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Old 22-03-2007, 01:00   #1
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Looking for used cat any suggestions?

Hi,

I'm starting to look for a cat. I've been to the San Diego boat show, which only had two cats, so I went to the Miami show to get a better idea of what is available.

Well, after evaluating resources, $200k is about the budget limit. I would like to get something around 40', capable of doing west coast cruising from Mex to Canada. Ideally the boat would be near San Diego, since that is where I will keep it. More than likely the scales will tip toward condomaran than performance machine. Originally I was thinking I could get something around Y2K, but with the budget, I think I may have to consider older. With that, I will have to be much more concerned with long term problems on specific models that I may find in an older boat. Daggerboards or keels? I am up in the air on that. Design wise, I know I don't like the look of Endavour Cats, but rather than now look at asthetics, I want to concentrate on getting a good sailing , sturdy and dependable boat.

That said, what do you veterans recommend?

Thanks

Bryan
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Old 22-03-2007, 06:47   #2
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We had similar experiences and budget. Researched a lot of manufactures. Went for sturdy over style. Bought a 1994 Prout 38' Manta 5 years ago and have been extremely happy wih it.

All makes have their supporters so you will probably get some widely varying views. IMHO, the Lagoons (newer ones, the older ones are well built) and FPs are not sturdy enough for me. There are other French cats that are. Several of the South African cats are. Manta is a well built US boat, but it might be hard to find a used one in your price range.

PDQ and Gemini are at the lower end price wise and are probably fine for near shore cruising. I wouldn’t want to make a major crossing in them.

You will get a lot of opinions on dagger boards. They tend to be on faster cats and do help when going to wind. They have definite down sides as well. On balance, they would not be my deciding factor. I do lust for the Outremer.

These are only my opinions and you well get many differing views.

George
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Old 22-03-2007, 08:42   #3
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Have you considered an Admiral 38? There's a newer one for a sweet price in Florida, so you'd have money left to have it delivered if necessary.
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Old 22-03-2007, 09:53   #4
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Bryan raises an interesting point. Many of what I call the French style cats (regardless of where they are made) which became popular in the Caribbean in the 90s are now 10 or approaching 10 years old. I would think there would now be a lot of information about issues/problems with specific models. Perhaps there is, but it sure isnít easy to find. With popular monohulls, after 10 years there is usually a wealth of information about port/hatch leaks, wiring, plumbing, rigging issues, etc. Maybe cats never have these problems, or maybe there are manufacturer centric sites that address them, dunno.

Also, when shopping for a used cruising cat you will find a much bigger selection in the Gulf coast and Caribbean than you will on the west coast.
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Old 22-03-2007, 21:46   #5
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Thanks for the suggestions. My concern is that I will probably end up getting an older boat, and it is easy to see all the items that have been replaced or refurbished, but things like long term effects of stress and fatigue, UV on materials, inherently poor designs or technology that has displaced the old "tried and true" designs.

As others have stated, multihull designs have improved by leaps and bounds while monohulls have changed little over the years. I want to do my best to juggle all things and have the best possible outcome by doing my homework.

Mostly, I 'd like to know what boats to stay away from. There has to be the marine equivalent of the Yugo, pinto or Vega out there. It just seems that all the magazines print nothing but glowing reviews about all boats, so that is not good solid information for buying a 10 year old boat.

Ironically, I tried to do some research on the functional life of FRP/GRP (fiberglass) and cannot really get a rule of thumb consensus anywhere. There has to be some degradation over time, just how long is that time?

Should I even consider a ex-charter boat given the abuse they probably have taken? In the scheme of things, am I really saving anything?

I have been told that sailing the pacific coast, I should think 'blue water ready" do I really need an offshore boat to do "coastal cruising", and to sound like a total noob, exactly what makes a boat a blue water vs caribbean cruiser?

I've considered a 1990 St. Francis 43 (first year), bigger, good reputation, many new parts, or is that a bad idea? Or should I look at a 6 yr old Seawind 1000? Newer, but smaller. Less old parts, nothing replaced. All the same price range.

