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Old 10-05-2012, 14:17   #16
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Re: How easy or difficult was the first year aboard?

Things that have been found to work well aboard our 42’ Maple Leaf - Windfall. This is in my opinion only...I'm sure others will have their opinions and input on more things that work (and not work) for them as well.

- Good Radar, Chartplotter, Depth sounder and detailed cruising guides of your cruising areas. We like to carry a good road map of the country as well.
- Good size dinghy and good size motor. We have a 10’ Walker bay RIB and 15hp Honda 4 stroke electric start. Heavy yes, but the wife can start the motor and use the dinghy when she wants.
- Dinghy chaps, motor cover, gas tank cover so it things longer, the tropic sun is brutal on anything uncovered.
- Portable Ice Maker (about ($90) – we use when the generator is running and when we are making a long passage. Ice cold drinks are wonderful to have in the cockpit. Some cruisers even sell or trade for ice.
- Big Inverter (for AC power from battery bank)
- Generator – We have a 4.5Kw diesel generator, but a good size Honda (gas) generator works great too
- Outdoor shower – Keeps moisture out of the boat and nice to enjoy outdoor on a hot evening
- Seawater Washdown Pump – Cleaning muddy chain and anchor, and boat/deck
- Microwave (Less heat in the boat)
- FANS – More the better…a LOT more!
- Solar Panels – Cheaper than fuel and engine wear to charge batteries and it’s quiet.
- LED Lights – Throughout the boat is great. We use a 2’ section under our solar panels for a “porch light” while we’re away for the evening. It also helps you find your boat in a large anchorage at night!
- WiFi antenna booster, and we also use our cell phone as a modem and/or buy the WiFi sticks for internet.
- Skype – Free, or cheap calls back to the US
- Dinghy Davits – Easy up and down…enough said.
- Sewing machine – Easy repairs and new sailcloth items when needed.
- Water Maker – Bigger is better even though we carry 200 gallons of water we fill on passages and in clean water areas.
- Washing machine – Yes, I just installed one for my wife and she LOVES it (though it uses a bit of water it’s better than using a bucket and plunger).
- Cell Phones – Cheaper to buy a new phone and cheaper talk time (no contracts) in other countries. Unlike the US, the amount of money you prepay for only runs out when you use it up, not at the end of each month per contract as in the US.
- VHF Hand held radio – Use when out in the dinghy.
- SSB/HAM Radio (with modem)– Long distance nets, free weather info/faxes, send/receive emails, and entertainment/news and AM radio as well.
- AIS – We have a “receive only” model, but wish I opted for the send/receive. Has been very useful to determine what “those lights” are on the horizon and their heading. Also, useful when you’re buddy boating and you both can send/receive.
- Folding bikes – We carry two, handy when you have them though hard to store (inside) on some boats. We used our bikes a lot in Mexico for groceries, boat parts, and enjoy a day exploring the towns.
- A great anchor – We use a 65 pound Manson Supreme (with 350’ of chain available) and have NEVER drug! It’s an amazing anchor and we sleep well at night!
- Rechargeable flashlight batteries and charger(s).
- Good quality dive mask, fins, and snorkel (makes for better snorkeling and easier for cleaning the boat bottom). We snorkel much more than use our dive equipment aboard. Many carry a Hooka for diving/cleaning under their boats.
- Pressure cooker – Saves propane, time, and less heat inside the boat.
- Sun shade – Sunbrella material to cover your boat and helps keep the boat a lot cooler inside. Cheaper material doesn’t last.
- Hand-lines with 200 line for fishing – We’ve smoked two big reels and lost too many fish with rod and reel.
- Printer – we’ve used our printer more than imagined to copy passports, boat documents, etc… don’t assume there will be any printer anywhere nearby that you can use.
- Extra insulation for freezer and refrigeration – we added 3” once we got to the tropics so our system wouldn’t have to run 24/7.
- A GOOD battery drill and (several) high quality drill sets – Do NOT go cheap here, you’ll use these a lot
- Good quality underwater camera – fun to have
- Binoculars – don’t go cheap on this item, powerful and clear is important.
- Marykate ON OFF – This stuff is AMAZING to clean you hull & waterline and any rust stains on the fiberglass. This stuff WORKS!!
- TileEx bathroom cleaner – We use this to clean the bottom of our dinghy, and with a stiff brush/Scotchbrite pad we use to clean/brighten the Teak woodwork…it’s cheap and WORKS!
- Simple Green – For scrubbing the boat deck
- Prescription drugs – MUCH cheaper in other countries than the US.
- Medical insurance – Healthcare is MUCH cheaper and just as good (or better) in many other countries. Of course, your US doctors and dentists won’t agree with this! We don’t carry health insurance any longer.
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Old 10-05-2012, 14:44   #17
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Re: How easy or difficult was the first year aboard?

great thread to read for someone who is just about to embark and nice to refresh my memory on your blog as well Nos. I remember your story of the french shower experience had me laughing a LOT!
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Old 10-05-2012, 14:48   #18
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Re: How easy or difficult was the first year aboard?

Looking forward to reading your blog.

I know when my wife and I go, we'll likely start in the USVI or somewhere close by, so we won't have to deal with a language difference and will be in an area that is familiar since we've spent and will spend quite a bit of time there before we depart (Aug 2016). I'm thinking this will help reduce the adjustment factor.

We'll have to offload all the stuff we have in our house, but I think a big yard sale will be fun or possibly selling some of what we have with the house.

