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Old 14-02-2020, 11:54   #1
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Newb wanting to dive in

Hello all, on mobile so sorry if format is trash.

My wife and myself have been talking about cruising for several years. We both just turned 30 with a 1.5 yr old and we have decided we're ready to commit. We're from a landlocked region of Canada and can mostly sail dinghy and the max is 22ft on our reservoir. We took lessons years ago and will be getting some real hands on experience hopefully this summer.

By commit, I mean we're in the process of downsizing everything and eventually live aboard. We plan to sell our house and everything we can. We're pretty displeased with our current situation and want a change, also the -35c temp is terrible. Our jobs can be done remotely and can sustain us quite well. Our timeframe for everything is under 5 years. We have elderly dogs and we don't want to change up their lifestyle.

We are avid campers and are used to being in small spaces together, as well as living in moderation. Have backpack traveled Australia and a modest chunk of Asia, as well vacationed in the Caribbean and Americas.

We figure that a catamaran is probably best for our needs, as we will be raising a child on board and plan to invite friends and family out often. (not that it can't be done on a mono). I'm considering a new vessel, but not apposed to a used one at all. From what I can tell all we need is a decent size fridge, watermaker and some solar. Lots of used ones have too many options like washer/dryer and things we don't find to be necessities.

I figure our budget will fall into the range of 300-400k, probably not enough for new but we could finance. If anyone has suggestions/ guidance it's what I'm here for.

Good to meet the community!
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Old 14-02-2020, 12:58   #2
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

A suggestion, start reading up on battery banks and what you will need to supply all those mod cons sorts of loads. You may need a genset, which ultimately is just another engine for you to plumb and maintain. Cats are way sensitive to having extra loads to support.

Your experience may be different from ours, but fwiw, lots more people say they will come visit you than actually do. We bought a larger boat so that our kids and grandkids could come visit, but it did not fit with their lifestyles, mostly. People in our own age bracket did come, though, from time to time, and we found that most congenial.


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Old 14-02-2020, 14:30   #3
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

Thanks for the reply!

I will look into battery banks thank you.

As for visitors, i don't doubt that people will say they will visit. Actually coming is a different story. Wont be purchasing anything to accommodate anyone but ourselves i don't think.

Were thinking the max length would be 40ft? I am unsure which boats would be best for our needs. Would prefer to not have to upgrade in the future. Any specific sections on the forum you recommend i peruse?

Any boat-shows near us would only have lake/river boats, no sail. We would have to fly to one of the coasts to view anything in person.
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Old 14-02-2020, 23:09   #4
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

Check out the Multihull Forum (Click on Forums, then on Multihull). Myself, am a confirmed monohullist. Came close to buying a cat once, though. But then this boat came along, and the rest is history. You might look at monohulls about this size. A number of them are 3 cabins, which may well suit your needs. For families with youngsters, you'll want a lot of storage space for whatever their entertainment needs will be...supplies for art work for them and possibly other cruiser kids to do when it isn't nice outside. Music? Lots of options.

Ann

PS: Look at a thread where the guy asks for a critique of his LiFeP04 battery system, https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...an-229724.html, and then check out this thread: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ea-229844.html

A.
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Old 15-02-2020, 03:57   #5
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Cnote.
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Old 15-02-2020, 12:40   #6
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

Hi Cnote! Sounds like you are in the same city as we are! We are also looking to embark on this lifestyle in the next 3 years or so. Albeit, we are hoping to expedite our plans by financing a cat and chartering it ourselves. We are in the process of kickstarting this journey and would love to connect with you! We are in Calgary. You?

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Old 15-02-2020, 13:15   #7
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

Hey Paula,

Yes we're in Calgary! I agree it would be nice to start earlier.
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Old 15-02-2020, 13:19   #8
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

Absolutely agree on the accommodation for visitors. Allow one spare double bunk if you can, which will often have stuff on it when visitors are not there. They never come as often as they say they will.
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Old 15-02-2020, 13:26   #9
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

Hi there, I don't have any concrete suggestions for the boat or plan, but just want to throw out that if you come at it with the willingness to roll with the ups and downs which seem to be magnified when living on a boat, it is a wonderful fulfilling lifestyle full of freedom, adventure and the occasional moments of terror

The cruising kids you meet are probably the most badass of the bunch. They seem to learn resourcefulness and resilience in spades.

