I have been planning a post to introduce myself and my families cruising plans and my ideas on boats and such.... and I will be getting to that soon....
But in short, we will be among the "guilty" here. My wife is on-board with the entire cruising concept
. We are in our late 30s and we plan to leave in January of 2011 for hopefully 6 years. We want to spend the first year coastal cruising the eastern seaboard into the caribbean
and then head
through the canal and west all the way around. Our kids
at that point will be 12 and 8, we want them to be old enough to really remember the adventure and to learn self sufficiency and experience other cultures during their formative years.
My wife is not going along with this plan if its "camping in a tiny cave". We want the kids
to each have their own cabin
and we want space for family
and friends to be able to come visit. For a family
of 4 who will be living aboard
for extended periods, a 40' boat isnt going to work. Not unless I want a divorce 1/2 way around!
So we will be looking at boats in the 47' to 55' range. I fully anticipate outfitting the boat for short handed sailing. I accept that a larger boat means greater expense, more difficulty in docking
and in general maintenance
and handling. I GET IT. But whats a better choice: Dealing with all the hassles of a larger boat OR having a cramped and unhappy family during the voyage?
We are relatively young and in good shape physically, I hopefully can make the money
work for this and I am a very mechanically inclined person. I race
vintage cars, have been around boats all my life, we have owned largish powerboats and I am confident that there are very few systems on a cruising boats such as we desire that I am not capable of fixing/repairing/maintaining myself.
I would also submit that running a 50' sailboat today that has been well fitted out for short handed sailing today is a far different proposition to what it was 25 years ago.
I also feel that people adapt and become capable with what they need too. If you learn properly on a 50' boat, you will be capable on a 50' boat. Heck, you may not even realise that a smaller boat is "easier" since you have no experience with that! That said, there will always be some people who will be incompetent no matter what size or type of boat. I teach racing
and track driving and we have a term for some students: OSB. Other Sports Beckon!
Boats I am attracted too: Tayana 55 (but may be out of the range of what I want to spend), Irwin
53 plus I am VERY open to suggestion!!!