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Old 30-07-2015, 15:05   #1
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Family of 6 circumnavigaton

Hi all,

Been a lurker for quite some time. My wife and I are seriously considering doing a circumnavigation (or something similar) with our kids. We still have to get financial things in order etc. so about 2-3 years out.

I have done an extensive amount of research so I have good some ideas but need a bit more fine tuning.

Constraints:
we have 4 kids,
Daughter-8 y.o.,
Son-7,
Son-2,
Son-8 mos.

We are mid 30's right now. The thought is to be mostly financially independent by the time we go (that will happen regardless whether we become cruisers).

Mission:
See the world. While we want to sail the equatorial waters we want to explore the WORLD, so venturing into higher latitudes is something we really want to be able to do. Places like NZ, possibly Alaska, Chile/Argentina( not sure if Cape Horn is a possibility), Japan, UK, Nordic countries, Greenland. Venturing into the S. Pacific is definitely on the list. We want to cruise for 5 years at a minimum. Financial ability to go longer may be possible though.

I would like some thoughts and advice on vessels, vessel size for my largish family. I have been researching boats, equipment (diesel heaters!) etc for some time. I have also read most of the blogs by people who have kids. Lots have 1 or 2 kids, a very few have 3. I heard about one family with 5 on a 50+ foot cat, a Simpson I believe. Anyway, I don't know of anyone else with the same mission and accommodation requirements I face. I'm sure they exist I just don't know of them.

Having a girl really means she needs a private space for herself. The boys could all bunk together for some time but even that would have to change. So I need at least 2 doubles and 2 singles, with a cat that 's not an issue. With a 40-45 ft mono that seems to be harder to find.

Here is a short list of vessels I believe would work for us and the mission. Of course the big limiter is the cost. Safety is a very large concern for us due to having small children and venturing into high latitude routes. (BTW a catamaran is my first choice but I would/am considering monos too).
(in order of reference)

Fountaine Pajot Bahia 46 (We love this boat but expensive)
FP Venezia 42 Love it, should be a good size top of price range, can't refit
FP Belize 43 should be a good size top of price range, can't refit
FP Lavezzi 40 Love it, can afford, but may be too small
FP Athena 38 too small? Priced right
Nautitech 435 or 40 maybe could afford 40, but top of price range, can't refit


Amel Super Maramu 53' 200K is probably be too expensive. Love it though.
Amel Maramu or Mango.. Maybe too old? could afford but refit cost...
Hallberg Rassy 46 WAY too expensive and I don't believe the 39 would work for us.

From what I understand the Amel and HR are some great boats. Yes I'm one of the folks who loves the Amel. The Super Maramu seems like it would work very well for us, but they are really outside my comfort zone.

Totally can afford boat + refits:
Beneteau Oceanis 50
Beneteau First 47.7
Bavaria 49

I guess I keep coming up against a cost wall that would prevent me from untying the lines in the time frame we want. Our budget just won't allow for a 250K boat + refit costs. We really need to be about $150-175k with refit costs. Top end 200k with refits but that greatly reduces financial ability.
So only the 38-40' cats (Athena, Lavezzi) or a 44-50' monos are really hitting the sweet spot for my price range.

Benteaus, Bavarias, & Jeanneaus are fitting my price range and minimum accommodation needs But I have no idea as to the suitability of those boats to meet the mission parameters. And comfortable for a family of six? Storage space and tankage seem rather short on those.

Ultimately I may need to revise some part of the parameters. I really want to take my children on this trip. It's and education for them and for my wife and I. I have dreamed about doing a circumnavigation since I was a kid and read about Magellan and hearing about people sailing around the world. I remember learning about catamarans and my imagination really took off thinking about sailing one of those around the world. (Sorry guys I fell in LOVE with catamarans the first time I saw one.)

I'm really trying to get a good list of boats so we can go look at them. I only have so much time and cannot charter a whole bunch of boats just to check them out.

Maybe I am trying to go too many places, i.e. Should I revise the mission? This is a very unattractive option. I want to take my kids to see most of the world.

Are the boats I'm looking at all capable of sailing reasonably safe where we want to go? All are certified but that's not what I'm asking Would you take them on a circumnavigation?

The space differences on a mono and a cat are stark. Can we do it comfortably on a 46-50' mono? would you?
Will rolling around and heeling on a mono be hard on little kids?
What size minimum size mono would work? Ideal size?
What size minimum size cat? Ideal size?
Any other thoughts ideas or suggestions?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

Best regards,
Justin
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Old 31-07-2015, 21:43   #2
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

Some questions for your consideration.....
1) Who is going to take on the home schooling? child care? cooking and cleaning? do you plan on a nanny? (a nanny would have to have a private berth, at the very minimum)
2) Who will be your backup on extended passages?
3) How many staterooms do you think you need?
4) Is your good lady wife on board with this plan?

Some friends of ours have a 51 or 52 foot GibSea they bought in Europe and mostly sailed out to Australia, had it delivered from Panama to Tahiti. 4 kids, like you, all older than yours, did use a nanny and glad of it. Gave the kids a good adventure.

Ann
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Old 31-07-2015, 22:18   #3
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

Read everything by Liza Copeland.

LIZA & ANDY COPELAND: World travellers, Cruising Authors and Speakers

They did a six year circumnavigation with their three sons on a Beneteau 38.

Fiona McCall and Paul Howard also did a six year circumnavigation on a 28 foot jink rigged boat with 2 children.

All in the Same Boat: Fiona McCall, Paul Howard: 9780771054372: Books - Amazon.ca
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Old 31-07-2015, 23:52   #4
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

My vote would be for the Bene first 47.7--I really like the lines of that boat, and I think it has enough cabins for the kids. It is more than capable of taking you RTW, and is faster and safer than the cats.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:46   #5
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

We are in a similar boat(pun very much intended ) in that we are also a family(but of 4) looking for our next boat to take us on some extended cruising. We have been looking at similar boats to you.

