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Old 23-10-2008, 11:44   #1
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Am I Stupid?

I have a older 22 ft. Reinell. My plans like many was to retire, step up to a mid 30 ft. boat and bum around the Keys, Carribean and Central America. With the discussions about what is and isn't a "blue water" boat and such, I'm thinking to just upgrade my rigging and sails and go with what I have. Without dropping a lot of money in a new boat, I can spend more time in the marinas, and wait out weather if needed. I know a 22 Ft. boat is going to get real small after a few weeks.but i'm guessing I should be able to hit a port every 7 to 10 days max.
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Old 23-10-2008, 11:52   #2
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Your certainly not stupid. Perhaps though you need a little more experience before you take such a big leap. Start by doing some overnighters and some weekenders before you take off out into the ocean. You will have a much better idea of what you need and what works for you. Take some formal classes from a good sailing school as well.

Your knowlege and experience is what will keep you alive. Gaining that knowledge and experience will also help you to determine what is and what is not a good boat for your purposes.

So many people want to buy a boat first and then use the boat to gain experience. It should be the other way around. Get the experience first and then buy the boat. This way you will know what type of boat is most suitable for your purposes. Nobody can make that decision for you.

There are lots of different types of boats out there that are available for charter. Consider the cost of the charter the cost of gaining experience. The knowledge gained from the charter will also help you reduce the expensive chance of buying a boat unsuitable for your needs.
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Old 23-10-2008, 12:49   #3
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No, you’re not stupid, but yes- 22' is awful small for extended cruising and will mandate a very spartan lifestyle. Liveaboard comfort is a personal issue and if this boat serves your needs and will carry your stuff, then why not?

IMHO, you do not need a bluewater boat for island hopping around the Keys, Bahamas (you didn’t mention these - what were you thinking?), and Caribbean. You do need a boat in Good Condition.

My personal definition of a cruiser class boat is:

1. Fixed ballasted keel - or center board, but with significant fixed ballast.

2. Inboard engine capable of charging batteries.

3. Standing head room below deck for normal sized people. This generally starts around 25-27'.

4. Big enough to safely carry whatever stuff you need and support whatever amenities you want.

A single hander has a big advantage over the typical cruising couple because the single hander can make unilateral lifestyle decisions and stick to them without dissension. Personally, I could not abide extended cruising on any 22 footer I’ve ever seen. But, there are 27 footers available for 10K or less that would be adequate for single handed cruising in the cruising grounds you mentioned - of course, that’s just me.
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Old 23-10-2008, 12:57   #4
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I'm in perfect agreement with David M.

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Old 23-10-2008, 16:10   #5
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I reckon try it for a while and see. My 25 footer (a bit bigger, I know) had been a live aboard twice previously by a some retired fellows who both sailed her up and down the east coast of Australia. They made some modifications (some since unmodified!) including enlarging the galley and adding some innovative storage space. In fact I had to lower the waterline 4" after reconverting her back into a "weekender". I once had a disagreement with the missus and moved aboard her myself for about a month and I was surprised at how good a live aboard she was when tied to the marina dock. In fact I would say that a 22 footer with more marina time would induce considerably less cabin fever than a 30 footer mostly tied on a hook.

I would suggest having a good bimini or even a camp cover for the cockpit, as this area tends to become your lounge room.
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Old 23-10-2008, 16:14   #6
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Being able to stand up in your cabin is also an important consideration. Its not very comfortable having to stoop over like Quasimodo.


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Old 23-10-2008, 17:00   #7
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Several times during our travels in the Bahamas and the eastern Caribbean we encountered a really funny single hander named Bill. His story was that he and his fiancé made a serious offer on a $100K+ boat on the west coast which they intended to cruise in the Pacific and maybe around the world. The boat deal and the marriage fell through. Bill decided to go cruising anyway. He bought an old Hunter 27 in Florida for 5K and spent about that much on basic refit plus dinghy.

His cruising style was to spend a week or two "camping" in remote places and then check into a yacht club style marina (which he could easily afford for awhile) and eat out whenever he cared to. His philosophy was: Plan/save for a big boat; buy a small one; and live like a king.
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Old 23-10-2008, 17:17   #8
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Keys maybe if you're nearby , definitely not the other places in the reinell......
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Old 23-10-2008, 17:48   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slomotion View Post

3. Standing head room below deck for normal sized people. This generally starts around 25-27'.
Those would be some very tall sailors. Perhaps they are the source of all the tall seafarin' tales?

