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Old 24-12-2009, 13:36   #1
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Power or Sail: What's Best for Single-Handing in the Caribbean?

Hi all, I can not decide! What should I do? I'm 53 years old, faily good shape. I want to live on a boat in El Caribe but I can't decide power boat or sail boat. I want a Catamaran 35 to 45 feet. All things equall, I would choose a sailboat, except that I am alone and like it that way and not sure (being new to this) if a power cat might not be the prudent way to go, ie; easier to manage all around. Any advice one way or the other??

Also, would you say that more things break on a sail boat or a power boat, both boats being equall and about five years old.
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Old 24-12-2009, 13:56   #2
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If you're going to be single handing the overwhelming majority of the time, then a 40ft cat isn't even a consideration. PERIOD. Could you safely singlehand it from port to port in a pinch? Yep. Would you eventually get caught with your pants down in a puff and scare yourself enough to never leave port again alone if you were so lucky as to make it back in one piece? That's a virtual guarantee.

As to question #2. Different things break on either vessel, but most things being equal - maintenance costs on the sailboat will be more (more parts to break under stress) the power cat is definitely the cheaper of the 2 options - all things considered. And the learning curve on the powercat will be significantly shorter than on the sailcat. For your circumstance, the powercat makes the most sense imo.
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Old 24-12-2009, 14:46   #3
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Ok. Thank you Aussiesuede! One thing less to worry about... But does that go for power cats as well at 40 ft.?? How about a Gemini 105mc? (33 foot sailing cat.)
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Old 24-12-2009, 15:36   #4
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I'd ditto the power over a big cat for your situation....just raising the mainsail on a 45 cat by myself, all the time would wear me out..unless it had a power winch. ( another thing to break)
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Old 24-12-2009, 16:22   #5
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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.
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Old 24-12-2009, 16:37   #6
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Truly no offense intended, but it seems that you're intrigued with the romance of living on the water, without having much regard for the realities involved. And you wouldn't be the first.
While there are some amazing experiences to be had, its not at all like the glossy sales brochures make it out to be. It requires alot of work, all of your money, some of your pride, and most of your patience.
My advice, and worth everything you paid for it, is to get some experience on the water before chucking everything and rushing toward what may be an unattainable dream.
Oh yeah...Merry Christmas.
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Old 24-12-2009, 18:12   #7
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To all who responded

Thank you. All of you. First I want to say it's true, I am in love with the romance of living on a boat. When posing my question, it occured to me that I was giving the wrong impression as to my true intentions and goals.. I think I sounded a bit dreamy, but that part and only that part, I am not worried about. I am convinced about living on a boat. I will say it again: CONVINCED.
What concerns me is technical difficulties. 1) I can change a light bulb, but I dance around in a victory-dance afterwards. 2) I can sail, but I'm talking a small boat in a protected lagoon. 3) Most importantly, I am aware of the many, many thiings about boating, sailing, engines, docking, anchoring, that I don't know. And then, if and when I learn, I will still be solo, and my original question was all about being solo.
Smaller learning curve in a power boat, I get that. It sounds right...
Okay... Then that is that...??
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Old 24-12-2009, 18:20   #8
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my 2c

Simplicity is the key to singlehanding
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Old 24-12-2009, 18:21   #9
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And one more thing.

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays, and Fair Winds to you all. Good people are hard to find sometimes. (Another reason I want to go cruising!!!!)
By the way, do sailboat people socialize with powerboat people in El Caribe?
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Old 24-12-2009, 20:23   #10
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Of course, they're the ones with the big icemakers.
Merry Christmas!
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Old 24-12-2009, 20:50   #11
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If the person really just wanted to stay in the Carabbean and just slowly wander around it over 10 or 15 years, then, given that the carib is only 650 miles from Trinadad to BVI's, then wouldn't any type of 'platform' be OK?

A Power Cat, or converted monohull single engine fishing boat, wouldn't chew much fuel annually.

Power boats have plenty of deck space and reading, hammock areas, entertainment space. And have high places to look over an anchorage.

A single engine fishing boat style trawler (with bow thruster!) might not be as new as 5 years but could be a bit longer... 45 feet etc and be quite safe.

If all the fishermen of the world can manage with just the one engine can't pleasure boaters do the same? particularly with an outboard bracket for the dink donk in emergency?

Here is a website from a guy who bought a fishing boat and converted it then crusied asia. It includes fuel costs etc and it interesting reading:

http://cruisingunderpower.fastmail.net/

They spent on fuel $9,000 for 9,000nms over 3 full years. Not bad at all...


Its just a thought


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Old 25-12-2009, 02:37   #12
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MarkJ
your answer answered my question. I thank you.

I have been going back and forth on a regular basis between power and sailing cats, and the only reason I keep doing this is because once I decide on the obvious choice-- for a person who has no skills or knowledge of sailing-- to go power boating, I remember that sailing is what attracted me to this idea in the first place.

Okay. Enough. I think I am now going over to the DaRK sIDE. (You fine folks here on this post taught me that expression). I am now switching over to the Power boater's side, and that is that.

See you.

But before I go...One more question. What about Motorsailors?

Yea, please put up with me a tad longer, WHAT ABOUT MORORSAILORS?

They make loads of ice, don't they?

If I got ICE you got ICE!
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Old 25-12-2009, 06:03   #13
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Originally Posted by ty.gregory View Post
MarkJ
your answer answered my question. I thank you.

I have been going back and forth on a regular basis between power and sailing cats, and the only reason I keep doing this is because once I decide on the obvious choice-- for a person who has no skills or knowledge of sailing-- to go power boating, I remember that sailing is what attracted me to this idea in the first place.

Okay. Enough. I think I am now going over to the DaRK sIDE. (You fine folks here on this post taught me that expression). I am now switching over to the Power boater's side, and that is that.

See you.

But before I go...One more question. What about Motorsailors?

Yea, please put up with me a tad longer, WHAT ABOUT MORORSAILORS?

They make loads of ice, don't they?

If I got ICE you got ICE!
My wife and I almost made the same decision. We had been sailors and thought we were getting older we would try power. We then went to look at them and we were lucky we found one in a marina that had a bad roll and the motion at the dock convinced us that we were on the wrong track. We looked a little while longer but still could never feel good about the decision. As you can see from our info we went the sail route. We did get a pilothouse with the indoor steering station that we really love but that was all the powerboat features we went with.
The motorsailer idea appealed to us as well. They doesn't seem to be a whole lot of difference in a motorsailer and a regular sailboat (that is not a performance cruiser) although I like the layout of the pilothouse better without the deep steps down to the interior. The bigger engine never seem to make a lot of sense if you were going hull speed with a smaller one. Many sailboats have extra tankage so motoring is not really a problem particularly where there is lots of fuel access like the Caribbean.

Ice is about how, and how long, you want to create amps to make it, not the type boat you have.

Jim
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Old 25-12-2009, 06:04   #14
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Originally Posted by ty.gregory View Post
... If I got ICE you got ICE!
With that attitude, you're going to make out allright, whatever you decide !!!
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Old 25-12-2009, 07:23   #15
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WHAT ABOUT MORORSAILORS?

!

the worst of both worlds!
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