Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
  This discussion is proudly sponsored by:
Please support our sponsors and let them know you heard about their products on Cruisers Forums. Advertise Here
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 19-08-2019, 16:25   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Salt Lake City
Boat: 1984 Hobie Holder 12'
Posts: 60
General advice for family getting into sailing.

I'm going to keep this fairly broad and open-ended. I understand some of my questions may not be answerable without more clarification, but I don't want to paint myself into a corner and miss out on some of the great knowledge and experience this place has to offer. That said, I'm happy to provide more clarification as needed. So, here's the dream: I want to spend the summers sailing with my family in the next 3-5 years.

I'm leaning towards the Caribbean because we love it down there, but I also know hurricane season is right around summer time so I'd love to hear what you think about spending the summer down there.

The details: We are a family of 6, with 4 kids ranging from 4-13 years old. Outside of day/sunset cruises on cats, this thread outlines the extent of our sailing experience.

The plan: I'd like to get a daysailer to use on the local lakes. I don't have room to store the boat on my property, so it will need to stay at a storage unit (expensive) or in a slip (is that an issue with Utah winters?). I would love recommendations on a good daysailer, but from my last thread the consensus was that it doesn't really matter much in my price range of $5,000 or less USD. There are a number of boats in this range in the local classifieds, I'll enlist the help of the local yacht club after I get to know them better, as I'm sure they're familiar with many of these boats. I will continue attending the yacht club activities and get on the water as often as I can, probably 2-3 times a month until I get my own boat. I am considering a live-aboard course in Southern California next summer to take ASA 101, 103, and 104. I've found a school that will take my entire family for the week for around $5,000.

If we haven't killed each other after days on the lake and a week on a small boat, then we'll charter a boat later that summer or the following year to really test the waters. If we still like each other and my wife is onboard, then we'll begin seriously looking to buy our cruising boat in early 2023. I've seen many here claim that they spent years looking, so I'd like to start looking now to get a better idea of what is in our price range, what we really need, etc. with the goal of buying late 2023 to early 2025 - cruising the Caribbean summer of 2025 if not 2024.

The questions:

- What boat would you recommend as a learner boat for someone with zero experience to be used on the lakes of Utah? It will be used primarily by myself (6'4" 245 lbs) but I'll drag my wife and kids out as often as possible. I would consider some overnight trips with my boys on the boat, but that's not a necessity. I'd like a boat that will teach me skills that could be transferred to the next boat which will be sailed in the Caribbean.

- Where should I go to learn more about Caribbean sailing and particularly sailing the Caribbean during the summer (I'm mostly concerned about weather, but I know I have a ton of other things to learn like customs fees, how to avoid pirates, and where they sell the best rum)? I have read many of the Caribbean specific threads on CF and some blogs - just looking for everything I can absorb.

- What boats would you recommend for a family of 6 to sail the Caribbean? Ideally it will have 4 cabins and 2 heads, and room for us to sit down and eat together. The budget will depend on some factors, but I'm thinking we'll spend $100,000 on the boat and plan to spend another $25,000 getting it ready. If things go well with my business, that number will go up. I was initially thinking catamaran, they just look so cool. But, they're expensive and I know I'm gonna have a hard time finding one in that price range, so I'm open to mono or multi at this point.

- Would I be better off chartering a boat for the summer, rather than buying one? I like the idea of having our own boat, but I know they're expensive to maintain and I'm not sure what I'll do with it during the 9 months we're not sailing. I've looked at a few chartering sites and it seems like $3k-$5k per week is average - does that sound right? I'd love to hear from anyone who has done the math (taxes, insurance, registration, storage for 9 months........vs renting for 3 months).

- What's the best way to estimate boat insurance? I don't want to drive my agent crazy with my wish list over the next few years, but I'd like some rough numbers to help with our planning.

