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Old 03-05-2016, 05:50   #1
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Is 50 feet too big?

Hello all,

We're looking at buying a cat for long term cruising (3 to 5 years probably) and thinking about some options around the 50' size... favourites now are a new FP Saba 50, a used Privilege Serie 5 (or more likely a used 515), or possibly a St Francis 50.

As well as any comments on the above, I'd appreciate views on the pros and cons of 50' against something in the 44/45' size, especially handling etc There will be just my wife and I on the voyage most of the time with people joining on occasions.

We've limited experience on cats but have happily sailed 50' monohulls and 60' power boats with just the two of us.

Obviously 50' is going to be more expensive to run but this isn't an important consideration and won't be a factor in the decision on size.

Thanks in advance...
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Old 03-05-2016, 05:55   #2
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Stewartld.
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Old 03-05-2016, 08:25   #3
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

Well, my completely unprofessional opinion would be that the advantages of a 50' or so vs. the 45 is really going to come down to a little more speed and a little smoother ride. Any expert will tell you that size does come into the equation when considering safety as well.

You are in a similar situation to me and it is not so much about cost as it is what is the right fit. Go get on a bunch of these boats, it is really helpful. Some 50' boats seem like a lot to handle short handed...others are not so bad. I originally was looking at the Outremer 45 but after being on that particular boat it was clear it was a tad too small for me, but the O51 is about right. Get on a Lagoon 52 and it seems massive...and more intimidating to single hand although it could be done. The line of sight and how the systems are set up are critical. Boats that I really like in no particular order are the Outremer 51, Antares44, Catana 471, and Lagoon 450 sport top. All completely different with pros and cons and prices to match. 50' is not too big depending on the boat and your skill set IMO.
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Old 03-05-2016, 09:34   #4
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

If you are comfortable running a 50' monohull with just the two of you I don't see a 50' cat being an issue. If anything the cat is easier due to the twin engines.

I would suggest a weeks charter on a comparable vessel however. A 50' cat is massive compared to a 50' monohull. It isn't just a slight step up in size and accommodations.

The one thing I would point out is that your selection seems to be weighted towards heavier and slower cats. If it's just the two of you I would probably steal you towards a performance cat of the same size. While size for size performance cats are far more weight sensitive than their slower brethren stepping up in size also gets you more load carrying. At 40' a couple probably needs to load carrying of wider hulls, while at 50' the slender hulls of something like an Outreamer leave enough load carrying for a cruising load, and the higher cruising speeds.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:39   #5
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

That is a big kitty. Not many places to park it if you are out cruising. Better try out some before committing. Depending on where you are planning to sail, cats can be very uncomfortable slamming into oncoming seas, going broadside to large seas, and potentially airborne off big swells and strong trade winds.

Fantastic for areas like the Caribbean, the milk run, and the med.
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Old 04-05-2016, 07:52   #6
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

I have a 50 and I single hand it.

You can do it. Stumble's post sums it up.
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Old 04-05-2016, 08:27   #7
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

Please pay very little attention to negative postings. We all know the pro's and cons of buying the alleged 'wrong' boat.
We have cruised for years (decades) on a 45ft cat and the parking issue is not a fact - at least not in the Med, nor the Red Sea, nor the Indian Ocean, nor the South Atlantic and not in the Caribbean.
When people make comments about being broadside in adverse weather on a cat; well clearly that type of comment is not borne of appropriate experience. Yes, cats can slam but so to can other designs. Lets not start that ludicrous saga again.The advantages of a big cat are numerous and these have been already been pointed out. I would hazard you are aware of the majority of the relevant points but are seeking confirmation. It is possible that we might step up to 50ft for our next cat and do not envisage any issue. Possibly the only likely concern is bigger kit and as we get older we need to manage this (e.g. bigger / heavier ground tackle, sails etc) Against that its easier to carry electric winches, more solar panels, good size generator etc etc. Good luck.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:11   #8
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

50 Ft; In the summer no; in the winter yes!
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:22   #9
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

Hi

we are going form a 14 metre power boat to a new Saba 50 which is under build. interesting the other comments about not being a problem parking it. During our evaluation the 50 foot we sailed was a lot more stable than the 44 and 45 footers we also tried - much less pitching. it is of course a lot heavier and a lot more money!! I think it will be a great boat and after umpteen evaluations we opted for most of the factory options apart from the bowsprit as that added another metre.

there is a lot of planning and a knowledgeable sales person has made a big difference.

if you go that route feel free to ask any questions.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:43   #10
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

larger the boat the less holes you will fall into. For most people, including myself, we would all be sailing larger boats if it were not for the cost of system repairs and long term maintenance costs. You have declared that cost is not the issue for you. So, you are in the uber class.

A little intelligence, planning, electric winches, and you are home free. Let me know if you want me to come polish the chrome for a week in each year. Smile...Good luck.

OBTW, check out Chris White's Atlantic 55 designs. I drool all over myself every time I see one.
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Old 04-05-2016, 09:45   #11
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

Hi
We, my wife and I have been sailing a 51' Outremer for the last two years and found the transition from a 48' monohull to be easy. Fun Fast and easy to handle. I'd go with the recommendation to look at performance cats based on your sailing profile. Plenty of load carrying capability for a couple or even 4 on a long ocean crossing.
Rick
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:19   #12
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

I think if you have the skills that are required to drive a 50 ft boat, you can drive a 50 ft cat.

I found big cats easier than big monos.

b.
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Old 04-05-2016, 10:35   #13
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

Discovery 50. Reasonably quick, v comfortable, quality build and a big master cabin. Beautiful. Hull design reduces slamming.
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:30   #14
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cenicero View Post
Discovery 50. Reasonably quick, v comfortable, quality build and a big master cabin. Beautiful. Hull design reduces slamming.
Yes, love the Discovery 50 but they're very expensive and they've only ever made two so the chance of finding a used one within budget is a bit remote...
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Old 04-05-2016, 11:31   #15
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Re: Is 50 feet too big?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjrquo View Post
Hi

we are going form a 14 metre power boat to a new Saba 50 which is under build. interesting the other comments about not being a problem parking it. During our evaluation the 50 foot we sailed was a lot more stable than the 44 and 45 footers we also tried - much less pitching. it is of course a lot heavier and a lot more money!! I think it will be a great boat and after umpteen evaluations we opted for most of the factory options apart from the bowsprit as that added another metre.

there is a lot of planning and a knowledgeable sales person has made a big difference.

if you go that route feel free to ask any questions.
I'd be interested to follow your progress, my last boat was also a 14m power boat....
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