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Old 06-03-2013, 14:21   #1
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Family of Three

Hi Everyone,

My husband and I are planning to "take the plunge" and buy a cruising boat sometime in the next year to year and a half. We are currently finishing up our income stream plans (rental houses) that should net us between $1,000-$1,500/month after all costs considered that we hope to be able to live on for ourselves and our currently 2 year old son. Now we are starting to more seriously explore different boat makes/models that we would feel comfortable sailing and living on, and possibly using for long crossings. (Our current experience consists mainly of our MacGregor 26 on daysailing and weekends, with some longer trips thrown in.)

We have started with a list of "blue water boats" from the Mahina crew and narrowed those down to boats in the <$50,000 range that would have preferably 2 cabins, but we would also settle for a quarter berth if we find one we like. Currently, our favorites are Allied Mistress 39cc, Hallberg-Rassy Rasmus, Pretorien 35, Sadler 34, Westerly 35, and Yahama 35. We're interested in feedback from anyone who has sailed and/or lived on these boats and also any additional recommendations that people have (especially models that aren't represented on the Mahina expedition list here

Thanks in advance for your help!

Dan and Michele
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:24   #2
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Re: Family of Three

Welcome to the community. Keep us posted of your search!
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:20   #3
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Re: Family of Three

Hi! Welcome to the forums. My family is following the same path as yours, but we are leaving this fall to head south. We have two small children (3 and 1) and our income is from a few rental properties, and is similar to what you expect.

We have chosen to go a little smaller than you are looking, and bought our Albin Vega 27 footer in October of last year.

While we don't have any experience on the boats you have mentioned, I wanted to encourage you on the path you are going down. We are having a blast getting the last few things ready for our departure, finishing one last house, and learning to sail on the weekends. Our kids love the boat, and the adventure and wonder we see in their eyes every day is priceless. Breaking free can be hard, but we are finding it to be the best, most rewarding thing we have ever done. Fair winds.

Matt, Kristin, Jack, and Jill
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Old 07-03-2013, 07:43   #4
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Re: Family of Three

We looked at a Rasmus, Owned a Westerly 32, and now own a Pretorien 35. The Rasmus is a very nice boat, but you have to like the layout. It would work well when the child got bigger and needed their own space. We passed in part because the proportions on the setee, etc were too small for us (6'2" and 5'10"). The larger Westerlies are nice, which one specifically are you looking at? The only big drawback we have with them is the vinyl headliner, but we would have bought one if we could have found a nice when when we were looking.

As well built as the Westerly Fulmar we had was, the Pretorien is a step up from that. She is a WONDERFUL sea boat, well mannered, and comfortable. A plus with the little one is that the table - u shaped settee could easily be made into a safe play area. When that bed is made it is great for cuddling up and watching TV, we call it the mosh pit. The opposite setee with the lee cloth would be great for a kid too. The nav station seat is not very comfortable for me if sitting for a long time, and the foot room is cramped, and the seat bolt-upright.

If you have specific questions about them, let us know.
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Old 07-03-2013, 08:31   #5
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Re: Family of Three

@subquanta It's nice to know that we aren't the only crazy ones! You are braver than us though, taking 2 kids on a boat that size! I have to admit, my reasons for wanting Carter to have his own berth are more for me to have my space than being worried about him having his, haha.

@witzgall I understand what you're saying about the Rasmus layout. I'm not exceptionally crazy about the aft cabin only being accessible from the cockpit, and I'd also prefer a U shaped galley over straight. But as they say, every boat is a compromise, right?

The Pretorien is definitely in the top contenders in my opinion. I guess what I'd really like to know is what do you not like about your boat and/or what modifications have you done to improve it for your family? We're especially concerned with any boat in this size having the storage space for a set of scuba gear for both of us (warm water only, no crazy dry suits or anything huge like that.) Dan is in the process of getting his PADI instructor's license, so we anticipate that scuba/snorkeling/free diving will be major activities for us. In your experience, would the Pretorien be able to accommodate our gear, or should we really be looking bigger?

Unfortunately, it isn't always the easiest prospect to find examples of a lot of the boats we're interested in looking at anywhere near home. (We currently live in Central Illinois, so it's even a 3 hour drive to Lake Michigan.) Of course, we are planning on doing most of our actual shopping in person once we're closer to being ready to buy/leave. Also, based on the models we've found so far, it seems our tastes are more suited to the other side of the "pond", as a majority of them are European designers that don't have a lot of representation in the US. Right now, there's only 1 Pretorien 35 listed on yachtworld in the US. But it only takes one if it's the right one, right?
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Old 07-03-2013, 09:27   #6
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Re: Family of Three

There is nothing specific we don't like about our boat, except, like most owners of boats that are not huge, we wish for a bit more space. How tall/big are you? I think that for folks that are less than 5'9", the Pretorien is a great size. For folks of our size, a biut less so. We carry snorkeling gear, no problem. The Pretorien has one HUGE lazarette, one medium sized, and small aft one.

On our boat, the huge on is divided into separate storage areas with a plywood divider system, I think it was a factory option as the paint is the same as the rest of the bilge. In that lazarette, we spare rigging, spare head and main sails in the least accessable compartment, then above that is a flat area for storage of bottle stuff like laundry soap, engine oil, etc, + our Spectra watermaker clarke pump. In front of that are two sail storage areas for our assymetrical spinnaker, storm sail, smaller headsail, and awnings. Then, boards fit above them, where we have two milk crates full of other stuff.

