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Old 11-11-2014, 09:52   #1
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Best cat for extended cruising

I'm sure there will be a lot of different opinions on this, so please share them all!
A buddy and I are looking to buy a cat to live aboard and sail all over the world. We are looking to get off the beaten path to explore and play and will be offering crewed charters for several months of the year.
I have a lot of experience at sea, but none with cats, so I'm trying to figure out what our best option is going to be. At this point we are looking at something 45-52' range.
I've seen a lot of Lagoon's in my search, and they seem to be a very popular and nice looking boat. Does anyone have any pros or cons to the Lagoon over another model?
Any other builds that people recommend?

Size wise, at what point do you start running into problems while cruising? I know the Panama Canal charges more once you hit 50'. When you start cruising through the little Pacific islands or the fjords of Chile, is there a size that starts getting too big to get into some of the places? Or even trying to fit into berths around the world. At what point are you too big to fit into a slip?

I really appreciate any help and advice anyone can give!
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Old 11-11-2014, 17:11   #2
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

Antares 44i
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Old 11-11-2014, 18:15   #3
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

The best cat depends to some degree on where you are going to sail.

If I was going to do high latitude sailing, there would be a great deal of windward work to do, and a very high bridge deck would be essential.

If you are doing a trade wind / down wind sail around the world, just about any catamaran would do the job.

Our catamaran had a beam of only 21 feet, and the smaller beam gave us more options when getting hauled out around the world.

Every cat is a compromise. I prefer smaller rather than larger because smaller is easier to sail and maintain. We usually had at least four people on board, but I could have singlehanded our cat without a problem.

If you want a floating condominium, then any large cat will do fine. If you are going to go to challenging places, then your destination would influence your choice.
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Old 11-11-2014, 19:19   #4
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

Catana 43 Ocean.

Small but strong and seaworthy.

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Old 12-11-2014, 00:25   #5
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

Obviously Biased but Outremer 51.
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:08   #6
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising



And ... they are great cruising performers ...

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Old 12-11-2014, 04:52   #7
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

impi, if ever there was a good advert for a Lagoon 440, those two videos are it! Most enjoyable viewing. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 12-11-2014, 04:59   #8
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

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impi, if ever there was a good advert for a Lagoon 440, those two videos are it! Most enjoyable viewing. Thanks for sharing.
Bill that's cool ... we have been cruising a number of years now and really enjoying the Pacific. We meet so many cruisers all very happy with their boats, both mono's and cats ... and in the end that's what is all about ... people being happy with their boats !!! For us the 440 is amazing ... the sea state is actually bigger than the video displays ... and there one can see Ana merrily baking bread and so on ... the boat is incredibly stable and rides rough seas well !!! So do many, many other builds by the way !!!
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Old 12-11-2014, 05:25   #9
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

Impi also handled crossing the atlantic well ... Cape Town to Fortaleza in 21 days in large seas almost all the way. Arrived with diesel tanks full since we sailed all the way ... Guys ... get whatever boat suits the pocket ... make sure its safe though ... get out there and enjoy our beautiful blue planet ... there are only so many sunsets in ones life ... tonight will be one never to repeat its-self again ...

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Old 12-11-2014, 05:39   #10
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

Not nearly enough info.
- What is your budget?
- What is your performance requirements?
- Where "all over the world"?
- What level of accomodations do you expect?

Something doesn't sound right about buying a 50' cat but being worried about the canal fees. If you can afford a 50'+ cat in reasonably good condition, the canal fees are not likely to be an issue.

Realistically, by the time you reach 40', you aren't fitting into many slips. It's walls and T-heads, so the exact beam is less critical unless it get's crazy wide.
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:10   #11
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

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Not nearly enough info.
- What is your budget?
- What is your performance requirements?
- Where "all over the world"?
- What level of accomodations do you expect?

Something doesn't sound right about buying a 50' cat but being worried about the canal fees. If you can afford a 50'+ cat in reasonably good condition, the canal fees are not likely to be an issue.

Realistically, by the time you reach 40', you aren't fitting into many slips. It's walls and T-heads, so the exact beam is less critical unless it get's crazy wide.
To add a comment here to some good points by Valhalla360 ... one should also consider the volume of 'living space' within the build of a cat for example! It does not necessarily mean that because one buys a bigger cat you will have more living space (although theoretically one should have).

Some boat builders get terrific living space out of smaller cats ... some waste space ...

For us having different living spaces on the boat is important ... like the bridge on some cats offers yet another 'change of scenery' ... or the front living area, rear living area and so on. Does one want light in the boat without direct sun ... or are you happy with a darker living space?

