Advice needed please - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-02-2014
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Advice needed please

My wife and I are a few years out from going "cruising". We sold our Lavranos Holiday 34 monohull last year and will be looking to refine our search and purchase in the next year or two. As the pickings are very slim over here (South Africa) we are considering a trip next year to USA to start our search for a suitable vessel.

Our plan was originally to sail from Cape Town to BVI etc, explore USA (including ICW) and perhaps eventually sail across to the Med. Thereafter ... who knows?

Our budget for the vessel would be around $100k.

So here is where it gets a little complicated. My wife is sold on a catamaran and was quite taken with a Rayvin 30 that we tested a few months ago in South Africa. Although only 30ft, it seems to have a great local reputation and a few are cruising. I know of at least one that has gone on to Australia etc. We understand that we would have to travel relatively light though. Not many of these were produced though so the one issue is availability. At this price point the only real options over here would be the Rayvin30 or an earlier Wildcat 35 which has a mixed reputation (Although I was also one of those who had to postpone our plans when Charter Cats folded and we, along with others, suffered a large financial loss, I will not hold that against the vessel). Most of the other Cat preferences are in excess of our budget.

I have been browsing available monohulls in the 40-45ft range and am gently trying to persuade her to consider this as an option. One of the monohulls which seem to be softening the viewpoint is the Jeanneau 43DS. I may be incorrect but my instinct is that this would be a better option than a 30ft catamaran for our purpose, especially if we want to continue on to more remote destinations i.e. more bluewater cruising.

So my primary questions are ( and there is a whole host of others, I assure you ):

What would be a suitable catamaran for our needs and budget?

Is my thinking regarding a 45ft monohull rather than a 30-35ft cat sound or incorrect (within the confines of our budget constraints)?

I am aware that in addition to purchase price I need to allocate funds for equipping the vessel, so $100k would be our vessel only upper limit.

Of course if we purchased on East Coast of USA we would avoid the trip across from SA, which is a attractive option in some ways, although the trip has its advantages for us.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: Advice needed please

Sounds like you're in a tight spot....if your wife is sold on a cat it's probably going to be tough to get her to agree with a monohull, although the Jeanneau would be a lot more comfortable than any cat in the 30' range. I doubt you'll find a decent one within your budget, though.

And I'm not sure about the Jeanneau's bluewater capabilities, but I am sure it won't take long to start getting some opinions about that here!

Have you guys looked at the Gemini 105 as a possibility? Lots of people have cruised the US east coast, Bahamas, and Caribbean on them. Here's an example:

1998 Gemini 105M Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Good luck with your search......sounds like you're going to have an awesome adventure!
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: Advice needed please

I don't think your budget is going to go very far for a catamaran. i don't think that I would want to be looking for a cat with less than say $175k. Your budget does open up a lot of attractive doors for a monohull though. I think you need to make the cat/mono decision first and work from there. I agree that there are lots of boats available in the US and also in the Caribbean that you could consider. If you would like to cruise the Caribbean it might sense to buy there before carrying on north.

We found the trip from Cape Town to Grenada to be pretty straightforward, although the Doldrums were more of an impediment than we thought they would be. Really enjoyed Namibia and St Helena. We skipped northern Brazil because had heard nothing good about it. Getting from Europe back to SA would be interesting. I guess you would go down the coast of South America and cross when you thought you could avoid the worst of the high. I think that could be a very challenging trip if you were unlucky.
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: Advice needed please

If you are lucky enough to have a wife that will sail with you on such a great adventure treat her well and find a cat.

If you are in even more rarified company and she will do the above and yield to your judgement - get a Mono?

In any case go and may your adventure go well!
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Thank you for the encouragement and advice -really much appreciated. For a while this was a dream deferred, then it seemed that it was a dream lost until we both agreed a year ago that we would not allow this to become a later regret.

To answer a few aspects:

I know that a few Gemini's have sailed the oceans, is this an exception or has it been designed for more than coastal cruising? As far as the Jeanneau 43DS goes,

I have been monitoring a few in the $75k-$100k price range but would never trust images as an accurate representation of condition as these could have been taken years ago. I believe when we are ready there may well be a few available.

