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Old 14-12-2008, 17:12   #1
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Dean 365 Catamaran Performance ?

My fiance and I are looking with interest at a Dean 365 Catamaran. We are looking for a Cat that will take us safely around the Caribbean for a couple of years and then perhaps around the world. We have not been able to find any discussion on the internet regarding this type of Cat. We would appreciate any experiences, information or opinions on this model. Sail performance?, Build Quality?, Deck Slamming? etc. Thanks in advance for any input.
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Old 16-12-2008, 14:10   #2
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I would avoid it personally.

Poor build quality, appallling sailing performance and lots of bridgedeck slam.

The only boat I have sailed (with a yachting magazine reporter also on board) where the owners assumed that you had to start the engines to tack. We refused to do that, but it was a struggle to get the head round, even in 15 knots of wind and flat water.

I have been to the yard and watched them build the 365

It was always considered a "party boat" in S Africa, noty a real seagoing boat

Sorry to disappoint you but hope this helps

Richard Woods of Woods Designs

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Old 08-01-2009, 01:01   #3
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i have owned 2 dean cats. started as a novice with dean 33 then moved to a dean 365. they are superb boats. i will take on any sea conditions with them. they are solid battle ships of the ocean and in south africa have a outstanding reputation. consider that the boats are circa 1990s i have yet to see one that is in dry dock for been unsafe. they do slam a bit as they are low and once you get the knack of it you can swing it around with out motors at all. i have yet to see a boat with the space and layout inside that can come close. you would have to buy a 40 to 45 footer to get the same roominess. the comment you recieved was biased as it comes from richard woods who as you know builds his own boats and they are often in the same second hand market as deans. i am not knocking a woods design as it is a great sailing boat setup but the last 3 i lookes at ( two 30 footers and one 40 footer) is just far to cramped. it gives you the feeling of been inside a hobie cat.. you need to bend and contort to get in any where the hulls are narrow and uncomfortable. so really, the main thing is getting the boat to its destination then you will be short hauling it all over. i have had 16 people on my old 365 and it is so spacious you dont really notice. a dean cat is a awesome piece of machinery and peter dean has always built a quality boat. i think you need to get on baord and walk around then compare it to a woods boat and see what i mean about things been in the way when you step inside.. enjoy, deans have a incredible resale and i am open to correction but i think that 85 percent of all deans have left south africa and are travelling the world... enough said
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Old 09-01-2009, 09:17   #4
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Robin365,
I'am also looking at an Dean 365 right now.
What are the problem areas with this catamaran. I have tried to get some info on another forum but there where probably not to many Dean 365 owners there.
Thank you for your info.
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Old 17-01-2009, 12:55   #5
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Dean 365

I bought a 1991 Dean 365 two weeks ago. In spite of Mr. Woods' post. The boat was motored into a slip in a shallow, muddy backwater in Florida 10 years ago, tied up and basicly abandonned. It is in rough shape, but still completely sound. A previous owner had insatlled an RV type rooftop AC unit in the salon hatch, and created a rainwater leak. Had the slip not been so shallow, it would have sunk. Since being pumped out and literally, drug out of the mud, it has not leaked one drop from anywhere. In spite of the fact that all thru hull valves were left in the open position and are frozen there.
The gell coat is in good condition. The standing rigging is in good shape. The swim ladder, left down, was totally encrusted. Now cleaned, it has no trace of corrosion and niether does any other hardware on the boat. Fuel tank, water tanks and plumbing look OK. Decks, cockpit and cabin soles are rock solid. The wireing looks good.
I have crwled over every inch of this boat, flashlight and pocket knife in hand, and I can tell you it is, indeed, built like a battleship. Compared to the 30 foot monohull I'm leaving, walking on the Dean's deck is like going for a stroll on an aircraft carrier. I am 6 feet tall and 210 lbs, and I have standing headroom and easy movement everywhere in the boat. I have looked at 45 footers that don't have this much room.
Bridgedeck clearance seems about average for cats of that era, and I suspect that deck slap will be no worse than other comparable boats. It was sailed here from South Africa, so it must do alright.
From the general tone of MR. Woods' post, I would say he has some personal animosity against Dean that likely has nothing to do with the boat.
There is just about nothing online regarding the 365 except sales adds. Though one on YachtWorld.com, the Serendipity, has photos of the original Dean brochure.
Good luck
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Old 18-01-2009, 11:51   #6
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365 Brochure

Dean Catamarans recently sent us a 365 brochure. Of course the model has been out of production for years but they found one for us to use on our database. I have corresponded with them several times over the last 4 years. They have always been upfront about their boats and cooperative.

