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Old 07-09-2012, 19:32   #31
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

When those kids learn to sail you'll have a great crew. I think two large boats is too much. A big cat seems to make the most sense and if you are dockside you do need to think about using shore side heads. But big boats are not the easy to maneuver in small spaces, cocking and so forth ALONE. You need those crew to be able to assist , of course otherwise you'll never leave the slip.

It's a very ambitious plan but I think you can do it.

Maybe begin with a land/boat transition period you and kids can have some fun and learn to sail and then buy the big one once your addiction is set and skills are honed. You may be a quick learner but there are sailors here who have been on boats for 2 or 3 decades... me being one and I am STILL learning and feel I have lots to learn about boats and sailing. Big motor yachts are very expensive fuel wise. I've seen large yachts take 5000 gallons of fuel. YIKES

Good luck... keep us informed of your progress.
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Old 07-09-2012, 20:57   #32
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Talking Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

My wife was about 9 when her folks put 3 kids and a dog onboard a big boat and did not come back for 10 years.

We have no kids so my perspictive is pure and from all the great parents and kids I have met cruising

I have never met any liveabord, homescooled kids that were not interesting, intelligent, fit, fun to be with and comfortable with adults. They have skills, both ship and shore that would awe the average parent.

Forget two boats. Get a big enough cat or trawler (Mono hull sailor here, hard for me to say) to give the young and older kids and the "old folks" some space. Endure the months of complaining untill the kids figure out it is kool.

Have a big enough table to have evey meal with every one.

Get a regular captain (And a cewmember if needed) to teach you the boat and take a few local trips. Then spend a few weeks in the Bahamas with the captain. The Bahamas start only a day sail away from Miami and are easy. Do not go to Nassau. Teach the kids to handle EVERYTHING on the boat. Make them fix stuff and make them fearless.... as is their nature.

Make sure they get the thrill of finding their own food by diving or fishing.

If they rebel, tell them it is simply not their choice, They will come over if they are comfortable with YOUR ABILITY and confidence to drive the boat.

Dont argue as it only reinforces their arguments.

It will be a hard start and a beautiful ride downhill that will benifit you and the kids for their entire lives.

When they leave you can get a smaller boat and tell them you have no room when they want to live with you again.
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Old 07-09-2012, 21:10   #33
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Originally Posted by S/V Antares
My wife was about 9 when her folks put 3 kids and a dog onboard a big boat and did not come back for 10 years.

We have no kids so my perspictive is pure and from all the great parents and kids I have met cruising

I have never met any liveabord, homescooled kids that were not interesting, intelligent, fit, fun to be with and comfortable with adults. They have skills, both ship and shore that would awe the average parent.

Forget two boats. Get a big enough cat or trawler (Mono hull sailor here, hard for me to say) to give the young and older kids and the "old folks" some space. Endure the months of complaining untill the kids figure out it is kool.

Have a big enough table to have evey meal with every one.

Get a regular captain (And a cewmember if needed) to teach you the boat and take a few local trips. Then spend a few weeks in the Bahamas with the captain. The Bahamas start only a day sail away from Miami and are easy. Do not go to Nassau. Teach the kids to handle EVERYTHING on the boat. Make them fix stuff and make them fearless.... as is their nature.

Make sure they get the thrill of finding their own food by diving or fishing.

If they rebel, tell them it is simply not their choice, They will come over if they are comfortable with YOUR ABILITY and confidence to drive the boat.

Dont argue as it only reinforces their arguments.

It will be a hard start and a beautiful ride downhill that will benifit you and the kids for their entire lives.

When they leave you can get a smaller boat and tell them you have no room when they want to live with you again.

Follow S/V Antares' advice. It is spot on, every bit of it is perfect.

Also, go to:http://threeatsea.com/Videos.html and watch all of Ayla's videos. Start at the bottom of the page (scroll all the way down, watch in chronological order) and watch Ayla grow up right before your eyes. See how good the experience is for growth and life education. FYI: note that the boat is a Nordhavn.

Let the captain worry about the boat for the first year at least, your family will learn over time as you go. This way you and mom can focus on homeschool.

Two years of cruising would be better than 10 years at a Miami marina.


