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Old 17-12-2011, 20:02   #1
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Catamaran Living Aboard & Scuba Diving & Fishing

We are about to start looking in the USA for a Catamaran but I have been reading blogs like Slapdash, zerotocruising & wind traveler. Does any one know of other web pages that have a good read & advise regarding sailing scuba diving & fishing as this is what we hope to do for a few years when we find our boat. We are also looking for free advise & tips on sailing on a catamaran as we have only ever been on Mono Hulls. We hope to be in the East coast area of USA from Annapolis to Florida in Feb so all contacts would be grateful.
Thanks for all the help & hope to see a few people over there.
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Old 18-12-2011, 00:55   #2
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

The biggest issue for a catamaran 32-40 ft to set up for scubadiving is load carrying capacity. Extra diving equipt weight/ compressor/genset means 38/40 ft is min size and 45 ft best.

Lagoon 38 would be best of small cats to carry the weight of compressor,tanks,camera gear etc. guess you would need a decent dingy also.

Could go to petrol powered compressor but would mean carrying plenty of petrol.

Cheers
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Old 18-12-2011, 01:06   #3
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

We have spoken to a couple that have a small petrol comp & just 2 cylinders & with dive gear its like having 4 people on boat but there are only 2 of us so it should be ok & will keep stock low in some ways we will be looking at PDQ 36 & Lagoons. we dont want to go bigger as cost is then another factor. SlapDash have aGemini & have sailed for 5 years with out any issues & they were also diving. We will be in no rush to go long distances unless heading from west Panama to french Pol. islands so that should be the longest time at sea that requires most stock of food. We will have a wter maker so that will get rid of loads of weight.
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Old 18-12-2011, 01:17   #4
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

Besides Slapdash, I've also enjoyed Seth & Elizabeths blog and videos. They had a Lagoon 38 named Honeymoon, traveled many thousands of miles (including down to Australia) and dove & fished quite a bit. Don't think they had a compressor on board, but I might be wrong on that.

If you google 'honeymoon catamaran' you'll see their site on sailblogs.com. I can't post the link or I'll need to wait for a moderator to approve it.

Good Luck!
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Old 18-12-2011, 01:50   #5
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

Good luck Cat hunting Welshdiver. You could make your options much easier by free diving. No need for a compressor or cylinders. No NDLs, bends or any of that crap either. If you like to fish try free diving with a speargun, its called "spear fishing". Don't admitt to it in polite society, as it's a bit politically incorrect. However it's a great way to get a feed of fish or crustaceans and no unwanted by catch either. It's healthier than scuba diving too. All that exercise and breath holding. Did I mention the lack of weighty equipment as well?
Go the spearos!
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Old 18-12-2011, 02:18   #6
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

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Originally Posted by welshdiver View Post
... Does any one know of other web pages that have a good read & advise regarding sailing scuba diving & fishing as this is what we hope to do for a few years when we find our boat. We are also looking for free advise & tips on sailing on a catamaran as we have only ever been on Mono Hulls...
Hi Welsh - We've been living aboard our cat for 10 years now, & we've got an extensive website (~700 pages of illustrated stories - not a blog). Our Underwater section lists most of our dive-sites. We've also got a Cruising Info section specifically for cruisers that you might find interesting. We drag fishing lines when we're sailing but we're certainly not pros.

Friends on an Admiral 37 & others on a Privilege 38 are selling their boats in the Malaysia/Thailand area. If you're interested ping me privately & I'll put you in touch with them. Both boats are used but in excellent shape.

Sailing a multihull is very different from sailing a monohull as your "when should I reef" signals are much more subtle. You'll sail by your wind instruments initially. The 5-ton 40' tri we had in the 80s would run rings around 13-ton Ocelot, but on that tri we were reefing at 15 knots & sweating at 25. With Ocelot we reef at ~20, 25, & 30 upwind (a bit higher off-wind) but even at 40 we're not sweating (well, much).

Lighter boats will perform better, but they get can get uncomfortable in higher winds. We left Fiji in company with friends on a (light) St. Francis 44, & after 6 hours they called to say they had to turn back because it was too uncomfortable (25-30, a bit fwd of the beam) which would mean going through the reef at night. It was a sloppy sail for us, but we hadn't considered turning around. So what boat you buy can really affect your comfort level. If you voice your desires, I'm sure there are lots of folks here who can give you advice on what to look for. Good Luck!
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Old 18-12-2011, 02:47   #7
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

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We will have a water maker so that will get rid of loads of weight.
Won't you still need full water tanks of adequate capacity? Or are you prepared to bet your life and your crew's as well on the dependability of a watermaker?

Though I have known divers that seemed to live for years on a substantial intake of beer alone.
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Old 18-12-2011, 02:53   #8
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

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We will have a wter maker so that will get rid of loads of weight.
The watermaker won't save you loads of weight.

When you set out on that Pacific crossing you will want to start off with enough drinking water to get you all the way across. I can't begin to count the number of people I know who's watermaker failed early on in an ocean crossing. Me included!

