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drcabral
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Joined: 11/22/17
Posts: 8
Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat?
      #1752615 - 12/01/17 11:36 AM (162.119.240.103)

I'm new to bare boating and will be taking the family (3 girls ages 6,8 and 9 and wife) down to the BVI for a week in June or July. I'm researching catamarans <45f feet and love boats with aft seating such as the Bali 4.0, Leopard 44 2012 and Lagoon 440 2006. But I'm thinking the charter company and age of boat may be more important so I can minimize risk of things going wrong with the boat and to make sure my wife has her condo on water. Thus, I'm leaning toward the Mooring 3900 or 4000 if I can get over the sticker price.

Is this the right thought process? Anyone have experience with these boats?

PS
I know this is the 'ol which is the best charter company/catamaran question and I can already feel the eye roles from some as there is no one correct answer. I've looked at a lot of the posts regarding this topic. Any assistance you can provide this wet newbie and his family would deeply appreciated.


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StormJib
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Joined: 11/30/14
Posts: 1041
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: drcabral]
      #1752617 - 12/01/17 12:10 PM (199.168.151.155)

Always get the newest, largest, boat you are willing to afford. With the young kids and really with anyone the comfortable areas out of the sun should always be a priority. I have never met a mom with young ones who did not want a microwave on the boat. The small kids they will not care. All they want to be is close to you or at least your wife.

If your group is new to this? The smaller the distance from the bow stem to the water will make the mooring ball process easier.


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706jim
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Joined: 01/11/12
Posts: 406
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: StormJib]
      #1752641 - 12/01/17 02:30 PM (206.186.68.123)

A seconder for the newest boat. Our five year old rental smelled from the minute we stepped foot inside.
And for a first rental?
I'd get a powercat.
No sails or rigging to worry about and tons more space up in the bridge where everyone will want to go to while cruising.
(Guess you didn't want to hear that)


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agrimsrud
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Joined: 07/13/12
Posts: 279
Loc: Apex, NC
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: 706jim]
      #1752642 - 12/01/17 02:41 PM (198.206.244.4)

I think you're going to get a pile of different opinions on company and boat. But probably some consensus regarding age of boat.

Moorings is always viewed as the "safe" choice. But imho, there are other choices that are just as solid and likely better value. If it was my money and I was looking for a cat of the size you are seeking that was near new I would take a close look at TMM and CYOA. Both have new or near new boats in the size/age you are looking and both have a very good reputation here on this board. I'm biased towards CYOA for many reasons one of which is location which translates into cheaper flight to STT, avoiding the ferry hassle, and being on your boat half hour after landing.

--------------------
Life's short - sail more!


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mcevog
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Joined: 08/25/15
Posts: 61
Loc: NJ USA
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: agrimsrud]
      #1752644 - 12/01/17 02:44 PM (138.20.184.141)

I would add to the comment "newest, biggest boat you can afford" the additional consideration "and that you have experience handling". The bigger you go, the more experienced hands you will need to rely on to help you handle the boat... bear that in mind as you select your "condo"!

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tradewinds
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Joined: 09/21/06
Posts: 5058
Loc: An island state of mind
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: mcevog]
      #1752648 - 12/01/17 03:34 PM (99.82.249.196)

CYOA has some nice new owner's version boats with ice and water makers.

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MattN
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Joined: 08/22/11
Posts: 24
Loc: Safety Harbor, FL
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: 706jim]
      #1752650 - 12/01/17 03:41 PM (204.76.134.30)

Does your wife sail? Or will there be others besides your family? If not, consider the layout of the helm and access to winches, etc. Most of the boats are designed for shorthanded sailing, but take a good look at everything and factor that in. I've sailed a Leopard 46 with two couples and it was relatively easy, but then sailed another boat with just my wife and that was exponentially harder....

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MattN
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Joined: 08/22/11
Posts: 24
Loc: Safety Harbor, FL
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: MattN]
      #1752651 - 12/01/17 03:43 PM (204.76.134.30)

The Leopard 4000 owner's version may be a nice boat for you to consider.

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Twanger
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Joined: 06/03/04
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Loc: Maryland
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: MattN]
      #1752655 - 12/01/17 04:40 PM (50.193.144.241)

Something around 40-feet would be good for a family of 5 with small(ish) kids.

Some of the bigger boats become harder to handle for a couple, depending on size and strength of your two-person adult crew.


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snowdog
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Joined: 05/21/14
Posts: 101
Loc: Bozeman / Minneapolis
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: Twanger]
      #1752666 - 12/01/17 06:31 PM (174.20.206.124)

Hard to give a great answer without knowing your sailing experience level. If you have any concern about the sailing aspect, consider a powercat.

