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Old 25-06-2013, 09:04   #16
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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Originally Posted by mark0978 View Post
My girlfriend and I have recently started sailing (had lessons about a year ago, started sailing our Catalina 25 in March of this year). Our dream is to sell the house in about 5 years and move onto a Catamaran in the Caribbean, using it as a scuba platform. Almost every boat around us is a Monohull, so our exposure to people that live on a Cat is terribly limited (We've spent an evening with a friend of ours that lived on one for the past 2 years). We'd like to learn more about Catamarans and living aboard.

We've just rehabilitated our Catalina 25 (1981 vintage). It sat in a field in Missouri for over 10 years and needed a good bit of fixing up to be usable. We spend a fair number of weekends on her, sleeping in the berths (sleeping 2 in one of those size berths is too cramped). We enjoy the life on the water

I have a professional conference in Orlando the week of July 14-19. She was thinking about flying down to meet me at the end of the week, and I got this crazy idea to see if anyone in S Florida would be so kind as to take us sailing on the weekend of the 20th and talk to us about their Catamaran experiences (especially if they have done the live aboard life).

We are both nearly 50 years old, and neither of us smoke.
Mark If I may be so bold sir.......just fn flippen try it go for it stop over thinking it and being a puss.
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Old 25-06-2013, 10:54   #17
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

What are the problems with having a compressor onboard the boat? Seems as safe as large cylinders to refill dive tanks from and the cost of having a dive shop show up to replenish you would be about the same as just hiring them to take you out there. I'm not seeing how the plane helps out in this scenario, you can get places quicker, but when you arrive you need a pretty large infrastructure pre-arranged.

I was hoping the Cat could serve as our infrastructure that would allow us to dive a reef for many days in a row. Using solar and wind for a lot of the electricity, supplementing with diesel if needed. The boat also provides a place to sleep, food storage, shelter from the sun etc.... The dive zone would be much closer from a floating platform than from land.

Hyperbaric chamber would be nice to have, but might not be available everywhere, and I'd worry about flying from the site if there were already decompression issues. Not sure how you would build one on a sailboat, or if you would even want to, that much O2 is dangerous and not something I'd like to have around me.
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Old 25-06-2013, 11:11   #18
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

Funny. @ gah964

We are going to do it, it's the learning from other people's mistakes that I want to do now. I have 2 kids in High School, that leaves us about 4-5 years to get this all figured out, and considering the # of things to learn, that should be just about right. We are logging our sails and prepping for captain's licenses.

Just jumping offshore without thought seems like a fool hardy thing to do. Once you get out on the water, getting things you "forgot" is very expensive or impossible. We sail pretty much every weekend and are getting quite comfortable with different kinds of wind, but that is lake sailing, not blue water sailing. Everything I hear, tells me that blue water sailing is very different from lake sailing.
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Old 25-06-2013, 11:57   #19
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

There are a lot of great books you can start reading. Singlehanded Sailing by Richard Henderson is one of the best. Good luck, seems you have a good approach.
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Old 25-06-2013, 12:05   #20
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If you want to get aboard an checkout a bunch of different cats shoot me a pm. I'm a broker that specializes in catamaran sales in south Florida.
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Old 25-06-2013, 14:04   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark0978 View Post

I have a professional conference in Orlando the week of July 14-19. She was thinking about flying down to meet me at the end of the week, and I got this crazy idea to see if anyone in S Florida would be so kind as to take us sailing on the weekend of the 20th and talk to us about their Catamaran experiences (especially if they have done the live aboard life).

We are both nearly 50 years old, and neither of us smoke.
Mark
We might be able to help you out if you can drive down to Palm Beach. We moved aboard a 40ft cat this last January and could tell you about our experiences so far. PM if interested.
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Old 25-06-2013, 15:15   #22
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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Well it is hurricane season. My insurance specifies I have to be north of 30.5n by 15th July. That is north of virtually all of Florida.
When you live here they don't make you go anywhere.

Maybe they should.

I would have liked to spend the summer in Maine or somewhere..............if I had to, you know..
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Old 25-06-2013, 15:26   #23
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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Only problem with just renting a boat that is you don't get to talk to folks that have actually done the live aboard thing. And that would be more useful to us than just sailing. Not to mention how new we are to sailing, I doubt anyone would rent us a bare boat for blue water sailing, and I wouldn't blame them. We are getting more confident, but total hours on the water so far wouldn't convince me to rent me a boat.

Sad that we live in a world so full of fear...

We tried stopping by Skinny Legs in the USVI last year and managed to be there one of the few weeks out of the year they were closed. Spent 30 minutes or so talking with one lady that was in the parking lot. She had done the live aboard thing in her 20's (her partner was about 30 years her senior). All she could talk about was everything breaking all the time. 40 hours a week spent repairing the boat. That doesn't seem reasonable or factual and I certainly hope she isn't right!
Maybe not every week but don't close your eye to it.

I no longer own a boat because I deluded myself (and my wife - heh!) into thinking I could maintain the boat, work, take call and still get to go sailing. Turns out just about every trip included some "chore" that took, as usual, longer than planned. This took the fun out of it and also took away a large safety margin for us.
You see, one must practice things like MOB (man over board), setting up jack lines (and using them ), reefing, chart practice, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.
What happened was that when we went for a sail we just wanted to sail and the extra safety stuff was reduced or ignored in some cases - SHAME ON ME!! - I know.

