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Old 04-04-2010, 18:56   #1
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Why So Many of these Brands of Cats ?

We are browsing the 40 to 50 ft used cats and I keep seeing these brands:

Listed in (observed) frequency:
1. Robertson & Caine -
2. Lagoon -
3. Fountain Pajot - Bahia
4. Catana -

The price for these usually running under 300k (my price range - under 200K even better), there seems to be so many available (especially the Robertson & Caine and Lagoons)...

... Are these boats crap?

I read the Bahia 46 thread and people swear they are in the top three of the boats they would buy.

A Privilage or Antarres seams recommended and then a Dolphin. But these typically run above the 400k range... and I have read the recommendations on the Prout (but these are older - difficult to get financing [probably]) ... and their availability seems sparse... does this equate to their higher price?

The big question is; are these boats so abundant because they are crap or because they are ultra massed produced?
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Old 04-04-2010, 19:21   #2
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Like, you, I'm pondering a cat. Here's the benefit of my research.

As brands, none are crap, any more than a Ford or a Hyundai is crap in the car world. They all have their good and bad points, some better than others, and more expensive than others. Some slam more, some point better, some are better finished. All attempt to hit a market niche for price and performance, some are specifically tailored to charter trade.

I think you just have to do the research, and determine what boat is best for you. This site is a great place for information.

Bill

P.S., There are most definitely crap boats out there, from all manufacturers, due to abuse and damage, and a few less than honourable brokers, so be careful.
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Old 04-04-2010, 19:22   #3
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I suspect it is the latter.

Just because something is popular and mass produced doesn't atomatically make it bad.

At least you know it wasn't built in some numpty's backyard!

Not to say all home builders are bad :-)
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Old 04-04-2010, 19:34   #4
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Most of the boats you mentioned were originally built for the charter market. Many had owner's versions as they tooled up their production line. They are the most abundant in number and also as they come out of the charter biz. Hard service in chartering and their relatively large numbers, along with their being built to a market/business price point, provide the reason for prices for these boats being lower than most other catamarans out there.

That's the good news for many as it brings a catamaran within reach of shallower purse strings. It also means that due diligence must be applied when buying them. Some will require more refurbishing than others.
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Old 04-04-2010, 19:39   #5
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Thanks!

After making my post, I was thinking that when I was in college, I love driving my 67' bug. Best car I have ever owned. Easy to fix, and fix up. AND super inexpensive. But it was not a Porche for sure.

I was thinking of doing some charters to get a feel of 'the one'. But like the '67 bug, depending on the previous owner(s) really will tell you what kind of vehicle you are getting into.

I guess the word 'crap' was a little strong. 'Less Prefered' would be better.

Are these the 'typical' boats that couples buy to end up in the 'port of broken dreams'? Why these models (because they were manufactured like VW Bugs were)? Or is it that after purchasing them... 'owners' found them 'less desireable'.

Maybe what I am really asking is: "Why would someone not buy these?" ... hmm... I think I am getting close to actually being able to look into Davey Jones Locker here...

Opinions please! ;-P

Chaning modes here: Can someone tell me which discussion area/thread I would solicite for a surveyor, broker, and marina in Texas? (Preferably not one in the same - I did find a few lines suggesting the Kemah area)
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Old 04-04-2010, 19:46   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cchesley View Post
That's the good news for many as it brings a catamaran within reach of shallower purse strings. It also means that due diligence must be applied when buying them. Some will require more refurbishing than others.

Thanks for this bit. Our goal is to get into a structurally sound vessel that will not seperate at the hulls once we cross the atlantic --- both ways--- and then spend time upgrading, refitting, fixing, etc... As most here will attest, it is that first coin drop that is the hardest to make... slow blood letting that is boat ownership I am prepared for.

I will have to increase my purse for surveyor and test sails it looks like when purchasing a cat. I hope it is not too much. I know getting a boat that is on the hard into the sea for just a test is expensive... as is a trip to Europe just to 'look' at a boat.
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Old 04-04-2010, 21:00   #7
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I think one brand for all these cats would be enough? ;-)

Question: how many Outremer's are listed?

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 04-04-2010, 21:11   #8
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That the first three you mentioned are the some of larger manufacturers with more cats on the water and particularly in the charter busisness is the reason more are more readily available at lower prices 2nd hand.

In the price range you might struggle to pick up an owners version fully set up for extensive cruising.

Arguably there are better vessels available but are more expensive new and second hand such as the Privilages and Antares.

All you mentioned if maintained and cared for are suitable using a survey.

MOST BLOGS i have read OF SIMILAR VESSELS CRUSING EXTENSIVELY HAVE inadequate fuel tankage and resort to carrying heaps of jerrycans.

good luck in your search.
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Old 04-04-2010, 21:46   #9
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What Cat To Buy?

