Some thoughts and experiences after being on our cat for the last 9 months:
1. Windward performance.... Hmmm.... I have been sailing lately with friends 27 - 35 foot monohulls. I don't think you'll be able to compare a CRUISING cat to their performance both on an off the wind
. My cat can outrun must monohulls of comprable size(37') on engines, but the weight make it a realatively slow sailer (7-8 knots). I guess I could through out the watermaker
, extra anchors, boarding ramp
, blankets, food
stores, sewing machines, tools, etc.... to make it lighter and sail faster, but I NEED those things! I tell you what though, nothing like setting the sails
, turning on the autopilot
, grabbing a cold tea, book and laying on the trampoline and watching the ocean go by. Doesn't really matter if I am not going that fast!
2. The slapping/slamming of the bridge deck
when sailing quartering seas is at first alarming! Then after the first couple of times you realize it is only the waves and nothing is breaking. You get somewhat use to it. The way to lessen this is to get a cat with more bridge clearance. That brings its own problems. I'd probably relagate this issue to the bottom of my list and live with what I get.
3. Okay, maybe I have a lot of gadgets! Watermaker, radar
, clothes, tools etc... But the space goes fast in a cat, don't believe that you have all that space! Now, compared to a mono it may be spacious, but you rapidly run out. I am still trying to figure out where the best place to carry my dive equipment
is. I am probably going to make mounting brackets on the bimini/davits and store them there. I would love a compressor
, but I am not sure where I'd put it? If you have two heads, I guess you could give up one of them for wet storage
. I have seen folks just hang their gear
from the bimini
until it is dry then fold and store it. If you have an extra cabin
, many of those issues are resolved. Just can't have as many guest!
4. Water making creates its own issues. Mostly power related. Engine
driven, 12 VDC, 24VDC or 120 AC? All have their advantages and drawbacks. All cost $$$$. I installed my water maker in 4 different locations spread throughout the boat. The prefilters and pumps I mounted in the engine room. The hydraulic intensifier and filters I located in a storage space located under the freezer
compartment. The RO membrane I located in the bilge
under the kitchen. The control electronics
I mounted on the navigation
console and underneath it. Quite an installation
I guess the key here is $$$ if you have enough of them, you can make enough water to have showers and not worry about it. Just make certain you have adequate power to drive it all.
We love our shower
, it is roomy enough for the two of us to sit down and shower
. It is seperate from the toilet so thats an additional plus. But I think you start talking about additional $$$ and length.
5. Power consumption
. Our microwave (1700 watts = 140 amps )can't be running if any other AC load is on and the batteries aren't topped up. It doesn't matter when we are on shore power
, but on anchor
we have to be VERY aware. The same to just a lesser extent applies to my wife's hair dryer and electric
water heater. They draw GOOBS (1500 watts each = 120 amps each). I had to upgrade our inverter
from 1500 watts to 2500 watts to make certain it could handle it. You also should be aware that microwaves can be sensitive to the type of inverter
into them. The square wave types might not work.
Notice also the draw. You'll have to have a big enough battery
bank to support that kind of discharge, then of course, double it. we have a bank rated at 750 amp/hours (20 hour discharge). BIG, HEAVY suckers. Where do you put them? Then of course putting the energy back (charging system). The point is more $$$$ and weight. Getting rid of the microwave could save some significant $$$$ and weight. If you get a smaller microwave, you probably can make due with less issues. Don't know what to tell you about the hair dryer?!? They all appear to draw about 15- 18 kw. But, they are not sensitive to the type of inverter!
Compared to the above, the refrigeration
is a cake walk. We have a DC refer and DC freezer. They both consume about 28 amp hours in a 24 hour period. Just make sure the installation insulation
is good. The only problem we have with our propane
is we run out!
We use it for cooking
and the grill
. We used to run our Mosquito Delito, but that would go through a 20lb container in 2 weeks. Way to much hassle.
We try to keep most things electrical
because our wind generator
provides a decent amount of juice when we are out. We intend to install solar panels
to make up for the windless days.
6.) I don't like having to run any kind of engine to generate electricity. Wind
generators cost about the same a high output engine alternator
, and it just doesn't make sense to me to use my expensive motors to do something you could get less expensively in a variety of different methods.
7. Nets are REALLY cool to lay own. Yes, that's a pun. They don't get as hot in the tropical sun. They are also softer and mold
to you. Almost like a hammoch! We love ours for lounging. Additionally, from what I have read, you don't have to worry about them digging the front of the boat in as you're surfing down a wave. Cats tend not to capsize
, they have a greater tendency to pitchpole. Anything that keeps you lighter in your bows is usually a plus.
8. I have solid keels, I am really glad for that when I run aground.
But, I guess it is better just not to run aground then it is not an issue. But, make sure you have them up when they are supposed to be.
I think the biggest thing you're going to find is that there is no boat that is going to give you everything you want. Make sure you set asside some funds for making it as you would like. If you can do most of the work yourself it is only going to be $$$$ if you have to pay someone, whoa!!! Now that's some big bucks!!! Additionally, people say keep it simple because of the hassle, $$$$$, and reliability
issues. I always think of anything I am doing, or adding as an enhancement that if it goes away, I would just go back to doing it the simple way. Don't let it stop you from sailing, or indeed going in the first place.