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Old 17-02-2009, 21:50   #31
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TaoJones is correct about the Mainecat being a bit spartan for long term liveaboard. After cruising for several years on a friends, my wife and I decided to opt for the Endeavourcat 44. That friend typically spend 3-4 months a year on his boat in the Bahamas but he is definitely a minimalist. I only suggested it because it sounded like you were going to do recreational cruising up and down the ICW for quite a while and the Mainecat has very simple and reliable systems that are relatively low maintenance (like there is such a thing in a boat).

My Endeavourcat can be single handed but is much easier with two people. You can do just about everthing except take off the sail covers and attach the halyards without leaving the cockpit. All endeavourcats use a self-tending camberspar jib which is very easy to manage. The 34s and 36s are pretty much just a smaller version of what I have. You give up queen size births for double births and things get a bit tighter in the galley and Saloon. The endeavourcat 30 has an outboard, but it's on the stern and though I've never actually been on one I've heard a lot of complaints about the prop coming out of the water in a sea, which seems to be a common complaint of other types with stern mounted outboards. There's a 34 footer and a 36 footer for sail on the endeavourcat web page if your interested. www.endeavourcats.com

The smaller PDQs use outboards in a similar arrangement to the Mainecat and I've never heard the props come out of the water on the Mainecat. One thing to keep in mind about the outboards is that the typical small outboard (usually a Yamaha 8 or 9.9) used on these boats is only rated for about 1200-1300 hrs before replacement. If your going to buy a used outboard powered boat be aware that the engines may need replaced.

I didn't see anywhere in the thread where you mentioned your budget. It might help us if we had at least a round number idea of what you were looking to spend.
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Old 18-02-2009, 10:46   #32
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Twisty, Rick is the resident expert on Catalacs and I would certainly consider one if the price and condition were right. While they are somewhat 'dated' in appearance, they are very well built, are offshore proven and have a legion of fans. In a similar vein, you may also wish to consider some of the Prouts made in the late 70's to early 90's.

The PDQ's will definitely be more modern and better sailors and will have the advantages/disadvantages associated with greater (albeit not excessive) beam - albeit at a higher price. They are also quite well built, especially in comparison to the Gemini.

As to the Gemini - in order to see forward you are forced to look through the main saloon and, although there is a slide-down window at the aft bulkhead, the visibilty is definitely not up to the standards of the other boats you are considering. This is especially true when (not if) the windows start to deteriorate.

The earlier Geminis were neither built nor marketed as offshore boats, although some are now doing extended passages in the newer 105's. Although they undoubtedly provide great bang for the buck, I still consider them less than ideal for extended cruising:
1. They still seem rather lightly built, and I have noticed a significant problem with stress cracks on some of the older boats;
2. The 'solid' bimini is very lightly constructed and can actually be made to flex with your bare hands.
3. The side-decks are, in my opinion, too narrow for comfortable/safe passage forward in heavy seas.
4. The early ones had a problem with saggy vinyl headliners in the main saloon (although this is also true of most cats of that era including the yachts built by Catalac, Prout, Privilege and Solaris).

In your quest, you may also wish to consider some lesser known boats including the Solaris 36 - especially the later ones designed by Eric Lerouge (which were very similar to the Manta 40/42). Solaris yachts were built to Lloyd's offshore standards and some (the early 36 and 42 and the Sunstream 40) have the advantage of a cutter rig - a real boon in heavy air and for short-handed sailing, in my opinion. One caveat: the early 36 and 42 are not known to be very good sailors and the bridgedeck clearance was incredibly low.

The Endeavour 36 was very well built and has extremely roomy accomodation for a cat of her size. While not particularly great sailors, they do however perform reasonably well - especially for your expected use.

Anyway, just my thoughts on some smaller cats that should be available at 'reasonable' prices.

Brad
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Old 18-02-2009, 11:59   #33
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Twisty, I had a look at boats.com and there were a number of boats in the mid-30 foot range that might fit your size range and other requirements.
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Old 18-02-2009, 12:27   #34
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Twisty

There have been a number of model types bandied around on here, but no real exploration of your wants and needs. You need to analyse exactly what it is that you want, and then look at the budget, and then draw up a list of appropriate craft + budget for putting things the way you want them.

You say for example that you want to stay inside the ICW, do you also want to be able to sail, and move under low bridges, as this will be a major point. There are very few that are set up to enable this to be done.

Singlehanding is not a function of size, but merely a function of sail handling set up - unless you want to be able to lower and raise the mast quickly and on your own.

If you are livingaboard, then the comfort for living including heating/cooling becomes a major factor.

Numbers expected onboard normally, and numbers of visitors. (however, the later is normally less a problem than the former). For liveaboard, you need to at least double the number of bunks to number liveing in order to get enough breathing space. treble is better, and quadruple if on a smaller cat with lots of bunks - for example my old 9m Catalac was ideal for a liveaboard for 2 people, but could bunk 7.

Stowage becomes a major concern even if you are trying to minimise your possessions.


Looking at lots of cats is a good idea, but needs to be done within the appropriate price range, otherwise you will spend so much time on the "if I could just stretch to this by saving for another year" you will never achieve the goal.

Most of todays catamarans are approximately half as wide as they are long. The longer the boat, the wider the cat. Its not an absolute, but a reasonable ratio for planning.

A catamaran that is ideal as a coastal cruiser, is possibly not so good as a blue water boat.

