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Old 20-03-2008, 19:29   #1
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If I compromise will i ever know?!

I like real queen size suites but am afraid to compromise speed and windward performance, based entirely on reading and not experience. Even though I barely know how to sail I can tell that a huge chasm separates quasi-racers and livaboards. I really liked the St. Francis 50 at the Miami show - will I be sorry I didnt work a couple more years and get the Catana 50? I plan to spend a week on a livaboard sailing course on a Leopard 45 - I expect that will set my performance expectations for good or ill. The problem is my early retirement plan doesnt extend much past island hopping in the Carribbean with my best friend and girlfriends du jour. I would like to single hand in a pinch and easily sail with two people. I want four decent sized bedrooms so family and friends can (sometimes) visit. I dont want to rule out passages. I guess I could look for something used around $350K and then take a bath on it and upgrade - but I suspect that would be the worst of both worlds. I didnt feel the Leopard 46, Lagoon 44 or Manta 42 had roomy enough cabins to truly live in for long periods (to my taste). Would I just get myself into trouble with more sailing performance or could I just be more conservative with a performance cat until my skill and confidence increases? My experience with stinkboats has me leaning toward purchasing a new boat, but maybe a used boat is a necessary evil until I figure out what I really want. If my boat / equipment budget is rising $400k/yr should I just work two or three extra years and start off with the taj mahal? If you had it to do over again would you have left 3 years earlier in a Hobie or stuck it out to get what you really wanted but would probably never need?
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Old 20-03-2008, 19:39   #2
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That's the question we all face. Go now with something that should just about do the job, or work for longer and get something better? I doubt if anyone else can make that choice for you. But with a budget rising at $400k a year, you're certainly in a position to make choices many of us would envy.

I haven't met a cruiser yet who said "I wish I had stayed at work for a few more years". Although they may exist.
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Old 20-03-2008, 20:39   #3
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The problem is my early retirement plan doesnt extend much past island hopping in the Carribbean with my best friend and girlfriends du jour. I would like to single hand in a pinch and easily sail with two people. I want four decent sized bedrooms so family and friends can (sometimes) visit. I dont want to rule out passages.
But you can't have it all even with more money. Handling a large boat is serious work on a good day for a young guy (younger than me). For someone retired it could kill you on a less than good day - they happen. It's not about the boat - it's about you and working within your own limits of what one person can and can not do. At this stage of your life - it's supposed to all be fun! Don't go looking for a new full time job writing checks and scrubbing decks.

Don't miss the goal because you couldn't figure out what really is important. When you know that answer you'll be ready to go.

If they wouldn't come on a small boat they won't come on a big boat.

If you have to work to death to entertain why not die now and leave them the money. People that can't take you on terms that are comfortable for you have already passed you by.

A boat you can handle is one you can go where you want and when you want. A large enough boat will make you stuck, unable to move with too much work to do. You need the smallest boat that works - for you! You don't need a boat for other people. If you play that game you don't get to leave because you have too much work to do so others don't have to.
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Old 21-03-2008, 06:55   #4
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But you can't have it all even with more money. Handling a large boat is serious work on a good day for a young guy (younger than me). For someone retired it could kill you on a less than good day - they happen. It's not about the boat - it's about you and working within your own limits of what one person can and can not do. At this stage of your life - it's supposed to all be fun! Don't go looking for a new full time job writing checks and scrubbing decks.

Don't miss the goal because you couldn't figure out what really is important. When you know that answer you'll be ready to go.

If they wouldn't come on a small boat they won't come on a big boat.

If you have to work to death to entertain why not die now and leave them the money. People that can't take you on terms that are comfortable for you have already passed you by.

A boat you can handle is one you can go where you want and when you want. A large enough boat will make you stuck, unable to move with too much work to do. You need the smallest boat that works - for you! You don't need a boat for other people. If you play that game you don't get to leave because you have too much work to do so others don't have to.


