Where to get educated - Looking at cruising cat ownership

MauganTornado

Super Anarchist
I seem to be stuck in the enviable position of having a wife who has told me that by the end of 2016, we must own a large cruising boat. I'm a multi guy at heart and she is as well, and so we've both decided that we'd like something in the 40-45' range.

While i know more than I care to admit about small multihulls, and I have considerable experience in the 30-35' racing keelboat types, I'm not naive enough to think that I know *anything* when it comes to buying a big cat like this.

Are there any decent resources online that are recommended to educate me on the different aspects of the cruising catamaran I should be considering when making a decision to purchase? I've downloaded a couple of books on the ole kindle to read through but the content in at least a few of them looks to be dated in decades, not years.

Thanks in advance!

 

TwoLegged

Super Anarchist
5,893
2,257
Obviously, you just need to spend $2 million on the latest disruptive technology. In return for your two million, the makers will tell you that are part of their "family", and the coastguard will collect you after your swim ...

 

MauganTornado

Super Anarchist
Obviously, you just need to spend $2 million on the latest disruptive technology. In return for your two million, the makers will tell you that are part of their "family", and the coastguard will collect you after your swim ...
Duly noted. My friends that are on the Gunboat staff certainly are trying to get me to go that way however, even their smallest offering is a bit rich for our means.

Congrats!Where are you and how far towards cruising are you heading? Dagger board cat?
I'm a Nacra racer at heart so I'll need something that can give me some performance. I don't need to be foiling from watering hole to hurricane hole, but out of all the cats I've looked at so far, the ones with daggers interest me the most. Schionning really have some nice looking designs however I'm concerned about payload ability for Atlantic crossings.

I've got a charter lined up on a Seawind 1160 in December and that looks to be a very nice design for the condomaran space. We'll see if it offers any kind of fulfillment for me when the rags go up the mast.

Take a look at the One Cat charters - they left Ontario a few years ago. Their original blog is Zero to Cruising...a very good read. BTW their cherry boat is for sale in Grenada...http://www.zerotocruising.com/

Thank you, I just stumbled upon that website last night actually. Didn't get a lot of time to look at it but I bookmarked it and will check it out!

 

SailAR

Anarchist
991
3
you might also google Leucat blog - Lagoon 440 that has gone most of the way around the blue marble, and Tahina blog - St Francis 50 that has gone all the way around. They both keep pretty active blogs and would probably be great resources given their years of round the world cruising cat experience. I would venture that if you contacted them directly, you can probably get a lot of questions answered.

 

Rantifarian

Rantifarian
Congrats!Where are you and how far towards cruising are you heading? Dagger board cat?
I'm a Nacra racer at heart so I'll need something that can give me some performance. I don't need to be foiling from watering hole to hurricane hole, but out of all the cats I've looked at so far, the ones with daggers interest me the most. Schionning really have some nice looking designs however I'm concerned about payload ability for Atlantic crossings.

I've got a charter lined up on a Seawind 1160 in December and that looks to be a very nice design for the condomaran space. We'll see if it offers any kind of fulfillment for me when the rags go up the mast.

My parents bought a 38' daggerboard cat last year, and probalby looked at a few similar boats to what you are.

The seawind is a nice boat for the price, but heavy and no daggerboards. Not fast

There are a lot of great short term cruising cats around, but there are also a few already setup to do the longer trips. My parents looked at a Grainger Chincogan 40 that was fully kitted out as a live aboard long term cruising boat, this one I think http://www.multihulls.net.au/grainger-chincogan-40-luxury-cruising-catamaran/

Pricey, but apparently completely sorted and ready to go.

We ended up with a Spirited 380, its a great boat for the sort of short family cruising and daysails we use it for. Decent turn of speed too, for a gin palace, probably about the same speed around the course as a Beneteau first 40, or a little slower than a Sydney 38. Designed by the Schionning son.

Other boats they looked at were the lighwave 38 (no dagger boards, closer to seawind in speed), and a few Schionnings (the father, something about interior layout failed the bosses test)

Have a look at the OMR spreadsheets, both the Australian (linked) and thai (I cant remember where i found it) listings, as they give you measured weights, lengths and areas for a lot of boats. The ratings aren't perfect by a long way, but they are as good of a guess at relative performance as you are likely to get

 

Zonker

Super Anarchist
10,197
6,391
Canada
I still think Chris White's book "The Cruising Multihull" is a good discussion of good versus bad design features, though its an older book. Gregor Tarjan's book isnt bad either.

Daggerboard cats will be harder to find in the US or Caribbean. 90% of the boats out there have mini keels and will be windwardly performance challenged.

The Oz market is different, with more performance oriented offerings, but hopelessly overpriced.

