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Old 02-04-2014, 23:01   #1
B J
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38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

Am considering going cruising, wife and myself with occasional visitors, and would like to hear from other couples who have cruised on a 38 ft cat did you ever feel you needed a larger cat ?
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Old 03-04-2014, 05:12   #2
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

Depends on the cat. And more so on the person. A 38 leopard is a whole different animal than say a 38 FP Athena. And some live happily on an Athena while some couldn't but do so on the Leopard.
what cat are you thinking about?

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Old 03-04-2014, 06:05   #3
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

like the look of the leopard 38 owners version maybe ?
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:14   #4
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

Nobody can answer this except you, around us we have 26 ft mono with nothing on it and lagoon 440 with everything and one couple on them.

Everybody seem happy, just get a boat that you can pay easily and have money left to get going.

For us we are 3-4 on a lagoon 380 and have never felt cramp, but that us. Still nice to have a washing machine and each a cabin to hide and relax.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:32   #5
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

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Originally Posted by SvLetitgo View Post
Nobody can answer this except you, around us we have 26 ft mono with nothing on it and lagoon 440 with everything and one couple on them.

Everybody seem happy, just get a boat that you can pay easily and have money left to get going.
Very good advice. I will say this though - many people have bought a big, comfortable boat only to regret it. As the boat gets bigger, so does everything else. Loads on lines, sails, anchors etc. all have to be handled by someone and for short-handed sailing (say, you and your wife) can end up being a real chore. Expense also goes way up correspondingly. I have a 36-foot monohull. I love it but i often wish it was 2 or 3 feet smaller. I have some friends that cruise full-time throughout the Atlantic on a 9.5 metre (31-foot) boat. When i last asked how the boat was they said, "it's too big! We want to sell it and get something smaller!"
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:46   #6
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

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Originally Posted by B J View Post
Am considering going cruising, wife and myself with occasional visitors, and would like to hear from other couples who have cruised on a 38 ft cat did you ever feel you needed a larger cat ?
I have a Privilege 37 (Owners Version) 2 + 1 occassional - should be fine.
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Old 03-04-2014, 06:48   #7
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

We are quite content on a 34' cat.
We know others who "need" a 60'er.
And yet others in a 25' mono.

Depends on what you want and what you can afford.
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:37   #8
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

Living space probably not as much a problem as storage space and weight. With 2 or more on a 38' cat doing live aboard long term cruising the boat is very likely to be way over loaded and therefore perform poorly.
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Old 03-04-2014, 14:43   #9
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

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Living space probably not as much a problem as storage space and weight. With 2 or more on a 38' cat doing live aboard long term cruising the boat is very likely to be way over loaded and therefore perform poorly.
And here I was planning to cruise a family of 6 on a 38' tri.

I think it all depends on what you consider necessities. We are rather simple folk and will prioritize water, food, and fuel. After that we will load the dinghy and a kayak, we might go with a single TV and if we have to do without a washer then so be it. And if we feel we have extra capacity I will probably load up a second kayak before much anything else. Throw in a few beach towels a laptop or two and a digital camera and I don't really see that there is anything else that we "need".


And heck if we end up overloaded we end up overloaded, making one knott more or one knott less isn't really going to make a difference. We won't be out to win any races.
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Old 03-04-2014, 15:35   #10
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

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Living space probably not as much a problem as storage space and weight. With 2 or more on a 38' cat doing live aboard long term cruising the boat is very likely to be way over loaded and therefore perform poorly.
Cruising cats are rarely performance boats. A leopard 38 has a payload capacity of 7600lbs person water gear fuel etc. So you figure still over 5000 pounds after u back out water 212 gals, &78+24 gal fuel. Food and clothes and gadgets don't weigh all that much. Now u take a performance cat and put the same stuff onboard then yes it wont be a performance cat. But a 38 ' cruising cat will be fine.

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Old 04-04-2014, 15:55   #11
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

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Living space probably not as much a problem as storage space and weight. With 2 or more on a 38' cat doing live aboard long term cruising the boat is very likely to be way over loaded and therefore perform poorly.
While weight is certainly an issue for performance, most cruising cats are designed to handle the load. See Exit Only's blog, they cruised for many years with a family of 4 on a Privilege 39.

The non-stop distance you plan on cruising will very much determine how much storage and weight you'll need to be able to carry, coastal cruising is much much less demanding than crossing big oceans. The heaviest items aboard are fuel, food, and water. All forms of energy. You can turn fuel into water. You can turn sun/wind into energy for water, harder to turn it into food :-)

The other thing is how much elbow room you like...it's a personal preference. Katie Kat, a seawind 1000 (33' before the extensions), did a lot of long distance cruising. See the blog.

Also read, Sensible Cruising, The Thoreau Approach. A bit old, but timeless information. I've always enjoyed bigger and faster boats. A couple years ago I chartered a Catana 50, and for the first time, thought, the gear, lines, etc are just too big and too much load. After that trip, I read the Sensible Cruising book and have changed my approach. I still like good performance, but appreciate more and more simple systems that are easier to handle and maintain.
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Old 04-04-2014, 16:21   #12
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

with a 42 I felt the need for a 37..... if that means anything.... the main differnce was the 42 had a hanging locker in every cabin.....
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Old 08-04-2014, 18:12   #13
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Re: 38 ft cat is it big enough for cruising

As many have already stated, it is all relative to what you want / feel you need to carry. I have a Maxim 380 - she is fast, carries 500 litres of fuel, 500 litres of water. I have added a watermaker and hoping to find a light weight washing machine. NOW the big thing is I single hand most of the time - currently have crew. I have 2 queens and 1 double and 2 coffin berths. For 2 people offshore for long passages she is plenty big enough. For island hopping with friends she is also big enough. Would I take 4 offshore - nope - not my style for ocean passages, so again everything relative. Back to the original question - 38 is big enough, if you know what and where you want to do
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