What a watermaker does is save you a load of hassle when you get to where you are going.
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Old 18-12-2011, 14:41   #9
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

If you read most of the blogs of cruisers crossing the pacific in small cats they are carrying extra jerrycans of fuel and water if don't have watermaker and still chasing fuel and topping up at every spot.

I would doubt a Gemini would have the load carrying you need. Would be hard to beat the 38ft Lagoon and Admiral 37 or Privilege 38 would also be OK.

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Old 18-12-2011, 14:51   #10
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

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The watermaker won't save you loads of weight.

When you set out on that Pacific crossing you will want to start off with enough drinking water to get you all the way across. I can't begin to count the number of people I know who's watermaker failed early on in an ocean crossing. Me included!

What a watermaker does is save you a load of hassle when you get to where you are going.
Depends on where you're going. Some places water isn't readily available, so you either have to carry enough to last, or be able to make it.

On passage you really don't need a lot of water, we only need a couple of litres per person per day, it's when you get to the other side that you need it.
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Old 18-12-2011, 15:26   #11
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

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You could make your options much easier by free diving. No need for a compressor or cylinders. No NDLs, bends or any of that crap either. If you like to fish try free diving with a speargun, its called "spear fishing".
None of that stuff, but Free diving does have its risks as well, just a different list. Some potentially more life threatening if done alone which free divers are often more apt to do.
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Old 18-12-2011, 18:13   #12
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

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Good luck Cat hunting Welshdiver. You could make your options much easier by free diving. No need for a compressor or cylinders. No NDLs, bends or any of that crap either. If you like to fish try free diving with a speargun, its called "spear fishing". Don't admitt to it in polite society, as it's a bit politically incorrect. However it's a great way to get a feed of fish or crustaceans and no unwanted by catch either. It's healthier than scuba diving too. All that exercise and breath holding. Did I mention the lack of weighty equipment as well?
Go the spearos!
Tuskie certainly Queensland divers will only be spearfishing whilst freediving, a great sport. However divers will not enjoy the full vista of what is available without resorting to some air assistance and particually if keen on photography and video. Lots to see and film out of the range of freediving.

Combining both you will be fit also.

Technically you can get the Bends from freediving if you bare good enough.
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Old 18-12-2011, 18:32   #13
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

Just a bit of good natured banter between divers. Not looking for a fight.

Jumping off a perfectly good boat always has its risks, whether spearfishing or scuba diving. (no one would ever spear a fish on scuba, would they?)

Scuba, besides its inherent risks, also has a requirement for a fair bit of weighty gear. Scuba divers love playing with this stuff and wouldn't dream of leaving it behind, so I guess it must be factored in to the boats carrying capacity.

Spearfishing does have inherent risks, but they're not what everyone thinks. Free diving deaths in Australia are more usually associated with "shallow water blackout" (loss of consciousness on ascent, usually following hyperventilation) or "boat strike" ( an unfortunate connection with a spinning propellor). Our mates in the grey suits are usually not interested, or if they are, they only want our fish, not us. This allows the spearo valuable "thinking time" to be prepared in the unusual event that the animal shows signs of over familiarity.

Standard diving practice, both scuba and free diving, especially in deeper water is to dive in pairs. In Pacific island and reef waters, where deep clean water increases danger of shallow water blackout, standard spearfishing practice is "one up, one down". They diver on the surface usually hangs on to a small boat like float in which fish are kept out of the water. Upon surfacing the partner takes hold and tows the float. This procedure keeps the pair from separating and makes the whole deal safer. Cruisers could use a kayak or similar for a float ("bateau" in French islands).

I believe that all diving is good, even scuba, if you have room for all that gear!
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Old 18-12-2011, 18:52   #14
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

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Combining both you will be fit also.

Technically you can get the Bends from freediving if you bare good enough.
The Bends, while free diving? Now that's a bit unusual. Correct me if I'm wrong, but AFAIK the only time that's happened is while deep freediving shortly after a scuba dive that would have led to a fairly high blood N saturation. In other words, the scuba dive dissolved the gas and the freedive caused it to form bubbles. Do you agree?
I've never heard of someone getting the bends solely from freediving, and I've done a bit in my day.
All the more reason to spend time on the surface after a scuba dive. Whilst the dissolved gas slowly dissipates from your blood you can start the compressor, refill cylinders, repair the watermaker, check the waterline and drink beer.

Meanwhile the freediver is catching painted crayfish (tropical lobster), a proven female aphrodisiac.
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Old 18-12-2011, 18:55   #15
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Re: Catamaran living aboard & scubadiving & fishing

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Just a bit of good natured banter between divers. Not looking for a fight.
Tuskie, Totally agree and how I took it.

By the way I think Blue Tuskfish are amongst best eating fish around. Need to get out and nab one soon. Sounds like you are a spearo also.

I am tossing around the options between 40 to 45 ft cats because of weight issues not wanting to need to reprovision very often. I want to be able to spend months away in the coral sea or areas like PNG without having to chase supplies.

Would like to go 45 but may have to end up with 40 yet.

I go past the Fusion factory in Mackay every weeking watching their progress. They have 2 hulls assembled without fitout and another on the way, I presume waiting for buyers.

Cheers
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