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Old 06-06-2009, 16:57   #1
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Best Place to Learn About Living Aboard?

Hola.

I am interested in learning about living on a sail boat / catamaran ... and hoping around the Caribbean.

I have spent tons of time in the DR and Central and South America over the last couple years ... I would like to take my adventures surf side. Have lots to learn. But I have a good temperament.

First question, traditional Sail Boat or Catamaran?

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2009, 17:10   #2
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Ye gads, you know how to come in swinging... Cat or mono?
I'm a monohull girl but secretly been coveting catamarans (don't tell the mutihull group it'll go straight to their heads). The big reason I went to a monohull sailboat instead of a cat is that I am a singlehander female and just don't think I can handle a live aboard sized cat by myself.
You are in the right place to get info, these guys are great.
Erika
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Old 06-06-2009, 17:24   #3
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Cat or Mono?

Welcome,
Monohull.
There are many threads here and endless debate about the various attributes of both types. It can get quite enthusiastic. It boils down to personal preference.
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Old 06-06-2009, 18:22   #4
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OKAY. I will do my research on the question of mono versus cat. I imagine what I am envisioning is a lot of work and a lot of fun - a life style.

I have a great amount to learn. Can anyone very familiar refer me to a past threat? And are there any good EBOOKS that serve as a basic prep for a complete newbie to begin to wrap his mind around what this would take.

( I have sailed. I am a watery kind of person life guard; surfer; scuba; etc.. all my life. I imagine I should read or take captain school course over the next year. Step by step.)

Again, thank you all for your patients while I get a clue here
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Old 06-06-2009, 18:32   #5
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try these two threads for mono vs multi:
Mono vs Multi
Sink or Swim?

I don't sail yet but have aspirations to liveaboard and cruise once I have the experience.
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Old 06-06-2009, 19:46   #6
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Okay. I brought up a hot topic right off the bat. Sorry. i get it.

shhhhhh

I very quickly came up to speed on the mono vs cat thing.

I will sit back and learn.

Thanks
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Old 06-06-2009, 21:13   #7
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we all wait with baited breath for any - and I mean any - excuse to drag up the mono versus multi debate.

It's our favorite pass time here.

There is no correct answer - only requirement is your verbose participation in the subject. Pick a side - any side - it doesn't really matter.

I'm waiting for the correct Lotto number so I can buy a Fontaine Pajot in the 50' range brand new. In the interim, I'm hoping I can just buy something that floats but isn't called a floater (if you get my drift).

welcome to a friendly internet anchorage.
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Old 07-06-2009, 07:44   #8
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best web sites to price and learn market

I found Catamarans for Sale, Sailing Vacations and Catamaran services and found it very informative.

Is there a similar site for mono hulls?

And, I imagine there is a spreadsheet that compares docking charges throughout the Caribbean and Central America ... Any pointers?

I may be dumb, but I am not stupid ... certainly will look for used vessels - 15 - 5 years old. I imagine the used boats coming from charter companies are more used than private owner. Any comments?

As always, thanks for your time!
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Old 07-06-2009, 08:10   #9
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Also, I am reading many threads and I would like to ask the group the following questions as they pertain to my interests and strengths and obvious limitations:

1, I am in good shape and I like being physically challenged. However, I want to properly learn, train, and be safe. But, I do see myself sailing solo sometimes - maybe far distances? Am I deluding myself?

2, I have been around boats my whole life, but I have always "helped" (usually with a beer in hand , never Skippered. No reason why I shouldn't; can't ... just never have.

3, I have the feeling that with the proper learning: 1- 6 months. Then, just doing it in rather safe seas for a solid couple of weeks. I would become an "old salt" fast. I imagine that you can sail a lifetime and learn everyday. BUT, the docking and other basic maneuvers - it's like parallel parking on steroids; right. Just practice for 10 - 60 hours, it should be a done deal. Am I missing something?

4, I would like to live on the vessel as I island hop, so living in a place that is comfortable is a consideration. I am not one of those guys that needs comforts piled upon other comforts. I tend to be the opposite. But, damn those big cats look like a floating condo. How could that not be a blast?! (yet, seems fooling to come out of the gates like that ... would rather take it step one; then step two; and so on)

5, Should I concern myself with solo handling a boat? Or just suck it up and not put artificial limits in place?

Again, I am aware that most here are professionals and the questions I am asking are very novice. Thanks for your patients
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:18   #10
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Slow down jr., and get a grip. It just isn't all that hard to single-hand, and if you like physical challenges this you will get. It's a step at a time, and the first thing to do prudently is learn how to sail. If you don't have friends that sail then take lessons. In lessons you will start off with the least amount of BAD HABITS.

