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Old 18-12-2007, 13:57   #1
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living with a big cat?

As we get closer to making our final decision on what cat we will choose for our family cruise, wile we have decided on a larger cat(44+, or so) for the additional comfort and added safety I am wondering about what are the realties of living with a large cat.

We have charter 40+ foot cats and we currently sail a 36 mono in San Francisco bay. So I am cautiously comfortable with the basic boat handling. I am more interested in the day to day issues of finding berths or are the fuel docs Tonga…. Fiji etc accessible to a boat with a 20+ beam. Looking at the Mediterranean and the crowded marinas there what do you do with a large cat? Wile anchoring should be more comfortable and with the shallow draft there should be more available, is it much of an option in some of the more developed area of the world?

We are currently looking at a broad selection of things we would like to see all the way from the Aleutian Islands to Patagonia, I have not seen many articles on cats much bellow 40 degrees. I am thinking this has more to do with momentum and the conservative nature of sailors then any other realties… I would assume the redundancy and speed of large cat would be advantageous anywhere. I am not talking about needing steel or aluminum to deal with ice but for trips planed in the appropriate session to minimum exposure to extreme weather or other conditions.

Any way not to rant but would love to hear from any one out there on a bigger cat and what is it like off the beaten trail…
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Old 18-12-2007, 14:16   #2
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The cost of slips these days forces me to anchor out alot. So, I have onboard my 50' cat a in motion satellite tv dish, super duper wifi antenna, skype, large water maker, and a pressure washer. Takes a little getting used to but it really is a great way to live aboard. Who needs a slip when you can do it all on the hook now. If you need to go to town take the tender in.
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Old 19-12-2007, 06:09   #3
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By “Big” cats, do you mean lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, cheetahs, and cougars?
If so, I'd recommend not living with them.
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Old 19-12-2007, 09:17   #4
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We are currently looking at a broad selection of things we would like to see all the way from the Aleutian Islands to Patagonia, I have not seen many articles on cats much bellow 40 degrees.
I assume you mean "I have not seen many articles on cats much ABOVE 40 degrees".

The previous owner of my boat took it around Cape Horn and cruised Patagonia. But I have NO INTENTION of repeating that, nor writing any articles, because I DON'T LIKE COLD WEATHER. I bet this is THE major reason why you don't see much on cats in the high latitudes.

As for the other inconveniences of having a wide beam, I'm with Craig on anchoring out. Oh well. Just another example of the compromises associated with any vessel you select.

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Old 19-12-2007, 12:22   #5
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Yes, above 40....little mental flatulence there.

And any one who has tried to reef a 900 sq ft of sail in 30+ knots of wind you might think there was large cat of the feline verity on the other end of the furling line...
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Old 19-12-2007, 13:40   #6
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FWIW, I find that reefing the 80m2 main on my cat to be easier than you might expect, even when I should've done it earlier. Catana has a nice system that can use the electric "main" winch for both the tack and clew lines. The bat cars allow easy lowering on any point of sail. If by "furling" you were referring to a genny, yep, this can be more challenging, but I can cheat if I need to and run the furling line to the same electric winch. Gotta be careful, though, or that winch can pull things apart without straining.

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Old 19-12-2007, 14:14   #7
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hi. well i do not own a cat of my own (YET) but do live near a crowded, tight marina and i can say that the cats have far less trouble getting into the births then the monos.
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Old 19-12-2007, 14:19   #8
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FWIW, Catana has a nice system that can use the electric "main" winch for both the tack and clew lines. The bat cars allow easy lowering on any point of sail.
Dave
That's the key with slab reefing, bringing home the clew as quickly as possible. The electric is a big help there and is highly recomended for a sail of any size.
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Old 19-12-2007, 14:45   #9
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Brandywine the world is rapidly adjusting to the beam of catamarans. Docking (if you want it) is available anywhere in the Caribbean, as are med-moors throughout the Mediterranean. No, with the beam of a large cat you will not be able to transit the french canal system, but apart from that you should find little difficulty.

Think of it this way: the shallow draft in relation to a monohull will actually increase, rather than decrease your options. Even if a marina does not have docking to accomodate your beam, they will often have a wall that you can tie alongside. If a marina does not have a travel-lift or crane up to the task, understand that most cats can be left on the bottom while the tide goes out for cleaning, applying antifouling and yes, even some underwater repairs. Most importantly for the cruiser, bear in mind that cats have none of the tendancy of monohulls to sway while under anchor and - here was the clincher for me, the shallow draft allows you to gunkhole in spots that are way off-limits for any mono of close to comparable size.

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