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Old 03-03-2011, 10:43   #16
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Re: Buy Small, Go Now?

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Originally Posted by butterchurn View Post
I am in the midst of downaizing from a 5 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom Condo.
Four years ago I moved from 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and (2) two-car garages to a one BR apt and a 10 x 20 storage unit. I am now trying to get into roughly a mini-van, though a few friends have offered to hold some heirlooms.

As we age, we're "supposed" to acquire stuff, to have an estate and visual cues to remenisce over. It's hard to do a U-turn in the middle of the highway of life.

John
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Old 03-03-2011, 12:12   #17
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Re: Buy Small, Go Now?

Hi,

Our boat is 26' and we have been sailing her the two of us - me and my first mate.

My advice to anybody into small boat cruising is mostly DON'T.

Much depends on how far from home you want to go. IMHO many small boats are more than anybody should ask for in any short term, close range cruising. One does their cruising, a bit on the uncomfortable way, and then retires to the house, the armchair, the tea, and waits for another season. The fun factor is high, the discomfort factor is there, but at low values.

Now for any extended cruising (like say an open ended cruise that could develop into one or more ocean hops) I say DO NOT. Small boats can be and often are less safe, will tend to be uncomfortable, often lack the cargo capacity (provisions) and so on / forth. So, I would say go small, but not too small!

Then again, I have seen so many people sailing nearly everywhere in small boats (and some of them of very poor quality) that if one wants to go cruising on the small there does not seem to exist any limit to our sailing follies.

Still, from aboard of my little ship I will always recommend a medium-sized (30-34ft), medium displacement, quality boat as the perfect tool to happily pursue the dream of venturing far and wide.

b.
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Old 04-03-2011, 06:23   #18
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Re: Buy Small, Go Now?

No thanks John. The FX37 is new and worth several hundred bucks.
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Old 04-03-2011, 07:05   #19
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Re: Buy Small, Go Now?

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No thanks John. The FX37 is new and worth several hundred bucks.
Yikes! Can't fault your logic on that one! Still hope to see you dockside some day.

And I'm still looking for advice and ideas on how to cruise 'mid-term' (a year, maybe two?) on a Catalina 27. Finding the balance between space, creature comforts, fun stuff, safety gear, food and bevs, spares, and leaving a little room for my sanity is quite the challenge - who can relate and has experiences that I might find useful or enlightening?

John
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Old 06-03-2011, 14:14   #20
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Re: Buy Small, Go Now?

..................who can relate and has experiences that I might find useful or enlightening?
John[/QUOTE]

I did "go early and small" on a Whitney 30 that was a narrow design with a large cockpit and smaller than the Catalina 27. This was my wife and I in our early twenties. We may have had an advantage by moving aboard before accumulating "stuff", but I believe the needs can remain simple. Few clothes, few dishes, few tools and a short stack of books for trade when read. Everything does not need to be on the list,- we cruised for twenty years without refrigeration or a depthsounder. Sure, children did press us into larger boats; but, now that they have left, we still have not filled their void with "stuff". There is a great freedom in non-ownership!
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Old 06-03-2011, 16:15   #21
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Re: Buy Small, Go Now?

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Yikes! Can't fault your logic on that one! Still hope to see you dockside some day.

And I'm still looking for advice and ideas on how to cruise 'mid-term' (a year, maybe two?) on a Catalina 27. Finding the balance between space, creature comforts, fun stuff, safety gear, food and bevs, spares, and leaving a little room for my sanity is quite the challenge - who can relate and has experiences that I might find useful or enlightening?

John
I left Montreal Canada in the beginning of October 2010 on my 26 foot boat for the Bahamas. I've been in the Bahamas since new years. It took me all summer to sell my stuff and to equip the boat a little.

Heres what I ended up keeping from my appartment: manual tools, laptop and clothes. Thats it, I sold everything else and so far no regrets. I converted one bed to a storage area and I don't see how you could bring anything more or what you would even need it for.

If your boat is anything like mine, the storage areas are narrow and deep. Seems the thing you need is always at the bottom and you need to empty the whole compartment to get it. IMO less is more when it comes to small boats.

