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socalrider

Cruising with 2 families: space for 9?

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Long weekend daydreaming here... we just had another fantastic day on the water here in San Diego this Saturday with my sister-in-law and her family.  We've shared a yard & property for 10 years, and now have a total of five girls, now ages 3,7,8,9,10.  On the way back to the marina we started chatting about a long trip - taking a year off with the whole crew.  Just talk at this point - we'll be doing a lot more trips on our First 405 before committing to anything like that, but I've been having fun dreaming about what a bigger trip would be like.  

So I know the standard advise is "go with the boat that you have", but that's obviously not realistic with the crew we've got.  Just for fun, what would your preferred setup be for a departure in, say, 3 years with four adults and five girls ages 6-13?  Safety is critical and a modicum of comfort would be important.  I suspect we'd be spending far more time on the hook than passage making.  No idea where we'd want to go yet; I'd love to do some high latitude stuff during the summer.  

How does one find a vessel with sufficient space & 9 berths (don't want people sleeping in the salon).  I hate to even suggest it, but is a sailing vessel even practical at these sizes?  To get the space of something like a Nordhavn 62 I'd be looking at an 80' sailing vessel; 60' seems like about as small as we could go with 9 berths.  I'm the only experienced sailor (though that would change somewhat by the time we leave); I may be wrong but the forces involved with sails of that size give me pause with small kids running around.  We've got resources but aren't wealthy - I'd want something we could buy, refit & then re-sell after a year of use for something like the purchase price, understanding we'd probably lose most/all of the re-fit $$.  Maybe $5-600k for the boat, $100k for the re-fit?  $100k probably doesn't buy a set of sails for an 80 footer!  

Fun to think about anyway - curious how the experienced folks would approach this.  

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5 girls ages 6 to 13 for an extended period on a small boat?

Are you insane?

If you aren't now, you will be later.

Something over 75' would be a minimum I would think.

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The most cost efficient solution would be a boat designed for charter with 4 cabins and somehow have one of the cabins fitted for the 3 smallest kids. From about the same vintage as your first 405, there is the sun magic 44 which has the reputation of being seaworthy and isn't too big a boat for a crew of 4 (2 Watches of 2 adults). 

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Hah!  Well I'm going to be nuts one way or the other over the coming decade, so I might as well do it on a boat.  At least it'll be a bit easier to secure the perimeter against boys.  I'm going to have to ask the Navy here if I can lease one of the dolphins they train to protect their ships against intruders.  

I can see the minimalist ex-charter boat solution working if we do harbor-hopping, maybe combined with some onshore camping.  Order of magnitude cheaper than the boats I've been looking at, and familiar boat handling so very good to have it as an option - thanks Pano.

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If you plan to go this route, take a look at the Catalina 50. I've got a 4 cabin version and they're pretty solid. PM me if you want more detailed info.

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How about a bunk room setup for the three youngest, something like a fancy pipe cot on the hull would be quite comfortable for smaller people. 4 cabins is not too hard to find at less than 60'. 

Otherwise, how about the dark side? A 50' cat has acres of room, and the potential for more separation between families if you desire. The four bunk layout of 1 fore-aft stern berth, 1 lateral midships berth under the bridgedeck is quite common even in performance boats. We have 2 Queens and a double berth in a 38' dagger boards cat, and still room for two heads! If you like sailing, try to limit your search to boats with boards. It is the simplest way to tell between gin palace slow boat and a cat that is actually meant to sail. There are a few that don't fit the mould, but very few. 

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High latitude.  Steel. - Check.

Safe.  Basically a small ship. - Check.

Accommodation for 12 in 7 cabins. - Check.

Industrial Engine.  - Check.

Spit rig = small loads. - Check.

Relatively inexpensive.  Sell for half price when done and never look back.

