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  #21  
Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Sailboat ready to cruise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
HAHA! Yeah, that went over real well last time, didn't it!???

Brian
Are you two talking about the definition of cruising a "boat" or a "yacht"?
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  #22  
Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Sailboat ready to cruise?

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Originally Posted by jimgo View Post
As far as your specific situation, remember that, at your budget, you're buying a 30-ish year old boat. Back in the early 1980's, the power requirements onboard were pretty straightforward. You needed to start the engine, run the AM/FM radio and VHF, maybe a Loran, and the cabin lights. The power cables that run through most boats of that vintage are smaller because they just didn't need to handle much current. Today's boaters, by contrast, want to run laptops and iPads, watch movies on big-screen TV's with surround sound, run the microwave, refrigerator, dehumidifier, etc.
Just to show contrasts for me cruise ready would mean not having all of that junk. It would mean having a boat with a self sufficient electrical system, which means one that has the basic comfort items covered and that can keep itself charged off of solar and wind. For my definition power consumption has actually gone down in the last 30 years because all of the lighting is now LED and not incandescent, and thus consumes about 10% of the power that it did 30 years ago. It's rare to see my boat pulling down 5 amps total, and that's with the laptop and tablet charging, all electronics turned on, and all lights turned on. My two group 24 house batteries are complete overkill and easily stay charged from a modest solar panel.

Every cruiser needs to figure out what cruising means to them and how they'd equip the boat. "Cruise Ready" just tells you that it met someone else's definition.
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  #23  
Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Sailboat ready to cruise?

I believe the term "cruise ready" is an oxymoron. No boat is ever completely "cruise ready".
There is always something that needs to be done, should be done or the captain (or first mate; I sail with no admirals aboard) would like to get done.
That's what all those beautiful anchorages are for!
At some point you have just get underway, the boat will never be perfect. It's up to the captain to decide what must be done before departure and what can be put off for a time, anyway.
Case in point; our Tigress windlass base cracked apart so badly only 2 bolts were holding it loosely to the deck in Francis Bay, St John. I filled the base w/ Bondo to reduce movement when in use and we made a bee line from the BVI to St. Martin to purchase a new one (no way to repair the old one). After a two week wait, instead of the promised Tigress, a windlass I consider too small for the boat anyway, we had to purchase a Falkon, a much better windlass, but with a different footprint, so it was not going to be "plug and play", so to speak like a Tigress.
But by now it was late June, in the hurricane season and we had no desire to hang around in the "zone" to mount the windlass.
So we set sail, not exactly hurrying, but not dawdling either, until we were statistically safe in Grenada. Every time we used the old windlass we thought it would just pop over the side w/ the anchor and chain, but miraculously, it worked perfectly until we took it off.
Now the new windlass sits proudly on the foredeck, gleaming in the tropical sun. But we were lucky, I admit that.
Of course, there isn't a good captain that doesn't have a fair amount of luck!
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  #24  
Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Sailboat ready to cruise?

Just like the wide variety of sailboats I've been seeing, there is an equally vast array of posters in this forum and I appreciate all of your thoughts. Many of the responses we've been getting have made a lot of sense. I think we will tend to have a pragmatic approach to sailboat maintenance and attempt to do it ourselves. I really like the idea of keeping the systems on board as simple as possible. We will not have a TV. We would prefer to have our fresh water pumped manually, toilets flushed manually, and want to be as self-sufficient as possible. Have most of you replaced your lights (cabin and otherwise) with LEDs?
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  #25  
Old 08-01-2013
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Re: Sailboat ready to cruise?

In fact, I'll just repost somebody's thoughts I saw on another thread about simplifying your boat systems. I think I'm gonna be more like this guy when we finally get the boat and prepare to take off. I apologize, but I didn't cut and paste his name. Anybody remember who posted this?

