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Old 02-04-2013, 16:58   #1
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Help This Innocent

okay here we go....i wanna boat....i am rapidly burning thru middle age....seemingly every 2 weeks i have something else wrong with me...i grew up in durango, colorado, yes, landlocked...every summer as a child i would re-read huckleberry finn, then try to build my own raft to float down the animas river, which in the summer might have a 4 ft hole here and there but mostly is shin deep...thru out my life the desire has not abated...it has occurred to me if i want this dream, it is soon or not this time around...


enough backstory...well, one more minor thing...i am a complete novice, total innocent...in short a virgin...i know nothing of sailing or boats....please be gentle with me....i have skulked around cruisers forum for a few months...i thought i wanted a catamaran...my dream right now is to cruise the carib ...island hopping,...overnighting or longer in some picturesque little bay...before moving to the next...occasionally the dream includes some exotic caribbean port for a little harbour/land time.....this dream had no time frame... just endless summer...the roominess of the cat and shallow draft appealed to me...


than i had a wake-up jolt....i have a limited amount of time..a few weeks 2x a year....i have limited resources...this dream included a cat with little or no work required...maybe 40-42 ft long...obviously this dream is taking on water fast...i visit the dominican republic regularly...this trip i looked at a handful of boats, cats and monohulls...while i maybe could manage a $220,000 boat with 10,000 left over for insurance, mooring for a short while, other contingences.... this requires a $1300 month mortgage, which is a financial burden for me, and this doesn't include the inevitable money into a watery hole that i understand boats are... so scale way back.... a 120,000 boat mas o menos. Much more doable.....problem no 2 ...you aint getting much cat for 120...monohulls however are plentiful in this price range.... so for this entry, 2 questions...A: the cats i saw were 15-20 years old and all had the same problem...the windows are made of plexiglass, they are screwed or riveted into place and they leak...the silicone until next year approach is obvious...also they are scratched and cloudy and unsightly..question A...are windows in cats a usable commodity, that get replaced every few years, like sails?


question B.... my dream includes me accessing the beach from my boat anchored a short way out....let's say cats draw 2-3 feet and monohulls 5-7 or 8 feet....the caribbean has lots of shallow water...is the draft difference off these island shores such that a monohull anchors 100 yards further out, and takes the dinghy in, as the cats would be doing also, only from a shorter distance? other handicaps with the draft of a monohull?

thank you for your time.....
and your patience...


johnb23
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Old 02-04-2013, 19:05   #2
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Handicaps? Not really in my opinion. I prefer the motion of a monohull personally. There are many shoal draft mono hulls that might have a centerboard for he benefits of a deep draft boat at sea and benefits of shoal draft in thin (shallow) water.m these have pros and cons too.

As for the ports (windows) I wouldn't think any boat would need replaced every few years. Sealed maybe but not replaced if you use the correct material.

My first suggestion is to sign up for a sailing course and get the basics down. It will give you some time to look at boats and decide further what you want in a boat.

You will find there are are fierce proponents of both mono and multi hulls but what matters is what works best for your plans and budget. Folks here will give you a good idea of the pros and cons of each.

Good luck in your search!
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Old 02-04-2013, 19:29   #3
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Re: help this innocent

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Originally Posted by johnb23 View Post
is the draft difference off these island shores such that a monohull anchors 100 yards further out, and takes the dinghy in, as the cats would be doing also, only from a shorter distance? other handicaps with the draft of a monohull?
handicaps?

The world tends to smell better 100 yards further out. You're further from the breaking stuff out there. More likely to encounter cetaceans. Less likely to boarded by people swimming from the beach with knives in their teeth.

