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Old 05-04-2015, 17:32   #1
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Buying an Old Cat

I have searched this forum but not found the answer --- I am currently looking at two catamarans, both $20,000, both from 1970's -- one Iroquois and one Catalac. Both owners say "ready to sail away"... one owner has fessed to what he thinks will need to be done in the next 3 years.... I guess it would be wise to insist on surveys, although --- I read one survey for another boat I was looking at, and the survey, professionally done, looked more like an inventory list to me -- -the notes were pretty vague.. is that what one gets with a survey? Can anyone offer me any tips before I take the plunge... I am a handy (wo)man, so little things won't bother me... thanks...
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Old 05-04-2015, 17:59   #2
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

Any of these on Lake Champlain? Just curious.

Get the Don Casey book on how to do your own survey and go over the boats carefully.
Then just go online (or ask here) regarding the cost of re-fitting said items.
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Old 05-04-2015, 19:40   #3
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

Thank you for the recommendation on Don Casey, I will enjoy that read before I buy the boat...
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Old 05-04-2015, 19:57   #4
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

deja vu?

b.
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Old 05-04-2015, 20:01   #5
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

I have bought a couple of "ready to sail" or "ready to cruise" boats. That can mean that the boat has sails and the motor starts and that is it, in my opinion.
The alternator is held on with tie wraps. The fuel line is a green garden hose. The one bilge pump doesn't have a float switch. Cabin lights are wired with 24 gauge speaker wire. The main halyard broke but its been repaired. It probably won't break again for a couple of weeks. All the sheaves are frozen. All thru hulls are frozen. The only things not frozen are in the freezer. The deck cleats are coming loose. The vhf antenna is broken. But it will sail.

If you are lucky you will find a very good surveyor. Just like in any line of work, surveyors vary. If you are not lucky you will have to spend a lot of money getting a "ready to sail" boat safe and seaworthy enough.


Why can't things remain where i carelessly left them?
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Old 05-04-2015, 20:16   #6
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

Quote:
All the sheaves are frozen. All thru hulls are frozen. The only things not frozen are in the freezer.
Thanks for the laugh! Good one!
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Old 06-04-2015, 00:15   #7
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

While the boats could be total clusters...


What exactly did he say needed to be done in the next 3yrs? Boats need ongoing maintenance and over 3yrs, there is likely to be a fair amount.


If it's new bottom paint, oil change and replace dock line that are getting old, that's just normal maintenance.


If the deck is rotten, the engine runs but burns a quart of oil per hour, and you have to manually pump the bilge every 20min, technically, you could sail away but really should take care of things before heading out. (reality, probably don't buy the boat)
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:20   #8
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pirate Re: Buying an Old Cat

With the Iroquois.. get the surveyor to check the beams and daggerboard slots carefully..
The Catalac's are tanks... strong as hell but.. the Iroquois is the faster boat..
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Old 06-04-2015, 05:36   #9
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

The best multihull surveyor I know is Mike Firestone who is based in Port Aransas TX. As far as I'm concerned, it was worth every cent I spent flying him in for the survey.

If you want to pre-survey the boat before committing, another good source for how-to survey information is the Marine Survey 101 site:
Marine Survey 101
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Old 06-04-2015, 06:21   #10
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

Pm sent
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Old 06-04-2015, 08:46   #11
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by KCee View Post
I have searched this forum but not found the answer --- I am currently looking at two catamarans, both $20,000, both from 1970's -- one Iroquois and one Catalac. Both owners say "ready to sail away"... one owner has fessed to what he thinks will need to be done in the next 3 years.... I guess it would be wise to insist on surveys, although --- I read one survey for another boat I was looking at, and the survey, professionally done, looked more like an inventory list to me -- -the notes were pretty vague.. is that what one gets with a survey? Can anyone offer me any tips before I take the plunge... I am a handy (wo)man, so little things won't bother me... thanks...
Get a survey but pick your survey co. carefully. I had one done yours ago that was what you described. A list of everything I told him and nothing more. I could have saved the cost.
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Old 06-04-2015, 15:12   #12
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

i looked at a catalac smaller than some monohulls i considered it had a 13 foot beam mine is 18 foot 6 // ,,, there is one here in panama check craigs list for 35,000 he has completely rebuilt might take a lower offer ,, trust me you will spend as much as you pay for an older boat i did ,, i have close to 70,000 in my solaris 42 right now for sale for 45,000 here on forum in classified will consider any offer ,,good luck it took me 2 yers to get mine like i wanted then a motor with 700 hours on it went south on me
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Old 06-04-2015, 15:44   #13
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

dohenyboy -were you describing my last boat??...

Kcee - while I am not familiar with the Catalacs other that the reputation that Boatman suggest, I have been on several Iroquois. Check for soft spots in the deck and cabin top due to water intrusion into the coring. They are more fun to sail and will go into almost no water. They are small but fine for 1 person. Iroquois Owners Association
I paid for one survey a few years ago and I found more than they did and they had several errors. They do seem to be big on the obvious and little things with lots of disclaimers. Start with the Don Casey book and the on line marine survey 101.
$20K for an Iroquois is at the upper end so better be in excellent shape
just for ref: 1970 Iroquois mkII sailboat for sale in Florida and Iroquois Mk2a - 31' Sailing Catamaran, $13,999

Come back and ask questions - lots of smart people here to help.
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Old 06-04-2015, 16:09   #14
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

I've seen Iroquois along the way but don't know much about them so I'm no good for a comparison. I was shopping for Gemini and ended up with a 30 year old Catalac, that was promised to be what's been referred to as "cruise ready". So I'm presently two years into a refit of a Catalac, and there are other resources around for that brand, if you go that way. There is a reviving owners group in the UK again, and a few of us in the US.

Catalacs have a reputation for being solid, heavy, safe, and slow by modern multihull standards. We bought this one expecting slow, but have been moderately surprised a few times. Our last day sail out over the Caicos Bank and back we were able to maintain over 8.5 knots on the GPS for half an hour at a time, in 18-20 across the beam. "motorsailing" with one engine coming down from Florida with 10-12 knot wind hitting my left cheekbone we could do 6-7 knots burning half a gallon of diesel an hour. Can motor at 8 knots on both burning 1 gph. We accept that we're not a fast multihull. But a man can still grin passing a cloud of under 40 ft. monohulls.... We figure we're moving the equivalent of a small three bedroom, two bath apartment along at decent bicycle speeds. It's all relative.

Whichever surveyor you pick,
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Old 07-04-2015, 06:14   #15
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Re: Buying an Old Cat

The Gemini is definitely faster, atlhough they have been known to capsize. What is your intended use for the boat?
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