A Discussion of the Philosophies of Cruising and Circumnavigating - Page 4 - SailNet Community
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post #31 of 159 Old 03-27-2009 Thread Starter
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Hmmm, I will try and comment on a few things too:

Davits: We have always had them. We have them now. We almost NEVER put the tender on davits. It flops all around offshore, even worse in the ICW when a sportfish goes by on half plane, and at anchor when the sun goes down you are too freaking tired.

Dink: RIb has been the best, and I have owned all of them (Rib, roll-up, HPIB). However, hauling that hunk of fiberglass around (especially up the davits) is such a PITA that once again, we hated doing it. We elected, with all its tradeoffs, for a HPIB Hypalon. In theory it planes out like a RIB. In practice, unless lightly loaded, it does not. In theory it handles like a RIB. In practice, it is squirelly on a plane. In theory it is easy to hoist and to deflate and handle. THAT IS TRUE. Still, I think the RIB may still be the best boat for a cruiser. We did pull our RIB 99% of the time. Many people do not. We have been caught offshore with it in a storm and it was not fun. We pulled the plug out of our dink. It had a one way valve. They work prety well, supriingly (until the valve gets old or filled with barnacles or junk).

Boasun's chair: I would try to take one with me... but not the end of the world if you did not. I have gone up on a board with holes. Not fun. Had to clean my shorts a couple of times, but you can do it. Still, having a good chair to stick a bunch of tools with you is great.

Tools, tools, tools, tools. We prepped by putting all the tools on our boat at the marina and everytime we needed something, buying it or bringing it from home and keeping on the boat. Got quite an assortment then. Extas do not hurt of screw drivers and ratchets as they somehow have an attraction to water (especially when up the mast).


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post #32 of 159 Old 03-27-2009 Thread Starter
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I2f: Good list, btw. I hope this information is good for the members too.


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post #33 of 159 Old 03-27-2009
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I once witnessed a boat coming out of the inlet in St. Augustine. She about 45+ft, and had her dink on a davit. The dink was being dunked into the waves. My question is how much suction force is this transfered to the mounting of the davit?

Imagine has a grated platform for the dink to sit, and we have never had a problem with the dink moving even in some snotty bouncy weather.

I have had 2 Zodiacs. One with 4 boards for the floor, and a flat bottom. It bucked, and wandered. The second has an inflatable keel, but it wasn't much better.

The third was a 9ft. Caribe with no floor, and it was sweet. The fourth, and current dink is a 12ft. Caribe with anchor locker, and a floor. It's a wee bit heavy for the wife, and I to bring aboard. I have to wrestle the thing. The 9ftr. I could deply, and bring back up onto the sterns alone......i2f

20 MPH ain't fast unless, you do it in a 1000sq 3/2 house on 10foot waves
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post #34 of 159 Old 03-27-2009
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Dinks: I've had a Quicksilver 8' inflatable, 10' Zodiac RIB, and an 8' Sand Piper. The Sand Piper has no inflation and is rather like a Walker Bay.

They all have their pluses and minuses. Without a rigid bottom, the inflatables don't track worth a damn and don't feel that well when "on plane". The RIB's are better under power. The biggest benefit I see to any dink with inflation is stability for passengers while loading, unloading and riding. The biggest drawback is that they don't row well, which is a big turn-off for me.

The pure rigid boats like the Sand Piper and Walker Bay, along with more traditional glass or wood dinks (prams, etc.) row very well and can even be fit with a sail/rudder kit for fun while on the hook or in port. They're not as stable, but I like the option of rowing and the durability provided with no pop-able inflatable chambers.

Catalina 34

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post #35 of 159 Old 03-27-2009
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In this time of my life, ie today, I am wanting/looking for a well built boat for the application. Not a inch thick hull to sail the lower roaring 40's mind you, but what will suffice right now in puget sound.

Speed to be reasonable. along with reasonable interior. Not melges 32 fast, nothing interior, but not Westsnail 32 interior sluglike performance in 5-10knot winds which is common in the summer. But one that will also handle the 30-35knot gales not too uncommon in the winter, with 3-5 even some 6' waves in worst conditions. SO using PHRF ratings as a guide, for a 33-36' boat like I want for next one, a M32 is int he low 20's, Westsnail IIRC is 250'ish,, something in the 80-110 range would be nice. Boats that appeal to me include, X34, 35, Dehler 34r, J109, Jeanneau SF32/35/37, sf3200, Doufour 34e among others. Or If I could afford a 10.5M Guilietta, even better yet! Anyway, this style of boat.

