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Old 03-04-2014, 12:54   #1
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Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

Hello,

My family and I have been dreaming about living on a sailboat for a few years now. We now have our house listed for sale and are getting closer to looking at and purchasing our future boat. We have been to the boat show">Miami boat show and have been reading countless blogs, books, and posts here however our actual boating experience is slim to none. Our budget will be around $100,000 and have narrowed our choices to a couple smaller catamarans.

Victory 35
Lagoon 35 CCC
Dean 365

Our thoughts are to start in the Bahamas and if we all like the new lifestyle continue on for a number of years and possibly circumnavigate.

A Little about ourselves..

My wife and I are 33 and have 3 kids, 9 year old boy, 4 year old boy, 6 month old girl. We live in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada where the winters are long, cold and regularly reach -30C hence the boat idea..

As far as our boat choices go we like the living space of the Victory 35, the price and 4 bedrooms of the Dean, and the trampoline/cockpit and twin engines of the Lagoon CCC. I realize the CCC of the lagoon stands for coastal cruising cat but is there any reason it can't go offshore? The dimensions seem similar to other boats that have crossed oceans..

Also any thoughts or opinions on the 3 boats I listed (or any others I missed) would be appreciated, as well as any general comments on our plans.

Thanks in advance!

Ryan
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Old 03-04-2014, 13:06   #2
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

The Victory and Lagoon both have rather skinny beams for their length and seem to have a high center of gravity. The Dean has a more substantial beam and a lower center of gravity. To me that means the Lagoon and Victory probably wouldn't be as stable as the Dean and would probably have a pretty exaggerated motion with beam seas.



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Old 04-04-2014, 10:31   #3
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

I have read of more Dean 365's ocean sailing than I have the other two.
Also worth looking at Prouts that are similar design and price.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:53   #4
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

I have never seen a Victory Catamaran, but Prout is a well known brand built in England.
Quite old now,but you can still pick up a bargain on these in the Med if you want to start your cruising there.
A real safe tried and tested cat. You can pick up a Snowgoose I think its called the Elite or Escale with the twin engines for that kind of money.
There are a few Fountaine Pajot Tobago 35's about too.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:54   #5
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

we prefer a maine coon, but siamese are nice.
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Old 04-04-2014, 11:42   #6
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

Welcome to the forum, Ryan B. You say nothing of you and your family's sailing experience. If limited, it may be a bit premature to even contemplate a circumnavigation. Simply put, people much wiser than I have suggested that people should buy a boat for their expected use in the near-term future and not for long-term dreams. Put another way, there are many families that take up cruising and don't like it. There are many more who quite enjoy cruising in places like the Bahamas and the Caribbean, but who have no interest (and indeed a dislike or fear) of long offshore passages.

In your case (and with your budget), it will be an important consideration because there a large number of cats (including those you mention) that would be well-suited to Bahamian/Caribbean cruising, but which may be less than ideal for a circumnavigation.

In addition, you make no mention of what the $100K is supposed to include. Is this for only the initial purchase price of the boat, including any taxes? Or is this to include the tens of thousands of dollars that most used cats in that price range will likey require in upgrades/repairs in order to get ready for a cruise for a few years?

If you are prepared to look at cats that would be more appropriate for Bahamian and Caribbean cruising than a circumnavigation, then the list of boats expands dramatically. The PDQ 36 was a well-built boat with decent performance and bridgdeck clearance. Many had two large forward staterooms and a smaller one aft. Later ones had a separate stall shower - important for live-aboards with children.
Some had twin diesels, but I would not be scared off by the ones with twin outboards as it allow you to carry additional stores (the outboards are lighter) and will dramatically reduce your maintenance costs, especially if the engines are getting long in the tooth.

The Gemini 105 is also a boat that provides a gread deal of bang for the buck. While more lightly built than the PDQ and while having much lower bridgedeck clearance, they sail well to windward and are at the low end of the cost spectrum for a cat that could accomodate your family. Certainly if your budget is to be $100K all in, this will be one of the only cats of relatively recent vintage that will fit the bill.

