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Thread: Push me over the fence

  1. #1

    Default Push me over the fence

    I'm sitting on the fence, and looking for someone to push me over. This is a long post, but I've got a lot of questions!


    I'm a lifelong monohull sailor from Annapolis, with less than 10 hours in my life on cats -- and only beach cats. I've crossed oceans, raced for decades, and coastal cruised for months on end, on boats from dinghies to 98 feet, mostly as crew.I've also owned and campaigned a Lightning for a decade, and owned and cruised a Sabre 34 for close to a decade.So I've got a bit of an idea about sailing.While my Sabre is absolutely the "right boat for right now," I'm 5 years away from retirement, and intend to do substantial live-aboard cruising -- maybe Atlantic only, maybe only "extensive" -- but maybe circumnavigation over several years.No matter what, a 34' monohull is the wrong boat.


    As I look at a new (to me) boat, the idea of a catamaran comes to mind. While a catamaran is far and away the best boat at anchor in Fiji, I'm not 100% sure that the catamaran is the right boat to GET to Fiji (although I fully understand that in a 4 year circumnavigation, I'll spend 1/2 year sailing and 3 1/2 years at anchor!).So, I'm here to be convinced -- willingly, although with a bit of skepticism.So, convince me!My questions:


    * Are they offshore capable?I'm not sure this is entirely fair to ask.It depends on boats, it depends on time of year, it "just depends."In today's world, you can track typhoons from when they are just a couple of clouds, and pick your time accordingly.In a multi-stop circumnavigation, you aren't likely to see a trip longer than 3 weeks, so pick your time.And most boats will "survive," even if you hate the trip, and so you might have to just put up with a rough ride to enjoy the destination.But, still, are they offshore capable?Are the bridge decks in modern cats too low?Is the motion too uncomfortable?Are there any comfortable, affordable cruising cats that are worthy of seeking out?Are most more about the charter market, and really not up to 20 foot seas and 50 knot winds?


    * Can they carry "cargo."A distance sailor, especially a monohull sailor, is a conservative chap.Spares of everything are on board.Food for the entire trip are on board.Water tanks are often hundreds of gallons (well, OK, maybe just a hundred or two).A monohull is heavy and can take it.A cat is a different story.Weight not only makes them slow, it makes them unhappy.Or at least, that's what I hear.Can you put supplies for a 4 year trip on them?Not 4 years' worth of canned stew of course, but enough "spares" and such to go 4 years?Probably want a spare set of sails, even if older ones.A bunch of spare engine parts.Full set of carpenters tools as well as mechanics tools.Water maker, generator, solar panels, 500+Ah of batteries.Summer clothes as well as colder clothes (yeah, you can stay +/- 20 degrees of latitude and stay warm).Rain gear, life raft, safety harnesses, other safety gear.And then you probably DO want to put 2-3 months of canned stew aboard -- it pays to be prepared. The boat gets heavy!Is the compromise between "enough stuff" and "too much weight" too hard, or can it be done?


    * How long should it be?And cost.I anticipate a budget of about $200K to include buying and outfitting.In the monohull range, I could for instance buy this Sabre 42 http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1988/Sabre-42-2850633/Fort-Pierce/FL/United-States for $100K and have another $100K to outfit it.But cats run more like $150K.The problem is that a 38' cat for $150K is "more boat" than a 42' monohull, but for both cats and monohulls, the minimum liveaboard/oceancrossing boat is around 40 feet and so the cat is "more boat" and so a lot more expensive.Am I right in the belief that a 38' cat is about the minimum to cross the Pacific, not only in seaworthiness but in storing/carrying the gear to spend a year for the trip?And while a 35 year old monohull can be a viable re-fit candidate, could this 25 year old $150K St Francis 44 http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1998...s#.Vo-hTlnMewY be refit for $50K?Can a charter 38' FP be brought up to cruising standards for under $200K total?


