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Old 01-09-2013, 05:43   #1
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Buying a Modest Catamaran in Europe

We had been planning to ship our Gemini over to Europe to travel for a few years (visa & VAT rules taken into account).

After doing a bit of checking it looks like we are looking at $12-18k each way depending on when, what ports and what shipping method.

An idea we had was would it make sense to simply buy an inexpensive boat in Europe use it for a few years and then sell. As long as we lose less than $25-30k when we sell, we are better off financially.

We want functional but pretty isn't that critical.
We love shallow draft and want to spend a lot of the time on the canal system.
We prefer catamarans for liveability but wouldn't rule out a stable shallow draft monohull.
We prefer modern 4 stroke outboard but wouldn't rule out a diesel (we are aware of fuel prices and efficency).
Displacement power boat would be an option.

We would love another Gemini but can't tie up $100k plus in a second boat and aren't prepared to sell our current boat. The one option we like and have been on a couple while looking for our Gemini are Catalacs. We've come across a number of ads for them in the $25-50k range.
- Heavenly twins is a bit small and too much crawling and crouching.
- Older prouts are OK but it seems from pictures that there isn't much in the way of standing headroom, which undermines the livability aspect.

Thoughts on other alternatives that would compete with the $25-50k Catalacs that are available fairly regularly in Europe?
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:50   #2
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

If you end up buying a Catalac, let me know when you're ready to sell. I should be ready in two years time to purchase. I've been looking at them also here in Italy, but as I am new to sailing, I cannot justify buying a boat quite yet. Let alone convincing the wife! I just thought I'd give you a heads up on a possible lead to buy your boat. Good luck!
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:31   #3
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

Hmm, interesting dilema. Cruising Europe for a couple of years so living on board therefore something comfortable with low depreciation and easy handling by two through canals.

My choice would be a mono hull with lifting or bilge keels around 35ft. This will be between 40 - 50 depending on age.

Moody 346 archive details - Yachtsnet Ltd. online UK yacht brokers - yacht brokerage and boat sales

Or much cheaper option:

1980 Marine Projects MOODY 33 bilge keel Sail New and Used Boats

Bashing your way through hundreds of locks will have an effect on the gelcoat but at this price it's not going to matter:

1980 Marine Projects MOODY 33 bilge keel Sail New and Used Boats
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:59   #4
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

If we were to go monohull, it probably would be bilge keels but it still loses some key design features for us:
- No large rectangluar bed.
- Draft greater than 3'
- Monohulls with thier curved sides are not nearly as convienent in locks.
- Prefer steerable outboard or twin engine for better manuverability.

No reason you should be smashing the gelcoat going thru locks. We've upwards of 100 lockings in 1.5 times around Americas Great Loop with just a 25hp outboarrd and never had an issue with smashing our way thru locks.
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Old 02-09-2013, 13:01   #5
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Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
If we were to go monohull, it probably would be bilge keels but it still loses some key design features for us:
- No large rectangluar bed.
- Draft greater than 3'
- Monohulls with thier curved sides are not nearly as convienent in locks.
- Prefer steerable outboard or twin engine for better manuverability.

No reason you should be smashing the gelcoat going thru locks. We've upwards of 100 lockings in 1.5 times around Americas Great Loop with just a 25hp outboarrd and never had an issue with smashing our way thru locks.
There is no need or reason to do any damage in locks. Cats do not offer any advantage in that regard

Dave
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Old 02-09-2013, 13:13   #6
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
There is no need or reason to do any damage in locks. Cats do not offer any advantage in that regard

Dave
I agree that if you are set up and plan properly, there is no reason to be smashing your way thru locks regardless of boat design.

But, the straight sides of a catamaran makes it far easier to manage the boat compared the continous curve that makes up many monohulls.

With a monohull, you really need to watch more closely that you keep the forces in balance or the bow or stern will swing out. We've seen enough boats lose it due to this problem that there is no doubt in our minds. It can be managed with more fenders and extra care but we would rather avoid the problem up front unless there are compelling reasons to select a monohull.
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Old 02-09-2013, 13:31   #7
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

I don't think a lot of choice for older Catamarans in Europe. An Iroquis might be a tad on the smaller side than you would like - although IIRC priced cheaper than a Catalac. Priced more would be a Catfisher - not a lot around and I understand they sail like they look! (more of a Motorsailor)......air draft (on a Catfisher) may also be an issue, depending on which canals you have an eye on.

For stability on a canal I don't think you will find any difference between a mono or a cat! and locks easy enough with a mono....and also with one engine on a prop. But of course you must buy what you like / are comfortable with....just that in Europe looking at Monos will open up a lot more choices when seeking older / cheaper.......maybe even a motorboat!

