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Old 22-12-2009, 14:21   #1
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Catamarans Not Frequently Seen in Charter or Shows

My wife and I are looking for a comfortable, sound, and decent sailing catamaran for winter liveaboard in the Caribbean. We have chartered a PDQ36, FP Athena 38, and a Lagoon 380. and been aboard Seawind, Broadblue, Maine Cat, Leopard, and Catana at the boatshows. We are interested in evaluating/comparing Manta, St. Francis, Dean, Crowther, Privledge and Nautitech to the boats we have seen.
I currently sail an older 29' Cal which fits my idea of the balance between performance and sturdy contruction. The PDQ handled easily but had a lot of wave slap between the hulls on a passage to Mustique. The FP Athena was fine but sitting in the helm seat, my head was about even with the boom (the French created the Guillotine), and opening the port near the stove caused the flame to blow out. The Lagoon was less than 2yr old but the noise of the bulkheads and high stressed areas groaning under load as I pounded to weather in 4-6ft seas and 25kts of wind was much worse than the FP in similar conditions. I plan to charter a Catana next. From what I see at the boat show, the proportions of the boats >40' are superior to the smaller boats I have sailed. so we will limit further research to the 40-47' range.
I look forward to hearing owners opinions.
As a Mechanical Engineer who tinkers with boats, I am not afraid of an older boat that needs some TLC. I installed the diesel in my Cal, and did a cabin makover featured in Cruising World Nov 08.
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Old 22-12-2009, 14:41   #2
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I don't know your budget but you may want to add the Catana 50 to your must see list. I got to sail on one the year before last right after the Annapolis Show. Really nice boat.
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Old 22-12-2009, 14:48   #3
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Old 22-12-2009, 15:51   #4
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Last I knew Manta was out of business, so you won't be seeing them at boat shows. You should be able to find plenty of Privileges and a few St. Francis and Deans for charter in the Caribbean:

Catamarans for charter in the Caribbean price list and links to catamaran sailing yachts in the Caribbean
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Old 22-12-2009, 15:53   #5
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CaptRehab... You can charter a Privilege 435 from TMM ( www.sailtmm.com) in the BVI. They have a 2006 model. The owner of that one , Snowbird, chartered my boat and then went and ordered one.
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Old 23-12-2009, 06:41   #6
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The budget (including refit like engine rebuild, plumbing & electrical, cushions & interior and new sails) is not fixed yet. Right now I am using $300K as a goal. The more I spend on the boat the less I can spend on the next house. I would like to charter each of the boats I listed to make a comparsion based on first hand experience.
Thanks for the tips and links about charters other than FP, Lagoon, or Leopard. I heard that Manta closed shop, but I am in the market for a used boat anyway. Even if I wanted to spend the $ for the Catana 50, I think it would be larger than I wanted. I think the size which would best suit me is the 42'-44' range.
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Old 23-12-2009, 08:08   #7
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You should try a FP Belize. The boat sails well and has a nice layout. Used models are available in your budget.
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Old 23-12-2009, 10:38   #8
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Have a look at the 46' Freydis cat designed by Eric Lerouge.
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Old 27-12-2009, 08:53   #9
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Admiral 38' Executive version. Very impressive and seaworthy in comparison to its competitors. A South African company builds these boats and they are usually sailed across to the Caribbean. With a 7' bed in the owners bunk and the aft hull as a spacious bathroom you'll find yourself impressed...it's huge! She's got a beam of 23' which is larger than most and positively noticeable. For a 38' the living space is as comfortable as some 42' because it was in the sugar scoops that the length is shorter... beneficial when you have to pay/ft.

With the PDQ, I see you had a concern with the slapping of the bridge deck ... from time to time some there is some pounding and waves slap against the Admiral's bridge deck it but not often enough to matter in the scope of things.

Admiral's really prove their worth. Cruising the Caribbean is a journey you want to experience with as much pleasure as possible...that's why it's called "pleasure cruising"! Buying the right boat is key.
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Old 27-12-2009, 09:38   #10
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Don't overlook the Nautitech 435; most were built for the charter trade in the French islands. We bought ours (a 1996) from VPM in Martinique in 2001 and have been full-time live aboard since then. Most were pretty beat, but we found a gem. A great sailing boat, high bridge deck clearance (2'7"), great headroom (I'm 6'3"). It was the Cruising World "Cruising Multihull" of the year for 1997.
A little spartan, not a lot of wood...but who wants to varnish anyway? Not a lot of pretty touches like the Catana 50, but a whole heck of lot CHEAPER!
Yeah, she creaks and groans under way sometime, but sails fast if not overloaded with living stuff.
Dual helms aft, so no big helm/seat to crowd the cockpit; engine access outside so no oil changes done in the bedroom!
Check it out, even though there are not a lot of them around in the Caribbean anymore; after most came out of the French de-fiscalization program, they were either sold or shipped back to France.
There is one for sale (we know it personally) in French Polynesia...Carabistouille.
Feel free to contact me for further info on these boats as we looked at just about all of them. The prices seem to be well within your budget, with plenty left over for that next house. We are thinking of selling in the next few years, if you are still looking.
BTW, a 42 to 44 foot cat is SO much nicer to be on in that miserable "on the nose" conditions of the E. Caribbean...much more comfortable than a 38 footer.
Good luck, and whatever you get..."it's all good!"
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Old 28-12-2009, 10:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by multihullsailor6 View Post
Have a look at the 46' Freydis cat designed by Eric Lerouge.
After you mentioned it I checked one out online. I'm curious why they use a curved crossbeam. I would like to see how the beam is loaded (force applied)
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Old 28-12-2009, 10:27   #12
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Security

I would be more comfortable from a security standpoint with a boat that does not have a large sliding glass door. The Lagoon we chartered had a feeble lock which worked only marginally after the maintenance crew replaced it at my request. Several boats mentioned have solid looking doors which could be made to lock well. I am curious how owners feel about the various boats that are listed in this thread.
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