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Old 07-01-2013, 22:29   #16
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

[QUOTE=Rebekahnorway;1124095]............... My questions that I can't find real answers to are.....health insurance needed?......

I, too have found clinics and doctor's care very inexpensive out of the coutry in the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

catamaran or monohull (our budget for a boat is 60,000)?......

I prefer the monohull for reasons beyond the cost advantage, but either would suffice. We moved from a 33' boat to a 41' when our children were 7 & 9 so they could have some private space throughout their teens. I expect you could do well with a boat between these sizes.

when is the best time of year to start?...

I would think that a good choice would be to move aboard, learn, adapt, refit and repair for six months before stopping your employment and cutting ties for fulltime cruising.

are you happy you did it?

We've been living aboard and cruising for over forty years includung time with our two children from infancy to adulthood. It will be difficult for us to give up this life if the time does come.

I am sure we will not have money to go more than a year.

Many maintain seasonal or employment at intervals and find that there is not a limit to this life.

I read some harsh comments to post like mine about if you don't the things I am asking you should not be on the water.......[QUOTE]

Most successful liveaboard cruisers have no cause to whine or complain about hardships and difficulties. These people would expect you to be successful too!
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Old 08-01-2013, 05:25   #17
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By Kids being plural im guessing you have at least two or more, on most sub 44' monos you'll only have two berths, not fun having your salon / living room a bedroom all the time and kids dont always like sharing a small bed. For 50-60k you could find fairly Decent Gemini cat or Prout event etc, while being 34+/- ft long have the accommodation of a 42-44' or bigger mono and have 3 sep berths and a better more usable cockpit / deck layout. Plus more stable. Especially at anchor where youll spend your fun time!
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:00   #18
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

Make sure you leave some room in your budget for repairs/upgrades. 60k budget really means some amount for the boat (45k?) and the rest for getting her ready.
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:06   #19
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

you can live on a very cheap budget, you just need the self-discipline to decide if its going to be a way of life.. we cruised Asia on $14k AUD for 1 year. We kept marina stays to a minimum, ate where the locals ate and did as much walking and scooter hire as possible.
As soon as you add marina fees, western food and drinks... you blow your budget.

We are going cruising again soon, now with 2 kids on a 43ft Mono, planning to have the same MO. Live like the locals, spend like the locals... and when everyone is going out for dinner... "stay home, save money" LOL

Just my tight two cents... lol
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Old 08-01-2013, 06:47   #20
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

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Originally Posted by Dulcesuenos View Post
By Kids being plural im guessing you have at least two or more, on most sub 44' monos you'll only have two berths, not fun having your salon / living room a bedroom all the time and kids dont always like sharing a small bed.
I don't think that is entirely true. Certainly on me own I have 5 berths, and that at 30' - with the head in the forepeak (i.e. no forecabin). At least 4 berths common, but I agree that not all berths will be the greatest. (my pet hate are 1/4 berths - I think in the US they are called "Staterooms" ).

Whilst I am aware of the modern "need" for folks to all have own permanent berths (if not own cabin), nonetheless given OP's stated intention of only cruising for a year then IMO converting the saloon into berths (usually a double) of a nightime does not have to be such a biggie (some designs easier /quicker than others to convert). Plus the double in the saloon tends to be a decent size .

With young kids makes sense to stow them away in the forecabin (own bunk each!) and for adults to stay up in the saloon until a later bedtime - at which time they don't actually need a saloon!....plus not so easy for the kids to "escape" without being noticed .


In regard to OP, whilst I would usually suggest starting small - given they seem to be starting with some boating background (even if powerboats ) and given the timescale involved I would suggest buying "the boat" first and using the extra year to learn their way around her - which will no doubt involve tweaks. Of course the most important thing (especially given the budget) is not to buy a pile of poo .

Personally I would buy something good enough for the Carribean and not also for later RTW dreams - odds are that your ideas on boats will change later, as will your plans. Ball park I would say 35' - 40' and as modern / known a model as the budget allows in the best condition you can find (now is not the time for a project, nor even one which requires a lot of TLC - will be enough of that plus mods anyway whatever you buy!), and with as many of the modcons you want already fitted.....see the bottom link in my sig for the collected wisdom of CF on the cruising / boat gear (don't need all of it!).
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:08   #21
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

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Originally Posted by Boracay View Post
What yous really need is to be able to look at a boat and see if it is suitable for what you want.

It's not easy. The big trap is to look at a pretty boat with nice interior and not see the derelict engine, the rot under the chainplates, the rusted out keelbolts, delaminated rudder or any of the zillion problems that can kill your dream.

