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Old 12-11-2005, 12:57   #1
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Cat for Carib. to NZ cruise?

We have decided to take a year away from the working world and spend it sailing with our two daughters instead.

2007 is the target year, and a sail across the South Pacific to New Zealand is the ideal itinerary. We live in south Texas, previously in St. Croix, USVI, and will probably buy a boat in the gulf area or the Caribbean.

For much of the trip, we may have two or more people on board in addition to our family of 4.

Then more I look at it, the more interested I am in a catamaran. I would appreciate any comments on:

1) is a cat a good choice for the Pacific crossing? (I might make the crossing with two other crewmen, and pick up my wife and daughters in Tahiti.)

2) what make will be most "sellable" at the end of the trip in NZ (or Australia if needed)?

Thanks for any information, advice, suggestions.

Charlie
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Old 12-11-2005, 16:43   #2
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I think it would help for you to explain your sailing abilities and those of your crew. What expectations do you have and what type of budget will you have? What perparations have you made and will you make for such a trip? What things do you know about and what things do you need to learn?

The questions is asked all too often "What boat do I need?" It could be argued that it's the least imporant question you need to ask. You'll find a lot of answers to questions here. You should feel welcome if you like t discuss sailing.
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Old 13-11-2005, 05:58   #3
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You will be sailing a lot of the way on the trade wind route. A Cat is much more comfortable at this point of sail than a mono.

However choice of boat type is really a very personal decision, you just need to make sure it is suitable for the trip (i.e. enough water and food, not overladen, sea worthy etc etc)

Word of warning. If you intend to take a boat to Australia and then sell it, you will have to pay import tax. I dont know the situation in NZ.
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Old 13-11-2005, 15:22   #4
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Thanks for the responses. My multihull sailing experience is limited to Hobies and Nacras. I have coastal cruised a 45' Morgan out of Corpus Christi and a Beneteau in the BVI.

I expect to be recruiting one crewman with open water experience. The rest of the crew will be family with experience limited to bareboat chartering.

The boat choice will be strongly affected by marketability at the end of the trip. Any insights on what boats seem to be popular in the NZ/OZ area would be helpful. The warning about import tax is a good one. With the significant boat industry in NZ, I hope the import duty is not prohibitive. As far as budget goes, if I'm comfortable that I can resell the boat for around 90% of what I paid for it, I can probably go up to around $250,000. Is that an unreasonable goal? Any observations on boat prices in NZ vis the US and Caribbean would be helpful. I want to avoid cats that have been in the charter trade, at least ones that have bareboat chartered. Those seem to take a beating. I have seen a number of FP cats on the market for what look like reasonable prices, but I'm guessing that they are coming out of charter use. A quality cat that was only chartered out with a crew might be a good risk, assuming it was well-maintained.

I think that ideally I would like to find a boat, 2000 or newer, that was privately owned. While much of the time there will only be four of us aboard, I would like it to be able to sleep more than that for when we have extra guests. I know that a cat represents a trade off, ironically, of room for load. We will have to take less "stuff" on a cat than on a mono, but I think the spaciousness is worth it. Is provisioning in the So. Pacific problematic? I know that in the Caribbean provisions are readly available on most islands. My impression is that they are less so in the Pacific.

I don't want to start a cat fight (pun intended), but if there are makes that your personal experience would suggest I should avoid, that would be extremely helpful.

Finally, any "hidden factors" that you cat owners are aware of that I might be overlooking? I know that there is no way to really know a boat without sailing on it (or better yet owning it) but I'm hoping to get partially educated on the experience of others.\\

Thanks

Charlie
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Old 14-11-2005, 03:39   #5
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The brand new Broadblue 385 http://www.broadblue.co.uk/ is definitely worth a look. Provided you bought in UK, for immediate export - you might be within budget, but BB USA seems to add a good premium to the price.
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Old 14-11-2005, 06:31   #6
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Cat for NZ cruise

I have no experience with the type of sailing you plan to do; however, after one monohull and two cats, I do have one word of advice. If you are going to take on "experienced" crew, be sure that experience was on a multihull. Cats handle differently than monohulls, and the expert on monohull sail trim simply can't be relied upon for the same on a cat. For example, on a cat, the main is the power driver, not the headsail. Cats also take waves differently. Just my 2 cents.
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Old 16-11-2005, 15:07   #7
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My 2c....

Don't overlook bareboat cats...some of them are in pretty good shape and have been very well maintained...but they do have quite a few hours on the engines.

