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Old 09-08-2008, 14:54   #1
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Jaguar 36 - Coming Back ?

Jaguar 36 has a brand new site up at jaguarcat.co.za. I spoke to someone named Eric Schoeman who claims to be the founder of the original company before a son-in-law drove it into liquidation, claims to be the owner of the molds, claims to be hands-on in his new yard making several 36s now with slightly redesigned hulls, claims to be making some new molds for new models, claims to have done a small boat show recently, and genuinely seems to be the real deal on the phone for whatever that's worth. I'm obviously concerned about handing over money to someone half-way around the world who is not clearly established and known in the industry. But, I'm very interested in the Jaguar 36 b/c I want to stay at or under 40 feet and don't like other options (FP Mahe 36 is crazy overpriced -- $350k w/ gen/air -- and layouts don't appeal, Seawind and Lavezzi and Leopard 40s are too pricey and I can't even stand up straight in the Leopard helm). Has anyone heard anything about the Jaguar 36 coming back? Anyone know this guy Eric? Anyone have other tips for me, including anything from using a performance bond to other ideas?
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Old 09-08-2008, 15:20   #2
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Short answer is no. But I am sure someone will be along with a longer answer in due course

But in the meantime:-

Jaguar Catamaran

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Old 10-08-2008, 21:32   #3
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Steamboater, I chartered a Jaguar 36 two years ago and can tell you with out doubt its a floating disaster. Before you plop down any money, just go sail an old one. Sorry, wrong suggestion, you'll have to steam it around as the boat basically doesn't sail.
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Old 11-08-2008, 12:27   #4
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I totally disagree with Rigamarole. With all due respect, perhaps he (or she) doesn't have the knowledge and/or experience in sailing multihulls by evidence of the Power Boat and small sail listing as his own personal vessels. You see it quite often in the Virgin Islands and the Abacos where people will be motoring their chartered cat instead of sailing them because they can't get them to go right. They use it more for a party barge than a sailing vessel. I know it took me a while to master my catamaran. I've always had monohulls so the switch was a major learning experience for me. My previous boat was a 34 ft Irwin Citation which was very fast for a monohull, especially compared to my previous 31 Bombay Clipper. Once I got the my cat wired I was hitting speeds over 3 knots above what I ever acheived on my Irwin of comparable length of water line.

There are some techniques to apply to cat sailing and unless you're aware of them you may think the boat sails terribly. I have a captain friend who owns a mono hull and a few years back he chartered a FP cat in Sarasota (Gulf Coast Florida). He came back saying he would never own or charter a cat again since he thought THEY sailed terribly. Quite a general statement I took from a hardcore monohuller. Several months later I had him out on my cat and out of curiousity I let him take the helm and sure as the sun will shine (in Florida at least) he had a difficult time getting the boat to sail properly. It's a lot different than a ballast monohull. The main sail is usually quite larger on a cat with their full roached mains and you're dealing with a much wider beam making it longer to complete a tack. Back drafting the jib, easing the mainsheet then pulling her back in after gaining a proper momentum after a tack (you'll feel the acceleration much faster in a cat) and other valuable tips will certainly improve the sailing of a catamaran when executed at the right times. You're not gonna point as well in a cat as a deep shoal mono, so don't expect this performance up wind, but there are techniques to use with your sails and strategic angling (wind points) to achieve sufficient upwind performance in a cat that if performed properly should sail you faster to your upwind destination than the mono of comparable waterline.

