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Old 02-05-2013, 09:00   #1
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The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

I must tell that I am very much confused. There is a lot of nice boats out there, but every cat seem to have it's strengths and then weaknesses that I would rather avoid. I am looking for the new cat that wouls be:

1. in 45-50' range
2. "owner's version" with a beg owner's berth - this is a must, an ordinary 2 meters wide berth is not enough. In general big "owner's cabin" is preferrable
3. Quality, "homy" feeling interior - there are way too many plastic "toilet-like" cats out there.
4. Ability to stear and operate sails it completely singlehandidly, and preferrably from the safety of a cockpit.
5. Extremely sturdy, serious composite hull with a layer of foam for thermal insulation is a must
6. No saildrive (I don't trust them)
7. In general, roomy design preferably with lots of "safe" well thought-of space.
8. High clearence
9. 2 anchors
10. in-boom furling (I do not trust in-must furling...)
11. Well, ocean-going, safe blue water passagemake, obviously.

Some boats have very nice interior and all, but then have in-mast furling and saildrives... Some have good technical specs but their interior sucks. We will be spending 6-10 or more years cruising around the world, so interior that would not make me want to throw up after 6 months is a must... I have been reading CF and other resources about cats for a month or so, but still don't seem to find an ideal boat.

Maybe I am missing something? Maybe there are brands that I haven't yet heard of? Monetatily, I am looking for something in under $1.5 m range. May be custom, but with the features I need. Anything I should look at?

Currently, on the top of my list are:

Discovery 50 (but in-mast and saildrives...)
SMG 50Plus (but their interior design suck...)
Antares 44i

Thank you in advance for any worthy ideas
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:44   #2
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

Get Chris White to design you one.
chriswhitedesigns.com
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:46   #3
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

Privilege 495 is way under your price limit and probably the best quality fit-out around but it does have saildrives.

Privilege 515 but that may be just out of your price range, not sure.
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:53   #4
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Get Chris White to design you one.
chriswhitedesigns.com
If I had the OP's budget, Chris White would get a call from me.

Sea Frog, check him out, the guy designs great boats, and has for a long time.
Chris White Designs Multihull Sailboats High Performance Cruising Yachts - Catamaran and Trimaran
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:48   #5
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

Antares 44i can be customized to meet your needs along with your budget.

2008 PDQ Antares 44i Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:15   #6
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

Chris's boats don't do in-boom furling or big beds. The biggest bed requires one to crawl over his/her partner to escape and climb down to the floor. They really don't even have "owner's cabins". Also, they have very plain painted interiors, what some may call "plasticky". He eschews the weight of panelling and headliners. They have saildrives.
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Old 02-05-2013, 12:33   #7
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

I think St. Francis all the way.

St Francis Marine | Home of the Award Winning St Francis Catamarans
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:01   #8
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

Thanks for all the ideas! Indeed, Chris don't do "owners cabins"... The same goes for Anthares and St. Francis. We are co-sleeping with our toddler son, so a really wide berth with good access is a must. Privelege does offer such (by the way thank you for suggestion, I completely missed that brand in my search for some reason!) and looks nice, too! As for budget, actually it is rather flexible. I was hoping for 1.2 m for a "basic" boat, and huge solar array, li-fe, fancy electronics and inverter a/c will be extra...
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:22   #9
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

Sea Frog, now your on my wavelength, i.e. large solar. Could this mean you would prefer an all electric galley and maybe electric propulsion?
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Old 02-05-2013, 13:45   #10
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

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Sea Frog, now your on my wavelength, i.e. large solar. Could this mean you would prefer an all electric galley and maybe electric propulsion?
I would not mind electric propulsion at all, I like the concept of SMG 50 with it's genny and 2 electric drives, but I consider electric galley a waste of precious watts I want a lot of juice because I have a dream of running efficient A/C completely from the batteries, and I am confident that is possible.
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Old 02-05-2013, 15:51   #11
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

And you are right, with the current LiFePO4 cell's lack of voltage sag under heavy inverter loads, we are there now.
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Old 02-05-2013, 23:37   #12
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

Hi Seafrog, the smg50 is an interesting cat and would be great for short handed sailing with that rig setup. Two mistakes i made when having my boat built was installing saildrives, never again, prone to failure and the maintainence time and costs will send you batty. But the one thing i saw on your wish list was boom furling,all i can say is DONT, dont beleive all the hype that they are easy to use, we have had boom furling on our boat since new 5yrs ago ,and i have come to the conclusion for short handed sailing they have the potential to be just plain dangerous, save your money and get good quality battcar slab reefing system, at least it will work when you most want it to, many boom furling owners i have spoken to have gone back to slab reefing after realizing it was a very expensive mistake, we are changing ours in July You might want to check out Schionning designs,they have builders wordwide ,a variety of rig styles ,electric drives, owners layout with BIG over brigedeck beds and a customizable interior layout, plus they sail great,.Good luck with your search
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Old 03-05-2013, 00:24   #13
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

Seafrog,

The Freeflow 46 is just what you are after. Shaft drives.

It is a similar but newer design than Antares 44. Set up for livaboard - easily fit 1kw solar, has rain water catchment built into all roofs.

FreeFlow Catamarans

Ballotta catamarans in Peru can build you one. Resin infused foam flat panel construction.

Kelsall Catamarans - Ballotta Catamarans - Custom built catamarans - Prices

You can custom design your layout within reason.
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Old 03-05-2013, 02:24   #14
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

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But the one thing i saw on your wish list was boom furling,all i can say is DONT, dont beleive all the hype that they are easy to use, we have had boom furling on our boat since new 5yrs ago ,and i have come to the conclusion for short handed sailing they have the potential to be just plain dangerous, save your money and get good quality battcar slab reefing system, at least it will work when you most want it to, many boom furling owners i have spoken to have gone back to slab reefing after realizing it was a very expensive mistake, we are changing ours in July You might want to check out Schionning designs,they have builders wordwide ,a variety of rig styles ,electric drives, owners layout with BIG over brigedeck beds and a customizable interior layout, plus they sail great,.Good luck with your search
Thank you for suggestions! I feel the same way about saildrive - they are nice, but I will be traveling in such places where maintainance will be a nightmare... About in-boom furling - I talked to a reputable boat builder and he said that he was very much agains them until recent generations that seem to be very dependable. But I will investigate your suggestion. I am always for safety and redundance, but I will need to be able to reef main singlehandidly from the cockpit, hense my interest in furling systems...
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Old 03-05-2013, 03:31   #15
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Re: The best 50' liveaboard/extended cruising cat?

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I am always for safety and redundance, but I will need to be able to reef main singlehandidly from the cockpit, hense my interest in furling systems...
We had our boat fitted with single line reefing with all mainsail handling lines brought back to the cockpit. So all reef lines, outhaul, halyard, topping lift AND a downhaul come back to clutches and the electric winches. So everything can be done by one person without leaving the safety of the cockpit. Managed to bring the main all the way down even downwind in 40+ knots.

In boom systems still seem to cause problems because the setup with the boom angle has to be incredibly precise or you get jamming.
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