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1991/Colvin-Ocean-Cruising-Schooner-3046558/Grenadine-Islands/Grenada#.Wa3YXsiGPD4

6069167_20170113034344306_1_XLARGE.jpg&w=924&h=693&t=1484821778000

 

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It's all about what you expect from your trip.  We met a family of six crammed in a 36' Swan or something like it. They were doing one season and that was it so were happy.  Marina splurges for a week or so were factored in, in Mexico that translates to a week at a resort most places.  I would say nailing down where you plan to go is the most important.  A base line is probably a cabin for each couple min unless you are going super frugal.  If you are going somewhere hot no one is going to want anything to do with sleeping in a cabin.  Kids adjust at insane rates. Lots of hammocks that sort of thing.  For low budget look at Hardins or something like that, a slow pig but comfortable layout with a ton of cabins.  For some $$ and decent resale a HR 46 is a good two couple go anywhere. Don't OCD on kid space they will sort it out.

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How about 2 modest boats rather than 1 big one. Keep what you have and get another. There are  more budget options in the 35-45 range. Yes you would have twice as many systems to keep up, but also full redundancy. In an emergency all of you could utilize one boat. It also allows the option of separation if some of you start to not like each other so much. Worse case scenario, teach the oldest girl to sail and put them all on one one boat, kind of a female Lord of the Flies approach.

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4 hours ago, Rantifarian said:

How about a bunk room setup for the three youngest, something like a fancy pipe cot on the hull would be quite comfortable for smaller people. 4 cabins is not too hard to find at less than 60'. 

Otherwise, how about the dark side? A 50' cat has acres of room, and the potential for more separation between families if you desire. The four bunk layout of 1 fore-aft stern berth, 1 lateral midships berth under the bridgedeck is quite common even in performance boats. We have 2 Queens and a double berth in a 38' dagger boards cat, and still room for two heads! If you like sailing, try to limit your search to boats with boards. It is the simplest way to tell between gin palace slow boat and a cat that is actually meant to sail. There are a few that don't fit the mould, but very few. 

We met these folks out cruising a couple of years ago. At the time I think they have nine on board, though the number has varied by +/- one or two as various family members left and rejoined.

I believe they bought it with finished hulls and a rough interior and completed the work themselves. The boat was an ongoing project as they adapted to the needs of a crew that size. What amazed me was what Shannon managed to do with provisioning for a small army without refrigeration (when we met them). I think they added it since then.

http://lil-explorers.blogspot.com

 

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60 FT 5 CABIN CAT WILL DO THE JOB NICELY. 

Starting at 1 m $

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If the idea of building gets you going, schionning has a 15m fast cruiser designed to be built in flat panels. I don't believe anyone of the arrow 1500s have been built, but the arrow 1200 looks pretty tidy. 

Not sure I would go all the way to a 60' cat, that is starting to get to the ludicrously large end of the range. Not a lot of marina berths for boats that size. A 48-55' cat has an enormous amount of space

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Thanks guys.  I like several solutions here:

  1. Higher latitudes = steel brick shithouse
  2. Lower latitudes = ~50' cat
  3. Lowest cost = harbor hopping 45-50' mono, add pipe berths as needed; even just pile into the F405 and treat it like an RV with lots of stops on land
  4. Win the lotto = Alibi 54, 60' carbon cat, or that new Rapido trimaran... we could circumnavigate over summer break!

Knowing my wife and sister-in-law (plus the five soft San Diego kids) the higher latitudes will be a tough sell in anything less than the Queen Mary.  Although I've always been a monohull guy the idea of all that deck/tramp space on a big cat someplace warm is really appealing, and I hadn't really realized how much cabin space the bigger multis have.  

Also appreciate the two-boat idea; it's something I'd thought about but I'd want us all in the same boat.  Also, no interest in building anything.  I'm just finishing up building our house, and the experience was a huge pain in the ass - much prefer sailing & letting someone else take the depreciation hit.  

I'm gonna keep looking at ~50' cats...

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12 hours ago, socalrider said:

Long weekend daydreaming here... we just had another fantastic day on the water here in San Diego this Saturday with my sister-in-law and her family.  We've shared a yard & property for 10 years, and now have a total of five girls, now ages 3,7,8,9,10.  On the way back to the marina we started chatting about a long trip - taking a year off with the whole crew.  Just talk at this point - we'll be doing a lot more trips on our First 405 before committing to anything like that, but I've been having fun dreaming about what a bigger trip would be like.  

