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Old 07-02-2010, 21:15   #1
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What Would Be Your Choices, and Why?

Hello to all,

Events in our life in September of 2009 brought on a stronger than ever before desire to just get away from it all.

Though Iíd often dream on and off of living far away from civilization, close to the ocean, own horses, and plainly live a nice and quiet peaceful life. No matter how autonomous one could ever be living this way, Iíd still be liable to laws and taxes at the very least, and to unwanted family members calling or worst, dropping in!

Then it hit me. Sailing! Iíve always liked travels, adventure, total freedom. What could possibly be more freeing than vagabonding across the globe on wind power?

From that moment I got my wife onboard to this idea (though she fully realized that I was serious only later). Started to read the usual classified to get a glimpse of what was out there Ö.. WOW!! So there is more than just one boat type. More room, less room, easy to sail, harder to sail, more comfortable, less comfortable Ö

After months and months of active reading, I have a little more knowledge then when I started but have multiplied my questions. Read forums left and right and up and down. In the end, I know that I am the one (along with my little family) that will live with whatever choice(s) is made, but I figured it might be time to finally actually join a forum and get added feedback from seasoned enthusiasts to our specific situation and desires.

Some specific questions Iíve found time and time again answers to and some I havenít yet. So laying it all out (for the first time) might give me a new perspective on it all.

As a basis for our needs, our family consists of my wife, our 7 month old son, and myself. Most would agree that itís a no brainer while others would suggest it to be irresponsible. Regardless, we will be sailing out soon! In the best scenario it will happen near the end of this summer with a +/- 200.000$ (cdn) budget for the boat, while the worst scenario would have us wait an extra year with a 25.000$ to 40.000 budget.

Already I can see the dilemma of the HUGE price gap between one and the other, hence this posting. Regardless of the initial boat cost, the real concern (at present time) is to do with the following desires and members feedback as to the order of importance perhaps. Or maybe just to get a different point of view than my own Ö

We want something that will have a full 3 closed cabins. One for our couple, one for our son (and first next kid at least), and one for those occasional (+/- 15 weeks per year) charters we would surely end up doing for revenues.

If money were truly no object, Iím sure we would end up with a fully automated and totally self sufficient mega-catamaran. Anyone got a few millions to spare?

So our first order of business is being as autonomous as possible. Relying as little as possible on all types of fuels, yet, still having water-making capacities, enough electricity and regenerative possibilities as to avoid running engine(s) or generator.

Mono-hull versus multi-hull. Iíve read just about all I could find on the subject and am pre-sold to the idea of a catamaran (easy feat in my best scenario) but am well aware that we may end up stuck with a mono-hull of around 36 feet in the worst scenario (smallest Iíve actually seen that had three full closed cabins).

What use of the ship? Yes, yes, Iím getting to this. Go where the wind will take us! We do want to circumnavigate the globe! We will however do a lot of island hoping in the tropics as well. Speed is not an issue aside from having enough to run away from severe weather and keeping up with anyone willing to wait for us. If on route to Europe thereís a call for bad seas, the hell with Europe and weíd just head south! Europe would still be there in a few months! Arriving on a semi-deserted island somewhere in the tropic, we could just as well anchor out for a few months! Get our idea of liberty? Weíd be loaded with some stuff (as most live-aboard seem to be), so storage is a factor, mainly for basics like food in huge quantities.

Iíve yet to fully figure out the differences between one mast or many masts, types of sails, etc. That being said, whatever choice should reflect the ease and safety of single-handling the vessel at sea. Iím sure Iíll learn a bit more on the configurations later this year when I go for my captainís licence (along with my short wave radio licence). But at least I like to get a head startÖ

As mentioned somewhere higher, if funds were no object, the fully autonomous and mainly automated catamaran would be my first choice. Back to realityÖ We do want to have as many ďcomfortsĒ as we can, of course, though are well aware that all arenít primordial, and some might even have more down sides than theyíre worth it. But again, weíre asking for feedback!

SoÖ..

Best type of boat if I end up with a mono should be what? Why?

Minimum batteries on board should be?

Minimum solar/wind charging should be? And what is it again that I should have for the solar panels not to drain when cloudy? For the wind generator not to burn out when to fast?

Best source for cooking? Noticed lately some ceramic type stoves and even a few glass top stoves. Anyone know how they are on electricity? Versus propane or diesel? Diesel would smell I presume?

Minimum navigation equipment that should be on board?

Type and model of autopilot? Electronic versus wind?

Minimum sizes of diverse reservoirs should be? Consider that we do want a water-maker!

Type of mast? Why? Read a few times articles (too scientific) about the steeped versus the one going down below Ö confused me more than anything. Anyone in understandable terms?

Actual washing machine or a hand tumbler one?

Any real advantage to registering in other countries as opposed to the one we live in? (Canada by the way).

Insurances? Especially considering the odd possible charters through the year?

SPECIAL precautions (aside from the obvious ones) with an infant?

Must have safety/security equipment?