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Old 08-09-2012, 16:54   #34
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

It does sound intriguing, but oh my goodness, I'm honestly not sure that I am capable of homeschooling 5 kids. I don't want to ruin anyone's life or destroy their chances of getting into a decent college. Talking about full time jobs that might be worse than the maintenance issue...LOL


I wonder how big of a boat I could handle after being taught and lots of practice?
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Old 08-09-2012, 17:32   #35
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

If my take on why you'd like to do this is correct you want a better environment for your kids and yourself, not in a big city.

My big question is financial. If you have the money for a professionally maintained superyacht then go for it, otherwise a big boat is likely to be a financial nightmare, two a financial catastrophe.

Just learning what is involved could take years.

Given the depressed state of the real estate market at the moment why not look for a large house near beaches and good schools? Kids relate to surfboards not boats, though a small dinghy could be nice.

I'm hazarding a guess that you're a bit worried about your family going "sproing" and spreading to the far ends of the universe. If this is the case I'd again suggest finding somewhere beachy and livable. And make sure there's enough of a pot so that when you shuffle off this mortal coil there's something for each.
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Old 08-09-2012, 19:07   #36
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

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If my take on why you'd like to do this is correct you want a better environment for your kids and yourself, not in a big city.

My big question is financial. If you have the money for a professionally maintained superyacht then go for it, otherwise a big boat is likely to be a financial nightmare, two a financial catastrophe.

Just learning what is involved could take years.

Given the depressed state of the real estate market at the moment why not look for a large house near beaches and good schools? Kids relate to surfboards not boats, though a small dinghy could be nice.

I'm hazarding a guess that you're a bit worried about your family going "sproing" and spreading to the far ends of the universe. If this is the case I'd again suggest finding somewhere beachy and livable. And make sure there's enough of a pot so that when you shuffle off this mortal coil there's something for each.
Well, no, that's not the case at all actually. I'm most definitely a city mouse. Love the city, but I also love the water. I really love to travel. The two don't go hand in hand for me. I'm not running from the city to the water. I live in a major city now and love it, that's why I am heading to Miami and not West Palm or Tampa or some place more relaxed.

I've already had a beach house on the water, but you can't sail away and explore in a beach house. I'm sure there are plenty here that will beg to do differ about kids not relating to boats. My kids are excited and can't wait to move aboard. The may not, yet, have the same appreciation as I do for the water, but they LOVE adventure.

For me the financial confusion comes because one thing I have learned in my 30+ years is that many, many things are subjective and a matter of perspective. Some may think that an Armani suit is expensive while others may think it is cheap. I will often feel that my house is messy and clean it often, while my mom looks at me trying to figure out why I am cleaning when the place is already clean. I have heard many say maintenance is expensive, and some say say it's not that big a deal. So I'm trying to get a clear understanding of what expensive really means, so that I can decide if it is doable for me or not.
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Old 08-09-2012, 19:26   #37
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

The problem with maintenance expenses is that it can vary to a great degree. No one can tell you exactly what it will cost....it depends on the boat or boats, the systems you have on board and how hard you are on the systems.

You mentioned that if you have two boats your maintenance should be half as much because you only have 3.5 people per boat.....I am afraid it does not work like that. Most boats in the 40 foot size that are cruising have a single couple on board most of the time. Kids are much harder on things. When a kid flushes something down a house toilet....it can usually be fixed fairly cheaply. On a boat you may be ripping out built in cabinets or floors to replace the sanitation hose.

Also your plan to have one boat on the hook is not a good one. Consider what you would do if a child is ill and you have to get them off that boat in a storm or middle of the night. It involves a dingy usually.....ever get on one or maneuver it in a storm or in the dark? Plus all your groceries, laundry, kids going back and forth will also have to go that route. Consider all the logistics. You probably should plan on keeping both boats in slips if you plan to live aboard. That will probably end up less expensive.
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Old 08-09-2012, 19:59   #38
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

When it comes to boats an Armani suit is pretty cheap IMO.
Here's an example, a nice new air filter for your car might cost 300-500$ installed.
We just put in new filters on a customers Catepillar diesel engines. Our cost on the filters was 800$ each plus several hundred in freight, customs clearance, plus 6 hours to assemble and install them, and some time to get parts that were required but not included in the setup. Add in a reasonable profit margin to cover the costs, plus the time at the dock and you're looking at quite a costly excersize.



