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post #1 of Old 08-27-2001
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The "Plan"-response

The ''Plan''

The three big sailing areas in Florida are Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Tampa Bay on the West Coast of Florida. The West Coast has traditionally been less expensive to live than the East but generally has a smaller selection of boats. There are a lot of pretty big Catamaran fleets in the Caribbean but many if not most were in the Charter boat trade and we set up for island hopping rather than serious voyaging. Also, while ex-charter boats are cheap to buy, they are generally expensive in rebuild costs and time.

As to your ''decisions'', you both are very new to the sport and to sailing to be planning this kind of voyage that quickly. When you think of what it takes to ''get out there'' 6 to 10 months will fly by in a flash. You need to pack and/or sell your stuff, move to Florida, find a good used Cat, figure out which brands are suitable for that kind of voyaging (I don''t know of a 30-34 Cat that really is built for that kind of use.) commission her for that type of trip, learn to sail her well in a range of conditions, provision the boat and purchase a reasonable set of tools and spares. B

Beyond the physical tasks, you need to develop your skills at least in some of single-handed sailing, boat handling, navigation, weather, provisioning, language, rules for entering and leaving foreign ports, first aid, engine, electrical, refrigeration, and other aspects of general boat maintenance, and heavy weather storm tactics. While you may have some of these skills you will need to be prepared with all of them.

Then if you add up the time frame 8-10 months from now puts you in the Caribbean right at the start of Hurricane season.

Then there is the choice of a 30-34 foot Cat. Catamarans, like monohulls, distribute the energy of a gust in three ways, acceleration forward, leeway and heeling. In the case of a Catamaran, acceleration is very important to the safety of the boat. When you talk about the kind of heavily loading that is required for long distance cruising, I personally do not know of a brand of 30 to 34 foot Cats that are made to safely carry those kind of loads.

With all due respect, if you want to really sail off in the shortest possible time, I would suggest that you do a little bit more homework. At least enough to develop a step by step process as to how you are going to get everything done that you need to do. Set up a schedule and a sequence and then it will be easier to tell when and where you should go.

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