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Old 31-01-2017, 12:28   #1
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Looking for first Cruising Cat

Hello all!

I have been looking through hundreds of posts, but not sure I am getting the right info. Wife and I are looking for our first cruising cat. We had a Corsair F28R, and are now sailing a little windrider 17. We are looking for a simple, comfortable, blue water capable cruising cat or tri, less than 45 feet, would like it if it can sail out of it's own way, but blazing speed (and connected cost) of a Catana or Outremer is not necessary. Given the Corsair was cramped and uncomfortable, I want to get something my wife will feel comfortable in right away. Plan would be to sail the caribbean, then if things are really going well, consider heading west until? I would like to try to have the boat all electric, but I know a chorus of groans will erupt, so there you go (I had the Corsair running all electric, but wasn't really that successful). Early candidates appear to be the Lagoon 420, Helia 44, Bali 4.0 or 4.3, Neel 45, Leopard 43, Maine Cat 41? Dragonfly 1200? etc. Would like an owner's version, not interested in servicing 4 toilets. Would probably follow the Wynn's plan a little and go composting toilets and lots of solar. Budget? Maybe 400k us max? Probably 350 plus 50 for refit more reasonable? Or better to buy a roomy older boat and fix it up to my specs? At any rate, would love to hear your opinions. We would have a decent cruising budget, I am mechanically inclined and we are both fit and healthy.

Fin
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Old 31-01-2017, 12:43   #2
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

My perspective is you maximize value by making as few unique systems that can go bad as possible while maximizing reliability and redundancy. That way you spend less time addressing failing systems.

If you like tinkering and playing with technology go for it. If you like to cruise and be safe, IMO need to be able to motor for 48 hours in bad weather.

Most of the specs being provided by electric evangelicals means the boats aren't even able to get through the Panama canal.

Electric boats and electric cars are great for commuting. I wouldn't take it on a trip with indefinite goals and uncertain performance parameters. Also once it is time to sell, the market is much better with conventional systems.

Only you know you, but the boats youre looking at vary wildly and I'll recommend looking at your sailing performance expectations.
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Old 31-01-2017, 15:16   #3
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

Yes, I agree that my initial choices are widely variant. I also agree that it is unlikely we will deviate from diesel drivetrain initially. With regard to sailing performance, I am used to routinely sailing in excess of 10 knots, but understand that 10 will often be a sort of upper limit. I guess I am looking for a cat which is balanced towards performance but comfort is next on the list. My hope is to narrow the list as much as possible so that I can focus my search. One of the hard parts is that there are varying opinions. I hear on one hand that Lagoons and Seawinds are terribly slow but then other opinions are that Seawinds (esp. the 1160 lite) are quick. I do really like the clean design and lighter weight of the 1160 lite, but it seems to be cramped below (a normal function of finer hulls)... Does this help?

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Old 31-01-2017, 15:45   #4
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by finleyg View Post
Early candidates appear to be the Lagoon 420, Helia 44, Bali 4.0 or 4.3, Neel 45, Leopard 43, Maine Cat 41? Dragonfly 1200? etc.
Coming from a Tri, you'll be in for a rude awaking on the lackluster performance of most of these boats. Clearly I've voted w/ my wallet for the Maine Cat 38, based on prioritizing performance and simple + very high quality systems. The MC41 is a different beast (bigger motors, galley, more spacious, etc at the expense of weight), not just a different size of the same design spec. There is one for charter in the Bahamas if you want to try it out.

You might look at older Chris White, Outremer, Schionning, Fusion, Spirited Cats, smaller builders who cater more toward performance, long range cruising, more reliable systems. With your budget, you could buy something older/cheaper and really upgrade it super nice w/ the extra $.

Nothing wrong w/ the charter boats, but they are designed for a different purpose, parties, comfort for lots of people for a week or two - lots of people circumnavigate just fine on them, but for me, don't need to drag around the extra weight, staterooms, heads, complex systems.

Simple = less maintenance. Light = smaller gear, easier to short hand, and more sailing/less motoring. What I really want for long range cruising is a 35' boat on 45' hulls. That equals more performance, better sea keeping, and ability to carry supplies/fuel, etc needed for long range cruising.
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Old 31-01-2017, 15:54   #5
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

finleyg,

Would like to help you out here, but your kind of all over the map right now.

Your best way to start this journey would be to go to a large catamaran boat show like Annapolis or Miami.

By both of you getting on a lot of cats you will get a feel for what she likes and what you like.

My wife and I did this same process at a few catamaran boat shows and finally we both picked the same boat and have been very happy with out selection.
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Old 31-01-2017, 16:00   #6
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by finleyg View Post
Yes, I agree that my initial choices are widely variant. I also agree that it is unlikely we will deviate from diesel drivetrain initially. With regard to sailing performance, I am used to routinely sailing in excess of 10 knots, but understand that 10 will often be a sort of upper limit. I guess I am looking for a cat which is balanced towards performance but comfort is next on the list. My hope is to narrow the list as much as possible so that I can focus my search. One of the hard parts is that there are varying opinions. I hear on one hand that Lagoons and Seawinds are terribly slow but then other opinions are that Seawinds (esp. the 1160 lite) are quick. I do really like the clean design and lighter weight of the 1160 lite, but it seems to be cramped below (a normal function of finer hulls)... Does this help?

