Imagine a circle divided into three equal slices. Label them performance, accommodations, and low price
. Throw a dart, and you will probably hit a catamaran
on today's market. It will offer, perhaps, a little more accommodation than performance and cost less than a boat that offers more of the other two parameters. You can find a boat so cheap
that is offers very little performance or accommodation, or one that has so much of both, that it costs more than anything else on the market. You can have a lot of any two.
If you've read very much of this site, you will understand that for any given length of catamaran
, The high end range includes Catana
, Freydis, Maine Cat
and some smaller production houses like FastCat
. For more creature comforts at the price
of slightly lower performance, St Francis, and possibly Broad Blue come to mind. Cats built primarily for the charter trade
are more economical and less performance oriented; see Lagoon
, Fontaine Pajot, and Privilege
. There are a wider selection of boats built to appeal to less affluent customers, and each of them represent some compromises to achieve that end.
Older boats cost less but require substantial maintenance
expense to retain the usability of a newer boat. Most of that maintenance
is within the ability of a moderately skilled owner, who can buy a cat for less, and bring it up to par with newer boats at the expense of considerable time and effort.
Pride of ownership
, defense of one's decisions, salesmanship, and just plain ego will confuse these ground rules with a lot of quibbling, yes-buts, and anecdotal rebuttal, but it boils down to one very rigid rule
. You get what you pay for. There are no bird's-nests-on-the-ground, and nobody drops a zero by mistake. Most boats sell within 15% of the asking price, or they don't sell at all. There are, however, a lot more boats for sale
that won't sell because they are over-priced. Because of the relatively small size of the multihull
market, and the relatively high price per pound of catamarans, many boats will be on the market for months or a year as a matter of course, even when they are priced right.
The Endeavor Cats did not make a big hit on the market because they didn't reach very high into the performance spectrum. Boats with more sparking performance, like the PDQs and the smallest French cats outsold them. If a group of aficionados were required, at gunpoint, to nominate three brands for the title "Condomaran" you would hear the name "Endeavor"
Many of us get a little sniffy about boats that are unabashedly designed to maximize the accommodation spectrum, but we loose sight of the fact that life is not always a race
, and voluntarily braving harsh weather
in deep, cold, blue water
is not a measure of manhood. I would much rather live on an Endeavor 36 than an Osborne 42.