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FredMG 02-13-2005 07:46 AM

Small Cruising Catamarans
Hi Folks,

I''ve sailed most of my 56 years, and have owned two trimarans... both Jim Brown Searunnner designs (25''er and then an open wind 31). I''ve sailed on many different monohulls, tris, cats, nearly all rigs, and have worked in naval architecture earlier in my life.

Currently my wife & I are between boats, and are thinking about what our next one might be.

I''ve been looking at small cruising cats (small defined as no bigger than around 34'', generally smaller). The ones I''ve been focusing on mostly right now are the Heavenly Twins, Summer Twins, Star Twins, Catalac 8m, 9m, 10m, and similar cats. I''ve raced, cruised, even honeymooned on a boat (a schooner up in Maine), and I guess have a lot of knowledge about boats in general.

What I don''t have is in-depth knowledge of living (not necessarily living aboard, but living with/cruising, daysailing, etc) with those boats.

I''d really appreciate any and all information from owners of or previous owners of any and all such smaller crusing cats as to the truths about the boats: Pluses, minus''s, real exciting good stuff about them, what to really watch out for (true caveats), typical problems with each, true sailing performance, maintenance issues with each, and so forth.

Thanks in advance for all comments & info anyone here can provide! I know I''ll never live long enough to learn everything I''d like about everything I''m interested in, so I''m hoping to learn from the experience of experts like yourselves on all those boats & related things I know I probably don''t know!

Best regards for a terrific 2005 sailing year too!

Fred (Long Island, NY)

WHOOSH 02-13-2005 11:24 AM

Small Cruising Catamarans
Fred, I''m barely a novice when it comes to multis but I would encourage you to add a comment about where you plan to use this small cat. We can see you might be sailing in LI Sound...but then again, you might have plans to ''live with/cruise'' down in Florida and over to the Bahamas for a bit...and I think you''d get different answers if your sailing venue were known. E.g. I''ve seen a few heavy/older Catalacs crossing the Stream and visiting Nassau, but I think they''d be disappointing sailing boats up in the soft LI winds.

You also don''t mention a price target. With your knowledge of older, smaller cats, I''m sure you''re familiar with Tony Smith''s innovative TelStar trimaran, which he intro''d to the USA at the Annapolis Boat Show, only to have his factory and the molds burn to the ground the next year. After selling boodles of Geminis, he''s (re)introduced a folding-ama Tri that is trying to find a customer like you...but being a new boat (and your list being of older boats), it may not be worth suggesting it. So...hearing a ballpark price would help shape replies, too.

Good luck out on the hunt!


henryvand 02-13-2005 01:20 PM

Small Cruising Catamarans
If you are coming from a tri I suspect you would be disappointed with the performance of the boats you have listed however budget constraints may preclude consideration to more recent designs. I have a PDQ32 that sails very well and provides great accomodations. Charles Kantor''s book -Cruising In Catamarans - will provide you with a wealth of information on the boats you have listed along with most other smaller cats - you can buy it on line.

Rickm505 04-07-2006 04:26 PM

As an owner of a Catalac 8M who went through the same evaluations, you're doing now, perhaps I can help. Send me a private mail or email me.

Rick in Florida

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