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Old 22-03-2011, 02:37   #16
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

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Originally Posted by tuskie View Post
Well said Factor. There's enough builders' stooges lurking in this forum without you jumping on the bandwagon. Anyway, Seawinds do their own marketing, like all good products. Perhaps you do! (DILLIGARA)

Spiriteds, Freeflows and, particularly Orams are small volume (of production) or custom built boats. Many are home builds. So quality of construction, fit out levels, type of rigging,etc and all the other build parameters that Curmudgeon is interested in are extremely variable in these types of boats. Some are gems and some are, well, you know...
All true, but when built by a company like Stallion they can be fantastic.
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Old 22-03-2011, 02:44   #17
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

Or the Cat Factory in Perth
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Old 22-03-2011, 02:55   #18
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

I'd look at something like this:

Used Mumby 48' High Performance Aluminium Catamaran for Sale | Yachthub

It's 5' over your mid-range, but its well within the price range AND .... it aluminum! You get the best of both worlds.
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Old 22-03-2011, 04:07   #19
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

Looks a nice boat while I haven't sailed on that design from him, I have sailed on one other Tim Mumby, design it was an absolute slug upwind. But it may have been a quirk of that one design.
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Old 22-03-2011, 07:37   #20
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

I'm sure there are some great custom and semi-custom cats built in Australia. But as a practical matter, I'm going to buy a boat that's available on the East coast of the USA or in the Carribean from a maufacturer with an authorized U.S. distributor, so that parts are readily available and warranties will be honored. That probably means a volume builder.
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Old 22-03-2011, 07:50   #21
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I'm sure there are some great custom and semi-custom cats built in Australia. But as a practical matter, I'm going to buy a boat that's available on the East coast of the USA or in the Carribean from a maufacturer with an authorized U.S. distributor, so that parts are readily available and warranties will be honored. That probably means a volume builder.
Custom or even semi-custom really isn't a fair description, I guess the better way to put most of them would be stock plans where you can build yourself, or just hand them to a professional builder and say build it if you like the design, the larger Aussie designers, such as Schionning, Spirited, Grainger, Oram etc usually have a plan in mind for electronics, layouts but have the flexibility to change this if you want to.
As for the warranty, no matter if you buy a Catana or a Seawind, usually you have to deal direct with the device manufacturer, so the whole idea that your warranty won't be honoured because the boat came from an Australian drawn plan doesn't really have basis.

There are a number of good cats out there that would do you well, my own preferences would be to brands like Switch, Outremer, Catana, and Freydis.
Last I heard Prout were still making a great product that also sails very well.

I still say Catana 42.
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Old 22-03-2011, 07:59   #22
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

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I strictly avoid discussions of this nature on the forum, I dont want to be a marketer in disguise or even surreptiously. Happy however to answer any questions adressed to me privately, and or to refer to owners blogs etc as that then is a users perspective rather than a builders. On the para anchor for example - see www.katiekat.net for his discussion on deploying a para anchor
I'm not asking you to be a marketeer. I asked very objective questions. What stainless is used for the standing rigging? What type of hull throughs are used? How are winches and cleats backed up? If you are attaching a sea anchor bridle, you want an attachment point that won't pull out of the hull. Where would I attached the bridle on each hull of a Seawind? Can you at least point me to Seawind's spec sheets for its various models that contain this information?
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Old 22-03-2011, 09:34   #23
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

I have bought a Maverick 400, brilliant sailor and amazing quality of build and fittings. I did a blog of my build and subsequent sailing at www.cruisersforum.com under "Hull#6" and "Launch of Catarina"
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:42   #24
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

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As for the warranty, no matter if you buy a Catana or a Seawind, usually you have to deal direct with the device manufacturer, so the whole idea that your warranty won't be honoured because the boat came from an Australian drawn plan doesn't really have basis.
Sure it does. First, I want a boat with good quality brand name devices, e.g. Harken, Selden, Lewmar, etc. so that I don't have to make an international call if something breaks.

Second, Suppose there is a crack in the hull, or a cleat pulls out. Nothing wrong with the cleat itself, so the cleat manufacturer isn't going to fix it. I would expect the builder to resolve these issues, and it helps to have someone local to call.

Sure, I could buy plans and have someone here build it. But then it becomes, in effect, a custom boat. Too expensive.
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Old 22-03-2011, 11:51   #25
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

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Which cruising cats in 36-43 foor range and the $500-600K price range (or thereabouts) have the best build quality? I'm concerned with fit and finish, construction (e.g. proper chain plates and backing plates for cleats, winches and the like), good quality deck hardware, and ground tackle, etc. The makes that come to mind are Lagoon, Robertson & Caine, Seawind, Maine Cat, Fontaine Pajot, Prout, Privilege, etc. Maybe I've missed a couple.

And while we're at it, which one of the models from these builders has minimized pounding, via bridgdeck clearance, good hull design or other means?
When we were cat shopping, these were many of the same questions on my mind. We ended up with a St Francis 44 and much of the reason for that choice was due to those issues. We looked at, and sailed, quite a number of cats: Lagoons (several), Leopards (2), closely inspected a Seawind, Maine Cat, a couple of Prouts (the originals, not the Chinese "Prout"), F-P's, Mantas, etc.

Some of the features I really like about the St F regarding your questions:

Construction: Solid below the waterline, foam core above. Thick bulkheads, with big chainplates going directly to the main bulkhead. All deck hardware uses proper stainless backing plates (for the chainplates and crossbeam, they use really big bolts) and all of them are easily viewed from the inside of the boat -- nothing is hidden behind headliners or panels. Almost all of them are hidden from view inside hanging lockers, etc., but it only takes opening the door or cabinet to inspect them.

