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Old 18-08-2008, 11:30   #1
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Cat recommendation - Construction Methods, longevity and price

I am kind of in the middle of a long-term planning and research session for buying a Cat. Projected date of purchase is not for another year or so. And If I donít find the boat Iím looking for Ill just keep waiting until I do.

Money isnt exactly flowing out of my pockets so im looking at spending 200k or less. on the boat, i do have a few questions just to start my process so if anyone has some info on them or a direction to point me please let me know.

I am looking in the 35-40 foot range, as I donít think itís a good idea to handle a boat bigger then that solo. It does not need to be a high performance vessel but it does need to have a strong hull design able to stand up to age well.


Questions

1) How do cats stand up to age? Most of my experience is with powerboats and I am nowhere near as familiar with sailboat construction. Do to my price constraints I am probably going to have to buy an older boat. If I am looking to own the vessel for 10 years or so how old is too old? I would like to keep it from 1990 forward if possible.

2) Construction methods: Do to the older boat possibility I am assuming avoiding balsa core construction is a good Idea. But what else should be avoided.

3) Electronics and Motors: I am very handy with marine engines and electronics so this area concerns me less then the others. If the electronics are blown I will update with newer items and if the motors are repairable I am able to do it myself. I am debating replacing with an electric setup if that is the case anyway.

4) What else do I really need to take into consideration?

The important items to me are as follows

1) An AC system
2) 3 cabins or less ownerís layout.
3) I like the idea of twin engines for easier docking
4) Space for a small generator.
5) Good storage
6) Able to be set up for long-term cruising and comfortable living.

Less important
1) Performance: as I mentioned above it does not need to be a fast boat just acceptable. I value longevity, stability, and strength over speed and handling.
2) As most of my cruising will be done in the Bahamas/Caribbean a shallower draft or retractable boards are probably a good idea but not necessary.
3) I probably wont be doing the cross Atlantic hop so the boat does not need to be capable of that (I wouldnít complain if it is though) if I ever end up comfortable with that kind of trip Ill just buy a different boat if needed. I would rather buy for what I need now and then upgrade later, then buy more then what I need now.


Anyway if you have gotten this far I appreciate your time. My posts can get a little over wordy and have a tendency to wander. I have a long way to go before I can make an offer and I need to drastically increase my knowledge before I am comfortable doing anythingÖ

So if anyone can answer some of my questions, point me towards some literature to read, good books on cruising necessities, construction methods, blue water setups, and even a few boat models that would fit my requirements that would be awesome.

Adam
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Old 18-08-2008, 18:08   #2
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Hi Adam - There are lots of threads here about Catamaran recommendations and the used market. No problem starting a new one for your specific needs but while waiting for some replies you might try the Google Search tool.

It is pretty inuitive and should bring a lot of hits.

Cruisers & Sailing Forum
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Old 18-08-2008, 18:23   #3
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Leopard 38 would be a nice choice.
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Old 19-08-2008, 01:47   #4
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I found this in Multihull World juli-aug 2008.

Try to take a look at following cats.
Snowgoose 35 and 37
Blue 2
Pahi 42
Seawind 1000
Punch 1000
Catana 39
Privilege 12
Kennex 380
Polynesia 42
Athena 38

Do you live in US?
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Old 19-08-2008, 07:49   #5
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I apprciate the responses thankyou.
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Old 19-08-2008, 07:57   #6
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freetime gives a long list but for starters view the Prout Cats in your range, price and mileage, as a base to judge others by.
Reasonable sound, reasonably cheap, reasonably fast-ish, very safe designs.
Allow for replacing all sails every five years and the rigging every ten years to work out how much budget you'll need then allow for both to be done before you sail offf long term. That leaves you with living costs and finally the price of the boat.
Take care of it and it will sell for the same numbers you bought it at (depreciation equals inflation on a sound boat). Get a careful survey no matter what the asking price, it should take a full day and you'll want to know the surveyors history on the type of boat. After that it's easy. That's my plan anyway!
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Old 19-08-2008, 08:15   #7
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Charter Yacht Brokerage (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)

Take a look.... The newer Leopard are cheaper than you think.
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Old 19-08-2008, 11:13   #8
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Get someone to really check out the electric systems, especially on older boats, they are often a mess and in a terrible state, after any number of owners doing their add-ons in a not too organised manner.

