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Old 17-09-2007, 16:36   #1
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Looking to Charter, then Purchase, a Cruising Catamaran

My wife and I will be retiring in a few years and eventually we want to purchase our own boat. We figure it would first be a good idea to charter some cruising catamarans to find out what we like. We may or may not do coastal cruises. I will have to see how my wife warms to the idea first.

So, we wanted to first get some ideas from experienced cruising catamaran cruisers on what are some of the better quality cruising catamarans out there and on the other hand, what are some of the brands and models that we should probably avoid. We like the creature comforts of newer well equipped boats. For her its a nice galley since she is a gourmet chef and for me it's all the navigational boy toys.

Is New Zealand a good place to purchase a catamaran?...with the exchange rate, quality of construction, labor rates and designs available? I know of a few people who purchased boats there but this was years ago.

I captain a research vessel for a living and sail for fun occasionally, so I am not looking for a boat for a beginner. Other than having raced a Hobie 18 for a few years in my younger days, I have absolutely no catamaran experience. A mono-hull does not interest me since I like the speed and stability of a catamaran. I would like to bring guests aboard do not go home soaked from spray or frightened by a boat that heels 30 degrees. Thats the nature of the SF Bay...it's wet and windy in the summer. Keeping my guests comfortable means they will want to come back for another lovely day sail.

I have been searching around the internet for catamarans for charter and came across the Lagoon line of catamarans. They appear to be of pretty high quality. Are there any opinions about the Manta line of catamarans? Are there other catamaran manufactures out there that you might recommend?

I have not found any brokers for large cruising catamarans here in the Bay Area. If anyone knows of a Lagoon 38 or larger cat in the SF Bay Area then my wife and I would love to have a look. Perhaps even a day sail?...we will bring the gourmet food and premium beer.

Feel free to PM us or email us.

Thanks
Mary & David
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Old 18-09-2007, 16:35   #2
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As you are no doubt discovering, the west coast is not catamaran country. Don't know about charters, but you will find relatively few modern cruising catamarans for sale in California - not sure why.

If you can afford it, I highly recommend chartering in the Caribbean - BVI, USVI, St. Lucia, etc. Lagoons, Fountaine Pajots, Leopards, etc. have revolutionized the charter industry there, and you are almost guaranteed to have a blast.
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Old 18-09-2007, 23:22   #3
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A trip to the BVIs is in order

The Caribbean is where you will want to go to experience catamaran sailing. The BVIs are probably the friendliest cruising destination in the world. 2, 3 , 4 hr sails from island to island. A different island every night of your vacation, all with their own personalities.
I have a Lagoon 440 and love it. You will too.
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Old 18-09-2007, 23:46   #4
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The Caribbean is where you will want to go to experience catamaran sailing. The BVIs are probably the friendliest cruising destination in the world. 2, 3 , 4 hr sails from island to island. A different island every night of your vacation, all with their own personalities.
I have a Lagoon 440 and love it. You will too.
Agree..... LAGOON 440 is a GREAT boat

Just stay away from the new Lagoon 420 hybrid
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Old 19-09-2007, 05:51   #5
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Don't get locked into Lagoon. I have friends that have them and are happy, but there are other options.

Since you seem to desire the speed, look at a Catana or Outremer (spelling?). Both have dagger boards for better performance to windward and tacking and both are high quality boats.

Privilege is a well built French cat.

There are many very well built cats coming out of South Africa.

Everyone has their preferences. Read some of the posts here. There are a lot of Catamaran discussions.