We are also as others have mentioned factoring in extra guests being with us for some ocean crossings to either lend a hand with the boat or with the kids.

My thoughts are as follows.

-I think the space on the Amel's (while nice) isn't necessary dedicated to maximise accommodation in the way you would want.
-Have a look at the HR 45's as a better value alternative to the HR46. Many of these had the 4 bunks forward. Age means maybe refit territory, but there seems to be good well maintained examples out there.
-We really like 90's era Moodys for value, good build quality and accommodation options. The Moody 425 is at the top of our list but probably too small for you. The Moody 47 however may be suitable.
-Once you start boat shopping the right offer at the right time might mean a boat you thought was out of your range actually wasn't. Hypotheticals are good, but they can be well hypothetical. Set your budget and just go boat shopping.
-Do you have to buy a boat anywhere specifically? Prices can vary dramatically all over the world.
-If I had a family of the size of yours I would find it very difficult to not buy a cat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
My vote would be for the Bene first 47.7--I really like the lines of that boat, and I think it has enough cabins for the kids. It is more than capable of taking you RTW, and is faster and safer than the cats.
They are fast boats, however the OP doesn't go into his level of experience or background. I would be concerned about the sailplan on a 47.7 being too much to tackle shorthanded offshore with a family onboard.

Best of luck boat shopping and getting out there.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:56   #6
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

Quote:
Originally Posted by donradcliffe View Post
My vote would be for the Bene first 47.7--I really like the lines of that boat, and I think it has enough cabins for the kids. It is more than capable of taking you RTW, and is faster and safer than the cats. IN MY UNVALIDATED OPINION
I fear some of your comments got lost in the posting-let me correct it for you.

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Old 01-08-2015, 03:03   #7
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

Buy a catamaran for your tribe.
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Old 01-08-2015, 05:02   #8
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

The 4-cabin FP Lavezzi could work for you. It's a fast, safe cat and more than capable of circumnavigating along the standard route via the Panama canal. Good value for money for the amount of living space it provides. Cats, however, mightn't be the best option for high-latitude sailing. That being said, Leopard regularly deliver their cats from South Africa to Australia via the Southern Ocean. Here's a taste of what that's like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=39&v=hQ-svmgOxqw
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:02   #9
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Some questions for your consideration.....
1) Who is going to take on the home schooling? child care? cooking and cleaning? do you plan on a nanny? (a nanny would have to have a private berth, at the very minimum)
Ann
I would guess the parents! (Silly notion, but it does happen) I didn't see trust-fund baby or any other financially well-off indicators anywhere in his synopsis...

My sisters husband and his family lived aboard and sailed from South Africa: 5 kids!!! No nanny (believe it or not)!
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:38   #10
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

You're going to single-hand a big boat around the world with your wife and four small children aboard as passengers?

You're going to be "financially independent" but can only afford a $200,000 boat?

Dude, you're thinking about you, not your family. The kids won't remember half of what they see and will appreciate less. They will, however, long for friends.

Put money away for college. The kids will be gone when you're in your early fifties. Plenty of time for cruising then.
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Old 01-08-2015, 06:44   #11
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

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The kids won't remember half of what they see and will appreciate less. They will, however, long for friends.
What makes you think so? I happen to know several cruising families who say just the opposite - how much their kids appreciate the lifestyle and how much they remember everything and cherish the memories.
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:33   #12
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cottontop View Post
You're going to single-hand a big boat around the world with your wife and four small children aboard as passengers?

You're going to be "financially independent" but can only afford a $200,000 boat?

Dude, you're thinking about you, not your family. The kids won't remember half of what they see and will appreciate less. They will, however, long for friends.

Put money away for college. The kids will be gone when you're in your early fifties. Plenty of time for cruising then.
To the OP, the above comments from Cottontop offer much food for thought.

Every time my dad took us (the three kids and mom) out on the sea we were back by sundown. As a child, the thrill of being on a boat rolling in the swells was invigorating and truly a sheer thrill, yet I was always glad to get back to a hot dinner, a crackling fireplace, a warm bed, and playing basketball and Frisbee with my pals the next day.

Spending 3+ years out on the ocean with mom and dad, away from my friends? Not sure how I'd feel about that.

I can imagine your two youngest sons at some point asking, "Daddy, what's land?"
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Old 01-08-2015, 12:43   #13
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

It constantly amazes me how people think that "cruising with children" equals to robbing them from social contacts and "land life". For some weird reason people think that cruising equals to non-stop sailing in the open oceans, for years, without any contacts with land.

As for "being with parents" vs. "being with friends", I would suggest reading "Hold On to Your Kids", by Dr. Neufeld and Dr. Maté.
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Old 01-08-2015, 13:35   #14
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

Quote:
Originally Posted by Budawang View Post
The 4-cabin FP Lavezzi could work for you. It's a fast, safe cat and more than capable of circumnavigating along the standard route via the Panama canal. Good value for money for the amount of living space it provides. Cats, however, mightn't be the best option for high-latitude sailing. That being said, Leopard regularly deliver their cats from South Africa to Australia via the Southern Ocean. Here's a taste of what that's like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=39&v=hQ-svmgOxqw
Some of the South African cat deliveries go wrong. You don't have to be in high latitudes to experience bad weather.

Upturned hull spotted in Indian Ocean may be missing SA catamaran | News24
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Old 01-08-2015, 13:55   #15
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Re: Family of 6 circumnavigaton

Do you have ANY sailing experience? Any real offshore passages? Perhaps you could save a lot of money and aggravation if you were to take everyone on a charter and see how that works out.
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