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Old 26-09-2007, 08:16   #16
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Originally Posted by Fishman View Post
... and weighs about 5 tons, also it has a bridge deck clearance of 31 inches (78,74cm) which (if these figures are correct?)
We looked at Wildcats while boat shopping so I have been on several. There is NO WAY that 31 inch bridgedeck clearance is correct.

I also question the 5T displacement. It may have been designed to that displacement, but that would be light load with no added options. Almost all production cat advertised displacement numbers are optimistic. I suspect it is 8T as it came from the factory with half full tanks. Loaded for cruising with options et al even more. Kevin, have you ever had yours in a travelift with load gauges?

As an example, Manta listed my boat's displacement as 13,500#. With all options installed, loaded up, fuel and water tanks full, dingy and outboard in the davits, multiple coats of bottom paint over the years (ever stop and think about how much weight that is?), etc, the last time we were in a travelift the boat weighed 18,000#. The fuel and water weigh 1,700# by themselves.

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Old 26-09-2007, 09:09   #17
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An older st francis will have lower bridge deck clearance than the french boats, more typical of the south african boats, but it won't have anything like a horizontal beam 10" above the water like a Norseman, or older PDQ or a Gemini. If you look at the distribution of where st francis are (thailand, india, indonesia, new zealand, etc) you can quickly see that they are one of the few boats where most of the boats end up doing circumnavigations. Very few are used for charter because they simply don't have accomodations for 4 couples, the rooms aft are rooms for kids or storage. If you do have a family and want to do a circumnavigation, then that's precisely what you would be looking for anyway. People describe the boat as being very "practical" and a "great, simple no non-sense boat" and "workman like".

It's meant to do the job of getting you in comfort from point A to point B very well, provide you a great platform for doing it and be very comfortable at anchor and at sea, but your not going to walk into it and think you just boarded the Trump Princess. What you want to be careful with the boat is just making sure you don't load her down. 10 ft aluminum RIB, yes; 12 ft center console RIB, no. FPs are nice boats, equally light, better nonskid decks than St Francis, far better under bridgedeck clearance but I find the St Francis has a lot more storage and light in the cabins and halls and a far bigger galley.

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Originally Posted by Fishman View Post
I was looking at the Cassamance, but I think I prefer the ST Francis 44 in that price, length and age category.

As far as bridge deck clearance goes: It seems that the further aft the bridge deck is situated the better to avoid excess slapping? On the St Francis 44 the bridge deck is lower than average, but it seems relatively further aft which helps to lessen slapping? Schoonerdog, hows your St Francis in this dept?

I am quite keen on a St Francis 44 - I figure with a strong fast boat at least you get out of the **** weather quicker.

Another thought about the Maxim: maybe it slaps more than other cats because it has the ability to sail closer to the wind and therefore finds itself in more "onshore" conditions than most other cats?
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Old 26-09-2007, 14:41   #18
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The St Francis is at the top of my list at the moment, there's one for sale in SAfrica $251 000 http://cape.iyb.co.za/iyb/appcontext...uctid=PrdC0154
Also a 1996 Island Spirit $157 000 http://www.legacyyachtsales.co.za/CC35%200007.htm
and a 2005 Admiral 38 $272 000 http://www.legacyyachtsales.co.za/CC38%200013.htm
and a Maxim 37 $210 000 http://cape.iyb.co.za/iyb/appcontext...uctid=PrdC0157

If I can scrape the cash together I think I'll go for the St Francis...my family and I will be on board for 3 years...at sea my motto has always been: space equals luxury! I like the enclosed aftdeck and flat side decks...good for toddler safety. Q: Where is the engine access on the St Francis 44? From drydock pics the engines seem to be admidships...are there hatches/ lockers in the hull floors? Are the engines easily accessable? I am one of those guys who do engine room checks every 20min! Cant imagine lifting up stern bunk mattresses with babies sleeping! That would make everyone VERY unhappy.

Last question: Does anyone have feedback on the Admiral 38's: Like bridgedeck clearance, circumnavigation ability or anything else?

