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Old 05-01-2015, 10:20   #16
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Take a day excursion on SXM to the Moorings/Sunsail base. Tell them you are prospective charterers and would like to tour their selection of cats. They will have some sitting at the dock unused and should be willing to let prospective customers tour them. Then when you get to STT, visit the CYOA charter base and let them know you are interested in chartering. Moorings/Sunsail uses mostly Robertson & Caine cats from South Africa. CYOA charters Fountaine Pajot cats from France. You do plan to do some chartering first to explore whether you like long (multi-day/night) trips on a catamaran, right? Granted that chartering and cruising are not the same, you'll get a small vision into what cruising will be like.

Our family has done many charter vacations going back to 1989. My wife and I bought a 4 year old R&C Leopard 46 from a Mooring's owner in the BVI and plan to cruise in a few years. Our boat is still in charter in the BVI for now.

Rob
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Old 05-01-2015, 11:51   #17
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

I am not sure they can accommodate a 3 hour cruise but CYOA Yacht charter (CYOA Yacht Charters | US Virgin Islands | St. Thomas) are terrifically nice people who charter cats and have captains. Perhaps they can arrange something that works for you. They are in Frenchtown marina just east of the airport and west across the bay from where the cruise ships dock.
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Old 05-01-2015, 11:55   #18
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by scottthardin View Post
They are in Frenchtown marina just east of the airport and west across the bay from where the cruise ships dock.
Unless the ship docks at the Crowne Bay docks. A better reference may be to just watch where the seaplanes dock. CYOA is a short distance west of that.

Talk about fast cats, those seaplanes can fly......
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Old 05-01-2015, 14:39   #19
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

BreenMe -- your post reminds me how I felt a few years ago. We went from: having sailed a few times when we were young + having a dream -> to now owning a sailing catamaran. This journey took about 3 years of actually preparing and many years prior of saving $ and dreaming.

A few of things we did that I thought were very helpful were:
  • Read this forum frequently and listened to others - then made up our own minds on key topics
  • Found someone to take us on a 6-day sailing vacation in the BVIs. We were lucky to have a friend of a friend who had a boat on Tortola. We went with another couple and got to experience living on a boat for 6 days.
  • Went to several boat shows. Went to Miami twice cause we like the weather there in February. But the Annapolis show is great too. The sailboat shows usually have a paid ($100) "class" that takes people on a cruising catamaran for a half a day. This was our first experience on a cat.
  • Took the ASA 103/104 class in the BVIs. This gave us another week of living on a sailboat.
  • Volunteered to help our friend move his sailboat down to Bonaire (3-day passage) plus another 5 days on the boat.
In other words, we scrambled to get as much time on sailboats as we possible could to ensure that we really enjoyed sailing as much as we thought we might. Then we started shopping....

Hope that helps...
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Old 05-01-2015, 18:32   #20
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

In Charleston, Will at Charleston Sailing School is great. If you are interested in a similar program in the Caribbean, we would love to help you organize a catamaran sailing course!

If you are interested in checking out a crewed charter in the Caribbean, I would highly recommend Mike and Rebecca on One Love Cat. You can find them at One Love Catamaran

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about classes or crewed charters. Chris@LTDsailing.com.
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Old 05-01-2015, 19:23   #21
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Great insight! Thank you.
RRmontgo - based on 2Hulls post, we researched our options in SXM. We are now trying to decide between the Mojoto or seduction for a 4 hr cruise. We spoke to sxmdeals.com and they said that the Capitan might also be willing to do a mock wedding/vow renewal for my in-laws on the boat (what a wonderful Caribbean bonus). My husband originally did a search for chartering services on the other 2 islands we will be on, to no avail. So much appreciation for cyoa direction. My husband has been looking at the Helia 44, so I think being able to explore the Fountaine Pajots as well would be wonderful. Being able to compare several makers on this trip will be a huge benefit. The fact that they may be willing to allow us to tour their boat selection is definitely not something we would have assumed on our own . It is always nice to have physical touch over web photos.
My husband has been looking at the used Cats to get an idea about cost, depreciation and type, quality. (It's always about the money for him, is that a guy thing?? lol.) I remember him remarking about the Gemini (spelling?) line seems to be so much less expensive within the same parameters as other Cats. Is there a justifiable reason for this? Should we stay away from them?
His thought process or timeline:
Next week - look to tour 2 or more boats at cyoa, Do a 4 hr cruise with sxmdeals.
This summer or next get ASA certified in Charleston. (This kills two birds with one stone, getting an extended stay (7days) and our cert. at the same time for about the same cost.)
Then look to charter a cat in the Caribbean for a week or so (with or without a crew TBD).
Then look into our investing/living on our cat.
My timeline: sell it all and go now.
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Old 05-01-2015, 19:27   #22
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MNLandLoc View Post
BreenMe -- your post reminds me how I felt a few years ago. We went from: having sailed a few times when we were young + having a dream -> to now owning a sailing catamaran. This journey took about 3 years of actually preparing and many years prior of saving $ and dreaming.
Is it everything you imagined?

A few of things we did that I thought were very helpful were:
  • Read this forum frequently and listened to others - then made up our own minds on key topics
  • Found someone to take us on a 6-day sailing vacation in the BVIs. We were lucky to have a friend of a friend who had a boat on Tortola. We went with another couple and got to experience living on a boat for 6 days.
  • Went to several boat shows. Went to Miami twice cause we like the weather there in February. But the Annapolis show is great too. The sailboat shows usually have a paid ($100) "class" that takes people on a cruising catamaran for a half a day. This was our first experience on a cat.
  • Took the ASA 103/104 class in the BVIs. This gave us another week of living on a sailboat.
  • Volunteered to help our friend move his sailboat down to Bonaire (3-day passage) plus another 5 days on the boat.
In other words, we scrambled to get as much time on sailboats as we possible could to ensure that we really enjoyed sailing as much as we thought we might. Then we started shopping....

