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post #19 of Old 05-20-2004
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help with lifes dream

Hi Jeff:

I want to state quite clearly that I have little to no experience in these matters and was just going on what I have read and the fact that 3 children were involved and it might be easier and more comfortable for them on a cat. I didn''t realize that you needed more skill to manage a cat in a blow than you did a mono hull, sorry. In fact one of the advantages I though a cat had was that it was able to be taken out in heavier weather than a monohull because of the more sea kindly motion but I suppose that is only up to a certain point. Also a Cat seems attractive because you can get in to many more places with its shallow draft, which has to be good for cruisers. And I also have read that the new larger cats are safer than the equivalent monohull in heavy weather but obviously the writers may be biased and are usually very experienced sailors of Cats.

I am moving close to the Pamlico Sound and had thought of getting a mid 30 ft cat to learn to sail on (the sound being shallow) for a few years while my child grows up (she is 5 this summer and I thought I would buy it in about a year when she is about 6 and a more proficient swimmer). Maybe something like a Maine Cat that would allow us to stay aboard for several nights at a time while cruising around the sound and the ICW that would not be too difficult to single hand (it would just be me and her most of the time). Initially I was going to have a sailing teacher join me on board for as long as it took for me to get proficient enough to know what I was doing to be safe within the confines of the sound and pass the basic OUPV and just about all the ASA courses. Then sail the inland areas for a couple of year or two before making brief forays outside the safety of the outer banks. Eventually progressing to runs up and down the East Coast, then to the Caribbean and eventually further a field in about 10 years when my daughter is 14-17 years old.

This whole plan is an integral part of my home schooling plan for her too.

I have sailed smaller 14 fts extensively about a decade ago and have chartered 22-36 ft keel boats on a number of occasions for day sailing in protected, and I have done a lot of windsurfing but I would hardly say I knew how to sail or even how to trim sails properly. Would your advice still be that I get a 22''-24'' keel boat for the first years rather than a 30 ft Cat (seems it would be easier for me to sail and cruise the sound with my young child initially on the cat)?

Thanks for your words of wisdom all over this site, they are really educational.


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