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Old 11-02-2009, 11:12   #1
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Multi Guy, Looking for Mono Insight


Certainly do not want this thread to touch on the mono vs multi argument (yawn). They both have their pros and cons... at the end of the day if we're out under sail enjoying our time that's all that really matters (IMO).

OK, that being said, I have long had my sights on a cat, but given the current economy am now thinking about protecting my cash and purchasing a smaller and less expensive mono.

Ideally, I would use this boat 4-6 months a year and base it in the Caribbean. I would plan on selling it in a few years (2-5) when (fingers crossed) things get better and either step up into something larger or go back to my cat aspirations. It appears that the mono market is somewhat soft with a large inventory; representing some good deals to be had (correct me if I'm wrong).

I would love to hear what the mono of your choice would be in this scenario. Obviously that's a huge open ended question and I don't want this to be "My dream boat thread." So a few parameters to apply would be the following:

* Reasonably easy to single hand
* Though primarily used for Caribbean island hopping, it should be blue water capable; able to make larger passages comfortably and safely.
* Not necessarily looking for a world cruiser, but should be comfortable for living aboard for extended periods of time
* Turn key condition as far as sails, engines etc. Refit within reason is to be expected (electronics, galley etc. but no project boats)
* Price range (approx) $30-70K, but please don't let this alone restrict your responses.

Thanks in advance!

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Old 11-02-2009, 12:50   #2
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If you are expecting to single-hand, it is important that you choose a boat that you can handle both under sail and also under motor - whether anchoring or coming in and out of marina berths, and in adverse conditions - cross breezes etc.

Obviously, even with slab reefing and lazy jacks, and a furling headsail, sail handling gets harder the bigger the boat. conversely, with a smaller boat, it is easier to handle, but you lose out with smaller living area and, perhaps less performance.

Having said that, If I were in your shoes, I would probably be looking for something in the 30'-36' range. For example, an S&S 34 would probably fit the bill quite nicely (if you can find one in your budget)... proven blue water capability, easily single handed (plenty of solo circumnavigations) and will hold it's value so that when you come to resell, you will probably not have eroded you catamaran kitty too much. I'm not saying this is the boat to go for, just one that I think illustrates the right sort of boat. Others may, of course, disagree

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Old 11-02-2009, 13:04   #3
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Thumbs up


Thanks so much for the post, greatly appreciated. Good point regarding single handed docking, it's not something I've had much experience on with a mono. The twin engines on the cat make it a relatively easy exercise, though I'm sure with practice this can become second nature with a monohull.

As you noted, it's a balancing act of size, seaworthiness, comfort and single handing ability. There's no perfect boat, just have to find the right combination and determine what the priority is

Thanks for the specific suggestion of the S & S 34... I'll add it to my research list.

Please keep them coming
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Old 11-02-2009, 13:31   #4
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Your plan sounds reasonable to me and in keeping with the volatile financial times.

One thing you might consider is buying a boat already in the Caribbean from a reputable broker who knows your plan, and can help you think through the options. And, one who might well be able to help you sell the boat when you're ready and, possibly, look for a cat.

I can recommend without hesitation Chris and Karen from BVI Yacht Sales: BVI Yacht Sales Ltd.

Have known them for many years, including the 11 years I kept my 42' sloop at Nanny Cay Marina in Tortola where they are based. They'll steer you right.

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Old 11-02-2009, 14:23   #5
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If you are intending on selling a boat at any time soonish then I would be buying a boat the there is a readily identifiable market for.

When we bought our boat from the Caribbean it was not meant to be our 'ultimate' boat. We need to sell it sometime. So we wanted one so popular that people could look up on the internet and clearly see and compare our boat. If we needed to be able to sell it fast then dropping price would clearly make it cheaper amongst the listed market.

The only brand of boat that has a strong market in Australia as well as the Caribbean was/is Beneteau.

A broker can jump on our boat and give a market price for it quite exactly. He can exactly tell you current prices as the market has liquidity and he can tell exactly what discount will make the boat move.

The difference between a boat in a liquid market and one thats a special boat may be many many months... some Fero Cemenet boats may be for sale for years!

