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Old 06-07-2006, 02:27   #1
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Which cat to choose in the 47 to 52 range

I will be cruising Carribean, US East Coast, US West Coast, Panama Canal and Mexico.

I (age 40) will have my wife and two girls (11 and 5). We are in pretty good shape and I am very mechanical (can fix anything) think McGiver.

Our budget is about 1.25 Million and we are looking at newer used and new boats. We like the Lagoon 500, Privilage 495, Catana 52 and a few others we haven't been on board yet.

We are interested in comfort, saftey, performance.

I am concerned that the Lagoon 500 is just too heavy and won't perform well based on some articles I have read. I hate the outside helm of the Catana and am not sure I want to be on the fly bridge of the L500. The new 495 seems to only come with Galley down.

We are leaving tommorrow for two weeks bareboat aboard a new Lagoon 440 both to get away and for evaluation of the line before we purchase.

Anyone with a boat in this size range that can help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-07-2006, 09:46   #2
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The lagoon 44 wont give you much idea about the 50 as its a different designer.

Probably worth looking at the big Maxim 50 Got a chum having the 385 built at the moment.

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Old 06-07-2006, 09:59   #3
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With your budget, and if you have some ideas as to what you want, I suggest you also consider a custom or semi-custom build. You should be able to get something that very much closer to what you want than buying something "off the rack".
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Old 06-07-2006, 10:03   #4
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How about the Alcat 60?

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...&toPrice=&cint=

I have no idea how she sails, but there is something comforting about the aluminum hull.
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Old 06-07-2006, 23:30   #5
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I can heartily endorse the Saint Francis 50 (or a 48).

You might also consider a used Lagoon 470. Perhaps a Voyage 500 would work as well (they pound but sail great and have low windage and are very stable).
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Old 08-07-2006, 04:31   #6
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Manta out of Sarasota Fl Builds a pretty good looking boat.
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Old 08-07-2006, 05:52   #7
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Yes, Manta builds an excellent boat. However, the largest they make is a 42 and would not likely be large enough for a full time liveaboard family with 2 children. In any event, it is not as large as California Cat Man wants.
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Old 08-07-2006, 06:31   #8
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A couple of suggestions

Have a couple of boats for your contemplating pleasure:
  • Sud Composites the Switch 51, you can read about a family cruising on one here http://www.zialater.com. There's also a barely used 55 that's been on the market for a while that you might be able to fit into the top end of your budget depending on the mood of the Catamarn Company http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...ck&searchtype=
  • I would second Randy's St. Francis recommendation
  • African Cats FastCat 525 http://www.africancats.com
  • I'm a daggerboard fan, so I also like the Outremer 55 (yes I saw the accident), but only since they've changed their construction techniques.
  • Outside your size range but within your budge and a heck of a boat (think Catana without the weight and exposed helm) is the Dolphin 600 http://www.multihullcompany.com/NewBoats.aspx?id=3 at ~$900K
  • And on the further exotic side, there's the Gunboat 48 at $1.3MM but you'll have a couple year wait to get one.
Also the Lagoon 440 and 500 are in fact by the same designers (VPLP) however the 500 is supposed to have a tuned hull design based on experience with the 440. You can read a review here: http://www.cruisingworld.com/article...ID=397&catID=0

I agree with you on the exposed helms of the Catana and I came to the same conclusion about the Lagoon 440 and 500 flybridge. I'm a recovering Lagoon lover so I know what you're going through.

good luck with your search
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Old 08-07-2006, 09:58   #9
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oh yeah, and if you're willing to go 1' shorter, the Leopard 46 is on our short list of a performance oriented cruiser.

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Old 08-07-2006, 10:48   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Talbot
The lagoon 44 wont give you much idea about the 50 as its a different designer.

Probably worth looking at the big Maxim 50 Got a chum having the 385 built at the moment.
Talbot, I went looking for more info on the Maxim 520 and there's not much out there. Simonis has this from 2004 on their site but nothing else: http://www.simonis.com/news.php?pos=10&nid=17

Maxim has initial build photos (again appears to be circa 2004) but that's it. Any idea what the story is on this one?

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Old 09-07-2006, 10:18   #11
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You may find this site of interest:
http://www.chriswhitedesigns.com
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Old 09-07-2006, 18:15   #12
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Wow thanks everyone - more questons

Tons of good information here. Thank you Jeff and everyone else.

