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post #11 of 31 Old 08-30-2011
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Keep Momma happy. Which means find a quiet, smooth anchorage. Don't expect too much. Be prepared for the unexpected. Marinas will be smoother (usually) but far more uncomfortable temperature wise. Much cooler anchored out and you get more breeze. Bring lots of different liquids to drink (variety)
Leave the dog at home. (IMHO)
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post #12 of 31 Old 08-30-2011
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Keep Momma happy. Which means find a quiet, smooth anchorage. Don't expect too much. Be prepared for the unexpected. Marinas will be smoother (usually) but far more uncomfortable temperature wise. Much cooler anchored out and you get more breeze. Bring lots of different liquids to drink (variety)
Leave the dog at home. (IMHO)
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post #13 of 31 Old 08-30-2011
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weekending on a small keelboat has many similarities to tent camping.

There are numerous tricks to make it a pleasant experience, but no one who sleeps in a tent ever has illusions about it being a lux. hotel.

the joys of overnighting on boats are:

1) The quiet
2) The night sky
3) Fresh Air
4) The simple life
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post #14 of 31 Old 08-30-2011
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I had some good nights and some bad nights. The weather has a lot to do with it. 4th of July, anchored out to watch fireworks, Texas coast 110degs, generator overheats about midnight, bad night alternate between trying to sleep and trying to fix generator, crew and admiral gets pretty fussy by 4am.

Better night Mid October, Low 80's gentle rocking, morning sunrise and swim.

Another bad night, thunderstorm rolls in about 2am, big waves, high winds, boat swings one way, wind changes then it spins around to swing other way. Kinda like trying to sleep on a roller coaster, spend night between trying to sleep, and running up on deck to check anchor. Lightening striking water around boat scares crew and admiral, (and me)... Next morning spent three hours fighting rode to pull anchor loose, mud all the way up the chain. (30 lb bruce didn't drag....much).

Anchoring out when it's good, it's really really good, but when it's bad it can make for a long night. Around here a thunderstorm can happen anytime, but extreme heat is a challenge with a crowded boat. Cold not so much, if the boat is bottled up, warm bodies, and blankets keep it very comfortable.

Doing it on the hook is always more fun than a boring marina, give it a try again in a few weeks.

The Sun has Risen on a New Day filled with the Promise of Adventure.
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post #15 of 31 Old 08-30-2011
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Lose the Dog.

I've got 25-26 foot Ericson and enjoy anchoring every chance we can. Unusual head room in boat lets me stand up below. In theory, there are berths for 5-6, but for multiple days, ideal is two - although we spent week in Vineyard Haven with our two adult kids a couple of weeks ago and that worked out fine, but 4 in cabin trying to get ready for something at same time is a bit of a dance. I like dogs and we have one, but one reason I got the boat is to get a vacation from the dog. I know everyone has got them, but a dog on my boat would ruin the whole thing for me. I should say, I only anchor with wife when I can reasonably assure her no drama with weather or roll.
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post #16 of 31 Old 08-30-2011
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A Catalina 25 is about twice as big down below than the Merit
The 27 is bigger
And a 34 footer with galley and enclosed head isn't even close to a comparison.

Here's the interior


Sitting headroom is UNDER 4'. Hang out on deck and in cockpit. That's what I do.
Don't stay on the boat when
There are 4 of you. Start with 2, then add the kid, then the dog. Gradually see if you have room. I can do 3 adults on my Merit with enough room, although it's tight, and usually just for one night.

Stow stuff, and keep it there. Clean up constantly, a tidy boat is one that will seem larger than it is. Bring only what you need. I need coffee in the morning, so I bring a one burner stove and a french press.

Keep the fore hatch open, and the drop boards out, it'll keep air moving. Don't stay on the boat when it's blistering hot. It'll make you hate it. Or, get a window unit and stay at a dock.

Hope this helps.

Edit: what gets fun is when you sail the boat to a multi day race and need to carry cruising and racing gear for 4-5 people. Where does one put sail inventory on such a yacht.

Merit 25 # 764 "Audrey"

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post #17 of 31 Old 08-30-2011
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As a young teen, we had a San Juan 24. It was a 1/4 ton racing boat from the 70's. We would often cruise with the boat with our family of four. We did three weeks in the Salish Sea with 5 on board. So, it can be done but you have to have realistic expectations.

FWIW, leave the dog at home or at a kennel. The boat is just too small for a large, energic animal. It will be kinder to you and the dog.

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Last edited by dhays; 08-30-2011 at 09:17 PM.
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post #18 of 31 Old 08-30-2011
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As zz4gta has intimated, keeping things organised is one of the keys to staying on a smaller boat, your crap everywhere gets really annoying really quickly. We've found that out the hard way and now have a pretty organised cabin.
Personally I wouldn't want a big dog on a boat (nor indeed any dog), they have a habit of getting up and being dog-like, not good when a few pounds shifting around has the whole boat rocking. Hot nights are unpleasant anywhere, let alone crammed into a plastic bathtub.
Anyway, get out there, enjoy it and start to love it. Perhaps going and finding a nice secure mooring ball is a good first step, the feel of being on the ocean, the security of not relying on your anchoring skills

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post #19 of 31 Old 08-30-2011
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Our 22 is on a lake and even though it is only 25 miles from home, it feel like a million miles away! I like to anchor out. Every time we overnight it is a different experience from mild temps and a gentle breeze, to shifting wind and the anchor dragging or pulling loose completely and waking up on the other side of the lake. YIKES! Or being woke up to water skiers at midnight on a full moon, loud stereos and the whole bit

Then morning comes, I get to watch the day begin and think how grateful I am. Have some coffee and fruit for breakfast, go for a swim, then get to sail my boat some more.
Life is good!
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post #20 of 31 Old 08-30-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulinVictoria View Post
As zz4gta has intimated, keeping things organised is one of the keys to staying on a smaller boat, your crap everywhere gets really annoying really quickly. We've found that out the hard way and now have a pretty organised cabin.
Personally I wouldn't want a big dog on a boat (nor indeed any dog), they have a habit of getting up and being dog-like, not good when a few pounds shifting around has the whole boat rocking. Hot nights are unpleasant anywhere, let alone crammed into a plastic bathtub.
Anyway, get out there, enjoy it and start to love it. Perhaps going and finding a nice secure mooring ball is a good first step, the feel of being on the ocean, the security of not relying on your anchoring skills
My trick for the dog is run and swim him at the beach, and get him so tired he sleeps like a rock on the boat at anchor- along with my two kids. A dog is not easy to deal with, but he is a part of the family. Also, with the dog, while sleeping at night, I do not worry so much about a pirate attack and I sleep better- the dog would protect us with his life.
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