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Old 04-10-2011, 07:52   #1
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Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

I am a new member of the forum. Would like to buy a catamaran in the 40-45 foot range within a year and would like delivery around fall of 2012. Goal is for my girlfriend and I and two dogs to coastal cruise for the next 3-4 years: CA, Baja, Sea of Cortez. Kids and grandkids will vacation with us. We live in Tucson, AZ. Will have to keep the boat in a slip in southern CA or San Carlos during that time. Then when I retire in a few years we would like to sail to Hawaii and South Pacific and live aboard 24/7.

Budget is about 500k. I say "about" as we could go higher but would be happy to end up lower depending on what is out there. Anyways, I don't want to buy another boat in 4-5 years so if that means spending more now that is fine. One issue is that I am inexperienced and yet I want this boat to be the one to live my dreams for the next 15-20 years. Don't know if we should buy new or used. My experience so far is 5 week-long bareboat charters on catamarans as captain and ASA courses through 114. Largest cat chartered so far as captain is a 38' (38’ seems a little small for our plans). Currently trying to charter something new and interesting every few months but that is getting expensive and frustrating. Doing a Seawind 1160 in BVI in Dec and a Fountain Pajot Tobago in CA in a few weeks.

Current favorite boats are Seawind, Maverick, Manta...but that is based on websites, pictures and the comments on this forum.

Plan to go to the Miami boath show in Feb 2012.

Just starting to get serious about buying and would welcome advice especially concerning the issue of used versus new, what boats and issues you are passionate about, what I should look out for, etc….

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:04   #2
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Talking Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

I bought new for my first boat and think buying used is a good way to go. Have a good inspection on the hull is key, then next big items being mast, boom engines, sails. The amount you save on a used boat you can put back into things that you want changed. When I say used I am thinking 1-5 years old in general. If the boat is know for it's quality then older is fine.
A year goes by quickly and you new boat is now worth $100,000 less and looks no different. Also this is a new move for you and sure hope it works out and you love it, but things come up and your feeling may change and you may need to sell the boat. If you bought used at a good deal you can sell it without much of a loss if any.

If you have an extra $100,000 to burn and enjoy the experience of owning a new boat, then that is good too. The question is how much is that money worth to you?

I bought mine new as it was a company boat and a tax right off, otherwise I would have bought used.

Just my thoughts. Doesn't mean it's right.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:15   #3
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

If you don't know about cruising. Then buying new can be bad. As posted you will take a huge hit immediatley. What if you don't like it? What if you can't fix the problems that come up? What if it scares you? Then you will lose a lot of money right away.

Take some sailing lessons. Do a cruising charters some where where the water is warm, and you can get in it, BVI's is an example. Get to know what you're getting yourself into. There are many places around the world where boats are sold cheap, because the dream wasn't a dream for them at all, or divorces happen.

Those slick magazine covers are the rewards, but there's some busted knuckles, blood, sweat & tears involved to get there.

Many times with a used boat it will already have the gadgets installed, which is yet another savings. The bugs have been worked out of the boat too. Buying something new doesn't mean trouble free at all.

Some cats sail well, and others don't. You need to find out what your wants are, and how you want her to perform. I went with a custom one off, cold molded boat 3 years old. She is light, strong, and gets on some good speed. Her layout is more for cruising, and not a condo. Do you really need 4 showers? Do you really need 4 staterooms? Do you really need 4 heads?

I've got a work shop that many men drool over. The pantry makes women smile. Still we have 3 berths, 2 heads, but only one shower. These have never been issues when the boat has been loaded with guest. How many times will every body need to use the same facility at the same time? Not very often if at all. Checkout our images for an example.

Take some lessons, do some charters, and figure out what your real needs are, and not what those slick magazines are trying to sell you. BEST WISHES in finding a vessel to serve you well........i2f
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:10   #4
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

Hi RickyEM, Here is a link to an Australian site listing our Orana 44, as its now for sale. Just think what an adventure sailing her home from Ausi across the Pacific. We are selling to buy another FP cat picking up in France to sail home back to Sydney via the Panama sometime the end of next year. Anyway good luck with your quest, live the dream and make it happen, we did.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:50   #5
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

I can vouch for the Orana that Gordon owns - it is absolutely immaculate and when I saw it at the boat show just gone, I thought it was brand new! Little did I know it was an '07. Something bigger Gordon?

