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Old 22-08-2013, 17:21   #1
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Catamaran Advice for Someone New

Hi there. Reason for the post is I'm trying to gain some info on the world of catamaran cruising. I'm extremly new to sailing and my experience is mostly Hobbie cats, but have an extreme desire to go bigger and farther. Me and the wife live in Orlando, FL, and are moving to Ft Lauderdale in the next year. Over the next year or two I would take time learning to sail larger vessels and have an interest in catamarans for the stability, the wife very occasionally gets seasick. My questions start coming up when I started looking at bareboat charters so I could start saving money now. The prices are a little higher than I wanted to spend and wanted to know if there was a less expensive way to gain some experience? I was thinking of doing some day sails with the eventual goal sailing in the BVI (was told this was a good tropical place to start) I was wondering if this was a better way to start into this world or if I should just save up to eventually purchase? (Budget $80,000-120,000) I was also wondering if that was a reasonable price for a reliable and comfortable cat that me and the wife could get through the Caribbean on. I know there are Geminis in this price range, but have also heard warnings on these as well. From BD clearance to overall quality, but looking at the Lagoon models and similar manufactures have proved a much higher price tag. Are there any other good manufactures in this price range? I was looking at anywhere from 34-44 ft range. Anything that would hold a couple and a few friends. I apologize if there are other threads out there with similar questions, and for my overall inexperience in this, I just havn't been able to find any. Thanks for reading and again any info for someone just getting into this lifestyle would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 22-08-2013, 17:37   #2
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Re: Catamaran advice for someone new

As you are discovering, catamarans are expensive. Not unreasonable when you think about it because you are, in effect, buying two boats.

Anyway, you may need to rethink either your budget or your boat needs. You could find a Wharram in that price range, or an Iroquois, or any number of trimarans. Those boats may not have the size or all the bells and whistles you want for cruising. You'll just have to keep researching and hopefully find what you want in the right price range. There's lots of info out there.
Good luck.
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Old 22-08-2013, 17:47   #3
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That's a good point. I never thought of it in the way of two boats, but I appreciate it. If I have to increase the budget to get something that works, then that's just what I'll have to convince the wife of I also have the ability to take about 2 months off from work a year so I thought that would be enough time to put into cruising.
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Old 22-08-2013, 17:58   #4
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Re: Catamaran advice for someone new

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Originally Posted by sam.smith View Post
I was wondering if this was a better way to start into this world or if I should just save up to eventually purchase? (Budget $80,000-120,000)
You do not need to charter a cat to learn to sail one. If you can sail a mono hull then you’re all good with sailing a cat.

Chartering will give you a feel for the space and if your other half will get sea sick or not.

Charter a smaller one with two couples to give you an idea of how it will all work for you. Then save for your own cat.

Your budget will get you an older charter boat that will still need some work. $180,000 usd would be a better number for a good cat.
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Old 22-08-2013, 18:10   #5
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While the charter rates may look expensive to you now, they are a drop in the bucket compared to ownership. I think it is a much better idea to try before you buy. Maybe have another couple join you on the charter to reduce per person costs.

There are some key differences to handling mid sized cats under power and sail vs monos, nothing radical, but important to learn...like twin engine use, etc.
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Old 22-08-2013, 18:17   #6
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Re: Catamaran Advice for Someone New

It might be a mistake to choose a catamaran for the purpose of avoiding your wife's response to sea sickness. There are many good points that favor a multihull, but the thought that they provide a stable platform at sea without a movement that can ellicit motion sickness is a total myth.
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Old 22-08-2013, 18:17   #7
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Re: Catamaran Advice for Someone New

Hiya Belize! Did you just say "Twin Engines"? If the float plane fits, ummm...fly it!

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Old 22-08-2013, 18:20   #8
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Re: Catamaran Advice for Someone New

Other people's boats. Look to help out crewing on day sails with someone with a catamaran. That's the cheapest way of learning about large catamarans without chartering or buying.
You'll find the motion different even amongst the catamarans you get to sail.
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Old 22-08-2013, 18:49   #9
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Helping out seems a good route. The only reason for wanting cat is that it is our only experience, in the 40-50ft range with biggest seas only being 3-4ft, and those few times they were only day sails so I really can't comment on a monohull setting seeing as how I've never been on one for an extended period of time. I'm interested to see how sleeping would do also.
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Old 22-08-2013, 19:25   #10
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Re: Catamaran Advice for Someone New

Hiya Sam! Someone pointed out to me, the other day, that I'm the only one on CF who sails a CAT at over 150 knots! I never thought about it this way. There's some truth to it, though!

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Old 22-08-2013, 19:33   #11
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Re: Catamaran Advice for Someone New

In your price range you will only find an older prout maybe a mid to late 80's prout 37 snowgoose or elite, can be had for a good price, many 37's in the 60-70 range. or less, maybe a prout event 34, you wont find a good Lagoon or FP that doenst need 30k of work. Maybe a Endeavourcat 34-36 or AMI 320 if your lucky, > Gems are ok for your purpose but I am biased on them from having looked at several and refusing them all.
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Old 22-08-2013, 21:41   #12
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Re: Catamaran Advice for Someone New

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---
the thought that they provide a stable platform at sea without a movement that can ellicit motion sickness is a total myth.
I've got to disagree with you on that. They are not a universal cure-all, but in my experience most people (and our dog) are more comfortable on a cat.
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Old 23-08-2013, 07:30   #13
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It might be a mistake to choose a catamaran for the purpose of avoiding your wife's response to sea sickness. There are many good points that favor a multihull, but the thought that they provide a stable platform at sea without a movement that can ellicit motion sickness is a total myth.
Yes, it is a mistake to equate minimal heel with minimal movement...cats still move in response to sea state and sometimes in unpleasnt ways...like in beam seas. And, diff people are effected by diff motions. For example, I had a few experienced mono sailors join me on a cat for a short crossing once, the weather was a little rough, and every one of the got sea sick...the unfamiliar motion of a cat seemed to have an effect in this case.

However, anecdotally, it does seem that fewer charter guests get sea sick on cats. I think that the "openess" of a typical cruising cat also helps reduce the sea sickness response...when underway guests tend to be in the big open cockpit or enjoying the space on deck, or in the main salon/galley with a good view to the outside. Having a view of the horizon helps reduce sea sickness response.
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Old 23-08-2013, 08:48   #14
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Re: Catamaran Advice for Someone New

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.................... I think that the "openess" of a typical cruising cat also helps reduce the sea sickness response...when underway guests tend to be in the big open cockpit or enjoying the space on deck, or in the main salon/galley with a good view to the outside. Having a view of the horizon helps reduce sea sickness response.
I had not considered this and I'll have to agree. My thought was that the vertical changes with swell have a far greater influence on seasickness than the angle of heel and this rise and fall would be similar with a mono- or multi- hull. A clear view of the horizon has a great effect. Many who are chartering and unaccustomed to time on the water are in protected waters, and in these cases, the open view is likely the deteriming factor. It always amazes me how many can become seasick when there are no waves or swell at all.
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Old 23-08-2013, 09:50   #15
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You might consider a PDQ 36 LRC which has diesel engines. Very well built boats and you might be able to get one for $120,000 or so.
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