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Old 04-30-2001
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Best Cruising Boat for Young Families

We intend to take a family sabbatical in the Caribbean (and potentially beyond) in a few years and are interested in perspectives on good boats for cruising with kids.

Other than charter boats, most of the boats we see on the market today (including our own C&C 33 Mk II) are designed primarily for a couple or perhaps two couples weekending together.

We need a boat that works well with a couple and three kids who will be 6, 4 and 4 (yes, twins) by the time we head south.

I know that catamarans might work well, but we''d have a hard time berthing one here in Toronto while we prepared for our voyage. Further, I''m not that excited about the prospect of driving a catamaran around the islands. I''d prefer a mono - if we can find a suitable one.

Any ideas??
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Old 05-01-2001
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Best Cruising Boat for Young Families

You are probably into a 40 to 42 footer. I guess the list of potential boats depends upon your budget. One that I particularly like for that kind of thing is the Brewer 12.8 Cutter. These are aft stateroom, keel/centerboard boats with reasonable sailing ability on all points. I have spent a a fair amount of time on these boats as my Father owns one. He''s in his 70 and he and my Step mother have found the boat perfect whether cruising Florida and the Bahamas or making a 4 1/2 day offshore passage from the Keys to Beaufort, N.C. out in the Atlantic with just the two of them.

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Old 05-01-2001
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Best Cruising Boat for Young Families

A bigger boat with lots of cabins may help mean you retain more sanity. I believe that in the 1980''s Jeanneau built a 37 or 39 footer with double aft cabins, which might suit you well. It may also come in shallow draft or centeboard versions. Moody 41 also had a nice setup, if I remember correctly, with a forward cabin, then a stacked double (bunkbeds) in a separate cabin to port, the main salon, and Master stateroom aft. The Moody was a "center cockpit", but it was placed well aft, so looked reasonably good- not a floating condo. They seem well built, too, but somewhat rare in N.America.
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