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Old 02-02-2020, 08:00   #1
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Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

There have been many threads about small cats, but......

My wife and I are looking for a small bluewater capabable cat. for a 1-3 year sail.
We've been looking at Lagoon 380's, but honestly, I'd rather something smaller for the two of us. We want the benefits of a cat, but are looking for something simple. The nicest thing about a 380 or a Mahe 36 is their track record and that they've been all over the world. Leading me to my question:

Is there any reason a TomCat Catamaran at only 32 feet would not be as safe for ocean crossing as a 380 or Mahe 36? Is there something else I'm missing?

Length: 32 feet
Beam: 16 feet

Thanks for your opinons.
Brian Sweet
Winthrop, WA
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:36   #2
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

You say ocean crossing and I'm not sure if you mean a major 2000 mile journey or just coastal stuff. I really like the Tomcats but they are limited in the payload dept. You will be really weighted down on a major crossing. The L380 is really well suited for this and the Mahe would also be better.
I have never been on a Tomcat but I think you have to duck to sit at the table. And also it looks like the master bed which sits on the salon floor is just forward of that table. People at the table can look right down on the bed and there are only curtains for privacy. But it is a really interesting pocket cruiser. You should also check out Geminis because they are everywhere and the Maine Cat 30.
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:12   #3
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

It's really as much about you, as it is about the boat.
I'd certainly consider payload, but your needs are not be the same as others. You need food and water, most everything else is optional.
If a heavenly twins can cross oceans, a Tomcat certainly can.

You'll get more people against the idea, than for, but I'd suggest you make your own decision about size, that's suitable for you.

I see no structural reason you couldn't do it in a Tomcat. I've crossed the Atlantic, in both directions, and at first blush, my answer is yes, a Tomcat can do it, safely, just fine.

I'd rather be on a spritely Tomcat, than a Contessa 26, or 32, going across the Atlantic, or pacific. The 32 is legendary, in some circles, but it wouldn't be my choice.

I would love to meet you somewhere remote, and hear the story of your crossing. You can do anything you put your mind to. Plan ahead, learn what you need to learn, and GO.

Cheers, and good luck.

Paul.

Ps, you said "as safe as" lagoon 380 and such. In answer to that specifically, no. Bigger is almost always safer, but I don't think you'd be unsafe in a Tomcat, just less safe, and certainly less comfortable. Even the Titanic wasn't safe.
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:16   #4
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

Also look at the PDQ 32 and 36.
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Old 02-02-2020, 09:26   #5
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

The Tomcat 32 is roughly the same size as my old Prout Snowgoose 35, but weighs 1,500kg less light ship. The cruising figure for the Tomcat is 3450kg so it seems you have nearly 1,300kg to play with.

My total weight is now 4,500kg with fuel and water. I shaved a lot of weight compared to what the previous owner had onboard.

You will be limited, but carefully setup I can't see the problem. More of an issue might be the sail area. Being light, the sail area is just 45sq/m. When you load up to weigh as much the Pout, that will hurt performance. My snowgoose for example has a sail area of 55sq/m.

Water tankage is small, so a reliable watermaker would be necessary. That would save you the most weight. A lithium battery bank, would be next on the weight saving.
Dinghy and outboard would want careful consideration, as to the liferaft (if you chose to carry one).

You would need to think about how you charge the batteries. It has outboards. Solar might not be as easy as with cats with more surface area, and generator will add weight, though it's saved by going for a smaller bank.

Overall I can't see why you couldn't travel the world on one. Afterall, Rosie Swale, her husband and 2 kids did a circumnavigation via cape horn on a 30' cat, loaded with supplies. Alaine Main is another. She and her husband circumnavigated in a Prout Quest 31

Heavenly Twins 26/27 cats have circumnavigated just fine. The Tomcat will be more comfortable and faster than both of those just mentioned.

