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Old 15-12-2013, 13:48   #16
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Re: One year on. Musing.

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
Maybe there's a movement afoot for a technically uncluttered sea life. I know that I am doing all I can to simplify our boat.

Perhaps the "sailing luddites society"?

Sadly, I feel a bit of a fraud about buying the S42. I wish I could claim some great natural instinct for good boat design, perhaps a family heritage of boat builders (well, dad was a naval architect), but we really did just luck it with the S42. She felt right, and all the comments from people who knew about such things were positive so we bought her. Now I feel I have to live up to the boat, and somehow, if I am not 1000 miles from the nearest shore, I am not using her properly. Sigh, I just wanted a comfortable coastal cruiser that was within my budget.

Matt
Well, Matt, ya never know what the future will bring, especially in the cruising world!

But really, I bet that if you could poll all the Swannie 42 owners (and all similar vessels as well) that most will never have been 1000 miles from land... or perhaps even 100. And using her properly... if you continue to improve and maintain her, and take ever more challenging passages as per your plan, why IMO you are using her quite properly. Nothing to feel guilty about at all.

And finally, if you do eventually circumnavigate Tassie as planned, you will not need to be 1000 miles from land to find conditions where a sound cruising vessel will be a great asset.

Carry on, mate!

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Old 15-12-2013, 14:19   #17
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Re: One year on. Musing.

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And finally, if you do eventually circumnavigate Tassie as planned, you will not need to be 1000 miles from land to find conditions where a sound cruising vessel will be a great asset.
No IF, WHEN, Jim, WHEN. I'm putting on the record here for all to see. Early summer 2015. That is the PLAN, and I am a' stiken to it.

(Expect a flurry of panic struck postings asking for more Tassie cruisin' advice in about December 2014. Also part of my plan.)

Now, go catch that plane.

Matt
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Old 15-12-2013, 16:04   #18
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Re: One year on. Musing.

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How does your first year compare? Would love to hear from someone at a similar stage to us.

Matt
It has certainly been a vertical learning curve. That's what I keep repeating to myself and eventually that curve will flatten out. I guess the biggest part of getting into owning a sailboat is that leap of faith you take when you make an offer AND THEN go on a sea trail. The post-offer test drive is so crazy. I had never before sailed a Freedom 38 (the boat I eventually bought) or known anyone who had one of these, so all of my knowledge was from my online research and looking at a few other boats in comparison. It was really confusing. The compromises that I wanted were an ocean capable cruiser that would be easy to race and dive from. The Freedom seemed to have most of these and I've been pleasantly surprised at how much this boat has exceeded my expectations. Having said that, I was very nervous at the purchase stage. I had 2 marine surveyors (the first one landed in the hospital and later died as I was finalizing the deal) and an engine mechanic. They found the things I had seen, but failed to see the things that were not working and I think should have been caught. My forestay recently broke, which wasn't tragic with an unstayed mast and I kep sailing in 25 knots, but you would think someone would have seen the corrosion?!? Maybe I was naive, but what I wanted to hear from them is whether it was a solid boat or not. It was. That was the main thing for me to pull the trigger. Now I have a long list of things to work on, and in the meantime, I'm sailing her every chance I get. This year will be a full year of OYRA and Singlehanded Sailing Society races around SF Bay. There are things I would have done better during the negotiations stage had I known what I do now, but that's just how life is (and who hasn't had some twinge of regret after walking out with a new car...?). So, overall, the first year has been great. I love my boat. And the future with her appears beautiful, as well.
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Old 15-12-2013, 16:31   #19
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Re: One year on. Musing.

One year ago this month (December), we moved aboard our Lagoon 420 (we purchased her in August and brought her home in September). We bought her from a well-known catamaran company in Ft. Lauderdale. We had a 2-year plan at the time, at the termination of which, we would start our long-term cruising adventures. What have I learned and how are we doing?

First of all, our plan is still intact, despite an unexpected significant decrease in income this year. I am working full-time for these two years in order to become debt-free by the time we leave. I think we'll still make it. My wife and I have enjoyed our year of living aboard and taking short cruises. We've had a number of overnighters, a 6-day adventure in which we did an overnight sail into the gulf (20 hours under sail power only), and are planning an 8-day adventure next month.

Did we buy the right boat? Like the OP, I think so. We love the openness and space on our catamaran. We knew when we bought the boat, we would need new trampolines (done), and a new anchor chain (doing that right now). We also knew there were lots of "little" things that needed repaired. Overall, we've not uncovered any major problems one year out and that's good.

