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Old 18-04-2021, 11:14   #1
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First Cat for Family New to Cruising

I don't know where to start, but long story short, we were in the process of buying a 65' custom trawler, but the more cruisers we talked to, everyone said go with a catamaran. We started looking at power cats as we don't have much sailing experience. Our broker has talked us into looking at a sailing catamaran.
Our broker is saying he can have us sailing in 3 weeks with proper instruction. We have bareboat chartered big cats several times and have some cruising experience in the Bahamas and BVI's, so the sailing part would be the only thing that's new to us.
We want a boat big enough that we can spend 2yrs on and have guests come and stay with us. We are a big family of 6 with 4 boys ages 6-12yrs. We have a budget of around $1.75mil. Currently we are looking at a 2018 Fountaine Pajot Ipanema 58', a 2020 Leopard 58, & a 2015 Fountaine Victoria 67'. We don't want to have to hire a captain or crew, but we are thinking it might be good to hire an experienced captain for the first 2-3 months or so until we get the hang of it.

Our plan is to spend 8months in the Caribbean getting our feet wet, then spending a year in the South Pacific.

My first questions is, can we handle a boat this big without a crew? We have a little sailing experience on a monohull and are currently taking lessons. Would we need to hire a captain for a few months? Our broker is telling us these boats are set up to single hand or sail with a couple and with a 'crash sailing course' in FL, we would be ready to start out in the Bahamas and learn as we go.

My next questions is, are we looking at the right boats? I'm really wanting a boat I can resale quickly when we are done with our 2 year adventure. We really want to stay within our budget of $1.75m. Is there another boat we should be looking at? My wife is really leaning towards the 67', but I think the 58' would be plenty big for our family.

I would love any input or suggestions you guys have. We just sold our airplane, and are looking to buy a boat ASAP, but don't want to rush into it and buy the wrong one.

Thank You
God Bless
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Old 18-04-2021, 11:36   #2
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

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Old 18-04-2021, 12:29   #3
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

With little sailing experience your chances of getting insurance would be slim to impossible.
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Old 18-04-2021, 14:10   #4
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

Welcome aboard CF, oubeta,

One underlying assumption you are making is that the South Pacific will really have opened up by then. I find that problematic: it might, but it also might not. New Caledonia has hopes for NEXT year, and Fiji has a plan for visiting yachts, but travel is still circumscribed for French Polynesia, New Zealand, and Australia. Quarantines will cut into your time, also.

Honestly, I feel concerned you may be minimizing the changes living aboard a boat will put you and your family through, and independent cruising really means you will need to learn how to maintain what at that size is quite a complicated vessel. Some folks' cruises are ruined because they miss the right traveling season because people they hired to work on their boat don't complete jobs in a timely way. If you are good mechanically and electrically, it will improve your chances of being able to handle what you normally encounter along the way.

You're talking about crossing oceans, and that is a wholly different prospect than land exploration by SUV or camper. You will be exposed to weather and water in an environment in which you cannot survive without the support system of the vessel...You cannot get out and walk, and the passage from the Canal to the Galapagos, or the Marquesas is a slow one, where you and your wife will have watch schedules, at the same time that lessons, caretaking, feeding, etc. all have to continue, each 24 hrs. There are no convenience markets along the way. Some friends of ours who did the Canal to Australia run hired a nanny to caretake their 4, so that they could have the fun of sailing the boat.

I do not want to rain on your parade, but until you have some ocean hours behind you in rough weather, I think you don't know what you're getting into, and nor does your good lady wife and your kids. This is not a recipe for success as a cruiser. You need sea time to acquire a sense of seamanship, and so does your wife.. She really needs all the navigation and sailing skills that you need, too, because it only takes one injury, and she's in charge. I don't even know how she will feel about that responsibility. It isn't a game. We're talking about what is basically a hostile environment. One is not in charge; the weather and the sea are. Not all women want to learn to be a skipper, too.

The job of the broker is to sell you a boat. Don't count on him or her for any other information to be in your best interest.

Some of the guys on CF have chartered their lessons actually sail training as a holiday. That might fit as a step for you and some of the family. One of them may chime in here.

Good luck with it.

If you would like to get a sense of my qualifications for this response, check my profile "about me": it is the background I brought to CF when I joined, and I have since accumulated a few more thousand sea miles.

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Old 18-04-2021, 19:46   #5
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

Iíve been on a crossing before , but it was on a trawler.
It actually might have been quicker on a sailboat as we were doing around 7kts, lol. We have been planning this for a long time, just not on a sailboat. Iím very familiar with what itís going to take and what itís like living on a boat.
Iíve made roughly a dozen trips from Seattle down to the Aleutians When I worked in Alaska.
We are a pretty adventurous family. We have a very remote cabin in the middle of nowhere Alaska, so we are pretty familiar living off grid and fixing things ourselves.

