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Old 22-09-2012, 16:29   #1
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Owner/Chart and Essntial

This is my first post and english is not my first language, be patience.
I had read a lot and almost topics of the forum talking about charters cats and owners cats. All have goods and bad things, we can find a good charter cat and find a bad private bad, everything depends of many questions.

I'm looking to buy one about 300k cat 38 to 42 ft for cruising (Caribe, Pacific, Europe and Australia) and live aboard.
I think in general monohulls cruisers (38-42ft) is more "Spartan" to live aboard. For ex. is not all have generator, electric anchor windlass, water maker or chart plotter or air conditioner but almost all have solar panels and good batteries banks and sails.
In the cat cruisers I see more cats with this and all this amenities like all is necessary.

I my case i have a question is, what is essential? I know it's individual like what is comfort for one is not for others.
For me essential is cruising in a secure cat with low cost for maintenance. (I know, no maintenance is a non secure cat).
I need a cat with a good engines entry and out of ports and wen no wind. Rigs, Solar panels and batteries.
Everything else is good come but not necessary.
I don't want a cat with 4 bathrooms only 2. Three or four berths is indifferent.

In a cat, how many years I have to refit the cat, rigs generator, water maker make some hull work?
I'm worried to buy a 2007 2008 cat and have many jobs and spend much money in fill months or next year.
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Old 22-09-2012, 17:22   #2
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Re: Owner/Chart and Essntial

Hi FeBR and welcome aboard. Don't worry about the language - we all learn...

"Essential" is very personal. Some would like their boat to be completely self sustaining and have the comforts of a condominium or apartment. Some just want to get out there at a low cost. These are very personal to you and the limiting factor for almost everyone is budget.

Where you cruise can also help define essential. In cold climes where fog is common and traffic is high some would say a radar is essential. For solo handers some would say AIS and traffic alarms are essential. For me not so much.

There are many debates here about what is essential and everyone has differing opinions. I also have decided that a ~40 cat is my retirement cruising boat. Comforts for me include -

- Twin engines - no outboards
- Plenty of electrical supply - Primarily solar but also generator at times
- Good refrigeration
- Large watermaker
- Smaller air conditioning for at least stateroom for when shore powered or those unbearable still, hot doldrum nights we get near the equator

Nice to have -
- Excellent entertainment system
- Clothes washer
- Very large head with separate shower

In terms of maintenance there is a reason charter companies tend to sell the cats at around 5 years

- Maintenance costs start to go up
- Newer models arrive
- Charterers like new boats

At 5 years you are likely looking at sails and the engines may have been run a lot. Charters will run the engine anytime the wind drops or any time they want power. This can be good or bad.

Batteries & standing rigging will start to become a question at 7-10 years depending on where the boat was used.

As far as interior layout 2 heads vs. 4 etc. This is the big difference between charter cats and owner cats. The other big difference is fitout in terms of safety gear (life rafts for example), and electronics.

I think the charter cat has an advantage here. The 5 y/o owner boat will have 5 y/o electronics technology. It may not be bad but won't be latest. I would rather pay cheaper (charter cat) and add my own electronics.

The owner cat will want to be "paid" for all his upgrades, even though those upgrades are 5 years old. The charter cat won't have the upgrades, should come at a lower price and you can add your upgrades with the savings with again the advantage that they are current equipment (new).
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Old 22-09-2012, 18:48   #3
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Re: Owner/Chart and Essntial

You may be confusing owner with charter. An owners version has one hull dedicated to the owners suite. Charter cats typically have 2 or more cabins in each hull. Some owners versions are chartered and some of the boats with more cabins are never chartered. Some charter cats are really well equipped and some owners versions may not be. Owners versions command a higher price because their are less of these.
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