    * Accommodations:Monohulls are available the world over, privately owned and suitable for world cruising.Catamarans are mostly available in charter hot-spots outfitted for charter.I'll be sailing with just 2, with occasionally 2 guests.A 4 cabin-4 head 38 footer that sleeps 10 is not exactly what I need!What can be done to make those more useful for extended cruising?Sleeping space for 6more folks than I need isn't much use -- but storage shelves, hanging lockers, cupboards, a desk, all that is much more useful.Any tips on how to reconfigure?Can it be done?


    *Sideways bunks: As a monohull sailor, a sideways bunk makes me seasick just thinking about it.But cats don't heel or really roll any more than pitch.I see that almost all cats have sideways bunks, especially the forward ones that are stuck in the bridge deck ahead of the mast.While they are fine at anchor, are they viable sea berths?


    * Visibility.Monohulls, everyone can look forward.One of the most coveted seats, if installed, are the "stern perches" on each aft corner, where folks can sit with excellent visibility.Catamarans appear to be more like moving cocktail lounges, with the helmsman being the "bus driver" with an elevated forward view, and no one else able to do anything but sit, chat, and see where you've already been.It seems like the Admiral won't be able tohelp pick out marks, see the turtle 100 feet in front of us before it dives, or otherwise share in the experience that the helmsman is enjoying.Am I making this into more of an issue than it is?


    * Performance vs comfort.It seems to me that cruising cats are slower than I'd expect.We did a race here last summer, and my elapsed time on the race course (10 miles or so) with my Sabre 34 was almost identical to the St Francis 50 that did the race.It seems that in the interest of catering to the dock-ominium crowd, the designers have de-emphasized performance.Such things as keels (wouldn't dagger boards or centerboards dramatically improve upwind performance) and undersized rigs.As a long time racer and performance cruiser who can frequently go an entire sailing weekend without starting the engine (including anchoring and leaving the anchorage), am I going to be frustrated by a cat that is less "sailing cat" and more "low performance power cat?"


    *Where to get them?It seems that all the attractive listings (price/length/condition/etc) I find are in faraway places like the Med, or the Caribbean.Seems that I almost need to go get one, and then make a passage home to the Chesapeake to outfit it -- but a boat that is perhaps a candidate for an extensive refit may not be a candidate for a 1000-3000 mile offshore delivery.I could wait until actually retired, in which case a 1-2 month prep period before the delivery would be less of a burden, but even aminor refit in a remote location is certainly not an easy task!This $107K 2002 FP 38 is an example of a great deal, 3000 miles from home:http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2002...y#.Vo644arUiEI


    Fire away. Answer all or some.And I'll come back with more questions, I'm sure.


    Harry



  2. #2

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Fact is, cat's are more expensive. For a given budget, you'll likely get a bigger and better prepared mono. Supply and demand dictates this. There are simply far more good old mono's available than there are people who want to buy them. With cat's, supply is lower, demand is higher.

    A cat can certainly do everything you want, and a great number have and are doing just that. But their owners have probably paid more for the extra space and comfort a cat provides than they would have for a mono.

    Re: speed on a cruise. Our boat is reasonably performance oriented. Some examples of how we go when we sail in company with mono's, Brisbane - Huon reef, about 700 miles in 35-45 knot winds, we arrived more than 24 hours before the first mono.

    Shorter trips - a 68 mile passage we arrived 5 hours before the mono which had left one hour before us. (So basically every 11 miles we gained an hour on them)

    We pulled out 7 miles in an 18 mile trip in company with a Jeanneau 43.
    Last edited by 44C; 8th January 2016 at 08:42 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Hello Sailingharry!

    Welcome to the Forum!

    A good posting, if I may say so. A few answers from my point of view.