Ideal communication equipment?

Must have special tools?

Must have spare parts?

Any real differences in sail materials and quality?

Best water-maker as far as reliability?

Best efficient heating source?

Best efficient freezer and refrigerator and sizes?

About hull materials, Iím basically sold out on fibreglass as I could do most repairs with my eyes closed (sort of speak) and have been scared away from wood because of itís apparent maintenance costs. Still open to suggestions.

Still not sold out on a specific type of mono-hull (if thatís what we end up with). Full keel or not, etc. So, quite open to your feedbacks on that one.

All in all, weíll want more pleasant than unpleasant experiences. Ease of sailing. As forgiving as possible. Stable. Comfortable.

The parameter of our endeavour are still just a work in progress, but itís time we got alternate views on our vision to see where itíll eventually likely bring us. Kinda like, what could constitute a good solid base, or starting point.

Thanks to all!!
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:03   #2
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Wow, you've posted many ideas/questions for discussion....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Age gap 1 View Post
Events in our life in September of 2009 brought on a stronger than ever before desire to just get away from it all.
I (and many others) can relate.....
I've spent much of my life as a "part-time cruiser" (3-8 months/year) and long range voyager (sometimes 10,000+ miles/year)......and I've been stuck at the dock now for a year or so (due to family matters), so I DO understand you're desires....

In addition to this forum, have a look at the SSCA (www.ssca.org) and our discussion boards ( SSCA Discussion Board • Index page )


Quote:
Regardless, we will be sailing out soon! In the best scenario it will happen near the end of this summer with a +/- 200.000$ (cdn) budget for the boat, while the worst scenario would have us wait an extra year with a 25.000$ to 40.000 budget.
If I understand correctly, your "boat budget" is from $25k to $200k (cdn)????
That's quite a broad range, and perhaps I'm not comprehending what you wrote correctly, but if that is actually your budget range then it's going to be VERY difficult for anyone (yourself, or anyone you ask) to help narrow your options.....


Quote:
Already I can see the dilemma of the HUGE price gap between one and the other, hence this posting. Regardless of the initial boat cost, the real concern (at present time) is to do with the following desires and members feedback as to the order of importance perhaps. Or maybe just to get a different point of view than my own....
Well, not having even a "ballpark" of a budget, you're inviting "shotgun-type" opinions, all of which may be valid under that poster's perception.....but, may not be of any real value to you.....
But, so it goes....



Quote:
We want something that will have a full 3 closed cabins. One for our couple, one for our son (and first next kid at least), and one for those occasional (+/- 15 weeks per year) charters we would surely end up doing for revenues.
Here's the reason I'm responding.......please forgive the bold-type, but i wish to emphasize the importance I'm placing on your understanding of this issue....

I read your post as a query about buying a boat, sailing away, and "getting away for it all"........which makes your comment about doing "charters", seem very contradictory....

Even if you restricted yourself to operating a charter business in Canada, you'd still be commited to starting, operating, managing, marketing, advertising, etc. your own business......
(As someone that started and ran his own successful small company for 25+ years, I can assure you it is not a trival matter, and certainly is not the way to "get away from it all"....)

AgeGap1, please understand I'm NOT trying to rain on your parade, and I do admire your determination.....
But, understand that starting-up and running a successful charter business, is even harder than doing a resturant start-up.....
And, if you add in the complexities of attempting to do so in foreign countries, you may just need to reassess your budget / finanicial plans.....

Simply put, if you and your family can get by with a simpler 2-cabin boat, your boat costs (purchase, maintenance, etc.) will be lower, and as such you'd not need to add the complications of starting and trying to run a charter business.....


Quote:
So our first order of business is being as autonomous as possible. Relying as little as possible on all types of fuels, yet, still having water-making capacities, enough electricity and regenerative possibilities as to avoid running engine(s) or generator.
Here the answer is simple: SOLAR.....as much as you can fit....
Assuming, you'll be in areas with good sun, solar will give you the best quality of life, and most maintenance-free, energy available.....
If you'll be in areas with decent (15-20kts average) winds across your decks (eastern Caribbean, etc.), you may also find wind generators to be useful......(but, I prefer the silence of solar...)
Here are photos of my solar system, and an article I wrote about my install and results.... Solar Panels
And of my towed-water-gen... Towed-Water-Generator

12 volt watermakers do work well (I really like my ~4 yr. old Spectra), but they ARE expensive, and will impact your budget significantly.....
You may wish to consider other options here, depending on your budget and sailing locales......(you can get clean, fresh water in many places...and it takes a long time for a watermaker to actually pay for itself.....so, for most it is a convenience / luxury, not a necessity...)
Here are photos and article about my watermaker.....
Watermaker


