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Old 22-08-2005, 16:28   #1
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2 Would Be Cruisers - Not 1

Until 2004, my only sailing experience was a weekend on a 30 footer more than 20 years ago. Last year I read a couple of books about going around the world on a sailboat. I got hooked on the idea - Hook line and sinker. With no sailing experience, but a strong desire to follow a dream, my wife and I purchased a 30footer late last year in which to learn.

So far we've done it right - we've attended courses, read books, taken instruction from a captain that has introduced us to our boat. We've done long weekends and now we've done an 8 day tour of Martha's Vineyard. Baby steps - but not bad in our first year of sailing.

The plan is to go off for 2 years in 2007. Come back and restart careers for another 5 years to build a kitty then go off for the circumnavigation. (Assuming we had a good time!)

All nice and dandy - but this is my dream. I could happily live in a tent if needs be - but my princess wants her castle. I want princess.

Balancing the needs wants and desires of two individuals makes the prospect of cruising difficult - especially when both individuals have pursued independent careers successfully - and both like the lifestyles they've grown accustomed to... the change to a radically more primitive lifestyle is one that my wife is having trouble coming to terms with. Along with this, concern about our long term (retirement) upkeep – we blow it all on the circumnavigation and how do we survive when we (inevitably) come back to live ashore?

My princess has gone along with everything so far - though the week long trip was only really made possible for her by stopping by the shore-side facilities on numerous occasions for showers and toilet facilities.

As we now search for our cruising boat, conflicts begin to arise: I'd like a bigger boat - for stability, safety, etc - she wants an even bigger one that'll accommodate all the luxuries. (I know, most men would dream to have a wife pushing them to have a bigger boat - but my aim is not so much the creature comforts as the experience of destinations foreign.)

I’m interested to hear what other cruisers have done that faced the same concerns – that of two individuals with different outlooks on life. How do you plan for old age and returning to land unless you’re a trust fund baby!?
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Old 22-08-2005, 18:18   #2
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You pose an interesting, and a not uncommon, dilemma among cruising couples.

It sounds to me like there is plenty of room for compromise, if both parties are willing. For example, where is it written that a safe and stable boat can't have unlimited water via a watermaker for daily hot showers? You don't give your ages, but you can be sure that the older you get, the less you will be willing to endure a primitive lifestyle. The fact is, you are LIVING aboard, not just taking an extended vacation. As such, you should both want a degree of comfort.

Now I am going to suggest the unthinkable - what about a catamaran that will have more room than a comparably-sized monohull and more stability. It doesn't have to be a huge charter cat that sleeps 10; a smaller cat will still give you more room than a larger mono.

Learning on a 30 footer makes great sense. However, two people living full time on a 30 footer can be very cramped. Keep learning on your boat, but when it comes time to cast off for a couple of years, think bigger and (probably) better equipped. If the boat has what your wife needs in terms of some creature comforts, you won't need to make as many shore stops, and you can find those beautiful secluded anchorages that you've been dreaming about. If she's not willing to compromise on the amenities, and you must follow your dream, then you might have to settle for finding crew and having her join you at ports along the way. Remember, while she is going along with it, it's your dream, not hers.

As for blowing the nest egg, if you are willing to return to work after two years, why not do it again when you complete the circumnavigation (usually 3-5 years)? Wouldn't it be worth it to have the memories, even if it means working beyond standard retirement age?
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Old 22-08-2005, 20:57   #3
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My vote goes for the cat as well, more living space, more comfort, better visibility, larger cockpit, better sunbathing space, and normally much more space for heads and shower (I even know of 1 cat that has a bath!) and on top of that - life can be lived upright. If you intend circumnavigating, that implies trade wind sailing, and there is nothing worse than a monohull sailing downwind on a reasonable swell. The cyclic roll is enough to send anybody psychotic.

Not that I am biased of course!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 22-08-2005, 22:40   #4
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2 Hulls for 2 individuals...

OK, this is interesting.

