pepito_fdez

Catamaran suggestions. Planning on living onboard.

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Hello crew,

I am 39 years old and a software engineer. Not a fatty useless nerd -I was a pro athlete for over 10 years- I just happen to be good at math and computer science and went to college for it.

I have no previous sailing experience but I've been raised -since I was born- in a small beach town so I am very familiar with the "sea". I am also a fast learner.

Having said that.... I am planning on buying a catamaran in about two years. Budget is around $1M. The idea is to live on the catamaran with my family and work from there. I need some experts' opinion on what should I look for given the following constraints.

- I need something spacious -probably more than 50ft?- otherwise wifey will be bickering... who wants that? :)

- I am planning on sailing around the world. Mostly between America/Caribbean to Europe and vice versa (Atlantic ocean) and maybe venture out to the pacific at one point.

- I am looking for comfort/performance balance -since I have to accommodate family even thought I would go performance if I were single. I don't mind reaching Europe a "couple days later" if that means my family feels "home". I guess I am looking for a balance but don't want a floating house either. :)

- I am going to need to generate electricity while sailing (I need access to internet on demand).

- That being said... I need the best technology onboard for internet connectivity.

- Also I want to rely on technology as much as possible for cruising and navigation just for efficiency. I am very athletic so I don't mind physical work if needed.

- Luxury is not important. As long as it is comfortable and "feels nice", I am ok. 

- Should I buy new or used?

- Any specific brand?

 

Thank you so much in advance. I just joined the forum. Looking forward to meet great folks here. I got good recommendations online. 

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7 minutes ago, pepito_fdez said:

I have no previous sailing experience

You might want to consider chartering a big cat with a captain to get a feel for the scale of your project.

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+1

Best idea - and it's the first one ;)

And try living aboard, all of you together,  continuously for a couple of months -- you and family need to experience living aboard 24/7/30days a month. Really - It's a HUGE leap to expect everyone to be comfortable with that lifestyle (even yourself :() and much better to test before making a million dollar commitment

All the best,

 

 

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Thank you so much for these earlier responses. 

@weightless, yes. That's part of the plan. That's why I am planning to buy in two years so that I can get ready. That's actually a good idea. I've met people (Ft. Lauderdale) who have lived aboard for many years and asked a lot of questions. So far seems very doable.

@tom312 our "assumption" is that both, me and my wife are very self-entertained individuals. In other words, she is always very busy with her stuff and me, being a software developer, my life revolves around computers, coffee and a comfortable chair. So, for the most part we are really in our own little worlds. Also, we both enjoy "home" and same things (watching movies, cooking, beach, etc.). She says the reason is we are both from the same zodiacal sign. Go figure :)

This is not a decision we've made lightly. We are just both tired of the city/inland life, stuck in one place when in reality my business allows me to work even from the moon. We do have inland properties in America and Germany that we are not planning to sell and if we do, most likely will be to buy something near a marina in case we need to take a break from sailing or aboard life.

I've been researching in this forum and the reason I ask for help is because the disparity in prices between two boats that seem relatively equals. I just don't want to walk to a marina and get 'screwed over' by a sales person that all they have in mind is to make a buck out of the sale. 

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You have a lot to learn, people who have sailed their entire lives sometimes can't get 100 miles in a boat.  

But seems you are confident and are a fast learner.  I never want to be a doubter.  Also seems like you have the budget so money can make up for a  lot of things, but not everything.

My advice is to buy used since you really have no idea what you want /need.   I would hire some sort of consultant that you trust to help guide you through the purchase.    You are going to need more help than a buyers broker can provide.  Maybe not but spending a few thousand dollars on a consultant could help you in the long run

You make no mention of learning how to sail before you actually get the boat.  Taking some sort of sailing course would be advisable.  And learning in small boats would be best.  Very easy to go up from there.

Charter idea is also a great place to start.  From your description I would hire a bareboat with a captain, not a crewed yacht charter.

I would also recommend hiring aboard a captain for the first 6 months when you actually pull the trigger and buy a boat.  No point and reinventing the wheel and learning by mistakes, especially when mistakes out on a  big boat can be life or death.  For instance you can't just pull over like you can in a car when things go wrong.  

Other than that there are so many questions and answers I don't know where to start so I won't.

Analogy might be your are starting at first grade math but you need to know calculus  before you can attempt what you want. 

For instance you questions about generating electricity.

Best of luck and there will be a lot of doubters here, just push on.  I know a couple who where in your shoes a few years ago, they are now sailing around with their two kids  in a performance 50'+ catamaran.  So it can be done  

 

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This isn't an easy answer, and no one boat fits the bill for everyone or every family. It would help to define that as well, if it's just you and your wife, 50+' is A LOT of boat especially for someone that is new to sailing. I think 45' is the ideal size for 2, and even enough space for 3 or 4.