I've posted a ton here, and a lot of questions that aren't all related. I didn't want to spam the board with a bunch of new threads, so we'll see how this goes (the O/U on posts before this is completely derailed is 3.5). I created a spreadsheet to track the things that seem important. If you want to have a laugh, check it out. There are tabs along the bottom for the different categories I've been thinking about, some of my other questions, things I'm reading or studying, etc.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets...it?usp=sharing
__________________

Salt to Sea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2019, 17:34   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Niceville, Florida
Boat: Pacific Seacraft 31
Posts: 37
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

Have you considered just keeping it simple and experimenting? It sounds like you donít know if your family will like sailing or being in a boat together for long periods. What about just having fun with the sailing dinghy, letting your children have fun with the dinghy, and taking a captained charter in the Virgin Islands for you and your family for a week, while reading some basic books to expand your knowledge. Then assess the results.
__________________

Salty Possum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2019, 18:12   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Salt Lake City
Boat: 1984 Hobie Holder 12'
Posts: 60
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Possum View Post
Have you considered just keeping it simple and experimenting? It sounds like you donít know if your family will like sailing or being in a boat together for long periods. What about just having fun with the sailing dinghy, letting your children have fun with the dinghy, and taking a captained charter in the Virgin Islands for you and your family for a week, while reading some basic books to expand your knowledge. Then assess the results.
Thatís a great idea. I want to learn to sail, so getting a day sailer is going to happen either way, and the ASA courses are very likely to happen, even if my family doesnít catch the bug.

Instead of a bareboat, a captained charter probably makes more sense for that first time. The plan isnít set in stone, but a few charters will have to happen before buying a boat.

As for the getting along comments, I think anyone with kids in my age range will relate. Part of my goal with this is to force them to interact, without their iPads, and to do some cool things that most people never get to experience. Teaching them hard work, critical thinking skills, and teamwork are other bonuses - so Iím fairly set on making them like it .
Salt to Sea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2019, 18:41   #4
Registered User
 
Macblaze's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Edmonton/PNW
Boat: Hunter 386
Posts: 856
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salt to Sea View Post

- Would I be better off chartering a boat for the summer, rather than buying one? I like the idea of having our own boat, but I know they're expensive to maintain and I'm not sure what I'll do with it during the 9 months we're not sailing. I've looked at a few chartering sites and it seems like $3k-$5k per week is average - does that sound right? I'd love to hear from anyone who has done the math (taxes, insurance, registration, storage for 9 months........vs renting for 3 months).
Well you aren't going to be able to charter a boat for 3 months with anywhere near the amount of money it costs to own and store. $4k * 12 weeks is darn near $50,000 a year. Maybe worth it if you only intend to do this one or two summers but after that it makes very little senseó When we looked into it anything over 5 weeks just made no sense financially. And the likelihood of having a boat kitted out to make a 3 month cruise comfortable is not high. There are a couple of places offering longer term options, but frankly they aren't really any more cost effective.

That said, ownership has its downsides as well. I don't know about the Caribbean, but if I had to show up and get my boat ready every year and put it to bed as well I figure it would eat at minimum two weeks out of my vacation time. And if you need anything major done then that will take extra time as well unless you can arrange to have it done in the off season. And if something does break you are stuck (with 4 kids) until its fixed. Then there is where? BVIs? Bahamas? Further south out of the Hurricane zone? Costs will vary wildly.

We couldn't make it work after our year sabbatical and were going to sell and go back to chartering and limiting ourself to a week or two a year. Then we decided to put her in charter here in the PNW instead. Now we get to use her 1-2 months a year (albeit in the shoulder season) and she is prepped and ready to go when we arrive, and best of all, cost of ownership is minimal.

We almost bought into a share of a boat in the BVIs which is another way to go. Spreads the risk and costs in exchange for sharing the cruising season.

Good luck on your adventures and be sure to keep an open mind.
__________________
---
Gaudeamus igitur iuvenes dum sumus...
Macblaze is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2019, 19:01   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia
Boat: Jeanneau SO469
Posts: 106
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

I would think that a captained charter in the BVI or Bahamas would be a great way to start. Short sailing days, local knowledge, fun captain, lots to see ashore etc might really stir up the kids interest in learning to sail themselves and build dreams of big adventures.
Peeew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2019, 19:25   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Niceville, Florida
Boat: Pacific Seacraft 31
Posts: 37
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

