Scarlet, glad to hear you liked the Antares
- as you say, great quality and although in many respects a rather old-fashioned design, it has design attributes/features that work very well for the liveaboard/long range cruiser. For rexample, IMO the full windshield with wipers on the 44 would prove to be more than just a minor detail for the inevitable times that you are sailing in inclement weather
. So too the large number of well-placed overhead hatches (more on that later).
If you feel you need aircon and a washer and dryer you will then be stuck using your genset much of the time. An alternative, when not connected to shore power
, would be to use only the washer and then hang your clothes to air dry. This not only cuts back significantly on power consumption
, but reduces the amount of moisture/humidity that can accumulate in the interior
. You will also find that there are, in many anchorages
in the Caribbean
, trustworthy people who will do your laundry
for you at a very reasonable price. Rather than paying for diesel
to run your generator
, put some money
back into the local economy. When underway, there are also hand turn washers like the Wonderwash that will clean a few pounds of light clothing
in a few minutes. And light clothing/bathing suits will be the order of the day!
Regular showers? I agree, they are mandatory for both comfort and hygiene. Yes, you will want a watermaker
, but you won't need electricity to heat the water: the standard water heater functions off 120V when on shore power
, or a heat exchanger
off the diesels when you are not. If you run a diesel
for a short bit to help top up the charge on your batteries, you will also have hot water.
Another option, which we have on our boat, is an on-demand propane
water heater. Ours is mounted on a bulkhead in the galley
and it also provides unlimited (to the extent of your fresh water supply) hot water to one of the heads (the one with bathtub shower) as well as the galley sink.
The cost of diesel in most cruising areas is incredibly high and, apart from maintenance
for the aircon system and the generator
(and the noise/vibration thereform), you will find the cost of running the genset on an almost full-time basis to be pretty significant. This is to say nothing, of course, of the inconvenience of having to fill up the tanks
(in some areas, hoping that the diesel is reasonably clean) on a more frequent basis.
Make sure you get a cat with an adequate number of overhead and forward facing hatches ( some don't). Look at the Antares to see what I mean. Proper ventilation aided by some small 12V fans will make the interior
quite comfortable in most conditions - especially under anchor
, where the bows are typically facing into the breeze. I also suspect that you will find yourself getting acclimatized to the heat and humidity over time - unless, of course, you have the air running, in which case you are bound to feel uncomfortable virtually every time you leave the confines of the interior of your boat. Try a bareboat charter
on a cat similar to one that you are considering - most do not have aircon and, while you will still not be fully acclimatized to the heat, I suspect that you may find that you really don't need central air.
I guess another way of looking at it is this: if you don't like hot weather
, why cruise
in the tropics/sub tropics? Yes, you can have a couple of portable air con units for when you are plugged into shore power (or for those oppressively still, hot and humid nights under anchor
when fans/hatches don't cut it) - but really, closing up your boat and putting on the air almost every day/night will just remove you from the sounds and the wonderful sultry, aromatic (and yes, romantic) atmosphere that permeates so many anchorages
in the Caribbean