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Old 24-11-2010, 18:02   #1
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What Do I Say ?

This is a hard Answer to give and I donít think I can truthfully give one. My wifeís friendís husband is 6 months from retirement and has come up with the idea that he wants to buy a boat in the Caribbean stay there for an extended time then head to the med and back into the Pacific. The points of conjecture.
1. Very little sailing experience(dinghy only).
2. He wants a CATAMARANS, likes CATAMARANS.
3. $180K budget.
4. ex UK Navy. (Engineer)

I am a mono sailor through and through, so I will always tend to LEAN to a mono, also I think they would be better off with a mono given his budget as you seem to get a better boat for your buck.

I donít want to start an argument, but would like to be constructive as it is going to happen no matter what.
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Old 24-11-2010, 18:16   #2
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Say Awesome!

What else can you say? They have some good multi hull choices in that price range. If they don't plan on big multiweek crossings right away, maybe they can buy a used cat with good resale prospects and see how it goes (surely they'll know more about what they want in a year or two). Maine Cats, Geminis, old Prouts (if you like it like that) are all good choices. Cats aren't difficult to sail and you can't impose your monohull sensibilities. Hell, cats do have many advantages (flat, space for people stuff and powermaking equipment, tuck in on thin water you and I can't get near, don't often sink). What's friend's wife say about the whole affair?
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Old 24-11-2010, 18:29   #3
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I'd say the best advice would be that he should learn about sailing Catamarans. Impress upon him the historical significance of recent Cat proliferation being due to their not-quite-bulletproof passagemaking abilities, but that things are improving with regards to sailor education, which is really the only path to safety on a cat.

A big, heavy, long-keeled mono is like a twelve year old riding horse. She knows exactly what she's supposed to do, and will begrudgingly forgive your newbie foolishness time and again. A Cat isn't the same at all, it's like a race horse that can get out of control if not handled properly.

Tell him you're envious of his position, and hope to sail with him sometime. Everyone gets to make their own decisions. I do think the only 'helpful' thing you can do at this point is to help with Cat education, not in heavy-handed fashion, but go through some of the significant differences with him. The only real strike against a Cat is the capsize issue, and that's almost entirely up to the skipper to prevent.
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Old 24-11-2010, 18:42   #4
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you don't need to say anything. Buy him a beer, and offer to crew for him once he gets finds the perfect boat.
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Old 24-11-2010, 18:45   #5
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I don't really think you have much to worry about. If he buys the cat in the Caribbean and uses it here, he will certainly be no worse than the cat charterers I have seen in the last few years. Most of the islands are not "that" far from one another and sheltered water can be found somewhere.
- - So he will be O-J-T'ing it for a few years while probably reading up on sailing and maybe taking some lessons.
- - The majority of charter cat's I see in the eastern Caribbean don't or have never put their sails up. They use the boats as large comfortable power yachts. So getting into trouble is rather difficult beyond running aground.
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Old 24-11-2010, 18:57   #6
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Good dinghy racing sailors know more about the sea, the sky and the behaviour of vessels than most cruising folk (and especially those who buy a boat with a fridge and motor virtually everywhere). So if he's done dinghies, I won't say it'll be a doddle but he's starting from a long way over the line.
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Old 24-11-2010, 19:10   #7
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At sea makes a great point. I've found that people who started on smaller boats have a much better sense of the ocean's temper and how to respond than most bigger boat cruisers ever get.

That said, I do think it's important to underline the difference between one and two/three hulls, when it comes to proper operation. No need to get all fire and brimstone about it, but there are significant safety differences.

I knew one guy who advised that the main difference between sailing on mono's as a youngster and sailing on cats in his later years was simple: carry a sharp knife at all times on the cat. Cut the sheet if you think you're in trouble, since the downside is having to repair/buy a new sail, compared to losing your boat and possessions.
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Old 25-11-2010, 05:08   #8
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The OP may take comfort with the recent arrival in our club of a biggish catamaran from the Caribbean. It's currently up the creek at anchor while the chain moorings are being prepared (see pics below). A member of an age maybe similar to that of your friend purchased it over the net and provided a lucky fellow club member with an airfare and an expenses account to help him bring it back.

