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Old 07-12-2011, 07:27   #1
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Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Hi to all
I am new to this forum and have enjoyed reading some of the posts.
I would like some advice on a cruising cat if some members can help.
I am just starting the process of trying to find the right vessel for my plans so many different ones to look at on the web the mind boggles.
what I think I am after is around a 40 foot live aboard cruising cat basic outline I live in the nw of Australia so air con to main bed is pretty important my plan is to live aboard and cruse the northern coast of Australia for a year or so until enough experience earned then cruse around the rest of the world for 5 years or so.
I think my best option would be to buy a cat that has been used as a live aboard world cruiser and is already setup for comfortable and safe cruising.
I am single at present so it would need to be able handled by 1 if necessary.
My budget was $200,000 but I realise I might have to increase it to get the right cat.
What I am after I guess is what everyone wants buying the right boat being able to sell again in 6years and keep it in good nick and still get a reasonable price.
To look in Australia or overseas? Brand, size, model? How much I really need to budget for to get a good cat?
Any and all advice would be much appreciated
Thanks in advance Pete
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Old 07-12-2011, 08:00   #2
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Re: advise on a crusing cat

Hello Pete

This thread will be of some use to you;

Characteristics of a Circumnavigating Cat

Regards,
JJ
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Old 07-12-2011, 09:25   #3
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Re: advise on a crusing cat

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Pete.
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Old 07-12-2011, 11:00   #4
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Re: advise on a crusing cat

These questions come up regularly from newbies. They really are too generic to answer. So... read Gregor Tarjans and Chris Whites books. Start internet window shopping. The biggest cat dealers in the world are the Catamaran Company and the Multihull Company. Both are based out of Ft. Lauderdale but have offices worldwide. That's the place to go to see lots of cats and second is either the Caribbean (BVI?) or the Med. Boats are cheaper in the US and are a pain to import to OZ but it is done and apparantly worth the hassle. See those threads. Consider one offs and home builts. They don't hold their value as well so can be a good buy if you get a good one. Start dock walkin and talk to everybody. Beer helps.
Charter or crew on one. Some charter companies will just rent you a stateroom. It's cheaper but you will be sailing with strangers. Maybe good maybe bad. Good luck BOB
PS Mantas are known for their shorthanded sailing. They are built that way. Might be out of your budget.
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Old 11-12-2011, 16:59   #5
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Just because the best boats are built in South Africa, it's easy to be a target... Like a king of the hill thing..
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Old 11-12-2011, 17:09   #6
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

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Just because the best boats are built in South Africa, it's easy to be a target... Like a king of the hill thing..
Like the Wildcats, Jaquars, Admirals, Tag etc. The point is any country can have good/bad boats. I would argue a specific brand's merits but not the country of origin. BOB
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Old 11-12-2011, 17:25   #7
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Check out Dave Leu's blog on sailblogs.com, search for leucat. He bought a boat partnering with a charter company. They currently have drydocked in Australia for a holiday trip back to the states.
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Old 13-02-2012, 03:24   #8
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pirate Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Thanks for the advice I have taken it on board.
I realise I need to up the budget to around $300,000 to $350,000 to get what I want.
As I live inland I can only window shop on the nett.
I have been able to get a lot of good information from this forum thanks.
The 43 fp Belize has caught my eye and ticks the box in a lot of my requirements.
High brigedeak clearance.
Minni keels so I can beach it with little worry about small sharp things.
Motors separate from cabin ,smell sound and water.
Engine hatches high above water level.
Sounds like itís a good sailer even though it has minni keels.
Large sail area for light winds.
Good beam to length ratio.
At 43 foot long it should go through any seas that I encounter and also have the capability carry my dive and fishing gear.

One of the few compromises that I see is doesnít appear to be the best set-up for fishing and spear fishing/diving
Off the back.
And it may be difficult to install a solid extended behimi for solar panels and traveller.
they seam a bit over priced in oz so I probably purchase over seas and employ a delivery skipper to bring it back to oz from the med .and train me on the way with a bit of luck by the time I am back I will have a full understanding of the cat and how to handle it.
Any more tips or advice appreciated
Cheers Pete
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Old 13-02-2012, 06:41   #9
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

For me...when I was looking... I looked at pictures online till my eyes bled. My advice is, don't take to much from the pictures. They will give you a good idea, but you won't truly know if it is 'your boat' until you are on her. If she 'talks' to you, then you will have found the right one.

I agree with walking the docks. Sailors like to talk about their boats. Most of them have put a lot of love into them and don't mind at all showing it. Visit a broker...look at a few different ones. I know you are inland...but if you are planning on doing this for some time to come....a little time investment(trips to the coast) on the front end will save you a lot of frustration later on.

