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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising and Sailing with Children
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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.


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  #11  
Old 07-29-2013
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Re: Boat Size

Ahhh! You've been holding out on us (or at least me!), I didn't realize you had a C25! What year? Swing, fixed, or wing keel? How do your girls like the boat so far? How long have you had it?

Sorry for all the questions. My boys are 7 and 5, and we bought our C25 when they were 5 and 3. Last season was our first and last season with the C25 due to Hurricane Sandy, so now we're on to the Allmand. Otherwise, we'd probably have kept the C25 for several more years. Ours was the traditional floorplan, and I was working on some PVC-based designs for turning the settees into a queen-size bed (inflatable mattress) for my wife and me, so our boys could sleep in the v-berth and/or the quarter berth. Certainly not live-aboard conditions, but it would have been fine for a few weekends a summer.

Glad I could help. The folks here helped get me out of my "funk" when my new-to-me boat had some problems, so I'm always happy to return the favor.

BTW, despite the tone of some of my posts, I'm a big believer in the power of positive thinking. I agree that believing in the plan is a big part in executing it. However, for me, part of believing is researching and making as sure as possible that I haven't missed anything stupid. I make a lot of stupid mistakes.
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Last edited by jimgo; 07-29-2013 at 11:54 PM.
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  #12  
Old 07-30-2013
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Re: Boat Size

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
The beauty of your plan is that you're already building in time to handle setting up the boat properly. You aren't expecting to just hop aboard and go. That gives you time to spread out the cost of repairs that will be needed for the boat. When you buy, you'll likely have an initial outlay for "stuff", even if it's just silly things like head deodorizer, teak oil, boat soap, etc. And you'll find that you need tools that you never needed before. But, after that initial buying spree, you can start to pace yourself and figure out what you truly need, and how soon you'll need it.

So far, it sounds like you are taking a reasonable, logical approach. Yeah, it would be great to have $200,000 to spend on the boat. You don't. So, you basically have 2 choices: give up completely, or modify your plans/expectations. Given that I'm a member here, I think you can figure out which side of that fence I come down on!

You say you want to sail away, but on your other thread, you mostly discuss coastal cruising and the Bahamas. As I understand it (I've never done it, so don't rely on me for this!), the trip to the Bahamas is a day sail from Miami if you have good weather. Sailing with 2 younger kids aboard means you're likely to only try to make that trip in good weather. Can you be content cruising around the US and the Bahamas? If so, you may not need the super-stout, super-big boat that you have in mind. Brian (Cruisingdad) lives aboard a 40' Catalina with his wife and 2 boys. With all due respect to Brian and Catalina, those boats are coastal cruising boats, not ocean crossers. But it meets his needs perfectly (or at least well enough to keep him and his family happy), and something like that might work for you as well. Heck, even something slightly smaller might work. Here are a few examples:

1984 Catalina 38 sailboat for sale in Florida

1984 Catalina 36 Tall Rig sailboat for sale in North Carolina

1985 Catalina 36 sailboat for sale in Virginia

1989 catalina sloop sailboat for sale in Florida - yes, it's well above your price range, but she's been on the market for several months, and possibly longer. Never hurts to ask.

1983 Catalina Catalina 38 sailboat for sale in Maryland

So, are you only in if you can cross oceans, or do you want to spend a year or three (or more) building amazing memories while hopping down the coast, seeing the sights, and enjoying a lifestyle most of us wish we could pull off?
Hey Jim,

I know the owner of that C38 in Maryland (almost positive it is his boat). We became good friends while they were in Boot Key. Of interest to the OP, he had two boys on board (9 and 13). Now you know why we stayed in touch. They are good people and honest.

That boat will need some new sails and some other minor work, but it obviously will work with kids. He sailed it from CA, down the west coast, through the panama canal, S America, across the gulf to the keys, and up the east coast. It is a good sailing and handling boat.

Also, the C38 is a completely different boat than the Catalina 380. It is Catalina in name only. It is a Sparkman Stephens designed boat, the old Yankees. It was bought by Frank and he produced them under the Catalina name.

That boat would be a good choice for the you Awaywego. My biggest issue with it (and it is a big one) is the draft. That is a real problem down here. For example, the owner of that boat ran aground in the middle of the ICW while heading up to Maryland to sell it... and that was in FL where it is maintained. Personally, I would prefer a more shallow draft not exceeding 6, but preferably 5 or under. We have run aground many times (even in the ICW) at 6.

Your kids are a great age and easy to take cruising. The beauty of boats is that they are pretty kid proof as they come. They are young enough that they can be berthed in the same SR, even in the same bed. You will want to consider cabinetry and water. We honestly go through about 6-15g/day with the 4 of us. However, this often includes at least one, if not two showers. As Captforce mentioned, you will find ways to conserve water that work for you. But you can also carry some gerry cans and bottled water to help supplement. I would not get a watermaker to start off with. Many or most of the places you go will have water, and those that do not, you may not want to make it there anyways.

