Thursday, September 27, 2012

Cat or Mono & The Great Old Debate

Cat or Mono?
Since the great hunt has begun for a new (old) boat, Sim and I have had great fun pouring over websites, picking out boats that we like and even going to see a few that are available here in Grenada. Having lived on board (a monohull) for over eight years you would think that we have some idea of what we are looking for, but now that we have this opportunity to change, we have come against that age old argument…… should we go cat or mono? And quite frankly we are finding it hard to decide. You see the thing is, on Alianna we have huge, HUGE amounts of storage and cubby holes, nooks and crannies. Not only that but as well as having the saloon, we have the pilothouse to hangout in as well. When you start looking around at cats in the 35-40ft range it’s all well and good having four cabins but what good are they when they are just empty spaces. I need lockers and storage for all my hoards of belongings that have accumulated over the years. We are not out here for a vacation, our boat is our home. We have STUFF and we want to put it away and out of sight. Which brings in the whole not loading a cat down issue. Not only does it have to carry all the necessary gear to make and keep a boat safe but we need to carry all we need to be self sufficient, along with all the other useless and sundry items that we can’t bare the live without. Plus I need a sofa to lie down on! My favourite thing to do in the morning is to jump out of bed and promptly lie back down again with a cup of coffee and my emails to contemplate the day. Many of these cats have these tiny good for nothing curved sofas. So it seems that some of these cats that the budget affords are not really offering anything greater or in some cases even similar, in terms of living space. The galley areas are pretty poor but maybe that’s just the cats we are looking at. I’m not particularly bothered about seeing out of the windows and would be more concerned with keeping it cool inside. So does that mean I am ambivalent towards a catamaran? Maybe. But as I vehemently dislike beating to windward in a monohull and a rolly anchorage has to be akin to Chinese water torture at times then the appeals of a catamaran start to shine through. But these are just my feelings. Sim sleeps like a baby through almost anything and takes like a duck to water in most sailing conditions. His keenness for a catamaran must date back to his competitive racing Hobie cat days as he keeps muttering what fun it would be. I don’t doubt it for a minute. The whole idea of living on a cat is almost alien to me and that very concept in itself is very appealing – it’s exciting to learn new ways again. They say a change is as good as a rest! Plus the idea of my own heads! (oh the joy) and not only a separate cabin but a whole hull for guests is very attractive. We have only seen a small variety of catamarans so far– a couple of different lagoons which are not really my style especially the newer ex charter variety, a lovely Admiral 38 (with fab galley) which is not for sale but belongs to someone we know who let us have a look around and a very nice, turn key but beyond our budget Nautitech 395. Sim is keen to have a look at an older Privilege 39 as they are supposed to be pretty strong boats

However on the other hand for the money we could buy so much more of a monohull! Still with more heads and cabins and a decent galley and way more varieties available for sale.

So how on earth do you make a decision about which way to go; toss a coin maybe? Sim has drawn up an excel sheet so we can grade boats accordingly. I think it’s a great idea and hopefully that will work for Sim. But as with all things in life I tend to lead with my heart and not my head so I suspect I will just know if the right boat comes along......

Alianna - A good old boat!

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