I would look at the Outremer 45 and some of the Fountain Peugeot line. Get onboard the different boats and go sailing. There is also the gunboat and HH brand but I think price wise that could be stretching it a bit (the largest difference there is probably 5% more performance, maybe 10% for the older designs, with a high end interior fit out, but by no means would you be roughing it on an Outremer 45).

One of the biggest potential issues you may face with this decision is global high speed internet access to do your job. Inmarsat and Viasat are 2 services with near global coverage. Here is a price breakdown for Inmarsats service: https://satellitephonestore.com/bgan-service

I personally wouldn't be selling property to cover my global unlimited satellite plan, with the flip side being exactly how much data do you need? You may have wifi and cellular data when in port and I suspect during longer passages getting work done won't be particularly easy.

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You have gotten some good advice, but I think you need to be very clear about your internet data requirements. Regional high speed service with high data limits can cost thousands a month, but thats per service, if you really need high speed data world wide expect to be paying tens of thousands a month. 

There is also a question of speed. Offshore data speeds are a fraction the speed you would expect from even a 3g connection. 100kbps is on the high end for off shore service, and expect to spend 4-6 thousand a month for those speeds. Plus the cost of the equipment to provide it can be costly. Add in the power requirements and space needed for the antenna and it can be pretty unaffordable to transfer large files.

The alternative is just to assume you will be out of contact for a few weeks every year doing major transits and relying on local 3g connectivity once you get where you are going.  

 

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@robalex117 thank you for the encouragement. I recognize that my family's safety will be in my hands, therefore getting myself ready is mandatory. My course of action will be to move somewhere in Florida. I already got books, videos and training/simulators. This will help me to understand the basics, then take some sort of classes/certification -if such a thing exist- for one year and hire a captain to kick it off with my own boat. In regards to buying a smaller boat, I feel that it will slow things down too much because I would have to sell it later on, then buy the one I really want, etc. I think both the consultant and captain idea are great!

I know some of my questions (electricity) may come across too simplistic, but I just wanted to point out some of the concerns without assuming that I can 'google it up'.

One thing to keep in mind is that I don't expect to be sailing 24/7. Living on the boat, yes. Sailing like a pirate, no. I just want the freedom to move whenever I want, wherever I want. I envision it more like sailing to Puerto Rico, stay there as long as I want to, then continue to Jamaica, next island, next island, etc. 

@samc99us Yes, I want to sail on different boat sizes before I make my mind. I thought of 50+' because we plan to have friends and relatives aboard with us at any point in time. We are already 3 (wife and daughter) and one more in the making, so that would be 4. Most of our friends have kids as well, so I have to keep that in mind. 

I like the Outremer 45. I read great reviews. Also read that they are overpriced and that other boats out there with similar features for 30% cheaper. How truthful is that? HH are cool but I don't need a lot of luxury really. Comfort, yes.

Regarding internet, I don't really need a lot of bandwidth. Most of my stuff is in the cloud. The data exchange is minimum. Inmarsats seems pricey!!! Lord. I read somewhere that there are some devices (around $25K) that basically connects you to satellites for a bargain. Not sure. I will research more. Again, for the most part, I will be docked somewhere.

And you are right! Who wants to be working while sailing??? No way! I would miss all the fun.

 

Thank you for the good vibes and responses! 

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Feel free to PM me for help. It's a big topic. There are lots of good boats if a Gunboat isn't in the budget. 

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2nd the motion to buy a small boat first ~$2k and less than 20ft.  Then move up to 30'  ~$30k  then charter some 50'   This will help you learn faster.  Also, you will make mistakes.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Making mistakes with a 50' boat is a huge setback. You can be sailing the 30 footer next year, and then buying dreamboat in 2 years.

Would recommend checking out Chris White and his designs.

Atlantic 55'

This is a nice boat to live on, and lots of nice Marina's in Florida with wifi etc.  Can take it on cruises to the Bahamas easy.  Maybe hire a captain to cross the gulf stream.

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Pepito, 

Buy a 20' something now... Heck go buy a Corsair Mk2 or older Sprint for a few thousand for the spring and sail the piss out of it for two years. You will run into things, you will bounce off the dock, and fixing a boat worth a couple grand is cheap, bouncing a $1m yacht on the rocks is a seriously bad day. 

