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Old 24-09-2007, 09:14   #1
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SHORT LIST of $200k cats

Hi there
New to the site, thanks for all the great info, I am looking to buy a used cat within the next year for a 3 year trade wind circumnavigation with my wife and 2 sons aged 1 and 4. Budget is $200 000. Comfort is the priority, also good speed under motor. Will probably sell it after 3/4 years.
Can you please give me input regarding my shortlist:

FP Athena:
pros: Good sailor, good bridge deck clearance, safe enclosed cockpit area, smaller total sail area (easier to handle for couple)
cons: older at $200k, usually ex charter, have to spend lot more to get it right?, bit light weight for crossings?, payload low?, small engines (18hp), small galley, funny nav station

Maxim/Voyage 38
pros: younger boat, better layout than most, sails well upwind, bigger motors
cons: bridge deck clearance seems a problem???, Maxim out of business, low resale?

Admiral 38
pros: great layout, good owners suite, strong motors, good sailor?
cons: bridge deck clearance? weird windows: do these create a hotbox inside? hard to find a used one for $200k

Moorings/Leopard 38
pros: good layout, great swim access and stern layout, big motors with shaft drive (42hp), good payload???
cons: ex charter..., much heavier than the rest (does this mean stronger?) so maybe engines not so effective? Big sail area (1000ft), harder to handle for short handed sailing, bridge deck clearance?, fat hulls cause bow waves which slap?

St Francis 44 (not the mark 11):
pros: great sailor, proven circumnavigator, spacious saloon, good safe layout for kids, has good speed under motor, lighter than the Leopard 38!
cons: 15 years old or more...bridge deck clearance...how much of a problem is it on this boat? Bad payload. Also Galley down not optimal...be nice to keep an eye on things from the galley (kids and traffic),

Island Spirit:
similar to Maxim 38?

Please note that I have not actually seen or sailed in any of the above! Any input would be much appreciated.

Off to the Cape Town boatshow on 5 Oct.

Thanks!!
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Old 24-09-2007, 11:26   #2
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Dont know where you got that Maxim is out of business?? They still are building boats. The 380 was nominated last year as one of the 3 best blue water cruising cats under 40. The Leopard won but it was close mostly personal choices that seperated the boats, as with the admiral.

I don't know what you call fairly young. Voyage Yachts was the exclusive sellar of these yachts under there name before deciding the 380 was to small for charter. It has been around in a 35, 37, 38 foot version and is still being made.

resale is a point of view. Ours is a 2003 and the prices for a used one are more than we paid for ours new.....Since the nomination and world exposure the new price has gone up.

Oh yes. I am an owner.....

She sails well, bridge deck height creates, but not bad. Our saloon table doesn't shoot things off it when hit as some cats that I have been aboard with higher deck clearance.

Quality, sailing, outfitting, and handling are great. We looked at the ones listed above and more before deciding. If you are interested in more let me know am always happy to chat about boats.

I have found the Maxim to be an excellent value for the money and I love the way she looks and sails.

Maxim Yachts Power & Sailing Catamarans Manufacturers Durban South Africa
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Old 24-09-2007, 11:46   #3
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boats.com System Error Maxim is out of business they just got a great headline for the Oct Annapolis Boat show......
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Old 24-09-2007, 12:29   #4
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Hi there
I spoke to Alex Smal from Maxim "Alex Smal" <alexsmal@iafrica.com>who said that they had to move out of their Durban harbour premises (gov is rebuilding the harbour area?), they have not yet found new premises, they have stopped building for the foreseeable future. I also note that Proud Catamarans keith@proudcatamarans.co.za now seem to have the old Maxim plugs.

What I meant by young is that you can find a younger i.e. 2002 Maxim for $200k vs an older Leopard/Athena (in that price range).

As far as slapping goes, I am just concerned about being stuck out somewhere in a confused sea and then having slapping for weeks on end....my question to the forum is therefore: now that I still have the choice, should I avoid the Maxim and go for the Athena with higher bdclearance (but has other drawbacks) or is bdclearance not the overiding factor? I have zero experience with cats (and I don't have the time to test them all), so when you are comparing the cats in my list for my purpose, with my budget, which one would you go for?

Thanks
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Old 24-09-2007, 12:42   #5
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Out of curiosity, why no interest in Lagoons?
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Old 24-09-2007, 13:05   #6
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You can put the Lagoon 380 on my list too, hows the payload and bridge deck clearance on the Lagoon 380?
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Old 24-09-2007, 18:40   #7
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Lagoon 380 has very wide hulls with a lot of volume forward and aft (=tolerates loading better) and underbridge clearance is also good, but owners would probably give you a better input. BTW, there is '99 Lagoon 410 listed at yachtworld.com for 190k (no, I have nothing to do with it).
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Old 24-09-2007, 20:37   #8
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Consider a Wildcat 350 for under the $200K range

I've owned a 2001 Wildcat 350 for a year and a half and have been very happy with it. You could pick them up in the low to mid 100's. They were made in South Africa and recently went out of business during the process of moving from Durban to Cape Town.