Hope that helps...
This is great! Thank you.
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Old 05-01-2015, 19:59   #23
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

In addition to all of the great advice here, my wife found it very beneficial to take her ASA classes from a woman captain with other women, no men. Guys in general want to be "helpful", and when you are learning, that is not necessarily what you want. My wife told me when they were docking, and she was line handling, she had to tell a guy on the dock to give her the dock line three times before he would listen, each time explaining that she was in a class and needed that line!

I wish you well, we are in a similar spot ourselves!


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Old 06-01-2015, 02:21   #24
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

I've owned a Leopard 47 (Moorings 4700) and you could do worse for cruising and living aboard. Very comfortable and suitable for ocean passages if you have a lot of experience and pick your weather windows carefully. But I think you can get in a lot more trouble in the open ocean in a cat than a mono-hull. A lot of people will disagree but just looking at and watching a multi-hull design you can see that the hulls will osculate out of phase in rough conditions such that they theoretically could tear themselves apart if in severe enough seas. Also coming down off a wave in a real blow and burying a hull before you can get the sheets off can flip the best of them. Inherently unseaworthy? I won't go that far but a word to the wise is sufficient before setting off into the unknown in any kind of vessel.
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Old 06-01-2015, 05:48   #25
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Great news that you are going to St Thomas as there's a charter cat base not far from the cruise terminal. Just walk around the waterfront to the left (as you arrive) past Blackbeards castle, past the seaplane base, past McDonalds and you're there !

They had 40' Lavezzi's there and a 44 Lagoon at least when I was there, plus several more. Just wander in and ask if you can take a look on board, they will be most obliging.
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Old 06-01-2015, 08:11   #26
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
But I think you can get in a lot more trouble in the open ocean in a cat than a mono-hull. A lot of people will disagree but just looking at and watching a multi-hull design you can see that the hulls will osculate out of phase in rough conditions such that they theoretically could tear themselves apart if in severe enough seas. Also coming down off a wave in a real blow and burying a hull before you can get the sheets off can flip the best of them.
You forgot the part about how cats are also bigger targets for a comet strike...
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Old 06-01-2015, 09:30   #27
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

This is really good advise:
Quote:
Originally Posted by MNLandLoc View Post
BreenMe -- your post reminds me how I felt a few years ago. We went from: having sailed a few times when we were young + having a dream -> to now owning a sailing catamaran. This journey took about 3 years of actually preparing and many years prior of saving $ and dreaming.

A few of things we did that I thought were very helpful were:
  • Read this forum frequently and listened to others - then made up our own minds on key topics
  • Found someone to take us on a 6-day sailing vacation in the BVIs. We were lucky to have a friend of a friend who had a boat on Tortola. We went with another couple and got to experience living on a boat for 6 days.
  • Went to several boat shows. Went to Miami twice cause we like the weather there in February. But the Annapolis show is great too. The sailboat shows usually have a paid ($100) "class" that takes people on a cruising catamaran for a half a day. This was our first experience on a cat.
  • Took the ASA 103/104 class in the BVIs. This gave us another week of living on a sailboat.
  • Volunteered to help our friend move his sailboat down to Bonaire (3-day passage) plus another 5 days on the boat.
In other words, we scrambled to get as much time on sailboats as we possible could to ensure that we really enjoyed sailing as much as we thought we might. Then we started shopping....

Hope that helps...
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Old 11-01-2015, 12:50   #28
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Gemini are often viewed as the low end of the cat market but there are some even older designs less expensive. But you need to be aware that many inexpensive boats required expensive refits prior to cruising.

The biggest mistake many folks make is buying a boat suitable for what they think they want to do not what they wind up doing.

There is nothing wrong with a Gemini if you are cruising the Florida Keys and Bahamas and even South if you watch your weather windows. They are fine coastal cruisers. Of course more money will get you a more comfortable and seaworthy boat.

I have no illusions about rounding the great capes or cruising the Southern ocean and picked what I consider more of a souped up coastal cruiser. Before you select a boat try and get a good idea what you will be doing with it.

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Old 11-01-2015, 21:39   #29
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
I've owned a Leopard 47 (Moorings 4700) and you could do worse for cruising and living aboard. Very comfortable and suitable for ocean passages if you have a lot of experience and pick your weather windows carefully. But I think you can get in a lot more trouble in the open ocean in a cat than a mono-hull. A lot of people will disagree but just looking at and watching a multi-hull design you can see that the hulls will osculate out of phase in rough conditions such that they theoretically could tear themselves apart if in severe enough seas. Also coming down off a wave in a real blow and burying a hull before you can get the sheets off can flip the best of them. Inherently unseaworthy? I won't go that far but a word to the wise is sufficient before setting off into the unknown in any kind of vessel.
Interesting. Good thing you haven't done an ocean crossing in it.
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Old 12-01-2015, 02:30   #30
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Hi Bulawayo! What make and size Cat do you own? My hubby born and raised in Harare and we married in Shabani. Also planning our Great Escape quite soon but still looking at boats (Cats). What sailing qualifications did you need?
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