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Old 24-04-2011, 21:49   #46
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Re: My Husband is Nuts... Apparently so am I...

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Originally Posted by Saillovers View Post
Us too -in a big way. Our youngest of four is graduating high school next month. We recently sold our home in Miami. We have an offer on a boat in Tortola and our going down next week for a sea trial and survey. Then sail her back and liveaboard in Coconut Grove, FL with our three year old Jack Russell. It has been confirmed by our friends who say "you two are nuts".. We are loving it - finally pursuing our dream.
Thanks for posting there are some great responses
Good luck!!! ...I guess instead I should be saying "Fair Winds" - appreciate your contribution to the posts and please let us know how it goes!
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Old 25-04-2011, 00:05   #47
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Re: My Husband is Nuts... Apparently so am I...

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Originally Posted by sj01 View Post
We're hoping to keep it in the 50-60K range.
Tallest of us is 6'1", 3 dogs = (1) 20lb schnoodle, (2) pits combined weight about 100lbs.
Yes, it is possible there would be kids in the future.
Ideally (and I know this is a stretch) we want to try to do both ICW and bluewater....but since we are still researching and such we may have a hard time filling the bill with that. We like options, especially with so much freedom a boat offers.
ANy suggestions? We are going out tomorrow to take a gander around marinas and brokers and such. Obviously not jumping into anything but it helps us get visual, tactile feel as well as sort of learning....we learn what we like and don't amongst learning the figures....plus it's just fun.
OK so nobody is especially tall and the dogs are small to medium sized so there are no special requirements there.

For $60k sail-away budget there are 2 ways to go:
$45-50k buy and balance to outfit for coastal cruising (ICW and Bahamas)
$35-45k buy and balance to outfit for offshore. With off shore there is a lot more you will want in terms of anchoring gear, equip, sail, spares, etc, and you will want to pay for better quality work on the boat when you don’t do the work yourselves.

BELOW
Berthing
Offshore you want 1 good or excellent seaberth for each offwatch person, plus a place for the on watch person to sit without bumping a sleeper. Excellent would be a pilot berth, very good would be a quarter berth, good would be a settee (fore & aft bench) that has to be converted every night. Berths in an aft cabin would also be good, the motion at the end of the boat could keep it from being very good. A dinette (U-shaped or transverse benches) would be mediocre given the amount of work involved in conversion in most cases. U-shaped dinettes also tend to have rounded shapes at each end which make for uncomfortable sleeping unless the rounding can be removed during conversion. I personally really like quarterberths as they use the minimum amount of cabin space and are the most private. Underway the v-berth is going to be unusable except in very calm weather. Berths should be 24-30” wide with decent room overhead, say 27” or so. Berths can be down to 20” wide at the ends, and over 30” there is too much room when things get boisterous.

In your case you probably want 2 berths, 1 for the offwatch and 1 for the dogs. If you want to prepare ahead for kids, then it is worth considering that a pilot berth is probably the easiest to subdivide so 2 kids can share. They should be able to share until they are 4 or 5 when they get too tall for the divided berth.

For coastal cruising you will probably have limited overnight passages so convenient main cabin berthing is less important and other arrangements are more viable.

For day to day liveaboard and when at anchor you will sleep in the v-berth.

Galley
For offshore the general preference is to have a tight U-shaped galley next to the companionway with the sink near centerline. This lets you wedge yourself in place while you cook and everything is close at hand. This also precludes a second quarterberth in most cases. Personally I think this is less important and would accept a galley up one side if other it was necessary for the berthing to work out.

For coastal cruising this is less critical.

Size:
There are two contradictory drives in deciding on boat size.
You want bigger for the living room and ability to carry stores.
You want smaller to make handling, underway or at anchor, more manageable. By the time you get to 40’ everything has to be finessed, nothing can be man-handled, the loads are just too big to do otherwise.
In one of their books L&L Pardey discuss the Xmas 1982 debacle in Cabo San Lucas where about half the sailing fleet (15-20 of 30-40 sailboats) at anchor were driven ashore in an unseasonable gale. One owner commented that a couple really couldn’t handle things on a boat over 37’, and the Pardey’s analysis seemed to confirm this, other things being equal larger boats with more crew did OK, as did smaller boats with a couple aboard.