Which, would in turn, turn into a fin keel boat boat, reasonably light displacement, higher SA/Disp ratio, 22 to 25-1 under max sail, but easy to reduce when it blows! Either by reefing and/or reducing jib size.

Reasonable power to fight the upwards of 5-8 knot currents in some of the areas. but do not expect it to handle the mid teen currents up in the northern inland waterway tween Vancouver island and the main land.

Not worried about radar in this part of the world, altho on foggy days, would be nice, but those are far and few, but common enough to want radar at times. Paper charts work fine, GPS at some helps..........

Reasnable water, fuel etc, but usually in my area I am not more than 3-5 hrs from a marina where I can get any and all I want!

IF I was offshore, a bit longer boat, but probably still similar boat in design, but a bit beefier build.Possibly a bit less draft for the length than for local sailing. My feeling is a boat that is PHRF rated a minute to two minutes faster vs a westsnail, will net me 3-5+ days sooner from Here, ie NW US to Hawaii! A melges, probably another day or so shaved off. While I like sailing, why take 3 weeks to get to hawaii when you can do it in 2, and have less potential issues with larger gales/storms.

Appropriate self steering, with a manual line control backup. Battery pack, water, reasonable fuel for powering and recharge if need be via genset, ie smaller than larger, Probably a wind/solar gen of some sort if off shore. Local, who cares. See above!

Skip the AC and equal BS. Not bimini's or equal either. Too much windage and not enough outside visiblity to what is going one. This is no matter where I am at.

Dinghy wise, around here, hard to say, hard dinghys have a place in our oyster/muscle shelled/barnicled rocky shores, But with my current 30'r, one needs to tow it. An inflatable is nice in that you can get some where, anchor and attempt to row to shore etc. Choose your poison, not right or wrong answer. Agree with all the above plus's and minus's of dinghy choices.

My 02, not that .02 is worth much these days.


She drives me boat,
I drives me dinghy!
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post #36 of 159 Old 03-27-2009
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OK...disclosure first. Sailed for 30 years on LIS and Chesapeake with a couple of minor offshore passages during that time. Retired and sold everything and sailed with my spouse for 6 years from Maine to Grenada and everything in between. Lived aboard first on 44ft. Irwin then on 52ft. Tayana ketch with all passages made double handed.

First...we had a 25 year plan to make & save $$, raise our family, retire early and go sailing. We were fortunate in our circumstances and choices and were able to follow through on the plan. Our plan also included preparation for the voyaging in increasing tests of our capabilities, lots of readings and seminars so that we did not just have the financial side to complete.
In terms of personal philosophy... I believe that when you bring kids into the world you assume a responsibility for their education and well being and development as your FIRST responsibility. I see nothing wrong with going sailing with younger children, and homeschooling them as long as you are capable of single handing in all conditions since one adult must take care of the kids. I disagree with the notion that teenagers should be taken sailing as I think this robs them of many possibilities for personal development and acheivments and that most parents cannot provide that level of education in science and math. In short....I think going with teenagers is selfish...so our plan was to go when our last child graduated high school rather than "NOW". Of course we recognized that things could happen with kids and parents and health to nuke that plan...but it was the right decision for us. Having that much time to plan and save also allowed us to completely pay off our house and save for a cruising lifestyle where we would not have to skimp on anything or feel like we were camping our for years on end. We did not want to have to EVER come back to land because of financial concerns.
And I did not want to EVER have to work again. (Looking back now...that would have been simply awful to contemplate after going cruising.)
Lest anyone think that was an EASY thing to do, I will just say that I worked for 30 years at a minimum of 70 hours a week.

