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Old 07-01-2016, 09:29   #31
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

I think you may be looking at this from the wrong perspective. You are concentrating on choosing and buying a boat, but what you are really doing is buying a lifestyle. Boats, you have some training and experience in. The lifestyle, not so much. And aside from the details, a lot of the boats you're looking at are really not that different from each other.

I think you should consider shopping instead for the right people to buy a boat from. Choose a couple/family like yourselves who have been (and currently ARE) living this lifestyle on a good boat that is well equipped and thoroughly sorted. A boat that is expertly rigged and maintained and in daily use by people more experienced and knowledgable than yourselves who are either up/down sizing or moving ashore. A boat that is a turn key, sail away cruising system that you can literally step into, and with a day or so of instruction and familiarization from the sellers, sail off in.

They will have already dealt with all the issues and questions you will have and some you never thought of, because how would you know?

Admittedly, this will be a lot harder than clicking through hundreds of online listings of boats tied to docks in various parts of the world. But there are a considerable number of family cruisers who take a year or two at some opportune time of life to go cruising. Buying a fully sorted cruising machine from someone like that might put you months and dollars ahead.
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:32   #32
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

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If you want said stuff it is very obviously better. Just saying that some of the people want this so called stuff.
It's not the ability to stow *more* stuff that I like about the newer boats, it's that you can stow the same amount of stuff in less space, making it "feel like" a bigger boat. The choices on where and how to create storage seem so much better in the last 5 years, so a 40' "feels like" a 15 year old 43' in terms of that bright airy feel that makes cats popular. Part of the reason we are doing this is to simplify. We are enjoying getting rid of all the crap in our lives we don't use. (Of course, we are saving the hard choices to the end).
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:38   #33
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

Owned 50' custom cat for 10 years. Sailed all over Caribbean, crossed pacific with 3 and 6 year old, lived in NZ and sailed back and forth to Tonga and Fiji.

A friend loaned us their Catana 471 in 2008 which we sailed for 3 months in the Bahamas. (Good friend to have! Thanks Rio Dulce!)

When buying the 471 was our goal boat and made offers on 2. In hindsight glad we didn't get them. Contact me offline for more on that. They are great boats, sail great but there are other observations as an unlikely Hunter now I won't disparage manufactures online. Truth is anyboat will get you where you want to go if well maintained, well managed and with a prudent captain.

What we found was with a custom cat you'll get more boat for the money, will be harder to sell in the end but will sell. We paid 330 for Ohana and sold her for 250 ten years later. Not bad and couldn't charter for that.

So drop a line off the board and happy to answer any questions you may have.

How exciting for you! Enjoy every moment!





Best advice we received was buy as much waterline as you can afford
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Old 07-01-2016, 09:44   #34
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

Since there have been so many posts about what I will call long blue water passages the OP may want to consider if, or how often, he will be making such passages. Go to a place like Boot Key in season and you will find literally hundreds of folks with boats in the various marinas and anchored out. Spend a season or two there and one thing you will notice is how few folks are doing even coastal cruising, less yet blue water cruising. Those that do cruise usually do something like South Florida to Bimini to check in, then basically day sailing from one anchorage/marina to the next with the final destination Georgetown. Maybe something like a 70 mile sail is the longest you have to make; easily done in daylight if you leave before dawn from a port you know and with good weather reports.

I am not trying to say blue water cruising is bad, just that very few folks do it. Unless you are sure you intend to cross oceans with wife and kids you may want to consider boats that are more suited for maximum comfort at an anchorage. Also keep in mind a lot of those anchorages are in places with fairly warm weather so keeping cool is often more important than keeping warm.

I know this thread is suppose to be about cats but as an example I have a friend with a well founded steel hulled cutter which is capable of rounding the great capes. The thing is in the Keys I am a lot more comfortable on my open cockpit cat than a boat better suited for high latitudes.

It can be fun cruising on a boat, but what you want to do is try and maximize the fun by having a boat designed for what you will be doing.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:00   #35
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

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Since there have been so many posts about what I will call long blue water passages the OP may want to consider if, or how often, he will be making such passages. Go to a place like Boot Key in season and you will find literally hundreds of folks with boats in the various marinas and anchored out. Spend a season or two there and one thing you will notice is how few folks are doing even coastal cruising, less yet blue water cruising. Those that do cruise usually do something like South Florida to Bimini to check in, then basically day sailing from one anchorage/marina to the next with the final destination Georgetown. Maybe something like a 70 mile sail is the longest you have to make; easily done in daylight if you leave before dawn from a port you know and with good weather reports.

