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Old 05-05-2014, 06:54   #16
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Location: Mangareva, French Polynesia
Boat: Heritage West Indies 36
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Re: Update for " couple in 20's 2 year circumnavigation...we need advise"

The reason there are so many different boats out there is that there are at least that many different tastes to cater for! However, i feel obliged to add my two cents and re-enforce the sentiments already presented by others that you may find a 473 far too big. I have a 36' and the one thing i don't like about it is that it is too big. Some good friends of mine who cruise full-time have a Maxi 95 (9.5m) and they say it is too big for the two of them. Day-sailing a big boat is a lot of fun. Owning/maintaining/cruising one is a whole other matter. Just food for thought!

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Old 05-05-2014, 07:45   #17
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Location: Cruising the Eastern Caribbean
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Re: Update for " couple in 20's 2 year circumnavigation...we need advise"

First let me say we love our 473 and for a couple in our late 50s/early 60s, we find it very easy to sail and boat maintenance so burdensome that it outweighed the advantages. But congrats on finding the boat for you, how exciting your future is shaping up to be!

Regarding your dog, Bear, we have been traveling for nearly two years in the Caribbean with two cats and have many friends that have dogs on board. Having pets on board does add one more later of complexity, but if you are like us it is worth the reward of having our pets with us. I believe the comment about Trinidad not to be true these days, Trinidad has been changing their policies lately. As for the Dominica comment that was just BS, one of our closest boat friends is traveling with a lab and they love Dominica and spend a lot of time there on shore with their dog and have never had a problem. It is true that it is easier in the French Islands, they don't even make you declare them. The reality is that if you have a current rabies Titer report (note, they all want to see rabies vaccination once a year -- US typically vaccinates every three years), current/up to date vaccination records and with a health certificate now and then you will be fine. FYI, other than being somewhat of a hassle, getting a health certificate from the government vet in most of the islands is really easy and cheap by US standards. In Grenada they are free and you don't even take the pet with you. The BVI was the most expensive and strict island we have been too, the costs was $30 US and you have to take the pet with you but they never took our cats out of their carriers. When you are getting ready to enter the BVIs PM me and I can give you some more info that will make it easier.

Sailing with a pet is all about keeping your paperwork well organized and up to date. Good luck!


Time is a companion that goes with us on a journey. It reminds us to cherish each moment, because it will never come again. What we leave behind is not as important as how we have lived. JEAN LUC PICARD, Captain of the Starship Enterprise
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:00   #18
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Re: Update for " couple in 20's 2 year circumnavigation...we need advise"

People forget, dogs are hutch dwellers, they thrive in small spaces. Exception is the breeds that heard cattle or sheep. But our English Mastiff was a couch potatoe, and it made us laugh to hear friends with large properties offer to 'baby sit' our dog. The Pekenese, of course loves small beds and small spaces. She chooses a potty place because she's a clean freak and goes on papers. Either would be happy to just sit on a boat and dream. That's their job, don't you know.

BTW your grand solei 46.3 looks like a terrific choice. Well done.
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:22   #19
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Re: Update for " couple in 20's 2 year circumnavigation...we need advise"

Well, Smoke is a maniac, and I haven't been to sea with him yet. He does like the boat, but I think he may get restless in a smaller place. I might have to put him ashore for a run now and then, or maybe I can throw him off the boat and let him go swimming.
" Wisdom; is your reward for surviving your mistakes"
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:50   #20
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Re: Update for " couple in 20's 2 year circumnavigation...we need advise"

If the dog likes swimming, I think that is a perfectly good alternative to a run on shore. We plan on taking our dog with us in a few years. He's been on our small boat off cape cod and loves hanging on it - sailing he's getting used to and I think will enjoy it more on a larger boat - at 22', we can heel a fair amount and he sits next to us and really presses into us once we start heeling a fair amount. Otherwise he loves walking around and being with us.

As far as boat size - seems like the OP has decided, but we have an Oceanis 43. We think its a great size - its a charter layout so it has 3 cabins, but we'll likely modify one to become storage. I wouldn't want anything smaller as we do like having space and will have friends/family visit and even stay with us for a week or weeks at a time. I wouldn't want anything bigger, but if finances allowed it, we might consider upgrading to a 40' cat - obviously a lot more work, but we love the space a cat offers, especially since we love to dive.

We too will be spending a lot of time in the Caribbean when we set off in a few years..
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:58   #21
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Location: Back in Pennsylvania Awaiting next cruising season
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Update for " couple in 20's 2 year circumnavigation...we need advise"

Yeah I feel that if you are actually going to live on a boat then anything smaller than 40 ft is to small... I don't know about other members but I don't want to sacrifice my gear or all my belongings when I move on the boat. I have hiking bags and fold up bikes that the third cabin offers as storage room.

That's why we have chosen the Grand Soleil 46.3.
We are definitely going to kit it out to be dog friendly, like for instance put rugs that stick to the deck floor inside so the dog has some traction when we are heeled. Bear (my dog) loves to swim as do I so if we're real desperate well go in the ocean when making a passage. I return to Miami on the 22nd to take my future boat out for a sea trial and a survey. I'm so excited... I went sailing this weekend on a charter on a 2013 jenneau 40'. The boat was beautiful but as I felt at the boat show... It's just not big enough for my wife and our taste to live on. I want to have a little space and some of the luxuries of home while I'm out there.
And for the dog I agree with the other guy. The dog is my kid basically so I really will have a hard time leaving her behind
Do or do not, there is no try.

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Old 05-05-2014, 14:22   #22
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Re: Update for " couple in 20's 2 year circumnavigation...we need advise"

I bought my 1st sailboat last year, its just over 48' long. We cruise in it full time and I haven't found any reason yet that it might be to large.
I think your choice of sailboat will serve you well.
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Old 05-05-2014, 15:58   #23
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Re: Update for " couple in 20's 2 year circumnavigation...we need advise"

Sounds like a well thought out plan with a good backup. As Jimmy Buffet sings "down in the tropics they come and they go". Two years is a good amount of time to see if the cruising life is right for you. Good to see twenty somethings put some thought into their dream and not just put Jimmy Buffet CD's on repeat.

My advice is don't take the dog. It's like having crew that just eats and never helps when it comes time to dock. Could trip you up as you run around the boat in an emergency. Even though it would be trying to help. Dog would be happier on land IMO and it will allow you more freedom to come and go off the boat as you please. Just my two cents.
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Old 12-05-2014, 11:15   #24
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Re: Update for " couple in 20's 2 year circumnavigation...we need advise"

check out - sounds a lot like you guys!

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circumnavigation, navigation

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