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Old 13-02-2012, 19:01   #16
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

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spending a large amount of money as well as your valuble time chartering is not the answear .most of the stuff you can charter is probably not what you are looking for anyway. It is unlikely that a charter company is going to let you take a Hunter into some serious weather or any other yacht for that matter. You are at the lower end dollar wise of a serious blue water cruiser and it would be very easy for you to be impressed by the apparent value of a Hunter ... There is a reason these boats are super cheap and its not because they are good .

We are a family of 3 who have sailed halfway around the world .our boat is solid and strong but i do not believe it was the right choice for us having more knowledge i could have done better . P.m me and i will give you my opinion about what i think would suit you in your price range.


To the OP: Ironically, this post is case in point of why there is no substitute for building experience first. Not only will it help you select a better boat for your intend use, but you and your family will enjoy the experience more.
I have had a number of students rush out and buy boats, take their families out for a few stress filled sails, and then come back and sign up for more training. Quite often at their family's insistence!

Re charter costs. The cost of a charter, particularly if you divide it across a group, is cheaper than the annual ownership costs of the same boat. It is radically cheaper than discovering you chose the wrong boat for your intended use.
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Old 13-02-2012, 19:11   #17
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

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And Skip you know I seriously considered those Pearson 422/424s
And as you watch go through my 2 years and counting to overhaul the boat are you glad you made the choice you did?
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Old 13-02-2012, 23:00   #18
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

Thanks for everyones input! It REALLY helps to have any and all ideas. I have looked at charters but as Don mentioned they are pretty expensive. I have always been a proponent of owning vs leasing/renting/chartering anything. I feel like I am throwing $s out the window if I do that. As Skipamac said, I don't have any intentions early on for any serious water sailing">blue water sailing....more along the island hopping state of mind. I have to eeeease my wife into getting on board with this plan. A blue water storm would be the perfect way for her get a plane ticket home. As any of you know, your original ideas nearly always change as time goes by. Right now I am more interested in keeping my family comfortable on a boat instead of boat performance. That is why I really like the Hunter 410 layout with the 3bd option. Is it crazy to "Captain Ron" it? Research what boat I think we would want, buy it, get comfortable on it, and hire someone to teach me to sail it?
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Old 14-02-2012, 04:46   #19
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

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Is it crazy to "Captain Ron" it? Research what boat I think we would want, buy it, get comfortable on it, and hire someone to teach me to sail it?
Not a bad plan. My brother-in-law did it that way. Had some minimal experience, bought a 38 Morgan and paid a local captain to go out with him for a for the first few months.

Another good plan, beg, borrow, buy or rent a small boat, even very small like 12-16' or so to learn the basic sail handling. Will actually make you a better sailor in the long run. But sailing is a relatively small part of the skill set which can be referred to as seamanship. This covers navigation, trip planning (includes accounting for weather impact), awareness and monitoring of all the little details that can ruin your day on the water. You can learn a lot of that by reading about boating in any form: how to books, books about others' trips and mishaps, boat repair and maintenance books, and of course look through the old threads on Cruiser's Forum.
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Old 14-02-2012, 04:46   #20
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

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. Is it crazy to "Captain Ron" it? Research what boat I think we would want, buy it, get comfortable on it, and hire someone to teach me to sail it?

Not crazy to me. I'm sure the sailor types will be aganist it because they always want people to start small to get the "feel" of sailing. But the cruisers are more just get out there in thinking.
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Old 14-02-2012, 06:21   #21
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

I agree with Don not crazy at all as it has been done many times before. The one thing you have not said is your time table. To me this is the most important question. If this is a 5-10 year plan before you go than by all means start with a small boat and work your way up. But it sounds like you want to go soon and if thats the case buy what everyone in your crew will be happy in. You might also want to look into x charter boats as they would meet most of your requirements. As for that hunter 41 I think that would be a great boat if you decide thats the one. Also and this is the big thing don't listen to all the crap people say about hunters. Most of the time its some guy bashing a 100-500k hunter while their sailing some 20k fixer uper.
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Old 14-02-2012, 06:40   #22
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

