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Old 15-12-2015, 22:19   #1
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Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

Hello, I am a first time poster, though I have been reading everything I can for about 2 years!!! So it is finally time to make the move!! We are selling our house and buying a boat, a catamaran!! My question is, where do you all think the best place to buy is?? We really want 38 feet or larger, owners version, galley up, but it is all negotiable, willing to give or take for the right boat. Our favorite boats are Lagoons and Fountaine Pajot, but to suggestions. Of course there is always the budget (darn it) and ours is $200K, give or take. We are thinking of starting our cruising life in the Caribbean or Bahamas, and there are a lot of boats there, but again... open to your suggestions. So what do you think?

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Old 15-12-2015, 22:47   #2
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

Welcome to CF!

I saw a few recent threads on where boats are cheaper (compared to US), buying overseas, pros and cons of doing so, etc.
You should be able to find them using Google.

Pretty much any boat that fits your needs, all adults can handle solo under all circumstances (people often forget this part, methinks) and you can afford to buy and (worse ) maintain is worth looking at.

What boats other people like matters very little, all things considered, since you'll be the one living on and sailing her, not any of us

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Old 16-12-2015, 02:15   #3
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

My suggestion is to buy in the US, preferably Ft. Lauderdale. Here's why. A used boat is going to need stuff fixed, period. And getting that done in Bahamas, BVI's etc. is more expensive (parts, not necessarily labor) and perhaps harder to get done right. While the US boat will cost more initially because Duty will have to have been paid, in totality you might spend less and have a more seaworthy vessel. My 37' power cat that I bought in June was brought to Ft Lauderdale from The Abacos, duty paid, and while it was 20-30K more than her sister ships, I had easy access to world class service and cheap parts. There is a lot of catamaran business in Ft. Lauderdale and finding good surveyors who know cats is also easy there. Just my view...I'm sure Annapolis, Miami, etc are fine too.

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Old 16-12-2015, 04:44   #4
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

I'd also suggest you take a look at places downwind. Such as Caribbean Panama and Pacific Mexico. When we were looking for a used catamaran it seemed that from time to time people would get that far downwind, leave the boat to go home for some reason planning to come back, and then put the boat on the market. It's not much fun sailing north along Pacific central america, and on this side, it's all upwind to get back from Panama.

We saw good deals in the Rio Dulce from time to time, too. Same reason. Easy to get there, not so much fun to get back.

Florida is good for boats, airplanes, and RVs because a lot of retirees with money buy toys, use them for a few years, and then, well, life happens.

Some good deals can be had, especially with cash in hand.
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Old 16-12-2015, 08:41   #5
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

One of the first things to consider is where you live. West Coast? East? If you have a budget you'll save some $$ searching close by and then extend your search if need be. We just bought a 36' tri all the way across the country, but there are few that met our reqmts, and the price we bargained for included shipping.

Consider your sailing experience; sooner or later (if living aboard and leaving the dock to travel) you'll need to handle bad weather, illness, failures, etc... How much boat it enough and how much is too much?

200k will buy a relatively nice boat, but newer = costlier and larger = costlier, so put your needs in order and look at your budget. An older but larger boat may require a refit or electronics update, etc.....

Just some things to consider...
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Old 16-12-2015, 09:06   #6

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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

'Looks like Monte might have a lead on a cheap 50 footer!
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Old 16-12-2015, 15:58   #7
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

It also depends on what you're going to do after you buy. Are you planning full-time live-aboard cruising? The advice about buying in the US is good also because of parts availability. We are cruising in SE Asia and it is very hard to get some things. You end up using a lot of substitutes which is usually OK but sometimes there's no substitute for eBay or Defender. In that price range you're looking at 40' or less and 8+ years old and probably ex charter. When you buy ex-charter you are going to have to spend at least between 20-50K more to get it to 'live-aboard' state. Most ex-charter are 'bare bones' in the safety/liveability departments and absent the 'nice to haves'. You'll usually need something of an upgrade in sails/rigging/canvas and electronics. We bought a 40' Leopard owner's version (2007) that was bought new from the factory by the owner and never chartered. The owner did not 'live aboard' but used the boat infrequently on weekends and weeks with his family throughout the year. Although it was in good condition with low hours on the engines and generators, we have still invested about $30,000 into it to install solar panels, radar, new canvas enclosure plus some 'heavy maintenance' on the engines and sail drives to fix nuisance leaks etc. We started with a budget of $200,000 and ended up spending quite a bit more for the purchase based on what we saw at that price point and a couple surveys we had done on potential boats. If you don't care where the boat is you can get a great buy on ex-charter boats in the Seychelles and also look at SE Asia near Phuket/Langkawi. In fact, there is a 44' Shionning here in the Philippines right next to us asking $300K which is a steal for that boat (2008). Don't overlook SE Asia as a cruising ground either, it is amazing and you could spend 10 years here and not even scratch the surface of the coral triangle much less the South Pacific Islands, Australia and New Zealand. I am of course biased but have a look at the Leopard brand of Catamarans as well. There are many ex-charter Leopards ranging from 38-46 feet. They have a good reputation and a very strong online support community. The Yahoo Leopard group has something like 1000 members and has been an unbelievable wealth of knowledge and support for us in our first year cruising (in addition to this forum!). Best of luck, you won't regret your decision (except when the bills start rolling in... but that's boating!). Cheers. Millhouse
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Old 16-12-2015, 18:02   #8
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

