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Old 20-04-2014, 19:25   #1
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Just starting out - Please Advise

OK, so we are considering the idea of liveaboard cursing as a family. We have been downsizing our household, and have been gearing up for an eventual move to some acreage and a tiny cabin - but we feel that we would all benefit from the experience of long range cruising for some years first. The mental preparation to escape the rat race and live "small" is already in place, we just switched mental gears a bit and want to make our tiny house/cabin a bit more portable.

We are three adults, and two small children.

Of the three adults, I am the most experienced on the water. Some years ago, I was a USCG small boat coxswain, and have a fair bit of time underway in a variety of boats, but no sailing experience other than a little bit of playing around with a hobi cat / sunfish years ago - So I am brand new to this scale of sailing.

My wife, obviously our infant and toddler, and my wife's mother have no experience really to speak of at all.

One thing I know for sure is I don't know enough, so I am here to get a push in the right direction to get some research done as to what sort of boat would be appropriate.

We do want to live aboard full time, and after some brief research, it looks like a 30-40' cat might be a good idea, but based only on the extra space afforded by the deck space between the hulls. Also the layout seems to lend itself to four cabins, and this makes sense to me with the kids and a mom-in-law on board. If I have missed the mark on this, please stop me now....

I know as I learn, more questions will arise - but lets start here:

Based on what little you know of our family and our desire to EVENTUALLY do some global cruising, am I on the right track by thinking multihull, or are there reasons for a monohull that I am missing?
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Old 21-04-2014, 15:01   #2
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Re: Just starting out - please advise


My advise is to buy a boat that meets you present needs, which sounds like a multi hull will meet you requirements. At this time it would be best to keep and open mind an look at all boats, power/sail/multi hull and sizes, at the same time walk the marines and talk to the live a boards as to what slips are available. Also talk to bank/finance and insurance companies to see what you can qualify for depending on you knowledge and experience. So you might have to start out smaller, take some classes/course and experience. No sense buying a blue water long range boat when you probable will not due global cruising. Most buy a start boat and move up if necessary. I personal would not have a multi hull as moorage space is limited and they are not as forgiving as mono hulls.
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Old 21-04-2014, 15:56   #3
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Re: Just starting out - please advise

Hi and welcome.

Considering your family a cat would be an option. Charter versions often come with 4 cabins which would fit your group. However you should be aware that cats are on average much more expensive per foot than monohulls but if you compare based on sq ft of living space the prices are similar. So a 50-55' monohull might give you the same living space as a 40' cat for a similar price.

There are lots of tradeoffs between mono and multihulls which have been addressed in great and agonizing detail on several previous and one currently going thread.
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Old 21-04-2014, 15:57   #4
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pirate Re: Just starting out - please advise

Advice for live aboard cursing..??
Learn to do it in Spanish, German, Arabic, Japanese, Portuguese.. sounds so much more impressive than boring old English..
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Old 21-04-2014, 16:36   #5
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Re: Just starting out - please advise

I think I read it wrong. Did you say mom in-law? The longest trip I have ever been on was driving around the block with my Mother In-law.
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Old 21-04-2014, 17:14   #6
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Re: Just starting out - please advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdominic_97 View Post
I think I read it wrong. Did you say mom in-law? The longest trip I have ever been on was driving around the block with my Mother In-law.
People can do just fine in limited space as long as everybody works together. Mother-in-law could be a great help or a great liability, depending on the people involved.

I'm sure some of the catamaran blokes would disagree with me, but I really think a monohull is a more flexible type of boat as to suitable destinations than a multi. So it partly depends on where you want to cruise.

However, a 50-55 foot boat is a huge boat for a beginner at sailing. I mean, suppose all of you are prone to seasickness? And there has been some discussion on CF also, indicating that infants, when they get sick, tend to go downhill faster than adults--except the frail elderly, so I hope Mom or Mil are registered nurses, because you may need more skills than regular first aid.

However, if you want to liveaboard in a marina, you might also consider a motor boat.

The advice you had above, to go look at a lot of boats, and talk to your bank manager if you're not independently wealthy is sound, as is investigating your insurance situation.

Ann
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Old 22-04-2014, 08:26   #7
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Re: Just starting out - please advise

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
... However you should be aware that cats are on average much more expensive per foot than monohulls but if you compare based on sq ft of living space the prices are similar. So a 50-55' monohull might give you the same living space as a 40' cat for a similar price....
Interesting... Honestly I was a little intimidated by 50-55' of monohull, so I was attracted to the SQf to length ratio in the cats. Might need to look a little more at that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tdominic_97 View Post
I think I read it wrong. Did you say mom in-law? The longest trip I have ever been on was driving around the block with my Mother In-law.
LOL, no you read that right.... She lives with us now, so less of a shock than it might seem. Agreed that underway we would be much closer, but this is not a new mix of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
People can do just fine in limited space as long as everybody works together. Mother-in-law could be a great help or a great liability, depending on the people involved.

