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Old 28-12-2009, 07:49   #61
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Thanks a lot for this advise and info. One thing I probably should make clear regarding my budget of 100-150k is that it is for purchase only. I do not expect to be able to purchase and subsequently go blue water crusing on that figure. The same would be true for the monohulls we are looking at.

I envision something like 5 years and considerable more money spent on re-furb/upgrading. Items like electronics, efficient and robust refridgeration system, standing rigging, running rigging, power generation and management (wind/solar), batteries and charging systems, watermaker and plumbing systems, sails, anchoring system(s), fuel and engine(s) systems. Even with a huge budget I dont see too many boats mono or multi that are really ready for blue water crusing as I envision it. I just spent the last 5 years upgrading and re-working systems on my Ericson 38 which we have used extensively for coastal crusing. It is a great boat for that sort of crusing and all the systems are solid, but it lacks the space a family of four needs in my opinion for the sort of cruising we are ready for now.

So my next question is what is the best and most affordable way to try out a cat? I am thinking we will do a week in the windwards this spring via bareboat charter. I dont think a charter here on the Chesapeake would give me any sense of what these boats feel like in a seaway and breeze. However the charter is likely to cost me 5k or more to get my family to the islands for a week. What about another location on the east coast of the US that wold give me access to ocean sailing?

Thanks to all.
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Old 28-12-2009, 08:48   #62
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Chesapeake Bay on a windy day will give you some nasty short period waves which can be more useful than long period swells. How about finding some "for sale by owner boats" of the type you are interested in and be honest with them about what you are trying to accomplish. You could offer them from $100 to $500 to have them take you out for a vigorous test sail on the day of your choosing. The deal would be that you would get your money back if you purchased the boat. If not they would be compensated for their time and since you were paying for the sail you could expect a longer sail suited to your wishes with out the uncomfortable feeling that you are wasting their time.
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Old 28-12-2009, 09:00   #63
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You are right about the short chop on the chesapeake we can get that, I am primarily concerned with motion and speed in a seaway offshore though. I would imagine a lot of motoring in short chop.

I have found no interest yet from sellers to what you suggest on the test sail. I have offered to several monohull sellers to pay for a diver to clean the bottom in addition to cash for an afternoon sail. Makes no sense to me. I am presently trying to sell my Ericson 38 and have expressly told my broker that I will take any prospective buyer for a sail no strings attached at any time. I believe in my boat and feel it can sell itself...

A little off topic here but this is something that drives me crazy with the boat purchase process. As a buyer I have to spend hundreds or even thousands on a deposit, then survey, the yard fees all before we get to the sea trial part? Its like going to buy a car and having to pay for it before you get to test drive? In my opinion the test sail should be the first thing you do after viewing the boat at the slip. Well before any offer or survey or BS. Why is this not the way?
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Old 28-12-2009, 10:02   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SV Escape Plan View Post
snip

A little off topic here but this is something that drives me crazy with the boat purchase process. As a buyer I have to spend hundreds or even thousands on a deposit, then survey, the yard fees all before we get to the sea trial part? Its like going to buy a car and having to pay for it before you get to test drive? In my opinion the test sail should be the first thing you do after viewing the boat at the slip. Well before any offer or survey or BS. Why is this not the way?
Several reasons:
1) Many private sellers fall into several categories: Lost interest, not able, deceased - estate sale, no time, boat on the hard -- just to name a few. If you're not a retired empty-nestor you won't have time for that.

2) Brokers are jaded and time is money. They don't have time to deal with tire-kickers who say they're interested buyers but really just want to gain some sailing experience or have a free family outing. If they take the time they won't survive in the business.

The only sure way not to waste seller's time is to require a substantial commitment before the sea trial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave852 View Post
Chesapeake Bay on a windy day will give you some nasty short period waves which can be more useful than long period swells. How about finding some "for sale by owner boats" of the type you are interested in and be honest with them about what you are trying to accomplish. You could offer them from $100 to $500 to have them take you out for a vigorous test sail on the day of your choosing. The deal would be that you would get your money back if you purchased the boat. If not they would be compensated for their time and since you were paying for the sail you could expect a longer sail suited to your wishes with out the uncomfortable feeling that you are wasting their time.
That would make it a "charter" and there are many legal ramifications to that, along with insurance issues.
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Old 28-12-2009, 12:02   #65
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All valid reasons for sure but the whole process still stinks in my opinion. Especially when you are talking about a purchase of this magnitude. How can I know if I want to make an offer to spend thousands of dollars on a boat i have never sailed? I guess the only way around it all is to be willing to waste the money spent on yard fees and surveys if it turns out that the boat sails like crap... Maybe I could make an offer contingent on sea trial first then survey second? At least then I'm only out the yard fees if the boat is a beast?

