I purchased two catamarans (after a lot of research
each time) in 2011 and 2016. I have an ASA sailing school
in the Caribbean
(V.I. Sailing School) and I am now looking for a 4 cabin monohull
... But first, the Cats.
Yachtworld and one other site ((I can't remember the other now) is where I did most of my research//shopping in 2011. I ended up buying
47 in Honduras
. It was off the beaten path, the guy was flexible on price
, and I found a surveyor/cruiser through the SAMS site (society of accredited marine surveyors)
. A great guy who surveyed the boat. I got the full story and was able to negotiate remotely. She is a great boat and it was a good deal.
The second, a Leopard
44 I bought out of charter
from the Sunsail in 2016.
1st, I asked about the maintenance
records. The records showed very minimal damage repair since new.
2nd, I took my owner's time in the remaining 6 months to sail around and make a complete fixit list.
3rd, I had it surveyed by my own surveyor
at the end of the charter program "phase out". The Phase Out is part of what Sunsail is contractually obligated to do. Which is hand over a fully functional boat.
4th, I picked the boat up with a few days to spare (this was in St Martin) to be sure all was done properly. I should have given more time because everything was not done and due to my schedule, had to let a few smaller items slide. Also, I should have had the batteries
load checked, they were on there way out and that would have saved me a few thousand a few months down the line. There was also a report of the tranny oil
being a little low. Should have looked at this more closely because there as a very small leak that got bigger and required repair a year later.
Lastly, I will say this about my 2012 Leopard. When you peal back the panels
and crawl around inside, while the design is better than my 2005 Leopard, the construction is haphazard. The glasswork is sloppy in places, piles of resin dust left behind, misaligned bimini
AND... the Rudder
broke off earlier this year because it was corroded 1/2 way through just below the waterline (on a 5 year old boat!!).
A year or two before, I talked to the maintenance
people at Moorings, they loved the Leopard 47, said "47s hardly needed repair... newer ones we got to fix all da time!" (they were comparing to the 46 at the time to be accurate). My guess is the 44 is a continuation of that trend.
Now I am looking for a 4 cabin monohull
... if anyone knows of a good one
in N. America. BTW... If the exchange rate: Euro to $ gets lower (like around 1$ to 1.15E, the Med has deals (even now).
V.I. Sailing School