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Old 18-05-2013, 12:17   #1
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Finding the right cat for me.

Ive been stalking this forum (and many others for that matter) for quite some time. I've been doing a lot of reading about different boat builders, build materials, types of cats, etc etc. Ive found that when buying something/anything its in your best interest to ask someone whose bought the product rather than those "selling" the product. Ive seen other threads in this forum that had a wish list similar to mine, however, Im not a thread hijacker so I'm posting my own.
In looking for the right cat for me, I have found a few things prefer:

*Covered/Indoor Cockpit
*40-50ft range. I can comfortably go up to 60, though I wouldnt really want to.
*Cat that can be single-handed, hence not really wanting to go over 50ft.
*Comfortable interior. I will be a full time live aboard. I will not go exploring, have my fill, then sell the ship. I will be coast sailing with this cat for at least 3 years MINIMUM before I plan on doing any hard core traveling. I dont want to live in a shiny, glossy, plastic hot mess. I want this catamaran to feel like home.
*Owners suite.
*Newer catamaran. Price is no object. Ive done very well for myself and am willing to pay for quality.
*No "entire head as a shower" funny business. Just no...
*I dont have to have a "fast" boat or a "luxurious" boat. I want/need a boat that can cruise comfortably in open seas and handles well.

These cats have a few of the things Ive been looking but fall short in others. I wont list ALL of the pros and cons, just the ones that stick out the most for me.
Gunboat 55
Pro: Its a boat that crossing performance and comfort. Granted, you cant have both but GB seems to be pushing that boundary. Im fine living w/o a air conditioner unit or heating unit. I can find different methods of adapting to different climates. I have for the majority of my life.
Con: I have doubts as to whether the ship will be able to suit long term needs. Im not to concerned about heating and cooling the ship, but I have to have a washing machine. Its a must! And this model seems to a smaller solar system than most. The solar system provides 800 watts as opposed to 1 kw. Might not seem like much of a difference, but once your worried about power consumption, you'll want those extra watts. Your radios and certain other necessities must stay on at ALL times. Juggling between having my computer on, washing clothes, and a few other dailies and ensuring your batteries aren't stressed is a must.
Also, the boat is a bit bigger than I would like. Im certain I can single-hand the beast, especially considering the arrangement of the cockpit and lines, but I would prefer something under the 55ft range. Im not getting any younger and would prefer something I can handle as I age gracefully.
This is a relatively new company, 12 yrs old. It has also changed its design team and retired its previous models, circa 2001-2008. Though some of its earlier ships are still out at sea going strong and in some cases racing comfortably, I have my doubts about the longevity of the boat 20+ years down the line. Every builder has to start somewhere, and Im a big rooter for the underdog, but how young is too young?
Another issue is far more disconcerting. A considerable amount of the ship is carbon fiber. From what Ive been reading about cf hulls is that cf is subject to electrolysis similar to aluminum hulls. Ive also read that when carbon fiber fails...it FAILS HORRIBLY. No note, no warning, just crack, splat, and capsize. Do not pass go, do not collect 200 dollars. Safety is a biggy for me so I would like some more info on this if you please.

Privilege:
Pro: Though the cockpit is outside but well protected. Boat layout seems comfortable.
Con: Plastic looking interior. The boat also seems to carry a considerable amount of weight in the center with a very VERY small AND narrow tramp area in the front. The design of the cat seems to fall in line with a boat building era in which builders literally got away with murder making boats that were improperly balanced causing frequent pitch holing. Again, safety is a biggy.

Chris White: Short and simple, Indoor cockpit but horrible interior and awkward layouts.

Mass Production Cats.
Fountaine Pajot:
Pro: Modern interior. Boat has a tad bit of performance and considerable comfort.
Con: Outdoor helm. It is well protected, however incase of unfavorable weather i would like the ability to spend as little time at the helm as possible.
The newer Helia and Sanya have had a lot of interior updates that has made the boats chic and modern but ergonomically challenging. Sharp edges, and in the Helia's case, poor layout, have left me a bit...concerned. The helm is a considerable distance from the lines meaning I would have to put the ship on autopilot and then go and adjust the sails whenever the occasion calls for it. Though only a foot or two away, it seems like an unnecessary hassle for single handling.
Considered the Lapari and the Salina however,I have heard horror stories about the construction materials fp uses on ALL of their boats. FP seems to have a reputation for the pox. Everyday maint./upkeep of a boat is hard enough without worrying about reoccurring epidemics of poc outbreaks over the bottom of the hull.

Lagoon/Leopard
Pro: Extreeeeeemly comfortable interior.
Con: Some same concerns with construction materials as fp. The boat is also extremely heavy making it awkward to handle at times.

