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Old 12-06-2011, 13:52   #1
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Made the Decision to Cruise - Now What ?

We have decided to do this, and would love some input. Normally in life one gets all sorts of unsolicited opinions and advice, so actually asking for it is a little counter-intuitive, but were need input on how to get started! I am certain were not alone, even the saltiest sailors and cruisers had to start from where we are now!
Our Plan:
1. sell off as much as possible to gather enough funds for a liveaboard/abroad trip that will be last 2 years to start, then go from there for longer or jump back to the land life!
2. Begin by buying a catamaran and equipping it as necessary for our journey.
3. Leave and have the adventure of a lifetime! We want to start off in bite sized pieces to the Bahamas then caicos then caribbean
Us:
We are 41 and 39, live on the west coast, and have some smaller/medium boat both multi and mono hull sailing experience. We have no children, just the two med. size dogs and a small cat!
We have already experienced a small trip across from Florida to the Bahama's on a 28 footer, stayed on a few different cays for about 8 weeks, then back. That was the bug that started all of this
Our main questions:
1. approx annual or monthly costs on the average for a liveaboard cruiser
2. typical harbor and slip costs in FL. and those associated fee's
3. Recommendations on multi hulls, what to buy and why, the pro's and con's. I am a pilot, and like aviation, there is just not one plane that does it all, but several come close to the mark for specific use.
We have been spending as lot of time looking at Lagoon 380's
We met friends in the Abacos with a PDQ 44? I think, loved it, too much for our budget, we'd like to get into a boat for $250k ish maybe $300k on the top top end.
Thanks,
"the aimless wanderers"
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Old 12-06-2011, 13:55   #2
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Re: Made the decision to cruise, now what?

The less you spend on your boat, the more money you'll have for cruising. Get a good seaworthy 38'-42' monohull, rig it up properly, go cruising and stay out of marinas as much as possible. Best of luck to you!
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Old 12-06-2011, 14:13   #3
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Re: Made the decision to cruise, now what?

Welcome to the forum!
The first thing to do is start getting rid of crap. We've been at it for 2 years and we're not finished yet. It's hard. I do not want to throw away things that are valuable to somebody but I can't find anybody to take some of this junk, even for free.
If you spend more on a bigger boat you will be more comfortable but it will cost more every inch of the way.
SV Third Day has been tracking their costs for 3 years of cruising. Their goal was $1000.00 a month for a family of 4. I think that's about as low as you can go if you've been raised in the developed world. Some people spend 10 times that. Third day's financials are here- http://www.svthirdday.com/PDF/expenses.pdf
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Old 12-06-2011, 14:53   #4
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Re: Made the Decision to Cruise - Now What ?

Great to hear you are making the jump!! We are at the same stage as well as are about to do the final jump!! I agree with lowcountry, get a smaller-ish mono so you can have tons more cash for cruising. Bigger cat will only give you that 1 or 2 year sprint. A nice mono for half that will give you at least 5 years of easy cruising.. Look into your dogs and the carib, I heard from other posters here that some islands are just a pain to deal with when concerning your pets.. Obviously do your research and possibly avoid those islands, but you will enjoy it as well. Perhaps we will run into each other in the Carib later this year or early next...!!!!
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Old 12-06-2011, 14:58   #5
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Re: Made the Decision to Cruise - Now What ?

first ye make the decision, then ye ready self and boat , then ye GO.
some folks only ready boat and selves and never GO
USE NOONSITE FOR LEARNING ABOUT PETS AND CRUISING.....i cruise with a cat.
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Old 12-06-2011, 16:06   #6
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Re: Made the Decision to Cruise - Now What ?

From my cruising with a dog research, in the Caribbean there are 2 kinds of places. British and former British colonies, it's too difficult to take your dog or cat on land. Everyplace else, no biggie. There are more details but that's my summary.
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Old 12-06-2011, 16:16   #7
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Re: Made the Decision to Cruise - Now What ?

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum

You might want to check out www.noonsite.com a lot of good info there..
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Old 12-06-2011, 16:21   #8
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Re: Made the Decision to Cruise - Now What ?