Will you live aboard full time? Where will you sail the boat?

Lots of the condomarans will do OK on trade wind circumnavigation but aren't that much fun to sail (Privledges and Lagoons are particularly slow)

 

Rantifarian

Rantifarian
The oz listed prices are stupid amounts beyond what the boats are selling for, although they are still overpriced. There might be some boats in Thailand for a reasonable price, there seems to be a pile of Aussie designers and sailors over there with some nice dagger board cruising cats.

 

Wess

Super Anarchist
I seem to be stuck in the enviable position of having a wife who has told me that by the end of 2016, we must own a large cruising boat. I'm a multi guy at heart and she is as well, and so we've both decided that we'd like something in the 40-45' range.

While i know more than I care to admit about small multihulls, and I have considerable experience in the 30-35' racing keelboat types, I'm not naive enough to think that I know *anything* when it comes to buying a big cat like this.

Are there any decent resources online that are recommended to educate me on the different aspects of the cruising catamaran I should be considering when making a decision to purchase? I've downloaded a couple of books on the ole kindle to read through but the content in at least a few of them looks to be dated in decades, not years.

Thanks in advance!
Respectfully, maybe first consider carefully what you really and truely mean by cruising (cat). Do you mean cruising the islands? Do you mean US east coast snow bird thing? Do you mean cross Atlantic and do the Med and back? Do you mean islands to Pacific? Or do you mean RTW cruise? Because having owned and extensively cruised a number of large cats (many years ago) I would honestly say I would get a very different cat depending on the answer to those questions which IMHO should be first on your list.

Noted also your GB comment. Even at half the price, for many of the boats you might consider, ask around and think about what you are wiling to accept or not in terms of insurance coverage. I don't mean price... I mean given your experience relative to the yacht and the size of the policy, you may find the above questions impacted by restrictions on how, when and where you can use the boat.

 

Tucky

Super Anarchist
3,502
33
Maine
Paging Bill Gibbs- he is in the process of getting a performance cruising cat from South Africa.Just a guess, but I only think you will be happy at the performance end of the spectrum.

 

MauganTornado

Super Anarchist
I seem to be stuck in the enviable position of having a wife who has told me that by the end of 2016, we must own a large cruising boat. I'm a multi guy at heart and she is as well, and so we've both decided that we'd like something in the 40-45' range.

While i know more than I care to admit about small multihulls, and I have considerable experience in the 30-35' racing keelboat types, I'm not naive enough to think that I know *anything* when it comes to buying a big cat like this.

Are there any decent resources online that are recommended to educate me on the different aspects of the cruising catamaran I should be considering when making a decision to purchase? I've downloaded a couple of books on the ole kindle to read through but the content in at least a few of them looks to be dated in decades, not years.

Thanks in advance!
Respectfully, maybe first consider carefully what you really and truely mean by cruising (cat). Do you mean cruising the islands? Do you mean US east coast snow bird thing? Do you mean cross Atlantic and do the Med and back? Do you mean islands to Pacific? Or do you mean RTW cruise? Because having owned and extensively cruised a number of large cats (many years ago) I would honestly say I would get a very different cat depending on the answer to those questions which IMHO should be first on your list.

Noted also your GB comment. Even at half the price, for many of the boats you might consider, ask around and think about what you are wiling to accept or not in terms of insurance coverage. I don't mean price... I mean given your experience relative to the yacht and the size of the policy, you may find the above questions impacted by restrictions on how, when and where you can use the boat.
This is why I need to educate myself. I have a experience cruising and racing on monos - but one of the things that I've read is that you never buy a boat for what you *dream* you're going to do 10 years from now. A lot of people buy these things thinking that they will spend the rest of their lives on these things sailing to far away places - but it never happens. Indeed my wife and I have grand designs and I'm trying to temper them in her. <see below>.

The insurance aspect is yet another thing i need to add to my list of considerations and thus the need for more education.

Will you live aboard full time? Where will you sail the boat?
The boat will either be located on the Texas coast or in Florida (Miami or Canaveral) depending on where our relocation is about to take us. It will be our 2nd/weekend home - and I'll probably live aboard it more than just the weekends since I can work from anywhere (wife, not so much). We want to be able to cruise ofc to the Caribbean, Bahamas but also Central America and Bermuda for the 2017 Cup. Eventually - we'd like to take it across the Atlantic to the Med but thats the "pie in the sky" type of thing that I'm hoping to temper.

I still think Chris White's book "The Cruising Multihull" is a good discussion of good versus bad design features, though its an older book. Gregor Tarjan's book isnt bad either.
Added to the kindle. Thank you for the recommendation!

