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Old 17-01-2013, 07:40   #1
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Ready to Retire

Good Day All,

Going to retire this year and I am interested in sailing for several years, even though I am NOT a sailor. I have sailed several times throughout my life including a two week bare boat excursion, with friends, around the V.I. on a 44’ Kalik. For retairment, I’m thinking about a 38’ (+/- a few feet) Catamaran set up to solo sail on.

So I am enjoying reading about other’s successes, failures and opinions.
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Old 17-01-2013, 08:11   #2
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Hi nm505... Sounds like a plan..
You'll find plenty of advice here... Welcome to CF
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Old 17-01-2013, 14:50   #3
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Re: Ready to retire

I want to do this too (maybe not on a cat)!

Good luck.
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Old 17-01-2013, 15:53   #4
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Re: Ready to retire

Sounds like a plan.

I started the process of "firing" myself in 2001, took a number of extended cruises (months) between 2001-2004, and then punched out for good in 2004. It's worked for me.

While shopping for boats be aware that most modern production cats are not set-up very well for single-handing. They can be single-handed, but were obviously not designed/outfitted with that in mind. So some refitting may be in order to make the boat you like more convenient to single hand.
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Old 17-01-2013, 15:58   #5
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Re: Ready to retire

Welcome! A 38-foot cat is a big boat for one person.
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Old 17-01-2013, 20:05   #6
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Re: Ready to retire

Maybe you should think about the single handed bit. As we get older (I am 62) things tend to catch up. The endurance we had at 25 just isn't there any more though we hardly notice it in daily life. If you get hurt or have some sort of medical emergency being alone at sea can be a serious thing. We like to think, if old Joshua Slocum could do it, I can too. Well, things didn't go well for old Joshua on that last voyage. Think about taking along some crew.
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Old 18-01-2013, 05:49   #7
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Re: Ready to retire

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, nm505man.
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Old 18-01-2013, 16:20   #8
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Re: Ready to retire

Umm! From what I have been reading, I figured that a 38' Cat was the high limit for a Solo setup and still have sea worthiness. Guess it didn’t cross my mind that it would be too large for ONE to handle. I don’t know if I would want to do much more than costal sailing with anything smaller.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 18-01-2013, 16:25   #9
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Re: Ready to retire

Didn't consider "Medical Emergency" in my plans since I've never had one. But - Your right, I should consider that.
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Old 18-01-2013, 16:27   #10
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Re: Ready to retire

I think you could set up a 38-foot cat for singlehanding, but most don't come that way to begin with. Just for example, a lot of cats have a high-mounted steering wheel out of reach of either jib sheet or winch, which are in turn separated by a large and deep cockpit 10 or more feet wide. Tacking such a set up is an exercise in split-second timing and a lot of running around, and you are completely blind as to where you are headed while you are down in the cockpit switching the sheets from one side to the other. Tricky! I spent a lot of time singlehanding a 32-foot cat and it was perfectly doable, especially offshore. The wide decks and stable platform make things like sail handling and anchoring much easier. But, when you are trying to dock in a marina in a high wind it is a long run up to the bow on the opposite side from your steering station, and the high freeboard means they blow off quickly. In short, your idea is doable with proper set up and modification, but don't expect to find a 38-foot cat ready to go for singlehanding.
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Old 18-01-2013, 16:44   #11
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Re: Ready to retire

I did this several years ago. Only difference is I did not want a cat... I wanted a real boat. Single handing is not a problem with a boat that is capable of being set up for it. Almost all real boats can be set up with out much of a problem, cats are a total different subject. Every day I watch people in cats attempting to pick up a mooring ball or go into a slip for water or fuel and having a really hard time because the "boat driver" can't see a damn thing in at least two or three critical areas and even if they did, they can't make it to the spot they need to be in to pick up a mooring or even quickly set an anchor. Real boats make it much simpler. If you want/ need a floating hotel room/ condo go for it. If you actually want to single hand with far more ease, go with a real boat. Age does matter, as you get older you get better and smarter in how to do things. I'm having a hell of a great time at 67 and have for the past 4-5 years sailing all three of the Virgins and the Leeward Islands. Heading to the Leewards again in a few weeks and will make the Windwards home for the end of this year.

You can do anything you want if you really want to. Working yourself to death on a cat just isn't one of the activities I've had any interest in doing... One of every thing is enough to keep working, two of everything does not make is easier or safer, it does make it more expensive and difficult.
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Old 18-01-2013, 17:05   #12
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Re: Ready to retire

Hello New Mexico 505! Reconsider your choice of sailboats. Charter a 35' monohul a few times. You can single handed sail it, besides being comfortable while coastal cruising. By chartering, you will find out how much you can handle a boat solo; it requires a lot of energy to maintain...hint. Good luck on your retirement! Mauritz
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Old 18-01-2013, 17:40   #13
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Re: Ready to retire

nm505man,

Don't be put off by the anti cat crowd particually those suggesting they are not real boats. Most can be modified for easy singlehandling.

Check out the Seawind 1000 or a PQD 36. Both very seawothy craft that have been cruised widely often singlehandled.

The handling points made by Reality Cruiser may be valid watching newbie charterers. Twin motors, even outboards make manovering at close quarters a breeze with some practise.

All the best
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Old 18-01-2013, 22:28   #14
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Re: Ready to retire

Quote:
Originally Posted by nm505man View Post
Umm! From what I have been reading, I figured that a 38' Cat was the high limit for a Solo setup and still have sea worthiness. Guess it didn’t cross my mind that it would be too large for ONE to handle. I don’t know if I would want to do much more than costal sailing with anything smaller.

Thanks for the input.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nm505man View Post
Didn't consider "Medical Emergency" in my plans since I've never had one. But - Your right, I should consider that.

You see 505...if you ask 100 CF members a question, you'll get 100 different answers. Many would be sailors stay in the comfort of their home giving advise on what you should do according to them. Likely, if you took some of the "be careful" advise, you'd never get on with it. So I say follow your dream. Do it cheaply and simply and do it now.
My rule of thumb for getting going is to buy a turnkey boat worth no more than what you use to make at work in one year. Then save up 1/2 that amount (if you already don't have it) and set a realistic destination. So if you made $50K a year, buy a $50K boat and save up $25K and go! When the money is almost gone, you'll be amazed how you'll find a way to keep going.
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Old 19-01-2013, 06:41   #15
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Re: Ready to retire

Quote:
My rule of thumb for getting going is to buy a turnkey boat worth no more than what you use to make at work in one year. Then save up 1/2 that amount (if you already don't have it) and set a realistic destination. So if you made $50K a year, buy a $50K boat and save up $25K and go! When the money is almost gone, you'll be amazed how you'll find a way to keep going.
Good rule. I would like to add that I don't think your plans are unrealistic, just that you have to be prepared to modify the typical 38-foot cat for easier singlehanding. Get a friend to help you out at first until you get things sorted out the way you want and need them to be. One thing's for sure, with all that deck and cockpit space and just you onboard, your boat will be the party boat in any harbor!
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