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Old 11-11-2013, 18:06   #16
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Re: a 'simple" boat

I am all for simplicity of gear and style. BUT I am not sure I can define what actually makes 'simple'.

Anyways when the item cannot be fixed or done without, you are into the danger territory.

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Old 11-11-2013, 18:43   #17
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Re: a 'simple" boat

Adelie's model is my own. When I built my boat, I had little money left over. So I could only buy the minimum stuff that allowed me to live on the boat and sail it locally. Over time I added stuff according to the RULE that said things had to be simple and sturdy, first. Later I could add the fancier stuff. So the nav gear was a compass, a sounding lead and sharp pencils. The toilet was self contained and replaceable with a bucket. The fuel tank was an outboard fuel tank with a funnel and five gallon jugs. Water was jugs, etc.,etc.

As I survived and began to thrive in my new home of San Diego, I added stuff, slowly and with lots of deliberation, due to poverty and anxiety. Over time, thirty-five years, I have done better, and added some stuff, thrown other stuff away, but always kept the manual equipment as the backbone: bilge pumps, water pumps, toilet, kerosene lamps (including running lights). As I have aged, I have added some really choice stuff: electric windlass (with manual backup capacity), refrigeration (in a super insulated box that works with just ice), a 21st century electrical system (distributed, with an inverter), modern electronics, and revamped storage and interior features to make life warmer, brighter and sweeter. Then there's the larger winches, and plans for roller furling gear.

Bottom line: the Rolling Stones got it right, "you can't always get what you want......"
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Old 11-11-2013, 18:49   #18
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Re: a 'simple" boat

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Originally Posted by LakeSuperior View Post
The answer reduces to a combination of how you will use the boat and how large the boat is. I have had both ends of the spectrum. From foot pumped water to hot and cold on demand. From no heat or A/C to dual units one in the aft cabin and one in the main salon. From oil lamps to dual red/white interior lighting.

If you are doing one or two week vacation cruises then minimal works the best. Reduced maint. chores. you don't want to spend three days working on the gen set half way through a two week vacation. Hauling ice twice and heating water is no big deal.

Cruising for months and years then creature comforts become important. Also, you will have more time for preventative maint. and doing maint. as part of cruising. Windlass, AC, showers, etc., comm upgrades over VHF, are all required.

For a boat 40' and over you are pushed into complexity just to manage the boat.
I personally think quotes like this are a disservice to those just getting into cruising. Maybe I read your post wrong but if your stating that windlass Ac showers etc. are required for long term cruising then I say absolute poppycock! Cruising is what you make of it. Whether your on a $500,000 gold plater or a $10,000 craigslist special it's all what you make of it.
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Old 11-11-2013, 19:34   #19
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Re: a 'simple" boat

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I personally think quotes like this are a disservice to those just getting into cruising. Maybe I read your post wrong but if your stating that windlass Ac showers etc. are required for long term cruising then I say absolute poppycock! Cruising is what you make of it. Whether your on a $500,000 gold plater or a $10,000 craigslist special it's all what you make of it.
Tent camping is great for a few weeks. But most folks would not want to live in a tent for 1 to 10 years. There are some that would but they are an exception. Most folks, not all, but most, want the day-to-day modern comforts over the long haul. That's all I was trying to say.
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Old 11-11-2013, 20:00   #20
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Tent camping is great for a few weeks. But most folks would not want to live in a tent for 1 to 10 years. There are some that would but they are an exception. Most folks, not all, but most, want the day-to-day modern comforts over the long haul. That's all I was trying to say.
I understand what your saying. I guess the word "required" set me of. There are plenty of people cruising long term without all the comforts of home. If I wanted all the comforts of home I would stay home. To me cruising is an adventure and part of that adventure is being self sufficient, taking time to haul water to the boat and not have a water maker. Using solar panels for power and relying on a good breeze for the air conditioning. Not for everybody but I don't think anything is "required" to be a cruiser but a good basic seaworthy vessel.
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Old 11-11-2013, 20:16   #21
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Re: a 'simple" boat

I must be doing it all wrong. No A/C, no windlass, (though ok, I do have all chain on my primary anchor finally), no inside shower, no pressure water, etc,etc. None of it is required to cruise, though its nice to have, for sure. Just not required for a simple boat.

I've only been "camping" for 10 years. But then again I'm a crazy cat lady, so not the norm at all. Gee, I only have 5 pair of shoes aboard.. Primitive for sure.

I do have two auto pilots, two depth sounders and a lead line, led lighting and an oil lamp. So not quite a simple boat. Having important backups for when something important breaks is important.
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Old 11-11-2013, 20:22   #22
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I must be doing it all wrong. No A/C, no windlass, (though ok, I do have all chain on my primary anchor finally), no inside shower, no pressure water, etc,etc. None of it is required to cruise, though its nice to have, for sure. Just not required for a simple boat.