We knew that our Hirsch/Irwin44 was NOT the boat to take on ocean passages when we set out...but we had owned her on the Chesapeake for several years and upgraded her for cruising and we thought it best to start our on her rather than make a big investment and possibly a big mistake since we only thought we'd like the cruising lifestyle. As it turned out...we loved the lifestyle and the boat was great for the coast and the Bahamas..but we wanted a sturdier boat with a bit more size for the Caribbean. We were looking at boats in the 46-47 foot range when we found the Tayana52. Our Criterea as MUST haves were:
  • 46'-50' Bluewater build quality and medium to heavy displacement.As many know...JeffH and I part company on this issue but I believe their is no substitute for length and weight (on a good hull design) when it comes to comfort and safety at sea. I prefer medium displacement but would take heavy over light!
  • Center Cockpit- makes living so much nicer with an aft cabin. Love it on deck too.
  • Skeg hung rudder- protction and redundancy for strength
  • Mast of less than 65' and no more than 6ft. keel depth.- for ICW and Bahamas
  • No major problem areas on survey and engine in GOOD shape with less than 3000 hours. - didn't want any more projects or surprises at sea.
  • Fit our budget as a sea ready boat- purchase price + refit $$ needs.
Less important criteria would help us choose between boats. As it turned out, there was very little that met our initial criteria and we ended up with a Tayana that was sound but needed a significant investment of time and $$ to make right. Note that we did not worry about keel type, instruments, ketch vs. sloop or cutter. We happened across Mr. Perry's 52 footer as a ketch on the internet and thought the mast height and depth were a typo since the sloops were too high and too deep. As it turned out...there was no typo...and we bought the boat. PERFECT!

Now as to what we considered mandatory equipment for OUR full time cruising on a big boat in comfort and safety (in no particular order):
  • A subtaintial and reliable dual anchoring system. Hooks we didn't have to worry about. All chain 300' rode on one anchor. Reliable windlass.
  • A mainsail system we could handle and EASILY reef at sea in safety. For us this was a Schaeffer boom furler but a Stack Pack with easy car system would be fine as well.
  • Furlers on jib and staysail. The idea is to stay in the cockpit in heavy weather.
  • Jacklines and tethers...always in use at sea.
  • A good dinghy and motor. (Caribe RIB for coral protection and stability) Very important at anchor! MUST fit on deck... no davits at sea for me.
  • A large battery bank and means of keeping it charged up. First boat was passive (160watts Kyocera's + 4 winds wind generator), Tayana came with an 8kw generator. (We came to love it) We used about 150ah's a day with 75-100ah's devoted to refrigeration.
  • Epirp and liferaft and satphone for emergency use.
  • Self Tailing winches. Allows single handed sailing.
  • Reliable and powerful self steering auto pilot. (Simrad hydraulic assisted) (Windvane is an altrernative for open ocean cruising)
  • SSB...with pactor/sailmail for weather and e-mail and cruiser communication. Just a receiver
  • GPS + two battery backups in storage with lots of batteries for emergencies. (We ended up with 5 total!)
  • Depth Sounder and paper charts.
  • Radar...not essential down south but much needed up north. Helpful everywhere and particularly on passage at night.
  • A full cockpit enclosure/bimini. Protected us in harsh conditions at sea and added a "living room" at anchor during inclement weather. Protection from the sun which is unbearable.
  • Refrigeration- a must have for us.
  • Air Conditioning - a must have when at the dock. Not really needed at anchor but we used it to cool down the boat while charging our batteries at anchor. No sense letting that power go to waste!
Now please understand I am not suggesting that anyone needs all this stuff to go cruising. This is just what we would not consider cruising without. I have put in bold those things I think NO ONE should consider cruising bluewater without.
Likewise...I expect our views on waiting to go and on child rearing will not find universal acceptance. But.. they worked for us and have been discussed here before. I merely offer them as part of CD's request for various philosophies to be laid out.

Cruising means different things to different people. You have to find the niche that appeals to you and do it in a way that makes sense to you. Some of our best friends sailed small boats to far places and lived on the fish and conch they caught and very small budgets. Others lived only in marinas in "condo" boats. Some just sailed the snowbird route each year between FL/Bahamas and points north. Others only sailed 6 months a year. Some took a couple of years off from work and then went back. Others circumnavigated. There's no "right" way...only what's right for you and your family.

No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
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post #37 of 159 Old 03-28-2009
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My Disclosure: Edi and I plan to sail off over the horizon in mid-August. This will be the culmination of an idea that first entered my mind in the mid 60s while messing about in my first sailboat. I was in the Royal Canadian Air Force then, serving with Search and Rescue in Comox, on Vancouver Island. But the spectacular mountains on both sides of the Strait of Georgia soon distracted me from sailing, and my spirit of adventure was instead quenched by exploratory and expeditionary mountaineering. Over the next twenty years my hunger for adventure took me to hundreds of summits, including over six dozen first-ascents on four continents.

