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Old 10-06-2016, 09:20   #1
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Thumbs up Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

My wife and I began looking into the live-aboard life 2-3 years ago. We have learned a lot online, but I suspect there is much more to learn. Since I am in farm-country and don't really know any sailors, I thought it would be worth picking some brains here and see what you guys think before i plunk $100,000+ down for a boat. My wife and I want to spend our winters on a multi-hull in the Caribbean (6 months on our farm in New England and 6 on our cat). If things go well with that, we may try sailing around the world, one winter at a time.

So, we would need a boat that 3 of us can live on, my son is 8 right now. It would have to be blue-water worthy. Also, since we would have to put it up in dry dock for 6 months in a bunch of different places, it probably can't be too big. One person should be able to sail it. We are not experienced sailors. We want solar and wind power. We need a big refrigerator and freezer. My wife is basically a vegetarian. She needs lots of veggies, she isn't eating crackers and spam. I have been told that larger cats, like 40 and up, can't get into a lot of places in the US because of bridge clearance. I have also been told that many dockyards don't have cranes to be able to haul-out the larger cats. That is why I have been looking for something with a beam of 16' or so.

What is the one piece of advice you want to share with me?
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:25   #2
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Greetings and welcome to the community. I'll just respond to one part of your post. Bridge clearance access is rarely limited by beam, but often by vertical clearance. The multihulls would not have a disadvantage in this respect compared to monohulls.

Most fixed bridges that limit access in the US are at increments of 45', 55', and 65'. For a boat of your interest, you can find many that will clear 65', but few for 55'.
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:31   #3
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

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Bridge clearance access is rarely limited by beam, but often by vertical clearance. The multihulls would not have a disadvantage in this respect compared to monohulls.
I'm sorry that I was unclear in my OP. I only have interest in multi-hulls. I don't want to spend the 10 winters at a 45 degree angle . A bigger boat generally has a taller mast. So, that limits the size of the multi-hull I could get. Does that make better sense.

Thanks for the info on bridges!
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:43   #4
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Medge View Post
My wife and I began looking into the live-aboard life 2-3 years ago. We have learned a lot online, but I suspect there is much more to learn. Since I am in farm-country and don't really know any sailors, I thought it would be worth picking some brains here and see what you guys think before i plunk $100,000+ down for a boat. My wife and I want to spend our winters on a multi-hull in the Caribbean (6 months on our farm in New England and 6 on our cat). If things go well with that, we may try sailing around the world, one winter at a time.

I have been told that larger cats, like 40 and up, can't get into a lot of places in the US because of bridge clearance. I have also been told that many dockyards don't have cranes to be able to haul-out the larger cats. That is why I have been looking for something with a beam of 16' or so.

What is the one piece of advice you want to share with me?
I am not Multihull guy but, 40 and up multihull with 16' beam??
Usually more than 20' beam with that size....
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:43   #5
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

My piece of advice is rent a boat or take a class. What you think you want may not be what you need. Don't buy before you try. A friend sold everything bought his dream and was back in 6 months. Save some money and try it first. I've never been at a 45 angle in my mono.
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:49   #6
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

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I am not Multihull guy but, 40 and up multihull with 16' beam??
Usually more than 20' beam with that size....
Wops, misreading,
But 16' beam is still narrow for a Multihull.

how about trimaran??
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Old 10-06-2016, 10:49   #7
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Sure, I understand, and the answer remains the same with the selections near 65'. For a multihull with a 16' beam you'll likely clear a 65' bridge with any of them.

There are many good reasons to select a multihull. You have a great opportunity ahead; however, you must realize that spending your time at 45* is a gross exaggeration.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:22   #8
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

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My piece of advice is rent a boat or take a class. What you think you want may not be what you need. Don't buy before you try. A friend sold everything bought his dream and was back in 6 months. Save some money and try it first. I've never been at a 45 angle in my mono.
Good Advice!

