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post #1 of 23 Old 08-05-2019 Thread Starter
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beach cat to pocket cruiser

I'm not an entirely new sailor, but I'm only really venturing into the world of monohull cruisers now for the first time. I've been sailing a Prindle 18 on and off for nearly four decades, and now that we're sailing as a family, we'd like to start making multi-day coastal cruises, rather than just horsing around for a few hours in the waves. I've just completed the ASA101, and am going to try to get the ASA103 in shortly, so that I will be able to charter boats larger than 22' day sailers. My wife has just completed the "learn to sail" and we're hoping to spend a fair bit of time in the Chesapeake later this season and next, getting our sea legs (along with our four year old son).
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post #2 of 23 Old 08-05-2019
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Re: beach cat to pocket cruiser

There is no real difference between sailing a P18 and a mono hull pocket cruiser, except the mono will feel like its permanently stuck in low gear

I would try and find something in really good shape because fixing boats isn't all that much fun, at least it isn't for me. Newish to new outboard. (I am assuming outboard because pocket cruiser, but if not, disregard).

Aside from maintenance and sailing, its mostly just navigation, navigation just takes practice. If you start out with a good voyage plan before you ever leave the dock, that should minimise improvisation on the water
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post #3 of 23 Old 08-05-2019
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Re: beach cat to pocket cruiser

We bought our first sailboat (26' fixed keel) when our son was 3, and he's now age 10 and now has many hours on the water. Best advice I can give you for getting started is to make it fun and don't worry about getting in a lot of sailing miles for a couple years. Some kids have more tolerance and interest in the actual sailing and getting to new destinations but most don't really care until they are older, and instead will get bored with hours and hours of sailing, or freaked out if conditions deteriorate.

So when our son was young, we spent a lot of time within a couple miles of our mooring, maybe sailing for an hour or two when the wind was right, and spending more time anchored for swimming, fishing, playing games, having meals, and just spending time as a family. Reality is that the days when the wind blows that perfect steady 10 knots all day with the sun shining, are pretty few and far between. Take advantage of those days when they occur, but be prepared to make use of the boat as a family in lots of conditions, which may mean not really going anywhere. The key is to make the boat something everyone wants to do every weekend, or else you won't be able to justify the time and expense of using it.
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post #4 of 23 Old 08-05-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: beach cat to pocket cruiser

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Originally Posted by Arcb View Post
There is no real difference between sailing a P18 and a mono hull pocket cruiser, except the mono will feel like its permanently stuck in low gear
Heh...yeah, I was expecting this, but it was indeed an eye opener...the boat barely moved with 5kts...the Prindle scoots right along, so long as there is nearly any breeze. I suppose it's the difference between 335lbs of displacement and 2800...I also find it vaguely unsettling to "trust" that I won't capsize the thing...but, given time I'm sure I'll get over it. Got a few nice gusts, and spent some time running with the water at the gunwales.

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Best advice I can give you for getting started is to make it fun and don't worry about getting in a lot of sailing miles for a couple years. Some kids have more tolerance and interest in the actual sailing and getting to new destinations but most don't really care until they are older, and instead will get bored with hours and hours of sailing, or freaked out if conditions deteriorate.
Indeed! I noticed this already. I am looking for something with tanks, a simple galley and a head. I was pleasantly surprised by how roomy the 22' was, but I really think we will need|want a head and a sink (at a minimum) to comfortably sail short distances and then "boat camp" (gunkholing), which is the main near-term objective. If we can use the boat as a kind of weekend RV for fishing, swimming, etc., on the Chesapeake Bay (which is plenty large enough to explore for a while), then we'll be accomplishing the object of this switch. I do hope that in a few years (certainly by age 10) my son will enjoy the thrill enough to have some fun on the catamaran.

I'm not super-concerned about engine maintenance - I've been working on small engines and larger engines since I was a teenager, and I've rebuilt a few two and four stroke engines. Given that we'll really be doing a lot of coastal cruising - by which I mean: within view of the shore and navigation aids - I expect to be able to work up to the navigation part of this gradually, but I'll be doing the 103 and 104, so I expect to pick up a bit more there. I will certainly get ahold of a decent GPS!

What I do worry about - since we're going to go with a very used boat - are things like delamination, rotted keel bolts and flexing keels. Ragged out sails come to mind as well.

Anyway, for the moment, a few more trips on the C22 Capri to get my wife and son a little more comfortable, and in the meantime, I'm exploring marinas which are a reasonable drive from home for us. Just wanted to drop in and say hello!
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post #5 of 23 Old 08-05-2019
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Re: beach cat to pocket cruiser

If you want to save a few bucks in the GPS department, you could probably get away with a cell phone app for the type of useage you are describing.

Navionics/Boating HD costs about $30/year for android or iphone vs hundreds to $1k+ for a dedicated GPS with echarts.
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Re: beach cat to pocket cruiser

My background is sailing Hobie 18's and I bought my first pocket cruiser 18 months ago. I ended up going with a trimaran as I found a good deal on a Corsair Sprint 750. I'd actually prefer a Dash or more typical F-24 with a little more cabin room and less spartan interior, but its still a nice, stable pocket cruiser, especially for someone used to multis. I really like it because I feel comfortable transiting the gulf here in Auckland, but its easy to put on a trailer and drive hours away.
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post #7 of 23 Old 08-06-2019
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Re: beach cat to pocket cruiser

I sailed Hobie 16's and 18's for several years before switching to a mono slug. When my wife got pregnant she made me sell the Hobies (as expected). Surprisingly she told me to buy a bigger boat so we could take the baby sailing. Like the dutiful husband I was I said "Yes, Dear". We bought a Pearson 30. It was a good price, has a decent turn of speed for a mid '70's racer cruiser, was easy to singlehand and had plenty of room below for all of the kid stuff. At the we were living in Annapolis. We took our daughter out when she was 2 weeks old and never looked back. She was great on the weekend trips. Now we live in the middle of Ohio and sail on a lake close to Columbus in our O'Day 222. I miss the P30 but it is too big for this lake. My now 9 year old daughter still loves to sail and is pretty good on the O'Day. She just needs a bit more strength before she can singlehand.

