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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 06-16-2010
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Ideas

Hi,,,brand new here. we are looking to buy a boat and would love suggestions from others. I have four children..yikes!!! 9,6,5 and 3. I am looking in the 45-55ft range with 3 cabins one for girls one for boys and one for mum and dad. No I dont have really much sailing experience although am currently learning and sailing everytime my husband comes home. I realize a boat of this size is impossible to handle alone so for the next few years alot will simply be living on the boat ini a harbor in florida and only doing sailing when some captain friends of mine can come out and teach my husband and I more. The plan eventually is to do alot more sailing but alas he has to work so we can continue to save so that one day we can actually sail to alot more places. We currently live in Tennessee so not a whole lot of sailing to experience here and we are planning on moving back to Florida...We sort of thought that perhaps living on the boat now instead of taking endless trips to Florida to "practice" just get one and take every opportunity to go out and learn more ...with appropriate guidance of course until everyone mostly me feels comfortable that we can handle everything confidently. I already homeschool and always have...so our days will be spent doing that and I assume alot of interesting excursions while we wait for dad to come back from work in Alaska or have a chance to have a captain take us out and show us some ropes for a few days ....we have a fund for people who are qualified to teach us what we need to know and get us familiar with all the in's and out's of our boat.
Ok so I have babbled long enough...also..I have read about alot of people with a couple of kids but not many with four...I realize this means a larger boat but are we being completely unrealistic here??? I realize we are going down the road less travelled but it's not that crazy...I would be crazy just getting a boat and trying to sail with no experience and four kids...but..I am not that stupid with my kids lives...I will take as long as needed to gain knowledge and experience on my boat even if it means being in a harbour for a while till I learn that...
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Old 06-16-2010
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Hi Kim,
There are a myriad of great boat choices that will suit what you need. But, they all come with a price tag. So, to figure out what direction to point you in, I need to know how big your bank is. What is your budget for your future home on the water?
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Old 06-16-2010
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Hmmm budget it always is that. Well I know from reading that a family of our size needs probably at least 50ft. Have found a couple great deals with 3cabin set ups in good shape for about 60k only 45 ft but also good boats for the 120k range hard to find the perfect one and I have to consider cost to hire captain to help me sail it to our home waters if not near Florida. Some don't have engine I want or tri berths which is non negotiable with four kids they won't like sharing but my back up is to at least have settee or dining for extra when people are disgruntled

example great boat tri berth recent overhaul 1972but on west coast.. Hmmm do I spend money on captain to bring me thru canal as I learn or spend money on newer boat and money on captain to show me the ropes on the east coast... Either way I need a captain I just don't know if certain good boats at a good price are worth the trouble to bring across .... Personally I would love to sail pacific wAters and go thru canal just to gain experience.. Sometimes money is well spent to learn what you are doing... Everything is a pricetag and my only goal us to learn to sail properly on the vessel I choose ... the most economical rate because a ton of expenditures are sure to evolve after just the first day but manufacturers that would be good for liveaboards and with kids are all boats I will look into.... Below 100k preferable if things are sound but no more than 150k this is range
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Old 06-16-2010
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Look into a Tayana, Island Packet, or your choice. My two cents worth with a family.
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Old 06-20-2010
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Hi Kim. We are getting ready to cruise with 2 of our kids in a year or so and I understand the needs of livability for kids. I highly recommend looking at Island Packets. We didn't end up getting one because my husband requires a boat that performs well inder sail- i.e. he wants to go fast. Island Packets are not exactly quick but you can not beat them for livability and having been out on a sea trial in some pretty icky weather, they just shrug off the rough and keep on chugging along.

We would have been more than comfortable with the 4 of us on the IP 35. In order to get the same livability in a faster boat, we had to move up to a 42 foot boat. I'm a big fan of going as small as you can since everything (and I do mean everything) is priced by the foot. I would think that by going the IP route, you could comfortably live on something in the 40 foot range as opposed to having to go up to 50. It will be tough to do an IP on your budget but if you are patient and handy who knows?

Edited to add: You should also look at cats. I think you would be more comfortable with your tribe ona catamaran. There's a lot to be said for the Gemini- a lot of bang for your buck and roomy, roomy!
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Old 06-20-2010
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While you may think you need a 50' boat to accommodate your entire family, I'd point out that you generally want a boat that either you or your spouse can single-hand. Most of the time, even sailing as a family, you WILL BE SINGLEHANDING THE BOAT. Your spouse and kids may be otherwise unavailable to assist you, so if you can't raise, reef, douse the sails on a boat by yourself....the boat is probably too big.

Also, do consider that electric winches and such do not help when trying to carry that monster sail down into the cabin or when you're trying to haul the anchor out to the bow roller. They also FAIL.
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Old 06-20-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frozenkim View Post
Hi,,,brand new here. we are looking to buy a boat and would love suggestions from others. I have four children..yikes!!! 9,6,5 and 3. I am looking in the 45-55ft range with 3 cabins one for girls one for boys and one for mum and dad.
A 12 meter cruising catamaran would fulfill these requirements yet single handing is possible.
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Last edited by TropicCat; 06-20-2010 at 03:39 PM.
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Old 06-20-2010
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We have 6 (12yo to 1yo) and get by just fine with a skinny 48 footer. It's a boat, not an apartment. Little kids really don't need seperate cabins.
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Old 06-22-2010
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Hi Kim,

I made the case for a catamaran on your welcome page, just to point back there from here. We cruised for 1.5 years in the Caribbean on a 36' monohull ketch, worked great but when we considered cruising with kids, we decided to go with a catamaran -- more space for the length and less heel. We're doing the same basic route, but with the shoal-draft capacity we can see more -- like the Berry Islands in the Bahamas, or the shoal areas near the Dry Tortugas, assuming we get there before the Cloud of Petroleum Death reaches them. Anyway, it's great to see you posting here, and we DEFINITELY want updates as you go through your process!
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Old 06-22-2010
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Kim, taking your kids on a boat isn't crazy. People stuck in their rut of a life, that do not consider you are prepared to do what it takes to look after them, are. A nine year old, can learn an amazing amount of responsibility, and be more helpful than adult crew. I havn't met a "boat kid" that I would call "normal", They have all been "Exceptional"! My Daughter is almost 5, and she is incredible! Your children are, or will be too. Don't sweat the delivery from here or there. Most boats can be transported over land, any where you desire to begin. How about a Gemini cat? I think they might be close to your $ range. See ya out there!
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