Originally Posted by Latchdaddy
Hi All, I am in the search of the 'perfect' cat....I realize at the end of the day it will be a decision based on compromise. But how to get started? I'm feeling a bit like Alice at the moment, and the magazines that cover cats are sub-par IMHO.
I'll do the boat shows, charter
the forums/webs etc. but where is the list of ALL the manufacturers? I don't want to miss the 'best one'!
How can begin a high level filtering process? The Multihull Dynamic site is the best I've seen so far but I am looking even higher level at the moment.
Does anyone have a list they can share?
I went through the same thing. Spent countless hours researching so many different models, and they all started to blend together.
Two boats I would really put high on your list that aren't out yet: The Balance 526 and the TAG 55. Both are very interesting. I got to walk through them both while in St. Francis, working on my St. Francis 50 build.
What's crazy is that my search for the perfect cruising cat narrowed down to all three of these boats, and they are all built in the same small town in South Africa
. I also visited the Gunboat yard in NC to look at the 55, but found it too spartan for living aboard
. A blast around the buoys, no doubt, but I didn't think I could be on the boat for months at a time, much less years.
The TAG is the more extreme design of the three, but very appealing to me. (I don't know your plans, so I'm just going off my desire for a perfect circumnavigator and live-aboard). The Balance 526 looks to be fast and spacious. Got to really dig through her, and came away impressed with the boat and the builders.
In the end, I went with the St. Francis because it has been refined over so many iterations for doing exactly what I want: Living aboard
and long-distance cruising. There's a spot for everything, so it all gets stowed away. And the dinghy
sits on chocks, so you can take a large one and not worry about how it dangles. Until the other two launch, I won't know for sure, but I always felt like I'd be happy on any of these three boats.
A comprehensive list would be nice, but even better is a list of 10 to 15 manufactures or models that you absolutely love, and just concentrate on them. Another that I was keen on was the Nautitech 521. So many great cats out there, to be honest. The FP Helia 44 is also stunning.