    1) Offshore capability: Provided we are talking about a modern catamaran (designed in the last 15 - 20 years) the answer is YES. Many cats are circumnavigating with easy.
    2) Carrying capability: Yes, but weight slows you down so you might have to be selective. For example a watermaker, though it weighs a few kgs, saves on having 500 litres of water on board!
    3) Lenght and accomodation: I'd opt for a 40+ ' cat with no more than 6 berth, maybe an owner's version. Galley up or down is a personal decision.
    4) Sideway bunks: I have two double aft sideway bunks, perfect when under way. I dislike any bunks forward of the mast at sea due to the movement and wave noise - in my opinion useless! A cat's pivoting position is about 2/3 from the bows so this is the best place for the sleeping cabins.
    5) Visibility: It's definitely different to a monohull but from the steering position / positions one usually has a very good lookout point.
    6) Performance: Keep a modern cat light and she will perform well. Daggerboards usually improve the pointing ability.
    7) Where to buy: The internet is the best source of information. I looked for 18 months until I found my boat 10,000 km away! The difference on where the boat is to you is just a few airline tickets, peanuts in the longer plan of a life on the sea! If buying in a foreign country check out possible tax issues.

    Have a look at cats designed by Eric Lerouge.
    Roger

    ------------------
    I look to the future, because that's where I am going to spend the rest of my life - George Burns

  4. #4

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    What a wonderful post. Knowing what you want to do is half the battle. Welcome....

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    I'm sitting on the fence, and looking for someone to push me over. This is a long post, but I've got a lot of questions!


    If you have got this far it is only a short drop to the dark side. Once you go cat you never go back.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    I'm a lifelong monohull sailor from Annapolis, with less than 10 hours in my life on cats -- and only beach cats. I've crossed oceans, raced for decades, and coastal cruised for months on end, on boats from dinghies to 98 feet, mostly as crew.I've also owned and campaigned a Lightning for a decade, and owned and cruised a Sabre 34 for close to a decade.So I've got a bit of an idea about sailing.While my Sabre is absolutely the "right boat for right now," I'm 5 years away from retirement, and intend to do substantial live-aboard cruising -- maybe Atlantic only, maybe only "extensive" -- but maybe circumnavigation over several years.No matter what, a 34' monohull is the wrong boat.


    Yes. IMO any size mono is the wrong boat for live aboard cruising.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    As I look at a new (to me) boat, the idea of a catamaran comes to mind. While a catamaran is far and away the best boat at anchor in Fiji, I'm not 100% sure that the catamaran is the right boat to GET to Fiji (although I fully understand that in a 4 year circumnavigation, I'll spend 1/2 year sailing and 3 1/2 years at anchor!).So, I'm here to be convinced -- willingly, although with a bit of skepticism.So, convince me!My questions:


    A cat is the perfect boat to get to Fiji. Most ocean passages are off the wind and all cats really excel at this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    * Are they offshore capable?I'm not sure this is entirely fair to ask.It depends on boats, it depends on time of year, it "just depends."In today's world, you can track typhoons from when they are just a couple of clouds, and pick your time accordingly.In a multi-stop circumnavigation, you aren't likely to see a trip longer than 3 weeks, so pick your time.And most boats will "survive," even if you hate the trip, and so you might have to just put up with a rough ride to enjoy the destination.But, still, are they offshore capable?Are the bridge decks in modern cats too low?Is the motion too uncomfortable?Are there any comfortable, affordable cruising cats that are worthy of seeking out?Are most more about the charter market, and really not up to 20 foot seas and 50 knot winds?

    There are well found cats just as there are well found monos. Bridgedeck clearance is important and the motion of a cat is different. I have "sailed" a 36ft FP charter cat in 8 m seas and 47 knot winds. We were cooking, eating, sleeping and going about our business, Ok it wasn't comfortable but on a considerably larger mono I would have been hove to with hatches battened down drinking soup from a flask.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    * Can they carry "cargo."A distance sailor, especially a monohull sailor, is a conservative chap.Spares of everything are on board.Food for the entire trip are on board.Water tanks are often hundreds of gallons (well, OK, maybe just a hundred or two).A monohull is heavy and can take it.A cat is a different story.Weight not only makes them slow, it makes them unhappy.Or at least, that's what I hear.Can you put supplies for a 4 year trip on them?Not 4 years' worth of canned stew of course, but enough "spares" and such to go 4 years?Probably want a spare set of sails, even if older ones.A bunch of spare engine parts.Full set of carpenters tools as well as mechanics tools.Water maker, generator, solar panels, 500+Ah of batteries.Summer clothes as well as colder clothes (yeah, you can stay +/- 20 degrees of latitude and stay warm).Rain gear, life raft, safety harnesses, other safety gear.And then you probably DO want to put 2-3 months of canned stew aboard -- it pays to be prepared. The boat gets heavy!Is the compromise between "enough stuff" and "too much weight" too hard, or can it be done?

