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Old 23-09-2007, 19:27   #31
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Originally Posted by Ex-Calif View Post
I had my portable hard drive with me and I swear I didn't swap 20 gig worth of videos with anyone
Same deal with me. I've got a ton of movies (you can find a bunch, if you're patient and snoop around, on Stage6 · Upload Video Clips. Share, Watch, Download Videos ) as well, and I keep them on my external hard drive.

I disagree with the 110lb anchor and 2 SSB / HAM / Sat Phone / Laser Beams / Space Gun style stuff. Most of the boats that spend their time in harbor have lots of fancy stuff. The less stuff you have, the less stuff will go wrong.

If you want to spend your time fixing gear, or paying someone else to fix it, then go with all kinds of gadgets. Figure out what you need, not what I (or other posters) need. I think microwaves are rediculous; I never used the one at my land home, so having one on a boat is laughable. For other people, it's very important.

I'm a big advocate of simple gear. Foot pumps are better than pressurized water, paper charts beat electronic ones, and manual windlasses rarely break.

Good luck, have fun, and wait to buy and install stuff until you know you need it. Save your money: Don't give it to West Marine!
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Old 23-09-2007, 21:30   #32
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Intentional Drifter,

Good on you mate.

You made a good decision to sell you stuff and set sail on the ocean of your dreams. That must have been tough to change your mind about the Lagoon, and I would expect that the dealer was none too happy about your decision as well.

Selecting the yacht is really tough, because you are selecting a set of expensive compromises that you will be living with for many years to come. There's no such thing as a perfect yacht, and all catamarans are not created equal. I think it comes down to understanding clearly in your mind which compromises you can live with and which you can't live with.

The biggest fault of most production cats that I saw in the Caribbean was low bridge decks. If I was in your shoes, I would only look at catamarans that had a high bridgedeck clearance. That would be my starting point on all cats. Bridgedeck slamming is a problem for a huge number of the designs, and this is an area in which you should never compromise.

The second thing I would recommend is that if you think you like a cat, go charter it for a week. Maybe you will get lucky and be able to charter it in bad weather and see how it handles in bad weather, especially going to windward. You'll quickly discover whether you like the design or not.

Everything else, wouldn't make much difference to me. Galley up or down wouldn't matter. As long as the boat was well built with a strong rig, I could pretty much live with any other compromise.

Good luck on finding your cruising machine. Start out with a high bridgedeck and you won't be disappointed.
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 24-09-2007, 02:21   #33
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Originally Posted by Intentional Drifter View Post
... What's the Green Marine photo diode anchor light? Sounds interesting, do you have a link? ...
Orca Green Marine Technology Corporation: LED Marine Lights from Orca Green
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 24-09-2007, 08:35   #34
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OK, I'm hooked

After reading more of the replys, I felt the urge to add on.
On the 'low tech' side, we think a thermos is indispensible. Coffee bubbled in an old fashioned pot on the stove tastes better than a Mr. Coffee anyhow, and the thermos keeps it warm and 'un-bitter' for hours. Also needed for bumby night passages when you're alone in the cock-pit.

On the not-so-low-tech side: DVD's are available really really cheap in the southern Caribbean. We can get flicks just out in the theaters in the US for less than $5US in Trinidad, Venezuela, Curacao and Bonaire. And there seems to be someone with a burner in every anchorage happy to make copies of anything.

Forget the bikes. We did use ours for a couple months in the Bahamas, but after that they were just a pain to have around; bulky and in need of lots of TLC (wheel alignments) from getting bumped around under way. We sold ours in Grenada. Walking is better for the bones, and taking the local buses is great entertainment. Also, plan to budget in some car rental days for the Caribbean islands.

GUIDE BOOKS - yes, yes, yes. The more the better. We know one couple who sailed from the US to Trinidad and back without a single chart. They did it all on Doyles. I wouldn't recommend that of course, but we have found the way-points in Doyles to be much more reliable than 60+ year old charts.

Food: all the way down island people will tell you things like "You better buy your meat here. It's not so good on the island to the south." Fawgetabutit. They eat on every island. Certainly some things are more expensive on some islands than others. Certainly some things are not obtainable in all places. But that is part of the fun of it all. Learn to eat what the local's eat. And the things you can't get there taste that much better on trips home. And then you can bring things home with you (like the Pisca Andeana we learned to make in So. America) that will fascinate your family. Finally, on this topic - in the last 7 years we have seen some huge improvements in what packaged foods are available. We haven't wanted for anything, except in Venezuela where there are regular food shortages caused by strikes. But you will know all about these things by listening to the Safety and Security Net on your SSB in the mornings.

One thing I haven't seen listed anywhere yet is a sewing machine. It would be really nice to have one of the SailRite units, but they are expensive. We have an Elnita aboard. It is a home version of a German industrial machine. It is small and certainly not nearly as good as an industrial machine, but I've gotten through 6+ layers of sunbrella with it. Besides being indispensible for maintenance, it provides great entertainment at anchor. If you are into sewing clothes at all, I would recommend getting together a group of basic patterns to take with you. That is one thing I have not found south of the US.

Finally, the boat: have you checked out used boats already in the Caribbean? We know of at least one good Cat for sale in Curacao that has done the job and would probably come already loaded. (The owners have bought a home there and are 'nesting.') Then you can sail where you want to be anyway and save the easting for when you're ready.

