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Old 16-02-2016, 14:39   #1
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Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

Just thought I would share my observations from the past weekend I spent doing some serious Cat shopping at the show. I should preface that I am looking at boats under the following premise: able to be single handed/sailed as a couple, under $1M cost (preferable much less, but I understand you get what you pay for), 6-12 month at a time liveaboard with time for breaks in between, able to comfortably carry 6 adults for a couple weeks at a time, mostly island hopping with a couple potential crossings, oh...and this will be my first sailboat after couple decades of power boating.

-Damn...the Outremer 45 is one sexy boat. It has the feel of a purpose built instrument to be used in the hands of a connoisseur and true sailor. Fit and finish adequate, but utilitarian...this boat is about performance under sail, not cocktail parties at anchor. But it will most likely be the boat be the one all the guys gather around to admire. Seems like it would be the most fun to actually sail.
-Antaries 44i...wow, this seems like the boat you would want to be in if/when the you know what hits the fan. Rugged design, protected helm is great, cockpit is nicely sized and well thought out. Interior...if you've never had the chance to see one I highly recommend it, it is as good as it gets. The galley down, I did not think that I would like, but the way the interior is open to below it all just flows so nicely. I can see why they have such a fiercely loyal owners following and long backlog. I may be completely wrong here, but I get the impression that this is the boat you get when you just want to relax and enjoy the journey safely and luxuriously...and you are not super worried about 0.4 of a knot of boat speed. Only knock is that it is a dated overall design...but hey the Porsche 911 has been the same basic design for over 50 years & I think if you get something right it is okay to stick with it.
-Bali...these boats I just don't think were targeted towards me. Solid bridgedeck, I don't get that at all. These seem fun for a party cruise week with 10 of your closest friends, but I just wasn't feeling them.
-Leopard, eh...nice boats again, and just not for me.
-Nautitech Open 40...cool concept, but my first thought getting on this thing was essentially they just put two church pews running down the sides of the cockpit. They could have been a little more creative with the outdoor space. I could deal with the super duper tiny salon if the cockpit was a little cooler. Again...just my opinion, but overall nice concept that is not for me.
-Lagoon 42 - this is a hard boat to find fault in. I will just say it is on the super short list...compares very closely with the Helia44 at a lower price point. The 450 sport top was not there, but the 52 was...that is just so damn much boat though that I don't need. Hell all of these boats are more than I need, but for a couple, unless you love the flybridge (which I do really like) it seems the 42 will be a strong contender for years to come.
-FP40 - Nice, but at essentially the same price as the 42, its not a fair fight...L42 hands down. Helia44...now IMO that is one really nice cat, love the newer cockpit layout, honestly I think the Lagoon guys might have copied the Helia, then tweaked it to make it just a tad better. IMO it is really a coin toss. I am a firm believer in buying what you like and not what other people tell you to like...regardless to a certain extent even pricing. The H44 is right up there on the short list.

Other tidbit...from more than one owner I heard: "just get a big manufacturers production cat, a custom boutique manufacturer will just bring you heartache." Prime, but extreme example would be the G55, granted, these are all first world problems I realize, but cruising is supposed to be fun not stressful!

I apologize for rambling, but in full discloser, I went in thinking I wanted to get a L42 or H44. I left wondering if I'd be remiss in not going with a performance boat like the Outremer 45...it is a little scary though going with a boat that has less than 10 hulls in the water. Then at the same time the 44i just seems classy, like you know what the hell you are doing. Not sure if I am looking for somebody to talk some sense into me or what, but geez this is a fun adventure I'm headed down the path of.

P.S. (overall sexiest boat award: Oyster 575)
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Old 16-02-2016, 14:57   #2
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

Thanks Ol. Sounds like a productive visit. Maybe the nautitech open 46 should be on the short list as well.
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Old 16-02-2016, 15:10   #3
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

What first sold me on the Antares was the protected helm, I didn't want to be exposed like some of the other cats especially during a major crossing. I did a lot of looking and research before I signed up for the Antares. Unfortunately I'm still a couple of years away in the production line. My only worries about the galley down is what it will be like under way, that is will it make me/others more prone to getting seasick versus a galley with a view. As far as performance, I'm sure it will have plenty of speed for me, you should read the blogs of the Antares owners linked on the Antares website, no one is complaining about performance or lack of manufacturer's support. Just my two cents.
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Old 16-02-2016, 15:11   #4
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

Pretty good analysis for a lifetime power boater! Have you thought about chartering a couple of boats on your short-list? The FP's and Lagoons should be available.

I'm not sure if your plans are to take off cruising immediately, but if there is a gap of a couple of years prior to departure, you may also wish to consider purchasing a used cat of a popular brand to not only get your feet wet, but to get a better idea of what is important to you and your wife. If a popular boat purchased at a reasonble price, you should have little trouble re-selling her - and with less depreciation than you are apt to suffer for the first two years on a new boat that may not suit your ultimate wants and needs.