Of course have to bear in mind that whatever you buy resale likely not instant, even at a low price - 6 months stored and for sale could start to make the Gemini shipping looking like a good deal........

Boats is all about choices!
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Old 02-09-2013, 13:56   #8
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

A motorboat would be fine. While we are quite capable of sailing, we got a sailboat mostly because it was an efficent and comfortable platform. If we do ship, we will probabyl leave the mast at home so that's no great loss.

I recall seeing an iroquis but it didn't strike me as being nearly as spacious. I'll have to check the Catfishers out. When we were looking for the current boat, I saw specs but never in person.
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Old 02-09-2013, 14:03   #9
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

Good catch on the Catfisher. I did some checking and there are a few of these that appear to be out there at reasonable prices.
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:54   #10
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
If we were to go monohull, it probably would be bilge keels but it still loses some key design features for us:
- No large rectangluar bed.
- Draft greater than 3'
- Monohulls with thier curved sides are not nearly as convienent in locks.
- Prefer steerable outboard or twin engine for better manuverability.

No reason you should be smashing the gelcoat going thru locks. We've upwards of 100 lockings in 1.5 times around Americas Great Loop with just a 25hp outboarrd and never had an issue with smashing our way thru locks.
I think what you are describing then is a Catalac, in either 8 or 9m versions. Nice big cockpit for lounging around in the sun and gently crusing through the canals. Other options well probably something like a Princess DS30 or Princess 37 may fit the mobo catergory.

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Old 03-09-2013, 09:22   #11
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pirate Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

SimonMD... a member of CF has his Catalac 900 up for sale... she's a nice boat and very well fitted out with tons of new gear.
I delivered her from the UK to Spain in 2011 so can vouch for her abilities... while she won't point that well her twin 10hp engines will punch you along at a reasonable speed and good economy..
Alternatively... I can bring your Gemini over to Portugal/Spain for you for 1/2 the price you've been quoted... then you can sail her back the easy route when you've had your fill of the Med... there's 100's head across every Nov/Dec... easy peasy Geminizee...
Or if I'm still alive get me to take her back...
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:55   #12
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

valhalla360,

As you are planning a long time in Europe's canal and river system have you considered a British narrowboat - they actually come in narrow and wider versions - and with their diesel engines should be economical. They are typically steel built and sizes up to choice. Would be something different on the Continent.
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Old 03-09-2013, 13:56   #13
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

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valhalla360,

As you are planning a long time in Europe's canal and river system have you considered a British narrowboat - they actually come in narrow and wider versions - and with their diesel engines should be economical. They are typically steel built and sizes up to choice. Would be something different on the Continent.
They can (and have) cross the English Channel - but definitely a very nice day thing (and hoping nothing large or fast sends a wash your way!), and in any event some of the Continental waterways can be a bit more robust than the English Canal system. But the main reason not to is that they are very narrow (hence the name I guess!) - and that small width not needed on the continent.

For similar (from the UK) a Norfolk Broads cruiser might be an answer (lots of ex hire stuff around of all vintages), they even have sailing boats with easy drop (between bridges!) masts but will be too cramped for OP.......in any case both will be fine weather needed for going cross channel even if not so uber critical as on a narrow boat.
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Old 03-09-2013, 15:47   #14
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

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valhalla360,

As you are planning a long time in Europe's canal and river system have you considered a British narrowboat - they actually come in narrow and wider versions - and with their diesel engines should be economical. They are typically steel built and sizes up to choice. Would be something different on the Continent.
We've been on a couple on the Erie Canal and 7' beam kills the whole being comfortable idea.

Some of the ex-charter boats (bumper boats?) are an option we are also looking at. Being able to cross the channel or spend some time on the med is something we would like.
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Old 04-09-2013, 04:12   #15
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Re: Buying a modest Catamaran in Europe

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Some of the ex-charter boats (bumper boats?) are an option we are also looking at. Being able to cross the channel or spend some time on the med is something we would like.
Not sure what a "Bumper Boat" is - the Broads Cruisers I mentioned earlier are these.





Come in countless sizes and shapes and layouts - what is common is that they have the capacity to go under low bridges (some of the wheelhouses fold). You will note that the sides are pretty straight for locks / mooring against a river bank.

They are also not sea boats, in either design or build - so won't want to be punching a F5 across the Channel!, but on a nice day should be good for the trip. Mostly found on the Norfolks Broads (hence the name!), so not a straight / short run across the channel and therefore likely some (nice weather) coastal hopping involved, both sides of the channel until can get up the River / canal desired.

Holland likely also worth an explore as lots of inland waterways - albeit they like steel there!, but not exclusively.
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