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Old 14-06-2011, 21:58   #1
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Which Cat to Buy ?

My wife and I have narrowed our search for a cat to live onboard to a Manta 40 or lagoon 380. We are in the 200K range and want to know which is going to be less maintenance, have the highest resale value in three to four years. Engines inside the cabin versus out side on the lagoon. Also where and how do we get parts for the manta? Is there a way to avoid sales tax????

any advise appreciated.
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Old 14-06-2011, 22:29   #2
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Re: Which Cat to Buy?

one vote for the engines outside the cabin.
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Old 14-06-2011, 23:35   #3
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Re: Which Cat to Buy?

From what I've read I'd be hard pressed to buy one with engine access inside the cabins too. As for maintenance, assuming the two boats are in equal shape I'd think there shouldn't be much difference.

Sales taxes are much unavoidable if you keep it in the US.

Don't know about Manta parts. Have you looked for a Manta owner group online? They would be a good source or maybe someone else here will know the answer.
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Old 15-06-2011, 02:50   #4
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

You have quite a spread of quality so it is a little difficult to say.

I like the layout internally on the lagoon, but the engine hatch location and the quality of the internal furnishings would be a reall no-no for me.

I would also be looking at the Privilege 39 and 37 (if you can find one as they are rare). The quality is much better, and re-sale value after a couple of years should not show as much of a drop.
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Old 15-06-2011, 06:21   #5
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

There are no "Manta parts", just commercially available systems and fittings - all US company sources. This is probably true for the Lagoon also, only French/European sources.

Given identical upkeep and condition, the Manta will have the highest resale value.

I have confidence that the Manta will be less maintenance from the perspective of quality of build and parts, but may be more maintenance from the perspective of having many more systems installed (they came fully loaded with everything from the factory, while the Lagoons come bare and any systems are owner options).

There is a way to avoid sales taxes by keeping it outside the country for 6 months. I don't know the details, but you are close to the Bahamas.

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Old 15-06-2011, 06:39   #6
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

Isn't the engine access via the cabins (inside) on the Manta and via the cockpit (outside) on the Lagoon 380?
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Old 15-06-2011, 07:01   #7
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

You can avoid sales/use tax in Florida by buying the boat in a state with no sales tax ansd keeping the boat there for at least 6 months. Time spent out of the country during that six months doesn't count towards the six month time limit. There's also a provision that you must not have intended to bring the boat to Florida when you bought it. If you are a Florida resident you may have trouble convincing them you did not intend to bring the boat to Florida. I bought a boat in florida, but I live in NC. I did not have to pay Florida sales tax because I removed the boat from Florida within 90 days and brought it to NC. NC sales/use tax only applies to boats bought at retail (from a dealer) so I did not have to pay tax as I bought the boat from an individual (through a broker). I do have to pay NC personal property tax which is about 1% a year. Since I've now owned the boat for 6 years I've essentially paid 6%. Property tax goes on for ever, sales tax only hits once. I guess I'm lucky I don't live in a state that has both.

While Manta is out of business, the 40's were actually built by Endeavourcat which is still in business. I don't know how much help they might be, but they might be able to answer questios about parts sources.
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Old 15-06-2011, 07:17   #8
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

What Capt Bill says is mostly right, but if you ever bring it back to Florida you'll have to pay if you haven't already paid in some other state. This link is not a government document but its a good summary of the law as I understand it:

Florida Sales Taxes - Used and New Catamaran and Trimaran Multihulls
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Old 15-06-2011, 07:20   #9
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doodles View Post
Isn't the engine access via the cabins (inside) on the Manta and via the cockpit (outside) on the Lagoon 380?
re engine hatch location-

Like most things in life absolute rules rarely work. the traditional response is that external access is better than internal access, on some boats this is true, eg the lightwave 45 the engine hatches are well forward and have a little risk of getting swamped in a following sea situation (as we know engine problems never happen on a nice day in flat seas, thats murphy's law.

On the smaller lagoons the hatches are so far back that you are almost standing on the aft end of the transom, very exposed.

So given a choice between inside and those very exposed, inside it is for more, however given a choice between inside and really forward external hatches then the latter works better.

On the OPs question - I'd probably go for the one that represents best value on the day, and if pushed I would probably prefer the Manta. Both boats are quite adequate if they have been well looked after.
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Old 15-06-2011, 07:24   #10
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

I much prefer the Lagoon (own a 37). Is this the Manta model that has the winch in the middle of the cockpit? How about the seat over the cockpit aft rail? A washing machine that was installed as the hull was built around it? Wait until you have to cut that out. The tiny salon?
There is a reason why Manta was never popular. The builder had personal ideas, many of which he should have disdained. The Lagoon, Pajot, and other brands are better designed boats overall, though the Manta is well built.