Outboards are cheaper and take up less boat space. However if you are living on the hook or on a buoy, you need to take a serious look at the electric needs, and unless liveaboard in a permanently windy and/or sunny place, inboard engines are better due to their ability to charge the batteries. (I had an outboard on my cat, but I also had a 180w solar panel and was not living onboard).
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Old 18-02-2009, 12:37   #35
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Twisty, I had a look at boats.com and there were a number of boats in the mid-30 foot range that might fit your size range and other requirements.

And I have looked over every one. lol Most of the used boat sides will have a higher bandwidth bill this month and probably for the next few because of me.
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Old 18-02-2009, 12:42   #36
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Twisty,

Besides all the other very good recommendations you might want to look at a Prout (Snowgoose perhaps), and given what it sounds like you're looking for you might want to check out the Island Packet cat. I don't know anything about them other than the IP mono's I've seen are very nicely put together: 1995 Island Packet Packet Cat Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com=

Good luck in your search.
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Old 18-02-2009, 12:51   #37
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Twisty

There have been a number of model types bandied around on here, but no real exploration of your wants and needs. You need to analyse exactly what it is that you want, and then look at the budget, and then draw up a list of appropriate craft + budget for putting things the way you want them.
This is basically the point I am at. But one of the things I am having a problem is knowing hat is and what isn't possible. Coming from a power boat background I have found my expectations have had to change.

Quote:
You say for example that you want to stay inside the ICW, do you also want to be able to sail, and move under low bridges, as this will be a major point. There are very few that are set up to enable this to be done.
I don't particularly want to stay in the ditch, but I am going to until I am confident and competent enough to do otherwise. Remember I have never sailed before so I am on steep learning curve here that I expect will keep me ICW bound with only short learning excursions outside for sometime. I am estimating two years.

Quote:
Singlehanding is not a function of size, but merely a function of sail handling set up - unless you want to be able to lower and raise the mast quickly and on your own.
There must be a point where size does matter when it comes to single handing though right?
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Old 18-02-2009, 12:56   #38
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Twisty,

Besides all the other very good recommendations you might want to look at a Prout (Snowgoose perhaps), and given what it sounds like you're looking for you might want to check out the Island Packet cat. I don't know anything about them other than the IP mono's I've seen are very nicely put together: 1995 Island Packet Packet Cat Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com=

Good luck in your search.
Prout is on the list as well, specifically the snowgoose.

If anyone knows anything about these IP boats I would be interested in more info. From what I can see they look a little bulky compared to others but the layout is along the lines of what I had in mind.
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Old 18-02-2009, 13:53   #39
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There must be a point where size does matter when it comes to single handing though right?
I believe that Francis Joyon thought he was getting close last time at about 90 ft.

I know a couple who also came from a power boat background, and essentially they are single handing with zero sailing knowledge, and their first cat is 50ft.


Price is far more likely to restrict you than size (unless you have won the lotto)
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Old 18-02-2009, 14:05   #40
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Talbot, I'm not sure I agree totally with your assessment. Firstly, the freeboard tends to be higher on larger cats, making docking and getting on and off of the boat more difficult. Secondly, larger cats mean larger sails and typically, the need for a power winch to raise and lower the main. Thirdly, as the size and weight of your ground tackle increases, so does the difficulty in raising it should your electric windlass fail.

Yes, you can single hand virtually anything, but you tend to become more reliant upon automated devices as size increases; furthermore, assuming both have twin engines, the larger cat will always be more difficult to dock/tie off when singlehanded.

Brad
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Old 18-02-2009, 14:14   #41
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I believe that Francis Joyon thought he was getting close last time at about 90 ft.

I know a couple who also came from a power boat background, and essentially they are single handing with zero sailing knowledge, and their first cat is 50ft.


Price is far more likely to restrict you than size (unless you have won the lotto)
90ft HOLY CRAP!

and I just got done checking my lottery tickets... I won. One whole dollar....lol
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Old 18-02-2009, 14:24   #42
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90ft HOLY CRAP!

and I just got done checking my lottery tickets... I won. One whole dollar....lol
Of Course, Francis Joyon isn't just your everyday sailor. Have a look at:


Hey, congratulations on winning the lottery, twisty! Sounds like it's party-time in Carolina - well, a small party anyway.

TaoJones
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Old 18-02-2009, 14:25   #43
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I would also recommend that you pick a catamaran owner who lives near you to advise you as you begin to evaluate boats.
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Old 18-02-2009, 14:33   #44
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Twisty

I would also recommend that you pick a catamaran owner who lives near you to advise you as you begin to evaluate boats.
That's good advice, Rick. Twisty, members Sunspot Baby and Entlie have a Prout Manta 38 and they're in New Bern. There's another member who cruised the Caribe extensively, then returned to NC - I'll try to remember who that was.

There are probably others, of course, and, given your enthusiasm, I'll bet they would all enjoy showing you around and bringing you up to speed on the many pros and cons of various vessels.

TaoJones

PS: It was sv_makai that I was thinking of, though I see that it is Solomons, MD that they returned to. They cruised the Caribbean for 2 1/2 years on a Voyage 380, and last I read were planning to move up to a 44.
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Old 18-02-2009, 15:31   #45
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Twisty, try posting on the PDQ board. I think there is an owner in Oriental or nearby. Ask on there for someone, that is a great board for information. There is PDQ36.com also, there is an owners map on there showing 2 in NC
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