But my thoughts of sailing around the world never left. I transferred to the Navy in 1969, where I was eventually granted my Bridge Watchkeeping Certificate and was later granted a Certificate of Service as Master, Foreign-Going. During my many voyages, I crossed the Pacific and the equator six times each. My last few years in the Navy were spent in the training system, including designing and implementing leadership programs for junior officers using mountaineering and ocean canoeing as vehicles.

But my thoughts of sailing around the world would not be stilled. In 1981, at the age of 36, I resigned my naval officer’s commission, bought a boat, moved aboard and began making plans to sail off. However, during my fit-out, I met a woman...

Fast-forward through a number of boats to the spring of 2006, that woman and I were still together, a quarter century had passed since I had retired and I had not yet sailed off. I told my wife I wanted to sell the canal boat in France, buy another sailboat, fit it out and sail off before I was too old to do it. She had never been comfortable with the idea of sailing too far away from land, and she still didn’t want to go. We talked seriously, then we searched for a house for her to buy and I ordered a new boat.

So, the following are my thoughts on selecting and preparing a sailboat for open-ended voyaging. While I fully support the idea to “go early and forget about all the frills”, my life charged right on past that timing, so I am left with going while I am still able. Fortunately, I have the means to make that going much more easy and comfortable, so be forewarned that the following thoughts are not without the frills.

Crew: Without doubt, the most important criterion in offshore voyaging is a competent, cooperative and compatible crew. Without this, the best equipped and most seaworthy vessel is likely to have difficulty as conditions change, and one of the constants of life at sea is change. Competent crew can take a minimally equipped and barely capable vessel to the ends of the earth.

A year-and-a-half after my ex and I had decided to separate, I began seriously searching for a companion who shared my dream of sailing off. I posted on a couple of internet sites that focus on crew looking for boats / boats looking for crew. After six months of communicating with the many respondents and flying, driving and sailing to meet over a dozen of them, I finally met Edi. We’ve been together now for just short of a year, and we have yet to have had a disagreement, let alone a spat.

Boat Selection: When I first started researching the purchase of another sailboat, I was following the traditional mindset of buying and refitting a used boat that was on the traditionalists' list of "suitable offshore boats". The more I looked, the more I realized the folly of accepting decades-old concepts of what worked and of resigning myself to cramped quarters and poor sailing performance. I had also grown tired of replacing or rebuilding someone else’s collection of jury-rigged simulations of their ideas of appropriate. The idea of buying a new boat began to take shape.

Hull: After months of analysis, I finally settled on a boat with a hollow-cheeked, rather plumb bow, a broad, squat stern, a fin keel and a detached spade rudder. This new boat with its combination of fine entry and very long relative waterline length seems to be the antithesis of the old idea of an offshore boat with its long overhangs, weak stern, short relative waterline length and a full keel with an attached rudder. But to my thinking, this new design made much more sense than did the “old shoe” concept.

The new boat has broad, deep bilges with ample room to keep the machinery, the tanks and the batteries below waterline, while still providing a few cubic metres of stowage space for such heavy items as tools and spares beneath the cabin soles. With a 1225 Ah house bank, 840 litres of fuel and 486 litres of water, this low weight contributes significantly to the stability provided by the 5,087 kilogram external lead keel and the 2.13 metre draft.

Construction is solid fibreglass below the waterline, with balsa cored topsides and a cored deck. From the keel root forward, there are layers of Kevlar in the lay-up to add to the hull’s strength. An interior fibreglass grid bonded to the hull provides further strength.

Deck: The twin anchor rollers and twin chain lockers make it easy to stow and set a choice of anchors. The windlass is controlled both at the bow and in the cockpit and it can also be operated manually. Aft of the chain locker is a large sail locker, with ample room for the spinnaker, spare anchors, a sea anchor and a drogue, plus a large assortment of reels of spare line. Aft of the sail locker is a watertight collision bulkhead.

Our primary anchor is a 40 kilogram Rocna on 100 metres of 9.5mm hi-test chain. The secondary is a 20 kilogram Delta with 15 metres of 9.5mm hi-test chain and 80 metres of 19mm nylon. In reserve, we have two Fortress anchors, an FX-55 and an FX-37 and two 150-metre reels of 19mm laid nylon. On the stern rail I have mounted an Ankarolina reel with 70 metres of 3000 kilogram nylon flat rope.

