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Old 28-04-2019, 08:18   #1
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Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the carib.

Here’s our situation , I have a family of 6 , two adults , 4 kids aged 5, 13, 16, 19. And two dogs .
I grew up motor boating the cheasapeake bay, and occasionally going from Annapolis to ocean city.
I’m 43 now and have all but forgotten most of what I learned. I want to put my entire family besides the 5 year old through a good Sailing/ boating ,safety / operation class, then get experience chartering a cat and practicing small trips.
Next step buy a cat ,100,000 is about our budget.
First question where is best place to take hands on courses?
We really don’t want to take classes in the USA , like to do it from the Caribbean or the Yucatán area.
Need some suggestions on type of cat that will be best suited for my family.

How to best get this plan started , and of course do’s and don’ts. And suggestions from experienced people.
Safety is my biggest concern.

Also best types of self defense on a live aboard.
Thank you,
Russell W
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Old 28-04-2019, 08:29   #2
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

People have written books about this which despite size, many don’t fully answer your questions. Personally, I saw this from the perspective as a kid when my parents took me with them from Florida through the Pacific to NZ. It’s an unforgettable experience I don’t wish to repeat.
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Old 28-04-2019, 19:16   #3
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

You didn’t like it huh?
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Old 28-04-2019, 20:24   #4
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

Give some serious thought to having everyone take their classes in different times or places. There's a point to be made about family dynamics causing problems, like "I don't want my (wife, husband, sibling) to think I'm (not macho) (dumb) etcetera, and in fact Womanship in Annapolis got started way back when folks figured out that women would learn better without (their or other) men being around.

Why waste vacation time on what could be an intensive sailing class? Beginning and middle level classes in the US are often 3 days taken over two weekends, so not a big deal to space them out, and then later on, if you want to do a more advanced charter/passage class in a vacation spot, that's something else again.
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Old 28-04-2019, 23:32   #5
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

Definitely try to take different courses, or at least be on different boats. My wife learnt so much more taking a 7-day Day Skipper course with an all-female boat than she would have otherwise. Everyone needs a chance to stuff up, admit defeat, and learn new things without having to consider the rest of the family.
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Old 28-04-2019, 23:51   #6
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

SV Illusion you better finish the rest of that story. For a kid who seems scarred by the experience I find it funny that you are on this forum and own a 50’ Alden.
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Old 29-04-2019, 00:21   #7
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

I heartily second the advice about separating the classes.... they do it for diving as well, for good reasons, splitting up husband/wife teams with other couples. Often in couples (or triads as is our case), there is a power dynamic where someone is usually leading things. But the instructor should be that person in a learning situation. When other family members will look to you for confirmation of instruction, it's no buono. I already knew how to sail from my childhood/growing up, but needed my ICC. My loves knew nothing but what I taught them. So the best thing they did was join an all-woman sailing school (Second Star Sailing in Pisa Italy if anyone is around, they ROCK). It was much better than having me around
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Old 29-04-2019, 08:56   #8
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

I can wholeheartedly recommend J-World in either Annapolis or Newport, RI. They do a terrific job.
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Old 29-04-2019, 09:13   #9
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

I would do private zero to cruising course with offshore sailing school out of Tortola. Specify a catamaran. Explain that it will be a multi generational family learning. Then get you and your oldest kids to do RYA courses to yachtmaster if you can.
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Old 29-04-2019, 09:19   #10
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

Learn to sail in small boats, not big. Colgate 26 gives immediate feedback for example rather than big charter cat. Then move up.
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Old 29-04-2019, 09:25   #11
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

100,000 for a cat for a family of six with two dogs?

Not going to happen.

Make that the down payment on one that can do the job, finance the balance, do the year then sell.
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Old 29-04-2019, 09:32   #12
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

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Originally Posted by akprb View Post
100,000 for a cat for a family of six with two dogs?

Not going to happen.

Make that the down payment on one that can do the job, finance the balance, do the year then sell.
Definitely. At least not seaworthy without work.

I’d get all through different classes as previously mentioned and see how they react to monohulls. If positively, then buy a nice 30/40 something footer. IMHO

Good luck with your endeavors!
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Old 29-04-2019, 09:33   #13
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

Have to agree with AKPRB...US$100,000 ain’t gonna buy you anywhere near enough catamaran for such a family. In my humble opinion you’ll need at least 2.5x as much to have a boat halfway big enough for your clan to be happy in...
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Old 29-04-2019, 10:14   #14
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

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Originally Posted by russelljw1976 View Post
You didn’t like it huh?
All I can add is that kids see the experience from a different perspective than do adults. No amount of sailing classes can prepare children for the isolation, monotony, lack of social interaction with their peer group, discomfort, etc.. typical of long offshore passages. Not to mention the culture shock and language barriers once you arrive someplace. And I enjoyed the trip but hated the constant ‘leaving’ again and again.

Notwithstanding, I loved sailing and obviously still do... my suggestion is that you don’t depend on a week charter for example as a determinant of how kids cope with voyaging.

To state the obvious, all kids are different in terms of adaptability which can be hard to predict despite how well you think you can.

While I learned a lot, I would resist the notion of doing it with our children.
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Old 29-04-2019, 11:12   #15
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Re: Need advice , moving my family onto a cat for 6 months or a year to cruise the ca

Anytime on the water spent with your family & your children in particular will be the best memories you have later in life...trust an Empty Nester.
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