What I wish I knew before buying that might have improved our experience:

I would not recommend buying your boat from a company and use all of their recommended auxiliary services (surveyor, repairs, etc.) I can't say we were terribly hurt by doing so, but I have this nagging intuition that I may/could have been. We used their services because it was easier since we were completely new to this whole enterprise and lived out of the area. There were some things that, in retrospect, I think our surveyor should have checked out (maybe I am mistaken). Our AIS was not working and will not work. There is something wrong with our chartplotter that it is not interfacing with the rest of the electronics (VHF, SSB, AIS). I am working on this problem in the near future. Don't believe it for a minute, when they say that the problem is probably just a loose wire and likely easy and inexpensive to repair (our running lights and electric winch, e.g.). While not a catastrophe, these were not due to just a loose wire, and cost several hundred dollars to repair. Perhaps, however, I am unrealistic and this is not too unusual for the boat-buying process. In concert with the OP, it feels that the money on the surveyor was wasted to some degree (Although, as far as I can tell, he was correct on the most important issues... hull, rigging, etc.) Oh yeah, and I would not worry so much about the extras, as we will be replacing many of these over this 2 year span of preparation for cruising. We've not hauled our boat out since the survey, but will be doing so in the next year, at which time we will repaint the bottom and check for any other problems needing to be addressed.

As stated by the OP, we really did not know what we were buying, either. If you are new to this, no amount of preparation will compensate for lack of experience. The bottom line is that you are at the mercy of people you don't know very well. The first time buying a boat can be overwhelming and, although you do your homework and learn as much as you can, you still aren't sure how well you did for some time. I think we did okay, but I'm still learning and trying to figure out all this sailing/cruising stuff. I still have so much to learn. All the systems (plumbing, electric, engines, rigging, etc.) are intimidating. While I have made progress, I still feel there is much to learn (and I consider myself to be a fairly smart guy who learns quickly). Part of my slowness of learning is due to the fact that I still work full time and my time working on the boat is limited. While I'd love to do more work on the boat myself, I have to hire others for much of the work.

Overall, I'm quite happy with where we are at this time. The wife's happy also, so all is well. From a couple, who 2 years ago had never sailed a boat and knew nothing about the cruising lifestyle, to liveaboards of one year and one year away from casting off the docklines, we've come a long way.

I also thank all those who've helped along the way. Including those who participate in this forum. You've been very helpful!
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Old 15-12-2013, 16:32   #20
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Re: One year on. Musing.

Have you gone for a sail over to Kangaroo Island? That sounds like it would be a fun trip to see how it goes at sea for a week long voyage.
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Old 15-12-2013, 16:35   #21
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Re: One year on. Musing.

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Originally Posted by GILow View Post
SNIP

I do know that the money spent on the surveyor might as well have been torn up and burned in a small camp fire, where at least it would have served to provide heat.

SNIP
I have mixed feelings about my surveyor. True I bought a multihull and from what I have learned since a year ago in November it is even harder to find a good multihull surveyor than a good monohull surveyor. He did a good job examining the hull when the boat was pulled and while a lot of what he did was cookie cutter checking off a list it was something that needed to be done. Most of what he found was minor but he did know a few things that were required like signs required in the engine room and one about dealing with galley waste.

The thing is most insurance requires a survey and the marinas require insurance to get in.

As for other things, which I will roll into what I will call the learning curve I still remember sailing back from the Bahamas back in 1960 when he told me 'you never get better than the ocean'. The more I sail under different conditions the more I learn.

One of the reasons I bought the boat I did was because the PO had made some modifications I thought were very well thought out. As an example he replaced the conventional head with a composting head. Also took out the water cooling for the refrigerator. The boat has two outboards in wells. Result is all the through hull fittings have been removed and glassed over. Maybe I am a luddite but it just does make any sense to me to have holes in the hull of your boat.

All in all I am a happy camper, but a lot of that has to do with getting a boat that is as simple as it can be, and no simpler.
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Old 15-12-2013, 16:48   #22
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Re: One year on. Musing.

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Originally Posted by Blc7 View Post
One year ago this month (December), we moved aboard our Lagoon 420 (we purchased her in August and brought her home in September). We bought her from a well-known catamaran company in Ft. Lauderdale. We had a 2-year plan at the time, at the termination of which, we would start our long-term cruising adventures. What have I learned and how are we doing?

