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Old 01-10-2012, 13:50   #1
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Min. size Cat. for 7 people in the BVI?

Hi,

My wife and I regularly sail our 28 foot O'Day in Galveston Bay on day trips, but we've decided to take our first cruising vacation (probably in the BVIs). After speaking with others who have taken similar trips, we have decided to bareboat charter a catamaran as opposed to a monohull because of the additional space. We're not trying to take a discount vacation, but budget is a concern.

There are lots of options and charter companies, but I need to get an answer to a threshold question before moving much further: what is minimum size catamaran you would charter for 7 people?

There will be three couples and single (my wife and me, my parents, my sister and her husband, and my brother). I've seen 36 foot boats, but I'm wary of whether that will provide enough room. We'd like for everyone to still love each other by the end of the trip. For an additional $100ish dollars a night, we can move up to boats in the 40 foot range.

I'd appreciate anyone with experience who could offer me there personal experiences and opinions.

Thanks so much,

Michael
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:01   #2
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Re: Min. size Cat. for 7 people in the BVI?

So you need 4 cabins. That should be your starting point. Only Cat's we've been on (multiple times too) are the Sunsail 384, Moorings 4600 and Moorings 4700.

We did 4 people on the 38 and it was great. I think it would be fine with 7. You won't have an excess of space when eating or anything, but plenty of room for hanging out..etc.

First group we did was 8 people. The big factor for us that made us move up to a larger boat was the fact that we felt 8 people and 2 heads might be difficult. So we moved to a boat with 4 heads, A/C and genset. Made for an excellent week!

Best way I've seen to cut costs is to get time through an owner if you can. All depends on when you go though and what's available.
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:06   #3
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Re: Min. size Cat. for 7 people in the BVI?

Thanks Maytrix. I was definitely going to go with 4 cabins. Can you tell me how big of a boat you had on your trip with 8 people? You've narrowed in on my concern about whether there's enough space to eat and such in the cabin.

The issue of 2 versus 4 heads is interesting. I'll have to look into that.
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:08   #4
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Re: Min. size Cat. for 7 people in the BVI?

Another thing to consider since it seems you could have multiple captains would be chartering 2 monohulls. You could probably do two mono's in the 40' range with 3 cabins (1 can serve for bag storage..etc). That would give each group (4 on one, 3 on the other) more room than you'd probably have all together on a smaller Cat and still the ability to all be together at each destination. Clearly it disconnects everyone a little bit, but you can all still hang on one boat in the evening and at other times.

Just one way to consider more space for about the same price.
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:09   #5
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Re: Min. size Cat. for 7 people in the BVI?

We did a 42' cat with 4 people and there was lots of room. We could have gone 6 people no problem. The biggest question is how much closeness can the family take. I would need the queen mary to do this trip with some of my family.
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:13   #6
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Re: Min. size Cat. for 7 people in the BVI?

We did both 8 and 9 people on two different trips on a Leopard 46 (Moorings 4600/Sunsail 464).

Lots and lots of room for all of us to sit together both inside and out. On the 38, 7 people would should fit outside, although it may be a little tight. I think the seating inside actually more easily holds 7 if I recall correctly (It's been over a year and we've done 3 charters since).

And my responses clearly change depending on the boat - a different 38 might have more or less seating depending on the layout. I know with the group of 8, we did consider a Moorings 4300 which had additional heads and likely a bit more seating area. We skipped it though for the A/C and genset the 46 offered
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Old 01-10-2012, 14:22   #7
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Re: Min. size Cat. for 7 people in the BVI?

Every charter trip we've done like that has been a 4 cabin 4 head model. The Lagoons have been our favorites, we've done Fontaine Pajots (sp) too, but the sloped windows in the salon and the steps of death on the stern make our group prefer a lagoon of roughly 42'-45'
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Old 01-10-2012, 15:00   #8
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Re: Min. size Cat. for 7 people in the BVI?

Thanks for all the advice (especially so quickly). After looking into the boats with 4 heads, I'm afraid that is out of the price range for this trip. Everyone is just going to have to be comfortable with one another in closer quarters. :-)

Since it seems like we won't have any problems with plenty of room to lounge on the outside, I'll focus my search on finding a boat where the dining area can accommodate 7 people.

Cheers!
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Old 01-10-2012, 17:40   #9
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Re: Min. size Cat. for 7 people in the BVI?

We chartered this cat about 5 years ago with 7 people and had plenty of room. I haven't compared prices but the price seems a little high for the age of the boat. The company was great to charter with.
Fountaine Pajot Lavezzi 40 for charter in the BVI

Sailmonkey, what makes the steps on the Fountaine Pajot so dangerous?
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Old 01-10-2012, 17:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palarran

Sailmonkey, what makes the steps on the Fountaine Pajot so dangerous?
I don't know if they're all like this, but the stern steps were all different sizes and curved with odd lumps. I think everyone of us went down on them at least once ( could have been the booze too though)
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Old 01-10-2012, 19:00   #11
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Re: Min. size Cat. for 7 people in the BVI?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
I don't know if they're all like this, but the stern steps were all different sizes and curved with odd lumps. I think everyone of us went down on them at least once ( could have been the booze too though)
Common to many models of FP's. Particularly older vintages. The "ergonomics" are a bit awkward.
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Old 01-10-2012, 20:41   #12
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Re: Min. size Cat. for 7 people in the BVI?

The Sunsail 38 (leopard) with 4 staterooms and two heads is the smallest charter cat I'm aware of that I'd consider for 7 adults.

Last winter I traded for a Moorings 40 with two couples and two singles on board, That worked all right, but I'd happily go a bit smaller with 4 staterooms instead of 3 if I had the option. A luxurious head forward is nice for owners, but I'd go with an additional birth instead for a group of 6 or 7.
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