How does the layout of the floor suit you ... from patio to saloon ... is it all on one level or does a step or two down into the boat not bother you? And then in rough seas moving between the saloon and patio area ... what features in the boat allow for 'hands to grab hold of' ... in selecting a boat these all become relevant when you are doing this day in and day out! Paying attention to detail is important ... for example a little feature like ones bed ... rest is important ... what size is it and can you move around the sides to make the bed up daily (or does one have to contend with wall to wall mattresses ... are there steps or other forms encroaching in the ceiling above the bed ... how high is the ceiling off the mattress ... Sounds crazy right !!! But day to day ... all the 'little things' that make living on a boat more comfortable make the entire experience more enjoyable!

Bigger is not necessarily better ... we have had so many sailors on bigger cats come on-board and question our boat size ... they cannot believe how much volume there is given 44-45 ft. Still ... we checked out the Lagoon 560 as a possibility for our next circumnavigation ... the leap in size is astounding!
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Old 12-11-2014, 06:37   #12
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

Quote:
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Obviously Biased but Outremer 51.
Why not 5X then?

Is 51 a better choice than 5X?

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Old 12-11-2014, 09:03   #13
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by impi View Post
Bill that's cool ... we have been cruising a number of years now and really enjoying the Pacific. We meet so many cruisers all very happy with their boats, both mono's and cats ... and in the end that's what is all about ... people being happy with their boats !!! For us the 440 is amazing ... the sea state is actually bigger than the video displays ... and there one can see Ana merrily baking bread and so on ... the boat is incredibly stable and rides rough seas well !!! So do many, many other builds by the way !!!
IMPI that was just Great....
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Old 12-11-2014, 13:18   #14
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

Thanks for all the input so far! Those videos are great. The Lagoon is definitely a good looking video and glad to see/hear it can handle the open ocean no problem!

We are still working out what we are willing to spend. We are still very early in the process so hope to have that figured out soon.

Performance wise, I think comfort and safety are our biggest priorities. Obviously we don't want some tub that can't get out of its own way, but we aren't looking to win any races.
Hopefully we won't be out in anything to ferocious, but obviously we want a boat that can handle it if we get caught out.

All over the world really means that... I'm guessing it will mostly be tropical areas, through the S. Pacific and Asia, but we also plan on spending a summer in Alaska, cruising down to Patagonia, the caribbean, probably end up in the Med at some point and if at possible, I'd love to cruise down to Antartica.

We do want something comfortable with a good finish as we do plan on some higher end chartering for a few moths a year to help with costs. We want it to be big enough that we can use up to 3 cabins for guests and have a have at least a cabin with separate bunks for us when we have paying guests on board.

If we were just doing the trips on our own, I would definitely be pushing for something 40-45', but the concern is the charters. We don't want it to be too cramped if we have a full boat for both the guest comfort and our own.

I'm going to do some research on the Antares and Outremer and have an appointment to meet with the local Lagoon this week.
Thanks again for the input, and please, keep it coming! I really appreciate it!
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Old 12-11-2014, 13:58   #15
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Re: Best cat for extended cruising

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Thanks for all the input so far! Those videos are great. The Lagoon is definitely a good looking video and glad to see/hear it can handle the open ocean no problem!

We are still working out what we are willing to spend. We are still very early in the process so hope to have that figured out soon.

Performance wise, I think comfort and safety are our biggest priorities. Obviously we don't want some tub that can't get out of its own way, but we aren't looking to win any races.
Hopefully we won't be out in anything to ferocious, but obviously we want a boat that can handle it if we get caught out.

All over the world really means that... I'm guessing it will mostly be tropical areas, through the S. Pacific and Asia, but we also plan on spending a summer in Alaska, cruising down to Patagonia, the caribbean, probably end up in the Med at some point and if at possible, I'd love to cruise down to Antartica.

We do want something comfortable with a good finish as we do plan on some higher end chartering for a few moths a year to help with costs. We want it to be big enough that we can use up to 3 cabins for guests and have a have at least a cabin with separate bunks for us when we have paying guests on board.

If we were just doing the trips on our own, I would definitely be pushing for something 40-45', but the concern is the charters. We don't want it to be too cramped if we have a full boat for both the guest comfort and our own.

I'm going to do some research on the Antares and Outremer and have an appointment to meet with the local Lagoon this week.
Thanks again for the input, and please, keep it coming! I really appreciate it!
I'm seeing a couple of red flags. Take it for what it's worth given my very superficial knowledge of you and your exprience:
- How much sailing experience do you have? That's some pretty agressive cruising plans for not having a lot of familiarity with the available boats.
- Are you planning to fund this trip primarily by chartering? In a lot of countries charting won't be an option without a lot of hassle...and some just won't allow it period.
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