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Old 16-03-2015, 15:51   #1
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Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

We are a family with two kids (9 and 11 years old) and plan to buy a catamaran and live on it in the Caribbean for one year or probably more if we like it. Our budget for the entire year, including the boat, is 200K. We have no sailing experience other than one week vacation on a catamaran and a lot of online reading. I have an idea about the boat we need but would like to know what you think will be a good size used cat I can but on this budget? I am not looking for a BIG cat, just big enough for the four of us.
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Old 16-03-2015, 16:04   #2
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

Did you check out the thread about a 35' cat to cross oceans? You are not looking to cross oceans, but the discussion is the right budget, and the requirements for space similar. Lots of good info there!

35' cat for ocean crossing?

Good luck!
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Old 16-03-2015, 16:08   #3
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

With that budget it will be a small or very old boat.

smj has a PDQ for sale as of yesterday.

If you are not tall and can live in a small boat that is a nice one to have. Much better built than a Gemini.
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Old 16-03-2015, 16:38   #4
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

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With that budget it will be a small or very old boat.

smj has a PDQ for sale as of yesterday.

If you are not tall and can live in a small boat that is a nice one to have. Much better built than a Gemini.

Headroom isn't that bad! I'm 6'4" and can stand up in the center of the salon but I do have to lean my head a touch when I head down the stairs. In the hulls I have plenty of headroom. Great layout with 2 queens and a good sized double, all in private staterooms. And fantastic ventilation for the tropics. Maybe I've talked you into buying it Therapy:-)
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Old 16-03-2015, 16:43   #5
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

Mike and Rebecca, from Zero to Cruising! are about to put their PDQ for sale. It will likely be in your budget range. I think it will be difficult to get a better cat for the money. Send them an email if you are interested. You can read the history of that cat and all the mods they did by reading their blog from the beginning. Best of luck! bb.
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Old 16-03-2015, 16:47   #6
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

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Headroom isn't that bad! I'm 6'4" and can stand up in the center of the salon but I do have to lean my head a touch when I head down the stairs. In the hulls I have plenty of headroom. Great layout with 2 queens and a good sized double, all in private staterooms. And fantastic ventilation for the tropics. Maybe I've talked you into buying it Therapy:-)
I imagine you do have to duck a bit. At 5'4 I never think about ducking, which was a mistake going into the haul of the Gemini!
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Old 16-03-2015, 18:16   #7
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

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I imagine you do have to duck a bit. At 5'4 I never think about ducking, which was a mistake going into the haul of the Gemini!

Not a lot just a bit. I think the headroom in the salon going into the hulls is just a hair under 6'.
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Old 16-03-2015, 18:28   #8
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

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Headroom isn't that bad! I'm 6'4" and can stand up in the center of the salon but I do have to lean my head a touch when I head down the stairs. In the hulls I have plenty of headroom. Great layout with 2 queens and a good sized double, all in private staterooms. And fantastic ventilation for the tropics. Maybe I've talked you into buying it Therapy:-)
Honestly if I didn't have my fingers into a canal-by-the-river retirement property (and a wife) I would be on my way to Texas to meet you. I'm 6'4" too.
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Old 16-03-2015, 18:31   #9
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

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Not a lot just a bit. I think the headroom in the salon going into the hulls is just a hair under 6'.
I had a Gemini 105Mc for a few years. It wasn't really bad. But not enough overall "elbow room" for my liking.
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Old 16-03-2015, 18:43   #10
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

I've seen SmJ's PDQ, its in incredibly pristine condition

Sent from my LG-LS980 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 17-03-2015, 10:41   #11
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

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.
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Old 17-03-2015, 10:55   #12
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Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

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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.

You will not NEED all this stuff, it's a matter of personal preference and experiance. We actually downsized as we thought a 43' cat was a waste of space and money for two people. What you decide to have as far as navigational equipment and charging sources is a personal decision. You say 2 solar panels, what size? A wind generator, high output or low output? Sonar? I have to have sonar before I can sail? What if I don't feel the need for radar or autopilot? So many personal choices that only an individual can make.
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Old 17-03-2015, 11:46   #13
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

smj: Actually they don't need an engine then if you ask Thurston Jones. They asked for our opinions I gave them mine. Instead of debating mine, give them yours. Keep in mind there are going to be four hungry mouths on board and if you have no refrigeration and have to rely on ice it is hard to find in 75 to 95 degree Caribbean weather with grocery stores sparsely located even in the Keys let alone the Bahamas. They best like fish for breakfast, fish at noon, and the dinner special fish or canned food. We have enough energy to have a real refrigerator and a freezer we can go at least 3 to 4 weeks without going to a grocery store. Of course it's still a personal decision when we turn on the fans. God forbid to keep my wife on board I also installed a KVH M3 tracking Satellite Dome with Direct TV. I do want to keep my wife on board so is all of this is necessary? NO! Give your own opinions. Your right though if they go to a pier and sit there in a marina and they will have to just to get ice daily or plug in and use their electric and pay them for it. In Key West if they get a slip it will be minimum of $1,000 to $3,000 plus metered electric.
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Old 17-03-2015, 11:57   #14
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

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smj: Actually they don't need an engine then if you ask Thurston Jones. They asked for our opinions I gave them mine. Instead of debating mine, give them yours. Keep in mind there are going to be four hungry mouths on board and if you have no refrigeration and have to rely on ice it is hard to find in 75 to 95 degree Caribbean weather with grocery stores sparsely located even in the Keys let alone the Bahamas. They best like fish for breakfast, fish at noon, and the dinner special fish or canned food. We have enough energy to have a real refrigerator and a freezer we can go at least 3 to 4 weeks without going to a grocery store. Of course it's still a personal decision when we turn on the fans. God forbid to keep my wife on board I also installed a KVH M3 tracking Satellite Dome with Direct TV. I do want to keep my wife on board so is all of this is necessary? NO! Give your own opinions. Your right though if they go to a pier and sit there in a marina and they will have to just to get ice daily or plug in and use their electric and pay them for it. In Key West if they get a slip it will be minimum of $1,000 to $3,000 plus metered electric.

I gave my opinion, and that is its all dependent on the personal preference of the family doing the cruising. Let's face it, there are people out there cruising with none of the comforts or so called "must haves" that so many people these days think you have to have. There are also those that couldn't do without their tv, Ac etc. that's why there's no set list of things you must have. You gave a very vague list of what you consider must haves, and I don't think the list you gave is a list for everyone.
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Old 17-03-2015, 12:14   #15
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Re: Choosing a catamaran to live aboard with family

SMJ: I don't really care what you think, I was giving my 2 cents to wm00. Talk to him. He wants your opinions for what reason I have no idea, I don't want them.
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