In the event that we purchased a vessel in US or even Caribbean, I am not sure that we would sail it back to South Africa unless it featured in our plans at that stage. We are trying to only focus on the plan to cruise BVI etc and USA and leave the decision about what to do after that rather loose.

As far as the cat vs mono view, I have a feeling that my wife will also be a little more flexible as the time gets closer. We are already talking around the importance of not making this dream all about the vessel - is it just us or is that a trap that most go through. There are so many beautiful monohulls and cats out there that it becomes quite easy to continually increase the targeted budget and thereby delaying the dream. Of course we will not contemplate unseaworthy/unsuitable vessel but we do often have to remind ourselves that "It's not about the boat!"

Keep the advice coming please ...

Last edited by RoyAC; 05-02-2014 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: Advice needed please

Cats start to make sense for cruisers around 40 ft and 44 ft is better. Small cats do not cope well when laden with all the 'stuff' cruisers need. Also they hobby horse badly in short steep seas.

So for your budget you would be looking at something like an older Prout Snowgoose. Anything larger is likely to be a 'project'. There is a Prout 50 in Grenada at 115k and he might consider a deal but the interior is odd.

Worthwhile considering starting in the Eastern Carib as you would get easy shakedown sails and Trini can fix anything!

Go the mono route and a cruise ready 42 45 ft boat would soon appear. Something like this Dynamite Marine Ltd (Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago)
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Old 05-02-2014
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Re: Advice needed please

Welcome to the dream! You may find this an interesting site to browse -- Sailboat Reviews of Offshore Cruising Yachts : Bluewaterboats.org

Once you find a likely-looking ship -- sailingdog's boat-inspection-trip thread

The more we know about your experience, skill sets and resources, the better our 'more experienced' folk can help you.

If you have a specific question, you can search SailNet (or other sites) by typing something like this in your browser search window:

"bluewater catamaran" site:SailNet Community - Powered by vBulletin

(1) Use the quotes around multiword search phrases, or you'll get irrelevant hits on individual words in the phrase.
(2) No {space} between the "site:" and the URL, or you'll get hits from all over.

Happy hunting, and have fun!

PS: Catamarans for Sale

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Last edited by manatee; 05-02-2014 at 11:16 AM.
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Re: Advice needed please

Our experience has been predominantly Coastal cruising with the occasional 2-3 day cruise up the coast. All of course along the coast of South Africa and all in our previous Robertson & Caine built, Lavranos designed, Holiday 34 (not the Bavaria Holiday 34).

While the H34 is an awesome boat we feel that we would like more room if we are going to spend more time on the vessel.

As a result of relocating very often during my career we tend to live and travel light (try moving 20x in 30 years and it becomes the pragmatic way to live).

Having said this though, I have seen far too many 30-35ft cats with very little bridge deck clearance as a result of overloading. However, I have also seen a more than a few 40+ cats with the same issue

Last edited by RoyAC; 05-02-2014 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 05-31-2014
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Re: Advice needed please

Hi Roy,
I was doing a search relating to Rayvin 30 cats and I came across this thread on SailNet.

If you want more info on the Rayvins, just ask. My wife and I bought one last year and we went to Inhaca in Mozambique over Easter for a shakedown cruise. We're leaving again for Mozambique and Madagascar within 2 weeks. We're planing to return at the end of the year and then go on to the Caribbean via Cape Town.

I know of 2 in Australia that sailed via Panama, and 4 in Europe that sailed via the Caribbean and the North Atlantic. Load capacity is of course an issue but we're managing, even with two kayaks and my wife's books.

There is/was one for sale in Mossel Bay for R650K. PM me for the link as I cannot put links in the post.

The factory quality was spotty and some finishes on Rayvins can be a bit rough. I've heard of one that needed to have work on the bulkheads.
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Re: Advice needed please

Thanks James, will contact shortly. Very much appreciated.
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