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Old 13-08-2007, 15:47   #1
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How long did it take?



We are starting to try and put dates around our cruising plans and after reading the new vs. used thread it got me to thinking how long did it take most of you to find your cat?
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Old 13-08-2007, 17:17   #2
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I bought e-scape new, so I can't answer how long to find a used cat. I do know that cruising cats like mine do not come up for sale very often on the West coast (I think mine is the only Lagoon 380 for sale on the West Coast in fact). But if you're willing to look East, there are a lot more and different cats available.

I wouldn't be surprised if it took you a year or more to find the right one at the right time though.
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Old 13-08-2007, 17:50   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandywine
We are starting to try and put dates around our cruising plans and after reading the new vs. used thread it got me to thinking how long did it take most of you to find your cat?
I'm afraid this is one of those questions like "How high is up?" Unanswerable.

I'm not meaning to be a wiseguy, Brandywine, but I think the answer really depends on the individual buyer, so there is no single answer.

I've been looking for about two years, now, and I've "bought" three different boats. That is, I reached an agreement to purchase each of them, but no sale has yet been consummated. The first vessel, a Manta 40, I agreed to buy on the basis of its pictures - then rejected after about ten minutes aboard. No need for a survey in that case.

The second and third both made it through survey, but were each rejected on the basis of those survey results when no agreement could be negotiated that made going through with the purchase of either one a good idea. So, it's cost me a few thousand dollars for those surveys and going down to St. Pete to see the Manta for myself, but I've probably saved many, many thousands and a lot of aggravation by rejecting all of them.

Of course, it can take a very short amount of time, as well. When Ali and Pat Schulte bought the Wildcat 35 Bumfuzzle, it took less than two days to find their boat and sign the contract. From the intro to their logs in 2003, comes the following:

"Fourth of July weekend found us in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We had taken a four day weekend to fly down and have a look at boats. We had a couple in mind already and I was actually pretty sure I knew exactly what boat we were going to buy, a Fountaine Pajot Tobago, a 35 foot catamaran. And that was the first boat we looked at, ever. We climbed on and were shocked by how small it was. The pictures on the internet had made it seem a lot bigger, but in actuality the inside of this boat was tiny. We looked at a half dozen other boats in the morning, some older Prouts that needed too much work, some bigger boats that we liked but were twice as expensive as what we had come down to spend. And then we saw her, a 35 foot Wildcat catamaran. She had only been launched 8 months earlier and when we climbed aboard we knew right away that it was the boat for us. It had twice the interior space of the Tobago, it was clean, and it didn't need months of work to get her ready to go sailing. Not exactly the things most sailors go looking for in a boat, but those were our specifications, good or bad.

We signed the papers on the boat that day, went back to the hotel and called the airline, rebooked ourselves on the next days flight and were back in Chicago for the fireworks on the Fourth of July. "

Of course, if you read all of their logs, you will learn that that was perhaps a hasty and much lamented decision.

bumfuzzle.com

I concur with swarren that finding what you want on the west coast could take a long time. Shopping for a catamaran on the east coast will vastly increase the selection. And, unless you have the means to have a vessel purchased this time of year delivered out of the southeast or Caribbean to an area out of the hurricane belt, I'd wait until after the 'cane season to take possession.

Good Luck!

TaoJones
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Old 13-08-2007, 17:51   #4
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Agree with swarren and Taojones - how broad is your search?

You will not find many used cruising cats for sale on the west coast. If you are willing to travel to the Caribbean/Florida, you will find a much larger selection.
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Old 13-08-2007, 18:10   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slomotion
Agree with swarren and Taojones - how broad is your search?

You will not find many used cruising cats for sale on the west coast. If you are willing to travel to the Caribbean/Florida, you will find a much larger selection.
I should add, larger selection but with a very hefty cost to get it back out here if that is your intention.
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Old 13-08-2007, 21:44   #6
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Finding Exit Only, a Privilege 39 catamaran, was relatively easy because we purchased it in 1993. At that time, we went to the Miami boat show and there were only three catamarans to choose from in our size and price range. I chartered two of the three catamarans and quickly made up my mind. The Privilege 39 turned out to be an awesome yacht for a tradewind circumnavigation.

I've seen dozens of cats out there, and for me it always comes back to quality of construction and ability to weather the rigors of offshore passages without worrying about whether they yacht is up to the job.

It doesn't matter to me if it's galley up or down, if there's a little more beam, or a little less beam, or cabin layout. If the boat can take a licking and keep on ticking, then I will sail it anywhere without worries. If I have doubts about the rigging and construction, then I wouldn't get the cat unless I was going to limit my cruising to relatively sheltered waters.
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Old 13-08-2007, 23:20   #7
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I guess what I am trying to come to is a date.

