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Old 14-05-2009, 23:25   #1
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Cruising Multihull Suggestions Please

My family is looking for a multihull to cruise Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. Mom & Dad, 1 kid (12) and a dog. We'll have about $50-$75K to work with. We have a list of must-haves. It must be able to tolerate getting stuck out in some bad weather. It must have 2 separate sleeping areas, one a double or a queen and a door, the other can be small. My son is a dwarf, he doesn't need a large bed. It must have a sit down nav station. It must have a galley that has room to work in, we like to cook. It must have adequate tankage. It must have a diesel engine. It must have a shallow draft and should be beachable. I had a Cross 37 10 years ago, I had to sell it due to health problems, now resolved. We looked at that boat again a couple of months ago, it's smaller than I remembered, I'd like to go 40' if possible.
Some work needed is fine, I build racecars and my wife was a Mechanic in the Coast Guard, but we don't want a multi-year project.
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Old 15-05-2009, 05:29   #2
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40 ft multihull at $50-75k - dream on.

You should be able to get a 9m Catalac for that price - great for the liveaboard, not a great performer to windward especially if you load her too heavily.

I have seen a Woods Flica at that price in Florida, and was too slow, but that was a firesale.
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Old 15-05-2009, 07:34   #3
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I would try looking at tris again. You will be able to find something in that range. Cats seem to not quite go that low very often. There was a beautiful CSK cat in the S.F. Bay area for about $45k if memeory serves me correctly just last month. They are out there, but rarely.......i2f
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Old 15-05-2009, 23:34   #4
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It looks like a 35'-36' foot cat has at least as much living space as a 40' tri, and Yachtworld shows a few that I might afford, how do they compare under sail? All of my cat experience is on Hobies and Nacras. Do cruising cats tack well? Well enough? My tri would tack, not like a racy monohull, but it tacked. I've sailed jibless beach cats that almost wouldn't tack and a funny beach tri, kind of like 3 kayaks strapped together screaming that almost wouldn't tack. If not overloaded, which is faster in general, a cruising cat or a cruising tri?
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Old 16-05-2009, 03:02   #5
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I havent come across a cat yet that will not tack given an understanding of the vessel - my catalac preferred that the main was slacked as you came through the wind, and would then tack beautifully even with the large genoa.

Generalisations:

Tri will always be a bit better to windward.

Cat will be a bit better off the wind.

Cat will lie ahull more safely than a tri.
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Old 16-05-2009, 05:25   #6
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sww914,

I think the problem with tacking beach cats is related to their light weight. They don't have enough mass to create the momentum needed to overcome the wind and the force of the waves when coming about. A wave can stop you dead, as you well know.

As Talbot says, tacking a cruising cat is not a problem once you have the technique mastered.
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Old 16-05-2009, 09:40   #7
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I think i2f nailed it. Trimarans tend to run less since they are less popular -- home built ones doubly so. There is the whole issue of quality that most people would prefer to avoid and so they just look elsewhere. For you, that means easier to find values if you know what you looking for and have an excellent surveyor.

As for catamarans, now you are in a whole different game; one with higher aggregate demand and pricing to match. So even if you do find one, you still have to contend with the whole distance/decision issue. Ie., is it close enough by and can you make a sufficiently rapid decision so that it isnít purchased from under you by another buyer who also wants the cat at the same price?
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Old 16-05-2009, 09:53   #8
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It's going to be hard to find a seaworthy catamaran in your price range unless you are looking for a project boat that needs lots of work. If you get one that needs a lot of work, it will take lots of dollars to bring it up to where it should be for offshore sailing.

I personally would forget the multihull idea, and get a good cruising monohull in the 32 to 37 foot range. There are plenty of monohulls that are seaworthy and that are in your price range.

For me, the trip and the adventure is the thing. The boat is only the vehicle that gets me there. It wouldn't matter to me whether it had one, two or three hulls. As long as it was seaworthy and affordable, I would go for it.