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Old 16-02-2016, 15:15   #5
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

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Originally Posted by monte View Post
Thanks Ol. Sounds like a productive visit. Maybe the nautitech open 46 should be on the short list as well.
Yes, its too bad the 46 was not there as it would have been a better comparison, I just don't get why they went with stadium seating with so much great space out there...just a little boring, and the size of the salon in the 40 seemed gimmicky to me for not enough benefit. Again that is to me though, and it very well be a perfect fit for others.
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Old 16-02-2016, 15:17   #6
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

sbarouch, if you have mananged in a galley on your Bene when underway, you should have no difficulty on the Antares. Certainly to my wife and I, the lack of a heeling counter, gimballed stove on a visually disconcerting angle etc., has much less of a tendancy to bring on symptoms of mal de mer. In addition, in heavy seas, the bracing in a galley down really is pretty much without parallel.

Brad
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Old 16-02-2016, 15:19   #7
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

There is a 44i for sale in Canada (2012) fully loaded for 925k CDN. The USD dollar conversion knocks 35% off that.

(I have no clue of the fair market value, it just came top of mind when you exclaimed how much you liked it and its under your budget)

Thanks for the synopsis!
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Old 16-02-2016, 15:23   #8
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

Regarding the outremer 45, I have to say it's also more than adequate for anchorage cocktails. We had a night on board with 10 or so comfortably in the cockpit. And yes it's a sexy boat. Looking around aboard it has similar accommodation and storage to a lagoon 380. Unfortunately the payload capacity isn't much more and performance suffers when she's overloaded. If you think you could keep her light enough for extended cruising and still keep the performance, it's a great option. Unfortunately I know there's no way I could maintain anywhere near her lightship displacement once we stock up for a month in the Caribbean with all the associated sailing gear, provisions and toys.
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Old 16-02-2016, 15:29   #9
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

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Originally Posted by Southern Star View Post
Pretty good analysis for a lifetime power boater! Have you thought about chartering a couple of boats on your short-list? The FP's and Lagoons should be available.

I'm not sure if your plans are to take off cruising immediately, but if there is a gap of a couple of years prior to departure, you may also wish to consider purchasing a used cat of a popular brand to not only get your feet wet, but to get a better idea of what is important to you and your wife. If a popular boat purchased at a reasonble price, you should have little trouble re-selling her - and with less depreciation than you are apt to suffer for the first two years on a new boat that may not suit your ultimate wants and needs.

Brad
Thanks Brad, I have definitely been studying this stuff pretty hard. I've only chartered myself a Leopard for a week, but have been out sailing on a Lagoon 440 as well as a few more day sail type set up cats. I retired last year and spent time traveling and getting some sailing and ASA through 114 classes taken. My time line is as soon as I really want it to be, but I don't need to rush into it to make any silly mistakes. Your point of buying a used boat is definitely a good possibility...I was thinking a nice 400S2 or FP Lipari to cut my teeth on would be just great. My only (very minor) worry doing this is that I get out there and love it so much I don't want to take the time to bother selling and specifying another boat. The reality is you are right, once I'm out there I'll realize what I like and don't like and will start thinking about what boat #2 will be : ) They are honestly all such great choices, that is what makes the process tough!
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Old 16-02-2016, 15:31   #10
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

We purchased our Privilege 39 catamaran before catamarans were cool. When we went to the Miami Boat show more twenty years ago, there were just a few cats on display. Not a lot to choose from which made the selection process easier. Ours was hull 93 which meant that all the problems had been worked out of the design by the time we got ours new from the factory in 1993.
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Old 16-02-2016, 15:42   #11
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

^^^ sorry max, cats have always been cool 😎
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Old 16-02-2016, 16:12   #12
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

Did you look at Seawind models? Been very happy with mine, and it has good performance. I understand some of the new models have daggerboards.
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Old 16-02-2016, 16:24   #13
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

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Originally Posted by maxingout View Post
We purchased our Privilege 39 catamaran before catamarans were cool. When we went to the Miami Boat show more twenty years ago, there were just a few cats on display. Not a lot to choose from which made the selection process easier. Ours was hull 93 which meant that all the problems had been worked out of the design by the time we got ours new from the factory in 1993.

We bought our first cat in 1992, and your right they weren't considered cool........but the Privilege 39 was definitely the coolest of the uncool cats back then!


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Old 17-02-2016, 06:10   #14
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

We went to the show as well. The Maverick 530 was the clear winner for me - but it was 950k. The Lagoon 52 was amazing, but at 1.3 million more than a little outside my price range.

My favorite boat that didn't cost two arms and both legs was the Seawind Lite.

The Antares 44i they had for show was beautiful but again it comes it a cool million which is outside my budget.

I went to the show looking for answers and came away with new questions...

Excited to see what the next year will bring. HH will have their first boat completed (I hope) and there will be new players in the game.

All in all, not a bad show. Still a fan of Annapolis - debating on if I will go to the fall show.
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Old 17-02-2016, 06:39   #15
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Re: Random thoughts from my weekend of Cat shopping in Miami

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, grymattr.
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