How long does it take a dink with an outboard to cover 100 yards, anyway?
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Old 02-04-2013, 19:49   #4
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Re: help this innocent

johnb23, Unless you are one of those rare individuals that the mosquitos and sand flees (referred to as "flying teeth") find repulsive, you are going to want to be out of range offshore for the night. Our Beneteau draws 4.5' and we find that to be no problem in the Virgins (Spanish / US / British). Just go! See our "Group" Beneteau 41' under Shared Corporate Owner Membership in the Classifieds. Would love to talk!
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Old 02-04-2013, 21:48   #5
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Re: help this innocent

Don't listen to most of the Blowhards in this forum. If you have half a brain and are mechanical you can do it. I was a Damage Controlman in the Coast Guard and believe in preparing for the worst.
I suggest you read the bumfuzzles blog from their circumnavigation. I think they got a little lucky they lived through it, but they did(you'll understand if you read the blog). I don't suggest you do it like they did unless you are feeling rushed on time and have the money that Pat has. Go for it, if you can.
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Old 02-04-2013, 22:49   #6
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Re: help this innocent

johnb23, I'm in a somewhat similar situation, except I'm not as much of a rookie as far as sailing goes. Here is my $0.02 on what you should do:

Step 1: get some basic training. Like a 5 days long "learn to cruise while living aboard" trip, and a one day VHF course.

Step 2: buy a small/cheap/old fiberglass boat. No bigger than 25ft, and pay no more than $3k for her. Do some daysailing and/or weekending locally for a season or two. If you are not near any sea, buy a trailerable boat. I bet there is a lake no less than couple of miles wide within an hour drive from wherever you are in N.America.

Alternative step 2: take up sailboat racing for a couple of seasons. You don't even need a boat for that, as you can crew for someone else. Reliable crew is always wanted. Although owning that little soapbox on wheels is a really good practice for running a larger / more complicated cruising boat later. Among other things, it'll teach you how to sail faster with less risk, and will make you appreciate the amount of labour involved.

Step 3: charter a boat similar in size to what you are planning to buy in the area you are going to cruise for a week or two. Discover that you don't really need an expensive cat, or anywhere near 40' LOA for soloing.

Step 4: buy your own boat, outfit it and go.

As for your questions:

A) 20 years of weather and ultraviolet beating on that piece of plexiglass or lexan certainly makes it opaque. On most boats I've ever seen, ports are fairly easy to reseal or replace, and are the least of your worries, really.

B) if you can row your dinghy at 2 knots, you cover 100 yards in less than 2 minutes. Enough said.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:21   #7
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Re: help this innocent

Agree completely with RedHerring's advice. Especially about taking a liveaboard course to learn about sailing. Yes, it is possible to buy your own boat and teach yourself how to sail on it. But what if, halfway through, you realize that you really don't like it that much? Tough luck. Too late.

For someone who is a complete newbie to sailing, a much smarter approach is to make sure that you enjoy it and have at least a little bit of aptitude for it, before you dive into the deep end. A one-week, liveaboard sailing course is a good way to find out. A two-week course would be even better.

Good luck to you.
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:37   #8
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pirate Re: help this innocent

Quote:
Originally Posted by somedayy View Post
Don't listen to most of the Blowhards in this forum. If you have half a brain and are mechanical you can do it. I was a Damage Controlman in the Coast Guard and believe in preparing for the worst.
I suggest you read the bumfuzzles blog from their circumnavigation. I think they got a little lucky they lived through it, but they did(you'll understand if you read the blog). I don't suggest you do it like they did unless you are feeling rushed on time and have the money that Pat has. Go for it, if you can.
Yeah mate... you'll learn nothing here...
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Old 03-04-2013, 07:50   #9
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Re: help this innocent

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, JohnB23.
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Old 03-04-2013, 08:00   #10
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Re: help this innocent

Cats kick butt. They lack the feel of solidity of a stoutly built monohull though. Here's what I went with:http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...g/DSC_1249.jpg

I did get frustrated sometimes having more draft than the cool kids in their cats, but when a front came through and I watched the way they moved at anchor......and I didn't, I felt better.

The main reasons for a cat are open space, speed, not heeling (at least most of the time) and that some folks like the looks.

The costs are that you can't carry much weight without giving up most of the benefits, and that they're spendy compared to a similar class of monohull.

