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Old 14-01-2013, 13:53   #16
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Re: FPs For Extended Cruising with Kids?

One thing is for sure, you will expand to fit whatever space you have.

For my vote I would say an Orana if you can afford the jump up from (say) the Mahe. While there is plenty of space on a Mahe (an amazing amount in fact) the greater space of the Orana with your proposed "crew" and friends will make the additional space an huge benefit.

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Old 15-01-2013, 14:08   #17
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Location: UK, Croatia
Boat: Fountaine Pajot Athena 11.6m Rapa Nui II
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Re: FPs For Extended Cruising with Kids?

The Athena does have the engines under the aft bunks. Initially, I would have preferred access from outside but have changed my mind with experience and input from our charter company who maintain a number of FPs.

There are several problems with access from the transoms. First, the machinery suffers considerable corrosion problems despite attempts to improve sealing. Second, the access in a seaway can be exciting at best and hazardous at worst. Third, access for maintenance is limited, I did not envy the guy trying to change the calorifier on a Lavezzi.

Yes, it is a pain getting to the engines but with a little bit of work that can be real easy. The real problem is as you lift the outboard bunk board it drops off the battens as it fouls the trunk at the outboard aft end. My solution is the split both the inboard and outboard bunk boards transversely about 300mm fwd of the aft bulkhead, hinge them there and then fit gas struts that will hold both bunk boards with cushions on up against the headlining. That makes routine maintenance easy. All you will need is 8 gas struts, some batten and hinges and cost about GBP150. The trick is getting the gas strut force right. For that you will need a spring balance and some high school physics.

Of course, you can cut the cost and doing the mechanics calcs by using low tech wood props.

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Old 19-01-2013, 07:11   #18
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Hailing port: Sausalito, CA
Boat: FP Bahia 46
Posts: 14
Re: FPs For Extended Cruising with Kids?

We have been cruising for over a year with our two teenagers and are very happy with our older ex-charter Bahia46. We were originally looking for a 4-cabin, 2-head FP Belize43 or similar but this larger model came along at close to the same price. Granted, we don't care for having four heads to maintain but, in the end, you become content with whatever you buy and are grateful for the chance to cruise instead of stressing over the wish list. There are many conversations on the cruiser forums over the benefits of having engines under the bunks or in separate engine rooms. In our case, the engines are separated from the cabins yet the engine access is still within the lifelines instead of down the transom stairs. We have more than enough storage space and love the comfortable ride on ocean passages. Our criteria was to make sure we bought a boat longer than 40-ft LOA which is supposed to be the magic number for comfort on the high seas. My recommendation is to set your budget and buy whatever is the best boat for the money at the time. Get out there and have a wonderful shared experience with your family! Build those memories! (Set aside a good 20% of the boat purchase price to convert it to a cruiser and deal with all the deferred maintenance issues if you do buy an ex-charter, however.)
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Old 26-01-2013, 11:20   #19
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Location: Cruising Indian Ocean / Red Sea - home is Zimbabwe
Boat: V45
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Re: FPs For Extended Cruising with Kids?

We cruised for 8 years on our 35ft catamaran (Island Spirit), including my wife giving birth to our first children aboard - twins. We now have four children and am finally upgrading to either a new Lipari or a used Belize. We have the benefit of knowing exactly we require for living aboard. The main thing is to get aboard /afloat.Good luck.

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