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liveaboarddreamer 09-19-2009 12:12 PM

Catamaran Questions from a Newbie
OK. For all of you sailors with plenty of blue water sailing under your belts -- Let me first say, I salute you for living your passion. Next, I'd like to get some seasoned advice from your experience.
My wife and I are looking to purchase our first boat. We have no real sailing experience. The plan is to buy a liveaboard that we can learn the ropes with, perhaps a year or so in 'gentle' waters of the Caribbean, and then off to points around the globe. Lessons, of course, are part of the plan.
We've decided that a sailing catamaran makes the most sense for us as they are more stable, safer, etc..
I would like to know what advice as to what is the minimum and maximum size we should consider for our first boat? We do not want to hire a crew.
I've been looking at the Antare's 44, but question if it is really big enough for extended blue water cruising and comfortable liveaboard? What are the equipment and features that should be considered absolutely necessary, and what equipment/features are desireable, but not really necessary? What is the maximum size catamaran 2 can reasonably handle in the Caribbean without additional crew members? And for trans-pacific or trans-atlantic crossing, what is the minimum number of crew for safe passage?
Also, I am wondering if technology has really advanced all that much in the last 10 years -- is a Catamaran built before, say, 2003 going to be less safe/comfortable/enjoyable than a newer model. We will, of course have a professional survey done before any purchase.
We are leaning towards a used Cat. Used 'Owners versions' seem to be significantly more expensive than 'charter' boats. Other than the obvious upgraded amenities, are charter boats in generally poorer structural/mechanical shape?
Finally, is there a Catamaran model or company that you particularly like and would recommend?
Thanks, your insight is most appreciated.

skippertony 09-19-2009 02:57 PM

Hi Michael & Welcome
I am new to this thing myself. I did the lesson / school thing. I have only been actively moving towards my goal for a little over tree years. With limited connection into the sailing world other than the net and tons of magazines I had opinions of what would be my ideal boat. I deliberatly chose a school that had no intersest in chartering or selling boats. Intitially I got much information and opinions from instructiors that had crised extensively, then I joined the schools sailing association and got more feedback and opinions, then I walked the docks and alot of talking and went day sailing with friends. The net result after tons of inofrmation and opinions is that my ideas of what would be the perfect boat have changed extensively. As far as charter boats go in my experience I did put one into the "rocks" with no apparent damage. I would not want to buy that boat on the used market!!!!!

malovich 09-20-2009 06:10 PM

Your budget, time-plan and experience will determine what you should do. If you have little/no experience then I would suggest picking up a 30ish foot mono to learn the ropes on. After you get accustomed to sailing or if you already have experience then go for the cat. For a couple, 50' would probably be the maximum with the sweet spot being 38'-44'. Older boats will require more refitting to bring up to safe cruising standards. Generally cat design has not changed much from 2003 but anything much older and you will be sacrificing structural integrity, headroom, amenities, weight capacity etc not that these are just with old boats, many new boats are just plain not suited for cruising.
Your exact budget will determine what brands you would be looking at.
You can learn more about peoples experiences with cruising cats by reading their blogs, since you show an interest in the anteres, check out this link: SALARN
or more blogs at this site:Catamaran Blogs -

liveaboarddreamer 09-21-2009 02:25 PM

Thanks for the feedback
It is appreciated.

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