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Old 08-10-2015, 03:53   #1
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Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Hi, Bit of introduction first, my wife and I are early 50's and have the opportunity to start two centre living, summers in good old Blighty and winters in a more preferential climate, we looked, for ages, to find a suitable country to live in during the winter but they all seem to have some drawback and we never really found the ideal place, then a few years ago whilst spending a lazy week in Grenada we met a couple who had been winter living on their yacht for the last 18 years and another idea started to unfold...

Now I must say at this time that I have never actually set foot on a yacht, not for any other reason than the opportunity hadn't arisen... I've always been a petrol head and preferred things with engines!! The allure of a quiet peaceful cruise on a boat is sounding much nicer as the years roll by though.

The other issue is that I was injured some years ago which resulted in my back being screwed and wired back together along with two new hips in the last 10 months and a patched up knee, so my mobility, although not too bad, will never be excellent, I don't need sticks or walking aids it's more about flexibility, I'm 6"5' as well so that doesn't help.....!!

My knee, the last bit to need sorting at the moment, has just been done so I am abusing it as much as I can to get some bend back into it and hope to be something like "normal" within a few months...

We have done lots of reading and decided a catamaran is the way to go, liking the Fountaine Pajot Bahia for it's headroom and upstairs galley...

We were then planning on doing one of these week long sailing courses like this one Blue Water Sailing School - Sailing Lessons, Sailing Courses, ASA Bareboat Charter Certifications to see if we liked it and if it would be possible to sail and move around on board without too many issues...

As the title says please spare a minute to give me your thoughts, are we totally mad?? Are these courses any good for a total newbie?? Or should we give up on the idea, buy a house with a porch and rocking chair and get a pipe...!!!

Thanks for reading this far.
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Old 08-10-2015, 15:41   #2
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Haylands, welcome, we're glad you're here and we all hope you are still here a year from now. If you look through the threads you'll find lots and lots and lots of other postings just like yours: a complete rookie who has caught the bug and now wants to dedicate their life (and their retirement) to sailing. There is one and only one "thought" or "suggestion" or "comment" that we can give you: GO OUT AND SAIL!

Go out and sail in nice weather; in horrible weather; in strong winds; in no wind; in open water; in reefs and shoals. Do it all. And if, after a thousand hours or so on the water, you still feel the same way. Then find a boat that fits your budget and buy it.

If you look at any marina in the world you will find dozens of boats that are literally never used. They were all bought by people with the best of intentions, who later wished they hadn't.

Like I said earlier, we all hope that you are still here a year from now.
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Old 08-10-2015, 16:07   #3
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

I am 67 and a US vet. I got damaged a couple times including my back, wrists and joints from the hips down. I have a power boat and do ok. Sailing for me with the sheet handling would only make things worse. I avoid bad weather, but have a good margin of safety with this boat.
That said, the power boat is just enough movement to keep things moving. Even though I am a former shipwright, etc., etc., I have to hire helpers for the heavy stuff and much of the maintenance. But I often run the boat solo, just plan my moves. I like the scenery and solitude of the trip between Seattle and Alaska and have made the trip many times. So far it's just a little soreness on a long day steaming. I have no plans to ever live ashore...
I would say do it! You're not growing younger. Fun and enjoyment happens at all ages. It will leave you something to think about when you're less able.
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Old 08-10-2015, 16:32   #4
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Thanks for your thoughts, I'm sort of going into this backwards, the main aim is to have somewhere to live and get out of this god forsaken country during the wet and cold winters that stiffen my joints up and just make you feel yuk...

We fancy starting in the Caribbean, pick an Island for this season, moor up offshore and enjoy the location and the piece and tranquillity of a boat to sleep and eat on... then next season pick another island and sail there... so sailing isn't forefront in the equation at the moment...

I hope we do like it and get more adventurous but I've been through enough lately and just want to kick my shoes off, put my feet up and have a few years off....!!!!

Is the Blue water sailing school a good idea or are there other ways to do a similar thing... I've done lots of Googling but I don't have the knowledge to know what to Google for!!!!

Thanks again
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Old 08-10-2015, 17:00   #5
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Howdy Pete! Welcome Aboard CF.

I do see you joined earlier this year, but I want to express my welcome to your nice introduction post above. I like your plan. Sounds like a nice way to enjoy life, one island at a time.

You mentioned you are looking for a possible "sailing school" where you can learn if you like the cats and sailing and take lessons.