Alan
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Old 19-08-2008, 12:22   #9
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If you are an East Coast sailor you will find yourself gravitating to PDQ. DO NOT discount outboards until you have talked to a few owners who cruise with them.
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Old 21-08-2008, 15:09   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
If you are an East Coast sailor you will find yourself gravitating to PDQ. DO NOT discount outboards until you have talked to a few owners who cruise with them.
Sandy

Can you elaborate on the advantages/disadvantages of outboards? I am guessing:
Advantages:
less weight
easier maintanence

Disadvantages:
less power
less efficient than diesel
less manuverable

of course, I could be all wrong.

JW
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Old 21-08-2008, 15:17   #11
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The Schionning Waterline 1480 Barrocka. Art and design.

A Schionning 1480 with 2 Honda 50hp. And a link to the homepage somewhere in the thread.
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Old 21-08-2008, 15:51   #12
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PDQ offered diesel saildrives and outboard versions of both the 32 and the 36. Purchasers preferred outboards for or five to one. Seawind's 1000 and 1000XL never offered diesels. Maincat 30s, TomCats, and a host of smaller production cats all are powered by outboards. There are quite a few reasons, and only one of those is cost.

Fears of using gasoline on board are baseless: The have never been any catamarans lost to gasoline fire. The reason is simply that safety requirements are easy to meet and they work. I personally had an explosion on my Stiletto 30 when the carburetor bowl corroded enough to drip fuel all over the engine. I had the engine cover off while I was trying to start it, it blew, burned my eyebrows and curled my forelocks, but it blew itself out, and I just had to paddle back to the dock. That taught me enough respect that I follow the rules now. Net result, zero damage to the boat, and a reimnder in the mirror for a couple of weeks. Lesson learned.

So once you get past the bomb hazard myth, you get to see some realities. Diesels are marginally more efficient giving you more miles per pound of fuel, but they are nowhere close to the economy of operation of outboards. Everything is cheaper. You buy 2000 hours of engine operation for $2500. Consumables such as filters, zincs, plugs and spares are one third the cost or less. Gas is cheaper than diesel, and most of us go six to eight nautical miles per gallon, some more. It there is a problem with the engine, you lift it up into the cockpit, and work on it at eye level. If you want to shine a light in a nook or cranny, you turn the engine instead of crawling around to another agonizing position in the bilges. If you have to get it worked on, you drop it in the dinghy and take it to the mechanic, pay shop hours instead of outcall and travel time. If you have to, you buy a new one, drop it in the boat, throw away the box, and go on your merry way. If you could keep a motorcycle running, you are more than ready to do everything yourself, and you can rebuild it sitting in your lap.

No, it doesn't put out 80 amps, but a Honda 2000 generator does that and burns the same fuel as your dinghy. Its a cat, weight hurts, so you get your batteries charged without clowds of city bus exhaust; think solar panels, wind generator, aux gen.

Cats over 38 feet seem to need more power than I do, but there are more powerful outboards around. My Previous cat was grossly overpowered with a single Honda 50.

But here is the really important advantages. Outboards don't drag in the water when you're sailing. The outboard equipped PDQ 36 is a KNOT faster than the diesel boats, because the engines are lighter and lift out of the water. saildrives, silette legs, and ourboard lower ends are aluminum, a substance averse to saline immersion. Lift it out of the water if you can, and it will repay you by not dissolving in a slurry of electrolyte, and by not growing a microecology of green stuff and tiny critters. It will live longer than those 2000 hours, but you sell it at that point and buy new toys!
After ten years of sailing, you are half way through your third set of engines which have cost you the price of replacing one diesel engine and saildrive, you have another three years of use left, and the diesel boat still has to replace the other engine before they can go anywhere!

Truth be told, Outboard engines are a very good reason not to buy a bigger boat!
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Old 21-08-2008, 16:18   #13
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Maneuverablity: No advantage or disadvantage inherent. Some setups have advantages and others may just be stiff with age. There are a lot of tricks that aren't widely used to take advantage of one or another boat's particular arrangement. For example, Some sail-leg installs permit you to steer it opposite the boat's rudder position.
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Old 21-08-2008, 21:39   #14
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Have a look at a Harryproa. It takes a bit of getting used to the idea but it makes a lot of sense,
Robert
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Old 22-08-2008, 03:08   #15
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Fore stay tension can be a problem on Cats, especially with rear mounted masts, Prout style.
Putting a frame across the back end and adding or moving the stays backwards may cause problems with the boom and main missing the stays when running but will stiffen up the rig considerably, give space for gismo's like solar, wind, radar, antenae, dinghy hoist and get the traveller up there and there's more space on deck too.
Nobody has done it yet? Some body must have, somewhere.
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