Wow, I don't know what to tell you. Trying to buy a 40 plus foot cat in decent shape in the low 200s may be tough. You could easily throw $50,000 dollars at it (and that's if you do most of the work yourself) to get it ready to cruise. I've bought two 10 year old boats in my life (a 46 monohull and a 46 cat), both lovingly cared for by their original owners and I still had to spend huge amounts of money to fix things that just wear out or corrode in 10 years, let alone add new equipment. I don't want to discourage you from buying a catamaran (I LOVE mine) but if you already have a boat (it looks from your profile you have a Hunter 40), and you really don't need the extra room of a cat, you might consider upgrading your boat. The happiest, most laid back people I met cruising were the ones with VERY simple but reliable equipment that required little maintainance. While they were out partying and having fun, I was in the hot, humid bilge trying to repair freezers, AC, SSB, Satellite TV, etc. Good Luck in your Endeavors!
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Old 04-04-2010, 22:15   #10
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Nick - Thanks for the smile! Yep, then we couldn't really complain... because we wouldn't know any better. And if the boat was miserable to drive... then we would not boat anymore. Echo's of communism ring in my mind with only one choice... we definately don't want anything like that... =D.

I don't think I have seen but maybe '5' Outremer for sale....??? I guess it depends on how high you set the price index on the search engine.

Downunder - Thanks for the input - Yep, I have noticed this about the used charter versions... VERY small gas and water tanks.... Usually they are barely geared at all. I like a high Gear Score and if in the beginning it is low... I know over time... there will always be upgrades... all part of the boat owner slow bleeding out... slowing eating away at the pocket book. Trick is to have the pocket book outlast the amount of life we have left.

We will keep looking. I wonder what the Repo market looks like? .... One more note is we want twin engines and most of these chartered boats only have one. I wonder if adding a second would be much of a major refit?

We are toying with the idea of buying on cheap and upgrading to our desires one of these charter versions... and 'converting' it to an owners version. We have not weighed the cost of this method over the turn-key option. But over the next few months... We will become smarter.
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Old 05-04-2010, 15:16   #11
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All the cats you have mentioned have twin engines.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 05-04-2010, 15:39   #12
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check out the Voyage catamarans too! We have an exchartered version that was refit in 2002 by the 2nd owner who took his family cruising for a few years. WE have owned it going on 5 years now. My wife wants an owners version, I am happy with the boat we have. We just need to get crusing, to heck with another boat.
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Old 05-04-2010, 16:30   #13
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Leopard owner here...

The Moorings commissioned the design of R &C cats for charter and for resale. The latter is also a very important part of their design criteria. If the boats don't move when their contract is up then they won't have room for the new ones coming in.

Keep in mind also that "built for charter" has evolved over the past decade. Robertson & Caine cats began with designs by Alexander Simonis at a time when South African Cats were proudly built to "Round the horn".(1998 -2005ish) The compromises made for the charter industry were moving the traveler up onto an arch, putting a swim platform across the back with a low maintenance interior and easy access to large motors. These early R&C hulls have an outstanding reputation for strength and durability. They are a lot of boat for the money. The original 38's and 45's have pretty much all moved through Moorings/Footloose and yet are still in demand. I get at least 2 calls a year from brokers saying they have a buyer who wants one.

The newer R&C designs (40 46 & new 38) are Morelli & Melvin designs with changes toward living comfort and performance. They are lighter, taller, and quicker than their predecessors. But as you know everything is a compromise....considering strength, stability, sea motion etc. Many people love the new designs. Time will tell if they are popular in private ownership...I still like mine better.

Dave
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Old 05-04-2010, 17:46   #14
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Alexander Simonis designed Voyage also.
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Old 05-04-2010, 19:36   #15
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wow, some excellent feedback... I mean it.

I currently am pricing over 80 line items that must be done once the purchase is made. Many of them gathered right here in this forum. "There's a good one, let's research it and add it too the list."

So far the dream is still attainable... as far as finances go.

Yep... and... Yep ... oh and yep on that one too! =D We know that a boat is just one big money pit... goes with the territory. [We sold our monohull... (all the yes' have been made, just waiting on paperwork)] ... guarenteed... we put way more into that boat than what we got for it.

We see the prices... we are making comprimises. The first boats we everr looked at was a Yapluka 72 footer... wow... what a sailing machine - reality is, we will NEVER own one of those--- so we are working down from there.

We are thinking if we get one for 200k and sink 100k into it, that would get us a pretty nice boat. And the 100k would not have to be all at one time either. We bought our 1998 40' hunter sloop in 2000 for 29k... it was in bad shape... when they pulled her from the water, she had 3 feet of green moss hanging from the hull. We then spent over a year getting her back in shape... probably another 30k worth of goodies, repairs, and gadgets. ... and then a bunch of nickle and diming that is incaculable ... probably well into the 10's of thousands.... in the end, after almost a year after we put the forsale sign on her, we settled for 62k... and I think the young couple that bought it from us will have some good times. (they were the ONLY couple who even looked at her... but all it took was that one look...). If you put "40' hunter forsale" in any search engine... we consider ourselve extremely lucky.

We love the sea and can hardly wait to get back to it. But this time we want to liveaboard... travel comfortably... see the world instead of the surrounding waters of the marina (or Puget Sound - our old sailing grounds) and...
.... the most important reason behind this is...
... my wife said she wants a cat! =) I spoil her as much as I can! Is there any arguing beyond this point? LOL

We are prepared for the big bills that come in the beginning... and the blood letting drain on the pocket book that follows. As the old adage goes: The only way to begin a journey is to take that first step.

A famous person said this about sailing but I forget who: "As long as it floats, I think we can work from there." [or it goes something like this.]

Again thanks for the the info... good stuff!
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