Buying our catamaran

So Rob Armstrong…this post is for you!! This could get to be a very long Blog so I will break it up into a few posts.

Last year we started to really think about our sailing future and where we wanted to end up when we are ready to cruise fulltime. I have been sailing for a while now and was dedicated to the life of being a liveaboard when we finally retire. Tammy is relatively new to sailing and I was not sure how she was going to take to traveling and living on the water full time. This is a big dilemma for many sailing couples (generally the man wants to sail and drags the wife along because it is his dream not theirs). Well I am happy to say that Tammy is just as excited to travel on a sailboat as I am – Thank god for that!!

So now that we have that hurdle over with it was on to our preparation of a vessel and getting in some well needed practice under sail. Our time on Ocean Phoenix was great but the space was a real issue for both of us. So we decided to upgrade to a Cat now rather than later. And this is how we did it.

Step #1. Start browsing cats

We had an idea of what cats would best suit our needs. Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, PDQ & Wildcat were all on the list. We felt that a 36ft boat would give us enough room to live comfortably. We wanted basic galley up design with good refrigeration and the ability to install a decent water maker, yada yada yada…We looked at many boats and were very interested in a FP Tobago in South Carolina. It was well equipped and honestly I love the FP line of boats. So we did some research and set a date in January to view the vessel. During that time though we were still browsing what was new coming on the market.

That is when we can across our 1995 Catana 411. It was listed with East Coast Yacht Sales. Bill. F was the broker and she looked like a good boat to investigate. I spoke with Bill on the phone and he was very knowledgeable about the vessels history. We decided that it was worth the trip to Portland Maine to view. A co-broker, Rob. G, met us at the vessel on a Saturday morning and walked us through. I was very impressed. The space was incredible and the boat showed very well for being 25 years old. She needed a few little items but the layout was exactly what we were looking for. The only reservation we had were the exposed helms on each side.

We left Portland with more questions than answers. We spent Christmas Vacation mulling over the potential the Catana had. I liked the idea of a more performance designed Cat and a ocean going design rather than a coastal cruiser style cat. We gathered up a hit list of questions for the broker and current owners and sent it off. We were impressed with how transparent the owners were with all our questions we had. They answered all our questions and more. So we organized one more showing to ease our minds on a few items. After the second showing we made an offer that day and waited for a response. It was overall, a very seamless purchase. And on that note we bought our first Catamaran.

Since our closing date we have been in contact with the old owners often. Now keep in mind Covid 19 hit just after we closed on our vessel in February 2020. So our first face to face was a skype call on the computer. We had hopes of spending time with the owners during our commissioning and launch in June however that would never come to be. We were very lucky to have owners who were so fourth coming with so much information. The knowledge they had was priceless and it helped us more than they could ever know.

So that set the stage for many emails back and forth with the past owners. Maintenance items they did, solar and electrical systems and how they functioned, they walked us through all the systems and how they had maintained then for the last 15 years.

This was a great help when we finally got to Maine to commission the vessel in the spring and get her ready to launch.

Step #2….. getting ready to launch. Not as easy as anticipated (more details on this in our next post)


James and Tammy

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