Good luck in your plans.
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Old 15-02-2020, 13:47   #10
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

Wouldn't make any large accommodation for guests. You won't get many unless you have a lot of friends who work for airlines. If you make their accommodations too nice they may want to stay. The old truism that guests are like fish, they begin to smell after a couple of days we found to be true for the few people who visited us when we were cruising.

As far as boat size would think a 38' cat would be the smallest to be comfortable and still carry all the stuff you'll end up with on board because of multi hulls weight sensitivity. Mono's aren't nearly so weight conscious. That size should fit into your budget as well. We met people who were cruising on 30' plus range mono's with a preteen child who were doing quite well. There boats had rather spacious quarter berths that became the kid's castles. Still I'd want want a boat over 35' if cruising with a child just for storage space. As a couple we were quite comfortable on a BIG 32' boat, though.
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Old 15-02-2020, 17:10   #11
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

Hello and welcome!
Nice to read about your plans of a future life onboard. My tips is to make sure the boat is very well isolated with good air condition and heating system for 24/7 live aboard. Many people go back to landlife after their first winter onboard a bad isolated boat due to all condensation problems.
I do live myself 24/7 on a 43 ft monohull in cartan steel. Sweden. Winters are cold sometimes, like in Canada. My boat is extremely well isolated and technically prepared for such conditions, so life onboard is very pleasant. Identical to a flat even days with 20 degrees below zero. Space is fair enough for 2 adults and 1 kid and 1 dog. So it is fully okay even w/o a cat
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Old 15-02-2020, 18:17   #12
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

Thank you all for the advice!

Can you elaborate on good isolation? What causes the condensation? A/c or climate? We were thinking of not getting a unit with A/c as to have less weight / probably won't use it much. Also just have a small gennie for backup instead.

Don't overly plan to bring the boat back to Canada, from what I have read it's a chore to sail north. Also our hometown is central and not close the the water. If anything we would fly home for a visit and then keep trekking on.
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Old 15-02-2020, 22:16   #13
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

@Cnote:

He means insulation. He's from Sweden, knows cold winters.

You can probably survive without A/C, at least in the short term. It requires a mind-set that finds other ways to keep you cooler, but not as cool as A/C, which also de-humidifies (lots of people in FLorida have it. IMO, it is hotter in the Solomon Is. But, where you can anchor, you can get night air into the boat, and move it around with fans. It will depend largely on where you want to go, and at what time of year. Most people become tropicalized, and then have problems with cooler temperatures.




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Old 16-02-2020, 00:16   #14
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Re: Newb wanting to dive in

Amplifying Ann's thoughts...

We have been living aboard as full time cruisers for almost 34 years now, first on a 36 foot mono and now on a 46 foot mono. We have spent lots of time in the tropics, and we have never had a/c of any sort. There have been a very few days and nights when we would possibly have used it if on board... out of the over ten thousand days and nights we've spent on board... mostly at anchor. The space and power requirements for a/c are pretty demanding and unless planning marina life in Florida, pretty non-essential IMO.

If planning to spend time in cooler climes, some form of heating is advisable. We use a simple diesel pot burner heater (Fab-All) very similar to Dickenson) and find it a comfort in Tasmania as the season wanes and temps drop down into single digits. You are likely more accustomed to low temps that we are, but that may change as you spend time further south.

As to the mono/multi choice... it's really personal. I don't particularly like the accommodations in most 40 ft +/- cats. The saloons are great, and the direct access to the cockpit area is a plus in benign climates, but the galleys are not to my use taste and I find the bunks large but claustrophobic. Others disagree... as I said, personal things.

Small monos are pretty limited in terms of creature comfort. We met a family of 4 cruising on a Vancouver 27, and they had managed LA to French Polynesia and were having a really good time... but I dunno how they coped! For your usage, I'd think a minimum of around 35 feet would be needed for any long term consideration and ~40 would be a better target. Fortunately such boats are not so dear these days if you can forgo the latest bells and whistles, and room is more important than the B&W IMO.

I could go on generalizing, but it's likely wasted, for I don't know enough about you and your plans and your expectations. If you come up with more specific queries, there are lots of us who will try to help out.

Meanwhile, know that I support your general plan and wish you luck... and that you not need it!

Jim
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