Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-10-2017, 08:08   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Woodstock, GA
Boat: O'day Widgeon (12')
Posts: 11
Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size etc

Been a lurker for a while, time for my first post....

Well, the wife and I are in our mid-30's (OK, fine.... LATE 30's) and have decided to take an active role in our life plan, rather than mindlessly battling the rat race and waiting for life to just "happen" along the way. (That, along with finding the rampant consumerism and over consumption that pervades our landlubber culture intolerable, but that's another discussion....Still, we're no Luddites ourselves)

We've paid all our debts and have kept our expenses low, all the while our incomes have increased through the years. Thus, upon selling the house, we'll have enough savings to live off for 10-20 years with no income, depending on how frugal we want to be. We also have a comfortable amount in retirement savings, which will be left alone. We're both have college degrees and marketable skills and experience, so could enter the workplace again easily.

We have one son, five years old, who loves boating, camping and adventure. We're all in great health (vegetarians), cook all our meals from scratch, are handy, and repair stuff when it breaks. We're prepared to homeschool, at least until the high school years.

For the past few years, our plan was to downsize and start a homestead. Earlier this year though, we discovered the concept of a liveaboard cruising family and it seemed like that's what we've been searching for all along. I've since read dozens of books, took a 5-week sailing class, and we've started unloading our excess belongings. The wife has given it her seal of approval and is on board (as long as a hair dryer is available... still working on that one).


Some questions:

1) Blogs. I have many blogs bookmarked, but sure I've missed some. Got any to share, especially ones which resemble our family size and age? I figure these are some of the best sources of information and motivation.

2) Where to start? We thought the Great Loop would be a good, less intimidating start to the cruising and liveaboard life (although there's little sailing to do). Not too far from civilization, etc. Would you recommend this? We thought cruising the Florida coast would also suit us, and would involve more sailing. We're currently in Georgia, in the Atlanta suburbs, with parents in the Augusta area.

3) Vessel selection - size. What would be your recommendation? I know we have to decide this as a family, as living space is a very personal decision, but I'd still value your opinion on where to start. We're trying to find the smallest boat that will fit us comfortably. I'm thinking something around 30'-35', with a quarterberth for our boy and V-berth for the parents. Aft cabin boats look great too for their floorplan, but in that size range (think S2 9.2C), I've heard they're pretty cramped. Also, the steering is more complicated. With a small boat, we can also drop the mast ourselves on the Great Loop, when needed. If it was trailerable, it'd open up a whole lot more options (I know the boat listed above doesn't exist! Just listing some thoughts).

4) Price point. I recognize (more often than not) the buyer gets a better deal on a recently refitted boat than if he was to do it himself. In your opinion, where's the break-even point for vessel cost with a previous refit vs. refitting on your own, for a boat in the low 30' size range? From my observation, it looks like we'll need to spend around $15k-$35k, for a "simple", older boat with no major problems, good sails, good rigging, good engine. We're prepared to spend more, but it seems that would only buy "newer", with more frills and features which we don't need.

I want a minimum of electronics and doo-dads on board, for simplicity. (I'm a mechanical engineer, and have spent a 14-year career servicing and troubleshooting industrial electromechanical controls; I know what I'm talking about!). Thus, another reason to stay small, so we won't need power roller furlings, windlass, etc. As a disciple of Jay Fitzgerald and other "simple sailors", I'd even entertain the idea of an engineless vessel, although for the Loop and, as a first large boat, this would be impractical. For the Loop, impossible.

5) Health insurance. What are non-employed cruisers doing, insurance-wise? I know I'll be (rightfully) directed to read the forums here.... yet still I ask.

6) How have other families made the transition? I need details. I was thinking we'd downsize, sell the house, rent an apartment in Florida while boat-hunting, move aboard (living at the marina, until we're comfortable with handling the boat and finished outfitting), then cast off. Our parents would assist with storing the few things we don't part with, and handle our mail. Sound good? What are the alternatives?

Another crazy idea I had would be to have the (or, a) boat (or camper) parked on the side of the house and we live out of it for a few weeks. However, I think it'd be too tempting to (literally) abandon ship, run back into the comfortable house, and swear off the whole boat idea. It seems like we need to dive in head first if we're going to be successful, making failure not an option.