I suggest anyone interested in buying a cat or just wanting to learn more about them to buy the book, CATAMARANS - The Complete Guide for Cruising Sailors by Gregor Tarjan. I've never met him but he's listed as a Yacht Designer and Expert Sailor. I've found it to be the best read on multihull boats to date (2008). It's a very informative book with awesome photography. There's a lot of info regarding up-to-date multihull design, construction, performance and handling techniques. There is also a chapter on noteworthy catamarans, which by the way includes the Jaguar 36. In my book (pardon the pun) it says a lot about the boat coming from a yacht designer and expert sailor. Go figure..,

I have the predecessor to the Jaguar, a 35 ft. Wildcat, designed by Aussie Jeff Schionning and built by Eric at Charter Cats, which I've been overall happy with, and I know several other Wildcat / Jaguar owners that are equally as happy with theirs. For the money, you're not gonna beat them for a, let's say, entry level Blue Water Cruising catamaran. I know that a few select people on this forum will refer to a certain boat whose owner blasted the builder online for a suspected defect but be aware that it was not a frequent occurrence with all of these models as can be attested by other satisfied Wildcat / Jaguar owners. And the supposed defect was not detected in a survey from a well known and respected multi-hull surveyor that the owner paid for prior to them splashing the boat and heading for their round-the-world adventure. My suspicion is something fishy happened in a Panamanian boat yard that nobody knew about. A Third World scam to gain work? It happens..,

Steamboat, I would though, suggest you check in with the South African Boat Builders Export Council (SABBEX) regarding Eric's "Come Back" to make sure he's got all his cards on the table and that all systems are go.

SABBEX | South African Boatbuilders Export Council

If you have any other questions feel free to PM.

Good Luck!
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Old 11-08-2008, 13:07   #5
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SurfNRG, your absolutely correct in the fact I'm not that expearenced in large cat sailing, or big boat sailing in general. I did spend an extraordinarly large amount of my youth on beach cats up to a 20' Hobie Miracle. But with that said, I'm also not a poor sailor. We spent a full week on the Jaguar and couldn't get it to point past 60 degrees. Even then we had to keep the windward motor in gear in order to not round up. When sailing from St. John to Jost Van Dyke we had wave slap that made the boat feel like it was going to come unglued. I parallel that expearence with this last spring when we chartered a 40' FP Lavezia and didn't have any of those troubles. Bigger wind, bigger waves, no problem. I mean, come on - I'm sure your boat is very nice, but if you compare it to almost any other, you would have to see that the build quality was very low. True that Tarjan did put the boat in his book. Cruising World also had it as a contestant in it's boat of the year contest. Their assessment wasn't positive.
Me stating the boat is a disaster was probably overkill - sorry. I'm sure it has some positive merits, but IMO it doesn't compare to standard production boats.
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Old 11-08-2008, 13:08   #6
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Also, walking through the heads to get to the forward berths isn't the best layout.
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Old 11-08-2008, 15:39   #7
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This is all pretty confusing -- some seemingly positive comments mixed with some extremely negative comments. I have also received private communications that sounded quite frightening. I'd appreciate more opinions from people who have actual experience with the boats, the company, or Eric Schoeman. But, for the moment, it seems like a longshot that I'll wire any money to South Africa this week, anyway.
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Old 11-08-2008, 15:43   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rigamarole View Post
We spent a full week on the Jaguar and couldn't get it to point past 60 degrees. Even then we had to keep the windward motor in gear in order to not round up. When sailing from St. John to Jost Van Dyke we had wave slap that made the boat feel like it was going to come unglued.
Weird, cause on my crossing back over from the Bahamas this past June I had my Wildcat sailing up as high as 45 degrees. I have a strong suspicion that if you let your main sheet out just a bit it would have solved your problem of rounding up. You gotta remember that you have a lot of mainsail with that full roach that's grabbing a lot of wind. And perhaps it was a good time to throw in a reef? I use to encounter similar problems of rounding up after tacking when I first bought my boat but was clued in regarding easing the main sheet as the cure by an experienced cat sailor who was kind enough to show me a few tricks. I use to find myself heading up after a tack, even with my helm turned hard down wind, but after back drafting the jib and easing up on the main sheet it solved the problem. I would then slowly pull back in my main sheet till I felt that sweet spot with my rudder indicators showing near centered. Made all the difference in the world. And I'm sure you agree that sailing a 20 ft Hobie is much different than a cruising catamaran.

