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Old 09-06-2009, 19:38   #1
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Cat in the Arctic

Hi everyone. Have been visiting this site for quite some time now... what a vast amount of information. Thank you folks so much! First post, here goes.
My wife and I will be purchasing a newer Cat in 2010, or sooner if we find the right boat at the right price. We have three children ages 3, 7, 9, and are planning a circumnavigation in 2014. (want the youngest a little older and a bit more savings in the bank after we buy our boat) Wife and I love the Lagoon 440, but are also strongly considering a Privilege 48 a few years older. Our price range is around $600K ready to sail. Both my wife and I have sailing experience on CA's north coat, but I wouldn't call myself a blue water sailor yet. We have almost no real experience with catamarans, but have decided this design suits are needs as a live-aboard family much better than a monohull.
We currently live in Alaska and would very much like to bring our boat up to keep in Seward the next few years before we depart. We would like to gain sailing experience locally and Prince William Sound is spectacular. Would love to get opinions on owning and sailing a catamaran in the north. I cant say that I have ever seen a sailing cat up here and that is a little disconcerting. There are no cats in seward right now... not one. So I quess that's the question; what concerns should I have about sailing a catamaran up here, and why aren't there any cat owners in Alaska? I have read so many opinions on which cat to buy, but is there one in particular that you would own if you were sailing in North?
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Old 09-06-2009, 20:11   #2
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There is a nice artilce in the September 2008 edition of Pacific Yachting about a cat trip from Vancouver BC to Alaska
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Old 09-06-2009, 21:11   #3
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As an owner of a catamaran located much south of you, yet where it does freeze dependably each year, I am aware of the negatives of cats in the cold.

Since their cabin space is more spread out, they are much harder to heat. Systems you don't want to freeze are usually more exposed--they are on mine. water tank">Fresh water tank, water lines, water heaters, engines. On a mono, all these things are central and more compact. One heater can protect most of it.

It can be done with a cat, but it is more difficult.

If you are talking about just putting it away for the winter, you will still have to deal with these things in the borderline seasons.
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Old 09-06-2009, 21:30   #4
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There was a tri in Homer for awhile, a few years back, but I think she was sold and moved on.
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Old 09-06-2009, 22:05   #5
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There's an article on the Perry site of a couple who sailed up to Canada's Gwaii Haanas National Park which I believe is just down the road from you.

Perry Adventures

Not sure if I'd like sitting in the breeze on the Lagoon flybridge up in your neck of the woods. Also as a liveaboard, I'm a down galley person.

Oh, and welcome aboard.

Craig
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:51   #6
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Thanks all for the replies... I had thought about the fly bridge and how cold that could be as well. Like the Atlantic 48 as well, but she's a little more than we want to spend and I can't seem to find a lot of information on them. The boat would be buttoned up and winterized for the cold season, but I do have concerns about sailing up here as we get some serious wind and waves. Looking forward to sailing this summer, on a mono this year though.
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Old 10-06-2009, 07:21   #7
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See Welcome to Siudzinski KatieKat for a blog on a seawind 1000 sailing in alaska. The owners seemd to have no trouble keeping it warm.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:38   #8
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I heard a rumor that an atlantic 55 recently went for right under 600k, so I would not discount getting one in your range.
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Old 10-06-2009, 08:40   #9
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If you are going to spend that much money why not have a cat built? You can get exactly what you want, and there are builders worldwide. Then you havwe a choice of materials to build from also. Sounds like a great pan. BEST WISHES in making it successful.......i2f
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Old 10-06-2009, 17:22   #10
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If you start from scratch , you could get a design more suited for the Arctic. You could make sure it is well insulated and possible to do most things from sheltered locations. You are in higher wind conditions so windage is more of a consideration than weight. You are probably not as constrained by length, so go for longer with the same accommodation for better seakeeping. I'd look at some of the Schionning cats or Oram cts and see how you could increase their insulation
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Old 10-06-2009, 17:40   #11
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I would not have one built until I'd spent some time owning and using the boat how I'd expect. There can be such a wide gulf between what you think you want and what you'll really be happy with. There are things that I would have thought would have absolutely no value to me and things that I am SO happy I have. The real way to tell is to get some experience, the put your money down.

Having said that, I'd probably get a boat that I thought was close. I keep 150k or so for outfitting, refitting, fixing it the way I wanted. This may seem like a lot, until you start doing it! Boat bucks can go incredibly fast.
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Old 10-06-2009, 18:49   #12
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I had never considered having a boat built as I figured that the cost would be a lot more than buying a used boat that is allready equipped for long distance cruising. We really do like the Chris White Designs A55, and If I could find one in good shape for under $600K I would give serious thought to purchasing this year. At 600K the boat has to be in excellent condition as that is the most we will spend, any more $$ and it will push our trip out that much longer. On the smaller Atlantic boats we don't like not having an aft deck. We really like the interior helm station with all that visibility as well as the additional saftey features.
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Old 10-06-2009, 19:11   #13
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Sorry Northwind, I had a brain fart. There is a person that is in the process of building a Cat, in Homer, at the Homer boatyard it is in the left hand side of the yard as you are driving in. They have it covered by one of those vinyl quonset hut type things. I peeked in a couple of years ago, I think it is still there, the hut is anyway. The yard's owners name is Mike, he is a nice guy, if you call him, he would probably be able to tell you something about it.
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Old 10-06-2009, 20:40   #14
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Originally Posted by 1960cjj View Post
There's an article on the Perry site of a couple who sailed up to Canada's Gwaii Haanas National Park which I believe is just down the road from you.

Perry Adventures
We met Holly and Denis in Victoria (BC). Real nice folk. Even in the relative mild of late summer, they had plenty of space heaters throughout the boat. And it's not like they weren't used to cold weather - they came from Colorado.

Having done lots of boating in BC winters, I can say that all boats are hard to keep warm - the more space you have, the harder it will be. I say go for the cat - you can always insulate, heat or dress warmer - worst case scenario is that you'll be motivated to head to the tropics sooner, so it's all good.
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Old 11-06-2009, 09:30   #15
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Take into consideration the vastness of a 45ft. cat. How many people will be aboard? My wife, and I live on a 46ft cat. We cool, or heat only half the boat. Pantries, workshops, etc. etc. may not need to be heated. Take into consideration what your true living space is. Not just space that is there.

Since I have a custom boat I am very partial to the idea of having a boat built with the budget you have. With a small bit of tweaking the plans you can have what would be ideal for your plans.....BEST WISHES in your decision........i2f
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