Despite my novice credentials in sailing, I've been pretty well tuned to monohull only - I tend to be something of a purist in most of the pursuits I chase. However, you raise good reasons to look at a Cat.

I looked into the multihull section of this forum and came away with little direction as to what size of cat would be appropriate for trans pacific cruising (I probably haven't found the right section of the forum yet!). Any thoughts? (As a reference, I've been budgeting about $130k for a 36 - 38ft monohull, probably mid 80's vintage - $90-100k to buy, $30k to outfit.)

Can you offer any reassurance regarding the stability of a cat? I keep hearing that they're more stable upside down - which isn't particullarly comforting!

I've followed Bumfuzzled's pages for some time now - but I think they are not the best example to follow - any other good websites from cat cruisers out there doing it?

Point me in the right direction!!
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Old 23-08-2005, 00:23   #5
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Cruising is a compromise

We choose our cat Makai as a compromise. The Admiral doesn't like healing and I did (past tense). We researched cat as well as mono hulls and sailed and bummed rides on many different boats. We alos ran the numbers on a used boat, charted, or buying and put into charter. After running the numbers we decided on a new boat.

Once the decsion was made we reserached (together) what we wanted and what how we were going to use it. Since we were committing to cruising in the next few years in the Caribe as a shake down and then in 5 years work a long term ciurcum nav we looked for builders that met that critiea. We also decided we were not going to camp but wanted many of the comforts at home. Beside equipment it included comforts.

We we decided on a Voyage yacht we made the arrangements and it was bu.ilt and delivered to us. One thing that helped was the big sister to ours was the first Cat to ever win the Cruising Worlds OVerall boat of the year. Though we have owned makai for a couple of years our boat with miniamal changes was nominated for best cruising cat under 40 (were are 38).

We then worked on sailing and learning it in out local waters while reseraching the cruising equipment..

Older cats may fit your price range but be carefull. Some of the older boats have some quality issues and are not the greatest of sailers. Modern cats sail up wind almost as well as many performance crusier monos. We can do 35 apparent and still keep good speed.

We spent several years looking for THE boat and have many opinions.

Makai has sailed over 14,000 since Feb 2003 and works like a dream.
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Old 23-08-2005, 01:13   #6
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on the money side, since i think that was part of what you were asking, if you own your home, you should look at the numbers to compare renting out while you are gone, keeping tax write-off and gaining appreciation against outright sale. remember the boat can qualify as either a primary residence or 2nd home, but if you keep primary address, you might get both. depending on location, you could make money on house while cruising. if your plans change, you can always sell later. your accountant should be part of your planning. capt. lar
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Old 23-08-2005, 12:28   #7
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Cats

So, what's the best resource (Forum/Website/Book) to learn about Catamarans suitable for cruising?
Also looking for some un-biased opinion about the stability aspect - everytime I see a Hobie Cat screaming through the harbor with one hull sitting 3 feet out of the water both my wife and I get the screaming heebie-jeebies!
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Old 23-08-2005, 12:46   #8
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Bill:
You’re probably ill-advised to cruise-liveaboard one of those Hobbies.
“...everytime I see a Hobie Cat screaming through the harbor with one hull sitting 3 feet out of the water both my wife and I get the screaming heebie-jeebies!”

Aside from right here at the CruisersForum, the “Multihull Maven” is an excellent on-line resouce:
http://www.multihull-maven.com/

From the Multihull Maven website welcome:
“...With profiles of hundreds of multihull models, their designers and boat yards, this resource provides easy-to-browse and objective information on multihull craft ...
ou'll also find a growing network of articles on all aspects of multihull sailing - cruising, racing, day-sailing, or liveaboard, including the gear needed to do it ...”


HTH,
Gord
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Old 23-08-2005, 14:11   #9
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when i read this post, i thought cat as well. can you buy and outfit a 38' cat for (bill b's budget) 120k? in my hunting, it seemed i had more options in traditional for substantially less $ and i set a budget of 150k. the voyage 38 is a beauty, but none listed used and no pricing on their website for new. capt. lar
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Old 23-08-2005, 14:36   #10
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unfortunatley

Unfortunately I don't believe you can even buy an older used Voyage for the budget.

