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Old 10-02-2013, 20:44   #16
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My wife and I will be at the show working, you can check our website - www.catamaranguru.com - we have done extended cruising over the last 20 years and would be happy to share our experiences and answer questions.
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Old 10-02-2013, 21:09   #17
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

You might want to adjust your schedule to spend more time in Fort Lauderdale. The major cat brokers are there and you can easily see dozens Of boats. It is the center of the cat universe. The west coast of Fla, not so much.
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Old 11-02-2013, 16:51   #18
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

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Originally Posted by BigNut View Post
We appreciate the great responses so far, including some off-list invites and encouragement.

Just to clarify our intentions:

What we are hoping to do, is meet with folks who can share their real-life experiences and wisdom while we are in Florida.

We are voracious readers, and have read many websites, and a ton of books, heck even books on Junk rigs! Although our experience is next to zero, we have quite a bit of "book knowledge", but not much practical knowledge at all. (When Steve was a teenager, he built and sailed a 14' dinghy with his Dad, and windsurfed a lot after that, but that's about it!)

The Bumfuzzles make a great read, and have a can-do attitude. However, they are not starting in their mid-fifties!

We know and understand from reading that this is all possible, but hope to meet and speak to those with personal experience.

What we have found in our flying adventures, is that the folks with deep knowledge to impart often don't share much online. They spend less time in the forums, and more time in the air and hangar!

We suspect this is the same in sailing, hence our quest to seek out individuals in person.

Just for laughs:

We walked into the St. Petersbug Yacht Club yesterday ( it does have a big sign on the front wall saying MEMBERS ONLY, but what the heck), and asked at the desk: "We are from Canada, and want to speak to someone about how to learn to sail a catamaran and go cruising." (I know, I know, but we were feeling silly, and wanted to see what would happen)

The nice lady at the desk told us that they did not have "those catamarans" in St. Petersburg, but sometimes some came to regattas (pronounced "righuttas"). However, she continued, the club was not really about sailing, but if we went down the road we would find a sailing school!

We also went to the "offices" of a well-known Catamaran company in St. Pete's yesterday, only to find that it is not a real office, but a "virtual office" - one of those where you put "your" sign on the door when you are renting the office to meet with someone. Neat idea, but not confidence-inspiring, particularly when there is no immediate response to an email to that same office, other than a poorly formatted automated reply. Sigh.

Soooo, I guess we are feeling a little disheartened and disillusioned today.

Off to Ybor for some fun! Thanks for reading! Please keep up the responses which are all appreciated.

Lizzy and Steve
Floridas Gulf Coat has very few cruising Cats and very few docks for them other side much better for Cats what is blogging "income"
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Old 11-02-2013, 17:01   #19
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

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is it possible to generate enough online income to maintain some/most of their expenses while cruising, say in the Caribbean, to enable retirement savings to remain intact?
As a professional freelance writer I can answer this one--No! Almost nobody in the marine writing world makes anything blogging. I bet there are maybe 5 blogs out there that make a significant amount of money, and they are very focused on technical subjects, like Panbo. Most of the rest make zero $$. There are a few websites and forums that bring in decent money, but again very, very few. You might be able to supplement your income by selling the occasional freelance article to one of the magazines, but I wouldn't count on making much unless you are already an established writer before you go.
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Old 11-02-2013, 17:03   #20
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

If you want to make money whilst cruising, learn how to weld stainless steel, buy yourself a welder and pack it into your boat.
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Old 11-02-2013, 17:16   #21
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

[QUOTE=Camp Director G;1152467]My two cents:

............................ Learned a ton and changed a few opinions about what we would want or need in a boat (after that trip, I'm fully against Lagoons). .................................................. .................................................. ................



Camp Director,

Can't let that little piece go by. As someone also researching the market I and others would be very interested why you have ruled out Lagoons.

Cheers
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Old 11-02-2013, 19:37   #22
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

I'm hoping not to have this thread stray, because many people have talked ad infinitum about which cat they love and why. I just spent some time on a generally slow cat, and realized that I did a lot more motoring than I had hoped. From what I'm told, this is common to most beginning sailors. They sail less than they had dreamed in their imagination when they realize that sailing with the wind makes it difficult to get where you want to go on a schedule. We were doing three weeks looping through the Cyclades islands in Greece. If you had unlimited time, you might do more sailing in different directions, but everyone I spoke with told me that you end up motoring or motor-sailing more than you would have thought. I realized that if I was going to buy a cat, I would want something with good light wind sailing capabilities and hopefully more speed. Everyone says that Lagoons are built for comfort, not for speed. Keep in mind, they are the number one seller of boats out there for a good reason. Lots of people love them. However, after my last trip, I would try for something with a bit more performance, especially in low winds, which might allow a bit more time under sail and less under power.The captain on our boat had a minimum wind speed he would wait for before even bothering to raise the sails. Ideally, a higher performance boat might have a lower minimum speed by which you would be willing to raise some canvas. Again, I'm no expert, but that's what I'm thinking. Also, it's really fun to sail fast, at least for me. Just feels good. Wind in your hair and all that.
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Old 11-02-2013, 21:43   #23
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

