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sausagebarn 11-04-2010 11:10 PM

7 days in a Catalina 22 with all 3 kids!?!
Here is the plan; 7 days in the San Juans next July/August in our Catalina 22 with our 5 y/o b/g twins and 7 y/o daughter. I'll sail up there and the wife and kids will drive. We'll rendezvous in Anacortes or Laconor and sail up to...well, were not sure yet, Sucia for sure and some ideas on a few other places too.
We have overnighted on blake island and Bainbridge Is. before with the kids. They love it. So we figure more of a good thing cant be bad....or are we crazy? So far our sailing adventures have basically consisted of spending a few hours (3-5 at most) sailing and then we pull up to a marina or a dock and the kids get ice cream, etc. But we want to sail and really get the kids out in nature.
We will be bringing our dinghy, tent etc...we dont plan to spend too many nights sleeping on the boat and we are certainly no strangers to camping.
When we bought our boat last year I figured it would be a few years and a lager boat before we could do a trip like this. But I feel confident that we could do this.
Any advice from cruising veterans would be great!

tgrimmett 11-05-2010 03:42 AM

Go for it!
Certainly 5 of you on that size boat raises questions of personal space, but you know your family best and how compatible everyone is so you should let this be your judge. And, I've always told friends that every boat is going to feel tiny once you leave the dock. Rather, it is the expansiveness of the scenery and places that you stop off at to explore that push out the dimensions of your living quarters. I know that when our kids were that age, they enjoyed the cacoon feeling of the cabin and if, as it sounds, you are used to camping together, that should go along way. Not sure what entertains your kids, but for ours, they really enjoyed towing little boats off the stern. I made up various simple designs with wood or you can buy little plastic ones. They spent hours at this and enjoyed crashing them into each other. One of ours was a real avid reader, so that was easy too. He really took to the concept of a journal. A pair of binoculars and/or a field guide reference would be good. Getting them time at the helm or helping with tacking, anchoring decisions, and passage planning is helpful all around. For our other son, collecting little souvenirs along the way was entertaining and important for him as this helped him get over the concept of moving from place to place constantly. They varied from touristy things to beach flotsam to postcards-something that can help them cherish the memories when they get back home.

More than anything, if you and your wife have the desire, then get out there and do it regardless of the size of your boat. Your kids are at a great age for it and if you two are having a good time, your kids will take this as their cue. Good luck!
Thalia - The Grimmett's Sailing Adventure!

tommays 11-05-2010 07:45 AM

Back when my wife would still camp :) and we moved UP to a J24 from and 18' boat we found it rather luxurious with 4 full size berths and the addition of a set of privacy curtains around the porta potty

We spent Many weekends with 4 people on the J with a camp stove and solar showers and got to know the peconic bay and shelter island area

Ajax_MD 11-05-2010 08:34 AM

I don't think you're crazy. You're obviously planning many stops and opportunities to get off of the boat.

If it sounded like you were planning a trip to Mars in a Soyuz space capsule with 5 people, then I'd be worried for you.

sausagebarn 11-05-2010 01:22 PM

Thanks for your replies.
I think its going to be great but my wife worries it will be like a really LONG road trip. We camped for ten days last summer in the Olympic Nat'l Park and I think we will spend a roughly equivalent amount of time in transit (i.e in the boat as opposed to on docks, islands, tents).
Thanks for the kids are constantly "fishing" (dangling lines) from the stern while we are sailing....that's a great idea about building some little boats for them to sail from the stern.

erps 11-05-2010 01:37 PM

We were a family of four on a similar sized boat for a while and I used to sleep on some of the floats at the state parks with the kids under a little tarp and some cushions out of the boat. Lots of nearby state parks with onshore camping up here. Having a campfire on shore was always a whole family activity too and a lot of our cruising around still center around a campfire in the evenings. Sounds like you'll have a lot of fun.

djodenda 11-05-2010 02:40 PM

I think you should do this, and if you all go crazy, cut the trip short and just go camping.

But, I think you'll be fine.

Definitely go to Hope Island. (Ray's front porch). Sheltered cove, campsites, and the world's best rope swing.

MarkCK 11-05-2010 03:24 PM

This isn't advice but you will only know if this is a bad idea after you have started. You might figure out two hours into the cruise that it is a horrible idea. Having a backup plan would be a good idea.

I say go for it. If nothing else you will learn that you never want to do it again.

AdamLein 11-05-2010 06:31 PM

I'm no cruising veteran but as long as you pack light (hopefully easy at that time of year) you shouldn't have any problems. The tent thing is a great idea. I think you'll have a fine time.

Keep us apprised as your plans solidify and maybe we'll see you on the water. You're two kids ahead of us but it would be nice to see how it's working out for you!

gbaratta 11-05-2010 11:01 PM

All sound beautiful, sure the 22 will be a bit tight, but we did camp few times on a j24 and had a great time for few nights. After all if this get uncomfortable you can always cut the trip a bit. Good luck the kids will really love to and keep great memories.

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