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Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? #136489
07/24/2017 12:20 AM
07/24/2017 12:20 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 354
Pacific NW
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snmhanson Offline OP
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snmhanson  Offline OP
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Pacific NW
We just pulled the trigger on our next charter - 10 days from St. Lucia to Grenada. I'm not posting to ask about sailing in that area though. Rather, I am looking for insight into our boat options. We have sailed quite a few Lagoons in the past as well as a FP Saba and a Voyage 520 (which we loved). Never sailed a Moorings/Leopard but I assume they are pretty similar to those two boats in many ways.

Anyway, my kids asked if we can get something other than a Lagoon for this trip which means they also are probably hoping for something besides the FP or Leopard too. That leaves us with the wildcard - a 2015 Catana 42 Carbon Infusion. Anyone here ever sail one and have an opinion? How does it compare to the big three in terms of comfort and ease of sailing? We are a family of five and typically enjoy having some space to spread out and a few amenities (A/C, electric heads, etc...), but are willing to give up a little in exchange for a fast and fun boat. The Catana is quite a bit less expensive than the other options, but it lacks some of the features that we've become accustomed to such as the A/C and generator. I've heard they are fairly quick and can point upwind well with the dagger boards, but I also have heard that they are quite a bit more cramped than typical charter boats of the same size. Plus, we will be on a beam reach for the majority of the charter likely with winds in the 15-20+ range so not sure how much extra speed and pointing ability we are going to need. Our other choices would be a FP Helia owner's version, Lagoon 450 (again) or a Moorings 4000 owner's version - all of them only ~1-2 years old.

Part of me wants to try the Catana, but part of me worries that it will not go over well once we get on it (especially with the wife). Any advice? Should we stick to the tried and true or take a chance on the Catana?

Thanks!

Matt

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Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: snmhanson] #136490
07/24/2017 07:24 AM
07/24/2017 07:24 AM
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 304
Rockford, Michigan
aarpskier Offline
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aarpskier  Offline
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Rockford, Michigan
Quote
snmhanson said:

Part of me wants to try the Catana, but part of me worries that it will not go over well once we get on it (especially with the wife). Any advice? Should we stick to the tried and true or take a chance on the Catana?


I usually try to heed that part of me that says listen to the Admiral! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Groovin.gif" alt="" />

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: aarpskier] #136491
07/24/2017 09:57 AM
07/24/2017 09:57 AM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,049
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StormJib Offline
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StormJib  Offline
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I will get flamed here for sure. Nothing will sail without low weight and a keel, dagger board, or centerboard. Most charter boats are simply not set up that way. The beasts are floating condo's with a stick coming out the top. That can make great fun for group for week or more with little distance to cover in good weather.

The Catana's are different. They are lighter and they do have dagger boards so they will sail somewhat. There will be issues if you crash into the bottom with those deep boards down. Less weight will translate to less nice condo like living and lounging areas.

As the family and friends list has grown. We usually charter the newest and largest boat we can get for the dates. We have sailed from PR to Grenada in every direction. Today if it is anything like upwind we are motor sailing. I expect I will beat you upwind point to point with any of the charter condo's motorsailing on any of the Cantana's. We have never had a fuel issue on a charter boat. I find 80% of all crews want the biggest newest thing you are willing to pay for. When you are traveling less than 50 miles on vacation what is the difference between 6,8, or 10 knots VMG anyway?

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: StormJib] #136492
07/24/2017 10:17 AM
07/24/2017 10:17 AM
Joined: Jan 2009
Posts: 153
Eastern MA
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tothedogs Offline
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I have no experience with the Leopards or Catanas, but have sailed numerous Lagoons and FP models. Without knowledge of the toy packages, my preference for the Grenadines at that time of year would be for the Lagoon. Approximate light displacement for a Lagoon 45 is 33,000 lbs and a Helia 44 is 24,000.

In February in the Grenadines, wind will be in ample supply and my preference would be for the heavier vessel. Given your route, unless you decide to go from Mayreau to Bequia for some reason, you will be off the wind the entire time. If sailing the VI in the summer time, my preference would be for the FP.