Regarding slapping, ALL cats will slap - some more than others. It's the nature of the beast. If you do have a lower bridge deck clearance it does help compensate somewhat having a wider beam. It's usually the two bow wakes that are converging under the bridge deck that create the slap - the inside wake coming off the port bow meeting with the inside wake of the starboard hull. The inside wakes from both hulls help create a larger wave. Best thing to do is to bear off a bit if it's a heading sea which will cut back on the slapping. I personally don't like super hi-rised bridgedecks. They look funky and most often times the boat has a narrower beam - which means less room inside the boat - and I'm also talking about headroom. The higher freeboards also contribute to higher windage which will cut down on your upwind performance and sail you around your anchorage/mooring more so with the higher sides. But it's all personal taste. And no, there aren't any reports of these boats "coming unglued". But in contrary, there are reports of people sailing comfortably around the world in them.

Regarding your dislike of the layout of having to walk thru a head to get to a forward berth - I agree, THAT WOULD SUCK. Fortunately, my layout is not like that. Both heads are all the way up forward. And I recall Cruising World mentioning that as a major downer in their review. I always wondered why Charter Cats would have entered that boat to be considered with a layout as such. I've yet to see one with that type of layout and I've looked at well over a dozen Wildcat/Jaguars. So, you can't generalize that they ALL have that undesirable layout. How would you get to your berth if your first mate is busy praising the porcelin god after a rough night of festivities. Either way, I wouldn't want to be on that side of the boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rigamarole View Post
I parallel that expearence with this last spring when we chartered a 40' FP Lavezia..,
Quote:
Originally Posted by rigamarole View Post
Bigger wind, bigger waves, no problem.
Dude, you forgot to mention BIGGER BOAT, LONGER WATERLINE and BIGGER DOLLAR BOAT. Wow! You're comparing apples to oranges. We're talking about a 36 ft boat (Jaguar) that would have ran $275 brand new compared to a larger 40 foot Lavezzia that'll run you upward of $450K. You need to compare boats of equal size and price. The new FP Mahe 36 would be a much better comparison which I here runs $340K when properly equipped. The $199K is a bit deceiving as several have discovered here. It gets you in the door but then you find out what all the extra's will cost you and ouch. Then you're in a boat that has inadequate ventilation in the salon which was a MAJOR consideration for me living in Florida. I mean, both the Wildcat and Jaguar have two large hatches above the coach roof along with two ports facing forward in the salon that blows air threw the boat like a monsoon at times. Also have plenty of ventilation down below which is a must.

Regarding comparisons, when I shopped around I compared the Wildcat 350 to the 35 ft Fountain Pujot Tobago. The Mahe 36 wasn't released yet but would have been well out of my budget anyways. The Tobago was underpowered with aged 10 hp 2 cylinder Volvo's compared to clean 3 cylinder 20 hp Volvo on the Wildcat. There was a lot of wasted space in the layout of the Tobago and it was very plain jane like compared to the more modern and well thought layout of the Wildcat. I also don't care for those nets they use in their trampolines on the Tobago and Mahe either. Made me feel like I was a fish caught in a net and very uncomfortable when chilling out on. I like the comfort and safety of the vinyl Super Tramps on the Wildcats/Jaguars as well as the cat walk up front for raising the anchor or setting the grill on. I also love the walk thru transom and swim platforms - which the FP Tobago and Mahe both lack. THESE are boats that should be comparable.

Regarding build quality, sure the Wildcat is not a Gun Boat but for the price you're not going to find a better value for an introductory blue water cat. We're talking a boat you can find used for well under $200K and sail around the world in. Yes, some of the wood trim joints in the salon aren't lined up perfectly but it's something I can certainly live with - for the price.