The internal engine access is wonderful! You can easily work on the engines in a heavy sea, without getting wet and dropping tools overboard...or yourself going for a swim. External access sucks anytime you have to work on the engine away from the dock.
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Old 15-06-2011, 08:00   #11
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bill View Post
You can avoid sales/use tax in Florida by buying the boat in a state with no sales tax ansd keeping the boat there for at least 6 months. Time spent out of the country during that six months doesn't count towards the six month time limit. There's also a provision that you must not have intended to bring the boat to Florida when you bought it. If you are a Florida resident you may have trouble convincing them you did not intend to bring the boat to Florida.
This is mostly correct, but there are a few points that need clarification:
1. When a Florida resident purchases outside of Florida, the boat doesn't need to stay in the state where it was purchased for six months. It just needs to stay out of Florida for six months. For example, if a Florida resident purchases a boat in Maine, one doesn't have to stay in Maine for the 6 months before returning to Florida. The return trip to Florida can take six months, spending time in several states in between, and still avoid the use tax.

2. One need not purchase a boat in a state without sales tax. If the state with a sales tax has a provision whereby a citizen from another state can purchase with the intent of exporting the item to their home state, one can still avoid sales tax. For example, a non-Floridian buys a boat in Florida and removes the boat from Florida within 90 days after purchase. One just needs to know the tax law of the state where the boat is purchased and the tax laws of the states between that state and Florida. Working within the law, taxes can be avoided or at least reduced. The Florida law provides six months to allow the "other state" to collect taxes, but does not require that state or any other state to do so.

3. US territories (e.g., Puerto Rico and the USVI) are technically "outside of the country," but are included in the Florida law covering use tax exceptions. In addition to purchasing in another state, one can also purchase in a US territory, and take six months to return to Florida.

4. Time spent outside the country is irrelevant. All the State wants to see is a bill of sale showing the location where the purchase closed and proof that the boat hasn't been in Florida. This is especially the case where one purchases a boat in, for example, the USVI and will, more likely than not, spend time in another country before returning to Florida. (Closed is important because it may save you lots of money if you are interested in a boat in the BVI, write into the purchase contract that the closing must occur in the USVI. This assumes that the boat has been previously imported into the US, as a US citizen can't purchase anything in the US that hasn't previously been imported and import duty paid.)

5. Intention is also irrelevant. How can the State determine and enforce intent? There is no such provision. Please see the link below.

The spirit of the Florida Use Tax exemption law is that if a Florida resident purchases outside of Florida and does not bring the purchased product back to Florida, a six month period will allow the "other state" to collect taxes. That is, the intent of the exemption is not to avoid taxes, but to avoid double taxation - once by each state. It's just a happy coincidence that if enough effort is expended and, in some cases, inconvenience endured, one can avoid the use tax.

I have personally spoken with the State of Florida Department of Revenue numerous times concerning this topic. The full text of the law is available from the Florida Department of State Division of Library and Information Services.
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Old 15-06-2011, 11:12   #12
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

One other note on Florida Use Tax: If you purchase a boat in another state and you bring that boat back to Florida before the six month exemption period, you are responsible for the difference in tax between the purchase state and the 6% Florida tax. For example, if you buy a boat in Georgia and pay Georgia 4% sales tax, when you bring the boat to Florida before six months, you must then pay Florida 2%. If you buy a boat in Delaware and pay 0% sales tax, when you bring the boat to Florida before six months, you must then pay Florida 6%.
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Old 15-06-2011, 16:33   #13
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

My personal preference would be the Manta. She does have less interior space but is designed more as a sailboat than a floating condo. The mold was pulled of an Eric Lerouge boat who is well known for his performance oriented cats. It seems whenever someone is comparing designs it's always about the interior space rarely about the sailing capabilities. I would also like the engines accessible from the interior. We've had both and I didn't care for the exterior access.
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Old 15-06-2011, 16:43   #14
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

Quote:
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External access sucks anytime you have to work on the engine away from the dock.
Not true. Been there, done that.

IMO the advantages of external access far outweigh the rumored disadvantages. A huge advantage of outside engine access - you can sleep on the aft berth during or after motoring. With a solid bulkhead between the living space and engine room, there is no engine heat or smells in the living space. I recently spent time on a boat with engines below the living space, the heat coming from the engines was amazing, actually had to start the genset and run the AC in order to sleep and this was hours after shutting the engines down. Cast iron holds heat for a long time.
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Old 15-06-2011, 18:19   #15
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Re: Which Cat to Buy ?

On the "intent" issue, I don't know about Florida but in Massachusetts a guy registered his new boat for a mooring with his town when he bought the boat (I believe there was a mooring waiting list). This was later judged as evidence of intent to use the boat in Massachusetts and made him liable for use tax after he brought the boat into the state more than six months after he bought it.

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