I'm sure some of the catamaran blokes would disagree with me, but I really think a monohull is a more flexible type of boat as to suitable destinations than a multi. So it partly depends on where you want to cruise.

However, a 50-55 foot boat is a huge boat for a beginner at sailing. I mean, suppose all of you are prone to seasickness? And there has been some discussion on CF also, indicating that infants, when they get sick, tend to go downhill faster than adults--except the frail elderly, so I hope Mom or Mil are registered nurses, because you may need more skills than regular first aid.

However, if you want to liveaboard in a marina, you might also consider a motor boat.

The advice you had above, to go look at a lot of boats, and talk to your bank manager if you're not independently wealthy is sound, as is investigating your insurance situation.
We work well together as a family, so the extra hands should be welcome.

My wife is working on an EMT certification, with the express idea of being our lead medic.

I need to look more into a monohull for the potential for flexibility, I had ruled them out due to SQft / length concerns.

For the sort and size of boat we are looking at, while not independently wealthy (not even close...) we may have the means to pay cash of the boat - so while insurance is still a step, the bank less so.




Thanks for the reply's so far guys, I appreciate the input. Please keep the constructive advice flowing -

Meanwhile I will do some reading on the various merits of cat/mono for a given SQft of interior space vs cost, rather than by OAL.
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Old 22-04-2014, 08:41   #8
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Re: Just starting out - Please Advise

Beak you have quite a decision to make......"where O where do I put Mother-in-law......

She would love you more if you got the Cat and she had her side of the boat with her private cabin...
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Old 22-04-2014, 08:45   #9
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Re: Just starting out - Please Advise

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Beak you have quite a decision to make......"where O where do I put Mother-in-law......

She would love you more if you got the Cat and she had her side of the boat with her private cabin...
Honestly this was part of the thinking - the idea was that she, my wife and I, and the kids could have a little more of what would pass for privacy with a cat and its split layout.
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Old 23-04-2014, 10:17   #10
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Re: Just starting out - Please Advise

Might want to look at motor/power boats as they have more living space. The tri cabin, stateroom in the bow, in the stern and maybe a small third is a popular layout. Even some larger sail boats have that lay out. What ever you buy make sure you do not become cash poor. You can finance a boat, but you can not finance remodel/up grades/ major repairs, so you might want to think about partially financing, and buy a boat that meets you present needs.

A large majority of newbie do not make it though the first winter as the boat and they are no live aboard ready. Not all boats and marines are live aboard capable, especially in the colder wetter climates as water, heat, sanitation are limited. The slip and marina are as important as the boat as you will probable have to utilize the marines facilities. Many marinas do not allow live a boards and/or limit live a boards. Also Marinas do not allow project boats and have regulations, so make sure you read the rules/regulations.. Lastly, marinas can give 30 day notices for what ever reason, and live a boards do not have the same right as living on land. Always make sure you have a Plan B.

I recommend that you let your wife and mother in law take the lead, and take note of their likes and dislikes. After going on and looking at enough boat they/you will gravity to a certain layout/design and size. Keep the wife happy! Then its time to look for THE BOAT to buy. Anyway keep an open mind, walk and talk to live a boards and marinas while looking at boats.
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Old 23-04-2014, 15:41   #11
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Re: Just starting out - Please Advise

I have been letting mom and wife do a lot of the looking (my wife found the boat that is currently at the top of our list) and have been letting them take the lead on many things - acting as advisor on things I have a good grasp on.

We "knew" we needed a sail cat to get the cabin separation we were looking for, but thanks to advice here, we sort of branched out to looking at other things and gave them some more serious consideration (this is becoming an all consuming course of study)

(we looked at some power trawlers, mono hulls, more cats, trimirans....)

We have come to the conclusion that with the right layout a monohull might work better, and would be easier for us to handle with our experience level. Aside from the considerably deeper draft vs a cat, the monohull seems to have some plusses for the same or less money - so long as we don't get carried away with size.

We have found a 45' cutter rigged monohull with a nice roomy center salon and cabins in a fore/aft layout that would work for us, and its now the boat on the top of our list. It's less money than some of the cats we have been looking at (lots less than a few of them) so there would be more cash at the end of the day for other things. It is also better equipped than many of the cats we saw for the same money (more sails, more spares, better electronics, already has solar and wind generators, and a watermaker)

Here's what is listed for equipment:

Quote:
Sails and Rigging


  • Cutter rig with removeable stay by means of J hook
  • ProFurl NCI 42 roller furling system on headstay
  • 135% genoa, roller furling
  • Two staysails
  • Storm tri-sail
  • Storm jib
  • Spinnaker
  • 2 Lewmar 52 ST genoa sheet winches
  • 2 Lewmar 46 ST secondary sheet winches
  • 1 Lewmar 30 ST cockpit winch
  • 3 Lewmar 40 ST mast/halyard winches