"I'm going to offer a slightly different view on this. I think your maintenance costs and time input are directly proportional to the complexity of your boat. The simpler you keep your boat, the cheaper and easier to maintain it in good working order. Unlike most people, I have been removing "systems" from my boat only to replace them with reliable, inexpensive-to-maintain manual systems. Some examples of my "upgrades" are:

Foot pumps for all fresh and salt water (No pressurized water anywhere. I carry 2 new foot pumps in case one fails)

Nature's Head composting toilet (Simplicity itself. Nothing can go wrong with it and there is no maintenance)

Manual windlass (no electric motor, wiring runs, breakers, extra batteries and complex charging systems)

Solar power for all my energy needs (no genset, wind power or complicated charging systems)

All LED lighting (never change a bulb! Allows you to reduce your battery bank size and charging systems)

One large 160amp house battery for all my power needs (simple wiring and less to go wrong). I also have a 70amp starter battery for the diesel engine.

Windvane and tillerpilot driving the windvane for my autopilot needs (simple, extremely energy efficient and cheap and if the tiller pilot fails you can carry a spare to switch out while you repair the other one)

By leaving off the following items you will save yourself a LOT of expense and maintenance down the road:

Genset (another motor and electrical system to maintain)

Watermaker (high maintenance - build in bigger tanks for more water)

Electric windlass (high maintenance and requires extra battery power and wiring)

Air conditioning (need I say anything??)

Pressurized water (not very high maintenance perhaps, but requires more battery power and charging systems)

RIB and outboard engine (A hard rowing dinghy -admittedly for purists- is rugged and gives almost zero maintenance and can be propelled by oars, saving the expense and headache of an outboard engine)

External teak (it is a labour of love and some people enjoy it)

Fridge (This is one item I'm prepared to keep and maintain, but if you can live without one, it does simplify everything, especially your charging system)

The hull, mast, rigging and bottom are a given for every boat and will involve some sporadic maintenance (hauling and painting, changing rigging periodically etc.). If you read cruising blogs I think you'll get a pretty good idea of the kinds of things that break down the most on boats (basically the things I mention above). If you have lots of money and are not sailing abroad, then a complex boat isn't much of a problem (when stuff breaks, replace it at the yard), but if you are thinking of cruising abroad (and far from West Marine) there is a lot to be said for keeping the boat as simple as possible and carrying all the spares you need. I cruise in Brazil where boat parts are probably 4 times the price of American chandleries and qualified labour is often very hard to find. I think once you leave the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand (and perhaps a few other places) you will find that parts are hard to find and specialized labour even harder (but perhaps you can fix it all yourself if you are the DIY type).

Anyhow, just a few things to think about when you buy and outfit the boat."
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  #26  
Old 08-02-2013
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Re: Sailboat ready to cruise?

Quote:
I think we will tend to have a pragmatic approach to sailboat maintenance and attempt to do it ourselves. I really like the idea of keeping the systems on board as simple as possible.

Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach:Amazon:Books Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach:Amazon:Books



This thread should be a sticky as a cautionary tale. Kudos to Jim for sticking with it & keeping us posted:
Apparently I'm not meant to have a boat...


Another...informative...thread:
Are ALL Sellers LYING MORONIC DOUCHBAGS??
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  #27  
Old 08-02-2013
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Re: Sailboat ready to cruise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by awaywego View Post
In fact, I'll just repost somebody's thoughts I saw on another thread about simplifying your boat systems. I think I'm gonna be more like this guy when we finally get the boat and prepare to take off. I apologize, but I didn't cut and paste his name. Anybody remember who posted this?

"I'm going to offer a slightly different view on this. I think your maintenance costs and time input are directly proportional to the complexity of your boat. The simpler you keep your boat, the cheaper and easier to maintain it in good working order. Unlike most people, I have been removing "systems" from my boat only to replace them with reliable, inexpensive-to-maintain manual systems. Some examples of my "upgrades" are:

Foot pumps for all fresh and salt water (No pressurized water anywhere. I carry 2 new foot pumps in case one fails)

Nature's Head composting toilet (Simplicity itself. Nothing can go wrong with it and there is no maintenance)

Manual windlass (no electric motor, wiring runs, breakers, extra batteries and complex charging systems)

Solar power for all my energy needs (no genset, wind power or complicated charging systems)

All LED lighting (never change a bulb! Allows you to reduce your battery bank size and charging systems)

One large 160amp house battery for all my power needs (simple wiring and less to go wrong). I also have a 70amp starter battery for the diesel engine.