Our main questions:
1. approx annual or monthly costs on the average for a liveaboard cruiser
2. typical harbor and slip costs in FL. and those associated fee's
3. Recommendations on multi hulls, what to buy and why, the pro's and con's. I am a pilot, and like aviation, there is just not one plane that does it all, but several come close to the mark for specific use.
We have been spending as lot of time looking at Lagoon 380's
We met friends in the Abacos with a PDQ 44? I think, loved it, too much for our budget, we'd like to get into a boat for $250k ish maybe $300k on the top top end.
Thanks,
"the aimless wanderers"


there IS no average cruiser. we are ALL different.
my cruising kat is 4 legged and feline.
many folks like multihulls. i cruise a mono.
slip fees will ruin ye
restaurants will also
unless ye have a high dollar budget, go mono. learn to anchor and have that anchor hold fast. is an art.
have fun and smooth sailing.
my mono was fully equipped with a blown engine and cost me 10kusd. LOL dont get much better than that. i put into her 5k or 6 k usd over the base purchase price and am now in mazatlan planning my next repair. perfect cruising..lol..fixing boat in exotic locales.....
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Old 12-06-2011, 16:24   #9
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Re: Made the Decision to Cruise - Now What ?

why a catamaran? they cost a lot more .. oh i see money is not an object. cats take up 2 slips in most marinas unless you tie off at the end of a pier. i would also add that cruising with a dog will be a challenge especially if you leave the country. cruising in the bahamas and caribbean is a seasonal thing .. where will you go in the summer?
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Old 12-06-2011, 17:56   #10
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Number crunch before buying a cat...

I'd strongly urge you to get your budget straight before buying a catamaran. Initial and ongoing costs are much higher.

If you cannot find the cash to keep it all going properly then your risks increase.

There are many stories of cruising on the cheap in monos, or even tris. I'm still waiting to see a good one for cats.
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Old 06-07-2011, 20:30   #11
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Re: Made the Decision to Cruise - Now What ?

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Lots of opinions here on this forum about catamarans vs monohulls. It is a personal preference thing.
kind regards,
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Old 07-07-2011, 04:13   #12
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Re: Made the Decision to Cruise - Now What ?

You have already experienced the mono, and multi. If you want a multi then buy one. You don't have to break the bank to buy a good ocean going multi.

I have never had a problem finding a space for my 46ft. cat. So what if you are on the T end of the dock. A multi will sit flatter, and besides most marinas have a breakwater, or are naturally protected. Besides the idea is to sit on the hook when cruising. I am in an anchorage right now with 60 boats in Panama. Daily I watch the monos roll with their mast swaying.

Not all multis are great sailors. The same can be typed about monos too. It's your money, so spend it as you see fit. I have cruised a mono, and cruised my cat. I would go back to a mono if forced by financial woes, or was going into the Southern Ocean. If I could have a multi specifically built I would take her into the Southern Ocean in a heart beat.

The comment that a cat will only perform a couple of times a year is a joke. What kind of boat holds most of the world records for speed? When cruising the goal is to get the wind behind the beam. A multi will give you extreme pleasure sailing in those conditions.

There are all kinds of multi coming out of charter. The Aussies are buying them up, and sailing them home from the Caribbean. Don't be afraid to look at cold molded cats with some years on them. A cold molded boat with some years can be a fine vessel be it mono, or cat. Like any vessel it needs to be maintained. Everything in a boat is a compromise. You give something to get something no matter which vessel you choose.

BEST WISHES in finding a good vessel to serve you well.........i2f
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Old 07-07-2011, 15:52   #13
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Re: Made the Decision to Cruise - Now What ?

Welcome, as Zeehag points out, and as you can easily discern from the other responses to your post, there is no such animal as an “Average” cruiser. We all got here by different paths, for different reasons, with different results, and wildly varying budgets.

So, based only on my experiences, I firmly believe in balancing your initial budget with what I call my rule of thirds:

Spend 1/3 of the total available budget on your boat including any and all work required to make her totally suitable for your cruising plans;

Allocate 1/3 of the total to a strictly managed working budget to cover “X” months of “Freedom”;

Keep 1/3 in an “Al Gore Lock Box” reserve to cover any unforeseen eventualities because based on my experiences, they’re going to bite you in the butt regardless of how well you plan.

In terms of boats, I’m a Mono guy but I like Cat’s, I like big Cat’s even more, lot’s of space, fast, beautiful boats, but Mono’s are cheaper all around in terms of price, mooring and maintenance.

And finally, I like dogs, I really do, but not on my boat, or any boat smaller than Texas for long cruises. Our mutt is allowed to come along for long weekends, but for real cruising, we park her with my father in law for the duration.

They get in the way and at sea, there are times when you need absolutely Nothing in your way when you have to move fast.

The good news is that you are asking some great questions and you sure came to the right place to get solid and experience based advice. And advice from experienced sailors is pure gold…James
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