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Old 04-05-2015, 12:50   #16
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Re: Two families on one boat

When I was researching a trip across the atlantic, I read about customs in Antigua. I read that they ask 2 questions when you arrive...1. How many people aboard? 2. How many people did you start out with?

I thought that was soooo funny. Until I spent 3+1 weeks with 3 other guys at sea. The tension easily built to the point that I thought one of us would go berzerk. The skipper was pretty much insane long before we got halfway. And when the booze ran out, trouble was afoot. I slept with one eye open, if I slept at all.

So yes, get 2 boats, one per family. You will have much more fun that way. You will each have your own kingdom, freedom and control. And yet you will be together. It will increase you safety too. Two families, two boats...thats a happy adventure I would like to see on tv.
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Old 04-05-2015, 13:12   #17
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Re: Two families on one boat

Short sails can work, mainly because you know that the guests are leaving on a certain date. A for a longer term you would almost assuredly be better off in the nervous hospital. As a matter of fact it would be easier, quicker and much cheaper to just go check in and screw sailing. Friends and some relatives are great but just like fish, after a few days they are hard to put up with.
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Old 05-05-2015, 01:54   #18
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Re: Two families on one boat

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Originally Posted by terah View Post
I've read a lot of threads about solo sailors, couples, and families sailing together, but not seen any with multiple families on a boat - is this done?

I am planning some extended cruising (1 - 2 years) with my wife and two boys in 2 - 3 years time and my sister and brother in-law, with their boy, are keen to join us.

Would welcome any opinions.

Thanks,

Neil
Hey Terah dreadful idea! Two families in a confined space - bad idea! As someone else posted here, guest are great and it's always exciting to welcome them into (onto) your home for a visit but it's even better when you wave them goodbye after a particularly lovely visit. (Emphasis VISIT)
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Old 05-05-2015, 06:12   #19
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Re: Two families on one boat

Well it's close but I think the Nay's may have it.

Thanks for all the input (in particular skipgundlach for being the sole voice of hope!)

It's early days for us planning wise so plenty time to work it all out.
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:01   #20
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Re: Two families on one boat

Terah I think it can be done actually. When you are a kid you dream about living on an island with all your friends and life's a big party. As people age they get more 'realistic' and also more selfish in a lot of ways. There's no reason 2 families can't enjoy and explore the world together as one big happy family and no reason it should t bring you closer together, rather than driving you apart as seems to be the common thinking. Many cultures cultivate family living together and taking care of each other, including extended family, and although it might mean you have less 'me' time, and have to work a little bit harder in some ways, I think the overall benifit scan far outweigh the perceived drawbacks. Jen and I have sailed with quite a few crew/guest we had never met prior to coming aboard. Usually for one to two weeks, but as much as 6 weeks. We have always managed to get along and make things work and always enjoyed the additional company and made great friends in the process. We do see a lot of younger sailors sharing a yacht as friends and enjoying cruising the world together. They make it work together. We also meet some older sailors that have guests for a week and are glad to see the back of them when they leave. Maybe more set in their ways and routines than others...
Yes there's always horror stories with crew and until you make if happen you will never know, but there's no need to give up the dream because a few old farts on the internet said it can't be done
Definitely a good idea to discuss all the pros and cons and have agreeable provisions in mind with the other family should you or they want to change plans along the way.
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Old 05-05-2015, 07:15   #21
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Re: Two families on one boat

Note that monte has guests - not cohabitants.

Despite my enthusiasm for having cruised with my mother in law, she was a guest.

If you're looking to make a partnership on the boat, the equation changes.

Will they be guests?
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Old 05-05-2015, 09:19   #22
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Re: Two families on one boat

My take home from this is that a bit more thought is required, and that everyone has to be aware of the potential issues. I think you're spot on monte that allowing for change of plans would be key.

My wife and I would own the boat, so if we started out together and ended up parting ways with them we would still continue on and there would be no messy ownership issues. They would be guests / crew.

In theory (and I know it would be a faff), we could start out together on one boat and split into two boats along the way.

