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Old 16-12-2009, 05:22   #46
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I'm glad you're enjoying yours... I know Admiral, the company's owner, the problems they've had in design and manufacture, and service issues in the States. I have not sailed your model, but have spent considerable time (excessive) on a 50. I've seen the stress cracks on 2 yr old's and not been impressed. I think yours is the exception. South African cats have a low bridge deck clearance that can drive you nutty and I know their quality control is in doubt (all Leopards are not built the same, and don't forget Charter Cats! ..see Bumfuzzle). St. Francis is solid, but I can't stand the location of the engines. The old statement of "they sailed here from Capetown" doesn't hold a lot of credit as it's all "downhill". I've not seen or heard of any making it to the Azores... It shouldn't be, but is, an emotional decision.
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Old 16-12-2009, 05:46   #47
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So Roc - tell me what a good cat brand is?
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Old 16-12-2009, 06:00   #48
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I would like to know what Roc's generalisation skip all SA cats is based upon? How many have you analysed in detail, seen, sailed etc. It sounds like a huge generalisation, followed by the comment about a Gunboat. If you know the Gunboat it is a specialist expensive Cat that has performance as its goal. There are some very hightech fast big cats that can fly a hull. Those cats are not intended for sailor who wants to float around a pond.

I would not base the whole industry on the same level as Chartercats (which I agree I defn would not buy)
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Old 16-12-2009, 06:36   #49
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So Roc - tell me what a good cat brand is?
what are your goals? how will it be used? where and by whom?
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Old 16-12-2009, 06:51   #50
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I would like to know what Roc's generalisation skip all SA cats is based upon? How many have you analysed in detail, seen, sailed etc. It sounds like a huge generalisation, followed by the comment about a Gunboat. If you know the Gunboat it is a specialist expensive Cat that has performance as its goal. There are some very hightech fast big cats that can fly a hull. Those cats are not intended for sailor who wants to float around a pond.

I would not base the whole industry on the same level as Chartercats (which I agree I defn would not buy)
where do you want to start? we've already discussed Admiral (I know the 50 and have close relationships with company's reps and service personnel), Charter, St. Francis (I just don't care for their engine placement and deck clearance), Gunboat (not even in this class of discussion... but a client of mine was choosing between buying a GB60 or a Atlantic 55 -nice to have that option!- so he chartered the 60 down in the BVI's. Long story short, the captain pointed out all the issues and dissuaded him away from the Gunboat. Also- flying a hull was not intended...ooops) BTW, he bought the 55. Leopard, well they seem to be the fair-haired boy right now, BUT I've seen them at their commissioning and post charter service and I've heard the issues from the techs.... week after week, different models are made at different locations in SA... different quality control. And now, they're in the process of outsourcing to China. Say no more! Good boat to float at the dock? we'll see.
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Old 16-12-2009, 08:48   #51
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I think you might be thinking of the old St Francis 44 which had central engines. St Francis stopped making them about 6 years ago and now build the 50. If I compare the leopards to their competition, lagoon, they are in a different class of build. They are not outsourcing all builds to China, only boats for the east and Australia as the transport cost is too high. I agree with Admiral I believe their quality gone down, which is a pity as they did have a number of happy customers. In comparisons you have to be careful to compare like boats with like boats. Also there are a lot more builders than Charter Cats, Leopard and Admiral. Jazz marine, Mateix, Maverick, Knysna Two oceans, Nexus, Scape, and a number of Atlantics have also been made in CT.
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Old 18-12-2009, 10:19   #52
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SV Escape Plan,

You say you will be in Annapolis for 5 years, prepping the boat?

Take a look at keeping the boat in a yard outside of Annapolis. We kept our cat in Castle Harbor Marina on Kent Island. Way less expensive than Annap, just a "little" bridge traffic to put up with and a really nice liveaboard community there.

Fair Winds,
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Old 18-12-2009, 15:24   #53
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Thanks Mike I will certainly check them out. Was finding dockage rates down in Herrington Harbor to be reasonable too but had not asked about a space for a cat. We currently have a great community pier slip but it will not hold anything wider than the the Ericson we currently have.

Hoping to get through some of the required reading over the holidays and look at a few cats in Jan. Hoping to sell the ericson too..
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Old 18-12-2009, 15:39   #54
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what are your goals? how will it be used? where and by whom?
No - I wasn't asking for your advice for my situation. With all due respect - I dont need it. What I was asking for was your view on a good brand of cats. You made sweeping generalisations about an entire country - I was just wondering if anyone builds a cat to your satisfaction.
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Old 18-12-2009, 16:21   #55
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No - I wasn't asking for your advice for my situation. With all due respect - I dont need it. What I was asking for was your view on a good brand of cats. You made sweeping generalisations about an entire country - I was just wondering if anyone builds a cat to your satisfaction.
Sorry, just a monologue in the theatre of my own mind... There're lots of cats that I like. Privelidge 585, Lagoon 57, 55, and 47, Outremer 55L, Atlantic 55, Outremer 49 (new), PDQ's are well-built, Maine Cats, Gemini's, and Seawinds... these are some, as I'm sure there are more, cats that my wife and I could enjoy and safely sail most places.

