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  #1  
Old 08-30-2011
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Staying Aboard Overnight

I’m curious about hearing from overnighters…

• Do you stay overnight because you are sailing a long course (greater than 1 day trip)?
• Do you anchor out, or come back to a marina?
• How big is your boat? How big is the cabin? Can you stand up in your cabin?

The reason I ask this is because I always dreamed of doing this. We bought our first boat (the Merit 25) and tried an overnighter at the marina, and it was anything but relaxing.

• Hottest day of the year
• Had 2 adults, a 7 year old and a 40 lb dog (a very furry Husky)
• We can’t stand up in our cabin, the Merit 25 is a racing boat and the deck is low!
• I slipped in the companionway and almost broke my leg

We want to do this, we really do, but we had a bad first experience!
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Old 08-30-2011
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We have done it for years, on trips of 7-10 days as well as weekends. Three pieces of advice:
No friends or kids, just you two.
Consider sleeping out in the cockpit, under the stars.
Buy camping air mattresses to protect your back.
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Old 08-30-2011
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A couple of people have single handed their Merit 25's to Hawaii. Not comfortable, but doable! With a small boat and a family, weather is the whole deal. Too hot is too hot. Too cold is too cold. Chose your window and be flexible if things just don't work out. One really nice thing we enjoy doing (with a baby and a 92 lb dog!) is just a simple raftup overnight with friends. We've done between 2 and 19 boats. There's a lot of socialization, walking around, bbq'ing, etc... so by the time you get to sleep, you're just tired out. In our case, yes, we have standing headroom and a separate head, but another family friend does it with his wife and two kids in a J29. Sure, they want more room and standing headroom, etc... but you use what you've got. The important thing is that that kids will remember this stuff the rest of their lives. Oh! And why not take a tent and sail to a camping area and stay on shore? Adventure accomplished!
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Old 08-30-2011
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Don't let the bad bits of your first experience ruin the rest of it for you. I don't think I've ever had a trip where nothing went wrong at all. In the early days, it seems that only big things went wrong. As you gain experience and slowly fix all the little problems with your boat, the things that will go wrong get smaller and smaller.

As for your experience itself. I think you should be surprised that it wasn't too comfortable. I'm sure you know that huskies are bred to pull heavily laden sleds in the Arctic for hours at a time, right? I'm pretty sure that the interior of a 25' sailboat tied to a dock in NY in August is pretty much the exact opposite of that. And I'm sure you know more about what a 7-yo needs than I do.

The whole "hottest day of the year" thing, well, not much you can do about that. I don't know whether patterns in your area, but my experience up in the PNW is that August makes for crappy cruising. Very little wind and way too hot. You'll soon figure out what the best time of year is and plan accordingly.

My wife (no surprise here I'm sure) far prefers tying up in a marina than anchoring out. Except when we're anchored out, then she far prefers anchoring out. It's the unfamiliarity that makes her nervous.
- At anchor, you can maximize airflow through the boat, keeping it cooler.
- At anchor, you can go for a swim.
- At anchor, you can take the dog and kid ashore and let them expend some energy.
- At anchor, you have space and privacy.
- I suspect that the dreams you always had of cruising never included spending a night at the dock.
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Old 08-30-2011
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We own a Lancer 25 with about 5'-10 headroom. Four people can make a night of it, but more than one and the boat gets really small. My wife and I went for six days a few weeks ago. After about three, It was getting small. But, if you talk to others, they'll spend a month on a 26 footer and love it. We have taken a mooring on a couple of occasions, but most of the time we drop a hook. In windy conditions, I drop two, about 10 feet apart. I figure it I have half the chance of dragging and twice the chance of catching something if I do. In my math, that 12 times safer. Take the Mrs alone sometimes. Make it on a full moon, anchor in a secluded cove and bring a bottle of Merlot. Surprise her when you whip out the crystal wine glasses. The rest you can adlib.
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Old 08-30-2011
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I anchor out at Waimea bay hawaii just for the fun of it. I normally stay on board with my 4 year old girl and 7 year old boy plus our 50 lb husky mix for a couple nights. My wife does not like to sleep on board so she goes home. The boat is an S&S 34, but the cabin is more like that of a 30 footer. The kids sleep in the small V berth and I stay in the salon with the dog on the floor. It does have 6 foot head room in salon. boat is pretty bare. Alchol stove, and no refer. The head is a port a pot. At anchor with the front hatches open I get good air circulation. You could try a wind scoop. Nights here are cool- in the low 70's with low humidity- not like an east coast summer with hight heat humidity. Sometimes the dog can be a problem, there are times I need to take it to shore to go to bathroom in the middle of the night, but I do not leave kids on board alone- so the dog goes at bow of boat. I clean it up (bag it and shore trash it) and not worry about it. I find I would rather be at anchor than camping- less mosequitoes and easier to keep things clean. At night I let the dog roam the boat and not worry about her running off. Keep at it and you will find how to make things work out better. Also, if I overnighted at the marina, I do not think it would be much fun- too much noise, at anchor you get the motion of the boat which is very relaxing. It is nice to see the different times of day and night that you do not see at a marina.