Well said!
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Old 21-03-2008, 08:16   #5
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Originally Posted by Thenaz007 View Post
I like real queen size suites but am afraid to compromise speed and windward performance, based entirely on reading and not experience. Even though I barely know how to sail I can tell that a huge chasm separates quasi-racers and livaboards. I really liked the St. Francis 50 at the Miami show - will I be sorry I didnt work a couple more years and get the Catana 50? I plan to spend a week on a livaboard sailing course on a Leopard 45 - I expect that will set my performance expectations for good or ill. The problem is my early retirement plan doesnt extend much past island hopping in the Carribbean with my best friend and girlfriends du jour. I would like to single hand in a pinch and easily sail with two people. I want four decent sized bedrooms so family and friends can (sometimes) visit. I dont want to rule out passages. I guess I could look for something used around $350K and then take a bath on it and upgrade - but I suspect that would be the worst of both worlds. I didnt feel the Leopard 46, Lagoon 44 or Manta 42 had roomy enough cabins to truly live in for long periods (to my taste). Would I just get myself into trouble with more sailing performance or could I just be more conservative with a performance cat until my skill and confidence increases? My experience with stinkboats has me leaning toward purchasing a new boat, but maybe a used boat is a necessary evil until I figure out what I really want. If my boat / equipment budget is rising $400k/yr should I just work two or three extra years and start off with the taj mahal? If you had it to do over again would you have left 3 years earlier in a Hobie or stuck it out to get what you really wanted but would probably never need?
Have you ever considered the FastCat 455 with 2 California king sized beds and a very high cruising speed , faster than the Catana 50 or the St Francis 50 and a saloon also larger than both these good cats build in Epoxy thru resin infusion
If you want more info African Cats: comfortable lightweight performance leisure catamarans
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Old 21-03-2008, 09:23   #6
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I am only 48 and in excellent health. I am captivated by the lifestyle, which I enjoyed on a 2 week bareboat monohull cruise in the BVI 15 years ago. I could wind up by myself on this boat for weeks at a time, and intend to invest in what I need to singlehand - even though I will obviously tend to stay put in those situations. I love that Kingsize bed on the fasttech - I just dont see how it doesnt rob from bridgedeck clearance on a 45' boat. I like Chris White designs, but I think I need 60' to be that pure with the amenities I want. I may need to invest in a captain for a couple years. I really appreciate everyones input!!

I think that other thread where the guy advertised for female crew in Sweden and left with a boatful may have merit...
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Old 21-03-2008, 09:32   #7
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I am also a composites engineer, and reasonably well versed in hull construction methods and materials. Obviously you cant have the lightest weight and stiffest toughest most resilient easily producible repairable and blister resistant - more compromises. I agree resin infused epoxy has some very nice advantages.
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Old 21-03-2008, 09:38   #8
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I am also a composites engineer, and reasonably well versed in hull construction methods and materials. Obviously you cant have the lightest weight and stiffest toughest most resilient easily producible repairable and blister resistant - more compromises. I agree resin infused epoxy has some very nice advantages.
I think with epoxy , basalt, kevlar/twaron and carbon fiber and closed cell foam and postcuring at 80 C. you can have lightweight stiffness tough and resilient and blister resistand combined. the only real negative is higher cost
all these materials and extra labour cost more than hand laminated polyester.
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Old 21-03-2008, 11:44   #9
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Thenaz007 - good that you recognize this:
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I may need to invest in a captain for a couple years.


I had a lengthy reply written earlier that I decided not to post because I didn't want to piss you off or burst your bubble. It was asking you if you really understood what you were really getting into > to go from "Even though I barely know how to sail" to wondering about which 50' cat to get balancing performance with how many "girlfriends du jour" you can carry.

I was suggesting that instead of a 50' cat you get a Sunfish and sail it for a couple years first.

Do you want to sail or party?

Are you willing to really learn how to sail? The key ingredient to a performance cat or tri or mono is the skipper, not the boat. Unless you are really, really, really interested in sailing a boat rather than just driving one, you don't need a performance cat. You need a party boat. Go look at a Lagoon 50. You'll have the best parties in the BVI.