For a couple with 3 dogs, 30’ is probably too small, so I would suggest a boat 32’-37’ if you are going to go offshore. Certainly there are plenty of couples out there with bigger, sometimes much bigger boats. Most of them have put a lot more money into their boat’s equipment and/or have years or decades of experience.

If you are picking a boat for coastal cruising then 40-43’ is probably a good upper end.

ON DECK:
Side decks. If you are going offshore you really want side decks wide enough to crawl forward on in heavy weather, 20”, maybe 18” as a minimum. Keep in mind that shrouds that land in the middle of the side deck will have to be negotiated. For a coastal boat this is less critical.

Tiller vs Wheel:
A tiller has a lot less that can go wrong with it and is much easier to maintain. It is easier and cheaper to hook a windvane up to a tiller. A tiller leaves a more room available in the cockpit when anchored. A boat with a tiller is going to cost less than the same boat with a wheel. A tiller allows you immediately know what the rudder position is.

The wheel stand (binnacle) is a convenient place to place instruments and to support a cockpit table. A wheel is easier for non-sailing guests to use. A wheel offers much more mechanical advantage.

On the other hand the instruments will last longer under the dodger. Guests will only be aboard 1-10% of the time, and for you both the tiller will be second nature after several months of use. For boats over 45-50’ you really do need the mechanical advantage of the wheel in most cases. Below 30’ it strikes me as an affectation. In the 30-40’ range if you need the mechanical advantage of a wheel the boat probably has balance problem needs to be fixed and doing so would let the boat sail faster.

My preferences are pretty apparent here. For me the simplicity of the tiller and it lower cost in several areas are the main reasons.

Engines
Diesel is great, gas is fine. Diesel gets better mileage per gallon and has a higher vapor pressure so it is somewhat safer. A gas motor (almost certainly an atomic 4 which was purpose designed as a marine motor, unlike most diesels) will be cheaper to buy and is not as unhappy running for short periods or at low power for long periods which is harder on a diesel. Motoring at 4kt with a low power setting is a way to stretch your fuel mileage big time. For those that would argue that a gas motor is not safe ask them if they have propane for the stove on board. It is true that gas is not as safe as diesel, but that doesn’t make it dangerous outright.

Sail area
The SA/D ratio is a way of comparing the relative amounts of sail on boats of different lengths/weights. The sail area (SA) is taken to be the area of the main and the area of the fore-triangle. Displacement (D) is the weight of the boat in lb divided by 64 to give the volume displaced. The formula for the ratio is actually SA/(d/64)^.666. SA/D is useful in gauging how a boat will do in light winds. To me a very good SA/D is in the 17's, excellent is above that, adequate is in the 15's. Published data displacement and SA/D is almost certainly for the light-ship condition, loaded for cruising the ratio is going to drop, more so for smaller boats.

Recommendations:

Take your class.

Buy a couple of Lasers, 1 for each of you, and go sailing at least every other weekend for 3-6hr. A dinghy really is the best way to learn to SAIL. If you train on a larger boat you start getting wrapped up in the cruising minutia at the expense of basic sailing skills. I like the Lasers because they are reasonably priced, have good resale, large pool of used boats to buy, manufacturer is still in business so boat is still supported with OEM parts, they are simple boats, easy to rig, forgiving to sail and will not swamp.

After 6mo of practice on the Lasers start looking for a trailerable boat. The Catalina 22, Cal 20 or Holder 20 would be my picks. Catalina and Holder (Hobie) are still in business and the Cal is well supported by Seal’s Spars. If you don’t have a really big vehicle for towing go with the Holder, it is light that only sub-compacts would have problems towing. All 3 of these boats is big enough to overnight on and they all have cuddy cabins.


Take more classes.