7) Any other families out there cruising with a single child? We recognize the need to socialize, but from what I've read, sailors are a friendly bunch and I'm sure we'll have no problem. I just wonder how many families we'll meet though with kids of a similar age....



Help keep us moving the in right direction! I'm afraid of becoming a lifelong armchair sailor while waiting for the stars to align. We all know that'll never happen. It's all too easy to dream about this while keeping comfort and (perceived) safety close at hand. We need to hold fast and stay the course to make this work.

My sincerest gratitude for your thoughts regarding the above verbose ramblings. Let it flow!


__________________

__________________
Joe P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 08:29   #2
Senior Cruiser
 
Peregrine1983's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2016
Boat: Pearson 424 Ketch
Posts: 407
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

I'll let others chime in with answers to your other questions, but when you mentioned your budget and what you were looking for in a boat the Morgan 38 came immediately to mind.

I looked at a number of these priced about 30-40k (you can definitely buy one for under 30). They are extremely solid and beefy old boats that sail well, tick your boxes, and would be a much nicer size for your family of three than that 30 footer.

Here is one asking 30k

1980 Morgan 382 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
__________________

__________________
Peregrine1983 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 08:31   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
Peregrine1983's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2016
Boat: Pearson 424 Ketch
Posts: 407
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

And another beautiful Morgan 382 closer to your neck of the woods.

1980 Morgan 382 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
__________________
Peregrine1983 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 08:36   #4
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,575
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe P View Post
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thus, another reason to stay small, so we won't need power roller furlings, windlass, etc. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Welcome.

Windlass?

I would consider it a necessity and a safety item. Period.

Why?

Last year I sailed our boat from SF to Vancouver Island and have been here since, the 2017 summer being my first "season" here. For the prior 35 years I'd sailed all over the northern California coast and SF ZBay and inland waters. I anchored a LOT.

I do not have a windlass.

The water here is much deeper (instead of 12 feet, it is 30 feet). That makes a huge difference.

Even if I was Superman and could haul the anchor up in a hurry, it takes time to raise it. With any wind or any other boats close by it is not safe, to them or to me.

I suggest you carefully reconsider your minimalist approach until you read some more replies to your questions.

There are some things you can live without. I wouldn't consider a windlass one of them. It's well past a "nice to have, but I'm young and I don't need it" item. And would be for a boat over 25 feet, IMHO.

************

Great Loop and boat size: IIRC, The Great Loop Assoc. website discusses this in length. Have you read it?

Good luck with your plans, you sound well ahead of the game in some respects.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 08:58   #5
Registered User
 
Suijin's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Annapolis MD; currently in Oriental NC
Boat: Valiant 40
Posts: 3,195
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe P View Post
2) Where to start? We thought the Great Loop would be a good, less intimidating start to the cruising and liveaboard life (although there's little sailing to do). Not too far from civilization, etc. Would you recommend this? We thought cruising the Florida coast would also suit us, and would involve more sailing. We're currently in Georgia, in the Atlanta suburbs, with parents in the Augusta area.
I would personally start with the eastern seaboard's ICW. You can range north and south with the seasons, get some iterative, progressive offshore experience, and not find yourself in a position, deep in the inland part of the loop, where you find yourself locked into a route that for whatever reason ends up being unattractive. Also, that part of the loop is going to be entirely motoring; you'll get very little if any sailing experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe P View Post
3) Vessel selection - size. What would be your recommendation? I know we have to decide this as a family, as living space is a very personal decision, but I'd still value your opinion on where to start. We're trying to find the smallest boat that will fit us comfortably. I'm thinking something around 30'-35', with a quarterberth for our boy and V-berth for the parents. Aft cabin boats look great too for their floorplan, but in that size range (think S2 9.2C), I've heard they're pretty cramped. Also, the steering is more complicated. With a small boat, we can also drop the mast ourselves on the Great Loop, when needed. If it was trailerable, it'd open up a whole lot more options (I know the boat listed above doesn't exist! Just listing some thoughts).
I would for sure get the smallest boat that fits your needs, for the simple matter of cost and manageability. The tradeoff is a function of your adaptability; bigger is more comfortable, obviously. Where you fit on the spectrum is largely a matter of your collective personalities and needs. Unfortunately, not having prior experience, you don't have a yardstick by which to determine what's best for you. But here's a related fact: if you decide down the road to change boats, it will cost you less in absolute dollars going from a small boat to a large boat vs. the opposite. Boats are depreciating assets, and big boat depreciate more, year over year, than smaller ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe P View Post
4) Price point. I recognize (more often than not) the buyer gets a better deal on a recently refitted boat than if he was to do it himself. In your opinion, where's the break-even point for vessel cost with a previous refit vs. refitting on your own, for a boat in the low 30' size range? From my observation, it looks like we'll need to spend around $15k-$35k, for a "simple", older boat with no major problems, good sails, good rigging, good engine. We're prepared to spend more, but it seems that would only buy "newer", with more frills and features which we don't need.
Impossible to say, really, as there is a spectrum of quality to be factored in. A 35' Pearson is going to be much more affordable than a 35' Hallberg Rassy of equivalent vintage and condition of maintenance and repair. Offhand I would say you want to buy an older well built boat in good repair. The catch is "well built". You'll find endless arguments about what brands/years/models of boats fit in the middle ground of category which is basically your target.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe P View Post
I want a minimum of electronics and doo-dads on board, for simplicity. (I'm a mechanical engineer, and have spent a 14-year career servicing and troubleshooting industrial electromechanical controls; I know what I'm talking about!). Thus, another reason to stay small, so we won't need power roller furlings, windlass, etc. As a disciple of Jay Fitzgerald and other "simple sailors", I'd even entertain the idea of an engineless vessel, although for the Loop and, as a first large boat, this would be impractical. For the Loop, impossible.
You need an engine, period. You need to be an adequately skilled sailor/seaman/weatherman to go without auxiliary power, and it obviously limits where you can even go.

