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Old 02-01-2018, 14:17   #31
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

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Thank you for response!

What do you mean asking about independence?
Actually we often change our life-style and try something new and our kids used to it. They quickly get accustomed to changes.
Also Iím my live time I started I running different business projects from scratch!

Couple years ago we made big changes in our live left everything and moved to USA from another country with different language, different hemisphere and etc.
Our kids started go to school here not knowing English at that time and now after three years theyíre speak fluently and learn successfuly, get honor roll awards and adopted to this school system.
So our family is not afraid of changes.

Of course we doubt that we could be good teachers for them. My wife and I have masterís degree in our country and many another skills, but education programs itís different !

On the another hand we understand that this experience can be very useful for then and open their mind!

We have this dream ,but if we keep waiting another 20 yehars we donít sure live up our dream ever!
Anyway we have opportunity return for shore live after couple years or early.
Thank you for such a complete response. You are obviously "independent" from my point of view: you are comfortable approaching life in a different way from the majority of people.

You and your good lady are content to take on challenges and work your way through them. This characteristic will stand you in good stead. Given your educational background, you will certainly be able to teach your kids how to study and learn, and my guess would be that you would be able to use a home schooling program efficiently. Some friends of ours with two kids about the age of your older two kept "school" on their boat, between the end of the washing up from breakfast till 11 to noon, depending on how long it lasted. Everyone soon learned not to go visit them during school hours. It is definitely doable if you have the discipline, and I expect you do.

I am finding myself sliding more towards Trente Pied's view of this, because I am thinking you guys -- no longer as unknown to us because you have written more about your family, your accomplishments, and your dreams-- have a good chance of having a wonderful time cruising, and have also the flexibility to leave it if needed. The more you have explained, the clearer your motivation is to me.

There are some on this forum who always just say, go for it. I am not one of them. I am all too aware that cruising isn't for everyone. However, I am quite happy to try and help someone who I think has a chance to really enjoy it.

Ann
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Old 02-01-2018, 14:56   #32
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

There are many 'Home School' 'correspondence' style kits out there. Many thousands claim significant success. My honest and humble opinion. Elementary school teachers are educated to teach all subjects at an elementary level. High School Teachers specialize. Even a High School teacher of Math is going to struggle teaching HS level English. No single person is truly and properly equipped to be the center of a child's education from K through Graduation. God forbid one of the kids is gifted.

I come from a family of teachers. I went to a Teaching College. All of my friends are teachers. (Full Disclosure, I am NOT a teacher). I have a cousin who was Home Schooled using one of these correspondence programs. His parents are musicians. He was a virtuoso upon graduating High School. His thank you card in reply to me sending him a gift for graduation was almost illegible, and looked like it had been written by a second grader.

I would urge anyone to reasonably ask themselves whether think they can be an effective teacher and mentor for all subjects all the way through to graduation.

Honestly, I could not.
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Old 02-01-2018, 14:58   #33
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

My other thought on this......

"Don't drag your kids on your mid-life crisis."
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Old 02-01-2018, 17:09   #34
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

In my opinion it would take a very special family to pull that off. Maybe one where parents had been raised in boating families and had it in their blood. In this case I would think that the Miami area would afford all kinds of short-term cruising opportunities that could keep this need met for years or at least until children are older... Long weekends,vacations, the Keys... you have a lot of access there... Dare I say even an already owned powerboat might not be a bad option for a time... make it fun for the kids now and things will go much better down the road if you want to transition to something larger to go farther... just my thoughts but friends do call me Captain Cautious.
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Old 02-01-2018, 19:25   #35
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

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In my opinion it would take a very special family to pull that off. Maybe one where parents had been raised in boating families and had it in their blood. In this case I would think that the Miami area would afford all kinds of short-term cruising opportunities that could keep this need met for years or at least until children are older... Long weekends,vacations, the Keys... you have a lot of access there... Dare I say even an already owned powerboat might not be a bad option for a time... make it fun for the kids now and things will go much better down the road if you want to transition to something larger to go farther... just my thoughts but friends do call me Captain Cautious.
Thank you for your response!
You right Miami it’s very nice area for weekend and vacation cruising!
We cruising this area around 3 yeahs and we now almost all marinas,anchorage and reefs from Fort Lauderdale to Key West and Dry Tortuga!
We also have crossed Gulfstream couple time to Bahamas !
We little crazy Family!
Our first boat was open Yamaha 24” Usually this kind of boats used for going the nearest sandbar. We were traveling sometimes during 8-10 hours a day. It was the really nice boat. But we couldn’t oversleep aboard.
The second boat was bigger and more comfortable. It was 32” Regal which is kind of weekend power cruiser. We had a lot of problems with it mostly because was using it harder that it was supposed to be used. We don’t like to spend much time staying at one place. We prefer moving from place to place exploring new. And often we run in the rough weather by the ocean during 5-7 hours non stop and lived aboard More 15 days was usuall for us.
When there were weekends, vacations and any free time we preferred spend it aboard and it wasn’t enough
Because of the bad seaworthy, lack of space, small tank of water and fuel, expensive gas (weekend cost us around 500-700$ in fuel) we sold this boat.
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Old 02-01-2018, 20:59   #36
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

