Choosing Our Sailing Vessel

Choosing Our Sailing Vessel

May 18, 2017 1 Comment

A big part of our adventure was choosing our sailing vessel, Catsaway.

Our parameters:

  1. Comfortable cruising 
  2. Under $100000 CDN
  3. Bluewater ready/well maintained (we wouldn't have much time to work on the boat)
  4. BONUS: solar panels, radar, plumbed for the ocean, close to Canada

From the beginning, we agreed that it would be better to look for a boat that was efficiently laid out.  The older boats were selling at a tempting price, but were often less efficient in both living and sailing design.  Since we were planning to live aboard for a year, we were looking for living quarters that would allow free flow of people (and cats).

After looking at several monohulls (Hunter, Irwin, Beneteau, Jeanneau), we decided that we liked the open concept of the Hunter 33 the best.  The fact that the mast support was not located directly in the dining/living area was a real bonus.  We also liked the fact that the lines of the Hunters tied up onto an arch above the cockpit, so there were no lines to trip on.

After researching many different Hunter 33s, Diana stumbled upon a catamaran within our price range (under $100,000 CDN - about $75,000 USD).  This boat, Dragonfly, was a beauty - built in 2015 (practically new!) and fully equipped for cruising included modern solar, engines, you name it.  We also loved the look of her - she was turquoise and seemed designed in a way that her name was completely appropriate - she looked like she would be skimming the water’s surface.

Unfortunately, our time with Dragonfly was not to be.  She had a 16’ beam, which deemed her impossible to transport over land.  Not only that, but we could only find 2 marinas in Lake Ontario that seemed comfortable launching at 16’ wide catamaran, not to mention several of them were not able to accommodate such a wide boat.  It seemed that we had hit a dead end and were left craving a catamaran.

During our hours of research into how to best transport a catamaran, Diana stumbled upon a video showing the truck transport of a Gemini catamaran.  Intrigued, she realized that the Gemini’s were built with a 14’ beam, making them the only trailerable catamaran around.

The search for a Gemini began!  We found only one in Canada - located in BC, listed on Kijiji.  Reluctantly abandoning the idea of sourcing a boat from Canada, we started to look in the US.  The closest vessel happened to be Catsaway (or Rhapsody, as she was named), located in Cape Cod, and just within our price range at $79,000 USD.  She had been well taken care of and needed very few repairs.  As soon as we stepped foot onto the vessel, we knew this was a boat we could live on comfortably.  Gemini’s have very open living quarters - a large living and dining space, a huge master berth, double berths in the aft and a long galley.  She was also equipped with solar panels and a radar and was already set up for the ocean.  A nice touch was that the holding tank had never been used so there was no 'heads' smell.  Bonus!

We decided to put in an offer and negotiated a fair price ($73,000 USD).  We’re now proud boat owners!

1 Response

Scott Fraser
Scott Fraser

August 16, 2017

Just wanted to say hello. We are newbies as well having bought our Gemini Legacy last fall at the end of the season. After a long winter and some weekend sailing we just spent our first week on Arianna sailing from Port Credit last week to Wellington in Prince Edward County (our goal was Kingston were I went to school but our time budget was running out plus we hit several solid squalls etc. Just watched your docking video and frankly, docking remains my biggest stress about the whole sailing process. We anchored for the entire week given the surcharge or unavailability of slips for a 14 foot beam. Love Coburg great marina and for 15.00 per night you can anchor and use the full marina facilities including the clubhouse. Special spot to consider is access through Wellington into the small lake leading to West lake by the Sandbanks provincial park. We anchored in the middle of the lake.

Keep up the posts and feel free to say hello. Scott and Petra

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