Quote:
If on route to Europe there’s a call for bad seas, the hell with Europe and we’d just head south! Europe would still be there in a few months!
Perhaps, you meant this a a joke????
I hope so, since if you were en route to EU, and had a weather forecast for heavy seas, you would need to deal with that weather/seas.....while changing course, to avoid heavy weather IS good seamanship, "turning around" isn't really a practical way of sailing across oceans......
But, I'll not criticize you much on this point, since you're new and you will learn.....after all that's why you're asking questions.....
{on a side note......I've always said that the smartest people are those that say, "I don't know", "I want to learn", and "I'm going to ask some questions"....}


Quote:
.....so storage is a factor, mainly for basics like food in huge quantities.
Storage is a factor for live-aboards....but, understand that you CAN buy food just about everywhere, since every person on the planet needs to eat, where there's people, you'll find food.....
Hey, I LOVE my Skippy Natural Peanut Butter, and I DO take a lot along with me.....and some other "favorites" of mine, but you can get food almost everywhere you might be sailing.....
(And, if you're a better fisherman that me, which wouldn't be hard you'll certainly be eating some wonderful fresh catch regularly....)


Quote:
Best type of boat if I end up with a mono should be what? Why?
I'm not really sure anyone can answer this, since your $25k - $200k boat budget range, and your uncertainty to even the basics (monohull vs. multi-hull.....sloop, ketch, yawl......fiberglass, steel, alum....)
But, if I'm forced to give an opinion, at this early stage.....
a) Tayana 37' is a good option (I sailed quite a number of miles on one)...could be had for $40k - $75k.....
b) an older Morgan or Pearson.....decent boats that have many years of life left in them....
c) Catalina 38, Catalina 42, etc.....very well designed and built boats that could give you a nice home for many years, and still be able to get you around the world.....

Hey, these are just a few "shot-gun" opinions....since you've not really outlined much, budget???, etc.....these boats represent a fairly broad range....


Quote:
Minimum batteries on board should be?
Sort of like asking how big of engine should my car have????
The short answer is: "It depends".....
In general, the "average" 40' - 45' monohull cruising sailboat has a house battery bank of 600 - 800 A/H.......


Quote:
Minimum solar/wind charging should be? And what is it again that I should have for the solar panels not to drain when cloudy? For the wind generator not to burn out when to fast?
You're getting way ahead of yourself here......you really need to make some more basic decisions first (what boat, etc.), but here's some brief answers....
a) Your charging system is part of your "energy system", and you need to know what boat, where you're sailing/cruising, what your energy needs are, etc. etc. BEFORE you can decide on what your energy system is made up of....
But, in general, install as much solar as you can fit....and install it securely where shading is not a problem...
b) A "solar charge controller" is what you're thinking of....and I'd recommend an MPPT-type controller....
c) Some use wind gens with a simple divert-switch....but most use a charge controller, with an auto-divert relay and attach a divert-load....


Quote:
Best source for cooking? Noticed lately some ceramic type stoves and even a few glass top stoves. Anyone know how they are on electricity? Versus propane or diesel? Diesel would smell I presume?
Easy answer here:
Propane.....


Quote:
Minimum navigation equipment that should be on board?
Again, easy answer:
a) Accurate steering compass....(accurate and deviated)
b) Accurate watch / chronograph...
c) Up-to-date charts (paper) covering the areas you'll be sailing....(along with parallel rules, dividers, etc.)
d) Reliable fixed-mount 25watt VHF radio....
e) And, if you're going to cross oceans, or make other long (~ 1000 mile) voyages...... Sextant, Almanac, reductiuon tables, plottong sheets....

Those above (along with a decent set of binoculars) would be the minimum and WILL get you where you need to get to, and keep you from running into something.....
But, there are a lot more items that many would consider mandatory, which I'd recommend, but I'd not consider an absolute....
f) Depthsounder...
g) Multiple handheld GPS units...

I use paper charts as my primary charting, and have made many offshore passages, including a few Atlantic crossings.....
But, since I've made my living in the electronics business, I take pride in my Nav Station....
Have a look at my Nav Station and Cockpit Instruments here...
Nav Station
E120/Cockpit
Wi-Fi

Not sure how broad of definition you give to "navigation equipment", but it goes without saying that proper Nav Lights, signaling devices, binoculars, safety gear, etc...are all part of the minimum boat equipment, and are not usually considered "nav equip", but just thought I'd mention them just to be clear....

Quote:
Type and model of autopilot? Electronic versus wind?
Here again, no real way to answer without knowing what boat, your budget, and where you'll be sailing/cruising...


As to the rest of the list......
There's just way too many variables to be of any help at all, until you make some basic decisions.....so, I'll not continue to quote every line.....
But, here's just a few comments.....

1 in 1000 shot that you're gonna have a washing machine.....

Deck stepped mast are fine for blue-water boats, as long as they are designed right....(Halberg Rassey's, Catalina 470, etc...) this should not figure in your boat choice much at all...

Regsister / document your boat in your home country is the norm.....if you're a millionaire and have tax issues, or are running an int'l corporation, there could be advantages to offshore regsistration, but other than that, keep it documented in your home country...

