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Old 09-03-2018, 05:27   #1
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family monohull length advice

Hello cruisers,

I am new to the cruising world, but i could really use some advice.

My wife and I (and 3 high school children and father) are planning to take the off shore plunge to live on a monohull. 2 of the children will drop off the boat in 4 years as they head to college. We will start in the Caribbean as I develop the children's sailing skills. We will possibly passage the Pacific in a few years if everyone is comfortable.

I am at a loss as to how large a boat I should be looking at in order to be able to hold everything we will need for such a large crew.

We are currently exploring 45-55 ft boats with 3+ cabins. Any advice is very welcome.

Thx
Brad
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Old 09-03-2018, 05:41   #2
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pirate Re: family monohull length advice

Two important questions..
What's your budget..
What's your experience on 50ft+ boats.

Something like this would be ideal if your budget runs to it..
http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1469&url=
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Old 09-03-2018, 05:45   #3
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Re: family monohull length advice

I have a Tayana 55...great seaboat and live aboard. 4 cabins, 3 heads and 2 showers a total of 7 bunks with a large aft master suit. Large refrigerator and freezer.

She will be for sale when I get her back to the US in September after she has competed a circuit of the Pacific...Panama to Polynesia, to Tonga, to New Zealand to Fiji to Micronesia to Japan to Alaska to Seattle. Details and pic available if interested.

I will teach you and your family to sail and cruise off-shore if needed.
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Old 09-03-2018, 05:55   #4
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Re: family monohull length advice

Our budget is variable. I can get out within 2 years if I stay around 75-80K for boat and re-fit. Otherwise I add about 40K per year as I save up. Obviously I want to go as soon as possible (before my wife changes her mind ), but comfort and safety will be my biggest concerns.

I have 0 experience with a 50+ft boat. I have a 22' Highlander and I am taking the ASA classes in April. I have crewed on a 46 ft cat. so 50+ would be a challenge, but I learn fast and am cautious when sailing so I feel comfortable taking a larger boat if necessary
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:04   #5
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Re: family monohull length advice

That budget is gonna make things tough...
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:19   #6
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Re: family monohull length advice

$80k purchase + refit limits you to boats in the lower 40s for a decent, 30 year old cruiser, at least in the US. Most will have two cabins.
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:44   #7
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Re: family monohull length advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by derexer View Post
Our budget is variable. I can get out within 2 years if I stay around 75-80K for boat and re-fit. Otherwise I add about 40K per year as I save up. Obviously I want to go as soon as possible (before my wife changes her mind ), but comfort and safety will be my biggest concerns.

I have 0 experience with a 50+ft boat. I have a 22' Highlander and I am taking the ASA classes in April. I have crewed on a 46 ft cat. so 50+ would be a challenge, but I learn fast and am cautious when sailing so I feel comfortable taking a larger boat if necessary
Sharing above opinions, overall budget below 100k$ will limit you below 40'. Yes, you can buy a 50' boat and refit it for 80k, but what then? Running costs above 40' (EU: 12.0m) will go trough the roof, or you'll find yourself working on the boat full time. Costs climb at least quadratically with length, don't get distracted by a cheap purchase price given by the buyers market.

A piece of advice: there are beamy boats that are not too long but offer plenty of accommodation like the Moody 39 - three cabins + saloon. I am almost certain that one would take care of 7 people easily (family+2 friends). The Bene 393 offers a similar accommodation. I'd suggest pack up the family and visit a few 39' boats. The Moody 39 I considered myself but decided it's way too big for my family of 4.
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:56   #9
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Re: family monohull length advice

This is great information. being unfamiliar with the cruiser boats, my assumption is that longer is better, but what i am really after is storage. If i can get that in a shorter boat then that is great news.

Thanks for the help. I will continue the research

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Old 09-03-2018, 08:07   #10
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Re: family monohull length advice

In addition to the good advice given already, remember that it't not just the size but also the layout, and I'm not just talking about the cabins. If you take two 45 foot boats as an example, both may have three staterooms and a salon, but if one is a center cockpit, then there is also separation in addition to space. This gives some degree of privacy when one wants to just get away from it all.

A friend of mine had a 47 foot aft cockpit, but it's layout was such that there was separation due to the salon being two steps lower than the galley and large nav station. There was a railing and cabinetry that provided a degree of separation in addition to the steps. It allowed one to work on his or her computer while the others were in the salon without feeling like you were on top of each other.

At one of my marinas there was a family of five, two parents and three teenagers, who lived on a 32 foot monohull. Tight indeed but it worked for them.

Also, a good dodger and Bimini with a connecting panel and perhaps side panels will add a lot of space too.