Indeed, if your maximum budget is $100K all-in, be careful not to underestimate the cost of upgrades and repairs. If that is the case, I suspect you should be limiting yourself to boats that can be purchased for $70K or less. That would include the Gemini, but also various older Catalacs, Prouts etc.

Brad
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Old 05-04-2014, 18:47   #7
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

Hi Brad,
Thanks for your advice. I was thinking the $100K would be for the purchase price of the boat before taxes etc, sorry I forgot to mention that.
As for the circumnavigation the chances of us doing that are slim but I would like to have a boat that is capable so we wouldn't have to buy and outfit a second boat if it ever did happen (after proper training and experience of course).
I may have to add the Gemini to our list of boats to view.
Thanks Again
Ryan
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Old 06-04-2014, 04:23   #8
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

The victory cat is very well made. Some have traveled far, one was just for sale in Hawaii. I would venture to say construction is better than an older lagoon. Ive never seen one for under 125k. The deans have as said before proved themselves ocean worthy and much more affordable. Highly doubt a family of 5 would be comfy on a gemini. Probably not on a PDQ 36 not that youd find one that need a ton of work in that range either With what you would need either would probably be way overloaded. No matter what you buy Id plan on spending another 15-20% on upgrades repairs etc.

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Old 06-04-2014, 04:28   #9
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

We are selling our blue water ready Family cruising catamaran (just sailed 10k miles with a toddler) if you are interested. She's in your budget.
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Old 06-04-2014, 05:07   #10
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

More on Victory cats.
http://www.seacraft.com/images/Victory_35_Review.pdf
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Old 06-04-2014, 19:35   #11
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

I have to say I'm in a fairly similar situation (from Edmonton, 3 kids), albeit with about double your budget. Although we are looking right now, our planned departure date is late 2015 (will take that long to remove lifes shackles).

The first question I will ask is if either of you have actually been on a Cat? The reason I ask is my wife's first time was last week and it was an eye opener for her. She wasn't prepared for how small they actually are (and we looked at a Lagoon 440). At 35' would feel really small with 2 adults and 3 kids. Not impossible, but I think you should experience one first.
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Old 06-04-2014, 20:04   #12
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

Quote:
Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
I have to say I'm in a fairly similar situation (from Edmonton, 3 kids), albeit with about double your budget. Although we are looking right now, our planned departure date is late 2015 (will take that long to remove lifes shackles).

The first question I will ask is if either of you have actually been on a Cat? The reason I ask is my wife's first time was last week and it was an eye opener for her. She wasn't prepared for how small they actually are (and we looked at a Lagoon 440). At 35' would feel really small with 2 adults and 3 kids. Not impossible, but I think you should experience one first.
If Lagoon 440 is too small you might have problems on a boat and certainly with budget. Need to get her on a Gemini by comparison.

good luck
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Old 06-04-2014, 20:51   #13
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

Thats why I posted it.. It wasn't my first experience, but it was my wifes.. I think everyone needs that first eye opening experience before commiting.. Its a huge shocker for people coming from a 2000sqft house. Heck most RVs sold around here have more space than a 35' Cat.

Personally I wouldn't take a family of 5 on a Gemini.. I think a Gemini is fine for a couple or a couple with 1 child, but a family of 5 would be super cramped.

Everyone has to take their own path though.. What is to tight for me, might be perfect for you.. but you won't know till you physically see it, pictures and video don't cut it.
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Old 06-04-2014, 21:00   #14
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

I would agree, 35' is going to be really tight.
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Old 06-04-2014, 22:09   #15
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Re: Choosing a Family Cruising Cat on a Budget

Don't get me wrong. If I could afford a big cat I would have one even a 38 lagoon at a pinch. My advice fwiw take your 100k and look at monos. You will get a lot more boat for your $ and one more in tune with your future plans. Now if your budget was 200 -300k then a cat it should be. This is just my opinion but money is king.

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