So, how do I prepare for a 5 year cruise with kids? - Page 12 - SailNet Community

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Cruising and Sailing with Children All things sailing and kids related, from safety to life aboard.


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  #111  
Old 10-23-2007
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Jim, do you have to be British to take the RYA courses? I hold dual Canadian/British citizenship, but my wife doesn't, and there's no Canadian equivalent, and foreigners can't take the U.S.C.G. courses, from what I gather.

We were thinking of overwintering in England after we leave and taking the courses then. I know that seems backwards, but we probably won't get voyage insurance here either until we hit a country that understands the concept.
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  #112  
Old 10-24-2007
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Originally Posted by Valiente View Post
Jim, do you have to be British to take the RYA courses? I hold dual Canadian/British citizenship, but my wife doesn't, and there's no Canadian equivalent, and foreigners can't take the U.S.C.G. courses, from what I gather.

We were thinking of overwintering in England after we leave and taking the courses then. I know that seems backwards, but we probably won't get voyage insurance here either until we hit a country that understands the concept.
The courses are open to all nationalities-- you just need to show up/pay up, and participate. You can also "enter the scheme" at any point (Dayskipper, Coastal, Yachtmaster) if you feel you have the experience equal to the previous certifications. We probably could have started with the Dayskipper courses, but I'm enjoying the sailing and soaking up local knowledge doing the basic courses first.

There's "on-your-boat" tuition options as well, but it's more expensive since the costs aren't shared with other students.

You can also mix and match coursework from other schools. This winter my wife will do the five days of Dayskipper theory with Capital Sailing, so I can take the tube to Greenwich for the classes. For the five days of on-water sailing, I'll return to British Offshore Sailing School (BOSS) on the Solent. I might be able to do one of the 7 day cruises to the Channel Islands, 9 day trips to Brittany, or 2 week Netherland trips to fulfill the practical as well.

It's worth noting that BOSS and other sailing schools offer on-the-water courses throughout the winter, but be prepared for the cold, wet and dark. In some cases, you might leave the slip at 10 and be back at 3, but still be exhausted, I've heard. You might also have to get used to the course pricing, which isn't bad if you pretend the pounds are dollars, but the prices are less in the winter. There was a special rate of only 135 pounds for the weekend I just back back from...

The good part is that sailing here seems to be "higher stakes," meaning that the boats are tougher and it's worth having a solid idea of what you're doing. We're looking forward to the first time we cross the channel (interesting navigation skills are needed), but being with an experienced sailor and well-found boat makes sense.

Good luck with your planning!

Jim H

Last edited by Jim H; 10-24-2007 at 03:59 PM.
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  #113  
Old 10-24-2007
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Thanks very much for the information! We would be in the somewhat unusual position of having completed a trans-Atlantic in order to take RYA qualifications, but if we're going to overwinter in that vicinity anyway...might as well carpe diem. I know that they are about the best and most widely respected courses going, so if we can get at least Yachtmaster certs., we'll be doing very well indeed.
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  #114  
Old 10-29-2007
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JimH,

I noticed in the HerSailnet thread that you mentioned researching the Nicholson 35. I was just going to suggest that if you like this style boat, you might also want to look at some of the Rivals.

Since you have a couple kids, I'd recommend the Rival 38. It has an interesting aft cabin, rare on boats of this size, made possible by the tall bridgedeck and "Swan-style" companionway hatch. These are solid boats built for North Sea/British Isles conditions, so they do not perform the best in light air, but they will ride out a big blow fairly comfortably. There are some smaller (34 & 36) and larger (42 ?) models available as well. They are sometimes listed as "Rival-Bowman", and in fact the even larger boats (48, 52 ?) from this builder are usually referred to simply as a "Bowman" yachts.

Might be worth a peek while you're in England -- they are rare in the States...
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  #115  
Old 10-29-2007
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JimH,

I noticed in the HerSailnet thread that you mentioned researching the Nicholson 35. I was just going to suggest that if you like this style boat, you might also want to look at some of the Rivals.
John, great minds think alike...

At this stage, Rivals are higher on our list than Nicholsons. If I were just a single-hander, I'd probably go for a Contessa 32 without a second thought, but the Rival line seems like a good compromise between the lighter Contessa and the heavier Nicholsons. We located a Rival 38c about a month ago, and it sounded very attractive, even though I'm not a center cockpit fan. I even started a thread about it at the SSCA website:

http://64.70.221.24/DiscBoard/viewtopic.php?t=4473

Instead of going to see it, however, we've been sailing most of the weekends of the last month, and now it's under contract. Even so, I didn't want to go too far on it without seeing a Rival 36, which authors in Practical Boat Owner refer to as maybe the best of the group in terms of design compromises.

This coming weekend, I have a strong Rival 32 lined up to view down on the Solent, and it's specs, 2002 Beta engine, and recent standing rigging sound very attractive. The big problem for us now is deciding between a long-range boat (like a 38 or 41), or a "what we need now" boat (32-34). The latter would be more affordable yet still fine for cross-channel trips, but not a long-distance cruiser for four. Thus, the dilemma.

Meanwhile, my wife just got back from three days of sailing, and is a bit proud of having handled some Force 7 conditions with aplomb on a Westerly Fulmar 32 footer. Lots to learn. The Solent can be more than a handful, and the typical strength of sailboats around here reflects that.

Thanks for the comment.