You don't need power anything on deck in a 35' boat, although a windlass is certainly a convenience. What you DO need moving aboard is adequate power generation. Put your money into solar and keep your systems and power needs simple. You could viably do everything you want to do, staying nearshore, with a smartphone and a navigation app, although auxiliary navigation equipment would be highly prudent. Again there's a whole spectrum of capability and complexity of electronics and where you land on that is a matter of your objective needs, your aptitude and desire for more capable systems, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe P View Post
5) Health insurance. What are non-employed cruisers doing, insurance-wise? I know I'll be (rightfully) directed to read the forums here.... yet still I ask.
You want to find a plan that covers you out of state if possible, since traveling back to your state of residence can be an enormous inconvenience for some medical care. Can't recommend any specific provider or plan.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe P View Post
6) How have other families made the transition? I need details. I was thinking we'd downsize, sell the house, rent an apartment in Florida while boat-hunting, move aboard (living at the marina, until we're comfortable with handling the boat and finished outfitting), then cast off. Our parents would assist with storing the few things we don't part with, and handle our mail. Sound good? What are the alternatives?
Sounds good. There are a ton of variations on that plan, as many as you can think of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe P View Post
Another crazy idea I had would be to have the (or, a) boat (or camper) parked on the side of the house and we live out of it for a few weeks. However, I think it'd be too tempting to (literally) abandon ship, run back into the comfortable house, and swear off the whole boat idea. It seems like we need to dive in head first if we're going to be successful, making failure not an option.
Yes that is a crazy idea. Don't do it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe P View Post
Help keep us moving the in right direction! I'm afraid of becoming a lifelong armchair sailor while waiting for the stars to align. We all know that'll never happen. It's all too easy to dream about this while keeping comfort and (perceived) safety close at hand. We need to hold fast and stay the course to make this work.
I know a couple that has been living on and refitting a boat for over 10 years, getting ready to cast off. He specifically is an internet sailor, soaking up "best practices" that he has gobbled up online with practically zero practical experience. They have spent a fortune on the boat, preparing for every conceivable situation. Meanwhile life has passed them by and in a few more years their ages will start to impinge on what they can do. It's very unfortunate.

Don't be them. There is no substitute for practical experience, even if it some of it is bad (and probably even because of it). If you're smart with good judgement you will progress along the way, learning in short order stuff that you just can't pick up in books.
__________________
Suijin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 09:48   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Woodstock, GA
Boat: O'day Widgeon (12')
Posts: 11
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine1983 View Post
And another beautiful Morgan 382 closer to your neck of the woods.

