My name is Robert Simpson, originally from Ottawa, Canada and now residing in beautiful Phuket, Thailand for the past 5 years. Even though I have been sailing and chartering for years in Thailand, I am a virgin when it comes to forums. So please be gentle
I own, skipper and charter a 51ft (15m) aluminum (or aluminium for you non north americans) sailing catamaran, commissioned in Jan 2008. I have been reading some of the posts in the catamaran section and I believe I could sometimes contribute something of value. Apart from my own experience, I have had the accumulated wisdom of quite a few world circling cat owners here in Phuket that have 20 years plus of cruising and chartering experience.
Being a charter boat captain puts me out at sea much more than the average boat owner, from 80 to 100 days per year plus the pleasure cruises with the friends and family. In between charters I sail for my own pleasure with my 15 year old daughter, friends and girlfriend.
I do all my own maintenance on the boat as it is the only way to assure that it is done right. I often go for weeks to Burma and other far out areas that have no maintenance facilities so we cannot afford breakdowns.
Ruby sails beautifully even though she is a bit above her designed payload. That is because she is currently in charter mode with full air con, big dive compressor, dive gear and tanks for 7 with 8 customers and a crew of three. To compensate though she was designed for speed and has relatively narrow hulls, high bridgedeck clearance and daggerboards so even in light winds she is still by far faster than the regular production cats.
Maybe one day I will find the energy to get rid of all the extra weight and enter her in one of the Phuket regattas just to see what she can do.
To anyone sailing to Phuket, don't hesitate to say hello if you see Ruby out there or anchored in Chalong bay.
To people contemplating buying a cat and needing some practical advice, feel free to ask.