    No. Cats are not good at carrying stuff and you have to ruthless about what you keep on board. If you are a hoarder then buy a monohull. Having said that a cat is quite capable of carrying sufficient spares. An overloaded cat is a dog. A good cat will not need to motor very much so fuel capacity can be 1/4 or 1/5 of what a mono would need. Similarly a water maker reduces the need to have have huge amounts of stored water on board. Two engines mean redundancy so spare parts are not that much more than is required for a single engine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    * How long should it be?And cost.I anticipate a budget of about $200K to include buying and outfitting.In the monohull range, I could for instance buy this Sabre 42 http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1988/Sabre-42-2850633/Fort-Pierce/FL/United-States for $100K and have another $100K to outfit it.But cats run more like $150K.The problem is that a 38' cat for $150K is "more boat" than a 42' monohull, but for both cats and monohulls, the minimum liveaboard/oceancrossing boat is around 40 feet and so the cat is "more boat" and so a lot more expensive.Am I right in the belief that a 38' cat is about the minimum to cross the Pacific, not only in seaworthiness but in storing/carrying the gear to spend a year for the trip?And while a 35 year old monohull can be a viable re-fit candidate, could this 25 year old $150K St Francis 44 http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1998...s#.Vo-hTlnMewY be refit for $50K?Can a charter 38' FP be brought up to cruising standards for under $200K total?


    You have already worked out that cats are more expensive to buy and maintain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    * Accommodations:Monohulls are available the world over, privately owned and suitable for world cruising.Catamarans are mostly available in charter hot-spots outfitted for charter.I'll be sailing with just 2, with occasionally 2 guests.A 4 cabin-4 head 38 footer that sleeps 10 is not exactly what I need!What can be done to make those more useful for extended cruising?Sleeping space for 6more folks than I need isn't much use -- but storage shelves, hanging lockers, cupboards, a desk, all that is much more useful.Any tips on how to reconfigure?Can it be done?

    The market for live aboard - ocean going catamarans is tiny and not catered for by the big manufacturers who for commercial reasons concentrate on the charter market so for extended cruising it is worthwhile considering a one off or custom design.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    *Sideways bunks: As a monohull sailor, a sideways bunk makes me seasick just thinking about it.But cats don't heel or really roll any more than pitch.I see that almost all cats have sideways bunks, especially the forward ones that are stuck in the bridge deck ahead of the mast.While they are fine at anchor, are they viable sea berths?


    Forward berths on cats, regardless of orientation are less comfortable and can sometimes be untenable in bad weather, but I guarantee you would be strapped in the saloon with taught lee cloths on a mono. The aft berths however are unbelievably comfortable in the worse possible conditions. (For the other cat sailors reading this lee cloths are contrivances invented by monohull sailors to keep them from flying around the cabin when the boat heels or lurches uncontrollably and tries to eject you from your bunk. These are unheard of on cats).

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    * Visibility.Monohulls, everyone can look forward.One of the most coveted seats, if installed, are the "stern perches" on each aft corner, where folks can sit with excellent visibility.Catamarans appear to be more like moving cocktail lounges, with the helmsman being the "bus driver" with an elevated forward view, and no one else able to do anything but sit, chat, and see where you've already been.It seems like the Admiral won't be able tohelp pick out marks, see the turtle 100 feet in front of us before it dives, or otherwise share in the experience that the helmsman is enjoying.Am I making this into more of an issue than it is?