I have found FP to be less solid than most of the other large cats and would shy away from them regardless
.
For the kind of cruise that you are considering I would not go under 40 ft (load, space etc...).

I would also choose a cat without daggerboards (unless you are racing they are really a pain).

And finally I would look at bridgedeck clearance.....

Then....

You need to budget for the various systems that you will need such as watermaker, solar or wind power generators, navigation sytems...etc...
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Old 16-11-2005, 16:20   #8
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Cat sailing

We are cat sailors and there are alot of differences between cats. I recommend sailing as many different ones as possible even if they are not going to be the number one choice.

We sailed quite a few to get the feel of what we like and disliked. Example. We chose galley up as it more comfortable underway and provided more lower storage area.

We looked at different bridge deck heights vs windage. The impact is amazing on noise vs being blown around.

Make sure that the boat builder has a history so you can understand how the boats hold up in use and in resale. Wildcat is a great example of a bad boat to buy, own, and resell.

Makai is a Voyage 380 by Maxim and we love it.
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Old 18-11-2005, 05:20   #9
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I have a 48ft cat and for cursing with the family it's great. Some things that are important to me and maybe helpful are:

1. Bridge deck clearance should 800+mm 3+ft

2. Hiring a crew. Spend as much time checking their references as you do selecting your cat. Talk with owners that sailed with them. Get a bad crew and it will soon become a trip from hell. I purchased my cat in Brisbane and sailed it to Melbourne. The first crew I hired were lazy, dangerous and mentally unstable. I sacked them half way and got a new crew. The second crew were great and the remainder of the trip was so cool. If I needed a crew again, I would only get them again. If they werenít available I wouldnít get anyone and do it myself.

3. If you make it to Australia, then the best web site for selling your cat is www.boatpoint.com.au. In Australia and New Zealand power is 240v so if your cat is set up for 110v then this will reduce your sell price. I would contact some of the dealers get their advice. Most people use a dealer, so pick one early.

4. For anyone that hasnít done much cruising, then there nothing like knowing where you are, so get a laptop and navigation software. I use C-Map charts and a FREE navigation software called Software On Board (SOB). Itís great software and I would be happy to pay $500-$1000 for it. You can get if from www.digiboat.com.au. If you donít like it then you havenít wasted any money.

5. I would get your cat now. You and your family spending a year getting intimate with it will make for a much better trip and all the bugs should be worked out before the trip.

6. Getting the latest weather is vital. I can connect to the internet at any time and download the weather. Costs can be a few hundred dollars to thousands. Make sure you check the coverage, it needs to work everywhere you go.

Hope this helps

Geoff
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Old 19-11-2005, 06:19   #10
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Great points. I had not thought about the 110v vs.220v. issue.

Just from what I've read, I'm inclined to avoid FP and Wildcat boats. The whole family will probably get a chance to spend a week on a charter cat this summer, but we will not have multiple opportunities to sail different boats. For practical (read financial and logistical) purposes, the boat purchase will probably happen sometime in Dec'06 - Jan'07.

I'm wondering whether there would be any advantage to creating a NZ corporation/partnership/LLP/etc. for the purpose of buying the boat and delivering it to NZ. Since the plan is to sell the boat in NZ, it may be that there would be registration and tax advantages to doing it this way. If I could register the boat as a NZ vessel at the beginning - that might make the later sale easier. I wonder it this approach would work only on the purchase of a new boat, not a used one.

On the issue of crew, I"m hoping to include someone I already know rather than recruiting a stranger. The "open market" for crew is sort of a gamble, so if I can avoid it I will.

As to make of boat, I know a delivery captain who might be a good source of information (although he is also a boat broker and may be tempted to sell me a boat that he is brokering). Any ideas about getting information out of a boat broker, who obviously has an interest in getting you to buy what they are selling?

Thanks again for the good observations.

Charlie
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Old 19-11-2005, 06:35   #11
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Charlie,

As to your tax question...you may want to e-mail Steve Dashew, he's built quite a few boats in Auckland and should be able to give you a reasonable answer and I hear he is a nice guy...

Dashew website

For your other question I'm afraid it's quite difficult to get a salesman to be completly unbiased...or an owner of same boat for that matter....

My advice is to start a requirement spec sheet based on your family needs and the trip planned.
For example : most of your sail will be downwind with potential long periods of calm. so IMHO you would need a boat with good light air speed and assorted sails AND fuel capacity...which eliminates the Lagoon 410 (my boat) since it carries only 50 gal of fuel (26 per engine) unless you have an extra tank fitted or carry a bunch of jerry cans.

