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Old 01-14-2013
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Minimum extended cruising requirements.

Hey 'all. We are new to off shore cruising having done some great lake sailing. We are looking to do some extended cruising from New England te Keys and in the Caribbean. Our eventual goal is to transition to liveaboard in a few years. My question is this: What is the minumum size boat I should entertain for extended cruising in the caribbean with a max crew of five. I would rather have a boat more cabable in weather than anything, and comfort should come next. I'd love to hear anybody's thoughts on the matter. Thanks and Happy Cruising!!!
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Re: Minimum extended cruising requirements.

5 Adults? Children? Are you normal sized (I am 6'6" tall, it makes a difference) Live on the hook? Go to a marina? Most time underway? Or short hops and long stops?
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Re: Minimum extended cruising requirements.

Hey, thanks for the reply. I'm 6'1", and likely the tallest unless we have a tall visiting passenger. Most cruises would be Rosie and myself, but my two kids would likely come aboard occasionally. Our longest stay away from home wou likely be two months during the summer, with frequesnt stops. Stops would likely encompass 70% hooks and 30% marina stops, give or take. I would say that marina stops may be more frequent at first due to the desire to sight see. Our intention long term is to sell the boat and upgrade for retirementfor liveaboard situation.
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Old 01-15-2013
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Re: Minimum extended cruising requirements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott&Rosie View Post
What is the minumum size boat I should entertain for extended cruising in the caribbean with a max crew of five.
It is not clear what size boats you have sailed on Lake's, so I run the risk of suggesting something you are already quite familiar with. With that in mind I offer 3 basic book suggestions; all 3 can be bought used cheap - Amazon, Abe's Books, etc...:

1. How to Buy the Best Sailboat by Chuck Gustafson

2. Multihull Voyaging by Thomas Firth Jones

3.The Case for the Cruising Trimaran by Jim Brown

All three are a conservative approach to sailboat ownership and cruising. Personally I would not want to be on a sailboat for an extended period of time with others on less than about 37' sailboat. You should be able to get two staterooms in something that size and then there are the salon cushions when added folks are aboard.

But I see many happy people on much much smaller sailboats for years, very satisfied folks. Maybe you need to spend some time chartering at least once, before making a purchase. Experience is a good teacher.
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Old 01-15-2013
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Re: Minimum extended cruising requirements.

I think for a trip like that, with that many people, you need a good sized Catamarn to be comfortable for any more than a weekend. I've crammed 5 people on to my little sloop and hot bunked it to Mexico for a few week's, but we were young 20 somethings. Knock the number of people down to 3 adults, and then any 30 something monhull will do. But 5 is a lot. 5 people is a lot to cram in a cockpit or below in weather on a 30 to 40 something mono. Now if it's you and your wife and two adult kids, how Y'all get along is known only by you. Is one of 'em a daughter? I only ask because she may need a little more privacy and water than two son's. Girls will say '"hey that's, that's sexist",....... then they need some privacy to wash three feet of hair. Just say'n. I've cruised extensivly with women and some are saltier than me, but when some of their girlfriends would visit from suburbia, we would make some accomidations beyond our norm. As for a safe weather boat. a 45 Westsail would be a good one. Every time you add one person you add a sh!t load of problems, that much more food, water, gear, bedding, farting, moodyness, the balance of group dynamics, the size of the dinghy to lug everyones landlubb'n a$$ around in. The size of the liferaft and emergancy rashions. If you can afford the 50 something foot mono it would take to accomidate 5 people, may as well go multi. They are more stable, quicker, and provide the 4 heads and 4 staterooms with one on the couch that you'll need to provide everyone with the basic privacy to get along for extended periods. Once you get offshore on a mono and heel over, there is only the low side of the boat to function on, basically cut in half down the middle. On a big cat, you have the whole boat to get out of eachothers way. Even then it will be crowded. Why 5 people? Is it 2 couples and a single dude? bad Idea, is it a couple and three dude guest's, bad Idea. Is it 5 dudes, fun for the weekend, but bad for long term. 5 trained, paid, and disciplined merchant marines with an established chain of command is different than 5 townies stuck on a seemingly at first big sailboat that get's tiny and crammed by day 3. I'm guessing this is you and your significant others dream, and when you sit around talking about it, your freinds say, "I'll go, I wanna come" so basically it will be you and her, and from time to time a guest or two or three, and rarely will they all be able to join you at once. I would say, if you need crew for a passage, take on one extra, some one to keep a watch. Then as I said before, any 30 something with a pilot berth will do.
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Re: Minimum extended cruising requirements.

Hey Capt Aaron,

Your last senario would be our normal one. I have two girls, yes, you're ght about them...lol. Rosie has three older kids who might occasionally look to come out for a trip and then fly back. So on MOST long trips, it would be just the two of us, maybe a third hand. I have never sailed a CAT with the exception of a small one on fresh water. That would take me a bit out of my comfort zone. Never put one of those over in high weather...

Scott
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Re: Minimum extended cruising requirements.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott&Rosie View Post
Hey Capt Aaron,

Your last senario would be our normal one. I have two girls, yes, you're ght about them...lol. Rosie has three older kids who might occasionally look to come out for a trip and then fly back. So on MOST long trips, it would be just the two of us, maybe a third hand. I have never sailed a CAT with the exception of a small one on fresh water. That would take me a bit out of my comfort zone. Never put one of those over in high weather...

Scott
Well, it took me years of denial before I realized all the advantages of the good sized cat's, their seaworthyness, their comfort, safety, ease of close quarter handling etc. But if they aint for you, they just aint. A 45 foot Westsail is very safe in big seas's, very forgiving, and roomy. I'm still waiting for a bombardment from the women on my comment, but before I'm attacked, I want them to ask them selves if they have a girlfriend from town who would need some slightly more creatuer comforts then they them self as live aboard salts have grown accustom to doing with out. I now some dudes from town with the same needs, hence the gadget boat. That's all I'm saying. Read "Sailing Promise" to get an idea of how well a little Prout can handle the big stuff before you close your mind to the Multihulls..
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Re: Minimum extended cruising requirements.

I definitely would not close my mind on CATS, though I'm sure it would be a bigger learning curve. Expense is not the biggest issue, but always a factor. Ive always though multis were more expensive.
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Re: Minimum extended cruising requirements.

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Originally Posted by scott&rosie View Post
i definitely would not close my mind on cats, though i'm sure it would be a bigger learning curve. Expense is not the biggest issue, but always a factor. Ive always though multis were more expensive.
oh boy are they!!!!!!!!
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Re: Minimum extended cruising requirements.

.....and you are right. Some women can handle it better than others. It's just true. Some women don't like camping sor reasons of privacy and hygene.
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