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Old 12-01-2011, 19:23   #16
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i agree that renting a boat prior to buyuing one is a good idea, if you plannng on spending a brick or two... it would be cheaper to rent/charter soemthing then spending a ton of money...

there is a big difference between an RV and a boat, failure in an RV wont cost you your life, except in extreme conditions, where as you can lose your life or that of a loved one with simple error on the water... nuff said on that subject?

I do understand your desire to want to make a choice and to move forward, as that too is part of the adventure that you will want to blog about, and would be good reading for your followers...

but, i really do think you shold go look at and try a smaller boats maybe in the 35' range.

it will also help in operating costs and mooring costs, etc...but, i think it will be much easier to operate by two people and two learners... if abnd when you can know wha the other person is wanting and expecting, and dont need to be within earshot or eyesight as much then maybe a bigger boat...

and maybe I am assuming you would want a monohull, as a cat is more level/stable, which means the larger boat,,????
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Old 12-01-2011, 19:28   #17
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I bought a fairly large boat. I didn't find it that big of a deal learning to sail and care for her but ... things are always changing and owning and sailing the boat has taught me a lot that I don't think I could have learned any other way. I love my boat but I could have been just as happy with less boat. You'll find a lot of opinions on the subjet represented here but they come from people who have found their own choices and made them work for them. If there is some way you can spend time on and in a boat to see what it is like to live aboard I would recommend it. Your experience with the trailer will help but it isn't the same. The effort required to get out and stretch your legs (without getting wet) for one thing Boats are way more fun for another!
What boat did you end up buying, and how big was it?

We hear exactly the same story in the RV world. People always seem to buy more than they ultimately decide that they needed. We have coached a lot of people through downsizing into smaller and more efficient rigs.

We actually started in a 16' teardrop clamshell with the kitchen out the back and essentially no plumbing. That was great when I was by myself, but tight for two people. But by learning to live in it together, we knew exactly what we wanted for our next trailer - which was just 17' longer but vastly more advanced and refined. *grin*

The only way to learn these lessons though is by owning, IMHO. You learn so much more when you actually move in than when you are living out of a suitcase.

So when it comes to boats - smaller, older, and cheaper doesn't scare me a bit. But I have learned a lot from our RV experience about the things that I know will actually matter - we need space for 200+ watts of solar minimum, and comfortable workspace for us both to be computing.

Thanks for the great replies, everyone!

- Chris
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Old 12-01-2011, 19:29   #18
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I have been travelling to the Dominican Republic for about three years now, but i have never sailed. I am interested in taking lessons and buying a sailboat to sail there. My intentions are to rent a live aboard slip and leave the boat there. When I visit , i can stay on the boat and sail it there. Any advice?, I'm in Tampa , Florida and I usually visit the Dominican Republic one week per month. And yes... I know , I should just move there... and i would, But even though I am retired, I have two wonderful boys, ages 9/10. I have them most the time, except one week out of the month. Size sailboat, marinas, prices for the slips...ect?
The Dominican Republic is one of the largest islands in the Caribbean - where in the D.R. are you planning to spend your time. Sailing around inside the waters of the D.R. is not a simple thing (or cheap). Living there is very cheap.
- - You might consider Puerto Rico as a better place as it is both USA and there are considerably more convenient and easy places to sail.
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Old 12-01-2011, 19:39   #19
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and maybe I am assuming you would want a monohull, as a cat is more level/stable, which means the larger boat,,????
We love the idea of a catamaran in the 35' - 40' range. Smaller is better, as long as it is smartly designed and not overly compromised. We know we can live happily together in a 17' long travel trailer, though on a boat we'll need a bit more space because we want room for guests to come join us on occasion.

We are open to a monohull, but I haven't really seen many that feel like they would be comfortable floating offices for us. I like having an awesome view while I work, and we'd get that working in a Catamaran's saloon, but not so down in a monohull.

Specific boat recommendations are very much appreciated. We are looking at a Fountain-Pajot Venezia soon that is near here. We loved the Gemini 105mc that we saw, but I didn't like the propane appliances or lack of space for an expanded electrical system with more batteries and solar.

But yes - smaller is better!!!

- Chris // Tales from Technomadia
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Old 12-01-2011, 19:46   #20
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What boat did you end up buying, and how big was it?
I have a Cooper 416. It's a pilothouse sloop 41'6" LOA and with a 14' beam. The extra beam is where you really get some space. I single hand it and find it fine. It's a boat built for comfort and it is nice. I put 350 watts of solar on her and it's good to have but you've probably experienced that with your trailer.

I love teardrops. My favorite is the t@b Tab-rv.com - T@B Microlite teardrop RV travel trailer campers - Tab .
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Old 12-01-2011, 20:16   #21
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That is what I had. I rebuilt mine with a solar panel on the roof and a vastly expanded electrical system.

It was a great design, but sadly rather poorly constructed. I was really disappointed when the Tab factory shut down. I used to be very active on the Tab forums - I was one of the very few people actually living in one full time.

- Chris
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Old 20-01-2011, 13:35   #22
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Aloha and welcome aboard!
Along with many others I recommend boats to about 36 feet. Bigger is just more cost for very little more return in sailing pleasure.
kind regards,
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Old 20-01-2011, 13:58   #23
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Out of curiosity, why did the propane appliances turn you off? From what I see from long term cruisers, propane is the best way to go, at least for cooking. A propane fridge I would walk away from, however.

Even with a hefty battery bank, cooking with electricity is going to suck a lot of power. Perhaps it's just up here in the PNW, where solar is not quite as powerful as down south, but most (well, all that I know) liveaboards use propane or diesel, with 12V refrigeration.

