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tartangreek 09-02-2007 06:06 PM

Will my wife and I be sad or happy with a Nauticat 33 or 38 or similar type?
My wife and I are in our 50's. We sail in the Puget Sound, (San Juan Island, Gulf Isands,etc). We still both work so we are limited to long week ends, and vacations for our trips. We have had extensive boating experience in sail and power boats under 30 feet.

Our greatest joy in boating is to sail to a secluded cove, drop anchor, spend the a night or two, go ashore and explore new places with our two toy aussie dogs. We eschew hotels and marinas. Interior accomodations are very important (privacy for two couples) and because of the weather an enclosed pilot house is a necessity.

We are seriously looking at the Nauticat 33 or 38 or similar type boat. We cannot spend more than $200,000 all in so we know we are looking at old and used. We have read or received advice that motor sailers are the worst of both worlds, yet I have heard the aformentioned Nauticats or similar can sail satisfactorily. My wife and I don't want to be sad that we bought a boat that won't satisfactorily sail when the wind his blowing 12kts +. Yet when the wind drops we need to be able to make our home port in a timely fashion.

I have read many posts, but still don't have a good grasp of the answer (s).

Any advice about the Nauticats or other brands?

I joined Sailnet 9/02/07 because I was told your group actually has experience and has informed opinions. I would appreciate any and all advice. I want to get back on the water!

Tartan Greek (the name of our next boat, I'm Greek, my wife Scottish.)

Thank you!

sailhog 09-02-2007 07:48 PM

Tartan Greek,
You've got good taste... You'll probably have to wait a couple of days to hear from the two Nauticat owners (that I know of) on this forum, as they're probably on them through the holiday weekend. Both are NC33s, and both based in New England. Gorgeous boats, aren't they?

sailingdog 09-02-2007 08:26 PM

TrueBlue and ChristyLeigh both own nauticats 33' boats... IIRC, one has the 33 and the other the 331.

They should be along any moment...

tartangreek 09-02-2007 08:57 PM

clarification Tartan Greek
Hi Sailingdog!

Are there any boats besides the Nauticat brand that I should consider? I anxiously await the responses of the two nauticat owers as well!

Tartan Greek

sailingdog 09-02-2007 09:20 PM

Basically, you're looking for a boat:

with forward and aft cabins,
that has a pilothouse
sails well
is a motorsailer

and is below $200,000 in price.

TOMINDC2 09-03-2007 02:10 AM

Dear TartanGreek,

From what I hear, Nauticat’s are fine, somewhat overbuilt boats (part of the reason they cost so much). Great in a North Sea blow. Most folks buy them for the creature comfort or sailing in chilly regions. I highly recommend that you bareboat charter one before buying to judge the sailing for yourself. All boats are a compromise –the trick is getting the most of what you want with the least that you do not want.

Another type boat altogether that has good creature comfort and protection from weather is a catamaran? Because they sail on the water rather than in it, you have a boat that passes everything in light wind while barely heeling in a gale (assuming centerboards are not fully down). In June, after about 18 months of research, we took delivery of a Gemini 105MC made here in Annapolis. We had a 7.5m Tanzer before buying KatMan2. The Gemini is quite a lot of boat for $200K. The bare minimum boat is under 150K, but if you add heat and air, beef up the electrical, add a screacher rig (a must have), add davits, solar panels, radar, etc. you are right at about 200K. Gemini’s will sleep 8 in a pinch, but it is really a boat for 2 with occasional guests. Full kitchen, toilet and shower. Queen bed for master cabin forward amidships – very comfy. Fit and interior finnish are not Finnish, but a new one is half the cost of an NC too.

You get more usable living space below and above decks on a cat than on a mono of similar length. With a 14 ft beam and 34 ft LOA, we have no problems berthing in a standard 40ft slip (which you need with a dinghy on the davits). Drawing 18 inches, we can anchor in the shallows, beach even, and gunkhole far up river. The drive leg lifts out of the water, for less drag and no stray electrical current eating at your metal bits in port. We have only been to 8kts so far. That was in 16-19 kts of wind. Last weekend we did 6.8 in only 11-13kts of wind.

Since you are interested in a motorsailing, one can mind the helm of a Gemini underway from inside using a Raymarine remote for the autopilot. I have been out with 10 adults on the boat and nobody felt crowded. You might check them out at Performance Cruising's website. There are over 1,000 Gems afloat (ours is #992). We have a Yahoo group too called Gemini_Cats.

Good luck with your search for the perfect yacht.


sailingdog 09-03-2007 08:24 AM


Actually, there aren't over a 1000 Gemini's made yet... hull 1000 is about to be built according to PCI... ;) Apparently, they're planning something for hull 1000.

Sailormann 09-03-2007 09:07 AM

If your primary goal is a boat with lots of room, you don't need to buy a motorsailer per se. There are numerous boats with pilothouses and many center cockpit boats that will offer that.

DonLund 09-03-2007 02:00 PM

SP Cruiser - Island Packet
I saw where Island Packet have the SP Cruiser motorsailor. It was reviewed recently in Crusing World or Blue Water Cruising. I believe the review was favorable. Cant remember the cost.

Valiente 09-03-2007 04:08 PM

If I were in your locale, I'd want a pilothouse as well, with a nice bulkhead diesel heater in it! I would agree that the West Coast sailing experience is greatly enhanced by the option of getting off the deck when the cold green stuff is coming aboard. I would also want a pilothouse (with a good set of windshield wipers) to increase visibility forward for deadheads, rocks and over-ambitious kayakers. Not to mention it's a lot easier to keep your radar dry...because my impression has always been that radar isn't a frill there, but a necessity.

The weather in that area can turn rotten quickly, so I think you're on the right track. I agree with the idea that you don't need a motorsailer as such, but given that you might need to get off rocky lee shores and/or motor up windless inlets and/or fight tidal currents, I would suggest that a somewhat bigger motor than I'd recommend for the Great Lakes would be a good idea.

Ted Brewer's designs come to mind. Some of his boats have been done nicely in all materials. See if you can find some ideas here and then you can maybe go look for real life examples.

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