Yes, do get a survey (remembering that surveyors are human) but more importantly allow time (and money) to fix what you buy.

I'll second the recommendation that monhulls be your main focus.

I'll also add my voice to the opinion that time is working against yous. While it's would be very tempting to buy something around 42' or so this is a popular size. If you can drop down to a 37'er it may be easier to find one in better condition within your budget.

If your husband is a diesel mechanic be sure to get one with a very good engine/gearbox or even get a boat with an obscure engine in bad condition and replace it. Your husband will thank you later.
Hi Rebeka,

While some of the books below are a bit dated I find them helpful in getting a mindset. They can be found on line at various used book sites for very inexpensive prices (amazon, Abe's books, etc....)

1. How to Buy the Best Sailboat - Chuck Gastafson How to Buy the Best Sailboat: An Updated Edition of the Leading Consumer Guide With a New Chapter on Selling a Boat (9780688109875): Chuck Gustafson: Books

2. Multihull Voyaging - Thomas Firth Jones Multihull Voyaging: Thomas Firth Jones: 9780924486562: Amazon.com: Books

3. The Case for the Cruising Trimaran - Jim Brown The Case for the Cruising Trimaran: Jim Brown: 9780972146142: Amazon.com: Books

I always purchase used books. These three will stand you well and help you begin to form a perspective.

Good Luck,

Pat
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Old 08-01-2013, 07:40   #22
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pirate Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

Hi... Welcome to CF...
I'd suggest like some others that you get the big boat now instead of wasting money on a smaller one for the year... any keel boat is pretty much the same as going from a mini to a Hummer.. everything works the same... just gotta allow for the size.
Don't get pushed towards Performance... the boat you need should be roomy and comfortable, simple and forgiving to sail with a good engine up to the job..
How new or old the boat is is irrelevent... for a one year Oddessy all you need are decent sails and rig, a sound hull and deck, comfy interior and that engine.. forget 'Blue Water'... its a myth invented in the 50's by marketeer's...
You have good car marques and bad ones.. the same with boats...
Just be aware of the boats capabilities.. then look to your own and act accordingly...
Oh... and don't set a schedule/definite goal...
just wake up on the morning and say... 'Lets go sailing..'.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:04   #23
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

We did it 2010/2011 with our kids of age 3 & 4 at the beginning. We did a 1 year trip in the Med, crossed the pond and sailed through the lesser antilles.

Really an experience so my advice is: go ASAP while the kids are still young enough and like to be with you.

Get sailing lessons and read & practise a lot.
However we had a different budget, which allowed us a decent 41ft cat. This is by far outside your budget, you'd need at least 160k USD and a lot of luck.
The only cat that would fall into this is an older Gemini, which happens to have 2 single and a double berth. While not a dreamboat for a circumnavigation it should work for the Caribbean trip.

Health insurance: check the internet when you need it, we paid 26 EUR per month per person, kids a bit cheaper. That is full worldwide coverage, I think it was with AXA. Anyway youwill only need it for catastrophic issues, as doctors are so cheap outside the US that it's not worth the effort to reclaim the bill.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:30   #24
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Hi... Welcome to CF...
I'd suggest like some others that you get the big boat now instead of wasting money on a smaller one for the year... any keel boat is pretty much the same as going from a mini to a Hummer.. everything works the same... just gotta allow for the size.
Don't get pushed towards Performance... the boat you need should be roomy and comfortable, simple and forgiving to sail with a good engine up to the job..
How new or old the boat is is irrelevent... for a one year Oddessy all you need are decent sails and rig, a sound hull and deck, comfy interior and that engine.. forget 'Blue Water'... its a myth invented in the 50's by marketeer's...
You have good car marques and bad ones.. the same with boats...
Just be aware of the boats capabilities.. then look to your own and act accordingly...
Oh... and don't set a schedule/definite goal...
just wake up on the morning and say... 'Lets go sailing..'.
I'll second all the above. If you're goal is cruising with the family for a year don't get too hung up in details. Get a boat with a living space that you're comfortable with and go for it. On your budget you aren't going to find anything fancy and you don't need fast so look for roomy and the layout that works for you.

