To answer you question: I don't know for a fact. I think it was around 1998 that the factory moved.
The Catana 411 I took to survey
was a 1998 and it had serious issues. I later found out that the original owner found many major issues when he picked up the boat NEW in France
and was seriously pissed and even tried to reject the boat. There was evidence of major repairs
before he even got it NEW! All to do with a lack of bond between the core material and skin. The boat was so gorgeous inside with all the wood work
and had new engines that I looked past some obvious problems hoping they were only superficial. They ended up being very serious IMHO and we rejected the boat half way through the survey when it became painfully obvious we had just wasted tons of money
I can't speak for other boats or years, but the 1998 sure seemed to be a lemon. We also looked at a 44' Catana that was out of the water
for major replacement of hull
core below water this boat was a 1995. The problem was in part due to a aftermarket (not by Catana) rub rail that had been screwed to the hull and not properly bedded thus allowing water into the foam core. Once inside it flowed between the foam sheets
where there were gaps and spread out a lot. The owner was spending tons of money
to fix the boat properly. Guessing maybe $30,000 in repairs
to do the job right.
can be good or bad. Depends on why it was applied. Since these boat were originally gel coat finished and gel coat is usually 18mils it lasts a really long time. I'd wonder why the boat was painted? To cover up damage?. A good moisture meter (about $300) in experienced hands can find problems before you get to the earnest money / survey thus saving time and money pre-qualifying boats. The topsides paint
should not affect the moisture meter. If the boat is out of the water the below waterline anti-foul is a different story, if it contains copper, which most do it can be harder to get good readings... the paint needs time to dry out if the boat was just hauled. To get around this problem you can also use the meter on the inside of the hull even if the boat is in the water. You have to get direct access to the hull which is a problem on the inside due to furniture and liners. Thus, you can only do spot checks... make them near penitrations in the hull and deep in the bilge
. This is based on lots of research
and hands on experience as I own a moisture meter and have worked side by side with very experienced surveyors, both of us with moisture meters in hand. It does take experience and experimentation to understand what the meter reading indicate.
After looking at lots of boats in the same price
point as you and finding most of the boats in this price point had water in the core material I was pretty discouraged. Most people had their heads in the sand on the topic and many brokers and manufactures reps/sales people were doing a good job managing peoples expectations by playing the water in the core issue down or denying it outright. It seemed like we'd never find a boat that would give us the confidence to go cruising and not have to worry about what "might" happen because water was in the core material (i.e would it de-laminate in a storm, would the boat get water logged and heavy and sail poorly, would it kill resale as the infiltration progressed and manifested problems?) Not a lot of case history
out there to show what happens over time to foam core boats (pretty much all production cats use foam cores below the waterline). But, there is not suposed to be water in the core. PERIOD.
Anyway, I was getting really discouraged... Then we found the PDQ
. The PDQ
has solid glass laminate with vinyl ester resin and an epoxy
barrier coat BELOW waterline. At a comfortable distance ABOVE the waterline the boat becomes foam core to save weight and improve stiffness which equal performance. The solid glass is easy to fix should it get damaged by collision
and since it's laid up using vinyl ester resin osmosis
should not be a problem. If it ever were there is good case history
on how to fix soild FRP. I don't know of any other performance catamaran manufactures that use solid glass below waterline besides Outremer
and PDQ. When your foam core boat gets wet below waterline it's not so easy to fix and there is little if any case history on how and the long term results. Basically, if the core is wet.... you got to remove one skin either inside or out and all the core and then replace the core and re-glass a new skin. A process that would be difficult and expensive to replicate the original integrity and weight of the hull especially, if the boat was laminated using vacuum bagging at the factory. Repairs like these would give me an ulcer with worry for cost, integrity of the boat afterward and then at some point there would be resale disclosure.
Yes, I do have a PDQ 39 for sale
and I hope you don't think this is some crafty sales pitch
. My boat is for sale
because I fell into a deal on Chris White Atlantic 42 that I couldn't pass up. And now I own two boats and need to sell one. The PDQ 39 is dialed in with a major refit
in 2008/2009 and priced to sell. See more at: www.PDQ36.blogspot.com
It's no Catana, but it has a great reputation, loyal following, is a awsome coastal crusier and best of all doesn't cost nearly as much either. Learn more about PDQ's at www.PDQ36.com