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Old 23-02-2021, 11:59   #1
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I have questions....

Hey all,

Been lurking for a while and since things are getting more serious into moving into the cruising life I would like to ask you all (who are doing it) a few questions.

Disclaimer, I am completely new at this.

We are another family that is planning on selling our house, using equity and move ourselves and three kids onto a cruising boat. We believe we will have about 375k to buy a boat and use to cruise for some time, hopefully we can find an income after a couple years and stretch our time on the water as long as possible.

We (like most other families) are leaning towards a cat due to stability, speed and the four cabin thing. We would also be open to a mono but we would really like to try to find a 4 cabin model so we can "escape" each other occasionally while on the boat.

As far as sailing plans, we live about half an hour away from the Puget sound so ideally we would like to find a yacht up here and cut our teeth (after sailing classes) playing around in the San Juans. Our future plans include travelling down to Mexico, head into the S. Pacific, mess around there for a couple years and hopefully have enough money to make a lap in order to visit Europe for a while then we hope to go up into Ireland, Greenland and eventually down the east coast of the US and into the Caribbean.

Its all tentative but its a goal.

Kids are 2, 7 and 11

So about my questions,

1: Am I living a pipe dream with the funds I have?
2: What boats would you guys recommend
3: How important is it for each child to have their own cabin
4: What should I know before doing this?

Thanks in advance
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Old 23-02-2021, 12:08   #2
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Re: I have questions....

Welcome...


I am a nobody here...but it appears that this type of question keeps popping up on a weekly basis. "Hi...I am planning of selling my home, buying a boat, and living the dream with my family".


Best thing you could do is to do a search and you will find a lot of what you are looking for specially if you do not get a response here. The advise you will get is all over the place. In a nut shell, best advice is usually take lessons, charter a lot, maybe join a boat club where you can charter and then after a few years then go to plan B. This is too large of a decision to make unless you are supper rich and can afford to take a great loss because you discovered you did not like living in boat.


Best,


Abe
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Old 23-02-2021, 12:17   #3
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Re: I have questions....

Welcome.

I would suggest updating your profile with your general location and “Looking” in the "Boat" category. This info shows up under your UserName in every post in the web view. Many questions are boat and/or location dependent and having these tidbits under your UserName saves answering those questions repeatedly. If you need help setting up your profile then click on this link: https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...ml#post3308797

If you need further help let me know, I would be happy to.

I don’t think the kids need their own cabins, I think they each need their own berths and storage for their clothes and personal items. The berth they each get shouldn’t be something that converts to seating for general use during the day, it needs to be their own place they can escape to.

I don’t know about Cats but monohull V-berths generally aren’t that usable for sleeping while underway. Parents will need to sleep on a settee during night watches and there should be a place for the on watch person to sit without disturbing a sleeper.

I do not believe that cats are significantly faster than monos that are a similar length, displacement and sail area.
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Old 23-02-2021, 12:18   #4
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Re: I have questions....

1. Buy a boat. Any boat. Not your ideal dream boat, because you don't really know what that is yet.

2. Learn to sail. Cruise locally. Spend as much time as possible on the boat. See if you like sailing and spending extended amounts of time aboard.

3. Study, take seminars that deal with long-distance cruising. Figure out what equipment you need or want.

4. Shop for your ideal boat, or a less-than-ideal boat in your price range that you can upgrade towards ideal.

5. When you upgrade equipment, do the work yourself so you'll know how everything works and how it was installed.

6. Do the work involved in starting a long-distance multi-year cruise, such as route planning, financial planning, provisioning, system maintenance planning, family obligation planning, and so on.

7. Take off.
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Old 23-02-2021, 13:03   #5
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Re: I have questions....

OK, I'll play debbie downer:

So what's the plan in 2-3 years when the bank account is dry and you've been out of the work force for 2-3 years?

There are people who claim to live on $500/month cruising, so it can certainly be done. The bigger question is what type of lifestyle and comfort do you expect while doing it.

From your post, I'm guessing it's not in the $500/month category, so I'm going to go out on a limb and say, you could probably pick up a $200k cat in need of some sweat equity...then you will find issues and wind up dumping another $20-50k into it leaving you about $120k to cruise on. That's maybe 2-3yrs if you are careful with your spending and at the end, you will likely have a boat worth $150k and plan on it taking 6-12 month to liquidate that into cash.

Go on youtube and you can find people who bought sight unseen with no prior knowledge and it works out great....the 99% who do that and fail don't start a youtube channel, so as the old saying goes...the exception does not prove the rule.

