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Old 19-01-2017, 00:46   #1
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Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

Hello wonderful community. I am on the lookout for a reasonably priced catamaran for sailing from Australia to the rest of the world with my wife and 2 kids (6 & 9 when we leave). I have come across this 15 yr old custom catamaran that has been sailing the east coast of Aus for 13 yrs.

Here is a vid of the boat https://youtu.be/Ijd_d6mVz0s

And a link to the ad

http://www.boatsales.com.au/boats-fo...stom-CATAMARAN

1. Would you ever consider a custom catamaran for a journey such as this?
2. Do you see any issues with this particular boat based on the ad and vid?

Thank you so much for your invaluable info!
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Old 19-01-2017, 03:34   #2
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Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

Outboards are the only thing that worried me. Other than that I don't know anything about cats so wouldn't know where to start. :^)
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Old 19-01-2017, 04:18   #3
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Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

Outboards are fine, in fact preferable.
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Old 19-01-2017, 04:41   #4
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Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

I don't want this to be an outboard vs inboard discussion. I am more interested in the fact that it is a custom design, not a well known production boat.
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Old 19-01-2017, 04:45   #5
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Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

Nice looking boat that I am sure would be fine for extended cruising.
Good bridgedeck clearance and plenty of accomadation.
Outboards are ok on a good sailing boat, just need lots of solar for generation. Foredeck netting looks a bit small in area.

Get a test sail and see if you can stay on her for a few days to really see if she is ok for you and your family.
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Old 19-01-2017, 04:46   #6
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Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Factor View Post
Outboards are fine, in fact preferable.
Well I'll be.

Sorry, I got an earful over 6 months from a big (65+ foot) cat owner about all the problems they had with needing to use outboards to get the cat home on the delivery trip from South Africa.

Mind you, that was because BOTH the inboards had overheated and cooked themselves before they even got to Panama so maybe the outboards were good in that context.

Anyway, apparently the OP is not worried about the outboards so no problems hey? I just would have thought the fuel consumption might be an issue, not to mention storing petrol instead of diesel... oops, there I go worrying about outboards, when the OP told me not to.
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Old 19-01-2017, 04:50   #7
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pirate Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

Nice looking boat and appears well capable of being a L/A cruiser.. get a good multi surveyor and focus on the beams setup..
As for the rest.. treat her as a cruiser not a racer and stay within hers and your limits..
Best wishes..
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Old 19-01-2017, 04:52   #8
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Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

Check it out and if it looks good, go for it.

Make any deal contingent upon a satisfactory survey and sea trial but otherwise no issue with not being a production boat.


Outboard is a great option. For $10k, you can replace both propulsion drivetrains with brand new. You will be lucky to swap out 1 diesel engine (not counting transmission or other ancillary work) for $10k.


Only thing I might do is try to push the price down a bit as other people have the same concern and that may push the price down a little when you go to sell.
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Old 19-01-2017, 04:56   #9
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Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

I'd want to test sail her to check how she does with regards to bridgedeck clearance. Otherwise, she could use a new jib. And if you're okay with tuning that kind of rig, I'd not hesitate to take a custom design. In fact they're often preferable if the builder & designer are even half way smart. Since there are less compromises made on many aspects, & she can be built lighter, & stronger than a production boat of the same size.
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Old 19-01-2017, 05:24   #10
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Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

Lots of owners who have had both prefer outboards. I have changed many things on my cat but never ever wanted the hassle, weight, drag and expense of diesels. Twin Honda 20s are are really good setup.

As to the design it looks okayish. Sort of based on a Simpson or Easy style boat. Why mnot buy one of these then. The specs look good. Get someone knowledgeable to survey it.

