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Old 21-03-2015, 13:07   #46
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

Originally Posted by jamestholtzinge View Post
To avoid changing boats after you have bought one, go as big as you can. You will still need a wind generator, at least 2 solar panels and a minimum of a gas generator like a Honda ei2000i. That will give you minimum power to live aboard. To travel with the boat then you need all the other stuff. GPS chart plotter, sonar, auto pilot, and last of all radar. Back ups for everything. It may take you a couple of years to set it up right. This is my 8 year living aboard I will never go back. Stick to the Keys and the Bahamas until you feel comfortable expanding your back yard.
These items aren't required but with children on board and being a novice to some degree, it would be prudent to have more rather than less. Sure as time passes and everyone is more confident and knowledgeable, downsizing is reasonable and simplifies life. More safety and comfort starting out could prevent a great family experience turning into one to forget. Looks like good advice.

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Old 28-03-2015, 19:27   #47
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

Consider one of the original Leopard 38's. Three staterooms, two heads, one tub! Very strong. Reasonable price. A boat to grow into, as well.

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Old 03-04-2015, 11:16   #48
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

I did this for all of 2012 with my wife, four kids, two golden retrievers on a 2006 43' FP Belize ending its charter life which we rented for $4000/month--so nice to not have a boat at the end of the trip to deal with! We did 22 countries and 8000 miles. PM me for details--you really need ALOT less than you think. Best advice I got before departure: Just go!
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Old 03-04-2015, 17:06   #49
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

Originally Posted by travellerw View Post
Maybe I can offer some insight as doing this right now.

We have 3 kids, aged 4, 6 and 8 and just purchased our boat. Although we plan to start out in the Caribbean, we didn't want to be limited and wanted a boat that could take us anywhere. Here is the short list we settled on (not in any particular order)!
1. FP Athena or Venezia
2. Privilege
3. Lagoon 380

As you will see by my signature, I didn't end up with a boat on my short list. Instead I ended up with a boat that I had never heard of. There was nothing wrong with any of the boats on my short list, but an opportunity came up that I couldn't pass up. This is an important lesson I learned while boat shopping. Right now its a buyers market and if you have the funds (LIQUID) and are ready to move, there are some fantastic deals. So I suggest you be flexible and take you time, but be ready to move when a deal comes up.

So with that suggestion.. Let me link a boat that I would have been interested in if it had come up while I was looking. There is NOT a ton of information about this brand, but I have been told they are well built and good sailers. The only downside I have ever heard is about the helm locations. Although its not only a downside, there are many advantages to having the helms located on the scoops, especially in the Caribbean.

1997 Nautitech 395 Sail Boat For Sale -
Island Spirits are great boats - very tough and can handle a load. Good choice. Yeah, we used to own one...........
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Old 08-05-2017, 16:30   #50
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

From your budget of 200K- say comfortable living costs, insurance, medical, diesel, propane etc 50k, for 1 year (you could do it for less and buy more boat bits). Then say base boat $125k that leaves 25k for repairs, maintenance, haul out etc Getting to and around a lot of the Caribbean can be done mostly by day trips between islands in a Cat given right wind. You need a strategy for 5 months of Hurricane season, if you are going to Trinidad, you may want to look at haul out costs etc and look at what it might be like living on a boat mid summer in the tropics. If you can put up with heat and bugs, then no need for Air Con, but if not that drives costs up and need for a generator etc, or marina fees. If you are mechanically minded that will save a bundle as a$125k boat is likely to be over 15 years old. For 4 people I would recommend a boat with at least two heads/ showers, 3 cabins at least, a watermaker would be very nice to have (even a small one - say $6k) ferrying questionable quality water back and forth is a real pain. A couple of 12volt fridges. A set of say 3 * 200W solar panels and a decent battery bank you should be right to go. The decision will then revolve around what boat has all this for the money ?(or could be adapted) One of the old stock boats about 38 ft - Lagoon, FP or south african cats would be fine, as long as it is seaworthy (get it surveyed)

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catamaran, family

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