I am not trying to say blue water cruising is bad, just that very few folks do it. Unless you are sure you intend to cross oceans with wife and kids you may want to consider boats that are more suited for maximum comfort at an anchorage. Also keep in mind a lot of those anchorages are in places with fairly warm weather so keeping cool is often more important than keeping warm.

I know this thread is suppose to be about cats but as an example I have a friend with a well founded steel hulled cutter which is capable of rounding the great capes. The thing is in the Keys I am a lot more comfortable on my open cockpit cat than a boat better suited for high latitudes.

It can be fun cruising on a boat, but what you want to do is try and maximize the fun by having a boat designed for what you will be doing.
Thanks for the comments. It is not our short-term goal to do blue-water cruising, we are way too inexperienced for that. If I had to guess, we'll be 3-5 years in the Caribbean -> Columbia -> Panama -> Mexico -> US repeat loop, although settling in Mexico for a few years is a very real possibility (for reasons too long to go into here). So yes, I think our priorities are comfort for a family to be able to spend much of the time anchored out. From what I've read on these forums, even world travelers spend only a small fraction of their time actually sailing. If we can get a boat that leaves blue-water as an eventual option, that is a bonus, but it is not our first priority.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:15   #36
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

As typically people that own a cat feel their's is the "best" regardless of the op's situation I would take a grain with any particular boat suggested here.
Your desire to take a family and put comfort ahead of performance, price point, sailing area etc. is what will make the difference going forward.
I would look at some of the other aspects of cat ownership and wish someone would have shared these with me prior to my first cruising cat.
Sail drives? Maneuvering ability? Keels or dagger boards? I've found that hauling out with a 20' beam no problem but with my current 23' I'm limited to only two yards locally. Singlehanding? In bad weather? How easy to reef? Can you get to the boom comfortably? Solent jib?
IMHO 1~2kts. either way won't be as important as your safety and comfort. You'll still be faster than a comparably sized mono.
Up galley? I've found that a down galley is much better for the safety of the cook and crew.
Will you be using marinas? What the cost is compared to a mono is sizeable in some areas.
Get to know some charter captains and charter technicians and yards that work on cats. Ask them about issues with various models and types. I don't like owning a rental of anything but it is a true testing field for anything.
I rented out Hobies in Hawaii in the 70's and 80's and saw things happen that a typical owner never would have experienced in 20 years of ownership. Try to use the knowledge of the rental business to your advantage.
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:29   #37
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

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Absolutely! I am all about safety, since we have two kids. I just finished a week long class/charter with a captain (ASA 114). By the end he basically told us "stop learning, now go get some experience".
I disagree with that posters statement. I don't want to start an argument as it has been hashed out here in the forum MANY times. The fact is, very few multis ever get into trouble and the ones that do are isolated incidents. You need to do some really stupid things to get into trouble on a modern mainstream multihull.

Its great you have taken the ASA 114 course. You will be fine on a cat.

I would also heed Monte's advice about FP boats in the years you are looking. The osmosis problem is well documented, although many of them were repaired by the factory!
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Old 07-01-2016, 10:37   #38
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

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Catana had some good years but they also went through a time where the quality really suffered. I'm sure this is true of the majority of production boats.


Sent from my iPad using Cruisers Sailing Forum
I am not saying that has never been but I have never heard nor seen any Catana with structural or general quality problems. However I know very well (insight info..) that some models or certain hull numbers of some models are significantly heavier than others, hence performing below usual Catana standards.
Don't ask me which models and which hull numbers, I won't tell..

Cheers

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Old 07-01-2016, 11:15   #39
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

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I am not saying that has never been but I have never heard nor seen any Catana with structural or general quality problems. However I know very well (insight info..) that some models or certain hull numbers of some models are significantly heavier than others, hence performing below usual Catana standards.
Don't ask me which models and which hull numbers, I won't tell..

Cheers

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Could be as 2hulls says, maybe the ones I saw were lemons or possibly Friday boats.


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Old 07-01-2016, 11:59   #40
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

Tis really simple buy a Lagoon 380 600/700 people cant be all wrong

Me I want a Lagoon 470 three cabin prefereably OR maybe a Lagoon 440/450 IF or ONCE we change boats.

For sure a L380 is big enough for the two of us just not 'really' fast enough for me ...without doing naughty things that the boat was never designed for - like flying a masthead code Zero and or a masthead symetrical spinnaker and fitting a maxi roach flat top mainsail - getting Bob at Doyle Tortaola to build that for me would be an interesting experience.
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:20   #41
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

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Tis really simple buy a Lagoon 380 600/700 people cant be all wrong:big grin:....
Wrong: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/25/wo...pede.html?_r=0
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:28   #42
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

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SINI

just not 'really' fast enough for me ...without doing naughty things that the boat was never designed for - like flying a masthead code Zero and or a masthead symetrical spinnaker and fitting a maxi roach flat top mainsail - getting Bob at Doyle Tortaola to build that for me would be an interesting experience.
Big head sails like you mention are for light air use as a matter of course; seldom used above ten, and certainly fifteen, knots.