Insurance is a whole discussion on its own!!!!
Do a search here and on the SSCA disc boards....
Insurance for chartering is probably moot, since it's unlikely you'll be chartering.....but there's discussions about that as well....

No special infant precautions...

Must have safety equipment...use the USCG requirements as your "baseline" and add from there according to your needs/desires on your boat, in your cruising areas....

As for communications, tools, parts, etc....there are many complete and lengthly discussions on each of these topics right here (and again on the SSCA disc boards)....have a look and/or do a search...

As for sail materials.....DACRON, nuff said.....(read discussion on this as well, for more details...)

Watermakers are a controversial subject, and again there are many discussions here and on the SSCA disc boards....have a look....
In a nutshell, their reliability can be directly linked to the quality of the installation....
Any further comments here would spark too much thread drift...

Being a warm weather guy, I don't have heating sources (save for reverse-cycle A/C if plugged-in somewhere), but most find diesel heating to be the best choice...

Marine Refrigeration fills many books.....and there are many discussions about it here and on the SSCA disc boards....
In a nutshell, it's the insulation that makes or breaks the refrigeration / freezer on board....
More and better insulation will make even an older / less-efficient frig unit work very well......less and/or moisture absorbing insulation will keep even the most efficient frig unit from working very well at all....
Have a look at my frig/freezer, and its insulation here....
Frig/Freezer

Fiberglass is great material......

Full-keel, fin-keel, etc.....has been discussed to death!!!!
Quite honestly, if you buy a well designed, well-built, and sound boat....you'll be fine.....
(But, you'll find most out there cruising are in modern fin-keeled boats, without many problems.....)

Having a pleasant experience, and being comfortable has as much to do with you, and your cruising locales, as it does with the boat....
Think of you, your boat, and your cruising locale, as a "system", that if they all work together, you're likely to be comfortable and have pleasureable experiences......if you make the wrong choices and they don't fit/work well together, you're in for an eye-opener....


I do hope I addressed every point, every question, even if it seems some of my answers were "it depends"....
Oh, and the old saying that you're never "done" with your boat is true.....so don't get discouraged.....(have a look at some of the projects/upgrades I've done over the years here: C470 Projects by Boat Name look at the ones under my boat's name "Annie Laurie"...)

Please remember that the links to my photos and articles, that I'm posting, are for you to see what's possible, and what's being done out there....but are NOT what is necessary, nor even the norm.....just what's possible, functional, and real, as opposed to the "must-have" articles in the glossy magazines....

Fair winds...
John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 08-02-2010, 01:51   #3
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Well......To start with, welcome to the forum.
I'm not going to try and answer your questions spacificaly...but I will throw out some comments.
Making and storing electricity can be expencive...having a water maker and washing machine, refrigeration, and electric stove....means lots of electricity.
Three cabins in a small boat seems over the top especially if your son is only 7 months old....my boats 48ft and has only two cabins....and ofter 6 people on board.
More masts mean smaller sails...smaller sails are easier to handle...also potentially an easier boat to balance.
Fiberglass is a good choice.
I would start by looking at boats in your "worst case scenario" price range...and see whats available...and what kind of gear you'll get.
Excellent post John.
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Old 08-02-2010, 02:50   #4
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Wow!

I'm a firm beleiver tyhat anything is possible, go for it!

I do however have a few advice. You say you want to be as autonomous as possible and then yuo list talk about modern things for comfortable living. Those two don't go well together, I'll return to this subject. You also ask about batteries and solar panels and how much you need, that's not possible to answer unless it's known what your consumption is, but I'll give you a hint where to start.

The #1 rule is to minimize your power needs instead of maximizing your charging. First, go with the bare minimum of what you absolutely NEED. Washing machine, watermaker, ceramic stove etc, all uses electricity and are prone to failure = no autonomy. Watermaker could still be worth it though but there are other ways of getting water. Use propane for the stove. Use a small wood burning stove for a heater, it will also double as a back up cooker. Use pressurized water but with a spare manual pump. No fridge and with a goal of using the refidgerator as little as possible. Once you have figured out what you need and how much power it'll consume, you'll also know what battery capacity you'll need and that'll give you the charging need.

Simplicity is the key to autonomy. The more advanced the boat, the more expensive it'll be and the less autonom you'll be. This goes for everything aboard, electronics, rig, sails, engine, hull, EVERYTHING!

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Old 08-02-2010, 06:06   #5
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Wait...have you and your wife ever sailed before? Offshore? Not knowing how you both will handle sea sickness in real ocean conditions could be a deal breaker. You say that you convinced your wife to follow your dream...I think you should at least charter a large boat and get some real sea time ASAP, IMHO.

BTW, welcome to the forum! There are tons of members with real experience here, some are the authors of books you've probably read. Try to keep your posts small, with one or two direct questions. That way a pointed discussion will develop and you'll get a lot more feedback. Good luck, Chris
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:24   #6
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WELCOME,

I love the enthusiasm, and can appreciate your desire to sail away. I also like Christian's first question. As my signature reads. Sailing is not always a slick magazine cover. What I read is that you need to do some serious research, and learn to sail. Sailing can be blood sweat & tears, but the rewards are HUGE. BEST WISHES in figuring it out.........i2f
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:01   #7
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Awesome feedback already!! :-)

ka4wja

Thank you very much for so much initial feedback!!