So what does the gang have to say about these 3 boats:

1994 Dean 40 (There happens to be one in Lauderdale and I will be there in a few weeks. )

1991 Privilege 12m
1994 Manta 38

All three from the photos I have seen look like they have too little bridgedeck clearance and would pound?
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Old 28-12-2009, 15:46   #66
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Visit Welcome to Maxing Out for a great story (and some video) of a circumnavigation on a 12m Privilege.

I've recently been aboard a Manta 42 - which is the 38 with 4 ft extra transom - and was very impressed. It was the most complete 'off the peg', ready to go cruising boat I've seen. Pity they went bust. Didn't get to go sailing but I doubt they suffer too much from pounding.

Don't know about older Deans but the new 440 is very nice although a little short on bridgedeck clearance .
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Old 28-12-2009, 16:51   #67
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I think there's quite a bit more to the issue of bridgedeck clearance than simply the distance from water to deck. We've been cruising for 2 years on a St Francis 44, a boat often viewed as having "too little" clearance (officially 24", but I don't know where they're measuring that).

Over the last five years, I've been sailing on a fair number of different cats. Lagoons (several), Mantas (several), a Privilege, a Chris White Voyager, Seawind 1160, Dean 441, Prout (several), Admiral, a Crowther 47. You know what? In the right conditions, they all slammed.

Different boats have lots of different bridgedeck designs. Some that putatively have "better" clearance often seem to have various appendages hanging around under there. On first glance, a Lagoon 410 (for example) has considerably more clearance than my St. F 44. But, the 410 also has these shelves that stick out from the aft cabins that are only a few inches above the waterline. The deck might not slap, but those things sure do. Then, there was a Leopard I was on that had a knuckle a few inches above the waterline. While it didn't slap while underway, at anchor with just a bit of chop/wave action, that little knuckle drove us all nuts. Nice for the extra space it provided, though.

What I've found is that most of the time, a particular boat has points of sail and sea state where slamming is experienced and those where it is not. For example, on our boat, if the sea state is 3 to 5 feet within 30 degrees or so and we're going 6 to 8 kts, we're gonna get slaps and the occasional big pound. Bear off a few degrees, or if I can get her above 8 knts -- no slamming.

So, while I grant you that there might be boats where it is chronically more of a problem than others (I'm thinking of the Endeavors that have a big flat surface, or really low cats like the Gemini), I've really come to think that it is more a matter of learning about your specific boat and where it is happy and where it is not.

Of course, if you've got the bucks, you can get both high deck clearance and spacious accommodations, but you're looking at much more money than the boats we're talking about, here.

By the way, the Mantas are very nice boats, but even the 42's are just the 38's with transom extensions. However, those extensions significantly improved both the performance and load carrying ability. One of the things I do like about the Manta is the curved underdeck. Not a lot of clearance, but the shape of it helped.

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Old 28-12-2009, 19:39   #68
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We have a Solaris Sunstar, often refered to as the little Manta. Originally from the same designer as the Manta she has the same radiused bridgedeck design and hardly ever pounds. I like the Manta but have heard they had some problems with the core on some of the earlier 38's. They used nidacore which was at the time a furniture core.
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Old 28-12-2009, 21:58   #69
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From my own experience be cautious with your budget.
Not more than a third should go on the boat, there will be costs, some MAY be significant, you need a solid reserve.
The old Prouts got a mention early on but nothing more. For cruising a 37ft Snowgoose set the standard for many years and should be solid on your go see list, even if it only sets a bench mark.
The layout is different, with galley in one hull, giving good headroom, two rear berths with a very good ride, and the rear mast layout for cockpit sailing, only rarely is it necessary to go on deck. Great in wet or rough weather.
Prices are very stable, most are well kept, well equipped and don't come with any particular problems.
There are some faster but all boats fall off the top of waves at over eight knots, like a tobogan ride, 6 to 8 is a good cruising speed on more than day trips.
These are the boat that will come through bad weather, the weakest link being the crew.
And they do have enough speed to avoid the bad sector of approaching storms on longer trips.
Bottom cleaning needs a beach or tidal gravel bank.
Like I said, go see one, judge others by what it offers. There are some twin engine jobs about too.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:53   #70
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While often used for coring furniture on boats to save weight, Nidacore is definitely not just a furniture core. It is designed and marketed for structural boat building. I don't know of core problems on the Manta 38, but that doesn't mean there aren't any. However, I doubt any problems were due to the use of Nidacore - more likely to the new use of vacuum bagging, vinylester resins or learning the scantling/engineering requirements for this core that Manta was learning at the time. They used Nidacore for a long time past the 38 (60 boats or so). At some later point during the 42 models, Manta switched to a foam core because of better stiffness for the hull, but still made the structural bulkheads and other components out of Nidacore.