You can email them and they may send you a copy of the brochure also or you can email me and I will send it to you.

Kind Regards,

Pat
pat@multihulldynamics.com
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Old 22-01-2009, 07:54   #7
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I was rather surprised by the negative/personal comments to my posting on the Dean Cat. I don't have any grudge against Deancats, I just gave my professional opinion.

Crystalbleu didn't ask whether a Dean Cat 365 was a boat for weekend sailing with a lot of friends, or for coastal cruising.

Instead she asked three specific questions relating to the suitability of the Dean as an round the world cruiser, "ie Sail performance?, Build Quality?, Deck Slamming?" which I answered. She didn't ask questions about the accommodation, interior room or deck space, nor make any comments about budget.

I don't consider any of my catamaran designs (except maybe the Flica) to be a compeditor to the Deancat. Furthermore, I was answering the questions as someone who is not a novice catamaran sailor but as one who has sailed tens of thousands of miles in a large variety of different catamarans.

It maybe that I have different requirements from others for an ocean cruising boat, especially one which is to be sailed in the, generally rough, Caribbean or even round the world. The amount of accommodation compared to the length of boat is not one of them.

Instead, one requirement would be that the crew should be able to sleep and be able to eat from the saloon table going to windward in 25 knots of wind, another that in those conditions the boat should sail as well as a similar cruising monohull. "Well" meaning as fast, as weatherly and as manouverable (tacking speed, hands off steering etc). The rig should be easy to handle by a small crew, especially when short tacking.

One of the posters admits to being a novice when he bought his Dean, the other hasn't yet sailed his boat. Neither made any comments about the sailing performance that didn't agree with what I wrote.

So I stand by my posting, which is that Crystalbleu will find a number of better designs if she wants to go ocean cruising.


Richard Woods of Woods Designs at anchor on his 34ft catamaran Romany in the Bahamas (the 17th cruising catamaran I have owned during the last 33 years).


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Old 22-01-2009, 12:38   #8
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Richard Woods is a competent authority in the multihull world. While there are some wounded feelings here, what is evident is that he is correct. Seating for eighteen is not a criterion for extended cruising with two or three people on board. Since Richard Woods is more performance oriented, I would have to accept his opinion of my PDQ 36 as being less suited for extended cruising than his Romany, because the term extended implies more than fair weather Island hopping, which is all I want to do. There is a place for almost every boat ever sold; but we have to agree on terms before we can agree on where that place might be.

There is, in spite of the opinions of a variety of purists, wisdom in the market place, that survives the hype of advertising. It is sufficient to leave less adept vessels with shorter production runs. I'm thinking of a sailing cat I once saw that had two very big ski boat outdrives on the sterns, which could push it to 30 mph. I have to concede that even it found a home.

I have little hope but my very best wishes to you dgz3!
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Old 20-03-2009, 07:10   #9
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Dean 365 Catamaran

We lived aboard a Dean 365 catamaran for 6 years, and did extensive cruising. Experienced severe weather conditions on more than one occasion. Very satisfied with the yacht which was only sold due to family commitments.
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Old 03-05-2009, 17:06   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crystalbleu View Post
My fiance and I are looking with interest at a Dean 365 Catamaran. We are looking for a Cat that will take us safely around the Caribbean for a couple of years and then perhaps around the world. We have not been able to find any discussion on the internet regarding this type of Cat. We would appreciate any experiences, information or opinions on this model. Sail performance?, Build Quality?, Deck Slamming? etc. Thanks in advance for any input.
Hi, we have owned two Dean 365's, the 1st, Orcinus, we sailed her from Cape Town in 1996, and spent 2 years in the Caribbean, Bahamas etc, we eventually sailed her to Florida, where we sold her for 4 times what we paid, the 2nd one Windsong, we set sail from CapeTown in 2004, sailed across the South Atlantic, through the Panama Canal and across the Pacific to Australia, we sold her last year( 2008) for again much more than we paid for, at the moment we are looking for our third one so we can do thsi trip all over again, we would not attempt these trips with anything less than a 365
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Old 08-05-2009, 01:19   #11
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Dean 365 and similar

Yes, we hunted high and low for another Dean 365 when we made the decision to become permanent live aboards again in 2008.

