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Old 02-11-2007, 06:30   #1
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Size of vessel

I am in need of advice. As some may know...I am new to the forum and have almost no sailing experience. On big boats that is..
Anyways, my wife and i intend to retire to a Cat in a few years...no more than five. We intend to do the Carribean first and then, if we are really enjoying it...the rest of the world.
My question is...for two average sized people and a parrot, what is the best boat and length? I prefer the type with a solid front(no net)...so as to have a full master bedroom..what do you guys and gals think?
Also any advice from those sailing right now would be most helpful.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:16   #2
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Have you seen this one? Prout 37 Cruising Cat For Sale
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:06   #3
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It's like asking what religion works best for everyone; it's a very personal question. I certainly think one could argue that the vessels that do the most distance and get pushed the hardest tend to be smaller and with less "stuff". Most boats that spend a lot of time in marinas tend to be loaded up on stuff, and are much larger.

But even saying that, I'm sure there's someone on their 8th circumnavigation with a 80' schooner and a built in spa.

But for my opinion, I'd recommend getting something smaller, rather than larger. There's a lot more to a boat than just the initial reaction of walking into a larger cabin. 28' -> 40' is the range I'd go with, on a mono hull.
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:38   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pygar62 View Post
I am in need of advice. As some may know...I am new to the forum and have almost no sailing experience. On big boats that is..
Anyways, my wife and i intend to retire to a Cat in a few years...no more than five. We intend to do the Carribean first and then, if we are really enjoying it...the rest of the world.
My question is...for two average sized people and a parrot, what is the best boat and length? I prefer the type with a solid front(no net)...so as to have a full master bedroom..what do you guys and gals think?
Also any advice from those sailing right now would be most helpful.
I am in the same boat as you so to speak. I am also looking for a catamaran to cruise in a few years. Here are a couple links to a couple threads I started, asking very similar questions. Many people responded with some excellent advice from first hand knowledge.

What is your budget?

The advantage of having a solid foredeck is obvious. The disadvantage is that in heavy seas it does not drain as well as a net and you are increasing mass towards the bow (or stern) which tends to increase hobby horsing.

As far as size goes, the compromise seems to be low cost and manageability of a smaller boat versus more amenities and more waterline equating to speed and comfort of a larger boat. Different people have different opinions, all of which are valid because it depends on the individual. Most people seem to be agreeing that a cat intended for cruising below 35 feet has inadequate cabin space and head clearance and that a cat over 50 feet is unmanageable for only two people. I tend to agree although my heart is still set on something over 50 feet rigged to be single handed.

People are telling me to charter a number of catamarans in different parts of the world before buying, which I totally agree with. Charter first, buy later.

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f48/looking-charter-then-purchase-cruising-catamaran-10167.html#post101212

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f2/how-much-boat-too-much-10375.html

Cheers!
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Old 02-11-2007, 12:21   #5
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You won't find too many newer cruising cats with solid foredecks. As far as I know, all of the French and So. African cats have trampolines. You might want to look at Privilege. They have twin tramps, but many of them use a kind of extended cabin to support the master suite you're looking for:


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Old 02-11-2007, 12:55   #6
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There are a couple of gotchyas with cats...

Safety goes up with size the Larger the cat the higher the absolute stability...

And they are weight sensitive so wile a 36-40 cat has plenty of room for your stuff but it may not sail well with all of the crap on board...

Now even a 38 foot cat is a lot of boat with a lot of sail area so finding the right balance for ease of handling and capacity/safety is the trick. We are in the middle of figuring this out for ourselves right now… more of an art then a science and I am not sure all the fretting will real mater in the end, it will all be about “just Going”, and learning to live with what ever set of compromises your boat will end up having.

Good luck
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Old 08-11-2007, 22:45   #7
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I'm not a Cat person but if I were, I would do the Bahamas. Cat's are perfect there. The only Cat that I ever sailed was a delivery from Fiji to Brisbane Australia. It was a 38' something (French production boat). It had a lot of gear on board. It was no faster than a mono-hull (about 125 miles a day) but it beat me half to death. It was nice being upright though.

Don't buy this theory that bigger is harder. It is actually just the opposite (to a point). Bigger is much easier to control, safer, more comfortable in all conditions and more forgiving when you make mistakes (and you will). From my experience on that 38' Cat, I would have loved a 50'. It would not have had that pounding, going to windward.