Deck and Hull


  • hull is coated with epoxy below the waterline
  • Lofrans Tigress electric windlass
  • 66 lb. Davis claw anchor with 175' 3/8" chain
  • 66 lb. Bruce anchor with 63' 3/8" chain and 210' of rope rode
  • Fortress Guardian G-55 anchor with 60' 3/8" chain and 300' rode
  • 2002 Artigiani Battelli dinghy
  • 2002 Yamaha Enduro 15hp. outboard
  • Integral stainless steel stern arch
  • Integral stainless steel and teak stern platform with built-in boarding ladder
  • Bimini and dodger
  • DSB Ocean XR Standard ISAF 6 person life raft
  • Jack lines

Electrical


  • Xantrex Freedom 20 marine inverter and battery charger
  • Solar panel with voltage regulator
  • Air-X brand wind generator
  • Balmar 120 AMP high output alternator
  • Heart three stage voltage regulator
  • Dedicated starting battery
  • 6 deep cycle house bank batteries (can be switched to operate as two banks)

Electronics and Navigation


  • New 2009 Lowrance GPS and chartplotter
  • Backup Standard Horizon CP150 GPS and chartplotter
  • Raymarine ST 7000 autopilot
  • Raymarine ST60 depthsounder
  • Raymarine ST 60 wind indicator
  • Raymarine ST 60 knot/log
  • Raymarine ST 60 multi-function display
  • 2005 ACR AquaFix 406 EPIRB
  • New 2009 Navico BR24 broadband radar
  • Uniden MC1010 VHF radio
  • Furuno FS1550 SSB with autotuner
  • Stereo/CD/MP3 player with salon and cockpit speakers

GALLEY


  • 12 volt DC refrigeration, Frigoboat Frigomatic Capris 50F
  • Additional engine driven refrigeration, SD compressor with 2 cold plates
  • Four burner propane stove with oven
  • Omni fresh water filter
  • Pressure hot and cold water
  • PowerSurvivor 35 watermaker
  • Whale seawater foot pump in galley
Here's the layout:



The cabin in the bow has a pair of bunks to starboard that would work great for wife, small kids and I, and the two cabins in the stern give mom her own space (as limited as such a thing is in 45' of space), and an extra cabin for storage on a passage, (or room for friends).

Here's the question on this one:

Do you guys see any major pitfalls on the layout or the listed equipment?
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Old 23-04-2014, 15:47   #12
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Re: Just starting out - please advise

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Advice for live aboard cursing..??
Learn to do it in Spanish, German, Arabic, Japanese, Portuguese.. sounds so much more impressive than boring old English..
I finally figured out where autocorrect bit me, and now understand your comment.



Yes, might be nice to add some extra flavor to enhance our cruising cursing.

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Old 23-04-2014, 16:16   #13
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Re: Just starting out - Please Advise

Good one Boatman!

I didn't catch if the OP would consider a motorboat or not, but is so, a roomy trawler might be something to consider.
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Old 23-04-2014, 20:19   #14
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Re: Just starting out - Please Advise

Having had a removable staysail furler with sail come agley at sea, I question that having it removable is a good idea. It was an extreme handful for us to recover. However, having said that, it had functioned with no problems for 8 yrs. prior. I think we're going to go for a permanent attachment at this time.

You may need another winch in the cockpit; but is it set up that the cockpit winch controlls all the reef lines and the traveler lines? If so, no worries. [Our boat has two winches, one on each side of the companionway for this purpose.]

Raymarine is very challenging to get service from. Their reputation in the fleet is such that I would prefer not to have their product. Ymmv.

The Power Survivor 35 yields about 4-5 liters/hr. of running, would that meet your needs?

How much are they asking for it and what type of boat is it?

Ann
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Old 23-04-2014, 21:11   #15
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Re: Just starting out - Please Advise

Ann, thank you for your thoughts on that list. I don't have an answer if the lines run to the cockpit, will ask that when I talk to them.

Nice to know on the Raymarine gear - not a plus it seems. That said, among my "bag of tricks" I was a component level electronics tech years ago and don't generally have service needs with electronics. It's getting parts that causes me headaches with older gear...

For what its worth, I haven't paid for any sort of service (home/electric/plumbing/auto/... anything) for over 15 years - I like to think I can fix anything, and I enjoy doing it. In more recent years I have found forums like this are an amazing add on to being good with ones hands, they are a huge resource to draw how-too knowledge from.

The boat is a pro/yard built Bruce Roberts design (in fiberglass), early 90's vintage. Asking 90k - one known problem is the boat is 1000+ miles away, so it will be a weekend trip to go see it in person. I have a hunch it has been for sale for a while, so there may be some room on the price.

So far we haven't seen anything locally we like better. (but we are still looking.) I had no idea there would be so many boats for sale that would fit our general desire.
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