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Old 02-07-2013, 20:45   #1
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Most Reliable Multihull Boat

I know there are some popular multihull boats out there, but is there one type or brand that holds up well for years and years without all the 'doing boat repairs in remote tropical islands' thing?

And is it possible to reduce the likelihood of having problems by swapping out certain parts or equipment. If you were designing a boat, what would you put in it or change from what was done on your boat?

Or is the sea just an extremely harsh environment and most man-made materials are no match to it over time. Will everything break or need replaced in time and the best answer is to go as simple and with as little as possible?

(For clarity, I'm not necessarily asking about withstanding accidents, running aground, or hitting docks here, just normal wear and tear and what holds up to it year after year and still looks good. Kind of like a Pelican case or something like it.)
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Old 02-07-2013, 21:07   #2
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Lagoon or Leopards are designed to be put up with charter work... Charter companies look for the same thing in their boats as cruisers... Easy to maintain anywhere in the world, fun to sail, and comfortable at anchor...
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Old 02-07-2013, 21:37   #3
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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Originally Posted by SunDevil View Post

---is it possible to reduce the likelihood of having problems by swapping out certain parts or equipment.

---the best answer is to go as simple and with as little as possible?
---
That's why the KISS principle was invented.
If you don't have it it can't break.
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Old 03-07-2013, 03:44   #4
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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Originally Posted by FLLCatsailor View Post
Lagoon or Leopards are designed to be put up with charter work... Charter companies look for the same thing in their boats as cruisers... Easy to maintain anywhere in the world, fun to sail, and comfortable at anchor...
Every Production Cat, pretty much, is used in survey so I wouldnt put any great store in that. Leopards age reasonably well, Lagoon - not so much.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:08   #5
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Seriously Prout comes to mind. Older versions as in up into the 90s many had just manual (rebuildable) water pumps, etc. Made to be fixable almost anywhere. Heck most of my $%&$ breaks dockside at a marina plugged into shore power. Spent 4 hours trying to figure out why my ac wasnt pumping enough water only to find it was the condensate valve was blocked which im supposed to keep clean. / banghead.... its all about the maintenance. You spend time looking for issues and checking hoses belts etc etc fluids. And such that you can nip most problems in the bud.
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Old 03-07-2013, 04:21   #6
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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Every Production Cat, pretty much, is used in survey so I wouldnt put any great store in that. Leopards age reasonably well, Lagoon - not so much.
Do you have more info regarding Lagoons not ageing as well??
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Old 03-07-2013, 05:00   #7
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

Only the anecdotal evidence of doing pre sale assessments on a few hundred boats. Not having a go, just my observation between lagoon and leopard that leopard age better, by and large. Quality of fixtures and fittings, quality of gel coats and resins used in them and general fir and finish seem to be better on Leopard.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:07   #8
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

One other thing to consider is the availability of replacement parts. There are MANY more Lagoons sailing around the world than anything else. I'm pretty sure the 440 is still the most popular (sold the most) large cat in history. So if you need a part or someone (repair guy) familiar with the details, you're much more likely to have good luck with a Lagoon.

Anyone have sales figures? I bet Lagoons outsell some of the smaller brands by at least 10 x 1.

This will vary somewhat depending on geography too.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:10   #9
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One other thing to consider is the availability of replacement parts. There are MANY more Lagoons sailing around the world than anything else. I'm pretty sure the 440 is still the most popular (sold the most) large cat in history. So if you need a part or someone (repair guy) familiar with the details, you're much more likely to have good luck with a Lagoon.

Anyone have sales figures? I bet Lagoons outsell some of the smaller brands by at least 10 x 1.

This will vary somewhat depending on geography too.
I think Lagoon built over 600 440's an Leopard built 200 or so 46's...
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:13   #10
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

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I think Lagoon built over 600 440's an Leopard built 200 or so 46's...
Thanks. That's a pretty huge ratio, as I suspected.

It's really annoying that this information isn't readily available online. At least I wasn't able to find it after some decent drilling down. I know it's likely somewhat proprietary but I really think it would help the industry overall if we could search how many hulls of brand X, Y and Z were made for a given year, and for the entire model history.

Big data helps, period.
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:23   #11
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pirate Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

Iroquis, Catalac, Prout... many 60's/70's examples of these still sailing
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:23   #12
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

Lagoon are quite bad, they all have structural problems, the interior is very bad quality, plus, they are not good at sea (like most catamarans). I worked for charter companies, they're not looking for good boat, they are looking to make profit. I repaired differents boats, Lagoon, Catana, Foutaine Pajot, Dean are brand that you definitely should avoid. Catanas and fountaine Pajots from early 90' are reliable. Old prout cats are reliable also.
I owned prout, it was a reliable boat but still, you can't sail closer than 55° of the wind. Now I'm in a monohull, best choice to go anywhere without motoring
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:25   #13
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I personally prefer the leopards to lagoons
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Old 03-07-2013, 11:30   #14
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

Another thing ...

At a certain point it's going to depend on the specific boat. Any well cared for machine ages well. A poorly cared for one doesn't.

The OP is correct in pointing out the added harshness of salt water conditions.

I think it would be nuts to buy a "brand X" boat in mediocre shape vs. a "brand Y" one in excellent condition. If you're the kind of person who takes care of his/her things, then try to find a like-minded individual selling a boat.

For example: FPs take a bad rap on this forum every so often. Yet I've seen some in fantastic shape which I'd much rather have than a similarly sized Leopard in so-so condition.

Yes, there are design and structural considerations. But if you don't plan on doing a bunch of trans ocean crossings, they're somewhat less relevant. If you're just going to cruise on relatively calm water, then you have a lot of options.
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Old 03-07-2013, 12:12   #15
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Re: Most Reliable Multihull Boat

Since no one else has yet mentioned them, I will... Privilege. You don't hear of structural problems. Level of quality up from the rest of the standard production boats. But you do of course have to pay a bit more for the privilege.
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