As far as big offshore capable boat recommendations go:

Westsail 32 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1807 adequate SA/D, 1 pilot, 1 settee, forgiving boat to learn on. Bullet-proof, one of the few production glass boats I would be comfortable going to antarctica on.
Alajula 33 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=3676 – good SA/e, 2q-berths, 2 settees, skeg rudder, head by companionway so easy to keep wet clothes out of main cabin. Best layout of any boat this size I have seen.
Pearson 10M http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1797 -Skeg rudder, adaquate SA/D but room to improve, 1 q-berth, 1 pilot, 2 settees.
Cal 34 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1292 - very Good SA/D, 2 quarter berths, fixable minor balance problem
Ranger 33 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1517 - very Good SA/D, 2 quarter berths,
Columbia 34.2 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1577 -raised deck so lots of deck space, 1 q-berth & 1 settee, good SA/D.
Morgan 34 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1420 -2 quarter berths, center-board, good SA/d.
Tartan 34c http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1459 - center-board, 1 q-berth, 2 settee, good SA/D.
Cascade 36 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1639 - very Good SA/D, 1 q-berth, 2 settees, layout and finish quality varies as many owner finished.
Cal 36 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1599 - Excellent SA/D, nice wide side decks, 1 pilot, 1q-berth, 1 settee. The boat I an probably going to buy next year.
Ranger 37 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=2163 – good SA/D, good side decks.
Tartan 37 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1459 - Good to Excellent SA/D depending on centerboard. 2 pilots & 2 settees?


If you want to go big to start, I believe all 3 of these boats has been around the world:
Cal 40 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=1977 – Excellent SA/D, 2 pilots, 2 q-berths & 2 settees, good side decks.
Columbia 43 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=2517 – raised deck with wonderful deck space, 2 pilots, 2 settees, good SA/D
Cascade 42 http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=3927 – 2 aft berths, 2 settees, many owner finished so layout and quality varies.
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Old 25-04-2011, 18:01   #48
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Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

Holy cow. Lots of info. Will review the book author mentioned. Looked at a 36' catalina and 40' Hunter today.....meh. So far I think I am still a beneteau fan...the broker we spoke with today invited us to the sailing club local for one of their sailing meets- very excited as this was a recommendation by one of the previous respondents In the meantime we continue our research and shopping...no tartans and so far none of the other models aforementioned, but have lots more research to do...

Thanks again! Anyone else have first time stories..? hmmm..maybe there was already a thread on that..will have to look.
Very excited to be ...relaxed for a change...
Fair winds to all
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Old 25-04-2011, 18:59   #49
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Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

Of course you two are nuts otherwise you wouldn't be communicating with the asylum inmates of this forum. You don't have to be nuts to do this, but it helps. Have friends with a Beneteau. They chose it primarily for the head room. He is tall. They love it. What ever you pick make sure you feel comfortable in it. If there are things that bug you about it when you look at it, it will get worse with time spent on it. Good luck
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Old 25-04-2011, 19:33   #50
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Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

You could definitely keep the jobs, the house, the dogs, etc., and buy a smaller boat to enjoy on weekends and vacations for a year or two or several while you're learning the ropes.

Or you could take the plunge and go straight to the cruising lifestyle with very little experience at all.

Plenty of people have done it either way. Sometimes they love it. Sometimes they don't. Neither of you is crazy, by the way. This is a perfectly rational discussion of a sport (or hobby, or lifestyle) that LOTS of people have enjoyed.

As for the jobs, sometimes you leave them, and sometimes they leave you :-)
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Old 25-04-2011, 20:14   #51
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Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

Quote:
So my husband recently dumped the idea on me about sailing....umm okay.
Ideas are cheap

It really is not so simple as jumping off and running away. I'm sure your concerns all can be worked out or maybe not. I don't see anything you are worried about as being out of the ordinary.