--------------------
s/v Snow Dog - Leopard 46


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aarpskier
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Joined: 04/09/14
Posts: 230
Loc: Rockford, Michigan
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: StormJib]
      #1752668 - 12/01/17 07:00 PM (97.91.61.135)

Quote:

StormJib said:
Always get the ... largest, boat you are willing to afford. ...The smaller the distance from the bow stem to the water will make the mooring ball process easier.




The first part of this statement is absolutely untrue, and contradicted by the later, correct statement. This is your first bareboat experience. You want the smallest, easiest to handle boat that will meet your creature comfort needs (like the 3900 or 4000 with A/C). You look at the plus 50' cats in thirty years, when your crew of kids, their spouses and your grandkids numbers a dozen!


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Rhindley
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Joined: 11/25/12
Posts: 142
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: aarpskier]
      #1752670 - 12/01/17 07:42 PM (98.15.224.128)

I would think any sized catamaran would be fine for five people. I've sailed for two weeks with ten people (two families) on a 42'. I would compare price, layout and amenities before worrying too much about size...and both were older with no issues

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Deepcut
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Joined: 01/22/16
Posts: 357
Loc: Georgia & South Carolina
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: Rhindley]
      #1752673 - 12/01/17 07:51 PM (96.32.194.30)

I agree do NOT get BIGGEST yet.
I routinely sail Lagoon 42 "single handed" (even with others on board. Good visibility Self Tacking Jib(i.e. no crew needed). Main halyard to helm with electric winch. Sport top, so direct view of cockpit. Of course A/C/ genset/ Microwave/ WiFi....

I also agree Moorings a "safe" choice, but not the best choice. Agree TMM, CYOA should both be way up on your list, but still a reason the bulk of charter companies are IN BVI, not near BVI. Charter customers mostly want to start in BVI.

--------------------
Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (Lagoon 42)


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maytrix
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Joined: 09/18/10
Posts: 5431
Loc: Massachusetts
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: snowdog]
      #1752688 - 12/02/17 08:29 AM (198.55.234.150)

We owned with Moorings for about 6 years. The majority of our trips, we upgraded to other boats, so we used a large variety of boats. From brand new to exiting the fleet any minute..

New or old, we had a problem here or there on many trips. Only one trip was it something that couldn't be fixed and that was on their 58' Cat (A/C), only about a year old at the time. Every other time, the problem was solved very quickly. And with hte 58, we were offered a 48, although with just 2 nights left we decided not to bother.

Issues on other trips ranged from a broken shower spray on the transom, to the generator not working, to an engine over heat issue and a number of other minor items. Most common was the A/C not working and needing to be bled, but after having this happen once or twice, I quickly learned how to resolve it.

End of the day, all the issues we're resolve quickly and none really had a significant impact on our trip.

So while I would highly recommend the 3900 or 4000 as the owners versions are awesome (non-owners as well), I wouldn't be concerned with spending less on an older boat. At least not with Moorings. I can't speak to the others having not used them.

--------------------
Matt


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aarpskier
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Joined: 04/09/14
Posts: 230
Loc: Rockford, Michigan
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: Rhindley]
      #1752693 - 12/02/17 09:32 AM (97.91.61.135)

Quote:

Rhindley said:
I would think any sized catamaran would be fine for five people.




The issue for the OP is not how many people the boat can sleep, but who is going to sail the boat. His crew consists of two adults (himself - experienced / wife - inexperienced) and three small children. Shorter = easier = better for initial bareboat charter.


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Deepcut
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Joined: 01/22/16
Posts: 357
Loc: Georgia & South Carolina
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: aarpskier]
      #1752696 - 12/02/17 11:12 AM (96.32.194.30)

I would say the best option is to invite a couple (sailors preferred) who are good with their kids, or perhaps a couple with one child similar in age. The biggest advantage would be having another adult(or 2) to help with picking up moorings/etc who is not also tasked with watching the kids. While having some experience would be nice, just having other adult will lessen stress on your wife for these times.

When docking, having adult watching for safety of smaller kids is of utmost importance.

--------------------
Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (Lagoon 42)


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gerroa
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Joined: 07/05/10
Posts: 9
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: Deepcut]
      #1752746 - 12/03/17 10:01 AM (69.169.178.148)

I sit and watch chartered sail equipped catamarans moving about all the time from my house and my observation is that very few use the sails for the shorter hops. I ask myself why don't people just go with the powered versions which seem to scoot about at greater speed and appear to ride better

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706jim
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Joined: 01/11/12
Posts: 406
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: gerroa]
      #1752747 - 12/03/17 10:06 AM (216.26.212.71)

The decks are easier to navigate with the lack of rigging on a powercat. Also, the picking up a mooring is easier as there is nothing in the way of the pennant up front.