I'm sticking to my guns and gonna recommend the Jaguar (as Mr. Tarjan did in his book). But I would certainly advise a potential buyer to check with the South African Boat Builers Export Council to make sure that the new company is all good to go since his former company, Charter Cats, had a rough ride a few years back. And if you decide to buy a used one get a survey to make sure all is good.

P.S. I notice you're from up in the Great Lakes area. I saw some cool show on the history channel the other night about the greatest boating accidents to ever occur on the Great Lakes. One boat didn't even get to leave the dock when it capsized. Crazy stuff!
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Old 11-08-2008, 18:58   #9
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Both the hull slap and the walk-by head are improvements, but the major question is still whether these folks will deliver. I have sent an email to that association and will post what I find out.
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Old 11-08-2008, 21:14   #10
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P.S. I notice you're from up in the Great Lakes area. I saw some cool show on the history channel the other night about the greatest boating accidents to ever occur on the Great Lakes. One boat didn't even get to leave the dock when it capsized. Crazy stuff!
I haven't seen the show but will look for it.
There's a lot of boats here, so we have our fair share of accidents. I've personally seen two power boats run over our pier head, one sailboat sink on the inside breakwater, and a freighter sink in the channel. Seaplanes crash, boats burst in flames, and unfortunately a couple of drowndings. Spend enough time on the beach and you'll see it all.
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Old 14-08-2008, 13:05   #11
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Notes from a Jag 36 owner

I purchased hull #2 and agree mostly with SURFNG-its tough to beat em dollar for dollar. I don't know how much they are today, but in 1994 the Rand was in the toilet and these boats were half what any french cat was going for. First the negative-the company was the pits and didn't do a good job of standing behind their product, second, many of the boats landed on our shores with major problems. The good stuff is plentiful however. I have cruised my boat extensively in the Bahamas and the Keys and we absolutely love it. It does sail well although it is a heavy luxury cat so don't look for amazing performance above a monohull. 45 degrees is no problem. Tacking is easy even in light air but you have to follow SURFNG'S instructions. They have tons of space, a very solid feel and look amazing. We get complemented constantly. In short they are very comfortable boats; when we return from a 5 week trip we feel sad that the trip is ending and are far from anxious to get off the boat. We have also been in 10' plus steep Atlantic seas and believe me, the boat is far more capable than the captain. The solid feel delivers confidence to the crew and passengers. If you don't compare it to a boat costing twice as much and you recognize it is a luxury cruising boat and not a hobie cat you will be very happy. It does slam some but I've noticed over half of all cats out there have low bridgedecks. 95% of the time you don't slam and the other 5% you can adjust the angle to minimize the slams. And the lower bridgedeck allows for a much sleaker look while maintaining head room. My conclusion: don't buy one new. Find a used one with a competent owner (affluent doesn't hurt either). Whatever issues the boat was delivered with will have been fixed. (of course survey the boat) The owners I know, including me, went through a lot of heartache (and cash) shortly after delivery but now use their boats extensively and love them. PS mine is not for sale.
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Old 26-08-2008, 05:45   #12
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So many thoughts, so many private messages! Let's just sum up by saying that there are lots of people who have very, very strong feelings about this builder. There were a few who liked their boats and one or two who thought Eric was not the devil, but overall it just wasn't a favorable enough response to make me feel comfortable writing a check, at least until the new company proves itself to the market over the next couple of years. Thanks for your input.
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Old 26-08-2008, 06:18   #13
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Sound decision, Steamboater - with any boat/manufacturer that is new (or re-newed) to the market. Time will tell...

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Old 26-08-2008, 09:18   #14
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I'm glad that Lizmark responded and offered his valued opinions on his experience with the builder since he bought his Jaguar brand new from Eric's factory.

As with ANY boat you'll want to do a survey.
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Old 22-09-2008, 12:24   #15
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Hi there. My husband and I are looking at a Wildcat 350 so I've been reading this closely...any way I can get some of those personal notes outlining what they didn't like about it? It's within our budget...which is rare these days...would like to find out all I can before we make a decision.

Thanks.
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