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Old 22-12-2011, 12:43   #1
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Which Blue Water Cruiser Cat Should I Buy?

So it's Christmas time and I have just bought a boat for two of us to sail off into the sunset. We plan on going around the planet. We are youngish mid 40s. We have done limited cruising and offshore but plenty of racing. We live in a condo so not great at fixing stuff but work in IT so we are nifty with things that flash.

Here is our list of "needs".
Safe boat for 2 folks that plan on sailing not just the carribean
Plenty of comforts (ie storage, watermaker, all the newest electronics, AC for rare marina time, decent shower)
A fun to sail boat in more that just 15 knots on the beam
New boat - learning curve easier since stuff break slower.

So here was our list:
Antares 44i
Catana 42
Gunboat48
Leopard 44
Orana 44

Before I reveal our choice what do folks think? What would your call be?
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Old 22-12-2011, 13:35   #2
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Welcome

And based on your requirements the best choice would be Antara, Leopard or Orana.

But as you raced you choose a Gunboat.
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Old 22-12-2011, 14:08   #3
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

Thanks for the reply.
Gunboat lost because
1) price went up while my stocks when down in 2008.
2). You can actually flip it. Rest of them are more idiot proof.
3). Interior is like camping
The gunboat is so cool. Nothing else in the class come close in coolness.
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Old 22-12-2011, 14:23   #4
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

Antares 44
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Old 22-12-2011, 15:59   #5
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

Thanks for the reply Ok a vote for the antares? Why do you find it the top choice?
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Old 22-12-2011, 17:58   #6
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

Voyage 520 Owners version
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Old 22-12-2011, 19:09   #7
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

Antares because they have a cool cheat sheet to recommend what sails to use.

Antares 44i: Performance

They all look really nice.
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Old 22-12-2011, 19:41   #8
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

If you think that new boats break less, you have a lot to learn--plan on spending your first year getting everything fixed under warranty, and therefore staying around wherever you buy the boat.

If you want to go around the world in safety and style, buy none of the above. All cats will flip, and the higher performance ones require more seamanship.

Good luck with whatever choice you made. Choosing a sailboat is like choosing a mate--its not just a rational decision.
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Old 22-12-2011, 20:10   #9
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

FF46

Designs - FreeFlow 46

New generation built as ocean going live aboard like Antares but 10+ years later concepts. Solar panels recess built in/ water capture from cockpit and saloon roofs, composite chain plates for low maint etc. Go to picture galley.

Fully shaded/vented as standard vessel. worth a look.

cheers
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Old 22-12-2011, 21:08   #10
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

Interesting game. We're in nearly the same boat (hah), except we add some kids (18/9/7 at the planned time of departure) and we're not quite ready yet. Late 2013 is the target date for us.

Our list would look similar, except we'd have never put the gunboat on it. The interior camping style and the price rule it out. You cant really enjoy "cool" while on the hook, imo. The Catana would be out for us due to the dual aft steering stations. Two handing around the world, I think I'd want my wife closer to the salon when its dark and nasty out. You don't say much about budget, except for the gunboat piece. The Antares is probably the best, because its designed and built from the ground up for what you're talking about doing, as opposed to a production boat that seems designed to do several things (including chartering/entertaining) on top of making a profit through quantities of production. I dunno if you can live with the galley down. I can see the pros/cons for both styles, so I'm not sure that is a show stopper. However, the Antares ain't cheap, new OR used, and as noted, it's not a big numbers production line, so I'd guess that it was out for you, on top of which if you bought new, you're not putting it in the water for at least a couple of years. The new L44 looks nifty, and is winning boat of the year from CW, but honestly, I'm not sure I'd want to take any green water over the bow with the forward cockpit and a big glass door there. I might be way off base, but I'd say safety conflicts with your needs in that case. There may be more pros than cons to that boat, but I'm not sure I'd pursue it.

So, by process of elimination, I'd say Orana 44. Solid production boat, been around long enough that they've worked many of the kinks out, and you can find relatively new models that have many of the creature comforts already added. The price could be in the Antares range, but you'd have better luck finding supply, so as a buyers market so to speak, you might stumble across a better deal. It's definitely on our short list. I didn't see a Lagoon on your list. I'd guess because the mid 40ish model has a flybridge, and similar to the Catana for us, I don't want to have that much separation from the cockpit when underway, despite the additional space it gives you (although its sailing characteristics seem like they might suffer from such a high boom, I know there are tons of threads on this, but to each his own).

So there ya go, I'm gonna say a 2009ish FP Orana 44, maestro version, never chartered, has the bells and whistles already, and off you go.
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Old 22-12-2011, 21:10   #11
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

Thanks "Down Under". Had not seen before and very interesting. No clue on pricing and features but she is a beauty.

Don, lets not go there on the cats flip issue. We kind of know the next line is going to be about led sinking. I chose my mate from a internet site so same strategy should work for my boat?
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Old 22-12-2011, 21:18   #12
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

Have you looked at Outremer's there not really a Gunboat but not bad performance.
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Old 22-12-2011, 21:26   #13
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As an owner of the Antares 44i for the past two years I would wholeheartedly recommend this catamaran.
They are not inexpensive at 900k new and 650k US dollar used but they are good value .
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Old 22-12-2011, 21:51   #14
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

Interesting question since you've already bought one.

We were in Annapolis at the boat show this year and saw most of those boats or similiar models. When you factor everything in, we really still prefer the Leopard cats. I can't place any single aspect, but we like so many of the features of it. Cabin layout (owners is awesome), helm (good view and can be well protected from weather), davits, interior layout...etc.

I'm not sure I would have considered the Leopard 44 though. I really just can't help but question how that forward area does in high seas and or wind. I'd really want to see a bigger history there. So given that (and that my wife are looking to do the same thing as you in the future), our choices would be between the Leopard 39 or Leopard 46. It will really come down to cost for us, but if we can afford it we'd go with the 46 since we will want a number of extras as well (water maker, dive compressor..etc).
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Old 23-12-2011, 02:06   #15
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Re: Which blue water cruiser cat should I buy?

Catana 47,just look at her!fast and comfortable,and no gunboat price tag.



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