Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 26-09-2005, 11:06   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 10
Question Follow up regarding cruising cats...

Hello again everyone...

I've continued to research the subject of cruising cats for our intended use, budget, etc. We have no problem doing some work to a used boat we would buy, but we won't want to have to fix major mechanical problems.

This being said, I still have a few questions:

1). In Charles Kanter's book Cruising in Catamarans he indicates that having a catamaran with 16 ft. or less in beam is good because you can then fit in standard docks and travelifts. How big a deal is this really ? For those with 18 and 20 foot + beams, do you wish you had bought a narrower beam?

2). How much of a problem are Sonic Drive Legs? I've heard a number of people complain about the maintenance, but it seems like a lot of outboards have as much, if not more mechanical problems.

3). I keep thinking that the ideal cabin for my wife and I would be a Queen/King bed set between the hulls forward for light and ventilation, and to avoid the feeling of sleeping in a coffin which seems to be the case in many rear hull cabin configurations. We want to be able to get up in the middle of the night and get out easily without disturbing the other person. The Gemini 105M seems to use this configuration (though probably with some resulting pounding). Am I making too big a deal out of this?

4). Let's strike out budget for a moment, but assume that I want at least an 8 year old boat to reduce depreciation. I think I want:

1). Main/owners cabin, King/Queen bed, preferably with access from each side so we can get in/out of the bed easily.

2). Diesel engine, probably with sonic drive leg, and two diesels would be even better.

3). Head with decent room for showering, or better yet, a separate shower area.

4). Good helm visability, yet with good protection from the elements.

5). Two additional berths (singles or doubles are fine) for the occaisional guests, but we don't need much more room than that, because we will assume the center table will fold down.

6). Reasonably good windward performance

7). Reasonably low amount of pounding.

8). Good weight carrying capability (we intend to cruise, not daysail).

Let's assume that if you need to know a budget, we're talking less than $200K.

What would be your pick of a boat? Why?

Thanks!

Bruce
__________________

__________________
Bruce, C&C 27 MKIII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2005, 11:58   #2
Registered User
 
henryv's Avatar

Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ontario
Boat: PDQ32 & FP Helia 44 on order
Posts: 242
cat considerations

I think the beam issue is a greater concern as you go further north. In the carribean there are so many cats it is no longer an issue. My marinas travellift can only handle up to 16 foot beam. That said you can bring in a crane to lift out a wider beam - it just gets a little more expensive.

I can't comment on the sonic legs reliability however a single drive does not seem desireable on anything wider than a Gemini.

You will find few cats with beds that can be accessed from both sides. Single side access is not too bad providing you have enough height at the foot of the bed so you can climb out over the other persons legs. With limited height you have to crawl over the torso of your sleeping companion and there is just no gracefull way to accomplish this.

My choices of boat would probably be as follows:
- below budget - PDQ36 - reasonable performance - nice layout - easy bed access - separate shower - negatives -a bit limited on load capacity and somewhat low bridge deck clearance

- close to budget - FP Venezia - has been around long enough so you can get something in your $$$ range but should meet most of your criteria with reasonable performance

- a bit over budget - St Francis 44 - a really nice boat with good performance


FYI - I currently sail a PDQ32 in Ontario - a terrific boat but probably too small for a lot of serious cruising - I also have a Leopard 38 in charter in the BVIs - it would meet most of your criteria but is a modest performer and you would probably want to use the one aft cabin for easiest bed access.
__________________

__________________
henryv
henryv is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2005, 12:02   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 367
Images: 11
What cruising grounds are you heading to? How long to you plan to be gone?
__________________
exposure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-09-2005, 12:35   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 10
Response Re: Cruising Grounds & For How Long...

We are hoping that we could spend 6 - 8 months cruising the Caribbean, but probably not planning on going across the Atlantic (at least at this point). We would keep our house, and probably go home to it for a few months at a time.
__________________
Bruce, C&C 27 MKIII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 05:01   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
Talbot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brighton, UK
Boat: Privilege 37
Posts: 3,579
Images: 32
Value for money with the spec you have chosen, The Prout Snowgoose Elite with a stateroom interior should answer your needs. Make sure that it is the elite as it has better weight carrying than earlier snowgooses. The stateroom interior :

__________________
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
Talbot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 07:22   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 367
Images: 11
My oppinion...

I assume your prices mean, “fitted out for cruising”. I am limiting my selection to boats less than 15 years old. And, I am assuming you don't want a boat that is too tired after 10 years in the charter market with 4000 hours on the engine(s). Note that the preference could change depending on individual boats and their history/condition.