I've crawled over the Orana Ricky and I assure you it would be well and truly big enough for you two and a couple of dogs.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:24   #6
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

The first question is budget which you have addressed. The next cut is speed. Do you want speed? If so that will remove about 80% of cats on the market which will sure narrow your choices.
Real life story, this year. Arrived in Fatu-Hiva after 15 day sail, the next day a Lagoon arrived after a 23 day sail, sure she had 7 feet less waterline so not a fair comparison but mono's can make the trip in 18 days. Not trying to pick on lagoons, they are fine for what they are designed for.
Consider going on "find a crew" or similar sites and contact cats looking for crew. Be sure to tell them why you want to do the trip. I know someone that has crossed parts of the pacific three times this season on three different cats, one of them being mine. I am sure she has some strong opinions after experiencing full on ocean conditions 24/7. Much better way to check out a cat than sailing 15 miles to your next anchorage under ideal conditions on a charter.
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:52   #7
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

Good choice on the cat. Remember to ask yourself and I mean yourself what are YOUR needs and not the needs of OTHERS. Ex. how many heads do you really need, do you want a stronger boat than a lighter flexible boat, thus giving you more speed. I have four full heads and really need only 2, one for ourselves and one for our guests. Was nice when we bought her, but with time, no need for 4 heads at all! Get the point! What kind of drive do you want, saildrive or direct shaft like many south african boats, both have their ups and downs. My real advice would be to try to get in touch with older circumnavigators that are on multihulls and ask them what each one of them liked about their boat and what they did not like and than you can judje for yourself. As for you 500k goes you can get an almost new 56ft cat for that price range go have a look at sailboatlistings.com or allboat.com and from this site you get driven to other sites. Thats the way my friend and I have done it and there are all range of boats, but one thing to keep in mind if you are going used, watch out for that perfect deal, ex. 600k value boat for 150k, believe me you buy ticket, go to where ever and when you get there you become frustrated with the condition of the boat. Have a nice time looking for you new home. Oh yeh one thing that I really like about our Fountain Pajot Baihia 46, the height between the middle hull and the water, as compared to many other boats, for when going up wind in waves we tend to NOT have the BANG BANG of waves under our cockpit all the time. Trampoline, we have a wide string trampoline, would like a tight fiberglass thread for easier for the feet, but have a friend that in a storm lost it to a wave. See what I mean.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:24   #8
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tropical Home View Post
...
A year goes by quickly and you new boat is now worth $100,000 less and looks no different. Also this is a new move for you and sure hope it works out and you love it, but things come up and your feeling may change and you may need to sell the boat. If you bought used at a good deal you can sell it without much of a loss if any.
Yes it is important to keep this in mind, thanks.
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Old 05-10-2011, 09:10   #9
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon View Post
Hi RickyEM, Here is a link to an Australian site listing our Orana 44, as its now for sale. Just think what an adventure sailing her home from Ausi across the Pacific. We are selling to buy another FP cat picking up in France to sail home back to Sydney via the Panama sometime the end of next year. Anyway good luck with your quest, live the dream and make it happen, we did.
Gordon.
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How did you arrive at the about $620k (US dollars) asking price? Seems high.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:20   #10
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

RickEM - My wife, Deb, and I started our quest by just looking almost 15 years ago. We went to the Annapolis Sailboat Show in the Fall. We went again in 2009, just to look at the Catamarans and the various layouts and configurations, so we would be ready to buy in about 3-4 years. But we got "Hooked" when we both spotted the one that took our breaths away! And we ended up spending the next several months really getting through the survey and financing to make our dream a reality now, not a few years from now. We ended up buying a 45' Prout, which we named Persistence. And after a year, and significant dollars in repairs and upgrades, which we were fortunately in the position to cover, now have the Boat of our dreams! We bought her for a discounted $520K, but with everything we have had done and tuned her to our tastes, I wouldn't take $750K for her if offered today! We love her that much. Please understand, while we love our solid Prout, and I have had her in 15-20 Seas, I would be VERY cautious about buying a new one from them right now… particularly about giving them any deposit money or progress payments. On another note, if you are a spontaneous person, I would suggest that you consider going to the Annapolis Sailboat show, which starts tomorrow and runs through this weekend. Time is short for you, but the show is AMAZING, a lot of Cat's all concentrated on one area of the floating Docks, and the weather just turned FANTASTIC for today through the weekend! You'll end up with great information and a smile in your soul!
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Old 05-10-2011, 13:22   #11
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