1980 Morgan 382 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
Thank you.

The layout of the Morgan 382 looks to fit the bill. I've looked at hundreds, maybe thousands of boat ads in the last few months, but haven't paid much attention to the 382. I like Ted Brewer - from what I know about him, he seems like he knows his stuff.

Although, I'm guessing that'd apply to 99% of the other designers also. A poorly designed boat isn't going to make its manufacturer much money, so they'd all have their merits, if I studied them.

I'll add it to the list!
__________________
Joe P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 09:55   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Fiji Airways/ Lake Ontario
Boat: Want a B430!
Posts: 939
Images: 4
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

Go get a Catalina 30 with a diesel and get moving.

Be prepared to be shocked by the cost of health insurance.

You don't need a windlass at your age. A furling headsail though can be a security item so you don't have to go on deck in rough seas.

If you plan to sail in salt water, start eating fish. It's free and healthy.
__________________
Tetepare is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 10:11   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Woodstock, GA
Boat: O'day Widgeon (12')
Posts: 11
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post

I suggest you carefully reconsider your minimalist approach until you read some more replies to your questions.

There are some things you can live without. I wouldn't consider a windlass one of them. It's well past a "nice to have, but I'm young and I don't need it" item. And would be for a boat over 25 feet, IMHO.
Oh, I'm constantly reconsidering everything. My judgement basis is built on the books I've read (some advocating electrics, but most saying to keep things simple and the boat small).

Rick Page in "Get Real, Get Gone" recalled delivering a new yacht, where the motor died on the electric roller furling for the jib, away from shore. They went to use the manual override, and discovered the access cover didn't line up and couldn't manually reef it.

I watched Eric Forsyth on his Westsail 42 in the middle of the Atlantic lose his steering in "Fiona Battles to Reach Antarctica" () and couldn't help but think that this is why Rick Page, the Perry's, Roger Taylor (<head> <title>Introduction to the junk-rigged Corribee Mingming) and others all prefer tiller steering. Just keep it simple.

I realize I need some experience before I form such strong opinions of my own, so I appreciate the advice. The good news is, I'm familiar with motors, electronics, etc, and can repair them, if we decide to have them aboard.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
************

Great Loop and boat size: IIRC, The Great Loop Assoc. website discusses this in length. Have you read it?

Good luck with your plans, you sound well ahead of the game in some respects.
At Home - America&#39;s Great Loop Cruisers&#39; Association I missed the "length" discussion. I'll keep looking though.

I did spend a few hours reading though Captain John's website (Cruising America's Great Loop), and found it extremely entertaining and informative. However, he only offers size recommendations for single-handers and couples. I think we'd be OK with around a 35-footer. We just need to tour some.
__________________
Joe P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 10:17   #9
Senior Cruiser
 
Peregrine1983's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2016
Boat: Pearson 424 Ketch
Posts: 407
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe P View Post
Thank you.

The layout of the Morgan 382 looks to fit the bill. I've looked at hundreds, maybe thousands of boat ads in the last few months, but haven't paid much attention to the 382. I like Ted Brewer - from what I know about him, he seems like he knows his stuff.

Although, I'm guessing that'd apply to 99% of the other designers also. A poorly designed boat isn't going to make its manufacturer much money, so they'd all have their merits, if I studied them.

I'll add it to the list!
You're welcome. The 382 and 383 have little improvements over the original 38. I almost bought one of these before I bought my Pearson. The large bulwarks make you feel safe moving forward underway.

A Cruising World article about the 382:
https://www.cruisingworld.com/sailbo...le-high-return
__________________
Peregrine1983 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 10:42   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Canada
Boat: 53' Amel Super Maramu
Posts: 253
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

What are your current thoughts on longer term plans? Recognizing that it will likely change as you get some experience. A general idea though will help focus and improve feedback.