Good luck. It's a great adventure.
S/V Quickstep
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Old 24-09-2007, 09:00   #35
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Originally Posted by S/V Quickstep View Post
Forget the bikes. We did use ours for a couple months in the Bahamas, but after that they were just a pain to have around; bulky and in need of lots of TLC (wheel alignments) from getting bumped around under way. We sold ours in Grenada. Walking is better for the bones, and taking the local buses is great entertainment. Also, plan to budget in some car rental days for the Caribbean islands.

Good luck. It's a great adventure.
S/V Quickstep
Got to agree about the bike, yes I use mine a lot while in our marina, but we found it to be a PITA to take it cruising!! It now gets stored when we leave for the islands
Denny and Diane
Lagoon 37
"The only way to get a good crew is to marry one." -Eric Hiscock
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Old 24-09-2007, 10:44   #36
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Another vote for forget about the bikes. My two Dahons have been in my basement for the past 10 years. We used them a lot the first few trips, especially in the Chesapeake but I guess we don't go exploring as much now.
Rick I
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Old 24-09-2007, 15:50   #37
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forget the bike get one of the little 50cc fold up scooters, go anywhere on 50cents worth of petrol fold up to nothing and open up masses of areas for exploring under your own power, having two gives you a margin of redundancy, simple to maintain and repair, the only downside is the noise they put out, makes doing your shopping stacks easier
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Old 04-02-2008, 22:23   #38
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I thought it might be a good time to do an update and bringing back this old thread seemed like the easiest thing to do.

We are presently in Ft. Lauderdale, trying to get the boat ready to get out of here. Not that FLL doesn't have certain advantages -- when it comes to boats, if it exists, it is probably here. But, this town is an expensive place and not much to my liking.

We ended up buying a St. Francis 44. Yeah, I know that it doesn't follow Dave's advice very well about bridgedeck clearance, but it isn't too bad. Having talked with several folks who've cruised long distances on them, including two circumnavigators, they all spoke highly about the boat as a comfortable, fast, well-built cruising cat. We found what we believe is a well-outfitted boat that was in Bristol condition, for what ended up being a fair price. The survey results were quite minor and easily accomplished.

We are now in the middle of doing some modifications that are important to us. The bimini top installed by the factory was woefully inadequate. Good for a sunshade, lousy for keeping rain out of the cockpit. Being from the PacNW, maybe we're a bit more sensitive to that than others, but that's the way it is. So, we're having the whole thing redone to be a better rain and weather shield. We also put on a couple of electric genoa winches -- we figured that they won't come down in price, but we will continue getting older and that big, 130 genoa is quite a pull when tacking. The other modifications are more for convenience: building some additional drawers in the galley, reconfiguring the salon table to be more functional as a convertible dining table and coffee table, putting in corian countertops in the galley and heads (they will both make for a better surface and be far more attractive), and altering one of the engine access panels to improve access to the dirty bits. All of this is simply taking time and money, but will end up in with a more functional boat.

As far as sailing ability, I'm pretty impressed. Even with this being a fairly "loaded" boat, she sails nicely. 6 to 7 kts in 12 to 14 true at 35 degrees (so, she even points pretty well). When the wind comes to a beam to broad reach, she seems to pick up her heels and does 8 to 9 in the same 12 to 14 true. This is using the standard genoa and main, although she also came with both a .75 and 1.5 oz spin (which we haven't used yet), as well as a babystay/storm jib.

As for our initial impressions of the cruising life, limited though it is, we sure do like it. We've already met a number of wonderful people -- knowledgeable, always willing to help, and fun. It seems that the schedule goes like this: Get up about 8ish, do boat projects/shopping from around 9 to about 1, break for lunch and find out who's hosting the evening party, work more until 4 or 5, go to the party about 6. Do it again, tomorrow. Well, life could be worse!

Thank you all for your suggestions. They've been helpful.

Intentional Drifter

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Old 05-02-2008, 04:45   #39
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About the "attitude"

That, together with the factory's amazingly poor attitude, was a definite turn-off. Furthermore, I have been most disappointed in my dealer's responsiveness to even basic questions.

While I could live with some compromises, I'm not willing to live with all of them. Hence, the change.


Funny (not really) that you would mention that. I noticed at the last Strictly Sail Show, the incredible arrogance of most of the salesman. I felt like grabbing one guy and alerting him to the fact that the item he was selling was a half million dollars, and perhaps he should get up off his butt when he has potential customers aboard! Several times the sales staff just lays there on the sofa or in the cockpit with sunglasses and bearly says hello. I was most amazed to find that the ones that were the most condescending where trying to sell the most overpriced boats.
I have a retail store and believe me, everyone walking in the door gets our attention and respect, but these guys trying to sell you at the boat shows are sometimes beyond the pale when it comes to customer service. We learned a long time ago that the person buying a $10 item can evolve into a great customer if they are shown respect every time they come in.
It definately affected our decision on a company to look at for our purchase. If they can't be helpful in the showroom (the show) then I imagine the after purchase service will be even worse! I don't mind to kiss some butt to sell a boat, but to kiss a butt to take my money is just too much for me.
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Old 05-02-2008, 06:20   #40
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ID - congrats on you acquisition and progress. Sounds like you've made good decisions.

Originally Posted by Intentional Drifter View Post
This is using the standard genoa and main, although she also came with both a .75 and 1.5 oz spin (which we haven't used yet), as well as a babystay/storm jib.
Are these symmetrical chutes? If so, look forward to them being ridiculously easy to fly, assuming you have the standard cat spi set up with a guy on each bow.

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Old 05-02-2008, 07:25   #41
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I wish you all the luck in the world.
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