Hi RickyEM-
you have rec'd some great and wise advice. Everyone's experience, budget, plans and desires are different, but here's ours:
Wrote our plan years ago
Attended Annapolis boat show twice- walked on every cat in our size range- did not check out Maine Cat the first time
After first show, more research- ended up chartering a MC41 in Abacos- loved it
More research, another boat show- bought a MC 41- sold house -cruise on her full time
So take your time, check at all the possibles, then look again. I would suggest a look at a MC 41- think some are for sale so you could used as well as new- built in Maine not in the jungle! Excellent ride, high bridgedeck, great headroom and daggerboards.
Good luck in your search and enjoy!
Lori & Russ
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Old 05-10-2011, 13:42   #12
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Originally Posted by Ortolan
Hi RickyEM-
you have rec'd some great and wise advice. Everyone's experience, budget, plans and desires are different, but here's ours:
Wrote our plan years ago
Attended Annapolis boat show twice- walked on every cat in our size range- did not check out Maine Cat the first time
After first show, more research- ended up chartering a MC41 in Abacos- loved it
More research, another boat show- bought a MC 41- sold house -cruise on her full time
So take your time, check at all the possibles, then look again. I would suggest a look at a MC 41- think some are for sale so you could used as well as new- built in Maine not in the jungle! Excellent ride, high bridgedeck, great headroom and daggerboards.
Good luck in your search and enjoy!
Lori & Russ
I have been looking at the mc41 and it interests me. Have not seen one. Seems to have an unconventional salon cockpit layout. How does it work for you?

I wrote the folks at maincat a week ago for information and never heard back. Are they still in business? There are not many pictures on their website of the boat. Do you know of a source of pictures?
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Old 06-10-2011, 09:47   #13
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

I know that Dick Vermeulen, the owner, has been attending several boat shows- still, no excuse.
We have some pics on our blog in the Picture Book page (not the Cruising Yr 1 page) and can send you more if you'd like.
Tabby Cat used to have some, and still might. I am sure others do too, as we contacted several current MC41 owners when we were deciding.
We really like the cockpit. Having the helm in the center allows for great visibility. Someone is always at the helm or sitting right nearby at the dinette. Line handling is easy too. We can travel and be warm in t-shirts when others are all bundled up and hatches and panels allow us to open up as much as needed to bring in the breeze when needed.
The dinghy sits securely on chocks and we never have to worry about it in rough weather- just tie it more securely than usual.
Lori
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Old 06-10-2011, 14:23   #14
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ortolan View Post
I know that Dick Vermeulen, the owner, has been attending several boat shows- still, no excuse.
We have some pics on our blog in the Picture Book page (not the Cruising Yr 1 page) and can send you more if you'd like.
Tabby Cat used to have some, and still might. I am sure others do too, as we contacted several current MC41 owners when we were deciding.
We really like the cockpit. Having the helm in the center allows for great visibility. Someone is always at the helm or sitting right nearby at the dinette. Line handling is easy too. We can travel and be warm in t-shirts when others are all bundled up and hatches and panels allow us to open up as much as needed to bring in the breeze when needed.
The dinghy sits securely on chocks and we never have to worry about it in rough weather- just tie it more securely than usual.
Lori
Thanks. I visited your site which I enjoyed and looked at your pictures. What a nice boat you have. I am still unclear on the saloon/cockpit. Is there a back to it with a door or is the back completely open (as it looks to me). And if open how is it with bad or cold weather, etc. And are there doors going down into the hulls. If only there was a walk through video on youtube. I found some nice sailing videos of the 41s on youtube, but not much that spoke to the living aboard aspects. Thanks for any information on living aboard for extended circumstances and in bad weather.
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Old 09-10-2011, 10:07   #15
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Re: Advice on Buying a Cat in the 40-45' Range ?

This is a very loaded question that takes lots of research and reading. My best advice is to continue to read websites and blogs written by actual cruisers (like me) so I am going to offer my online article. It is at:

Article on Living Aboard

I hope this helps with your decision.
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