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Old 13-06-2016, 11:43   #16
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Originally Posted by Ypake View Post
I recomend to follow Badsanta advice and move to the place you wanna sail, rent a boat and try a few months thats gonna give you a good idea the lifestyle aboard and also you can do a good scout looking to buy a future boat, on place you allway find better deals than on internet.

The prices I have seen for catamaran rentals are like $6000 a week. 2 months of renting is the price of many of the boats I have seen. Is there a way to do as you say, without dropping 50 grand?
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Old 13-06-2016, 12:10   #17
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

We live on our Leopard 40 (the older one) and know several families that own the same model. One has a three cabin version and wished they would have gotten the 4 cabin. Why? Storage. We turned one of our forward cabins into a pantry. I need that much more than I need a large head. The only cat I know of with a 16ft beam is a Gemini. It's not a bluewater sailboat. They sail really well. The problem with the newer ones is that if you're off shore you'll have to run jacklines in your salon to get across it. Hauling and dockage doesn't become an issue until you get into the 46 ft and above range.

PM me if you want more info. BTW, I sailed as a kid, but had not done it in years. My husband was more of a powerboat guy. We took lessons. What we did not do was buy a starter boat or spend years learning how to sail. What we did do was made sure we could sail and navigate.

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Old 13-06-2016, 17:39   #18
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Originally Posted by Medge View Post
2) My wife is concerned with the keel depth of a mono. Deeper keel = greater chance of running aground.
Any boat can go aground. It would only take a little googling to find evidence of cats that have grounded. Seems a better idea is to learn to navigate and keep whatever boat you get, cat or mono, off the bottom.

As to the seasickness issue, I wonder what your wife will do on night passages when the sun has set and the horizon is hidden? Different motions affect people differently. While they may not lean a lot, cats do have a distinctive motion, that imo is not as smooth as that of a well-mannered mono. It would be good to try before buying - maybe join a yacht club and crew on other people's boats, or check the crew wanted listings here on CF.
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Old 13-06-2016, 17:57   #19
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Originally Posted by Lodesman View Post
While they may not lean a lot, cats do have a distinctive motion, that imo is not as smooth as that of a well-mannered mono. It would be good to try before buying
Over 20,000 hours cruising on a single engine displacement hull trawler and my wife never experienced seasickness. Two day trips on cats and she was violently ill both times ..... very different motion.
it's not that I'm set in my ways but it's taken me 69 years to get it right and I ain't changin' now !
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Old 14-06-2016, 13:44   #20
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

In January we purchased our first sailboat, a 38' cat. She's 21 wide, and very comfortable. You can check out info on her at I would be happy to answer any questions too.
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Old 14-06-2016, 13:47   #21
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Originally Posted by Medge View Post
I don't want to spend the 10 winters at a 45 degree angle .
Holy Crap!!!!! Neither do I and I'm glad I don't normally exceed 15 degrees and mostly am 10 or less degrees.

Never mind - now that I've read the rest of the thread I see where it is going.
It is OK if others want to do it different on THEIR boat
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Old 14-06-2016, 14:10   #22
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Good you are starting your search early. You will learn a lot here and elsewhere. Just take the rude with a grain of salt, they seem to forget there was a time when they knew nothing.
-Most Cats will be approximately half their length in beam. So for 16 ft beam you are talking a 32 ft cat. That's not a number that is real prevalent out there, but there are some.
-45 degree heel is a lot, rarely that happens. Often 20 degrees feels like a lot. It's all about learning and controlling the boat.
-Running aground is not that rare an event and in most situations is not a huge deal. But it can be... if you run onto a reef etc! The bottom line is whether you are 6 ft draft or 1 ft draft, YOU need to know where you are and what to avoid and you will be OK. My 42 ft Catamaran had 4ft 5inches draft.
-Most cruisers will be at anchor 95% of the time and moving maybe the rest.
Have fun figuring it out.
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Old 14-06-2016, 14:13   #23
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Originally Posted by DavidLGCrawford View Post
In January we purchased our first sailboat, a 38' cat. She's 21 wide, and very comfortable. You can check out info on her at I would be happy to answer any questions too.
David, thanks!

I have a specific question here: Crane size and low bridges - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Old 14-06-2016, 14:23   #24
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Deeper keel = greater chance of running aground.
I disagree - I think we end up aground more because we try and get thru skinny water. Our dingy oars have depth markers on them. We have the SonarPhone T-BOX
which we expect to use on the dingy and then transfer to the iPad

On seasickness - my wife was always seasick on the monohull and does much, much better on the cat.