I think the biggest adjustment for me will be not having to check email constantly
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Old 10-05-2012, 16:36   #19
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Re: How easy or difficult was the first year aboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by monte View Post
great thread to read for someone who is just about to embark and nice to refresh my memory on your blog as well Nos. I remember your story of the french shower experience had me laughing a LOT!
Thanks for reading our blog and i am glad you enjoyed it. I do like to look at things from a different angle as the fly said on the mirror.
The shower blog is here.... Sailing Cygnus III around the world

There are some really great and very helpful posts on here although with the amount of equipment some carry it is amazing the boat still floats.
The best way to learn is from those with experience and passing it on.

I agree that you do far less sailing than you probably envisaged but then again there are so many wonderful places to see and ones that have yet to be seen.

Thank you to all who have posted.
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Old 10-05-2012, 18:49   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by svWindfall
Things that have been found to work well aboard our 42’ Maple Leaf - Windfall. This is in my opinion only...I'm sure others will have their opinions and input on more things that work (and not work) for them as well.

.
Excelent list. Many thanks for taking the time to post. Your ideas of comfort and livability on board match mine pretty close.

Even with your comprehensive list are there other things you wish you added (like AIS transmitter)?

Having finally and recently bought some dive gear for hull cleaning I think a hookah goes on the list. I think something with Snuba length hoses, say 40 feet would be fun for exploring the bottom under the boat.
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Old 10-05-2012, 19:06   #21
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Re: How easy or difficult was the first year aboard?

The first year was a difficult adjustment. It takes a while to realize that you really dont need 5 cooking pans and a mountain of tupperware! It may take a year to slow down on the "i think I need..." projects also..... After a year or so, anchoring, cooking etc starts to become a well oiled routine.. before that... anything might happen! Like running out of propane inthe middle of a meal. after a year, you know the tank will last about 5 weeks ... and you've installed a small tank on the BBQ that also serves as a backup!
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Old 11-05-2012, 07:47   #22
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Re: How easy or difficult was the first year aboard?

To be honest we've been out three years and I'm still not a fan of the sailing part but I like that we get to travel and I get to sleep in my own bed every night. We've been moving really fast though. We are trying to slow down now that we have our son on board. I think that is helping some but I definitely miss some aspects of living on land. You can read about my love and hate of sailing at Northfork
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Old 14-05-2012, 16:09   #23
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Re: How easy or difficult was the first year aboard?

looking back over the last year another thing that surprised me is the amount of walking I have had to endure.
Now this may be fine for my wife who loves walking but previously the furthest I ever walked was from the car to the pavement.
This last year my feet have had a real hammering. They don't know what has hit them and once I re read the instruction book on how to use them properly there has been no holding me back.
I think we have covered more miles than the boat on or daily trips out. We now walk everywhere and actually enjoy it.
I previously would not have concidered some excursions to supermarkets and places of intrest without an organised two week vacation and hire car. Now it is just a short walk to us.
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Old 14-05-2012, 16:37   #24
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Re: How easy or difficult was the first year aboard?

Our first year living aboard began in June of 1972. I had more energy then and 'could walk further. I could sleep through the entire night without getting up to go to the head. I had more than the one comfortable sleeping position that I have left. I went to bed later and woke up later. I had not yet grown taller than my hair! I pulled up my anchor without a windlass. I sailed to islands with ded reckoning and an RDF. Life is good, but the first years were easy and carefree!
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Old 14-05-2012, 16:41   #25
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That blog commentary on French habits is so funny. I remember a few years ago, big family Christmas, French relative newly married into the family got a pair of pajamas for Christmas. To use an American expression, she "dropped trou" right there in front of Santa, the inlaws, grandma, and a dozen other relatives to try them on. What does one say? "Hey, glad they fit!".

Completely different sensibility, completely different mindset.
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Old 14-05-2012, 19:01   #26
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Re: How Easy or Difficult Was the First Year Aboard?

To us, it was all very easy. Maybe because unlike most, we simply got the boat and went cruising. We had no experience, nor did we have preconceptions of what living a sailing life should be like.

If we had not liked what we were into, we would have simply moved on to the next best thing.

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Old 15-05-2012, 07:53   #27
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Our first year was also amazing. We sold our home, bought our boat, spent 2 months getting it together and went to Ensenada for 4 months then on to the sea of Cortez. I never wanted to return to land & especially work(!) But alas, I'm back at work just dreaming of going again.

I had only been sailing a few times before we left but my husband had 20+ years of experience so I spent much time learning to sail. I realized I could handle living on a boat when I had to stay in a motel before moving aboard and thought it was great-just steps to get coffee, steps to the head. There are negatives like mentioned but when you're looking at an amazing sunset with friends and a drink of your choice- it disappears.
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Old 15-05-2012, 08:20   #28
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Re: How Easy or Difficult Was the First Year Aboard?

didnt sell anything to sail. first two times out i ran away from home to sail, then i fixed my boat enough to get out of sin diego and sailed this far, so far. now fixing oat again to sail farther south and thru canal and into carib. was easy for me as i didnt like sin diego at all--too pricey and weather was too cold in winter. this is a great improvement.
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Old 23-05-2012, 20:32   #29
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Re: How Easy or Difficult Was the First Year Aboard?

We're coming to the end of our first year living aboard and our boat and ourselves have gone thru a variety of ups and downs. When we bought her she had been abused, neglected, and while she had potential, there were parts of her that were downright disgusting. But we moved aboard immediately and worked on all of her improvements while living on her full time. We have just recently replaced the original 1977 avocado green and blue striped cushions in the salon with a more appealing chocolate brown microfiber and leather. Funny how things like that can brighten up the entire experience.
Space was a big issue. I remember trying to cook in the galley our first week aboard and almost breaking down crying b/c I am about 2 inches too tall to stand up straight, it was hot b/c the AC wasn't working yet, and I didn't have enough room to do anything. Last night I did 3 sinkfuls of dished while giving my "it get's better" pep talk to a new livaboard wife.
Funny the difference a year makes.

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