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Old 08-11-2006, 15:24   #1
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Single vs twin on cats

My wife, daughter and I are moving forward with plans to list/sell our house next spring/summer and buy a catamaran next fall and take off.
Our budget has us looking at boats in the $85 to $120k range.We like the Island Packet Cat, and also like the Gemini 105. The Island Packet comes w/ twin diesels and the Gemini has a single diesel. I've looked at both and I wondered what y'all thought about single vs twin on cats.
I'm thinking it would be easier to maneuver around the docks w/ twins, but that also means twice the maintenance.
Any thoughts/opinions are welcomed.
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Old 08-11-2006, 16:19   #2
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I'm going to admit right up front that it's difficult for me to be objective on this subject. Others might have a different opinion.

If you are going cruising, redundancy can't be beat. 2 is better than one. Diesels can pretty much run close to 8,000 - 10,000 hours before a rebuild, and maintenence isn't all that horrible. Diesel fuel is safer, as it's difficult to make it burn without compression. A boat with twin diesels can cruise on just one engine. When you need the power, it's available. In a seaway, some cat's have problems with cavitation as the props of an outboard don't stay deep enough all of the time. Saildrives have their own maintenence to tend to. Cat's shouldn't be weighed down at their 'ends'.

I imagine you can guess that I advocate twin inboard diesels.

There are 2 or 3 diesel experts on this forum and hopefully they'll weigh in on this topic. Having said all of the above, if you plan on staying in one spot and use the engines lightly, gasoline engines are a more cost effective alternative.

Rick in Florida
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Old 08-11-2006, 17:25   #3
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I have sailed on a few cats with single deisel in guts with a tiltable/steerable leg. Takes a bit of getting used to parking, but one of these boats was 40 ft X 26ft and I was amzed how it got in and out of it's tight berth with rocks veeery close.

Because the motor was mounted in a pod in bridgdeck centre, it was fairly noisy, the boat got a bad vibration to it and it took up space where you want room, but she is a Racer/Cruiser and an absolute rocket, so no appendages in the water while sailing was what it was all about.

I'd suggest that both the cats your looking at may be a bit weighty for the outboard option. This is better suited to lighter perfomance orientated boats, but that is only my opinion.

Dave
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Old 08-11-2006, 18:17   #4
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I spent 2 weeks on a twin diesel powered Lagoon 37. If I were to purchase a cat it would only have two engine at the farthes outboard rear corners as posible. The lever arm of counter thrust steering with the engines 20' apart is awesom. I could turn the boat in it's length. While motoring we would make 5.5 on one engine and run 40hrs on 30 gal of fuel. This was at 2500 RPM. Also, when you do learn the maintainace regiem for your engines it realy does become simple.
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Old 08-11-2006, 19:24   #5
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Pat

My engines are only 12.5 feet apart, and I can pirouette on a dime.

Rick in Florida
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Old 08-11-2006, 20:16   #6
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I seriously looked into a single STEERABLE engine, coupled with a bowthruster. The maneouverability this would offer would be unbeatable I think. I am inclined toward twins ATM mostly because I feel that in choppy/sloppy conditions they will stay in the water more, being aligned with the hulls rather than hanging between them.
Of course there is the argument that if it is choppy, it must be windy, so why not sail?
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Old 08-11-2006, 20:21   #7
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If you've spat your rig.
I too would run a boat over 30ft on twin outboards, if light, and over 40 on twin diesels.
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:12   #8
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the Gemini 105 is a coastal cat, not designed for long distance druising. especially short handed. Their performance is great by comparison with a lot of traditional cruising cats, but this is achieved by lightness and dagger boards. Dagger boards neeed attention on the wind/sails at all times otherwise there is a danger of falling over. The performance is also achieved by a lightness that is not compatible with cruising equipment. A great weekender, but not an ocean cruiser.

I dont know about the other boat
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:31   #9
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The performance is also achieved by a lightness that is not compatible with cruising equipment. Quoted by Talbot


, Not necessarily true, If you get a 32 ft design that was designed as a coastal cruiser, but was made of say Western Red Cedar epoxy composite with marine ply B/H, that works fantastically as a coastal cruiser,but can only carry say 500kg of crew and goodies before noticing a drop in performance, wouldn't it make sense that if you built the same boat in foam/kevlar/epoxy composite approx 500kg lighter, you would be able to carry 1000kg of crew and goodies on board?

You would also have a cat that was a friggen rocketship if empty and racing, with minimal loadings on rig and sails, sure she'd cost $15,000 more to build ' but what a machine.

This is all based on our pre build thoughts on our last cat and discussed with the designer.

Dave
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Old 09-11-2006, 02:44   #10
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Dave,

You're right of course, but around here she'd cost $400K to buy and she'd be called a Manta 42!!

In seeing how well your boat is coming along, I've mentioned to my 'Admiral' how nice it would be to take a couple of years off to build one.

She responded that she assumes it would be large enough to live on, because I wouldn't be living here anymore.

I somehow don't see building a boat in my future (sigh).

Rick in Florida
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:38   #11
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Mate, that can be a good thing.

That last cat was 32ft as well.
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:43   #12
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Vilanomark:

Think twice before going with the Packet Cat. They are roomy for their length and have walk-in engine rooms but . . . they don't sail well. They carried the Prout type nacelle way too far and the parasitic drag is well, a drag.

I have 2 diesels and think it is the way to go. However, those with one steerable leg seem happy.

George
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:03   #13
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HAve you looked at the EndeavourCat?
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Old 09-11-2006, 04:49   #14
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I hven't been on an endeavor cat, but have looked at them online. We want something in the 35-40' range, and I definitely want diesels as I beleive they run alternators better than outboards do. Is that what you have?
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Old 09-11-2006, 05:41   #15
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Twin diesels = twin alternators. I have the standard 35 amp alternators which came stock with my Yanmars, but many have upgraded. With the proliferation of solar panels to assist in battery charging, it's necessary to strike a balance with your onboard systems.

Rick in Florida
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