To clarified the budget part, something might happen this summer that would enable us to go up to 200.000$ (canadian), in which case we would (very likely) go right away with a catamaran and set sail before the end of the year.

Should that "thing" not happen, we would then have to rely on our option B and wait about an extra year with the smaller budget which would be above 25.000$ but surely not above 40.000$ (still in canadian funds). So obviously not the same choices in that range, but would be willing to fiddle some as I am quite handy. After all, in both scenarios, we're not looking for a "palace", just that we won't mind having a few "extras" where we can.


To clarify the occasional charters ... We have no intentions of making a business of it as such. We were more thinking in the way of "private" occasional thing to top up the kitty as needed. We've read about those who live on 50$ a week and those who live on 1000$ a week. Regardless of our starting budget option, we are planing to live closer to the 50$ per week option lifestyle. :-) For additional revenue, aside from a steady monthly income, I've also read up on options such as Foreign Language Teacher (I am multilingual) and the occasional private or corporate charter was another solution I was thinking of, but that wouldn't be possible without that extra cabin to begin with. Plus that extra cabin would also come in handy for friends and family perhaps on occasion.

Great reply about the solar panels. Will need to make sure there's controllers in place where needed!! Haven't quite calculated what amperage will be used, but I'm figuring the average from those who have a few goodies on board would be a starting point for me as we'll likely want to have as many as possible that don't create more problems then they are worth of for convenience purposes (i.e. water-maker) as our passage could sometimes be a bit longer than that of the average sailor.

No joke intended on the example of the European passage. But to be more precise, let's say we've left Canada on route for the Med, and that along the way, either because of weather, lack of wind, or change of mind, we simply divert our destination. At no point will we ever "turn back" per say, but we could easily decide to simply change destination half-way on route to one (which will account for some "longer" passages). Just like I'd often take drives without knowing where I'd end up, I was at least limited to the roads, but at sea??

Propane .... Oh well, one more thing to remain dependent on. Was hoping some models of electric ones could work out just from my regenerative capacities ....

Well aware that we can buy groceries everywhere, and we'll eat lot's of fish along the way, but good storage is manly for our loooong passages and for some things that could (at times) be hard to find.

Great on all the other replies. All duly noted!! I have read (indeed) many posts (here and elsewhere) on most of the subjects I brought up in my post, but as stated (and yeah, I do sometimes get a bit ahead of myself), I am starting to narrow down my focus closer to the (upcoming) reality of the whole things, and as such, I was hoping that with my post I could end up doing so (and it seems I already am somewhat).

About the water-generator, I had left that aside because I figured they didn't bring in much amperage and was afraid they'd look like bait to some fishes ...



James S

I saw indeed many longer ship with fewer rooms then some shorter one .... I'd trade an extra head for an extra cabin in my case, albeit smaller cabins. That being said, the wife does hope we'd manage a head with a separate shower stall and possibly at least a mini-tub.

Thanks for the tip on the mast/sails ratio.

I guess the Wonder Wash will likely work for washing clothes... Seems I'd likely end up cooking with a mix of propane and micro-wave.... But how does one keep his beer cold without a fridge and his ice-cream without a freezer?



Hampus

We do want to be as autonomous as possible, but also as practical as we can in the process. In the example of the ceramic stove, I've never seen one fail at home, so I'd presume it would be as reliable at sea. Same with the general power storage/consumption, it's not that I'd expect to run all that we have currently at home in the same fashion (lost the off button on the tv and the pc), but we'd want to watch the odd movie, listen to music, and sometimes be on the pc playing games (if not the internet). And obviously have the power reserves for it, preferably accumulated freely via wind or solar.

I don't think that being autonomous has to rhyme with oil lamp, coal cooking, and book reading alone. But yeah, we do want to remain also as reliable as possible (did I mention somewhere that I was quite handy?)


Christian Van H

Yup!! We've both sailed. Both been on vessels too. I only was sick once, on the ferry crossing the Chesapeake Bay. Didn't have to "convince" the wife. She agreed to it right away! But admittedly didn't believe that I was serious about until some time later.

Oh, and I will (eventually) keep my post much shorter! Just figured that for this purpose, a slightly longer one would be a bit more efficient than posting each individual little question in more specialized sections of the forum.

Thanks for the welcome by the way!!



imagine2frolic

There's sailing magazines??? Actually I'm the one that's totally down to Earth about this whole adventure. The wife however still sees too much of the beautiful sunsets, white beaches, tropical trees and the likes. I keep trying to tell her about the perfect storms, the sinking ships, the rollercoaster rides ....

Really trying to get it to sink as much into her as it has into me. But nevertheless, we're really very eager to be able to be on our way!!