I hear they poked around the Caribbean for a month sorting out some problems before deciding to have it put on a deck of a freighter from Panama to Sydney. That turned out a wise decision because they lost the stick on the trip around the coast to Adelaide.

Your friend will be okay provided he remembers that discretion is the better part of valour.
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Old 25-11-2010, 05:43   #9
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Simon,

I have heard it said that "honesty is the best policy", so I would start by admitting to your friend your mono bias. Next, why don't you encourage him to join CF (and/or other multihull/cruising-centric forums) and do some reading on the Multi-hull section, then he could ask questions from there.

Overall, what you have described is doable. The budget is on the low end, for sure. The bigger questions really are about their ability to adapt to the cruising lifestyle; is she just going along for the ride, etc.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 25-11-2010, 05:53   #10
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She loves the Caribbean and has spent alot of time there, mainly in hotels but is a water person at heart, and loves the outdoors. I can not see a problem with a cat but feel a newer mono in better condition would be better and I would be happeir sailing a mono back home for them.
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Old 25-11-2010, 06:07   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SimonV View Post
She loves the Caribbean and has spent alot of time there, mainly in hotels but is a water person at heart, and loves the outdoors. I can not see a problem with a cat but feel a newer mono in better condition would be better and I would be happeir sailing a mono back home for them.
From an "I like monos perspective", I can see your point, but I also see a lot of "this is what I (SimonV) would want", not what they want. It could be that they are approaching the whole adventure as "it starts with a catamaran."

When we were getting ready to buy our first big boat (a mono, btw). I had a good friend who kept telling us, we would get more for our money if we just chartered. He became so insistent on his view (and not listening to ours) that we soon began dismissing all of his advice out of hand (a loss for both of us).

Fair Winds,
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Old 25-11-2010, 06:59   #12
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Very true Mike, that is where I am in a delema. But with a budget of 180k max, all I can see is an older well worn mid 80s to 90s cat against around a 2005 mono, and you have to take into account the need to make said boat ocean ready and that eats into the top price payable. For me it will be a win win I get to sail my mono and if they do buy a cat I get to play on that as well. And yess if I had 180k I would get a 45+ Bendytoy.
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Old 25-11-2010, 07:26   #13
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My advice is...........

.........keep well out of it


Or if pushed get all vague and wrap your comments around "it's all a trade off - depends what you want / will need". If pushed maybe mention that you may get more mono than cat for that money. but depends on how "more" is defined. for him it could be "less"

On paper no reason why he can't learn enough to make his own decisions. and to learn there are no 100% correct answers, and certainly none that someone else can provide for him.........and in any event (unless someone else will be babysitting him 24/7 for the next couple of years) then he needs to learn enough to make his own decisions - if they are to be anywhere near right for him.

As a bonus he gets to live with his decisions

On some things a cheque alone doesn't avoid having to think for yourself.
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Old 25-11-2010, 07:28   #14
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you don't need to say anything. Buy him a beer, and offer to crew for him once he gets finds the perfect boat.
Exactly. The last thing anyone needs advice on is the choice of hull type. It would be a little like telling him he needs a brunette, instead of a blonde, for a wife. Let him figure it out for himself.
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Old 25-11-2010, 10:27   #15
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At sea,

That's a Hughes, and I was anchored next to her for a couple of months in Panama. The owner claimed the rigging engineering was at fault, and he is making a claim. Hearsay is the rig was lost twice trying to leave Panama?

Mike's advice of having your friend join a couple of forums is good. All the advice than can be taken in will help him make a decision. Taking information from a limited source limits your knowledge.

I think he can find what he wants for that money. His biggest decision will be if he wants a condo, or a sailor. Also where he buys will make a difference......i2f
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