    Long distance sailing on a cat is different. The platform is level and stable so there is much more opportunity to go about your normal business and there is excellent forward vision from the saloon. If you want overall forward visibility then choose a boat with a full width raised double helm and avoid vessels with raised helm pods or those where the coach roof extends over the cockpit.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    * Performance vs comfort.It seems to me that cruising cats are slower than I'd expect.We did a race here last summer, and my elapsed time on the race course (10 miles or so) with my Sabre 34 was almost identical to the St Francis 50 that did the race.It seems that in the interest of catering to the dock-ominium crowd, the designers have de-emphasized performance.Such things as keels (wouldn't dagger boards or centerboards dramatically improve upwind performance) and undersized rigs.As a long time racer and performance cruiser who can frequently go an entire sailing weekend without starting the engine (including anchoring and leaving the anchorage), am I going to be frustrated by a cat that is less "sailing cat" and more "low performance power cat?"

    The major players produce very good catamarans but generally these have average performance in the same way that Ford and GM produce very good cars. If you want more performance then you should look outside the box and consider, one offs and custom designs but unless you are a dedicated speed freak then there is a lot to be said for a slower motor sailor. More performance orientated features such as dagger-boards, rotating masts, bigger rigs provide enhanced speed on all points and windward ability easily capable of out pointing similar length cruising and many racing monos. They will also be lighter, have smaller engines, less accommodation for their length, have less sophisticated interior finishes and be more expensive. A good indication of sailing performance is to compare the engine hours to the logged miles. (Not ex-charter boats because these will always have high engine hours). It is often said of multihulls that you can have any 2 from 3, speed - comfort - price. This is TRUE.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    *Where to get them?It seems that all the attractive listings (price/length/condition/etc) I find are in faraway places like the Med, or the Caribbean.Seems that I almost need to go get one, and then make a passage home to the Chesapeake to outfit it -- but a boat that is perhaps a candidate for an extensive refit may not be a candidate for a 1000-3000 mile offshore delivery.I could wait until actually retired, in which case a 1-2 month prep period before the delivery would be less of a burden, but even aminor refit in a remote location is certainly not an easy task!This $107K 2002 FP 38 is an example of a great deal, 3000 miles from home:http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2002...y#.Vo644arUiEI


    Before you retire and before you buy you would do well to charter, crew, beg rides or otherwise get as any sea miles on as many different cats as possible. You will also find many acceptable catamarans languishing in boat yards that never appear on brokers listings.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    Fire away. Answer all or some.And I'll come back with more questions, I'm sure.


    Harry

    Keep the questions coming and good luck with what ever you decide.

    Peter

  5. #5

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Harry,

    It wouldn't hurt to join Chesapeake Sailing Association and get to know some of its members. Several have cruising cats and the group, as a whole, has a wealth of knowledge. If oh so affable Jim Nealey, our membership director, doesn't respond to a note from you enclosed with your membership application, dont despair; I'll do what I can to introduce you to other members.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    A lot of good answers. Thanks everyone!

    Multihullsailor6:

    * When you say "modern" and then say "designed 15-20 years ago," am I to interpret that to mean that a 1990's boat is questionable? I'm seeing affordable, decent looking boats in the 90's or very early 2000's, with even some in the late 80's. My 1979 Sabre tells me that a 35 year old boat, at least in the monohull world, can still be a very presentable craft -- but I know that multihull design has grown a lot in the last 3 decades!
    * Thanks for the bunk comments. Very helpful.
    * Visibility. I'm still really concerned about this. On my monohull, you really don't have to sit at the wheel. The autopilot drives, you can sit in the cockpit, take care of "stuff," and keep an eye open for where you are going. In a catamaran, I'm really thinking that in anything short of deep water sailing, you have to have a person sitting in the driver's seat -- not just "around."
    * Your 10000KM purchase really has my attention. Boats in my price range (say, a 38' FP in the early 2000's), a Med or Carribbean purchase can be $50 to $100K less than anything in the US (and there aren't even many US boats to choose from!). The cost difference is worth it, but the effort surely is high. Glad to know someone did it. Any tips?

