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Old 07-16-2018, 07:44 AM   #1
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Our continuing search for a motor vessel

We retire in two years, seven months and twenty-four days. Like many people, our intention is to spend our retirement years cruising the US east coast, Gulf coast, and various points in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Almost a year ago, we sold our 42' 1986 Chris Craft aft cabin. Great boat but we wanted more if we're going to be living on it for extended periods of time. Also, our preference is to be on the hook or a ball with only occasional stops in marinas.

With that in mind, we began our search for our next boat. We went aboard Hatteras 53 foot, 56 foot, and 58 foot, Vikings in the 50 and 55 foot range, and Chris Craft 501s. We went on Sea Rays, Cruisers, Kady-Krogens, Mainships, and a few others that have now become a blur. All of these boats have big engines, varying amounts of room, and several had complicated approaches to stabilization. Often, we would find a boat that had most of the features on our checklist but we would have to add "this" and "that" to set it up for how we want to travel and live. This greatly helped us refine our wants and needs.

Then we went on a few power catamarans. Inherently more stable than a mono-hull, bucket loads of elbow room, a ridiculous amount of storage space, smaller engines and fuel economy that had my wallet dancing a little jig! We've been on, but can't afford, the new FPs, the new Lagoons, and the new Leopards. They're nice but they're way out of our range.

Within the last week, we've been on used Endeavours in the 44 and 48 foot range and a Manta 44. Wow! Both have features that check off just about all of our checkboxes. The engine rooms are easy enough for us to get around and work. The Endeavours have a walkaround queen master, which would be desirable, but we laid down in the master of a Manta and had no feeling of claustrophobia. Our search criteria have become more sharply focused now.

We could find the right boat tomorrow or next year or even two years from now but we now know it will be a power catamaran. Exciting!

Our search continues.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:07 AM   #2
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Have you been on one of these in beam sea?

There a lot of catamarans for charter in the Virgin Islands. I personally think it would be a very good idea to "try before you buy".

We went through a similar process as you, for the same desired purposes, though for a sabbatical, not permanent retirement. Thought it would be two years, we liked it so much it turned into 6. A big reason we liked it so much was we chose the perfect boat for us, which turned out to be a Hatteras 56MY. You end up evaluating the boat from two distinct angles: boat as seagoing vessel, and boat as house. Again for us the Hatt turned out to be perfect for doing exactly what you say you want to do.
We knew a lot of people with cats, power and sail, some nice boats, but nothing I could comfortably live on full time of a reasonable length (note, we chose a 56 footer!). But it is a highly personal decision. We found that years of chartering different sorts of boats really helped us come up with a good list of "must haves" and "nice to haves". Served us well when it came to buying time. Plus we got out on the water and got to cruise some beautiful places.
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Old 07-16-2018, 08:49 AM   #3
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No, we haven't been on one in beam seas. However, we once made the mistake of taking our 1986 Chris Craft out in 4-6' beam seas and it sucked horribly. We decided not to do that again.

There are a lot of cats out there (more sailing than power) that apparently deal with beam seas by tacking at a +/- 30 degree angle to it. Or not going until it calms down a bit, which would be our preference.
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Old 07-16-2018, 01:54 PM   #4
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Last fall we crossed the golf stream on the way to the Bahamas. Along with us was an American tug 41 with no stabilizers and friends with an endeavor cat 44. When we arrived at west end everyone complained about the beam seas and how rough it was. We are in a stabilized Ocean Alexander 456. My wife and I looked at each other and said: rough seas? We didn’t have any problem with the four-foot beam seas.
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:06 PM   #5
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Am I correct that cats cannot use fin stabilization, or stabilization of any sort?
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Old 07-16-2018, 02:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnEasley View Post
No, we haven't been on one in beam seas. However, we once made the mistake of taking our 1986 Chris Craft out in 4-6' beam seas and it sucked horribly. We decided not to do that again.

There are a lot of cats out there (more sailing than power) that apparently deal with beam seas by tacking at a +/- 30 degree angle to it. Or not going until it calms down a bit, which would be our preference.
The sails themselves (assuming they are in use) are a big stabilizing factor.

A set of active stabilizers, or, if you are physically up for it, paravanes, makes a huge difference on a monohull, so it doesn't "suck horribly". If you are going to do the kind of cruising you envision, there will be beam seas of various stripes. Cats are great for fuel efficiency, ability to use less draft for shallower waters (extremely nice in these waters), and forward behavior in choppy conditions. The old cliche, "every boat is a compromise" happens to be very true.