Oftentimes when you mention a Wildcat you'll hear a story about a boat named Bumfuzzle. It happened to me when I was Cat shopping. Seems like that one particular boat put a bad name on the rest of them. The owners of Bumfuzzle were very internet savy. They posted their correspondance online with a grievance they had with the Charter Cat factory (builders of the Wildcat 350 and Jaguar 36). This involved a problem they had with delamination under the waterline. Prior to purchase they had a survey done by one of the leading catamaran surveyors in South Florida. No delam was noted in the survey. Once the new owners bought the boat and sailed it down to Panama they hauled it out for a bottom job. That's when they first discovered the delamination. Strange that the surveyor in Florida wouldn't have picked up on that since they usually tap out the entire bottom looking for such a defect. The factory claimed they must have been struck by lightning or hit something after the purchase date while enroute to Panama from Florida that may have caused the delam. In either case, they sailed from Florida to Panama (where they discovered the problem) then headed off to New Zealand (with delamed hull) where they had her hauled. The local repair yard in NZ claimed the glass wasn't wetted enough where it was delaminated. Poor workmanship if that's the case. According to the factory specs they're suppose to be vacuumed bagged laminated.., The discussions between the owners and the factory seemed like a nightmare but after a lengthy and costly haul out/repair the boat eventually got an epoxy barrier coat and they were on their way sailing around the world.

Two years later they made it back into Ft. Lauderdale without any major problems with the boat (besides that delam issue). Upon return they put the boat up for sale. They're an adventure seeking couple that's off on another journey cruising the world in a restored VW van. This couple is incredible. They left on their circumnavigation being self proclaimed "clueless" (the meaning of the word Bumfuzzle) and returned to Florida a couple years later being quite an accomplished sailing couple.

I wonder if they are bummed that they publicized their problems so loudly on the internet because noone wants to buy their infamous Bumfuzzle. Since the market is so competitive you'll hear references to Bumfuzzle whenever someone mentions a Wildcat catamaran. Granted they're not the top of the line catamarans they're still a viable choice for a cat in the mid-lower $100K range. Although the Charter Cat company (the builder/factory) is out of business, I've had great and timely feedback with the designer in Australia (Schionning Marine) regarding the proper method of replacing the windows (leaks) and other questions regarding there design.[EMAIL="brett@schionningdesigns.com.au"]

Bottom line is, I wouldn't let the one boat scare you from at least checking out a Wildcat. There's been nightmare stories about alot of boats - but none more broadcasted out loud on the internet than Bumfuzzle. In the pro category, the layout to the Wildcat year model 2001 and on is awesome and is what first caught our attention. Nice sugar scoops that lead up into a roomy swim platform then a walkthrough transom into a curvey cockpit. We have the galley down which I love cause it gives us so much more room in our saloon for entertaining, etc.. It's like a living room and the galley still has room to stay in contact with above. We looked at the Fountain Poujet Tobago 35 and it wasn't even close to the room and comfort of the Wildcat. I've had several cat owners say that our boat has the room of a 40 foot cat. We have the twin Volvo MD2020's with Volvo saildrives. The Tobago we checked had two 10 hp Yanmars that seemed very underpowered. I'm not knocking FP's by any means. In fact I'd love to see the FP Mahe 36. I also really liked the Maxuum 38, which is the same boat as the Voyage 38, and liked the Admiral 38. It's also worth checking out a Manta Catamaran that are made in Florida. They're all awesome but the price point and layout lead me to the Wildcat.

Best thing to do is take time out and do your research. Make boat decision buying a fun process. Give it time and a little luck and you'll end up in the boat of your dreams.

Kevin
S/V Bladerunner
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Old 25-09-2007, 05:08   #9
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confirmed above. Got an email from Alex. Maxim has ceased production until a new location can found. Land due to the port expansion is very expensive and hard to come by....bummer.
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Old 25-09-2007, 05:49   #10
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Kevin,

I discussed that survey on Bumfuzzle at length with the surveyor who did it. He was in Melbourne last year for the SCCA meeting. Charlie said there was no delamination present when he saw that boat, and I for one believe him.
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Old 25-09-2007, 08:06   #11
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wildcat 350

There's another wildcat 350 on the south river of annapolis with serious delam problems. Serious stress cracking from the crossbeams attachment point in the forward hulls, delamination from the tabbing attaching the cabin top running half way around the entire cabin top. You could rip up the deck and fix it. It could have been a climate control problem during a run of boats at the factory, or a bad batch of resin.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SurfNRG View Post
I've owned a 2001 Wildcat 350 for a year and a half and have been very happy with it. You could pick them up in the low to mid 100's. They were made in South Africa and recently went out of business during the process of moving from Durban to Cape Town.