Maybe, just maybe if the boat was tied up to a dock in the back yard............on a lift it would have been different. But a 45min drive away - no way.
All that is to say that when (if ) I get another I will be living on it so I can keep up with it AND enjoy the use of it.

That is just me though YMMV.
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Old 25-06-2013, 16:53   #24
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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What are the problems with having a compressor onboard the boat?
SNIP
My understanding is a compressor costs about $US7,000 at the low end and requires specialized skills and certifications for starters.

I have a hooka with a couple of 100ft hoses. Five gallons of gas gives me about the same dive time as probably 100 tanks. While I have advanced open water, search and rescue, cavern and cave certifications I find in the Keys and the Bahamas there is so much 30ft or less diving that I am a happy camper.

I will be in Boot Key on my Seawind cat this weekend, PM me.
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Old 25-06-2013, 18:41   #25
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

Power for the Compressor?


'
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Old 25-06-2013, 21:13   #26
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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All that is to say that when (if ) I get another I will be living on it so I can keep up with it AND enjoy the use of it.

That is just me though YMMV.
I know that feeling well, getting the boat ready after 10 years of sitting in a field, when we got to the marina (30 minute drive for us), all I wanted to do was put up the sail and go, but on more than one occasion had to finish work that didn't get done while we had the boat on the driveway!

Luckily, most everything is working well now, we have a mildew problem now that the heat has turned up and the boat sits closed up all week, but we have an AC/Dehumidifier in there that we are going to go check on this weekend to see how it is doing on the air drying front.
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Old 25-06-2013, 21:25   #27
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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Power for the Compressor?'
This is typical of what I have found for scuba compressors

Buy Max Air 35 scuba compressor MA-35-E1-110-SCUBA (3000psi) with reviews at scuba.com

The electric motor will draw less than 20 amps, but with the current solar and wind setups, that might be hard to come by on a sustained basis so it might have to be driven by the gas engine. However within the next 5 years, solar might make some good solid advances.

I haven't looked into what the generators on a sailboat can produce though.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:58   #28
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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Hi Mark! It would really help if you'd know some diesel troubleshooting/repairs, electrical troubleshooting & toys configurations, a lot of seamanship experience and hull/sails/propulsion fundamentals...prior to owning a live-aboard. Old Salts on here will tell you the same thing. If you don't know the basics and let the pros do the work for you, it will cost you a fortune; nothing is cheap when it comes to professional services. Salty sailing environment will "eat up" everything you give it, hence the continuous maintenance and upkeep; no way around it. Only yourself can determine if this lifestyle is worth pursuing or not. Do your homework, and welcome to a reality check!

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Old 01-07-2013, 07:55   #29
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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Well it is hurricane season. My insurance specifies I have to be north of 30.5n by 15th July. That is north of virtually all of Florida.

That's crazy. Hurricanes can come in anywhere on the east coast -- or have they not heard of Sandy?

For that matter, there was Hurricane Bob (1990 I think) which raced up the east coast, came in at Cape Cod/Rhode Island (I was on Cape Cod at the time) and really tore up a lot of boats.

I live in Florida and my insurance has no such restriction.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:05   #30
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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Originally Posted by mark0978 View Post
Only problem with just renting a boat that is you don't get to talk to folks that have actually done the live aboard thing. And that would be more useful to us than just sailing. Not to mention how new we are to sailing, I doubt anyone would rent us a bare boat for blue water sailing, and I wouldn't blame them. We are getting more confident, but total hours on the water so far wouldn't convince me to rent me a boat.

Sad that we live in a world so full of fear...

We tried stopping by Skinny Legs in the USVI last year and managed to be there one of the few weeks out of the year they were closed. Spent 30 minutes or so talking with one lady that was in the parking lot. She had done the live aboard thing in her 20's (her partner was about 30 years her senior). All she could talk about was everything breaking all the time. 40 hours a week spent repairing the boat. That doesn't seem reasonable or factual and I certainly hope she isn't right!

Maybe her partner had a "race it, slap it back together and race it again" attitude (for those people, any time they're sailing, they're racing. I have a friend like that).

But if you *start out* with a boat in good condition, you won't have things constantly breaking.

Things do break. I have a friend who had a turnbuckle (part of the stays/shroud system) fail last Saturday. But -- oh yeah -- he was racing, pushing his boat to the limit.

It IS more work to live aboard. You're often working in small places. You have to go to specialty stores (ex: West Marine) or order what you need on line and wait for it to come (ex: Defender).

But if I hadn't lived on my boat two summers ago, I never would have seen the AMAZING bioluminescence, because I never would have moved to the marina where it happened. It was a live-aboard marina, and where I had been keeping my boat, live-aboards weren't allowed.

It was the most spectacular thing I've ever seen. At the peak of summer, when we had small waves the entire top of the wave glittered as if it were encrusted with diamonds -- AT NOON. At night, you could make "angels in the snow" in the water, only you saw the water moving, and it was a brilliant electric aqua. Throw something in the water and it was like a light show at Disneyworld.

So you won't know what wonders you will see. Turned out there was a fresh water spring at the end of that marina, and common to see 6 - 8 manatees lazily swimming past the stern of my boat toward it, rolling around, scratching each other without a care in the world.

In our club marina one summer we had a mother manatee, adolescent child and newborn that couldn't have been more than a week old. I was only there to see it because of something related to living aboard.

If you're SMART and really secure your belongs (it IS possible if you can live a minimalist life style) -- you'll sail more than you ever would otherwise, and then there's a whole new set of wonders waiting for you.

Other than that I can't think anything good about it.
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