To all, thanks (really) for the wonderful and very useful initial feedback to my post, it's really very appreciated!!!!
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Age gap 1 View Post
ka4wja
Hampus

We do want to be as autonomous as possible, but also as practical as we can in the process. In the example of the ceramic stove, I've never seen one fail at home, so I'd presume it would be as reliable at sea. Same with the general power storage/consumption, it's not that I'd expect to run all that we have currently at home in the same fashion (lost the off button on the tv and the pc), but we'd want to watch the odd movie, listen to music, and sometimes be on the pc playing games (if not the internet). And obviously have the power reserves for it, preferably accumulated freely via wind or solar.

I don't think that being autonomous has to rhyme with oil lamp, coal cooking, and book reading alone. But yeah, we do want to remain also as reliable as possible (did I mention somewhere that I was quite handy?)
Powering a stereo, a laptop, reading lights, navigational lights, instruments etc is totally different from powering a ceramic stove. We use our propane stove approximately 2 hours (we could cut back a lot if necessary) a day while at sea. That's for lunch, dinner, coffee and sometimes warm bread or eggs for breakfast... And the girlfriend is a mud pie fanatic so there's some baking included in that.

Let's be conservative and say that you only use one plate on your stove, and you only use it 1.5 hours a day (if you don't want to eat nothing but sushi). The average ceramic plate is on 2000 watts, which means that on your 12 volt system you will use around 270A (including inverter loss) during one day. This means that your solar panels would have to generate, on an average, 650 watts during 5 hours, and that's just to power your stove! Or, you would have to run your engine or diesel generator which would make you dependant on diesel.

You'd have to have approximately 54 square feet of solar panels and sail in an area with reliable sunshine to make it work. And again, that's for the stove only.

/Hampus
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:03   #9
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Something I can relate to :)

Hampus

Thank you!! Now that's info I can relate to with greater ease than what I've been reading thus far about amperage and such. That something take so many amps versus the wattage of something else didn't show in my mind, but 54 square feet just to power the stove, now that, I do understand!!

That's the type of visualization I need to keep getting about my questions! I might not always formulate my thoughts clearly to everyone, but if everyone gives me back something I can actually visualize back in my mind, i'll be getting somewhere faster!!

Now, on that same subject ..... I've always used charcoal bbq's .. and I do like to cook quite a bit .... soooooo With your "average" consumption, how long does one of those propane tanks usually last?


Are those also the preferable/efficient way to have hot water? And in either case, I should carry how many tanks along with me? What's the average cost to fill them up?? (in any currency, I can manage the conversion).
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:12   #10
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A 6kg tank will last us 6 weeks, 8 if we are conservative (not overly so). Refill of a 6kg tank costs, here in Sweden, $35 US approximately by todays currency. So that's two months of cooking for $35 and no power loss. Besides, you are guaranteed warm food even in an emergency when your power might be out and that's priceless.

One tank will get you across the Atlantic. Have one more for peace of mind and a third one to be on the safe side. We have three.

It's possible, and a good way, to have hot water, using propane, but consumption goes up a lot. We use either shore power or the engine for hot water (I assume you refer to shower water). Or we just take cold showers, or go for a swinm and just quickly rinse off the salt with fresh water. Our 350 ltr water tanks last us 6-8 weeks if we conserve.

/Hampus
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:25   #11
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Accepting Reality

Age Gap 1.
Two things first-off....

1) My apologies to you, and everyone else here, since I had assumed that you both knew how to sail, and had sailed before.....
I should not have assumed that, and I'm sorry for wasting your's and everyone's, time with my detailed response.....

(Learning to sail, and makiong a few passages, are things you'd NEED to do before decide to buy a boat and "get away from it all"...once you've done that,you'll understand a lot more of what's been written here....)

2) Buy Beth Leonard's book, "The Voyager's Handbook"....read it cover to cover, and you'll learn a lot.....
But, also read Steve and Linda Dashew's books, as well as others....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, that I've done my duty.....here's what I really need to say....
Forgive my bluntness, and remember, I'm not trying to break your spirit....
But, you NEED to face REALITY!!!!

You've gotten plenty of well-thoughtout and experienced answers to your questions, but I'm not sure you truly understand the reality.....
Please don't take it personally, but your words don't add up....

