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Old 28-12-2014, 14:05   #1
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New Guy With Questions

Hi. I've recently taken a strong interest in pursuing the live-aboard life in the caribbean. But I have a dilemma. I'm not sure which to go with. I've narrowed my options down to Gemini 105 and a Hunter 386. My max price is $70,000. I've never experienced living on a boat, so I have a couple of questions for those who have or spent multiple days and nights on a boat.

Between a Cat and a Mono, which is easier to sleep in?
I've researched the Gemini 105 thoroughly and have heard about the infamous 'Wave Slap'. I've never experienced sailing a Cat. I've experienced a monohull, but never slept on one. Will it be very hard adjusting to the constant rocking of a monohull? Keep in mind, I'm a really light sleeper.

Also, those who live miles off of any land in sight, how do you deal with internet? I run my business from the internet and am willing to pay a couple hundreds bucks a month. I'll be a coastal cruiser island hopping the caribbean, but too far out to pick up local internet service. Note: I have looked into this topic and am a bit confused. I heard of internet pricing and equipment costing an arm and a leg ($10,000?) and other prices like $150 for unlimited satellite using $1,500 equipment?

I plan on buying a boat in the later spring or early to mid-summer, once I sell off the house in a couple of months. Before buying a boat I'll be living in an apartment in the USVI.

Thanks in advance to those who take my questions seriously.

Edit: Little about me. I was an army brat, moved a lot and adjusted to life in different countries. Live in shoe boxes when going through college. Right now, I hardly ever see the sun since I'm working my way to a new lifestyle; live-abroad. I'm fine with small spaces and taking wherever the wind takes me. I've moved to unfamiliar places on land with several thousand in my pocket. I'm not afraid and the only concern I have is sleeping. If you think I can deal with it, than I know I can adjust to this new and unfamiliar lifestyle. I don't give up easily.
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Old 28-12-2014, 21:25   #2
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Re: New Guy With Questions

Welcome to the forum...Even some of the newer Huntabenelina's have hull slap.When I was berthed in Alameda, a new Benny was so loud, it kept me awake in my slip on my boat.
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Old 28-12-2014, 21:45   #3
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Re: New Guy With Questions

Do more reading.. For me, the benefits of a cat far outweigh its negatives, but not everyone feels that way.

For the Internet... First the very bad news.. You will not have Internet anything like you are familiar with. The best, and I mean best you can hope for is 3G with a 4GB/month limit. The coverage will be spotty and there will be days where you have no connection at all. Of course you could stick to the Marinas and Anchorages with coverage, but it wouldn't be as fun.

The good news, in the Caribbean, $100-200/month is a pretty accurate cost.

Yes there are satellite connections, but the gear is more like 5-10K and the cost per month can run upper hundreds to a thousand (about $2.50/mb). The connection will not be like your home connection but can be fairly reliable. Speed will be about 150kbps, not terrible but about 1000 times slower than my fiber (100mbps).

The other option is a sat phone, but the speeds on that ARE REALLY SLOW, like 1985 slow. No internet surfing, just text based e-mail and weather files...
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Old 28-12-2014, 21:50   #4
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Re: New Guy With Questions

Ahh it just dawned on me you may have read about the Iridium "Go".

Yup it costs about $1000 and has an unlimited plan for $150... Unfortunately its exactly like a Sat phone in speeds. About 2400b/s or 2.4kbps (yup 50,000 times slower than 100mbps fiber, no thats not a typo).
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Old 29-12-2014, 03:32   #5
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Re: New Guy With Questions

Yes, I believe it was the Iridium Go.

IS that in the works or already a "go"?

If that is the case, I'm more than willing to go that route, regardless of speed. I'll be sure to shave my head bald to avoid any hair pulling.

So, the wave slap is just as bad? That's a bummer, maybe I should get the gemini 105 over the hunter. Sleeping conditions was going to be my final decision. But if both are equally as bad, than there is no point of buying the hunter.

I've done so much research, and the cats do outweigh the monos by a far shot, in my own opinion... but I'm no expert... no offense to monohull lovers.

Thanks for the help you 2.
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Old 29-12-2014, 08:26   #6
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Re: New Guy With Questions

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Yes, I believe it was the Iridium Go.

IS that in the works or already a "go"?

If that is the case, I'm more than willing to go that route, regardless of speed. I'll be sure to shave my head bald to avoid any hair pulling.

So, the wave slap is just as bad? That's a bummer, maybe I should get the gemini 105 over the hunter. Sleeping conditions was going to be my final decision. But if both are equally as bad, than there is no point of buying the hunter.

I've done so much research, and the cats do outweigh the monos by a far shot, in my own opinion... but I'm no expert... no offense to monohull lovers.

Thanks for the help you 2.
I just want to make sure I'm clear on the Sat phone/Go device. You cannot surf the net, download/upload anything over 40kb or do anything that really requires bandwidth. Basically you pay $150/month to send text only (no pictures or HTML) e-mail, download weather files and post to Facebook/Twitter(again no pictures). However, it is fairly reliable and allows these activities to happen anywhere.

Most people would not find that a suitable solution and would end up paying for 3G connection on top of that. Since you mentioned that you run a business over the Internet, I'm guessing this won't work for you either.

As to the Gemini, may I suggest you explore some other manufactures. A good option to the Gemini is a PDQ, either a 32 or 36. If you are patient, you may be able to find one for around your budget. If your budget can be increased then the Seawind 1000 may become and option.
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Old 29-12-2014, 08:41   #7
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Re: New Guy With Questions

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I just want to make sure I'm clear on the Sat phone/Go device. You cannot surf the net, download/upload anything over 40kb or do anything that really requires bandwidth. Basically you pay $150/month to send text only (no pictures or HTML) e-mail, download weather files and post to Facebook/Twitter(again no pictures). However, it is fairly reliable and allows these activities to happen anywhere.