The sailing part is the only thing I am lacking experience in. Just trying to figure out if itís some thing we can pick up fairly easily or if I should start looking at hiring a full-time captain. I am a pilot also so I am very familiar with navigation and utilizing various weather apps to forecast of the weather, etc

Trying to figure out if I should go with my original plan of buying a power catamaran, or give sailing a try.
We are currently taking sailing lessons and so far itís been pretty easy to learn. We are currently renting a little Hunter monohull and my wife and I took it out for the first time by ourselves over the weekend and didnít have any issues. I our instructor thinks we will be just fine on a catamaran with a little more instruction and possibly hiring a captain for a month or so.

I was able to get the insurance figured out. Very expensive, but it looks like we will definitely be able to get insured with the boating experience I have. we received three quotes so far and they are all about the same. The name storm deductible is crazy expensive.
Boat insurance is almost as much as insurance on a jet, LOL.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
Welcome aboard CF, oubeta,

One underlying assumption you are making is that the South Pacific will really have opened up by then. I find that problematic: it might, but it also might not. New Caledonia has hopes for NEXT year, and Fiji has a plan for visiting yachts, but travel is still circumscribed for French Polynesia, New Zealand, and Australia. Quarantines will cut into your time, also.

Honestly, I feel concerned you may be minimizing the changes living aboard a boat will put you and your family through, and independent cruising really means you will need to learn how to maintain what at that size is quite a complicated vessel. Some folks' cruises are ruined because they miss the right traveling season because people they hired to work on their boat don't complete jobs in a timely way. If you are good mechanically and electrically, it will improve your chances of being able to handle what you normally encounter along the way.

You're talking about crossing oceans, and that is a wholly different prospect than land exploration by SUV or camper. You will be exposed to weather and water in an environment in which you cannot survive without the support system of the vessel...You cannot get out and walk, and the passage from the Canal to the Galapagos, or the Marquesas is a slow one, where you and your wife will have watch schedules, at the same time that lessons, caretaking, feeding, etc. all have to continue, each 24 hrs. There are no convenience markets along the way. Some friends of ours who did the Canal to Australia run hired a nanny to caretake their 4, so that they could have the fun of sailing the boat.

I do not want to rain on your parade, but until you have some ocean hours behind you in rough weather, I think you don't know what you're getting into, and nor does your good lady wife and your kids. This is not a recipe for success as a cruiser. You need sea time to acquire a sense of seamanship, and so does your wife.. She really needs all the navigation and sailing skills that you need, too, because it only takes one injury, and she's in charge. I don't even know how she will feel about that responsibility. It isn't a game. We're talking about what is basically a hostile environment. One is not in charge; the weather and the sea are. Not all women want to learn to be a skipper, too.

The job of the broker is to sell you a boat. Don't count on him or her for any other information to be in your best interest.

Some of the guys on CF have chartered their lessons actually sail training as a holiday. That might fit as a step for you and some of the family. One of them may chime in here.

Good luck with it.

If you would like to get a sense of my qualifications for this response, check my profile "about me": it is the background I brought to CF when I joined, and I have since accumulated a few more thousand sea miles.

Ann
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Old 19-04-2021, 02:49   #6
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

Listen to Ann Cate. She is trying to be kind, but with a budget of $1.75 million, you are a walking target for a broker.

FYI, there are brokers who specialize in selling huge cats (58- or 67-foot catamaran is HUGE for a couple to sail and maintain, but sounds like you have money to burn - and you will) to naive and unknowing "round-the-world" dreamers and then buying them back and reselling a year later once the family has packed it in.

Here's another family who started out with a 47' power cat with a plan similar to yours:

Boat Named Sue
https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ce-203862.html

By January 2020, they packed it in and sold the boat in Florida. This is common; we hear these stories/plans on this Forum weekly.

LittleWing

Quote:
Originally Posted by oubeta View Post
The sailing part is the only thing I am lacking experience in.
This is not a small consideration. This is a crucial lack. What about your wife? Ann is right; she has to be equally qualified to you and able to step in and handle the boat single-handed, should you be injured...

Quote:
Originally Posted by oubeta View Post
We are currently taking sailing lessons and so far it’s been pretty easy to learn. We are currently renting a little Hunter monohull and my wife and I took it out for the first time by ourselves over the weekend and didn’t have any issues.
Sorry to say, but this statement reveals your naivety and ignorance - you don't know what you don't know. A little Hunter monohull is a damn sight different from a 58- or 67- foot cat!