I've sailed the Caribbean twice. I hated the place both times. The fact is, we are not welcome there. Besides, there is usually 1 place to anchor on most islands and they are usually crowded with people that don't know what they are doing. The wind blows hard beween the islands and the channels are rough and wide. Other than that..... it's fine.

With the right Cat, you could spend the rest of your life exporing the Eastern US, Bahamas and New Foundland. North in the summer, South in the winter.
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Old 09-11-2007, 03:55   #8
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I cannot get at all enthusiastic about the new French catamarans, such as the Beneteau Lagoons. They look to me like floating greenhouses.

However I always admired the Prout cats like the Snowgoose, many of which have cruised all over the world and safely. Obviously they could not compete with the modern designs on price, which is a pity, so the company failed.
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Old 09-11-2007, 22:42   #9
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Pygar62

I'm not a Cat person but if I were, I would do the Bahamas. Cat's are perfect there. The only Cat that I ever sailed was a delivery from Fiji to Brisbane Australia. It was a 38' something (French production boat). It had a lot of gear on board. It was no faster than a mono-hull (about 125 miles a day) but it beat me half to death. It was nice being upright though.

Don't buy this theory that bigger is harder. It is actually just the opposite (to a point). Bigger is much easier to control, safer, more comfortable in all conditions and more forgiving when you make mistakes (and you will). From my experience on that 38' Cat, I would have loved a 50'. It would not have had that pounding, going to windward.

I've sailed the Caribbean twice. I hated the place both times. The fact is, we are not welcome there. Besides, there is usually 1 place to anchor on most islands and they are usually crowded with people that don't know what they are doing. The wind blows hard beween the islands and the channels are rough and wide. Other than that..... it's fine.

With the right Cat, you could spend the rest of your life exporing the Eastern US, Bahamas and New Foundland. North in the summer, South in the winter.
How is it that you are not welcome in the Caribbean? What do you mean? I am considering chartering there...so I am curious.
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Old 09-11-2007, 23:11   #10
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I prefer the type with a solid front(no net)...so as to have a full master bedroom..what do you guys and gals think?
Also any advice from those sailing right now would be most helpful.
If you plan to cruise open waters you would not like the solid front. The pounding would wear you out, not to mention other problems. But as a liveaboard and fair water boat it would be fine.

Watch some of the video's in some of the threads and you will see what I mean. The faster the vessel (cat) the more bow you'll want sticking out there.

So the question is; why a Cat? For speed, comfort or the room. One has to compromise/sacrifice on all boats.
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:40   #11
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I always think a cat with solid foredecks has hulls that are too short for the boat. Fine for sheltered waters, but at sea longer hulls will work much better. You'll get a good sized main cabin with a queen berth on a 40 - 45 foot cat that doesn't have full length foredecks. You really want the bridgedeck to be only around 50%-60% of LOA, for a seaworthy boat. There are exceptions, but they are just that - exceptions.
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Old 10-11-2007, 05:59   #12
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While I don't have any experience with crusing cats. I'm a person who just bought a relatively large boat, I can tell you, even something as small as a 20 foot monohull can be a bit to handle for 2 people with little or no experience. The learning curve for a small boat like mine is short, we're already getting the hang of it after only two daysails, but with some of the mistakes we made the first couple of times out, I'd have hated to see what would have happened if we had had a bigger boat.

I'm not telling you what you should do, but knowing what i do now, if I were in your shoes and had enough money to buy a larger cat, I'd charter a few times, working my way up in size. I think that sailing anything under good conditions is simple enough, it's when you get into tight spaces, docking in marinas and such, that you get in trouble with a larger boat. Even if you don't charter, maybe see if you can find people with larger cats, and go out with them sometimes, and especially pay attention to how they handle the boat in close quarters.

I basically jumped from a sunfish to a 21 foot monohull weekender/cruiser and I really can't imagine trying to handle anything bigger at the moment. Even with my mother out helping me(she has less sailing experience than I do), my boat is a lot to handle for two relatively inexperienced people.

In the words of so many other people, "Go small, go now." even if going is only day sailing locally. you can always upgrade later and a small older boat in good condition can be had for a very good price(under $10k) and will hold its value as long as you keep it in relatively close condition to what you got it in.
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:47   #13
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Tough to go big without experience. Folks do it but often get in trouble.
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