Another thing to look for is ventilation and how the kids will sleep. For example, we put our kids in the V berth where there is the most ventilation and we could put a divider across to split it in the middle and a "crib side" to lock them in. When they got older, we removed the crib side, but they still have the divider. Our think is to make sure everyone (even Fatty) has a 'place' that is theirs. Any boat gets small, so having a place where the kid (or parent) can escape to makes life much more enjoyable.

Whatever you do, get a boat that is comfortable. It will be your home, not a boat. Big difference. I keep saying it, but storage is critical. Look for deep bilges. You will put a lot of canned goods and water there... esp with kids. Opt to pay more for a well cared for boat over a cheaper boat that you can fix up. Fixer-uppers can cost more than if you had just bought the more expensive to begin with. See if you can get a boat loaded with cruising gear. That stuff is expensive (esp life rafts).

If you have any real questions on that boat (the C38) let me know. I have zero vested interest in that boat, just know the owners and like them a lot. They are honest people and good sailors.

I have lived owned: A C 250, C320, C380 (and cruised on it), and now a C400. Also part owner in a Tayana 42 Vancouver. I know most of the Catalina line pretty well, and am fairly knowledgeable in some others.

Anything kid related I am happy to help with. That is about all we have done. Currently in Boot Key (marathon) doing it Fulltime.

Take care,

Brian
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Last edited by Cruisingdad; 07-30-2013 at 10:43 AM.
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  #13  
Old 07-30-2013
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Re: Boat Size

I've never cruised with young kids, but have chartered with ours when older.

I simply can not imagine living on a boat with kids and not having a totally separate private cabin. Not just for the obvious, but also because some conversations need to be private etc.

Ditto even just a cruising couple. I'm sure over the years I'll be glad I can (or she can) simply go to the aft cabin and close the door.
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  #14  
Old 07-30-2013
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Re: Boat Size

Quote:
Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
The beauty of your plan is that you're already building in time to handle setting up the boat properly. You aren't expecting to just hop aboard and go. That gives you time to spread out the cost of repairs that will be needed for the boat. Here are a few examples:

1984 Catalina 38 sailboat for sale in Florida

1984 Catalina 36 Tall Rig sailboat for sale in North Carolina

1985 Catalina 36 sailboat for sale in Virginia

1989 catalina sloop sailboat for sale in Florida - yes, it's well above your price range, but she's been on the market for several months, and possibly longer. Never hurts to ask.

1983 Catalina Catalina 38 sailboat for sale in Maryland

So, are you only in if you can cross oceans, or do you want to spend a year or three (or more) building amazing memories while hopping down the coast, seeing the sights, and enjoying a lifestyle most of us wish we could pull off?
I think that many of Jimgo's points are right on target, but I would respectfully disagree with the suggestions of a Catalina 36 or 38. The Catalina 38 started out as a race boat. These are reasonably fast boat and seem to be constructed better than many of the earlier Catalinas, but they really are tricky to sail in a building breeze, and not particularly well suited to being a family cruising boat. They lack the kinds of tankage and carrying capacity that you will want to cruise with four people, and while tanks can be added, they come at the price of storage which is in short supply on these boats. They also have a pretty uncomfortable motion making them a poor candidate for a thrash across the Gulfstream or the chop in the Bahama Banks.

The Catalina 36 is a reasonably nice coastal cruiser for the dollars, and could be made to work for your purposes, but the kind of voyaging that you propose puts a lot of wear and tear on a boat. The hull and deck joints on these boats were not all that robust and any one that you find in your price range is likely to be pretty beat up. Its one thing to buy an older boat that was robustly constructed to begin with, and quite another to buy a boat that began life on the lightly built side and has 30-40 years of use on it. Again these boats are a little on the light side in terms of tankage and carrying capacity. Motion comfort is not their strong suit either. I would keep the Cat 36 as a fall back if you don't find anything else, but would definitely not view these as a first choice....

Jeff
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  #15  
Old 07-30-2013
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Re: Boat Size

Jim-We have had the boat for 4 years and before the Catalina, we had a Precision 21. It is a swing keel. Beaufort has very shallow water with lots of sandbars which is the reason we went for a swing keel; however after sailing her for a while a wing keel would do just fine and less to worry about with maintenance.

Our girls have not spent a lot of time on the boat thus far, they are currently 17 months and 2 months. And actually we have not spent that much time on the boat recently. As soon as our youngest get a little older, we will be out a lot more. I want to get them comfortable with sailing as soon as possible and do some overnight/weekend trips with them leading up to purchasing our cruising boat and leaving.
Laura
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  #16  
Old 07-30-2013
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Re: Boat Size

Laura,
I'd get them aboard as soon as you are comfortable, even if it's just to sit at the dock or go for a motor ride. I think the earlier you get them aboard and used to wearing PFD's, the easier it will be. But that's just my opinion.