As for internet, most cruisers just buy a SIM card every where they go and gripe about the complexity. Its adds up, but nothing like the cost of satellite. Its why even mega-yachts tend to have massive onboard movie libraries. Even at $10,000 a day charter fees for the boats satellite internet is a massive cost. And it really isn't necessary. Sat phones for sure, even being able to receive and send e-mail is fine, but accessing real data just has to wait until you are within sight of land.

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I feel a boat like the Outremer is a little much to the performance side here - a little more "roomy" could be Catana -  still daggerbords and performance - but more space. Both are wellknown and bought used will keep their value as good as boats can. The latest is important - bec - when this maybe will be your first boat - its possible you will change .

Buy used - with the right equipment - lots of money there. 

I feel the way the boat will be used - moving from place to place - but mainly living on it- I  wouldnt rule out the roomarans either - like Lagoon - if you want them to sail they can too - give them good sails and sail active - look at the results for the ARC; https://www.worldcruising.com/arc/arc_2017_eventresults.aspx?eventid=82

We had a discussion in another tread about NEEL - I dont like them too much - but it can seem like the NEEL 51 is lots for the money at purcase. But they dont have the solid name  like Catana, Outremer, Lagoon etc. 

Nautitech have good looking roomarans - but Bavaria has now bought them - not sure if thats good.. 

One thing - the latest design of cats - look to have a very square shaped interiors - it maybe look good and a cheap to make - but this is still boats - so rounded edges is still a smart thing - the foundation is the sea - and it tend to move a lot at times.... 

 

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Pepito,

  My advice is a little different perhaps. I would certainly move somewhere close to water, then buy a high performance cat. An A Cat if solo sailing (c board or straight board boat will do) or F18 for 2 up work. You will learn more in 6 months about sailing doing this than pretty much anything else. The important thing is you will quickly learn what not to do with relatively low consequences. I would charter larger boats as much as possible as well, this will let you know what you want and what you don't in your final purchase.

I can't reall speak to the price of the Outremer vs. other boats too much. I'm not aware of much else in this price range with the same performance. I do agree with SeaGul that a Catana may be another good choice. The other boat to consider may be a stretched TS42. Keep in mind the Outremer 45 is really closer to 49'. 

Definitely reach out to Soma, he is the professional in this space.

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@pepito_fdez You're getting some great advise here. +100 on all of it. (I'm also a sailing computer geek ;-) and the appeal of a sport with thinking and complexity is very strong. And yes you can work from the boat. I've done it. ). 

My recommendations here are a bit more specific. Learn on a small, second hand boat, so you can scratch it without costing megabucks or taking limb or life. You have a nice lake in Atlanta. Then, I very strongly suggest you charter a boat in the caribbean, say, British Virgin Islands has several cat charter operations. Get a beaten up boat, for a couple of months. With captain initially, then take off the training wheels. 

You can live-and-work-remotely from a place like the caribbean, where the next bay or island is minutes or hours away, or a couple days sail away. There's local internet coverage, you can go ashore for dinner; and if the mood strikes, hop on a ferry/plane and get yourself to a city for two nights. It's a dream of a life.

(I do something very similar, but live on shore in Miami FL, work from my apt with sea view, and I'm 5 minutes away from several sailboats I own or share. Sometimes I charter a catamaran in BVI as above. PM me if you're in the area and could talk boats over a coffee.)

"Crossing the seas" is completely different business, it entails days or weeks of non-stop sailing, no option to stop and take a breather. You could read John Kretschmer's "sailing a serious ocean" for an idea of how this is different; you could join him in a crossing.

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I totally understand the desire.  Been there.  If you can't function with normal cell phone data speeds and costs, then you're unlikely to be very happy.  (as someone who has a web-based, SaaS business, well, I know this....)

DO NOT BUY a 50', Million dollar boat as your first boat!!!!!

Why?

1)Note the trend of the advice already rec'd

2)Reality can be different than 'the dream'

3)Experience really counts.  Even just the experience of dealing with boat systems, finding dockage, boat handling, maintenance, costs of that large a boat.

4)Moms like nests. It takes an exceptional woman to live aboard and go sailing with small toddlers. If she can't do it on, say, a Gemini 105, (for the rest of you, Yes, I just pulled that out my ass as a suggested interim 'trainer' for no particular reason) then your odds of success in this department go down.

5) You're talking live aboard, not performance. That does make selection a lot easier.  Even a powerboat is an option  (I didn't just say that did I?) (FYI, fuel for a liveaboard powerboater is a fraction of new sails....just sayin')

 6) Keep us posted!

