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Old 05-03-2018, 07:01   #1
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is longer really more expensive?

Hi All,

At the risk of being the 3rd "live" debate about the costs of running cats, I have been trying to convince myself (and the Mrs) that 6ft extra boat (cat) shouldn't be too much more money.

I'll be honest though and say that I'm at a bit of a loss. If i read posts people put in here its "the longer it is the more money it costs!!!" and "it all adds up" etc.. so I'm mindful that i probably don't know enough. One post recently said that he knew of couples who'd bought too big only to then have to sell as they ran out of money.. so i really don't want to be one of those stats, particularly because I'm really hopeful of getting ours this year.

So here's my thinking: 44ft Cat vs 50ft cat.

Engines/Generators:
both got 2x engines so should be the same (admittedly I'm expecting to pay a bit more for a replacement on the 50ft than the 44ft as it'll probably be a slightly larger engine say 75hp vs 50hp). The Generator may be bigger (9.5 vs 13.5kw) but like the sails below, is there a massive price difference if i need to replace it?

Marina costs:
6ft longer = $6-18 more per night I can live with that.

Sails:
Now here I don't know but lets say for argument Mailsail 44=750sqft 50=950sqft. Does that equal 26% more in replacement costs? Or do sail makers rub their hands together and go "That'll be 50% more thanks"?? Also I have no idea of the warps/halyards situation so have assumed about the same??

Electronics: (GPS/Autopilot/Radar/Nav etc)
Surely the same? same goes for Toilets/Sinks/Cookers/washing machines/fridges/freezers/ice makers/BBQ?

Tender:
Now i hadn't thought of this so any help would be great.. 44=10ft 10hp vs ? with 25hp?? i don't know.

Basically the cats we love are all 50 footers but we won't take them on if the ongoing cost is really miles more than a 44.. its making sure our cloth is cut properly.

Any info and help or suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 05-03-2018, 07:40   #2
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

I think you are over thinking this. You will never end up buying a boat that matches the average. Each possible boat will have a wide range over its life and a wide range over each owners time.
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:03   #3
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

Sails, engines, canvas, bottom paint, moorage. It all adds up. Even a 42 ft cat is 40%-50% too much room for a couple actually. But people dont want Proas! Then there is the guest question.
A couple will use the same galley and salon, but 4 staterooms and 2 or 3 heads?
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Old 05-03-2018, 08:27   #4
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

it's not just the sails, The running and standing rigging, blocks, vang, turnbuckles, etc., will, or can be larger, which is more money when it needs to be touched. Anchor, windlass and rode is larger too.

A 50 foot boat might have a few electric winches, which adds a cha-ching factor as well for the winch, switches, cabling and perhaps larger house bank. It's also more to break.

All that could be 20-30 percent, or more for a 50 foot compared to a 44 foot.

Fuel burn rate will be more.

Really not a single line item will break the bank, but combined it does at up over time.

Another issue is dockage, as many marina's charge a width cost as well as a length for cat's. Some do it for mono's as well.

If money is no object, go for the 50 foot. If you're worried about budget at all, go with the 44 foot. The 44 footer will be huge for just two or even 4 people aboard.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:15   #5
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

Many of the cost items people quote as being more expensive due to boat length, are actually displacement dependent.

A light 50 foot cat will not require a larger sail wardrobe than a 40 foot cat of equal displacement; and will still have better performance, and more elbow room.

We're building a 50 foot cat, with a fully loaded, maximum designed displacement of 9 tonnes. Similar to some 40 foot cats I've seen. Keep in mind, most companies say "displacement" when they actually mean empty weight. Empty, our boat should have a mass of 6-7 tonnes. Lagoon 40= 11 tons "lightship". https://www.cata-lagoon.com/en/40


My two cents.
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:32   #6
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

I had a 35 foot cat and have just bought a 50 foot. The 35 foot had for example two hatches that opened and two port lights. The 50 has 12 hatches and 8 port lights. Eventually every one of those will need new seals and maybe new acrylic as they craze and get UV damaged over time.

The sails are almost exactly twice the size from one to the other - in your case its not so extreme but a new sail wardrobe will cost you more when it comes time to renew it.

The dockage fees will be in your example $6-18 a night more - but that may be an entire winter season depending on your use and cruising ground - so maybe $12 a night average extra, over perhaps 6 months all told - so $2200 a year, every year before you get on to the maintenance costs etc. You are right that engines and systems will cost no more to maintain until it comes time to refit if you own it that long. A new Raymarine EV100 autopilot for a boat up to 44 feet and 7500 kg is around $2000, for the larger boat its $3500 - and whilst this won't apply to chart plotters and wind instruments etc it will apply to most everything else. Bigger winches, bigger blocks, longer ropes, longer standing rigging cables, more wiring over longer distances, a heavier anchor (its $400 more for the Rocna for a 50ft than a 45 foot) etc etc

It all adds up to a lot of money BUT if you can afford it and it makes you happy why not. It may be worth chartering some of the smaller models if you have not already and seeing how you get on when actually on board. I'd say most modern 40-45 cats are huge and more than enough for anyone but having just bought a 50 I can't argue too heavily (though I'll bet anyone here a dollar my reason is unique - we have two feline cats and had to sell the last boat because they didn't have enough room to play and run around happily so I've bought a new huge one so the cats will be happy - after all they'll have 3 spare empty staterooms to play in most fo the time!)
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:44   #7
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

if you buy larger for speed consider this:

smaller bot will be able to clean underwater regularly and enjoy clean hull performance. I have to deal with 43m2.

