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Old 05-04-2020, 06:47   #1
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Considering the change to cat before purchasing

Background 3 bareboats on a monohull. i day sail on a cat. Next years bareboat will be a cat. About 2 years from buying. Spending a lot of time searching boat listings and reading forums trying to get knowledgeable on price as compared to age, upkeep and maintenance cost etc. like most of you did aat one time. My one daysail on cat while piloting I was on a starboard platform which allowed me to see forward over the cabin. I dint care for the ffact that everyone else was up on the trampoline and I was alone . But at least I had a good view. Am I seeing where many cats you pilot from the cockpit looking through the cabin windows. A few it even looks like you look up one side of the cabin creating a huge blind spot forward and port One of the things I like about a monohull is having the camaraderie under sail with a nice view in 360 My question before spending hours researching cats is . Your opinions on piloting different makes of cat and is there one you prefer. PS My initial purchase budget will be under 100,000 which unfortunately takes me out of the newest models. Bonus question. About what year did they start "infusing?" cats with styrofoam to make them even more unsinkable. Ballpark figure of having that done to an older cat. . I have read plenty of the pros that favor cat over mono..(shallow draft for Caribbean is my favorite). I love sailing much more than at anchor. so convince me I would like piloting a cat as much. That was wordy. Thanks in advance for input.
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Old 05-04-2020, 08:08   #2
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

Hi

I'm a monohull sailor sailing a very responsive hull form that turns in it's own length.
Can see every bit of the deck from the helm, water at BMax + a couple of feet and much of the interior.

Often find myself helming a Privilege 50.
Chalk and cheese.
It responds to helm - eventually - every turn must be planned.

There are areas of restricted visibility from the helm, ahead, abeam and on deck. I often go for a stroll just to check.

Usual situational awareness has the event horizon well beyond the limited visibility areas.
Even in tight waterways with traffic, PWCs, sail boards and tinnies anchored at the channel edge visibility is not an issue.

Skipper handles parking like a giant shopping trolley backing in on the helm side .
If we need a bow in docking manoeuvre a deck hand calling distance on the blind side is required.
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Old 05-04-2020, 23:03   #3
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

With your budget you will be somewhat limited in the choice of cats. That being said there is a lot of difference in how good the visibility on various cats is; and the same is true for monohulls. Some cats are basically open deck. Some Shuttleworts and older Seawinds have great visibility. On the Seawinds there is sometimes a bolt on hardtop or mostly permanent Bimini with huge windows. On the other hand some other cats have what seems like a brick wall in front of the steering station you have to look over.

There is no reason folks can't sit in the cockpit of a cat the same way they do on a mononull if you and they both want the company. I have also seen folks go on the foredeck of monohulls if the weather is nice.

Truth be told it is hard to find a cat for less than $US100,000 that offers the same bang for the buck as a monohull at that price point.
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:06   #4
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

Cats are alot of things but there are only a minority that are actually fun to sail. Twin aft helm with direct rudder linkages mainly. Helming a loaded up well performing mono is way more fun than driving the bus like most cats especially to windward though the aft helm cats come close.

But helming a loaded up performing mono for12 or 24 hours gets tiring and is no longer fun. Having a nearly level platform that you can walk around on makes passages so much easier physically.

Are you going cruising and doing long passages or mostly day sailing to different destinations? You didn't say. Be honest on that response. Many think they will cross oceans but never do and mainly just day sail hop.

Different horses for different courses.
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:11   #5
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

Ps just saw your budget. While you can afford to buy a small older cat the ongoing costs of it are roughly double that of a mono so don't forget about that in your plans. You don't want to be having to penny pinch because you could just afford a cat.
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Old 06-04-2020, 01:31   #6
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

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Bonus question. About what year did they start "infusing?" cats with styrofoam to make them even more unsinkable. Ballpark figure of having that done to an older cat.

Multihulls are inherently unsinkable by virtue of having sufficient buoyancy in the structure, airtight compartments and not having a big chunk of lead attached. There are no cats that are infused with styrofoam to make them even more unsinkable.



