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Old 16-10-2008, 14:46   #1
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Cat recommendations needed...

Hello,

The crew and I are beginning the search for a Multihull capable of taking us from the Great Lakes to Fiji and back. Unfortunately, the ability to find and sail older multi's is pretty limited in this area. Our needs are as follows: 4 seperate beds (4 adults and a 4 year old) and preferably the smaller the better, as we would like to be able to reasonably beachcomb here on the great lakes for a summer before departure. We've been looking at layouts on 2hulls and really like the Solaris 42. Is there any specific rigs we should be looking at that are similiar, or better suited for the voyage we want to complete?

The older the better in my book, as after reading many ship logs, I've determined I'd rather go cheap on the initial purchase and then spend the money on a complete retrofit/rebuild of engines, etc.

sincerely,
ProjectFiji
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Old 17-10-2008, 07:05   #2
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Greetings, and WELCOME aboard ProjectFiji.

Like customers for fish, I doubt that youíll find many cruising multiís on the Great Lakes.
South Florida may be the best place to look for multihulls.

You might check with:

Great Lakes Multihull Racing Association (GLMRA):
Announcing the Great Lakes Multihull Racing Association

Toronto Multihull Cruising Club, (TMCC):
Toronto Multihull Cruising Club
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Old 17-10-2008, 07:35   #3
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WELCOME,

Maybe you might want to look in the Caribbean as well as Florida. I bought Imagine in St. Maarten while I still lived in San Francisco. Look at ex charter boats, or boats coming out of charter. If you buy in the Caribbean it's mostly downhill, and warm fun to Fiji.......BEST WISHES in finding a boat to serve you well!!!!!!
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Old 17-10-2008, 07:57   #4
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The odds are against finding a cat on the Great Lakes, so what ever you get will be somewhere else. Moving it to the Lakes to learn to sail it would be a great adventure, but would also demand considerable familiarity with the equipment and the boat's peculiarities, so you might have the cart before the horse.

If you are an experienced sailor and boat owner, you would agree with the following advice: if you are not, then we would almost all agree to 1. Start small and old. 2. Sail hard and often. 3. Fix everything yourself, to see the problems with fixing cheap.
4. Charter once or twice, for the experience, and to get everyone singing from the same hymnal. 5. Then make an educated, personal decision on what you want, shop hard, and buy smart, preferably from an owner who shares your standards for equipment, maintainability, and spares.
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Old 17-10-2008, 08:00   #5
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Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
The odds are against finding a cat on the Great Lakes, so what ever you get will be somewhere else. Moving it to the Lakes to learn to sail it would be a great adventure, but would also demand considerable familiarity with the equipment and the boat's peculiarities, so you might have the cart before the horse.

If you are an experienced sailor and boat owner, you would agree with the following advice: if you are not, then we would almost all agree to 1. Start small and old. 2. Sail hard and often. 3. Fix everything yourself, to see the problems with fixing cheap.
4. Charter once or twice, for the experience, and to get everyone singing from the same hymnal. 5. Then make an educated, personal decision on what you want, shop hard, and buy smart, preferably from an owner who shares your standards for equipment, maintainability, and spares.
This post shoud be a STICKY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 17-10-2008, 08:09   #6
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The only thing to add to that advice is, it is important to qualify subjective answers.

Asking for cheap depends entirely on your frame of reference.

Cheap for me means within waving distance of £0

Cheap for a football player or pop singer is a new SF50
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Old 17-10-2008, 08:29   #7
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Projectfuji,

Take a look at the Manta 42 Sail Cat. For used ones just Google Manta 42 Catamarans for sale.

They are manufactured in Sarasota Florida.

Luxury Custom Built Catamarans - Manta Catamarans - Made in the USA

The following site shows the Manta 42. Click on the button "360 Degree Tour" to see the inside of the Manta 42 Catamaran.

Charters template - sail
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Old 17-10-2008, 08:36   #8
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Projectfuji,

Take a look at the Manta 42 Sail Cat. For used ones just Google Manta 42 Catamarans for sale.

Manta only has three "beds".
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Old 17-10-2008, 11:43   #9
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Many of the moorings cats (Lagoons) coming off charter service have 4 beds and 4 bathrooms.

