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Old 24-01-2020, 20:23   #1
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Does size matter?

I guess I should ask how does size alter the living experience on a cat. I'm looking at Leopard 43's and 47's and found a different catamaran completely (50 ft with 28 ft beam) - other then pricing what things should I consider in comparing or considering the 50 footer?
The main one I see is the limiting factor of a 70 ft mast here in Florida and the ICW but for living quality and travel comfort or other things can I get some feedback?
Thanks for your posts!
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Old 24-01-2020, 20:28   #2
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Re: Does size matter?

Bigger boat doesn't mean not tankage. For example, 2018 Leopard 45 and 50 have same tankage
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Old 24-01-2020, 20:38   #3
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Re: Does size matter?

Couple of questions, why do you want such a big boat. Bigger boat means more expense in upkeep, maitenance and marina fees. We owned a 410 Lagoon (40 Ft) brilliant boat but stepped up to the 440 purely for the bedding layout. If the new 40 footer would have been out then we probably would have stayed with that. While sailing speed is increased with a larger vessel once again it comes down to how many people do you need on board to run the boat. My wife and I easily manage the 440 but I could sail solo if required. I do not know your experience or why you require such a large boat. Maybe if you supply some more detail hopefully other members can chine in with their thoughts.



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Old 24-01-2020, 21:09   #4
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Re: Does size matter?

Oz, a big part of the larger cat is the selling price and the interior space is great - I didn't post a lot of facts so others could just answer things that for them were/are important. One thing though is that I'm relativly new to sailing so the difficulty difference in sailing could be a factor at first. I don't have a problem hiring a crew member or two as needed either. Thanks for you input!
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Old 25-01-2020, 02:13   #5
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Re: Does size matter?

My wife and I owned a 44ft boat for 12 years. Lived aboard in the Caribbean for a few years then did a circumnavigation. The one thing we NEVER said was... Wish we had a bigger boat.

If you are going to fill it with lots of people maybe something bigger is worthwhile otherwise but not if you plan to cruise as a couple.
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Old 25-01-2020, 02:47   #6
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Re: Does size matter?

HI Rahjah,
I think I have seen way to many times people have bought way bigger boats than they truly need. One thing to consider that when cruising and at anchor the area you will use the most is the cockpit. Even in inclement weather with the right covers we live in our cockpit. Its the social hub of the boat. While interiors are good we spend very little time in our saloon. I much prefer a rectangular syle lounge as opposed to the early round style that Lagoon and FP catamarans.
I do understand that if buying at a really good price that is most definatley a huge consideration BUT the bigger the boat the price of maintenance must be considered. One has to ask why is the boat is going so cheap. Is it an ex hurricane damaged boat or some other issue not stated. Just worth the homework.


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Old 25-01-2020, 22:45   #7
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Re: Does size matter?

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Originally Posted by ozsailer View Post
HI Rahjah,
I think I have seen way to many times people have bought way bigger boats than they truly need. One thing to consider that when cruising and at anchor the area you will use the most is the cockpit. Even in inclement weather with the right covers we live in our cockpit. Its the social hub of the boat. While interiors are good we spend very little time in our saloon. I much prefer a rectangular syle lounge as opposed to the early round style that Lagoon and FP catamarans.
I do understand that if buying at a really good price that is most definatley a huge consideration BUT the bigger the boat the price of maintenance must be considered. One has to ask why is the boat is going so cheap. Is it an ex hurricane damaged boat or some other issue not stated. Just worth the homework.


Greg H
Lagoon 440.
Agree that most folks spend a lot less time below decks than above decks. One thing I like about my Seawind (and open deck cats in general) is that while it does have a hard top to create a salon there is no bulkhead between the salon and the cockpit. I have seen it described as a dance floor. A friend of mine has a Shuttleworth, again open deck with a solid hard top over a huge cockpit. Mantas and MaineCats have similar no bulkhead between the salon and the cockpit. In addition to a huge space created by lack of a bulkhead there is the extra added attraction of great visibility in all directions.

There can be issues with protection from weather and heavy seas; especially if a wave breaks over the deck and there is not adequate protection covering the companionways.

Just as an aside it kinda worries me that someone would depend on a hired skilled capt/crew. I think it is a huge safety factor to be able to single hand a boat in case someone is injured/whatever.
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Old 26-01-2020, 02:33   #8
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Re: Does size matter?

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Just as an aside it kinda worries me that someone would depend on a hired skilled capt/crew. I think it is a huge safety factor to be able to single hand a boat in case someone is injured/whatever.
Couldn't agree more. As a general rule a cruising couple can handle the fully battened main on a cat up to 40ft and will be OK with putting up the sails up for short hops between anchorages.