You certainly can make this all part of a complete process of how you change from one life to another and maybe hedge your bets. Most people that take off do come back. Living on a boat will probably not make you very different but you might like it better.
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Old 25-04-2011, 21:25   #52
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Talking Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

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Ideas are cheap
That had me laughing for a few minutes..*wipes tears* whew.....
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Old 25-04-2011, 21:39   #53
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Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

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Of course you two are nuts otherwise you wouldn't be communicating with the asylum inmates of this forum. You don't have to be nuts to do this, but it helps. Have friends with a Beneteau. They chose it primarily for the head room. He is tall. They love it. What ever you pick make sure you feel comfortable in it. If there are things that bug you about it when you look at it, it will get worse with time spent on it. Good luck
Ha ha ha ha ha ha Heh....birds of a feather much? Too true! (I should be so lucky to be in such great company!)

Great to hear about the Beneteau...love the designs. I honestly haven't heard much on here even when doing a search..
Saw a coupla Hunters online that are in good shape too..but thought they weren't as favorably received -to each their own?
Thanks guys for the encouragement- one of the threads on here was people under 30 taking on sailing...well..I just missed the cut off...normally I'm not sure we could do it. Sometimes life presents opportunity and you have to decide if you are going to take it eh? Hopefully we can take it....all the way to the Bahamas..
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Old 26-04-2011, 05:42   #54
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Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

Even if you plan to buy an older boat, it can be very helpful for someone not all that familiar with the various layouts, etc., to go to a big sailboat show, like the one held in Annapolis, Maryland each October. You'll have a chance to go onboard scores of different boats and see a great variety of options for cabins, bunks, heads, galleys, storage, fit and finish, lighting, ventilation, cockpits, and so forth. This really helped my wife come to understand what she wanted in a boat, and just as important, what she didn't want.

Then, after we bought our Island Packet, we chartered an identical boat for two weeks in the Virgin Islands to help her decide if she could be comfortable living aboard for long periods. She was, so we spent six months living on our boat and cruising the islands the following two winter seasons. Going at it step-wise was a good way to address her concerns and "fears of the unknown" one by one.
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Old 26-04-2011, 06:01   #55
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Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

I always like to refer people to some past books.

Voyaging on a Small Income (Annie Hill) is probably my favorite. I think it would do anyone some good. Also check out her blog. If nothing else it will help you redefine "nuts."

Beth Leonard is also wonderful.

But this may be interesting for you folks. IceBlink Sail - Homepage

It is about a couple doing some world cruising with kids on a 33' boat.
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Old 26-04-2011, 06:12   #56
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pirate Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

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Originally Posted by sj01 View Post
Great to hear about the Beneteau...love the designs. I honestly haven't heard much on here even when doing a search..
Saw a coupla Hunters online that are in good shape too..but thought they weren't as favorably received -to each their own?
SJ01.......... regarding 'Bendi's'.... great boats and good liveaboards.... I've owned a 321 and a 331.. sailed both solo from the Carib to Europe with no problems... they handle well and have a friendly layout both above and below decks...
One of the CF members... a certain MarkJ has done a successful circumnavigation in one... and I've yet to meet an unhappy owner.
Hunters sadly are still suffering from some bad years in the 80's when quality dropped after a takeover but that was a short term phase and most boats pre and post thats period are fine... just remember... they're cruisers... treat them as such and look after them and you'll be just fine...
Solo'd a '81 Cherubini Hunter 37 from US to UK with no problems apart from my new Simrad wheel pilots crappy belts...
Trouble with most folks is they're quick to jump on the 'Rumour Wagon'....
10 - 1 most who abuse a product have never owned one... just passing on 20th hand info/abuse...
A bit like with poor old Toyota.. never mind the 30+ odd yrs of great cars... today they're slammed because of one failure...
Go figure...
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Old 26-04-2011, 06:35   #57
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pirate Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

