Another point you might consider is bringing up the children
(girls?) away from the influences of modern "civilization" and getting them away from media hype and more. Take a look at the television programs your young ones watch (you too!) and decide if any of the folks you invite into your home via cable TV are people you'd have over for drinks and a barbecue
Quite frankly, NOW is the time to go -- before your eldest becomes a teenager so wrapped up in the world of peers that your guidance is no longer welcome or wanted. Boat Kidlets are incredible individuals and grow into adults you'd want to be friends with. They tend to be independent, capable, polite, and interested in the world that surrounds them.
This could be an opportunity to forge a closer relationship with the children
, teach them your values -- provide them with an education they can't possibly get in any school
. We can talk cultures, ways of life, et al, but experiencing same from your own home? That is a gift.
And as for the boat, yes, go for stability -- and a catamaran
is a far better choice than a monohull
in that regard, plus it will give you more room too. Perhaps you also might consider a power boat
; I like the dependabilty of an engine
to get me where I'm going and the storage
space is good too. Mine is cozy yet I have everything aboard I want including a sewing machine
(for quilting -- not for sailmaking!) and lots of books
, DVDs, silk floss for cross-stitching, oil
paints -- and more! This is my home so having my goodies is comforting.
Tonight it's rainy, but from my dinette table I can see a moon poking out from behind the distant clouds, and the only sounds I hear are the raindrops on the cabin
topsides, my fan and the strokes of my typing on the keyboard. For me, the silence is to be treasured though when I get up I'll turn on the radio
with my USB attached and will be listening to music
And yes, I eat from fine dishes. If one breaks I'll buy another. It's not all plastic cheap
stuff. This is my home and I am content. It's not camping when it's your home IF it's more than adequate. I like nice things and if your wife does too, she's going to need assurances that this move to a boat won't be a step back....
I'd go with lifestyle stuff more than "sailing to distant shores" ... it's not a big step from marina hopping to dropping the anchor
for a swim, enjoying a fish
cooked on the grill
, staying put over night and starting out the next morning after another swim. If you like the area, stay longer. Along the eastern seaboard there are tons of great stops (pick up a Waterway Guide -- any year is fine/this is just a wish book at this point) and you'll find information about places of interest, museums and such. There is so much to see and learn along the waterfront, and sharing that with your family
is an awesome idea.
Still, she might be reluctant because of YOU... when things go wrong, how do you handle it? Are you a Captain
Bleigh or relaxed and easy-going? If she asks for help, are you there for her, or is it a "chore"? If you're unpleasant as a dirt dweller, I can't imagine how nasty/grumpy you'll be in a small boat. At least on land if you're on a grouchy tangent she can get in the car and go someplace.
is great, but it is not for everyone. There are mistakes
I've seen that doom even the best of relationships. For instance, there was the guy who bought a trawler
his wife said she didn't like/want. It was a bargain and he LOVED it, so he bought it. Well, the wife loved cooking
and the galley
was atrocious. Worse, there was no way short of a major refit
to make it better. She couldn't open the oven
door without stepping into the companionway
. To get food
to the aft deck
for entertaining, she'd have to go up three steps to the salon
, outside thru the side door then up two more steps to the eating area. This was for every meal. Guess how long it would take me to get tired of the rigamaroll?! AND, she told him she didn't want that boat. They lasted about a year before she went into a condo and the boat went for sale
. Could they have been long term cruisers? I'm not sure, but one thing I am certain of was she said NO and he "knew" it was a great boat and she'd "learn to love it" -- she didn't.
Then there are the guys who pull into the anchorage or dock
and spend their time berating their wife or yelling during the tense moments... it's ugly to watch/listen to, and I can't imagine how awful it would be to be the target of such a rampage. Ugh.
Anyway, I hope your wife comes on board the whole boating
idea... it can be an incredible lifestyle, and certainly, even if only short term (say a two year trial period) can grant the children an experience they will long remember and treasure. So, my advice, long winded as it is, would be to
#1) Focus on giving the kidlets this experience
#2) Offer it as a temporary two year expedition -- not a permanent change...
Note: I don't think one changing of the seasons is enough for a realistic look at life aboard. Two gives you time to work out the kinks (there will be some!) and relax into the experience.
#3) Start learning
about boats... go to Boats for Sale, New and Used Boats and Yachts - YachtWorld.com
and start looking. You're not going to shop yet, but you need to see what is available and the features you want as you decide what it will take to make a home afloat a pleasure boat.
Don't forget power boats!!! '
#4) Investigate home-schooling options... E.D. Hirsch has a series of Core
that should be helpful in that regard. And you are volunteering to teach too, right?
#5) Become a library user, and get cards for the kids
as well. Take them to the library with you while you research
books on boats and living aboard
. There are ton of books out there, and quite frankly you don't need to buy them all though I expect some will strike such a bell within you that you'll want to own your own copies!
#6) Be kind to your wife and remember "Happy wife, happy life""