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Old 18-07-2012, 22:38   #16
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Re: Family of five getting ready to liveaboard.

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Originally Posted by Dearbhla View Post
Thanks for the replies everyone, I really appreciate you taking the time to give me your advice. Lots of food for thought... The second head makes a lot of sence. And for sure we would rather have closer to 40'. 34' is the minimum we would consider depending on the layout of the boat.
I agree with a lot of others that 34' is small for your family with that being said I know of a couple that raised their 2 kids on a 30 foot sailboat. With the right attitude I guess anything would work.

If you want to cruise I would forgo the boat your are looking at and look at a trawler for a power boat. More sea worthy and you'll get a lot further on the same amount of fuel. A lot of good trawlers out there that are very capable of island cruising. I'd also look at a sailboat in the 40 plus foot range, check the classifieds here and on Sailnet.com. You'll find a lot of older boats at a good price. Since you are newbies take a friend or someone along that has experience with boats. Also when you find a boat you like and make a deal on price get a good surveyor to go over it with a fine tooth comb, you'll also want to have the engines analyzed and the mechanics check. Good luck with your search and have fun cruising and with the lifestyle. You'll love it.
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Old 19-07-2012, 01:18   #17
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Re: Family of five getting ready to liveaboard.

4 years ago we got rid of everything, (huge home)....bought our first boat a, 470 Catalina. We've had 4 people livin on board. My husband, myself, our then 17, & 21 yr. old sons, going to college. My husband had sailing experience, (is a Captain now). We've taken classes,(more me)......We are going cruising for the next 6 months with 3 or our 5 kids. (grown up)...... I think renting a boat is a better idea, and trying it out. I think a 34 is wayyyy to small! My sister inlaw and her husband raised their 4 kids in the Sea of Cortez for 9 yrs., in a 54....and said they'd never had made it in anything smaller. Just sayin.......
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Old 19-07-2012, 12:34   #18
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Re: Family of five getting ready to liveaboard.

yay for you guys! There is never the right time nor enough money or the the right boat!

You have been given some good advice. I would recommend you a attend a boat show to go aboard some different boats and see what the layouts and scope and scale represent. Your initial boat maybe quite a bit small for you, but you have to decide that. The logistics of two dingy's can be mitigated with a 15-17 foot Whaler as a tender. But that would mean a boat int he 44-50 foot range. you could get a 3 stateroom 2 engine Motor Yacht. Take a look at the Marine Trader Trade Winds yachts. you are sure to want a sundeck on your boat that will make your space multi-use for entertainment and eating.

enjoy the search for your new home! er I mean boat!
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Old 19-07-2012, 16:30   #19
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Re: Family of five getting ready to liveaboard.

A couple of additional comments.

1. As noted a 34' power boat will be much, much roomier than a typical 34' sailboat.

2. How big is completely dependent on you, your family and what you can handle. I once met two couples living on a 27' sailboat that they had sailed from Europe. They were quite happy (and I'm assuming all very good friends) in small space.

3. If going no further than the Bahamas the Silverton or pretty much any power boat in decent shape will be adequate. The speed of the Silverton or similar you can be across the Gulf Stream in 2-4 hours. You just have to pay a little attention to the weather.

4. Fuel costs. Again as other have pointed out, you could burn a lot of fuel in this boat. 1 mile/gallon would be a good starting estimate. But, you could cruise at trawler speeds, 6-7 kts and get much better mileage.
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Old 22-07-2012, 00:07   #20
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Re: Family of five getting ready to liveaboard.

Thank you all so much for taking the time to respond to me. I am so delighted to have found this forum. I really wasn't sure anyone would reply at all, let alone take the time to be so generorous with advice and point of view. After reading your comments, we are going to reconsider getting something so small. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 25-07-2012, 12:54   #21
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Re: Family of five getting ready to liveaboard.

A 34 foot Silverton powerboat is not too small for a family of five IMHO. two heads is unnecessary though. After all, you must be seeking simplicity if you are moving aboard.

My wife and I with our 3 children (4, 6, &7) moved aboard a 40 foot sailboat 2 years ago after selling our house, multiple vehicles, and other assorted junk. I'd say your Silverton would be comparable in interior volume to our 40, if not more roomy. We sailed a couple thousand miles through the Bahamas and Florida. Next stop Key West. All is great: minimal expenses, no mortgage, no land tax, etc...

However, the thought of feeding a large powerboat at a $1000 dollars or more per fill-up seems a bit daunting to me and contrary to the ultimate purpose of living and travelling aboard. I don't mean to give advice since you will do what you want to do anyway, but if you take the money you will eventually spend on fuel you could purchase a much larger sailboat than the Silverton and use next to nothing in fuel. Even if you don't sail it. We did 8 months in the Bahamas and probably used about 80 gallons during the entire trip. And we motored quite a bit. 80 gallons on a twin screw silverton will get you through the inlet. Just a thought. Last time I checked marina prices diesel was almost $5 bucks a gallon. But I'm partical to sailboats.

Best of luck to you. You will cherish your years living aboard.
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Old 25-07-2012, 13:05   #22
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Re: Family of five getting ready to liveaboard.