We ended up with a Spirited 380, its a great boat for the sort of short family cruising and daysails we use it for. Decent turn of speed too, for a gin palace, probably about the same speed around the course as a Beneteau first 40, or a little slower than a Sydney 38. Designed by the Schionning son.
Looks exactly like what I think I'm looking for as far as a mix of performance and accommodation. I was thinking that for the kind of blue water cruising that we aspire to do, we'd need something in the > 40' range. The 480 looks promising however but with build cost estimates in the $240k USD range I can only imagine what the total sail away cost would be for a new one.


 

rattus32

Anarchist
747
57
Vail, CO
Congrats!Where are you and how far towards cruising are you heading? Dagger board cat?
I'm a Nacra racer at heart so I'll need something that can give me some performance. I don't need to be foiling from watering hole to hurricane hole, but out of all the cats I've looked at so far, the ones with daggers interest me the most. Schionning really have some nice looking designs however I'm concerned about payload ability for Atlantic crossings.

I've got a charter lined up on a Seawind 1160 in December and that looks to be a very nice design for the condomaran space. We'll see if it offers any kind of fulfillment for me when the rags go up the mast.

My parents bought a 38' daggerboard cat last year, and probalby looked at a few similar boats to what you are.

The seawind is a nice boat for the price, but heavy and no daggerboards. Not fast

There are a lot of great short term cruising cats around, but there are also a few already setup to do the longer trips. My parents looked at a Grainger Chincogan 40 that was fully kitted out as a live aboard long term cruising boat, this one I think http://www.multihulls.net.au/grainger-chincogan-40-luxury-cruising-catamaran/

Pricey, but apparently completely sorted and ready to go.

We ended up with a Spirited 380, its a great boat for the sort of short family cruising and daysails we use it for. Decent turn of speed too, for a gin palace, probably about the same speed around the course as a Beneteau first 40, or a little slower than a Sydney 38. Designed by the Schionning son.

Other boats they looked at were the lighwave 38 (no dagger boards, closer to seawind in speed), and a few Schionnings (the father, something about interior layout failed the bosses test)

Have a look at the OMR spreadsheets, both the Australian (linked) and thai (I cant remember where i found it) listings, as they give you measured weights, lengths and areas for a lot of boats. The ratings aren't perfect by a long way, but they are as good of a guess at relative performance as you are likely to get
We've chartered a Chincogan 40 3 times in the Whitsundays, and have been delighted with the boat. Not the usual 8-passenger condomaran, less accommodation, better speed, easy handling, better speed, you get the idea. Better speed too. Only thing I'd improve is a switch to daggerboards. And leave the nanny Queensland marine patrol regs behind. ;-)

Were we to settle as a couple on a 40' semi-production cat - that would be the one. That, or maybe a Maine Cat 41 if we were to stay in warm waters, as we've had great fun in Maine Cat 30s.

Edit - that Chincogan is seriously *equipped*, with daggerboards too. That said, I'd still take the Maine Cat

41, if we were to stay in warm waters.

 
Last edited by a moderator:

Veeger

Super Anarchist


Congrats!Where are you and how far towards cruising are you heading? Dagger board cat?
I'm a Nacra racer at heart so I'll need something that can give me some performance. I don't need to be foiling from watering hole to hurricane hole, but out of all the cats I've looked at so far, the ones with daggers interest me the most. Schionning really have some nice looking designs however I'm concerned about payload ability for Atlantic crossings.

I've got a charter lined up on a Seawind 1160 in December and that looks to be a very nice design for the condomaran space. We'll see if it offers any kind of fulfillment for me when the rags go up the mast.

My parents bought a 38' daggerboard cat last year, and probalby looked at a few similar boats to what you are.

The seawind is a nice boat for the price, but heavy and no daggerboards. Not fast

There are a lot of great short term cruising cats around, but there are also a few already setup to do the longer trips. My parents looked at a Grainger Chincogan 40 that was fully kitted out as a live aboard long term cruising boat, this one I think http://www.multihulls.net.au/grainger-chincogan-40-luxury-cruising-catamaran/

Pricey, but apparently completely sorted and ready to go.

We ended up with a Spirited 380, its a great boat for the sort of short family cruising and daysails we use it for. Decent turn of speed too, for a gin palace, probably about the same speed around the course as a Beneteau first 40, or a little slower than a Sydney 38. Designed by the Schionning son.

