Choosing the boat that you are going to live on after a long life on land, throws up a few dilemmas. Firstly will it be Monohull or a Catamaran? This one for us was easy as the space of the Catamaran is King and with a family you need space. Secondary was the stability of Cats, I have taken the kids out in a bit of a blow on our mono and they really didn’t like the heeling one bit.
So Cat it is and we have decided on a 4 cabin version, although the owners suite on 3 cabin versions looks fantastic, its just not practical for us. There are 3 main elements or trade offs when buying a boat: Performance, Space and Cost. Now unless you are Mr McMinted you will have to balance these 3 elements, with two of the three being more prominent.
Coming from a mono sailing background and having quite a well performing boat, when I started looking it was all about performance – I wanted something that would point high and sail like a beast. Catanas and Outremers with their dagger-boards looked to be just the thing, but then when you explore the space inside, its like wow that’s seriously tiny and is something that would never fly with the Admiral – Happy Wife Happy Life as they say and In a blink of an eye, my performance boat dream was a thing of the past.
We have come to the conclusion that we need around a 44 to 46 foot Cat and it will probably have to be from one of the big production line builders (Lagoon, Fountaine or Leopard), as these cats just seem to have a lot more livable space and certainly a lot more storage space and as we will be spending probably 90% of our time at anchor, that space is really important with a family of 4 sometimes 5. The sacrifice here, as you can guess is sailing performance, but unless you get a high performance Cat that is always going to be the way of things.
At the moment we are just keeping an eye on boats and pricing and are regulars on www.yachtworld.com and www.yachthub.com which are our two favourite sites. One thing that we have noticed is that boats that are priced competitively and realistically, sell very quickly whilst those which appear to be over priced just sit there for months and even years! I highly recommend that anyone thinking of buying a big boat, start looking a few years before they are ready to make the plunge, so you can get a real feel for pricing and what is available out there.