Some examples are:

a) On your budget range of $25k to $200k, you write that
Quote:
...After all, in both scenarios, we're not looking for a "palace", just that we won't mind having a few "extras" where we can."
There are many cruisers who DO have quite nice yachts ("palaces") for < $200k......not sure why you'd think otherwise...
And, trying to say that spending $25k for a boat, would put you in the same place, with just a few extras, as spending $200k.... is akin to saying that whether it's a classic Yugo, or a Ferrari Daytona, they're both similar since they're both European cars, one just has some "extras".....

b) Writing that you're planning on +/- 15 weeks/year of charters and then writing that you're going to do "occasional" charters....seems contradictory.....

c) And on that "charter" topic......can't think of any corporation booking a charter on a small sailboat, not even a $200k sailboat.....
And, how in the world can you expect any charter business at all, if you don't want to run a business????

d) While working in foreign countries is possible for some (nurses are the most sought after professionals), it isn't very easy, nor prevelant.....
Sorry to be a downer, but that's the facts....

e) My biggest concern is your lack of understanding of how a sailboat works....
Again, sorry to be so blunt....but....
If you're heading for EU, from Canada, and you get a forecast for heavy weather ahead, you CANNOT simply turn south and head from the Caribbean!!!
Mother Nature, winds, etc. (and sailboats) simply do not typically allow that to happen.....

My mistake, for not understanding that you're not sailors.....
But, please take this to heart, you NEED to learn how all of this works, before you decide to buy a boat and "get away from it all"...

f) Further evidence that you're not dealing with reality are your comments about wanting a bathtub.....on a small sailboat?????
NOT going to happen.....

g) And expecting a washing machine, on a small $25k sailboat????
NOT going to happen....

h) Wanting Ice Cream???? Yes, it is possible (I do it), but it is NOT easy, and will take space that might be better used for other more nutrious foods (not to mention the space the insulation takes) and lots of energy.....
So, on a small $25k sailboat, it's not going to happen....

i) Others have given you great insight here, particularly the paradox of wanting to be "away from it all" and wanting our "extras".....
But, perhaps being more blunt will get thru to you....
The facts are simple.....The Cruising/Voyaging life is just like "normal" life, in that everything is a compromise!!!



Age Gap 1, please remember that I'm really not trying to discourage you....rather just trying to jolt you with reality.....
Your plan is do-able, but you need to accept some realities, and things will go more smoothly....


Okay, that's all I got...
Good luck.....and keep the dream alive, just remember to accept reality...

John
s/v Annie Laurie
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:50   #12
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Hmmmm....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Age gap 1 View Post
Best type of boat if I end up with a mono should be what? Why...?
You raise a flock of technical questions, and I’ll not try to answer them – although they certainly deserve answers; however, my guess is no one can answer then but you… and in time you probably will. Having gotten initially frustrated, then dismayed with the direction sailing has gone in recent decades, I thought it was just a geriatric thing that made me yearn for simpler days, but after reading recent writings of the true pioneers (as well as listening to some of their podcasts), it appears I’m not alone… The truth is Tangvald, the Roths, the Pardeys, the Smeetons, Moitessier, Tania Aebi, John Guzzwell and a bunch of others all went sailing in vessels that went against conventional wisdom of the day, on voyages that were far from the norm in their day. Some were adventurers first and sailors second, others were experienced sailors who wanted adventure – no matter. Almost universally they used whatever means they had available, improved it as best they knew how and could afford, and then learned the rest as they went… however, equally universally (well, almost) they were not corporate giants cashing in their retirement… in short they were planning to sail as long as it was fun, which is a whole different mindset than those attempting a 1,2,3 year or whatever sabbatical from life – although, these too are not mutually exclusive concepts, even though they will influence the answers…

As I walk the dock where our little chunk is, or larger marinas where the graphite and Kevlar crowd hang out, I’m amazed at what folks think they need to sail… but I too fell into that trap years ago; I listen to the experts, bought too big, too complex and too much of everything (for me – bearing in mind, many skippers find it just right), the dream became a burden and eventually died without me ever getting very far outa sight of land… the truth is, my personal mindset is closer to the backpacking crowd (admittedly my major long-term experience was in the military, but I’ve lived for months with all I needed on my back…) and until a deer jumped into my lap recently (necessitating a year’s worth of surgeries and rebuilding, largely successful) I very much enjoyed long-distance motorcycling… and in forty years have yet to stay in a hotel or pitch a tent… In the meantime, I’m again toying with making the cruising jump (whoopee...), or at least outside the Bay – but in the reality-sized boat I wanted all along, it suddenly seems possible again…

Do you need to know how I “do it,” nope – absolutely not!!! But you do need to know how you “do it…” and that is where you’ll get your most trustworthy answers…

Besta luck !!!
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:12   #13
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Getting a 3rd cabin in a sub 40 foot mono, that you'll find otherwise well balanced for your prescribed preferences, is going to be a bit tough. If you plan on spending the majority of the time in the tropics, then those rather "cozy" 2nd & 3rd cabins (and to fit 3 of em in that footprint means they will indeed be cozy) then it's unlikely they'd get used most of the time. Good airflow is paramount to sleeping comfort in the tropics, so the kiddies will want to sleep with mom and dad, or more likely - on the salon sofa. When it's hot and sticky outside, the sticky sweaty skin of another isn't the most welcome thing! Basically, the desire to have those separated dedicated private spaces that one becomes so accustomed to on land, won't prove anywhere near as necessary aboard.