I 'm sure many of you have gone down the same path I am about to take.

It now seems funny because for years I supplied tramps to many cat and tri owners. I know all about tramps/nets regarding ocean passage use and day trip use, all the pros and cons. I even supplied both types to one owner. I thought I had a handle on the available boats, but now that I am looking, I realize that I know very little. I value everybody's point of view.

Thanks

Bryan
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Old 23-03-2007, 06:52   #6
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The Admiral 38 in Florida belongs to me, I am going to take it off the market next week, rebuild all systems and use it so keep looking and yes the admiral is also a very sweeeeet sailing boat.


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Old 23-03-2007, 07:35   #7
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honestly, I'd put in another vote for the Admiral as a good sailing, dependable boat at an extremely reasonable price. The problem is that most 40 ft + catamarans can always fetch more than 200k unless they have some issues because they are in room and accomodations the equivalent of a 50 ft mono, which are equally expensive. The St Francis could be a good choice, it will have a little lower clearance than other Mk IIs. Or go for an older privilege 42. As to design life of fiberglass, as long as it's painted and kept from UV protection, it's really hard to peg. So far the fiberglass boats that were built in the 60s are still going strong. Sometimes they can blister, but that's repairable.
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Old 23-03-2007, 11:09   #8
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Age does not matter?

Thanks for the information,

So from what I am beginning to understand is that the age of a hull really isn't that important (aside from engineering design criteria and asthetics)? It is the age of everything that goes into that hull that will eat you alive if you don't watch out?

Over time,(like with aircraft, which can work harden and become brittle and fatigue after so much time in service) doesn't a FG hull weaken from the stress and pressure loading?

In other words, a 20 year old boat that has been maintained and refitted as necessary can be as reliable as a two year old boat?

hmm...

On another thought, the Seawind dealer is trying to steer me toward a used 1000, at such a "good price" that he will guarantee a buyback in 1-2 years for the same price (if I ultimately move up to a new 1160 at that time, which is the catch). To me, the boat is good quality, but seems a little expensive for what I am getting. (Only 33 ft, limited bridgedeck enclosure). Any opinions here?
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Old 23-03-2007, 12:13   #9
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In other words, a 20 year old boat that has been maintained and refitted as necessary can be as reliable as a two year old boat?

In a word, yes.

the Seawind dealer is trying to steer me toward a used 1000, at such a "good price" that he will guarantee a buyback in 1-2 years for the same price (if I ultimately move up to a new 1160 at that time, which is the catch). To me, the boat is good quality, but seems a little expensive for what I am getting. (Only 33 ft, limited bridgedeck enclosure). Any opinions here?

He works on commision. The more boats he sells, the more commision he gets. Even if he puts it in writing that he will be buying back the boat at the same price, does that mean he will be waiving his 10% (20k) standard commision fee? And how much of a "bargain" will the new boat be? If you get a used cat at a great price, then yes, there would be practically no depreciation in a couple years. But you will be loosing 10% in commision fees and probably a good bit more in the delivery fees of a new boat. If it's something you really want, lock everything down in writing, the sale price of your boat, his commision fees, the date the boat has to be back and the final all inclusive price of the new boat. Personally, I would just get the new boat now if that was an option. And do step on board competitors like the Admiral 40.
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Old 23-03-2007, 17:24   #10
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Keith - glad to hear you're feeling better; enjoy your boat and thanks for the info.

Bryan - I'm sure a lot of people here have a blacklist of boats, but if you want to avoid a Yugo, I'd say steer clear of Wildcat 35's. You're probably too new to CF to have seen the rather spirited discussion sparked by Wildcat issues, but you can read for yourself at bumfuzzle.com.
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Old 24-03-2007, 08:14   #11
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Bryan

Something i found out when you find a boat is to ask the broker to give you a list of the previous selling prices something i didn't have when i bought Windigo
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Old 25-03-2007, 12:47   #12
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Broker participation

The discussion brings up a good question about brokers. Since I don't know enough about boats to fly solo, I will use a broker to help find and negotiate the deal. If the broker I want to use is also the listing broker, does he have a conflict of interest? ( his fiduciary responsiblility is to the boat owner that listed with him).

