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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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  #1  
Old 09-08-2009
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2 or 3 cabins for family

My wife and I have talked for a long time about taking a one year cruise to the Bahamas. We almost did it 3-4 years ago, but did not for a couple of reasons, and now we have two children (2 and 0). We have started to get the itch and have begun discussions to plan this trip again. We are just talking and planning now and setting budgets, etc. The plan is to leave in about 7-8 years when our kids are around 7-8 (girl) and 9-10 (boy), so that they will be old enough to remember the experience.

The biggest budget line item is the boat - we hope to buy in 4 or 5 years to have a couple of years to get to know it and get it ready to go. We are getting some ideas and seeing what we like and don't like. We figure a coastal cruiser should be OK for the intercoastal/Bahamas trip we want to take and would like something a bit newer and nicer but we will not have an infinite amount of money to spend on the boat.

One big question up front is can we get by on two cabins or do we need three? Any thoughts from anyone who has been out there and done it if both kids will probably need their own space to be happy or not? I was thinking something in the 42 ft range +/- and the cabin arrangement really narrows the choices.

I am sure there will be many other questions I come up with over the next couple of years too. Thanks!
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Old 09-08-2009
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cruisingdad ( the moderator ) has 2 kids in a boat with a v berth and a cabin. he put a board to divide the v berth in half.

luckly kids are small and they can fit where ever you need to stow them be it a berth or a cockpit locker
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Old 09-08-2009
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My vote would be for the tri-cabin layout.

We have 3 kids and our next boat will have 3-cabins. Yes, CD has 2 kids, but they are the same gender and close in age.

And don't go by how big the kids are now -- 10 year old kids are about 3/4-4/5 adult size, with much more space requirements than toddlers/preschoolers. It's hard to get your head around how much and quickly kids grow. Our bout seemed huge and fine for our family when we bought it 8 seasons ago -- now we are definitely "tight".

Take a look at the Catalina 42 tri-cabin version. It's high on our list for a "next boat" and I wouldn't hesitate to take it on the itinerary you propose. It has "pullman" and "v-berth" options for the master cabin, depending on your preference.
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Old 09-08-2009
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It would probably be easier to have the kids share a cabin when they are less than 9-10 then after. John would know better about that then me. At Glen's age, (5), he couldn't care less about girls and I would not have a problem with them sleeping in the same area. You might get away with splitting the V berth like I do. It does give them some of their own space, but three cabins would be easier. The problem with the third cabin on the boat is that it takes away (a lot) from the rest of the boat.

For me personally, I really like it when you get into the upper 40's and low 50's for three cabins. I don't know why, but this also seems to be when you start seeing the over/under bunks too which would be awesome for kids. Problem, of course, is the cost of these boats.

Also, you are really planning a long way out. I hope you can keep to it, but we can't hardly plan out a few months much less many years. We instead elected to buy our boat early and live aboard. I am not saying that is what you should or should not do, but that is what we did and are (hopefully) going to be doing again shortly.



The benefit was that our kid are as comfortable on the boat as they are at a house. They know their way around and there is very little adjustment.



Mom holding Chase...



Chase watchin TV...



The negative of course is the space and it is harder living aboard on a boat then in a house. Many people simply cannot make it work. However, you are at an easy age to make it work should you decide to do so. I think infants especially are very adaptable to the boat. And as they grow up, instead of soccer, they find many other things to do that are more boat related, like fishing and taking out the dink.





But like I said, things are tight. It is not easy. But growing up with it allows them to be as comfortable on the boat as in a house (or, almost at least!).



- CD
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Thanks for the replies and the pictures of the kids are cute! The Catalina 42 is high on my list for sure, but my wife is not sure she likes they layout with the galley along the side of the boat (likes a more open layout). I also like Gemini catamarans, but I don't think as much as the bigger mono's.

We really are planning a long way out, but I figure it is the only way we will be able to make it happen. We love our house and want to keep it so we have it when we get back, so we need to budget accordingly and try to make that happen. Our plan is to take an extended vacation, if you will, and then return back land life for a while before doing it again. I totally agree though, that setting plans that far in advance is tough to do. If you would have asked me 8 years ago what I would be doing now...
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
I don't know why, but this also seems to be when you start seeing the over/under bunks too which would be awesome for kids. Problem, of course, is the cost of these boats.
You are definitely right about that, CD. Over/under bunks are the best way to go with kids, and it's a real shame that we have to stretch up into that size range before we usually find them. The nice thing about the C42 tri-cabin is that the aft cabins and the pullman master have enough "height" that it's possible to install an overhead bunk (guess who's taken measurements? ). But that's not the same as a true over/under cabin, which would be really ideal.

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Originally Posted by sailh34 View Post
The Catalina 42 is high on my list for sure, but my wife is not sure she likes they layout with the galley along the side of the boat (likes a more open layout)....
Interesting how perspectives vary -- we find that the galley along the side of the hull gives a more open feeling. It's a good arrangement when you expect to be doing most of your food prep while at anchor (coastal sailing). But I would want a different galley configuration if I was contemplating extended ocean passages.
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Old 09-08-2009
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We have two kids - a boy of 12 and a girl of 8. We have two cabins - a V-Berth and an aft berth with a single bed that's about double size. My wife and I take the V-Berth and the kids share the bed in the aft cabin. There is no separation between them. They have never gotten along better - we put them to bed and the two of them just do silly things for an hour before they go to sleep. There has not been any issue with them sharing a bunk, except to make sure they each have their own fan. They love it! When we go to hotels now, they actually sleep in the same bed even if there are two beds in their room!
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At sea, we will be on watches. Everyone (adult male, adult female, 10 year old boy) will be in sea berths that will rotate depending on degree of heel.

At anchor, dock or mooring, the adults will deploy a door on the aft cabin. The kid can have the rest of the boat or designate "his" bunk as needed.

If, as he ages (we plan to be gone five years), he really needs privacy...which I accept might well be the case, I plan on installing a fold-down framed hammock in the forepeak workshop. He can then "close the door" on his folks and enjoy the noise and the ride and the smell of Boeshield on the stowed tools.
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Old 09-08-2009
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He can then "close the door" on his folks and enjoy the noise and the ride and the smell of Boeshield on the stowed tools.
LOL And my kids thought I was tough making them go in the forepeake! ...They were 10 and 8 at the time and loved the sailing but still don't like each other.
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Old 09-09-2009
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Our plan was pretty much like labatt's. We had our children with us while living aboard and cruising from their birth to off for college. Our son and daughter took the aft cabin of our Morgan 41'. We put two computer hutches back to back with a sandwiched wall and they each had their own small cabins. As they are off in their own homes now, we have returned the space to one cabin for guests, but we still elect to remain in the V-berth. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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