PS - don't be surprised if in your search for a Cat that you find a mono that you really like. I have seen it happen before!
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Old 13-02-2012, 08:08   #10
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

thanks for te reply gel.
as i like the idear of sailing fairly flat ,twin motors and being able to beach it and having power cat in the past.
i think i will spend the bucks and stay with a cat.
so long as i buy a sea worthy vessel being a carpenter and joiner i will modifi it and love it like my first born.
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Old 13-02-2012, 11:46   #11
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by k9spud View Post
The 43 fp Belize has caught my eye and ticks the box in a lot of my requirements.
If you have your eyes currently set on a FP Belize see if you can locate a FP Belize owner's version - the starboard hull is basically one big airy room, the space is absolutely stunning!
There is one here in Cartagena, Spain and the owner paid Ä165,000 incl. VAT after some negotiations.
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Old 13-02-2012, 12:41   #12
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

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Originally Posted by k9spud View Post

...The 43 fp Belize has caught my eye and ticks the box in a lot of my requirements...

One of the few compromises that I see is doesn’t appear to be the best set-up for fishing and spear fishing/diving
Off the back...
I have run a variety of FPs as a charter captain including the "Belize". In general, they are good boats. Good bridge deck clearance and good sailing performance. One characteristic, particular of older generation FPs, that is a bit disconcerting is that some areas of the boat are quite lightly built. However, they seem to have chosen the right areas to build stronger because they hold up pretty well in charter. The cabins can be a bit cramped and cofin like on some of the FP's. Poor ventilation to the aft cabins is typical -- seems so even in their newer designs. Engine access is a real pain on the smaller FPs (like the Athena 38) because they mount the engine a few inches aft of a bulkhead, but the larger FPs with separate engine room hatches have excellent engine access (and of course having the separate access hatch means you don't have to disrupt a guest cabin to get at the engine).

Don't like the "escape" hatches mounted on the inside of the hulls under the bridge deck (on the FP's or any other cat). They are quite nice for ventilation -- especially when it is raining, but the only other thing I have seen these accomplish in actual use is to swamp boats. I would either glass them in or replace them with a proper full aluminum hatch (one that locks so that only I can open it...several guests have caused swamping of boats here in Belize by leaving these open or improperly secured).

Another feature I don't like of the FPs is their foredeck (no I am not knocking FPs...just a few typical features). Rather than having a "cat walk" for use when working ground tackle and such, they only have netting between the hulls forward. Worse yet they are mostly rigged with fishing net like netting. This stuff is too stretchy and open to walk on easily and it is even uncomfortable to lay on. Makes this area almost unusable for anything -- especially challenging if you have to go forward in heavy conditions (to clear a jammed roller furling for example).

A feature I do like in many of the FPs is the installation of the heads at mid-ships in the hulls. This works out much better than in-suite heads -- especially if you have a few guests aboard.

Re fishing. Quite the opposite is true -- cats make excellent fishing boats because of their wide beam (no need for out riggers) and ample deck space (although the FP's tend to be slightly more crowded aft than some other cats). For example, I once had a group of charter guests aboard an FP Bahia 46 who were heavily into fishing -- we had a quintuple? (5) tuna hook up just outside the reef in Belize -- we were all quite pleasantly surprised that we landed all five of them! I fish a lot off my boat: I have two good heavy stainless (Tigress brand) trolling rod holders on the sterns and two lighter plastic rod holders on the bows (these are handy when anchored and spin casting or bottom fishing). I troll, spin-cast, and even fly fish right from the deck.

Re diving. The transom step areas are generally relatively large on the FPs. Provided you have a good large strong ladder (not the typical yacht style swim ladder) then diving works out OK too. Divers can gear up/down on the transom steps (many FPs have a relatively large flat area at the bottom). One custom cat here has a hydraulic platform that raises and lowers between the aft end of the hulls -- the ultimate in convenient cat diving.

Re AC on cats: See my post regarding installing AC on cats here on CF at Installing AC in a Cat.
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Old 13-02-2012, 13:17   #13
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
I have run a variety of FPs as a charter captain including the "Belize". In general, they are good boats. Good bridge deck clearance and good sailing performance. One characteristic, particular of older generation FPs, that is a bit disconcerting is that some areas of the boat are quite lightly built. However, they seem to have chosen the right areas to build stronger because they hold up pretty well in charter. The cabins can be a bit cramped and cofin like on some of the FP's. Poor ventilation to the aft cabins is typical -- seems so even in their newer designs. Engine access is a real pain on the smaller FPs (like the Athena 38) because they mount the engine a few inches aft of a bulkhead, but the larger FPs with separate engine room hatches have excellent engine access (and of course having the separate access hatch means you don't have to disrupt a guest cabin to get at the engine).

Don't like the "escape" hatches mounted on the inside of the hulls under the bridge deck (on the FP's or any other cat). They are quite nice for ventilation -- especially when it is raining, but the only other thing I have seen these accomplish in actual use is to swamp boats. I would either glass them in or replace them with a proper full aluminum hatch (one that locks so that only I can open it...several guests have caused swamping of boats here in Belize by leaving these open or improperly secured).
I'm not sure I would diss the escape hatches because of forgetting to close them that leads to swamping the boat. Don't you have a 'before underway checkoff list'?