Good luck with your hunt.
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:03   #11
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Re: family monohull length advice

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Originally Posted by derexer View Post
This is great information. being unfamiliar with the cruiser boats, my assumption is that longer is better, but what i am really after is storage. If i can get that in a shorter boat then that is great news.

Thanks for the help. I will continue the research

Maybe you are asking yourself the wrong question. Rather than how much boat you can get, ask yourself how little will be enough to work for you. If you have an image of a 50ft plus luxury cruiser, unless you are really loaded, it will not be helpful. The cost of maintenance and that UNEXPECTED breakdown ends up always wearing on you. Learn to be comfortable with less boat than what you think you can afford. It will really increase your peace of mind.
We are a family of 4 with a 40 ft steel cutter that is 32 years old. We did get a bargain on it, and she is in excellent shape, all for well under your budget
and it is a low stress situation. We have no one to impress but ourselves and in reality we are much more seaworthy than many of the expensive Ikea boats out there. Because of our overall reasonable cost, we could afford to put on some nice items usually not found on a boat this size and vintage. (we actually have a small washer and dryer!)
So yes, we are not the sexiest boat in the marina, but we can actually afford to sail and we can laugh all the way to the bank.
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:06   #12
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Re: family monohull length advice

Another point of view...our first ocean-going boat was a 34'. Great for an afternoon out, but to small to live aboard- for just my wife and I. We bought a 43'center cockpit, and it's been good for us-just the 2 of us. There have been lots of times we've wished she was bigger, and we're stuffed to the gills with tools/spares/etc. But for us, with no ocean time before we bought her except the 2 years with the 34', she's been safe and comfortable; we really like the center cockpit. Since we've bought her, we've lived aboard both full time and part, sailed the Philippines for 10 years (we bought her in Singapore, and lived/worked in the PI), to Thailand, 3 years in the Medd, and now on our 4th in the Caribb. Bigger is more expense, more involved and exotic systems, bigger sails and engine, heavier and more powerful, and more expensive in a marina/haulout. BUT....more space, more comfort underway, more "comforts of life"built-in. We looked at a T-55, and almost bought one for all the space she offered. Take the ASA courses, bareboat a few different boats-a week in the BVI is just not that bad(!)-visit anyone who will show you their boat, and research. They're not cheap, and once you own her....you own her! But life on the water is very much worth it!
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:18   #13
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Re: family monohull length advice

You are “after storage” and think two of the teenagers are going to make it four years before their off the boat?

Does “and father” mean there are 6?

75-80k?

Taking an ASA course?

Income while cruising? That’s a lot of mouths to feed and that’s before ya think about feeding the boat.

I met a family who did this in Isla Mujeres and on the Rio Dulce and in Nassau. That is about the radius they tend to get from Ft Lauderdale.

Rethink plan. Smaller boat may not be a bad idea. Babybstep it, even 6 months full time with 5-6 people gets old........fast. Especially when hot, buggy, limited fresh water, etc, etc, etc.

With that budget your talking floating camping under financial pressure with constant system maintenance (5-6 people hard on a boat)

Not to be a downer, just want to see you succeed and for your wife to be even more excited to keep cruising 5 years from now and not say “never again” or worse.

Read “Ultra Budget” ;-)
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:31   #14
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Re: family monohull length advice

I admire your ambition to go sailing with your family! Kudos!

But it sounds like you are trying to buy a house...not a boat. Not everyone is going to get their own "bedroom". And the amount of "stuff" you bring should be pretty close to zero...the space aboard is used for "boat stuff".

A smaller boat is easier to handle, cheaper to buy/own, and IMHO is way more fun. I'm suggesting you look in the 40-45 foot range. This is more suited to your budget as well.

Maybe you should look at something like this: Toronto Yachts for Sale, New & Used Boat Sales, Powerboats & Sailboats - Toronto Yacht Sales It has bunks for 6 without anyone sleeping in the saloon.

You might also try a charter with your family, to get a better idea of what you like/want and dislike/don't want.

Another idea would be to consider S&S designs which commonly have main cabin pilot berths which would be great for the kids...like the (mid 70's) swan48 for example.
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:38   #15
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Re: family monohull length advice

6 full-sized or almost full-sized people, even a very close family, on a boat is a marathon of catering, entertainment, and maintenance. I think a fifty plus boat would make it bearable, but a 50+ft that would be capable of a safe ocean passage without a major refit would start at $300K and up, unless you are super handy at electronics, diesel, and more. Such a refit on a older boat will probably start at $100K and go up from there. And I am guessing that in the Caribbean with 6 you would be looking at about $3+K a month living expenses.

However, this is my perspective, and I am sure there are peeps out there pulling the same off for far less.
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