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Old 29-07-2008, 17:21   #1
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Which cat for live aboard with 120,000 US budget

Hello all,

I am looking at three types of cat for around the 80 - 120,000 US mark.

I am thinking that around 32' - 35' is a good length for a couple.

a) PDQ Mark 11 or altair - OK, I may have to add more or haggle like a nut to get the 120,000 US.
b) Gemini 105m or 105mc - this seems to be achievable.
c) Island Packet, Packet cat 35 - Again, I may have to add some more to the budget.

We aim to live aboard cruise around the caribbean and keep away from the marinas most of the time.

Any input into which may be the best option?

It would be nice to go for the cheapest cat - more money to do any work needed.

Thanks to any repliers
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Old 30-07-2008, 07:03   #2
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I suspect that with your proposed budget, you will find it virtually impossible to acquire a PDQ Capella or Packet Cat 35 at a price that would enable you to do the necessary upgrades/repairs required for the start of a long-term cruising. The Gemini, while a decent boat, has some drawbacks in my opinion:
1. She will be even more weight sensitive than the other boats you mention and hence less able to cope with the stores/spares/equipment needed for long-term liveaboard cruising, particularly if you need to be largely self-sufficient.
2. The vision forward through the interior cabin can be a real challenge.
3. The construction is definitely less solid than the other boats you mention; after several years, many show stress cracks at the junction of the deck/coach house and the 'solid' bimini is decidely less than solid.
4. Even in the Caribbean, conditions can get decidedly difficult between islands and she is certainly even more of a coastal cruisier than the others.

In your budget you may wish to also consider some used Prouts, Catalacs and Solaris yachts. All were solidly built to Lloyd's offshore standards, and while slower than the PDQ/Gemini are offshore capable and will tend to handle the additional weight of the battery banks/stores needed for extended cruising better than the Gemini.

Brad
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Old 30-07-2008, 07:15   #3
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The PDQ32 Altair is a terrific boat but you need to watch the loading. The 36 would be ideal but prices at your budget may be a problem. Keep an eye on listings at PDQ36
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Old 30-07-2008, 07:29   #4
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I suspect that with your proposed budget, you will find it virtually impossible to acquire a PDQ Capella or Packet Cat 35 at a price that would enable you to do the necessary upgrades/repairs required for the start of a long-term cruising. The Gemini, while a decent boat, has some drawbacks in my opinion:
1. She will be even more weight sensitive than the other boats you mention and hence less able to cope with the stores/spares/equipment needed for long-term liveaboard cruising, particularly if you need to be largely self-sufficient.
2. The vision forward through the interior cabin can be a real challenge.
3. The construction is definitely less solid than the other boats you mention; after several years, many show stress cracks at the junction of the deck/coach house and the 'solid' bimini is decidely less than solid.
4. Even in the Caribbean, conditions can get decidedly difficult between islands and she is certainly even more of a coastal cruisier than the others.

In your budget you may wish to also consider some used Prouts, Catalacs and Solaris yachts. All were solidly built to Lloyd's offshore standards, and while slower than the PDQ/Gemini are offshore capable and will tend to handle the additional weight of the battery banks/stores needed for extended cruising better than the Gemini.

Brad
"What *he* said!"

Brad beat me to it. This post is right on track for what you are looking for in your price range.
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Old 30-07-2008, 07:36   #5
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The Cherokee 35 would be a great boat in that price range. Solid build, good sailing ability, spacious and great load carrying capacity.
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Old 30-07-2008, 08:05   #6
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Thanks for the tips, especially the Gemini info.

I suppose it was silly of me not to say ..."which other cats in this price range do you recommend?".

I say it now.

I can see that my budge may have to stretch a bit higher. I was kinda hoping that the Gemini would get a better report since it is the cheapest I have found.

Some PM's came up with these makes;

37' Fountaine Pajot Antigua
Wildcat 350 by Charter Cats

I also saw that the Endeavour 36 1990's were within my budget.

Any feedback on these cats?

Thank you all for taking the time to help me out.

I am going on a cat prowl in Florida once I know what I am looking for.
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Old 30-07-2008, 08:17   #7
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Wildcat 350 by Charter Cats
Be careful, very careful.