Well you could get a Nice Gemini 105mc and everyone would have their own private bedroom, and you could have 30% more space. Oh yeah and sail faster, and worry less about hitting bottom, and not spill your drinks, When your sailing, and not worry about getting back on the boat when you have had one too many, and entertain much more comfortably if you have guests, Oh did I mention already sail faster and less draft while being just as seaworthy as some stin errr monohaul? oh yeah and more forgiving to sail in most cases.
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Old 14-02-2012, 07:12   #23
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

Agree that Chartering the way to go - but not the only way.

But if you are keen to leap straight into boat ownership, I would suggest buying something mainstream and built in numbers (like a Hunter / Beneteau etc) on the basis that you can more easily sell it if you later (or quickly!) decide that you need something different (or simply decide that living in close confines with your nearest and dearest 24/7, ain't for you or someone else ).

Of course selling more easily don't mean selling at same price - but IMO selling at all is better than not.

You should also cost up how much (and where) to keep her berthed would be, before buying.

On your budget I am guessing that something around 40' and between 2 and 5 years old would be in budget. Although perfectly possible for previous owner(s) to abuse a boat badly (from lack of maintanence) in that timescale (or less!) on average should be looking at a boat with plenty of life left in her, and whilst no boat is ever cost free - shouldn't involve starting a major refit a week after buying .

In many respects my suggestion may sound like getting something mainstream / boring / middle of the road - but messing around on boats is essentially what you make of it (and any boat will be about compromises).....and whilst size alone does not guarantee "safety" from all stupidities - a bit of size does often help .

For a 2nd boat you can buy that 65' Ferro cement deep keeler (etc, etc ), that needs a "bit" of TLC......and is half the price of a 40' Hunter / Beneteau.....it is very easy to get tempted by less price for more length - and that can very easily also involve getting out of your depth.
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Old 14-02-2012, 08:08   #24
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

One more question come to mind how to you want to go down to the carib with your new boat and an unexperienced crew, i heard it is not that easy..... maybe better spent 20-30.000 usd for a 26 -30 feet boat now to learn sailing arround your homestay and later buy a boat from a charter company right in the carib ?
please sail togehter with your family first not all like it ......and sometime it could be get difficult and you will have 100% responsibilty for all of them ( at night in a thunderstorm, engine just sucks air, the furling genoa is too big, 2 kids a seasick, the wife looks after the kids, you have to bleed the diesel pipe, while the thunder storm is picking up......... Does your wife trust you and gives her life into your hand ???? very difficult question but please think about it. in a small boat at the weekend nearby a harbour that might be easy and still a funny adventure but alone somewhere in the carib...... So please learn learn and sail sail. Learn also all mechanical and electrical things which are necessary to fix everything.
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Old 14-02-2012, 08:29   #25
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

I will add my 2cents. We live aboard and have been cruising for 5 years. One thing to remeber is that most of the time you are not underway but at anchor. We are typically underway 600 - 800 hour per year which is less that 10% of the time. The living capabilities are just as important as the sailing abilities of the boat. The advice on a seperate aft cabin for mon and dad was excellent. Hope you are handy with tools as you will need to be able to fix almost anything.Generally hanging upside down in rough seas. Learn as much as you can about weather. Nothing can spoil the adventure more that being offshore in some really nasty weather. A seasick wife is no fun for anyone.Having said all of the above i wouldn't want to live anyother way. It is a great life.
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Old 14-02-2012, 21:52   #26
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

G'day, mates. Below is a very good example of a center cockpit, monohull that would be very "right" for the right family. A solid hull, deck, & rig built to carry the weight of a family living aboard with all the gear, and enough space to substain the lifestyle for a long time. Cheers.
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Old 15-02-2012, 06:22   #27
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

And I have found that just because you are a 'live aboard' doesn't mean you 'have to' change your coordinates. There are many people in the Chessy that have a perm slip in a marina and just tour the bay in 1-2 week trips. Right now that is what we do...so that we don't 'Capt. Ron' it. And we don't 'live' on her.....as we only have a 28' and that is a little small for a family of four. But my 11 year old is coming along nicely and will make a great first mate by the time she is 13. So maybe then we will be shoving off and 'island hop' as well.