Things I learned from transitioning:
- Keel boats have significantly more inertia. Plan ahead when you need to stop.
- Do not worry about capsizing. The lead keel does a much better job than the wide stance of the cats. It's pretty hard to do.,
- Stay on top of routine maintenance. Winches, through hulls, heads, engine, etc. all need regular maintenance. If you own a more complicated boat than a beach cat you will be doing maintenance. I enjoy it so I don't mind it.
- Boat handling skills. You will learn how to dock and anchor and other more "grown up" nautical things. Fin keels can turn on a dime unlike beach cats.
- In light wind power boat wakes are less annoying since the inertia can carry you through.
- Eventually, 5 kts of speed will seem really fast when the rail is in the water. Not the same as trapping out, but still lots of fun.
- You can sail 10 months out of the year comfortably on the Chesapeake.
- If you can, keep the Prindle for those great cat sailing days. You will miss it and it's nice to get a fix once in a while.

Mono hulls are a different kind of fun and are great for the family. I like the 25 - 30 foot range for the Chesapeake. While not a pocket cruiser there are several of them for sale at any given time, the prices can be reasonable, and you will have plenty of room for "boat camping".

Good luck and welcome to the dark side.

Nick

1986 O'Day 222
1974 Pearson 30 (previous)
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post #8 of 23 Old 08-06-2019
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Re: beach cat to pocket cruiser

There are some days when I wish I'd never had any sailboat beyond the Hobie 16. I don't think I've ever had as much just plain fun, sailing and surfing it, without all the work of a big boat.
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post #9 of 23 Old 08-06-2019 Thread Starter
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Re: beach cat to pocket cruiser

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Originally Posted by nickmerc View Post
I sailed Hobie 16's and 18's for several years before switching to a mono slug. When my wife got pregnant she made me sell the Hobies (as expected). Surprisingly she told me to buy a bigger boat so we could take the baby sailing. Like the dutiful husband I was I said "Yes, Dear". We bought a Pearson 30. It was a good price, has a decent turn of speed for a mid '70's racer cruiser, was easy to singlehand and had plenty of room below for all of the kid stuff. At the we were living in Annapolis. We took our daughter out when she was 2 weeks old and never looked back. She was great on the weekend trips. Now we live in the middle of Ohio and sail on a lake close to Columbus in our O'Day 222. I miss the P30 but it is too big for this lake. My now 9 year old daughter still loves to sail and is pretty good on the O'Day. She just needs a bit more strength before she can singlehand.

Things I learned from transitioning:
- Keel boats have significantly more inertia. Plan ahead when you need to stop.
- Do not worry about capsizing. The lead keel does a much better job than the wide stance of the cats. It's pretty hard to do.,
- Stay on top of routine maintenance. Winches, through hulls, heads, engine, etc. all need regular maintenance. If you own a more complicated boat than a beach cat you will be doing maintenance. I enjoy it so I don't mind it.
- Boat handling skills. You will learn how to dock and anchor and other more "grown up" nautical things. Fin keels can turn on a dime unlike beach cats.
- In light wind power boat wakes are less annoying since the inertia can carry you through.
- Eventually, 5 kts of speed will seem really fast when the rail is in the water. Not the same as trapping out, but still lots of fun.
- You can sail 10 months out of the year comfortably on the Chesapeake.
- If you can, keep the Prindle for those great cat sailing days. You will miss it and it's nice to get a fix once in a while.

Mono hulls are a different kind of fun and are great for the family. I like the 25 - 30 foot range for the Chesapeake. While not a pocket cruiser there are several of them for sale at any given time, the prices can be reasonable, and you will have plenty of room for "boat camping".

Good luck and welcome to the dark side.
I would love to get a Pearson 30...right now I'm looking at slightly smaller Catalinas just for price sensitivity....basically trying to get my wife hooked. In my dreams, something (I think, I suppose I need to sail a few) a Beneteau 343.

I do know how to dock and anchor, though I confess, I still want to get into the slip under sail...I definitely note the inertia...it's handy in a way. My reference was to blowing 5kts, not making 5kts, but yeah, when the water slips up over the rails, it does feel fast!

I have ZERO intention of getting rid of the P18...as much for sentimental reasons as anything. I do look forward to setting up the traps and flying a hull with my son - I don't think there's really any better way of getting real fundamentals - a physical awareness of the wind and the boat - than that kind of "dinghy sailing".

We did our ASA courses at Sail Solomon's (they were great - Jeff and Barry were wonderful), and will be going back a few more times to really get my wife completely comfortable with "known" equipment, and I am in the meantime trying to find a slip and boat, which are close enough that we can run to them frequently, and manageable. There's a Beneteau in the Sail Solomon's fleet.
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post #10 of 23 Old 08-06-2019
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Re: beach cat to pocket cruiser

As a kid my family had a monohull cruiser.
I grew up and got a beach cat.
When i found a girlfriend, we got a monohull cruiser.
After the cruiser has been on the hard for some years, we now sail a beach cat.
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