Fin
I've been on an older 1160 charter in Australia - not the lites - I don't think they were slow, but definitely not performance. Didn't notice the hulls being cramped TBH because the head/shower was huge and the galley was well laid out. Bed was fine but I slept in the saloon.


I'd say take the opportunity to charter and see what you like. Like my first response your list is so varied in a wild manner that one doesn't get the sense of what your priories are.


Sail fast? Cheap? Large fridge/freezer motor sailor? Etc.
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Old 31-01-2017, 16:02   #7
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
finleyg,

Would like to help you out here, but your kind of all over the map right now.

Your best way to start this journey would be to go to a large catamaran boat show like Annapolis or Miami.

By both of you getting on a lot of cats you will get a feel for what she likes and what you like.

My wife and I did this same process at a few catamaran boat shows and finally we both picked the same boat and have been very happy with out selection.
What was your selection?
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Old 31-01-2017, 16:08   #8
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

I note that your boat is a Helia 44? Definitely on my list. Pluses and minuses from your perspective, if its ok to ask.

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Old 31-01-2017, 16:26   #9
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

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Originally Posted by jrambo316 View Post
What was your selection?
FP, Helia 44 Evo,
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Old 31-01-2017, 16:43   #10
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by finleyg View Post
I note that your boat is a Helia 44? Definitely on my list. Pluses and minuses from your perspective, if its ok to ask.

Fin
Pluses:

1) No steps on Saloon / Galley / Cockpit level. Its all one level floor.

2) It has 5 separate areas for entertaining or relaxing

3) Will motor a 7 to 7.5 knots on one engine at 2000 rpm. making it very efficient.

4) Roof over all of the cockpit

5) Strong easy davit system

6) Island beds in a 3 staterooms

7) Dedicated separate showers in all 3 heads

8) Large panoramic view in Saloon / Galley and Cockpit

9) Captain and mate can see each other from helm and galley

Cons:

1) Its a big boat to clean and wax
.
.
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Old 31-01-2017, 16:46   #11
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark424 View Post
Coming from a Tri, you'll be in for a rude awaking on the lackluster performance of most of these boats. Clearly I've voted w/ my wallet for the Maine Cat 38, based on prioritizing performance and simple + very high quality systems. The MC41 is a different beast (bigger motors, galley, more spacious, etc at the expense of weight), not just a different size of the same design spec. There is one for charter in the Bahamas if you want to try it out.



You might look at older Chris White, Outremer, Schionning, Fusion, Spirited Cats, smaller builders who cater more toward performance, long range cruising, more reliable systems. With your budget, you could buy something older/cheaper and really upgrade it super nice w/ the extra $.



Nothing wrong w/ the charter boats, but they are designed for a different purpose, parties, comfort for lots of people for a week or two - lots of people circumnavigate just fine on them, but for me, don't need to drag around the extra weight, staterooms, heads, complex systems.



Simple = less maintenance. Light = smaller gear, easier to short hand, and more sailing/less motoring. What I really want for long range cruising is a 35' boat on 45' hulls. That equals more performance, better sea keeping, and ability to carry supplies/fuel, etc needed for long range cruising.

🏻pretty much covers my opinions.
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Old 31-01-2017, 18:01   #12
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark424
Coming from a Tri, you'll be in for a rude awaking on the lackluster performance of most of these boats. Clearly I've voted w/ my wallet for the Maine Cat 38, based on prioritizing performance and simple + very high quality systems. The MC41 is a different beast (bigger motors, galley, more spacious, etc at the expense of weight), not just a different size of the same design spec. There is one for charter in the Bahamas if you want to try it out.



You might look at older Chris White, Outremer, Schionning, Fusion, Spirited Cats, smaller builders who cater more toward performance, long range cruising, more reliable systems. With your budget, you could buy something older/cheaper and really upgrade it super nice w/ the extra $.



Nothing wrong w/ the charter boats, but they are designed for a different purpose, parties, comfort for lots of people for a week or two - lots of people circumnavigate just fine on them, but for me, don't need to drag around the extra weight, staterooms, heads, complex systems.



Simple = less maintenance. Light = smaller gear, easier to short hand, and more sailing/less motoring. What I really want for long range cruising is a 35' boat on 45' hulls. That equals more performance, better sea keeping, and ability to carry supplies/fuel, etc needed for long range cruising.



Quote:
Originally Posted by smj View Post
🏻pretty much covers my opinions.
+1
The Dragonfly is interesting too, but it won't have the space of the cats.

Cheers,
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Old 31-01-2017, 18:55   #13
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

Wow! I've been watching the "Chase the story" vids with Cheeky Monkey, another Helia 44. Boat seems to work well and it is absolutely gorgeous. Might need to up my budget and consider them more fully. I appreciate the advice!
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Old 31-01-2017, 18:57   #14
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

I love the pix and philosophy behind the Maine Cat 38. If it's ok, can you give me a short rundown on how the boat has worked for you? Do you have any youtube vids or otherwise? Great lines and I like Mr. Vermuelen's (sp?) design essays.
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Old 31-01-2017, 19:37   #15
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Re: Looking for first Cruising Cat

First cruising cat? An orange tabby, easier to see in the waves and on the docks.
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