I'm not familiar with stabilizers being used on cats, don't know the answer to that one.
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Old 07-16-2018, 03:09 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
There a lot of catamarans for charter in the Virgin Islands. I personally think it would be a very good idea to "try before you buy".

A power cat could be great for the OPs needs. I agree however, that chartering one would be a very good idea. It would be money well spent as it will help clarify what you want and need. The OP has experience with an unstabalized monohull. Some experience with a cat would be a good idea.
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnEasley View Post
We retire in two years, seven months and twenty-four days. Like many people, our intention is to spend our retirement years cruising the US east coast, Gulf coast, and various points in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Almost a year ago, we sold our 42' 1986 Chris Craft aft cabin. Great boat but we wanted more if we're going to be living on it for extended periods of time. Also, our preference is to be on the hook or a ball with only occasional stops in marinas.

With that in mind, we began our search for our next boat. We went aboard Hatteras 53 foot, 56 foot, and 58 foot, Vikings in the 50 and 55 foot range, and Chris Craft 501s. We went on Sea Rays, Cruisers, Kady-Krogens, Mainships, and a few others that have now become a blur. All of these boats have big engines, varying amounts of room, and several had complicated approaches to stabilization. Often, we would find a boat that had most of the features on our checklist but we would have to add "this" and "that" to set it up for how we want to travel and live. This greatly helped us refine our wants and needs.

Then we went on a few power catamarans. Inherently more stable than a mono-hull, bucket loads of elbow room, a ridiculous amount of storage space, smaller engines and fuel economy that had my wallet dancing a little jig! We've been on, but can't afford, the new FPs, the new Lagoons, and the new Leopards. They're nice but they're way out of our range.

Within the last week, we've been on used Endeavours in the 44 and 48 foot range and a Manta 44. Wow! Both have features that check off just about all of our checkboxes. The engine rooms are easy enough for us to get around and work. The Endeavours have a walkaround queen master, which would be desirable, but we laid down in the master of a Manta and had no feeling of claustrophobia. Our search criteria have become more sharply focused now.

We could find the right boat tomorrow or next year or even two years from now but we now know it will be a power catamaran. Exciting!

Our search continues.
We've completely fallen in love with the Aquila 44 Catamaran. Now if we can just find a used one....

Boat test review w Capt Steve: https://youtu.be/VPoMcOG_dhE
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Old 07-26-2018, 05:42 AM   #9
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"We've completely fallen in love with the Aquila 44 Catamaran. Now if we can just find a used one...."

All cats are wide , no problem if anchoring out is your thing.

Finding a summer and winter slip that will fit the vessel may be a challenge.
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Old 07-26-2018, 08:48 AM   #10
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2 Decembers ago we chartered a 30-some foot World Cat for some offshore fishing out of Islamorada. A front had just passed through, a wicked one. The winds had subsided somewhat and were 'only' about 20 out of the SSE if I recall, somewhat in the same direction as the 2-4 knot current on the outside reefs. Warning sign one was surfable waves were literally breaking on the outside reef (about 6 mi offshore, if you know the area). The captain a lifelong local, wanted to give it a try. Outside the reef we went, it was about 15'. We'd go down in one trough (all you see is water) and up over the wave (all you see is sky) this on a 30 some foot boat. I've never seen anything like that. After 2 hours we called it quits, the captain said "no charge, lets just call this a really sh*tty boat ride" And "its three times bigger than I thought it would be out there".
I was sick as a DOG. The boat however handled really bad conditions, AMAZINGLY. Thats the first and only power cat I've been on. In fact I think a monohull would have been downright dangerous out there that day. (we were borderline, as it was). I was never so happy to see terra firma, tons of respect for the boat- it can take more than I can !
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:05 AM   #11
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BTW there is a 2013 38 footer for sale in Tortola, BVI (Boat Trader) A previous 'charter vessel' - perhaps they have the 44 for charter for charter, as well ?
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Old 07-26-2018, 09:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geezee View Post
2 Decembers ago we chartered a 30-some foot World Cat for some offshore fishing out of Islamorada. A front had just passed through, a wicked one. The winds had subsided somewhat and were 'only' about 20 out of the SSE if I recall, somewhat in the same direction as the 2-4 knot current on the outside reefs. Warning sign one was surfable waves were literally breaking on the outside reef (about 6 mi offshore, if you know the area). The captain a lifelong local, wanted to give it a try. Outside the reef we went, it was about 15'. We'd go down in one trough (all you see is water) and up over the wave (all you see is sky) this on a 30 some foot boat. I've never seen anything like that. After 2 hours we called it quits, the captain said "no charge, lets just call this a really sh*tty boat ride" And "its three times bigger than I thought it would be out there".
I was sick as a DOG. The boat however handled really bad conditions, AMAZINGLY. Thats the first and only power cat I've been on. In fact I think a monohull would have been downright dangerous out there that day. (we were borderline, as it was). I was never so happy to see terra firma, tons of respect for the boat- it can take more than I can !
Good to know it handled that well. Sounds like conditions we would not have gone out into, anyway.
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Old 07-26-2018, 10:19 AM   #13
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BTW there is a 2013 38 footer for sale in Tortola, BVI (Boat Trader) A previous 'charter vessel' - perhaps they have the 44 for charter for charter, as well ?
Yes, we've only been interested in the 44 and only 2016 or newer. That model year added the large table and seating area to the cockpit. Thanks though!
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Old 07-26-2018, 10:25 AM   #14
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Quote:
Often, we would find a boat that had most of the features on our checklist but we would have to add "this" and "that" to set it up for how we want to travel and live. This greatly helped us refine our wants and needs.

