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Old 23-12-2011, 04:54   #1
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Is 34' Cat Too Small ?

my wife and I are keen to retire and go cruizing, I am looking at buying a 34' ocean spirit cat , is this yacht too small for long distant use especially indian ocean off the coast of south africa.
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Old 23-12-2011, 10:55   #2
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Re: is 34' cat too small

I am cruising on a 10.2m one-off catamaran, single-handing most of the time and feel it is a good size for a couple. Of course the old saying still counts "longer is better" on the sea (but not so much in marinas) as a longer vessel will take the seas better.
Just make sure you do not overload your cat with "cruising gear" weighing a ton, look into what you really need and want. Any cat in that size being used by a couple should be able to take enough sensible cruising gear - I saw a SA built Wildcat floating down about 10cm on her lines because she had EVERYTHING on board incl. a washing machine!
What's this Ocean Spirit, rings a bell but that's it for me!
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Old 23-12-2011, 11:39   #3
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Re: is 34' cat too small

delcrest,

Ask yourself where you would like to sail this 34 foot ocean spirit cat .

Then call your Marine insurance company and see if they will insure your boat for that area.

There are a few Gemini 34 foot cats going around the world as we speak, so the length is not a problem.
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Old 23-12-2011, 12:02   #4
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Re: is 34' cat too small

As far as weight on a 34 ft cat, I think it is about 600 lbs of persional belongings and food and you won't feel the the weight but weight does slow the cats about 1 kt. Catamarans are not a full keeled boat that counts on weight to sail but they will sail faster in winds under 15kt's and really faster in 25+ kt's of wind. I would look as a cat that has centerboards that can be cranked up for shallow anchorages.
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Old 23-12-2011, 13:16   #5
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Re: is 34' cat too small

delcrest,

With cruising grounds including some of the more challenging waters on the planet, I'd opt for a larger cat or a monohull. Beam is such a factor in the stability equation and you aren't going to get it in a 10m cat. Load carrying capability of any cat that size is limited. There are many proven monohulls available for similar cost to a 10m cat.

Cotemar,
With regards to the Gemini cats, I don't know if it's a valid comparison. The coast of South Africa is more challenging than traditional downwind tradewinds cruising.
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Old 23-12-2011, 13:32   #6
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Re: is 34' cat too small

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Originally Posted by delcrest View Post
my wife and I are keen to retire and go cruizing, I am looking at buying a 34' ocean spirit cat , is this yacht too small for long distant use especially indian ocean off the coast of south africa.

There are people who cruise full time and liveaboard cats that size. Circumnavigators too. So it can certainly be done.
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Old 23-12-2011, 14:57   #7
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Re: is 34' cat too small

34 foot will be fine - safety at sea is more about you than the boat. Bigger is better - smaller is okay. Just need to be a camper rather than an apartment person and keep it light.

As for one suggestion that you won't get good beam in a 34 ft cat?? Mines 10.8 metres and its 6 metres wide, whats more important is the build quality.
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Old 23-12-2011, 16:30   #8
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Re: is 34' cat too small

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Originally Posted by islandplanet View Post
delcrest,

With cruising grounds including some of the more challenging waters on the planet, I'd opt for a larger cat or a monohull. Beam is such a factor in the stability equation and you aren't going to get it in a 10m cat. Load carrying capability of any cat that size is limited. There are many proven monohulls available for similar cost to a 10m cat.

Cotemar,
With regards to the Gemini cats, I don't know if it's a valid comparison. The coast of South Africa is more challenging than traditional downwind tradewinds cruising.
Whats the difference between the east coast of Afrika and the east coast of Australia,

I crossed the Pacific and then sailed down the Tasman, Still the Pacific,
Same as the Indian Ocean,

Gemini's are for two people, Any more and you would get crowded,
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Old 24-12-2011, 06:51   #9
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Re: is 34' cat too small

I think you might choose the type of boat you plan to cruise "the Indian ocean off the coast of South Africa" with based upon where you plan to base the boat. Do you need to be able to cross an ocean to GET to your cruising grounds and back, or are you going to base a boat in a safe spot within, or near to, those cruising grounds?

If you can pick your days and your weather for the duration of your exposure to it, just about any seaworthy boat will do.
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Old 24-12-2011, 07:46   #10
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Re: is 34' cat too small

Personally, I would want a bigger boat for comfort and safety. However, this size boat has gone around the world. Here are a couple of websites you might enjoy reading and a book for good measure.

34' Gemini
The Slapdash | No Fixed Address

Wildcat 350
bumfuzzle.com | living, sailing, procreating

And the book to read: Sailing Promise: Around the World on a Catamaran by Alayne Main

Good Luck & Fair Seas!
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Old 24-12-2011, 09:05   #11
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Re: is 34' cat too small

thanks for the reply. i would have to cross either the indian or atlantic to really cruize, in yhe past our normal area is madagascar seychells, but that area is out of the question with all the pirate problems mozambique is still ok
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Old 30-12-2011, 04:18   #12
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Re: is 34' cat too small

i am liveaboarding my Catalac10m and actually have sailed the Cape Town to Richards bay coast number of times and my 34 can take the seas that come on this coast. The Catalac actually can load more than a number of +40 foot cats i have experience with, i made even 2x450liter fresh water integral tanks, and they dont affect my sailing but certainly render my liveaboarding sooo much better. I know we all boast about the yacht we own for the moment but i actually started off very suspicious of this catalac, now, if you can find one go for it, it will circumnvigate you allright. The Gemini 34 i respect very much as day sailors, they got 1 engine, the loading capacity i swa very small...
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