From the other thread, I was perhaps mistakenly under the impression there was going to be 2 fit adults aboard? From this thread am I correct in gathering that it will be you, and your mother, and several kids, none older than grade 8 without a lot of boat experience? I think it's fantastic that you're going to try to live-aboard, but with two boats of that size it will likely end fairly pooly.
The person I know who's family has two boats(adding a third for the trip to sell the boats) has two adults who are highly skilled and have rebuilt several boats in the past, and older children who are capable of doing the work on the boats as well.

For a rough guestimate, if you don't have the tools and experience to do the work yourself but want to keep a boat that size in good order, 10% per year of the new price would probably do it, assuming the boat was in like new condition when you got it, and you didn't want to upgrade much. Per boat of course, and assuming no major accidental damage. A bit lower if you have a good relationship long term with the people maintaining it.

The reason maintenence costs vary is dependant on many things, original condition of the boat, owner's ability level and owner's level of safety and care desired.
We see quite a few boats with well maintained interior furniture, everything else unsafe, and just waiting to become an expensive disaster.
It's very sobering when you start counting work in tens of thousands of dollars...
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Old 08-09-2012, 20:18   #39
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

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It's very sobering when you start counting work in tens of thousands of dollars...
Couldn't agree more. Just as an example, eventually you will need to get your boat painted. Generally every 2-3 years for bottom paint and 10-15 years (give or take) for topside and deck paint depending on how well you maintain it. Here's just a quick rundown of what it would cost for a 50' boat.

Haul Out: $10/ft*50'=$500
Pressure Wash: $4/ft*50'=$200
Bottom Paint: $19/ft*50'=$950+materials (roughly $1000)
Hull Side Paint: $275/ft*50'=$13,750
Deck Painting: $725/ft*50'=$36,250
And none of those prices include blister repair below the water line.

Even just to get your boat waxed (a good protection)
One Step Waxing: $20/ft*50'=$1,000
Two Step Buffing and Waxing: $25/ft*50'=$1,250

All these prices are from The City Boatyard in Charleston, SC. Say something breaks on your boat and you need a mechanic. Here's there rates (which seem to be about average)

Standard Labor: $95/hr (1/2hr minimum)
Mobile Service (they come to you instead of you bringing your boat to them): $98/hr (1hr minimum)
Emergency After Hours: $125/hr (3hr minimum)

One other thing to consider is, what will you do in the even of a hurricane? Your best option is to have your boat hauled out to protect it. For the size boat you're wanting, thats an additional $1,995 a year.

Now double all that for two boats.
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Old 09-09-2012, 01:27   #40
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

OK, let's look at some basic numbers.

We're talking two $300k (in good condition) boats here. New these boats would sell for close to $1mil each so we're talking 10% or $200,000 p.a. in total costs.

I would have made it 25% of good condition value or $150,000 p.a. That's just the boat costs and assumes you'll do most of the work yourself.

Some might quibble about the actual costs, but I'd be guessing that unless you have that sort of money to bring to the party it'll all go south (or is it north up there?) pretty quick.

Or to put it another way you'd need a boat with at least 8 berths (7 pax and 1 professional crew) and money to pay for it all.

The numbers don't add up to reality. Not unless you've got a disposable income in the region of $300,000+ p.a. and that doesn't seem likely.

I also don't get the desire to live in a boat in a marina. It's not that comfortable (just done 3 months in assorted marinas), it's inconvenient and keeping 5 kids and an older adult happy has to be just about impossible. For less money you could rent or buy a nice house in the same area. Most marinas are in good areas.

It's a good lifestyle for singles and couples. There are a few boats with one or two kids and I've heard of three but I cannot see how five would work.

As for adventure once boats get over 35' or so they start becoming difficult to manage. Just moving a 60 tonne boat with 5 kids and mother on board would be more adventure than I could manage and I'd guess that most members on this Forum could feel the same. Try pushing a big powerboat next time you're near one and see how hard it is. Now imagine your foot (or hand) between that boat and a wharf with a bit of speed on the boat.

