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Old 18-06-2024, 10:43   #1
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Why did you choose your cat?

Hi all

Questions to all Lagoon, Bali, Leopard, Nauticat, FP owners: why did you choose this boat? What were the deciding factors for that boat and against the other brands? Did those factors work out or is reality different from what you expected? What feature do you love and what would you want to change?


Background of the question is that we will be in the market for a cat to live aboard and can't make up our minds...Every brand has it's pros and cons and we are looking for input what others like and found to work on the boat - the stuff you may not think of until you've lived a while on the boat.


Thanks
Adrian
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Old 19-06-2024, 06:38   #2
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Re: Why did you choose your cat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by barnab View Post
Hi all

Questions to all Lagoon, Bali, Leopard, Nauticat, FP owners: why did you choose this boat? What were the deciding factors for that boat and against the other brands? Did those factors work out or is reality different from what you expected? What feature do you love and what would you want to change?


Background of the question is that we will be in the market for a cat to live aboard and can't make up our minds...Every brand has it's pros and cons and we are looking for input what others like and found to work on the boat - the stuff you may not think of until you've lived a while on the boat.


Thanks
Adrian

Went through a similar decision process a few years ago, and the FP just called to me overall because of styling, with the Leopard a close second. With the rash of quality issues Leopard cats lately and how the factory has responded, I'd probably lean to FP. Just keep in mind these boats are all built to a price point, so the overall construction and materials used are going to be similar. Nautitech is going to be more fun to sail & a tad faster, so really depends on your use case and overall budget.
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Old 27-06-2024, 11:35   #3
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Location: Carribean
Boat: 2017 Bali 4.0
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Re: Why did you choose your cat?

Personally I think all of the production cats designed for full time liveaboards are fine and anyone of them will do. They are all spacious and provide you with everything you need. Granted there are plenty of performance boats that will do the same, but the price point for those boats are higher and they do require more care when sailing as they are not as forgiving.
That said, here are my reasons for the Bali.

Pro's
  • The interior space is massive compared to the other cats of similar size.
  • Plenty of room for two people and two large dogs
  • Having the seating area in the front is spacious and offers cool and direct air flow.
  • When adding an awning it's perfect. Also, a great playground*for the puppies.
  • You can protect the entire boat so the puppies don't fall overboard
  • Having a household*refrigerator is great. I have a GE 12 volt 10 ft^3 and it is perfect.
  • It can carry a crap ton of solar (3500 watts) on the boat and my battery bank holds 1500 amp hours of energy
  • She sails well enough to get me from point A to point B and she sips the fuel
  • I like the high bridge even though it's less safe in bad conditions
  • The third floor area is a nice seating/laying area thus creating 3 areas for entertaining yourself or friends.
  • You can steer the boat from the inside at the nav station
  • She is solid as a rock and has very little twist thus does not creek which I can't say about the rivals.
  • Strange as I thought the large garage door would have been an issue.
  • Deck Slap is no better or worse than the equivalent rivals.

Con's
  • She is not the fastest boat out there but no slower than it's modern equivalents/rivals.
  • Not enough closet space below on the 4.0.Some components are cheap such as door and cabinet hinges.
  • The lighting could have had a better form/function
  • The standard bilge pumps are two small.
  • She collects water under the cushions in the front closest to the bow.
  • You have to add more stainless steel to make the bridge safer (I did).
  • You should be strapped in when going to the bridge in rough seas especially if the wave period is short.
  • Water can come in through the back if you get hit from the back by a very large wave (say 20 feet).
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Old 27-06-2024, 12:13   #4
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Re: Why did you choose your cat?

Hi HUFFnPUFF


Thanks for your insights. Your pros are very interesting, we sail a 4.3 right now (built end of 2018) and this boat flexes a lot when sailing upwind against waves and creaks and groans like crazy. I have no issue with the garage door other than closing properly - it just doesn't close hermetically and the thought of spending winter in the med with this forced ventilation forsees a high bill for heating.

My issue with the cushions is: Where do I store them? There are so many and the only solution is to sacrify a bed and pile them up, but you loose one cabin this way. What I also perceive as a big disadvantage is that you cannot see the sails from inside, but going to the flybridge requires tethering (we always clip in, even in calm weather).



I (and my wife) love the layout and the fridge, which I think is better than the competitors.
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Old 28-06-2024, 10:30   #5
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Re: Why did you choose your cat?

