We are a family on a cat and this is our 8th month aboard. I've never considered myself a sailor's sailor since I chickened out and bought a cat. if you are dead set against a cat whatever you do do not take SWMBO to a boat show
that has Lagoon
, FP, or Leopards of any kind. Do that and your fate is sealed.
Our boat is a Lagoon 380
. It is 10 years old and we are the 4th owner. It's not the fastest, prettiest, or newest but we decided, as a family, that the boat had to be single-handed capable and nonelectric usable. This restricted us to the 380, 39, 400, etc.
1. Cats do not heel. Pay attention to the rigging
. I printed out a guide table, laminated and stuck it to the cockpit
window. Cat sailing is sailing by numbers, literally. What to do at 15kts, 30°, what to do at 25kts, 110°. Now, I listen to the rigging
. The noises it makes is all the feedback you need. Each cat is different.
2. It goes to weather within its abilities. These aren't VOR boats. If the wind is 30° the sails
are up. I can get decent speed out of that. Our boat is designed by VPLP. They are famous for RTW racers (Route du Rhum, Vendee, etc) and their most iconic boat is the trimaran
from Waterworld. I'd like to imagine they knew what they were doing when they designed a cat that could sail a family comfortably.
3. It's a lot more fun for nonsailors than sailors. My rigging is quite conservative. I don't need to do the "hacks" that monos need like a whisker poles, running backstays
, or tons of sails
. Our equipment
, and code 0. This does 100% of what we need. 95% of offshore
cats has the exact same equipment
. You know what fun is? Coming into an anchorage, manoeuvring between all the monos with deep drafts and dropping anchor
yards from the beach. Trim the sails, set the autopilot
, and make a cocktail, or go fishing
. My son takes his big box of Legos out and plays in the cockpit
. He's never heard of heeling.
4. Our forward lockers are filled with sails, rope
, and beach gear
. It is the only part of the boat I am mindful of as far as weight. Cats are narrow at the front and fat at the back. Some people see that big empty locker and pile all their **** in their. I keep them as empty as feasibly possible.
Another thing. Cats are redundant. A few weeks ago we were sailing out of Malta
and I lost
. The belt snapped. Without skipping a beat I shut that engine
down. Fired up the other and continued motorsailing. After dinner, and when the sun was a little cooler, I went looking for that replacement belt. Owning a cat is literally having an entire spare engine. I don't need to stock loads of spares because I know I can put something together that will work.
Also, sharing a boat is nothing like sharing a home together. In a house you can solve a clogged toilet with a call to a plumber or a trip to the hardware
store. On a boat, you have yourself, and the things around you to solve those problems. The real question is, "is this person able to scoop **** out of a clogged toilet with me?" If they can handle that then everything else is gravy.