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Old 01-31-2014, 11:50 PM   #1
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Default A cat for a blue water live-aboard

Hi Guys n Gals

I'm wondering what Cat you might recommend.
As per the thread title I'm thinking about a Cat to go off sailing in.
Budget in the region of £100k and maybe a further £25k for upgrades.
I'm thinking around the 40ft mark, my thoughts are that it won't be too large to handle on my own when I need to, but offers a lot of living/storage space.

Would the first consideration be the hull material and rudder set up?
Two things I'm wondering about…..coral heads v a plastic boat.
Seems having a boat that I could run up close to a beach might be a big deal so what boats will sit upright on it's keels and rudders ?

Any suggestions, thought, links. ?

Thanks
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:23 AM   #2
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A 40' cat will eat a lot of Whiskers.
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Old 02-01-2014, 12:40 AM   #3
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A 40' cat will eat a lot of Whiskers.
There is always one :-)
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:15 AM   #4
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Take a peek at posts by 'boatsmith'. He's building some nice, budget priced cats. Not sure where you are, but he's in the Philippines.
Cheers.
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Old 02-01-2014, 02:18 AM   #5
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Would the first consideration be the hull material and rudder set up?
Two things I'm wondering about…..coral heads v a plastic boat.
Seems having a boat that I could run up close to a beach might be a big deal so what boats will sit upright on it's keels and rudders ?

Any suggestions, thought, links. ?

Thanks
There are a lot of bilge keeled monohulls that will do this. Case in point is the shallow draft version of the Hartley ferros. Cheap, plentiful and tough yachts that you can run up onto a beach for cleaning. The Hartley Tasman I have heels over about 20 degrees when grounded.
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:29 AM   #6
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I think you have the right idea about size and ease of handling. Our cat is 36 feet and in 15 years of cruising we never thought we wanted any bigger. Boats are made for sailing on water not reef.
Kick up/lift up rudders are good for easy maintenance/repairs, I think dagger boards give better performance than mini keels and allow less draft. I rarely beach the boat as it is easy to clean hulls while snorkeling, I can reach the bottom of the hulls with the snorkel above the water.
Gone Troppo is for sale with Home - Langkawi Boat Sales and Services, Rebak Island Marina, Langkawi, Malaysia.
Happy boat hunting, remember all boats are a compromise, find the one that suits your compromises.
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Take a peek at posts by 'boatsmith'. He's building some nice, budget priced cats. Not sure where you are, but he's in the Philippines.
Cheers.
Boatsmith is located in West Palm, FL USA:

561.632.2628
info@boatsmithfl.com

BoatSmith Inc.
5415 North Australian Avenue
West Palm Beach, Florida 33407
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Old 02-01-2014, 11:59 AM   #8
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Thanks for the replies so far.
I have looked at the Boatmith thread, interesting.

So Gone Troppo, not much call to beach the boat then, fair point.
What is your opinion of Plastic v Ali or even Ferro.

I am loving the look of the 38ft Lagoons and they are just within reach but plastic hull, hmmm.
Am I worrying too much ? I guess I am, but running south from the UK down the coast of Portugal once I watched the corner of a submerged 40ft container whizz by one evening all of 3ft from the boat. Tends to stick in the mind.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:11 AM   #9
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I do not have any preference for what a boat is made of, as long as it is made well, and to the design. Of course some designers are better than others.
Maybe if it is made of a material that you know and can repair would be better.
In about 70,000 miles we have hit a few big hard things that have stopped the boat. Only damage was dirty under wear. Do you drive a big truck or Volvo and always worry about hitting something?

Catamarans need to be light for them to act as catamarans, heavy cats do not perform and are less comfortable at sea, even scary.
Imagine two mono's, remove the masts, connect them with some beams to make a raft, build some super structure, then put one of the masts back on. You now have a vessel that is more than twice the weight, with much more windage and only half the sail area to power it. You can stick on all the go fast racing stripes and rake the mast way back, but it still won't perform. Unfortunately there a lot of really heavy cats that have given cats a bad name for years.
You say you want to go blue water sailing, I am not sure what your idea of blue water sailing is. If you want to cross oceans, it would be a good idea to get a boat that was designed and built for that purpose. If you want to coastal cruise the Med, then just about any cat would do.
You might want to find a Multihull club near you and talk to them, or even go for a sail with them. This might give you a better idea about what cats meet your compromises.
Happy hunting.
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Old 02-03-2014, 12:50 PM   #10
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I do not have any preference for what a boat is made of, as long as it is made well, and to the design. Of course some designers are better than others.
Maybe if it is made of a material that you know and can repair would be better.
In about 70,000 miles we have hit a few big hard things that have stopped the boat. Only damage was dirty under wear. Do you drive a big truck or Volvo and always worry about hitting something?