    Peter:
    What a comprehensive answer!

    * Your comment on 8M seas in a FP 36 is very comforting. Very comforting.
    * One-off/custom sounds really great, as well as finding the scarce Owner's versions. But that is either really hard to find, or really expensive (or both). Any tips?
    * I (and the Admiral) got a belly-shaking laugh out of your discussion about lee cloths. Thanks!

    Michael K:
    * CSA sounds awesome. It sounds very much akin to Singles On Sailboats, which works primarily out of the Annapolis area. I'm a former Vice Commodore of SOS and still on the BOD. While CSA is a bit too far north for me, it still has some appeal. Thanks!


    And more questions:
    * Overseas cats are getting even more of my attention. They are very attractively priced, for starters. Also, they are more likely to be 230V systems, which while terrible for the US are wonderful for everywhere else. Has anyone successfully worked out how to find a Med boat, with some EU flag, and view/buy/register/insure/slight upgrade/deliver back to the US? I'm sure it's do-able, but not entirely sure how!

    * Catanas seem like a more performance oriented boat than, say, a FP. I especially like the exposed dual steering stations. But those same stations worry me -- how good are they at night, alone, in 20 foot seas and 60 knots of wind?

    Thanks again, all!

    Harry

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Hi Harry,

    Many of your issues (like Catana's / Nautitech's exposed dual steering stations or the discussions on galley up /down) have previously been discussed here, please use the "search" function. In most issues it will always come down to a personal feeling.

    My comment on older catamarans comes down to design aspects, construction methods, boat weight, speed etc. culminating into my personal feeling that a modern designed catamaran is just that more safer and offers more secure, more comfortable and faster transport for long-term ocean cruising compared to cats designed / built in the 1980s/90s.

    Regarding the visibilty from the cockpit aspect - that is a fact you will have to accept on larger catamarans, the notable exception being the Chris White designs or the Gunboats with forward a cockpit. I singlehand my one-off 11m cat and do not have any issues with that, I just have to peek over the cabin roof from time to time.

    Obviously when buying abroad there are many more issues to consider than when buying locally, both in boat technical terms and legal / tax issues. Some of these can be avoided when buying through a reputable broker though he cannot solve any "home grown" issues (like tax, technical acceptance etc.) but it is entirely do-able and has been done in the past.

    Keep the questions rolling!
    Roger

    ------------------
    I look to the future, because that's where I am going to spend the rest of my life - George Burns

  8. #8

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    In my opinion since the mid 90's or so the design trend of catamarans has gone towards more creature comforts and less performance. The older FP's, Lagoons and Catanas were much more appealing to me than what they are putting out now.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Me too!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    SMJ, your comment on the design trend is why I was a big concerned about Multihullsailor6's comments on newer boats. I just saw a model of the brand new FP 40 (40? I think so) and it is, in a word. U-G-L-Y -- but worse, it looks like it emphasizes everything that I don't like about cats. The older ones are more palatable, at least from my half-a-boat sailor's view.

    Harry

  11. #11

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    I own a 1992 Catana 40S, and have been aboard and am familiar otherwise with a couple of Catana 411 (1995).

    Loch Crowther died in 1993, and Christophe Barreau has been designer for Catana since then. A few of the things I have observed between these two models, from my personal observation, others' mileage may vary:

    The steering stations in the newer boats are more exposed to aft. The 40S has a raised crossbeam that one would sit on, with railings around the corners. The cockpit is more enclosed, I feel that is a good offshore safety quality. The 411 just have a strap that buckles across for a backrest, and a bit of board that folds up and down to sit on. The 40S has engine access through the heads, which are much larger and aft, rather than a hatch that one stands on to steer and constantly walks across to get into the boat. Imagine how much fun fixing an engine in a seaway must be when you just drop through a hatch set well aft. I also find that getting aboard from a dinghy via the cutaway transoms of the 40S is much easier than stepping over a sugar scoop.

