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Thread: So, how do I prepare for a 5 year cruise with kids? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
09-12-2010 02:13 PM
Jim H
Originally Posted by Faster View Post
Thanks for the update Jim... sounds like you have a pretty good 'plan' and that it's going to work out.

...btw... what of your poor lonely Cal in Portland?
The mighty Cal 20 isn't lonely-- my brother is the main owner now, and he takes her out fairly frequently. He's a bit of a chef, and I've heard of his amazing meals coming out of the cabin of the Cal 20 to a cockpit table he designed so he could have dinner parties aboard at anchor in quiet areas of the Columbia River.
09-12-2010 02:10 PM
Jim H
Originally Posted by JohnRPollard View Post

Those Arconas are hot looking boats. Personally, I haven't seen them over here yet. What's the "word" on them? Less costly than an HR, but how do they compare quality-wise? Where would they fall in the HR/Malo/Najad spectrum?
Arcona's (Arconae?) are cool and surprisingly well priced. If I've listened correctly, the bulkheads are tabbed to the hull during the construction process, instead of fitted into a liner, and they use a galvanized steel structure in the hull running the length of the keel and taking the load of the rig:

We've talked with an owner, and the response was that the strength and stiffness of the boat was what sold them on it, along with a spirited sailing ability and easy of handling. In rougher conditions, the boats supposed tuck into a groove and hold it (with none of the flexing and popping that can occur otherwise).

What I like about this concept is that the boats are said to be much stiffer and stronger than the typical mass produced model, but they aren't exceptionally heavy. They appear much "racier" than the typical HR or Najad, and they mostly have aft racing-style cockpits with the mainsheet right in front of a large, central wheel.

The cabins, however, are more like a comfortable cruising boat. Not heavy wood, but not acres of plain fiberglass either. We both preferred the interior to a Dufour.

In the end, I think the HRs and Najads are great, but they are very expensive over here (maybe 2.5 times the cost of a production Dufour or Jeanneau), and heavy, and typically center cockpit and maybe not perfect in light airs. In contrast, the Arcona's could be a nice step up from a typical production boat, stiff and nice below, but lighter with a performance bent and a more active cockpit. Fun, in other words, but safe and possibly easy to handle.
09-12-2010 09:56 AM
Faster Thanks for the update Jim... sounds like you have a pretty good 'plan' and that it's going to work out.

...btw... what of your poor lonely Cal in Portland?
09-12-2010 08:40 AM
JohnRPollard Jim,

It's always great to hear from you. I always make a point to read your updates from the european boatshows and your chronicles from family sailing vacations in and around the UK.

Sounds like you've struck a good balance for your family. Afterall, circumnavigating isn't the only way to experience the joys of sailing with your family. And while the ocean is a wonderful place to explore, there's certainly a lot to see on land, too!

Those Arconas are hot looking boats. Personally, I haven't seen them over here yet. What's the "word" on them? Less costly than an HR, but how do they compare quality-wise? Where would they fall in the HR/Malo/Najad spectrum?
09-12-2010 03:31 AM
Jim H Time for another quick update. It's been over four years since the first post, and almost two years since the last update.

We continue to live in London, UK, and tweak and improve our '73 Rival 34. This year she got a full rigging check, new primary winches, and a full bottom check and new anodes. We had the life raft re-certified and we have a new EPIRB. One of her windows broke a few weeks ago (just cracked up in the frame while at the dock), and that's being repaired this week.

As for classes, I did complete my Yachtmaster Theory course last winter, and I've done the First Aid, Radar, and others. My wife has also done the First Aid and Diesel, and in the next couple of years will do her Yachtmaster Theory course over a winter.

We had to cancel most of our longer sails this summer because I had a massive project at work for the entire summer, but that's slowing down now so we have some shorter trips planned this month and in October.

We went to the Southampton Boat Show yesterday and picked up an indoor butane heater that runs off of "Butane Battery" cartridges that are supposed to last about 1.75 hours each. It puts off Carbon Dioxide but not Carbon monoxide.

Next summer we're planning two to three weeks of sailing to France and the Channel Islands on our boat with the kids.

We love our Rival 34, but it's always fun to think about the next boat. Our kids are getting larger and older, and before too long they'll be looking at colleges. At the boat show yesterday we decided that we might start thinking of a "next boat" to coincide with our 50th b-days in a few years. By that point, we'll likely have dual citizenship if we are still living in the UK, which will make it easier to sell our Rival and buy another boat.