Yes, I spoke to a delivery captain and he said that the 4.0 and the 5.4 where both super stiff and the others did twist more. I am not sure why that is but my guess is based on the design. I know 4.5, 4.0, and the 5.4 had similar structures. The 4.1, 4.2, 4.4 to 4.8 are in the same boat from a structures perspective.
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Old 15-07-2024, 04:44   #6
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Location: Northern Adriatic Sea - Italy
Boat: Foutaine Pajot Venezia 42 1994
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Re: Why did you choose your cat?

I chose my current FP Venezia 42 mainly with 2 objectives in mind: sailing performance with sufficient safety and a fixed spending budget, in order to allow me to make many improvements following the purchase, defining the catamaran as "tailor-made".
Now after 1 year, I have made the necessary improvements (lightened, kiwi props, increased bowsprit, deck equipment with more adjustments, code-0 and gennaker) I get the performance I would like to have, almost in light winds (I can do SOG just little under - sometimes equal - the TWS up to around 8 knots) so I use the engines very little and I enjoy sailing.
For safety I looked at the construction which had to be balsa-free and done seriously in all the structural bulkheads.
To keep the purchase price at the €200k mark, I had to purchase a 25-year-old catamaran.
As far as how much important that is, I don't mind that at all: I had (and loved) a 2014 FP LIpari 41 Evolution for 3 years which I liked very much, but which undoubtedly sails upwind much less well than the Venezia 42; speeds in medium winds are quite similar at the moment, little difference in favor of the V42.
But in light winds the V42 is significantly faster.

I hope to enjoy it soon with a demanding sailing schedule.
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Old 15-07-2024, 05:24   #7
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Re: Why did you choose your cat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpetri View Post
I chose my current FP Venezia 42 mainly with 2 objectives in mind: sailing performance with sufficient safety and a fixed spending budget, in order to allow me to make many improvements following the purchase, defining the catamaran as "tailor-made".
Now after 1 year, I have made the necessary improvements (lightened, kiwi props, increased bowsprit, deck equipment with more adjustments, code-0 and gennaker) I get the performance I would like to have, almost in light winds (I can do SOG just little under - sometimes equal - the TWS up to around 8 knots) so I use the engines very little and I enjoy sailing.
For safety I looked at the construction which had to be balsa-free and done seriously in all the structural bulkheads.
To keep the purchase price at the €200k mark, I had to purchase a 25-year-old catamaran.
As far as how much important that is, I don't mind that at all: I had (and loved) a 2014 FP LIpari 41 Evolution for 3 years which I liked very much, but which undoubtedly sails upwind much less well than the Venezia 42; speeds in medium winds are quite similar at the moment, little difference in favor of the V42.
But in light winds the V42 is significantly faster.

I hope to enjoy it soon with a demanding sailing schedule.
I fell in love with cats because of the Belize. FP doesn't make them like that anymore. Pam and I looked at the Venezia and the belize. They do sail well.
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Old 15-07-2024, 07:05   #8
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Re: Why did you choose your cat?

I was all set to go with FP until I took a look at Leopard on the advice of a friend who owns one. I ended up with a Leopard 50 and it's been a great boat.

What was important to me was:

Saililng performance. Both the FP and Leapard sail very well if equiped with folding props and higher quality sails (and if the person at the helm knows how to trim a cat's sails). The newer Leopards seem to be especially fast as they've moved to lighter vacuum bagged laminates and even some carbon fiber. I assume FP has done the same. With careful trimming I can beat most cruising monohulls to windward and I can often pass 45ft "performance cats"

Solid construction - I hate the squeaks and rattles of many modern boats. The Leopard is particularly well put together. Even three years later the boat is remarkably quiet underway in the cabin.

Forward cockpit - My wife really loves the forward cockpit. So do I.

Helm location - I like the mid level helm where you have great visibility forward but can still talk to people down below. This is a personal preference item but I would try boats with all three locatoins (helm on top, mid level, aft). Especially try them under sail. They all seem fine at the dock.

Sail handling - How well are sheets, clutches, winches, etc run. Can you reach the mainsail without climbing.

Dinghy handling - How hard is it to launch and retrieve the dinghy. What size dinghy works?

Convenient places to put "essentials" like watermaker, washer/dryer, extra freezer. The Leopard 50 can be gotten with a "utility room" that gives up one sleeping cabin for a complete workroom. I love it.

And I wouldn't pay too much attention to YouTube videos as most of these have "another side to the story". I only had three minor warranty problems on my Leopard - fewer than any other boat I've owned.
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