Under $200k:

Jeantot privilege 37
Lagoon 37
Prout 38/39

I think most lagoons and privileges have come out of the charter fleet, so expect to look at a few to find one that is well cared for. Engine abuse will probably be high and you can count on a rebuild or replacement if the hours are up there.

The Prout 38/39 was built at a time when Prout was going through some financial troubles. These may suffer from some quality issues. Also, all of the later models were built in South Africa with most being completed by owners. I have seen several with interiors that were very heavily built causing the boat to sit low on her lines even when empty. In both cases make sure you get a very good survey done.

Under $150k

Prout 37 Snow Goose Elite (my boat) (may be more than $150 for a well equipped/cared for example)
PDQ 37
FP Athena

The Prout can make an excellent cruiser, that is very sea worthy. Like all older boats, the condition can vary widely. The out drive can be a liability, but I don't think that it is any worse than twin sail drives. I like that it can retract when sailing (no need for expensive props) and is easy to get to if a line gets caught.

The Prout will not be much faster (probably a knot) than a comparable sized and aged cruising monohull. But it will offer many of the other advantages of a cat which have been discussed in other threads.

The PDQ can be another good boat. Although, in my opinion they are too heavy with diesels and the outboards have more disadvantages than advantages for long term cruising. But, they are still a good solid choice for the Caribbean.

I found the Athena a bit sparse for live aboard, but others have done well with them. Watch out though I looked at a few and all were very worn out from charters and one even had a cracked keel.

Under $125k (pre 90's)

Older Prout 37/34 The older Prouts can make good solid and simple boats for voyaging. I have seen a couple of nice examples and lots of poorly kept versions. Again, YMMV with condition and original equipment quality such as rigging

Note that the Gemini is not on the list. I would consider one for the East coast and the Bahamas, but not for further travels. I know others would consider them so do your own solid research. I just don't see them holding up over the long haul. I would rather have an older Prout or PDQ for the same, or not much, more money.

There are other models to consider that I do not know much about. Examples include Dean, Kennex, Wharram.

FYI, I would stay away from the Wildcats. Look at the www.Bumfuzzle.com website and through a couple of threads here for the reasons.

There are also larger cats listed for under $200k. But my experience is that they are tired and need considerable money to get into cruising mode. And, the larger the boat the more this costs. It only takes a new set of sails and maybe one engine rebuild to push the cost of these well over $200k.

Best of luck, Woody
__________________
exposure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 07:40   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 367
Images: 11
To answer a couple of specific questions…

1). In Charles Kanter's book Cruising in Catamarans he indicates that having a catamaran with 16 ft. or less in beam is good because you can then fit in standard docks and travelifts. How big a deal is this really ? For those with 18 and 20 foot + beams, do you wish you had bought a narrower beam?

I know my 16’ beam has been handy a couple of times in finding transient slips. It is also the upper limit of several travel lifts. But, I would not let that limit my selection. I think as long as you stay under about 22’ you will always have some reasonable options.

2). How much of a problem are Sonic Drive Legs? I've heard a number of people complain about the maintenance, but it seems like a lot of outboards have as much, if not more mechanical problems.

Mine has been trouble free in it’s 400+ hour life. I do not think they are any worse than I have seen with sail drives.

3). I keep thinking that the ideal cabin for my wife and I would be a Queen/King bed set between the hulls forward for light and ventilation, and to avoid the feeling of sleeping in a coffin which seems to be the case in many rear hull cabin configurations. We want to be able to get up in the middle of the night and get out easily without disturbing the other person. The Gemini 105M seems to use this configuration (though probably with some resulting pounding). Am I making too big a deal out of this?

I don’t think you will have too many options to exit both sides of the bed. I have seen some Prouts (including mine) where you exit the head of the bed. But that is in an aft cabin.

7). Reasonably low amount of pounding.

I find it more of a nuisance than a serious problem. But, you will need to get into bigger boats than your budget allows to eliminate the problem completely.
__________________
exposure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 09:47   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Talbot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brighton, UK
Boat: Privilege 37
Posts: 3,579
Images: 32
You may be interested that the Prout Snowgoose Elite was restricted to its width purely to enable the boat to fit into the locks on trips through France to the Mediterranean via the canals. However, the wider a cat gets in proportion to its length, the greater the risk when at speed of driving the bows of the leeward hull underwater and risking a pitchpole
__________________
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
Talbot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 10:15   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 10
Re: Prout Snowgoose 37 Elite

First, thanks to everyone for some very informative posts which are really helping to adjust my thinking. It was because of this type of information that we chose our C&C 27 MKIII 5 years ago and to this day we LOVE the boat for the sailing we do!