Someone once suggested that when you find the boat you like--buy it and then use it mostly as-is for a year. Put the new electronics package, the new remodeling job, etc on hold until after you have actually used it. Your needs and desires will evolve.


Good Luck in finding the right boat.
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Old 07-26-2018, 02:41 PM   #15
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Someone once suggested that when you find the boat you like--buy it and then use it mostly as-is for a year. Put the new electronics package, the new remodeling job, etc on hold until after you have actually used it. Your needs and desires will evolve.


Good Luck in finding the right boat.
So true.
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:24 AM   #16
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Select cruising area. determine optimum hull type. Determine optimum L, W, AD. Set equipt rwmts. Make long list, cull to best 3 or so. Start looking. Don't fall in love!
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:44 PM   #17
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George re: post #6 - "Cats are great for ....... forward behavior in choppy conditions." What does that mean? Unfamiliar with the term.
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:55 PM   #18
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Cats usually dock at the end of docks (end ties), at 150% of normal berthage based on boat length or length of end tie.
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Old 07-29-2018, 09:59 PM   #19
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Does approaching steep waves at very short intervals cause booming against the mid-section of a catamaran?
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Old 07-30-2018, 01:18 PM   #20
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Just enough

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We retire in two years, seven months and twenty-four days. Like many people, our intention is to spend our retirement years cruising the US east coast, Gulf coast, and various points in the Bahamas and Caribbean. Almost a year ago, we sold our 42' 1986 Chris Craft aft cabin. Great boat but we wanted more if we're going to be living on it for extended periods of time. Also, our preference is to be on the hook or a ball with only occasional stops in marinas.

With that in mind, we began our search for our next boat. We went aboard Hatteras 53 foot, 56 foot, and 58 foot, Vikings in the 50 and 55 foot range, and Chris Craft 501s. We went on Sea Rays, Cruisers, Kady-Krogens, Mainships, and a few others that have now become a blur. All of these boats have big engines, varying amounts of room, and several had complicated approaches to stabilization. Often, we would find a boat that had most of the features on our checklist but we would have to add "this" and "that" to set it up for how we want to travel and live. This greatly helped us refine our wants and needs.

Then we went on a few power catamarans. Inherently more stable than a mono-hull, bucket loads of elbow room, a ridiculous amount of storage space, smaller engines and fuel economy that had my wallet dancing a little jig! We've been on, but can't afford, the new FPs, the new Lagoons, and the new Leopards. They're nice but they're way out of our range.

Within the last week, we've been on used Endeavours in the 44 and 48 foot range and a Manta 44. Wow! Both have features that check off just about all of our checkboxes. The engine rooms are easy enough for us to get around and work. The Endeavours have a walkaround queen master, which would be desirable, but we laid down in the master of a Manta and had no feeling of claustrophobia. Our search criteria have become more sharply focused now.

We could find the right boat tomorrow or next year or even two years from now but we now know it will be a power catamaran. Exciting!

Our search continues.
Just enough boat to do the job. Might be good to sit down with a paper and pen, and list all the realistic things you wish to do with the boat, and then shop for just enough boat to to the job. For example, cats are nice, but they require special dockage and handling, and are a concern to the operator when operating in waterways, because of the beam width. Too much boat and it will sit at the dock. Too small and it won’t get used. Just enough.
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