I have mounted a six-man offshore liferaft aft of the mast and have installed a set of Ocean Marine davits to hang our Walker Bay FTD 310 rigid inflatable dinghy off the stern. I installed jacklines on top of each side the coach roof from the cockpit to alongside the mast and a single centreline one from the mast to the bow.

Cockpit: This has a large T-shaped layout with twin wheels, a walk-through transom and dedicated tether points. There are six locking cockpit lockers, two locking transom lockers and comfortable cushioned seating for up to twelve. The seats are long enough to lay down on and the drop-leaf Corian table can easily dine six. For protection from the elements, I have installed a dodger and a bimini with roll-up or removable side curtains.

Rig: I like the stability and the solidity of the Selden B&R rig. Granted, I cannot play with mast bend, and if I don’t have the spinnaker up, I may lose half-a-knot dead down wind because of the swept-back spreaders, but I don’t intend racing. I chose the tall rig option with a 21 meter mast height, a self-tacking 21 square metre furling staysail, a 110% furling jib of 48.5 square metres, an in-mast furling main of 62 square metres and a 150 square metre asymmetrical spinnaker. With everything led aft, normally the only need to go to the foredeck while sailing will be to launch and recover the spinnaker or to set the whisker pole on the jib.

Steering Arrangements: The twin wheels are connected to the rudder post through a Lewmar Mamba direct drive, and the Raymarine 7002 autopilot, mounted in the transom locker connects to a lever on the rudder post. There is an easily mounted emergency tiller, and I also have an emergency rudder assembly, which mounts to three eyes on the transom. This is stowed in the transom locker.

To reduce power consumption, I have installed a Hydrovane wind steering unit. Among my reasons for choosing this make are its reputation for robustness, its tolerance for off-centre mounting and the fact that it can serve as an additional emergency rudder if needed.

Energy: To run the onboard systems, I have a 1225 Ah house bank of flooded golf cart batteries fitted with Water Miser caps. Replenishment comes from the 120 Amp Balmar alternator on the main engine, from the 4 kW Fischer-Panda DC diesel generator, from the 510 W Kyocera solar array above the bimini, from the DuoGen D400 wind generator or if alongside, from the 50 Amp 240 volt, the 50 Amp 120 volt or the 30 Amp 120 volt shore power connection. Similarly, both the generator and main engine batteries can be recharged using any of these.

Machinery: I upgraded to the main engine to a Yanmar 4JH4 HTE with 81 kW at 3200 rpm, and changed the propeller to a four-bladed VariProp, relegating the fixed three-blade to the spares locker. To the existing Racor primary fuel filter, I added a pair of Racor filters with isolation switching, so that I can change filters with the engine running. The standard equipment X-Change-R Oil Change System makes routine oil changes a breeze.

The 840 litres of fuel is carried in two separate tanks, each with its own fill, and there is an electric transfer pump between tanks if needed.

The bilge is fitted with a 5,700 LPH automatic pump and a 15,000 LPH high-water pump with an alarm. All of the thru-hulls are easily accessed through two hatches in the cabin sole.

Electronics: I installed a Raymarine E-Series chart plotter with a 120 in the cockpit and an 80 in the nav station. Among the Raymarine inputs feeding these are a 1 kW digital depth sounder, a 7002 autopilot with an additional wireless control head, and a 2kW radar in a Waltz swivel mount 10 metres up the mast. I also have an EchoPilot Platinum forward-looking sonar and a SeaCas AIS receiver feeding data to the chart plotter, and I am waiting for the arrival of a new Raymarine AIS class B transceiver.

Communications: I upgraded the boats Icom 422 VHF to an Icom 604 class D unit and put a remote access mike in the cockpit. I have kept the 422 as a spare, and have two Icom portable VHFs as back-ups. For long-range communications I installed an Icom 802 SSB with an AT400 tuning the dummy backstay antenna and for email a Pactor II/III usb.

Workshop: To save the usual marring and soiling of the galley counter or the dining table, I opted for the workshop/office layout for the starboard aft cabin. It has a 5cm thick slab workbench, which nicely takes my shop vise and the swivel seat certainly makes work more comfortable. The workshop has lots of drawers and cupboards, and there is over a cubic metre of available storage beneath the cabin sole for heavier items. We have removed the mattress from the double berth in the cabin, and we still need to organize how to best utilize all of the storage space there. Being adjacent to the galley, some of it will surely become an extension to our pantry and wine cellar.