BTW, there was a huge difference for us going from a 34 cat to a 39 cat. And I bet another huge increase from 39 to 44 (which I never intend to find out)
Medge - go look at a Gemini, you might be surprised for the 3 of you.
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Old 14-06-2016, 15:18   #25
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Originally Posted by Medge View Post
We need a big refrigerator and freezer. My wife is basically a vegetarian. She needs lots of veggies, she isn't eating crackers and spam.
It depends where you go, but I haven't had much success in buying vegetables in many places. They are expensive and the selection is small and bad. One of my friends on board is mostly vegetarian and shipped an enormous amount of dried veggies to the boat. If you haven't tried them, they taste way better than canned, and in bulk quantities cost less and take up less space. To me, many of them are as good as fresh, though I admit that I am not picky and will happily eat canned corned beef and rice. Green beans, corn, asparagus, mushrooms (is that a veggie?), onions, kale, carrots... Those, with rice, lentils, and dried beans that we seem to be able to buy locally anywhere, and a pressure cooker, and I feel we can eat pretty well in vegetarian style. Though I don't, when I cook I tend to add meat from the freezer.

Anyways, don't knock Spam. It's delicious when made into sushi rolls.
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Old 14-06-2016, 20:52   #26
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Originally Posted by msponer View Post
It depends where you go, but I haven't had much success in buying vegetables in many places. They are expensive and the selection is small and bad. ....................
We discovered that, while cruising in many foreign ports, it's important to find out when the "ship comes in"! Some produce shelves are restocked on a particular day of the week or sometimes even bi-monthly. There are days with plenty and days with meager scraps!
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 22-06-2016, 19:53   #27
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Awesome! Get a Type-3 Modern Trimaran!!!

Originally Posted by Medge View Post
"...What is the one piece of advice you want to share with me?..."
Well, I wrote a few lines and then it turned into a blog. Hope this helps!

+ + + + +

You want a multi-hull.
I love them too. Sure, you can go small, to try things out, see what works or not-I mean some people go REAL small...
You can simply...
Get something proven that you really like.

However, a bit of kit I picked up recently worth sharing is:
Different TYPES of Multi-Hull Designs and their issues learned over time!

I think if you're going to get a multi, you need to make sure the design is a modern TYPE-3 DESIGNI mean, why not, with your budget? And don't forget, a newer multihull off yachtworld does NOT necessarily = modern design. That's a presumption, so make sure; whatever boat you get serious about, BEFORE you get serious, research the design/designer and even email them! Nowadays most people have internet connections and many will get back to you fairly quickly about their boats and designs.

And FWIW, a 40'-50' Multi hull is IMMENSE inside- you'll have a huge living area and probably enough space to entertain 10 people, and another 10 on deck if needed. If that is what you want to do, or lose each other, by all means (just invite me to the party, as someone with lots of positive encouragement)!
I was on an old 30'x20' Hedly Nicole Trimaran (cool looking but Type-2 as I recall) and it literally is 20'x20' -10'x10' roof which about 16" taller than the rest of the deck, which was 5' more on each side by 20-30' LONG. It was HUGE-!!! If it had been 5-6' longer inside (to hold an aft sleeping room for the owners, or dining area), it would be PERFECT for 2 couples or a couple and their kid(s) with privacy for all.
I.E. a 34-36' Trimaran is PLENTY big enough for a couple and their kid.

3 people? Try a 34'-36' Trimaran. I think anything bigger will be really big -you can actually lose someone for a few minutes on the bigger ones, easily.


Here's what I'd do (and I've done) -if you like making lists or thinking this way: First my wife and I (we were already living aboard but not voyaging at the time) spent a few days tracking EVERYTHING we used and like to use and have around, and paying attention to our creature comforts and what we liked. I mean, from coffee filter types and how we made coffee/tea (and where we got it and how much we used), to how we liked to store socks. We put EVERYTHING we used into one area of our house and took a look at it after a few days/week. Then we summed up everything after a week or so.With that we were easily able to calculate HOW MUCH SPACE, STORAGE and THINGS we NEEDED to have with US. to have with us/around us, to make life aboard an easy and wonderful, pleasant adventure!

...Then of course we had kids, and everything changed -lol, but at least he's 8, so much easier than babies by then (except for the socks).

We also calculated how much resources we used. Power, water, etc... But on a Tri/Cat you'll only need to do minimal work there -just generally 300w-400w of panels and 400aH of batteries for 2 adults/1 kid unless you guys are all high-electrical use)! Tri's/Cats have lots of flexibility for solar so maybe start with 200w and move up.

(a) So What kind of lifestyle do you want to have every day/week while cruising?