I would rather go in a monohull that I could afford than not go at all because I couldn't find a multihull in my price range.
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Old 16-05-2009, 10:16   #9
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I just looked, and that CSK is no longer listed in Yachtworld. It was a fine sailing boat for the money, and sounded as if it would fit you fine. It is going to be rare to find what you seek, but deals do come along. It may have been listed in Latitude 38 since it was from the S.F. Bay Area........i2f
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Old 16-05-2009, 21:54   #10
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Thanks for all the replies folks. We're not desperate, we can wait a bit and cherry pick a deal if it comes along and we have begun to shed possessions so we'll be mobile and ready. I'm open to a plywood and epoxy boat if it's well built and is still in good shape. I know that there are plenty of monos that will fit the bill but I've always just been in the get-there-faster-on-a-boat-that-won't-sink camp. Just because something has worked for hundreds of years doesn't mean that that's the only way to do it, farmers don't usually use mules and oxen to plow much anymore around here but they worked well for centuries. I want to get there faster and relax for longer and carry less stuff.
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Old 19-05-2009, 12:45   #11
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SWW, DAve's suggestion that you consider a mono was not based upon an anti-multi bias, nor outmoded thinking - he owns and world cruises in his own catamaran. I think the point is that you are going to find an extremely small number of decent quality, blue-water capable cats available at that price. In addition, the real world performance of such a cat when loaded for distance cruising, is likely going to be very little better than many monohulls. Simply put, you will likely get more bang for the buck on a mono in your price range, if only because there will be a much bigger supply.

If still interested in a cat, try following Djeeke's thread in which various boats on the market have been discussed. Since you are in California, you will likely not be going after boats in Europe, although the design-specific comments will still apply.

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Old 19-05-2009, 13:45   #12
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We have not been completely honest with you when we say that what you are looking for is rare. In truth, it does not exist for the same reason that a 'vette only driven to the mailbox and for sale to the first $2500 doesn't exist. You will hear about it, but when you get there it turns out to be a Chevette from a flooded farm on the Mississippi Delta. Holder of the Miss Represented 1979 Crown.

Does that mean it can't happen? YES. It can't happen. Go find whatever rings your bell, and start cruising. A catalina 30 would work just fine, and leave you some popcorn money.
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Old 19-05-2009, 14:44   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandy daugherty View Post
We have not been completely honest with you when we say that what you are looking for is rare. In truth, it does not exist for the same reason that a 'vette only driven to the mailbox and for sale to the first $2500 doesn't exist. You will hear about it, but when you get there it turns out to be a Chevette from a flooded farm on the Mississippi Delta. Holder of the Miss Represented 1979 Crown.

Does that mean it can't happen? YES. It can't happen. Go find whatever rings your bell, and start cruising. A catalina 30 would work just fine, and leave you some popcorn money.
Then how do you account for the CSK that was for sale in the S.F Bay area? It was probably a month, or two ago that I saw the ad. The reason it caught my eye. I was just about ready to make an immediate move back to Oakland, and I am an admirer of CSK.....i2f
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Old 19-05-2009, 19:47   #14
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Then how do you account for the CSK that was for sale in the S.F Bay area? It was probably a month, or two ago that I saw the ad. The reason it caught my eye. I was just about ready to make an immediate move back to Oakland, and I am an admirer of CSK.....i2f
I'm with Sandy on this one. I haven't seen the CSK but if something is advertised doesn't mean it's true. Sellers lie.

Based on false descriptions I drove 12 hours round trip to see a 10-year-old 33-foot Seawind 1000 listed at $175k that based on my one-hour inspection would need at least $75k+ worth of refit to be offshore-ready seaworthy. The seller thought he had a gold-plater -- after all he just finished 5 years cruising the islands and everything "works", and he talked it up as "pristine". But it was subsequently sitting on the hard for two years (with sails left bent on the boom and tied but uncovered) and time everything needed maintenance. (Needed new standing and running rigging, new sails, new anchor chain and lines, new canvas, acres of cushions needing recovering, re-bedding of all hatches and deck fittings (many leaking), drying-out of wet cored hulls, new lifelines, engine replacement needed on one engine and the other a "suspect" with over 1000 hours on both Yamaha outboards, etc.) Those are not things to ignore if going offshore.... and that's just the obvious stuff. It was a "pristine" project boat.
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Old 20-05-2009, 00:32   #15
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Don't rule out a mono. It is not outdated tech at all. For the price and what the yacht will be used for, it would be hard to beat a nicely taken cared for Catalina 36'. Heck, you can get a nice 1980s O'day 39' to 40' for the price range you are looking for.

Goodluck in your search.
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