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Old 08-02-2010, 10:47   #16
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
I understand all your comments and admire your enthusiasm. My advice is to look at my book recommendation after my signature and the two links that talk about boats and get something small, do some sailing and then think about a big upgrade if you are still up for it.
The problem is that if you get a very large vessel that is specific to your needs and it turns out it is not the life for you trying to unload it will be a severe problem. You will be tied to it and it will be an anchor.
kind regards,

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Old 08-02-2010, 10:52   #17
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I would recomend having a plan B. Just in case the boat thing don't work out...............

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Old 08-02-2010, 11:07   #18
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I guess our need to get away from it all is mixed in with our sense of adventure. Off-hand we don't even foresee when we'd return (if ever) to land. On a practical basis, we figured it wouldn't be for at least 5 years given the places we want to visit and given the young age of our son. He's not going to miss out much on the "children's warehouses" (that's how we call daycare) and I am more than capable of boat-schooling him well before the time he would start school anyways. After that .... who knows? Hopefully we'd settle back down elsewhere rather then where we'd be leaving from.

Spent a few nights myself sleeping on the bike those odd times I ventured out for a few hours and turned out to be much longer. But I have pitched a few tents from time to time. Sometimes I even brought the house along with it, but mostly I didn't.

And in the end, it will be our choice, but to add other's knowledge in the quest of my own, my post title did say "What would be your choices and why". The why is the knowledge I seek from those more experienced.


The third cabin factor doesn't (yet) worry me too much as I've seen quite a few out there, granted, very cozy. It's more for the idea of the desired needed privacy, hence quarter-births are out. But thank you for reminding me about proper ventilation!! I knew there was a reason for all those fans in all those boats!

We've no idea where the majority of our time would be spent really. Not in the northern hemisphere in winter, and not in the southern one in summer is as close as we've determined thus far. We both hate the cold!! As for heat? Bring it on!! Love it!! Humid or dry, doesn't really matter, just don't want cold!!

Hair dryer ... ?? Don't even know what that is

Dishwasher ... ?? Wife's coming along!!! (gonna get hit for that one)

Microwave ... ?? Used to have one in my rig (long haul truck driver) and always has some practicality in my opinion.

Indeed, the idea of starting the motor(s) is something I will want to avoid as often as possible, especially at idle for recharging or heating purposes.
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:47   #19
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wow, A+ for desire and focus.


hate to say but, but....

You AND your family need to sail time before you even begin to think about considering the possiblity of the option to buy a boat.

What you have is what alot of people have including myself and many others on this forum before they get their bluewater time - you have the knowledge of some of the great writers in your head.

This puts you way ahead of most people who start with these crazy sailing dreams, but it is still no substitute for getting out there. you need both to be sucessful.

You AND at your wife should take some USSailing or RYA sailing classes and get your bareboat certs. Then get some of your friends to come with and hop on a Mooring (or some other MUCH cheaper) charter boat somewhere and see what is up.

You seem really open to advice, you dropped the whole ceramic stove thing really quickly once you saw what the power consumption equated too, but do you understand for example:

living on more than 200 amp hours a day really introduces some serious cost/techincal issues/diesel dependency problems?

How about how weather works?

What about plumbing in a boat?

how about setting an anchor for both a quick swim or for an overnight in an semi-protected bay?

What about sailing in general? If you and your family have neveer been out do you even know what your tolerances are for boat motion, going upwind, down wind, standing watches, cooking at sea?

Do you want to live in marinas or more off the hook? Do you expect to do more blue water or coastal?

There are so many questions, all answerable, but mostly answerable by you getting out there and doing it and then coming back to the forum with even more questions.;

You are in a wonderful place at the start of the yellow brick road. Just keep stepping forward and in no time you will be the one answering questions on this forum from some island with a wifi connection.

I know this post probably didnt help but good luck Mate you are in good hands with this forum.
"So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now."
William of Baskerville

"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
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Old 08-02-2010, 12:56   #20
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forgot it in my previous post. but one of the main differences between liveaboards and weekend sailors is the following equation


P= power (watts)

and the biggie is P * T power over time or the dreaded "amp hours"

Besides keeping your mates from clogging up the head controling your power consumption is one of the largest issues on a cruising sailboat. Once you can get a boat from point a to point b this becomes your next everest and it never goes away.

So you want to watch a movie every night, or have a washing machine - hmmm, how large does the battery bank have to be, how many solar panels, can I afford the proper guage cable from the panel to the batteries, how many hours a day do I want to run the engine/genny, how often do I want to buy batteries, and on and on ad nauseum...

keep on trucking mate - I envy you. The discovery path is very exciting...
"So, rather than appear foolish afterward, I renounce seeming clever now."
William of Baskerville

"You will do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm."
Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
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Old 08-02-2010, 14:02   #21
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Originally Posted by Age gap 1 View Post
On a practical basis, we figured it wouldn't be for at least 5 years given the places we want to visit and given the young age of our son. He's not going to miss out much on the "children's warehouses" (that's how we call daycare) and I am more than capable of boat-schooling him well before the time he would start school anyways. After that .... who knows? Hopefully we'd settle back down elsewhere rather then where we'd be leaving from.

