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Old 12-01-2011, 20:09   #1
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Technomadic Boat Recommendation Wanted

Greetings All --

My partner Cherie and I are full-time traveling technomads, software developers, and travel bloggers - and we are looking forward to moving onto the water as our next adventure and are trying to find our ideal floating home.

We already know how to live together in a small space - our current trailer is a 17' long fiberglass egg.

When it comes to boats, we aren't afraid of older, or small.

We do however need to find a boat that will provide for a comfortable space for two geeks to live and work in, especially considering we spend 4 to 20 hours a day working on our laptops.

So far the idea of spending all that time down inside a monohull with no view just isn't very appealing. Maybe something with a pilothouse...

Catamarans on the other hand just seem like a better fit in almost every possible way. Now we are seeking some boat recommendations.

We went to the Miami boat show last year and were underwhelmed with most of what we saw - boats intended for the charter market seem to be a poor fit for us, and that was seemingly all that was on display.

We don't want something huge, with four bedrooms and two or more bathrooms. We do want space to have longterm guests join us, but primarily it will be just the two of us and our cat.

We are overall novices when it comes to boats larger than hobie cats, so we are hoping to tap into the wisdom of the forums to better figure out what we want.

We blogged about our initial boat wish-list here: Boat Wanted | Tales from Technomadia


As for price - unless our next iPhone app is a huge hit, we are looking in the $50k - $150k price range (including the cost of upgrades and outfitting).

An older boat that has been lived aboard for years and has been well cared for, upgraded, and maintained is ideal for us. We are particularly keen on finding something that will be a good fit for us as our floating office - with a comfortable place for the two of us to spend our days working on our laptops, and with ample solar power to keep us going without needing to run a generator. Off-grid autonomy is very important to us.

Boat recommendations that we should look into are MUCH appreciated. I've already heard good things about the Fountaine-Pajot Tobago. And we were impressed with the Gemini 105mc we toured last year, but it was a bit lacking in some ways, and probably a bit too cramped for full-time living with guests.

What else should be on our shortlist?

Cheers!

- Chris (and Cherie) // Tales from Technomadia
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Old 12-01-2011, 23:59   #2
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Hey Chris, we met in the desert this summer.

I'm a big fan of trimarans, myself...
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Old 14-01-2011, 18:35   #3
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You may already know of this guys adventures. As techno as could be for its time.

For Sale: Microship (Pedal/Solar/Sail Micro-Trimaran)

Try downloading Jim Browns (searunner trimaran designer) book "The case for the crusing timaran"

http://smalltrimarans.com/book/cruising-trimaran.html

Don't hesitate to visit us on the Searunner thread. Plenty of nice folks to give you ideas.
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Old 14-01-2011, 18:45   #4
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Steve (of Microship fame) is a long time friend and inspiration of mine. I actually borrowed space in his lab (right next to the Microship!) when I did the solar work on my first little RV.

I do like the general concept of trimarans, but the one downside seems to be the "down inside" feeling similar to most monohulls. In the grand scheme of things we'll spend more time using the boat as a floating office than sailing it, so having a nice place to work with lots of light and good views is key. Do you know of any trimarans that might fit the bill?

Cheers,

- Chris
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Old 14-01-2011, 19:39   #5
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My favorite 'small' catamaran, and it ain't really small at all, is the Seawind 1000. The visibility in the saloon is among the best. I don't know if it would be too much so (living in a fishbowl), but an older model of these may fit into your budget.
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Old 14-01-2011, 19:43   #6
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Have you read: zerotocruising.com?
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Old 14-01-2011, 22:37   #7
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HI Chris! Good to see you here. Looking forward to a technomadic raft-up... somewhere... out there...

Steve
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Old 16-01-2011, 12:58   #8
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Chris and Cherie - I'm going to say what everyone is thinking, as gently as possible: your list of wants kind of falls under the old saying "Good, fast, cheap: pick any two.". You're probably not going to find a boat that is comfortable, spacious, room for a master cabin and guests and seating for dinner for six inside and out and fits into a standard slip with a shallow draft.

For instance, my technomadic office needs have always been minimal - a good computer, a high-quality office chair, basic office desk, filing cabinet, espresso maker, lamp and stereo are all I need. However, since moving aboard I've lowered my standards to a laptop, instant coffee and a pillow for my lower back, while propped up in a single berth that is half taken up with tupperware storage bins. Sure, I could work from the main berth, but during the winter months if I don't air out the underside of the mattress for at least a few hours every day I get mold under there... it's that sort of thing that you can only learn from living aboard.

Probably what needs to happen is you will have to spend some time aboard a few different boats so that you can get a realistic idea of what's possible and within your budget. You might find a large mono (or multihull) with all the creature comforts you seek within your price range, but it'll definitely be well-used, and the realities of upgrading and maintaining a boat that size and vintage are going to come as a severe shock: the ocean is actively trying to eat boats all the time, and the larger the boat the more work it is and the more expensive the parts.

You've got a huge advantage over most folks trying to move onto a boat, in that you've already learned the hardest lessons: how to minimize your life and how to live in a small space with another person. I would definitely start by reading some "how to start cruising" books - the one Livia mentioned is a really good start.

Also - and I wish someone had told me this three years ago - the best possible thing you can do to learn what you need to know in the shortest amount of time is go to school. There are support networks all over the country for sailing and cruising education; I'm currently taking courses here in Vancouver on offshore weather and ham radio operation, for instance. Seek out the sailing support groups and attend the seminars by folks who have lived aboard and cruised the world for decades.
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Old 16-01-2011, 13:03   #9
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Where's the "Like" button? Well-said, Drew!

-Steve
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Old 16-01-2011, 13:10   #10
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Something like this would be best for you IMO... cheaper slip costs etc... plenty of light etc...
This one's just come up as sold
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Old 16-01-2011, 14:12   #11
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Cats are fun, stable, go in places others can't and are bright and airy. Put down a cup of coffee and it will be there tomorrow. Yet the main thing to consider after you have choosen the design is to keep it light weight. To much equipment and stores will slow you down.

Other than that have fun. The cat that owns me is 34'L 15'8"W 2'10"D. It has protected rudders, 100 gal water, gets 10km to the gallon, has all lines leading to cockpit, a wind generator and solar panel which has allowed me to stay away from marinas for months. Be sure to get good ground tackle which you find will come in very handy when the wind blows.

Anyway welcome to natures show and never miss a sundowner.
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Old 16-01-2011, 14:55   #12
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Where's the "Like" button? Well-said, Drew!

-Steve
im thinking it is the THANKS button
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Old 16-01-2011, 15:01   #13
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im thinking it is the THANKS button
Already did that; it's just not public. Thanks! *grin*

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Old 16-01-2011, 22:07   #14
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Go sailing first then buy , making lists is all but useless

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Old 17-01-2011, 21:35   #15
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Something like this would be best for you IMO... cheaper slip costs etc... plenty of light etc...
This one's just come up as sold
Neat looking boat - what is it?
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