Quote:
Originally Posted by oubeta View Post
Our instructor thinks we will be just fine on a catamaran with a little more instruction and possibly hiring a captain for a month or so.
Did you tell her/him that you'll be buying a 60+-foot cat? Do any of you get seasick?

Quote:
Originally Posted by oubeta View Post
I was able to get the insurance figured out. Very expensive, but it looks like we will definitely be able to get insured with the boating experience I have. We received three quotes so far and they are all about the same. The named storm deductible is crazy expensive. Boat insurance is almost as much as insurance on a jet, LOL.
If you think the cost of insurance is ridiculous, research what dockage for a 58 or 67+ foot cat would be - as well as researching the costs of hauling and maintaining such monster(s).

Quote:
Originally Posted by oubeta View Post
I am a pilot also so I am very familiar with navigation and utilizing various weather apps to forecast of the weather, etc.
This is a false equivalency. I am a licensed commerical Yachtmaster with over 30+ years of sailing and more than 20,000+ sea miles over the Atlantic Seaboard, the South Pacific, Australia, New Zealand and the UK.

Does my routing and experience mean that I can pilot a jet plane after a few lessons and a weekend flying "without issues" on a Piper Cherokee...? I mean, I have the same weather and navigation qualifications as a pilot...
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Old 19-04-2021, 03:44   #7
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

Well said LittleWing77. I can sail a little Hunter line is like saying I can handle a fair ground dodgem car so I can handle a Mack truck easy. Oubeta I am not knocking you, but it's not the length of the boat but the beam that becomes an issue in tight situations. What's the beam on these cats 29 foot plus? That's the sort boat you have to be thinking three or four steps ahead when handling. Which comes with experience.
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Old 19-04-2021, 04:49   #8
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

@outbeta

I think asking for some guidance is a good thing. I think asking the broker for guidance is a bad thing. (S)He is in a conflict of interest, the more you spend on the boat- the more they make.

You have already, somewhat, committed to a temporary captain. That is an incredibly smart move!

Please note that while I offer these services, you are encouraged to contact other delivery guys on this forum- Auspicous and Boatman61 come to mind

A better move would be to engage a the same competent delivery captain as a consultant during the buying process. Having provided this service, I have help newbies avoid huge errors, and shined a light on defects that were fixed after the sea trial.

Depending on your skills and the the mentor, after 2-3 weeks of training, you could piddle about in the Caribbean, or The Bahamas.

Then perhaps fly him down to mentor the family on a longer hop. (very optional)

When it is time to head to Panama and to the South Pacific, that same person should come back for the long passage. Having that same person means (s)he will know the boat and the family.


I firmly feel your dream is doable. But as with any new venture, you should get competent and independent help/guidance.
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Old 19-04-2021, 05:57   #9
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

You are in a great position in terms of finance. Most of the people chasing this dream are much lower budget and therefore cant look at other options.
My advice would be to go look at these boats, get an idea of which ones you think you would like. Then charter one with a live aboard instructor for 2-4 weeks.
This will give you a better idea on how everyone is with the boat, with being aboard, and give you some experience and certification to satisfy insurance.
At that point you can talk with the broker and have an better understanding of what YOU need and want. Because like Anne said, hes selling boats, not helping you buy one
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Old 19-04-2021, 06:18   #10
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

I will answer your question without adding to it, though that doesn't mean I disagree with what anyone has posted.

If you would be comfortable and competent to buy a power cat of similar size then you should be able to buy a sailing cat and adapt with some training. Certainly sailing a large cat will be quite different than a small monohull and I would strongly discourage you from buying a large performance catamaran right out of the gate. While not familiar with boats you mention they look more like cruising cats than performance cats, so OK there.

Your plan of hiring a captain for 2-3 months sounds a bit excessive if the answer to the first sentence in the preceding paragraph is really a yes. I would shop around for an INSTRUCTOR (who is also a USCG captain), as you will need someone to teach, not someone to do. If you plan your itinerary well so that you are in a cruising area conducive to the training you need then a good instructor should be able to teach you sound the fundamentals of sailing and handling a large cat in 2-4 weeks.

Last thought - a 55' cat will have space like a 75' monohull. Maybe you should be looking 5 to 10' shorter. Easier to handle, easier to maintain, and easier to resell.
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Old 19-04-2021, 06:37   #11
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

Judging by your experience fixing things, and piloting, I think you'll be fine.

You don't have to know everything BEFORE you buy, you are allowed to learn on your own boat too! I dislike people saying you can't do something. I feel that they're putting their own limitations on others.

Having read what you've written, I'd say YES, absolutely, you can handle a sailing cat. I'm sure you didn't just jump into your plane and start flying, and the cat will be the same. You'll learn theory, which you mostly already know, and navigation, which you already know, then you'll get some experience on your cat. Start easy, and build your confidence level.