Yep you’ve got a fruitful discussing going… most folks whether of limited or life-time experience will have opinions, but in the end you’ll synthesize what you think applies to you (at this time) and probably file the rest away in your memory. I was once fascinated with the Dashew motif and engaged Steve in conversation back when I was in banking and thought I might be interested (think I still have a marketing VHS of theirs around somewhere as well), and although I eventually have gone in a different direction they are wonderfully skilled and experienced yachties with experience valuable to almost anyone on the water.

As for home schooling: I agree… at least through 6th or 7th grade, home schooling is well within the realm of reality for any disciplined family halfway conversant in the three-Rs. Although not while aboard, we’ve home schooled our grandchildren from time to time through nearly half a dozen grades and find they had little trouble equaling and on occasion exceeding their progress in public schools, as well as re-assimilating once a steady school was available to them…

Again… best of luck…
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Old 08-02-2010, 14:07   #22
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Ahh, 5 years... Don't get set now on a model of boat, in 5 years a boat you can't afford now will be in your price range.
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Old 17-02-2010, 20:05   #23
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Picture getting clearer everyday ... somewhat

Again, thank you everyone for all the input to my post, it is greatly appreciated and all is taken into consideration. Sometimes it gives me answers, and often it raises new questions.

We're aware that not everything on our "wish list" will be feasible, but we're sure going to keep trying to maximize all possibilities. Some things will indeed not end up being on board, but others we hadn't even known about in the start of our venture likely will.

On the electricity bit, we are still convinced (maybe we'll learn the hard way) that our (not yet 100% determined) requirements can likely be met (without the use of fuel). With technologies evolving on a (almost) daily basis, between the proper battery set-up (and quantity) and the proper regenerative capacities (wind/solar/hydro) and the conservation of said energy, we would likely manage to forgo things like propane cooking in favor of convection cooking (clean, safe, fast, efficient).

Been reading a lot on e-drives (here and elsewhere) and find it to be an acceptable alternative (for us at least) to conventional diesel engines (lighter, and regenerative electricity).

We'd definitively end up forgetting about a third closed cabin on a monohull, but at least that still remains an option with a catamaran (albeit, older vessels in both cases).

Our current possibilities revolve around the following choices:

Hunter Cherubini 37 Cutter
Irwin Mk III Center Cockpit Sloop 37 (both cabins accessible from the inside)
Watkins Center Cockpit 36 (love the layout on it)
Solaris Sunrise 36
Wildcat 35 (yes, I have read the Bumfuzzle episode)

Again, we have read (me mostly) everything we could find (here and elsewhere) about those specific boats, but we're always open to more input.

Our situation is not "if" we'll ever leave to pursue this adventure but rather "when"!

Until then, we,re working on getting our picture clearer and clearer with each passing day.
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Old 17-02-2010, 20:39   #24
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Well, got to admire your entheusiasm.
Reality is a bit different.
For the first part, remember, that crusing doesn't get you away from taxes, buracrats or make life easier. In fact in some ways it can be harder. Maintaince on a boat can be full time. There are the checking in and out of various 3rd world countries...
But still we endeavour to it. Its in our blood. So first of all, you need a lot of knowledge. Get that thru reading. Get a lot of books. Read them, and narrow your questions down. You post is exhausting to read, because it asked for so much.
We all have been there. But I suggest you start with beth lenords book. The voyaging handbook, get it from amazon. Don't get it from the library. You need reference materials. This book is the place to start. Dashews books are not a good starting point. They are a wealth of material, but not for the beginner.
Then I suggest you go sailing. Use some money and charter a boat, or take a sailing class. I suggest water sailing">Blue water sailing school in Ft lauderdale, Florida. But any good school and teach you the basics. You want to know if you really want this before you spend the money on it. Its not easy to recoup it if it doesn't work out.
The charter idea is IMO, not workable. You might be able to do it after a long time but there are specific rules on that, and as already said, its a full time business.
For a couple and one or two children, and small 33-37 foot boat is enough. 3 cabins in that size is not something you want. You might think you do, but the flow is not good, ventilation is poor, storage is bad, etc.
Understand that you will need to budget for more than the boat. You will have to outfit it. upgrade it, and pay for marina, and insurance. Spend les on the boat, and save a bunch for those things.
Get a good survey.
If you can get a good boat for not much money that would be best. They are out there, but you might not be in a position to jump on it, and they do not stay on the market long. There are a ton of boats for sale, but many are not a good buy for you, and finding it out can be expensive. A survey on a 37 foot boat can cost over 1000 usd once you factor in haul out, and travel time. Do that a few times and you can get discouraged fast.
You need to do all this before asking about propane vs electric cooking. Or how many amp hours of batteries you need... etc.
Don't want to step on your spirit. But a healty dose of reality is good to have before you get to far into it.

SV Sarah Claire blog...
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Old 17-02-2010, 21:17   #25
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Have you actually ever actively sailed on a sailboat for more than a day sail? That should be the first step and I am sure if you hammed it up with someone around a local marina you could. Sailboat - big or small in your price range with you wants and desires is going to be small to begin with.

