Bareboat BVI - Cat or Mono? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 18 Old 07-30-2008 Thread Starter
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Bareboat BVI - Cat or Mono?

Next february, a few mates and I will be heading to the BVI for a week. We are currently trying to plan the whole thing and I have hit a block in terms of what kind of boat to look at.

The guy who will be skippering the boat has a family owned 36' monohull and has a few years experience with the boat. I am almost certain that he will be approved to skipper a boat. The question now is what type and how big. Right now the plan is for 8 of us to go on the trip. We are currently looking at a 45' Hunter but given the number of people, a cat seems like it might be a good choice space wise. I have 2 concerns however.

Firstly will 8 people on a 36' or 38' cat be overloading it a bit? and secondly, is sailing a cat very different from a mono? The skipper has no experience with cats at all. 2 of us that will be 'crew' on the boat have some experience with little hobbie cats. Is a cat so different that we will not be able to manage? We are not interested in getting a skipper as that will add cost to the trip and seeing as we are all students, this is a big issue.

Can anyone say what they think would be the best option given our situation. Thanks in advance for any help.
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-30-2008
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Go for a cat...it is the best choice for that size group in the BVI's. I would get something in the 40' plus range. Winds and seas in the BVI's are generally steady and moderate and you guys should have no problem in handling the cat and you'll be taking a mooring most nights so there are no concerns with docking and tight quarters handling.
The BVI's are kind of ideal Cat territory. The 45' Hunter will be quite tight for 8 people!

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post #3 of 18 Old 07-30-2008
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I think you'd be better off in a 40' cat rather than the 45' monohull. The difference in space will make a huge difference during the course of your week. Eight people on a 45' monohull is pretty cramped, and you'll be in each others faces a bit too much for it to be really enjoyable. Also, even if the boat is a three cabin setup, one pair of people will be forced to use the main salon as their "berth", and as such will have less privacy than they would on a catamaran with four cabins.

Eight people for a week's cruising on a catamaran shouldn't be an issue. There are some differences between sailing a monohull and a catamaran, with the primary being how they handle in heavier seas and winds. A multihull should be reefed for the gust peak wind speeds, since it doesn't have the ability to bleed off excess wind energy by heeling—where monohull will generally be reefed for the average wind speeds. A catamaran will often have to wear ship or gybe around instead of tacking, since many have too much windage to successfully tack, without a fair bit of experience doing so, in heavier winds and seas.

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post #4 of 18 Old 07-30-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick replies.

There is a 40' Cat available to us, however given the increased price we would have to have a 9th person aboard. Think thats an issue? And for the tacking or going into the wind, we could always just kick on the engines as opposed to sailing right? no big deal?

If thats the case, then I guess the hardest task ahead of me is convincing my buddy that we are better off in a cat and that he will be able to manage fine.

Thanks again for the help, and if anyone else has more to add, Im listening.
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-30-2008
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A ninth person is going to have some issues, since most catamarans only have FOUR staterooms...and each can usually hold a couple easily, but the ninth person would have to be stuck out in the salon... with far less privacy, similar to what would happen on a monohull.

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post #6 of 18 Old 07-30-2008 Thread Starter
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To be honest, privacy is the least of our worries. We are all mates from college and recently shared a condo meant for 6 people between 15 of us. My issues are mainly about ease of sailing.

Also in the 4 cabin layout, is it common for there to be a pull out bed in the living room or is that more a rarity? Really we are trying to make the vacation easy on our wallets, but I wouldnt want to be too cramped.

Right now the two best options for cats are

1. 2002 Athena 38' - only 8 people.

2. 2006 Lavezzi 40' - on this one we would need 9 people to ease the per person cost. The description states that there are two very small berths right at the front of each hull. The charter company states that it is suitable for teenagers but I think we might be able to squeez.

Any opinions?
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post #7 of 18 Old 07-30-2008
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Go for the cat......

Assuming that you will be drinking heavily space will be the least of your problems. Try and get the skipper and one other crewmember onboard a similar vessel in your home area before the trip starts (you have plenty of time). Pay someone with a cat to take you out for a few hours and show you how they handle. In that way you won't scare the hell out of the charter company. Companies will ask if the skipper has twin hull experience and it wouldn't do if he only started one engine and whacked the dock in a big loop.



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post #8 of 18 Old 07-30-2008 Thread Starter
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haha. Yes, there will be a lot of drinking, but everyone going is also fond of either sailing or diving/snorkeling, so space is a consideration to a certain point (as in we might have some dive gear aboard, and people will want to lay out and stuff). I think the cat is probably the best way to go and 40' with 9 people (one in a "crew" berth) is probably the way to go.

As for getting some practice.... Any one here from the virginia/chesapeake area, and would like to take me and a buddy out on a cat to show us the ropes?

P.S. thanks everyone for all the great info/opinions
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I'd say go with the 38' cat, since you don't have to get a ninth person for it.

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post #10 of 18 Old 07-30-2008
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We chartered a 50' mono hull Thanksgiving week 2006. We had a total of 7 on board, 2 couples, and 3 teenage boys. It was a 4 cabin layout each with a double berth and each with it's own head. I'm sure I had more fun sailing the mono, but, the cats definitely have more space to spread out. The Mooring 50 we had ( a 49'Bennetau) had so much hardware, etc. on board that there was almost no space to lay out on deck and the cockpit felt a bit crowded as well.

Next time I will go for a cat. Chartering in the BVI's is more about relaxing and partying than about sailing performance. Cats are not hard to handle but different.
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