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Old 28-08-2008, 11:59   #16
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Spammy, some good points. Certainly, in many respects Hobie's etc. are more difficult to sail than larger boats. And while I tend to agree with your suggestion that many smaller cats are unsuitable for blue water cruising, I don't believe that beam is the sole (nor even most significant) reason.

Some relatively narrow cats are extremely stable because the center of effort and gravity are kept relatively low (ie, various Prouts). Further, the greater the ratio of beam/LOA, the greater the risk of pitchpoling (all other things being equal) - and most believe that this is an equal, if not greater risk than capsize in many cats.

Further some smaller cats (and Richard Woods own 32 foot Eclipse is a terrific example, as is the 26 foot Heavenly Twins) have proven to be extremely capable offshore yachts. Yes, they will be more sensitive to loading than a larger cat (again, all else being equal), but they are certainly up to the task.

SJPM has a stated budget which rules out most offshore capable cats longer than 40 feet. This does not, however, mean that he will be left only with a choice of boats that are unsafe for offshore voyaging.

Brad
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Old 28-08-2008, 12:45   #17
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Further some smaller cats (and Richard Woods own 32 foot Eclipse is a terrific example, as is the 26 foot Heavenly Twins) have proven to be extremely capable offshore yachts. Yes, they will be more sensitive to loading than a larger cat (again, all else being equal), but they are certainly up to the task.

SJPM has a stated budget which rules out most offshore capable cats longer than 40 feet. This does not, however, mean that he will be left only with a choice of boats that are unsafe for offshore voyaging.

Brad

Exactly...

Just 2 weeks ago I saw a tiny little Iroquois (30ft, but it seemed smaller) on the town rental mooring where I was staying. It was flying a German flag.

I stopped in to see what was what and they said they came trans-Atlantic with her. There were at least 3 stout German guys in the thing and they were happy as could be.
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Old 28-08-2008, 12:59   #18
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I to am in the same position as you are. My wife and I took the lessons down in the Abaco's last March in 30 knot winds. We had a great time, passed all the tests however the lessons were a little lacking in experience as well as the intensity was a little high for my wife. She loves boating and the ocean however with everything that week being done at warp speed (more like what I would be expecting during a week of racing in a northeaster), more do to the 3 instructors on board who were trying to out do each other, she was somewhat put off on spending a chunk of money on a boat. I did learn how to change a starter on a diesel, wait on the tide to come in after mooring to close to shore, and finally how to detach an anchor from the main power line to an island at no extra charge. We are now trying to get a broker to take us out for a few day trips to get that warm fuzzy feeling about buying a boat again. The problem is finding someone with a 35 to 40 ft cat on the Chesapeake who needs a novice crew for a day is tuff (even offering a free dinner!) Another thread here was talking about boat swapping, why not helping out some new couples trying to get some experience?? I don't think I would even attempt to go out onto the Bay without an experienced sailer so I could get my barrings and a feel for my surroundings. We're going to do this somehow, We don't want a summer home on a lake or a beach house, We want to be able to move around and enjoy some coastal traveling after we get our sea legs. The Bay is a great place and we're going to do it.

SJPM the Boat I like is the 40ft Leopard though the 38ft might be the one we go with. The owners version seems to have plenty of space. There running a little more than your starting budget number but their dropping below $200k lately and I would expect to find them in the $175k range soon with winter coming.

Good luck and if We get a boat sooner than you your welcome aboard!

Steve

ps O ya, we're heading out of Solomons on Saturday on a 25 ft Merit monohull weather permitting!!
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Old 28-08-2008, 13:16   #19
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more do to the 3 instructors on board who were trying to out do each other, she was somewhat put off on spending a chunk of money on a boat.

Wow... that's terrible. Why on Earth would they have 3 instructors aboard?

When I do my classes, I'm the only one and my people learn by doing.

I can't quite understand some of the "West Marines" or "Microsofts" of the sailing schools out there. I find it is much better to just show people how to do things and have them run the boat the entire time.

A "curriculum" comes up naturally if you are actually out there cruising with the boat.

I tend to "shadow" them and correct bad behavior and answer questions. By the time the week is over, they are running the boat well on their own because they ran the boat on their own the whole time anyway.

3 instructors...???

What a mess.
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Old 28-08-2008, 13:44   #20
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Passing your sailing class is great, but! You need to understand the ocean is very different, and you will not have your instructor to lean on. That being said here is some advice of my own.

Buy the cat, but read Chris White's book before the purchase, and a couple of others. I am sure other members will recommend books. These books can lead you to informative decisions. It did for me!

Also instead of upgrading right away. Buy a $2-4 20ft.+ monohull. You can probably tie this up to the cat, and sail the h3ll out of this boat. Sell it later, and get all your money back.