It appears that many of the custom or semi custom boats are quit a bit faster than the Privilige, Lagoon and Catana. What are you giving up? Hull capacity and feautures? Can I load them down with stuff or will it kill the performance?

What is the resale value of these custom or semi custom boats. Will I still be trying to sell it after a year on the market?

If money were no object which of these boat is best. The Gunboat looks pretty exciting.
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Old 09-07-2006, 19:54   #13
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compromises, compromises and more compromises

First there is no such thing as the perfect boat. The challenge is to find the one that suits your needs best and gets you out sailing.

In general, you can't or shouldn't load any cat down or performance will suffer. Again generally speaking, you can distribute more load over a longer waterline but the hull shape will also play a factor. A wider hull will carry more load then a skinny hull, yes obvious I know.

Gunboat, for example, wages the war against weight with religious fervor as does African Cats. In both cases you'll find some of the most pedestrian items cast in carbon fibre (like sinks, garbage bins and toilets). Loading up a Gunboat 48 with stuff would be criminal, a 62 would handle the load much easier.

As far as compromises, it depends on the boat. The Outremers have skinny hulls, so much so it's tough having 2 people passing each other in a hull, and you really need the 55' before you can carry a decent payload see: http://www.catamaran-outremer.com/ar...?id_article=60. For some the compromise is budget (Gunboat), others it's a lack of "luxury" finish (Lerouge, Outremer), etc...

Any boat with daggerboards will require more vigilence but those bitten by the daggerboard bug wouldn't have it any other way. However, keels offer many benefits beyond convenience, like beaching and modern mini-keel designs are making windward sailing more of a reality.

Resale value isn't the biggest issue as much as the fact that the general market for these boats is quite small. Peter Johnstone will point out that every Gunboat resale to date has been in excess of the original buyer's purchase price. They are definitely the anomaly though and most boats will depreciate as fast if not faster then their charter bound cousins. Typically because the exotic nature of them. Additionally any boat not built in a pro and reputable yard (e.g. some Schionnings) or oddball designs will fair even worse.

Money being no object will mean different things to each buyer and their programme. Sunreef has definitely got some interesting stuff going on but 62' is now the smallest. Petter and Gunboat are in a class of their own. BTW am I the only person that thinks it's weird that the fully carbon fibre Petter comes with a dishwasher?!?! The St. Francis 50 is very impressive -- just ask Randy. Yapluka and their aluminum construction is worth a glance but again it all depends what your wants and most importantly needs are.

Here's my suggestion: make a list, get your wife's must haves and your kids wishes. It'll help with buy in and smooth any land based angst if all participate. Some of your list will be qualitative (finish preferences, feeling of comfort, etc...) and others will be more empirical (hull construction preferences, washer/dryer, helm position, etc...). I'm not sure what your timeline is but boat shows are a great way to get aboard a ton of boats in a hurry... Annapolis in October and Miami in February are the bigger multi-hull shows. Post-show you can arrange to test sail some of your short list as well.

Ok I could babble about cats forever but I'll stop now. Hopefully this is helpful

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Old 09-07-2006, 21:11   #14
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Jeff has given you a great orientation to the variables involved in selecting cats. By the way, his website is also a really good place to visit.

I would add one thing to Jeff's summary: have a very good idea of how many people will actually be sailing the boat, most of the time. Do not exceed their capacity to manage the boat without power assist. In the case of a couple, I would insist that the boat be no larger than what my wife could handle. Sure, there are electric winches and most of the time they will be a great help. But, what if something happened to me and the electricity was also on the fritz? My wife and I had a standing rule when boat shopping -- she had to be able to raise the main and trim the sails, on her own, without power assist. She has sometimes really had to grunt out that last foot, but that way we both know that if she had to do it, she could! Now, if you are always going to have 3 or 4 people on the boat of at least teenager strength, that opens up a lot more possibilities.

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Old 10-07-2006, 08:13   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California Cat Man
.... Will I still be trying to sell it after a year on the market?...
Don' buy a boat if you are going to concentrate more on what you think the wants of the person you eventually sell the boat to than to your own wants. Buy a house instead. You will most likely lose less money in the house transaction than you will in the boat transaction.

However, if you insist on buying a boat check out the most popular charter boats - those will most likely be the easiest to sell.
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