: I see...
(1) fresh produce so decent cool storage space for greens
-they don't keep for more than a few days or a week at most which is fine for basic cruising esp. in a fast multi-hull a day or two from good ports with fresh produce. You need a decent cooling solution- NOT necessarily anything else. Anything else is great, but know the MINIMUM for the task, and start there. Fresh Greens means a cool place that stays not too cold or they wilt. NO PROBLEM ona boat the size you are considering (it would be an issue on a 30' mono hull, and need to be prioritized). Good cooling solution for food is a TINY design need in any decent multi-hull, unless you wind up looking at older ones to save $50k-$70k for your cruising budget.

If you make your way offshore around the world you'll have to figure out how to eat rice cakes and soup from a cardboard carton maybe for a week or three maybe (lots of new good brands out there for serious health conscious people BTW), OR get a good SMALL freezer (and some extra solar panels and a few more deep cell high amp-hour batteries) and keep it packed- cook up big batches of fresh soup from veggies where you can get them, and STASH them DEEP in the little freezer. We've gone months with regular home-made soup thawed and reheated this way. It's a compromise but if you ever need to know, it works!

However, Multi-hulls are FAST (we had a mono when we did this, so 2x-3x as long on passages), so going a month or so on a multi-hull on a voyage is unusual. Again, a good crisper-capable produce cooling solution will work fine.
Get some crates/boxes out and figure it out. That's what size fridge you'll need AT MOST. (note: keep it packed with water bottles -leave some air in them- as you remove greens to keep the power drain down on your renewable power solution (solar/wind/etc).
BTW: Renewable Power. Since you'll be SAILING probably when the wind is GOOD, and multi's are FAST and have LOW DRAG, a WIND GENERATOR will only have LIMITED USE except when anchored -and when the wind is blowing during cruising season (non-winter wherever you go) there won't be MUCH CLOUDS- so your solar will probably be doing really good. So maybe consider a wind generator AFTER you have a great solar setup AND a water-towing power generator (they add some drag, but on a big fast boat? bah!)...

(2) 6 months a year cruising/6 boat in dry dock or something. A normal size Tri or Cat is fine with most yards. Anything over 20-21 (??? someone correct me?) is where you can run into problems, but from what I understand, MORE of an issue if you travel the world. There ARE multi-hull resources and links (I'll post again once I find them, if I do) where you can actually sound off with others who have gone and done it before you, where to go, where to store, how to do it- so you can remove all the stress and worry and just KNOW of 15-30 places on any seaboard where you can haul out and leave it for 6 months each time you go out. THAT IS DO-ABLE TO KNOW once you tap into the multi-hull groups. Trust me, you are NOT the first and it's a CRUCIAL part of owning one, so people will help you learn where you are and where you want to go so you can know.

(3) Renewable (Solar/Wind/Water) Power.
I'm doing the same- HOWEVER- I've learned that various "gear knowledge" is important -some things don't work well with others, and MAJOR reputable 5/5 star items and brands will be horrible on a boat with other critical gear (and usually right when you MOST need it). It's a bit esoteric, esp once you get into inverters and RFI/SSB/VHF/Short-Wave and weather broadcast reception, but it's also about priorities. On a monohull which is SLOWER we need to be more critical than if we still had a fast trimaran, as we need good offshore SSB's and communications for LONGER VOYAGES where we can't EVER outrun any kind of weather (almost don't need to know, either we make it or not, eh?)...The point? Unless you find a TOTALLY outfitted, ready to go boat,
...the boat is maybe HALF of the purchase!

It will REALLY seem like two different and completely separate endeavors -
and the boat purchase will be easy compared to outfitting it!

...However, you don't need the most expensive or the best, nor do you need to spend a fortune on something brand new.

Again, for renewable power on a fast multi-hull? Solar and a towing generator first, then a wind generator! (Advice: TEST OUT The wind generator by checking out one in operations and research). I almost coughed up a few grand for a great high-output modern one, turns out all my friends who HAVE one HATE IT -it whines, shrieks, won't turn in light airs, whirs and makes TONS of noise! Turns out the old KISS beater ones we saw on craigslist are not only good enough but work in light airs too, so while they put out a loss less, they do so far more often, quietly and in peaceful times unnoticed.

We got our entire 300w 450amp hour Solar Power System and MPPT charge controller off Amazon for something like $1200 USD. I've inspected it against systems I've seen on super yachts maybe just a few years old, and ours is BETTER. Renogy Mono panels, Victon MPPT controllers, good cables, Samlex Inverters. Simple. Non-Expensive. Well made. Done.

