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Old 04-01-2015, 08:11   #1
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Planning Our Great Escape.

My husband and I have been scouring these forums for a few weeks. We are looking into the catamaran cruising life. I am a bit perplexed as to how all of this truly works. The sailing life is a new concept for us. We are still in the research phase of this dream. We are looking into the ASA Cert. which we can do in Charleston, SC. Our lack of experience is a challenge but we are determined to figure it out and make it happen. We do know that a multihull is preferred. I canít imagine the lean of a mono-hull would be very practical for us.

I am not sure if this is the right place to ask but he seems to think that if the question is asked, the answers will come. So here goes...

Is there a difference in the sensation of a cruising liveaboard Cat verses a Cat designed for 4 hour excursions (that appears to be a platform)?

We are going on a Royal Caribbean cruise and I was looking for an excursion that would give us the opportunity to experience the cat life perspective in a three hour window (Not the SS Minnow). I know that we will only truly know when we are out there and that everyday will be a new adventure and there will be good and bad days. The Certification is a seven day immersion training. I guess to see it before jumping is my hope.

There does not seem to be any sleeping catamarans in the areas we are visiting to accommodate this kind of request for the day. We will be in the Bahamas (Jan, 11), St Martin (Jan 14), and St Thomas (Jan, 13) next week. The only day trips we can find are open platform cruises. I am sure this can be fun but I am not sure that it will give us the right experience.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

I look forward to a plethora of knowledge.
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Old 04-01-2015, 08:32   #2
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

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Is there a difference in the sensation of a cruising liveaboard Cat verses a Cat designed for 4 hour excursions (that appears to be a platform)?
Yes, there are differences. Usually those "day trip booze cruise" cats are quite large and are not set up as cruisers, as you suspect. They tend to have long and narrow hulls and can be quite fast - until they get loaded down by a bunch of cruise ship tourists and booze and food. If you stake out a spot along the railing or trampoline and turn your back on all the others, the "sensation" may be comparable to a cruising cat as far as watching the water go by and feeling the wind on your face. But I'd avoid making any other comparisons.

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There does not seem to be any sleeping catamarans in the areas we are visiting to accommodate this kind of request for the day.
There might be in SXM and STT. We've met folks arriving on cruise ships and have taken them out for the day - but this was all pre-arranged with personal friends. Maybe somebody here will offer. We're sitting out a season of cruising and won't be available, however. But I suggest you research on line in the ports of call you'll be visiting and look for "small party" excursions. Before committing to one, maybe share the details here and I bet you'll get feedback on whether the vessel being advertised is a good choice.

Another totally different option is to completely chuck the cruise ship idea and charter a crewed cat in the E Carib someplace. This would be a much better use of your $$ if you are currently convinced you want to get your own boat someday.

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Old 04-01-2015, 08:59   #3
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

If you end up on the cruise ship anyway, google "Quality Time catamaran" which is a day charter in SXM. This boat is more like a cruising cat vs the more prevalent open deck, booze cruise versions. I raced against this cat several years ago and he kicked my ass. Of course he wasn't carrying his certified load of passengers at the time. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it....

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Old 04-01-2015, 09:37   #4
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Thank you. I would love to "completely chuck the cruise ship idea and charter a crewed cat in the E Carib someplace". Unfortunately, that was not an option in this case. My Husbands parents 50th wedding anniversary is the main event. We have, however, decided to definitely do that for our next trip. I will look into your suggestion in the port of call. After reading these forums, I feel like an "excursion" with a commercial boat may not give us what we are looking for.
What other recommendations, if any, would you make about chartering a crewed cat? I will be looking into that today.
Really!! " Maybe somebody here will offer. We're sitting out a season of cruising and won't be available, however."
That is amazing to me, that someone would offer to show others a day (or an hour) in the life. Cruisers seem to be a rare breed and a community of people that anyone would be luck to know.
In any case, I am appreciative and so happy that you took the time to chat about this with me. I will post again after my research.
Thank you again.
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Old 04-01-2015, 09:48   #5
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

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What other recommendations, if any, would you make about chartering a crewed cat?
Well, I don't have any personal experience with this as I've never been on a crewed charter, but there are loads of cruising boat owners who do charters on their own boats as well as boats with hired crews all over the world. There are brokers who do nothing else but match up boats to vacationers. You'll have plenty to pick from. Start googling....