So I know the standard advise is "go with the boat that you have", but that's obviously not realistic with the crew we've got.  Just for fun, what would your preferred setup be for a departure in, say, 3 years with four adults and five girls ages 6-13?  Safety is critical and a modicum of comfort would be important.  I suspect we'd be spending far more time on the hook than passage making.  No idea where we'd want to go yet; I'd love to do some high latitude stuff during the summer.  

How does one find a vessel with sufficient space & 9 berths (don't want people sleeping in the salon).  I hate to even suggest it, but is a sailing vessel even practical at these sizes?  To get the space of something like a Nordhavn 62 I'd be looking at an 80' sailing vessel; 60' seems like about as small as we could go with 9 berths.  I'm the only experienced sailor (though that would change somewhat by the time we leave); I may be wrong but the forces involved with sails of that size give me pause with small kids running around.  We've got resources but aren't wealthy - I'd want something we could buy, refit & then re-sell after a year of use for something like the purchase price, understanding we'd probably lose most/all of the re-fit $$.  Maybe $5-600k for the boat, $100k for the re-fit?  $100k probably doesn't buy a set of sails for an 80 footer!  

Fun to think about anyway - curious how the experienced folks would approach this.  

That's an interesting challenge; we started cruising with two families when each of our pairs of girls were 9 and 11. For 2 weeks at a time, a F-P 43 Belize (back when they still built them well...) worked well, the younger girls fought for the 2 bow berths, accessed only from the deck, as the ultimate in private nesting. Their sisters were relieved to have an entire double each to themselves. BUT...

Provisioning. Although they weren't teenage boys, they all grew up to become high-level high-school v-ball athletes, and holy crap could they eat. Needed reprovisioning every 4 days on average. And they do not have frugal or moderate tastes in food - do *not* take them along while provisioning. Stock up on (to them) unappetizing fare like sardines, hardtack, rice and beans. Buy foods that need assembly, like ingredients for s'mores. Teach them to fish - girls like landing a fish as much as boys do; kill them with a squirt of vodka to the gills to ease the trauma of slaughter. Ours loved to create sushi rolls, and the concentration and silence were golden.

Activities+. Shore excursions. Hikes. Fruit farms. Turtle stuff. Snorkeling, diving. Fish identification. We found an 8' inflatable "island" tied to the stern was a godsend in exhausting them. Set a swing off a spreader. Make them taste things that make them go "Ewww".

Responsibility. Once they're capable, give them jobs. Hold them accountable. "Dinghy Captain, are the lines secure?" Or my favorite, "what's our (name-that-tank) level?" with a stick.

E-books and audio books. Every single Disney movie on a backup drive, including/especially "Captain Ron". Games. Windproof ones like Rummikub and dominos.

Synchronization. This will eventually become a problem. Store a long line (100m) and a beer cooler for the Dads to exile themselves to the dinghy when the time comes. Admit that you were/are/will be wrong. Than again, ours were older.

If they get out of line, let loose a blast of Dad Jokes. (Bad puns, etc.) They'll back off.

We managed to contain laundry and trash, etc. for the 2 weeks without service. Water was a different story with 6 females. You will need to figure that out.

*Strongly* consider if this is really what you want to try; I'd suggest a few-week shakedown test to get a taste of what's to come.

Learn head repair.

A bigger boat may be in order for the length of your voyage.

Our "final" 2-family trip was this June; they're 21 and 24 years old now. All the girls had either Bachelor's, Master's or entry into vet and med schools to celebrate. They're Free Rangers now. Great, unbelievable years.

Damn, I seem to have a speck in my eye.

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17 hours ago, Rantifarian said:

How about a bunk room setup for the three youngest, something like a fancy pipe cot on the hull would be quite comfortable for smaller people. 4 cabins is not too hard to find at less than 60'. 

Otherwise, how about the dark side? A 50' cat has acres of room, and the potential for more separation between families if you desire. The four bunk layout of 1 fore-aft stern berth, 1 lateral midships berth under the bridgedeck is quite common even in performance boats. We have 2 Queens and a double berth in a 38' dagger boards cat, and still room for two heads! If you like sailing, try to limit your search to boats with boards. It is the simplest way to tell between gin palace slow boat and a cat that is actually meant to sail. There are a few that don't fit the mould, but very few. 