Thanks for all the info. (I've spent 7 years cruising around Indonesia, let me know if you have any questions about Indo - great place to cruise - one of the last really "wild" coastlines in the world)
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Old 26-09-2007, 15:32   #19
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Yeah, kids love to sit on the rim of the cockpit (especially when the rule is no going on deck without a life jacket). With our cockpit our son can sit there and be several feet from the actual side of the boat. BTW, the bridgedeck clearance for the MKII is 800mm half tanks, or around 31". I think the previous generation is 600mm.

Regarding engine access, they are amidships. If you do a search on yachtworld for the maker of "francis" you'll see all of the different boats. The bump you see amidship is the engine cover. Some people really don't like it. Others find it an extra shelf space in the galley and don't worry about it. Your engines will be smaller than mine, so you'll have pretty decent access, but one tip is to cut the top counter above the engines so the top can be removed along with the inner side panel. Then engine access will be perfect. You could put it on a piano hinge and have a stand bar come up and hold up the cover. Engine placement is a big debate, put the engines all the way aft in a seperate engine compartment and you are faced with a very uncomfortable working environment underway in one of the areas where the boat moves the most and the transoms need to be wider which isn't necessarily optimal. Put them under the bunks and you have great access, but again it's a lot of weight aft on the boat and well your sleeping on your engine, diesel connections etc. Put them in the middle and you have optimum placement of weight, but you eliminate the possibility of a midships head and either have a big bump in the halls as they are floor level as in the St Francis, or you raise the floor to have them underneath the floor (and everything else gets raised as well) and you have decks which are 6.5 ft off the water and more structure, more weight and more windage. The engines themselves are yanmars, which are so far faultless.

BTW, I have been aboard the Admiral, very comfortable. Your spec questions are answered here Lavranos // Marine Design.
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Old 26-09-2007, 21:22   #20
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Originally Posted by jzk View Post
Have you considered a Fountaine Pajot Cassamance? For the money, they seem like a nice value, and I have heard they were built pretty well also.

Bumfuzzle? I guess you get what you pay for. In addition to the delam problems, did you notice that the Wildcat is about the slowest 35 foot sailboat you can buy?
JZT, Curious as to where you came up with the slowest 35 ft data? I've been quite happy with the way my Wildcat sails. Consistently takes us into the 8 plus knot range on 15 plus knot winds. Heard delivery guys taking them up to 12 plus knots sailing them over from S.A.. I'm sure it's not as fast as boats with longer waterlines and narrower hulls but quite satifactory for a cruising cat that has lots of room and comfort.

Also, take into consideration that Bumfuzzle made it safely around the world - as there are other WC's doing the same.

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Originally Posted by colemj View Post
We looked at Wildcats while boat shopping so I have been on several. There is NO WAY that 31 inch bridgedeck clearance is correct.

I also question the 5T displacement. It may have been designed to that displacement, but that would be light load with no added options. Almost all production cat advertised displacement numbers are optimistic. I suspect it is 8T as it came from the factory with half full tanks. Loaded for cruising with options et al even more. Kevin, have you ever had yours in a travelift with load gauges?

As an example, Manta listed my boat's displacement as 13,500#. With all options installed, loaded up, fuel and water tanks full, dingy and outboard in the davits, multiple coats of bottom paint over the years (ever stop and think about how much weight that is?), etc, the last time we were in a travelift the boat weighed 18,000#. The fuel and water weigh 1,700# by themselves.

Mark
Not sure about the BD clearance. I'll measure soon. Only one time had banging while heading upwind. Quickly cured by deviating course a few degress. She's super wide for a 35 ft cat (21 ft 3 in beam) so the inner wake probably wasn't the problem. Also, I can paddle my surfboard underneath the boat at anchor with no problem - enough clearance. But wouldn't do it in rough weather.

No, haven't had my WC weighed while on the travelift. Specs claim it's 11,000 lbs. and of course it goes up as you add load. We have a 70 gallon fuel tank next to a 70 gallon water tank between the two forward berths. Eventually would like to add more water tanks in the back engine compartments (lots of room available) for longer cruising.

