Planning for our New Catamaran

With La Mischief sold, its now time to turn our focus onto our new Saba 50 catamaran. With the world in lockdown it’s a little tricky to put hard dates into our project plan, but there is still much planning and decision making to be done. 

The search for a name for our new boat goes on, as does our search for the best country to register it in. Australia is out as the boat will be owned in joint names. The USA is an option but I like the idea of a neutral country. We like the Maltese flag but are unsure of putting the ownership of our major asset into a Maltese company, where corruption is a known problem. A lot of the other options – BVIs, Cook Islands, Cayman Islands – still have that annoying Union Jack in the top corner – something that also bugs me about the Aussie flag. The Marshall Islands is an option, especially when you can have “Bikini” as a home port, but the Flag is a bit so so. At the moment, I am leaning towards the Cook Islands as I love the Pacific and Multihulls Solutions, our Fountain Pajot agents are well versed with registering boats there. 

The choice of dinghy is also top of mind. We are down to two options, both Highfield. We like the OC Dinghies from New Zealand, but they don’t have a console option. 

Our first choice appears to be the Highfield Ocean Master 390 tender (190kg) with Yamaha 40 HP (97kg). This will set us back about $27,000 US. We like its ocean-going capabilities, as we love to go exploring in our dinghy. We also like its false floor that will keep our gear dry. It will mean that we need to go for the more expensive Tenderlift option to hold the extra weight and getting it onto a beach will be more of a challenge. 

Our second option is a light grey Highfield Classic CL380 tender (80kg) with FCT console and Yamaha 30HP.  This is considerably cheaper at approximately $15,000 US, plus we can save an additional $3,000 in a cheaper, smaller, lighter Tenderlift option.

On the planning side, I went hunting for a good free project planning tool and came up with Wrike. I’ve managed to build out a lot of the tasks and dependencies around two guessimates of when the Factory will open back up (maybe start of June) and when we will get our Saba ex factory (my current guess is end of September). It looks like we will be spending Winter in La Rochelle doing the fitout and then leaving in April next year for the Mediterranean (on the same timetable as La Mischief in 2013).

As well as the gantt chart in Wrike, I also have the following documents and lists in various stages of completion. 

  • Aftermarket specifications in MS Word – 93 items that need quotations from Uchimata (some of which we’ve since removed – eg. Lithium batteries as we will go with the supplied AGM’s until they die). 
  • Test Plans in MS Word for each individual item (didn’t do this for La Mischief and we missed a few things). 
  • An Issue Log in MS Word – there’s always issues!
  • A Detailed “To Do It Ourselves” List in MS Word – all those things we need to do ourselves when we are on the boat in France. 
  • List of Contents of Boxes Shipped from La Mischief to France – we have packed 68 boxes of stuff (personal effects, line, lifejackets, drogues, etc. etc.). Now know why we need a bigger boat. 
  • MS To Do List for stuff we need to buy in USA and take with us (eg. Rangefinder – old one stopped working). 
  • MS To Do List for stuff we need to buy in France (eg. Dinghy anchor) 
  • MS To Do List of possible boat names. 

So as Dee and I sit out the virus in isolation at Dee’s Mums place in Somerset, California, there is enough to keep me occupied. Can’t wait for the world to return to its new normal so we can get off land and back on the water. 

5 thoughts on “Planning for our New Catamaran

  1. How about a drone to scope channels, check out beaches and even send ashore for fresh croissants in the morning?

  2. Probably need two tenders. One light weight to be able to drag ashore. An internal petrol tank on the big tender. Also a 200l tank built in to your new hull would be a great way to store the fuel.

  3. Steve- your technical planning skills are impressive! When all’s said and done, let me know and I’ll help provision the galley and make a great meal!! Oh and a bottle of bubbles of course!
    Stay safe and I look forward to seeing you and Dee in the Med!!
    😘 Kim

  4. Thanx for keeping me posted…Congratulations!!!


    Here’s a interesting read

    Apr 01, 2020 Jean Larroux Product Details WHAT A DIFFERENCE 40 YEARS MAKES SUNSAIL: MONOHULLS

    I just had the chance this past November while in the BVI to experience the new Beneteau Oceanis 46.1 offered now by both Sunsail and Moorings in charter.

    The yacht has it all – digital monitoring, generator, air conditioning, full instrumentation, refrigerator and freezer.

    That may seem normal nowadays, but it was not so back in the seventies.

    Charlie Cary, founder of The Moorings, was (to put it mildly) old school. He subscribed to what Herman Wouk’s character in Don’t Stop the Carnival came to learn. The K.I.S.S method of surviving. Keep It Simple-Stupid!

    By today’s standards some might think Charlie’s demands to yacht builders were extreme. The Charley Morgan Out Island 41’s that was a collaborative project between Morgan, Cary and partner Rainold was to create a bulletproof charter yacht and the backbone of The Moorings fleet.

    What did “bulletproof” mean in Charlie’s world?

    Well by applying the K.I.S.S. standard – why would you need wind instruments when a wind vane on the masthead would be perfect? Likewise – why a depth sounder when a lead line would do just fine? Refrigeration!? Not Charlie. As an engineer by profession in his former life he carefully calculated the right thickness of insulation and other feature to construct an ice box that at the end a 7 day charter would have most of the 200 pounds of block ice, un-melted.

    After all, true sailors are self-sufficient. Dead reckoning sailing around the world versus a sailing holiday in the British Virgin Islands were not the same thing.

    I remember clearly late hour meetings between Charlie and Tony (Rainold), with me being an unparticipating observer and occasional referee, with Tony trying to explain the demands of the people booking charters versus Charlie’s need to keep maintenance and expenses to the minimum.

    These meeting were in St. Petersburg, FL in preparation for design meetings with Morgan or Vince Lazarra, owner of Gulfstar Yachts, and were similar to today with The Moorings and Sunsail being intimately involved in design features of the yachts.

    Slowly but surely, and always reluctantly, Charlie agreed to change.

    First came the depth sounders, then the refrigeration. The batteries in the seventies were not the sophisticated ones of today. They were enormous lead acid that could not sustain the draw of electric refrigeration. Bit by bit we added full instrumentation (Charlie held out until the bitter end to add wind-vane over anemometer), auto pilot, and now generators and many models have water makers. The only limitations are volume and yacht design that eliminate some amenities from consideration.

    The wants and needs of the charter guest are most important and the commitment to making it all work is the role of our technical staff that works closely with the manufacturers. They strive to make certain the new technology is implemented in a way that K.I.S.S. is never too far away.


    Jean Larroux has been with The Moorings for over 43 years combined. Currently the Yacht Ownership Sales Manager and is proof that as the characters in Kenneth Grahame’s classic Wind in The Willows attest “…there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” SUBSCRIBE TO EMAIL UPDATES

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    Owner Stories (5) Product Details (4) Boat Buying Process (1) Boating Tips (1) Deliveries (1) See all


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