Best Cat Cruiser balancing comfort with function.

Discussion in 'Multihulls' started by Becaris, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

  2. bearflag
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    bearflag Inventor/Fabricator

    You and I are opposite day!

    If I have to choose I am going to go for Safety, Short-Handedness, Seaworthiness, Speed, Stability, Sexiness, and Space. (most likely in close to that order) (sexiness usually comes with speed, sort of form fits function)

    It seems a trend in boat building, esp for cats that people want fat-pigs that resemble more mansion on pontoons than sea worthy vessels. Usually people discount speed, which is fair, they aren't racing with only one hull in the water, which is smart, cruising boats shouldn't be flying their hulls for safety reasons. But, faster/seaworthy boats make crossings faster, get to port faster, can out maneuver weather, and can usually handle themselves better in light winds and in gale force conditions. Don't discount the safety in all those things. If you are in the middle of the pacific and your watermaker or refrigerator breaks down or you spring a leak, a faster boat can get you to port in shorter order than a slow one.
     
  3. Becaris
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    Becaris Junior Member

    I'm not discounting speed, but like I said, I have to balance comfort and speed. The fact is I will spend more time on the boat while not in a major passage than while in one, even if I am crossing a major ocean twice a year. So, for two months of the year I'm in the conditions where speed is safety, but in ten months of the year I am living on a boat, and there all the creature comforts are more important. So, back to my initial requirements, a balance between the two. I looked at Schionning yachts, and have even conversed with them some, but they tend to stray toward speed rather than comfort. I'd rather have a yacht that was comfortable and seaworthy, and did about 15 to 17 knots on a very good day, than one that was seaworthy and lacking in creature comforts that did 20 to 25 knots on a good day.

    On a different note from above... I am not interested in keels, dagger boards are more to my liking. But back on comforts, these include things like space for dive compressors and other toys. For me this is a mobile living space with water toys that can get me places in reasonable speed in relative safety. Now, with all that, I'm trying to narrow down to what boats get me closest to those requirements.
     
  4. bearflag
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    bearflag Inventor/Fabricator

    Dive compressors are semi-mandatory equipment for me :)

    Personally I am looking for a boat that spends less time in the marina and more time in open water or broad range coastal sailing. So our criteria is a bit different :)

    I think those Schionning boats are all nice, I also really like Chris White.

    Something you may consider thinking about is if you are going semi custom, is to find a boat with the accommodations you want, and then see if the designer would be interested in making just the hulls a bit longer. Could make for a more stable, faster, and better handling creature esp if you don't take advantage of it by overpowering it with more sail area.

    The mono-hull way of thinking about things is all about the waterline length, but with multis really you should be talking bout deck area + hull area or some other hard to define characteristic.
     
  5. TeddyDiver
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    TeddyDiver Gollywobbler

    There's anything excluding these with a faster boat.. But the caveat is the size.. if you want faster you need more length. But if the speed isn't the issue it's better to be oldfashioned. I mean cat's have one major edge against monos and that's the speed so why throw it away..
     
  6. Becaris
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    Becaris Junior Member

    Balance, I keep coming back to balance. Not throwing speed away. Why does balance mean no speed? I stated that I was looking for a boat that could do 15 to 17 knots... that's not going to happen on a typical mono hull. There are LOTS more reasons besides speed that I also want to go to a cat, some of those creature comforts (read space) being one of them. Then there is the more stable platform (I'm tired of living on a tilt). There are lots of reasons I want a cat, speed is just one.
    Now, as to excluding creature comforts with a faster boat, I have every intention of finding the fastest boat possible that has a level of creature comfort I can live with. That's exactly what I'm seeking (in a sea worthy boat) in this discussion. However, there are several faster boats that I've already excluded as likely choices simply because they are too spartan, with too little salon area, boats that look and act more like a racer than a cruiser.
     
  7. CatBuilder

    CatBuilder Previous Member

    OK, Becaris - it's time for you to share your lists with us.

    You have plenty of years experience on boats, so we don't have to go slow. :)

    1)What is your requirement for salon area in sq ft?

    2)When you say spartan, do you mean you are not looking for a modern, minimalist design philosophy, but an older, down home teak interior? Do you need knicknacks? Carved teak things?

    3) Please list all of your reasons for choosing a cat over another monohull.

    4) Could you describe all of the comforts you are seeking, as well as the perfect interior you are after?




    From your most recent posts, it would appear you are trying to find a huge monohull that doesn't heel (no offense). Cats are a different type of boat entirely, with very different pros and cons.

    One con is you can't load any cat up with a huge payload like you are used to with a monohull. Your want of toys concerns me. You won't get a boat that can do 15-17 knots with all those toys (weight). Cats suffer terribly once you load them up and perform more like monohulls. Excess weight becomes a real safety issue as well. Could you please list off the full list of toys you need on this boat?

    My feeling is that despite your research, since this is your first cat, you are still looking through the eyes of a guy who understand monohulls well. I was once in your shoes, so I know how this is, switching from monos to cats. You really need to forget everything you know about boats and start over. Have you read Chris White's book "The Cruising Multihull" yet?

    Balance: There is a balance to be had, for sure, but your balance on a cat, cannot be a boat that's really heavy. A good, safe cruising catamaran with a nice interior is still lightweight. As you load it down, it becomes a liability at sea. You have to widen the hulls to carry the extra weight, etc... a "faster" catamaran is also a safer catamaran, not just due to speed, but due to its behavior in a seaway. As I'm sure you know from monohulls, boats are a big tradeoff between various things. If you want too much "stuff" on a cat, you might as well get a monohull again. I'm not joking. You must travel light on a catamaran for performance and for safety.
     
