SailNet Community banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello world! First post. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

My wife and I are tech professionals in SF and beginning to plan a liveaboard year at some point down the road (likely within the next couple of years). We're not in a rush to buy, but we are starting to do our homework.

I've got some questions below that I'd love to get answered (or if anyone knows of existing posts about these topics, would love the links).

Questions:

1) We have a family of 4 adults and 1 young child. We're thinking that a 45' cat is the right size for us. We've chartered some 39-40 foot cats and they seem too small. Wanted to get everyone's thoughts on size. Ideally we'd like to find the newest, smallest boat we can afford.

2) The new Alpha 42 (can't include a link to it since i'm a newbie user; just google it) seems like a very interesting cat, with composite materials and built in USA. Does anyone have any experience with it? Is their approach using composite materials really all that much different from other boats? We wish it were a bit larger though; does anyone know if they're planning a bigger 45'ish boat?

3) The boat we think we're most interested in is either a new Lagoon 450S, or a used Lagoon 440. How would anyone compare those two boats? Would you recommend buying a bristol(ish) condition used Lagoon 440 (i'm thinking 2010 range) over a newer 450? Or even a new 450S over both those options? How important is it to buy a new boat vs. a well maintained used boat? We generally prefer to buy used but the Lagoon resale market seems strong which is making us consider buying new.

4) Are there other cat brands people would recommend over the Lagoon? We'd like to keep the purchase price under $500k, and if we can keep it under $300k (like for a Lagoon 440) that would be ideal.

5) Does boat buying work like real estate, where the commission is split between selling and buying agents? And if an owner is selling w/o a broker, how much does a buyer's broker charge to engage their services? Did most of you buy with or without a broker?

6) We plan to liveaboard for a year. Do people recommend a galley up or galley down configuration?

7) We're open to buying a boat in the US or outside the US. We're flexible with where we start our liveaboard year, so we'd like to use that flexibility to minimize the cost of buying and registering a boat. What's the most tax and fee advantageous way to buy and register a boat? For example, one person told me that registering a boat in the BVIs costs $6k and there are no other taxes or fees. I have no idea if he was right about that.

Also, related: If we buy and register a boat outside the US, liveaboard for a year while sailing around, and then choose to return to the US, what are the costs of “importing” (is that the right word for this use case?) the boat to the US? And in that case, can we register it in any state, or would we have to register it in the state where we're living? And which state is best to register a boat in?

As you can see, we have lots of questions, with more sure to come!

DROdio
 

·
Bombay Explorer 44
Joined
·
3,619 Posts
You should start in the Eastern Caribbean. No further West than the USVI. You would get great cruising different cultures and no long passages. The Windward and Leewards would occupy you for 6 months keeping south during peak hurricane time then head back to the USA via PR DR Turks and Caicos and the Bahamas with the wind behind you and the current helping.

Buy used from Moorings or Sunsail and you will get a cruise ready boat with the minimum of issues and they will sort out the registration for you. Martinique is the other place I would look for a Cat. Many are for sale so contact a broker in Marin Martinique.

I am a Brit so can't help with US tax stuff but look into registering in Delaware.

44 ft is the minimum length IMHO otherwise they hobby horse badly especially when loaded up.

I am retired and liveaboard in the Eastern Caribbean, it is good out here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
good luck! Im planning something similar (but singly, and more permanently) so I'll follow this thread for my own edification & enjoyment.

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
@TQA thanks for the thoughts and for confirming the length. I'll be super interested in seeing if Alpha goes up to a 45' length, especially because I believe they offer a 4 stateroom, 2 head option (we don't need 4 heads aboard)... and I like the idea of buying US-made if possible.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
6) We plan to liveaboard for a year. Do people recommend a galley up or galley down configuration?
With 4 adults onboard this may not be an issue if 2 people are on watch at a time. But if you are doing any crossings where only one person would be on watch, that galley on the upper will really benefit the watch if they prepare any food or coffee for themselves they can still keep an eye out and have quick access to the helm.

With galley in one of the pontoons, they can only see out the port holes on one side and not to the other side, fore, or aft.

Something to think about...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
With 4 adults onboard this may not be an issue if 2 people are on watch at a time. But if you are doing any crossings where only one person would be on watch, that galley on the upper will really benefit the watch if they prepare any food or coffee for themselves they can still keep an eye out and have quick access to the helm.
Off-watch does the cooking. Even if it's just assembling peanut butter sandwiches and coffee. I got a lot of unreasonably strongly held beliefs about such things. :laugh
 

·
Old enough to know better
Joined
·
4,344 Posts
I am not so sure about the new high tech catamarans. Between "Be Good 2" (an Alpha 42 that was abandoned at sea) and "Rainmaker" they seem to be having issues with systems. Design seems to be be ahead of themselves. I think I would go with a proven known cruising design if I was doing anything more than racing. The X-Charter boat is a good way to get a reasonably well maintained boat. Especially on the bigger and newer ones as they don't rent to just anyone without a captain. But do keep in mind they likely had the engines run hard and long with vacationers trying to meet a schedule and not necessarily knowing how to sail, and may have been run aground a few times. Also may be worn quite a bit more than a similarly aged boat from private ownership. You may be able to go a few feet bigger for your budget going for the X-charter. Keep in mind also they are not normally fitted out with much in the way of electronics and what not.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top