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Old 12-02-2018, 15:19   #1
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Cat owners that go places-Help me with your experieince

I am the first person to say this on this forum - I want to buy a 40-45' used catamaran.

It's for my wife and I and a horde of guests

We would use it from December through mid-march full time. The rest of the year we would not visit the boat. We would likely never be in one place for more than that season. I would move the boat pre or post my wife showing up. (example move the boat from the Bahamas to Belize or Belize to Costa Rica) I have the experience/skills to take it anywhere so I would be the one moving it by myself or a small crew if I do any crossing or long-ish 1000 mile+ moves . Now that I got that out of the way, please help me with a few real questions:

If you have the boat in your home port on the eastern seaboard of the US as an example, and you sail it to say the BVI's, the USVI's and St. Maarten for this season, do you then put your boat in a mooring at the end of your season? a marina dock? on the hard? What is your rationale and how did you come to this decision?

Now I would like to move the boat over time . What are the challenges you face as you leave a boat farther away from your home?

In your experience, is it much more difficult to find room for a Cat and do you have the experience that some marinas limit or don't want to store them as they take up this much more space? Do the marinas charge more or less what they say on their websites for the marina dock space? Are there better ways to store your boat securely? I see moorings that are private that people have their boats moored. How do you find these and is it a viable alternative? Are there insurance ramifications that require you to keep your boat a certain way when you are not there? All these questions revolve around the issue that a Cat is 1.5-2x more costly to store/dock than a monohull and I want to understand the true cost and challenges of this illogical purchase!

Thanks for your help. Mark
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Old 12-02-2018, 15:58   #2
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Re: Cat owners that go places-Help me with your experieince

Whew, lots of Q's....Im sure between us all, they will get answered.

Re cat storage costs. Yes, many places charge a premium for multihulls, but not all. Cost varies a LOT between venues. Places like the Rio Dulce are still quite reasonable. Areas like the E Carib, tend to be expensive. So, there is no one answer, it depends on your route and stops.

Cruisers do tend to congregate in certain places for hurricane season boat storage: check out several popular locations like: Grenada, Trinidad, Cartagena, Panama (Bocas del Toro (several options), Colon (Shelter Bay Marina), Linton Bay Marina), and Rio Dulce to get an idea of the rates and logistics.

....
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Old 12-02-2018, 16:16   #3
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Re: Cat owners that go places-Help me with your experieince

We have twice left my catamaran on a mooring.
Once in the Bahamas for a year with the owner of the mooring getting on board every week, checking things over and starting the engines. The second time for 18 months in Australia, no weekly checking but the marina owners kept an eye on it. There were no issues.
We have never been charged more because we were a catamaran for dockage/mooring but in one marina my width required me to be in a 60' slip for my 40' boat. I could have been in a 40' side tie but chose the more expensive option.
What you are contemplating is completely feasible and has been done many times before.

Ross
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Old 12-02-2018, 17:27   #4
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Re: Cat owners that go places-Help me with your experieince

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swammy View Post
I am the first person to say this on this forum - I want to buy a 40-45' used catamaran.

It's for my wife and I and a horde of guests

We would use it from December through mid-march full time. The rest of the year we would not visit the boat. We would likely never be in one place for more than that season. I would move the boat pre or post my wife showing up. (example move the boat from the Bahamas to Belize or Belize to Costa Rica) I have the experience/skills to take it anywhere so I would be the one moving it by myself or a small crew if I do any crossing or long-ish 1000 mile+ moves . Now that I got that out of the way, please help me with a few real questions:

If you have the boat in your home port on the eastern seaboard of the US as an example, and you sail it to say the BVI's, the USVI's and St. Maarten for this season, do you then put your boat in a mooring at the end of your season? a marina dock? on the hard? What is your rationale and how did you come to this decision? If you need to insure the boat you will probably need to haul the boat if your in the hurricane zone. My first two years I left Palarran in the water at Captain Olivers in St. Maarten. I wouldn't do that now after last years hurricanes. For the past 6 years I haul out for the off season - it's much easier on the brain as you can just turn the worry switch off.

Now I would like to move the boat over time . What are the challenges you face as you leave a boat farther away from your home? What do you think they would be?? How about $$$

In your experience, is it much more difficult to find room for a Cat and do you have the experience that some marinas limit or don't want to store them as they take up this much more space? Of course. Probably only 1 out of 20 marinas can haul out a big cat. Do the marinas charge more or less what they say on their websites for the marina dock space? Are there better ways to store your boat securely? Never let a crane lift the boat without twin spreader bars that are wider than your beam. Don't use a poorly designed under bridgedeck cart. I see moorings that are private that people have their boats moored. How do you find these and is it a viable alternative? Are there insurance ramifications that require you to keep your boat a certain way when you are not there? Yes
All these questions revolve around the issue that a Cat is 1.5-2x more costly to store/dock than a monohull and I want to understand the true cost and challenges of this illogical purchase! It's a lot. Way more that you probably think if you want to keep the boat in good shape. Easily 10%
of the boat cost on average per year and then add in the cost to travel and be on the boat. If you are really only going to use the boat for 8 weeks per year it's less expensive to charter.


Thanks for your help. Mark

Good luck.
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Old 13-02-2018, 04:13   #5
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Re: Cat owners that go places-Help me with your experieince

If you are only considering using the boat 3-4 month a year I would seriously consider chartering.

There is lots of 'stuff' on a boat that needs to kept up with, both cosmetic and systems related. You leave it for 7 months you have to be prepared to spend a month getting her ready to sail..
Unless you have deep pockets..

In the eastern Caribbean sabbatical did longterm charters.. Used them twice before buying. No idea of post Irma status. Just a Happy customer.
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Old 13-02-2018, 05:27   #6
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Re: Cat owners that go places-Help me with your experieince

Kjc, I have used Sebattical as well 4 different times. On all occasions we had a great time but the boats were usually tired and I spent time repairing them also. I even posted about what tools to bring in which many on CF chimed in with help. Without ever owning or at least for a long time, your comments are helpful.
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Old 13-02-2018, 09:23   #7
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Re: Cat owners that go places-Help me with your experieince

We generally left her on the hard or at a marina.

Left her on the hook in Tonga for a few months once, didn’t like that. Had a caretaker.

Never had a problem finding space.

Yes, can be expensive.
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Old 13-02-2018, 09:41   #8
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Re: Cat owners that go places-Help me with your experieince

After the sailing season in the caribbean I never left my catamaran inside the hurricane belt. Once I sailed up the US east coast to the Chesapeake Bay to leave to cat in Deltaville. A other season I sailed to Panama but preparing to sail the Pacific, what I have done.
At an other time I left the Cat for Summer in Trinidad a shore.
Laying up the Cat was always a bit costly: in Trinidad I rented a Dehumidifier what was well worth the cost for renting and the utility.
I have to say that I am not very brave in letting the boat alone somewhere at anchor and be away for several months and that never during hurricane season.
As it was my own boat I had not insured her but I used the saved premium for hauling out and storage ashore. Never had dammage so far.

Id you like to sail a cat the cost of storage and Marina days are the disavantages but this is well worth the cost as sailing and enjoying a catamaran rewards many times more than the money spent.

Fair winds
James
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