interesting view cd, however I would tend to disagree. Depending on the destination, wind speed and direction, at the end of the day it doesn't make too much difference on performance. Not many people sail if the wind is under 5 knots if they have a destination over 30 miles away and they want to arrive before sundown. Depending on wind direction we can make 5-6 knots in 10 knots of breeze on a Lagoon380. I guess a higher performance cat might make 6-7 in the same breeze so over a 30 mile sail they would arrive 45 minutes earlier at the destination. Not really a good reason to sacrifice comfort for performance.
Quite often we set a course for a destination 60M or more away and when we arrive we wish we could have sailed for longer (suns shining, fish are biting, sailing is good or whatever)
Occasionally we sail with friends and arrive an hour or two ahead or behind, it really doesn't make a lot of difference. However if you are on a schedule to be somewhere at a set time or day, you will have to motor at times, regardless of boat performance. The best bet is to not have a set itinerary and enjoy sailing at whatever speed you can, when you can. I dont agree with people that say you motor more than you would have thought on a cat, I think the same people would motor regardless of the vessel.
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Old 11-02-2013, 21:51   #24
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

Just found this thread, and perhaps this "experience" is too late, but my experience is that sailing is VERY unpopular on the Gulf Coast of southern Florida.

In So Florida, most cruisers I know are in the Keys. The Cat brokers are in Ft Lauderdale, as previously mentioned. The brokers I've met in the area are earnest and friendly, but not experienced in cruising.

I'll be at the boat show and would also like to introduce my wife to some cruising couples on catamarans as well.
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Old 11-02-2013, 21:56   #25
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

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Originally Posted by Camp Director G View Post
Everyone says that Lagoons are built for comfort, not for speed. Keep in mind, they are the number one seller of boats out there for a good reason. Lots of people love them.
For the benefit of the catamaran shoppers - the latest Leopards are fast-gaining converts from the Lagoons. While Lagoon model's style have been declining in recent years, Leopard has been making great advances in design and fit-and-finish. The Moorings has stopped taking Lagoons, and is now taking Leopards for that reason.
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Old 11-02-2013, 22:06   #26
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

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For the benefit of the catamaran shoppers - the latest Leopards are fast-gaining converts from the Lagoons. While Lagoon model's style have been declining in recent years, Leopard has been making great advances in design and fit-and-finish. The Moorings has stopped taking Lagoons, and is now taking Leopards for that reason.
I suspect we'll be hearing from the Lagoon owners soon.

I wasn't seriously in the market but I did go aboard both the Lagoons and the Leopards at the Annapolis show and I can't say I saw a big difference in design or fit-and-finish. My guess would be that Moorings made their change strictly based on the economics of their deal with the manufactures since either boat will serve the charter market adequately. IMHO
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Old 11-02-2013, 22:14   #27
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

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I suspect we'll be hearing from the Lagoon owners soon.

I wasn't seriously in the market but I did go aboard both the Lagoons and the Leopards at the Annapolis show and I can't say I saw a big difference in design or fit-and-finish. My guess would be that Moorings made their change strictly based on the economics of their deal with the manufactures since either boat will serve the charter market adequately. IMHO
I suspect the Lagoon owners will also be agreeing that recent models are not up to the standard that their older models were built. Lagoon has never had a reputation for quality fittings, but they did have a reputation for solid build and interior work.

Look at the cabinetry work, esp comparing the lower-end lagoon to lower-end Leopards. It is night-and-day. The Leopards seem clearly designed to withstand usage much better. Also, I think they are better outfitted, though I haven't done a feature-for-dollar comparison.
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Old 12-02-2013, 00:29   #28
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

No problems with my 2012 Lagoon 380 in any way. Fit, finish, quality all 100%. I did look at Leopards and FP and found them not to my taste. New boat handover and after sales service from Lagoon has been excellent. Ive been aboard a few older lagoons and found the finish to be the same in terms of quality, but a little more dated in terms of styling. I do take notice as my background is in carpentry/joinery cabinetmaking and boatbuilding.
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Old 12-02-2013, 05:05   #29
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I'm 43 and I will be living the same dream as you guys in 2014, my first sailing experience was about a year ago so I am starting from scratch... I am also in Canada: Montreal, I found this one week course very interesting and will probably schedule it for November http://www.barefootoffshore.com/cruising-catamaran/ look it up and let me know what you think

Louis
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:14   #30
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Re: Cat sailors in Florida available to set some newbies straight?

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Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
Just found this thread, and perhaps this "experience" is too late, but my experience is that sailing is VERY unpopular on the Gulf Coast of southern Florida.

In So Florida, most cruisers I know are in the Keys. The Cat brokers are in Ft Lauderdale, as previously mentioned. The brokers I've met in the area are earnest and friendly, but not experienced in cruising.

I'll be at the boat show and would also like to introduce my wife to some cruising couples on catamarans as well.
I'm not sure what your 'experience' consists of, but as an actual sailboat owner in SW Florida, I would disagree that sailing is VERY unpopular in this area.

FWIW, real cruisers don't congregate around the Cat brokers in Ft. Lauderdale, not sure that's where one should look for knowledge.
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