Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 30-07-2012, 11:12   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3
First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

Aloha!

We are looking for our first sailboat. I have built and been on powerboats my entire life and know how to handle seas (we live in Hawai'i and do 99% of our boating out here in the ocean) BUT...... Over the noise and no more need for the speed etc of power and really want to go into sailing. I have sailed a few dory's years ago in protected waters at BBQ's, but nothing serious.
So my major questions are:
1. Budget is not a huge issue (in the size we are looking we can afford what is out there) but we do not necessarilly want to take a 1/2 step into a "starter" sailboat when we know it will not fullfill our needs in a year or so from now and selling boats that need slips here in Hawai'i is not always easy as slips are not easy to come by. Would getting a 34-38 foot Cat be too much for a first sailboat for us to manage? We are in our 30's and physically fit.
2. Have you heard of a manufacturer "Tropicat" seems that I can not find any info on them good or bad.

Thanks in advance, I have been perusing this forum for two years now in anticipation of taking this next step in our life.
Also, I should note, we do not have the ability here to rent or have sailing classes etc.
__________________

__________________
hightide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2012, 11:16   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,352
Re: First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

34-38 cat should be no problem. Most of the things to learn cruising are.. well.... cruising!
__________________

__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2012, 11:28   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Camp Director G's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 134
Re: First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

I can't imagine that there are no sailing courses in the Hawaiian islands. Also, I don't know Tropicat. Why are you interested in that manufacturer if you can't find info on them?
__________________
Camp Director G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2012, 11:30   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: WTB Lagoon or Leopard 38'-40'
Posts: 1,273
Re: First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

Quote:
Originally Posted by hightide View Post
Aloha!

We are looking for our first sailboat. I have built and been on powerboats my entire life and know how to handle seas (we live in Hawai'i and do 99% of our boating out here in the ocean) BUT...... Over the noise and no more need for the speed etc of power and really want to go into sailing. I have sailed a few dory's years ago in protected waters at BBQ's, but nothing serious.
So my major questions are:
1. Budget is not a huge issue (in the size we are looking we can afford what is out there) but we do not necessarilly want to take a 1/2 step into a "starter" sailboat when we know it will not fullfill our needs in a year or so from now and selling boats that need slips here in Hawai'i is not always easy as slips are not easy to come by. Would getting a 34-38 foot Cat be too much for a first sailboat for us to manage? We are in our 30's and physically fit.
2. Have you heard of a manufacturer "Tropicat" seems that I can not find any info on them good or bad.

Thanks in advance, I have been perusing this forum for two years now in anticipation of taking this next step in our life.
Also, I should note, we do not have the ability here to rent or have sailing classes etc.
If you are planning to cruise full time, I propose that these cats may be too small for comfort, but certainly not too large to handle. I don't know that design in particular, but in general cats of that size are easy to handle. In the smaller sizes, in fact, handling can actually become slightly MORE difficult because of the narrow/difficult access ways between the front and back of the boat.

This is assuming that you will be motoring to open waters, then practicing your sailing skills out there. Given that, I can't imagine any reason you would need a "starter" boat if you're quite certain about your longer term needs/goals.

If you are planning to take lessons, or join a club you will have opportunity to experience different styles and sizes of boats, and to learn what you do and don't want in a sailboat.
__________________
ArtM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2012, 11:51   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Re: First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Camp Director G View Post
I can't imagine that there are no sailing courses in the Hawaiian islands. Also, I don't know Tropicat. Why are you interested in that manufacturer if you can't find info on them?
You probably wouldn't think that North Dakota has more boat slips than Hawai'i either...but it does! It is an odd boating world out here, more commercially based and "private" fisherman based than cruising, etc. There are cruisers, but not many. There are sailing classes, but they are tailored to children on Lightnings, etc.

Asked about Tropicat because there is one available here and it looks nice, just have not heard of them whatsoever. Thanks for the responses, please keep em coming!
__________________
hightide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2012, 11:52   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3
Re: First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
If you are planning to cruise full time, I propose that these cats may be too small for comfort, but certainly not too large to handle. I don't know that design in particular, but in general cats of that size are easy to handle. In the smaller sizes, in fact, handling can actually become slightly MORE difficult because of the narrow/difficult access ways between the front and back of the boat.

This is assuming that you will be motoring to open waters, then practicing your sailing skills out there. Given that, I can't imagine any reason you would need a "starter" boat if you're quite certain about your longer term needs/goals.

If you are planning to take lessons, or join a club you will have opportunity to experience different styles and sizes of boats, and to learn what you do and don't want in a sailboat.
Not planning on full time cruising. More like 1 week adventures inter island.
__________________
hightide is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2012, 12:03   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: WTB Lagoon or Leopard 38'-40'
Posts: 1,273
Re: First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

Quote:
Originally Posted by hightide View Post
Not planning on full time cruising. More like 1 week adventures inter island.
Here are some of my impressions, good or bad - you decide:

1) An off-brand catamaran can be a great bargain because they are difficult to sell. There is some trepidation taking them offshore because of unknown build quality, but for blue-sky sailing I think they represent good opportunities and are good conversation starters. Also, I think the designer had something in mind - something he thought other boats were missing, and put into his design that will make it nicer in some way.