Sailing is sailing, but each boat, and each kind of boat is a wee bit different. When you know how to reef, and place the sails in the proper position for the wind. You have pretty much got it licked. After that it is practice, practice, practice, and did I meantion PRACTICE?

As confidence grows you can start to sail the cat. Maybe you know a good sailor who can sail the cat with you. The hardest thing about sailing a cat is knowing when to reef. If you learn to read the water on the mono.You will know when to reef.

I took 40 hours in lessons. Bought a 30ft boat. 18 months later left S.F. for Cabo Mexico alone, and returned safe. Jumped from the 30ft. to my 46ft. cat, and I have managed to survive......lolololololol

Don't chase your dreams. Catch up to them, and hold them tight. Don't live with WHAT IFS..........BEST WISHES in succeeding in your new life....CAUTION ....it is addicting.

One last thought. Here in the forum is a huge amount of knowledge. Take advantage of it. Do your research, and then ask intelligent questions
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Old 28-08-2008, 13:53   #21
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Sully,
I need to keep saying we had a great time... in spite of the fact that there was some interesting moments. Non of the "issues" that occurred were at the fault of the pupils (4). We left the dock with a husband and wife team who were leaving the boat at the end of our week. The new instructor came on board the 3rd day for the rest of the week to get familiar with the boat I guess. A 42ft F/P is a nice learning platform but I had a number of issues with the way the classes was taught. An example was after leaving the dock and getting into clear water the instructor would shut the engines down and declare an emergency requiring the sails to be hoisted and set in record time. Every time. If I screwed up a tack on a jib we were required to perform as many tacks as Captain Bluy determined was appropriate for the miss deed. 10 seemed to be his favorite number. I found it to be good exercise, the wife thought this was what she was in for the rest of her sailing life (5ft and 100lbs). She had a little different idea as to how she wants to spend her leisure time. Short spurts of effort are fine but sunny, beautiful weather is to be spent on the lounge chair.

Steve
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Old 28-08-2008, 14:11   #22
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I found it to be good exercise, the wife thought this was what she was in for the rest of her sailing life (5ft and 100lbs). She had a little different idea as to how she wants to spend her leisure time. Short spurts of effort are fine but sunny, beautiful weather is to be spent on the lounge chair.

Steve

Definitely. Sounds like you had more of a drill sergeant type.

Most certainly a very different way of teaching. Maybe it works for some. I guess that's why it's important to work with an instructor who matches your personality style.
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Old 28-08-2008, 14:14   #23
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You have gotten a lot of great advice here. I would like to re-enforce taking things slowly. Get as much sailing in as you can before you buy a boat, charter, Beg rides, bribe rides, crew for others. Go out in light weather and practice all the sail drills, MOB drills, so when you get into challenging situations you will be ready. Do not head out for that "Victory at Sea" experience too soon as you will scare the crap out of yourselves and might give up. Take as many classes as you can including navigation and first aid. Study everything. Learn how to fix everything, as you may find yourself in some far flung place with no help available.

If you are tempted to buy a project boat, don't. $150K will buy you a hell of a nice boat that you can get away on sooner rather than later.

Good Luck
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Old 28-08-2008, 14:29   #24
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Exactly...

Just 2 weeks ago I saw a tiny little Iroquois (30ft, but it seemed smaller) on the town rental mooring where I was staying. It was flying a German flag.

I stopped in to see what was what and they said they came trans-Atlantic with her. There were at least 3 stout German guys in the thing and they were happy as could be.
Whenever I hear someone say "I need a bigger boat for blue water cruising" or " If I work for only a few more years, I'll be able to afford a big enough boat to cruise in:

I'm reminded of 2 guys from Norway , that I ran into in the Marquesas years ago.

They were both big solid guys, and they had crossed the Atlantic, through the Canal, and across the Pacific,

In an 18' boat

The cabin was just big enough that they could both lie down at the same time. And you could sit in the cockpit with your hand on the tiller, and drag your other hand in the water

It really is a state of mind

Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right
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Old 28-08-2008, 14:43   #25
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So... By now probably 90% of you are thinking we're insane and are going to get ourselves killed. Well.... we figure the best way to get experience is to get out there and do it.
Don't let anyone dissuade you in the pursuit of your dream.