Working backwards:
If I am planning on leaving in 3 years and I want a boat for one year to make sure I can provision and refit how long I can really wait to start looking...
If the boat is not on the west cost I would either need to start from wear the boat is or include shipping time and cost into the purchase price…

I have gone through the Bumfuzzel logs and wile it did “work for them”. I would personally rather take the time to make an educated decision for the health and safety of my family.
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Old 14-08-2007, 06:30   #8
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The cat population is really in Florida and the Caribbean. We wanted one but could find nothing in the NE. When we got to the Caribbean we found a deal, but you almost have to be there and be ready to buy. Keep an eye on yachtworld.com but be prepared to travel.
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Old 14-08-2007, 06:35   #9
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Take the time now to develop your "short list" of boats that have the qualities that are most important to you. This may take longer than you think, because all boats are a trade off. Once you know what you want, you can start looking. Slomotion is right about finding many more cats on the east coast and Bahamas than where you are, so time to see them will also factor into your search.

Once we started looking, we knew we wanted either a Manta or an Island Spirit. After chartering both, we set our sights on Manta. Unfortunately, there were only a couple on the market back then (2003), and they were priced such that a new boat made more sense for us. I don't see that aspect of the market changing much.

Good luck.
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Old 14-08-2007, 07:42   #10
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We looked for a very long time, but our searching involved bare boating every type we could find. And as stated, we made a short list then again chartered those. Decided which ones were suited to our plans. Finally made the decision on a Lagoon 37 and have been very pleased.
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Old 14-08-2007, 13:09   #11
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once you get your first boat, no matter how nice, you'll always be looking at others. One huge advantage now is the internet, with places like Catamaran, used or new, power or sail, and trimaran multihulls, for sale or charter by broker dealer - 2Hulls you can see the prices of different boats that have been sold and get a good idea for costs. Sometimes it's also good to have a friend who is on the coast who will look the boat over for you and give you an unbiased appraisal. I personally love cats, so if you want me to step aboard one in annapolis and just tell you what I think and send off more pics, drop me a PM. Goes for anyone.
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Old 14-08-2007, 15:57   #12
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West Coast Blues

We searched the West coast for about 6 months, then gave up. After about another 6 months of looking we found our boat in Florida, then brought her to San Diego (on her own bottom). The trip was about six or seven weeks.

A friend of mine, also from California, recently bought a cat in St. Martin and is delivering her - in spurts - to Mexico. Both of us paid A LOT LESS than anything we could find on the West coast, and the selection was huge in comparison. I don't know what delivery skippers get or how much Dockwise runs these days, but I can't imagine that you wouldn't be money ahead looking East. The exception may be if you are looking for a newer, never-chartered vesssel the price differences don't seem to be that much between coasts. Still not much selection though.

Happy hunting - fair winds!

Tom
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Old 14-08-2007, 16:35   #13
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Quote:
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so if you want me to step aboard one in annapolis and just tell you what I think and send off more pics, drop me a PM. Goes for anyone.
I would be willing to do the same in the Charleston area
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Old 15-08-2007, 03:46   #14
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There's got to be 'a bit of heart' in the decision making process as well. You may find a boat that fits the paper profile perfectly but just doesn't 'grab you'. I went through the search process and wound up buying new (spending a ridiculous amount of money - the price of the average house in the ~UK).
Time-wise, allow a years ownership before you cast off. You need to feel relatively confident in your ability to get the best from the boat, get in a bit of rough weather experience (just a day trip, to see how the boat handles the rough stuff) and change things you don't like/can't live with. Unless the boat comes fully equiped for what you're planning to do you're going to have to buy and fit a variety of 'goodies'. Time spent sorting things out before you go is time saved to enjoy the trip. Nothing more frustrating than being in port waiting for the arrival of spare parts!
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Old 15-08-2007, 07:10   #15
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Working Backwards Works...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandywine
I guess what I am trying to come to is a date.

Working backwards:
If I am planning on leaving in 3 years and I want a boat for one year to make sure I can provision and refit how long I can really wait to start looking...
If the boat is not on the west cost I would either need to start from wear the boat is or include shipping time and cost into the purchase price…

I have gone through the Bumfuzzel logs and wile it did “work for them”. I would personally rather take the time to make an educated decision for the health and safety of my family.
...so you need to have your boat in 2 years.

Next, you need to develop a list of features/requirements that are important to you. This will let you investigate how many cats are out there that can meet your requirements. If the list is broad, you can probably delay your purchase until closer to your 2-year deadline since you will likely have a more to choose from. If the list is narrow, then you may need to buy much sooner because who knows when another will be available.

Good Luck in your search ~ currently underway to Provincetown, MA from Onset, MA
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