If a powerboat is your ticket, as mentioned, trawlers do well for not draining the savings account into the tanks. A catamaran trawler is even more fuel efficient though, and rolls less on the hook. At a 7 kt cruise in a cat trawler expect to burn 1.5 gal/hr, which isn't too bad, and you can still crank it up to 20 kt, but will burn 11.0 gal/hr at that speed.
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Old 25-07-2012, 15:43   #23
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Re: Family of five getting ready to liveaboard.

Thanks again everyone. We have decided against the Silverton for now.... I am delighted to hear from another family who have done it, Aslan. And I love hearing that you cherished the years aboard. I know in my heart we will love it. Of course once the plan is made there is room for second guessing our decision - especially with friends and family suggesting that we have lost our minds! But my husband and I know that this is right for our family. The search continues...!
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Old 25-07-2012, 16:22   #24
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Re: Family of five getting ready to liveaboard.

My family thought I lost my mind the first time I went out cruising, and again when I went back to school, a maritime academy. When I embark the next time I won't even care what they think, what is right for me, is just that. Good luck, and we are at a time in naval design that is changing fast. More efficient, less dependent on fossil fuels.
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Old 25-07-2012, 18:36   #25
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Re: Family of five getting ready to liveaboard.

And who knows, maybe we have lost our minds... But if this is what it feels like to be crazy then I highly recommend it!
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Old 26-07-2012, 13:12   #26
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Re: Family of Five Getting Ready to Liveaboard

When we made that decision we started looking for something about 45 feet. We had a boy aged 10 and girl aged 12. We looked and looked for something that would be suitable as everyone needs a "door to slam" i.e. som kind of private place. Plus we didn't want to be cramped.

Well 45 feet turned into 48, turned into 54 turned into 60' Sail was the only option for us as we are sailors. (don't mind powerboats - just really like sailing and wanted to travel the world - without the fuel costs)

We have been living aboard for 8 years now and our travels have taken us from Vancouver Island south through the canal to Belize (for the time being) Our kids have started their own life now but do still come and spend a few months a year with us.

The one thing I will mention about the fuel.. There were MANY times I wondered why we had a sailboat as our trip down the west coast was (distance wise) 75% motoring. The rest of the time we had sail up and it went well, except when it didn't and the sails tore and otther thing that went wrong..

EXPECT to spend just as much money on sailing as you do on engines. Best (MHO) is either a motor sailor or trawler style power. Best efficiency under power and with any type of sailboat, you are now looking after 2 $15,000 engines instead of just one. PLUS you have to maintain all the sailing deck hardware. Can get expensive is a tropical marine environment. Stainless steel fittings don't last all that long (if they are used - many boats st at their slips most of the time) (5 - 7 years is their useful life) and when they go, there's no warning.

All that being said.. sailing is a hoot! Super family fun and when everything is working you can have great days for very little funds. I'd say the extra expense is worth it, but that's me.. :-).

Think very carefully about a vessel and having enough room. 34' isn't for 5 people full time aboard. There are many vessels in the 35 - 40' (power) range that actually have 3 cabins and some sailboats that also do. But expect cramped quarters in a sailboat.

Hope you make a successful transition. raising a family on a boat is the BEST THING you can do for them .(again MHO) They get to see more of the world than most folks do and they learn more about life and teamwork than almost anywhere else.

If you are ever down in the Belize area.. Stop by Sanctuary and look for the Stone Age. we'll be berthed at the new facility due to open there in the next couple months.

Best of luck finding the right boat.
John & Lucy.
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Old 26-07-2012, 13:24   #27
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Re: Family of Five Getting Ready to Liveaboard

Dear John and Lucy,
It is lovely to hear from you. I hope we do get to meet you one day. What you say makes a lot of sence. Coincidentally, I have been giving a lot of thought to a motor sailer or a trawler recently and although we are not ruling out the 34 - 40' range (depending on the type of boat) we are certainly now more attracted to something 40' or over. The search continues. And once again I have to say how lovely it is to hear an experienced family say how good it is to raise a family this way. xo
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Old 26-07-2012, 13:31   #28
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Re: Family of Five Getting Ready to Liveaboard

Dearbhla,
We are in the very process of selling the dirt house and downsizing to the boat. We chose a 40 foot Sundeck and so far it meets the room requirement but we only have one 11 year old boy. We are looking forward to the forced closeness and have had to answer many questions from friends and family who dont understand... live your dream!
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Old 26-07-2012, 14:26   #29
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Re: Family of Five Getting Ready to Liveaboard

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Originally Posted by heyniceguy View Post
34' does seem small.... and it will seem even smaller if any of the 3 youngins are girls. in fact i think the equation is...

Sanity = (LOA) * (number of hulls) * (number of heads) / (number of preteen girls)

notice that if you have more preteen girls than you have heads, the number swings negative regardless of how big the boat is.
I fixed the equation for you, it should work a little better now
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Old 27-07-2012, 00:28   #30
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Re: Family of Five Getting Ready to Liveaboard

Aha!! It is all so much clearer now. (We're gonna need 50'!)
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