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Old 17-06-2008, 10:20   #1
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Cruising with 2 couples

Yesterday a boat broker essentially tried to talk us out of buying a boat he has listed. His rationale was that two couples could not possibly exist happily on a 40' boat. He recommended that we purchase a 'trial' boat together-one that could easily and quickly be sold when it doesn't work out. In fact, we're sharing the boat and will only really be on the boat together around 3-4 months out of each year. Good friends, yada yada yada. But he'd heard it all before.

Are there good and bad examples of two couples attempting such an adventure? Are the odds that long that we'll remain friends after a year or two?
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Old 17-06-2008, 10:23   #2
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Your broker is a smart person. Take his advice. It can't work!
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Old 17-06-2008, 10:39   #3
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In all of our years of cruising we have NEVER seen a two couple boat last for very long and the end of the partnership usually meant the end of the relationship.
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Old 17-06-2008, 10:47   #4
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I'm with Vasco on this one. The issue isn't so much one of the size of the vessel, as it is the myriad issues that will inevitably arise and be complicated by the size of the vessel:

1. Who is the skipper when both couples are on board?
2. How will the other responsiblities be divided up?
3. Since both staterooms are seldom equivalent let alone equal, who gets the first choice?
4. How confident are you in the sailing abilities of each other? What if the boat is damaged under the command/watch of one couple and its lay-up for repair interferes with the use of the boat by the other couple.
5. Assuming you can equitably work out the responsibility for repairs due to operator error/negligence, who is responsible for the cost of repair/replacement of items that may have just worn out? If you are not there, how readily can you determine which is which? If an insurance claim is required, how do you assess the extent of responsiblity for any increased rates (or worse still, a cancellation) when the insurance comes up for renewal?
6. Do both couples have the same standards for cleanliness/maintenance?
7. How do you divy up the calendar in terms of preferences for individual/collective time?
8. When sailing together, who determines the itinerary?
9. What is the home port, and will each couple be responsible for getting the boat back to it at the end of one of their individual sojourns?
10. Are there off-limits harbours/islands because of the risk of theft/piracy?
11. What if one of the couples got into legal difficulties in a foreign port, leading to seizure of the boat?

The list goes on and on. I think you should thank your broker for his/her honesty and apparent desire to provide sound advice, even apparently at the cost of some commission.

Brad
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Old 17-06-2008, 11:14   #5
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It's the little things that get you! Case in point, my buddy singlehanded across the Atlantic and a friend from our club went over and helped him sail back. My buddy told me he felt like killing his crew at times. The reason? While shaving, the crew would tap his razor on the rim of the bucket. After a few weeks this tapping nearly drove him crazy! Doesn't make much sense but that's what close living does to you.
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Old 17-06-2008, 12:58   #6
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I have a few very close friends. The type I would give the shirt off my back if they asked. Even those friends, I would not share a boat with. Part of the reason my wife and I are together is that no one else can live with either of us. Sometimes, even that comes into question. The idea of sharing a boat withanyone else is just freightening.
So, why not buy two smaller boats, and buddy boat around? You get the best of both worlds that way.
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Old 17-06-2008, 13:14   #7
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I'm with your broker on this one. And kudos for him for putting forward well learned common sense ahead of money. I personally know of 4 individual friends who own a boat together and it's worked out for all 4 of those GUYS. I've never once seen a situation where two male-female couples ended a boat partnership in good order. Is it possible? Sure, and folks can walk through fire as well, but I wouldn't suggest it....
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Old 17-06-2008, 16:22   #8
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We couldn't even share a cabin for a week with another couple before our friendship was destroyed, no way would I share a boat. Heck even a shared driveway entrance between two houses was a source of friction for me. Maybe I'm just anti-social.

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Old 17-06-2008, 16:41   #9
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You could share the boat as far as you get 6 months, they get 6 months, dunno if that would work. Two couples on one boat for any amount of time more then a week or so seems impossible to me, but then I don't play well with others, I'm merely able to tolerate them in small doses
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Old 17-06-2008, 19:33   #10
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We know numerous couples that chartered for 10 days, left best of friends and came back not speaking to one another. We refuse to charter with another couple, in fact we had our own boat when others were buddied up. No thank you, we can barely tolerate a weekend with another couple.
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Old 17-06-2008, 20:36   #11
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We know numerous couples that chartered for 10 days, left best of friends and came back not speaking to one another. We refuse to charter with another couple, in fact we had our own boat when others were buddied up. No thank you, we can barely tolerate a weekend with another couple.
Numerous???

My friend and I were planning to charter with our wives.

Now you go and scare me like that.

Sheesh!
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Old 17-06-2008, 20:52   #12
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Therapy,

Not trying to sway you one way or the other - boats are very small and personalities get in the way. We personally know five separate couples that have cruised with other couples and none of them talk to each other, other than generic pleasantries. We heard rumors as to why, sailing skills, where to go, what to do, what to eat, too drunk, not drunk enough, nakedness, hitting on each other. Just a hell of a lot of drama when you are supposed to be having a good time. We'll charter with other people but will always have our own boat to ourselves.
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Old 17-06-2008, 21:22   #13
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Therapy,

Not trying to sway you one way or the other - boats are very small and personalities get in the way. We personally know five separate couples that have cruised with other couples and none of them talk to each other, other than generic pleasantries. We heard rumors as to why, sailing skills, where to go, what to do, what to eat, too drunk, not drunk enough, nakedness, hitting on each other. Just a hell of a lot of drama when you are supposed to be having a good time. We'll charter with other people but will always have our own boat to ourselves.
WOW!
...........
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Old 17-06-2008, 21:45   #14
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One more nail. Had a friend come down and sail with us in the Marquesas. A really nice guy, as mild mannered and easy to get along with as it's possible to be. By the time we dropped him off in Papeete 3 months later, we were ready to maroon him on the nearest island. Living with someone in close quarters for any length is a super human test of your mental stability.

Split the cost and time of use but don't overlap them except short periods for maintenance that needs to be done.
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Old 17-06-2008, 23:32   #15
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You ae being given 100% quality advice.
We saw maybe 30 couples pair up on differing yachts to do the East Med Rally for two months. Nearly all saw their relationships strained to the point of breaking.
DO NOT DO IT.
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