Possible indeed.
I am a teacher and I think your concerns about your children's education are valid to some extent, but I also think that too many people place too much confidence in the educational system as it stands. It can be excellent for some, and a disaster for others. Just like correspondence or homeschooling. Or cruising.
Luckily, we are not all cookie-cutter images of one another.
It sounds from your description like your kids are keen learners. Real life is the best education going. I think we sometimes forget that in the formal educational system.
You can get lists of curriculum expectations from your local school board, so that you can make sure your kids are staying at least on par with their age group peers. Elementary school and high school are important, but they are not essential, and certainly not the only way to achieve a balanced and thorough education.
College, university and trade schools are a whole other kettle of fish that will likely require more specialized training and focus but even these, I imagine, are not the ultimate goal of education, just an extension of it.

It's all in the pursuit of creating humans who are capable, curious, compassionate, conscientious, kind, and able to earn a decent living doing something they can tolerate (if not love) and bring their best to the world, and to the next generation.

Only you can answer for yourself if it is the right decision to make. What does your family want? Are they all keen? I imagine it would be quite a tangle to have an unwilling teen aboard....or a frequently seasick youngster.

Can you spend $100,000 on a larger boat that needs some work and do some of that? That would give you a much larger cushion....and provide some excellent learning opportunities. Do you and your family have the skills and aptitudes to build, fix and maintain, and appreciate it?

I teach in a rural area. The farm kids (mostly) seem to have a natural way with seeing what needs to be done and doing it, rather than having to be told each little step in a procedure. I suspect it has to do with being raised while working. Like on a sailboat. There is always a tremendous amount of work to be done. It is part of life, and is even fun if you know how to get into it. What an excellent education! Life is not about preparing for later. I think culturally we make a giant mistake in treating education now as though it is something that will be useful later. Of course it can be useful later, but Live now. Learn now. That will be useful too.

It sounds as though you already "get" that life is not a straight path. Sometimes it involves tacking to get where you want.

I'm curious to see how it unfolds for you.
Fair winds.
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Old 03-01-2018, 02:35   #37
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

Is it possible? Of course!

We are also a family (2 adults + 7 and 3 year old). We did thousands of nautical miles when our first child was a baby and have no regrets at all.

To those that remark you 'will have your hands fall'......... I would suggest this is going to be the case regardless of whether you go cruising or not!
While there are challenges cruising as a family( indeed it is not all dolphins, ice cream and sunsets) our experience has been that cruising life is less of 'a handful' than our land life and actually gives you the time to 'do family' compared to the modern day family existence many of us are living.


We are about to go cruising again and the big consideration for us, as for you, is education. There is no blanket, one size fits all answer here. But there are plenty of different approaches and several cruising families have done a great job of detailing their approach and experience in their blogs.

If you have not discovered it already I would point you in the direction of Totem's Blog.

Ann and others above raised the question of extra 'help'. I would also encourage you to look at this option in its many forms.

We will be taking extra crew onboard for ocean passages. In addition to the extra help on watches, meeting people is something we enjoy doing as part of the travelling, cruising experience. We will reach out and hope to attract teachers or people who are at the very least good with children to take onboard as extra crew.

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It’s so difficult to make up our mind to the first step. Which was yours? It’s so big responsibility for the future of children. What were your first difficulties and how did you solve them?
To answer your specific questions our first step was to get experience, a boat and then just giving it ago.

Difficulties? Unrealistic pressure and expectations. Once we slowed down and just did our thing it was a hoot.

So on that 'Sailing around the world' always sounds exciting and amazing, but it might be helpful to replace that mantra with 'go cruising and see stuff'. There are plenty of forms of cruising, and a more open plan that allows you to slow down and figure some stuff out as you go might take pressure off.

On top of all of this, yes you need to also do your due diligence on the safety, medical side of things.