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SJ01.......... regarding 'Bendi's'.... great boats and good liveaboards.... I've owned a 321 and a 331.. sailed both solo from the Carib to Europe with no problems... they handle well and have a friendly layout both above and below decks...
One of the CF members... a certain MarkJ has done a successful circumnavigation in one... and I've yet to meet an unhappy owner.
Hunters sadly are still suffering from some bad years in the 80's when quality dropped after a takeover but that was a short term phase and most boats pre and post thats period are fine... just remember... they're cruisers... treat them as such and look after them and you'll be just fine...
Solo'd a '81 Cherubini Hunter 37 from US to UK with no problems apart from my new Simrad wheel pilots crappy belts...
Trouble with most folks is they're quick to jump on the 'Rumour Wagon'....
10 - 1 most who abuse a product have never owned one... just passing on 20th hand info/abuse...
A bit like with poor old Toyota.. never mind the 30+ odd yrs of great cars... today they're slammed because of one failure...
Go figure...
Really great to hear neither is terrible. We are still reluctant re: Hunters...but we'll try to keep an open mind.
It sounds as though boats are very similar to homes and cars- take care of them and they will take care of you. Never been a hard concept for me before, so hopefully won't be an issue going forward.
Thanks for the great info...I had posted the Beneteau query in the monohull section but hadn't seen any responses so really glad to have heard something...I was starting to wonder if my instinct was off again (which is what it is at this point because I am still learning all the technicalities).
Thanks so much!
I am working my way through blogs and books as well as just shopping to determine likes etc. So far as an example, I can do without the a/c in lieu of something more practical on the boat mechanics. Thankfully I am not a big girly, girl.
Boat show is another great idea- was going to look for one closer to home..but will play by ear. I think once we go to the sailing yacht club I will get a much better idea.....ought to e really fun and good place to pick some knowledge from.
Fair winds for now and many blessings..will post queries as I stumble upon them..
Thanks!
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Old 26-04-2011, 07:44   #58
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Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

You have lots of excitement ahead. My wife and I went through this many years ago. We've been cruising full time for 12 years now. We're some of the folks who didn't go back, and have no plans to go back (yet.)

Your approach seems reasonable. I would encourage looking at older, more traditional cruising boats as well as the new designs. There are bargains in old boats, if you are careful. There are few bargains in newer boats. Maintenance and repair can be an issue, but if you're in this for the long term, doing it yourself might be an enjoyable part of the life. It certainly is for a lot of us, and you mustn't think of it as "work," as a wise friend once advised us. You've gotten some good suggestions here, but don't overlook the issue of storage space if you're serious about living aboard.

There are a couple of links on our blog to "pages from our old website'" that describe some of our struggles with the transition from dwelling on dirt to cruising -- getting rid of "stuff," etc.

Hang onto the dream. It can be a great way to live and see the world. Even the now familiar parts look different from the perspective of your own boat.
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Old 26-04-2011, 21:33   #59
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Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

Not sure what to make of it, but apparently during one of our nasty Florida storms, the first boat we viewed, the Catalina Morgan was struck by lightening. A direct hit. Heard the deck area around the mast we melted (secondhand info from husband). OUCH. This of course caused me to promptly research lightning strikes ..EEEkk... a small concern given that we live in a very tropical area prone to lots of this...ut it does make me wonder at the integrity of that boat- is that the norm for a strike?
I wonder if thats our sign...perhaps that wasn't the boat for us..? Tough way for it to go though...feel sad for the boat (oddly enough), like watching a brand new beautiful shiny motorcycle get dumped by a noob. OUCH.
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Old 27-04-2011, 06:41   #60
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Re: My Husband is Nuts . . . Apparently, So Am I . . .

Quote:
This of course caused me to promptly research lightning strikes ..EEEkk... a small concern given that we live in a very tropical area prone to lots of this...ut it does make me wonder at the integrity of that boat- is that the norm for a strike?
Florida is one of the most lightning prone places on the planet and clearly the highest in the US and by a very large margin too. They make some big storms and of course the lighting flies frequently. There really isn't all that much normal with lightning strikes. They can do some serious damage with a direct hit and some times no damage at all. Severe damage is far less common. No boat is immune to a direct strike and you can have your electronics trashed with a near miss through induction. Millions of volts jump tens of thousands of feet. When you consider the electrical charge is coming from high in the clouds to the ground the last 60 feet is not much. It can travel in most any direction. You are more likely to be damaged if your boat is plugged into the marina electrical system. Those wires can be inducted and can direct a high voltage surge through those wires much the same as your house can be damaged. It's not common but it is possible.

Overall it's a sign you live in Florida and not much else.
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