I guess what you need to bring is closely related to were you are going too. For example if you want to cross an ocean, I would bring more safety stuff, water etc. If you are going to the bahamas, you need lots of beer, spare parts, snorkling gear, fishing gear, food etc.

Smaller has other advantages btw, there is almost always room in an anchorage if you draw less than 3 feet, dockage and storage is cheaper. It's more manoeuverable and easier to fend off when crash parking. Cost less fuel etc...

I have little room for confort and sanity in my boat, I left those things at the office.
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Old 06-03-2011, 17:41   #22
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Re: Buy Small, Go Now?

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Like a lot of you, I joined CF while looking for my boat. While I was hoping to find a sweet 34 - 38 footer for next to nothing (it happens), I ran across a Catalina 27 for next to nothing. I figured I could do some sailing and coastal cruising while I was still land-based, and find my passage-maker later.

Funny how plans change.

I'm moving aboard. Unemployment has dictated my actions, and so I'll be saving my rent money while I work on the boat. Keep in mind that I have a Catalina 27, and my challenge is how to downsize a small apartment full of furniture and "stuff", and a 10' x 20' (3m x 6m) storage unit full of furniture and "stuff", so that a couple of friends are holding some heirlooms and a few personal items, while I pack everything I want to keep close into a space roughly the size of a minivan.

There is also the idea that I have to carry enough "stuff" to be comfortable and still have room to move around while not sinking the boat. My thumbnail bio is: 58, single, pretty healthy, reasonably fit, 5-9, 185, good at fixing/building things. Never lived aboard before.

And there's one other thing - after living a typical American middle class life, raising 3 kids, and being a good little consumer since I was 20, it's hard to just let go of the accumulation of a lifetime. Sure, most of it has no great emotional content, and most has been acquired since 2002, but there's a process to unwinding one life as you start another, and I'm having some trouble sorting between the "sell", "give away", "store", and "boat" categories. Any practical or procedural cues you people can give me would be appreciated.

Also, I'd like to hear about other sailors of pocket cruisers and what you think you did right or wrong as you prepared to cast off and while you were underway.

Thanks,

John
Don't know if this has come up or if you need the info, but in the back of 'The Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat' by John Vigor, Appendix 2, there is a description of what 1 person did to beef up a Cat 27 for offshore.

Here is a link to the same or similar info by the guy that did it: Preparing a Catalina 27 for offshore
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Old 06-03-2011, 17:52   #23
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Re: Buy Small, Go Now?

Factoid:

Over 80% of stuff put in storage units never sees the light of day again.
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Old 10-03-2011, 17:59   #24
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Re: Buy Small, Go Now?

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Factoid:

Over 80% of stuff put in storage units never sees the light of day again.
Yep.

One of the best gifts you can give your children is not burdening them with a bunch of crap.
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Old 10-03-2011, 23:25   #25
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Re: Buy Small, Go Now ?

The "Sale to End All Sales" is proceeding nicely. I am not trying to 'escape' but rather to rid myself of the stuff I don't need, and especially, to identify those things which I do need. May 1st is my target 'out of the apt' date.

I'm a big believer in tools, both mechanical and wood/plastic, so they will come along. For the galley, I'm thinking enough for 4 settings and double-duty items where possible - the teapot, as a once a day item, is history; I'll use a pan.

I hear that it's easy to over-pack clothes and towels and sheets and pillowcases. And shoes. And jackets (though protection from the elements must be maintained).

What else should I include? What else, in your experience, should I NOT bring? Camera, yes; printer, no? How many blankets/comforters? How many PFD's? (Boat came with - are you sitting down? - 9) Flippers and mask, yes; umbrella, beach chair, and Bocci Ball? Folding bike? Folding cart? Rain umbrella?

Tupperware/plastic storage bowls? Corell dishware? Kitchen essentials? Cookbooks? carry-off cooler? Bulky, but could hold a blanket when not in use.

Other tips and ideas?

Thanks, people.

John
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Old 11-03-2011, 00:03   #26
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Re: Buy Small, Go Now ?

Whatever you do, try to keep the folding cart. Seems like everybody borrows mine
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