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Old 03-07-2011, 19:01   #1
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Catamaran Size for a Family of Four ?

Total newb, but here goes-

I am planning on setting sail in a few years with my wife and two daughters who will be 13 and 16 at the time of departure. My plan is to buy a used catamaran. I've been reading a bunch on the Lagoon 380 and FP Mahe.

Any preferences out there between those two for a family of four? Is the FP Mahe a realistic choice (big enough for full-time cruising with 4 and a possible pacific cruise from CA to Oz)?

And before y'all say it (i've lurked here awhile and know the deal)-

Yes, I will be taking sailing lessons and doing what I can to log time on the water.

Yes, I will end up bareboat chartering the boats on my shortlist to get first-hand impressions before taking the plunge.

My start date is 9 years away. Between now and then, I will work through all the ASA courses(wife's on board too, so to speak). I live in the desert so all my vacations will be close to the water from now on...

Any thoughts are appreciated. Let me have it- I have a thick skin.
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Old 03-07-2011, 19:16   #2
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

Welcome to the forums.

Sounds like youve got the size right, if you're not going for 9 years then i'd reccomend looking at some brand new models at boats shows. They'll be what you'll be buying when you're ready, assuming you're not going to buy new that is.
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Old 03-07-2011, 19:39   #3
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

I grew up with sisters on both sides of me age wise. I would venture to say there isn't a boat big enough to maintain sanity with two teenage girls.

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Old 03-07-2011, 20:41   #4
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

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Originally Posted by irvus View Post
I am planning on setting sail in a few years with my wife and two daughters who will be 13 and 16 at the time of departure
I am no expert, as I am also in the planning stages (hopefully final stages) but have been researching this for a long time... from all I have read these ages will be really tough for them to pick up and leave their friends (read boys).... you have probably already seen the advice of "go small and go now"... probably good advice, although I have not taken it myself... I hope to tear my daughter away from a very comfortable land life when she is 13 if I can't do it in the next 6mths when she is 11/12.. I understand the chances of it not working out well go up significantly every year after 12, especially for girls...

best of luck..
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Old 03-07-2011, 21:38   #5
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

thanks for the responses.

Simon, great idea. I've been looking at Lipari's and Mahe's with that thought. I'll be hitting the boat shows big time in about 5 years with the thought of buying a 5 year old boat when the time comes.

Mark- isn't that the truth!!! I'm worried already about mutiny that may happen before and/or during this adventure. My wife even mentioned, "how does the plumbing work with three 'syncronized' women on board?" But I'm going to go for it anyways- we'll see if I make it to the next port.

CapnCook- I agree that it might be a long shot, but my theory is to prep them from now 'til then. Get them on the water, take family sailing classes, etc. In the end, I don't want to be what I've read about- the guy who tries to make his dream come true and screws up his marriage and children in the process. If I have to pull the plug, I will- and settle for charter vacations. But as Dave from maxingout mentioned- best thing he ever did (taking his kids on a cruise). I hope to emulate. Wish me luck!

Does anyone else still reading this sleepy thread have any comments on whether a mahe is big enough for a family of 4? I hope so. I've read on this forum of families cruising on 105mc's and making it work. I'm looking for the smallest (read: cheapest) cat to handle a pacific cruise. I've read on other threads of mono's in the barely 30ft range doing it no problem. But I've also read opinions that anything under 38ft in a cat is not a fun ride. Comments??
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Old 03-07-2011, 22:48   #6
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

Irvus
Having raised (as a sole parent) twin daughters who are now almost 19, from age 12 when their mother died from cancer, I would advise you to do your cruise ASAP. I think its very important for girls to be in one place if at all possible for their high school years - its the key formative period for the rest of their life.

So go now - and when the oldest is starting high school, put down some land roots until the youngest finishes high school, all the while beavering away and saving like crazy for the next boat, the 'perfect cruiser' that you will have identified from your first foray.
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Old 03-07-2011, 23:05   #7
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

I wish I could, but I can't. I have to serve my time in the govt in order to get my pension that will enable me to cruise. I am extremely worried about trying to pull my kids into this idea. At 16 and 13 when we start, I don't know whether this is all a dream or actually workable. I guess I'll find out when I get closer. I can't imagine what you went through- putting myself in your shoes, I know I would fall apart. My wife is the linchpin in my family and to lose her is unthinkable. I have nothing but respect for your courage and stick-to-it-ive-ness. You are truly a better man than I.
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Old 03-07-2011, 23:36   #8
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

Nine years away is a lifetime, so much can change in that time frame. I'd say do your lessons, chartering, etc. and when you get 3 years away start planning. To try and pick a boat today for nine years from now doesn't make sense. You will change you mine so many time as you get more experience.
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Old 03-07-2011, 23:40   #9
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

Irvus
Pity you can't go now. Try and get some good sea-time anyway. Ideally get a job move to the coast....get weekends on the water as well.

I just did what I needed to do, that's all - not a hero or better than anyone else. I could see a chance for early retirement after 2 years, so did what was best for the girls until then - that was the hectic part - then after retirement there was some time left for 'me', after doing all the stuff that just had to be done. The girls are now halfway through college, and I'm taking trips from time to time so they get more and more self-sufficient. All going very well, we are pretty close, and they still live at home by choice. But observations from families of the girls friends, and my own experience, led me to strongly believe in the 'stay in one place for high school' message. Not sayin' its the same for everyone - but think about it!

Meanwhile, I'm searching for a boat for the rapidly approaching time that I'll be at sea more than I'm on land. Getting back to your question, for me a 38' cat would be too small for a family. You need a bit longer to have room to carry stuff and have reasonable speed. Financially I can't stretch to a big cat at present without compromising too many other things, so I'll first get a mono and use it for a few years to confirm that cruising is what I really want to do.
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Old 04-07-2011, 00:20   #10
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

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Originally Posted by irvus View Post
Total newb, but here goes-

Yes, I will be taking sailing lessons and doing ...
Yes, I will end up bareboat chartering the boats...
My start date is 9 years away. Between now and then, I will work through all the ASA courses ...
I'd include the participation of wife and children. It hopefully won't be just you that'll be sailing on that catamaran.

Seems early to decide on a catamaran rather than a monohull. Has that decision been based on personal experience or a fanciful idea? The vast majority of boats are monohulls, and there are good reasons for that.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:16   #11
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I would love to learn about those good reasons why monos Are better than cats
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:24   #12
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

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I would love to learn about those good reasons why monos Are better than cats
You're new here aren't you?
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:55   #13
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

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I would love to learn about those good reasons why monos Are better than cats
LOL
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Old 04-07-2011, 02:30   #14
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

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Old 04-07-2011, 06:47   #15
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Re: Catamaran Size for a Family of Four?

Since you are waiting to make your pension happen. You can do your reasearch, but only you can decide which boat is better. At their projected ages most likely they will be seeking some privacy. Then again they may find comfort in being close together in a single berth?

Start with something less expensive now. Get in your time for honing skills, and when the time comes. You can make a wiser decision on what fits your families needs.

For 20 years now I have met families with cruising kids of all ages. They don't know what's best for themselves in their teens. There is plenty of socializing to be done while cruising also. Meeting the world under cruising conditions will be an education you can't get at home.

Last year we met a couple with 3 girls from 7-12 on a 40+- something cat in Panama. They were a treat to engage in conversation, the 3 girls. Cruising kids are responsible, and mature beyond their ages.

The book THERE AND BACK AGAIN by Joanne Sandstrom is a good read for your situation. It's about a family of 4, 2 boys similiar ages circumnavigating on a tri. BEST WISHES in making it a success......i2f
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