Galley: I pride myself as a gourmet cook. Among my many lives, I was a wine and food writer and did some instructing in a culinary school, so the galley is very important to me. Sequitur’s galley is a joy to work in with its large L-shaped layout and an island across from the stove, providing ample work space and excellent bracing while underway. The strong fiddles around the Corian countertops not only keep things in place, but also provide excellent handholds. There is a deep, double sink, two fridges and two top-loading freezers. The extractor hood, the small hatch and the two opening ports above the stove provide excellent ventilation when the adjacent companionway hatch is closed. The four cupboards, the seven drawers and the full length eye-level shelf provide more storage than we can currently find use for.

Creature Comforts: I installed an Espar hydronic diesel furnace, which provides heat and hot water, or in warm weather, hot water only. The hot water tank can also be heated by the main engine, by the generator or by shore power, and it acts as the extra power dump for the wind generator. To replenish the water I have installed a Spectra Newport II watermaker, which can be led to each of the two 243 litre water tanks separately, and the tanks can be isolated or interlinked. The separate shower stall, across the master cabin from the head does wonders to keep the toilet paper dry. The ensuite head with its separate shower stall in the starboard aft cabin will ensure the comfort of our occasional guests, and it provides a quick access for use as a sea head. To add to our comfort, I have installed a Splendide washer/dryer, and have set it up so it can also run off the inverter.

The interior is very spacious, but throughout there is nowhere without a choice of handholds to make safe movement through the boat safe and easy, even in heavy weather. With all of the machinery, tankage, battery banks, tools and spares located beneath the cabin soles, all of the above-sole spaces, including the drawers and cabinets in the salon, the spaces beneath the settees and the berths, are available for easily organized, quick access storage.

Back Home: There will always be ties to home and to family, and there will be a desire to occasionally return. Also, at some point, we will all become incapable of safely cruising, so particularly at our age we should have an exit plan. We have easy access to flights with my nearly one million Air Canada points and with Edi’s staff pass from her days with the airlines, so family and home visits will be easy.

We both now have our houses on the market and we have bought a loft in an historic building in Vancouver within a short walk of everything we need, including moorage in False Creek and the new rapid transit line to the airport. The loft is great holding property and will be a wonderful home when we eventually decide to slow down.

I’ve probably missed a few things, but I must get back to getting Sequitur ready.


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post #38 of 159 Old 03-28-2009
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I'm charting a middle course. I neither need nor want all the stuff that some folk feel is indispensable nor do I yearn for the olden days of cold water showers and no cold drinks.

Whenever I see a post where someone comments on wanting to cruise but not to "camp out" I really do feel some dismay. Unless you have very deep pockets indeed at least on some levels there will always be a level of camping out when it comes to living on a boat. Even if that means gluing your boat to a marina pen. You'll still have to put up with certain lost comforts. Yet, what is so wrong with an element of roughing it in our lives ? It's not as if we are being asked to live under the stars with all our possession strapped to our backs. Figuritively speaking of course.

If you plan to cruise then you will have to accept that some of shore life's pleasures are going to be denied you. Many of us now take for granted amenities denied the cruiser of 50 years past but still showers will be short and low on pressure, refrigeration will still be a glorified ice box even if it is electric, there will be times when the espresso is not perfecto and the food may not be cordon bleu. Space will always be at a premium compared to even the smallest of apartments and there are going to be times when crawling into a nice warm and dry bed will be denied you.

Me, I'm happy to pay such prices in order to do want I want to do which is go cruising....live a life that even today, relatively few are ever going to share.......nothing so half worth doing and all that. Oh sure we will tie up to a marina every now and then and take advantage of a town's amenities but for the main part our desire is to anchor out away from the madding crowd. Today may well be spent stuck out in the cockpit wet and cold but tomorrow that golden sunset , that pod of whales, that feeling of sheer bliss to be miles from shore with no land in sight and your boat slipping quietly over the sea. Yes, surely, the gains outweigh the losses.

So most assuredly for me life on a boat is not merely life on a somewhat unsteady shore, it is life onboard, no more no less. It is not a utopian fantasy, it is not suburbia afloat, nor would any sane person wish it to be.

I know that there have been times onboard when I have been scared witless and that there will times ahead when I'll be quaking in my boots yet again. Such it is. Fingers crossed my little ship and a modicum of seamanship on her crew's part will see me through as she and the other little ships I've sailed on have seen me through in the past.