My recommendation: Stay local, keep your job and buy a smaller less expensive boat. Dedicate every weekend and vacation to it. In 2-3 years, you will have a much better idea of what you want or don't want or if you hate cruising. Then if you are still in love with the idea, you will be better positioned to take that leap.
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Old 23-02-2021, 13:12   #6
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Re: I have questions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by richard_wb View Post
1. Buy a boat. Any boat. Not your ideal dream boat, because you don't really know what that is yet.

2. Learn to sail. Cruise locally. Spend as much time as possible on the boat. See if you like sailing and spending extended amounts of time aboard.

3. Study, take seminars that deal with long-distance cruising. Figure out what equipment you need or want.

4. Shop for your ideal boat, or a less-than-ideal boat in your price range that you can upgrade towards ideal.

5. When you upgrade equipment, do the work yourself so you'll know how everything works and how it was installed.

6. Do the work involved in starting a long-distance multi-year cruise, such as route planning, financial planning, provisioning, system maintenance planning, family obligation planning, and so on.

7. Take off.
Or, as an alternative, take Richard's great advice, except do what I did: Take your classes at a place that also is a club that lets you sail their boats once you're qualified. That way, you can sail on lots of boats to see what you like, and how you like, and where you like to sail. So when it's time to buy, you have a bunch of experience sailing on different boats (without having to worry about maintenance, where to keep it, and repairs, so for 8 years I'm on the water nearly every day from May to November). I've been fortunate enough to sail 20 cruisers 27-40 feet over the years. (Unfortunately, I now know of 20 makes that I don't want to buy, but that's a minor problem.)
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Old 23-02-2021, 13:19   #7
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Re: I have questions....

+1 for what Valhalla posted.
Get experience for a couple years. Kids should learn how to sail dinghies.
Then find the boat to go offshore.
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Old 23-02-2021, 14:12   #8
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Re: I have questions....

If this is your dream and not your wife's, it probably won't work. Many more women than men find they don't like the boat life. Just a fact.
40 years ago I was a commercial fisherman. Then there were several families living aboard their vessels in the salmon and tuna fleet. Salmon is about dead, but there are lots of sailing tuna boats that sell for about half your money. Most retiring captains probably would train you. Just a way for an income, and sailing. If you like it, you can later buy or build a bigger boat. Until then, the kids can sleep in the crew bunks and usually there's a captains cabin.
Albacore tuna cross the Pacific each way, every year. There's a northern and southern group. Fishing is four or more months a year depending on how much you choose to chase them and the money you want to make. You can sell them wherever there's a buyer or a cannery.
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Old 23-02-2021, 15:05   #9
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Re: I have questions....

I have updated my information and I appreciate the replies, even though they're not exactly what we had in mind.... to clarify, its a goal for both the wife and I to circumnavigate and well... I'm impatient sometimes and want things to happen right now.... I need to work on that.

Basically your all saying to buy a "starter" boat and make sure we all actually like it before diving in. What size would you guys recommend for weekend PNW cruising and occasionally heading 20-50 miles offshore for tuna?

I guess its time to have a serious talk with the wifey.

-Josh
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Old 23-02-2021, 15:25   #10
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Re: I have questions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbradley15 View Post
I have updated my information and I appreciate the replies, even though they're not exactly what we had in mind.... to clarify, its a goal for both the wife and I to circumnavigate and well... I'm impatient sometimes and want things to happen right now.... I need to work on that.

Basically your all saying to buy a "starter" boat and make sure we all actually like it before diving in. What size would you guys recommend for weekend PNW cruising and occasionally heading 20-50 miles offshore for tuna?
I'm in the market for my very first sailboat too. I wanted to jump into the conversation as I've seen many monohulls in the market that will do a great job accomodating your family. If you ever consider an older monohull, I think you can find something in good condition way under 100k. There are monohulls that will be more than large enough. If you choose the cheapest best one, then maybe you can do this without selling your house. You can always rent the house and will have a place to go back to if things don't go as planned. The problem is, in my opinion, a boat that big shouldn't be your first boat. Good luck.
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Old 23-02-2021, 15:28   #11
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Re: I have questions....

Starter boat yes.
There are a small percentage of folks that never acclimatize to the motion of a boat, offshore they are seasick start to finish. Would you keep going if it was one of your kids that suffered like that? You or your wife? It may or may not so how up sailing near shore.
If you want to find out about that right now, charter a cat in the Caribbean this summer or next fall and see how folks do. If they get sick on a cat a monohull may work for them.
Don’t be several hundred grand in before finding this out.