    As for the interior, the 411 are roomier, at the cost of a lower bridgedeck and wider hulls, both of which have costs in performance. There is a fairly large weight difference, on the order of thousands of pounds, the 411 is very much heavier. I'm not crazy about the 411's, smaller, centrally mounted heads. Although I would like an aft cabin, I think the tradeoff of walk-through-a-door engine access and larger head is a good one.

    The 411 does have larger, easier-accessed, bunks. That is one tradeoff for the wider hulls/heavier boat.

    As for construction... Both models have balsa cores, but whereas cutouts in my 40S are insulated by solid glass (not cored), EVERY one I've rebedded thus far... The 411's cutouts were just cut right through the core, no core was reamed out and reinjected with solid epoxy or built solid 'glass. There is just a bit of sealant to insulate the 411's core. Therefore, if the 411 wasn't carefully monitored and its through-hulls rebedded/maintained (I refer to hatches too, all cutouts in the hull), you will likely find water penetration to the core and concomitant rot.

    I like very much the way the 40S anchor is routed OVER the net. I have lost a bit of net space, but the easy access to the system is well worth it.

    Overall the 40S is simpler and obviously more performance oriented. That comes, as I have said, with some tradeoff in space, but for my part I am good with that. I am very much glad I purchased a Crowther Catana (pre-1993) and should (forfend!) anything happen to my boat, I would only be in the market for another of the same (or older) model. They're getting hard to find, though...

    One girl's opinions, I'm sure you'll hear from the pundits, but I stand by my assertions

  12. #12

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Quote Originally Posted by 44C View Post
    Me too!
    Yes the older models were far superior performance wise than later production boats.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Quote Originally Posted by tamicatana View Post

    As for construction... Both models have balsa cores, but whereas cutouts in my 40S are insulated by solid glass (not cored), EVERY one I've rebedded thus far... The 411's cutouts were just cut right through the core, no core was reamed out and reinjected with solid epoxy or built solid 'glass. There is just a bit of sealant to insulate the 411's core. Therefore, if the 411 wasn't carefully monitored and its through-hulls rebedded/maintained (I refer to hatches too, all cutouts in the hull), you will likely find water penetration to the core and concomitant rot.

    That's appalling!

    Funny, but people say you need to be very careful if considering buying a home-built boat. Yet no home builder I know, (and I know quite a few) would consider for ONE SECOND, taking a shortcut like this. Even guys using foam core or polycore would decore and fill the edges of ALL of the cutouts.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Harry, maybe some sailing videos would help?

    Deep reaching: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7dHkY_XaSGk

    Sailing to windward (yeah cat's can do this.): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34qgJRprAlE

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailingharry View Post
    SMJ, your comment on the design trend is why I was a big concerned about Multihullsailor6's comments on newer boats. I just saw a model of the brand new FP 40 (40? I think so) and it is, in a word. U-G-L-Y -- but worse, it looks like it emphasizes everything that I don't like about cats. The older ones are more palatable, at least from my half-a-boat sailor's view.

    Harry
    So just go for the older ones (your budget won't allow anything like a FP40 anyway).

    In my view many cat designs introduced roughly between the 1990 and 2005 got the design thing right. Good comfort level, acceptable sailing qualities, finish often quite good by today's standards.


    More recent boats are often focussed solely on charter (very roomy, fat hulled, slow, stylish but lower quality finish).

  16. #16

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Quote Originally Posted by tamicatana View Post
    I own a 1992 Catana 40S, and have been aboard and am familiar otherwise with a couple of Catana 411 (1995).