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: tothedogs] #136493
07/24/2017 10:29 AM
07/24/2017 10:29 AM
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StormJib Offline
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Be careful to not get lost in the marketing hype. You can get some real world data looking at the ARC Rally results from past years. The difference between performance and charter boats is usually less than a knot VMG or 20-30 miles a day. That delta is meaningless when hopping between Carribean islands. You should also consider on a charter boat you may not have the sails onboard to reach the sailing design specs and too much water and people stuff holding you back as well.

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: StormJib] #136494
07/24/2017 11:02 AM
07/24/2017 11:02 AM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,577
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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I've only sailed on the Leopard cats, but have been on a number of the others at shows..etc. Obviously there is a lot of personal preference and opinion, so I'll just offer mine.

I believe the Leopard cats are primarily built for charter with private use being secondary. I think with the majority of the rest, it is the opposite.

We love the Leopard cats - I like the raised helm, electric dinghy davits and most of all the forward cockpit. They also make very good use of all the space. The new 40' they have is roughly the same size as the old Sunsail 384 model but feels SO much larger.. I think this is all due to how they optimize the space.

The Moorings 4000 owners version is awesome. You get the luxury of the owners suite, plus the forward galley. And you also get A/C and a genset. While it doesn't have the forward cockpit their 44 and 48 has, it does have access to the bow which is almost just as good. We took one out May last year and loved it.


Matt
Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: maytrix] #136495
07/24/2017 11:18 AM
07/24/2017 11:18 AM
Joined: Mar 2014
Posts: 124
Victoria, BC, Canada
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JD_Midnight Offline
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Victoria, BC, Canada
You mentioned you liked Voyage... Any particular reason? Trying to compare to Lagoon of similar size.

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: JD_Midnight] #136496
07/24/2017 11:31 AM
07/24/2017 11:31 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,415
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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Keep in mind that Charter companies using cats with boards often rig the boards so they can only be partially lowered. Windward performance might not be any better if not worse than a cat designed with keels.
G

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: JD_Midnight] #136497
07/24/2017 12:26 PM
07/24/2017 12:26 PM
Joined: Nov 2014
Posts: 1,049
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StormJib Offline
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Quote
JD_Midnight said:
You mentioned you liked Voyage... Any particular reason? Trying to compare to Lagoon of similar size.


The Voyage boats sail better than most. The performance is gained by sacrificing space all over the place down below. Anything raised like the helm or cabin top with DESTROY any windward upwind performance. Weight and wetted surface hurts all performance. Anything sticking up will DESTROY upwind sailing on any boat.

This is not meant to ever sail upwind:

[Linked Image]

Voyage Profile Note the Boom Height

[Linked Image]

I will also note Voyage is mostly long term repeat charters and rarely first time boat owners. Some Voyage owners own more than one boat in the fleet. There is a reason Voyage is mostly booked with little advertising expense.

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: StormJib] #136498
07/24/2017 03:03 PM
07/24/2017 03:03 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 354
Pacific NW
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snmhanson Offline OP
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snmhanson  Offline OP
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Thanks for all of the replies. Seems like most opinions are that one of the more typical charter boats will be a better idea. Makes sense to me - particularly since there will be little to no upwind work on this trip.

I suspect that as long as the pricing comes out to be reasonable we might opt for the Helia. We've sailed Lagoon 450s several times and are eager to try something a bit different. Turns out the Lagoon 42 is not available so that leaves us with the Helia, Moorings 400 or Catana. I've heard good things about the Helia. Yes, it is quite a bit lighter than a Lagoon 450, but there should only be a couple open water passages on this trip, otherwise we will be mostly tucked behind a reef or island. The Helia is brand new and well outfitted which is always nice. On the other hand, the Moorings 400 is a few thousand less expensive and still only a couple years old. We'll just have to weight the two against each other and make a decision.

I'm still keeping the Catana on the table but it is an unlikely candidate at this point. It does supposedly have a gennaker on it which would be nice if we happened to have a period of lighter winds. And it's quite a bit less than the other choices. However, with no A/C and having significantly more cramped quarters, I think that unless the performance difference was going to be notable, it probably just doesn't make sense for this trip. Maybe on another charter when we'll be going upwind more.

As to why we liked the Voyage so much, StormJib said most of it for me. It was a sleek boat with good sailing and handling characteristics. It also seemed more robust than the Lagoons and FPs that we've sailed with less creaking and groaning while underway and at anchor/moored. If I was buying a boat to cruise with I would strongly consider a Voyage 480. I wish they were more common in charter fleets outside of the BVIs.