We also got a used older but solid SSB (with HAM!) with auto-tuner and antenna and cables and filters for $600 USD (Icom IC-M700pro, AT-130, 23.5' SSB antenna, etc). Ground plates? Hah! Another $160 and we're good to go. Youngsters are using little SW radios with alligator clips to their backstay for an antenna and a little audio cable plugged into their iPads to get weather fax, no problem. NO need for $4,000-$10,000 systems like in the modern age anymore!

I see good deals around here and there, like that (just be ready to snatch when you find one); people are ALWAYS upgrading their gear.

I.E. Don't spend more than 1/2 your funds on the boat itself.
I see percentages here and there, but really, buying the boat is about 1/2 way there at most, IMHO.

Just for the record, we're mostly veggie (Fish of course, and the kids will eat meat if we make it) and we have run a small 12v DC RV/dorm-style cooler-fridge on low (I.E. one Renogy 100w panel, good sun exposure, a good MPPT controller and a good 150aH battery) packed with fresh greens and had enough for WEEKS -I'm sure you can find cruisers who have some more details and tricks, but we found making sure to keep excess water out of the greens and chopping things up and packing them as DRY as possible in zip-lock freezer bags worked wonders (like those USA bags of salad you can buy in most grocery stores- they package them like that for a reason- they can last a LONG TIME like that). I think our salad mixes lasted almost a month like that, easily 2x as long as when we had fresh greens on land in a house, where we were more careless!!!

There. That's my input.

+ + +
p.s. 45-degrees was probably "just-saying" ...many mono-hulls ARE "tender" and -ALL- will be so compared to a MULTI-HULL. Of course, all boats will move around and at some point, you'll be in some kind of not-so-fun bumpy, unpleasant weather, but a well built, well designed Multi will be SAFE, fast, capable and FEEL more stable most of the time. To get that kind of "stability", or something even similar feeling in some way, you have to get something really heavy-duty and seriously made for slow ocean work -VERY much the opposite of what it sounds like you want. I'm sure we can derail the thread here and debate on that,

but either you want a Multi-Hull for the reasons you do, or you want us to try and convince you to find a deep-draft, heavy-displacement, huge, solid ocean cruiser for slow, long, voyages across oceans, which isn't what I got at all.

Debate aside,
you want a multi-hull.
I love them. Get on the multi-hull forums and figure out if there are ANY real limitations for haul-outs for over 20-22' beams in the areas you want to go. For the rest of the world someday? If you can find a haul-out place 500 miles along coasts where you want to go in the REST of the world. I.E. you'll be wanting to be somewhat near civilization probably, if you're leaving it there (unless of course you intend to rent a hut in Polynesia or ToraTora, etc), so that will mean some form of an airport, which means you'll probably be NEAR civilizations, which means you won't be the first thing they've had to haul in the last 100-200 years. I'm guessing, long-term big multi-hull you probably won't notice the limitations hardly EVER with the cruising you seem to intend to do.
...Of course, you won't be taking it up some East-Coast USA or Narrow European Canal, but you could always store a smaller day-sailer on your tennis-court decks.

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Old 22-06-2016, 20:18   #28
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

One comment about cats vs monohulls and seasickness. A cat certainly sails flatter (although as many have pointed out, even the most tender mono won't approach 45) but sailing level does not mean sailing without motion.

Cats and monos both pitch, roll and yaw just not the same way and to the same degree in each axis of motion. Cats are lighter and more buoyant so in general their motion tends to be faster and can be jerky compared to a mono. In a cross sea a cat can have a combined yaw and roll as waves pass under the hull that I personally find uncomfortable.

A mono in most axes will move much more than a cat but will do so more slowly as the motion is damped by the weight of the keel and the ability of the single hull to roll with the motion of the waves. A mono will of course roll more than a cat. Both will pitch to a roughly similar degree but the cat will tend to ride over a steep wave that a mono might punch through the top. Yaw will vary depending on the point of sail.

One place a cat really shines is at anchor. Even seemingly small swell at the wrong angle can make an anchored monohull roll enough to throw you out of the bunk while a cat in the same anchorage barely moves at all.

Before plunking down six figures I highly recommend spending a little time on both types. Shop around and you can find a charter off season with one of the second tier companies for a lot less than $6K.
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Old 22-06-2016, 20:35   #29
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Over time, i've learned that my body doesn't like quick, jerky motion, makes me seasick. I cope much better with the motion of monohull boats, as once you heel, you're pretty stable at that angle, mostly, and then your body only has to cope with up and down motion, not sudden lurches.

I understand that people love their boats, mono or cats, but I have to agree with skipmac, above, that the OP would be best served by trying out both types before committing to either type.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 23-06-2016, 07:46   #30
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Re: Inexperience Family to begin Live-aboard.

Thanks Parrot, that is a very useful post, and witty too!
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