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.