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Old 06-06-2008, 00:04   #1
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Boat advice

I am beginning the research process to find the right liveaboard for my family. I would like to move aboard in the next 3 years. I am a single mom with a 16 month old boy and 5 and 7 y.o. girls and a yellow lab.

I could use some advice on a boat that has enough room for all yet could be easily single handed. My 8 year goal is to cruise the coast to Chile. Our close friends live aboard and plan to cruise so I have a basic understanding of the logisitics.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

KCH
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Old 06-06-2008, 05:21   #2
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Welcome aboard. I don't know your budget but there are a lot of good boats out there. I don't have the fortitude to try single handed cruising and raising three small children. By the time you go your girls, at least the oldest could be good help. We meet some amazing kids cruising.

If there is room in your budget, I would look seriously at a cat for the stability and comfort.

Cruising with the dog can add significantly to the complexity.

I sound like I am discouraging you. I don't mean to. It's a wonderful dream and I hope you make it work.

George
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Old 06-06-2008, 07:32   #3
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HI DS:

In order to answer the question intellignetly we need more info budget mono vs multi and a host of other questions. In order for you to ask the right questions I suggest you review this site. It was a big help when I was selecting a boat. Mahina Expedition - Offshore Cruising Instruction Good luck with your dream. As Sunspot Baby says a dog will add to the complexity. He wrote a very good piece on dogs and boats from first hand experience.

George perhaps you can point her to where it is.
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:02   #4
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Charlie, thanks for the kind words.

Here is a link to the article. A_Serious_Look

George
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Old 06-06-2008, 08:31   #5
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The amount of space required for your group is hard to estimate. Sometimes the boat is never big enough for two let alone 4 children not yet grown with a lab. I think this is something you need to work out together especially since the goal is 3 years out and the long term goal farther yet. It would help you a lot to try out a charter trip just to give the family a taste before you jump in with purchasing a boat.

It's easy to see you are excited but it's hard to get everyone excited and still keep them excited over a long period of time. I think they all need a good taste of it to build a little excitement and commitment to liking the idea. That keeps them going until you finally are ready. 3 years to them is almost forever.

Dogs also seem to either take to it or they don't. I think most would rather go than be left behind and that is the way it is with our dog. Ours does fine but I don't think he really likes it as much as he likes to be with us. He snoozes in the cockpit shedding dog hair just fine.

All this is to come back to the beginning. Working this all out with your crew is perhaps the hardest part and starting with some sailing sooner without the pressure of living aboard may be a good idea. How you all work together in close quarters also makes the boat fit the crew better as well. It is as much effort to find the boat as it is to fit the crew.

Single handing with a large crew as yours needs to be adjusted by the types of trips you can take. Small children under 8 are a bit more overhead since they understand a lot but can't often do it very well under pressure. Helping your girls grow into this adventure is only going to help your ability to work the boat on the hook as well as on the water.

No boat comes easy to single hand. It's more a matter of learning how and practice is always the road to complete skill. The auto pilot is the dirty little secret that makes almost any boat able to be singlehanded. It can hold the wheel / course for you as you tend to all the things you need to do. Controls handy and led to the cockpit always help even when not single handing and it is common with many boats and not limited to certain brands.

The money does matter. It limits your choices but it also has to balance the budget. The continued operation and maintenance is an issue that easily dents the balance sheet so all those costs have to be figured in. I really think if you expect to take off in three years you'll need almost a year to get yourself and the crew ready with some sailing experience. That can also buy you time as you learn all the things you don't know you need to know.
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Old 06-06-2008, 23:17   #6
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Thanks for all the great advice. It gives me a lot to think about. Exactly what I was looking for - ideas to get me started in the right direction.

I am thoroughly enjoying reading all the vast amount of info contained on this discussion board.

