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Old 21-06-2013, 11:29   #1
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Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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.
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Old 21-06-2013, 15:49   #2
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

I don't have one anymore but there are a couple of them her on CF that are in the Tampa Bay area. Maybe one of them will see this...........and want to help.
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Old 24-06-2013, 13:27   #3
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

Beginning to wonder if all the multi-hulls have left south florida!
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Old 25-06-2013, 00:48   #4
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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Beginning to wonder if all the multi-hulls have left south florida!
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.
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Old 25-06-2013, 06:10   #5
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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Beginning to wonder if all the multi-hulls have left south florida!
Lots of 'em here. Obviously not very many receptive to taking total strangers for a free sail on their schedule.

Murder of Thomas and Jackie Hawks - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

It makes an owner think. Sorry!

You might try:

Florida Yacht Group: New and Brokerage Yacht Sales, Crewed and Bare Boat Charters in Florida.
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Old 25-06-2013, 06:21   #6
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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 water sailing">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!
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Old 25-06-2013, 06:37   #7
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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 25-06-2013, 06:42   #8
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

Electrical shouldn't be too much of a problem, I'm an Electrical Engineer that tinkers with robots for fun, and yea I've read a good bit about salt water eating everything, holding moisture in fabrics and cushions. I probably need to go enroll in the local community college to get some diesel experience, most of my motor experience is with lawn mowers and motorcycles and cars (and now a 30 year old outboard, but my friend actually did the rebuild on that while I repaired the boat).

Do you really spend 40 hours a week fixing things though? That seems excessive.
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Old 25-06-2013, 06:58   #9
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

Hi Mark! I do not sail boats anymore, as I fly a float plane instead; less time navigating blue water and more time spent SCUBA diving. Planes have mandatory service schedules, required by the FAA, based on flight hours and annuals. CF's Old Salts will gladly share their experience on the actual amount of hours spent in servicing/maintaining their boats. Take your time, prior to signing on any dotted line. Good luck!

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Old 25-06-2013, 06:59   #10
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

So how do you deal with decomp? What is your max altitude after a dive? I'm guessing the old 24 hour rule wouldn't work if you flew yourself to the dive site.
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Old 25-06-2013, 07:10   #11
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

I still must be a "D-Diver" prior to SCUBA diving; no compromises! Like if it were a night dive...we snorkel the area by day to familiarize ourselves with currents, shoals, meeting point and such, then we dive it after sunset. If it takes two days to become a "D", so be it. At least my buddies and me are not spending several days blue water sailing, and wasting precious dive time.

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Old 25-06-2013, 07:25   #12
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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...... 40 hours a week spent repairing the boat. That doesn't seem reasonable or factual and I certainly hope she isn't right!
Marine systems operate in one of the most, if not THE most, terse environments. They break and wear out faster than land based systems. They are more complex than land based systems. Most are not maintained properly for the environment they reside.

IMO, the majority of problems are due to owners not understanding the various systems, therefore not maintaining them properly. That coupled with 'getting behind the curve' on proper maintenance and soon you are overwhelmed. You have know, understand, and maintain engines, transmissions, saildrives, raw water pumps, galvanic issues, navigation electronics, electrical systems, water makers, pump toilets, holding tanks, fresh water pumps, battery banks, chargers, inverters, generator, solar panels, 12v refrigerators, freezers, ice makers, thruhulls, propane stove/oven, salt water pumps, bilge pumps, 12v lighting, antennas, VHF radio, SSB radio, Internet access equipment, water cooled air conditioning, bottom paint, gelcoat, teak deck, teak brightwork, sails, sail covers, batten tracks, roller furlers, running rigging, leaking deck attachments, standing rigging, scuba equipment, canvas, upholstery, plus more!

In addition, you have to be a weatherman, as passage-making in the wrong weather is neither fun, nor safe.

Take a look at: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...rs-105618.html
Read their blog and get a feel for life on a boat. I will make no derogatory statements about Jane & Ean, all I know about them, they are great people. But I believe if things were not constantly breaking, creating lots of aggravation along with lots of money spent, they might have a different attitude towards cursing.

So you have to have a natural ability to fix things otherwise you'll be paying lots of money to strangers, most of whom only know a half-inch more than you, but they have the ability to fix something and get it working (some times just temporarily) and take your money. That's not to say there aren't good repairman, but in my experience >50% don't know what they are doing.

So, take all of the above and couple with being in a location where repairman and parts are scarce, hard to order, shipping costs are huge, and duties are huge. That with the fact that anything 'boat' costs 3 times more than it should.

So, you wanna do what? Go where??

40 hours a week? Some weeks, absolutely. Mostly those are the exception. And timely preventative maintenance is key. But it doesn't really matter as long as the work ends before happy hour! Not much better than happy hour and a nice sunset.

I don't live aboard full-time, but when I do live aboard I love it and wouldn't trade it for any other way of life.
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Old 25-06-2013, 07:34   #13
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

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Originally Posted by mark0978 View Post
Electrical shouldn't be too much of a problem, I'm an Electrical Engineer that tinkers with robots for fun, and yea I've read a good bit about salt water eating everything, holding moisture in fabrics and cushions. I probably need to go enroll in the local community college to get some diesel experience, most of my motor experience is with lawn mowers and motorcycles and cars (and now a 30 year old outboard, but my friend actually did the rebuild on that while I repaired the boat).

Do you really spend 40 hours a week fixing things though? That seems excessive.
I find diesels easier to work on than gas engines. The basic diesel is simple, if it has fuel and cooling water, it'll run. As they add more to them, they get harder. Try and stick with a naturally aspirated engine, less complexity. If you understand engine theory, a diesel will be easy.
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Old 25-06-2013, 08:11   #14
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

So you live on the plane for your decomp time?

My plan was to have a compressor on board. Sail, anchor and dive the place dry. Then move on.
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Old 25-06-2013, 08:41   #15
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Re: Sailing in South Florida on July 20th

The float plane's range is about 400 miles. Dive tanks and refills are obtained from the closest dive shop. Some remote islands/atolls are used for overnight stays. Not a good idea to have a dive compressor with, or on a boat. This is how the fun begins...finding a few remote islands/atolls (a lot of logistics to get there)...finding not too distant airport with clean fuel (150-200 mi radius)...finding a dive shop to meet us, with what we need...snorkeling the area, then diving it...under the stars camping/dining/more diving...until the next destination...two weeks at a time. For next year, we're in the planning stages of diving remote areas off Perth-AU; off south Rottnest island. We also have to be not far from a hyperbaric chamber, just in case we need it. Life's too short, we like to enjoy it to the max.

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