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Old 09-02-2010, 06:27   #16
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I'm biased (of course) but for this price point and cruising arrangement / ease of sail handling go look at a Manta 42 up to about year 2007. They were never built for the charter market and most used boats have been well cared for by their owners. Add to that a very active & supportive owner's group and for my money they can't be beat.

Check out mantacatamaranforsale.com

Best of luck with your new adventure!

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Old 09-02-2010, 14:17   #17
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Thx folks for the posts...I agree ka4wja, but I can't start by assuming anything! Tropic Cat, yes, of course I'll be looking closely at surveyors etc before putting most of life savings into one boat. I have to disagree on generalising about all second hand cats being unfit for circumnavigation; a lot of private liveaboard owners out there are obviously looking after their investments real well.
However you're right to be suspicious, and I think I've already pretty much rejected all ex-charter FP, Lagoon and R&C boats already on the basis that even if they are fit for what I have in mind after 5-10 years of charter hammer, they will still need too much cost in refitting. It's one thing mooching around the Caribbean for a week on flat seas, it's another pulling 20-30k nm in a year or two.
What else? Catana but they're pricey. Ditto Outremer. Privilege? I'm also in love with the Chris White design - but there's only one 42 ft available and its $379k so too much if i'm honest. It's bound to need something done and that'll push it too high.
I like the Voyage 440 design but discussions about pounding seem a constant feature in these forums when they come up. Oram designs? They're all in Oz from what I can make out. It's a helluva way to go to look at a boat!

St Francis 44? Lots of boats out there. Any comments? What do people know about these and the Freydis 46 mentioned earlier? The Freydis 46 looks quite like the Catanas; well built, fast, French and not cheap!
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Old 09-02-2010, 14:24   #18
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Mantas - what's the weight and bridgedeck clearance like? they look quite low slung between the hulls. How do they perform?
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Old 09-02-2010, 14:38   #19
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You may want to read up on elapsed times for the past several years in the ARC (trade wind sailing), other rally's or personal blogs if you can find them. The Broadblues and Catana's averaged 7 or so. Speed is similar to monos with the same waterline, just saying.

Good luck with whatever you decide, your wife and kids will love you for taking them cruising.

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We want a multihull for (ie more speed than a mono to avoid the worst weather patterns). I'd rather be tucked up in a 50ft mono, than something that won't perform when I need it to as that's part of the point of going for a multihull.
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Old 09-02-2010, 15:46   #20
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There is a St Francis owners group at: Saint Francis Owners Group | Google Groups

I think you will find a lot of quite satisfied owners. They are strong, safe, proven cruising cats that perform significantly better than the average charter cat, yet are tough enough to take it when the crap starts.

You can read a delivery skipper's review of one at: ST. FRANCIS 44 CATAMARAN

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Old 09-02-2010, 15:58   #21
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You may want to read up on elapsed times for the past several years in the ARC (trade wind sailing), other rally's or personal blogs if you can find them. The Broadblues and Catana's averaged 7 or so.......
Yes...yes...yes...

Toby was just too polite to say he wanted a boat that didn't spill his beer
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Old 09-02-2010, 16:13   #22
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Gotta agree with that, nothing worse then alcohol abuse.

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Yes...yes...yes...

Toby was just too polite to say he wanted a boat that didn't spill his beer
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Old 10-02-2010, 02:49   #23
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You got it guys...you know what my day job is? I'm a wine merchant! I'm going to have to be seriously selective on what wine goes with me, so I don't want to be spilling it!
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Old 10-02-2010, 05:06   #24
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Any 40-45ft monohull consistently averaging 7kts is being sailed pretty well in solid winds, is seriously on its side, and does not have my 4 year old hanging off the main sheet. And my wife hurling inelegantly over the lee rail.
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:30   #25
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Sailed much?

A Grand Soliel 45 has a hull speed of 8.9 so it is easy to back off and still maintain an easy 7 with a minimum sailplan which means they don't load up or heel much especially when broad reaching (ie trade wind sailing). As an example we brought home the boat last spring in a bit of breeze. We could have pushed her with a chicken kite and full main but shortened the sail down to just a staysail giving up a few knots but enjoying a nice easy ride.

This years ARC had a Catana 471 averaging 6.99 while an old Swan 48 averaged 7.59. Don't let sales hype mislead you about actual passage times.

I wish you well with your search, there is much to be admired about multi's (space and never heeling) but you don't have to heel much with mono's if you choose not to push the boat and passage time are more a function of waterline then the number of hulls.



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Any 40-45ft monohull consistently averaging 7kts is being sailed pretty well in solid winds, is seriously on its side, and does not have my 4 year old hanging off the main sheet. And my wife hurling inelegantly over the lee rail.
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Old 10-02-2010, 09:47   #26
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Well sailed, Joli.

My point - if exaggerated - was that, in a given wind, my personal experience is of sailing a decently designed multihull flatter (and more comfortably) at most points of sail, with less effort and fatigue, than a monohull of the same length. It also normally happens to be faster, too. That's all. My family agrees with me, hence the comments about them! It's hardly a revolutionary opinion.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:05   #27
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Mantas - what's the weight and bridgedeck clearance like? they look quite low slung between the hulls. How do they perform?
13,500 lb displacement. Bridge deck clearance is good IMHO - certainly more than the St Francis 50 here at our marina. Good cruising cat performance - 7 - 9kts with all gear aboard, sails at 1/2 wind speed or better on nearly all points of sail.

We like her of course - we bought one

Go see one for yourself - would be worth the time.
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Old 11-02-2010, 08:48   #28
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Many thanks mark - great info. Those St Francis look nice boats, right price range, and seemed slightly low on clearance but not bad so if the Manta's even higher then that's great! The St Francis also has the engines midships, which means it's right in the middle of the galley on one side, which must be a bit weird. Can't imagine that makes your seafood risotto smell that appetising...
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Old 11-02-2010, 09:35   #29
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The only time we ever catch a whiff of diesel in the galley (or other side) is right after I've changed out the fuel filters and that is gone in a few minutes. Otherwise, diesel and oil smells are never an issue and they won't be if you keep up on your maintenance. The disposable diaper drip cloth under our engines stay white and clean with nary a drip.

The midships engines have two disadvantages: the space consumed in the hull (which just takes "getting used to" when moving your feet), and noise. Although I don't think the engines are way louder than many engines under the bunks, they are louder than engines in separate aft compartments (at least sound in the interior of the boat).

They have several significant advantages: First is balance of the boat. Everything heavy in the St Francis is centered in the middle and as a result, hobby-horsing is very minimal and balancing the boat under sail is very easy. The second is it allows the transoms to be shaped optimally for getting that water away smoothly, which of course translates to performance. Third, the engines are so easy to access for maintenance. Really, very easy. Having helped buddies with various placements (under the aft berths, separate aft compartments, various monohulls, etc., I've yet to see another sailboat in this range with easier to access engines. You really don't understand what that means until you're living with it, but it is very nice.

As with so many things, you pick the compromises you want. On some days, you'll be glad you picked the ones you did; on other days you'll kick yourself for not having gone the other way.

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Old 11-02-2010, 10:12   #30
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Question answered - many thanks, Drifter! I like this forum - very helpful! How is getting in and out there for maintenance? I've heard changing out filters, parts etc can be murder in the there - but then, people complain just as bitterly about engines under bunks too. How do you find it?

Separate compartments seem best for noise and maintenance for engines, but then by definition they are theoretically bad for balance as they are way aft. Having said that I notice the Atlantic 42 design has the engines separate and accessed from the transoms and no-one questions their performance...
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