Depending on where you are at, you will find enough 'fair weather' in a protected coastal waters to put the sail up on your boat and stretch her (and your) legs. At any given time, there are 50+ boats for sail just in the creek where our marina is. Some sit for a while because the owners are over extended on them....some go in a matter of a week or two. That is why we went with a smaller boat while the whole crew was getting their sea legs. It takes a bit more 'time' doing it this way as opposed to shelling out some cash for a master capt to tag along with the family until you are ready....but the adventure is pretty much the same!
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Old 15-02-2012, 06:58   #28
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

I would second the above posts. I recently went down this same road. Maintenence expenses are a significant percentage of boat ownership, so if it's your first boat, start small. I would save half of the $100,000.00 for upkeep.

There are a lot of good boats with the room you need, in the 30-35' range for a mono. Cats are great boats, but more expensive right now than mono's.

Two heads means two pump outs, two systems to break, etc...Many boats have quarter berths for kids, with a big V berth for adults. others have aft cabins.

I have kinda mixed feelings about the charters, it may be good advice, but dealing with flying, sailing on a fixed schedule, and having it cancelled due to weather, or something else beyond my control, doesn't fit MY lifestyle.

It is easier to buy a small, cheap, throwaway boat for less than the price of a charter. After you have grounded it a few times, and spent more on engine repairs, and epoxy that you spent on the boat, just donate it.

The last thing you want to do as a new sailer is knock the keel off of your new $100,000.00 doller boat on a rock your first day out. Or snap the rigging on an uncontrolled jibe, etc...

On a $5000.00 boat you bought at a garage sale, no biggy.

My first year of boating I found every reef in Galveston bay, most of them the hard way. Later I found it's good to fish that way, boat stays still, the reef is where the fish hang out, and it gives you something to do while the tow boat is coming, besides panic. Later comes the yard bill for bent shafts, new prop, epoxy gouge in bottom of boat, and redo bottom paint.

Oh and don't forget, slip fees, annual hual outs, and every thing on a boat costs $1000.00, from the annual haul out, water pumps, engine tune up, bottom job, to the one of a kind custom bronze screw you just dropped in the bilge. (the real reason sailers learn to swear).

But me and my family so far have had loads of fun, it has been a learning experience, and an adventure. And nothing brings a family closer together than being cooped up in a small plastic box in the middle of the ocean.
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Old 15-02-2012, 18:09   #29
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

"Two heads means two pump outs, two systems to break, etc..".
G’day, mates. It was not quite clear to me if the above was advising against having 2 heads or not. Let me give some perspective for future boat owners, especially those considering going cruising with kids. My boat has 2 heads, but there are just 2 of us on board. Having a quality toilet system on a boat is one of the key elements in making the lifestyle sustainable. For some other insights, have a peek at a recent thread and look what factor is very common, the head:
http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/f47/as-far-as-boats-are-concerned-what-are-your-3-biggest-headaches-76256.html?highlight=headaches
Most head systems on a boat typically have a toilet built with materials (mostly plastic) that have a very high failure rate when used on a daily basis over the coarse of a year or two. Without doubt, after participating in this liveaboard, cruising lifestyle over a number of years, I would advise someone going cruising with kids to be seriously looking at a boat with 2 heads. Sure you can do it with a one head boat, just be sure to have a good, quality bucket on hand, you’re going need it as a backup, believe me. Cheers.
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Old 15-02-2012, 18:20   #30
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Re: Help with Finding the Right Family Sailboat

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Originally Posted by matauwhi;888316....[SIZE=2
just be sure to have a good, quality bucket on hand, you’re going need it as a backup, believe me...
[/SIZE]
Never leave the dock without a good bucket (preferably two) and a roll of duct tape!
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