Experience with a starter boat is a really good way to decide what to look for in THE boat.
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Old 23-02-2021, 15:50   #12
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Re: I have questions....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbradley15 View Post
Basically your all saying to buy a "starter" boat and make sure we all actually like it before diving in. What size would you guys recommend for weekend PNW cruising and occasionally heading 20-50 miles offshore for tuna?
For 5 of you, 30-35 (monohull) would be OK for weekending but crowded. 40-45 would be snug but much more comfortable. You might also consider one of the smaller catamarans (if there are any in the area). They often have 3 cabins, so dedicated place for each kid to sleep.

Taking a sailboat 20-50miles offshore fishing and then coming back the same day is a bit problematic.
- Most sailboats aren't great fishing platforms for larger fish as the rigging gets in the way.
- With a motoring cruise speed of maybe 6mph, that can easily be 4-8 hrs out, however many hours fishing and then 4-8 hrs back in. Much different from a planing power boat that can be out in an hour or two and then back just as quick. It would almost have to be a multiday offshore trip.
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Old 23-02-2021, 16:35   #13
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Re: I have questions....

I'll offer a great couple of resources for you to investigate. Voyaging With Kids, by Behan Gifford, Sara Dawn Johnson, and Michael Robertson was written to help guide people like you along the process. Lots of incredible practical information. Second, the Sailing Totem blog is fantastic. They've circumnavigated with their 3 kids, been out 12 years (oldest kid is now at college so not on board full time any longer).
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Old 23-02-2021, 16:52   #14
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Re: I have questions....

I have a lot of friends that bought starter boats and found that they really didn’t work out well even for weekends. Too small usually and some ended up buying a series of larger boats. I think this is a long and expensive process to get to a boat that meets their needs. But I also agree with a lot of the comments above about jumping in too quickly into an overwhelming boat. I raced other people’s boats to learn sailing and handling challenging conditions. Then I chartered a variety of boats as an intro to cruising and to try different boat sizes and types. A lot cheaper than buying a series of boats. Eventually I decided the time was right and I had a much better idea of what I needed (wanted, really). Not only the boat but also the “extras”. Genset? Dinghy size, Watermaker? Cockpit size? Lots of systems to decide how complicated I was willing to go.
But price? Sure I would expect that there are lots of great boats for a cruising family well within your price range. Maybe a lot more when all the “Covid buyers” decide to go Back to group activities.
Good luck and enjoy the process!
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Old 23-02-2021, 17:00   #15
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Re: I have questions....

Soooo...
When I was younger I wanted to sail the world with my wife who got seasick. We took sailing lessons and joined a local charter club. Eventually, we bought a Capri 16 only to learn it was too small for my round the world venture, so I kept it in the lake near my house. Soon learned that it was smarter to get off the boat to do #2 than to use the porta potty the boat came with.

I wanted a bigger boat so I bought a Hunter 36 and soon also learned it was too big to keep in a lake that only measure 1.5 x .5 miles. So I kept it in the marina adjacent to the Pacific Ocean. By that time my life had changed...still working, wife, kids and the world became a more hostile place to travel. So I scaled down my dreams to travelling 1/2 the world.

Sh*t happened, lost my wife of 31 years to bipolar disorder plus many other losses including finances and I lost my passion for sailing so I sold the H36.

I remarried, and started looking at buying a Scandinavian yacht and travelling northern and western Europe. That dream became too costly and not practical and what it mistake it would have been since Covid hit.

Sooooo...I bought a Jenneau 41DS with my wife who gets less seasick than wife number 1 and we scaled down our dream to travelling Alsask, the Northwest (USA) down to Mexico...back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.
I am still working but hope, God willing, we will both be healthy enough to do this in the next couple of years as I reach the wee days of my sailing career.

I learned a lot in the process.....and no, I really did not think I could travel the world in a Capri16 nor really thought about keeping my H36 in a tinny lake.

You never know what can happen in life and plans change. Do not be foolish, be smart, be wise with finances, but also do not wait till it is too late. My career and business requires me to be in one place on land. Today, younger folks have more options as they can work remotely from their boat, so selling everything and living in a sailboat was not an option in my life time.

Oh...did I tell you about this beautiful Hylas 57 I just saw anchored next to me. What a beauty....I wonder if I could keep in my 40 foot slip to save money.

Best,

Abe
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