   #10
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The GBE that Cat Man do refers to are also sold as the Dakota 33 in USA. I cant agree with David M, if you are going to start on something it may as well be a boat similar to what you want - you will develop wrong habits ina mono, like turning to windward in a gust that take yaers to get rid of ina cat (trust me - I am still trying) Something like the GBE gives a whole lot of coastal cruising opportunity as well.
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Old 17-08-2010, 00:31   #11
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I would say go buy a hobbie cat for 2 or 3000, invest the rest unless you are rich already and not waiting for kids to grow up and leave or something like that. Buying a 50,000 dollar catamaran is like halving your income and it will actually take you twice as long to get to your goal. Try to meet people that have bigger cats and go sailing with them as much as you can, but once you buy a boat 1/ you need to sell it again. 2 you need to maintain and insure it.

10% maintainence cost = 5000
2% insurace ( if you choose to insure ) = 1000
Loss of investment on the money = 50,000 x .04% ( conservative ) = 2000

Now multiply that by 15 years.... its 120,000 dollars..........

AS much fun as it sounds it is also a big commitment and to me a little backwards if you're saving up for a boat to do the round the world trip. I would say you would be better to invest and once you buy the boat in 15 years to pay someone that is a really good cat sailor to come with you until you feel comfortable and in the mean time find as many opportunities to go sailing as possible.

Every job on a boat takes twice as long as it should and cost twice as much as it should......you pour money into boats.....
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