What makes me crazy is the lack of good service personnel who seem to thrive in the Fort Lauderdale maritime industry. Specifically, a lot are un-credentialed, have little to no experience on the water, and have no real professional experience in the task they are paid to accomplish. I would say you have a 50/50 chance of getting a professional job. I have found a few top notch and skilled pros, but after 10 years of re-fits in Fort Lauderdale, I'm probably never going back... maybe W. Palm or Freeport?
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Old 18-12-2009, 17:53   #56
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Gemini and Outremer sure one pack?

Sort of like comparing apples with oranges ...

b.
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Old 18-12-2009, 18:07   #57
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Gemini and Outremer sure one pack?

Sort of like comparing apples with oranges ...

b.
I like apples and I like oranges... each with it's own unique qualities.

... I should also say a lemon is still a lemon
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Old 19-12-2009, 16:18   #58
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I think you should look at and, more importantly sail, a Seawind 1000. They are in your price range and have the ability to take you offshore. Check out the website www.katiekat.com.

Cameron
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Old 19-12-2009, 21:07   #59
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It all depends...

For 14 years I have owned an old 50' ketch rigged Colin Archer, now for sale since me and my wife have decided to take a nice step over to a catamaran instead, since the kids are leaving home and we want a boat that we can handle easily, live comfortably on and that safely can take us where ever we want to go in the world.
We have spent all our spare time for more than a year trying to do a proper research as to what type we would find most suitable for our needs, with the budget we had (have), which is up to absolute maximum 200K$. Several research trips to UK, where there are quite a lot of different cats to see. After not so long time we found that the Prout 50 Quasar, year model up to the late 1980:s (before it became wider and also a lot more expensive) would be the boat that mostly fulfilled our needs. The problem is that there are not so many built, but they have a very good reputation as for seaworthiness and comfort, even though it's an older boat.
We have finally found our boat recently, and are now planning for the sail trip home from Florida to Sweden next summer, with stops at Bermuda and the Azores.
What kind of cat type or brand you decide on is naturally up to your own preferences when it comes to your needs and wishes, but I can advice you not to rule out the Prout even if they are older and not so modern types, you will have a good chance of getting a lot of boat for the money.
Charles Kanter's book "Cruising Catamaran Communiqué" was also a good help in making the decision and to look at "the right" things when deciding.
Good luck in your search.
Rolf D
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Old 26-12-2009, 07:31   #60
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"Anything "blue water" in a cat is likely to break your $150k budget, unless it is an older model crying out for refurb work that will still break your budget. IMHO -- unless willing to go up con$iderably for boat and prep, you will likely be getting a cruising cat more suitable for coastal use and island hopping (but "questionable craft" for true offshore)."

Having just gone through the process you are involved in and having finally purchased our cat, I must completely agree with the above quote from SailFast Tri, that your budget does not support the type of vessel you seek except perhaps an older Prout. Even with the economy in disarray there very few recent vintage cats of a bluewater caliber available for much under $350k. The reason may be obvious but still needs stating; you are buying two hulls. Also keep in mind that many of your expenses such as bottom painting, steering system maintenance, oil and filter changes, and haulout fees double when you own a cat.

But on the other hand "bluewater" is a term that is tossed around like a hackysack perhaps you just want a seaworthy coastal cruiser.

The gold standard in true bluewater performance cruisers IMHO include Chris White (who is actually a designer and not a manufacturer much like Crowther), Outremer, Catana, Dean, Perry, and a few others. Your budget supports none of these. (except the old model Dean Espace which is not in the same category as the newer design)

One offs or custom builds might be a way to shoehorn your family into a BW cruiser on your budget but you will look at a lot of shoddy work. Have it carefully surveyed and expect it to be really hard to sell.

Older prouts, pdqs and privileges would be very satisfactory.

One thing to consider might well be a trimaran. They are frequently not all caught up in the current market love affair with cats and can provide most of the advantages at remarkably lower prices.

The Moorings and other companies spit out old charter cats every month onto the market. Most people prefer an owners version vessel but a well maintained charter vessel would get you on the water. The Leopard 38 or 40 are solid well made boats that are a bit of a budget stretch but would serve you well.

Hope this is of some help. See you on the water.
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