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Old 15-02-2010, 12:54   #1
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I'm Not Rich, But I Need a Cat Under $100k - Any Advice?

I know that you get what you pay for in most cases. I know that you can't set the price on anything until it has been negotiated. I know that a boat in perfect condition with tons of equipment is worth a lot more than a hammered piece of trash that floats. I know that I can get a mono for less.
That said, there are a few cats in my price range that might work for coastal cruising and the Caribbean for my family of 3 plus a dog. I'm seeing Prout Quests, some Snowgeese, Catalacs, Gemini 3200's & 3400's, and a few Solaris cats filling out most of the field. They are all old designs and mostly have low bridge deck clearance, they're probably all slow and could point better but it's all I can afford. I'd rather go slowly and carefully than not go at all.
Are any of these low dollar cats way better or way worse than the others in build quality or sailing performance?
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Old 15-02-2010, 14:36   #2
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I sail my Catalac to 35 deg apparent. Heavy boats just need a little breeze to get going.
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Old 15-02-2010, 15:21   #3
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Try a Tri?

The Searunner and Cross Trimarans are out there for 50k or so. They are usually built in the late 70's or 80's and can be great cruising boats. They are not Cats, if you have your heart set on a cat, in this price range you will not get the performance and abilities of a Tri. JMHO

SEARUNNER TRIMARAN 40 ft. In great shape.

48 ft - Trimaran
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Old 15-02-2010, 18:06   #4
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Thanks for posting that link. I once had a Cross 38 but I had to sell it as a result of my child getting a tracheostomy. I looked at it again a few months ago when it was for sale but it's all rotten & soft now and the frames are breaking loose. Seeing what 10 years of neglect did to plywood scared me away but looking at nice one like the one in your link is making me re-think my fear of plywood. That's a lot of boat for the money.
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Old 15-02-2010, 18:21   #5
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You seem to have done the research as to what is available in your price range, though there are more and more Gemini 105s coming in under $100k. Plenty of them have done some serious cruising; at least two have sailed across the Atlantic and a young Canadian couple is sailing around the world on one.

Sometimes a PDQ 32 will come up around that price.
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Old 15-02-2010, 19:50   #6
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I have been constantly perusing this general market for several years as well. What y'all are saying seems accurate to me, similar to what I am finding. There are a number of good, suitable boats out there under a hundred K. There are several excellent Gemini 3400's around right now, for example. And a couple early 105M's right at that mark. I still read every post I see about Catalacs, TomCat 9.7's and Maine Cat 30s', but those are all kinda rare.

Can find some Catalacs on the internet, but they seem to tend to always be sitting safely on some rocky beach in England.
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Old 16-02-2010, 16:05   #7
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We were most attracted to the Catalac and Prout cruisers; we also looked at the Geminis. The Victory looked wonderful but also exists in very small numbers. Catalac 11m are also hard to find in the US -- as mentioned by others, those darned small numbers!

A suggestion: even if you find a suitable cruising cat over 100K, if it has been on the market for some time, make a lower offer. There is a good chance that she is overpriced, or she, as a fabulous and seaworthy vessel, would have sold in all those months. As a very rough guide, take off 3% for every month over 60 days that she's been on the market. The owner may surprise you by accepting your offer, especially if she's been for sale for many months and the marina bills are becoming annoying. That said, be prepared to dish out a couple of thousand on hauling and a good Condition and Value Survey -- not only will you need the survey to figure out what repairs you might have to do (or even if the boat is worth the discounted price you initially offered), but you will need it anyway if you do purchase that vessel, for the insurance company. A SAMS/NAMS accredited marine surveyor should be easily findable to provide this service; there are regional lists of same available one Google away. Wishing you the best of luck and fair winds.
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Old 16-02-2010, 16:30   #8
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Catalacs

There's Two Catalac 12M's for sale right now (check my website). A 9M and an 8M will be on the market shortly. The problem with Catalacs is if they're in good shape, they go pretty fast once they are listed.

Remember they built 600 boats. They just don't come on the market very often. (no, you can't have mine)
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Old 17-02-2010, 05:58   #9
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It depends on what you want to do with the boat. The Gemini was certainly not as solidly built as the British cats and was really never intended for offshore cruising. Having said that, they are great shoal-draft, near-shore cruisers that perform quite well upwind.

Brad
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Old 17-02-2010, 07:03   #10
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Interesting you use the term "was" built and "was" intended, since it's the only surviving production boat of that group including Catalac. They are still being built, with a two month delivery on a new one at the moment. They must be doing SOMEthing right.
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Old 17-02-2010, 11:49   #11
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Canibul, I don't understand your post - I would have thought it obvious that I used the term 'was' because sww914 inquired about used Gemini 3200 and 3400's, which are no longer in production.

If you are suggesting that I used the term 'was' in a perjorative sense, then you didn't read my post (which highlighted some of the virtues of the early - and frankly current, Geminis). Having said that, I don't believe that anyone who is familiar with the boats would suggest that the Geminis were as solidly built as the British cats, nor that they have the same offshore pedigree.

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Old 17-02-2010, 13:43   #12
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Okay...sorry. I misunderstood. Gemini supporters get tired of being beat up about how crappy the boats are. I apologize.

As for solidly built...well, you can make a boat as solid as you want, can't you. As long as you are not too concerned with sailing it. Sails are more akin to wings than they are to floating logs. Anything that ties them to the earth drags them earthward.

A styrofoam coffee cup has no problem at all crossing an ocean. staple it to a hunk of 2x4, and it will still cross. But a whole lot slower.
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Old 17-02-2010, 14:04   #13
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Canibul, I frankly like the Geminis and think that they provide great bang for the buck. However, when looking at older Geminis I am always concerned about the prevalence of stress cracks and, with the newer 105C's, at the flimsy 'solid' bimini.

Of the 13 Solaris Sunstream 40's that were built (my boat), I have been able to locate histories for five - and all five have been, and are still being used for offshore cruising. So when I speak of 'an offshore' pedigree, that is what I am referring to.

I think the Geminis are great near-shore, Bahamas and Caribbean cruisers; but if going offshore, I would far rather be in a boat that was designed and built for that purpose. And frankly, your suggestion that solid construction is antithetical to sailing ability is just plain wrong.

Brad
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Old 17-02-2010, 14:19   #14
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I disagree, of course. And that is what makes horse races.

There is just a basic, philosophical difference about what a boat is. There is the attitude that one should cruise through the water. And then there is another attitude that one should float on top of the water. Form follows function, and multihulls are best when they ride on top of the water. In fact, the less contact with the water, the better.

Have you seen the Oracle?
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Old 17-02-2010, 15:27   #15
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Now I don't understand your post Canibul. Lot's of Geminis are sold strictly because of their price point. Brad's point is that their price point get's in the way of them being thought of as a blue water cruiser.

As the man once said, you can design a boat for safety, low cost and speed, but you can only pick 2.
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