Sometimes being an old salt is not a good thing. Most have the knocks, and bruises to prove it, and it can take a long time to become one. The art of sailing is not just sailing, but management skills on all different levels. I have owned my own boats for 20yrs +, and I am still green.

This, and other forums like it are a treasure trove. Dig deep, read, and you can be rewarded with many answers to your many questions. One last thing.......MULTIS RULE!!!!!!!!........OH SORRY...... I just couldn't help myself. I love monos as well as multis.......BEST WISHES in solving the $64k question on what to purchase. No one here has the right answer for you, but YOU!!!!!!!!.......i2f
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Old 12-06-2009, 08:13   #11
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some pointers on picking out the correct catamaran, as taught to me by my spouse:

check bridge deck clearance - that is the clearance between the water and the bottom of the deck at the closest location - don't learn this pointer after you buy the boat. Waves slap the underside of the deck, particularly as water gets squeezed between the two hulls. The slapping and pounding of the water under the deck on a multihull will make you insane. Get as much clearance as you can. Always look at a stern photo. Run away from low bridge deck clearance, particularly if you want to live on it (midnight deck slamming at anchor might be a pisser).

After that, do you care about the cooking station? Think about head room for you at the galley. Do you want galley up (cooler) or galley down in the hulls (hot presumably). Do you ever cook anyway?

On Privilege Cats - the ports leak - seems to be a characteristic - sucks. Privilege owners please feel free to stand up for your boat. We have just seen a lot of old Privilege cats with leaking ports and soggy headliners, rotten spots on wood floors and liners because of the leaking. yuck.

wet headliners and leaking are a big deal on any boat. Also look around the floor level and see if any stains indicate the boat has ever been sunk. run! if you think it has been sunk in the past, unless you really are very savvy.

Always check electrical wiring. Some of these boats have been jerry rigged and are not safe, and often the wiring is corroding.

Go to the Practical Sailor website and join - they do some reviews of boats - although you have to pay for the review. The few bucks we spent on these reviews was worth every dime.

Consider if you care about balsa core versus foam core - this is another forum hot buttom btw. If you decide you don't want balsa core, that eliminates many boats. I would love to have a Leapord cat, but all South African produced cats have balsa core. We are anti-balsa core. A lot of folks swear by balsa core.

I read a lot books when we started our search. Amazon.com has a lot of cheap used books with ratings by readers. Pick a boat category, do the search, and buy your books. Priceless advice available in some of those books.

Always survey any boat before you purchase, unless you are really knowledgeable yourself.

I've exhausted all my useful advice. enjoy your cruise through this forum ;=>


If you go to the thread I started when I introduced myself to the forum, you will find tons of useful advice from members that gave advice and links. All useful.
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Old 12-06-2009, 09:27   #12
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Live Aboard Mag

There is a live aboard magazine and web site that might have some useful info.
Living Aboard Magazine

and here is a site for statistics on a certain model boat- like the capsize ratio and motion comfort of a Catalina for example, this helped me narrow my search for a boat. It also explains the data so its a good learning tool though I don't know if it covers multihulls.
Sail Calculator Pro v3.53 - 2000+ boats

I was 19 when I first moved aboard and I just jumped in and learned along the way. This made for some interesting spectacles at times but I didn't care, I was following a dream. I'm not advocating going out into the ocean without the proper training and experience but If you have been on boats your whole life you may be more ready for skippering your own boat in local/protected waters then you think.

Lots of people singlehand, but not many singlehand big cats or monos (over 40 ft), I'm not saying it can't be done just that its not common.

It may seem a bit overwhelming cosidering designs and construction. Maybe start off picking a design (mono- full,fin,or modified) then your can focus on construction and quality. Make a list of your absolute needs (needs to sleep __ adults, or draft less then _ feet ). Then make a list of your wants (separate shower, big galley etc.).

Remember, this is a part of the adventure- finding your boat, enjoy!
Hope this helps.

Erika
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:15   #13
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My observation with the cat issue is it's heavily influenced by the charter fleet. Those boats are built for that purpose and work very well. They're really spacious & comfortable for as many as 8 people but they're built like tanks to take the expected abuse from charters. There's a huge difference comparing them to a Chris White type of cat in their sailing characteristics- refer to CatGirl's or fiancÚ Atlantic42's posts on this site.

My personal choice is a trimaran. I owned a Searunner for 15 years. For my needs they are a balanced blend of well thought out accommodation & livability, sea keeping (they sail so well in a wide range of conditions) and are economical.
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Old 12-06-2009, 10:44   #14
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Try downsizing your life into a single room. That's a good first start. See just what all you can get rid of in your daily life and still be happy.

Also start playing around with cooking as if you had only a few square feet to work in. A lot of it is making a mental adjustment.
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Old 13-06-2009, 08:42   #15
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very wise words, drew.ward
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