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  #11  
Old 04-14-2009
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I was enjoying reading the answers and will completely take them to heart and practice...but don't want to start an entirely new thread for my beginner questions. I am planning on reading (a lot, I have several books on order and loan from the library), taking classes, and crewing in a couple months of the coast of Florida (moving to FL in two months time).

My life got shaken up and I happened to get hung out to dry, so I have some time on my hands for the next 2-3 years. I have always been a land gypsy, moving constantly...hugging close to the shoreline my whole life...but now I am, for the most part, free of the responsibilities that kept me land bound.

My question to you guys if you have an answer is, how much catamaran or trimaran can a single person, 40 year old, physically fit, female, beginner handle (I have two Pug dogs that would be going with me)?

I am extremely new to sailing, although I don't plan on buying (and would really rather build - not likely, unless I win lottery) for at least a year (need experience). I have an odd love of catamaran's (just can't get enough of them). I plan on going everywhere I can, for as long as I can (hopefully circumnavigation is a couple years out) in the beginning it will be US coastal and Caribbean.

I might occasionally have my late teen/young adult kids with me depending on where I am going but for the most part will be crewed by myself because I enjoy being alone.

The reason I am asking now instead of waiting is: I want to aim for crewing on a similar vessel to the one I eventually purchase/build and I want to do research and really begin to understand the type and size boat that I eventually will be sailing/purchasing (why do all that research and learning on the wrong type of boat).
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  #12  
Old 04-14-2009
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Sodeb'O is an 105' LOA trimaran that is single-handed....



It would be a bit big for you to handle at the moment... she is one of my favorite mega trimarans.

A good question to start with is what is your budget, as that will most likely determine which boats will be possible choices. Also, I'd highly recommend you read my Multihulls in a Nutshell post.

Handling a 30-35' catamaran should be reasonably feasible for a 40-yo, physically fit sailor to handle. Given that you're a relative novice, I'd highly recommend you pickup three books. The first is Chris White's The Cruising Multihull. The second is Mike McMullen's Multihull Seamanship. While both books are getting a bit dated, they're still unmatched IMHO. The first is great overview on cruising sized multihulls. The second focusses on handling a multihull safely. The third book to get is David Seidman's The Complete Sailor. It is one of the best books for people interested in learning to sail IMHO. It is well written and covers a relatively broad swath of topics, as well as well illustrated.

I'd also recommend you take an ASA 101 Learn to sail type course at a minimum.

Some catamarans that you might consider include:
  • Catalac 8/9/10M
  • Iroquois Mk I/II
  • Gemini 3000/3200/3400/105
  • Seawind 1000
  • Prout Snowgoose
As you're new to Sailnet, I'd also say "Welcome to Sailnet" and I'd highly recommend you read this POST to help you get the most out of sailnet.

As for crewing on a boat, it would help if you said what part of the country you're located in. Good luck...
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Last edited by sailingdog; 04-14-2009 at 09:01 PM.
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  #13  
Old 04-14-2009
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I have a friend that routinely handles his 40 foot monohull by himself and that is without the aid of an autopilot. His boat is an Erwin that he has modified to add a staysail. I can sail my 37 footer by myself but get nervous when I have to bring her into a dock without help with the lines. I just don't enjoy scraping off paint and such especially since I just had her painted.
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  #14  
Old 04-15-2009
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Hey thanks for the responses! Sometimes I feel like I am absorbing so much information, so quickly that my brain is going to fall out...in the nicest way. LOL

sailingdog- Unbelievably beautiful boat! Of course you have seen Hydroptere, and I found Playstation while browsing the web today. Sigh...right now I live in Arizona (just wrapping up the remains of my American Nightmare over the next two months) but I am moving to the Ft Lauderdale area of Florida so that I can be close to my kids in their last years of high school.

I have ordered all the books you recommended and more, either through the library or the bookstore, earlier this week, they will come in any day. I am going to go over your post Multihulls In A Nutshell, again when I am not this tired from studying all day.

Your first and most important question...money...yes, well let me tell you that sites and books on How to Sail Around the World on a Shoestring are going to be popular with me for the near future. I was an AIT (Un-licensed Architect) and have most of my Industrial Design Masters complete, but like 90% of the people I know nowadays, I am basically jobless and broke thanks to a ballet of unfortunate events (I guess this depends on how you look at it though, as I am even still, rather enjoying myself). I figure it might take me a year to save up again, learn and make repairs on whatever vessel I commandeer before I am going to be going out on my own.

I wanted to take the ASA 101, crew and then get down to a year of hard multi job work and saving. I am intrigued by the idea of living aboard in a marina while I work for that first year. Basically I know that anything I attempt is going to be a hard uphill climb for a while. The prospect of being truly free, even for a short while, is beyond reward for any struggle that I might have to endure to reach my goals.

I will look at all the boats you listed tomorrow. Thank you so much for the recommendations! And thank you for the welcome, I appreciate it!

DwayneSpeer- I hadn't considered the scrape factor...but I bet there are a HELL of a lot of things I haven't consider yet. LOL! Still, thank you for the info, I think 40' might be a little to much for me, by myself (when you add the kid/dog factor in it might be perfect, if I could just wrangle it, I saw this cool new sail design called a Aero Rig by Kurt Hughes that I though looked more manageable for a single handed trip)...although if I had my way, and the aforementioned unlimited funds, I would end up in something like BlueBay 92 Radfoly. It never hurts to have dreams.