It's funny, I came to the same conclusions about our swing keel. We were in areas with 4' of water at high tide, and .5' at low tide. We sailed with the board up almost all the time. The extra 3-4" probably wouldn't have made that much of a difference, and not having to wonder about the condition of the winch mechanism would have been nice. We actually went with a shoal draft boat for that reason. I would have considered an O'Day because their keels aren't weighted the way the C25's keel is, but it didn't meet our needs for other reasons.

Jeff, I appreciate the very tactful way you handled my suggestions. I'm the first to admit that I don't usually know what I'm talking about, especially when it comes to specific models. Of course, that doesn't stop me from voicing an opinion.
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  #17  
Old 07-30-2013
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Re: Boat Size

One last thought: have you considered an S2 11.0 center cockpit? That's pretty much my dream boat. I couldn't find any in my price range, but my range was about 1/4 of yours.
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  #18  
Old 07-31-2013
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Re: Boat Size

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
I think that many of Jimgo's points are right on target, but I would respectfully disagree with the suggestions of a Catalina 36 or 38. The Catalina 38 started out as a race boat. These are reasonably fast boat and seem to be constructed better than many of the earlier Catalinas, but they really are tricky to sail in a building breeze, and not particularly well suited to being a family cruising boat. They lack the kinds of tankage and carrying capacity that you will want to cruise with four people, and while tanks can be added, they come at the price of storage which is in short supply on these boats. They also have a pretty uncomfortable motion making them a poor candidate for a thrash across the Gulfstream or the chop in the Bahama Banks.

The Catalina 36 is a reasonably nice coastal cruiser for the dollars, and could be made to work for your purposes, but the kind of voyaging that you propose puts a lot of wear and tear on a boat. The hull and deck joints on these boats were not all that robust and any one that you find in your price range is likely to be pretty beat up. Its one thing to buy an older boat that was robustly constructed to begin with, and quite another to buy a boat that began life on the lightly built side and has 30-40 years of use on it. Again these boats are a little on the light side in terms of tankage and carrying capacity. Motion comfort is not their strong suit either. I would keep the Cat 36 as a fall back if you don't find anything else, but would definitely not view these as a first choice....

Jeff
Hey my friend,

I don't completely disagree with you, but that particular 38 just came in from San Francisco with two boys (our boys age) after two years at sea... all through S America, the canal, keys, and all the way up to Maryland. So it can be done on that boat... and that is with two boys that eat and drink as much as two adults (I know!!! I fed them one day!). Like I said, I know the owners.

There is not going to be a perfect boat for her due to her budget, but finding the right compromise will be key. My biggest issue is not the water on that boat, it is the draft. You can make the water work with gerry cans and conservation... not ideal, but doable.

Brian
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  #19  
Old 07-31-2013
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Re: Boat Size

Brian,

I think that you and I are basically in agreement. Given a $20,000 budget to cruise with 4 people, (albeit 2 are very young children), the ultimate range of choices will probably be the better of a variety of less than ideal options. Within those less than ideal options there will be boats, which may be able to work acceptably, and boats which make no sense at all.

As Laura and her family wade through their choices, they will eventually put together a written or mental check list of features and criteria that they would like to have or not have in the boat that they ultimately sellect.

Some of their criteria may be strongly held deal busters, and so would eliminate some models from being considered adequate to meet thier needs. Some criteria may result in them determining that some designs may be acceptable but not the best choice. And some of these criteria may become the trading cards that steer towards a final decision on one particular make, model, and/or boat purchased.

With that in mind, my comments above are not meant to say, this boat cannot do what the Laura's family needs it to do. My comments are meant to suggest that there are better choices out there, and here are the criteria that I am basing that on knowing that these are my own personal criteria and not necessarily theirs.

And I think, that is the broad generality where we are in agreement....

Respectfully,
Jeff
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  #20  
Old 07-31-2013
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Re: Boat Size

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Originally Posted by Jeff_H View Post
Brian,

I think that you and I are basically in agreement. Given a $20,000 budget to cruise with 4 people, (albeit 2 are very young children), the ultimate range of choices will probably be the better of a variety of less than ideal options. Within those less than ideal options there will be boats, which may be able to work acceptably, and boats which make no sense at all.

As Laura and her family wade through their choices, they will eventually put together a written or mental check list of features and criteria that they would like to have or not have in the boat that they ultimately sellect.

Some of their criteria may be strongly held deal busters, and so would eliminate some models from being considered adequate to meet thier needs. Some criteria may result in them determining that some designs may be acceptable but not the best choice. And some of these criteria may become the trading cards that steer towards a final decision on one particular make, model, and/or boat purchased.

With that in mind, my comments above are not meant to say, this boat cannot do what the Laura's family needs it to do. My comments are meant to suggest that there are better choices out there, and here are the criteria that I am basing that on knowing that these are my own personal criteria and not necessarily theirs.

And I think, that is the broad generality where we are in agreement....

Respectfully,
Jeff
Right on, my friend.

Jeff (and Jim),

How about that S2? I have little first hand experience with them. Only sailed one once. Would that be an option?

Brian
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