Other boats they looked at were the lighwave 38 (no dagger boards, closer to seawind in speed), and a few Schionnings (the father, something about interior layout failed the bosses test)

Have a look at the OMR spreadsheets, both the Australian (linked) and thai (I cant remember where i found it) listings, as they give you measured weights, lengths and areas for a lot of boats. The ratings aren't perfect by a long way, but they are as good of a guess at relative performance as you are likely to get
We've chartered a Chincogan 40 3 times in the Whitsundays, and have been delighted with the boat. Not the usual 8-passenger condomaran, less accommodation, better speed, easy handling, better speed, you get the idea. Better speed too. Only thing I'd improve is a switch to daggerboards. And leave the nanny Queensland marine patrol regs behind. ;-)

Were we to settle as a couple on a 40' semi-production cat - that would be the one. That, or maybe a Maine Cat 41 if we were to stay in warm waters, as we've had great fun in Maine Cat 30s.

Edit - that Chincogan is seriously *equipped*, with daggerboards too. That said, I'd still take the Maine Cat

41, if we were to stay in warm waters.
I'll say it again---- having lived aboard my Mainecat thru several PNW winters, they aren't ONLY a 'warm waters' boat. (Yes, I did burn more diesel fuel in the hydronic furnace than I might have preferred....)

 

LMI

Member
321
128
east coast usa
Veeger -

Permit me a question on the type - purposefully on a thread not likely to hit on a key word search.

How do you feel about the safety of that cockpit - greatroom - semi open pilot house in big water? Do you have concern over immediate flooding in the event of a capsize? Have you taken any steps to mitigate the concern and if so what were they?

Don't know if you read on the topic or talked w the guys who went over in Anna which is not a MC and has fully enclosed pilothouse. It was interesting how quickly the trapped air pocket dissipated. Friend went over on a boat of similar type to MC and commented that the semi enclosed pilot house flooded instantly, while he was trapped by the enclosures and barely made it into the hulls.

 

Ozsailer

New member
27
1
Hello Thundermuffin,

Having gone through the process of trying to research as much as possible about catamarans I found there was a lot of information but a lot of it did not pertain to what I was actually looking for. For Sue and I we found that we ended up writing down what we actually wanted in a cat and not what other people tell you what you want.

The main things we considered (not here in any priority) were live-ability for what we wanted, safety, sea going ability of the vessel, resale, age, speed to a degree (we wanted a vessel that would get us to a destination in a timely manner), galley up or galley down. Good pedigree and reviews, storage, good under motor as well as sail, bridge deck clearance (important) storage and very importantly it could be sailed by two and one if necessary and of course price - value for money.

Surprisingly I found that there are not a lot of multihull forums that deal with cruising. Cruisers Forum is probably one of the few sites other than SA that has a dedicated multihull forum and sub sites for named brands such as Lagoon, Fountain Pagot, Antares etc. Lots of good information there.

As with any sail boats there are pro's and con's for all multi's. We just settled for one that fit the vast majority of our needs.

You tube has some great video of different cats in different conditions and sail configurations and a lot of good information can be gleaned form trolling these videos. There is a very good series of videos by the Catamaran company that deals with what they have found with prospective purchasers. I have absolutely no affiliation with them but there was some good stuff in it. Same with a series by a couple who own an Antaries Cat. Very informative.

There is a lot of hype with Cats and you have to be able to work out what the sales hype is and what the reality is. Yes cats sail flat but by heck you still gotta hold on in a seaway. A lot of monos will outsail and out pace you - but they are normally your modern day race boat.

Our boat is 12 metres, 7 metres wide weighs close to ten ton, we do roughly half wind speed and we normally average 8 knots on a trip. Acquaintance has just purchased a38 ft Pescott Cat. Weighs just over 4.5 ton. Single outboard in central well and has daggerboards. Will sail to 30 degrees and cruise at 12 knots under sail. Does not like a seaway but will get you anywhere quick. Sacrifices some level of comfort when at anchor compared to production boats but its exactly what the new owner wanted.

We were incredibly lucky in being able to do a short delivery trip up the East Coast of Australia in a 43 ft Fountaine Pajot. Weather was perfect for us to see the boat in adverse conditions, wet, miserable big seas. We quickly saw what worked and what didn't, what we liked and what we disliked. Any boat should perform on a sunny day in 10 to 15 knots on a bay or lake. Take it to sea and into proper sea conditions that you are likely to encounter and you soon work out how good a boat is.

I like the idea of a charter in an area or crew on a delivery trip where you are likely to experience real sea conditions and you will quickly see the good, the bad and the down right ugly. One of the things I did do when researching was using google and just type in the vessel type and then the word review. Quite often there were many owner reviews as well as professional reviews. It was this method that I found the main issues with our model of boat (lagoon) not an issue in itself but it allowed me to check the boat more thoroughly when looking.

Sorry if I have rabbited on here but the question does not have a short answer. Please feel free to email me if I can offer any further insight into how we went about our purchase. I am no expert by any stretch. Just some one who went through what you are doing now.

Greg and Sue

SV Sunshine

Lake Macquarie

New South Wales

Australia.

 


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