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Old 24-07-2010, 21:33   #1
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Post What Catamaran: Suggestions from the Community

Hey, I was wondering what catamaran you guys would suggest, based on my requirements. Keep in mind, I am a total neophyte when it comes to sailing, so if I ask a stupid question, bare with me.

The boat I'm looking for will be used basically as a floating condo. My plan is to live alone on board full-time, for a period of several years, exploring the globe. Given this plan, here are my requirements:

-Owner's Cabin configuration (very important, as I will be living onboard by myself

-Able to sail single-handed

-Spacious and airy

I am looking for a capable and roomy boat, as this will be my new home. I will also outfit it with several gadgets, and items to make handling her easier for one person. If these were your plans, what would you choose?
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Old 24-07-2010, 21:49   #2
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how much do you have to spend? PDQ 44 can be sailed single handed as it has all its lines come through to the helm. Its cockpit is second to none for protection and it's amenities are superior to all for the galley and creature comforts. It also has excellent reserve bouyancy and decent SA/D so you can get have your space and sail it too.
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Old 24-07-2010, 21:59   #3
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I am looking to spend around 700,000 U.S. for the boat itself. Although I need a boat that can be sailed single handed, I will usually do all of my sailing between locations, so I'll spend probably 95% of my time at anchor or in a marina.
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Old 24-07-2010, 22:04   #4
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For that amount of money, you can get a very large catamaran that will need electric winches to do things like raise the mainsail.

You can set up a catamaran of any size for singlehanding. It just depends how much you want to spend on gadgets that make it easier to singlehand.

I easily singlehand my Privilege 39. Here is why I chose my Privilege 39:

SAILING OFFSHORE IN A PRIVILEGE 39 CATAMARAN AROUND THE WORLD.* CAPTAIN DAVE.
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Old 24-07-2010, 22:12   #5
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Then trust me, I know cats, and have been on every model made from Shuttleworth, Atlantic, to the more common production boats for over 15 years. You can stop your search with PDQ 44. There are more performance boats on the market, but their amenities stop way short of PDQ, and there are more Condomoran boats, but they don't have the thoughtful fixtures that PDQ does (italian lighting, wonderful galley storage, etc) and are meant almost exclusively for charter, despite some superficial restructuring of fiberglass. PDQ is one of the few that was never intended for a charter, it's exclusively designed for an owner, but is not a more of a bare necessities performance boats of an Atlantic, Shuttleworth, or Outremer. Don't get me wrong, the performance boats ARE great boats, but in the world of compromise of comfort versus speed, they move strongly to speed. I'd think of throwing in Dolphin as well, but they are a galley up model, and for a live-aboard boat with entertaining and business as a primary goal, there's no point to having half of your main room in the catamaran (bridgedeck cabin) taken up by the galley.
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Old 24-07-2010, 23:07   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhataWorld! View Post
I'll spend probably 95% of my time at anchor or in a marina.
Have you considered other options? My experience has been that catamaran + marina = PIA. Don't get me wrong I'm a fan of sailing cats -- love 'em and live on one. With 700K you can get a heck of a cat. But if you're just looking for a cool condo that moves (a marine RV) there are lots of options that will be less expensive, easier to run and maintain, and easier to find a home for. Heretical to suggest but if you are willing to go at sailboat speeds well designed ocean going power yachts may be cheaper in the long run than sail, can have wonderful accommodations and they will be less of a pain to house than a multi. You might check out George Buehler Yacht Design Home Page and of course Capt. Beebe wrote the book power cruising. If you expect to spend most of your time at anchor and are willing to run at sailing speeds a power cat might be an attractive option too. Again, I don't mean to be discouraging on the cat front at all. I'm just tossing out these some general thoughts because you said you were a "neophyte" so you might not have considered them.

