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Old 24-01-2013, 09:27   #1
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Calling all 50ft cruisers - advice please

Hi all,

My husband and I are looking at purchasing an Admiral 50ft cat for our family (2 kids - they'll be 6 and 2 when we step on board) but I'm worried that 50ft is just too big. I grew up on a 42ft Mono and feel we could cope fine with a smaller (45ft) cat where as my husband (landlubber but very keen to be sailor) is thinking bigger is better. I would like your advice or comments/tips on the size?
What boat have you got? How does it handle? Can you single hand sail if needed? Avg Speed? How well does your boat point to windward? Internal Size comparisons with smaller boats? Hauling out - is this a problem? Do you feel it costs you significantly more to run this size boat compared with friends who have smaller vessels?

Im worried that 50ft is too big, and that if we give up the speed and pointing to windward ability that comes with a 50footer, we could go with a smaller size - Lagoon 44 perhaps? It has the internal size but not the performance. I know there is always a compromise between size and performance.

Advice and/or opinions please

Thanks a lot
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Old 24-01-2013, 09:34   #2
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Re: Calling all 50ft cruisers - advice please

When I originally set off cruising, way back in 2003, my thinking was all about performace. About a year later, that changed to 'performance at anchor'. Unless you are sailing too a schedule, which is not something you want to be doing, sailing performance is not that important; living comfort and space are.

Would it be possible to charter the boat in question for a week and see if you like it and can handle it?
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Old 24-01-2013, 10:00   #3
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Re: Calling all 50ft cruisers - advice please

Admiral had some quality control issues with their boats which may have led to their demise. Some issues were serious. That boat has been for sale for a long time and it is interesting to note that the owner used it for charter but then purchased a Lagoon 500 and retired the Admiral (I think). It has the same design issues as most of the other South African cats which is low bridgedeck clearance. I wonder what that one measures. The good parts are a wider beam so should be quite stable and less windage than an L440 which is pretty high off the water. That boat is loaded, maybe too loaded, so may not be the best performer but everything is there. Not many A50s made so it's hard to do a comparison but you could look at similar sized Leopards or Voyages. The price is right if it is a good boat.
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Old 24-01-2013, 10:05   #4
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Re: Calling all 50ft cruisers - advice please

Ah yes, Sand Crab, thanks for reminding me: The Admiral has/had some design issues with the location of load bearing bulkheads. On the later models, it is not possible to rest them on their keels when you haul out.
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Old 24-01-2013, 10:15   #5
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Re: Calling all 50ft cruisers - advice please

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Ah yes, Sand Crab, thanks for reminding me: The Admiral has/had some design issues with the location of load bearing bulkheads. On the later models, it is not possible to rest them on their keels when you haul out.
Thanks for those comments. Ive read about Admiral and I presume that's half the reason why the price is what it is. I'd have to do a full detailed survey clearly. When you say 'later models', what year are you talking? A cat that size is going to give me problems hauling out so I was thinking i'd beach it to work on it if we had to but if we cant rest it on its keels then this could be a major issue? Im not sure about this, can you comment further?

Thanks.
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Old 24-01-2013, 10:21   #6
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Re: Calling all 50ft cruisers - advice please

sail everything on your list before purchase. then decide.
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Old 24-01-2013, 10:22   #7
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Re: Calling all 50ft cruisers - advice please

Their older 40ft model didn't have the problem because there are several bulkheads just above the keels. As far as I know, they stretched the 40 to 50ft and didn't remember to add in extra bulkheads above the keels, which means that when beaching/hauling out, the keel gets pushed up through the bottom of the boat - which is exactly what makes this a major issue for you. It may be possible to retro fit more bulkheads in the bilge, but you'd need to speak to somene that is qualified to get proper advice on doing so.

In my humble opinion, go with the L44 - it will retain it's resale value. Admiral will not.
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Old 24-01-2013, 11:59   #8
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Re: Calling all 50ft cruisers - advice please

Some of the 100 ton travel lifts will just barely accomodate that 27'11" beam with only an inch to spare. Also, some of the 200 ton lifts are too narrow. There is no standard for width of lifts in relation to tonnage. However there are quite a few boats with wider beams so the facilities are out there somewhere especially in the more popular areas. Some railways can also do it. Not every cat can be beached anyway so that wouldn't be a major plus for me. For instance many of the daggerboard cats can't be beached as well as some keel cats. The props, skegs, and/or rudders aren't built for it and without a keel they would be on a dramatic slope forward. And even with that "handicap" many cats like Catana and Outremer are considered outstanding boats and hold there value well. I would write a disclosure clause into the sales contract and ask the owner to answer questions about any issues that might be a concern. Just like real estate. And BTW if he answers falsely then it would be considered fraud and might be a criminal matter if transmitted over the internet or by mail. That's a good reason to get accurate info. And FWIW I like that boat and think it's a good deal.
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Old 24-01-2013, 12:07   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stingo View Post
When I originally set off cruising, way back in 2003, my thinking was all about performace. About a year later, that changed to 'performance at anchor'. Unless you are sailing too a schedule, which is not something you want to be doing, sailing performance is not that important; living comfort and space are.

Would it be possible to charter the boat in question for a week and see if you like it and can handle it?
I respect your opinion but this is not true for everyone. To me performance is very important. I buy a sail boat mainly to sail not motor or motor sail. It seems the wind is usually light so to me light wind performance is very important. I can appreciate good living space but not at the price of losing light air performance.
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Old 24-01-2013, 12:16   #10
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Re: Calling all 50ft cruisers - advice please

Having grown up on a 54' monohull with three kids on board, I can't imagine the justification for a 50' cat. Each of us had our own cabin, and plenty of room. Not that a large cat wouldn't be nice, but it is a lot of boat. As mentioned I would really suggest chartering one for a week and see how it goes with just the two of you onboard.
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Old 24-01-2013, 13:14   #11
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Re: Calling all 50ft cruisers - advice please

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I respect your opinion but this is not true for everyone.
Isn't that one of the wonderful things about the cruising community and this forum? There are so many different types of people, all cruising with different ideals... Long may it last.
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Old 24-01-2013, 13:51   #12
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Re: Calling all 50ft cruisers - advice please

Considering only the manoeuvring aspect, if you've already manage a 44 ft mono or 45 ft cat, you'll be able to manage 50 ft, after a learning curve of course, but it is not impossible at all.

As we use to say, a boat is always too small at sea and too large in the harbour.

We use to sail 2 aboard a 53' mono, fast one and, after a learning curve, it is not difficult at all.
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