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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone recommend an excellent sailing scool or private instructor in Florida or the Keys that specializes in Catamaran sailing. We have little sailing knowledge but plan to buy a cat in about 10 months to live-aboard and sail. In addition, we have been considering the Sarasota area to relocate to. Any comments or suggestions of other places that are nice with a low crime rate with a decent cost of living. Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Shazam!! I can''t remember their name but there is a sailing school in St. Petersburg.

I think if you do a yahoo or other search engine search for "multihull sailinbg schools" you will pop up with their name. They teach you from ground up and do the training to certify alot of people for "bareboat chartering". If I think of their name I''ll come back and post it.
 

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The two best places in Florida to live are Stuart and Sarasota with Sarasota just a bit hotter in the Summer because of no trade winds off the atlantic. They both have no crime good schools and water everywhere.

I too have a liveaboard Cat and wish I could learn the finer points of sailing a big cat but there aren''t any so I rely on some of the cruising cat folks I meet and drill them.
 

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If you are looking for high cost of living and fairly high crime rates...you have focused on the right area. Sarasota/Bradenton, aka Manatee County is not where I would choose to set anchor. Taxes are higher there as well.

Look at Charlotte County..about 60 miles south of Sarasota. Crime rate much much lower, and the two principal areas of the county are Port Charlotte (unincorporated) with about 60,000 persons and Punta Gorda, the only chartered city in the county and the county seat with ? 15,000 ? persons. Taxes and cost of living and cost of real estate - be it waterfront or non waterfront are significantly lower than Sarasota/Bradenton.

Oh yes, I should also point out that many of Charlotte County''s residents head north in the summer and return only for the winter.

If you have need of an MLS site for this area, or want to mae contact with an honest and hard working real estate person...email me and I will furnish the info. (I''m not a real estate agent...I just know one who works hard to please her clients).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Rob, would be very interested in that MLS site, I just happen to be a realtor myself! Charlotte County sounds very interesting and we will be checking it out. The only reason we are considering Sarasota is because my Dad lives there. Don''t like crime, high prices or crowds though. Are there many cats anchored at Port Charlotte and Punta Gorda? Hope you can remember that Catamaran sailing school name in time. Thanks.
 

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The MLS site is www.charlotteareamls.com and one of the sailing schools can be checked out at www.usboat.com/anapway I will also have to ask my wife about the other one. We were originally planning on buying a Cat, but we ended up going for a monohull.

Have seen a few Cats around here. There are some in the marina we are in - Burnt Store Marina south of Punta Gorda.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Also...you can check with Multihulls magazine they should have schools listed there. They have a website and I don''t have the url, but a yahoo search should pop it.
 

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Rob
You said you was originally going to buy a cat but did not. I read elsewhere that you live on a Morgan. Why the decision to buy a mono vs multi?
Linda
 

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Truthfully, part of the decision was brought about by having looked at a number of Cats that were for sale.....prices in the mid 40''s up to much higher....the prices were very unrealistic and the boats were in "very bad condition". In order to have bought a boat that we would have found "liveable" we would have had to spend upwards $100,000.00 or more. I did not want to do that. I wanted to buy a boat cash and go from there. The ones I saw from $60K down were "project boats" and I do mean "projects", as in long term. There is also the issue of finding a slip that can accomadate the beam of some cats. It was primarily my wife that wanted the cat because of a bad experience on a monohull some years ago. Turns out it was an issue of "heeling" and the fellow that owned the boat was a bit of a showoff who liked to heel the boat as much as possible and put the rails in the water. She did not want any part of this kind of sailing.

SO, we altered our goals...started looking at power boats again...and the fuel went up and at about that time we saw a friend of mine who has years of sailing experience and he explained to here that it is not necessary to heel a boat on its side to sail. Well, after Lars explained that she would actually be more comfortable on a monohull sailed properly....we began looking at monohulls.

I almost bought a Morgan 41 Out Islander back in 1973...and I have always liked the Morgans- just something about them. They are not the fastest accelerating sail around, and they are heavier than most...and they are beamy and roomy inside. A note to the elitists who may be reading this...all boats with a displacement hull have a hull speed governed by the boats length of waterline.

We decided though to purchase a Morgan 33'' Out Islander instead of a 41''. My wife did not think she could handle a boat that size if anything happened to me. I disagreed, but bowed to her wishes.

So we bought a 33'' Out Islander, and are very happy with her. She is named the "Meri-Mac" which is the nickname of the original owners wife. We opted not to change her name. Its kind of unique.

She weighs in at 14,500 lbs dry, 33'' long with a 12'' beam. There is no wasted space in the interior and the head room throughout the entire cabin is well over 6''. Out Islanders have a different cabin top than classic designs. So, in my opinion they are more roomy inside than most boats. Additionally they are "shoal draft", and mine has a full keel that only draws 3''11" of water which allows me to go where others only dream of going. In heavy seas she is vey stable, due to the full keel and her weight. She is, like all Morgans, built heavily and solid.
Mine was built in 1975 and many others that are in use are older than mine.

You can purchase one of these boats in pristine condition or in project condition.
It all depends on what you want in a boat.

Hope that answers your questions.
 
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