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Old 21-11-2011, 20:50   #1
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Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

What are the big picture and little picture pros and cons between buying a new or old catamaran? Price, functionality, build quality, what should be taken into consideration?
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Old 21-11-2011, 21:08   #2
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Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

You need to check out and price some new cats and also check out the 2nd hand prices of the big catamaran dealers.

Because of the cost of new cats many sailers are getting into cats via ex charter vessels from the Carribean generally french built Lagoons or Fountain Pojat or the South African Robertson & Caine built Moorings/Sunsail/Leopard vessels.

The lowest priced new cats are the American built Gemmini's which are considered more of a coastal cruiser.

You need to buy a few books on Multihulls. Look on Amazon for multihull authors Chris White, Gregor Tarjan and start reading the multihull mags.

You simply have to start doing the research.

cheers

This is a current thread Solo Sailing Cruising Catamarans ?
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Old 22-11-2011, 03:31   #3
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Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

new cats dont come 'set up' for cruising or even day sailing..that can easily add up to $30 k depending on whats added. Some second hand come with LOTS of extras and well set up, some come with LOTS of problems.
the only real CON against buying new is price. All the extras can be added easily enough and resale value will be higher the newer it is. Buy what you can afford and expect it to cost you $20k a year in depreciation if new or $20k a year in repairs if second hand. That way you wont be too disappointed.
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Old 22-11-2011, 06:00   #4
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Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

Keep in mind, too, that brand new boats often have a bunch of problems. You won't likely have to pay to have them fixed, but it is a hassle. People often talk of a "sweet spot" of 2-5 years old, but it really depends on the make and the specific boat. One thing's for sure...there's lots of options!

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Old 22-11-2011, 07:09   #5
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Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

Well I guess a question I have then is if a 2000-2011 is more structurally sound than a 1985-1999? I would not be looking for a new one but I won't look at an older one if it could be seriously damaged easier.
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Old 22-11-2011, 07:21   #6
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Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

Many older boats actually have stronger construction. There are soooo many factors, it can be bewildering. I think your best bet is to look at a lot of catamarans, decide the size and layouts you like, then comb the boat owners forums for those brands to learn about what's better/worse for certain spans of years. A well-constructed older boat won't likely be as pretty inside, but a lot of things break within 5 years, so it really depends on what needs replacing and how much those things will cost. You can certainly find a 20-year-old that has been wonderfully maintained, turn-key, and as seaworthy as a new boat. Then, when you find it, get it checked out stem to stern!

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Old 22-11-2011, 07:28   #7
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Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

Ok, thanks. That helps a lot. I wouldn't have expected that, and really I don't think I would want a boat that is considered finished, I think I'd rather make it my own in that sense.
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Old 22-11-2011, 07:41   #8
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Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

The problem with the majority of "production" catamarans, is just like with production monohulls. As far as "cruising" is concerned, most, (but not all), are built to a bad design in the first place. The manufacturers "main" goal is not to make a great sea boat, it's to sell more boats, and they sell more with really great dockside amenities than they do truly seaworthy, efficient, sea kindly designs, so this is what they dictate as a goal from their NAs.

Many older designs, (like when most multihulls were one offs), were built to a better design, even though more is known about the subject now. This is because the folks willing to build their own had very different priorities than dockside accommodations, (a condo at the marina)... They wanted a true sea boat!

For THAT:

You need a low COG and relatively small / relatively low headroom, bridge deck cabins, that do not extend even close to the bow. The more open, with netting the better.

You need good visibility forward, (even around the jib), while sailing.

You also need ample clear walkways forward, as well as ample wing clearance... to prevent pounding in a seaway.

The heaviest portion of the payload, like eng, batteries, tankage, spares, tools, etc, need to be as low as possible in the hulls, even if inconvenient to get to.

Finally... after starting with a good seaworthy design like above, it needs to be built WELL but really light, (and engineered for strength), kept lightly loaded, as simply tricked out electrically as possible, and sailed with reserve.

These are ways to have a good trip, rather than a bad one, at sea.

Personally, I would favor a really well built example of one of the older "one offs" to cruise in, as the few newer examples in production cats, (that DO fulfill the above criteria), are incredibly expensive for what you get.

Best of luck in your search... Mark
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Old 22-11-2011, 08:26   #9
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pirate Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

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Originally Posted by guysnell View Post
What are the big picture and little picture pros and cons between buying a new or old catamaran? Price, functionality, build quality, what should be taken into consideration?
If your well off enough to consider new v old and are looking for a good sea going Cat that handles well then it may be worth considering one of these professionally built to your own spec.... ie shower/head in each hull etc...

Tiki 38 Self-build Boat Plans | James Wharram Designs
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Old 22-11-2011, 08:29   #10
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Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

I dont follow? With the money coming out of the academy wich is garateed and the only reason i am including it paired with my art im looking at something in the 300-400 thousand range. so i think ill have a lot of options but i dont think i want to build my own, because of cost and time it will take.
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Old 22-11-2011, 08:44   #11
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Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

Hello Guysnell,
I think he meant to have it professionally built to your specifications. You are an artist and therefore might want to have some creative input.
One thing I've seen that is a potential problem is corrosion of saildrives. I am sure you can search that topic and find a lot of information.
If you search for Leucat on sailblogs.com you'll find a detailed log of a very considered purchase of a cat, outfitting for circumnavigation, and day to day activities.
I know of one couple that built their own boat and made a lot of their decisions based on cats they had chartered in the Caribbean over the years. Chartering a few times would give you a better idea of what you'd like.
It would also be a good idea to do some casual sailing on a smaller beach cat or find someone needing crew on one and get to know the sailing characteristics peculiar to catamarans.
Good luck!
Andy S.
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Old 22-11-2011, 08:45   #12
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pirate Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by guysnell View Post
I dont follow? With the money coming out of the academy wich is garateed and the only reason i am including it paired with my art im looking at something in the 300-400 thousand range. so i think ill have a lot of options but i dont think i want to build my own, because of cost and time it will take.
I said 'Professionally Built' by a boatyard... as per your spec's....
Your a painter so you'll need storage of a certain type maybe... somewhere to stand your unfinished canvas's etc...
You could designate one hull totally for that and the other for accomodation... remembering you also have the deckpod...
The deck offers vast open space for you to sit and paint on... or just party...
She'll go where 'Production' Cat's cannot... and you'll have a tailor made boat for half the price you quote...
If you've a young heart you'll love it...
If you've not...
Go Plastic....
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Old 22-11-2011, 09:21   #13
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Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

I thought that custom boats were twice as expensive as buying a used or even a new? And dont they take years to build? Im clueless in how that works
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Old 22-11-2011, 09:32   #14
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pirate Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

A good yard should be able to turn one out in 4mths...
Also these are not moulded... its good old fashioned boatbuilding...
I believe there's a yard in Florida set up to produce the Tiki 30.... be a good place to start if your curious enough... an extra 8ft should not present a problem...
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Old 22-11-2011, 09:46   #15
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Re: Pros and Cons Between a New and Old Catamaran

IMO 300 - 400 K will indeed give you a lot of options in your searchy for a cruising cat, but not many that are new.

Brad
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