If you want this to be a life-long family interest, make the first few trips fun. Build the interest. Not everyone likes classes. With a charter they can make it as much of a ďlessonĒ as the like but also do some snorkeling, beach combing, and just hanging out. If the goal is to sail the Caribbean, then go sail the Caribbean and see where it goes. Donít plan the fun out of it or get too far ahead of your life, which is now.
Salty Possum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2019, 20:19   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Salt Lake City
Boat: 1984 Hobie Holder 12'
Posts: 60
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty Possum View Post
If you want this to be a life-long family interest, make the first few trips fun. Build the interest. Not everyone likes classes. With a charter they can make it as much of a ďlessonĒ as the like but also do some snorkeling, beach combing, and just hanging out. If the goal is to sail the Caribbean, then go sail the Caribbean and see where it goes. Donít plan the fun out of it or get too far ahead of your life, which is now.
Great point that I hadnít fully thought through yet. Iíll have fun in the classes. My wife will put up with it for me. My kids will probably be below deck on their tablets, hot, and bored out of their minds. Might have to bring grandpa down there to take them to the beach or park while my wife and I learn.
Salt to Sea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2019, 20:20   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Salt Lake City
Boat: 1984 Hobie Holder 12'
Posts: 60
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peeew View Post
I would think that a captained charter in the BVI or Bahamas would be a great way to start. Short sailing days, local knowledge, fun captain, lots to see ashore etc might really stir up the kids interest in learning to sail themselves and build dreams of big adventures.
I think weíll try to do this before chartering a barefoot.
Salt to Sea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 19-08-2019, 20:32   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Salt Lake City
Boat: 1984 Hobie Holder 12'
Posts: 60
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Macblaze View Post

Good luck on your adventures and be sure to keep an open mind.
Iíve briefly looked into the timeshare stuff but donít like the idea much. Iíll do some more homework. I hadnít considered the time to prep the boat at the beginning and end.

We have a lot of hotel points and could probably put the family up for some time, or bring them down a week after myself if needed. Hadnít thought about down time for repairs, which could happen far away from a Marriott. This is why itís good to ask questions before spending a bunch of money and having your kids hate you for ruining their summer. Iíll have to think about this and find some stories of others who have dealt with this. Stopping somewhere for a few days wouldnít be the worst thing in the world if it was in the Caribbean, but I know some of the islands are not places Iíd want to be stuck at with my family.
Salt to Sea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2019, 05:58   #10
Registered User
 
malbert73's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Boat: Tartan 40
Posts: 1,385
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

Definitely definitely charter the first time. Do it in BVI or similar with a captain. Make it all about fun, snorkeling, etc. learn yourself on the side. Stack the deck and make it fun for everyone.
I would charter for now simply because the toughest part of boat ownership is maintenance and repairs. And nothing ruins family boat trip more than breakdowns (think head failure, water system, engine, etc)
So chartering buffers you against that and lets you learn how to cruise without having to learn (yet) how to maintain a boat and its systems
malbert73 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2019, 09:50   #11
Registered User
 
akprb's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Alaska
Boat: Boatless
Posts: 920
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

Beneteau 50, charter version. Plenty in that price range and perfect for what you are doing.

6’4” 245lbs and looking for a daysailor?

Older J24 might do the trick.

Good luck!
__________________
www.sailingohana.com

"Take it all in, it's as big as it seems, count all your blessings, remember your dreams" JB
akprb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2019, 10:12   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 20
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