Most people would not find that a suitable solution and would end up paying for 3G connection on top of that. Since you mentioned that you run a business over the Internet, I'm guessing this won't work for you either.

As to the Gemini, may I suggest you explore some other manufactures. A good option to the Gemini is a PDQ, either a 32 or 36. If you are patient, you may be able to find one for around your budget. If your budget can be increased then the Seawind 1000 may become and option.
Thanks for the clarification. Depending on my situation, I may still go that route. But I am browsing through the "long distance wifi device" forum, and like what I'm seeing. If I can go as far out as 5 miles and still get free internet service, or pay a small fee, I'd be a happy clam. This will save me money on slip fee rentals. If, for some reason I want to be further out and for longer periods of time, I think doing business of e-mails would suffice.

In regards to the catamaran topic, I hope to not make the gemini long term. I would love to eventually move up to something as nice as a lagoon.

Won't be able to afford to buy a boat for another 4 to 5 months, so it gives me plenty of time figure out what exactly I want. I just hope to have a boat in the water before Hillary Clinton or Jed Bush gets "re"-elected, hahahaha.
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Old 29-12-2014, 08:49   #8
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Re: New Guy With Questions

Welcome, you'll find lots of good information on both issues if you search this forum. What you won't find, is information giving you the ability to run an internet business via remote locations for $200 bucks a month. Only count on 3G via cell service, spotty at best most everywhere in the civilized world. Boosters, antennas etc are just pipe dreams unless you intend to dock your boat right in the middle of major cities or along major highways with good cell coverage. The signal is the problem, not the ability to receive it.
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Old 29-12-2014, 09:16   #9
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Re: New Guy With Questions

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Welcome, you'll find lots of good information on both issues if you search this forum. What you won't find, is information giving you the ability to run an internet business via remote locations for $200 bucks a month. Only count on 3G via cell service, spotty at best most everywhere in the civilized world. Boosters, antennas etc are just pipe dreams unless you intend to dock your boat right in the middle of major cities or along major highways with good cell coverage. The signal is the problem, not the ability to receive it.

Still researching boosters, antennas, etc. And I'll look into 3G via cell service as "travel" had mentioned earlier.

Thank you.
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Old 29-12-2014, 09:27   #10
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Re: New Guy With Questions

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Still researching boosters, antennas, etc. And I'll look into 3G via cell service as "travel" had mentioned earlier.

Thank you.
Save your self the trouble... they don't work. Again, the problem is the transmitted signal, not the receiver. The marinas and wifi café signals broadcast via outdated technology (crap signal), so even if you can receive it via your antenna, it won't be something you can use to conduct business operations.... and it will be very weak. Don't count on any of the wifi providers improving their signal, since it's well known that 3G & 4G are the future and hopefully some future google or space based satellite service. But that doesn't exist today.
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Old 29-12-2014, 09:53   #11
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Re: New Guy With Questions

If you just like the Idea of living on a boat and have the ability to travel in same a few times a year you can do it with very little problem. Any Marina on the Reo Dulce in Guatemala. or Mexico and some in Belize have excellent Hookups for the net. They are much better than some of the services we have here in the states. I have only 1.5 MB service here in Oregon. In Guat. I had upward of 50 MB. If you buy an older boat that is well insulated, it will be almost silent inside most of the time. Also you get used to the little tinkly sounds of the small waves against your hull. I loved living on my boat. Mac
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Old 29-12-2014, 09:58   #12
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Re: New Guy With Questions

This is where Kenomac and I disagree.

I have been testing a 3G/4G antenna on land and have had good results. I'm able to get decent service in places where there was none before.

I have been in touch with 2 cruisers that use a similar setup on their boats and they reported excellent results. One even reported service as far as 50 miles out. Of course that was a single time.

I have spoke with many cruisers in the Caribbean that report 3G coverage is adequate. Actually there is a blog post of a cruiser that went through the eastern carib and detailed his costs and connections for each location. I will see if I can find it..
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Old 29-12-2014, 10:04   #13
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Re: New Guy With Questions

I think of live aboard life as a form of off the grid living. The internet is not something you are going to have just like if you lived in a cabin in the high mountains. Catch up with friends when you hit land and forget the blogs.

I've never slept in a cat but to say they are far better than a monohull must not include sailing. The difference between sailing a monohull and a cat is like the comparison between driving a corvette and driving a van.
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Old 29-12-2014, 10:07   #14
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Re: New Guy With Questions

I don't think rocking on a mono is a major concern. It can happen in a bad rolly anchorage, but you learn to avoid those anchorages most the time. The cat has more of a "jerk" motion... which some don't like either...
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Old 29-12-2014, 11:46   #15
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Re: New Guy With Questions

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Save your self the trouble... they don't work. Again, the problem is the transmitted signal, not the receiver. The marinas and wifi café signals broadcast via outdated technology (crap signal), so even if you can receive it via your antenna, it won't be something you can use to conduct business operations.... and it will be very weak. Don't count on any of the wifi providers improving their signal, since it's well known that 3G & 4G are the future and hopefully some future google or space based satellite service. But that doesn't exist today.
So what you're saying is, I'll be spending most of my time at a marina. Way to kill off any hope I have left, ha-ha. We'll see how desperate I'll get when I start this adventure of mine.

Thanks.
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