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Old 02-11-2005, 09:08   #1
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Looking for a Place to be

Hi All......My names Robert and I've been lurking for some time and decided to introduce myself. Looking to begin a liveaboard life in the next year probably on a catamaran....I'm new to big boat sailing but have been sailing dingies for many years....recently completed my first ever sailing lessons on SF Bay here in California....most of my sailing has been on high mountain lakes so this salt water stuff is new to first question to the more 'seasoned' members is what is the best way to make the transition to small boat day sailing on weekends to big boat live aboard status? I know, big question but I guess I just want to hear how some of you did it.....I've been studying this for the last several years and reading everything I can get my hands on....attended several seminars and now real lessons!!! Considering a class with the Neals....anyone done that? Thanks for reading and any replies in advance......Robert

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Old 02-11-2005, 10:21   #2
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Old 02-11-2005, 10:26   #3
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Stepping up

I sailed a variety of dinghies and catamarans. Also sailed 20 to 25 foot keel boats. Bought a 28 foot keel boat in 1979.
For sailing on bigger boats I just got rides on bigger boats.
Most of this activity has taken place concurrently.
I still go out on other boats, like a Hobie 33 or a Holland 7.6. When I go to NZ I usually go out on boats around 36 to 40 feet.
Having owned my current boat for a while I am now looking for a 36 foot boat. No hurry because I have a good boat.
Most expensive part of boating is owning a place ( house ) to live in. The boat is cheap in comparison, at least around here.
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Old 02-11-2005, 13:40   #4
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the big difference i notice is the big boats sit on their mooring all the time and smaller boats are always out. if we were talking monohull - the only dif is the loads get bigger and you can't always muscle you way through something. i think a 30 foot cruiser is easier to sail than a one-design. much more forgiving. basic small boat skills will serve you well since you are used to quick changes. if you can sail sf bay, you can sail. in general, things happen slower on heavier boats so you have more time to think. the other obvious issue is all the systems - keep it simple.

i know nothing about cruising cats and you and i would start out pretty equal on learning the differences in how to sail one well. michael is right - get on 'em and see what you think. i still think you get more boat in a mono. cats are expensive.
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Old 02-11-2005, 18:58   #5
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Robert, first step, find a live aboard slip. In this area, your best bet is the Delta, or Moss Landing. Some slips are available in te Delta, try Pittsburg. Moss Landing has a waiting list, but it is shorter than most of the central coast. One other possibility is Richmond. They often have live aboard slips available. In the bay, allot of marina's have a minimum 36' rule for live aboards. Slips are enough of a rareity, you should consider finding a boat that has a transferable slip. Unfortunately, most liveaboard permits are not transferable.
That being said, the next step is to just do it. THere are a few threads here about this transition, and some of the hurdles you might have to overcome, but talkin ain't doin. If you are serious about a multi hull, remember, most marina's around here charge one and a half the slip fees for cats and double for tris. Living on the hook in the bay is not really a viable option due to lack of accessable anchorages.
Hope this helps.
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Old 03-11-2005, 02:22   #6
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From all I have read, about your area, The most difficult part of the transition to liveaboard is finding a slip. It may be that the only available space will constrain the type or size of your boat. What is certain is that it is a lot easier to find the right boat than to find the right slip (or any slip in certain locations).

Good luck
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Old 03-11-2005, 04:59   #7
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In general, I find larger boats much easier to sail than small. Sailing small boats in SF Bay is serious sailing. Until you get caught in some truly awful weather off shore you probably won’t experience much that you find as challenging on a larger boat.

A cruising cat is a different animal. A large boat doesn’t give you as much “feed back” as a smaller one and a cat gives you much less than a monohull. While I am happy with my choice of a cat because of comfort and safety, I do miss all those signals a monohull sends, such as heel and weather helm. You need to develop new instincts.

You mentioned taking a sailing class. There are large catamaran sailing courses available on the internet. The skipper in such a class will probably explain differences in cats vs. monos and train you in appropriate actions.

Just as an example, in a sudden gust a mono will heel over and effectively reduce sail area and spill wind from the sail. A cat doesn’t. It may accelerate suddenly but the rigging takes the full load. You can’t wait for the boat to respond to the change, you have to act or you can damage some expensive items.

As far as getting experience, make friends with larger boat owners. Many of them are looking for crew every weekend. Alternatively, charter. When we started giving serious thought to buying a cat, we chartered one for two weeks to make sure. Chartering is of course the more expensive route.

I hope this rambling helps.

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