Windvane and tillerpilot driving the windvane for my autopilot needs (simple, extremely energy efficient and cheap and if the tiller pilot fails you can carry a spare to switch out while you repair the other one)

By leaving off the following items you will save yourself a LOT of expense and maintenance down the road:

Genset (another motor and electrical system to maintain)

Watermaker (high maintenance - build in bigger tanks for more water)

Electric windlass (high maintenance and requires extra battery power and wiring)

Air conditioning (need I say anything??)

Pressurized water (not very high maintenance perhaps, but requires more battery power and charging systems)

RIB and outboard engine (A hard rowing dinghy -admittedly for purists- is rugged and gives almost zero maintenance and can be propelled by oars, saving the expense and headache of an outboard engine)

External teak (it is a labour of love and some people enjoy it)

Fridge (This is one item I'm prepared to keep and maintain, but if you can live without one, it does simplify everything, especially your charging system)

The hull, mast, rigging and bottom are a given for every boat and will involve some sporadic maintenance (hauling and painting, changing rigging periodically etc.). If you read cruising blogs I think you'll get a pretty good idea of the kinds of things that break down the most on boats (basically the things I mention above). If you have lots of money and are not sailing abroad, then a complex boat isn't much of a problem (when stuff breaks, replace it at the yard), but if you are thinking of cruising abroad (and far from West Marine) there is a lot to be said for keeping the boat as simple as possible and carrying all the spares you need. I cruise in Brazil where boat parts are probably 4 times the price of American chandleries and qualified labour is often very hard to find. I think once you leave the US, Canada, Europe, Australia and New Zealand (and perhaps a few other places) you will find that parts are hard to find and specialized labour even harder (but perhaps you can fix it all yourself if you are the DIY type).

Anyhow, just a few things to think about when you buy and outfit the boat."
Our home is our boat. We want it to be as comfortable as possible.

I have a LOT of comments about that, but I will summize to say that I could not cruise like that. It is more like camping out in a tent. Some people do, and I do not mean to sound like it cannot or should not be done, but I do not agree with much of that above.

But again, your budget is different than mine and I have a differnt threshold for comfort. Just remember, as your kids get older, your threshold may change too.

Brian
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  #28  
Old 08-02-2013
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Re: Sailboat ready to cruise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cruisingdad View Post
Our home is our boat. We want it to be as comfortable as possible.

I have a LOT of comments about that, but I will summize to say that I could not cruise like that. It is more like camping out in a tent. Some people do, and I do not mean to sound like it cannot or should not be done, but I do not agree with much of that above.

But again, your budget is different than mine and I have a differnt threshold for comfort. Just remember, as your kids get older, your threshold may change too.
You've obviously never gone camping in a tent Brian . Manual foot pumps, low energy systems, and windvanes do not make the boat less comfortable, and certainly have nothing to do with camping. If the end result is to make the boat -- your home -- easier to maintain to a high level, then wouldn't that suggest it is more comfortable?
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  #29  
Old 08-02-2013
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Re: Sailboat ready to cruise?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim R. View Post
Are you two talking about the definition of cruising a "boat" or a "yacht"?

hehe
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  #30  
Old 08-02-2013
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Re: Sailboat ready to cruise?

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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
You've obviously never gone camping in a tent Brian . Manual foot pumps, low energy systems, and windvanes do not make the boat less comfortable, and certainly have nothing to do with camping. If the end result is to make the boat -- your home -- easier to maintain to a high level, then wouldn't that suggest it is more comfortable?
Oh contraire!

I grew up backpacking and camping out (mostly deep woods backpacking). That was my life before sailing. Probably still would be but my wife hates heights.

First of all, I carry a backup waterpump. I cannot remember in nearly twenty years of owning fixed keel boats losing a pump. We also have a handpump plumbed in for emergencies, but don't use it. And how do you handle the hot water? Tweo different pumps? Or do you not use hot water? Those little black bags are not my cup of tea.