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Another feature I don't like of the FPs is their foredeck (no I am not knocking FPs...just a few typical features). Rather than having a "cat walk" for use when working ground tackle and such, they only have netting between the hulls forward. Worse yet they are mostly rigged with fishing net like netting. This stuff is too stretchy and open to walk on easily and it is even uncomfortable to lay on. Makes this area almost unusable for anything -- especially challenging if you have to go forward in heavy conditions (to clear a jammed roller furling for example).
It is the heavy conditions when you want the open net! I've been in conditions that I was glad the water would drain off the bow very quickly. If you've ever stuffed the bows into a wave, you would have the same opinion. Throw a long cushion on the 'stretchy' net if you want to lay on it. I have the factory bow sprit for a genaker, this unit runs under the net back the chain locker and provides that 'walkway' to the forestay. We don't go forward for normal ground tackle, it's all located in the chain locker. If I have to manhandle a second anchor, then I go forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
A feature I do like in many of the FPs is the installation of the heads at mid-ships in the hulls. This works out much better than in-suite heads -- especially if you have a few guests aboard.

Re fishing. Quite the opposite is true -- cats make excellent fishing boats because of their wide beam (no need for out riggers) and ample deck space (although the FP's tend to be slightly more crowded aft than some other cats). For example, I once had a group of charter guests aboard an FP Bahia 46 who were heavily into fishing -- we had a quintuple? (5) tuna hook up just outside the reef in Belize -- we were all quite pleasantly surprised that we landed all five of them! I fish a lot off my boat: I have two good heavy stainless (Tigress brand) trolling rod holders on the sterns and two lighter plastic rod holders on the bows (these are handy when anchored and spin casting or bottom fishing). I troll, spin-cast, and even fly fish right from the deck.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Re diving. The transom step areas are generally relatively large on the FPs. Provided you have a good large strong ladder (not the typical yacht style swim ladder) then diving works out OK too. Divers can gear up/down on the transom steps (many FPs have a relatively large flat area at the bottom). One custom cat here has a hydraulic platform that raises and lowers between the aft end of the hulls -- the ultimate in convenient cat diving.
+1


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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Re AC on cats: See my post regarding installing AC on cats here on CF at Installing AC in a Cat.
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Old 13-02-2012, 13:33   #14
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gelfling View Post
For me...when I was looking... I looked at pictures online till my eyes bled. My advice is, don't take to much from the pictures. They will give you a good idea, but you won't truly know if it is 'your boat' until you are on her. If she 'talks' to you, then you will have found the right one.

I agree with walking the docks. Sailors like to talk about their boats. Most of them have put a lot of love into them and don't mind at all showing it. Visit a broker...look at a few different ones. I know you are inland...but if you are planning on doing this for some time to come....a little time investment(trips to the coast) on the front end will save you a lot of frustration later on.

PS - don't be surprised if in your search for a Cat that you find a mono that you really like. I have seen it happen before!
The other problem with pictures is they look good on-line then when you get there the boat is actually trashed. I would use the pictures to define the features you like, then zero in on the model.

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Don't like the "escape" hatches mounted on the inside of the hulls under the bridge deck (on the FP's or any other cat). They are quite nice for ventilation -- especially when it is raining, but the only other thing I have seen these accomplish in actual use is to swamp boats. I would either glass them in or replace them with a proper full aluminum hatch (one that locks so that only I can open it...several guests have caused swamping of boats here in Belize by leaving these open or improperly secured).

Another feature I don't like of the FPs is their foredeck (no I am not knocking FPs...just a few typical features). Rather than having a "cat walk" for use when working ground tackle and such, they only have netting between the hulls forward. Worse yet they are mostly rigged with fishing net like netting. This stuff is too stretchy and open to walk on easily and it is even uncomfortable to lay on. Makes this area almost unusable for anything -- especially challenging if you have to go forward in heavy conditions (to clear a jammed roller furling for example).
Really if a charterer (or anyone) opens an escape hatch for any reason except to escape in an emergency, they where poorly trained and briefed. They are about 6" above waterline and could sink a boat in minutes. Mine have large stickers on them that say to only open in an emergency. Besides that, they are in a perfect position, right where you would need them.

I think most catamarans in this size range have single tramps. Ones that don't typically are not wide enough to walk on. And, the down side of a smaller cat with a wide gangway is that when you go nose down, the gangway slaps the wave. Cat's need really high clearance for solid wide gangeways. The solution to the netting is to replace it with comfortable mesh. It costs around $1500. No big deal.

When you look at Belize's, compare them to Bahia's. What I found is they are priced almost identical. The Bahia has probably 25% more interior space for nearly the same money.
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Old 13-02-2012, 14:09   #15
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Re: Please Advise on a Cruising Cat

K9, take a look at an owners version of the Lavezzi. A nice machine, somewhat different class to the Lipari and a lot lighter.

Should be photos a plenty around of these as they are frequently used for charter although not normally the owners version though.
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