Or is it just the desire to stay "off-grid"?
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Old 20-01-2011, 14:27   #24
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Along with many others I recommend boats to about 36 feet. Bigger is just more cost for very little more return in sailing pleasure.
Though I am not small-averse (having lived for years in a 16' trailer), "sailing pleasure" I'm sure matters more for weekend-warrior sailors who spend the majority of their nights elsewhere.

Our boat will be our floating home every night, and our office space every day. It will spend much more time being a home and and office than it will under sail. So while "sailing pleasure" is important, it being a comfortable place to spend a day working is for us actually much more important. A dark, small, or cramped interior will not work for us. Investing in a bit bigger if it ups our comfort factor is probably worth it.

- Chris
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Old 20-01-2011, 14:35   #25
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Out of curiosity, why did the propane appliances turn you off? From what I see from long term cruisers, propane is the best way to go, at least for cooking. A propane fridge I would walk away from, however.
Ah yes, I should have been a bit clearer. The Gemini's propane refrigeration is what turned me off. They use a typical RV-style fridge, which I am already very familiar with.

Propane refrigeration might work for an occasional use weekender boat, but living aboard and being that dependent on propane is a real hassle. I've read some blogs detailing the extreme difficulty tracking down propane refills at a lot of ports - not fun.

Propane for cooking on the other hand lasts forever, and it is not nearly as critical when you run out.

Being off grid (using solar or wind) is important to us from the tech-coolness aspect, though supplanting power on occasion from a generator or via the alternator is fine. I just don't want to ever be dependent on needing to run a generator an hour or two a day - too much noise. I'd much rather heap on the solar.

And even more important is focusing on minimizing power consumption. LED lights instead of halogen, etc...

- Chris
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Old 20-01-2011, 16:48   #26
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You actually don't need a boat. Buy a 20 foot floating pontoon park the RV on it and there you go. Boats are for sailing to places not an office. All that stuff is secondary.

Dave
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Old 20-01-2011, 17:00   #27
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You actually don't need a boat. Buy a 20 foot floating pontoon park the RV on it and there you go. Boats are for sailing to places not an office. All that stuff is secondary.
This comes across as very condescending. I'm not sure whether or not to be insulted by this.

We are big advocates of not waiting until you retire to get out and see the world. And that means combining work with travel and adventure. This combination has worked wonderfully for us traveling via RV, and there is no reason that we can not combine liveaboard sailing life with running our software development business.

In fact - one of our dear friends used to do exactly that. Her and her husband had a business writing charting software, all the while living and traveling aboard their sailboat. They even raised a daughter while living aboard.

It can be done. But it means that our priorities in finding our ideal boat are different from a weekend warriors, and from typical retirees.

No need to get nasty about it.

- Chris
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Old 20-01-2011, 17:14   #28
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i dont think it was condescending, but I can understand how you and or other may think it is... but, as techno folks who are familiar with itnernet and all the perosonalities should expect every type of response possible.... and whether or not someone blatantly insults you shouldnt matter.. you can choose to respond, and or try to edumacate them to proper social behavior and or get into a typical flame war...

I would hope as techno folks that you wouldnt lower yourselves to anyone that is below/beneath your typical 'norm'..
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Old 20-01-2011, 18:10   #29
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Technomadia,

It sounds like your biggest concern is resale value. Since no boat is perfect (it may be near perfect for today...but may change to be not so perfect for tomorrows needs) go ahead and get what your research leads you to. But make sure it's a boat that will be relatively easy to sale, and have reasonable value when you find out what suits you better. Go ahead and get started...you will only learn what you need by needing it.

Good luck
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Old 20-01-2011, 23:14   #30
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No need to get nasty about it.
I wasnt chris, what I was trying to express rather tongue in cheek, is that your focusing on stuff that not relevent, talking about "office space" etc. and interior layout. All these stuff is simply a compromise, how the boat sails, can you handle it, is your partner happy, these are the real issues.

That is why ive said in other posts ( and in teh other thread youre running), you really have to form your opinons from the sailing perspective and compromise to fit the rest in, the other way round means you end up with a marina queen.

Many people work ( I write software from time to time underway) on board, but its cramped and an annoyance. However I'm a died in the wool monohull man, so I have to accept the limitations. But its far from an ideal work environment. In your rv you have the great outdoors as your yard, until we learn to walk on water, on a boat you are much more confined.

Reading your posts, youre forming hard opinions based on either "book learning" or misplaced observaton with out experience. comments like dont want propane,, and living off the grid, dismissing ex-charters etc are somewhat fatuous, and also easy things on land are often far more difficult on a boat.

Firslty you have to understand what you "really" want the boat to do, ie is this a marina queen, or do you really think , really really think that youll bluewater it. One or the other answer changes dramtically where you go next.

If you intend sailing any distance, then this requirement tends to dictate all others and it requires some experience to determine what the key elements are. ( also to discern whats good advice and bad advice).

My advice is ( beside the sail first), is to formulate as quickly as possible a list of 4 or 5 models that interest you, then get to know these and then decide. I would forget the " expand the geekery" stuff ( and this is from an engineer like me"). Every boat will let you put in as much stuff as your wallet can afford. And in practice, especially when living on board, you really do far less then if you arnt living aboard as the mess gets to everyone. If you leave teh search wide, you spend the rest of your natural life looking at boats, constantly moving your opinion here and there.

Again , "off the grid", all boats are off the grid one way or another. But they arnt disconnected from reality. you still need access to specialised help, tools and knowledge from time to time, not to mention reasonable amounts of hydrocarbons.

Dave
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