FYI, there's a nice St. Francis 44 model year 1995 for sale in my area for around $239K. I really liked the boat but it was almost double the price of my budget. The seller is a super nice guy (ex-NASA Engineer) who sailed it around the world with his family. Definitely a solid and safe looking cat. Let me know if you want me to get his contact info.. He has it moored off his property in Melbourne Beach, Florida. He claimed the placement of the engines midship is best since you're not hobby horsing as much - verse having the weight of your engines mounted aft. Makes sense if you don't mind the space loss in the middle of your hulls. Once again, trade off.

Regarding the 20 hp Volvo's - it's plenty for the Wildcat. I cruise at about 5.5 to 6 knots at 2200 rpm. Can increase rpm's but I rarely raise it about 2600 rpm which brings it up closer to 7. Not worth loosing the fuel efficiency for the slight gain in speed. I'm sure it's alot better than the twin 10 hp motors in the FP Tobago 35 footer we previoisly looked at. Plus, I like the smoothness of the 3 cylinder engines better than 2 cylinders. 120/240/360 verse 0/180.

Regarding safety, the decks are sloped on my Wildcat (pre-Mark II) which can be a safety issue with kids crawling around. But the tradeoff is I have plenty of headroom in my staterooms and hulls. But I'm sure it increases windage as well. It's all a tradeoff - comfort vs. performance up wind. The Mark II version of the WC has flatter decks. Think they started in 2002.

I think you're on the right track seeking a St. Francis - if you could find one in good shape and under the $200K you've budgeted. It could be worth spending a few more bucks for what you really want though.

Kevin
S/V Bladerunner
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Old 27-09-2007, 13:50   #21
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It looks like its going to be hard to find a St Francis 44 for $200k without having to still spend a lot more to get her ready...Admiral 38 is also not going to fit into that budget...I don't want an old beaten up Athena...The maxim 38 fits the budget, I am just worried about the slapping: 3 years of slapping will drive anyone insane, my further dillemma is that I would prefer to have the boat In Cape Town so I can sort it out from my home base...not many options here...I've got just under a year to find the boat!
Want to buy the boat by August 2008, move on to it November 2008, cruise over to Brazil with the Cape to Salvador Race (formerly Cape to Rio) cruise fleet which will also be joined by ARC, I think?
The more I learn about cats the more confused I get (judging by what I read on the forum this is a common problem)!
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Old 27-09-2007, 14:26   #22
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Yikes.... that's a very aggressive schedule. I believe it may be prudent to stretch it out 1 year.

Incidently, how is the Rand doing against the US dollar? If the Rand is gaining ground, you may want to consider any boat currently for sale in the USA and sail her home instead of going the other way.
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Old 27-09-2007, 14:27   #23
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The more I learn about cats the more confused I get!
And I thought it was just me.
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Old 27-09-2007, 15:42   #24
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That St. Francis cat in Melbourne, Florida sold last month. The owner can't say enough good things about his former boat. Having the engines midship along with water and fuel (weight) supposedly helps tremendously with performance. But most still have them aft. And Rick's got a point regarding Rand vs. U.S. dollar.
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Old 27-09-2007, 19:02   #25
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Where was that St. Francis cat docked in Melbourne?? I don't recall seeing her around.
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Old 28-09-2007, 00:07   #26
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Yikes.... that's a very aggressive schedule. I believe it may be prudent to stretch it out 1 year.

Incidently, how is the Rand doing against the US dollar? If the Rand is gaining ground, you may want to consider any boat currently for sale in the USA and sail her home instead of going the other way.
Surely from now to my departure date (January 2009), which is 15 months away, is enough time to find a cat, sort it out and depart?

There is a St Francis for sale in Durban, I am waiting on all her specs, history, condition of engine hull and sales etc, then I may fly up there to go check her out and maybe make an offer...Sailing her from Durban to Cape Town will also be an excellent sea trial....but I am getting ahead of myself.