The world is full of those who are going to go as soon as "I have enough money, or I have a bigger boat, or I know everything there is to know about sailing/cruising, or the kids are grown up, or the planets are in alignment, or fill in the blank ______"

The people out there actually doing it rarely have all of their i's dotted and their t's crossed

But they are the ones that are out there doing it

Do your homework, prepare as best you can, but accept the fact that you won't be able to acquire the prior knowledge to deal with every situation that you may encounter

There is no security in nature other than the confidence you have in your own abilities

And that is of your own making
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Old 28-08-2008, 15:56   #26
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You've had enough philosophical advice to sedate a hyena on speed, but here's some more!
You plan to liveaboard, and work. That means daily showers for two, and hanging closets for 2.5, near a place to park. Slips with parking will be easier to find for boats with a beam of 16 feet or less. Since treking over icy docks to a marina shower on an icy winter morning nudges the liveaboard experience past adventure and into the PITA arena, You want a Cat with a fairly narrow beam, built for northern waters, with a reliable hot water system, very large holding tank, as in 30 gallons, and you want a marina with parking that doesn't turn the water off in the winter. You also want to be able to take the boat out on a nice weekend, so you don't want to be stuck somewhere 3 hours up a river.
If you go to Florida, you will have great difficulty insuring the boat in Hurricane season, and that will extend further up the Coast past Georgia. Employment is not as readily available on the North and South Carolina Coasts as in Virginia, Maryland and Delaware, and winter becomes more challenging north of the Chesapeake Bay.
So your boating decisions are starting to narrow down. If you have a Profession or Trade thats in demand everywhere, your horizons are broader. If you are a Corn Farmer, they are not. Unless you strike it big in alternate fuels and buy an island in the Caribbean. So for now, you should limit your search to English Cats (buy as big and as well maintained as you can) or one of the rare Victories. Base it where you can find someone with real experience on your boat who will go out with you a lot at first. Last words:

JUST DO IT!
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Old 28-08-2008, 17:55   #27
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. Every time. If I screwed up a tack on a jib we were required to perform as many tacks as Captain Bluy determined was appropriate for the miss deed. 10 seemed to be his favorite number. I found it to be good exercise, the wife thought this was what she was in for the rest of her sailing life (5ft and 100lbs). She had a little different idea as to how she wants to spend her leisure time. Short spurts of effort are fine but sunny, beautiful weather is to be spent on the lounge chair.
- Re: sunfish - Any sailing is good sailing but I am also in the camp that says you don't have to start in dinghy's. A friend's wife started in dinghy's - lots of capsizing, wet, hard work, interesting but not fun. Didn't sail after that until I took her out for a day sail. Wine, cheese, 3 hours and 2 tacks. She now sails keelboats.

- Classes - You absolutely have to get the admiral out on a couple of fun keelboat twilight sails with the aforementioned wine, cheese and 2 tacks. sails reefed deck angle less than 15deg. This becomes the goal she is shooting for and makes a week of pulling ropes all day worth it. It puts the training class in context. And a night sail with the stars and moon out - fuggedaboudit...

I had a friend. Took his wife out as crew on his racing boat. She was inexperienced and he yelled a lot. She didn't sail for 4 months. Did the twilight thing and she now enjoys saililng and is even racing again.

- Keelboats - start in 22-25 foot boats. Loads are smaller, everything is easier and mistakes show up on balance between a dinghy and a 42 foot tank. You also learn skills that are needed for keelboats.

Hey - I just figured out my niche - I can be a boat giggilo! If your wife doesn't enjoy sailing, send her my way. I will fix her up - Ooh-la-la...
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Old 29-08-2008, 00:44   #28
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We liked the hobie and sunfish well enough that we seriously discussed buying one to play around on on evenings when we did not want to take our 36 foot monohul out.
As far as learning quickly, what other boat can you tack 100 times by yourself in an evening, and not be tired? What other boat would you give a novice, and tell them to practice docking under sail? Given the choice I will not dock or anchor under sail, but we are not always given the choice.
As far as classes go, I would expect them to prevent you from making mistakes that will cost them thousands of dollars, or get you hurt. These same mistakes can be made safely on a small boat with lessons learned. There is a way a monohull feels when it is overpowered, and to me it is very similar if it is a 14 foot boat or a 36 foot boat.
I would not suggest a dingy as your only boat for a year, but playing on one for two weeks would be a great investment of time and money, and you might find they are more fun than you would have believed.
Again good luck.
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Old 29-08-2008, 01:34   #29
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Wow so many replies

You people are too kind, let me try and reply to you all in one message if possible

Southern Star
Thanks much for some concrete information, models/brands of boats are very helpful as I can google and look on brokers sites to get a very good idea of what you are talking about. Some I hadn't even considered, until now! And yes, there's no way in hell we're buying a boat that's not passed it's survey with flying colors (or at least well enough that we feel confident we can buy it and fix the defects for a reasonable total price).

Captain Sully
Funny you should say that we have a lot in common because our list of boats to consider has a Catalac 10 on there (pretty high on the list, as well). The downer to the 10M? There just doesn't seem to be that many out there for sale and the ones we did find were in the EU (which makes sense, I guess). Unless I'm mistaken I read somewhere there was a grand total of 45 constructed, which would explain that But any boat made to handle the North Sea rates well in my book. I remember being on a VERY large roll-on-roll-off ferry on those waters and it was so choppy the porthole on one side would show nothing but water, the other side, all sky and then 10 seconds later, she would roll and water/sky sides would reverse! Bottles in the bar were flying everyhere, people were seasick all over the place... it was quite the crossing. I didn't get sea sick at all, neither did the Mrs! I think this is a good sign? Your suggestion of getting someone to help shortlist potential boats sounds great. Is that something that people do for a living or do you typically just find a friend willing to help?

