Happy new year and welcome aboard.
Please take all my comments as personal taste and observations and not gospel. I am no expert!
Now I have to ask. Have you spent any time on cats yet? Has you wife / significant other? If not and your only perspective is one of reading forums
like this and internet
then I think you are doing yourself a huge disservice. There are simply too many experts with opposing opinions to make informed choices. My best advise is to go spend some time crawling through as many boats as you can. Invest the time and some money
now to avoid buyers remorse later. Try and imagine different scenarios such as how am I going to move about on this deck
when its dark wet and pitching wildly? Am I flexible enough to get to that starter motor
? How am I going to load this boat for cruising and keep it in balance? How is the visibility from the helm
not just for me but for your crew as well? How heavy is this boat now and how heavy is she going to be in cruising configuration. Does it have water
tight crash bulkheads? Have the been compromised by previous owners? What equipment
does it have? Is it functional and useful for your abilities? You talk about a pacific crossing. Does this vessel have enough tankage or are you going to be lashing jerry cans all over the boat? Does it have a water
maker or will you be adding one? If so where? What if a fuel tank leaks
? Can you get it out of the boat without cutting something? I know of several that have had to cut their decks to get at leaky tanks! There are many more things to think about but you get the idea.
Lets start by agreeing that all boats are compromises. You seem pretty adamant that galley up is a deal breaker So I'm not going to try and change your mind . For more on the pros and cons of galley location there was a thread yesterday you should read. For us Galley down was a deal breaker but thats just personal taste. Galley down does make sense in smaller cats most of the time however I think FP nailed Galley up with the Mahe 36
duo as did Lagoon
with their 380 S2.To bad you already discounted them.
Things that were also important to us that you didn't mention.
The first is engine
access. If you have to lift
a mattress even one on gas rams, you neck is going to be sore from craning your head
over to do basic maintenance
. If the engines are under the berths there will be heat and a little more noise
added to you cabins, depending where you want to cruise
that could be a good thing. In the tropics not so much. That said usually under bunk engines have shaft drives which i would prefer to my sail drives. Thats not true of course of all boats with under berth engines, plenty have under berth engines and sail drives! WHY?!!
The next item on our important features list was bunk headroom
and arrangement. Another deal breaker for us was what we call crawl over bunks, meaning if you or your partner are on the inside and need to use the head
at night both of you will be awake. Not ideal!
Then we have bridge deck
clearance and under bridge deck appendages. I have never been a fan of the bulb under the Prout's or in general any hard deck carried far forward, altho I can make an exception in the later model Deans. While bridge deck clearance is a hot topic among cat enthusiast, It has proven to be less of an issue than i first thought. On our leopard 40
we have an average bridge deck height of just under 2 feet. This is higher than the pdq
, about equal the privilege
and slightly less than the lagoon
. The only time we have had any hull
slap we were beating into big choppy seas. Bare off 5 or so degrees and the slap stops. Im guessing this is true of most cats. While higher bridge deck can be desirable remember it will cause your topsides and CG to be higher creating windage for the same headroom
that you have in a lower bridge deck cat.
Another important feature for us was water access. We dive and do our own underwater maintenance
so for that we favor wide sugar scoops with stairs that aren't so thin and steep that climbing with dive gear
is treacherous. Along those lines we prefer the bottom step of the scoop to be only inches above waterline so that one can climb abard unaided by a ladder. The leopard 40
does this well.
Here are some first impressions I see looking at your short list
Athwartship berths i.e. crawl over
Closets for clothes and personal belongings in the hull or where? That little closet in each stateroom doesn't look big enough for 2 for an extended cruise
Under berth engine
maintenance and added cabin
Headroom in bunks?
I like the shaft drives
No headroom in bunks
Bunks are crawl over.
Access to forward deck looks very narrow and sloped sections of salon
/ coach roof look like they could be difficult to move around on. I have zero time on the boat so I am just eyeballing it from pictures.
What is that giant bulb hanging down? If it spends time in the water do you think it may slow you down a bit or make pointing more difficult?
Nice looking joinery
One last thought. All of the boats listed above are older models with older design thinking and older systems. All boats require constant maintenance so take what you want from that statement. I think it would behove you to reconsider your rigidness about more modern but designed for the charter
market cats. There is a reason they are proliferating and its not because they are poorly though out, poorly designed, or not seaworthy
. Most cross oceans routinely on their delivery
Good luck and keep us posted. We love to live vicariously through others. :-)