All; My wife and I are the "other couple" that TARDOG was referring to when he started this thread. I can help clarify a couple of things, but for the most part you are alarmingly consistant in your warnings.
TARDOG, his wife ...and LETSAIL and his wife are looking to co-own 90% of a heavy displacement
(slow but hearty) sailboat.
TARDOG would liveaboard
with his wife nearly year round. They are selling their house, etc; and plan to take up the cruiser's lifestyle. They are relatively new to sailing, but in their mid 30's are big time adventure seekers and love the minimalist life. They have no children
. They love wilderness trekking and camping, are athletic, and would be most happy, if not in a sailboat, living in a tent in the mountains rehydrating food
filtered from a nearby stream. Sailing is a natural extension of this for them, and they have embraced it fully in recent years.
We (LETSAIL) have owned sailboats from 23ft to our current Catalina
387 on an inland lake (which ironically we co-own with a couple --but don't live together on it) and chartering for 20 years around the world. We have done coastal cruising, but have yet to experience long passages, and the experience of being hove-to and riding out a big storm. (TARDOG relishes this thought.) We are in our late 40's and are not as athletic, but share the dream. Our two girls are grown and out on their own.
Starting in 2010, we would join for 4 to 6 months a year. During our stay, they may or may not fly back to the states to visit family
for a month or two. Over the course of a few years, we plan to work our way from California
to the Carribean via the canal, then come up the eastern seaboard, then to England
, spend a summer in the Med, and circle back to the Virgins. From there, who knows? Obviously, we (LETSAIL) will experience most, but will miss some.
We want to buy the boat now to equip her well and make several coastal cruises to get ourselves aclaimated and live as two couples in a small space for awhile. As a foursome, we are unique. Both wives teach in the same English
Department in a local university. Both guys are entrepreneurs and gadget-fixit-learner types. We've been talking about this for a long time, and are now ready to put it into action.
The buddy boat idea has merit, but neither family is wealthy enough to do it. We realize we are enabling each other... emotionally, financially, etc to make this dream a reality. But if we could do it with two boats, we would.
But our attitude is, "sure, we will piss each other off from time to time, but if it weren't for the other couple, we could not be here living our dream." --much easier to recall
from a sunny Carribean cove vs. slogging through a storm, but true nonetheless.
Our experience with co-owning our 2004 Catalina
with another couple is actually going so well that it made us think the 2-couples cruising idea was plausible. Sure, I've had the opportunity to pay 1/2 of the other couple's mistakes
, but they've paid for 1/2 of mine, and some of my love for gadgets.
Anyway, we really appreciate all of the feedback; and it is causing healthy soulsearching. If there are others out there who have succeeded with 2 couples aboard/ownership and seen it work, let us know. Otherwise it looks like the vote is about 10 to 1 against the idea. We'll let you know how our decision comes out.