I would like to get some opinions on how we should rank key considerations on a new boat. This is our first request for opinions.
We are looking to sell our Hunter
and move to a larger boat that we can live aboard. We are strongly leaning towards a catamaran
. There are several options that we are considering and would like to get some opinions
We (Patty and Robert) are an empty nest couple expecting to retire in 3-6 years. We have two dogs
that sail with us. Our plan is to purchase
the new(er) boat this year and be out of our house when the lease
expires next May. We will live in Florida
until we are fully retired. Then we would like to sail thru the Caribbean
for a year or more. Eventually we are thinking about settling in Panama
We have 3 children
each with a spouse or significant other and one grandchild (so far). We would like to have a guest cabin
so that we could have one of the couples and/or grandchildren occasionally visit for a week or so.
I have a good bit of sailing experience both racing
and cruising in coastal waters as well as powerboat experience in my younger days. Patty is willing, but less experienced. She has sailed our previous boat (a Precision 18), but was never fully comfortable. She is still getting used to the Hunter
30. We have had several weeks chartering together. Most of them have been aboard a Lagoon
. Patty is more comfortable on a cat than a monohull
is about 100K. We plan to take out a loan for part of it which we will pay off before we finally retire. So, the more we spend, the longer we have to work.
We have been looking at several catamarans with the following configurations:
• A 34’-40’ single diesel
straight shaft in the 70-100K range
• A 30-40’ with an outboard
in the 70-100k range.
• A 30-40’ with twin outboard
in the 70-100k range.
• A 30’ with twin diesels and saildrives for about 80k
• A Lagoon 37
with twin diesels straight shaft about 150 K.
Our questions are in the following areas:
• How difficult will it be to maneuver a 30-40’ cat with a single engine
? Our current
monohull is a challenge to back into a slip with a couple of feet on each side. I am concerned that the wider cat will be hard to handle with a single engine
. This is especially true for the smaller cats that are designed to (barely) fit in a regular sized slip.
• My understanding is that some outboards are a bit easier to handle because the engine and rudders work together. Is this a big help or a nice to have?
• Some of the boats have twin outboards. Is it safe to assume that they will be more maneuverable?
• I get nervous with a gas engine. I helped pull people out of a lake after their boat went up (they forgot to run the bilge
fan) and it left me worried about gas onboard. Is this a real concern, or is it handled by keeping the gas in a special compartment.
• Since we expect to be traveling for a few years in the Americas, reliability
is a concern. Are there concerns with the reliability
of gas outboards compared to diesels? Would it be harder to get parts
• Likewise, am concerned about reliability on the Volvo
saildrives. I have been told that it can be hard to get saildrive parts
if you have a problem while you are in the islands. Is this a big enough concern that it is worth working an extra year to pay for a more expensive boat?
We appreciate any advice you might have.
Robert and Patty Thompson