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Old 25-01-2011, 11:51   #76
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Hi, Chris! Hubby and I are also considering living aboard in 1-2 years with our now seven month old son. We take possession of a new Bavaria 36 in a few weeks but will likely look for something a little larger when we transition to live aboard. We need space to do some work and for our son and two small dogs to play. I totally get what you're saying about needing space and think you're clever to consider this. Chartering is a super way to try different sizes-that's exactly what we did to help us pick our 36'. The gentleman above has given great advice to narrow down your search to a handful of models and really focus on those. It can be very overwhelming looking at all those for sale ads! FWIW, on our live aboard shortlist we have the 45 and new 50 Bavaria Cruisers, the Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45DS and 49DS, and perhaps the 445 Dufour. Hubby wants 50'+ but I'm not convinced the price is in the budget. Have fun in the searching and best of luck!

Jenny
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Old 25-01-2011, 12:59   #77
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Hi Chris, Cherie, and ya all.

When I was younger than I am today, I wanted to get a boat. So, everyone that knew anything about boats told me to start off with a sailing Dinghy and learn to sail first.

Truth is, they knew their subject, and their advice was all good and extremely sensible. But they didn't know me. I suspect we don't yet know Chris (or Cherie).

I bought a 52ft Scottish Trawler instead of a dinghy, and sailed (motored) off in it. I learnt to sail one day with a canvass sheet as a sail, when the engine failed while I was crossing the Thames Estuary.

When I eventually got to my destination, I couldn't pick-up a mooring - as the 7-foot freeboard at the bow made the moorings a little out of reach. I eventually had to "Jump" a big-ship bouy. Very fast learning process needed.

The rest of my early learning was a bit like that. I would go off and do things just after I was told I couldn't do them. Clearly, I did not make a great success of my life in the accepted sense - if I had, I would be sitting in the BVI on an Oyster 82 right now, instead of where I am.

I am still alive (obviously), but, I admit I was lucky. Not always, but I survived nonetheless.

I did my own thing, being careful (as my life experience increased) not to tread on other peoples feet, as the "advisors" often did know best, but I just didn't want to do it their way, because I was me, and they were them - if you know what I mean. Yeah, I went wrong sometimes, but I didn't bitch about it; just took it on the chin, but I can say: I really enjoyed myself.

So, my advice to you (which is no advice at all really): listen to those wiser souls than I am, but: Do you're own thing! Its fun.

On the boat choice issue, there are boats of so many kinds. My favourite is the same as it was 20 years ago, but it probably isn't yours. As we probably want different things. My favourite, worth looking at from what you have said so far, is The Nauticat 43. Pilot House, sails well, decent shower, super aft cabin. Look at the layout options: separate "lounge" and "dining room" etc. Maybe also the 44 if you are not so into actual sailing. They are a quality build.

I haven't got one, as when I bought the last boat my assets dropped through the floor due to the recession and I didn't have enough money. But that, is the story of my life....
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Old 25-01-2011, 14:18   #78
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Originally Posted by Jane.Joy View Post
Above all, I've learned from this thread to be crystal clear about any question that I might pose to this fabulous, experienced (or not), crazy group of people. For example, I won't ask, "We're not big planners, so SHOULD WE JUST WING IT?" And in spite of my clarity, I will of course be prepared for UNSOLICITED advice, as well as the solicited type, and be grateful for all of your good intentions.

So THANK YOU. It is SO GOOD to be here.
Jane,

Just to play devil's advocate... I've spent the past two years "winging it". In the process I've spent about twice as much as I should have, worked harder and longer than on any other project in my life, and spent more uncomfortable nights in a cold, damp bed than I will publicly admit.

That being said, I didn't spend a single minute of those two years in a cubicle.
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Old 25-01-2011, 14:23   #79
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Jane,

Just to play devil's advocate... I've spent the past two years "winging it". In the process I've spent about twice as much as I should have, worked harder and longer than on any other project in my life, and spent more uncomfortable nights in a cold, damp bed than I will publicly admit.

That being said, I didn't spend a single minute of those two years in a cubicle.
Yeah, well said Drew. The cold damp nights kinda ring a bell. But I've got me an Eberspacher (Espar) and a de-humidifier now.
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Old 25-01-2011, 15:54   #80
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Hope my jumping in here won't won't offend some of the more seasoned sailers on here. I have been working to get myself to FL and a boat, perhaps to live aboard. At first I thought I needed much more in training to own a boat. I've been sailing for 40 years on inland boats, (last was Great Lakes), but not much blue water cruising. What I have learned from reading the various blogs from cruisers is that its better to just get the boat and go for it, I highly recommend that course.

Now for the boat. Since you're in the Caribbean, a shallow draft vessle will allow you to anchor more places. Cats are generally 1 1/2 to 2 times the berth fees of monohulls, but it sounds like you are more interested in being on a ball or hook than tied up at a dock somewhere. A 34-38ft cat should do you nicely, if you can find one in your price rance. Looking over the used boat listings, there are a number of pretty nice choices. The biggest problem I see in your plans is getting internet access. Most blogs I've read that are cruising as you want to tend to upload their data when they get into a friendly area. Finding constant internet access will require you to stay on a ball in those areas more of the time.

All in all, I say, "Go for it!" You both have had enough sailing experience to keep out of trouble if you watch the weather and don't try anything silly. Hope I see you on the hook one day.
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Old 25-01-2011, 17:51   #81
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Well, if we could can gushing enthusiasm.....

To the female partners, I really say again, your perspective is often ignored or assumed. IN reality how to take to the lifestyle and most importantly the sailing is key. Hence unless you have sailing experience, I suggest you gain some before buying. Its really easy to crew on boats, I did it for years before jumping. Dont get carried along by the male predilection for the sea. ( in general its a male thing).

Dave
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Old 26-01-2011, 20:58   #82
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It's good to share the dream with your partner, no doubt about it .... And "gushing enthusiasm" isn't SUCH a horrible thing, is it? For me and my husband it's ALL ABOUT the gushing enthusiasm. How lucky are we, to have a future about which we are gushingly enthusiastic? A rare and wondrous thing in this big world. Gush gush gush, try to stop me..... 
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Old 27-01-2011, 09:30   #83
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gushingly??? dang...

this thread is going to turn into x rated quickly!!!!

hehehehehe
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Old 07-02-2011, 19:53   #84
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Wow, I've read over this thread a couple of times and still can't find any gushing. Oh well. Guess some folks think sailing is rocket science.
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Old 07-02-2011, 20:05   #85
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I do want to thank everyone for all the great replies on this thread, even if there was a bit of head-butting.

We've been soaking up some experience meeting some lifetime sailors lately, and hopefully soon we will be soaking up some time on water learning from them.

I'll keep popping in on the forums here to get advice and share our experiences.

- Chris
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