Also, if I look around on my own and find something, will the listing broker get put off if I show up with my broker to work the deal(essentially splitting his commission) after making an initial contact on my own?

Does anybody have any opinion about Philip Berman? He was a former customer of mine( we made tramps for one of his personal boats) , and he included my (old) company name as a reference source in one of his books without me even asking. He seems on the level, and I will probably go through him if he has a good reputation.

Thanks for the information
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Old 25-03-2007, 16:56   #13
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I've worked with Phil, he knows what he's talking about. He will be able to negotiate a better deal because he knows good selling prices and the faults of the different boats. You should come up with your priorities, to help him know what you are looking for. If comfortable layouts are a priority, then he might steer you toward lagoon or privilege, if speed is priority, then he might steer you to something like outremer, catana, etc. If quality, your a gourmet chef and and want dedicated reserve bouyancy, then PDQ might be the options. And you should definitely go to a place specializing in boat loans (not a bank) and figure out how much you can spend.

Phil's only down side is that he's fairly busy and can take a while to return email, so I would give him definite guidelines in terms of when you need your boat.
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Old 25-03-2007, 19:41   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bryanweaver
Thanks for the information,

So from what I am beginning to understand is that the age of a hull really isn't that important (aside from engineering design criteria and asthetics)? It is the age of everything that goes into that hull that will eat you alive if you don't watch out?

Over time,(like with aircraft, which can work harden and become brittle and fatigue after so much time in service) doesn't a FG hull weaken from the stress and pressure loading?

In other words, a 20 year old boat that has been maintained and refitted as necessary can be as reliable as a two year old boat?
Our Privilege 39 Catamaran is 13 years old, and has made a circumnavigation without any hull or deck damage, except when we collided with logs and other debris in the Indian Ocean after the Tsuanmi. We purchased the cat new, and after more than 33,000 miles, we don't have any sign of structural problems. If a catamaran is poorly constructed, the ocean will quicly find out the weakest link and a demolition derby will begin when sailing offshore.

I would not hesitate to sail an older catamaran offshore, but I would do an extensive refit before undertaking a major voyage. If I purchased an older catamaran, I would look at spending 25% of the purchase price on getting the boat ready. One of the good things about a new boat is that it SHOULD be in good condition and not in need of a refit before getting underway.

There are hundreds of catamarans that are used only as daysailers, and therefore there is low risk that they have structural problems. I think that many of the cats coming out of charter are in excellent structural condition, but you should understand that a major refit will be in order after the purchase.

For me it all comes down to how much money you want to spend and how much time you have to do the work on the yacht getting it ready.

Cheers,
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Old 25-03-2007, 21:56   #15
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I've worked with Phil, he knows what he's talking about. He will be able to negotiate a better deal because he knows good selling prices and the faults of the different boats. You should come up with your priorities, to help him know what you are looking for. If comfortable layouts are a priority, then he might steer you toward lagoon or privilege, if speed is priority, then he might steer you to something like outremer, catana, etc. If quality, your a gourmet chef and and want dedicated reserve bouyancy, then PDQ might be the options. And you should definitely go to a place specializing in boat loans (not a bank) and figure out how much you can spend.

Phil's only down side is that he's fairly busy and can take a while to return email, so I would give him definite guidelines in terms of when you need your boat.
I'm glad to hear that Phil is a good guy, and will steer me right. I emailed him a week after the Miami show and he returned the email withn a day. I also incuded what I felt were my selection criteria and he wanted to talk about it. Probably my high expectation of getting a much newer boat than the budget would allow.

So, from my communication, he has been pretty prompt. Thanks for the valuable feedback
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