Chartering a large sailing cat might be a good idea, just so you're sure that's what you want to do. But you seem to have the proper "can do" attitude, which is based on life experience, rather than just bluster.

A hired captain might be a good idea, especially at first. And I happen to know one who specializes in just what you're thinking about; though he mostly works with new sailors on HH catamarans, he'll steer you right. He's got lots of "fast cat" experience, which I think would help you quite a lot on a large cat. He was a captain on a large Gunboat catamaran, and is used to the size you're looking at.

Anyway, I'm sure you didn't manage to get where you are by listening to folks poopoo your ideas. You'll manage just fine. And, if you're looking for a captain to stay with you for a month, he's your guy.

PM me and I'll give you his contact information.

Cheers, and good luck.
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Old 19-04-2021, 09:48   #12
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

Quote:
Originally Posted by oubeta View Post
I don't know where to start, but long story short, we were in the process of buying a 65' custom trawler, but the more cruisers we talked to, everyone said go with a catamaran. We started looking at power cats as we don't have much sailing experience. Our broker has talked us into looking at a sailing catamaran.
Our broker is saying he can have us sailing in 3 weeks with proper instruction. We have bareboat chartered big cats several times and have some cruising experience in the Bahamas and BVI's, so the sailing part would be the only thing that's new to us.
We want a boat big enough that we can spend 2yrs on and have guests come and stay with us. We are a big family of 6 with 4 boys ages 6-12yrs. We have a budget of around $1.75mil. Currently we are looking at a 2018 Fountaine Pajot Ipanema 58', a 2020 Leopard 58, & a 2015 Fountaine Victoria 67'. We don't want to have to hire a captain or crew, but we are thinking it might be good to hire an experienced captain for the first 2-3 months or so until we get the hang of it.

Our plan is to spend 8months in the Caribbean getting our feet wet, then spending a year in the South Pacific.

My first questions is, can we handle a boat this big without a crew? We have a little sailing experience on a monohull and are currently taking lessons. Would we need to hire a captain for a few months? Our broker is telling us these boats are set up to single hand or sail with a couple and with a 'crash sailing course' in FL, we would be ready to start out in the Bahamas and learn as we go.

My next questions is, are we looking at the right boats? I'm really wanting a boat I can resale quickly when we are done with our 2 year adventure. We really want to stay within our budget of $1.75m. Is there another boat we should be looking at? My wife is really leaning towards the 67', but I think the 58' would be plenty big for our family.

I would love any input or suggestions you guys have. We just sold our airplane, and are looking to buy a boat ASAP, but don't want to rush into it and buy the wrong one.

Thank You
God Bless
First thing is there's no way you need or should spend that much budget on a used catamaran, half that budget is all you really need. Your plan to hire a captain is sound until you're comfortable sailing the boat on your own. With four boys, there's no way you need additional crew as your kids will need something to do. Creature comforts, like a watermaker, A/C, diswasher and washer/dryer combo will make a big difference in your daily life on board. These usually require an extensive solar array with LIFPo4 batteries. Don't forget the hot water and some people can't live without an ice maker. As is mentioned (or will be) we're not done with Covid yet and that may affect .
your plans. Sounds like you have a good broker if he's pointing toward a sailing cat versus a big trawler. Sailing, of itself, is not that difficult - it's everything that goes with it that requires some study. Most of these things you won't avoid with a motorboat.
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Old 19-04-2021, 10:58   #13
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

Since nobody else has said it, you neat to watch Gone With The Wynns on youtube. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBo...5HI5CXFsCxOhmA


They started out on a motorhome and then bought a catamaran with NO experience. Took the ASA courses and then said to the Bahamas.

After my wife watched this we got a catamaran and have been living abroad for 3 years. Cruse the Bahamas for awhile, you will love it!
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Old 19-04-2021, 10:59   #14
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

That is too big a boat to start sailing.
If you need a boat that big it will be hard work to manage with just the family.
Smaller catamarans have enormous living space and would be easier to manage but if your first inclination is a power boat then I would stick to it. A cat would be more comfortable, both at sea and at anchor. I have no experience with powerboats but plenty of multihull experience and they have lots of things going for them, too numerous to mention here.
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Old 19-04-2021, 11:08   #15
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Re: First Cat for Family New to Cruising

Honestly I think your best fit would be a Privilege Series 6, there are a couple of used ones for sale currently. You might have to stretch your budget another 1/2 a million or so but I doubt that's going to be an issue for you. I wouldn't be caught dead in one of those other peasant boats you are considering. Also don't worry about all of these countries being locked down because of a pandemic either, I'm sure they'll be happy to let you in once you arrive.
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