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Old 25-07-2011, 04:32   #1
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Sailing a Maine Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 Solo throughout the S.Pacific ?

Hi,

I plan on sailing a multihull from home, Sydney, up the east coast of Australia, then island hopping from one end of Indonesia to the other and back again, then on throughout the South Pacific, surfing everywhere as I go for any number of years as I can get away with.

I plan on doing great lengths solo, however friends and family will be staying on parts of this trip at various times as they please.

I have been studying a great deal into the model of boat to get and decided i want it under the 35 to 40 foot mark, and as I want a new or near new boat, and have a budget of approx AU$200k (possibly to AU$250k), my options are limited in a sense.

I have looked at the Gemini 105mc, Tomcat 9.7, Maine Cat 30 and many similar others, and always seem to end up back at the Maine Cat 30. I am also interested in the John Shuttleworth Tek 35, but cannot find a great deal of information and reviews regarding this boat. The open bridge neck design of these last two models really appeals to me as i will be consistently sailing in tropical waters.

I essentially want to know the suitability of either the Maine Cat 30 or the Shuttleworth Tek 35 for this type of sailing? Has anyone sailed either in similar conditions as to be expected island hopping throughout the South Pacific? and what cost am i looking at for a Tek 35 to be professionally built?
Also does anyone in Australia own either of these two boats.

Any other relevant information regarding either of these boats will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 25-07-2011, 04:48   #2
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Re: Sailing a Main Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 solo throughout the South Pacif

At the risk of showing my bias - thought about a seawind 1000/XL
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Old 25-07-2011, 04:52   #3
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Re: Sailing a Main Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 solo throughout the South Pacif

Yes I've looked into that, the price is a major factor though ruling it out unfortunately
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Old 25-07-2011, 05:55   #4
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Re: Sailing a Main Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 solo throughout the South Pacif

You can get a used Seawind 1000 in the US for well under your budget. My guess is the Tek 35 custom built would cost almost double of a used Seawind 1000. If your lucky you may even come across a Seawind 1000 with a soft top.
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Old 25-07-2011, 06:17   #5
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Re: Sailing a Main Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 solo throughout the South Pacif

Yeah - I should have asked where you were.

I dont know of any Tom Cats, or Maine Cats in Australia, but do know of a Gemini in Victoria.
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Old 25-07-2011, 06:19   #6
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Re: Sailing a Main Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 solo throughout the South Pacif

IMHO you'd be better off with the used Seawind 1000 than a Maine Cat. I can't claim to be an expert with either of these but in a prior boat shopping exploration they were both on my short list.

You will find the Maine Cat comes up short on tankage for long-term cruising and is a nice coastal harbor hopper but I wouldn't want to take it on an extended passage where fuel and potable water aren't readily available. There are other issues with the Maine Cat but in general the Seawind sails better.

For me, a deal killer with the Maine Cat was the way the deck vibrates at the helm when motoring -- it amplifies the motor vibration in such a way that it can literally make your eyeballs jump in your head. Standing anywhere other than the helm was tolerable. I asked Dick Vermeulen about it during a demo sail in Newport RI and he acknowledged that he's tried to design a solution using damping materials and structural reinforcement but not successfully. (That was about 7 or 8 years ago so maybe that's changed.)

There are issues with the Seawind also. I don't like the way the seam between the hulls and bridge-deck tends to pull away from the caulking, and in general (on used ones I've looked at) they had build-problems with deck/port sealing causing headliner and bulkhead water staining, and the painted aluminum masts tend to bubble and over time become a corrosion/maintenance problem.

There is an extended version of the Seawind which should sail quite nicely. The original version had stern-squat (also a problem with the Maine Cat) that would cause a lot of drag.

Also, despite the daggerboard, the Maine Cat does not point that well (probably due to the self-tacking jib and track, and way the sheeting points are configured -- which don't allow proper tweaking). The Seawind would point as high, or higher.
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Old 25-07-2011, 06:36   #7
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Re: Sailing a Main Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 solo throughout the South Pacif

I'm a strong advocate for Mainecat in many cases but for your described use, I'd say go with the Seawind 1000 XL. It's a bit more 'long legged' for what you will be doing. The Mainecat 30 just doesn't have the load carrying capability and is a bit on the light side especially for singlehanding in what is essentially an offshore use as you describe it. You can get the Seawind 1000 well under your budget and there are kits to make it into an XL for a minimal extra cost in the scheme of things.