Winches are bedded in marine ply folded within the deck "sandwich". Very sturdy, size 53 sheet winches, size 44 spinnaker winches (Harken, Anderson).

Cleats (8) also with proper backing plates, as well as the windlass. The windlass is a Lofrans, deck mounted (no having to contort yourself and plenty of room so less risk of getting fingers where they shouldn't, easy to maintain and wash off).

The bridle can be attached to either the large cleats welded onto the crossbream, or to heavy, strengthened padeyes that are part of the crossbeam. Those are designed specifically for a sea anchor.

Heavy, backplated padeyes for jacklines are attached where you want them: inboard on the deck from cross beam back to the cockpit, and two more in the cockpit, running from the companionway to the helm.

Ground tackle is the aforementioned windlass, 200 ft chain/150 ft rode, 33 kg Rocna as the primary, with a 36 lb CQR and Danforth as secondaries.

Tankage is all fiberglass (with linings for the water tanks) and integral with the boat. The water tanks are watertight integrated with the keels, so they also serve as crash bulkheads in the event of a hard grounding -- you might lose a tank, but you are more likely to keep water out of the boat. The 45 gallon holding tanks are integrated into the bows and also serve as crash bulkheads. The fuel tanks are in the bridgedeck, which helps with weight distribution. The tanks are independent, thus lessening possible cross contamination. You can always move fuel (or water) from one to the other if needed, but any bugs won't migrate there on their own.

The interior fit & finish is very nice. Not quite as nice as a PDQ or Privilege, but considerably better than the F-P, Lagoons, etc. All cored, too, to keep things light.

One of the primary features of the hull design is the midships engine placement. This keeps the weight in the center where you want it, and it allows the transoms to be narrow and slick for quick water flow. In squalls and gusts, St. F's accelerate easily and this reduces rig stress.

Standing rigging is 316 Dyform with Norseman fittings. No swages, anywhere, in the rigging! If you had spare fittings, you really could repair even a main shroud, on your own. Double diamond spreaders. Inner forestay for both strength and for rigging a storm jib.

Some people are uneasy about the relatively lower bridgedeck (24") clearance. There are tradeoffs with everything. The boat also has lower freeboard and less windage and this improves low speed maneuvering and pointing ability. St. F's are one of the few keeled cats that can actually point to 35/40 and still maintain speed. The bridgedeck also starts fairly far aft and is properly shaped to deflect water. So, you get a bit more slapping than some cats, but it really isn't an issue. The boat has a 5000 lb payload.

Out of 43 St F 44's made, almost all of them are actively cruising, and a high number (probably around 40%) have circumnavigated. I think of it as a sailor's boat with luxury. Analogous to a BMW or Mercedes sedan -- they aren't the leaders in any specific performance category, but they do everything quite well, leading to a well-balanced machine. That fits for the St. F's. In my opinion, of course.

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Old 22-03-2011, 12:00   #26
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

Well said ID. I always thought the SFs were better than most. Now we know why. Congrats on a good boat. BOB
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Old 22-03-2011, 14:38   #27
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
I'm not asking you to be a marketeer. I asked very objective questions. What stainless is used for the standing rigging? What type of hull throughs are used? How are winches and cleats backed up? If you are attaching a sea anchor bridle, you want an attachment point that won't pull out of the hull. Where would I attached the bridle on each hull of a Seawind? Can you at least point me to Seawind's spec sheets for its various models that contain this information?
Seawind 1000XL standard specs
Seawind 1160 standard specs
Seawind 1250 standard specs are not yet on the website but are very similar (in detail terms) to the 1160.

Through Hulls are Bronze - to Australian Survey Standards
Winches and cleats have large glassed in backing plates - to Australian Survey Standards
Bridle is attached to eye bolt on forebeam ends that is used to lift the boat by crane. Pic below

Even boats not going into commercial work - i.. charter have much of the specifications as rated for Commercial Survey, so the reference to Australian Survey in the specs applies to private and commercial boats
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Old 22-03-2011, 15:41   #28
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

Thanks, Factor, that's exactly what I was looking for. Do you have any information on the standing rigging for the 1160?
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Old 22-03-2011, 16:11   #29
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

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Thanks, Factor, that's exactly what I was looking for. Do you have any information on the standing rigging for the 1160?
I would suggest an email to the factory to be the best way to get the information, whilst I do have some knowledge I would rather only direct you to published material whilst I am on the forum.
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Old 22-03-2011, 18:38   #30
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Re: Best Built Midsized Cats

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Sure it does. First, I want a boat with good quality brand name devices, e.g. Harken, Selden, Lewmar, etc. so that I don't have to make an international call if something breaks.

Second, Suppose there is a crack in the hull, or a cleat pulls out. Nothing wrong with the cleat itself, so the cleat manufacturer isn't going to fix it. I would expect the builder to resolve these issues, and it helps to have someone local to call.

Sure, I could buy plans and have someone here build it. But then it becomes, in effect, a custom boat. Too expensive.
The designs I quoted before in this thread use brands like Lewmar Harken and Selden locally sourced in your own region, You don't make an international call if something breaks, you still deal with the local lewmar rep.

Next off you mention what happens if there is a crack in the hull, cleats pulling out etc. This is a result of crappy workmanship NOT the design, it is then up to your builder to fix it, I have never heard of a case like that on a brand new boat, I am sure it has happened somewhere some time, but the chances of it happening are so stupidly low.

Next off regarding your "custom" claim these boats are built quite a bit quicker to build than most others as they can be provided in kit form. If there is a problem with the materials the builder in turn deals with the supplier, in the end it costs **NO MORE** and often less to build these boats, people jump to a conclusion because it isn't a production boat like Catana it must be more expensive to produce, fact is they are not.
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