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Old 27-08-2009, 01:02   #1
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Starting from Scratch

Hi, I just turned 25 and am about to move to the coast as an EMT (and later a nurse). I was in the Navy for two years, but aside from that I know next-to-nothing about the cruising life -- except that it's where I want to be.

I still have 6+ months before I move, and I was curious for any and all tips about what I should prepare for, read up on, et cetra. I plan on taking a sailing class for vessels smaller than destroyers and frigates in the spring. And, as far as I can tell, I want a 30'-34' catamaran.

So, any tips you guys have on what to look for in a liveaboard catamaran? Also, any tips on preparing to acquiring, transitioning to, and living on one?
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Old 27-08-2009, 01:27   #2
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You need to decide how much money you plan to spend. Cats are much more expensive than monos, and you need to keep about 30% of your cash ready for additional things that you will need. You also need to look at availability of moorings for liveaboard before commiting money.
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Old 28-08-2009, 08:32   #3
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I don't know how set you are on getting the catamaran, but I would just look for a good deal on a boat for now that you can gain experience on. Once you own a boat and get to know other marina folks, you will start hearing about good places to look in your area for boats and you will hear of people who want to unload their boat for cheap. You will come across a cat eventually.
I don't know what your budget is or if you want to finance a boat or all of the details, but this is what we have done to avoid having to make payments on a boat. We just bought a little 24ft columbia and fixed her up and are hearing story after story about people wanting to get rid of their boat for super cheap. Most of them need some work, but my husband is pretty handy.
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Old 28-08-2009, 09:34   #4
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There's always Gemini as a starter cat. And several reasonably priced ones as well. Only the 105mc has been proven "bluewater" as far as I've heard, but any would be good for coastal and general goofing around. What's the budget? And where approximately will you be located?
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Old 28-08-2009, 17:50   #5
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The Gemini looks really nice, but I don't know if that's what I want to invest in right out of the gate. My pockets aren't quite that deep yet. I was thinking more like $30k to $50k. I was looking at used cats like a used 30' Endeavour Mk 1 or Americat 3014 (bad choices?). I'm planning on moving to either Corpus Christi or Galveston.

Is there something the 34' Gemini has that the 30' catamarans doesn't?

Also, what do you consider reasonably priced? The only Geminis I found ranged from $90k to $200k. I don't mind going past $50k, even up to $100k. I'm just curious what it is that's worth the extra $50k.
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Old 29-08-2009, 00:14   #6
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Gotta start somewhere....

"Is there something the 34' Gemini has that the 30' catamarans doesn't?"
More space? That and with a 14' beam they fit a standard slip rather than needing a larger one.

I've seen a few older ones going that cheap (Yachtworld) , but remember you get what you pay for. Unless you luck out and get someone desperate for the cash! The 105mc (key is the "mc") is a bluewater capable cruising cat An Overview of the Gemini 105Mc Cruising Catamaran . see also www.theslapdash.com ; these folks are circumnavigating theirs. best start with one not as tricked out and add things as you go til she's what you want. Any boat you get needs to be in good condition structurally tho, first and foremost. you can add extras later as time and $$ permit. You may not world cruise at first but you work up to that. Gotta start somewhere.
When you get down to it, it's really all a matter of 'druthers and getting the most bang for your buck.

Wannabesailing is right, you need to consider all costs involved ahead of time and add 50-100% on top of it. Are you going to liveaboard? Slip fees? Haulout costs? Surveyor? Transport for the boat from wherever it's at, or someone to sail it to you. LOTS involved. We just shelled out 4k to move a $5700 34' boat by truck from Florida to Rockport,Tx. But when the refit is done(at LEAST another 5k) she'll be worth 22-30k. That's "Baby" as my avatar.

It gets expensive, at least initially, but sweat equity can save you a lot
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Old 29-08-2009, 00:33   #7
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Gemini as a world cruiser - get real

They are a fantastic coastal cruiser. They can make an atlantic passage in the right conditions. (so can a bathtub)

As a blue water cruiser she is built too fragile to take the continuous stress, and if I recall correctly, even the builder recommends some significant structural improvements if that is your intention.

However as a coastal cruiser, and starter boat - they are a good design.
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Old 29-08-2009, 00:45   #8
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"Gemini as a world cruiser - get real"
I guess then you haven't been keeping up on Gemini construction then. The hulls and bridge deck on the mc's are one solid mold, NOT 3 molds. No more weak hull to bridgedeck joints.

I'm doing my homework on em because one of these will be MY first cat also.
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Old 29-08-2009, 00:56   #9
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I'm doing my homework on em because one of these will be MY first cat also.
If that is your choice, then enjoy your vessel.
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Old 29-08-2009, 01:01   #10
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Also, what do you consider reasonably priced? The only Geminis I found ranged from $90k to $200k. I don't mind going past $50k, even up to $100k. I'm just curious what it is that's worth the extra $50k.
Age, condition, extras, condition, owner greed, condition.....

Condition is the first consideration always. Again, you get what you pay for. And if your not careful and get a REAL good survey,..... you get less!

Go to www.yachtworld.com and look at any brand of used cats. catamaran (Sail) Boats For Sale For 30-50k you won't get much, I'd bet. Either you'll shell out doing "cleaning and fixing" or you'll shell out on initial costs for good condition. Either way your going to shell out.
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Old 29-08-2009, 01:15   #11
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If that is your choice, then enjoy your vessel.
If it makes you feel better they still don't sail to windward well. Actually, like trpeterson, it's a $$ thing. I don't have much of it.
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Old 29-08-2009, 01:17   #12
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I don't mind going past $50k, even up to $100k. I'm just curious what it is that's worth the extra $50k.
If you are willing to stretch up to $100k, then have a look at
This Cat
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Old 29-08-2009, 11:02   #13
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Nice! But why so inexpensive? Especially for a Catalac...
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Old 29-08-2009, 11:41   #14
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From other 10m Catalacs I have seen, I would not define this as inexpensive, more as priced at the lower end in order to attract a quick sail. I mean sale.
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Old 29-08-2009, 12:35   #15
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Hi, I just turned 25 and am about to move to the coast as an EMT (and later a nurse). I was in the Navy for two years, but aside from that I know next-to-nothing about the cruising life -- except that it's where I want to be.

I still have 6+ months before I move, and I was curious for any and all tips about what I should prepare for, read up on, et cetra. I plan on taking a sailing class for vessels smaller than destroyers and frigates in the spring. And, as far as I can tell, I want a 30'-34' catamaran.

So, any tips you guys have on what to look for in a liveaboard catamaran? Also, any tips on preparing to acquiring, transitioning to, and living on one?
I'm going to go against the grain of many of the responses and discourage you from considering boats in the $100 range. There are too many beginning sailors who spend too much on too large and complicated a boat and who are ill prepared to maintain such a vessel.

Instead, accept the notion of a starter boat that is simple, in good shape and ready for you to enjoy and learn on for a few years.... even if it's a monohull. I would not spend any more than $20k on your first boat.
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