While you're looking, you might check into a PDQ 36 as well. A touch bigger, faster and most importantly a potentially better load carrier. In any case, to stay within your budget and probably even to find one used, you'll need to locate one of these boats in the US and sail it to your destination. I find cats both new and used to be waay overpriced in Australia.
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Old 25-07-2011, 07:40   #8
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Re: Sailing a Main Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 solo throughout the South Pacif

I've spent a lot of time on my friend's Mainecat 30 in the Florida Keys and the Bahamas. I think it is a great fair weather boat, but my friend is very conservative when it comes to weather. I have not been out in anything over about 6 feet, but it seemed to handle that well, taking some spray and green water on the dodger occasionally, but nothing to worry about. I'm not very confident in the ability of that large flat dodger window in the front to actually take a serious breaking wave. I would imagine you would be swimming in the cockpit. If the hull hatches were open you would take hours to get the water out as the bilge pumps are pitifully small. Water capacity is limited, but the rain catchment system built into the hardtop and hulls works great and a good downpour can refill the tanks. The boat is fairly simple to single hand with all the lines leading back to the cockpit. The solar panels do a pretty good job with the power requirements as my friend notes his boat has never been connected to the grid. I do find the single 8D battery a bit worrisome, but it has never actually been a problem. I personnally would prefer two batteries just in case one failed, even if it was only big enough to start the engines. Despite the option of pull starting the engines access to the pull starter in the wells is not that great.

If you are planning a solo trip you can carry enough supplies that you should not have a problem for a couple of weeks. I've spent 10 days on her in the Bahamas out islands with 4 people on board and no supply issues. Water was the big worry, but a few rain showers solved that problem. One rainless week however we did run out of water and had to make for a port. A small watermaker might be enough to solve that problem.

If you are planning on Island hopping and not making any thousand mile passages where you need to face the possibility of a major storm at sea, then the Mainecat might work for you. Just watch the weather carefully, especially on longer hops.

I would note that my Friend's Mainecat was built in 2002 and I've never found the outboard noise to be that big of a problem. It's certainly much quieter than my diesels. The engine pods do hang a bit close to the water so they slap quite a bit in a chop, but it's not that bad.

I agree that the boat does not go to weather all that well. My friend usually resorts to motoring or motor sailing when going to windward. The screecher works very well in light air and I've seen 7-8 knots in 5-7 true.
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Old 25-07-2011, 07:41   #9
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There are 3 PDQ 36 LRC ( twin 20 hp yanmar diesels) for sale in US / Canadian the 149/170 USD range.
You could even repower them and still be under budget. Very well built sailing machines.
Paul
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Old 25-07-2011, 23:13   #10
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Re: Sailing a Main Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 solo throughout the South Pacif

Quote:
Originally Posted by casey2101 View Post
Yes I've looked into that, the price is a major factor though ruling it out unfortunately
You can get a bloody good Seawind 1000 on the Aus east coast within your mentioned budget....
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Old 26-07-2011, 00:08   #11
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Tell me I'm dreaming...

There's a 2006 Lagoon 380 S2 in Tortola for $199k. You'd have to modify your plans somewhat, but I understand they're considered quite seaworthy and stable.

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Old 26-07-2011, 06:16   #12
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Re: Tell me I'm dreaming...

Thats 199K plus movement costs to Sydney plus 5% duty plus 10% GST.

But back to the OP - I am not clear on the point of purchase of the boat. Given he is sailing from Sydney then none of the boats he has mentioned are known on the east coast of oz?
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Old 27-07-2011, 04:43   #13
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Re: Sailing a Maine Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 Solo throughout the S.Pacific

Thanks for your reply's everyone, that's why I'm asking as I want opinions no matter from what angle.

I know a couple who hopped there way around the South Pacific on a Seawind 24. Surely a Maine Cat would have greater blue water capabilities than one of these? Is it possible to increase the tank-age sizes on the Main cat does anyone know?

I have looked into the Seawind 1000 and Lagoon 380, but as yet have not been able to join one in a test sail or yet board one even for a personal look. How is the general quality of those around the 2005 year mark? as that seems to be within my budget. The only turn off with these slightly larger boats is the excess. The lagoon 380 has 4 double bunks, and as i plan to cruise solo the majority, seems a tad unnecessary? The Maine Cat seems more practical for my plans (luxury inst a major factor for me). I haven't researched much into the PDQ 32 yet but i will now.

SMJ - Tek 35s are proffesionaly broduced for around the US$230k mark at Tek Composites (TEK-35 pricing)


Factor - I am asking because if my boat happens to only be sold in America or somewhere else abroad, then i will do what needs doing to get it home and start my trip.
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Old 27-07-2011, 08:20   #14
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Re: Sailing a Maine Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 Solo throughout the S.Pacific

If you are anywhere near Brisbane you are welcome to look at my personal boat.
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Old 29-07-2011, 04:17   #15
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Re: Sailing a Maine Cat 30 or John Shuttleworth Tek 35 Solo throughout the S.Pacific

I would but its not possible with work at the moment. feel free to sail to Sydney though and ill gladly step aboard
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