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Old 10-12-2015, 19:17   #1
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Small Catamarans

I have some questions about a few of the smaller catamarans (the ones i can afford).Im looking for an offshore capable catamaran. I have read a lot about all of these boats but have never been aboard. Ive sailed a 42' cat but cant afford that big. I like the gemini 105mc but am reading very mixed reviews I know of one circumnavigating. The prout event 34 said to be solid and seaworthy. the catalacs but not many for sale in the states. endeavourcat 30 I know of one crossing the pacific. pdq 32 solid built only one with high bridge deck clearance. If anyone has experience with any of these or any other ideas it will be greatly appreciated. I really like the gemini for several reasons including draft and centerboards which gives it good upwind performance and that would be nice the only other one that ive heard would be good upwind is the pdq im just worried if either are safe to take offshore passages.
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Old 10-12-2015, 19:24   #2
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Re: small catamarans

I really like my Seawind, and it sails well. Spent 11 years racing Corsair trimarans before this and it doesn't sail as well as the grid, but good enough to enjoy. And at anchor it is very nice. Get on one and it won't take long to appreciate. We are heading out for four months in keys and Bahamas next year and think this boat will do great. Have owned now for nine years. More expensive than the Gemini though.
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Old 10-12-2015, 19:27   #3
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Re: small catamarans

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I really like my Seawind, and it sails well. Spent 11 years racing Corsair trimarans before this and it doesn't sail as well as the grid, but good enough to enjoy. And at anchor it is very nice. Get on one and it won't take long to appreciate. We are heading out for four months in keys and Bahamas next year and think this boat will do great. Have owned now for nine years. More expensive than the Gemini though.
seawinds are beautiful boats but out of my price range.
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Old 10-12-2015, 19:45   #4
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Re: small catamarans

i like the wildcats, are they out of the budget?
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Old 10-12-2015, 19:50   #5
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Re: small catamarans

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i like the wildcats, are they out of the budget?
wildcats are nice. My budget is $80,000 or less so maybe i could find one.
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Old 10-12-2015, 19:56   #6
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Re: small catamarans

Not sure what your budget will allow but we just purchased a '96 Lagoon 35CCC. Check them out and see what you think. We find it to be an amazing boat for its size for many reasons such as......straight shafts as I am not a sail drive fan, 16' beam so it will fit into our slip vacated by the recent sale of our monohull Gulf 32, built by TPI of Rhode Island using scrimp method which I find desirable for its quality and strength, very nice bridge deck clearance for it's size(greater than all the cats you mentioned in your original post), twin yanmars which I like for increased reliability/redundancy/maneuverability, galley up in main salon which is highly desirable to the head chef and admiral also known as the wife!!!! We are not fans of having the galley in a hull. Now the bad.......only 11 were built and I understand one has been destroyed so that leaves ten, of which I own one, which is not for sale, so you will have to find one of the remaining 9. Whatever you find I wish you fair winds and following seas. Happy boat hunting!!
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Old 10-12-2015, 20:52   #7
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Re: small catamarans

What do you mean by offshore ,12 miles or several hundred? Where are you cruising to? Ec 30 tough as nails and a great bargain. Prout snowgoose 37or Event 34., Dean 36, solaris 36, you can find a pdq 32 for 80 or less, we liked the Ami renaissance 320 better than the pdq. we find rougher choppier water near shore that effects small cats more than we did offshore. We had a Ec30 they are well laid out, cheap to maintain, easy to beach, sail well, they have a central nacelle like a prout, that "thumps" more often, but it breaks up wave energy so its not so violent. The berths are near the under bridgedeck so if your a light sleeper it might be noisey. Both Ami and Ec30 were great florida, bahamas boat and most bang for the buck in a cat. I loved our Ami and was happy living aboard it but the wife wanted bigger. Gems are much noisier except the older models, theres a great price on an older gemini in key west.

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Old 10-12-2015, 21:05   #8
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Re: small catamarans

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What do you mean by offshore ,12 miles or several hundred? Where are you cruising to? Ec 30 tough as nails and a great bargain. Prout snowgoose 37or Event 34., Dean 36, solaris 36, you can find a pdq 32 for 80 or less, we liked the Ami renaissance 320 better than the pdq. we find rougher choppier water near shore that effects small cats more than we did offahore.