Monos can carry a shipload of cruising stuff.
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Old 03-04-2013, 15:24   #11
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Re: help this innocent

Thanks to everyone for the quick and interesting responses. Am I correct in assuming the 100 yards further out number is sufficient for a deeper draw boat, say 6.5 feet in most Caribbean anchorages? Because if it is, i am in total agreement, it means very little to the dinghy. While on this subject how much fudge factor do people use with their draw? Is 8 feet a good safety margin for a 6.5 foot draft?

Also, I think chartering a boat is a great idea. I have scheduled some boat time this season to get a feel for it, and to learn as much as possible.
Thank you all for the encouragment.

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Old 03-04-2013, 15:40   #12
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Re: help this innocent

Dionyos is cool!! I love the pilot house look. What's the length?
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Old 03-04-2013, 16:29   #13
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Re: help this innocent

Quote:
Originally Posted by H Romberg View Post
SNIP
the cool kids in their cats,
SNIP
Several years ago there was a movie, Clueless, and one of the girls was trying to help out a new girl by explaining to her who the cool kids were.

At one point there was a description of who was sitting at the cool kids table. Of course some of the other groups thought they were the cook kids and their table was the cool kids table.

This is not to say some boats are not better than others for particular purposes. Also remember that not everyone agrees on what the purpose of a boat is.

I have a cat and am very happy with it. One thing I like is how easy it is to skin/scuba dive from the boat. The sugar scoop stern extensions are really great. There is also a ladder foreward between the nets that makes getting on the boat wearing a tank very easy. Of course if you seldom or never dive this does not mean very much. Same thing goes for catching a fish and pulling it up in the sugar scoop which is basically at water level. But again if you do not fish you would not care.

Many cats have arches at the back that allow the easy mounting of high production solar panels and a nice place for davits for a dinky. For me the combination of sugar scoops and the arch means it is quite easy raise the dinky every night, something that is not always so easy on every mono.

Monohulls also have points in their favor for some things and I am sure some mono guys will detail them.

What you need to do is get a little more experience in determining what you want in a boat. Island hopping sounds nice but to some folks it means spending time close to a place like Marsh Harbor with weekly trips to the store for food and drink while for others it means staying in the Berrys and not seeing another boat for weeks. Maybe it means exploring the West Coast of Andros and not seeing another boat for months.

As others have said windows are easy to replace, agree with that. I am not so sure about the 100 yard thing. Especially on the banks moving 100 yards more away from shore may not mean much in how deep the water is. Not to say there is a problem dropping the hook far enough away to get away from the bugs, just that water in the Bahamas can be very skinny quite a ways from shore.

One option you might want to consider is finding someone who is looking for crew for their cruise and getting a feel for what it is like. Most marinas have a cork board where folks post adds, and frequently they want crew for a passage and possibly more. There are sometimes ads from folks who want to be crew as well. Same goes for pros looking for someone doing a delivery. A warm body who is able to follow simple directions and not cause problems is often welcome.

Welcome to CF.
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Old 03-04-2013, 17:04   #14
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Re: Help This Innocent

There are regularly questions like yours on this forum particularly, and the advice is pretty consistent.

Not necessarily in order:

Don't buy until you know something about boats, 'cuz you'll have little idea about what good features are. (My experience with three boat in 25 years)

Read books. Nigel Calder's Cruising Handbook has good monohull information, there should be one about cats, too. Sailing for Dummies is actually quite good. Those two alone are great starters.

Take lessons. The length and type is up to you and your pocketbook. Some suggest that learning on small boats makes you more attuned to the wind, great merit there.

Once you get the basics down, racing doesn't hurt; some say race first, some say learn first - take your pick.

Read some of the other "Newbie" posts. Here's another example: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ml#post1201097

Eventually, learn to anchor. Anchor threads are also a whole 'nother world of discussion.

Good luck.
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Old 06-04-2013, 10:51   #15
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Cool Re: Help This Innocent

This is directed to everyone who took the time to answer my query. I apologize for not replying sooner. I was tagged as a suspicious character and my messages were blocked. I have been branded a suspicious character before, but only by people who know me. Thank you everyone for your help.

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