Jim H
London, UK

Last edited by Jim H; 10-29-2007 at 07:36 PM.
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  #116  
Old 10-29-2007
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Jim,

Glad to hear you have them under consideration. I logged thousands of sea miles in a Rival 38. It is a solid, wholesome boat, and always took care of us, angry Mistrals and Meltemis not withstanding.

The 38' Rival I sailed on was aft-cockpit, with a fully enclosed aft cabin that included stand-up headroom, two single bunks and a vanity sink. Perfect for kids. The 36 is visually almost indistinguishable, but as I recall it lacks the aft cabin.
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  #117  
Old 10-30-2007
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Jim,

As a follow-up to my previous post, I just glanced at the Rival 38C (center cockpit, in Lymington) that is listed on Yachtworld.com. Looking at the schematic, and the few photos provided, I would definitely prefer the configuration of the aft-cockpit version. There just seems to be too high a price paid in the galley for that extra-large aft-cabin in the center cockpit version. The aft cockpit Rival 38 has a much larger galley area (to starboard), and I think the nav station (to port) is larger too. All this while still having a private aft cabin.

In addition to the private aft cabin, the aft-cockpit boat I cruised on had a commodious main salon. The table (to port) dropped down to form a double bunk. The backrest of the starboard settee flipped up to form an "over/under" bunk, with the lower bunk a very large single (almost a double) berth. There was a v-berth forward of the head too (in the case of the boat I cruised on, the v-berth was roughly finished and we primarily used it for sail stowage.)

About the only complaint I could make about the interior of the aft-cockpit version is that the head compartment-- forward of the main salon -- ran athwartships, so you had to pass through it to get to the v-berth.
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  #118  
Old 10-30-2007
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Rival 38A Aft Cabin

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post
Jim,
About the only complaint I could make about the interior of the aft-cockpit version is that the head compartment-- forward of the main salon -- ran athwartships, so you had to pass through it to get to the v-berth.
Your reference to a comfortable main cabin in the 38A aft cockpit touches on the main reason I don't like many center cockpits-- the main cabin can simply be too short and squared off. To me, the main cabin is still the heart of the boat for the family below, and I'd rather it was reasonably sized.

As for the head forward of the main cabin, I noticed in the brochure at the owners' association (http://www.rivalowners.org.uk/brochures/brr38.htm) that there was also a single head aft-cabin version with no head forward (but a larger head aft). I think I'd prefer the one head version if possible.

For those scratching their heads at this discussion, here's the schematics of the aft-cabin version (single head?) from the owner's association:



It might be a good thing that there's not a Rival 38 aft-cabin on the UK market at the moment... However, it does add to our though processes between "two-week boat now" or "full-size cruising boat now." If we were more than exited about the 38, I could see us making the big move sooner than later.

Now I need to track one of these down. Practical Boat Owner had a article about "recommended offshore boats" just this month, and the Rivals received serious praise, with the end example noting the benefits of an updated Rival 41 over a comparable new boat.

Jim H


A footnote: the first time I heard of a Rival 38 was several years ago when I was reading Tania Aebi's book Maiden Voyage. As I recall, the first boat her controversial father bought was a Rival 38 in Europe, that he then crossed the Atlantic in with his kids, including Tania, learning to sail along the way. Reference: http://www.48north.com/aug_2006/tania.htm

Last edited by Jim H; 10-30-2007 at 03:42 PM.
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  #119  
Old 10-30-2007
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Jim,

I've seen that schematic before -- it's nicely done. One quick point, the boat I crewed on had ONLY a forward head. In the aft cabin, we had a vanity/sink arrangement against the athwartship bulkhead forward of the port bunk. It was handy for brushing teeth/washing up, etc. But there was no enclosed head compartment with a toilet in that location (that actually would have been nice, though.) Instead, this particular example had a somewhat larger nav station and storage area to port at the base of the companionway ladder.

As you know, some of the Rivals were owner-finished, so I would expect to see some variation in interior configuration. But the layout shown in your schematic would probably be the best of all those I've seen for a Rival 38.

Folks will notice the "Swan-style" companonway, and some might balk, but it was easily managed with the depicted pulpits, even in bouncy conditions. Very easy to snug the boat up tight, too.

Edit: Also, the schematic indicates a draft of 5'4". As I recall, ours was close to 2 meters. So apparently there is a shoal version.

Last edited by JohnRPollard; 10-30-2007 at 05:24 PM.
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  #120  
Old 12-01-2007
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Earls Court Boatshow 2007 (London)

Time for an update. Today, the kids and I had a great time at the Earls Court Boatshow in downtown London. In fact, the exhibition center was just a few steps from an Underground Station.

This totally indoor show was lightly attended today, but I liked the atmosphere and emphasis on sailboats over powerboats. I guess the story is that the big London Boat show used to be held in this location, but was moved to a larger space in the Docklands (Excel Center) part of London. It's taking place next month, but this year they brought back the Earls Court show as well.

Highlights? There was a big indoor pool with a couple dozen boats in it, including Gipsy Moth IV, Hanse, Gemini and others. My kids got to scuba dive for the first time (for free) with an instructor. We saw James May's classic sailing convertible car from the TopGear TV show. We checked out a new Hans Christian 41 T. We saw a range of restored classic wood racing sailboats. We saw a display of wrecked but recovered boats, and read their stories. We saw classic wooden boats being made. We walked through a restored long boat for the first time.

Overall, we had a great time. Here's the photos from today:

http://www.photos.sailingvoyage.com/v/album_016/

The show is on through next weekend, and I plan to return either tomorrow with the wife or later in the week to do some bits and parts buying. It was a fun show, and we had a great time.

Jim H
London, UK



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