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Old 11-03-2009, 11:55   #16
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Welcome 'NotJustDreaming' - as others have said, it sounds as if you have a pretty viable plan. That being said, I would consider joining a local yacht club - you should have little difficulty getting on as crew during the weekly club races and the experience will prove valuable, even though if it is not on a catamaran.


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Old 11-03-2009, 12:14   #17
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Location: UK East Coast
Boat: Riviera 35
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Wow. Out of breath. Yeah. Welcome NotJustDreaming. Phew. I can't imagine your husband is very as he clearly had the savvy to marry you. I wish you the best of luck with your plans.

[quote]\ "I am so excited! Gotta talk about it somewhere. No friend, coworker, neighbour, grocery store clerk, babysitter really wants to hear about my plans. Family does but has already. I need help sustaining my plan / dream." [quote]

Yep. I know that feeling.

I also thought it brilliant when I found this site, full of people with encouragement, advice and good humour. They are a brilliant lot. And have taught me an enormous amount. There are people on here from all walks of life, and it seems from all corners of the Universe, of all political hues, rich and poor, young and old, decent people and investment bankers, but all with an over-riding common interest.

And MarkJ's words about age, are so true... I was in my mid fifties when, last year, I decided to completely alter my life and "go cruising". Since that time, I am told I have got younger.

Took me that year, to decide on a boat, start selling off the trappings of the old life, and plan for the future. I have not cut the dock lines yet, but departure is imminent. It's like embarking on a completely new life.

A reasonable person, accepts the Status Quo. An unreasonable person, wants to change it. All progress is therefore made by unreasonable people. Me, I'm just apathetic about the status quo. I think we want it back.
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Old 12-03-2009, 20:56   #18
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Location: Dallas, TX
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Wellington - the Bahia sails fast and beautifully (we consistently cruised over 10 knots for much of our trip); a bit bouncy with full hull volumes forward in choppier 6+' seas, but fast and stable. The Orana feels much heavier, but sails smoothly and is very stable. The Orana feels MUCH bigger inside, and is much better laid out in our view. The fridge in the Bahia is right under the primary counter space, and the full "U" shaped settee was sort of awkward. The Bahia's electrical panel and communications station "hangs down" from the ceiling, and didn't feel like it was in the best place (I think the Belize and Lavezzi are like that as well? Just our personal taste). The maestro version master cabin on the Orana is really spacious, right under the raised helm station. You can't believe you're in the hull of a 44' cat when you're walking around the island queen bed. Visibility from both boats' helm stations is fine. I'd like to see a maestro version Bahia someday, but to buy one to liveaboard, I would make some major interior modifications. After spending an hour on a Dolphin 460 in Annapolis, the choice between a Bahia and a Dolphin (price aside) was clear in favor of a Dolphin. The choice between a Bahia and an Orana is more like between an apple and an orange in my view.

Not Just Dreaming - we've coughed up a lot of $$ to charter companies this year, but I feel like we gained a huge amount of knowledge and experience with different boats and sailing conditions in a short period of time without owning anything. My recommendations: the seasonal rates vary significantly, and going during the low season (e.g., late April into the summer in the Caribbean) saves lots of money. We did our Basic Cruising/Bareboat Cruising with another couple, so we split the cost in two and did not compromise the amount of sailing time or instructor attention. Now that I've sailed a 36' Mahe (which is one of the least expensive Caribbean charter cats and a great boat in our view), I would recommend considering a certification course on that boat (if you want to do it on a cat). For a really good, transparent look at the costs in different seasons across a fleet of lots of different cats, check out Yacht Charter at it's Best: British Virgin Islands, Tortola Marine Management, Yacht Charter. You can look at the seasonal rates for any boat (they have a good variety of sizes and models). A Mahe 36 during mid-June is only $3k for a week, or a little over $100 per day per person. The boat sails great, and one hull per couple is very comfortable (we chartered Connections and loved it).

We've received 10% repeat customer discounts when we've chartered twice (TMM), and we try to fill the boats to split the costs. I doubt we'll repeat a charter year like last year, but we loved every minute of it, and those trips collectively really showed us how much we want to go cruising once the boat kitty is full!

If I find the time, I'm considering writing an article for Lats and Atts or something about our first year's experience...I've got lots of pics and video, and notes on the different boats. Do you think folks would be interested in that?

Fair winds to everyone...
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