Most modern cats are sandwich panel construction using either foam (not styrofoam) or balsa as the core material. Infusion is a panel construction technique and the process refers to the resin and has nothing to do with the core. Another technique that is used is vacuum bagging.



Plywood and cedar strip construction is also used for multihulls that are also unsinkable.
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Old 06-04-2020, 03:06   #7
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

I've known a few who took the autopilot remote control up on the bow. People shouldn't be up on the bow hanging out unless conditions are nice anyway.
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Old 06-04-2020, 04:01   #8
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

If you have a budget of <100K you should compare what you can get in monohulls- youíll get 10-15 more length which more than makes up for the multi. As others have said itís really tough to find much under 100K in multis
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Old 06-04-2020, 04:57   #9
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

Are you looking for a daysailer or liveaboard? Small open bridgedeck catamarans or trimarans are very exciting to helm and make fantastic daysailers. Larger cruising boats are almost always sailed by autopilot.


What size cat are you looking at?
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:14   #10
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

If you are a cruiser like we are, our experience has been there is not a lot of sailing in sailing. You can’t sail when there is too little wind, too much wind or wind in the wrong direction. Because of this we made the choice to be comfortable versus speed. Plus, two engines are better than one in case you have engine problems. When considering comfort there is no comparison between cat vs mono. Cat wins all the time.

However, when you have the right amount of wind in the right direction, regardless of cat or mono, it’s magical.
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Old 06-04-2020, 08:55   #11
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

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If you are a cruiser like we are, our experience has been there is not a lot of sailing in sailing. You canít sail when there is too little wind, too much wind or wind in the wrong direction. Because of this we made the choice to be comfortable versus speed. Plus, two engines are better than one in case you have engine problems. When considering comfort there is no comparison between cat vs mono. Cat wins all the time.

However, when you have the right amount of wind in the right direction, regardless of cat or mono, itís magical.
I would call into question the comfort "absolute" you cite. Your Lagoon 52 is comparable to a 65-70 foot monohull (in terms of cost, "actual size") and I am not 100% certain that a 70 footer isn't as comfortable in open water particularly choppy conditions. Bottom line, the Lagoon 52 is a beast compared to 52 foot monohulls, but that's not a valid comparison.
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Old 06-04-2020, 09:26   #12
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

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Background 3 bareboats on a monohull. i day sail on a cat. Next years bareboat will be a cat. About 2 years from buying. Spending a lot of time searching boat listings and reading forums trying to get knowledgeable on price as compared to age, upkeep and maintenance cost etc. like most of you did aat one time. My one daysail on cat while piloting I was on a starboard platform which allowed me to see forward over the cabin. I dint care for the ffact that everyone else was up on the trampoline and I was alone . But at least I had a good view. Am I seeing where many cats you pilot from the cockpit looking through the cabin windows. A few it even looks like you look up one side of the cabin creating a huge blind spot forward and port One of the things I like about a monohull is having the camaraderie under sail with a nice view in 360 My question before spending hours researching cats is . Your opinions on piloting different makes of cat and is there one you prefer. PS My initial purchase budget will be under 100,000 which unfortunately takes me out of the newest models. Bonus question. About what year did they start "infusing?" cats with styrofoam to make them even more unsinkable. Ballpark figure of having that done to an older cat. . I have read plenty of the pros that favor cat over mono..(shallow draft for Caribbean is my favorite). I love sailing much more than at anchor. so convince me I would like piloting a cat as much. That was wordy. Thanks in advance for input.
Given your budget, there are a lot more choices in monohulls than in cats. The only cat I can think of would be the Gemini which you could find with your budget. Not considered a blue water sail boat, it will do coastal cruising and the Caribbean. I'd avoid plywood and Balsa cored cats as wood eventually rots. Same goes for monohulls. The foam they use is not styrofoam but something injected with Airex probably being the best.