I have heard that the Prout Snowgoose 37 Elite models tend to be slow because of the wide hulls in the rear. How slow are we talking?

I understand the boat probably isn't going to point terribly well, and that's OK, but considering we're probably going to go with a catamaran, I'd kind of like it if we can reasonably get 10 - 12 knots under the right (ideal?) conditions on a beam reach. Also, what about downwind performance?

We're not speed freaks, and we want the right boat layout, but we don't want it to be too darned slow, either.

Thanks in advance!!!

Bruce
__________________
Bruce, C&C 27 MKIII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 11:45   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 367
Images: 11
In a thirty something foot cruising cat you are not going to see 10 knots very often without some help from the current or surfing down a wave. In my boat I would add about a knot to the speed of a typical 1980's 40 foot cruising monohull and you will be about right. I spoke with some peole on a near new Lagoon 380 and they said they average about 6 knots, and max at about 8 knots. That's not too far from what we have seen. We are a little slower.

You are right about the Elite having drag due to the inward extensions at the aft end of the hulls. They called them planing wedges which is a joke. Here is a good view of my boat to show you what I am talking about. It's an "old" photo, but shows the boat fully "overloaded". They only drop below the water 2-3", but do affect the wake as the stern squats.



I have heard that the standard snowgoose sails a little faster, but the rear berths are not suitable for two people, except perhaps kids. So it is a trade off of space verses a little speed. We are a family of four, so space is important to us.

I have read and heard second hand about folks cruising along at 10+ knots in their cats. But, somehow most of the people I meet in person never backup these claims.
__________________
exposure is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 13:39   #11
Senior Cruiser
 
Talbot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brighton, UK
Boat: Privilege 37
Posts: 3,579
Images: 32
You are right that the standard snowgoose will sail better than the elite when both are in light weight. However, the original Goose is VERY sensitive to extra weight, and becomes hopeless by comparison to the elite when loaded for cruising - after all the elite was designed to answer the criticisms of the goose when loaded!

If you want speed, then look at the Woods designs http://www.sailingcatamarans.com/ especially the Eclipse 32. but also look at the weight (3.7 ton when loaded), whereas the Goose Elite normally weighs in at 6 tons (can be a lot more on a home build)

When it comes to a storm, I know which of the two I would rather be in.
__________________
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
Talbot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 15:28   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 10
Thumbs up Fantastic Depth Of Information Everyone!!!

Thanks again to everyone who joined in.

Depending upon a) When we decide to move forward; b) How we like the boat(s) when we walk through them; c) the availability of the owner's cabin version, and of course; d) budget, then it looks like the Prout 37 Snowgoose Elite should be way up on our list!

Of course, we'll also look at the PDQ 32 and 36 as recommended here and elsewhere.

And no, we don't want an overused, poorly cared for charter boat!

Anyone know where we could find a Snowgoose 37 Elite on which to sail for a day?

Again in advance!

Bruce
__________________
Bruce, C&C 27 MKIII is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-09-2005, 17:36   #13
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,586
Images: 240
You're not “speed freaks”,; but you’d like to reach at 10-12 Kts, on a 30 footer ...
As I understand it, Weight & Fast Catamarans are mutually exclusive.
__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2005, 03:55   #14
Senior Cruiser
 
Talbot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Brighton, UK
Boat: Privilege 37
Posts: 3,579
Images: 32
Quote:
Weight & Fast Catamarans are mutually exclusive
Fundamental truth. However, it appears that lightweight and long lasting may also be incompatible - look at the condition of the FP range after chartering, whereas 20 year old Prouts are still going strong.
__________________
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
Talbot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-09-2005, 09:27   #15
Registered User
 
PapaCocha's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2005
Boat: Lagoon 410 - Mama Cocha
Posts: 23
Quote:
I'd kind of like it if we can reasonably get 10 - 12 knots under the right (ideal?) conditions on a beam reach
You are dreaming....you "might" see 8....your "average" speed under sail will probably be around 5....



Quote:
look at the condition of the FP range after chartering
The FP range is poorly built and designed fromt the get go...Sunsail just stopped taking them in the fleet.
__________________

__________________
PapaCocha is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Affordable Offshore and Coastal Cruising Trimarans kjbsail Multihull Sailboats 22 02-01-2015 14:59
Selecting the Ideal Liveaboard Monohull Sailboat Stede Liveaboard's Forum 50 21-07-2011 12:43
Cruising Cats ? Troubledour Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 48 24-10-2010 14:59
"Second Thoughts on the Ideal Cruising Boat" Stede General Sailing Forum 9 19-09-2004 22:13
Cruising site announcement Tony Cook The Library 1 10-07-2003 01:09



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:20.


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.