Not sure what a maxi roach flat top mainsail is. I have a square top on my cat with some roach. While not everyone agrees on just how much a square top adds to boat speed there does seem to be agreement that a square top will make a boat faster. Lots of threads here and at SA about how a square top is faster, usually the increase is said to be between one and two knots. The computer sim guys say this is due to less turbulence. Einstein was reputed to have said on his death bed I have two questions for God, why relativity and why turbulence, I am optimistic about getting an answer to the first. It may be more art than science to design a good square top.

Another thing folks claim is that sailing with a well trimmed square top you have a safety factor, it is like having the first reef in when a gust hits as the square top will open up and spill the wind.

My boat is set up with two head sails, a working jib and a screecher on a bowsprit; both furled. In light air it is easy to single hand with both head sails up and with two slots instead of one it performs well. Lots of racers say getting the slots right is the real way to trim sails for speed and the more slots the better.

What ever boat you get it will perform better if it has the right rig and sails that are well trimmed. Two head sails and a square top is the best setup I have found.

YMMV
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:42   #43
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

Interestingly there seems to be more questions then answers...and to add to that..As a retired Multihull Broker and owner... The first Major question you have to address is not the size of a boat or your sailing experience, or the model..But how much crap are you going to drag on board..Cats are generally not barges, although some folks seem to think they are..Every extra kilo of weight you drag aboard, above the specified loading, is killing your performance and handling[and safety] I'm not saying you should live like a broken ass back packer... but sort out all the necessities that you 'need', chuck out 20% of them, then find a boat that will carry it.. If it looks like you need a boat 60' or larger, start culling again...I'd always recommend a max length boat between 40' and 45' for two folk depending on experience... Cruising Cats can be pretty forgiving and will help you learn but can also give you a major spanking.. The other thing to remember is a 45' Cat is a big lump of boat when you get near other boats, and with winds and tides thrown in it cat get interesting at times..even for 'experienced' pilots..
As for design..The world is your oyster...Everything said in previous comments is pretty spot on..You certainly have enough money for a first boat[It is usually your first boat lol] so I wouldn't fret to much over the exact model..6 months sailing will help you find direction and as long as it is sound, you can flick it on and move up or sideways when your experience and needs become apparent... My usual advice to folks was buy a 10m - 12m boat, throw your past life in storage and sail locally for a few months..Even do a charter on a bigger boat after you've done a few miles to help with setting parameters..
Its always the first step that's the hardest..So find yourself a Storage Locker, its the best incentive to forward progress..
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Old 07-01-2016, 12:44   #44
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

A cat is better than a dog, mew or used of any breed. My own feeling: Avoid former charter boats, particularly if bare boating was involved. That said, do not over hurry. Know your needs and desires. Find what you want at a fair price. It will happen. You will learn more as you look and talk.
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Old 07-01-2016, 14:17   #45
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Re: Opinions please on cat purchase

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Big head sails like you mention are for light air use as a matter of course; seldom used above ten, and certainly fifteen, knots.

Not sure what a maxi roach flat top mainsail is. I have a square top on my cat with some roach. While not everyone agrees on just how much a square top adds to boat speed there does seem to be agreement that a square top will make a boat faster. Lots of threads here and at SA about how a square top is faster, usually the increase is said to be between one and two knots. The computer sim guys say this is due to less turbulence. Einstein was reputed to have said on his death bed I have two questions for God, why relativity and why turbulence, I am optimistic about getting an answer to the first. It may be more art than science to design a good square top.

Another thing folks claim is that sailing with a well trimmed square top you have a safety factor, it is like having the first reef in when a gust hits as the square top will open up and spill the wind.

My boat is set up with two head sails, a working jib and a screecher on a bowsprit; both furled. In light air it is easy to single hand with both head sails up and with two slots instead of one it performs well. Lots of racers say getting the slots right is the real way to trim sails for speed and the more slots the better.

What ever boat you get it will perform better if it has the right rig and sails that are well trimmed. Two head sails and a square top is the best setup I have found.

YMMV
YES what a shame you are not well informed re L380 performance have a look at posts by Cruisers & Sailing Forums - View Profile: django37 and see what a Lagoon 380 owner actulally does to get performance out of his L380 and note his recent outstanding performance in the 2015 ARC. The issues i have is thinking you know better than the guy(s) who designed the boat... always dangerous.
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