With 4 adults and 1 child you probably should have at least two complete bathrooms.
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Old 17-10-2008, 14:32   #10
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Projectfiji, I agree that you are extremely unlikely to find a boat that fits your criteria in the Great Lakes. I also think that you are unwise to limit your search - there are some great deals to be had in boats that are somewhat newer and not in need of a complete refit. Frankly, the latter are often a false economy.

As to a Solaris 42, I can say the following:

1. Solaris yachts were typically extremely robust in construction, although I have heard of some rusted chainplates on some ealier 42's. It is my understanding that they were all built to Lloyd's 100 A1 offshore standards.

2. My Sunstream 40 was a modification of the original Cherokee 35 designed by the legendary Rod Macalpine-Downey. It was lenghthened, the rig was converted to a 'Prout' style cutter rig and the interior layout was also improved. It tacks readily even in winds under 5 knots, and has huge reserve bouyancy forward due to the absence of a solid foredeck, the front overhang and the 'nuckles' on both the outside and inside of the forward third of the hulls. In addition, the bridgedeck does not have a blunt leading edge to accomodate athwartship berths forward, but rather a very gradual curve aft which then curves back up slightly towards the end of the cockpit.

3. The Solaris Sunstar 36 was based on a design by Eric Lerouge and was again lengthened from the original, in this case 32 feet. It is much more modern in appearance and again benefits from the lack of a foredeck and the deeply curved shape of the bridgedeck.

3. The Solaris 42, on the other hand, has few of the attributes of the Sunstar 36 and the Sunstream 40 apart from the solid construction. It carries the bridgedeck forward and had a blunt leading edge in order to accomodate those athwartship doubles. While I have not sailed one, I have read reports from a former charter skipper in the Med who claims that she pounded mercilessly and would not tack without the aid of the diesels.

In any event, if you are looking for a reasonable deal, I would certainly recommend that you not get too caught up on any one design, particularly one that is fairly rare on this side of the Atlantic. I would also recommend that you 'kick some tires' in Fla for a couple of weeks to get an idea of the present market value for boats that will fit your needs. I would make a short list of designs, try to get out on some test sails and then take a deep breath.

Brad
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Old 17-10-2008, 16:11   #11
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Quote:
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Manta only has three "beds".
Staterooms. You guys don't miss anything do you
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Old 17-10-2008, 16:49   #12
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Thank you very much for all the information. I've probably read each post 10 times today, trying to soak as much in for possible. I'm going to try to answer/respond to the points brought up.

The build is as important to me as the voyage. It's as much of a spirtual (for lack of a better term) issue as it is a technical issue.

I would like to go as inexpensively on the cat as possible, and then spend another (roughly) $50,000 on the build.

Cats are hard to find, but not impossible on the Great Lakes. The problem lies in not having the large variety of specimens like what other areas have. Most rigs that are here are not rigged for ocean crossing.

Keep the thoughts coming,
Sincerely,
ProjectFiji
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Old 18-10-2008, 12:42   #13
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I bought a cat (FP Casamance 1991) during April in Fort Lauderdale, now cruising pacific central america...will head into south pacific april next year. Even though we (wife, 2 kiddies) are from Cape Town, South Africa, it was still a way better option to buy a cat in FL. There is a massive selection which keeps prices honest and realistic and you stand a good chance of getting THE RIGHT CAT (whatever that may be). In my opinion, if you are buying an older boat (= pre 2000?) then you are going to spend a minimum of $30000 to get her cruise ready, no matter how good she looks or how recent her equipment is. Many pre 1995 cats will also have had new motors, rig, sails etc by now. Once you start to peal this massive onion called 'which cat', you will realize that you must go to where you have the largest selection. If you buy a cat in the great lakes for a south pacific cruise you stand a very good change of buying the wrong cat. In my opinion there was a 'golden era' of cat design, when the driving force behind design was blue water cruising...this was during the late 80's and early 90's...after that the charter industry became the driving force behind design (for most high output production brands anyway)...this means you can find a very capable older boat with good bd clearance and good sailing performance. The best boat to buy i think is one which is currently being cruised by a family...they are coming to the end of their cruise...at least half the stuff should work OK! Have you mentioned your budget?
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Old 19-10-2008, 14:31   #14
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Wharram pahi 42 has 4 beds and a captains pod.
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