Going out on several boats is the only real way to learn what you like and don't like about them. Invest in some time on other peoples' boats. That is what I have done.
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Disclaimer, I don't own a multihull, but I would. I don't own a big monohull either, but I will. So, you can take my comments below with a splash of saltwater.

Most of the time if you are sailing on a monohull, your boat may be heeling (leaning) something more like 15* or 25* or even 30* but NOT 45*

If you are sailing at 45* you are probably overpowered by the wind plus sail area you have at that time, so reduce the sail (reef) and your boat should come back upright (less angle of heel) and be a more comfortable (and faster) ride.

When a monohull has some wind and is not sailing dead down wind (with the wind from behind), it will be leaning some, but not too much for an 8 year old to have fun and enjoy moving about.

I like it when a boat heels, and consider it fun.

The two biggest challenges for a heeling sailboat while underway are:
1. Using the head (sitting on a toilet)
2. Cooking hot foods on a stove.

I realize you said you want a multihull. But, I think it is important to know that monohull sailors do NOT spend ALL of their time heeled at 45* and if they do, it is either because they are racing, or have lack of desire or energy to reef, or they are lazy or unskilled (they don't reef early enough or use smaller, more appropriate sail area or sizes for the wind conditions).

MOST monohull sailing is NOT done at 45* especially by cruisers who have some sailing experience.

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As for a Cat?
The cat that comes to mind for your situation is the Lagoon 380. You can buy a used one today for about $125K . I think it is about the ideal boat for a couple or small family. It is what I would want for a relatively low cost cat that is manageable and less costly to own over years due to smaller size etc.

Here is a link to a video tour of a Lagoon 380. The owner bought it and with his young wife sailed from East Coast USA to Tahiti. He sold it and bought another boat, but enjoyed his boat. They produced a series of videos on Youtube (see their channel via this link) and I think you will learn a lot by just watching what they did on their voyages.

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Old 10-06-2016, 11:25   #9
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
however, you must realize that spending your time at 45* is a gross exaggeration.
Yep, its a gross exaggeration . I like the interior space of multihulls and the added safety. We are beginners.
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Old 11-06-2016, 02:05   #10
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

HI, Medge,

We were monohull beginners, at one time. We sailed SF-HI-SF in a 30 footer. And we decided we wanted a stiffer mono.

Imho, there is a beautiful 36 foot aluminum Lavranos on this forum, that in your situation I would leap at. Why? with my 27 yrs. cruising experience? Well, the Lavranos designed boats are well designed, good sailing boats. Beginners don't necessary need cats. They do need experience, however, for either mono or cat. I have no connection with the abovementioned boat, and, indeed, there are a couple of other alloy boats available in the CF for sale, also desirable.

You may eventually consider cats for their virtues, but you have not yet experienced the virtues of either mono or cat.

If you limit yourself to the cat option, the vessel will have to be small--after all, you're buying two hulls.

My advice to you is to consider a small mono first, and learn to use it. Then you will have a knowledge base from which to choose whether you want to move up to a larger mono, or transfer to a small cat. Generally, the performance advantages of catamarans decline in deference to the desires for *stuff* of their owners. The monos cope, imho, better with the loads.

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Old 11-06-2016, 05:38   #11
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Cat vs. mono again ! I believe there already is a thread on that issue..
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Old 11-06-2016, 06:14   #12
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

I don't see this as a "cat vs mono" thread. The recommendation to a complete novice to at least consider a mono is sage advice.

When we were formulating our plan to cruise, we too were set on a cat, but in the search we found you could get a lot more space in a comparably-priced mono, with the added seakeeping (blue-water worthiness) that the extra LWL brings.

The OP should learn to sail (in a mono to appreciate the reality) and shop both cats and monos - that is the only way one can truly find the "right boat." Cats and monos both have advantages and disadvantages - ultimately any boat is a compromise, as I've yet to meet any sailor with the "perfect boat."