We have bought a Solaris catamaran which is similar in size and performance but has a completely different layout. We keep comparing her to the Dean 365 - can't help it! The design of having one heads in the starboard bow is alien (we had the master en suite version which took up the whole of the front of the yacht). We particularly liked the location of the water tanks and holding tank. Not much capacity for either on the Solaris!

Having said that, we are delighted with our catamaran - she is solid, responds well and quickly and performs very well in light-medium winds.

Completely kitted out for our years ahead ie completely independent apart from food supplies we are hoping to leave UK later this month.

Good luck in your search

Claire
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Old 08-05-2009, 02:55   #12
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Richard Woods, a well known Multi designer gave his opinion and answered the questions asked. Take his advice, he has credibility and he knows what he is talking about.

At no time did he push or try to sell any of his designs as being better alternatives, so why all the vitriol from posters with only 1 post to their name? ... curious?? No?. Besides which, the very low number of posts to their names is also an excellent indication of their credibility.
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Old 08-05-2009, 03:49   #13
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Richard Woods, a well known Multi designer gave his opinion and answered the questions asked. Take his advice, he has credibility and he knows what he is talking about.

At no time did he push or try to sell any of his designs as being better alternatives, so why all the vitriol from posters with only 1 post to their name? ... curious?? No?. Besides which, the very low number of posts to their names is also an excellent indication of their credibility.
Why would you post on a forum???
Because you have problems with, for example on this forum, your boat. Maybe. Or because you want to help others with their problems or questions?
I personally there for never ever look at the amount of posts somebody makes but only at what they have said in those posts.
So in reflection to the question asked in this post I think that people who have owned this cat have more credibility then somebody who has been on this boat only a few times and than can already tell what kind of cat it is.
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Old 08-05-2009, 11:54   #14
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I think this thread shows that people hate having their wives, children or boats criticized by third parties. Please note that Richard Woods, in his original response to the inquiry, made no mention of his own designs. Rather he gave his own assessment of the Dean 365 based upon his experience in sailing one.

I, for one, enjoy Richard's contributions and while we may not always agree, I certainly am prepared to concede that his knowledge concerning the design, construction and peformance of catamarans is vastly superior to my own. I find it interesting that owners of the boat are criticizing Richard for his inherent bias and yet fail to recognize the bias that naturally flows from the huge investment they have made in their purchases. I also find it interesting that none of them have claimed to have experience with as many different designs as Richard and accordingly, the ability to provide equivalent benchmarks for comparison.

Robin365's review, as an owner of 2 Deans, is in my opinion of particular interest in that it tends to confirm Richard's criticism of the sailing performance; at best it damns it with faint praise: "they do slam a bit and once you get the knack of it you can swing it around without motors at all." One really shouldn't need to get the knack of a particular boat before you can tack it without the aid of engines.

The experiences and opinions of all are surely welcome on this site, even if they occasionally ruffle feathers. It is for the rest of us to consider them, consider the basis for the opinions, the background (real or otherwise) of the contributor, how those opinions stand up to analysis against other sources and of course, the potential for bias. I agree that the potential for bias exists in Richard's posts concerning the design/peformance of boats other than, as well as his own. Nevertheless, it should be noted that his opinons have been much more favorable regarding other designs/builders. At the very least this, in conjunction with the 'corroboration' provided by robin365 concerning some difficulties in tacking, should leave interested buyers with some areas of concern to ponder and explore before making a purchase.

Brad
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Old 13-05-2009, 14:32   #15
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Tacking?

Can't say we ever had a problem tacking with our Deancat. Having sailed 14,000+ nm over a period of 6 years we managed and we're not exactly youngsters and just had normal winches, a roller furling genoa. Mind you we did have an excellent teacher in Cape Town!
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