At the moment I'm considering this whole thing a 1 - 2 year sabbatical, but that could all change as well - I might want to come home after 2 months, or not come home at all.
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Old 05-05-2015, 14:42   #23
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Re: Two families on one boat

To me, this is a pure definition of insanity. As a cruser, offshore race, charter captain and delivery captain, I think that I have seen it all and if I haven't, I don't want to see anymore. I frequently see successful couples, together for many years, ditch the land life and sail off to live the dream. The reality is that they have never been confined to 30 - 50' of what once was a dreamboat but now has become a fiberglass dungeon because they had other ways to suppress their angers and anxieties on land but now are trapped together for seemingly endless periods of time. Add multiple kids ( hormones) who really did not sign on for the "dream" and you are facing a Mt. Everest of social and family confrontation

Cruising World magazine did a study of cruising couples several years ago and concluded that most quit after the first six months for a variety of reasons. That is an astounding percentage. Good luck! If you proceed I like the reality show possibilites (very slim at best) and I'll bring the film crew. I'm sure I won't need a script!
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Old 05-05-2015, 14:50   #24
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Re: Two families on one boat

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Cruising World magazine did a study of cruising couples several years ago and concluded that most quit after the first six months for a variety of reasons. That is an astounding percentage.
Hmmmm...that sounds interesting.
Just from personal experience my gut tells me that most cruisers make it a full season once they actually leave the dock. But, that's the key...will they every actually leave the dock? I bet the vast majority of "Cruisers" or should I say "cruisers in planning" actually never make it off the dock. I think that situation is more standard than quitting after 6 months.
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Old 06-06-2015, 01:52   #25
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Re: Two families on one boat

I've met one family that did this. From memory, it was a couple with their two teenage daughters, plus the wife's brother and his teenage daughter and pre-teen son. The boat was a 52' steel minohull. They left Vancouver and cruised the South Pacific through to Australia/NZ. I'm not sure how the ownership of the boat worked, but I've met both sides of the family and all spoke highly of the trip. By all accounts ,the cousins had a great time together.

You can find some more details in the archives of their blog at www.camdeboo.ca

You'll get lots of opinions about this, but you're the only one who knows your family dynamic and how you all get along.

Best wishes,
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Old 06-06-2015, 15:55   #26
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Re: Two families on one boat

If you're looking at a 3 cabin mono, it means that the kids would [I]always[/I be sharing a berth. Depending on their ages, this is a potential source of conflict.

The adults would all have to agree about who is captain, who is next in command, the ways the jobs are shared, how the home schooling is handled, and so on.

My opinion is that it depends entirely on the people involved and their conflict resolution skills. It could be heaps of fun, or the voyage from hell, or somewhere in between.

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Old 06-06-2015, 16:28   #27
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Re: Two families on one boat

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Originally Posted by Hobie_ind View Post
From memory, it was a couple with their two teenage daughters, plus the wife's brother and his teenage daughter and pre-teen son.


Three teenage girls? There isn't a boat large enough...


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Old 06-06-2015, 18:23   #28
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Re: Two families on one boat

Wow! You must really love your family!

I love my privacy, so can't even imagine, but hey, who's to say it couldn't work out? You obviously get along stellar with them otherwise you wouldn't even be considering it. Spending longer bits of time with the fam is a great idea.

Have you considered starting a blog regarding this adventure? I would definitely read it.

All the best,

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Old 06-06-2015, 19:25   #29
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Re: Two families on one boat

I am a former professional sailor and have spent lots of time on boats with lots of people on board, up to 42 for months on end. So it's at least theoretically possible. In fact it was the best part of being a merchant seaman, having lots and lots of gregarious seamen aboard to do fun stuff with.

I just spent 9 days on my 35 with 6 people on board. Me, my wife and son in our big v-birth. My mom on the couch, my brother and his boss in the double aft cabin. It was terrific fun. But it was only 8 days, and we were sailing hard, which kept me and my brother in the cockpit or working on the engine/stuff most of the time.

I would say it's possible but would really depend on your guests. If they are merchant seaman, ex military or very avid outdoorsman, I'm sure it could work. If they are a highly suburbanised nuclear family, forget about it.

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Old 06-06-2015, 20:17   #30
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Re: Two families on one boat

Family Van has a point there: outdoorsy folks do tend to make better guests, also people with a smaller boat than the one they are visiting, and backpackers/bushwalkers even understand that you are not hooked up to an infinite water supply.

What often happens is that the skipper and wife prefer to sleep in the saloon, so the kids bunk together in the aft cabin, the other parents in the V-berth, Which makes it easier for the skipper and wife to take care of business at sea or at anchor. At sea, one set of adults will be on watch all the time. A 6 on 6 off watch schedule will work. As the kids get older, one parent, with child can start doing watches. Everyone can take a hand at cooking and cleaning up. That many people, I think you'd want a watermaker.

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