Antares
Pro: Unlike any other company Ive found so far, they take customer service to a level I havnt seen anywhere else so far. Twice a year they hold a seminar for those who've purchased the 44 go through a tutorial phase in which they spend 3 days showing the new boat owners all the systems on the boat and how to care for them. THAT shows due dilligance!
Con: No owners suite. Interior and layout erks me. May sound picky, but like Ive said before, this will be my home for as long as I live and function.

With my list being what it is, I realize my options are limited. Certain things I can learn to live with, others I cannot. I realize that I wont get everything on my wishlist, and am willing to compromise on somethings, but not to the point where Im miserable.
Im leaning more towards GB, yes the carbon fiber freak out. Reason being is that I would like to find more information/owners with similar hulls and pick their brains about their experience with their boats. Since Peter is a specialty builder I'm certain I can squeeze an extra solar panel in there somewhere...Im posting this in case there are some other boat builders out there that I havnt found yet. Any suggestions?
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Old 18-05-2013, 12:27   #2
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pirate Re: Finding the right cat for me.

Its a tough life mate... so few choices... know what ya mean...
Just contact a builder and give them your custom spec's... I mean.. we're not talking dimes here... if they want the cash they'll try and find a deal..
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Old 18-05-2013, 12:37   #3
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Have a good look at the light wave 45. They put a very good product together without the big international brand name. They also sail to windward quite well unlike other production cats.


Have you considered power cat? I does have lots of advantages. We have just done 3000 miles in ours and about to do another 2000 miles in next 5 months and who knows from there. We live aboard very comfortable especially on passage.

Would not go with their lightwave powercat. Our boat is by far a better powercat. Custom built. Research Stanyon power cats. I am not in favour on fly bridge type vessels. We will probably change to something that has longer range3 to 4 thousand mile range which would be mono. Our current range is 1200 mile and really can't get any more fuel on board. The negative with cats is load carrying.

Bit more for you to think about. Contact me if like more detail.
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Old 18-05-2013, 12:41   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Manning View Post
Con: No owners suite. Interior and layout erks me. May sound picky, but like Ive said before, this will be my home for as long as I live and function.
Curious what you mean. The entire starboard hull of the 44i is an owners suite. Including your much loved separate shower stall.

What about the layout don't you like? Galley down? The guest head past a guest berth?

Not an Antares salesman, just curious
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Old 18-05-2013, 13:02   #5
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Re: Finding the right cat for me.

Quote:
Privilege:
Pro: Though the cockpit is outside but well protected. Boat layout seems comfortable.
Con: Plastic looking interior.
Well that's one criticism I've never seen levelled at a Privilege before!

There is not one square inch of exposed plastic in the interior of my Privilege - or any other Privilege in the current range - except where you need it... the heads.
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Old 18-05-2013, 13:02   #6
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Re: Finding the right cat for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Manning View Post
Privilege:
Con: Plastic looking interior.
Funny but I decided to go with Privilege (515, 2013 design) in particular because I hate plasticky looking interiors. I dislike "classic wooden yacht style" either, so new iteration of interior design for Priv 515 suits me just right, maybe with some modifications.

PS Mike was faster
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Old 18-05-2013, 13:03   #7
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Re: Finding the right cat for me.

I wasn't expecting to get such quick responses @.@...
@ Boatman61
Thats my point, salesmen will say anything (especially in this economy) to get a deal. Which is why I like taking advice from people who've been there and done that before I bother with the producers.

@Quintessa
Thanks for the tip on the cat builder. And I have looked at power cats and not too interested in range anxiety/limitations. I may just take you up on your offer .

@MBLittle
Misspoke on the owners suite. Galley down....I hate galley style kitchens period. I will be doing alot of single handling so feeling cut off from the primary salon & havint to take that extra effort to get to the cockpit leaves me leery. I like how having a galley down can offer a bit of safety in rougher waves, & it even has a refrigerator above counter which is a plus not having to constantly bend over to get your food. Yet at the same time...I guess its one of those pet peeve things you just cant explain. The interior also has a plasticy, dark, and confining feel that makes me ill at ease.
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Old 18-05-2013, 13:14   #8
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Re: Finding the right cat for me.

@ Jeannis
Not refering to "exposed" plastic, was refering to the "look and feel" of the ship.

@ Sea Fog
I know, I saw your thread a while ago which was what sent me looking to that builder. I was looking at the 445 and 495 and both have a very glossy/plastic look to the furnishings that I dislike so much. I also have a strong dislike for the excessive wood look, which might also explain my dislike of the Antares. Since the builder is rearing up its production after a long hiatus I have no modern constituents to make a judgement on. The primary reason the privilege shares the hell outta me is due to the fact that as a young teen I was on an older cat the flipped. It had very similar design aspects of the privilege. Not to bash the brand, but previous experience has left me...cautious.
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Old 18-05-2013, 13:35   #9
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Re: Finding the right cat for me.