Last edited by casey1999; 08-30-2011 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 08-30-2011
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I love overnighting in my boat! I got all the systems working again (power, water, head, fans, lights, galley) just so I can leave the marina on Friday and come back Sunday night.

It's been soooooooo looooong since I've been able to do it though. This summer has been a real bust....I like the summer, but this one has been brutal....the last 2 months it's been 105-110 during the day and only down to 86 at night.....so screw that man. I've been staying at home.

Once the temps drop back down to highs in the 80's and 90's with lows in the 60's and 70's...I'll be back out every weekend.....and if it get's really cold, down into the 30's....I'll stay in the marina so I have power for a space heater....and I'm golden....looks like a great season coming up! October thru April!
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Old 08-30-2011
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Don't give up since you're last attempt wasn't' that great. Learn from it and make the next one better.

Last time I was out I anchored up in a quiet cove....relaxed in the cockpit, gently rocking in a cool light breeze, stars overhead and Pink Floyd on the stereo.

Snuggled up in the V berth, gently rocking, quiet sound of small waves lapping against the hull and a cool breeze dropping down the hatch cover on top of me. Slept like a baby. (I'm sure the alcohol had something to do with it)

My favorite part: The next morning, waking up at dawn, watching the lake come alive. The mist over the water, birds flying, the occasional bass fisherman haulin ass over the lake....a cup of freshly brewed coffee in my left hand and a smoke in the other...sitting in the cockpit while the smell of sausage sizzling in the galley wafts up to me.....

It just doesn't get much better....really.....
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Old 08-30-2011
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You defnitely want to give it another try. I have a 22ft and never had problem sleeping onboard overnight. I am not a small guy either, 5'11 250lbs. Me and a friend of mine slept anchored out several miles offshore on a nice night. He took the galley area and I slept in the v-birth. Actually my boat can sleep 4 so I would think with an added child and a dog, a 25ft should certainly be comfortable enough. I bet most of your problem was trying to sleep onaboard on a really hot night. If you were at a marina with electric hookup, you could always put a small portable AC in there and solve the heat problem. That will cool off a smaller cabin pretty quick and keep it that way. If not, give it a shot on a cooler night, bring some big pillows and run a fan. Nothing like spending a nice night out on the water. If I open my hatch and lay back in my v-birth, I can look up and see all the stars and fall right to sleep.

@JoeDiver... now thats what I am talking about and exactly my experiences of overnighting
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Old 08-30-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
• Do you stay overnight because you are sailing a long course (greater than 1 day trip)?
Yes and no. Sometimes it is because we planned a multi-day sail and sometimes it is because we just felt like anchoring out. It may be overnight or just for lunch and back to the slip. I know someone who leaves his dock and anchors out about 500 feet away, just to get away from the slip.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
• Do you anchor out, or come back to a marina?
The way we use our boat, we can stay out two nights depending on how hot it is before all the ice melts. Then we find a marina to purchase ice, fill the water tanks, etc. One of the clubs we sail with has two cruises with one night at anchor, one night in a marina. Another club we belong to prefers to anchor out as long as possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
• How big is your boat? How big is the cabin? Can you stand up in your cabin?
Old boat: 22 feet, could not stand up.
New boat: 30 feet, can dance an Irish jig standing up.

A 70-YO man in our sail club has a 19-foot boat that he takes all over the Bay and anchors out in it in all types of weather. His wife stopped going with him so he finds a sailing partner (usually of the same age).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
The reason I ask this is because I always dreamed of doing this. We bought our first boat (the Merit 25) and tried an overnighter at the marina, and it was anything but relaxing.
Two adults, a child and a large dog would not be my idea of fun in a small boat. All of that on a hot day, not on your life.

We kept our 22 in a slip and it rocked and rolled at the slightest wake but we slept well. As long as we kept supplies to a minimum, we had enough room to stretch out below.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Merit25lovers View Post
We want to do this, we really do, but we had a bad first experience!
Then you'll find a way. It may take some compromises.
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