Above 40ft you will need to be very fit and keen, install powered winches or employ young fit crew. Without these you will choose to motor between anchorages because of the sheer effort of putting the main up on a day to day basis.

Above 50ft you will be pretty much "dependent" on powered winches or have gorillas on you crew.
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Old 26-01-2020, 02:42   #9
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Re: Does size matter?

Having a 50 foot with fully battened main I have never once thought I wish I had a powered winch or "oh dear this is difficult". My 5 foot nothing, 7 stone wife only had issue with the weight of the dinghy to bring aboard alone so we have just made a much lighter one. No issues at all with sail handling, anchoring etc - I do wonder if people who make pronouncements about bigger boats being too much to handle have ever sailed one.

Meanwhile, when I sit this winter beside a 40 foot and the waves come up in the succession of low pressure storms we've had we barely move on our 50 and they rock quite substantially. Length will always give more comfort and greater speed - not always more accommodation though; mine has fine hulls for speed and has much less space than say a Lagoon 440 - but then so do most houses! The downside is of course dock fees but the upside in that respect if you live aboard is that you can be dockside much less as the comfort at anchor is much better in a wider range of conditions.
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Old 26-01-2020, 06:35   #10
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Re: Does size matter?

I've sailed all kind of cats from 35 ft up to 64 ft.The main advantage of bigger cat (I leave aside what was already said; more tankage, comfort, more storage area, etc) is that they sail significantly better/faster and I believe they are safer / more comfortable vs. smaller cats on the choppy seas and big waves.
Marina/ haul out costs will obviously increase proportionally but the maintenance cost will not be significantly different for a 38 ft cat vs. a 42-43 ft one. However, if you go to over 50 ft, the cost will go up drammatically.

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Old 26-01-2020, 11:14   #11
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Re: Does size matter?

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Originally Posted by Snowgoose35 View Post
SNIP

Length will always give more comfort and greater speed - not always more accommodation though; mine has fine hulls for speed and has much less space than say a Lagoon 440 - but then so do most houses!
Which shows how silly it is to generalize about a generic cat as opposed to specific designs. Many condomarans have what I call a reduced and simplified sail plan while a performance cat may have a bigger rig that can be harder to deal with. There is no right or wrong answer; just personal choices.
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Old 26-01-2020, 16:33   #12
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Re: Does size matter?

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Which shows how silly it is to generalize about a generic cat as opposed to specific designs. Many condomarans have what I call a reduced and simplified sail plan while a performance cat may have a bigger rig that can be harder to deal with. There is no right or wrong answer; just personal choices.


But a performance cat will be easier to sail and have much lower loads to deal with if sailing the same speed as the condomaran. When powered up I’m guessing the loads would be equal.
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Old 26-01-2020, 17:32   #13
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Re: Does size matter?

All good responses- let me address something you didn’t ask, but would want to know if you’re looking at the Leopard 43 and Leopard 45/47- I had a L45 and buddy boated with an L43 for more than a year, both solid boats, built heavier than newer boats, pro’s and con’s there, but the L45/47 will point about 7 degrees higher then the L43. L45/47’s do have an air draft over 70’ if ICW is a factor.
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Old 26-01-2020, 18:51   #14
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Re: Does size matter?

Compare same yards. Two different yards tend to build boats that may vastly differ.


E.g. a Lagoon 50 is generally the better boat vs. a Lagoon 45. And stop at that.


Bigger is better and tends to be more expensive down the alley too.


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Old 01-02-2020, 13:26   #15
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Re: Does size matter?

Speaking from an economy point of view.... one that is of necessity dear to my heart.... smaller is better.... within reason, Every cost goes up with size, and those costs are ongoing. They obviously do not increase in direct proportion to LOA, but at geometrically.... At least by the square of the length if not the cube. As primarily a single hander of limited resources, my "sweet spot" is in the low 30's, as low as will handle the payload I need. As one goes larger, more weight is added to the structure as a rule, often faster than the loaded displacement increases. Larger engine(s) and tankage, taller mast, larger sails, heavier rigging, heavier winches, heavier ground tackle, generally a larger cabin, more "features"..... and it continues to spiral out of control, all of those things adding up to more weight / more drag larger sails and engines, etc at infinitum. It's the same design spiral we see in aviation. For my personal purposes, the only factory built I'm familiar with that fits MY criteria reasonably is the FP32. I want the least cat that will take me in reasonable comfort around the world solo or with one crew......... but I don't need all the garbage many people think they need either.
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