I personally need only about six feet, which I do not have. (Although it's close.)

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Old 23-10-2008, 18:30   #10
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Those would be some very tall sailors. Perhaps they are the source of all the tall seafarin' tales?

I personally need only about six feet, which I do not have. (Although it's close.)
Good point! I'm actually a little under 25', but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night!
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Old 23-10-2008, 21:10   #11
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Many years ago we pulled into Copenhagen and were moored at the dock when in came a scruffy pair of Brits aboard an open, clinker built dinghy with a centreboard and lug sail rig.

They had sailed across the English channel, up the coast to the Kiel canal and through the Baltic just as we has aboard our 40 footer. Just a little slower.

A British Seagull on the stern, a bucket for a head, tarpaulins over the boom for a tent under which they slept in their sleeping bags. A primus stove and not much more - they had all the head room man could ever need.

Take what you have and get out there. You will quickly learn what you do and don't need. And good luck!
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Old 23-10-2008, 21:40   #12
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I once had a disagreement with the missus and moved aboard her myself for about a month and I was surprised at how good a live aboard she was when tied to the marina dock.

hmmmm....maybe I should start a little roue with the wife and get some boat time in.....
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Old 24-10-2008, 10:17   #13
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Spooky Alice: Go for it. Plan to sail on a few lakes, and start small. I'm guessing you have the trailer for your boat, based on your location, so think about trailering your boat to some of the exotic locations.

It takes a couple days to bring the boat to Anacortes, WA and put it in, then spend a couple weeks sailing in the San Juans. A couple more days on the road could have your boat in the waters of southern Mexico. A day less for the Bras d'Or in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. Two week on the road could have your boat in the water at Patagonia; half that to the Aleutian Islands.

Your boat is small, and not safe for open water, but you already know that. Once you begin sailing in protected water you'll find out how it does, and doesn't, suit what you want to do with it. It probably won't take long for you to gain the experience to answer your own questions, and maybe your boat will be all you need or maybe you'll work toward a bigger/different design/different genre/smaller boat. (If you don't think you would go smaller then you should learn that there are Carribean cruises done on windsurfers, sailing between the islands during the day and sleeping in hotels at night. Which might work for you, too, who knows until you try it? they're sure cheap to outfit...)
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Old 24-10-2008, 11:54   #14
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Aloha Spooky,
Agree with Amgine.
Just for the sake of offering my opinion based on experience with Reinells. After you gain more boating and sailing experience you'll come to realize that it is very costly to beef up and replace rigging and hardware and would be much less expensive to start with another vessel which already has rigging and hardware that will take you to the places you'll want to go.
I disagree about standing headroom. Most of your down below activities will be in the seated or laying position with the exception of standing over a stove cooking. You can learn to cook while seated as well. It certainly is a lot more convenient to have standing headroom and is a lot more comfortable but I don't think it absolutely necessary.
Outboard engines are ok but you will need a means to recharge batteries, i. e. solar panels and you'll want to have some water stowage and enough room for food.
I wish you the best in your adventure.
Kind regards,
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Old 25-10-2008, 20:45   #15
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I know a 22 Ft. boat is going to get real small after a few weeks...
Boats of that size don’t enjoy a large following for extended cruising, on the other hand you’ll find then doing what their owners want them to do, so clearly it can worth discussing…

I wouldn’t envision an ocean crossing without significant preparation; however, that would probably go double for a 70’ Hinckley so again, more or less the same game… smaller boats tend to be cozier (now there’s a surprise), at bit less welcome at the club and tad more wet all around as well as being decidedly bouncier as things pipe up… on the other hand, on occasion they’ve crossed pretty much the same waters as the more traditional big guys, so never say never…

About thirty years ago I ran into some small-time actor (no idea the name) who was on of those afternoon soap-operas… as I recall their filming was about 4-5 months a year… the rest of the time he was on his 22-23 foot center-board sloop, outboard powered… no standing headroom (to me the cabin looked like a fiberglass cave). But every year he’d motor-sail down the ditch, sail the Keys and head south from there -- had been as far south as British Honduras (now Belize). Seems like the major ingredients are bit of knowledge, preparation and the right attitude… luck probably doesn’t hurt either…
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