I think your plan is off to a good start with some of the ASA classes to get you acquainted with how to sail. Not sure I'd try it with the whole family. I think it better for you (or maybe you and your wife) take the classes and then teach the kids. I think you can do it for much less than the $5,000 suggested. There are numerous sailing clubs with boats included in the club fees that also offer classes. Once you get up to speed and are comfortable taking a smaller boat our your own take a sailing vacation in the BVI with the family. Summer is low season in the Caribbean and you should find a Beneteau 50 or smaller with a skipper for a reasonable price to take you out for a week and let you take your hand at sailing a bigger boat. Most of the big charter companies also have ASA classes up to bare boat for a reasonable price. After getting your bare boat license try chartering a 47 - 50 Beneteau on your own. There are many bargains to be had chartering in the summer as that is low season and there are tons of boats to be had in the BVI. Experiment with a few boats and sizes and once you find one that suits you buy it and put it into secondary charter in the BVI. This way it will be making some money for you while your aren't using it and it will be available for your family to use for 2 or 3 months during the summer season.
Cheers,
Jim King
jim King is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2019, 12:08   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Salt Lake City
Boat: 1984 Hobie Holder 12'
Posts: 60
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akprb View Post
6í4Ē 245lbs and looking for a daysailor?
Day sailor may be the wrong term. I'm looking at what's available in my market, and there are some 20-30' boats in that $5k range. I'm considering something like that to learn on, and get some quality time with my kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jim King View Post
I think your plan is off to a good start with some of the ASA classes to get you acquainted with how to sail. Not sure I'd try it with the whole family. I think it better for you (or maybe you and your wife) take the classes and then teach the kids. I think you can do it for much less than the $5,000 suggested. There are numerous sailing clubs with boats included in the club fees that also offer classes. Once you get up to speed and are comfortable taking a smaller boat our your own take a sailing vacation in the BVI with the family. Summer is low season in the Caribbean and you should find a Beneteau 50 or smaller with a skipper for a reasonable price to take you out for a week and let you take your hand at sailing a bigger boat. Most of the big charter companies also have ASA classes up to bare boat for a reasonable price. After getting your bare boat license try chartering a 47 - 50 Beneteau on your own. There are many bargains to be had chartering in the summer as that is low season and there are tons of boats to be had in the BVI. Experiment with a few boats and sizes and once you find one that suits you buy it and put it into secondary charter in the BVI. This way it will be making some money for you while your aren't using it and it will be available for your family to use for 2 or 3 months during the summer season.
Cheers,
Jim King
So far every reply has mentioned chartering, and I think that's a great idea. My goal/dream behind getting our own boat was that it looks like a more affordable way to spend longer times with my family, enjoying the Caribbean. I'd really like to spend 6-9 weeks of the summer on a boat. If we had our own boat, I'd most likely use it for Spring Break (1 week) and Christmas Break (2 weeks) each year too. I think it would be so good for my family, and such a cool experience for us. I'm not looking to quit everything and live on a boat full time. Some of the stories you see online look amazing, but I'm just looking to create great memories and quality time with the family.

Lots of mentions of downtime due to repairs. I have read enough to plan on budgeting roughly 10% of the purchase price to annual repairs, but I hadn't considered the time involved in those. How do y'all manage that downtime? Can you continue living on the boat while it's being fixed? Do you have to get a hotel? I want to ask what the average repair time is, but I know there's no way to answer that. I'll have to think about that. You'd have the stress of spending money to fix things, dealing with potentially dis-honest mechanics, and waiting on parts to be shipped in. But, I'd imagine sitting on the beach is much more relaxing than the inside of a Jiffy Lube.
Salt to Sea is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2019, 16:08   #14
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 17,099
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

Hello, Salt to Sea,

After around 35 yrs. of living aboard and cruising most of that time, I have met a whole lot of guys whose wives are not happy to sail with them, and the guys regretted that. With that experience behind me, I'd like to suggest that if this is something you really want, and if you also want to keep the wife, then you'll need to make it fun for her, too, as well as the youngsters. It might work to consult with her about it.

As to finding a $5,000 yacht that will fit someone of your size and 5 others, good luck, it won't be easy. No sarcasm here, but it is difficult enough for someone with some experience to tell if a boat is a good one, you're stacking the deck against yourself. Here's a link to something that may help when you go look at boats: Marine Survey 101

Ann
__________________
Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-08-2019, 17:16   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: New Zealand
Boat: 50í Bavaria
Posts: 1,342
Re: General advice for family getting into sailing.

Whether you end up doing it with your wife will depend entirely on how much she enjoys it. There's not much you can do about that except try to make it fun for her. Make sure you're doing all the cooking/cleaning/provisioning/kidwrangling and that will help. If you have a wife that doesn't get into it there isn't a thing you can do about that.

Kids before teenage can be encouraged into it by making it fun and letting go of some of the "home" rules. Once they're hooked you'll be fine with them.
__________________

Tillsbury is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
family, sail, sailing

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can my family take your family out to dinner? Need to discuss RTW tactics of family Liminality Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 5 13-10-2016 22:04
Looking at getting into sailing...Catalina 30 986mkoh Monohull Sailboats 8 16-08-2013 10:16
Just Getting into Sailing dishmonkey Meets & Greets 9 24-06-2013 11:43
Getting Back Into Sailing Rivers Monohull Sailboats 2 11-06-2011 19:33
How Loco Is this? Newbie Getting into Sailing . . . Adax General Sailing Forum 29 25-01-2011 22:49

Advertise Here


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:01.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.