We faced a nearly identical budget
and question over the last few years... after years of shopping
we ended up purchasing
our Crowther/Alwoplast 47' catamaran
the Frances Mae which we are currently living on half time on the east coast
after a winter in the Exumas
. All of the boats you have on your short list might suit you just fine and will be a pleasure for you to cruise
on however I would consider the following. Open your search to include well designed professionally built owners version custom performance cats. They are generally a bit less expensive and get you more boat for the money
. You will be more than rewarded provided the fit and finish is high by ending up with a larger or newer vessel for the money
, a generally (although not always) faster boat, and you can end up with some really nice custom features that make for a really fine experience. For example, we ended up with twin 100 hp engines (I can't tell you how nice this has been for us...when we need to, we can easily cruise
alternating engines at 8.5 to 9 knots while sipping fuel
and yet when there is a 6 knot
opposing tidal current
we have the power to truly be in control), a 10' bowsprit
giving us the effective sail area of a 57' vessel, interior
and exterior helm, water maker, high end heads, Code zero
sail, parachute emergency
system, full electronics
in our purchase
. I feel I really got a lot more for my money by shopping
and waiting for the right fit for us.
The downside is that when you eventually sell, you you have the same advantage turned against you although much of the initial investment is wrung out when it is sold by the initial seller.
If you do take this route
, make certain you only consider respected builders and caveat emptor on any home built vessels.
If your budget
is $400k, only spend $360 k on the vessel...you will need 40K to get it just like you want it if it is used. If you are buying
new, you will be amazed at all the things you will need which they leave out of the sail away price
Get a Port Supply account set up if you can. It saved me a ton.
Make certain you find a broker who is a catamaran
specialist to act as your BUYERS broker to work with. The Seller is paying the commissions. DO NOT USE THE SELLERS BROKER as your broker. They can not represent both sides of the deal fairly (although they will vehemently disagree and try to tell you differently). I used a very experienced broker with lots of cat cruising experience named Tom Kintz (TOM KINTZ <email@example.com>) with whom I was very pleased although I am sure there are several good ones out there. Having someone who has not just sailed on but lived on many different brands is a big plus. Something many buyers are not aware of....if you make email
contact with a dealer link on Yacht World you will often have just selected your broker for that vessel whether you like it or not! If you have 400k to spend on a vessel, (unless of course you just won the lottery) you are nobody's fool. You want someone working for you and not for the seller.
Good luck in your search. I hope you enjoy the process as much as I did.