For awhile I had my heart set on a Hallberg Rassey 46 but as I continue to look, I'm finding perfectly capable blue water cats that are newer and cost a bit less. The one big advantage (to me) is no teak decks which will eventually be an expensive problem. The cats I don't like are the Schoinnings as many have Balsa wood coring and that center helm position just sucks. I prefer the raised helm found on many cats for visibility. Don't worry, you won't find a Schoinning in your budget.

That said, you can find many very capable pocket cruisers in your budget. Save some money for upgrades as it's seldom anyone ever finds a boat that is ready to go fitted the way they want it. Upgrades usually entail a lot of boatbux (dollars measured in thousands).
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Old 06-04-2020, 10:36   #13
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

responding to a few of the comments and adding some of my own.

Can you buy a decent cat for 100K. Yes. Would it have to be a gemini? No. I dislike them for a variety of reasons but there are other, older boats out there that are perfectly capable and built for blue water if that's your plan. Do guests go sit on the tramp? Well duh! I have a solid bridgedeck and my guests are constantly moving around all the time. There's always someone to talk to when I'm on the helm, some are here, some are there.

It will cost twice as much because it's a multihull. Wrong. Rigging is the same and 1/2 the cost if you bought a Ketch. Bottom job is comparable to a similar mono because very little of the bottom is below the water. My cat is 35' long. Fits in a standard slip and can be hauled out with a standard travel lift. Yes, the yards will try to gouge you because it's a multi. I explain that while it's a multi it's no different than a similar sized power boat and no, I'm not paying a premium for nothing. Takes some discussion but I've worked it out with boat yards before. Depending on your power you might have 1 or 2 engines either inboard or outboard. Most of the time I'm running on one engine. 2nd engine gives me a whopping 1.5 knots extra speed at twice the fuel burn. I run 1 engine 1 day, the other the next trying to keep the hours similar. Maintenance is a bit more but really not all that much. Oil changes are spread out twice as long because I'm splitting the time between engines. I've had a large mono to compare costs by.

Cats are lightning fast. False. Some cats are for sure. Cats are either performance cats, cruising cats or condomormancats. Performance cats are a blast but your'e not going to find one in your price range. Cruising cats will sail faster off the wind in general than their mono counterparts, condomoran cats are built for the charter fleet. Built for 1-2 weeks at a time on vacation with lots of people in private cabins. Tons of party space. Not built for speed.

Cats don't point upwind. This was very true in the early years of cats but modern cats point acceptably high.

Turning. Cats above about 37 feet because of their wide spread hulls will not tack across the wind without assistance. It's a law of physics. You get used to turning on the outboard hull engine to tack through and then shutting it down. On the ocean or a big bay, no big deal. On the Columbia river.... a pita for sure.

I've owned both, Captained both in both charter and private yachts. Either are fun. For me, I love sailing flat, safer to move about the deck and having less things fall off the shelf. That said, on a beam reach with 2' wind waves generated from shore (30-35 knots) created an ugly fetch that was just the perfect timing and set to set up a harmonic effect that launched anything and everything onto the cabin sole. A mono would have just breezed through it. That's only happened once in all the years I've sailed cats. There is no "perfect" boat.

Lastly. 100k budget. No matter what boat you buy, it is going to need work done, upgrades etc. Make sure you have a reserve budget for that even if you know how to do all the work yourself. It takes time and money.

Charter more boats, both mono and multi and then decide which feels best to you. If your'e plan is to go cruising, 90% of your time will be at anchor or a dock. I prefer a veru comfortable living area and the cat gives me that.
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Old 06-04-2020, 11:09   #14
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

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n. I dint care for the ffact that everyone else was up on the trampoline and I was alone . But at least I had a good view. Am I seeing where many cats you pilot from the cockpit looking through the cabin windows. A few it even looks like you look up one side of the cabin creating a huge blind spot forward and port
Take a long hard look at a Maine Cat 30. You will be delighted.
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Old 06-04-2020, 12:10   #15
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Re: Considering the change to cat before purchasing

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Take a long hard look at a Maine Cat 30. You will be delighted.
Not dissing the boat as I like them; problem is the $US100,000 price point the OP has. Kinda hard to find a Maine Cat for that money.
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