A couple of things to look at though

- Are there lifelines? I can't see them and if the boat had kids on it I would almost bet on them being there, usually with nets. Seems strange. DON"T go offshore with your own kids without lifelines.
- As does the porta potti. No one uses them on live aboard boats with kids. You would be emptying the thing every two days. Something fishy or silly there. In all the time I have visited liveaboard boats I have never seen a porta potti. I have one on my trailer sailer but never would use one on a big boat. Sounds like the toilet clogs which is a real bugger.
- The deck stringers, the reinforcing ribs under the deck seem light. Usual method is to put 40 x 19mm cedar or douglas fir on edge, vertically, every 200 - 250 mm or so. These seem to be flat and spaced at 500mm or so. Check that the deck doesn;t flex. Check for cracks on the deck where it meets vertical panels.
As for Ken Nicholson - he is not a well known designer so you will find it harder to sell later on. I haven't heard of him before but I have been out of the loop for a while.
Lastly - check how much stuff the boat has on it when it is sitting with its stern kissing the water like in the photos. My bet is that it hasn;t got that much weight on it. My 38ft cat goes down 5cm when we go away for two weeks. Even more when we liveaboard and the tools come too. You can't get around the basic fact that you need volume under the water to float your stuff.

180litres of water isn't enough for your family unless you get a watermaker. We used to carry 400 litres for our family with up to 120 litres of fuel. Then food for 4 for up to two months (six shopping trolleys worth bought at Cairns once) weighs you down some more. Unless your boat has enough volume to take an extra 1000kg of food, water and fuel then you will be dragging the bum and slapping the underwing. New designers get this wrong all the time so double check that the boat is fully loaded with fuel water and loads of people to get the bum down to the water. The weight of a parachute, extra chain, the kids shell collection, your spares, tools, extra jerry cans, more food, computers, surf boards etc will be substantial. Once bought the only way to remedy this is to foam up the hulls which is a huge pain and very costly.

Also she looks light on in the storage department. We got that 6 trolley loads of food stiowed away in lockers within about 30 minutes. Every thing has a place under the floor or in lockers. Our cat has 30 lockers along the hull side which this design doesn't have. I can't see any under floor storage although this might be there. I probably have 50 different storage compartments inside our cat. Our family of four used them all, for food and for clothes and other effects. You will need loads of compartments. Again many of ours are unused at the moment but will be filled when we live aboard again.

My guess is that she isn't heavily laden in the photos. If so I would walk away. It is no good trying to fit a family on a boat that can't take an awful lot of weight. You will need the boat to be floating high BEFORE you buy it. My cat is showing about 12cm of antifoul at the moment. It looks dumb on the mooring but when we go away she has only a bit showing - and we sail pretty lightly. I have seen people buy cats that are floating low when lightly loaded and expect to take them cruising but you can't beat Archimedes. You need volume above the water to take the weight you will put on.

So in the end I would probably say keep looking

cheers

Phil
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Old 19-01-2017, 06:03   #11
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pirate Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

Regarding the Porta Pottie my guess is they only use that for solids when in 'no pollution' area's and pee in the normal toilet and straight out via the Y valve... saves back and forth to pump outs.. and in that case it'll last a while.. till you next head out and flush it over the side.
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Old 19-01-2017, 07:11   #12
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Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

I stopped reading after I read the words "ply" and "fibreglass" in the same sentence on the ad link.

Maybe ok for the whitsundays and coastal but not for what your setting out to do with your family,
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Old 19-01-2017, 07:16   #13
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Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

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I stopped reading after I read the words "ply" and "fibreglass" in the same sentence on the ad link.

Maybe ok for the whitsundays and coastal but not for what your setting out to do with your family,

Why would that be? In some and possibly most cases a well built plywood epoxy boat is much stronger than a basic production catamaran.
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Old 19-01-2017, 07:34   #14
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pirate Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

There's a lot of ply and glass boats sailing the sea's and oceans of the world.. well built by a boatbuilder in a shipyard, or by good carpenter in a backyard they're equal to a GRP boat.. good ones even last as long..
'Cooking Fat' a ply and glass Tiki 21 is now around 27yrs old and still competes in Jester Transats and has circumnavigated..
Centre cockpit ply Fairey Atalantas are still sailing in the UK and they were built in the 50's
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Old 19-01-2017, 07:34   #15
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Re: Any issues with this custom catamaran for circumnavigation?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Grace View Post
I stopped reading after I read the words "ply" and "fibreglass" in the same sentence on the ad link.

Maybe ok for the whitsundays and coastal but not for what your setting out to do with your family,


There are lots of ply epoxy trimarans out cruising, most are 30+ years old!!
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