......

I also thank all those who've helped along the way. Including those who participate in this forum. You've been very helpful!
To quote Boatman61... Rock on Tommy! Er... sounded better when he wrote it, but excellent, thank you, certainly reassuring for me.
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Old 15-12-2013, 16:53   #23
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Re: One year on. Musing.

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Have you gone for a sail over to Kangaroo Island? That sounds like it would be a fun trip to see how it goes at sea for a week long voyage.
Not yet, but you are right, certainly the next logical step. We have it planned for early in the new year, just trying to carve out 4 days at the moment, which we figure is the mininum, though as you suggest, a week would be better. Just not possible for at least a year as my wife unexpectedly landed a very demanding full time position for a year. The first time she has worked full time in our 13 years of marriage!.

We did think we'd kill two birds with one stone and sail down overnight, getting some more night sailing practice in familiar and safe surroundings, planning to arive American River in the morning (stopping to pay respects to American River VMR who do a brilliant job), stay a day or two for some land based activities then return as a day sail on the last day, since arriving in the dark at the home end is not a problem for us.

That's the plan as it stands now.

Matt
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Old 15-12-2013, 17:48   #24
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Re: One year on. Musing.

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All in all I am a happy camper, but a lot of that has to do with getting a boat that is as simple as it can be, and no simpler.
That is pretty Zen. I like it.
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Old 15-12-2013, 20:12   #25
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Re: One year on. Musing.

In answer to your question about what others have found at the end of the first year, I am past that but still feel the need to respond. We bought our 2002 Hunter 326 in the spring of 2008, our surveyor did not find anything major wrong with the boat, and the captain that I hired to go on the shake down cruise also found nothing major wrong with the boat. I believe that the $ spent on both was a good investment. We did not finance the boat, instead we took out a second on the house and paid cash for the boat (better rate). We did our very best to use the boat a lot. In fact we averaged about 45 days a year on the boat away from its slip. I did not count the days that we stayed on the boat in the marina, nor the days at Catalina at anchor/moored. We made a one week trip every year to Catalina from San Diego, and several trips from San Diego to Mission Bay or Oceanside every year.
We maintained the boat and added better electronics and a spinnaker and kept it clean, and sailed every chance we got. My wife says it is what kept me sane for the last 4 years of my job.
Well, I retired (sort of) last year and we moved to Florida and trucked the boat to Corpus Christi Texas, where we re rigged the boat (ok I paid to have it done) and then we spent the next 29 days on the GIWW from Corpus Christi to Tampa Florida, about 1100 miles. As you might imagine, most of that trip was spent as a motor boat, the channel is too narrow to sail, and we had a lot of miles to go. Biggest negative for this trip, is we left Texas in July and arrived in Tampa in August (2013), I think we missed the hottest time of the year by about 2 weeks. In the time we have owned Make Me Laugh, we have motored about 600 hours. The vast majority of those were done on this trip.

To put it in perspective, when I married my bride (1982) she was afraid of the water, and did not want to get out of sight of land. When we bought the boat (2002) she thought it was too big (we had been sailing 22 footers on San Diego bay for a year by then). When we anchored off our new house in Tampa waiting for the tide to go up she said "We need a bigger boat and to plan a longer trip". So, I have gone back to work, planning to put in 5 more years and use the time to put away enough money to be able to buy that bigger boat.

In the mean time, our boat is up for sale, we have rented out our retirement home in the Tamp area, and I have taken a job in Iowa (nope there is not much sailing here), we will be chartering in the BVI most every summer for the next 5 years just to keep scratching the itch. I will still be on line here reading and learning what to watch for, and dreaming of sailing. The things that I learned in the time I owned and sailed Make Me Laugh are huge, like ALWAYS have spare fuel filters on board, know how to stay calm no mater how fast the wind speed comes up (15 knots to 45 knots in about 5 minutes on the GIWW), the weather forecast is just that someones best guess, not a fact, and oh so many more.

Would (will) I do this again? OH YES!!! Oh and BTW, I am still (or again) a wannabe sailor. The next boat will be bigger, draw less have more sail area and better electronics, more sail area, a dodger as well as a bimini, and a bigger motor and a generator and .... well you get the idea.
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Old 15-12-2013, 21:15   #26
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Re: One year on. Musing.