Catamarans need to be light for them to act as catamarans, heavy cats do not perform and are less comfortable at sea, even scary.
Imagine two mono's, remove the masts, connect them with some beams to make a raft, build some super structure, then put one of the masts back on. You now have a vessel that is more than twice the weight, with much more windage and only half the sail area to power it. You can stick on all the go fast racing stripes and rake the mast way back, but it still won't perform. Unfortunately there a lot of really heavy cats that have given cats a bad name for years.
You say you want to go blue water sailing, I am not sure what your idea of blue water sailing is. If you want to cross oceans, it would be a good idea to get a boat that was designed and built for that purpose. If you want to coastal cruise the Med, then just about any cat would do.
You might want to find a Multihull club near you and talk to them, or even go for a sail with them. This might give you a better idea about what cats meet your compromises.
Happy hunting.
Thanks
My cruising would probably be a mix of things. Yes I will probably start out in the Med but that won't hold me for too long so I will probably need to make some pretty large passages.
I am going to rent a Lagoon in perhaps Turkey or Greece this spring to have a play and see what I think. I did do a bit of sailing in a custom one of around 40ft in the Winward Islands when I was a lad but, as with all things to do with my memory it needs constant re-testing as I seem to recall I was up to Olympic standard :-)
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:56 AM   #11
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Apart from strip or plywood just about every cat the size you are looking at will be GRP. As Troppo said they would be too heavy otherwise. GRP is light and very strong which is why the vast majority of boats, of all kinds, are built from it. It shouldn't be a deal breaker otherwise you will restrict your choice a lot. If you are in the UK, south coast, I suggest you visit Multihull World at Emsworth. They are very helpful and always have a good slection of boats at the marina that you can have a good look over. Good luck and a catamaran is a good choice
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:10 PM   #12
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That a boat is made from GRP does not mean it is a lightweight. Building methods and engineering design are what makes the difference. GRP is the production builder's choice because it lends itself to modern moldings, is strong, flexible and, when matched to a strong skeletal matrix, can be lightweight. Older boats which are often sold as being 'overbuilt', or which boast 1'' of GRP thickness, can be impossibly heavy, brittle and may wallow dangerously even in moderate seas. A good surveyor should be able to give you invaluable advice when you are assessing cats which have caught your interest.
Good luck.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:25 PM   #13
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Thats a good link thanks Steve, I may visit them soon.
The trouble with their site is that it sorts from high pice to low price.
That leaves me depressed by the time I get to my price point :-)

I think I'm over the Ali thing now Aussie
I have seen one or two and thought, ah I'd do that if I were buying.
A great thought until you actually start looking and find out what they cost !!
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:17 AM   #14
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Auzzee,

I quite agree about overweight GRP boats but I meant more as a general term that GRP is a lightweight material compared to steel and ali and is very suitable for building catamarans. I think a catamaran has to be at least 50' long to be made from aluminium!
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:26 AM   #15
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Auzzee,

I quite agree about overweight GRP boats but I meant more as a general term that GRP is a lightweight material compared to steel and ali and is very suitable for building catamarans. I think a catamaran has to be at least 50' long to be made from aluminium!
Agreed, that is my understanding too.
The trouble for me is that I will be single handed a lot of the time so 50+ is a bit big unless it is designed for sailing solo, think electric winches and furling sails and that puts a massive cost on things. Not to mention the marina fees
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Old 02-05-2014, 08:45 AM   #16
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If you are singlehanding a lot have a look at the Prouts. They have a small mainsail and large headsail which would be easier to control. Some of them are also cutter rigged which gives you more options. Not a fast boat but well proven and comfortable and reasonable priced. On your own a 33' one would provide plenty of room and not too expensive to berth! Look over as many as you can and work out what your priortys are and the type of cruising you are likely to do. All good fun
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Old 02-12-2014, 07:33 AM   #17
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I have mentioned about heavy/light cats but have realised I did not actually give any sort of reference. I reckon our cat is a light weight/performance cruising cat, and she is 36' and is about 4,300kgs loaded. I say "about" as it depends on how much stuff we load on board. Some might say she is a bit heavy, but she sails well enough for me.
So at a rough guess, if you are looking at a 40' cat and they say she weighs about 6,000kg fully loaded, she should perform ok. If she weighs 6,000kg unloaded I would say she was too heavy.
Another indicator is at what wind speed does the motor go off and the sails go up. If it will sail in 5kts as good as it motors, it is good in my eyes. If it needs 15kts before it will sail, well then it would not be for me.
I think you should be able to get a good boat for the money you are looking at, and should not have to spend a further 25k pounds.
Anyway good luck and enjoy the search.
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