Best of luck with whatever you determine is right for you guys.
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:31   #38
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

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Thank you for our answer!

We have budget around 250-270k
We think from this money boat purchase should be about 200k
Whit think about monohul in size 46-50’’ with 3 stateroom.
We looking in our budget for Beneteau or Jeanneau 46-49 but maybe it’s better options for us see some older and little bigger or some type of motorsailer?
Upgrade , maintenance and repair another 20-25k and 40k for the first yeah of cruising!

Maybe we are little wrong with number and you advise is appreciated !
Here’s my recomendation for a boat based on your budget and your desire to go “around the world.” (Note that there will be people with radically different recommendations and it pays to listen to all of them. Mine is based on extensive world cruising in all climates.)

With your budget you should probably look into a monohull and not into cats. You just might find a cat that is in decent condition and that you can afford, but my opinion is that you will get much more boat with a monohull for 200k than with a cat.

Within monohulls, you also can’t afford the well insulated, go-anywhere cruiser. This means you’ll have to stick with production boats such as Jeanneau, Beneteau, Catalina, Hanse, etc. Or older, smaller Moody and other better built boats. Pretty much all of these have limited fuel capacities, which in turn means that you’ll have to go around the world following the tradewind route. You won’t be able to go around Cape Horn or something like that—at least not this time around.

A motorsailer is a bad idea. Most of the decent ones will be too expensive, they do not have enough range to cross oceans anyway, and they don’t sail as well and as fast as a basic production sailboat. And you’ll want a boat that sails well to cross oceans efficiently.

Given that it is very uncomfortable to sleep in the bow cabin while under way, you’ll need a saloon big enough to sleep at least one person. This is usually the case though.
On a typical 3-cabin layout you’d probably have the kids sleep in the two back cabins, one adult in the saloon, and the second adult would be on watch in the cockpit. (Obviously that’s during passages. At anchor or in the marina the adults would sleep in the bow cabin.)
Because it’s too uncomfortable to sleep in the bow, I think center cockpit layouts are out. They usually have the master cabin in the back and then two more cabins in front which would mean all of your kids would be very uncomfortable while under way.

Another must have is a good shower stall. Usually you wash outside in quiet anchorages but when it is too crowded or when it gets a little colder it’s nice to have an indoors shower stall, made in such a way that you don’t spray the toilet and sink when usung it, and don’t flood the floor of the whole bathroom. In other words, you want a good shower that doesn’t make a mess when you use it.

Then for cooking, it all depends on how important that is for you. You can find boats with excellent galleys or more basic ones in your price range. I don't like the galleys that are alongside the dining table, I like the (usually) L-shaped ones behind the saloon. In the former you have less lounging space and the cook works with his/her back to the people seated at the table, for the latter the cook is facing the people in the saloon and is part of the social life, and you get an extra settee to sprawl on.

Finally, with that many people, you’ll most certainly want a high capacity watermaker, at least 100 liters per hours (30 gallons per hour). Most production boats don’t have huge water tanks. And a baby uses a lot. You will also need at least 600W in solar panels to power it (also to power your fridges and the rest).

Another nicety for a large family would be a washer-dryer. But you could do without if you stayed in nice climates where little clothing is required. But it sure is practical when you have a baby. If you install one, then you’ll probably want a generator as well, even though if you boost your battery pack to about 600AH and your solar panels to about 1000W, you could work with a powerful inverter instead.

Here are a few boats that could work for you. I recommend you buy them in the Med. That’s where they are cheapest and the Med is also one of the best places to learn to sail. The season is only 6 to 7 months though. It’s best to stay put in the winter, the weather gets too bad and hazardous.

- Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS (can be found at around 150k Euro or more)
- Beneteau Oceanis 54 (Around 160k or more)
- Beneteau Oceanis 50 (150k and up)
- Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49 (I don’t like it’s galley but it sails excellently) (110k and up)
- Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49DS (same hull as the previous but comes in better layout) (150k+)
- Beneteau Oceanis 46 (120k+)
- Beneteau Oceanis 473 (100k+)
- Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45 in a 3-cabin layout with L-shaped galley (130k+)
- Dufour 525 or 485 Grand Large (usually nearly 200k and not worth it compared to the above.)

(The Beneteaus 46, 50, and 54 have low doors if you are tall. I have a 50 and it bothers me but it’s one of the compromises I’m willing to live with for all of the other great features. I’m obviously biased but I think it’s the best boat you can buy for your situation, apart from the Jeanneau 54DS.)

