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Old 22-07-2008, 13:47   #16
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my mistake (typo) earlier .She is a very wise 10 year old

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Old 22-07-2008, 13:52   #17
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I guess I need to take a page from her book and conquer my fear of the first step =)
I agree, go rent your self a cheap small sailboat (like a sunfish) sail and fart around wih it for a day or two.

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Old 22-07-2008, 14:18   #18
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Good luck.

When we first started thinking about living aboard, we naturally thought of power. But the spike in gas prices a few years ago showed us the error of that route.

So we bought our starter boat, a 27-foot sloop -- she's big enough to get the feel of it and small enough so the systems are simple and easy to handle.

We have taken courses and chartered in the Caribbean.

At some point, we'll start trading up, probably stopping in the 33- to 35-foot range, which will probably be large enough for two with room for the kids to come for a week or so.

Two things about sailing, as opposed to power:

-- it is not quiet, but it's a different -- and more peaceful -- kind of noise. If it's really quiet, of course, you start the damn motor.

-- and it's cheaper to go anywhere (unless it gets too quiet. See above.)

Now the Admiral and I had some experience in dinghy sailing, but sailing a keelboat is a different story. You're not usually working quite as hard and there's a much smaller chance of a sudden swim.

For that reason, I would NOT recommend getting a sunfish and farting around the harbour. While that's a lot of fun, it ain't the same thing at all -- it's athletic and energetic and bouncy and wet.

And if you dump often enough, it might put you off the whole thing.

Sailing a keelboat, OTOH, can be relaxing. You can lounge in the cockpit with a Bloody Caesar and watch the birds go by. Which is what I do...well, it's what the Admiral does and I do when Otto the Iron Sailor is working.

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Old 22-07-2008, 16:33   #19
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If you are intent on staying with a power boat, or if you decide to try sailing, for your purpose, I would consider a cat. For a power boat, here is an example:
1985 C&C Logical Power Cat Boat For Sale
Granted, these boats will likely exceed your current cash reserve, but the savings in operating costs would allow for financing.
The benefits to a cat for a family of five are more separate spaces. From a safety standpoint, the stability, and deck space is a real advantage.
I will not impose my own opinion about sail vs. power, but regardless of which you choose, a cat will likely provide for a more comfortable transition for you, and your kids, from a home to a boat. A power cat will also give much better fuel economy than a planing hull, and better than just about any power mono.
I would also suggest trying a charter on a similar boat to what you are thinking of. This will give you a good idea of how you and your family cope with living on a boat.
I love this life, but to think back to my ex, if we had tried it, it would have been no fun for either of us. It really is the little annoyances that you can ignore on land. A boat is a small space. If your ten year old snores like a chain saw, guarantee everyone will be awake. Those dishes that your 14 year old refuses to get too, will be a much bigger imposition. That science project that your 9 year old is building on the saloon table will be the center piece of your living space.
I encourage you to take this path, but would encourage you to, if you have not already, take a hard look at things like this.

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