If the eventual aim is to be able to have the boat hauled anywhere and left on the hard during farming season, then a mono probably has a slight advantage as it can be harder to find a place that can lift a wide cat. Narrow cats are arguably not blue-water capable.
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Old 13-06-2016, 12:19   #13
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Your kind and thoughtful posts give me pause. I have no dispute with the notion of getting some experience. I have sailed, but it has been over 15 years. I need a refresher, no doubt. That is my intention when we head down to Sarasota, in the Fall. The only boats to sail here are 10 foot lake boats. I don't intend to buy.

But regarding a mono vs a have some objections I would like to bat your way and see what you think.

1) I will have to do some desk work while underway. I do voiceover work and intend to take some of that work with me on the boat. I would think that sitting at a desk laying down tracks for an audiobook is easier on a boat that lists and leans less. No?

2) My wife is concerned with the keel depth of a mono. Deeper keel = greater chance of running aground.

3) My wife gets sea-sick and perceives that a mono interior is darker and more enclosed. She says that if she can't see sunlight or the horizon she gets sick.
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Old 13-06-2016, 12:36   #14
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Hi Medge I spent last 8 years living aboard with my family on a 40 steel Pilot house mono and last year change boat to a similar one but with lifting keel.
Mono or Cat go just with what you prefer.
I recomend to follow Badsanta advice and move to the place you wanna sail, rent a boat and try a few months thats gonna give you a good idea the lifestyle aboard and also you can do a good scout looking to buy a future boat, on place you allway find better deals than on internet.
Look online for S/Y Evenstar is a family of friend who set sails after meet us when we visit RI a few years ago.
6 and 6 is a nice plan , we start with the same idea this year, 6 in Patagonia at home and 6 on the Med.

Good luck with your plans.

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Old 13-06-2016, 12:41   #15
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Medge View Post
Your kind and thoughtful posts give me pause. I have no dispute with the notion of getting some experience. I have sailed, but it has been over 15 years. I need a refresher, no doubt. That is my intention when we head down to Sarasota, in the Fall. The only boats to sail here are 10 foot lake boats. I don't intend to buy.

But regarding a mono vs a have some objections I would like to bat your way and see what you think.

1) I will have to do some desk work while underway. I do voiceover work and intend to take some of that work with me on the boat. I would think that sitting at a desk laying down tracks for an audiobook is easier on a boat that lists and leans less. No?

2) My wife is concerned with the keel depth of a mono. Deeper keel = greater chance of running aground.

3) My wife gets sea-sick and perceives that a mono interior is darker and more enclosed. She says that if she can't see sunlight or the horizon she gets sick.
Recording audio tracks while underway?

Boats underway can be very noisy! Many sources of noise, and I am used to using a noise canceling audio mic, but I bet it would pick up the sounds of the boat, especially if the engine is running, as most on sailboats are loud. But aside from the engine, there are winches, blocks, pounding (cats with low bridge decks can make explosive sounding noises as the boat crosses a wave top,) etc.

2. Not such a big worry with GPS and attentive helmsmen. May be more an issue in canals, such as the ICW. Most common keel depth for moderate sized boats (up to 37 or 40 feet) is about 6 foot. Larger boats and some race oriented boats may have deeper keels.

3. This is a major issue!

As I wrote before, I went on a short cruise with a couple that became very seasick, and that required me to singlehand manage a 42 foot boat up the California coast. When they reached port, the woman was very unhappy and swearing at her husband and li puddly swore that she did NOT want to go cruising again. That was a big contrast from when they first boarded the boat and when she was all excited about going around the world on their future boat.

Even experienced sailors can get seasick on the first day out to sea. Lord Nelson of the Royal Navy was famously seasick. It is nothing to be ashamed of. But most people recover quickly. There are things you can read about to learn ways to lessen the chance of seasickness.

Windows and light?
A cat with "lots of Windows" may be the best boat, if the seasick prone sailor wants to keep an eye on the hosizon (best to do this). Or a pilothouse mono. Or a Deck Saloon mono. Be aware that many monos may have "Windows" in the saloon that are placed too high for anyone to look outside while seated.

Since your wife is already concerned about getting seasick, it would be wise to charter several times to see what happens in different boats, locations, and most especially different weather.

Good luck!
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