Thank you both, very much, for your time.
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  #15  
Old 04-15-2009
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While the AeroRig is an interesting concept, if you're planning on cruising longer term, it is better to stick with a more traditional rig that has less weight aloft and less windage, and is easier to repair in distant places.

If you were to break an AeroRig, say in the south pacific, it is very unlikely that you'd be anywhere you could jury rig a repair to it.

A few other good books to get are:

Sensible Cruising: The Thoreau Approach, by Don Casey et al.

The Cost Conscious Cruiser, by Larry and Lin Pardey

The Capable Cruiser, by Larry and Lin Pardey
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New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
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  #16  
Old 04-15-2009
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Hey sailingdog- those seem like very good suggestions, I am going to try my local used bookstore to see what I can dig up too.

I saw The Care And Feeding of the Sailing Crew by Lin Pardey too, which is a great interest of mine, since I love cooking so much and was wondering what the difference between on shore and off shore cooking/provisioning.

Wow, I hadn't thought about that with the AeroRig...but I think your right on. I love looking at gadgets, but find that I prefer the genius of simplicity, in most practical applications, to the over the top techno worship (sure do love looking though).

BTW Two thumbs up on the Cpt. Reynolds quote (just saw the movie again last week...I used to own it and then I lent it to a friend and it never came back). My daughter and I got all the available episodes from the first season and then topped that off by watching the movie at the end.

Got to get to work...great suggestions...if you think of anything else, let me know. Thanks again!
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Old 04-15-2009
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A good day sailor will cost very little. Can be put on a trailer, and left in your driveway, or parking spot. She will help you get experience while you are sorting out your life, and also make it easy on you to move up to a bigger boat. Best wishes in sorting it all out. You are not alone in that one.....oh yeah...I have a small attraction to cats too ......i2f
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  #18  
Old 04-15-2009
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If you can't find them at the local used bookstore, I'd recommend you try Alibris: Used Books, Used Textbooks, Rare & Out-of-Print Books. I've had very good luck with them and out of print books.

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Originally Posted by Meatpoet View Post
Hey sailingdog- those seem like very good suggestions, I am going to try my local used bookstore to see what I can dig up too.

I saw The Care And Feeding of the Sailing Crew by Lin Pardey too, which is a great interest of mine, since I love cooking so much and was wondering what the difference between on shore and off shore cooking/provisioning.

Wow, I hadn't thought about that with the AeroRig...but I think your right on. I love looking at gadgets, but find that I prefer the genius of simplicity, in most practical applications, to the over the top techno worship (sure do love looking though).

BTW Two thumbs up on the Cpt. Reynolds quote (just saw the movie again last week...I used to own it and then I lent it to a friend and it never came back). My daughter and I got all the available episodes from the first season and then topped that off by watching the movie at the end.

Got to get to work...great suggestions...if you think of anything else, let me know. Thanks again!
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New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
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Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
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  #19  
Old 04-16-2009
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imagine2frolic- I think I will try out your suggestion maybe start with a Hobie 12' or 16' and work my way up. That way I can play with something that is more 'my size' and experiment without worrying about wrangling/seriously damaging a larger boat...besides I am going to be working so hard this first year just to get everything together (I need to begin my Arch. licensing testing too on top of everything else), that if I don't have something smallish to play with I will never get a chance to go out because of scheduling after I find my job(s).

This will give me a chance to make small repairs, learn how to epoxy and sew a sail, etc. I saw a 16' Hobie + trailer (no sail) it had some seemingly minor structural damage that a guy was giving away in Texas...but was thinking of purchasing or finding something a little closer to Ft Lauderdale on either Craigslist or Freecycle. I am dying to experiment a bit (have a bit of mad scientist in my blood) with the sail and 'fighting kite' structural technology to see if I can come up with a interesting hybrid.

Sailingdog- That is another good idea. I have never used Alibris before but there are a number of out of print books I have been looking for that I haven't been able to find in used book stores.

Oh and my favorite on the list of recommended cats was the Gemini's. There was a real feeling to the way they are put together. My second favorite was the Catalac (but I think that was based more not on aesthetics as much as the family oriented quality of the business) it is so obviously 'American' and I liked that feeling.
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  #20  
Old 04-16-2009
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The Catalacs were actually made in England...all of the ones that are here are ones that have sailed across the pond. In terms of full disclosure, my boat is made by the company that makes the Geminis, and one of the reasons I bought my boat were the rapport and support I've gotten from the people at the company.

I wouldn't recommend learning to sail on a Hobie 12 or 16. Beach catamarans aren't very good boats to learn on IMHO. You'd be much better off learning on a monohull. They're far better at teaching you about sail trim and balance. Beach cats are fun, but they're way overpowered and difficult to learn on because of the speeds they can reach and the way the apparent wind makes a lot of points of sail on one appear to be close hauled...

A Laser, a Sonar or a Soling would be much better choices to learn on IMHO. Joining a sailing club would probably be a better way to get time in on them than buying one. If you want to have your own boat to learn on, look for something like a O'Day Javelin... or something about that size.
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New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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