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Old 15-03-2019, 04:02   #1
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Better Cats for living aboard?

I have been doing a little research on living aboard boats and checking prices in my local area for slips. I started thinking about looking at cruiser style powerboats, like aft cabin style boats, but after thinking about it more and talking to a few that live on cruisers like a couple i meet with on a Bayliner 4788, the most expensive thing for them was fuel cost of being able to travel in the boat.

When i was younger i enjoyed sailing with my stepfather, so i turned to research about sailboats to live on and after some readings, I found many recommended cats over mono's for full time living.

My questions are this...

1) Since cats seem so wide vs other boats, is it difficult finding marinas to get a slip from?

2) What are the better cats to live on?

3) Since it is just me and possibly my girlfriend sleeping over occasionally, is it difficult to remove one of the bedrooms from the cat and turn it into like an office with like a desk and such? I see like most cats having 3-4 sleeping beds, which I would not need and could benefit from a perm desk to work on.
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Old 15-03-2019, 04:04   #2
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

If you have enough money.......... you can have whatever you want in Cat design.
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Old 15-03-2019, 04:12   #3
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by storx View Post
but after thinking about it more and talking to a few that live on cruisers like a couple i meet with on a Bayliner 4788, the most expensive thing for them was fuel cost of being able to travel in the boat.

I think it is rare that fuel is the highest expense category, even with powerboats.

Depends, of course. If we went back and forth to/from FL every year, that'd be different... but for local cruising, usually no more than a couple hundred miles... fuel isn't all that big a deal, for us. That would also depend on how we drive the boat; a 4788 on plane would use considerably more fuel than a 4788 being run at "trawler" speeds. A heavy gas boat would use more fuel than a heavy diesel boat. A boat that travels constantly would use more fuel than a dock queen. And so forth. These are generalizations, though...

Our biggest expense is dockage. Next probably comes maintenance and upkeep... but that category is all over the place, higher some years, lower the next, etc.

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Old 15-03-2019, 04:29   #4
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

What cat you chose depends on what you intend to do with it. If you are crossing oceans, your choice of cat mat well be very different than if you are going to be in a marina. Most marinas accommodate cats but you will often have to pay extra. As far as turning one berth into an office, you will find that most designs have the bed over the engine room in the rear berths and over the curve in the hull in the forwards berths. So although you can use it as an office, it is often not possible to reconfigure the set-up.

Good luck.
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Old 15-03-2019, 07:16   #5
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

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1) Since cats seem so wide vs other boats, is it difficult finding marinas to get a slip from?
Yes and no. Yes: It is more restrictive as having a larger length reduces the number of berths, on our 44' x 22' cat we were normally always able to find berths around the world. No: if you get comfortable with anchoring you actually have better access as cats normally have a shallower draft allowing greater choice in anchorage.

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2) What are the better cats to live on?
Our choice was an Antares for world cruising, but this is highly dependent on usage: it is helpful to guess your allocated % of the year on anchor, at dock, coastal cruising, ocean passage, on the hard, etc. From this you can create a balanced set of criteria for compromises within your budget.

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3) Since it is just me and possibly my girlfriend sleeping over occasionally, is it difficult to remove one of the bedrooms from the cat and turn it into like an office with like a desk and such? I see like most cats having 3-4 sleeping beds, which I would not need and could benefit from a perm desk to work on.
We had a rather nice desk and chair in one of our berths for 5 years of cruising and found we always ended up in the salon or on the nav table with a laptop. I would not have the desk installed again, I would use that room for extending the galley storage space.


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Old 15-03-2019, 11:04   #6
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

Never had a problem finding a dock. Always called around to find best price with fuel purchase. Typically a side tie on the end or near fuel dock.
Money to purchase is typically the limiting factor. Seems like there are alot of cats available for $135k-$185k if you can update. If your budget is less then restricted to the Gemini's and older 14' beamed boats. If your budget is more then larger or newer Lagoons or Fountaine Pajots are plentiful. The Antares is a very nice boat, I have a 42' next to me but out of my price range.
Our boat is 37' by 20'. A decade ago, yes it was harder to find dock space but not much of a problem now.
Cats give so much room when compared to monohulls. We stow our salon table for a living room feel. Our nav station is our office desk.
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Old 15-03-2019, 11:42   #7
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

Having owned monohulls and a catamaran, see my answers in blue below.