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Old 04-01-2015, 09:56   #6
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Those 4 hrs trip big platform cats are superbly comfortable compared to an average cruising cat. They are bigger and sail in flatter waters, hence the difference. Still, for comfort, I would take any 40' cat over any 40' mono. So to say you are on the right track: if you want comfort, you want a cat.

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Old 04-01-2015, 09:56   #7
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Strongly suggest you get on sail boats of all types, get the feel. The motions between mono hulls and cats is quite different. This is just one example of a boats characteristics. Others are storage, how it handles in heavy air, light air, frig, etc. Each boat type has good and bad points and experience will tell you what is important to you. Find others sailors, charter a boat as soon as you can.


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Old 04-01-2015, 09:56   #8
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Quality seems to be a flat top that does not have living quarters. Very nice if we wanted to just go out and party.
Leopard 47 called the Mojito - Looks like the perfect venue - thoughts?

There is a website called sxmdeals.com. Has anyone heard of them?
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:00   #9
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

If you board a "cruise ship" (i would NOT) take along an extra bag of provisions like water, beef jerky, pop tarts, nuts,granola bars, ect... for food. Bring flashlights, phones w/extra power supply, charging cords, wet wipes, and some hand held 2 way radio's (some form of a weapon) and plenty of extra medicine's. You never know when your ship will catch fire or breakdown or you may be Quarantined. My suggestion if any of these happen is to jump overboard at the first sight of the U.S. coast guard.....not kidding!
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:26   #10
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breenme View Post
Quality seems to be a flat top that does not have living quarters. Very nice if we wanted to just go out and party.
Leopard 47 called the Mojito - Looks like the perfect venue - thoughts?
Quality Time is constructed more like a cruising cat than a typical day tripper - at least from outward appearance. But it is not a "cruiser". I didn't intend to portray it as such. A Leopard 47 is a garden variety cruising cat and was initially conceived as a crewed charter cat for the Moorings back in the 90s - I think. I know private owners currently cruising on them.

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Old 04-01-2015, 10:41   #11
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Breenme View Post
There does not seem to be any sleeping catamarans in the areas we are visiting to accommodate this kind of request for the day. We will be in the Bahamas (Jan, 11), St Martin (Jan 14), and St Thomas (Jan, 13) next week. The only day trips we can find are open platform cruises. I am sure this can be fun but I am not sure that it will give us the right experience.

Any input is greatly appreciated.

I look forward to a plethora of knowledge.
Here's one I've seen many time in St Maarten... St Maarten Pub Crawls, Sunset Cruises and Day Charters on the catamaran Celine Celine did a variety of trips for many years but I know they suffered damage in Hurricane Gonzalo last October. I imagine they are back running now but you'll need to check. Certainly a more realistic experience than a booze cruise.
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Old 04-01-2015, 10:47   #12
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

Here's that link provided by Jeannius for a day charter just for cruise shipppers.
Charters designed for Cruise ship passengers
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Old 04-01-2015, 12:08   #13
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

You might have more luck getting a free ride from a forum member if we knew where you are. You can put your location beneath your forum name.
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Old 05-01-2015, 08:36   #14
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

i hope to have my cat back up and sailing within a month .. not much help to you right now. i am always looking for some overnights to 4 to 5 day cruiser to go out with me and pay expenses ,, which arent much as a rule .. i prefer experience sailing as i have little experience my self and need to learn ,, but know the basics and if i have a crew member willing to hump it that helps ..
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Old 05-01-2015, 09:52   #15
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Re: Planning Our Great Escape.

We are liveaboard cat sailors - my wife wont entertain mono sailing (or half boat as she calls them). Remember, that the majority of the time is spent at the docks or anchor. However, I am also a cat lover haviing owned several mono-hulls as well. Each to their own. There is a huge difference between a day charter cat and a cruiser cat. Its like comparing a F1 race car with a camper van. One is built for fast travel and the other is built for comfort over distance.
I am sure that someone shall let you peer around their cat to understand the creature comforts and way of life. We shall not be inthe Caribbean until late 2016. Our boat is also our home, with similar facilities on board, from water maker to washing machine.
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