2) I suggest getting at least a basic set of lessons to learn the BASIC elements of not getting knocked out by a swinging beam or crashing/grounding your boat because you couldn't get it turned around in a stiff wind.

3) There are lots of ways to get lessons besides classrooms, and you can learn on your own as well - especially if you have experience with motorboats. You can take an instructor on your boat, or go out on his boat. You can take Red Cross sailing classes at your local community center. It's cheap, but effective, and you'll learn the raw basics.Whoever is offering those childrens classes probably has an adult class as well.
__________________
ArtM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2012, 15:48   #8
smj
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Boat: Searunner 38 catamaran
Posts: 3,654
That cats been on the market for at least 2 or 3 years. To me it looks like a Solaris Sunstar 36 with some different styling. The Sunstar 36 came from the molds of the Jeffcat designed by Eric Lerouge, one of my favorite designers. There's no mistaking the picture of the bow and trampoline. Sunstar all the way, even down to the angle of the hatches. Seems overpriced but maybe I'm wrong.
__________________
smj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2012, 17:13   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Queensland, Australia
Boat: Piver Loadstar 12.5 metres
Posts: 372
Re: First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

Well--If I were to begin again I would not be interested in a trimaran--I would go for a cat. A forty-foot cat is plenty of boat for anyone--and for just two a thirty two feet cat or even less would do fine. Long range cruising means carrying plenty of stores and fuel--so a larger platform is what I would buy--say 38 to 40 feet or perhaps a little longer.

I would be interested in foam sandwich construction, or if I was to build it myself perhaps Pawlonia or cedar sandwich planking glassed both sides in epoxy glass. If I was low on dough perhaps vinylester. I would avoid plywood entirely--these days it is very expensive and although cheaper than other methods the margin has narrowed. With the high cost of maintenance of wooden vessels getting higher due to increased slippage charges and rot replacement it is better to go the plastic way entirely, using plywood only for backing plates etc where they can easily be replaced.

These are my thoughts only and others may disagree strongly--but if the vessel is to be re-sold at any time much of the money initially spent may be recouped.

Cost is always a problem--and it is better to go smaller rather than compromise on materials and construction methods.
__________________
Mike Banks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2012, 17:51   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
Camp Director G's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 134
Re: First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

My two cents:
Forget off-brands. Get a production cat. Tried and true. Easier to sell. Easier to find information and maintenance advice, etc. I really like the Leopard 39 and the Fountaine Pajot Mahe 36, which in my opinion is a fine boat for two people and your needs. Check out the massive amount of information in the Mahe 36 threads here. Forum user Cotemar has detailed all manner of fixes, upgrades, etc. When you wonder what the heck to do with some weird wiring, or how to handle a loose connection, or why you keep bumping your head on a cabinet, threads like that have the answers - as well as a huge group of people who are happy to help you. Pick some off-brand and you're pretty much going to have to invent the wheel all by yourself every time you have a problem.
__________________
Camp Director G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30-07-2012, 18:23   #11
smj
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2007
Boat: Searunner 38 catamaran
Posts: 3,654
What is an of brand? If Lagoon FP and Leopard are the "brands" maybe looking of brand is the way to go?
__________________
smj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 31-07-2012, 09:00   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: WTB Lagoon or Leopard 38'-40'
Posts: 1,273
Re: First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

I agree with the off-brands. The exception might be if you can get an EXCEPTIONALLY good deal with an off-brand that you intend to keep a very long time.

It is true that you will have trouble selling it, just as the current seller is having trouble now. Your future buyer will be someone like you - with some money to spend, wants a catamaran, but does not intend to put it to heavy or unusual use.

You will have to be creative in this boat's future maintenance, since there are few references to it's systems and components.
__________________
ArtM is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2012, 00:53   #13
Senior Cruiser
 
Camp Director G's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 134
Re: First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

Think of it this way. You have 150k to spend on a very nice sports car. Do you buy a Porsche? A Ferrari? Or do you buy a Breckland? How about a Farbio or a Gumpert? Yes, they are all real companies and they all have nice, expensive cars. Any idea where to get Gumpert parts in Hawai'i?
__________________
Camp Director G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2012, 07:20   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Camp Director G's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 134
Re: First Sailboat and Looking at a Tropicat

And here are some sailing courses out of Waikiki at an ASA approved sailing school. Exactly what you should take before going cruising.
Waikiki Sailing School Courses
__________________

__________________
Camp Director G is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sailboat

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:53.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.