Thanks again!

Matt

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: snmhanson] #136499
07/24/2017 05:10 PM
07/24/2017 05:10 PM
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 5,577
Massachusetts
maytrix Offline
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maytrix  Offline
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Quote
snmhanson said:
On the other hand, the Moorings 400 is a few thousand less expensive and still only a couple years old.


The still only a couple years old comment above caught my eye.. Having been on boats that were brand new (months old) to 6 years old, don't think that age plays any role. If anything, you are better off on a boat that has some time as I found the brand new boats often had more minor issues that needed to be addressed.

So I wouldn't take age into consideration in planning - aside from the fact a newer boat will have more up to date systems then a 5-6 year old boat. But if everything you are looking at is within a couple years of being new then it shouldn't matter.


Matt
Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: snmhanson] #136500
07/24/2017 06:55 PM
07/24/2017 06:55 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 854
JAX
jphart Offline
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jphart  Offline
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JAX
Moorings 4000 is a very livable boat!
You will spend 24 hrs a day on the boat. Maybe 4-6 hrs sailing.

I'll bet comfort and amenities will get more accolades from your crew.

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: snmhanson] #136501
07/24/2017 07:26 PM
07/24/2017 07:26 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 598
Georgia & South Carolina
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Deepcut Offline
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You said that your kids want something different. Have they described what they are seeking "different"? And most important would be checking with your wife on what she wants....same or different.


Wes
s/v Sea Tiger (Lagoon 42)
Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: Deepcut] #136502
07/25/2017 07:13 AM
07/25/2017 07:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2002
Posts: 5,415
GA/NC
GeorgeC1 Offline
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GeorgeC1  Offline
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Your wife will be especially happy if you can get a 3 cabin version of the M4000. Might not be available but worth asking if you only have two kids.
G

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: snmhanson] #136503
07/25/2017 05:35 PM
07/25/2017 05:35 PM
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 625
MD, USA
polaris Offline
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polaris  Offline
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Regarding the Catana, keep in mind the helms are not only fully exposed to the elements at all times but their location makes visibility impossible on the opposite side of the boat.


Polaris
Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: polaris] #136504
07/26/2017 09:01 AM
07/26/2017 09:01 AM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 271
Ottawa, Canada
UncleLuff Offline
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Ottawa, Canada
If you are not doing any up-wind sailing, I gather you are doing the one way trip down to Grenada?

I have sailed on the Moorings 4000 owners stateroom version and it is a great cruiser. As stated you and your wife will love the owner's suite and bathroom. As stated, you don't charter one of those for the sailing. But if you are reaching for the most part you will have a very comfortable sail. If you want to sail, get a monohull!

I will probably be down in Grenada and the Grenadines taking my official ASA 101,103,104 with Sailing Nautilus. Can't wait!

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: UncleLuff] #136505
07/26/2017 11:27 AM
07/26/2017 11:27 AM
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StormJib Offline
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Yah maybe... but the helm is there for a reason. So you can see the sails to sail the boat. On the Catana you can also feel the boat. Something that most charter cats do not even come close to. Most are condo's with a nub with rags. The Catanas are sailboats.

[Linked Image]

Re: Catana or FP/Lagoon/Moorings? [Re: StormJib] #136506
07/28/2017 06:36 PM
07/28/2017 06:36 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 354
Pacific NW
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snmhanson Offline OP
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Thanks all for the help. We've got it narrowed down to a Lagoon 42 (it is available after all) or a FP Helia - both owners version and both brand new. I now that there are often teething issues with the first few charters on a boat, but the charter boats down there are generally either these brand new ones or they tend to have some years on them - or they are Lagoon 450s <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Wink.gif" alt="" />.

After going through this exercise we do intend on chartering a Catana or other performance oriented boat one of these days, but I think we'll try to find a bigger one that has a bit more room and some of the creature comforts we unfortunately have become accustomed to. Those heads on the Catana 42 look a bit on the small side and it might be an adventure climbing up into bed after a late night at the local watering hole (for us adults that is).

In any case, just wanted to say thanks for all of the replies and advice.

Matt


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