Having spent a few months researching on the net, asking colleagues and even getting out there and putting in a couple of sails
, Im about complete in my assessment regarding Catamarans.
- I like them.
- I like them a lot.
Ive had a lot more sails
on 'bigger Cats' (40ft plus) than smaller, and I have learned that
Only, I dont want one, the bigger ones that is. I go solo a lot and prefer smaller rigs. I dont like masts that disappear into the fog
and then reappear again ABOVE the fog
Up is up and climbing is climbing.
A smaller climb is appealing to a wimp, and as a fully paid up member
of the International Wimp club, it is VERY appealing.
I like to get up and go. Not walk round the deck
and be frightened by the size of the sail bags that take 2 people to move. I like boats that dont need a wheel
on each side of the deck
and that cause extreme lack of breathing ability just walking from one hull
to the other. I dont like getting lost
inside the vessel looking for the Master Stateroom or even having to make the decision which luxury head
to take a dump in, knowing that if I took a dump a day, I would not have used all the heads in a week!
Now, if I had a crew, deck hands, A captain
, a Chef
, a wonderful lady who cleaned and smiled all the time and brought me drinks, (heck, I would have two!) then yes.. dang it I would have a 60 footer!
The reality is, I dont, and as my pick of 6 failed to even get close to ANY of the numbers mentioned on Saturday night........ its not in my immediate future.
So its 36 foot or less for this boy (ok a touch older).
In my tests of the smaller boats I have discovered something.
- Its hard to get a really bad design. Its under 36 foot, they all face the same issues. Have to sacrifice one good thing for another.
- The differences are personal
- The costs are related directly to how much you want the one you purchase.
I have read comments from experienced Multihullers making statements like: " the worst hull design ever!"
and another experienced Multihuller expressing the thought "wow! was so impressed! Just a fabulous sail!"
Helpful? Not so much.
I prefer factual statements like "Five people were picked up by the Coastguard today from the XXXX Catamaran as its known fault of sinking when placed on water occurred at 0600 this morning in calm conditions".
This is what helpful is.
In my own circumstances, I have concluded in the main that my purchase
is mainly governed by cost within a set budget
. This statement whilst obvious, is the ACTUAL arbiter of what is available to me, and gives me a limited choice within the framework.
Within that framework, are the choices left.
- Engine choice
- Maintenance costs.
And....... these choices, apart from mandatory requirements, are personal. (But constrained by the budget)
I have worked out what I want to do with the Catamaran
I purchase. Its going to sit in a marina in the Med with me living on it. When friends and family
turn up (they will, they dont have a boat) it will be small sailing episodes up the coast for a day. This will gently taper off as the hint that "beer is expensive" sinks into their collective minds and they find other things to do.
I will make a monthly, or perhaps every two months sail across open water
from Mainland Spain
to the Islands of Menorca and Mallorca (100-150 miles each way).
I will be cleaning
the hull a lot as the waters are full of life and contain things that want a free ride on the bottom of every boat in there. I will making a lot of covers so the U.V. doesnt kill stitching and materials faster than my wallet. I will be enjoying the stateroom I choose, the heads I use (maybe a choice of two!). I will cook in the galley
or on the bbq, and have a berth (unused) full of a choice of wine.
All the marina "essentials" (powered by shore electric
of course) like A/C, Computer fridge etc, will make my life extremely comfortable. I will also have lots of glue to reseam the inflatable
, lots of spray bottles of GPS
Gleam for polishing and plenty of tools to remove 'stuff' that refuses to perform as it is supposed to, and replace it with "new stuff" with my tools that will work until it becomes "old stuff" and needs doing over again.
At this point you are wondering why your reading this, and all I can say is that its a slow day in clinic..... go figure.
I have narrowed by selection to, and between a Catalac
9 or 10, and a Gemini 105
MC. Ive joined the Gemini
owners club on Yahoo, but am not impressed really because its full of really enthusiastic people reveling in the stories of replacing this and that and how to fix a problem using a winch
and tubes of silicone sealer whilst opening their wallets and extracting large amounts of money
. Ok.. I guess if I owned one it would be useful. I do like the boat and the quirks are known and its not too bad to look at.
Me thinks the Catalac
and the Gemini
come from the same stable of design. Different build quality and other things but each has its its good points. I like them both.
However, I have no experience with Centerboards. I know when they rot
, they are expensive to fix. I know when you leave them down in certain sea conditions you might be kissing your tush goodbye.
I have seen the comments by Mr Woods (whos abilities and experience I respect) that centerboards are really for racing
. He recommends keels for cruising. If you have reached this place in the diatribe, for those with experience in centreboards on the Gemini and also experience in the Catalacs, perhaps you would be so kind as to express an opinion?
This is the one question that has yet to be answered for me to complete my choice.