Yes, you may need to compromise on some things but at least you can sell the boat at a 'moments' notice to buy your dream cat!

For example a Beneteau 361 ex-charter in the Caribbean are listed for $75,000-80,000 so you would be able to negotiate into your price bracket easily.

After a few years, and a bit of spit-and-polish, you will be able to sell that boat easily

Notes on a Circumnavigation.

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Old 11-02-2009, 14:33   #6
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The only thing I would disagree with is that a larger boat is easier to sail but once you get beyond 24,000 pound displacement you cannot man handle the boat off the dock. Your logic sounds fine if you want to get out onthe water in the near future.
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Old 11-02-2009, 14:45   #7
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Again, thank you all for chiming in. It's a rather daunting process (especially since my knowledge is really on the cat side of things).

Mark J, interesting point on the Beneteau (or similar make). Though I suppose the flip side could be the over saturated market of a popular make/model. This (IMO) could result in depressed prices and a longer sales cycle. In a relatively competitive market, wouldn't you have to really set your Beneteau apart from the pack to sell it since there are so many available? Where, say a non-production/non-charter (although well known) make/model could have a better long term result on the re-sale? I could be way off base, just my .02

Bill, thanks for the input on BVI Yacht Sales... glad to hear you had such a favorable experience. Something I will certainly keep in mind.

As a side note, if any of you out there are considering a FSBO and feel your boat would fit my needs, feel free to PM... thanks.
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Old 11-02-2009, 22:47   #8
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Active owner groups

IMO, for any monohull it is vital there be an active online community of owners. There are two primary reasons: they will provide support for everything from financing to upgrades, and they recruit people who will want to purchase your boat when/if you decide to sell it - providing a lift to selling price.

In your price range there are far too many boats to easily sift through. But there are far fewer boats with active owner's groups.

On the internet, nobody knows you're a dog anchored in a coral atoll.
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Old 15-02-2009, 20:54   #9
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You might want to look at Bayfields and Alohas...
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Old 16-02-2009, 06:00   #10
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I would consider a small Ketch such as the Cheoy Lee 31 or an Allied Seawind II (32). They're reasonably priced, easy to singlehand and at least in the case of the Allied, quite roomy. The trick is to find one in good condition.

Another boat I would consider is the Southern Cross 31 (they also made a 34 and a 39), or if you prefer a more modern fin keel/spade rudder design, the Aloha 32. There's a nice Aloha for sale in Maine for around 30k that I almost bought.

There are tons of production boats (Hunter, Beneteau, etc.) in that price range, too, but they're not my cup of tea, and I'd worry about these boats holding value in a weak economy.
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Old 16-02-2009, 07:31   #11
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It would help to know what country you are shopping in? that would have a big impact on the potential boats to look at. I think some here are assuming you are in the states?

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Old 16-02-2009, 08:44   #12
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I agree with MarkJ. If you're looking to sell relatively soon, I'd go with a well-known production model like Catalina, or Hunter. Sure the market is saturated, and you'll have to sell cheap, but then you'll be buying cheap as well. Cheap sells fast.
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Old 16-02-2009, 09:22   #13
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Well you can sell any boat if the price is right. IMHO an older cruising boat in good condition will hold its value better. There aren't as many of them. Supply and demand, it's as simple as that.

To illustrate, there are four S&S 34s on Yachtworld, none in the US (three Europe, 1 New Zealand)

There is one Seawind II, cutter rigged, in FL for 60K (asking)

There are 241 Hunters for sale from 32-34 ft, various models. So when it comes time to sell your Hunter, buyers will have 200+ others to choose from.
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:00   #14
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Hello again... I'd love to "re-introduce" this thread in hopes of getting some more responses. See my original post for details. Thanks again for all the input on the first go around Look forward to hearing from more of you out there.

ps: Ideally looking to purchase in the Caribbean or FL (though would consider eastern seaboard for the right opportunity).
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Old 11-03-2010, 11:11   #15
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There are many many boats built in the 60's 70's and 80s that make perfect intermediate cruisers. It's a great way to go. They don't cost much. Shopping carefully will turn up 'turnkey' boats.

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