On a practical level re equipment and without being silly about it, I could get by with nothing more than the obvious safety gear (including a liferaft) depthsounder, radio(s), log, gps, radar reflector and paper charts. I'll almost certainly add some other things but those are what I consider to be the bare essentials. Dinghy with outboard would be nice as would radar and chartplotter. Probably have a computer.

Comfort wise....electric lights (led) , fans , some form of heating, hot water and refrigeration. Music machine...in this day and age an Ipod presumably. TV/DVD player ? Maybe the computer could do double duty depending on power consumption. Air con definitely not.

On deck, manual winches will suffice, headsail furler yes, mainsail furler maybe but not a necessity. Dodger, full boat awnings, bimini.

Probably fogotten a few things but I think that just about covers it.

Andrew B (Malö 39 Classic)

“Life is a trick, and you get one chance to learn it.”
― Terry Pratchett.
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post #39 of 159 Old 03-28-2009
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I think there are a few basic cruising lifestyles, I have taken the liberty of giving them names.
  • WEALTHY - The cruiser has enough money put away that they are financially independent and can live on investment income without relying on capital gains. The budget includes everything the cruiser considers necessary, the cruiser lives within the budget and the cruiser can essentially spend the rest of their lives cruising, never having to work again.
  • INDEPENDENT - The cruiser has money, not enough to live on the income from investments for the rest of their lives, but enough that they won't run out of money before they die. This cruiser is eating into their principal every minute of the day, but so long as they don't run out before they die they won't ever have to work again. Income from investments are still very important, and the cruiser has to stay within their budget, but they can keep cruising until nature stops allowing it.
  • LIMITED - The cruiser has money, but not enough to live on forever, their lifestyle eats into their principal and how long they can live the life depends on how long they can stretch the remaining cash. The LIMITED cruiser has to make choices, because they can't stay out forever, so they are constantly trading off between working odd jobs to top off the kitty, cutting spending to keep from depleting the kitty, etc. With the LIMITED lifestyle, it does all eventually come to an end, and/or the cruiser will have to keep working or fly home to work, etc, to keep the dream alive.
  • WORKING - The cruiser may or may not have any money, but they continue to work as they cruise so it really doesn't matter, their expenses are more than whatever money they have so there is no choice but to continue working to pay for them.

The ironic thing about the categories above is that they have very little to do with how much money someone has and much more to do with what the person's expectations are for that money. Sure, it's all a lot easier if you have huge amounts of money, but there are plenty of people who have lots of money who are still in the LIMITED category because their appetites are so grand that they can't make it on the money they have no matter how much it is - we've all seen them, huge houses they can't afford, using consumer credit for everything they own, money spent before they even earn it, always short on money and long on debt, etc. When they first post they typical want to know about 40+ foot boats and easy financing. There are also plenty of people who don't have that much money who are WEALTHY, because they manage their money well, they make do with whatever is required to see their dreams through, and they keep to whatever budget they think is appropriate so that they can continue to live within their means.

I don't think it matters as much whether you have 5000k$us or 10k$us, what matters is what your spending habits are in relation to how much money you have. If all you have is 10k$us and you can fetch your own water, eat rice and beans, and sail a small boat that you maintain yourself, great, you are WEALTHY, so go for it, nobody is going to get mad if you decide you never want to work again. However, if you are one of those people who spends 1.20$us for every 1$us you earn and there never seems to be anything left at the end of the month, you're probably going to be LIMITED and no matter how much money you have, you could be headed for trouble.

Edit - Disclosure, limited sailing experience, learning as I go along.

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post #40 of 159 Old 03-30-2009 Thread Starter
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This has turned into an outstanding thread (in my view, at least). It is a great 'Outside Looking In' view for those that consider cruising and the different things to consider. We have both ends of the spectrum here, and many inbetween.

George - Outstanding writeup. Interesting that how close our views are on most things... yet you still have not become an Indepndent!?? THat is Sway's influence, I know it!!! Seriously, thanks for posting the info. It was very, very good.

Sequitor - Well thought out and informative. It will be especially intersting to evaluate how she did afterwards and what you liked/did not like.

I2f - Thanks for a great contribution to this thread!!! Very, very well thought out and I realize you put a lot of time and effort into this.

TDW, Wind, Marty, Kwalter, et all - All are great thoughts. A lot of different perspectives to digest for everyone.

I think in all of this there is no right or wrong answer... it is different approaches to the same goal and what did and did not work. Again, great thread.


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