With less sails and this divider system, you could easily carry dive tanks. We do know divers that only snorkel, and carry dive gear minus tanks and just rent them sometimes. We have met divers that have sold their dive gear and now free dive to impressive depths!!!

The medium lazzarette is filled with fenders and lines and a spare anchor. The aft lazzarette is designed for a liferaft, but we have ours on deck, so it has 5 gallon water jugs (empty), water hose, and some extra life jackets.

We have on our boat, added by us or previous owner:
Watermaker
Diesel Webasto heater
Ham Radio
Storm sail and system to hoist (never used it)
below decks autopilot (best thing I ever did)
Wind vane
hella fans throughout (important)
One opening port (just put it in, above galley)


We would not change much about the interior, except perhaps to re-do the head and galley behind-the-slider storage, as it could be done better. We did add some shelves to the hanging lockers, as thew boat has FOUR handing lockers, and we don't use any to hang stuff. We would love a bigger head, but would not give up any other area on the boat to accomplish this.

Bigger is always better to store stuff, but it costs more for the same quality. When I get the itch, I look for bigger boats, but I have found that many actually have less storage, until you get into the 40+ size. Especially more modern boats. If we do ever get another boat, it would not be to gain a few more feet, for example to the hood 38, but that might be a good one for you to look at, at least the mkii boats. Small galley, though. I would LOVE a Wauquiez Centurion 41, but don't have the $$$. Such is life.

Chris


Quote:
Originally Posted by followthehorizn View Post
@subquanta It's nice to know that we aren't the only crazy ones! You are braver than us though, taking 2 kids on a boat that size! I have to admit, my reasons for wanting Carter to have his own berth are more for me to have my space than being worried about him having his, haha.

@witzgall I understand what you're saying about the Rasmus layout. I'm not exceptionally crazy about the aft cabin only being accessible from the cockpit, and I'd also prefer a U shaped galley over straight. But as they say, every boat is a compromise, right?

The Pretorien is definitely in the top contenders in my opinion. I guess what I'd really like to know is what do you not like about your boat and/or what modifications have you done to improve it for your family? We're especially concerned with any boat in this size having the storage space for a set of scuba gear for both of us (warm water only, no crazy dry suits or anything huge like that.) Dan is in the process of getting his PADI instructor's license, so we anticipate that scuba/snorkeling/free diving will be major activities for us. In your experience, would the Pretorien be able to accommodate our gear, or should we really be looking bigger?

Unfortunately, it isn't always the easiest prospect to find examples of a lot of the boats we're interested in looking at anywhere near home. (We currently live in Central Illinois, so it's even a 3 hour drive to Lake Michigan.) Of course, we are planning on doing most of our actual shopping in person once we're closer to being ready to buy/leave. Also, based on the models we've found so far, it seems our tastes are more suited to the other side of the "pond", as a majority of them are European designers that don't have a lot of representation in the US. Right now, there's only 1 Pretorien 35 listed on yachtworld in the US. But it only takes one if it's the right one, right?
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Old 08-03-2013, 06:30   #7
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Re: Family of Three

Quote:
Originally Posted by witzgall View Post
I would LOVE a Wauquiez Centurion 41, but don't have the $$$. Such is life.
Man isn't that the truth. When we first started looking into this whole plan, we gave ourselves 5-10 years to save up and planned to have $100-$150k to spend on a boat. After waiting a year, we decided 5-10 was a wasted opportunity to be cruising, but had to seriously downsize our boat expectations. I don't think at all that we'll regret that decision, but it does make boat selection a little trickier.
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Old 17-03-2013, 02:31   #8
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Re: Family of Three

Quote:
Originally Posted by followthehorizn View Post
Hi Everyone,

My husband and I are planning to "take the plunge" and buy a cruising boat sometime in the next year to year and a half. We are currently finishing up our income stream plans (rental houses) that should net us between $1,000-$1,500/month after all costs considered that we hope to be able to live on for ourselves and our currently 2 year old son. Now we are starting to more seriously explore different boat makes/models that we would feel comfortable sailing and living on, and possibly using for long crossings. (Our current experience consists mainly of our MacGregor 26 on daysailing and weekends, with some longer trips thrown in.)

We have started with a list of "blue water boats" from the Mahina crew and narrowed those down to boats in the <$50,000 range that would have preferably 2 cabins, but we would also settle for a quarter berth if we find one we like. Currently, our favorites are Allied Mistress 39cc, Hallberg-Rassy Rasmus, Pretorien 35, Sadler 34, Westerly 35, and Yahama 35. We're interested in feedback from anyone who has sailed and/or lived on these boats and also any additional recommendations that people have (especially models that aren't represented on the Mahina expedition list here

Thanks in advance for your help!

Dan and Michele
Hi welcome! In trying to let you know my support in this topic , Please visit my blog ( if you understand Italian or can translater into English as well) .few suggestion could be kept form it watching part of my Melina Clipper. Note that I don't want to sell it! Yust to have a look for you to evalkuate another model, strong for cruise and well prompt worldwide. MelinaClipper411 I describe in details what about my sailboat,,,,because she is my nice lover alwasy reialable too.
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