There are many more brands and models. Many of the above come in different configurations but I’m assuming those with the L-shaped galley and 3 cabins with the master cabin forward. (The Jeanneaus with more cabins can usually be converted to 3.) The entry level prices I’ve given turn up mostly ex-charter boats but also lightly used owner boats from time to time, and those are the ones you should go after.

I believe you don’t need to spend more than about 170k Euro for your initial purchase and that should give you a boat with a generator and likely a watermaker too. If the latter is less than 60 liters/h then it would be virtually useless for your family though.
You do need a big boat to have space for all the solar panels so you probably will want 49’ or more.

One last thing: finding the perfect boat can easily take 6 months. Take your time. It’s going to be your home and shelter for many years.
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Old 03-01-2018, 09:19   #39
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Old 03-01-2018, 11:20   #40
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

We have been very pleased with almost everything about our 2007 beneteau oceanis 50. We are on board with 3 kids and find it is plenty if space. We even had an extra crew for 8 weeks coming from France to the caribbean. We fitted an extra bunk in one of the aft cabins which made a real difference.
I would recomend the beneteau 49/50 as a good option for you. Only downside so far is the 237L fuel capacity. We have 8 jerrycans on board as well. Others have turned the second watertank into a diesel tank and added a decent watermaker. We have onky 40LPH watermaker and find its too small for us.
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Old 03-01-2018, 16:37   #41
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

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Originally Posted by 2big2small View Post
Hereís my recomendation for a boat based on your budget and your desire to go ďaround the world.Ē (Note that there will be people with radically different recommendations and it pays to listen to all of them. Mine is based on extensive world cruising in all climates.)

With your budget you should probably look into a monohull and not into cats. You just might find a cat that is in decent condition and that you can afford, but my opinion is that you will get much more boat with a monohull for 200k than with a cat.

Within monohulls, you also canít afford the well insulated, go-anywhere cruiser. This means youíll have to stick with production boats such as Jeanneau, Beneteau, Catalina, Hanse, etc. Or older, smaller Moody and other better built boats. Pretty much all of these have limited fuel capacities, which in turn means that youíll have to go around the world following the tradewind route. You wonít be able to go around Cape Horn or something like thatóat least not this time around.

A motorsailer is a bad idea. Most of the decent ones will be too expensive, they do not have enough range to cross oceans anyway, and they donít sail as well and as fast as a basic production sailboat. And youíll want a boat that sails well to cross oceans efficiently.

Given that it is very uncomfortable to sleep in the bow cabin while under way, youíll need a saloon big enough to sleep at least one person. This is usually the case though.
On a typical 3-cabin layout youíd probably have the kids sleep in the two back cabins, one adult in the saloon, and the second adult would be on watch in the cockpit. (Obviously thatís during passages. At anchor or in the marina the adults would sleep in the bow cabin.)
Because itís too uncomfortable to sleep in the bow, I think center cockpit layouts are out. They usually have the master cabin in the back and then two more cabins in front which would mean all of your kids would be very uncomfortable while under way.

Another must have is a good shower stall. Usually you wash outside in quiet anchorages but when it is too crowded or when it gets a little colder itís nice to have an indoors shower stall, made in such a way that you donít spray the toilet and sink when usung it, and donít flood the floor of the whole bathroom. In other words, you want a good shower that doesnít make a mess when you use it.

Then for cooking, it all depends on how important that is for you. You can find boats with excellent galleys or more basic ones in your price range. I don't like the galleys that are alongside the dining table, I like the (usually) L-shaped ones behind the saloon. In the former you have less lounging space and the cook works with his/her back to the people seated at the table, for the latter the cook is facing the people in the saloon and is part of the social life, and you get an extra settee to sprawl on.

Finally, with that many people, youíll most certainly want a high capacity watermaker, at least 100 liters per hours (30 gallons per hour). Most production boats donít have huge water tanks. And a baby uses a lot. You will also need at least 600W in solar panels to power it (also to power your fridges and the rest).

Another nicety for a large family would be a washer-dryer. But you could do without if you stayed in nice climates where little clothing is required. But it sure is practical when you have a baby. If you install one, then youíll probably want a generator as well, even though if you boost your battery pack to about 600AH and your solar panels to about 1000W, you could work with a powerful inverter instead.

Here are a few boats that could work for you. I recommend you buy them in the Med. Thatís where they are cheapest and the Med is also one of the best places to learn to sail. The season is only 6 to 7 months though. Itís best to stay put in the winter, the weather gets too bad and hazardous.

- Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 54DS (can be found at around 150k Euro or more)
- Beneteau Oceanis 54 (Around 160k or more)
- Beneteau Oceanis 50 (150k and up)
- Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49 (I donít like itís galley but it sails excellently) (110k and up)
- Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 49DS (same hull as the previous but comes in better layout) (150k+)
- Beneteau Oceanis 46 (120k+)
- Beneteau Oceanis 473 (100k+)
- Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 45 in a 3-cabin layout with L-shaped galley (130k+)
- Dufour 525 or 485 Grand Large (usually nearly 200k and not worth it compared to the above.)

(The Beneteaus 46, 50, and 54 have low doors if you are tall. I have a 50 and it bothers me but itís one of the compromises Iím willing to live with for all of the other great features. Iím obviously biased but I think itís the best boat you can buy for your situation, apart from the Jeanneau 54DS.)

There are many more brands and models. Many of the above come in different configurations but Iím assuming those with the L-shaped galley and 3 cabins with the master cabin forward. (The Jeanneaus with more cabins can usually be converted to 3.) The entry level prices Iíve given turn up mostly ex-charter boats but also lightly used owner boats from time to time, and those are the ones you should go after.

I believe you donít need to spend more than about 170k Euro for your initial purchase and that should give you a boat with a generator and likely a watermaker too. If the latter is less than 60 liters/h then it would be virtually useless for your family though.
You do need a big boat to have space for all the solar panels so you probably will want 49í or more.

One last thing: finding the perfect boat can easily take 6 months. Take your time. Itís going to be your home and shelter for many years.
Thank you very much for very useful information!
We tend to search Beneteau or Jeanneau 49-54Ē
We are not experienced in buying used boat so for us itís easier way to find the boat near Florida with US registration.We could have a look at more boats in short time and itís easier to make the first maintenance, upgrade and repair!

What do you think about this boat?
Or itís bad options for us?
Used 1989 Wellington Pilothouse, Fort Lauderdale, Fl - 33004 - BoatTrader.com
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Old 03-01-2018, 16:47   #42
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

Thank you!
Actually without experience and living in US we feel more comfortable to search the boat in our area, in Florida and nearest states. How much do you think does maintenance, repair and upgrades cost and how long does it usually take?
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Old 03-01-2018, 17:39   #43
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

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Thank you very much for very useful information!
We tend to search Beneteau or Jeanneau 49-54Ē
We are not experienced in buying used boat so for us itís easier way to find the boat near Florida with US registration.We could have a look at more boats in short time and itís easier to make the first maintenance, upgrade and repair!

What do you think about this boat?
Or itís bad options for us?
Used 1989 Wellington Pilothouse, Fort Lauderdale, Fl - 33004 - BoatTrader.com
Take a look at its sail area to displacement ratio, that'll tell you about how it sails. My guess is that while it would most likely not be fun to sail, it might suit your needs. People's preferences in boats are a very personal thing, and many cruisers are not particularly interested in sailing well, imo.

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Old 03-01-2018, 19:19   #44
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

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Thank you!
Actually without experience and living in US we feel more comfortable to search the boat in our area, in Florida and nearest states. How much do you think does maintenance, repair and upgrades cost and how long does it usually take?
It does look to be a well equipped boat and in good condition.

I tend however to agree with 2big2small , that a motorsailor such as this would not be my preferred option for what you want to do.

Firstly this boat is nearly 30 years old. You would be able to afford a much newer Beneteau/Jeanneau for the same price.

I would get a very good survey, fix what needs fixing from survey and I wouldn't obsess about upgrades until you've done 6 months of cruising in the Caribbean.

Now each to their own, plenty of different styles of vessel out there, most having a great time but I guess I would steer you back towards the Beneteau/Jeanneaus.
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Old 03-01-2018, 19:46   #45
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Re: Cruising and live aboard with 4 kids. Is it possible?

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It does look to be a well equipped boat and in good condition.

I tend however to agree with 2big2small , that a motorsailor such as this would not be my preferred option for what you want to do.

Firstly this boat is nearly 30 years old. You would be able to afford a much newer Beneteau/Jeanneau for the same price.

I would get a very good survey, fix what needs fixing from survey and I wouldn't obsess about upgrades until you've done 6 months of cruising in the Caribbean.

Now each to their own, plenty of different styles of vessel out there, most having a great time but I guess I would steer you back towards the Beneteau/Jeanneaus.
Thank you!
We make little research in our budget we can buy also 38” catamaran ( lagoon 380 or leopard) araund 2003Y
What you think about 38”cat 2003Y vs Jeanneau 49 2006-2007Y?
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