    Loch Crowther died in 1993, and Christophe Barreau has been designer for Catana since then. A few of the things I have observed between these two models, from my personal observation, others' mileage may vary:

    The steering stations in the newer boats are more exposed to aft. The 40S has a raised crossbeam that one would sit on, with railings around the corners. The cockpit is more enclosed, I feel that is a good offshore safety quality. The 411 just have a strap that buckles across for a backrest, and a bit of board that folds up and down to sit on. The 40S has engine access through the heads, which are much larger and aft, rather than a hatch that one stands on to steer and constantly walks across to get into the boat. Imagine how much fun fixing an engine in a seaway must be when you just drop through a hatch set well aft. I also find that getting aboard from a dinghy via the cutaway transoms of the 40S is much easier than stepping over a sugar scoop.

    As for the interior, the 411 are roomier, at the cost of a lower bridgedeck and wider hulls, both of which have costs in performance. There is a fairly large weight difference, on the order of thousands of pounds, the 411 is very much heavier. I'm not crazy about the 411's, smaller, centrally mounted heads. Although I would like an aft cabin, I think the tradeoff of walk-through-a-door engine access and larger head is a good one.

    The 411 does have larger, easier-accessed, bunks. That is one tradeoff for the wider hulls/heavier boat.

    As for construction... Both models have balsa cores, but whereas cutouts in my 40S are insulated by solid glass (not cored), EVERY one I've rebedded thus far... The 411's cutouts were just cut right through the core, no core was reamed out and reinjected with solid epoxy or built solid 'glass. There is just a bit of sealant to insulate the 411's core. Therefore, if the 411 wasn't carefully monitored and its through-hulls rebedded/maintained (I refer to hatches too, all cutouts in the hull), you will likely find water penetration to the core and concomitant rot.

    I like very much the way the 40S anchor is routed OVER the net. I have lost a bit of net space, but the easy access to the system is well worth it.

    Overall the 40S is simpler and obviously more performance oriented. That comes, as I have said, with some tradeoff in space, but for my part I am good with that. I am very much glad I purchased a Crowther Catana (pre-1993) and should (forfend!) anything happen to my boat, I would only be in the market for another of the same (or older) model. They're getting hard to find, though...

    One girl's opinions, I'm sure you'll hear from the pundits, but I stand by my assertions
    I always thought the Catanas, whether new or older were foam cored.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    40S is foam mixed with solid glass areas below the waterline, but decking and cabin top are wood

    411 deck is balsa, hull sides and bottom are foam

  18. #18

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Quote Originally Posted by Rabbi View Post
    So just go for the older ones (your budget won't allow anything like a FP40 anyway).

    In my view many cat designs introduced roughly between the 1990 and 2005 got the design thing right. Good comfort level, acceptable sailing qualities, finish often quite good by today's standards.


    More recent boats are often focussed solely on charter (very roomy, fat hulled, slow, stylish but lower quality finish).
    While many cats in the 1985-2005 range meet my buget and general size requirements, I do find that the early 2000 (say, 2001 +/-) FP Athena seem to pop up a lot. Combination of the right age, right size, right price,and sufficient hulls built, I guess. Lots of them (if you don't mind shopping 3000 miles away) in the $100K - $150K range. Wish there were a 3-cabin version! Or better yet, a 2-cabin version.

    I do need to get some time on cats, both at the dock and underway. Here on the Chesapeake, there are VERY few to see, and fewer opportunities to sail them (the recommendation for the Chesapeake Sailing Club aside). My spring is shot both budget and time, but I may try and see if we can find an offshore delivery to the Carribbean fall 2016l or a return spring 2017. With our general sailing skills and my very strong "repair aptitude" we should be an easy sell. It'd be especially good if I could find an Athena!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Worcester, U.K., Moraira, Spain
    Posts
    570

    Default Re: Push me over the fence

    Here are the best 3 cabin boats in your price range...

    http://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/19...n#.VpitxeRFBPY

    http://www.yachtworld.co.uk/boats/19...e#.VpiuS-RFBPY

    Fwd owners accommodation in both hulls with large bed facing fore-aft on the bridgedeck. I love Privileges and if it was just for two of us, the 37 is what I'd buy.

  20. #20

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