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several hundred ill be starting from east coast to caribbean , then cross the pacific with a circumnavigation in mind. Do any of the metioned boats sail to windward very well? I will try to sail as many as i can but for now its the internet as i live in north idaho and this spring im selling my house and going to the east coast to find a boat and move aboard.
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Old 10-12-2015, 21:14   #9
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Re: small catamarans

You might lose 5 or more degrees? Im not an expert on board cats. None in your range except the gem, and I wouldnt do a Pacific crossing on any of these except maybe a Prout or Dean, with your budget, and aspirations, Id get a 44 CSY walk over. Whats your time frame? And experience level? Alot of people say circum nav and dont leave the bahamas lol

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Old 10-12-2015, 21:39   #10
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Re: small catamarans

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You might lose 5 or more degrees? Im not an expert on board cats. None in your range except the gem, and I wouldnt do a Pacific crossing on any of these except maybe a Prout or Dean, with your budget, and aspirations, Id get a 44 CSY walk over. Whats your time frame? And experience level? Alot of people say circum nav and dont leave the bahamas lol

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no set time frame i plan to get the boat in florida or somewhere on the east coast and then sail it to florida and spend a year in florida sailing and outfitting the boat then head for the caribbean. My experience with sailing is fairly limited but ive been on power boats my whole life.I went through a sailing school in the caribbean and was told i did very well although im not naive to the fact that the ocean is no joke so i will start slow. Im sure lots of people dont make it past the bahamas but im not one to stop short of a goal, if i set my mind to something it will happen. I greatly appreciate the help. I have not ruled out a monohull but would prefer a cat. So i am curious to what makes the prout a better choice than any of the others? I have read this many times and i have heard build quality and strength which i completety understand but what i dont is the displacement. For instance the prout event 34 is about 800lbs heavier than the gemini and the pdq is even lighter but most things ive read rate the pdq above the gemini why is that? Does just 800lbs make that big of a difference in safety? Thanks you have been very helpful and i will take any advice from experinced people i can get.
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Old 11-12-2015, 01:05   #11
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Re: small catamarans

The prout is more of a.headsail driven boat, this helps in a few ways, the main is small , kind of a "min sail" and easily managed/ with a staysail rigged it.gives you.more heavy weather options easier to manage alone or short handed, the mast being right at the top of the coachroof and accessible from the cockpit adds a great deal of safety in not having to forward to deal with sails . The cockpits are designed for shore, keeping you in the boat and aater out, They are "slow and steady", and as with most English boats, designed for nasty weather/ water, and basic easy to manage systems. The Nacell provides extra buoyancy when surfing waves, The prout is also one of the few cats I have seen a wind vane autopilot successfully used on, something that is very useful if circumnavigating. Unless I am wrong, most circumnavigations are following a trade wind or off the wind route, not saying a pdq wouldn't be a capable boat, but i think more prouts have crossed oceans.
My recommendation is visit alot of the boats,get a boat.your going to enjoy and can manage for the now. if going mono id start in the Caribbean, there are alot of great deals down there..

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Old 11-12-2015, 04:12   #12
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Re: small catamarans

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wildcats are nice. My budget is $80,000 or less so maybe i could find one.
Just be careful shopping for budget Wildcats. They had a wildly variable quality of build. Most of the very low priced ones are low for a reason. Get a VERY thurough survey.

If you can find a good one, they are a lot of boat for the money, but the good ones will likely be priced out of budget range.

I got a good one back in 2001 and it has served its purposes well (liveaboard, charters, cruising).
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Old 11-12-2015, 04:16   #13
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Re: small catamarans

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...
Id get a 44 CSY walk over. Whats your time frame? And experience level? Alot of people say circum nav and dont leave the bahamas lol

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Gotta agree, budget and cat are a challenging mix. Lots of good old monos out there in your price range or less.
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Old 11-12-2015, 05:01   #14
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Re: small catamarans

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ill be starting from east coast to caribbean , then cross the pacific with a circumnavigation in mind. Do any of the metioned boats sail to windward very well?
Almost all of that plan is generally off the wind. Excellent windward performance wouldn't be critical.

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Old 11-12-2015, 05:03   #15
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Re: small catamarans

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ill be starting from east coast to caribbean , then cross the pacific with a circumnavigation in mind. Do any of the metioned boats sail to windward very well?
Almost all of that plan is generally off the wind. Excellent windward performance wouldn't be critical.

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