Oftentimes when you mention a Wildcat you'll hear a story about a boat named Bumfuzzle. It happened to me when I was Cat shopping. Seems like that one particular boat put a bad name on the rest of them. The owners of Bumfuzzle were very internet savy. They posted their correspondance online with a grievance they had with the Charter Cat factory (builders of the Wildcat 350 and Jaguar 36). This involved a problem they had with delamination under the waterline. Prior to purchase they had a survey done by one of the leading catamaran surveyors in South Florida. No delam was noted in the survey. Once the new owners bought the boat and sailed it down to Panama they hauled it out for a bottom job. That's when they first discovered the delamination. Strange that the surveyor in Florida wouldn't have picked up on that since they usually tap out the entire bottom looking for such a defect. The factory claimed they must have been struck by lightning or hit something after the purchase date while enroute to Panama from Florida that may have caused the delam. In either case, they sailed from Florida to Panama (where they discovered the problem) then headed off to New Zealand (with delamed hull) where they had her hauled. The local repair yard in NZ claimed the glass wasn't wetted enough where it was delaminated. Poor workmanship if that's the case. According to the factory specs they're suppose to be vacuumed bagged laminated.., The discussions between the owners and the factory seemed like a nightmare but after a lengthy and costly haul out/repair the boat eventually got an epoxy barrier coat and they were on their way sailing around the world.

Two years later they made it back into Ft. Lauderdale without any major problems with the boat (besides that delam issue). Upon return they put the boat up for sale. They're an adventure seeking couple that's off on another journey cruising the world in a restored VW van. This couple is incredible. They left on their circumnavigation being self proclaimed "clueless" (the meaning of the word Bumfuzzle) and returned to Florida a couple years later being quite an accomplished sailing couple.

I wonder if they are bummed that they publicized their problems so loudly on the internet because noone wants to buy their infamous Bumfuzzle. Since the market is so competitive you'll hear references to Bumfuzzle whenever someone mentions a Wildcat catamaran. Granted they're not the top of the line catamarans they're still a viable choice for a cat in the mid-lower $100K range. Although the Charter Cat company (the builder/factory) is out of business, I've had great and timely feedback with the designer in Australia (Schionning Marine) regarding the proper method of replacing the windows (leaks) and other questions regarding there design.[email="brett@schionningdesigns.com.au"]

Bottom line is, I wouldn't let the one boat scare you from at least checking out a Wildcat. There's been nightmare stories about alot of boats - but none more broadcasted out loud on the internet than Bumfuzzle. In the pro category, the layout to the Wildcat year model 2001 and on is awesome and is what first caught our attention. Nice sugar scoops that lead up into a roomy swim platform then a walkthrough transom into a curvey cockpit. We have the galley down which I love cause it gives us so much more room in our saloon for entertaining, etc.. It's like a living room and the galley still has room to stay in contact with above. We looked at the Fountain Poujet Tobago 35 and it wasn't even close to the room and comfort of the Wildcat. I've had several cat owners say that our boat has the room of a 40 foot cat. We have the twin Volvo MD2020's with Volvo saildrives. The Tobago we checked had two 10 hp Yanmars that seemed very underpowered. I'm not knocking FP's by any means. In fact I'd love to see the FP Mahe 36. I also really liked the Maxuum 38, which is the same boat as the Voyage 38, and liked the Admiral 38. It's also worth checking out a Manta Catamaran that are made in Florida. They're all awesome but the price point and layout lead me to the Wildcat.

Best thing to do is take time out and do your research. Make boat decision buying a fun process. Give it time and a little luck and you'll end up in the boat of your dreams.

Kevin
S/V Bladerunner
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Old 25-09-2007, 08:36   #12
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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?
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Old 25-09-2007, 09:08   #13
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I am considering the Wildcat, however I don't like the small 18hp motors, nor the delamination stories (what else was built badly that you can't see?), also it seems to point really badly.
On paper it should perform OK: It has 832sq ft of sail area and weighs about 5 tons, also it has a bridge deck clearance of 31 inches (78,74cm) which (if these figures are correct?) is very good - but on the other hand probably a lot of windage.
There are a few for sale in SAfrica, but my gut feel is to go a bit longer (and therefore older). I have been in some bad storms in a boat which I did not trust, its not a good feeling, I really want a boat with a reputation for being well built.
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Old 25-09-2007, 09:23   #14
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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 25-09-2007, 20:23   #15
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I have the last Athena built - launched Feb 06.
Great sea worthy boat, very happy with the performance.
I plane to do extensive cruising in the South Pacific / Indian ocean.
Check out "Ladybug", a circumnavigation in an older 35 foot FP.
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