IMO without understanding that, much of the advice may or may not be relevant. ie. Social aspects for your son will vary widely dependent on where you're cruising, and boat recommendations for coastal/ICW/Great Loop cruising will likely be different than longer term plans including a circumnavigation. Advice that you don't need a windlass possibly doesn't consider anchoring in 70+' in remote bays in the Marquesas. Etc. Etc. Etc. Not that you can't add one or change boats if the mission dramatically changes, but it's worth considering and understanding.
__________________
Hobie_ind is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 10:57   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Woodstock, GA
Boat: O'day Widgeon (12')
Posts: 11
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I would personally start with the eastern seaboard's ICW. You can range north and south with the seasons, get some iterative, progressive offshore experience, and not find yourself in a position, deep in the inland part of the loop, where you find yourself locked into a route that for whatever reason ends up being unattractive. Also, that part of the loop is going to be entirely motoring; you'll get very little if any sailing experience.
That's excellent advice. The thought's crossed my mind before, as we've found a few boats worth looking at on the northern eastern seaboard (NY, Maine). We'd just onboard up there, spend some time fiddling around, and start heading south when ready.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Impossible to say, really, as there is a spectrum of quality to be factored in. A 35' Pearson is going to be much more affordable than a 35' Hallberg Rassy of equivalent vintage and condition of maintenance and repair. Offhand I would say you want to buy an older well built boat in good repair. The catch is "well built". You'll find endless arguments about what brands/years/models of boats fit in the middle ground of category which is basically your target.
I've researched construction, know about cored hulls and decks and listened to surveyors give their 2c about what to look for. Even started heading toward a steel hull. But, as much as I hate the idea of selling and buying another boat, I think our first one need not be a bluewater-ready (definition debatable, I know) cruiser, but a "coastal cruiser", probably a mass produced model. If (when?) the need arises, we buy the full-keel, heavy displacement cruiser for taking offshore, with the appropriate refit as we deem necessary.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
You need an engine, period. You need to be an adequately skilled sailor/seaman/weatherman to go without auxiliary power, and it obviously limits where you can even go.
There I go being an idealist again. We do need an auxiliary. I'd prefer an outboard as opposed to an inboard diesel, especially since I'm more familiar with them. I've owned and repaired many outboards and small engines. Again, another requirement for a shorter boat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
Yes that is a crazy idea. Don't do it.
THAT made me laugh out loud. I do need to get bonked in the head once in a while to bring me back to reality.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
I know a couple that has been living on and refitting a boat for over 10 years, getting ready to cast off. He specifically is an internet sailor, soaking up "best practices" that he has gobbled up online with practically zero practical experience. They have spent a fortune on the boat, preparing for every conceivable situation. Meanwhile life has passed them by and in a few more years their ages will start to impinge on what they can do. It's very unfortunate.

Don't be them. There is no substitute for practical experience, even if it some of it is bad (and probably even because of it). If you're smart with good judgement you will progress along the way, learning in short order stuff that you just can't pick up in books.
Through my projects over the years (restoring cars, campers, motorcycles, boats) I found that I enjoy more the process of restoring them rather than actually using them. Up to present, this was quite convenient as selling these completed projects funded my hobby. So, I can wholly sympathize with that couple, and I know if I got a project boat (which is VERY tempting at times) I'd be doing the same as them, and never actually get out there. It breaks my heart though to see something go to the trash, that I know I can bring back to life. I'll have enough projects to keep me busy on board though, I'm sure.

I suppose I'm just saying that for some, the idea is more enjoyable than the actual act. Same as buying a lottery ticket... People don't (consciously) buy them because they think they have a chance at winning, but instead because it brings them the dream of winning, for a day or two.

Jim Trefethen said in The Cruising Life, "Better to be at home dreaming of being out there, than be out there dreaming of being at home."

I think we're ready though. The seed's been planted, and the time is right. Mark Twain tells us in twenty years we'll regret our inaction; we just need to keep marching forward and do it.
__________________
Joe P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 11:06   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: virginia
Boat: islandpacket
Posts: 1,880
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

Go for it. Check out the AGLCA
American great loop cruisers association. Great people. Go to one of their gatherings. Lots of practical and we'll organized info. Meet other doing this. Great info on what type of boats to use in regards to comfort and fuel economy. There are few places you can go fast. I wouldn't buy a boat that could. I've done the loop and your kids will love it.
And don't listen to people that think your crazy or think your kids won't get socially acceptable is bs, they don't know. This will be an incredible learning experience.
Your kids will pick up on this quickly and will be reading the charts and pointing out markers in no time. You can incorporate home schooling with little problem. Go for this. And go slow and enjoy. Also get your passport card and include Canada.
__________________
That derelict boat was another dream for somebody else, don't let it be your nightmare and a waste of your life.
Badsanta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 11:08   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Woodstock, GA
Boat: O'day Widgeon (12')
Posts: 11
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
What are your current thoughts on longer term plans? Recognizing that it will likely change as you get some experience. A general idea though will help focus and improve feedback.