^^^^ this.

a 4-cabin charter-type catamaran.

1 cabin for each adult couple, 1 for the bigger girls and 1 for the smaller ones.

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1 hour ago, Trovão said:

^^^^ this.

a 4-cabin charter-type catamaran.

1 cabin for each adult couple, 1 for the bigger girls and 1 for the smaller ones.

Yes, if they can find one that they can afford, it is definitely a very good solution.

Somewhere in between the run of the mill charter boat and the cat there is the fat ass light displacement boat.

cig16ext.jpg

I think that some of the cigale 16 were built with 4 cabins, lot of space inside, easy to manage, aluminium so can do some moderately high latitude stuff and not quite as expensive as catamarans (but still much more expensive than the ex charter boat).

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2 hours ago, RedRyder said:

Been for sale for a few years. Wonder how negotiable the price might be?

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1986/Baltic-Custom-76-Cutter-2787091/Stonington/CT/United-States

Tabasco:

4821332_20141007104803150_1_XLARGE.jpg&w

Wow! She is gorgeous. Says bring offers.

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Some people may prefer to sleep in the cockpit anyway.  And don't overlook camping on the beach.

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 Lagoon 500. 4 x 2 double cabins, add 1 berth to one of the double cabin. Lots of ex charter cats in that range.

Actually now that I think about it, might be a shortage of them right about now...

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On 9/8/2017 at 3:33 PM, Zonker said:

 Lagoon 500. 4 x 2 double cabins, add 1 berth to one of the double cabin. Lots of ex charter cats in that range.

Actually now that I think about it, might be a shortage of them right about now...

Definitely going to reduce the waiting list for slips.

oh,

wait, mebbe not those either....

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On 9/8/2017 at 3:33 PM, Zonker said:

 Lagoon 500. 4 x 2 double cabins, add 1 berth to one of the double cabin. Lots of ex charter cats in that range.

Actually now that I think about it, might be a shortage of them right about now...

How do they sail?  I saw a bunch of Lagoons & the interior is amazing, but a bit worried about the lack of boards, recent Beneteau factory heritage, etc.  Are they dock condos or can they actually go upwind?  

Amazing seeing the number of big catamarans destroyed or nearly destroyed by the storm...

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Oh, they suck at sailing. Seriously bad at upwind, sort of acceptable downwind in trades but SOOO heavy. We gave a Lagoon 380 a 2 hr head start during a daysail from Raiatea to Bora Bora. We arrived about 1+ hr ahead of them. We sailed a good part of the Indian Ocean with a Lagoon 450. Lightly loaded compared to our 40' Woods cat. So easy to pass them while sailing. They do motor faster than us, but we only had 1 engine.

But the guy wants room for 9. You've gotta compromise somewhere :) 

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Hah!  I suspected as much.  That would drive me nuts.  For coastal cruising in SoCal, upwind is really important unless you want to motor everywhere.  I imagine just getting back into the San Diego bay would be a chore tacking a huge cat back and forth across the narrowest point.  On my deep draft, tall rig F405 I can usually get in without tacking, but it often takes a bit of pinching and working the lifts when they come.  Not that that's what I'd be getting the big boat for, but I'd still want her happy in her home waters.  

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We used to do this with 4 kids and two adult couples  for a total of 8 when I was a kid.  We had an older Choate 40 race boat with an upgraded galley and V berth.  So 4 pipe berths aft race boat/ bunk bed style, one pipe pilot berth, v berth and a fold-down dinette double.  No problem and we would do 3 week cruises from the time I was 10 until my late teens.

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3 hours ago, Schnick said:

We used to do this with 4 kids and two adult couples  for a total of 8 when I was a kid.  We had an older Choate 40 race boat with an upgraded galley and V berth.  So 4 pipe berths aft race boat/ bunk bed style, one pipe pilot berth, v berth and a fold-down dinette double.  No problem and we would do 3 week cruises from the time I was 10 until my late teens.

I'm seriously envious of all you folks that grew up with boats. I'm a first-generation sailor, pretty much self-taught. I also don't have a lot of problems with crowds, I only know three people and one of them is in jail at any given time.