Quote:
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My questions are this...

1) Since cats seem so wide vs other boats, is it difficult finding marinas to get a slip from?

It is much harder and expensive to find a slip for a catamaran, but you might get lucky in your area.

Just a comment based on your original post... It seems that you want a live aboard sailboat with an office and a stateroom for yourself and occasional guest. Why do you want a catamaran? A monohull will give you all that for less cost & slip problems.


2) What are the better cats to live on?

The best and newest you can afford. Since you did not provide a budget and previous boat experience, there is no way to recommend a catamaran. Most catamarans in the 30-40ft range have 2-3 staterooms.

3) Since it is just me and possibly my girlfriend sleeping over occasionally, is it difficult to remove one of the bedrooms from the cat and turn it into like an office with like a desk and such? I see like most cats having 3-4 sleeping beds, which I would not need and could benefit from a perm desk to work on.

Turning a stateroom, which does not have a desk, into an office, means you have to remove the bed. This is not an easy task (if you want to do it right), and it will certainly devalue your boat (in my opinion).
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Old 15-03-2019, 17:14   #8
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

Best cats to live aboard? I would say Siamese or Burmese
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Old 15-03-2019, 17:38   #9
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

Are you actually going to use it for sailing or is it just going to be a dock queen?
If the later maybe a houseboat?

As for fuel, we cruise full time and fuel is the least of our expenses.
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Old 15-03-2019, 22:16   #10
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

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Are you actually going to use it for sailing or is it just going to be a dock queen?
If the later maybe a houseboat?

As for fuel, we cruise full time and fuel is the least of our expenses.
I have no intentions of being a dock queen, I am a registered nurse and recently we had a new travel nurse do an assignment at my hospital while living off his boat (Bayliner 4788). He invited me out on a couple of day trips of fishing and cruising on our days off and it brought back my memories of sailing as a kit with my stepfather's sailboat (monohaul). Since i have been looking for a house to buy recently and being interested in trying the travel nurse idea to earn 2-3x my current pay, i figured going the route of living on a boat would be fun, plus i also invest in real estate and trade stocks on my spare time, so i am always on the computer looking at stocks and new houses to possibly pick up for an another rental.
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Old 15-03-2019, 22:59   #11
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

Maybe a houseboat is best for you. Lots of room, cheap and doesn't burn any fuel.
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Old 16-03-2019, 04:16   #12
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

My recommendations (based on your comments thus far) would be:

1. Buy a power boat if you aren't planning to travel distances. For local travel, fishing, living, etc.., they're great.

2. From Boom23: Just a comment based on your original post... It seems that you want a live aboard sailboat with an office and a stateroom for yourself and occasional guest. Why do you want a catamaran? A monohull will give you all that for less cost & slip problems.

3. Research the dockage before you invest much more time researching boats. You know your finances better than us, and dockage for a cat will always be harder to find, and MUCH more expensive, depending on the boat. A Gemini or smaller 37' cat will be at the lower end.

For perspective, we like all boats, but prefer multihulls. We plan to purchase our retirement place in Florida with a dock - we can't afford the $12k/year rates on retirement income.

Good luck and enjoy the research; don't get impatient - have fun!
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Old 16-03-2019, 05:10   #13
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

Added comments below:

My recommendations (based on your comments thus far) would be:

1. Buy a power boat if you aren't planning to travel distances. For local travel, fishing, living, etc.., they're great.

~ I have thought about going the powerboat route, or even a slower powerboat like a trawler, but I feel that I would enjoy sailing more because the inner investor just sees it as pissing away money when you go out on the water for the day. When I went out for the day with that travel nurse with the Bayliner 4788, we were only doing like 6-7 Knots out to the ocean to go fishing for the day, then stopped in at a small island, then back to the Marina he filled up before putting the boat back in the slip and it was $117 in fuel and I recall him saying he filled it up before we left that morning.

2. From Boom23: Just a comment based on your original post... It seems that you want a live aboard sailboat with an office and a stateroom for yourself and occasional guest. Why do you want a catamaran? A monohull will give you all that for less cost & slip problems.