I get how you're wanting adventure. That's why most of us are on this Forum. But you've got 5 kids and mother. That's a lot of people to be responsible for.

There are many on this Forum is the same sort of situation you are. Restless, wanting an adventure but with family responsibilities. The conventional response is to work through the responsibilities while getting the training and experience to enjoy the adventure. It can take a few years but eventually the responsibilities decrease and the training and experience increase and they go cruising.
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:36   #41
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

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Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post

I wonder how big of a boat I could handle after being taught and lots of practice?

See my post (#34) in the other thread: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???


I said 60-65', depending.

The "talent" part is key. For example, in docking, you have to be able to learn, understand, and then use vector geometry (directions) and physics (force, momentum) to compensate for wind, tide, and current (mostly different each and every time)... and you also have to be able to effectively manage your crew (who will set fenders, set spring lines, bow and stern lines, etc.). Not rocket science, and if you have some talent -- training and practice will help you develop a feel for the whole thing, so it becomes almost subconscious. (And, of course, nobody every actually calculates out vector geometry equations to figure out how to park. )

Ditto crew is important. If bubba can't learn to anticipate what you'll need to do next -- which line to set where, when to hold tight, when to give slack, when to tie off and move to the next line -- then you're at the mercy of the dock hands. And they've usually never parked a big boat in their life, usually don't have a clue, wouldn't recognize a spring line if it bit them in the a$$. But if bubba can learn all that, the partneship between helm and crew becomes an interesting ballet, a joy to watch, very satisfying to do.

Boat selection can simplify handling. Things like access around the side decks -- or at least access to the mid-ships, bow, and stern cleats -- number of engines, bow/stern thrusters (or not), visibility, potential access to "spring" cleats from the pilothouse, etc. If the chosen vessel lacks in one regard or the other, perhaps an addition can improve it (e.g., visibility: think rear-view cameras).

As you've mentioned in other posts, slips for longer boats can become an issue. Ditto slips for catamarans with 24'+ beam don't grow on trees, either. That a spur-of-the-moment trip up the river to that nifty waterside restaurant -- dragging your home with you -- might not always be easy to arrange (good use for a big tender or runabout/day sailer, though). Even weekly trips to the pump-out (given your crew size), unless you have slipside service, can take more planning than an easy trip to the grocery. OTOH, the local fleet of Flemings, ranging from 55' to 75', gets out quite a lot around here -- that said, often anchoring out, so frequent movement isn't insurmountable.

I'll mention the local Fleming dealer is just across the fairway from our marina, they lease several slips in our marina, and our marina does most of the 55' and 65' hauling for periodic service (75s are too long for "our" travel lift). Anyway, I often see the 55- and 65-footers underway with Captain (owner) and one crew (haven't observed who's driving the 75-footers).

-Chris
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Old 10-09-2012, 06:50   #42
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

Just remembered that "Miami" thing.

We lived near Ft. Lauderdale and worked in Miami for a while. Liked it. Were it me, and FWIW, in our current stage of life (semi-retired finances), I think I'd prefer a condo or townhouse (low maintenance) or even a house within walking distance to my boat in the marina.

That would give me the freedom to choose whatever boat I might like that might suit the way I'd intend to use it... and I'd be close enough to use it often, even just enjoying Happy Hour and/or dinner on board in the slip. A boat suitable for a couple week's voyage every so often -- even with big crew -- could maybe be solved more easily than living aboard all the time.

Just thinking out loud, as it were... having just returned from a 10-day cruise... with guests aboard for part of that time...

-Chris
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:36   #43
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

There will be many places you can sail that will not have any mechanics available, so you have to be able to do it yourself. I think you need to get some actual experience at a good boat yard even if you have to pay them to teach you. Here are a few books to look at:
Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual: How to Maintain, Repair, and Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems by Nigel Calder
Marine Diesel Engines: Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair by Nigel Calder
Refrigeration for Pleasureboats: Installation, Maintenance and Repair by Nigel Calder
Boatworks by the editors of Sail Magazine
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:12   #44
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

Another thing to consider is that unlike houses boats are a depreciating asset most of the time. Look at what c particular boat costs new and then what it's value is after 5, 10, 15, or 20 years. Many of them drop pretty fast.