There are several in the Caribbean. Here is a quick way to learn more about this, click this link and look at some of the earlier threads/discussions in CF that have been focused on "sailing schools in the Caribbean." school Caribbean - Google Search

Look over this one too: (the link may say something else, but click it to see).
school Caribbean - Google Search

Of course there are others too.

Since you know the FP boat you have in mind has the headroom you want (6'5" is tall), it sounds like you have been doing some good research.

By the way, if you do have a preference for a cat (which makes sense given your intro) and you do not want to get a sailboat, there are "power cats" and I think some look like they would be great for living aboard in the Caribbean or Keys or Bahamas. The one I like is the Lagoon Power Cat (about 43 foot). They can be bought used. Some of them have a HUGE master aft stateroom (look for a "owners version") that looks like a big hotel room. They still have the relatively "one level" type of floor plan so it might be OK for someone with possible mobility issues. I will upload a few photos to show you what I mean.

Here are some threads discussing "power cats" (the link may say something else, but click it to see).
school Caribbean - Google Search

Good luck on your boat search and have fun taking lessons.
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:21   #6
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Thank you all for taking the time to reply, Steady, I had read a fare bit about the different schools, just fishing for some current information... I'll be re-reading it all again anyway.

I did look at power yachts but they seem to be rather expensive to go anywhere in, mind you in the early days of our plan they wouldn't be going far each year, I do have the thought that one day we'd just pull up the anchor and keep sailing east....

Got a few months to make a decision and I've always been of the opinion it's better to make a decision and regret it than regret making the decision so watch this space....
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Old 09-10-2015, 03:42   #7
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Pete.
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Old 09-10-2015, 11:27   #8
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Thank you GordMay

Steady... talk about throwing a spanner in the works... got me looking at Power Cat's now...

They give a cruising speed, maybe 30knots and seem to use a massive amount of fuel to run that fast, are they much cheaper if you pootle along at 10knots??? Whats going to be the difference between sail upkeep and fuel costs, is there more to service on a sail boat or power boat???

I'll have to go do some more digging for info.....
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:04   #9
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

The only way to decided if sailing is for you is to go do it. Find a liveaboard course and sail for a week, throwing yourself into everything. Ask to see the plumbing and see if you can fold yourself into place to reach it.

Even better, you said "we." As long as your partner is willing and able to fold themselves into the bilge to fix the pump, you don't have to. My husband fits well into the lazarette and back with the steering, I just have to hand him the tools.
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Old 09-10-2015, 13:42   #10
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steady Hand View Post
Howdy Pete! Welcome Aboard CF.



I do see you joined earlier this year, but I want to express my welcome to your nice introduction post above. I like your plan. Sounds like a nice way to enjoy life, one island at a time.



You mentioned you are looking for a possible "sailing school" where you can learn if you like the cats and sailing and take lessons.



There are several in the Caribbean. Here is a quick way to learn more about this, click this link and look at some of the earlier threads/discussions in CF that have been focused on "sailing schools in the Caribbean." school Caribbean - Google Search



Look over this one too: (the link may say something else, but click it to see).

school Caribbean - Google Search



Of course there are others too.



Since you know the FP boat you have in mind has the headroom you want (6'5" is tall), it sounds like you have been doing some good research.



By the way, if you do have a preference for a cat (which makes sense given your intro) and you do not want to get a sailboat, there are "power cats" and I think some look like they would be great for living aboard in the Caribbean or Keys or Bahamas. The one I like is the Beneteau Power Cat (about 43 foot). They can be bought used. Some of them have a HUGE master aft stateroom (look for a "owners version") that looks like a big hotel room. They still have the relatively "one level" type of floor plan so it might be OK for someone with possible mobility issues. I will upload a few photos to show you what I mean.



Here are some threads discussing "power cats" (the link may say something else, but click it to see).

school Caribbean - Google Search



Good luck on your boat search and have fun taking lessons.

So Steady, what boat was that in the photos?


S/V B'Shert
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Old 09-10-2015, 13:49   #11
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greenhand View Post
The only way to decided if sailing is for you is to go do it. Find a liveaboard course and sail for a week, throwing yourself into everything. Ask to see the plumbing and see if you can fold yourself into place to reach it.

Even better, you said "we." As long as your partner is willing and able to fold themselves into the bilge to fix the pump, you don't have to. My husband fits well into the lazarette and back with the steering, I just have to hand him the tools.
Yep, thanks, that's the plan... it's amazing what you can do when you really need to....
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Old 09-10-2015, 14:15   #12
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Haylands View Post
Thank you GordMay

Steady... talk about throwing a spanner in the works... got me looking at Power Cat's now...

