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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #1  
Old 01-24-2008
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Question Home on the Sea

Plan is to live on the boat and sail from Chicago to Key West and back on an annual basis until the end. Of coase won't be in a hurry so I will have nothing but time. Not interested in sailing in bad weather, just want to sail around it or stay in port. Currently don't have a boat, don't know how to sail, and have a wife that is disabled and in a wheel chair. Reading the Annapolis book of Seamanship, and everything else I can get my hands on. What do you think. I do have a jones on Catalina boats, but others are looking good.
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Old 01-24-2008
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Um...



I can appreciate your situation, but don't see much sailing in the situation you describe. Best of luck.

Last edited by sailboy21; 01-24-2008 at 12:41 AM.
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Old 01-24-2008
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if your young

and she has REALLY GREAT upper body strength you can do it but it wont be easy.

You might look at motor sailors. Sounds like your a doomsday er, and don't want to rely on much fuel but sailboats heel and wheel chairs don't very well.

A motor sailor is poor on sail performance but would be a lot more stable platform for you.

Also the cabin layout will be more conducive to her getting around. Most larger sailboats have 5 to 6 steps down to the saloon. Something to think about.

A single screw diesel in a power boat can get down to burn 1.5 to 2 gal per hour @ 7 kts and I think be a better choice in your situation. Then you could have a sailing dingy for you to enjoy..just a thought..probably not what you wanted to here but in life there is no guarantee we get all we want. I have 2 ruptured discs that I have had since I was 26 years old. No doc would operate on me so my lifestyle is very limited from what it use to be. At times I have been verry depressed and had to really reliy on my faith to help me through. But given lemons we make lemmonaid right?

Good luck and God bless..
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Old 01-24-2008
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A multi-hull might be a better choice as sailboats go. In 2004 or 2005 the British national multihull champion was a paraplegic IIRC, sailing on a slightly modified Corsair.

A catamaran has the advantage of being relatively easy to get around, and sailing relatively flat, less than 10˚ of heel generally.
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Old 01-24-2008
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Get a trawler for those plans!
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Old 01-24-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by endofdays View Post
Currently don't have a boat, don't know how to sail, and have a wife that is disabled and in a wheel chair.
Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Get a trawler for those plans!
Ditto cam's advice.
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Old 01-24-2008
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If you want to take your wife sailing, there are plenty of sailing programs designed for the physically disabled. I agree that it would be extremly difficult to adopt a cruising sailboat for living aboard with somebody in a wheel chair and also than be a full time cruiser.
As has been suggested, other boats might be a better platform for that.

If you are from Chicago and want to take your wife sailing,
you might want to start here.

http://www.juddgoldmansailing.org/adaptive_sailing.html
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Old 01-24-2008
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Endofdays, My wife and I do annual coastal cruising from Maine to the Keys or Bahamas and find it a wonderful life, but the Chicago link would require stepping the mast or huge distance increases with the St. Lawrence near impossible currents unless counterclockwise on the "great loop", and much more restrictive weather planning. If I were tied to Chicago for a season, I would consider keeping a boat south for seasonal cruising. We've met some couples who keep a Great Lakes boat and another boat in Florida. They do more enjoyable cruising than trying to make the big push twice a year. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 01-24-2008
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Whether you plan to keep the wife or leave her behind, you won't do much sailing from Chicago to Key West. You'd be busier than a one-armed paperhanger trying to sail all the way down the Mississippi and the only alternative is up the Saint Lawrence or out the Erie Canal, where someone trying to make it all the way under sail would probably kill themselves in the process, saving the lock keepers from the trouble of doing that for you.

Either you fly down to the Keys (which is going to be faster and cheaper) or you are looking for a diesel powered trawler. Or maybe move down to Charleston, SC and sail out of there instead.
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Old 01-24-2008
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It's hard to tell from your description exactly what your circumstances are, but if you are at retirement age you will be taking on a major challenge to both simultaneously learn how to sail and undertake the voyage you contemplate all with a disabled spouse. That would be a challenge at any age, even for an experienced sailor.

The annual round-trip you are contemplating is not one especially suited to sailboats. If you are following the inland waterways, there will be a tremendous amount of motoring, for which a trawler style motoryacht would be a better choice of vessel. They are fuel efficient, and have a more level layout which should be better for someone that has mobility issues.

I have no idea what your budget is, but here are a few examples of smaller trawlers in case you are unfamiliar with this kind of boat. Many ex-sailors move to trawlers when they want to stay on the water but no longer want to put the effort into sailing. As someone else mentioned, to get your sailing fix you can bring along a small sailing dinghy for puttering around in harbours and anchorages:

Grand Banks 32: http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1934&url=

Grand Banks 36: http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1821&url=

Grand Banks 36 "Europa" (more of the boat on the one level): http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi..._id=10224&url=

Marine Trader 34 Europa: http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...g_id=1508&url=

Nimble 32: http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi..._id=25824&url=

Nimble 24: http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi..._id=19264&url=

Best of luck to you!
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