Thanks!
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Old 07-06-2008, 12:01   #7
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Aloha Kerry,
When you start looking seriously at different boats then remember that liveaboards that go to sea (as you say that you want to do) are different from just plain liveaboards. So what you want is a liveaboard/cruiser. For single handing I'd recommend nothing over 36 LOD and cutter or ketch. Ketch rig makes the sails smaller and easier to handle. The cutter would be quicker to windward but I think heading for Chile you'll be mostly going downwind until you get to the equator then upwind to Chile unless you wait for El Nino.
Fiberglass is easier to care for. Diesel engines are less explosive than gas and more efficient. I prefer aft cockpit because while sailing I can look forward to see everything that's happening on deck. Clipper bow and canoe sterns take up a lot of interior space so I'd avoid them because you need more interior space. Full keels are easier to sail downwind because they track better but it is a matter of personal choice. You don't need shoal draft because there aren't too many shallow areas you'll be sailing. If you start looking at boats and have a list of those items it pretty much narrows the field. After that it is looking at quality of build and condition.
As you know with any of the posts you read here it is all a matter of personal opinion. That's mine.
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Old 08-06-2008, 21:04   #8
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if you do consider a catamaran, send me a PM. My family and I (4 year old son, 13 year old dog, wife and myself) have been aboard catamarans for 10 years, cruised a bit through the exumas and cuba with the dog prior to our son being born. Basically it would come down to finances, if you had less than 150k for a boat, I'd look more a monohull. For kids though, privacy of hulls, four seperate cabins in seperate corners of the boat, none closer than 12 feet from each other, seperate heads, large common space, stability at anchor, dual engines, cats make a lot of sense for a lot of families, but they aren't the only choice.
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Old 08-06-2008, 21:31   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schoonerdog View Post
. Basically it would come down to finances, if you had less than 150k for a boat, I'd look more a monohull.
.
Not to hijack but........say I have 151k?

I have not found anything I don't consider a project for that.
I consider a project lots of engine work, standing and running rig replacement, sail replacement. Not to mention elbow grease. That takes me to 200k......ouch.

What have you seen? Certainly no St F 44s

Give me a peek?
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Old 12-06-2008, 04:04   #10
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Not to hijack but........say I have 151k?

I have not found anything I don't consider a project for that.
I consider a project lots of engine work, standing and running rig replacement, sail replacement. Not to mention elbow grease. That takes me to 200k......ouch.

What have you seen? Certainly no St F 44s

Give me a peek?
if you take a look at this site there are some older boats that are in reasonable shape (though some do need a good bit of TLC). That fall below your asking price and would leave you a good bit for the fixing up with that sum. The only problem is that a good portion of them are either in Europe or down in the Caribbean. So you would have to figure in the cost of getting yourself there and insuring that all went well with the required legal transactions.

here is a link that may help: Boats for sale and charter on TheYachtMarket.com : new and used boats for sale : boat finance : boat news : boat insurance : power boats, commercial boats and sailing boats for sale, boats and outboards

Michael
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Old 12-06-2008, 11:23   #11
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if you take a look at this site there are some older boats that are in reasonable shape (though some do need a good bit of TLC). That fall below your asking price and would leave you a good bit for the fixing up with that sum. The only problem is that a good portion of them are either in Europe or down in the Caribbean. So you would have to figure in the cost of getting yourself there and insuring that all went well with the required legal transactions.

here is a link that may help: Boats for sale and charter on TheYachtMarket.com : new and used boats for sale : boat finance : boat news : boat insurance : power boats, commercial boats and sailing boats for sale, boats and outboards

Michael
Here is what my search brought up.
Criteria:
Used
Sail
Catamaran
Diesel
100k - 150K

Results;



Fountaine Pajot Fountaine Pajot MALDIVES 32 used boat for sale. The Yacht Market online boat sales and charters.


Fontaine Pajot Antigua used boat for sale. The Yacht Market online boat sales and charters.


Prout 37 Snowgoose Elite used boat for sale. The Yacht Market online boat sales and charters.


Two of the three of them have very little listed as new "stuff" (prout has the most) so my assumption is that at the least they will need new standing and running rigging and probably sails. Motor stuff is ??? This is what I have found when looking at 10+ year old boats. I don't know what they actually sell for but I can say (for myself and my money) that when all the needed stuff is done then it costs too much. If I knew what boats were actually selling for then it may be a better deal. I am trying to keep some of the emotion out of it. I am married now and this next marriage is being planned with past experience in mind. Call it a prenupual......errr survey.............errr..........whatever.
I know it is a boat.
I know it is a hole in the water to throw money into.
etc.

<edit>

Prout 37 Snowgoose Elite used boat for sale. The Yacht Market online boat sales and charters.

Yactworld has 73 hits.
I have been looking at stuff for a year solid. I may not marry this idea after all..........
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