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Old 01-01-2010, 10:14   #71
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At the time I believe the Nidacore used in the early Mantas was developed as furniture core. I notice they have more choices now. The problem was due to water getting in the core and turning it into a fowl smelling mush. May occur with other cores.
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Old 01-01-2010, 10:28   #72
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Escape Plan~
We are also looking for a blue water cat for our family of 5. If you can, find other families in your same situation and ask them to split the bareboat charter with you. We find the Bahamas to be the least expensive place to fly to from the east coast. I would think you could get great pricing out of BWI or Dulles. Then you can try out the boats that interest you and your kids will have some company underway.
There are also a number of cruisers that are very willing to host you on board for a week in exchange for packing your bags with provisions or much needed parts and supplies. Check out the sailblogs and see if there is someone out there cruising on a boat you are interested in trying out. You may or may not be able to bring the whole family depending on the size of the cat and/or the owners preference. We made some wonderful life long friends this way.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:16   #73
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The best way to break up a cat fight is cold water from a garden hose:

Dissing all South African catamarans is just plain wrong. Every builder (of virtually anything) will put out "friday" boats. Since you are looking at used boats, you can find out a whole bunch of information from a good surveyor, and a previous owner. You can look up previous owners of U.S. Registered Vessels on line.

If your budget stops at $150,000, so should your shopping. Since you already own a used boat of middling-good quality and a questionable core, you have the experience to make a good judgement of what meets YOUR comfort zone.

Read Chuck Kanter about cats: He is talking about the boats you will be looking at, not the latest, greatest, and more expensive stuff. What you have to decide is whether you want a 5 knot, a 6 knot or an 8 knot boat. Hobie Cat performance in a cruising catamaran starts at $500,000.

Prouts, Catalacs, Solaris, et al are 5 knot boats, as in average cruising speed for planning purposes. This is the day-in, day-out performance figure. PDQ's, later Geminis, and other boats under 38 feet are 6 knots boats per this measure. You can't afford an 8 knot boat, or you don't want the deep maintenance required by one you could afford. If you are versed in marine skills, (and know better than to take on stripping gelcoat off a PAIR of bottoms) this will become obvious when you get over the stars-in-your-eyes phase.

I bought my PDQ within your price range. In the last four years I have replaced sails, engines, electronics, bimini, sail cover, head, pumps, hoses, batteries, and more. I have added bowsprit and screacher, stripped and barrier-coated the bottoms, and redone a lot of stuff. I plan to replace the A/C, refrigeration, generator, cabin soles, and matresses. I have spent close to half the purchase price, and am not through.

My point is, I really wish I could have bought this Cat from some Idiot like me!

So my suggestion is this: Don't buy a bigger boat than you need, because upkeep increases geometrically with size. Don't spend your future on a knot or two more speed. And to avoid selling a kid or two, find a used boat that's already been seriously (and sanely) renovated. Then sell the widescreen TV and satellite antenna, and fill the holes.

I would urge you to consider a PDQ if you can find one, or a Peason-Tillotson Lagoon.
An extremely well maintained Snowgoose will be quite obvious, but will have much older electronics. Stick with a single-engine boat with a Sonic Strut, and add a get-home outboard engine mount for the dinghy motor.

From the outset look for a boat that can carry a serious, third-cruise dinghy that can haul everybody, the dog, and groceries on a plane.

And whatever you do, keep it light!

Final word: Every boat is for sale. Just make a serious offer if you see one that fits. The worst they can say is NO.
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Old 01-01-2010, 13:31   #74
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Sandy, I don't it's fair to group all Prout's and Solaris as 5kt boats. I believe the Prout 45-50 would avg. more than that, and Solaris has a couple of different models including the Sunstar that was designed on the performance side. Other than that I fully agree with what you say.
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Old 01-01-2010, 15:03   #75
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Florida Yacht Charters in Miami use charter a cat. You can cross the stream, and do the Bahamas to get a feel if they still have one in charter?........i2f
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