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Old 01-03-2017, 02:49 PM   #1
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My wandering eye...sailing cats and flybridges

As I was sitting there in my favorite waterside watering hole a nice sailing cat went by.....with a flybridge(flying bridge for you "pedants"...since that seems to be the word of the day). It got me thinking....one of the main reasons for getting out of a sailboat(other than space/comfort) is seating position whilst underway. A Cat does not need stabilizers. It could get along easily at 8 knots with twin 50hp whatevers on very little fuel....and even less fuel for that 25% of the time the wind is going in your direction. I am talking obtaining said boat with the intent to motor...not sail(again, dream versus reality) and throwing some rags up if the mood and wind strikes you. It is shallow draft. Cats use a relatively short rig. And there is plenty of comfort.

Anyway, it was just a thought. Something that makes me go....HMMMMMM. As I begin planning my retirement boat, this one might go in the fold.

Thoughts?
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:26 PM   #2
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We usually spend a couple weeks each year cruising with friends on their Lagoon 450 which is equipped with a flybridge (and everything else). They've been in the Mediteranean the last 5 years and there is often not a lot of wind, so the majority of travel has been under power.

For a large luxury boat the fuel usage is very good with their 2 x 54hp Yanmars, at cruising speeds up to about 10 knots. They come with either 3 or 4 queen sized berths, 3-4 heads, seating for 8 in both cockpit and saloon. Stair access on both sides of flybridge. Passagemaking capability.
What's not to like about it? Well, there is the cost...., but prices are coming down.
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Old 01-03-2017, 03:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baker View Post
As I was sitting there in my favorite waterside watering hole a nice sailing cat went by.....with a flybridge(flying bridge for you "pedants"...since that seems to be the word of the day). It got me thinking....one of the main reasons for getting out of a sailboat(other than space/comfort) is seating position whilst underway. A Cat does not need stabilizers. It could get along easily at 8 knots with twin 50hp whatevers on very little fuel....and even less fuel for that 25% of the time the wind is going in your direction. I am talking obtaining said boat with the intent to motor...not sail(again, dream versus reality) and throwing some rags up if the mood and wind strikes you. It is shallow draft. Cats use a relatively short rig. And there is plenty of comfort.

Anyway, it was just a thought. Something that makes me go....HMMMMMM. As I begin planning my retirement boat, this one might go in the fold.

Thoughts?
We have been eyeing them too! Not for now, but maybe for later!
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:00 PM   #4
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If you can do without the sailing option, the PDQ41 seems to fit the bill...




...or the Leopard 43...

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Old 01-03-2017, 05:11 PM   #5
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Al, we were thinking of chartering one of those from the Moorings.
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Old 01-03-2017, 05:44 PM   #6
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Once into the 40+ sizes the cabins are much less like coffins. Newer models have enough headroom, I think all the early cats were designed by midgets. Not sure I like the idea of maintaining 3-4 heads, but they are built mostly for charter and the market likes 'private facilities'. Then there is the issue - availability and cost - of slips for cats. Apart from those things, yes I agree, they have a great deal of appeal. I almost went that way.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:13 PM   #7
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The cats that The Moorings charters out--are those privately owned or does The Moorings own them?


How many years do they keep a boat in charter service, and when they take it out of service do they sell them on the open market?
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:27 PM   #8
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Typically privately owned and sold after 3 years use in charter fleet. Moorings often list for sale on behalf of owners. Some owners make them their own boats post-charter usage. Basic spec boats but reasonably well maintained. Lots of stuff to add for any passagemaking.
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Old 01-03-2017, 06:40 PM   #9
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Ahhh...the first signs of movement on the slippery slope of justification
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:24 PM   #10
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My eye occasionally wanders in the same direction. Some years ago I bareboat-chartered a 39' Fontaine Pajot sailing cat, and took my family of four (two adults, two girls) from St. Petersburg to the Dry Tortugas, then to Key West, then port-hopped back up the west coast of Florida. Ten days total. There were four staterooms (each with a cozy double berth) and two heads, so the accommodations were more than ample. The salon and cockpit had lots of space. Power was two 35 h.p. Yanmar sail-drives, a little wimpy but they got the job done very economically. We sailed a lot, though, and very satisfactorily. Key West to Boca Grande Pass took about nineteen hours, totally under sail - I never touched the keys.

The advantages you note are right on - stability, space, and shallow draft. Wherever I anchored, I dropped the hook closer to the beach than I ever could with with a monohull.

I found that particular model of F.P. a little stingy on stateroom space, and the galley was clunky. Next time I would favor something in the 40' -45' range (or for purchase). But in the power cat lineup, the PDQ 34 sure does look righteously salty and spacious enough for a couple with occasional guests.

A consideration particular to sailing cats is that there is usually a mesh trampoline between the forward hull sections, rather than a solid bridge deck as is typical on a power catamaran such as the PDQ or Leopard.
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Old 01-03-2017, 07:55 PM   #11
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One thing to bear in mind is they don't carry weight like a trawler and the lighter ones get knocked hard in a chop.

I have friends with a liveaboard 40fter done by a very reputable aust designer builder and they recon 15 knots of wind sees them hiding and they have very limited niceties on board.
Certainly not 1000kg of batteries or 5000kg of water, no two door fridge/freezer and no icemaker, no washing machine or dryer.
His wife did express great envy at this on ours.

They can go shallow which I miss but to get me interested I'd need a converted passenger ferry sized boat. 20m + so as to carry the gear neended for comfort and autonomy while afloat.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:41 PM   #12
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My wandering eye...sailing cats and flybridges

Baker

Funny, my wandering eye was also wandering that way today. One hangup with sail cats for me has been that most have sail drives (they scare me) and the lack of good engine space, but I think I found one today that's ideal. It's a Leopard 47 with 100hp Yanmars and shaft drives. Cruises at 8.5 knots or 10 knots if you have to run away from something (storm, mad women, police, etc). It's been extensively updated with new sails, rigging, almost everything. Doesn't have the flying bridge however.

But they ain't cheap, which is another problem I have.
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Old 01-04-2017, 12:42 PM   #13
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Maybe head over to the cruisers forum and ask there if a cat is better than a monohull

I'm amazed at how far cats (power and sail) have come since I first saw them. And once you get a little over 40', they really compete favorably with a traditional displacement or SD hull.

That said, I'd never fit one in my slip. Or most slips in the Northeast, for that matter. Sadly, I don't see that changing in my lifetime.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:53 PM   #14
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My wandering eye caught a new 49' or 54' green hull Selene motoring down the St Johns and I am smitten. Definitely stocking up on lottery tickets this week.
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