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Old 21-03-2008, 14:24   #10
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I more or less agree with 2Hulls. Maybe it’s different for multi-day passages or crossing oceans, but for island hopping around the Bahamas/Caribbean there isn’t much of a premium on speed. Most of the time you make glorified day sails and you plan them for the anticipated conditions. Of course, the anticipated conditions sometimes don’t materialize and you can wind up using the engine or going some place else or just not going at all.

90% of the time you will be anchored. Your live-aboard comfort needs/wants are personal to you. But, even if you find 8 knots a lot more exciting than 7 knots, they are much more important than speed.
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Old 21-03-2008, 19:14   #11
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[quote=Thenaz007;145223]I am only 48 and in excellent health. I am captivated by the lifestyle, which I enjoyed on a 2 week bareboat monohull cruise in the BVI 15 years ago. I could wind up by myself on this boat for weeks at a time, and intend to invest in what I need to singlehand - even though I will obviously tend to stay put in those situations.

I don't think you can get an accurate picture of the "lifestyle" from a two week charter especially in a place that has near perfect weather most of the time. You have only seen the hassle free upside so let's take off those rose colored glasses. Get a boat that you can handle yourself because there will be times when you do wind up by yourself and you have to move the boat. It may be a good idea to get a smaller boat and sail it for a year or two in your home waters. It does not need to be a gold plater as you may just be daysailing and weekending but it will give you the experience to make a good choice later on. Plus it may give you some insight to see if you can tolerate your friends in close quarters, drinking up your booze and hitting on your girlfriend.
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Old 21-03-2008, 20:15   #12
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My wife and I are in our mid forties, and very healthy. We have owned and been sailing cruising cat's since 1992. Our cat's ranged between 32' and 43'. We are back to a 36' cat because it is less expensive and a lot easier to handle than a 43' cat. We love having guest's but only one couple at a time. Good luck
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Old 21-03-2008, 20:43   #13
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About cruising-

Um, 007, you do know that it can be difficult, uncomfortable, scary and dangerous to cruise on a yacht, don't you-and that there is a whole bunch of technical stuff to learn? You don't mention anything except degree of luxury and speed, which leaves me wondering-you seem to visualize a 'cocktails on the afterdeck' lifestyle that actually only exists between intervals that could better described as challenging than pleasant. Even in harbors, it can be difficult, challenging and even scary sometimes. So I thought I'd ask-
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Old 22-03-2008, 01:12   #14
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Um, 007, you do know that it can be difficult, uncomfortable, scary and dangerous to cruise on a yacht, don't you-and that there is a whole bunch of technical stuff to learn? You don't mention anything except degree of luxury and speed, which leaves me wondering-you seem to visualize a 'cocktails on the afterdeck' lifestyle that actually only exists between intervals that could better described as challenging than pleasant. Even in harbors, it can be difficult, challenging and even scary sometimes. So I thought I'd ask-
With the purchase of a FastCat a skipper/teacher is included for a week and if a client wants he can take a skipper teacher along for the trip to the carib normally after a trip like that any sailor will know his boat.
We also sign of clients in the logbook that they know their boat and know how to sail her.
The advantage is that you get more fun out of your boat and have the good knowledge in sailing a performance cat.
( we feel that it is necessary for a boat that can sail 20 knots and up.)
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Old 22-03-2008, 04:13   #15
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Two questions here chaps: The first a general one..... Do we want blatant advertising and 'sales pitches' on the forum?
The Naz 007: I think you've answered your own question. Two weeks on a charter boat 15 years ago gives you a glimpse of the life. You envisage an extended holiday entertaining friends....go for it. Learn about basic navigation and basic sailing skills and enjoy. You obviously have the wherewithal to fund that lifestyle, but if in the future you want to change the boat to something more 'sporty' then it sounds like you would be able to fund it. Good luck to you.
One point, do learn the basics though. The 'bells & whistles' on modern electronic equipment are great and make life easier BUT you will appreciate them more and get more enjoyment if you know (for example) how to sit down with a paper chart and work out a passage plan. (You could even impress the 'Girl du Jour' with your knowledge and expertise Grow a beard and become a real guru of an alternative lifestyle, hey....you'd be fighting them off )
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