Mike
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Old 30-07-2008, 08:28   #8
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For whatever it is worth, I tend to agree with Whimsical on the Wildcat (some prior threads will give you a clue as the potential construction/design issues). I also agree with SMJ on the recommendation of the Cherokee. The PDQ 36 would indeed be a much better choice than the Altair 32 (although again, as I said, a strain on your budget if you are to include repairs/upgrades for long-term cruising). Ditto the Antigua.

Brad
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Old 30-07-2008, 09:02   #9
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There was an owner who had a very major beef with the builder of the Wildcat 35, claiming major structural flaws and bad faith dealings. You can find this story with Google.
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Old 30-07-2008, 09:06   #10
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I wouldn't take the Wildcat off of the list, however. If anything, the reputation issues ought to help you get a better deal. In my opinion, ,the wildcat 35 is one hell of a boat in the $150,000 range. A good survey ought to tell you everything you need to know, and be sure to point out to the surveyor that the Wildcat is known for certain problems, and others have bought them in situations where the surveyor seemed to have missed some big problems.
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Old 30-07-2008, 11:47   #11
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I bought my 1993 PDQ 36 for $130G 3 years ago. I've dropped $40G into it, and will spend another $10G before I'm through. It will then be worth $140G, but it will be the equivalent in reliability and operating expenses of a 1998 PDQ 36, which I could have bought for $165G back then. If I had the money then, I would have saved $15G and more than a thousand hours of DIYing, sanding, scraping, drilling, glassing, painting, scrubbing, sweating, bleeding, cursing, and dreaming. No, all that shyt is NOT priceless. I could have been sailing.

Moral: if you want to buy a used boat, find another fool like me, and tell him about that Catana fixer-upper in Estonia....
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Old 30-07-2008, 12:05   #12
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Inflation and the value of a $

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I bought my 1993 PDQ 36 for $130G 3 years ago. I've dropped $40G into it, and will spend another $10G before I'm through. It will then be worth $140G, but it will be the equivalent in reliability and operating expenses of a 1998 PDQ 36, which I could have bought for $165G back then. If I had the money then, I would have saved $15G and more than a thousand hours of DIYing, sanding, scraping, drilling, glassing, painting, scrubbing, sweating, bleeding, cursing, and dreaming. No, all that shyt is NOT priceless. I could have been sailing.

Moral: if you want to buy a used boat, find another fool like me, and tell him about that Catana fixer-upper in Estonia....
2005 dollars were worth maybe 26% less than 1993 dollars, so it isn't as bad as you think. See http://mwhodges.home.att.net/inflation.gif or just multiply 1 x .975 twelve times. Two and a half percent inflation may not sound like much until you see how compounding it plays out.
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Old 30-07-2008, 12:05   #13
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The PDQ32 Altair is a terrific boat but you need to watch the loading. The 36 would be ideal but prices at your budget may be a problem. Keep an eye on listings at PDQ36
Isn't the beam an issue? 18'+? Will cost a bit at those greedy Caribbean marinas. The 32 has a 16' beam. The Gemini has a 14' beam. I wonder which is harder to dock?

I guess this is another thread, but how much time can we expect to be 'off marina'? If it was say 70% of the time, then the 18' beam would not be such a problem.

Anyway thanks again for all the tips, these are priceless.
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Old 30-07-2008, 12:07   #14
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Anchor instead of docking

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Isn't the beam an issue? 18'+? Will cost a bit at those greedy Caribbean marinas. The 32 has a 16' beam. The Gemini has a 14' beam. I wonder which is harder to dock?

I guess this is another thread, but how much time can we expect to be 'off marina'? If it was say 70% of the time, then the 18' beam would not be such a problem.

Anyway thanks again for all the tips, these are priceless.
Why not anchor? It's not only cheaper, but nicer, too.
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Old 30-07-2008, 12:15   #15
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Why not anchor? It's not only cheaper, but nicer, too.
Totally, it is what we aim to do. Marinas are sometimes fun to meet other 'sailor trash' like ourselves, but at the end of the day we prefer to be in a lovely bay snorkelling and generally having it easy style.

Off grid is where we are at.
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