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Old 25-12-2009, 10:00   #16
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I imagine you've already figured this out, but there's no shortage of opinions, about anything, in the cruising world. There are, I think, some interesting motorsailor designs out there. Many are horrible compromises of both, but some might very well be a good design for you. The newer Island Packet SP cruiser has lots of liveaboard space, a strong engine and very easy sail handling.

In the powercat world, if I were you I would be looking a bit smaller. PDQ packed a whole lot of boat into the 34' powercat. A lot of happy owners out there, and used ones are priced quite competitively. I've run into them in lots of places and they sound like a very capable coastal cruiser and easily single handed.

Good Luck in your venture. Let us know what you decide.


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Old 25-12-2009, 10:08   #17
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Originally Posted by FSMike View Post
Most folk who want to sail are already quite convinced of it. If you're not sure I'd recommend the power boat.
Although sailboats do have a slight advantage at the fuel dock.
What he said. If you have to ask, power. Sail is for addicts only. A lot of people switch from sail to power, but not many switch from power to sail.

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Old 25-12-2009, 10:51   #18
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A number of thoughts for Ty. I bought my Voyage 38 catamaran 3 years ago in Grenada. Up until then I had sailed mainly small boats and occasionally chartered in Florida and the Carribean. Get ready for major cultural shock.

The first season was very trying. Three times I started leaving Grenada for Carriacou. Three times I was turned back. engine problems,electrical fire and weather I was not expecting. Finally it looked like I had a weather window and the three of us headed north. The wind came up again, but it was a get out of Dodge day. We continued, motorsailing towards Carriacou. Around Kick em Jenny the winds were well over 40 knots with a confused sea and waves 12 to 14 ft. After 10 hours we arrived in Tyrell Bay, the crewbeat upbut the boat was fine. This was the first confidence builder, I knew the boat was strong.

That season continued to be a sharp learning curve, and often I dispaired thinking I had made a major Mistake. I sailed mainly in the Genadines and enjoyed the fabulous cruising area that it is. In St. Vincent I found someone to repair my alternators, the cause of the electrical fire before. Slowly ever so slowly, I began to understand the systems on board. I left the boat in Grenada in May not feeling to badhaving solved some of the problems.

Year 2 started with waiting for parts that were not ordered. 3 weeks later they arrived and the sail drives were repaired. In the meantime I installed 520 watts of solar panels, more than enough to take care of all my electrical needs. Battling the NE trades I moved north finanly arriving in St. Martin. It is the place to be for repairs in the carribean which I needed to do again.

The return to Grenada was a fabulous sail downwind which took 6 weeks. At the end of the season I had put on 130hrs. on the engines and traveled over 1500 miles. Ifelt much better after the second season and the boat was getting closer to what I wanted.

This November I got the boat launched in only 6 days. Then I could not get either an electrician or a mechanic. After partially solving some of the problems my self we were ready to go offshore to St. Martin. The Christmas winds came early. Instead of E to SE at 15 knots it was on the nose at 25 knots plus. Discreation said leave the boat where it is and go home for Christmas.

So here I am and what does this tell us. 1. A boat, especially in the tropics is in need of constant maintenance. 2. Get used to Island time, often you will not be able the goods and services you need and it will take much more time then you thjnk. 3. Carry lots of spares, Fedex bills often exceed the cost of the item. I know, the shipping bill for new saildrive anodes was amost double the price of the anodes. 3. Dont fool around with Mother Nature. Sure you can go out and bash arround but this wears thin very quickly. Wait for weather and don't set an agenda. Finally, get up at 0530, brew a pot of coffee and enjoy the sunrise. That and happy hour are the finest time of day.

It dosn't matter what kind of boat you get. It comes down to personal preference and budget. I got a catamaran because 95 % of time I am at anchor. It is comfortable, it doesn't roll and has lots of room. I picked 38 ft. because that was as large as I felt I could singlehandle. I like sailing and the Voyage is slightly on the performance side with narrow hulls. The downside is watching weight, the killer of speed on a catamaran.

A conventional trawler or a monohull will roll more, but this can be partially fixed by using a small kedge anchor to aim into the swell. a catamaran is more costly to buy, to maintain since there are almost 2 of everything and to dock since most marinas charge a premium for cats.

Get out there and enjoy.
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Old 26-12-2009, 11:26   #19
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Considering you will:
1. Live onboard
2. Usually be solo
3. Be in the Caribbean

I believe a power catamaran of about 40ft would be very good fit to your objectives since:
1. You will probably find a catamaran more comfortable the 90%+ part of the time you are not underway.
2. By carefully waiting for weather windows you should be able to time anchor to anchor hops of less than 24 hours over 80% of the time. If you stay in the eastern Caribbean you should be able to less than 24 hour hops 99% of time.
3. You should be able to cruise throughout the Caribbean with no hops over 500nm.
4. A 40ft catamaran should be large enough to have enough payload capacity to support your live aboard, cruising needs without seriously compromising the boats performance or safety.
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Old 26-12-2009, 12:19   #20
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I would suggest a powerboat with a nice sailing dinghy.

I also suggest getting the simplest boat you can find, because every thing, every part, every device will break and will require your efforts to fix. Most production boats are designed to sell, and are not designed to own and maintain.

If you start out without something, maybe eventually you will decide you want it and you can always add it. But you will probably get used to not having it and never even miss it. In many cases, you will soon enjoy the behaviors and satisfaction you develop by not having something. Air conditioning, satellite TV, any many other things fall in this category.

If you start out with a boat with all the bells and whistles, your desire for the boating life may well evaporate within days or weeks.
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Old 27-12-2009, 13:47   #21
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Originally Posted by Aussiesuede View Post
If you're going to be single handing the overwhelming majority of the time, then a 40ft cat isn't even a consideration. PERIOD. imo.
Can you please elaborate? Are you saying it shouldn't even be considered just because of the man's inexperience or across the board? A 40 ft cat , rigged properly and sailed by someone who knows what he is doing is quite manageable. Unless you are disparaging singlehanded sailing , period....
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Old 27-12-2009, 16:26   #22
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Originally Posted by J Ventura View Post
Can you please elaborate? Are you saying it shouldn't even be considered just because of the man's inexperience or across the board? A 40 ft cat , rigged properly and sailed by someone who knows what he is doing is quite manageable. Unless you are disparaging singlehanded sailing , period....
He indicated both inexperience AND that he'd most often be alone. I am of the opinion that is a terrible combination on a 40ft Sailing Cat. Alone aboard being the more worrisome part of that equation on a boat as large as a 40 ft cat. It would be a bit of a handful at times for an experienced cat sailor - but could be successfully managed (if properly set up as you've indicated) in the Carribean - I'd say, more times than not. But again, in his particular equation, alone AND inexperienced would be a highly inadvisable combination. Had he either the experience, or would be sailing with at least an inexperienced mate aboard, then I'd have suggested he simply crew on a vessel of the type he was considering to feel out for himself if he thought he could manage...
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Old 27-12-2009, 16:31   #23
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A power boat.

If you love sailing, then a sailing boat.


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Caribbean, singlehanding

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