Technical

Catamaran basics : Purchasing your second-hand multihull carefully

Published on 01 june 2016 at 0h00

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New or second-hand? A debate which often crops up in cockpits, on the pontoons and in the forums. If you have the means, and you really want to have a state-of-the-art boat which you can customize as you wish, don't hesitate, order direct from a builder... But if your budget is more limited, a second-hand boat will allow you to cruise in a bigger boat, with more cabins and more volume. In short, you will be able to cruise further and for longer. Tempting, no? Not to mention that at the end of a long-term cruising program of from one to three years, you will almost break even when you re-sell the boat, as the major depreciation occurs in the first ten years. However, you mustn't throw yourself at the first multihull you find, as you risk being disappointed. The purchase of a boat _ unless it is a very small one _ deserves a few precautions, before you get out the check book. Follow the ten key points with us before signing!

Choice of model

Sometimes opportunity makes a thief, it's well-known... The fact remains that the most popular multihulls - Lagoon, Fountaine Pajot, Leopard, Catana, Outremer, Privilge, etc. - are those which are easiest to re-sell. If in doubt, opt preferably for one of them.

Second-hand catamaran

Age

We're not interested in the captain's age here, but that of the boat... Less than 10 years old, and there is not much to worry about, apart from changing the sails, if this has not already been done. A 20 year old catamaran, such as this Privilge, requires more attention...

Second-hand Privilege catamaran

Finding your multihull

Of course you can find the multihull of your dreams by chance during a stopover, or on a dock. But the best support remains the internet, and of course the columns of your favourite magazine...

Achat catamarans et trimarans d'occasion

How much does it cost?

It's not easy to find the right price for a model! A few assessments exist and can be found on the internet, but the price proposed, provided by a depreciation program excluding equipment, is a long way from the reality... An example: 76,522 euros for a Lagoon 380 over 10 years old. We couldn't find anything under 138,000.

Finding the right price for second-hand multihulls

Inspection below the waterline

So you have now chosen a multihull...arrange to see it hauled out, to check the appendages - possible impacts, play in the steering, propellers... If this is not possible, arrange to dive...or call on the services of a professional, the best (and even essential) being a surveyor.

Out of water catamaran

Papers, for more information

Remember to ask for all the available papers _ in addition to the 'official' ones: bills, insurances, etc. sometimes say more about the boat's history than a too recent registration document...

Multihull insurance

Sail!

After examining the boat below the waterline, the ideal is to sail for a few miles, to check the operation of the engines, the fittings and the steering mechanism.

hoist the main sail

Check the sails

The sea test is the opportunity to check the condition of the full sail wardrobe. Don't hesitate to set the gennaker and/or the asymmetric spinnaker, even for just a few ...

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