The problem is looking for a boat that will do and be all for the $150K. Without knowing if the budget is fixed is tough to suggest. We have seen quite a few cats like some of the older Dean and Prouts that can be had for those prices, but they are not very fast or very roomy and don't sail to weather well.

We researched the type and quality of the boats and then looked at the prices. Usaully what happens a lessor boat is selected without any changes and plans or desires. We knew this was going to be a large expenditure and we would be on it for a long time.

It took two years to buy our Hunter 335 as we knew it was going to be a Bay boat only and didn't need Blue water cruising overkill. But with Makai we looked for a boat based on our needs and critieria of safe and long term offshore crusiing. It was hard to write a bigger check but I beleive we are better off for it. And it took over 2 years as well to make the decsion and buy.

When a used boat is purchased, especially an older boat (cat/leaner) money must be set aside as much as 30-40% to repair others less than great work and to buy equipment to suit you.

After meeting Jabulani they found false economy in buying an older boat loaded with gear. Most of the stuff ended up being replaced in the refit or in the case of thier SSB while they were out where it was needed the most.

When you start adding the cost of refit of an older boat on top of the purchase price the gap between new and used gets narrower.

Don't rush the decsion, look and try as many as you can, find out what you like and dislike. We bummed rides, helped in the yards to see and learn about the construction. You would be amazed at how many people will be willing to let you learn on their boat for free labor.
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Old 23-08-2005, 14:38   #11
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unfortunatley

Unfortunately I don't believe you can even buy an older used Voyage for the budget. buying a boat should not just be about the budget, but finding the right boat to fit you needs, plans, and desires without to much downside compromise.

The problem is looking for a boat that will do and be all for the $150K. Without knowing if the budget is fixed is tough to suggest. We have seen quite a few cats like some of the older Dean and Prouts that can be had for those prices, but they are not very fast or very roomy and don't sail to weather well.

We researched the type and quality of the boats and then looked at the prices. Usaully what happens a lessor boat is selected without any changes and plans or desires. We knew this was going to be a large expenditure and we would be on it for a long time.

It took two years to buy our Hunter 335 as we knew it was going to be a Bay boat only and didn't need Blue water cruising overkill. But with Makai we looked for a boat based on our needs and critieria of safe and long term offshore crusiing. It was hard to write a bigger check but I beleive we are better off for it. And it took over 2 years as well to make the decsion and buy.

When a used boat is purchased, especially an older boat (cat/leaner) money must be set aside as much as 30-40% to repair others less than great work and to buy equipment to suit you.

After meeting Jabulani they found false economy in buying an older boat loaded with gear. Most of the stuff ended up being replaced in the refit or in the case of thier SSB while they were out where it was needed the most.

When you start adding the cost of refit of an older boat on top of the purchase price the gap between new and used gets narrower.

Don't rush the decsion, look and try as many as you can, find out what you like and dislike. We bummed rides, helped in the yards to see and learn about the construction. You would be amazed at how many people will be willing to let you learn on their boat for free labor.
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Old 23-08-2005, 14:39   #12
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unfortunatley

Unfortunately I don't believe you can even buy an older used Voyage for the budget. buying a boat should not just be about the budget, but finding the right boat to fit you needs, plans, and desires without to much downside compromise.

The problem is looking for a boat that will do and be all for the $150K. Without knowing if the budget is fixed is tough to suggest. We have seen quite a few cats like some of the older Dean and Prouts and some new Geminis that can be had for those prices, but they are not very fast or very roomy and don't sail to weather well.

We researched the type and quality of the boats and then looked at the prices. Usaully what happens a lessor boat is selected without any changes and plans or desires. We knew this was going to be a large expenditure and we would be on it for a long time.

It took two years to buy our Hunter 335 as we knew it was going to be a Bay boat only and didn't need Blue water cruising overkill. But with Makai we looked for a boat based on our needs and critieria of safe and long term offshore crusiing. It was hard to write a bigger check but I beleive we are better off for it. And it took over 2 years as well to make the decsion and buy.