They give a cruising speed, maybe 30knots and seem to use a massive amount of fuel to run that fast, are they much cheaper if you pootle along at 10knots??? Whats going to be the difference between sail upkeep and fuel costs, is there more to service on a sail boat or power boat???

I'll have to go do some more digging for info.....
Hi Again Pete.

First, I am not an expert on those power boats (or cats) and have not yet been on Power Cat myself. But, as someone who has sailed since I was a little boy, and loved boats ever since, I think I would enjoy owning a Power Cat (like the Lagoon 43 Powercat) almost as much as a sailboat that same size. I would want to fix it up a bit for my tastes, and would likely have a lot of solar panels, but I like what I see on that boat (especially that large master cabin). The salon interior (settee cushions and stuff) looks rather plain, but all that could be changed and I think the open space and multiple windows would lend to a nice light enviroment and great views if you are anchored in some tropical lagoon.


IF I were older or had some medical or physical limitations (bad knees, bad back, or such, I would consider the Power Cat a very nice liveaboard and coastal (and Caribbean) cruiser. The stability offered by a big cat would mean less worries about walking on tilted surfaces (bad for knees) and less climbing up on cabintops to manage sails, and possibly less climbing up steps (if in a Monohull that has a tall ladder). Plus, that cat would be nice stable "flat" platform for enjoying the anchorage or water sports etc. Floating "condo" type platform. As others here will attest, most of the Caribbean island cruising is usually a "day sail" or overnight (not too far) from one island to the next. So, the range should be sufficient on that boat.

You asked about the relative costs for fuel vs. sails. Good question. I think others have addressed that in some of those other threads found via the links I posted earlier. I do recall that Steve Dashew (a long time and expert sailor, now a powerboat designer and promoter) had made some kind of comparisons of the costs on his website. If you google "Steve Dashew FPB" you should find his website (I can't recall the name of it now) and there in the FAQ or somewhere on that site it will discuss the costs (of course with his boats in mind).

IF you are buying any boat with two engines, there will be twice the engine maintenance of a single engine boat (typical Monohull). That applies to sailboats like catamarans too.

Fuel prices a problem? I understand. That is why many cruisers pick a "trawler" versus a "cabin cruiser" or "sportfish" type boat, because they want to go slow, efficiently, using a low RPM single (or twin) diesel engine, rather than using gas/fuel guzzling high horsepower (but faster) engines. This too has been discussed on this forum. And, there is a "Trawler Forum" that is somehow linked to this forum site too. It shares some members and has a focus on power boats (trawlers) used for cruising.

Personally, I prefer a sailboat because I love sailing. Always have. And, I hope to sail long distances around the world ("The Big Dream"). But, if I felt I only wanted to do coastal cruising around the USA, or in Europe, or in the Caribbean, or in the ICW and "Big Loop" (river and coastal system in USA), I would be happy with a Power Cat like the one I posted.

The photos show it going at high speed. I think that is fine, but would not necessarily be my speed of travel. I would go the optimum speed for fuel efficiency. There is a photo showing it beached. I like that too about cats (some).

Hope this helps.
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Old 09-10-2015, 14:16   #13
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tayana42 View Post
So Steady, what boat was that in the photos?


S/V B'Shert
Lagoon 43 PowerCat (a few years old model) Newer models are larger and different. I think the one I upload (photos) was from year 2000 or so.

Here is a link to the Lagoon site showing that boat. Other pages on that same site have the newer models and larger ones too.

http://www.lagoon-motoryachts.com/power43_uk.php
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Old 09-10-2015, 14:25   #14
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Oooops! Earlier I typed "Beneteau 43 Powercat" when I should have typed "Lagoon 43 Powercat." It is a LAGOON brand boat (the blue boat I posted).

Here is a link: Lagoon Motor Yacht
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Old 09-10-2015, 16:02   #15
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Re: Thoughts, suggestions, comments please

Steady, thanks for the info...

Been having a good chat tonight and decided the best thing to start this off is come and look at some boats over that side of the pond, can't find many cats in the UK!!

So next stupid question is, how do we go about it..... phone a yacht broker?? turn up at marinas and chat to owners??

Any help/advice gladly recieved... just want to trial fit a few different types of boat, see if I fit and what there like and take it from there....

Probably come over January time, give my knee a chance to get a bit better..

Sorry for all the daft questions... I am enjoying this though
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