At the boat show, our favorite boats again were the smaller Arcona sailboats, a Swedish boat that is more affordable than HRs and similar:

Arcona 34 foot

Arcona 37 foot

What's fun to think about is having a five to eight year boat loan for the next boat, and having a budget of around 100,000 sterling, so that work on paying off a new, possibly larger boat in the last years before early retirement (while also helping kids with college costs, etc.). In the end, we want a boat that would be good for cruising for two most of the time, so we're not considering overly large or heavy boats.

The Arcona are great new boats and not over priced in the 34 to 37 foot range, but they are somewhat rare. We'd also consider up to a 40 foot older Ovni, or a newer up-to 40 foot Dufour.

The Dufour was our second favorite boat of the show yesterday:

We could likely look for a newer 40e performance model in the future. All things being equal, I'd be happy with the 34e, but if we're going to retire early to cruise for a few years, we're going to need space. Some could say the Dufour is "too light" for long range cruising, but I'm open to consider it. In our budget, we could have a 2000 model or newer.

So, that's the update. We sail as much with the kids as possible, in voyages of 1 to 3 weeks. We own and maintain an older 34 foot that is very stable and safe, but heavy. We're planning for a lighter but manageable newer boat in the next 3-4 years. We're balancing saving for college with current sailing costs and long-term sailing costs. We like the idea of dual citizenship and early retirement.

The lists goes on. It's fun, however. If you go back to the original post, one might ask "what about cruising with the kids for five years?" For us, living overseas is much like cruising (we take vacations on the continent, and we're planning a week vacation in Malta for xmas, we sail across the English Channel), so in some ways that desire was fulfilled in a different way. As the kids grew older, we gave in to the financial side of things (how do we get them a great K12 education, how do we save for their college funds, how do we save for an early retirement and still have health benefits, how do we sail as much as possible, in interesting places, while achieving all these goals).

So, for now, that's the course we're on.
10-23-2008 03:11 PM
Jim H
Originally Posted by emagin View Post
No more pages.

This story ends?

When one becomes completely polluted with an idea, it's hard for the story to end...

A rough update:

1) We completely streamlined our possessions. No house, no cars, no junk. We kept a beach lot on the Oregon coast.

2) We moved to London, where the kids are increasingly excited about living in Europe.

3) We bought a nicely sea-worthy Rival 34, fully restored and ready to go. We sail almost every other weekend on the Solent.

4) We're taking extensive RYA certification courses. My wife has more than I do, but I have the Dayskipper rating already. (She'll finish her's soon.) We both did 13 evenings of theory courses and passed the exam (excellent chart work experience).

5) My wife and I both crossed the English channel earlier in May/June, with experienced Yachtmasters on separate trips. (Her to Channel Islands, me to Normandie).

6) We just got back from a great four days and nights of cruising to/from the Isle of Wight.

So, what's our possible future?
  • Yachtmaster Theory Certifications
  • International TOEFL Certificates for Teaching English
  • Travel Photography Courses
  • An upgrade to a 42 foot off-shore capable boat, when we need it
  • 2-5 years of cruising, starting in a few years

So, maybe things are going slower than others might like, but we do something just about every week that adds to a possible future like the one above. As the kids get older, they are more interested in the plan, and more confident they can be full and essential crew members.

I guess it's one of those things where the process is as important as the end, overall.

Have a great time in Mexico-- we still read Latitude 38 all the time online. How long do you plan to cruise?
10-23-2008 11:27 AM
emagin Thanks for that, no doubt.
I live in the SF bay area, so plenty of wind even locally.
SF to San Diego, LA to SF couple of times, north to Eureka, etc.
Lots more to learn.
Kids need to get used to 30+ kts double reefed or hove to as well.
10-23-2008 07:59 AM
sailingdog Get lots of practice coastal cruising before you set out...
Originally Posted by emagin View Post
Started sailing 3 years ago.
Why so late in life god only knows.
Have 2 kids
Wife loves sailing
Going to Mexico next month
And will be very upset if we are not on a boat in Cortez by 2009
10-23-2008 04:04 AM
emagin Started sailing 3 years ago.
Why so late in life god only knows.
Have 2 kids
Wife loves sailing
Going to Mexico next month
And will be very upset if we are not on a boat in Cortez by 2009
10-23-2008 04:03 AM
emagin Ahhhhck!

No more pages.

This story ends?

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