  8. Becaris
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    Becaris Junior Member

    I have no minimum salon sq. ft., but the more the merrier. I don't care what the interior is made out of, nor will I have knicknacks.
    Comforts are ease of control (I'm no longer a spring chicken), air conditioning, a nice 'up' galley (I like to cook), plenty of storage and very good use of space to get the most out of the size of the yacht (up to 65' or so). I'd like several areas to enjoy living (salon, cockpit, fly bridge (maybe). I need a scuba compressor with nitrox (I'm a master scuba diver instructor).

    As for everything you just said about cats, I know all that, I've been looking into getting one for many years now.

    My list for why I want a cat? That's really easy.
    1) More living space.
    2) Stable platform, both while sailing and on the hook.
    3) Speed
    4) Safety (holes don't make it an anchor)

    As for how much 'stuff' I want on my cat, I'll sacrifice a little speed to take more, but without overloading the boat. This means I need to choose a cat that can handle more weight without being overloaded, which probably means as much carbon fiber construction as possible. I'll also increase the size of the boat as necessary to get that balance that I need to take the toys I want. I'm looking at around 60' right now, but that's not written in stone.
     
  9. bearflag
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    bearflag Inventor/Fabricator

    Carbon fiber isn't necessarily stronger, its is lighter and more rigid though.

    It sounds to me you want more of a "wide-body" hulled boat like a Wharram or something similar. (though maybe with different styling). Some of those cats are made with a bunch of extra reserve weight. So you can actually use them as fishing vessels or scuba charters, or just load them up with all sorts of fancies.

    :)

    Multi-hulls are not all on diets, they just have to be engineered for what you want.

    For instance the Pro-A Gaia's Dream can carry a car and a whole bunch of other stuff. Or alternatively be light and fast. But it's main hull is pretty fat and has lots of reserve buoyancy. That and it is about 90 feet long.
     
  10. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    That is the right way to go, no doubt. Do not focus on a builder, but on a design first. The best yard does not turn the crappy design into a performer and vice versa.

    I would strongly recommend to focus on a NA with a proven record on cat design (or three of them), and on your SOR first!
    Even the best yard in the world (I don´t know if there is one only), cannot build YOUR boat without having a clear idea what you have in mind. Same, of course is valid for a NA / designer. You might find this helpful:

    http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-design/design-spiral-where-start-building-boat-28580.html

    When your Book of Requirements (or Statement of Req.) is clear, it might happen that you find a production boat coming close to that, but not to the last extend.
    You then can contact the designer and have a "redesign" with some minor changes for a song!

    Take care choosing a mass production boat! In the range you are talking, you will most probably come out cheaper and better with a custom / customized design!

    A perfectly crafted Dutch Aluminium cat in that range will be at least not more expensive, if not much cheaper, when custom built, than the massively priced boats mentioned here too often.

    Due to the fact that I do not like Multihulls, and I do not produce sailboats anyway, one might assume that i am biased a bit. But quite the opposite is the case.
    I see your problem with NO intention to have a share, my comment would be as valid if the question was "motorsailor" or "passagemaker"!

    When you need a watertight recommendation (or two), for a builder of a reputable design, let me know, I will give it.

    Regards
    Richard
     
  11. Becaris
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    Becaris Junior Member

    I didn't mention Carbon Fiber because I thought it was stronger, I mentioned it because I want the boat lighter (which means I can bring more stuff if I have saved weight in the construction).

    I also doubt I want one of those 'Wide Body' boats you mentioned. Again, I'm looking for a balance between speed and comfort, and I'm willing to give up a little on each to get there.

    Also, I think the discussion has gotten off base somewhat. I was really just looking for people opinions on different builders. For example, if you have owned a Crowther, Lagoon, Sunreef, Prout, Gunboat, or ANY other manufacturer of cats that makes a boat in my size range, I'd like to hear about what you thought of the boat, build quality, seaworthiness, speed, ease of handling, general comfort or any other observation of that boat that you might like to share. Since I will eventually be spending up to several million dollars on a boat, I'd like to hear from some people who have had experience with any factory built catamaran of this size.

    Later I may start a discussion about custom designers as well, but not yet.
     
  12. apex1

    apex1 Guest

    There is not one here with a hands on experience with cats in that size!

    (amongst the cat fanatics and "designers")

    I asked for chartering a cat of about 50ft last year, here. Not a single offer popped up. Just assumptions about my biased opinions.

    And sorry, I did not mention carbon fibre, wide bodies, or any builder.

    Though I sailed Beneteaux Lagoons, and a Gunboat in the past weeks. (some milligrams of carbon or Kevlar respectively) crap...


    Regards
    Richard
     
  13. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    You may find recent threads on a couple of other forums useful

    eg multihulls 4 us dot com

    but I'm sure you've already googled for 'multihull build problems"

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
  14. cavalier mk2
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    cavalier mk2 Senior Member

    For an alternative consider talking to Barry Choy about their designs and the builders they suggest using. Chris White is a good choice as is Derek Kelsal, John Shuttleworth etc....Custom designers often have builders for their boats whose work exceeds production spec. Read the sailing reviews and "shootouts" as there are often differences in performance and functionality underway, Can the cook brace themselves in the galley in a seaway or is there 10 feet of space to fly through? Does the boat hop in a chop? Will the bridge deck pound often? If cost is no object what are the boats that set is using, do they have a favorite designer or builder, is snob appeal important etc....And make a list and charter the boats you are interested in to make up your own mind. It sounds like a fun opportunity to do your own reviews. I should ad that it is important to consider the convenience of buying off the rack and the birth process of waiting for a custom build.
     

  15. Becaris
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    Becaris Junior Member

    Good advice, and something I will definitely be doing. I already have plans to charter a couple cats. I'll also be talking to some of these designers, I have a lot of things I'm looking for in a cat and some of these designers might be able to help me realize some of those features.
     
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