I've also been checking out the Mahe 36 which looks like an ideal boat for a criuising couple. But after all the cruising extras you are looking at $300k. This may be a good investment as there is such a demand for them that a resale after 3 years should be easy. But that means a lot less beer money.
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Old 28-09-2007, 22:55   #27
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Kevin, Glad to hear someone has something positive to say about the Wildcat. I'm currently in the market for a cat and considering an 03 model for around a 140k. I like the floorplan ( wide beam), this one has the galley up and I'm kind of like you and would rather have the galley down with more room in the salon.
I've read the bumfuzzle logs and these guys obviously got a lemon or so they say, can we then surmise that all wildcats are going to be problematic, I think not.
Anyway, its nice to know that the " Bladerunner " is not a delaminated mess and that you love your boat. Kind Regards, Jim
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Old 30-09-2007, 03:59   #28
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Where was that St. Francis cat docked in Melbourne?? I don't recall seeing her around.
It was actually moored off the owners property down in Melbourne Beach just a few miles north of Sebastian Inlet. Near the church (forget the name) but well south of Publix. It's still there for a short while longer until the new owners sail her away. Super nice boat. He actually ran three augers into the bottom with chain attached to that giant swivel/tri shackle system (by Colligo Engineering). They call it a hurricane mooring system

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Kevin, Glad to hear someone has something positive to say about the Wildcat. I'm currently in the market for a cat and considering an 03 model for around a 140k. I like the floorplan ( wide beam), this one has the galley up and I'm kind of like you and would rather have the galley down with more room in the salon.
I've read the bumfuzzle logs and these guys obviously got a lemon or so they say, can we then surmise that all wildcats are going to be problematic, I think not.
Anyway, its nice to know that the " Bladerunner " is not a delaminated mess and that you love your boat. Kind Regards, Jim
The boat is very comfortable with lots of room. I'm sure there are faster cats but for a 35 footer she sails quite well and has the room of some 40 footers that I've looked at. I added a Waeco 110 top loading fridge/freezer in my saloon that I use as a fridge and more recently added an Engle 44 under the dinette that we use as a freezer. The side loading unit in the bulkhead is okay but the top loading ones are mo bigger and better.

I would haul her out of the water and inspect the bottom 4 sure.

Are you in Florida?
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Old 30-09-2007, 12:04   #29
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Kevin, No actually I'm living in the southwest and most likely will be a seasonal cruiser, the boat I'm looking at is " Anticipation ". Have you seen the boat and yes for sure will do a haulout. I know its been in charter, anything else I should know? Thanks Jim
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Old 01-10-2007, 14:07   #30
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Island Spirit?

Hi,

Great thread as I'm looking for a cat in the same general price range... Likewise I'm leaning towards St. Francis but can't seem to find too many on the market that aren't in the 03 and newer group. Any additional comments on this boat would be great.

Another boat I looked into was an Island Spirit 400 Executive. On first glance, it seems like a nice boat. Feels big for the size (has a great cockpit & transoms for a boat of this size class). Generally had nice layout (see below), wide side decks and easily rigged for a couple. BDeck clearance wasn't great though.

Specifically, I saw this one down in Cape Coral, FL.
YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale

This one was very clean, well taken care of (proud owners)...also had some nice extras like solar, A/C etc.

One thing I didn't really like about it was the layout for the heads, you need to pass through it to reach the forward berth. Not a deal killer, but seems like a bad design.... take a look: YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale

Certainly a little higher in the price range, but I would love to hear some first hand experiences with this model. Overall pros/cons, performance, maintenance, off shore sailing etc.

Lastly, I'd like to hear some people chime in on a used (99-00) 44' R & C Leopard. Well proven charter boat, and thus some will have taken a beating over the years. Still there are some on the market that were either never in charter or had a full time crew...so assuming you can find one in good condition for around $270K, add a $20K refit (solar, water, genset, electronics) and you're getting closer to the $300K mark. What do you think about this cat as a full time live aboard cruiser? How would it do off shore/passage making? Other issues, pros/cons etc?

Thanks!

ps: anyone out there single handing a 38 - 44' cat? Would love to hear about the experience.
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