You make a lot of good points. I've inserted my responses within your text below:
"As I mentioned, this would be my first cat; that being the case, I think it's better to go with an older and less expensive (albeit well proven) boat."
That's similar to the logic we used to select the TPI Lagoon. Initially, we felt we could get more boat for the money
older (i.e, 1992),and we were proven correct in this assumption.
"I'm guessing that I will eventually upgrade to a newer boat after sailing this first vessel for some time... after all, that seems the best way to truly understand (and prioritize) the most important attributes in the selection of a boat."
After almost a year on my first cruising boat, I couldn't agree with you more. If I were to buy another boat, my wish list, now, would be significantly different than it was when I got the boat a year ago.
"For a boat in the $200-275K range, I keep coming back to the TPI. I've seen some nice, refitted ones (on the web) in the $230k range. A few things in particular that I like 1) great BD clearance 2) manageable for singlehanding 3) safe, well proven cruising platform"
All true. We also learned that the old addage "they don't build them like they used to" is true, at least in this case. The construction of the boat is solid, built by Tillotson Pearson
using end grain balsa core
and vinylester (sp?) resin. Also, the interior is well fitted, with wood throughout. The newer boats, at roughly the same weight, are not held in the same regard, construction wise, by people more knowledgable than us...or so we've been told. The level of fit, finish and appointments in the TPI would not be commercially competitive in today's new catamaran market.
"A few questions:
1) Regarding Kanter's report, would you agree on the anchoring
issues he pointed out?"
I hope I don't start a firestorm by disagreeing with him,...but I must disagree...with a disclaimer. This, as I've said, is my first cruising boat (my previous experience was racing
beach cats), ergo my first anchoring experience..and I can't imagine how it can be much easier than the setup on our boat. Perhaps it's been changed since his article. Ours has twin anchor
rollers located at the middle of the front cross beam. The windlass
is in a locker just in front of the mast
. The chain is external. Everything is accessible. I've seen other cats where the anchor chain goes under the trampoline and often does not extend up to the front of the bow...and it seems like it would be more complicated than our straightforward setup. Bottom line...if a rookie like me can live on anchor for a year and find it easy...then it's easy.
"2) Any rigging you would change to best suit singlehanding? Can you easily refit to run all lines to the helm
This was my original plan...to bring all lines aft (the halyard
winches are on the mast). But after using the boat's original configuration for awhile, I'm glad I left it as is. Going to the mast is infrequent and I think that reefing at the mast is easier than single
line reefing...but I'm sure there are those that would disagree.
"3) Performance-wise, It sounds like she's similar to a FP Athena 38? Would that be a fair comparison?"
Unknown...we had a light air day sailing
with a FP42 and found them to quicker in the light bumpy stuff..but never gauged against a FP38 (nor have I sailed one). From what I've heard, the FP's are lighter, so I would espect them to get the nod on performance, especially if it's light.
"4) How much of a hit would such items as a genset, a/c, washing
maker etc. make? Not that I need all of these, but am interested on the impact for such a wish list."
When I first started cruising, I had a long list of things to add to the boat, some of which are in your list above. A wise person told me not to buy anything major for six months..and luckily I followed it. The only equipment that I added to the boat was a chart plotter..which was a great investment. What I want on my boat and what you want on yours depend on personal priorities and intended use of the boat. That said, we used the boat for living aboard
while cruising the Caribbean islands..so keep this in mind when reading my response:
In general...if it isn't essential, try to live without it. It's one more thing to maintain, thus take you away from the leisure of cruising.
As to specific items:
Genset - We don't have air conditioning
(rarely need it in Caribbean), so we don't need a generator
. Ergo...don't want one. Instead we have eight solar panels
that provide more than enough power for us..including full time DC refrigerator
Washing machine - might be nice, but will take room and lots of fresh water, and require a genset. One luxury we afford ourselves is to take the laundry
ashore and have it done. This service
is easy to find.
Water maker - got one - 26 gallons per hour...and love it. Essential equipment to me...because I don't like to go to the dock
unless I have to..which is only for diesel
"5) Do you ever find the saloon
too small? Anyone can take pretty pictures of a boat for sale
(and make it appear spacious), but for the practical day to day cruising is it just too cramped there? Likewise, is the nav station too tight to lay charts
, a laptop
, mount electronics
I do wish that the salon was bigger, but for the two of us it's fine. Most time is spent in the cockpit
anyways. The sloped roof makes the salon appear smaller than it is...which is a shame, but I guess there's some payback in sailing performance due to reduced windage. As to the nav station, the owner's version has a larger chart table than the standard with a different seating configuration for the salon, so we have ample space for spreading out charts, etc. The salon table is nearby, so the clutter can migrate there if you're as messy as I am.
"6) Galley: Very personal, but I like galley up and have never sailed a multi with one down below. I assume you get used to it, but am concerned how much of a pain it is underway, especially when it's rough going.:"
Actually, the galley down on the TPI was a mean incentive in our purchase
. Again, this is the owner's version, so the galley is bigger with more cupboards, cabinets, larger frige, etc. I was seriously looking at a Lagoon 380
with the galley up, and after I saw the TPI the 380 looked like a camping stove in an RV. Galley up would be nice, but because the galley is down, it's massive and functional. also, the owner version has a "pass through" area to the salon, so that "in the dungeon" feeling is eliminated for the cook.
"7) Lots of variables to this, but as a previous owner, I'd like to hear what your monthly operating expenses were like during your carib cruise
In this case ignorance is bliss, I would absolutely not like to know anything about my budget
...so please don't ask me to force a review. I think any boat owner would say the same...the amount is...."more than I planned".
"Any thoughts on either one of these TPIs?
YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale
YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale
Sorry, but I can't click though on these links.
Thanks again, this is all VERY helpful!