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Old 05-09-2013, 07:45   #1
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When do they get "big enough?"

To some this will seem like an utterly absurd question. I remember talking to an owner of a 34' mono hull about the cramped space inside the 44' catamaran I had chartered. Every so often I could see in his eyes that he thought I was nuts. So be it.

The issue is more for friends and family who don't handle smaller spaces well. Personally, I'd do fine with even a small 24' mono hull to cruise around in for some short-lived peace of mind sessions. But for them, even aboard a 44' cat, the berths and heads in particular can be a bit cramped. Yes, owners versions help somewhat, but not for people staying in the non-owner berths.

I've been looking more and more at the Lagoon 500. It seems as though the 4 cabin version might fit the bill. But even then, we're still talking about what would be considered an extremely small hotel room by "land" standards. Plus once you cross even the 48' threshold (I'm thinking the new Leopard 48 here) the prices really start going up both for purchase and more to-the-point charter.

Have I been barking up the wrong tree? Do I need to start looking at motor yachts? I have nothing against those, by the way, except for the amount of fuel they burn. The thing I love about catamarans is their efficiency and relatively large interior volume as compared to sailing mono hulls.

Another thing I've been wondering is, why don't they make 40 foot-ish boats with simply two state rooms? IE., the FP Lipari 41 would be a very, very comfortable boat for two couples if both hulls were set up as "owners" versions. I know some older model FPs have this setup, but they're on the smaller side of 40' ish.

The other issues that has come into play for me when chartering a boat and trying to gain new converts is pitch poling. We recently chartered a '41 FP and I found it did in fact bobble around quite a bit more than even a "slightly" larger 44' FP (Orana) as we hit the wakes of much larger boats and some medium sized choppy waves. At what length does it really stop being an issue? I would imagine waves are much more of an issue in Florida, Bahamas, BVI and Mediterranean than they are here on the Chesapeake.

I've chartered three boats this year, the latter two being with friends and family ... attempting to show them how wonderful it could be in crystal blue waters (we only sailed the Chesapeake ... and the damn jellyfish ruined the swimming part both times). I don't think I managed to convince anyone. Aside from the jellyfish, it seems just plain difficult for 50 year+ folk to get around inside the smallish heads and whatnot.
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:00   #2
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

Plenty of boats with two queens - one in each hull, and one with a main head and one with an ensuite. LIghtwave, Seawind, Outremer come to mins, and the Light Wave and Seawind are 38/41/45. Outremers are at 45 and 51 and 59
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:14   #3
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:15   #4
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

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Plenty of boats with two queens - one in each hull, and one with a main head and one with an ensuite. LIghtwave, Seawind, Outremer come to mins, and the Light Wave and Seawind are 38/41/45. Outremers are at 45 and 51 and 59
Thanks, I do see some of the more interesting designs there on the Outremer website.

If only those boats were chartered even semi-regularly around the world. IE., I can't find a single one to charter (of either) in Florida or the Bahamas. ;-(
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:17   #5
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

i have seen boats with 2 queens but i think you dont mebbe wanna go there---
they werent sleeping quarters......
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Old 05-09-2013, 08:35   #6
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

Perhaps you could prepare your guests for the possibility that the quarters will seem quite small to them. We have had a guest who felt overcrowded belowdecks. Good friends, too, we agreed that they spend their nights in accommodations ashore, and we spent the days sailing, and car touring.

You mentioned the skittering on wakes. Most of my experience is on monohulls, but I feel comfortable commenting that the longer the waterline, the less jittery the motion seems, at least to me.

Possibly, you can enquire of the charter companies, the dimensions of the hulls: that would give you an idea of the size of the accommodations. Or ask the sizes of the berths. There may also be a suitable vessel in charter somewhere that is not part of a large company's fleet.

In a way, it's an impossible problem because it's not your issue, but someone else's. How can you know what triggers your acquaintances' discomforts? the nexus for the shift from discomfort to "wow, this is great!"?

My 2 cents.

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Old 05-09-2013, 08:40   #7
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

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Perhaps you could prepare your guests for the possibility that the quarters will seem quite small to them. We have had a guest who felt overcrowded belowdecks. Good friends, too, we agreed that they spend their nights in accommodations ashore, and we spent the days sailing, and car touring.
Yes, I've been thinking along those lines for my next trip, if I can convince anyone to come along. Basically, I think it might help maximize the cruise if we spend one or two nights ashore and use the boat as a "day boat" then instead of living on it 24/7 for a week or two.

While it isn't necessarily a problem for me, I can see the easy argument that says "wow, these are some cramped quarters" for all but the largest multi hulls. I know very little about mono hulls and motor yachts though. I suspect the latter have optimized their hulls to make life as easy and comfy as possible.

From what I've seen as I follow the development of new catamarans and designs, this is something the manufacturers are clearly working on. The holy grail of the fast floating condo is always out there, despite the inherent problem with compromises. I'm hoping we get there sooner than later.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:05   #8
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

I think the accommodations on large motor yachts can be much less cramped Go to sanjuansaling.com and check out the gallery of their motor yachts. They seem pretty spacious.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:09   #9
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

I think miles sailed and boat length are inversely proportional, but not always obviously.

Every boat is too small. I was on a 360' warship and I had less space than I do on my 36' sailboat with my wife and two small kids. If we had a bigger boat, we would load it with more crap, and then we'd probably have the same living space.
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Old 05-09-2013, 11:03   #10
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

50ft+ Trawlers can be very spacious, as they have wide hulls unlike sailboats.
If you look at the one I posted for GG, it has normal shower and toilets, beds, kitchen, etc.
Trawler For Sale

It is really a matter of design. Sleeping quarters are generally minimized in exchange for larger space in other areas, like lounging and dining.
I also agree about being older, boats can be a pain, stairs and ladders are the worst.
Why I really like 'one-story' catamaran of John Hitches XIT.
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Old 05-09-2013, 13:06   #11
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

About how fast does that Trawler linked cruise?

EDIT: nvm I see it posted 6-8 knots. I can't handle that. ;-(
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Old 05-09-2013, 15:46   #12
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by djtopper View Post
The holy grail of the fast floating condo is always out there, despite the inherent problem with compromises. I'm hoping we get there sooner than later.
Just remember what the dear departed Dick Newick said

Quote:
Price Performance Comfort.......

Pick any two you like
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Old 05-09-2013, 16:03   #13
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

FWIW, we've gradually developed criteria to match our own preferences over time:

- must have a good head and a good shower, ideally separate
- must have a walk around master berth (which BTW unfortunately eliminated most cats that I've heard of)
- flybridge (for improved visibility; another feature that eliminates many cats... although we did see a nifty 85-footer that would have worked )
- stairs to flybridge (not a ladder)
- serviceable sidedecks
- swim platform and transom door (for the First Mutt, don't ya know)

All that, with a reasonable boat attached.

These, of course, won't be germane to your own interests, but my point is only that identifying and then searching for the individual features you believe are critical may be fruitful...

And once we satisfy our own criteria, I don't much care whether guests can handle it or not. They're welcome to stay ashore.

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Old 05-09-2013, 16:03   #14
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

The PDQ 36 has two nice queen berths. BH
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Old 05-09-2013, 16:53   #15
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Re: When do they get "big enough?"

Put em' all on a Gemini for the first week.

Then they will appreciate any 40-50' cat out there.
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