Of course do have the boat surveyed to make sure you aren't buying a problem boat.
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Old 08-01-2013, 10:39   #25
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

It will open your kids minds to alot better things than public school will. $60k is minimal, so you will need to get a monohull. Otherwise I think a cat would be great with kids. Go for it! The Caribe is generally easy cruising, it's not necessarily a lifetime committment.. dont over think it. I know people who have taken a year sabbattical off work, cruise for the year and went back to the same job. As mentioned, the sooner the better as far as the kids go.... before they are hooked entirely on the electronic world!
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Old 08-01-2013, 12:09   #26
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

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Originally Posted by Rebekahnorway View Post
...when is the best time of year to start?....if you are in our same boat are you happy you did it?
Best time of the year to start may depend on non-sailing things. Like the tax year. If the US is like germany you have a progressive tax system, so the more money you earn in one calender year the more tax you pay. Tax rises exponentially. That is the last dollar costs you the most taxes.
So it may be wise to stop earning money in June and be back in july next year to get back to work.
That way you spread your income on 2 calender years which at least in germany makes lots of sense. The tax savings alone paid half of our livin costs over the year.

Oh, yes of course we were happy we did it.
I took 12 year off plus 4 weeks vacation and went back to business after 13months. A lifetime experience - the problem is that we are now caught by the sailing bug, so I see more time on a sailboat ahead...
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Old 08-01-2013, 13:25   #27
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

Hi,

My two cents' worth of comments (PLS disregard most or all of them as reason may dictate):

> drop everything and sail around the Caribbean and maybe the world,
- take it slow, drop nothing,

> my husband is finally on board with this after years of talking about it,
- finally, but do respect his concerns, they may be valid in the end,

> our families think we are crazy and are going to ruin our lives ...
- that's normal,

> ... and our children's lives,
- possibly, no way to say without trying,

> my kids have been in love with the ocean as much as we are,
- congrats on getting this from the 4 y.o.,

> health insurance needed,
- no, but some prefer to carry one,

> catamaran or monohull,
- either, cats are great platforms for families,

> (our budget for a boat is 60,000)?......
- then a mono,

> when is the best time of year to start?
- Carib is fine in the winter,

> right now our plan it to buy a smaller sailboat to practice,
- practice is good, do not buy, hire or share,

> then sale the starter boat, our house, and cars,
- I would keep the house, I would try to rent it out,

> I am sure we will not have money to go more than a year.
- a) it must be a small house then, b) definitely do not sell it,

> my husband is a diesel mechanic,
- that's very good,

> I have read some very harsh comments to post like mine about if you don't the things I am asking you should not be on the water,
- comments are just comments, listen to everybody, then make your own informed decisions.

Good luck!
b.
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Old 09-01-2013, 15:27   #28
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

Hi, and welcome to CF

Jude and I raised our children afloat from 2 years old till they were nearly 18. It was the best life imaginable. Yes, the world had changed since those halcyon days. But the world is still round and adventures, beauty and knowledge still abound.

Get a comfortable boat. It will be your house first, and means of transport second. Learn everything you can about your boat so you can fix everything. Keep it simple.

Solid railing was a great help for us. When our boys were young we fixed fish net to it and had peace of mind. Install discipline in your children right from the start. Tell them you are keeping them alive. You are a team, and engage the children with that thought. The captain is the leader. Don't show panic in front of the kids. Be cool if you can so start off gently, conservatively.

You will probably head south for the caribean that's a great place for kids. Plenty of crystal clear warm water. Teach them to swim well. Teach them to row a dinghy. We had tow dinghies, one for the boys, the other for us. they used both to race one another, and almost always rowed mom and pop ashore or to other boats, one next to the other. All this will take time to develop, so take baby steps.

I could go on and on, but sorry no more time. Last suggestion: go to our website and look at our photos from that era, you'll learn by looking.

Good luck
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Old 09-01-2013, 18:04   #29
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

I remember crossing the Gulfstream back about thirty years ago when my son was very young and a suitable "autopilot". I had taped a cardboard paper towel roll to the bow pulpit as a "gunsight" and suggested to my son that he might be able to view through the tube from the helm and "shoot" clouds when they came into view while still remaining on the conpass course. At seven or eight he made for a repsite from our own time at the helm, but this was back before the more interactive video games popular today! I'll risk someone calling this exploitive,- he graduated to "shooting stars" and gained a great feel for maintaining a good course while at sea.
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Old 09-01-2013, 18:20   #30
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Re: Where to start? -with 2 young kids 4 & 8

$60,000 will get you a decent mono but a beat up small cat. No boat is perfect, just find something that you can live with it's quirks. If you hate it, sell it and get another.
Healthcare is cheap everywhere else, we wrote about Mexican healthcare at length on our blog including costs.
Make sure the kids can swim.
Sailing isn't the hard part, it's pretty easy if you wait for good weather.
Go and go soon, this is way better than that work all year for a week's vacation BS.
You might buy the Bumfuzzle's book, it inspired us to go sooner than we might have before reading it and we've sailed far enough now that we can jump in the warm water any time, the food is cheap and there are iguanas in the trees.
This is GOOD!
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