And as a small note on use of electrics, here are a few items that you'd almost never use underway: Microwave(some refuse to give it up!), washing machine, hair dryer, and dishwasher. They're thirst for electricity is so off the charts that they simply won't get turned on underway (unless you take advantage of the motors being on and extend your daily recharge cycle - which some choose, but your words seem to indicate you'd prefer not to do)

You should have no problem finding a 38-40ft mono that fits you in the $100,000 range. Welcome, and good luck in your continued quest!!!
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Old 08-02-2010, 10:43   #14
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Reality accepted long ago ....

Hampus

Ok, so three (if not four) tanks it would be in our case. Yup, the hot water was for showering purposes. Even in tropical heat I still enjoy a hot shower rather than a cold one, and the idea of letting the water be heated by the sun didn't appeal to either my wife or myself.


ka4wja

I assure you that I do not feel the details of your responses to be wasted on me. Unlike my wife view of the adventure, I really am aware of the implications of our endeavor.

I'm old school on many things, one of them being you're either in the boat, or not in the boat (sounds better in French) I really have the full realization of what we're getting into. In that respect, sailing on someone else's ship would not change anything aside from delaying our plans.

Leonard's book I haven't gotten to (yet) but Dashew's and quite a few others I already have (thank God for public libraries, the internet, and the fact that I am a fast reader).

Don't worry about my spirits and I do appreciate being enlighten about the reality of it all. But I swear, the reality is already set in me. If anything, I have been trying to put everything as negative as could be imagined as to end up pleasantly surprised as opposed to the opposite.

The non-palace catamaran that I'd be referring to is because it would simply enable me to have a better and more recent ship, better built, and lacking less of what our ideal "wish" list would have (remember me asking if anyone had a spare million around?) Quite aware that in the price range of that specific catamaran, I could indeed be on what some would call a palace in the form of a longer mono-hull for example.

What you don't know, is that I'm a guy who's had all types of cars (from Lada 1500 to Jaguar XJ-S and everything in between) and always just regarded them as nothing more than a set of wheels to take me from point A to point B (stopped counting them when the number became more then my years). Some of the cars in between had more amenities then some of the "upper ones" and often more reliable too to boot. Do the "palace" wouldn't be seen as such by me, though I would absolutely gain in room for sure and along with it, more cargo capacity, hence a few more permissions aboard for sure.


Anyone notice that in either budget case I haven't mentioned trimarans? I just don't like the layouts (beds over the couches) I've seen on anything less than 60' (though I don't doubt there might be a few exceptions to that rule too), and yet, I have seen some possibly "decent" ones in need of some TLC at dinghy prices.

Does any charter business survive on just 15 charters per year? I wouldn't think so (especially from everything I've read). To me, that number would be an average, and mostly word to mouth. I don't have a ship and we already have a few friends within our circles who made us promise to take them along for periods ranging from 1 to 2 weeks, and they all find $500 per person per week reasonable (they supply booze on top of that). With my cooking skills, I see it as free money (where there's enough for three, there's always enough for 5 the way I cook), hence wondering if there's sometimes added private charters that can be found abroad literally to add a bit more to the kitty. Then again, though those same friends, it's possible that there would be no further need to add if they send some more friends over ....

About the changes of destination mid-way though a passage, why not? If on route to Europe from Canada we decide to change cap to the Portuguese islands in the Azores? Or on route to South America we change cap to South Africa instead? We're not on rails? No roads to follow? Now you understand the reason for anticipating our much longer passages? Sure, we can only choose changes towards destinations where we'd have the flags and ability to enter and whatever other administrative requirements (found a few good sites for that). But otherwise, why can't we just be like gypsies of the seas? We want to travel all over without a specific itinerary. But indeed, along the way, there some places we'd end up staying a bit longer than others.

As for bathtubs, indeed, I have noticed that they are usually a rarity regardless of boat sizes, though I have seen a few shorter ones that did have those half-size tubs and that would be plenty. Was in no way thinking of a jacuzzi. But sure would beat the idea of siting on the toilet while washing.

The washing machine .... kinda was pretty set on the idea of a Wonder Wash before even knowing (upon seeing them) that many cruisers had them. so that one, not really a big issue, but if it's there and it works, I sure won't throw it overboard.

Basically, we're kind of narrowing down the compromises we'll end up doing with one plan and with the other, as in both cases, we know there will always be some compromises to be made. One can't have his cake and eat it too, but nothing wrong in trying to get the biggest slice possible, is there?

I assure you again, from where I sit, your details have not been wasted. They are already entering in parts of our equation.
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Old 08-02-2010, 11:47   #15
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A Morgan 461/462 has a tub but only two cabins with a pilot birth, they can be bought for $75K US. A few have sailed around the world. They were designed as a charter boat for the caribbean back in the day and a few people do charter them out, one guy on the internet charges $25 per person per day, that includes food and one or two drinks a day. He's not getting rich but I guess it's paying his expenses.

Fellow-Traveler - Crewing FYI I would NOT ever charter a boat with a baby on board, give me piece and quite please, I want to relax.
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