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Image 38' Cat vs Fountain 38-42': Opinions?

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Old 03-07-2011, 04:53 PM
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Default Image 38' Cat vs Fountain 38-42': Opinions?

I live in Wisconsin on Lake Michigan, and thinking on trading up from current Stingray 23' 454, to a 38-42' V-bottom or Catamaran. The Stingray is great on local lakes and on Michigan when it's like glass, but that is seldom.

There's an apparently nice 2006 Image 3800 Signature cat for sale in Panama FL, advertised in various places, apparently very similar to this boat here on Offshore Online:
http://www.offshoreonly.com/classifi...o38319-en.html
but they are down to $90,000; I am not posting its URL, as it doesn't seem to be on THIS website, and I don't want to break any Forum rules.

Alternatives are Fountain 38 to 42' with power to go over 80mph, or similar level boats.

My Criteria Are:
1) Price under $100,000...less the better. In ANY market, you can spend ALOT for a great boat; in this market, less makes sense.
2) Speed over 80mph...more the better
3) Year over 2000...newer/less hours on motors/drives, the better. Drives not overstressed foolishly/over-motored.
4) Excellent to very good condition, no problems
5) Good brand (I am not AntiFountain, no dog in that fight)
6) Able to handle snotty Lake Michigan seas at good speed without foul handling habits.
8) SOME kind of cabin (with Potti; + possible to sleep in if needed) I understand this 38' cat has SOME room up front.
7) Recommended by "People Who Know" as a Great Boat...I can't very well have Bob Teague (or whomever) go with me or look at my situation, but I APPRECIATE some of the very experienced, well-balanced people who post on this forum.

I don't want to make a mistake out of the gate; of course after that boats like all things can go right or wrong.
I have never run a Cat, know the basics on handling differences from reading; my understanding is they handle big seas well, but not as well as a deep V with regard to smooth ride at speeds.

Anyway, I know this opens up a couple cans of worms, but I'm sure I'll keep the boat at least 5 years so don't want to get in at a high price to get burned, nor get a bad boat, or one that can't handle Lake Michigan well.
Some food for Bench Racing and Bench Buying...Thanks in Advance!
Oak Creek, Wisconsin
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:03 PM
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Have you gotten any insurance quotes yet?

Based on the size and power of your current boat, and your lack of cat experience (as you stated), that may be a deal breaker for you.
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Old 03-07-2011, 05:39 PM
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Don't know about that boat in Florida but there is a 38 Image Cat that is listed in the MTI section of the classifieds. I have seen this boat and it is SWEET and VERY well kept.

I'm of the understanding that the Image is a Awsome mold built by someone else. Awsome has been out of business for several years.
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainmn View Post
Have you gotten any insurance quotes yet?

Based on the size and power of your current boat, and your lack of cat experience (as you stated), that may be a deal breaker for you.
Completely agree... I have checked into cat insurance and "IF" you can get it with you minimal experience driving at higher speeds then it will likely cost $4-5 / $1000 of value. I have checked and that is what I was told and I have owned 100mph V hull for 4 years and my current setup runs 120 and they wanted about $4/$1000 out of me! I can stand the boat and fuel but another 5-6k insurance bill with a 4-6 month layup just was a deal breaker...
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Old 03-07-2011, 06:58 PM
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And there are a ton of fountains out there in your price range and you will love it when you drive it... I guarantee it! You might even consider a 35' to get you down below that range quite a bit. Anything after about 2001-2002 will be a great boat.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:07 PM
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I hate to say it , but the fountain would probably be better for you.. I'm sure it has a better build quality than an Image . They has a nice cabin and run well. I'm not a fan of how they handle rough water , but they are a nice boat for the money..
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:26 PM
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since a cat will cost to much to own, and your on the big lakes. theres a deal on a SUTPHEN 35 asking about 90 grand in the classifieds. they are a custom built boat and one of the best rough water rides for a deep vee hull. most fountains are a 23 degree hull plus a step hull. you are coming from a straight vee 55 to 60 mph hull. be safe check out the sutphen 35 its got a straight bottom is fast in flat or rough water. just look up there history on there. a friend has a new 05 single that was running 90 plus last year and will hit a 100 plus this year. I was in the boat at a abpa race that was canceled cause of winds and wave height. we drove at 65 to 75 gps for 20 miles to see this race in the 32 with friends in twin 30 and twin 33. we were having a great time. so check out that sutphen in the classifieds.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:29 PM
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Sutphen is an awesome rough water boat
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:45 PM
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Sent you PM
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Old 03-07-2011, 08:10 PM
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Rainmn: Yes, good point...I will ask State Farm about boat insurance costs.

Gofastlvr: I know I'd like a Fountain for my purposes, more "Party Room" up front, but down 15+mph with same power seems like. I've been leaning in that direction, but have to consider the Cats for cool + speed.

I'd researched a Sutphen last year, was a fast race boat redone to "nice"...amenities not quite as nice maybe as Fountain not to speak of Cigarette etc as I recall.

--Will check on possible "Limiting Factor" of insurance rates; my current 23' Stingray (63mph) costs about $300/year (free basically) so if it is jumping a factor of 16, need to know!

Thanks for everyone's input so far.
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