Extending this exercise to all systems of the boat you should be able to narrow your choice quite a bit , it will also help planning your cruise.

You will also eventually find out that you may have to compromise and prioritize...and go back to the Lagoon 410..
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Old 20-11-2005, 08:37   #12
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Charlie, don't worry about the different AC voltages; just plan on spec'ing an isolation transformer when getting ready to sell, so you'll have the answer handy when it comes up. If your boat is wired for a lower voltage (120V) and you make sure the critical electric motors (e.g. HVAC, reefer, or perhaps a watermaker) are 50-60 Hz compatible, then your boat's AC wiring will be above spec for the 230V system found downunder. In fact, were I planning your trip, I'd install an iso transformer before leaving so I would have the pleasure of being able to plug in anywhere, both in N America and elsewhere in the world, without ever worrying about a bad AC dock stand visiting galvanic corrosion on my boat.

For more on this (we did the same thing I'm recommending but when headed in the other direction), you could visit http://www.svsarah.com/Whoosh/using_...wer_aboard.htm

Good luck on the Big Decisions that are pending...

Jack
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Old 26-11-2005, 02:55   #13
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Hi there, how long do you plan to take to get to NZ? NZ import laws require 7% duty and 12.5%GST. approx 20%total, of the value of the boat when purchased.
When you get to NZ, customs can offer 10%/year off, for depreciation.
So if you paid 200kNZ for a boat and sold it in NZ you would have to pay 40kNZ to authorities. But if you sold the boat after 1 year of purchasing and using the boat you could be ask for depreciation of 10%. so 200k - 20 = 180k, +20% tariffs = 180+36 = 216K. This is what you would need to sell it for to recover your monies. Confused?
I have been looking at importing a boat so managed to find this info in detail.
I am a fan of Prouts. Prout 39, 45, and Broadblue boats would be good, but FP Venezia or Belize are good as well.
If you did make it to NZ before we purchase, I would be interested in discussing it depending on what brand/model you have.
cheers.
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Old 17-02-2006, 00:36   #14
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Coincidentally, I am in the exact same...er... boat... but in New Zealand and about 1-2 years further out than your planned trip. I'd be very interested in hearing how you go with your decisions. I would even be a potential buyer on this end given the timings. Wouldn't that be perfect.

Looks like people have answered the tax questions already. You might also have a look on www.Trademe.co.nz. There are currently 2-3 cruising cats for sale on there (NZ$250K to NZ$600) and both do indicate a potentially large tax bill if the cat should stay in NZ.

I haven't been looking long but my initial impression is there aren't a lot of them down here, in NZ anyway. Not sure why but if I get more info on supply/demand in NZ, I'll post it. Might give you a better idea of how easy it would be to sell one here.

Cheers,
Tom
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Old 18-02-2006, 07:09   #15
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Change of plans

Our plans and itinerary have changed.

Because we have a June '07 to June '08 window, we have decided to buy a boat in Europe, spend several months in the Med before joining the 2007 ARC, and then sail for several months in the Caribbean in early 2008.

After talking with a friend who had a good experience putting his boat into charter service, we are planning on placing our boat into charter in 2008 with an eye toward possible early retirement (for us, not the boat) five years down the road. We could then move onto the boat and continue cruising (on to NZ!).

We have placed an order for a Lagoon 420, electric drive. The technology is relatively new, but Lagoon appears to have made a committment to making it work. It remains to be seen how an electric boat will do in charter service. Charterers tend to use a lot of electricity, motor more than sail, and not to be too concerned with taking care of the boat. We hope that the boat will attract sailors who are interested in the technology and may pay more attention to the boat than typical charterers.

I have always been amazed at the prices of new boats and wondered who in the world was buying them when there are so many good used boats available. Now I'm going to be a new boat buyer. By placing the boat into charter, we hope to minimize the amount of money we lose, have the boat available for sailing vacations, and eventually have a well-maintained used boat to move onto when we retire. Wish us luck.

We still plan to get back to NZ. We will just have to wait until we have as much time as we want to enjoy the adventure of getting there.

Thanks again for all the advice. This board is a great resource that we will return to many more times.

Any suggestions, advice, warnings, etc., for our Med-to-Carib trip will be gratefully accepted.

Charlie
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