Major considerations - space. Throwing caution to the wind when you have been used to room - room everywhere the eye can see.

Both you and your wife will need to be able to sail single-handed. You both will have to act as team when even the simplest sounding events happen (such as a chute flail and wrapped down the side).

Then you have to consider motion sickness and being able to handle medical issues.

Personally - I would recommend that you get some sail time (and not just in beautiful skies abound scenarios). You have to consider that it is you that wants this, your wife supports the idea because she has a dreamy outlook (that will get tempered soon enough once out on the water and there is no AAA). Lastly, while two consenting are certainly capable on gambling - you both are responsible for your kid.

Start on the basics (you never mentioned you had any actual sailing experience and from the sounds of probably not nearly enough).

Start small either in terms of smaller day sail to get the hang of it and get introduced to systems required for a weekend / day sails and thus all three of you can experience and decide if it will be the experience really sought after. I can't tell you the number of ladies that I dated that wanted sail and be that perfect partner but as soon as we went through some PNW storms - swore they would never sail again unless it warm, sunshiny and just enough wind.

Or get that 38-41 footer and become friends with other skippers and not worry about being a floating condo as you pace the learning. When I moved up from C-27 to my 38' one of the reasons I started inviting other sailors onboard was to learn from their experience. However, l do admit I bought my C-27 not knowing a soul that sailed or any knowledge beyond what I read. I took it slow and learned systems first then slowly worked my way up...I think she sat a good 3 months before I ever ventured out on my own. When I got my 38' - I had a skipper of a similar size boat teach me and let me use his boat to practice docking and handling of a much bigger boat.

Just advice - I think your being methodical on the what-ifs, but sorely lacking on the one crucial step of getting time/experience on the water first (both of you) with the desiring to jump head first with instant perfect boat.
- Jody
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Old 18-02-2010, 00:02   #26
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Well, as you can see I am the wife :-)

Thanks for all the replies and all the advice and opinions. I actually just started to read and probably show more interest in the living on a boat idea. We do know that sailing is not all fun, we're fully aware of that. I don't have any sailing experience but I will be willing to take classes if need be. But, as my husband says, you're either on the boat or you're not.
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Old 18-02-2010, 04:16   #27
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Age gaps
May have missed it but haven't seen much mention of what you need when you have an infant (and later a young child) aboard.
From our experience it changes everything. Think of raising I child at a swimming pool -- someone has to be watching all the time. Boats move and infants/toddlers are unsteady so there are going to be lots of falls, you can't prevent it so you need to make sure that things are padded to prevent serious injury.
Infants and young children do not sleep on you schedule so be prepared for some sleep deprivation. It's not like on land where one can sleep and the other can attend to the child since one person should be keeping lookout and sailing the boat.
You're gonna need refrigeration, you are also going to need at least a couple of places where the baby can be safely secured, one in the cockpit and the other below. A car seat is good for the cockpit but it has to be properly secured. Below we used one of those folding playpens surrounded by the mother of all cushions.
But don't even think about keeping your child in the secure places for long periods of time, you'll end up with a kid who hates sailing and who will make your life very unpleasant.
Harness and tether, that's how we kept our kids safe. Life jackets then were bulky and uncomfortable and the idea was to make our kids look forward to being on the boat. This was the days before inflatable life vests so I might rethink the idea now. Also, if they are still made, I would recoment the Lyracis child's harness. easy to put on and strong enough to support a small car. Make sure you have jacklines on your boat to clip the harness tethers to, both for you and the children.
You'll need lots of children's books aboard. Our kids -- and I suspect all kids love to read and be read to. You also need games and drawing materials.
You'll need easily washed clothes and enough of them. Kids, especially boys, get dirty real fast. Your idea of some sort of washing machine is not bad but make sure you have enough fresh water tankage to support your needs. Then there's the problem of diapers -- we used disposables, the idea of trying to wash dirty diapers on the boat was something we consider for about 2 minutes before rejecting it.
Also you can forget chartering, at least until the kids get older and learn how to sail. Trust me, there's no way you can deal with children and charterees at the same time. Finally there is the choice you have to make about what kind of cruising you want to do with an infant or child aboard. Our decision was to stay in areas where we could get medical help instantly if necessary which meant no long-distance cruising. The same thing with schooling -- whether to home school or not.
Finally, I don't want to leave the impression that having kids aboard for extended periods of time was unpleasant. Far from it -- our kids were a joy to have on board and all five of them developed a love of sailing. I will say that taking the three boys and twin girls out for a cruise from the Chesapeake to Cape Cod on a 40-foot boat took a bit of planning. (The girls slept in the forward cabin and everyone else slept scattered around the boat and when we got to Cape Cod we had a rental). I have so many great memories of our family cruises -- but I won't bore everyone with kid stories.
The other postings have given you comprehensive replies on the sailing and boat part of your question so I see no need to repeat, except one thing. You can't outrun a storm -- that's house rules.
Welcome aboard and if youi have any specific question about kids, especially infants, on boats just ask.


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