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Old 05-08-2014, 10:03   #1
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Young Family - Age Old Dream

Hi Everyone

Really enjoyed reading the forums up to now so thought it was time to jump in.
My partner and I are middle aged 'experienced' monohull sailors but having acquired three very young crew members of late (all under 8) we feel we've had our backs to the sea for way too long... but things are about to change!

We're in the market for a 39-44' ish used production catamaran for a circumnavigation. Any pointers to relevant forum topics or advice would be gratefully accepted! We've done the research but it's no substitute for experience. If you know a lonely boat just waiting for an eager family - let us know too!

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Old 09-08-2014, 12:19   #2
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Re: Young family - Age old dream


What a wonderful way for kids to see the world! I wish I could have done something like that when I was a kid!

I saw a video clip (youtube it) for "Honeymoon" a Lagoon38 cat that sailed from Caribbean to South Pacific and it looked like a very nice boat for a couple (and kids). That younger couple (younger than me) looked like they had a great time of it. They then had the boat up for sale. I saw the sale video too, and the features looked ideal for a couple or young family. Nice size.

Have fun!
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Old 09-08-2014, 18:02   #3
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Re: Young family - Age old dream

Welcome aboard, Griffinwood,

Are you talking about full time liveaboard cruising?

Are you planning to take a nanny or tutor? (In other words, what are the plans for the children's education?) Relative to the children, there are some issues you and your partner may want to consider about where you want to do most of their raising, bearing in mind that if you are liveaboard cruising there's only you and your partner to do everything: looking after the kids, seeing to boat repairs, earning the money to finance the lifestyle in the way you want it to be, running the boat if everyone is seasick.....
This is only a caveat: it isn't all daiquiris in the sunset. Another issue that occurs to me is that it can be really cold in winter in Europe, so how're you going to deal with heating the two hulls? Are you planning to make waterproof bulkheads between the engines and the rest of the hull?

Many people write in each week with a meets & greets similar to yours, and you'll find plenty of "go now!" feedback. I'm actually one of them, but it is more, for me, "go now" after you've got your ducks lined up.

Who scorns the calm has forgotten the storm.
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Old 09-08-2014, 19:06   #4
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Re: Young family - Age old dream

Welcome aboard. Load up the kids and do some home schooling. The world awaits.
Dave -Sailing Vessel Exit Only
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Old 09-08-2014, 21:50   #5
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Re: Young family - Age old dream

Your plan mirrors ours.. Even the number and ages of your kids...

Here is our short list for boats..

1. Privilege 39, 42 or 45 (this is our #1 - There are a few for sale right now).
2. Lagoon 380 or 410
3. Older Voyage 400 (Good boats for a lower budget, 150K and under)
4. Dean 400

Our plan is to "get out there" by September 2015. I hope we meet up somewhere..
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Old 09-08-2014, 21:57   #6
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Re: Young family - Age old dream

That's not considered child abuse? ... When reaching "maturity" with young children appearing, I changed my lifestyle to "low risk."
Kar-KEEN-ez Koot
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Old 10-08-2014, 03:27   #7
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Re: Young family - Age old dream

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Griiffinwood.
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 10-08-2014, 11:13   #8
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Re: Young Family - Age Old Dream

I've seen a handful of somewhat inexperienced families in the Caribbean who buy a mostly bare catamaran, often straight out of charter, start living on the boat, and then realize they want a whole lot of upgrades. Like solar panels, more batteries, a watermaker, and etc. I think most new cruisers go through that these days-- the technology and convenience is there, and it's hard to realize how big of an improvement they are to the lifestyle until you are living in it. Not schlepping water in a dinghy is so wonderful, as is unlimited electricity, and it's hard to ignore that when most of your neighbors have those conveniences.

But I think with young kids it's a bit harder, especially if that's your family's first few months of the experience. You are probably doing this to spend time with them, not park them on the couch as you run plumbing through the bilge. The idea of sailing is probably taking the kids to a string of beautiful rural beaches, not live in a boat yard or hang out in an unswimmable urban port waiting for some doodad to arrive for the whatever.

Every cruiser has to spend a lot of time maintaining their boat, but I think it feels a bit weird to pull your kids out of a happy (if boring) suburban life and then go straight into three or four or five months of boat maintenance. Additionally, maintenance is pretty stressful for some people, especially when they are new to boat projects.

More experienced families, who have cruised far before and are on their second or third boat, seem to get this and buy a boat that already had everything they want on it and is closer to ready to go. They fly in, have a short list of projects to change the boat to how they want, and then sail away and start the fun part within a few weeks or a month.

So... my main advice is to look for a boat that has already cruised far and is nearly what you want. Don't stretch your budget to get a larger, more barren boat, since it's very time consuming to upgrade the boat. And probably not the kind of experience you want, anyways.

We try not to fetishize our boat. To view it as a tool to enable experiences. Sometimes I fail -- we spent a bit too long in St Maarten this summer, adding a ginormous solar array and wrapping up a whole host of other improvements, that probably didn't really need to be done. The boat is much nicer now, our lives are slightly safer and more convenient. But sometimes I think -- maybe it would have been better to have seen the Bahamas, instead.

Have fun!
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Old 11-09-2014, 17:09   #9
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Re: Young Family - Age Old Dream

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good luck in fulfilling your family's dreams.
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Old 11-09-2014, 17:32   #10
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Re: Young Family - Age Old Dream

Perhaps charter one in a very cat dense area (say Martinique) and see what you like and what you do not like, then look at all other designs around you and at the docks.

Fun and education all in one.

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catamaran, circumnavigation, family

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