The easiest way to shop is here.

The largest selection is the area of the BVI's and St. Maarten. St. Maarten is also an excellent place to have work done to a boat. I don't have any experience with Florida but remember a mechanic telling me years ago that he was paid $35 per hour. What the company charges - probably well over $100, which is quite a bit more than the Caribbean.
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Old 16-12-2015, 18:14   #9
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

This listing might be worth checking out:

1988 Simpson sailboat for sale in Florida
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Old 16-12-2015, 19:19   #10
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

G'day, Mate. Welcome aboard. With the bit of chaos going on in various places of the world at the moment, may I suggest you have a good look at New Zealand. Heaps of boats to choose from and some very nice places to sail to. Tough to find a better place to base out of at the moment. All the best. Cheers.
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Old 17-12-2015, 00:05   #11
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

2006 Fountaine Pajot Belize 43 feet

2007 Fountaine Pajot Belize 43

heres a link to the search hopefully it works
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Old 17-12-2015, 00:10   #12
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

some hints when you search

put a limit on the "year" of the boat, that way you avoid getting boats parted out as shares.
also put a limit on minimum price if your budget is 200, put a bottom price of 120. it will limit your "shares" views

otherwise.. search close to yourself.. for catamarans 38-43 feet long..
and see how it goes.. expand your search as you find very few when its only around the UK

but increase the range gradually.. and you can highlight allthe places you're ok with buying
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Old 17-12-2015, 04:17   #13
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

We bought our boat just over a year ago. Although, Tom found the boat on, we contacted Jeff Jones from the Multihull Company who we'd been talking to for 9 years. Almost immediately, Jeff had the complete history on the boat, he also advised me to offer less than I was going to. He came to the survey and helped the surveyor find stuff that was wrong with the boat and negotiated the price down. PM me and I'll send you his contact information, or you can find it on the Multihull website. Jeff is in Ft. Lauderdale.

As to finding the boat, Jeff can help, you can go on Yachtworld,com, but the most important thing to do is actually get on the boats and look at stuff like storage. Tom really wanted an owner's version (all of them ended up out of our price range). I wanted a four cabin because I knew we'd need more food storage. One of the first things I did was makeover the forward starboard cabin into a pantry. What kind of head to you want? Some boats have "wet heads" which means there is no separate shower. This is going to be your home, so you have to be happy with your arrangements. A friend of mine on a Lagoon hates her wet head and is already talking about the next boat. If you plan to spend most of your time in the Caribbean, you'll probably be in your cockpit. Does it have the room you want? Same with the salon. The minute it is cold, that's where you'll be. The galley is a big deal. Make sure it's designed so that when someone is cooking they have room to brace. Cats may not heal, but they do slam. Also make sure that wherever you walk on the boat there is a hand hold.
It's a used boat, so look at the stuff it comes with. Ours had a watermaker, two chart plotters, a D400 wind generator, and AIS. The only thing we had to add was an SSB.

Good luck and congratulations!


Other considerations are
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Old 17-12-2015, 07:15   #14
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

At least, talk to a specialised cat broker, that has seen the good and the bad ones on the market.
I met Caroline at the La Rochelle boat show, in France in Sept.
She is in Ft Lauderdale but travels to the Carribean often to see cats there for her clients. Check her videos on You tube.
She works for the Catamaran Company and is top broker.
1 954 328 9149.
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Old 17-12-2015, 07:50   #15
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Re: Best Place To Buy a Cruising Catamaran

I'd say one of the most important things to shop for is a good buyers broker, one that know your boat type, then get serious about looking at boats, I think a Buyers broker is essential, unless you already know what you want, what it is worth etc, if your an expert, then you don't need one.

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