2Hulls
We've been planning this for quite some time, not just 5 months and have been looking at boats (well, on broker websites) for quite some time. I just now figured "Hey why not ask the people that have been in our situation". We're not in a hurry, really, we DO want to get aboard and start living the live-aboard life, but offshore sailing can wait, IF we decide we're not ready for it. As I said in a previous post: we're anxious to get going but but by no means suicidal. We're hoping to be competent enough for coastal sailing when we're done with this class. If that's not the case we'll practice more and even take more classes.
I figured we would not be able to get insurance right away, although we are hopeful that our class certification might help. We're going to try and insure the boat, but we're not holding our breaths. We're planning on getting our OUPV license after we have the year's worth of boat time it requires, do you think that would be enough to convince the insurance companies we are worthy? (not planning on chartering any time soon by the way, the license is for future use and for right now (well, in a year) hopefully so we can a) GET insurace and b) hopefully get a decent rate at that)

Magic Dragon
Mind if I ask how much the delivery captain charged you for that service?

Woods Designs
We're located in Colorado... landlocked So not going to be anyone near us that can take us out for a coastal spin as crew, I'm afraid. Perhaps after we move down to Florida on our boat hunt we can find someone willing to take us out for a day, who knows! Also, will check out the books, thanks!

Islander

We hope to some day feel ready for a journey like that. Thanks for the link.

Spammy
Well our "no experience required" coastal cruising class uses J/22s for their practical sessions. This is one of the reasons we went with them: give us experience on somewhat larger sailing vessels. We figured learning on something at least somewhat similar in size to what we're planning on buying would be best. Pity there doesn't seem to be any sailing schools using larger cats around here.

Hypdrv
Hmm getting the broker/seller to take you out on the boat you're interested in and show you the systems and such is a great idea. And yes, keeping the mrs happy makes any project SO much easier Thanks!

imaine2frolic
Very reassuring to see someone else doing (pretty much) what we are planning and making it work! Finding someone experienced to come along and be a tutor for a while seems to be a recurring theme, and I think it's very sound advice. I just might have the right person(s) for the job, too, if I can convince her/them!

Roblanford
No worries there, I wouldn't know what to do with a project boat! In a way it'd be very educational, but on the other hand I'd like to actually get out there some time before in the next 20 years

Merlin Hawaii
Well said, that pretty much sums up my attitude to the whole thing, I KNOW there will be problems, I intend to learn from them, but I will not let the fear of running in to them stop me from doing this.

Sandy Daugherty
Actually we don't plan on working, this is our retirement. But your point about Florida being expensive is well taken. In fact we're just going down there to buy a boat, as it seems that's "the place to be" when buying/selling in the US. So our move to Florida is just temporary: long enough to buy a boat, fix her up, get some experience on her and then we get out of expensive dodge. As for our home port, it's likely to be Portsmouth, NH. Should be considerably cheaper (we hope?) and my wife has relatives close by.

In theory our retirement fund should last... but we all know how that tends to work out. If the cruising kitty starts looking low we're hoping to do some charter work to make up the difference, but that's a whole new story and should be many many years down the road, by which time we should be old salts, ready for anything!

Ex-Calif
Yes, we'll be starting out in J/22s which I guess is a nice middle ground. I don't think I really need to "bring her round to the idea" as we're both very excited about the whole thing already (lucky me!) However, the first night we spend on our new boat (well, new to us...) is now going to be a 5-star candlelit dinner, thanks to you! Awesome Idea!

Thanks a bunch everyone, I'm happy I made that post, you people are great and I got some excellent ideas and advise from you all!
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:23   #30
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I retired six years ago and moved to this Annapolis suburb for the sailing. Prior to that I spent a considerable amount of time researching a retirement location a little further from Ground Zero (I heard the explosion when the Pentagon was hit on Sept 11th.) I found "Retirement Places Rated Almanac" most useful for comparing and rating a number of sailing venues from coast to coast. I then visited each of my 'short list' locations in their best and worst weather. Its a very personal decision, but the Almanac allows you to give weight to non-empirical factors that over-ride strict dollars and degrees. Renting an apartment while you are sizing up an area will also give you a chance to get used to a smaller place without all the heirlooms.
You can apply the same logic to the body of water you settle on, and balance the availability of enough protected waters for a variety of short cruises, as well as access to deep water and the world beyond.
Finally there is the live-aboard question of seasons, i.e. would I prefer sleeping in a meat locker or a sauna bath? (Can you say 'snow-bird'?)
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