Large one will not be simple to clean and will have more dirty bottom more often and be slower.

So performance difference may be less in real life than you expect.

Underwater area to clean increases roughly with third power of length ratio due to 3d shape. I think I read Lagoon 450 is actually 63m2.

Now L 50 , wow !

Other cats will be less but same proportions.
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Old 05-03-2018, 11:56   #8
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

Heath:

You know the answer you want.

EVERYTHING (cost, weight, space, maint) goes up with the 3-4th power of length, all things being equal. It's just that simple. There are variables to be sure, but you didn't ask about that. Everything takes longer too.
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:00   #9
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

It's called the square/cube rule - it is a fundamental physical limitation found everywhere in engineering and nature.

When you make a boat twice as long, twice and wide and twice as high (say you go from a 20 footer to a 40 footer) you increase the weight of the boat by 8 times - 2x2x2=8. Then you increase the stability by 16 (weight times beam).

So a 40 footer is 16 times more stable than a 20 footer. Great for stability. But loads are all related to stability. So you lines, winches, bolts, rigging on the 40 footer has to be 16 times stronger.

For your choice have a look at the rigging and sails. Not only could the sails be larger, the cloth will be heavier so you will get hit with a cost increase twice. I groan at buying rigging and winches etc as I can't make my own. Some boats only 2 foot longer than my cat have much thicker (and much more expensive) stays and turnbuckles because they weigh more.

Have a look at the specs - not just the length. According to the square/cube rule a 50 footer will have about 47 percent higher loading (and higher cost of fittings) compared to the 44. (If they are built proportionally)
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Old 05-03-2018, 16:08   #10
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by svquintana View Post
Many of the cost items people quote as being more expensive due to boat length, are actually displacement dependent.

A light 50 foot cat will not require a larger sail wardrobe than a 40 foot cat of equal displacement; and will still have better performance, and more elbow room.

We're building a 50 foot cat, with a fully loaded, maximum designed displacement of 9 tonnes. Similar to some 40 foot cats I've seen. Keep in mind, most companies say "displacement" when they actually mean empty weight. Empty, our boat should have a mass of 6-7 tonnes. Lagoon 40= 11 tons "lightship". https://www.cata-lagoon.com/en/40


My two cents.
Paul.
I'll be honest and say that i never thought that displacement would have an impact. There's quite a bit difference in the 50 footers we're interested in.
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Old 05-03-2018, 16:19   #11
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

Catsketcher, I can see what you're saying but I'm not considering a doubling of the size. We wouldn't entertain anything below 44 because we 1. like the space and 2. feel that long passages would be less enjoyable (it'd be less comfortable) on anything much smaller. We're just reconciling the 6ft difference in cats we like.

Arsenelupiga: We know there is a speed difference between the 44 and 50.. but there's also a speed difference in the choice of 50s. The slowest of the group is only marginally quicker than the 44 but this is only part of the story. If it were out and out speed we would be looking at the Neel 51 Tri.. but the width and sheer size of that becomes too scary (we are only planning to do most of the sailing as a couple).

I suppose the bottom line is, if we banked on maintenance and running costs to be $X/month for a 44, would a 50footer be $X +10%? +20%?, 30%???
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Old 05-03-2018, 16:41   #12
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

here's a few things from our experience for comparison. We and some friends ordered sails as a group purchase from a sailmaker. Their boat is 40' and on the serious perfomance end of the curve, while our boat is a 34' cruiser. we were able to puchase a mainsail, complete with headboard and battens, a headsail and a roller furler for what a bare mainsail cost for the 40, no battens, no headboard.

Just over a year ago I did a bottom job on a 50 footer. On our 34' a gallon and a half of bottom paint will do 2-3 really good coats. on the 50 I did 5 coats but used 11 gallons of paint. not counting the prep work which was considerable.

another consideration would be running rigging, especially halyards. I can replace a halyard, doing my own splicing, for under $200. On a 40 or 50 foot boat, not only is the line much longer but the size and working loads ( read $$$) go up massively.

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Old 05-03-2018, 17:10   #13
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

Recently chose a lagoon 470 over the 41' or so versions

A few additional thoughts to add to the good comments already posted---

My biggest cost/issue with the bigger boat is getting her hauled, once across the 23' beam barrier there are limited places to haul out.

You can't do the icw with a 65'+ mast. For the most part it doesn't bother me, save trying to get around hatterass.

For the most part, when on the hook it's all the same once you've paid for the heavier ground tackle.

More sail to handle but the extra waterline makes for a faster smoother ride, also smoother on the hook.

Ymmv Good luck
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Old 05-03-2018, 17:57   #14
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arsenelupiga View Post
if you buy larger for speed consider this:



smaller bot will be able to clean underwater regularly and enjoy clean hull performance. I have to deal with 43m2.



Large one will not be simple to clean and will have more dirty bottom more often and be slower.



So performance difference may be less in real life than you expect.



Underwater area to clean increases roughly with third power of length ratio due to 3d shape. I think I read Lagoon 450 is actually 63m2.



Now L 50 , wow !



Other cats will be less but same proportions.


This is true if your looking at the same builder, but Iím guessing some of the performance 50í catamarans would have less wetted surface than your Lagoon 40, thus easier to clean.
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Old 05-03-2018, 18:53   #15
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Re: is longer really more expensive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
This is true if your looking at the same builder, but Iím guessing some of the performance 50í catamarans would have less wetted surface than your Lagoon 40, thus easier to clean.
sorry apologise. did not write large enough disclaimar.
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