A friend bought a boat six years ago and paid 259,000 for it. It was about 10 years old but made by a manufacturer whose boats pretty much retain close to the boats original selling price. The first owner paid 275,000 for it and put about 60,000 into it in additional electronics, upgrades and regular maintenance to the boat....not counting dockage or haul outs.

My friend put close to 90,000 into the boat over the past six years in getting it cruising ready, and regular maintenance to the systems, new Bimini, solar and wind power etc. Also not counting dockage, haul outs, etc.

Because the market is depressed he sold it for under 200,000 recently. Such is the economics of boats.

If you plan to take your boat or boats cruising you can expect to need expensive items like a big life raft, watermaker, power generators of some kind etc. all systems that need additional maintenance. You will also probably want updated electronics etc, and regularly update these items.

If you still plan to keep one of your boats on the hook you would need to have power issues sorted out anyway.

I am of the opinion....that if I were you I would look at either a condo and boat combination or houseboat and sailboat combo. It would cost way less and you would likely have a whole lot less in expenses. In the case of the condo at lease it would probably increase in value over time.
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Old 10-09-2012, 13:03   #45
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Re: New Here - So Much to Learn - Questions!

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Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
See my post (#34) in the other thread: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???


I said 60-65', depending.

The "talent" part is key. For example, in docking, you have to be able to learn, understand, and then use vector geometry (directions) and physics (force, momentum) to compensate for wind, tide, and current (mostly different each and every time)... and you also have to be able to effectively manage your crew (who will set fenders, set spring lines, bow and stern lines, etc.). Not rocket science, and if you have some talent -- training and practice will help you develop a feel for the whole thing, so it becomes almost subconscious. (And, of course, nobody every actually calculates out vector geometry equations to figure out how to park. )

Ditto crew is important. If bubba can't learn to anticipate what you'll need to do next -- which line to set where, when to hold tight, when to give slack, when to tie off and move to the next line -- then you're at the mercy of the dock hands. And they've usually never parked a big boat in their life, usually don't have a clue, wouldn't recognize a spring line if it bit them in the a$$. But if bubba can learn all that, the partneship between helm and crew becomes an interesting ballet, a joy to watch, very satisfying to do.

Boat selection can simplify handling. Things like access around the side decks -- or at least access to the mid-ships, bow, and stern cleats -- number of engines, bow/stern thrusters (or not), visibility, potential access to "spring" cleats from the pilothouse, etc. If the chosen vessel lacks in one regard or the other, perhaps an addition can improve it (e.g., visibility: think rear-view cameras).

As you've mentioned in other posts, slips for longer boats can become an issue. Ditto slips for catamarans with 24'+ beam don't grow on trees, either. That a spur-of-the-moment trip up the river to that nifty waterside restaurant -- dragging your home with you -- might not always be easy to arrange (good use for a big tender or runabout/day sailer, though). Even weekly trips to the pump-out (given your crew size), unless you have slipside service, can take more planning than an easy trip to the grocery. OTOH, the local fleet of Flemings, ranging from 55' to 75', gets out quite a lot around here -- that said, often anchoring out, so frequent movement isn't insurmountable.

I'll mention the local Fleming dealer is just across the fairway from our marina, they lease several slips in our marina, and our marina does most of the 55' and 65' hauling for periodic service (75s are too long for "our" travel lift). Anyway, I often see the 55- and 65-footers underway with Captain (owner) and one crew (haven't observed who's driving the 75-footers).

-Chris
Thank You Chris!!! Your posts are VERY helpful and informative and non-judgmental. I really appreciate that. I'm glad someone thinks handling a 65' isn't impossible. Sometimes I start wondering who the heck owns all these big boats that everyone seems to say that no one can handle or afford. I could be way wrong, but I really don't think every big boat liveaborder is filthy rich and loaded with crew.

I'm wondering about what you were saying about running out to eat and having no where to dock. I suppose that one could always just dinghy in or I wonder if it's possible to carry a large dinghy that you could use to cruise the harbor with, but still store on deck? Are the decks only capable of holding really small boats?
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