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post #11 of 22 Old 01-24-2008
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Go the trawler route, motorsailor route or other. Let us know what your budget is and we'll be able to be more specific.

My parents (long-time powerboaters) have similar aspirations and will likely make do with their current 35' Carver Aft Cabin powerboat. It's actually a great liveaboard powerboat suited to the journey you described for a very modest price.

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Last edited by kwaltersmi; 01-24-2008 at 08:31 PM.
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post #12 of 22 Old 01-24-2008 Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the good advise, but I can't get excited about a power boat. It might be more difficult to sail, but this is on my bucket list, and I hope to get the wife out of the wheel chair and getting around with a cane or walker. Is their a problem going thought the erie canal?? And what wrong with sailing down the coast, and not using the ICW all the way.
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post #13 of 22 Old 01-24-2008
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How about this: http://www.seawardyachts.com/32rk.html?
makes the whole Erie Canal thing moot

Last edited by sailboy21; 01-24-2008 at 11:02 PM.
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post #14 of 22 Old 01-25-2008
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EOD...well get a sailboat then. Catalinas are fine. Once you sail on Lake M you'll be in a better position to understand why no one does what you are proposing in a sailboat. Better plan after you learn a bit is to take the boat south ONCE...then store it there when you need to get back to Chicago.
Keep your dream in your head. Go one step at a time...learn to sail....buy the boat...cruise the boat on Lake M..adjust your dream to what makes sense for you both.

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post #15 of 22 Old 01-25-2008
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EOD,

Sorry, not trying to quash your dreams here. I think we're just trying to be practical. But if you're determined to mark this one off your bucket list, following Camaraderie's advice above would be a place to start.

You asked: "Is there a problem going thought the erie canal??" Not really. One thing to be aware of, is that you will have to drop the mast on deck each time you transit it. You had indicated your intention to go back and forth each year, which means you'd be unstepping and restepping the mast several times a year. That can be done, but it's an expense and aggravation that will add up. The Nimble trawlers I linked to previously come in motorsailer variants, with relatively easy mast-stepping that you could probably manage yourself with practice.

You also asked: "And what's wrong with sailing down the coast, and not using the ICW all the way." The answer is nothing, other than certain portions of the US east coast are notoriously hazardous, so much so that many experienced sailors in capable boats choose to take the ICW to avoid them. Although it may sound like a straight-forward proposition, it's not quite as simple as hopping aboard, easing the sheets and ghosting down the coast. Lots to learn, and we'll be happy to help you along the way.

Along those lines, here is a motorsailer that might represent a decent compromise: ( http://www.capedory.org/specs/cd30ms.htm ) Unlike many other motorsailers, this Cape Dory has a more level-layout much like the trawlers I previously linked to, so it might be a good arrangement for someone with mobility issues. Just a suggestion...
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post #16 of 22 Old 01-25-2008
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eod, sailboats aren't just "point and shoot" or drive 'em like a car. they are constrained in how they can move by the wind and waves, and sometimes you can literally spend hours under full sail gaining only a few hundred yards. Or, losing miles.

The transition from a wheelchair to a cane or walker also might not be good enough on a sailboat, where there can and will often be constant motion in mutliple directions, and even able-bodied seaman with all four limbs expect to get tossed around from time to time.

Not to mention, you'd need a ship (not just a boat) to get enough flat space to simply put a walker down with all four corners on the same "floor".

That doesn't mean you (singly or as a couple) can't enjoy sailing from time to time. Just that long passages on regular schedules aren't going to be at all practical, especially when you are basically single-handing.

There are plenty of places to get started with sailing lessons in Chicago. Sign up this spring, try it firsthand and see what it is all about. Fun? Yes. Hollywood? Sure, like a six-shooter that fires a hundred bullets without reloading and dead men who don't bleed.
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post #17 of 22 Old 01-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
eod, sailboats aren't just "point and shoot" or drive 'em like a car. they are constrained in how they can move by the wind and waves, and sometimes you can literally spend hours under full sail gaining only a few hundred yards. Or, losing miles.

The transition from a wheelchair to a cane or walker also might not be good enough on a sailboat, where there can and will often be constant motion in mutliple directions, and even able-bodied seaman with all four limbs expect to get tossed around from time to time.

Not to mention, you'd need a ship (not just a boat) to get enough flat space to simply put a walker down with all four corners on the same "floor".

That doesn't mean you (singly or as a couple) can't enjoy sailing from time to time. Just that long passages on regular schedules aren't going to be at all practical, especially when you are basically single-handing.

There are plenty of places to get started with sailing lessons in Chicago. Sign up this spring, try it firsthand and see what it is all about. Fun? Yes. Hollywood? Sure, like a six-shooter that fires a hundred bullets without reloading and dead men who don't bleed.
Get a small enough sailboat and the whole thing is a walker! There isn't a single spot on my 30' where you can't hold onto solid objects in the cabin. But, it certainly can toss the most able bodied folks around. Lake Huron and Erie in particular can build extremely nasty seas in the blink of an eye.
A bit of personal background: My uncle had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and given 6 months to live. We had a tradition of chartering a 35' sailboat every year, and he was very firm that he still wanted to do this. The tumor had just begun to alter his vision and motor functions. We sailed Lake Huron and even made it into though the locks to Superior all the way to Whitefish Point. It was not all easy, and there were many times he fell, lost grip, and bruised himself on the boat. Particularly when we hit some 10' swell rolling across Lake Superior. We did it, and I am very thankful we got to spend this time, however it was borderline possible even in the early stages of his condition. He ended up living a year, but the last 6 months paralyzed and almost blind. He was still able to walk with full strength, albeit slightly impaired. I can't imagine that trip being possible (with 3 other able bodied adults on board) at more advanced stages. Seafaring is a personal thing. You must be willing to accept the challenges, become a jack of all trades, and accept the consequences. I would hate to hear of another story of people getting plucked from a perfectly good boat because they couldn't cope with the conditions. The trip you describe will expose you to months of weather, currents, fog, ships, hurricanes. These decisions should not be made lightly.

Whitefish Point, August 1999
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post #18 of 22 Old 01-25-2008
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Depending on budget, if you want to sail, but have a stable platform, and be able to motor all day -

Nothing wrong with a Gemini 105Mc for that plan. Some of the owners have worked out mast lowering systems and are doing precisely what you are planning.

WWW.geminicatamarans.com

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post #19 of 22 Old 01-25-2008
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JohnR

Posted the exact type of boat I was thinking about. But as mentioned a Cat might be even better due to stability, openness and manuvrability under power.

Last edited by Stillraining; 01-25-2008 at 03:41 PM.
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post #20 of 22 Old 01-25-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
Posted the exact type of boat I was thinking about. But as mentioned a Cat might be even better due to stability, openness and manuvrability under power.
Absolutely agreed. And no sooner had I finished posting than I regretted not mentioning the Geminis, etc. Fortunately ChucklesR took care of that omission.

But for a monohull, those CD motorsailers have a fair bit of form stability. I foresee them chugging along under power when the destination is upwind or the course is confined to narrow waterways (like ICW), and rolling out the genny or even the mainsail for a long reach or run, mostly on the level. Surely not fast, but the OP indicated he wasn't in a hurry anyway.
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