...Not that you can't add one or change boats if the mission dramatically changes, but it's worth considering and understanding.
It troubles me also to not know exactly where we're headed, but I realize we can't make any longer term plans until we get some experience. There is a possibility that living aboard won't work for us, there's a future illness in the family, politics, economy, etc etc etc (lots of future unknowns here). I'm just looking to take the first step, which is always the hardest.

While we'd certainly discount it now, we've come across story after story of families who never intended to circumnavigate, but eventually were comfortable enough with their sailing abilities that they decided to venture a try, and were indeed successful.


PS - We loosely follow S/V Delos (2000 Amel Super Maramu), and my wife thinks that's our dream boat. I think that'd be a little too much ($$ and size) for three of us, but what the heck, let her dream.
__________________
Joe P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 11:18   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Woodstock, GA
Boat: O'day Widgeon (12')
Posts: 11
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tetepare View Post
Go get a Catalina 30 with a diesel and get moving.

Be prepared to be shocked by the cost of health insurance.

You don't need a windlass at your age. A furling headsail though can be a security item so you don't have to go on deck in rough seas.

If you plan to sail in salt water, start eating fish. It's free and healthy.
Like this one? http://www.sailboatlistings.com/view/68393 (PLEASE someone buy that one so it's taken off the market. I look at the ad every few days to check. I realize I'd need to spend some money on her, but still, $6500? That's cheap.

Health insurance for the family, (at least until the ACA is repealed) would be around $900/month, I figure. Yes, it's a lot, and would be by far our greatest expense. I have some ideas on how to lower the cost though.

I've looked into Junk rigs for their easy reefing ability, and have all the literature on them. Probably won't own one for my first boat though, but maybe in the future. Need to sail one first.
__________________
Joe P is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2017, 11:27   #15
Registered User
 
ranger42c's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Maryland, USA
Boat: 42' Sportfish
Posts: 3,118
Re: Help us cast off! Need advice and inspiration: Family of 3, Great Loop? Boat size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe P View Post
We have one son, five years old, who loves boating, camping and adventure.

3) Vessel selection - size. What would be your recommendation? I know we have to decide this as a family, as living space is a very personal decision, but I'd still value your opinion on where to start. We're trying to find the smallest boat that will fit us comfortably.

I want a minimum of electronics and doo-dads on board, for simplicity. ... Thus, another reason to stay small, so we won't need power roller furlings, windlass, etc.

Smallest isn't all its cracked up to be. What if you decide to have guests. What if your son wants a friend or two or three to sleep over? And so forth. IOW, consider contingencies of life -- beyond what you can maybe get by on.

Ditto simplicity; sometimes has advantages but comes with some cons as well. What if wifey or son needs to be the one lifting the anchor? What if you lose faith in your first anchor and decide to upsize? Or add even more chain? An electric windlass might be a useful Plan B. Even a manual windlass might be better than none. IOW, consider contingencies, given that "life happens" no matter how well you plan.

Besides, you might find Boat Y -- larger than your first target and despite your early thoughts about small and simple -- really sails better than Boat X. And really offers more comfortable living? And is built better. Maybe even comes with some frills that you could live with, might even enjoy when your ten years older than now.

I guess my overall suggestion is to not constrain yourself so tightly right up front. Find a boat you LIKE and that will suit 90-95% of life stuff that you might want to be doing on board for a long time.

Others can advise on boats that actually sail well.

-Chris
__________________

__________________
Selby Bay, South River, Chesapeake Bay, USA.
ranger42c is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
boat, family, size

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Can my family take your family out to dinner? Need to discuss RTW tactics of family Liminality Families, Kids and Pets Afloat 5 13-10-2016 21:04
For Sale: (New) Waterway Guide Great Lakes (with Great Loop) 2015 - $20 skipgundlach Classifieds Archive 5 05-02-2016 14:10
Need advice: Very thick fairing over cast iron keel Adelie Construction, Maintenance & Refit 19 16-12-2015 19:42
Advice on boat to use for the Great Loop cliffdwellers2 General Sailing Forum 32 02-12-2015 06:42
ownership, registrations, tax etc etc etc, (future boat owner) liquido Dollars & Cents 1 20-07-2008 05:00



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 19:16.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.