George
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Old 20-09-2007, 02:35   #6
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How about this? Fusion Catamaran Whitsunday - Bareboat Charter Whitsundays

Much better sailing boat than a Lagoon.
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Old 20-09-2007, 05:45   #7
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Which Lagoon are you comparing it to? Lagoon doesn't make a 40ft. Compared to a 38ft Lagoon it should be a better sailor and we know the Lagoon 420 is not a particularly desirable boat unless you are really into the hybrid technology. It certainly doesn't compare to the 440 are my thoughts.
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Old 20-09-2007, 09:52   #8
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I agree on chartering in the BVI's!
We just booked our 10th. charter, a Voyage 440 plus cat.
We have sailed the Robertson Cain (Moorings) 4000, 4200 and 4300 as well as an Island Spirit 401 and a Privelege 435.
All of them were very comfortable and each has some great features.
A good forum to get your feet wet for chartering in the BVI's is Traveltalkonline
There is a wealth of chartering knowledge over there, feel free to ask questions and do make a point of meeting some the folks from there when you charter!
We have a flotilla forming at the end of June '08 and have 8 boats confirmed so far, a good way to have a great first charter for sure!
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Old 20-09-2007, 10:41   #9
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There are at least two multihull dealers in the Bay Area: Cruising cats (Rod Gibbons) and Helms Marine. Both are even in Alameda. The former is the dealer for Lagoon (and others?), the latter is for the Seawind and Corsair. Check out Latitude 38, it’s a bargain at twice the price.

There are two factors critical in your decision: budget, and plans for the boat.
If your plan is to sail the Bay Area, Delta, and US West Coast for a week or two at a time then the boat you need is quite different from what you need for more extensive travel. The other questions pertain to: Racing? Number of Crew? Need for comfort, speed, safety, toys? Have you and your mate decided on galley up or down?
This information should narrow your choices considerably. Without this info, you hear what people like for their own interests.

I also suspect that your charter experience in a tropical, seasonal charter location will be very different from the boisterous, windy, cold, wet conditions of SF Bay in the summer. When summer cruising the Bay Area, the Delta might be an option, but what a waste for such a cat’s capabilities.
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Old 20-09-2007, 14:12   #10
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Which Lagoon are you comparing it to? Lagoon doesn't make a 40ft. Compared to a 38ft Lagoon it should be a better sailor and we know the Lagoon 420 is not a particularly desirable boat unless you are really into the hybrid technology. It certainly doesn't compare to the 440 are my thoughts.
In terms of space the Fusion 40 doesn't compare to a Lagoon 440. But then I never said it did. I said it would be a better sailing boat, and I firmly believe it would.
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Old 20-09-2007, 19:52   #11
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How about this? Fusion Catamaran Whitsunday - Bareboat Charter Whitsundays

Much better sailing boat than a Lagoon.
Well how awesome is that website. Thanks for posting. Now I just need to dig up about 6 grand or a few friends...

I had friends do the Whitsundays in a mono. This is even better incentive. Try out a cat at the same time.

Too much to do and to few minute$...
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Old 21-09-2007, 10:05   #12
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Check these out, there is one on the west coast. This is the same (close) as the current Voyage 500. Same designer just an earlier build. We have a 1997 version. It is a monster of a cat LOTS of room and a fast design with low windage.

YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale
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Old 21-09-2007, 13:37   #13
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Which Lagoon are you comparing it to? Lagoon doesn't make a 40ft. Compared to a 38ft Lagoon it should be a better sailor and we know the Lagoon 420 is not a particularly desirable boat unless you are really into the hybrid technology. It certainly doesn't compare to the 440 are my thoughts.
Gee......and on the 420 thread you're defending the 420.......
Your 440 is a MUCH BETTER boat hands down.......no comparison.
The hybrid technology is the major problem with the 420
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Old 21-09-2007, 13:50   #14
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I am researching Privelege and Broadblue as the two serious offshore production boats.
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Old 21-09-2007, 13:53   #15
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I wasn't defending the 420, I was opposed to your shall we say antagonistic and confrontational comments. Whether I think it compares or not has nothing to do with the fact that I respect the owner's right to choose his own boat and not be insuting him just because it was not my choice or that it may or may not perform as well.

I originally ordered a 440 electric. However Solomon motors fell out in the middle of my contract period and my choices were an electric motor with no warranty, a cloudy future with no firm delivery date, or go diesel. Looking back diesel was the right choice for me, but I would still prefer an electric boat if it was working properly, but it is now water over the dam.
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