When a used boat is purchased, especially an older boat (cat/leaner) money must be set aside as much as 30-40% to repair others less than great work and to buy equipment to suit you.

After meeting Jabulani they found false economy in buying an older boat loaded with gear. Most of the stuff ended up being replaced in the refit or in the case of thier SSB while they were out where it was needed the most.

When you start adding the cost of refit of an older boat on top of the purchase price the gap between new and used gets narrower.

Don't rush the decsion, look and try as many as you can, find out what you like and dislike. We bummed rides, helped in the yards to see and learn about the construction. You would be amazed at how many people will be willing to let you learn on their boat for free labor.
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Old 23-08-2005, 14:42   #13
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unfortunatley

Unfortunately I don't believe you can even buy an older used Voyage for the budget. Buying a boat should not just be about the budget, but finding the right boat to fit your needs, plans, and desires without to much downside compromise.

The problem is looking for a boat that will do and be all for the $150K. Without knowing if the budget is fixed is tough to suggest. We have seen quite a few cats like some of the older Dean and Prouts and some new Geminis that can be had for those prices, but they are not very fast or very roomy and don't sail to weather well.

We researched the type and quality of the boats and then looked at the prices. Usaully what happens a lessor boat is selected without any changes and plans or desires. We knew this was going to be a large expenditure and we would be on it for a long time.

It took two years to buy our Hunter 335 as we knew it was going to be a Bay boat only and didn't need Blue water cruising overkill. But with Makai we looked for a boat based on our needs and critieria of safe and long term offshore crusiing. It was hard to write a bigger check but I beleive we are better off for it. And it took over 2 years as well to make the decsion and buy.

When a used boat is purchased, especially an older boat (cat/leaner) money must be set aside as much as 30-40% to repair others less than great work and to buy equipment to suit you.

After meeting Jabulani they found false economy in buying an older boat loaded with gear. Most of the stuff ended up being replaced in the refit or in the case of thier SSB while they were out where it was needed the most. (not to mention the cussing in the anchorage as the older systems gave them grief)

When you start adding the cost of refit of an older boat on top of the purchase price the gap between new and used gets narrower.

Don't rush the decsion, look and try as many as you can, find out what you like and dislike. We bummed rides, helped in the yards to see and learn about the construction. You would be amazed at how many people will be willing to let you learn on their boat for free labor.

The boat you choose can make or break the experince depending on whether you like the boat and the boats takes care of you or not.
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Old 24-08-2005, 00:33   #14
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and thats what i found - cats from the 80's can not be viewed with the same eye as monohulls from the same time. with cats, to get the engineering, you will be buying new or newer and , my guess, spending 250k. if your budget is set, you are looking at 15 to 20 year old boats. good point on needed upgrades. most electronics and gear are without value. we just bought an 84 boat and knew the gps was scrap. basic instruments were fine, but old and when things don't work, replacement is planned. what we did buy was a boat that received over 40k in work (non cosmetic) over the past 3 years. the hull was blasted, faired, barriered and painted (looks new), much of the standing rigging was replaced, sails are almost new, recent harken furling, new reefing system, awlgrip was recent and well done (don't like paint - but an 84 boat will probably have it) pumps and mechanicals all recent, and original universal had 900 hours and looked very well maintained - thing purrs. the boat sold at a price close to 3 others available. these are big cost items and if we bought smart, we will be no where near the 30% to 40% upgrade #, more like 10%. point is, when you shop, know what's important and what is not.
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Old 24-08-2005, 13:23   #15
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While I agree with the previous posts, I would also add that some older cats have proved seaworthy, such as Prout.

Also, I would suggest that you read Chuck Kanter's book on multihulls ("Cruising on More than One Hull" I think). It is a very good primer on cruising cats and will start your thought process on what features you want/need. In fact, read as much as you can from a variety of sources. Then come back with your questions, and I am sure those of us with catamarans will be glad to try to answer them for you.
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