Any cat of 40foot single handed not as liveaboard cruiser. my 34foot catalac10m is ideal single handed. Give some thought to gunkholing coastal, lots of large cats cant get to where i can go.
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Old 18-05-2013, 13:35   #10
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Re: Finding the right cat for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by R. Manning View Post
I know, I saw your thread a while ago which was what sent me looking to that builder. I was looking at the 445 and 495 and both have a very glossy/plastic look to the furnishings that I dislike so much. I also have a strong dislike for the excessive wood look, which might also explain my dislike of the Antares. Since the builder is rearing up its production after a long hiatus I have no modern constituents to make a judgement on. The primary reason the privilege shares the hell outta me is due to the fact that as a young teen I was on an older cat the flipped. It had very similar design aspects of the privilege. Not to bash the brand, but previous experience has left me...cautious.
Frankly speaking, I dislike wooden interiors of older Privileges, and I hate gloss in any interiors as well (I remember when we had a glossy furniture in the kitchen and it was a real PITA to clean!). If I would be ordering it now, and they would still offer their classic interior, I would order a complete custom design. I spent a month or so looking at various boat interior designs and can more or less tell the builder what I want. Af first glance new 515 design was not exactly what I expected, but the more I look at it, the more I like it (providing it is not gloss), however, I must see it first hand to make a conclusion. If I don't like it - I will have a custom interior designed.

As for your subjective fears of "safety issue" - I am sorry but you can't be serious. You were involved into a flip accident on some other cat many many years ago, yet you think that thay share the same security issues... It's like to say that "When I was a kid, we had a car accident on my grandma's 1934 ford and I am very cautious about modern Volvo safety because it has 4 wheels and an engine, just like that Ford". I haven't yet seen any complaints from Privilege owners concerning safety. As for flipping... you can flip any cat, with "right" action, I guess. The thing is, you must really want it.
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Old 18-05-2013, 13:45   #11
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Re: Finding the right cat for me.

Antaries HAS a galley up version..
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Old 18-05-2013, 13:47   #12
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Antaries HAS a galley up version..
True

http://www.liveantares.com/galleyup.htm
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Old 18-05-2013, 13:52   #13
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Re: Finding the right cat for me.

Outremer, Catana will be well worth a look.

I Endorse the Lightwave 45 reference, good boats well built, and if a 41 footer will do, the Seawind 1250 is good as well. The lipari is at the bottom end of your size, its not even 40 foot.

(note - see below I am an agent for two of these brands)

Given your requirements however a custom built boat may be the go, someone like McConaghy and their MC60 might work?
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Old 18-05-2013, 13:56   #14
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Re: Finding the right cat for me.

One thing about actually sailing is that sometimes you want to be inside and away from the sun, rain, snow, etc...
I'd always want the option of a panoramic view from inside the cabin such as Seawind offers.
I'm not familiar with the more expensive catamarans and their layout, but that's something to keep in mind.
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Old 18-05-2013, 13:57   #15
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Re: Finding the right cat for me.

@ Sea Fog
"yet you think that thay share the same security issues... It's like to say that "When I was a kid, we had a car accident on my grandma's 1934 ford and I am very cautious about modern Volvo safety because it has 4 wheels and an engine, just like that Ford".

Not a good analogy. A 1934 ford would not have the same build and construction type of MODERN cars. Safety regulations have change significantly over the years. Comparing an octogenarian ford to a modern volvo (which has a history of excellent safety and dependability) is hardly a feasible comparison. Secondly, as I said before, the privilege has "similar" design aspects to the cat that was flipped. Granted, you also have to take into account human error on behalf of the captain and skipper, but neither were drunk and had a history of sailing. I have seen posts from privilege owners who rave about how much they love their cat. Well, asking someone who has a bias towards a certain product is like asking a Mac or PC fanboy which hardware/operating system they think is the best. What Im looking for, I guess, is someone with an outsiders perspective on the matter. Or at least an owner who has things they LOVE about their cat but also willing to acknowledge and disclose all the small/big hicups and problems they have had with their cat. I hope that when you get your boat you'll post an update or least keep updates on your voyage. I would definitely be willing to hear/read more about the newly renovated priv. series.

@ Goosebumps
You joined this month and only have two posts and one of them is quite possibly the most unhelpful response you could give someone especially since it didn't address the questions the poster posed to the community. As for handling, my cousin has a 50ft which she, YES SHE 50 and kicking ass, single-hands due to the fact that she is an experienced sailor, AND customized the rig (interior/exterior) in order to be able to manage it. As for being able to "access" certain places, for the most part, what I have learned the reason most ships cant access different islands is due to depth issues. Stationary daggerboards leaving them incapable of getting close enough to the island due to the islands shallow water. There are other factors Im well aware of, and yet the reason listed above seems to be a prevailing factor the majority of the time.
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