Air conditioning down here is not absolutely mandatory, but close. It is not unusual for highs to be in the low 100s (in texas was even hihger) and the lows in the 90s and 80s. THat is the lows! Add that together with almost no wind, and you got one hot, miserable night on the boat. If you open the boat wide open, then you will get no-seeums which can fit through most mosquito screens. ANd mostquitos still find a way in. If you get no-seeum screen, then the win can barely make it in and once again the boat is smoking hot.

A foot pump for salt water is a good idea... but I got a better one: Just buy a 5 gallon bucket. That is what we use. Works better too because you don't have to worry about what goes into the drain. It is also a LOT bigger than most sinks. Plus, one person can be up washing dishes in the cockpit while the other is down below doing the second wash (soap and fresh water).

Composting head? Well, I guarantee yousomething can go wrong with every head. But better try living with one of those stinky things first. Now, in all fairness, the one I saw may not have been kept up well, but there is no reason not to use a good manual, salt water fed head. You can carry a rebuild kit for them that runs around $70 (and it is not hard to rebuild, I have rebuilt both Jabsco and Raritans). Plus the head is not expensive. Sometimes, the cost of the whole head is not much more than the rebuild kit!!!

Manual Windlass? I have mixed feelings. First, you are NOT going to be using your windlass enough that it is going to be a worrisome power draw. And many windlass have a backup that you can use manual if you have to. There is something to say about the big manual windlass, but the ability to easily weigh a 50 pound anchor and also the chain in a timely manner without killing yourself is worth a lot. Plus, with a little thouht, that same electric windlass can be used to run someone up the mast. My Windlass', on every boat I have owned, has been maintenance and worry free (knock on wood... prob the dumbest thing I can say now it will break).

Watermaker? Depends. I am fully plumbed and pulled all electrical for it, but I have not had a need for it very often. Water is easy to get and in many places we stay, I would not make water in teh bays anyways (grosse). Now in the Bahamas, that may be a compeletly different story (.45/galllon), but the watermaker would be on the bottom of my list.

Solar charging. I agree solar is awesome. We have a very large array (780 watts and a dedicated solar arch), but solar is not cheap either (I have $7500ish invested in mine... $3750 for arch, $700ish/panel, $600 ish charge controller, plus cabelling, watertight connections, etc). I do not suggest you have to have a 780 watt array like me, but a solar set up that will keep you pretty power neutral is likely to run well into the thousands of dollars. And unfortunately, mother nature does not always participate... even down here. Contrast that to a smaller solar arrar/wind and a Honda generator for $1000-1300, and that may be the cheaper way to go. Reality is that as a new cruiser, I suspect you will be spending more time at marinas than you suspect and will be plugged in anyways.

LED Lighting: Yep. We are pretty much all led now. But truth is that the ligthing was never our biggest problem. Fans (on pretty much 24x7) and refrigeration probably get us more than anything. Plus, good LED lighting that has a good frequency to read by is not cheap (many times the cost of a halogen bulb).

160 amp house is not even 2-4ds. Refrigeration alone is a solid 50 amps down here. 160 ah is 80 useable with a 50% soc. That will be tough on a boat with four people, two being kids.

Refrigeration. Some can do without it, but we are back to the camping out business. I don't see that lasting for very long. Kids like milk. Butter. What about keeping your meats? PB and J? Nah, I don't see that working very easily. I wouldn'[t do it. Before anyone embarks off to go without refrigeration, I suggest they try it in their home for a few weeks/months. And you CANNOT run to the grocery store everyday. Stock up and go for at least a week, with more a lot better. See how long that works before you have a mutiny.

RIB - Well, disagree again. It all depends on what cruising is for you, I guess, but we spend a lot of time on the hook or at moorings when we can. THat equals a lot of provisioning via tender. For those that have never done it, it can be quite challenging (esp in any seas). We also do a lot of fishing via the tender. The tender will be your car and there are times that you will want to haul a lot of stuff (water is a good example) or food items. Sometimes these trips are fairly long. The idea of rowing everywhere, esp with two small children and a boat full of food that can go bad in the heat of the day, sounds like misery to me. Not only would I say get a good RIB, but I would also tell you to invest in a engine that allows you to go fast and plane out. .

My opinions.

Brian
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Last edited by Cruisingdad; 08-02-2013 at 02:35 PM.
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