There appears to be this myth that you need a 40 foot plus boat to go anywhere offshore. Yet people have happily sailed around the world comfortably enough with these small pocket cruising cats.
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Old 02-02-2020, 12:15   #6
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Brian.
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Old 02-02-2020, 13:21   #7
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

The Tomcat wasn't a very successful design. I doubt the factory weight specs are accurate. It was perhaps meant to complete with the Gemini sorta the Catalina 25 of cats. Something like a Tobago 35 would be much better and still a lot smaller than a Lagoon 38.
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Old 02-02-2020, 13:47   #8
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

My wife and I very nearly bought one as a marina liveaboard/ coastal cruiser after getting up close in personal at a boatshow years ago. Great setup for a couple with a minimalist lifestyle who are not crossing oceans. They were also very low price when new, comparable to a Beneteau or Jeanneau of similar length at the time, a fraction of the cost for a comparable Lagoon or FP. PErfect for a young couple thinking about one as an apartment that can sail and would rather pay a slip fee than rent.

But there is no way I would ever consider one for a blue water boat. They are well built for their purpose which is a lake or coastal boat, but 100% not for long offshore passages. They are light with little load capacity, a Gemini competitor to be sure. Probably fine for kicking around the Caribbean, but getting one there would be adventurous. But of course almost any boat can be taken long distance, its just a matter of how minimal you travel, how much discomfort you can handle , and how many things will break along the way. If you want to go smaller than a lagoon 380 go mono, a small mono will have more capacity for food, water and fuel, along with more comfort for longer voyages than a small cat. And for the same money you will be able to buy a much more substantial mono.
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Old 02-02-2020, 19:43   #9
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

Boy,
Aren't you all a nice group of folks.
Thank you for your responses & opinions.

I appreciate your time. And if anyone else has thoughts, especially if you own a Tomcat, we'd love to hear them.

Brian Sweet
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Old 02-02-2020, 21:52   #10
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

I looked at a Tomcat before I bought my Seawind. My take is the first thing to do in planning to buy a boat is determine your price point. A Tomcat seems to be at the lower level price point.
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Old 02-02-2020, 23:07   #11
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

It's basically a Gemini knockoff with a few modifications (some of the modifications I like...others not so much).

It's not focused on the rounding the horne but it's as good as a lot of the production monohulls that do ocean crossings. Lots of Geminis have also done ocean crossings...never heard of one fail in a crossing.

As far as living space, for a couple it's great layout.
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Old 03-02-2020, 09:43   #12
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

You have not given any information about your sailing experience. How are your mechanical skills? Poor skills will translate into expensive cruising and can have safety ramifications if you experience mechanical issues offshore.

The best advice I received, before moving onto a boat, was to have your partner/spouse and you live in a one car garage for one month. Use a porta-lot to and shower every other day. Refrigerator, cook top, closet space should mimic, as close as possible, the actual space available on the boat of your dreams. You can inexpensively purchase a used mini-fridge and cooktop at a local thrift shop (you are only going to use them for thirty days). Now stock up with enough food for a week and enjoy. Weekly provisioning would represent a good average provisioning schedule while cruising.

Couples who can't adapt to garage living for a month will likely save themselves a costly financial loss. If you both adapt to the loss of space and personal privacy, likely you won't join the club whose members include those who cruise without their spouse and those who sell their boat after less than a year of living aboard.

You give up convenience and personal space by moving onto a boat. Smaller boats mean even less space to "get away" from your spouse, but usually offer less complex operating systems.
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Old 03-02-2020, 10:10   #13
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

Quote:
Originally Posted by singlespeed View Post
You have not given any information about your sailing experience. How are your mechanical skills? Poor skills will translate into expensive cruising and can have safety ramifications if you experience mechanical issues offshore.
Whilst you have might have a point, it has absolutely nothing to do with if the Tomcat is a decent bluewater cruiser or if he should look at the Lagoon 380, Mahe 36 etc..

That is what he asked for. To answer that details of his experience are completely irrelevant.
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Old 03-02-2020, 11:34   #14
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

Just my opinion, 3 more feet would make life much more comfortable in many ways.
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Old 03-02-2020, 18:43   #15
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Re: Tomcat 32 foot catamaran question

if u want to go with a smaller cat and there are many reasons to do that. I would recommend looking at the Woods designs and some of the Auzzie designs eg:Grainger, Pesscott series those designs have been sailing up and down the Pacific for many years. You can find used boats on the Auzzie boat sales web sites..
cheers
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