Ocean cruising Multihulls were around long before ballasted monohulls. This is how the pacific islands became populated.
The type of multihull
I am talking about, are no more high tech, than a bi-plane is from a mono-plane. The number of hulls doesn't make it high tech.
I lived in Key West
on my previous two boats, but never on this one. We have only passed through on the way to Central America
I never burned an ounce of fuel
to run our water
maker. It runs on our solar panels
alone. This has been true for the entire 15 years since we launched, as well as the 12 years that we lived aboard with no other home. Neither the watermaker
, nor solar panels
, have required additional expenditure in that time. In places like the Bahamas
, where water
is expensive, this has saved us a LOT over what many folks do. (Buy it in 5 gal. bottles).
My mindset is not at all American, quite the opposite. Most of my good friends are European. The couple in the photo
of our sterncastle, are English
(him), and Dutch (her). We recently visited our German friends, and last summer went to Scottland.
Seasteading, in our case... is not "homesteading" or staying put. It is living as close to the Earth as possible, making our own water and electricity, growing sprouts when we can, fishing
, bartering, going to the local market VS a "grocery store", getting to know the locals in what ever country we're in, and above all else, trying to set a good example wherever we go.
We never had boat or health insurance
while cruising, OR an income
of any kind. When my wife was working was when I built us a small house and then we built our boat. Now that we have returned to the US, she is working again. While cruising, for many years we lived solely on the money
saved from selling our house, which we did shortly after launching our boat. Since we built it ourselves, (and like always, NEVER use debt), there was enough profit to live cheaply for a long time on it. We thus owed no taxes
, and our only ongoing expenses back in the US, were for a mail forwarding service
We never "molded" from sitting in one place. We made numerous trips up and down the East Coast
of the US, all over the Chesapeake, numerous trips to the Bahamas
, All over the Keys, numerous crossings of the Gulf of Mexico
, (rode out a number of hurricanes, one with 150 MPH winds/not at sea). We cruised Central America
, went up the Rio Dulce and then took inland trips on the local bus... We later cruised INSIDE the reef on the treacherous eastern side of Andros! On the way to the Eastern Caribbean
, we left from Georgetown
Bahamas, and sailed non stop to PR in 5 days. (3 out and 2 down) We cruised all the islands as far as Trinidad, where we eventually ran low on our savings. Having given up on the idea of getting jobs down island, we sailed from Trini back to the Beaufort
NC inlet, in just 12 sea days. (2 to Dominica
, spent the night, then 2 to Culebra
, waited two weeks for a weather
window... then 8 days to the Beaufort
Over 12 years... We covered tens of thousands of miles, almost all were sailing, and mostly to windward. We also visited over 20 countries, and made friends from all over the world. ALL of this was with NO income
, except stopping to work for a short period on a few occasions, and otherwise, living on our savings.
Our boat will sail to weather
with the best of 34' "cruising" monohulls, only @ 9 or 10 knots! (Sometimes while in 15' seas). With our Centerboard
up, we draw about 3', with it down, we draw 7', and it points very well indeed.
Of the photos above, the top two are the Bahamas. (Away from the touristy islands). The middle two are, living for weeks on end, 7 miles out on the reef of Belieze, eating what I caught every day... On the right is the Dry Tortugas
, where, with our watermaker
, we had ample water, so could stay as long as we liked, trading with the Cuban fishermen.
The bottom two are another trip to the Bahamas... "Seasteading".
In 15 years, our 18 HP engine
needed only two parts
. (Neither left us without it's use). They were a fuel lift
pump, and raw water pump
. Other than a couple of belts & oil
, that's it. It is fine to skip having an engine
if you like, but I consider it false economy. Without an engine, I wouldn't have had multiple "hidey hole" options, like going up the Shark River, in any of the dozen hurricanes I have been through.
It is true that some marinas
charge more for multihulls. By accepting side to dockage, I have never paid a penny more. It is true that haulouts for multihulls cost a bit more. Since I dive on the bottom, and wipe it off every week or two in summer, we can go 5 or 6 years between haulouts, making this cost the same or less. It is also true that they cost more to paint
. (With 40 years of experience... I do it myself). This, and the fact that I can nurse an LP paint
job along for 10 or 12 years, makes this expense tolerable. BY FAR, most of the expense is not in money
, it's in the effort required to simply maintain my boat. ANY painted boat is more hassle to maintain than bare gelcoat
, but otherwise, the care with which I built & installed EVERY aspect of the boat, makes it no more expensive in other ways, probably less! Now that we cruise
locally, and are saving up again, I hope to have her in tip top shape before we set out again, for another big one.
The years we spent building our house... (which ultimately provided the cruising kitty), and then building the boat, were while living deep in the woods, 5 miles outside of a small country town. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL, serine, & quiet. We loved those years, and I don't consider it a waste. For some, "going cruising" is the ultimate and only goal. For me, this was my third multihull project
, I had already lived aboard and cruised for years, and I had just gotten married! Now, @ 36... the goal was also to express my expertise as a boatwright, and enjoy my life in the here and now. IT WAS NOT A WASTED TIME!
Indy, you obviously can't open your mind or your eyes. Boats like ours and couples like us are all over the place. You just don't believe in any way but your way. You actually say that we and our numerous "micro budget" multihull friends DON'T REALLY EXIST, and we haven't really done the things that I say, while living really inexpensively. Like I've said... I'm not making it all up.
I don't in any way encourage "other" cruisers to go the route
that I have. That's up to them. It might not work to have a boat that requires a lot of boatbuilding skills, if they don't have them. I AM ONLY TELLING THE CF THAT THERE ARE OTHER WAYS TO CRUISE
, REALLY CHEAP
, EVEN ON A SMALL MULTIHULL.
I have no doubt that other micro budget
monohullers get around their own boat's shortcomings, just like we learned to get around ours. They both can be cruised as inexpensively as one chooses to. Ultimately, however, it's just about living within one's means, what ever that is.
You can continue to preach that "your way" is the "only" way to do it, but you would continue to be wrong.
To each his own... Mark
Tulum, on the Mexican coast
"SEASTEADING"... living off of the sea.
Entering Guatemala's Rio Dulce... Off limits with > 6' draft
, or without an engine!
, up the Rio
Sailing on Lake Izibal, Guatemala
Exploring the source rivers to the Rio, on the far end of the lake