Tom
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Old 24-07-2010, 23:13   #7
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schoonerdog, great suggestion! The PDQ 44 is an absolutely amazing catamaran! It has many features I want, such as a large master, laundry unit, and large shower. What struck me, however, about this cat, is that it seems like 'too much boat' for one young guy out to see more of the world. It also seems like a boat for the East Coast, not the tropics (where I plan on spending a lot of time), if that makes any sense. I don't plan on being on the boat every night, but instead exploring the countries I am in, and this boat seems like something for a family, or a retired couple. Thoughts?
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Old 25-07-2010, 07:48   #8
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If you got 700k to buy a cat, call Kurt Hughes, Chris White, Ian Farrier, John Shuttleworth, M&M, Peter Wormwood etc. They will hook you up with a design and or boat that works for your needs . . .
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Old 25-07-2010, 09:40   #9
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Agree!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by schoonerdog View Post
Then trust me, I know cats, and have been on every model made from Shuttleworth, Atlantic, to the more common production boats for over 15 years. You can stop your search with PDQ 44. There are more performance boats on the market, but their amenities stop way short of PDQ, and there are more Condomoran boats, but they don't have the thoughtful fixtures that PDQ does (italian lighting, wonderful galley storage, etc) and are meant almost exclusively for charter, despite some superficial restructuring of fiberglass. PDQ is one of the few that was never intended for a charter, it's exclusively designed for an owner, but is not a more of a bare necessities performance boats of an Atlantic, Shuttleworth, or Outremer. Don't get me wrong, the performance boats ARE great boats, but in the world of compromise of comfort versus speed, they move strongly to speed. I'd think of throwing in Dolphin as well, but they are a galley up model, and for a live-aboard boat with entertaining and business as a primary goal, there's no point to having half of your main room in the catamaran (bridgedeck cabin) taken up by the galley.
Yeah....I agree with Schoonerdog!! Check out the Koa Kai at catamaran company's brokerage listings...it was a steal, but unfortunately is under contract. there are others available but at double Koa Kai's price....PDQ-Antares....A FINE QUALITY VESSEL
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Old 25-07-2010, 09:57   #10
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The PDQ is a great boat for what you have in mind. They perform pretty well, too. As for single-handing long distances, I would re-think that some if I were you, but the reasons have nothing to do with the boat.

I wouldn't call the PDQ an "E. Coast" boat, whatever that means. You are likely to find more in that area, but that's probably more a function of where they were built than anything else.

As for being "too much boat", that's probably more a matter of your perceptions (just starting out) and relative inexperience. One of the things PDQ did was offer what they called "PDQ University", a training program for new owners. A great idea and I ended up getting to know one of their instructors for that program. In fact, my wife and I ended up hiring her to do a similar thing for us when we first bought our new cat (a St Francis, which I would also recommend as a possibility -- with $700K, you could get into a nice 48 and maybe have a bit left over). She did an excellent job and had us feeling pretty competent after our first offshore trip. (If you should want her contact info, PM me.)

Hard to go wrong with a PDQ 44 for what you want.

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Old 25-07-2010, 10:13   #11
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Forget the St. Francis

Huge quality control issues with the St. Francis. Over-priced and a boat NOT to consider unless you want headaches and heartbreak!!!
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Old 25-07-2010, 10:42   #12
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I think that to say that there are "huge" QC issues is quite over-stated. I know of one boat where it looks like that is the case, but even that is yet to be determined and is apparently being examined and debated between the surveyors. To the yard's credit, even on the one the company's owner is actively involved, trying to work it out. They are even sending the production manager half-a-world away to personally inspect and resolve the problems. How many other builders would do that? Some, certainly. Not many, though.

There are many happy St F owners with quite a high percentage of them having done circumnavigations and most of them out cruising and enjoying their boats. While my boat has certainly required maintenance and repairs of many items, they are all the result of simply using the boat (she's got about 12000 nm's on her by now) and fall into the "to be expected" category. The fundamental build quality was excellent. I've had the boat fully surveyed twice and have riggers do annual inspections. All of them have commented on the excellent build quality and the fine quality of the components used by the builder.

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Old 25-07-2010, 12:09   #13
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There are more performance boats on the market, but their amenities stop way short of PDQ ...they don't have the thoughtful fixtures that PDQ does (italian lighting, ...
Thoughtful fixtures? What do they think? Italian lighting? Just for the record my A42 has Italian lighting (gold electro-plated at that). I'm not sure if our galley storage is "wonderful" (I've yet to see any galley storage that filled me with wonder) but there is plenty of it, it is accessible and it looks pretty good. Did you have anything beyond the cosmetic fluff and your favorite performance compromise to recommend the PDQ? Nothing against the PDQ. It is a nice design generally well executed. But you sound like a salesman. There is a world of good boats out there. And, lets face it with a 700K budget you could do a lot better than any production 44 footer.

Tom
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Old 25-07-2010, 14:51   #14
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I also have a big issue with XUXX's comments and agree with International drifter, I think it is irresponsible to make sweeping statements about a particular boat without proper facts to back it up. It is unfair to the builder and many current owners who are very happy with their boats. I am aware of the one person who is having an issue with an SF50 that Intentional Drifter referred to and that is in the process of being resolved at the moment.
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Old 26-07-2010, 00:14   #15
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I am looking into the Lagoon 440, and the some boats from the Privilege line. I love the owner's version master in the Privilege boats, all the light and the space! Thoughts?
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