I've only been "camping" for 10 years. But then again I'm a crazy cat lady, so not the norm at all. Gee, I only have 5 pair of shoes aboard.. Primitive for sure.

I do have two auto pilots, two depth sounders and a lead line, led lighting and an oil lamp. So not quite a simple boat. Having important backups for when something important breaks is important.
You must be kidding? How do you survive? I myself am roughing it, only bringing along my masseuse and manicurist but I'm slowly getting used to the rough life of cruising!
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Old 11-11-2013, 20:28   #23
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Re: a 'simple" boat

You're really going to miss the wine steward when it comes to digging into the bilge for that old Latour.
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Old 11-11-2013, 20:32   #24
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You're really going to miss the wine steward when it comes to digging into the bilge for that old Latour.
An yes, couldn't fit the wine steward and masseuse, so body before spirit.........? One of these days I'll get it right!
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Old 11-11-2013, 21:16   #25
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Re: a 'simple" boat

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You must be kidding? How do you survive? I myself am roughing it, only bringing along my masseuse and manicurist but I'm slowly getting used to the rough life of cruising!
Oh I'm probably not that simple. One of my depth sounders is a 1973 heathkit, my backup autopilot is a old autohelm 3000, I repaired with $10 of transistors. Hot Water is warmed in a pot on the 40 year old stove. Massage is by cat, except he tends to use way too much claw. So its a comfortable boat for sure. I should mention that I'm an engineer, so nothing on my boat is complex to me.
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Old 11-11-2013, 23:59   #26
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Re: a 'simple" boat

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
nothing on my boat is complex *to me*.
(My emphasis)
This is the heart of the question, isn't it?
And of the definition of 'simple'.
If I understand it and can maintain and repair it,
then it's simple.

To me, electronic charts are unimaginably complex
and appallingly vulnerable to failure
Evidently I'm in the minority, though,
because NOAA no longer bothers to print paper charts!

When I read the books of the Hiscocks and Smeetons,
John Guzzwell, Harry Pidgeon, the Pardeys and Grandpa Slocum
I don't admire them for their ability to suffer deprivation,
but for the deliberate simplicity of their floating system.
That simplicity gave them self-reliance and independence
(not to mention economy)
which enabled them to cruise anywhere confidently,
regardless of the availability of repair shops.
It gave them something else, too,
which seems awfully important to me.
It gave them a lifestyle that the islanders
and others in "undeveloped" parts of the world
could identify with.

People cruise for different reasons
and with different expectations,
and that's fine.
Personally, anything containing copper wires
is uncomfortably complex.
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Old 12-11-2013, 00:26   #27
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Re: a 'simple" boat

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Oh I'm probably not that simple. One of my depth sounders is a 1973 heathkit, my backup autopilot is a old autohelm 3000, I repaired with $10 of transistors. Hot Water is warmed in a pot on the 40 year old stove. Massage is by cat, except he tends to use way too much claw. So its a comfortable boat for sure. I should mention that I'm an engineer, so nothing on my boat is complex to me.
I think you just hit the nail on the head. I'm a computer geek by training and curious by nature... If I can't fix it by ordering parts online or running to the chandlery, hardware store, or radio shack it might be too complex.. especially in a town of population 2000 (or much less).

I like my solar panels and GPS, but love my hand crank coffee grinder! When something wears out like my head did, I try to go simpler. For me that's composting, but I'm building my own with parts from... you guessed it... the hardware store. Wish I knew more about diesel engines, I guess that's coming eventually. I grew up in a time that we tore things apart and greased the bearings and replaced the bushings. Maybe those days are gone, but I'll keep trying.

I'm like my comfort... in general I just don't want technology to do what my muscles can do and my mind can't figure out.
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Old 12-11-2013, 00:29   #28
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Re: A "Simple" Boat

When I look about and start comparing..................

.......................
......; I'm not sure wether my boat is simple or complex.
I've had my current boat since 1985 and nobody works on it, but me, so it must be simple.
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Old 12-11-2013, 04:48   #29
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Re: A "Simple" Boat

This "it is simple as long as you can fix it" position is interesting. Seems if this was the case there would be a lot less boats in the water.

I'm still kind of waiting for the members who are always advising newbies to get a simple boat to define it and tell us what systems they are willing to do without (I know who some of you are).
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Old 12-11-2013, 06:13   #30
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Re: A "Simple" Boat

I actually see it the other way round:

- simplicity is best in long range cruising,
- more complex boats (and minds) are fine for weekends and for ocean adventured stopping in major ports.

There is an interesting (Part I) feature by Skip Novak in a recent YM. It relates to this subject. Well worth a read.

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