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GeorgeC1
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Joined: 04/24/02
Posts: 4766
Loc: GA/NC
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: gerroa]
      #1752759 - 12/03/17 12:11 PM (108.213.0.118)

You are either a sailor and get it or your not. My vacation starts when I roll the jib out exiting Roadtown and kill the motors. It's the time under sail where I get to reflect on many things and spent some of the highest quality time ever with my family.
I go I the BVI to unwind and slow down.. Not to race from place to place.


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aarpskier
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Joined: 04/09/14
Posts: 230
Loc: Rockford, Michigan
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: GeorgeC1]
      #1752760 - 12/03/17 12:42 PM (97.91.61.135)

Amen, and amen, George!

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Manpot
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Joined: 05/07/02
Posts: 15361
Loc: Tortola/ Sonoma, California
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: aarpskier]
      #1752767 - 12/03/17 01:40 PM (73.241.132.163)

Another amen here!

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UncleLuff
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Joined: 12/21/15
Posts: 176
Loc: Ottawa, Canada
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: Manpot]
      #1752806 - 12/04/17 01:11 PM (198.103.167.20)

I have sailed on the 4000 both the 4 cabin and the 3 cabin with owner's suite. The second trip I had to single hand a lot and with all of the lines leading to the helm it was manageable. My wife knows next to nothing about sailing but was great at picking up mooring balls and helping put on fenders for docking while I manned the helm. My 14 year old son helped with the lines at times but started getting seasick especially on our way to Anegada and the more exposed swells

The biggest issue you will have is raising the main. It is a real pain with the lazy jacks. If you have room, you can raise the main on the ball and get going. For the shorter trips I just used the jib and still was able to get 5-6 knots on a close reach to close hauled.

The three cabin version of the 4000 is awesome, your wife will love it. Very open and bright with lots of room. Your daughters will love it as well. Life lines all around and very stable. Please keep in mind that it has no great sailing qualities and 50 degrees to wind is as close as you can get with it being more comfortable 60-55 degs. For up wind sailing we just used the motor.

Any issue we had with the 4000 (there were a few) were quickly dealt with and didn't impact us at all. This is a great comfort for us first time bareboaters

If you can afford the more expensive Moorings pricing I highly recommend for a first time bareboat charterer. We used it for our first and second bareboat charter and didn't regret one thing. Next time we may branch out to other charter companies and other boats (would love to try a Lagoon 40 or 45 or a FP Helia)


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Rhindley
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Joined: 11/25/12
Posts: 142
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: aarpskier]
      #1752900 - 12/06/17 06:33 PM (98.15.224.128)

That's why I said to look at other stuff and not size...

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MarkS
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Joined: 12/24/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Atlantic Highlands, NJ
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: Rhindley]
      #1753127 - 12/10/17 08:09 PM (98.109.89.113)

With kids involved, when deciding on a charter company, consider the amenities they have at the base since most of us spend the first night (and sometimes last night) on the dock. The Moorings/Sunsail have full-service resort amenities like swimming pool, multiple restaurants/bars, convenience store, dive shop etc and easy access to supermarkets and other things nearby in Roadtown.

More towards your question, last summer we (two couples and a 6 year-old) chartered a 3900 from the moorings and we would not hesitate to do it again. Whatever boat you choose, I would recommend always having someone in your crew who has some boating experience besides yourself (or at minimum someone who is mechanically inclined and who is cool under pressure). While most charter boats are designed for easy single-handed sailing during most phases of your trip, things do go wrong and when they do, it is much easier for an able crew to coordinate a response. We had compound failures during a squall and things got challenging for us even with two experienced and certified sailors.

Pick a company, pick a boat and start planning! Our vacation starts the minute we put down the deposit! You're going to have a blast!

--------------------
Mark Shichtman
"Live for Today!"

[url=https://www.TickerFactory.com/]

[/url]


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hallucination
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Joined: 01/03/13
Posts: 956
Loc: annap, MD/BVI-Nanny Cay
Re: Which is the BEST catamaran for 1st bareboat? [Re: MarkS]
      #1753254 - 12/13/17 08:25 AM (71.121.163.73)

One thing I have not seen mentioned is to get a temp captain for the first day or so. If this is your first time on a relatively big boat, with no others having experience, this can be very helpful. It's kinda like trying to teach your kids how to ski...much better to leave that to someone else. This is not meant to be an assessment of your skills. I will never regret the first time (almost 20 years ago) where we hired Tim for the first 2 days on our first bareboat.

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