Hi Matt.
We've also owned the "new" boat for a year now (actually it was a year Oct. 1). Like you, we've had some nice sailing time, but we too have work commitments that only allow weekend cruises - and a bit more in the summer - for now. Since I only wanna-be me, I don't really care if other people see me as a wanna-be anything other than myself. It's a lot of boat for a weekender, but it makes us happy.

I've learned a lot about our new boat, and have needed only minor additions (new lifelines, adding a cockpit radio, new anchor chain). So far the boat seems good to go. I think that I'm just getting to know the systems on my boat. One example; I haven't yet traced out the electrical circuits. Even though I've sailed all my life and have owned a lot of boats, this boat (going from an older Catalina 34 to a newer - 2004 - Catalina 400MKII) was a big step up for me. I sail with my wife a lot (or single-hand) and feel that this boat is about as big as I would want. I'm comfortable handling and docking, etc. but still want to practice my heavy weather and emergency skills and drills. One year has gone by very fast. I still feel that I've got a lot to learn about this particular boat.

Some of the things we want (like an inverter, LED lights, etc.) could have budgeted for. In hindsight we could have negotiated for a better price, but that is partly because we bought a (for us) pretty fancy - expensive - boat. A lot of our resources (time and money) are tied up in the boat. My wife really likes the boat and we spend a lot of time sailing together, going to local anchorages, and just hanging around the dock. When we go to the boat, it's like a vacation for us. It's what we do. That makes the boat worth it for us. At 65 years old, it was now or never. Now seems like the better choice! It's been a fun year, and to put it bluntly, we love our boat!
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Old 16-12-2013, 04:01   #27
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Re: One year on. Musing.

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Would (will) I do this again? OH YES!!! Oh and BTW, I am still (or again) a wannabe sailor. The next boat will be bigger, draw less have more sail area and better electronics, more sail area, a dodger as well as a bimini, and a bigger motor and a generator and .... well you get the idea.
No so much a wannabe sailor... more a GUNNABE BIGGER sailor. But, by the sound of it, you probably won't subscribe to my proposed Luddite Sailors group.

Bigger motors... GENERATORS... oh dear oh dear. You really had me for a while there... but that's more STUFF to break down...

Yes to the dodger and bimini though, I LIKE those.
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Old 16-12-2013, 04:10   #28
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Re: One year on. Musing.

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Hi Matt.
We've also owned the "new" boat for a year now (actually it was a year Oct. 1). Like you, we've had some nice sailing time, but we too have work commitments that only allow weekend cruises - and a bit more in the summer - for now. Since I only wanna-be me, I don't really care if other people see me as a wanna-be anything other than myself. It's a lot of boat for a weekender, but it makes us happy.
You make a really good point here. You are not a wannabe if you are doing what you want to do with the boat, even if, as you say, it seems a lot of boat for a weekender, well, so what, it makes for a nice COMFORTABLE weekender. That's not a wannabe in my books.

The wannabe tag applies to us as we are not yet doing as much as we want to be. We want to be able to sail for more than just few days at a time and we want to be able to STOP for a while when sailing. But we can't right now and that's a bit of a pain, but one day we will have a bit more time, and I hope to have the skills to do as much as we want to do with the boat when that happens.
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Old 16-12-2013, 17:45   #29
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Re: One year on. Musing.

Bigger motors... GENERATORS... oh dear oh dear. You really had me for a while there... but that's more STUFF to break down...

Well, I am not on the west coast anymore, and the reality of the GIWW was that we were under power for 29 days straight. NOTE: I mean really UNDER power. Hull speed for our boat is about 7 and a bit more knots with a good breeze. Under power we were doing good to get 6 knots, and most of the time closer to 5. That might not sound like much of a difference, but when you are under power for 12 hours, that extra 12 to 24 nautical miles really begins to add up. I am not looking for a huge increase in power, I just want to be able to motor at least as fast as I can sail. Also, we are not on the west coast, and dealing with cold water, instead of a jacket and a heater in June (we did this in Oceanside Ca), we were sweating in 90 degrees and 90 % humidity at midnight and trying to sleep. A generator and AC would have come in handy to at least take the edge off before we tried to sleep. Water temps around our home were in the 80's pretty consistently for most of the summer.
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Old 16-12-2013, 17:57   #30
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Re: One year on. Musing.

I have to say, I've had good and bad surveyors. In my "learning curve years", one decreased the price of a boat I bought from $115k to $65k! Without him I would have missed the issues involved entirely.
Hmmm... not sure the "learning curve years" ever end.... :>)
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