 

Not true. I know four people.

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I was thinking about this a bit more. I've met one other '2 family' boats (I don't count the French boats that have 3 women [wife/mistress/girlfriend], 2 guys, 4 kids etc. They are always tricky to figure out.) One of the 2 brothers on the boat wanted out part way through the cruise. So...

- consider how your financial arrangements will work out if one family does decide to quit

- stick with a well known production boat to make re-sale in 1+ year time easier

- have a well thought out plan how you will sell the boat (yourself/broker/etc). When do you lower the price if it doesn't sell? Make sure you agree before tying the knot!

- have you decided where you will cruise? A 1 year cruise from S.Diego suggests a year in Mexico. Easy for first timers, lots of kids, social acitivities for all, easy to fly home for parts. Think about where you will go to avoid hurricanes. Northern Sea of Cortez is pretty if you like deserts and lots of water sports. Bring floaty pool toys and lounge under the bridgedeck in the water on the hottest days :)

- there are few production cats that sail well in light winds with jib + main. So get a screecher/code zero if you go with a cat. It will increase your happiness a lot.

- for monos maybe an ex charter Ben 50? Try to get one with lots of cabins.

http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=3153

Oceanis 50:

http://sailboatdata.com/viewrecord.asp?class_id=6856

 

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8 hours ago, Zonker said:

I fixed it. Just needed a bit of ballast aft.

a3.jpg

Noble effort but..... still NOPE!

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Seriously at no time did the client or anybody else say "you know - all kidding aside, the drawing of that boat is hideous".

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2 hours ago, Zonker said:

Seriously at no time did the client or anybody else say "you know - all kidding aside, the drawing of that boat is hideous".

Starck is definitely not known for his modestly sized ego!

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On 06/09/2017 at 1:08 AM, RedRyder said:

Been for sale for a few years. Wonder how negotiable the price might be?

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1986/Baltic-Custom-76-Cutter-2787091/Stonington/CT/United-States

Tabasco:

4821332_20141007104803150_1_XLARGE.jpg&w

I know that boat. An eye turner in its day, particularly for it's shallow draft and powerfull rig.  It is very well travelled and has lots of stories. It is also one of the most over spec'd and complicated boats engineering wise built at that time and cost a bomb I recall even by high end one off euro build standards at that time.

You would want to steal it as to bring into first/reasonable and reliable order (notwithstanding their refit schedule as listed) would be around purchase price again on account of structure and systems age I would think.

I hope someone has the bucks and enthusiasm to keep it going as it truly is a floating big plastic fast cruiser time capsule from that era.

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She's a beaut but what's going on with that boot stripe and waterline? Has the backstay tension banana'd the hull?

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2 hours ago, IStream said:

She's a beaut but what's going on with that boot stripe and waterline? Has the backstay tension banana'd the hull?

All the fat people below are sitting on starboard.

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http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/1995/Mcmullen-%26-Wing-Custom-Warwick-Bluewater-Cruiser-3118653/San-Diego/CA/United-States#.Wcq-O0FlD7o

Holy crap, this thing looks like an absolute beast!  Just the ticket for long durations at high latitudes (and budget). 

I'd be divorced before we even set off, so far bigger than I'd need for such a trip, but fun to contemplate nonetheless. 

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I wouldn't dismiss the idea of a schooner type thing or a big ketch. The sail area's broken down into lots of small sails so the loads are small, and you have the option of just flying a couple of sails when short handed, or you can give every child their own string and get it all up. And they'd be kings and queens of each anchorage - everyone loves a pirate. And although you will lose some windward ability you will find that one of these string-specials can be really entertaining to sail. 

Ask Sassafrass, a regular visitor here, who is off cruising with his family on a big antique schoonery sort of thing. 

If the steel one seems a bit spartan there's a really attractive Bombigher schooner been on the market for yonks that might be adaptable accommodation wise (er, yes it is rather inconveniently located . . .)

 

0x0_191_87966357259c386d848fc0.jpg

 

0x0_191_103185222959c386d9d878d.jpg

 

0x0_191_44084572159c38700c3450.jpg

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