~There are a few reasons i am leaning toward a cat over a mono, firstly since i plan on living on this boat, i want something that will be comfortable to live on, when i was younger my stepfather had a smaller monohaul and i remember being out at anchor and the waves just bobbing the boat around a lot and he was constantly adjusting the anchor line to reduce the bobbing. Everything i have read has stated that cats sit nearly flat while at anchor, you just have to deal with slapping noises and such from time to time.

Also i have read that catamarans keep their value better and in some cases bottom out in value after only a few years and fluctuate up and down like 10k or so as they age as long as they are maintained and kept in running condition and not just ran into the ground. So i see it as a lesser depreciating asset.

3. Research the dockage before you invest much more time researching boats. You know your finances better than us, and dockage for a cat will always be harder to find, and MUCH more expensive, depending on the boat. A Gemini or smaller 37' cat will be at the lower end.

~I have been researching this, I have been just going around to local Marinas seeing if they allow liveaboards so far, but I need to start asking on the pricing of accommodating a catamaran.

For perspective, we like all boats, but prefer multihulls. We plan to purchase our retirement place in Florida with a dock - we can't afford the $12k/year rates on retirement income.

Good luck and enjoy the research; don't get impatient - have fun!

Lastly, another reason i am leaning at cats over a mono, i had my realtor adjust my searches to include dock slips for sale and houses that are along waterways leading to the ocean that have docks and i am finding that their are a handful of 50ft slips out for sale right now, but all of them are in locations that have water levels in the 4-6ft range, which a mono would never make it with the keel hanging down so low... i was looking at a few cats with drafts of less than 3ft.. example there is a dock slip i saw for sale at one of the Marinas i visited that is a side secure slip at the end of a cannal with max range of 50ft for 85k +$205/month HOA, the cats i have been looking at in the price range im willing to pay are running between 34-41ft range so it would fit in that slip, but the slip states it gets down to 3.5ft deep at low tide...

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Old 16-03-2019, 05:23   #14
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by storx View Post
Added comments below:

My recommendations (based on your comments thus far) would be:

1. Buy a power boat if you aren't planning to travel distances. For local travel, fishing, living, etc.., they're great.

~ I have thought about going the powerboat route, or even a slower powerboat like a trawler, but I feel that I would enjoy sailing more because the inner investor just sees it as pissing away money when you go out on the water for the day. When I went out for the day with that travel nurse with the Bayliner 4788, we were only doing like 6-7 Knots out to the ocean to go fishing for the day, then stopped in at a small island, then back to the Marina he filled up before putting the boat back in the slip and it was $117 in fuel and I recall him saying he filled it up before we left that morning.

Yep; our fuel bill for our Corsair 36 was $64.00 for the year.A cat will use more.

------------------------------snip------------------------------------------


Lastly, another reason i am leaning at cats over a mono, i had my realtor adjust my searches to include dock slips for sale and houses that are along waterways leading to the ocean that have docks and i am finding that their are a handful of 50ft slips out for sale right now, but all of them are in locations that have water levels in the 4-6ft range, which a mono would never make it with the keel hanging down so low... i was looking at a few cats with drafts of less than 3ft.. example there is a dock slip i saw for sale at one of the Marinas i visited that is a side secure slip at the end of a cannal with max range of 50ft for 85k +$205/month HOA, the cats i have been looking at in the price range im willing to pay are running between 34-41ft range so it would fit in that slip, but the slip states it gets down to 3.5ft deep at low
tide...

Where are you looking? I don't see your location anywhere. But if you can afford an $85,000 slip with $2460 HOA fees/year, and a catamaran, you're in good shape!
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Old 16-03-2019, 13:46   #15
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Re: Better Cats for living aboard?

Quote:
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1. Buy a power boat if you aren't planning to travel distances. For local travel, fishing, living, etc.., they're great.

~ I have thought about going the powerboat route, or even a slower powerboat like a trawler, but I feel that I would enjoy sailing more because the inner investor just sees it as pissing away money when you go out on the water for the day.
The inner investor in me said what we have now is the better option and the REAL numbers support this.

*Consider that if we purchased a sailing catamaran with similar levels of liveaboard comfort it would likely cost close to 20x more than our powered vessel.
*It would also cost a lifetime of lost years working to purchase
*working would mean parking in a marina and more expense - we haven't been on a marina berth in 3 years
*buying the powered vessel meant we could retire young and live our life debt free without selling assets and income.
*the difference in price between the two buys a lifetime of fuel and maintenance.
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