Originally Posted by h2ofowler
My wife and I are retiring from the military soon and are looking forward to sailing in the near future. We are planning to sail around the Caribbean
- so no planned trips to Europe
or pacific. It will be just us and maybe a dog and occasionally maybe one of our kids
will join us whey they are out of school
. Would a 30' to 38' boat suffice? The cost seems go up quite a bit going over 40'. thanks!
First may I thank you for your military service
. Your sacrifices are appreciated.
You didn't describe your boating
experience. Have you spent substantial time living aboard
? If so, can you recall
what attributes of the boat made living aboard
more comfortable, or more affordable. On the other hand, do you recall
things that you didn't like or found to be an irritant or a burden.
Over the years we have talked to many persons who have spent substantial time living aboard. We have also encountered many more who found the idea intriguing. Many of the replies posted here emphasize factors that are important in moving a boat from one location to another. There will be times when you will be moving your boat from one port or anchorage to another. But there are likely to be many more days when your boat will function simply as a waterfront home.
I love my cat. For a day, a week, a month or more it has been the perfect boat in terms of ease of operation, cost to maintain, and safety
. But when we lived aboard for an extended period, we selected a motor
yacht as our long term home. I kept the cat because its many uses couldn't be replaced by our three bedroom, two bath home on the water.
When your boat functions as your home, "real furniture" adds a lot of comfort. Household appliances
can also make the difference between a happy life and a cabin
mate who can't wait to get back on land. A full-size refrigerator/freezer, a dishwasher, and/or a washer dryer require life on the hook transform to life at the dock
. You may never make that transition. But many will, and despite the indignation of the "wanna bees" and the "real boaters" , such a choice is yours to make. It is your life - make your own choices and do what makes you and your partner happy.
As others have already noted, the list of household items I mentioned are probably not a great choice for a catamaran. Before you buy, think long and hard about how much these everyday "luxuries" will be missed, if not by you, perhaps by your partner. Then keep an open mind and give some thought to the advantages of a monohull motor
yacht or trawler
(unless you are incredibly wealthy, the cost to maintain a motoryacht
can quickly take the joy out of your dream).
Living the dream means different things to different people because the dream is always personal and therefore it is rarely true that one size fits all. So keep an open mind. For those times you are under motor or sail, in my opinion a cat is a wonderful choice. But for a decade of life on the water, giving due consideration to enjoying the comforts of life doesn't make you a "landlubber", just someone who is comfortable in his/her own skin and doesn't make choices just to impress others. (Spend a couple hours sitting on that picture perfect combination dinette/living room sofa in a 44 foot cat and you will soon appreciate making comfortable choices for the long term).
Good luck, don't be in a hurry, and keep in mind that advice is often worth exactly what you paid for it, and my opinion is no exception to the rule