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13 hours ago, pepito_fdez said:

...One thing to keep in mind is that I don't expect to be sailing 24/7. Living on the boat, yes. Sailing like a pirate, no. I just want the freedom to move whenever I want, wherever I want. I envision it more like sailing to Puerto Rico, stay there as long as I want to, then continue to Jamaica, next island, next island, etc...

 

 

Pepito, I think you know:

1.       You can work anywhere you have connectivity;

2.       You want to live in or experience different places; and

3.       You and your family would preferer to move the “thing you live in” rather than move from one dwelling to another.

I don’t think you know:

4.       That you will actually enjoy the voyage from one place to the other; and

5.       That you want to actually sail as opposed to moving your residence by power or by boat delivery service.

6.       That if you really want wind power that for the same budget you would rather a multihull over a monohull.

 

You should concentrate on items 4-6 in an efficient and effective way – writing a million dollar cheque for a catamaran would seem as wise a trying coding before understanding the use case or user requirements. Find out if you really have a passion for sailing as a way to spend your time and as a mode of transport. If you are lucky enough to not suffer that affliction you can address 1-3 in much more efficient and effective ways.

Myself I’m unfortunately afflicted with an allergy to motor vessels. I like high performance sailing in a vessel that can access shallow waters and provides a good view of the world around me (as opposed to teak cave). The vessels that best meet my requirements fall in the one to three million range. As soon as I include cost in the equation I start to wonder if my requirements are too constraining.

If what you are really after is “movable home” at any price point you might find a motor yacht or monohull better meets your needs.

If you end up with the motor vessel you can also opt for  assorted mechanisms to give you a stable platform at anchor and underway (active fins, gyros, flappers etc.).

A power vessel with reasonable dimensions (83 loa, 16 beam, 5 draft, 11 air draft ) you can include the banks of the canals and rivers of Europe and North America in your travels. (London, Paris, Amsterdam, Vienna, Budapest...).

If you find you really become addicted (afflicted) to high performance sailing you might still find you meet your requirements best with a motor yacht that carries a few UFOs or Nacras on its boat deck.

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Yep, you're trying to fly before learning to walk. A suggested order:

1) Books are great and research all you want. There is good thread about suggested books for offshore sailing somewhere fairly recent.

2) Charter a mid 45' cat in the Caribbean with a crew this spring. After the hurricanes the BVI's are maybe not a great destination, but they used to be a great area for beginner sailors. (Charter boats were wrecked in the hundreds so book soon). See how you like to live on a boat and sail. 

3) Take some sailing courses. Florida is good choice. Maybe Colgate  https://www.offshoresailing.com/  Good reputation, been around for years. You don't need a cat specific course yet. Take a beginner sailing course in a smaller boat first. Absolutely. Small boats give you way for 'feel' for how to sail than a bigger boat. These lessons really translate  upward to big boats. Then take a cat specific course.

4) Boat choice - a 50' cat is like a pretty nice apartment. With a very, very big backyard :) Seriously, we always felt more 'cramped' in a marina. At anchor we had a very big playground more readily available.

Used is just like buying a used car; there will be small things that don't work. Buying new is like buying a new Alfa Romeo. Small things won't work either :). Sailboats depreciate in a similar fashion, but not as fast as a car. 

5) Size for family + guests. Around 45' is ample really. You probably won't have as many guests as you think once you are outside the Caribbean if most of your friends are from the U.S.  A 45' cat allows for 4 cabins. One for you & wife, one for each kid, one spare (for your captain if you go that route, at least for a few months). If you have guests aboard, move your 2 kids to one room, leaving 2 cabins spare. Even if you go to a 50' cat, most will still have 4 cabins. Just the nature of the layouts of most cats.

6) budget - always allow $$ for upgrades/repairs to any boat you buy for cruising on full time + $$ for maintenance. As a beginner with lots of cash, it is tempting to rely on outside workers to do your work, but then you don't know how to fix anything and you are at the mercy of somebody who may not be any smarter than you, but has done it five times before. Learn to fix your own boat as much as possible. In some parts of the world there will be nobody competent to fix the boat except you. Get Nigel Calder's books. (diesel + maintenance)

Internet access: should be broken down into "at sea" and "in port". We recently finished an 8 year circumnavigation. My wife is a full time freelance writer and I do engineering/naval architect from the boat so both of has business data needs, though not much. She  used more than me doing internet research on the topics she was writing about.

In port - Mostly we bought a new 3G sim card in each country, tethered from our phones and relied on semi-expensive 3G plans. No streaming youtube videos for entertainment on our $50-100/month data budget. Well, except for AC matches in San Francisco. Speed, useability and costs varied tremendously from country to country. Worst was St Helena, a small island in the South Atlantic where very slow wifi in a few restaurants was $10 per 1/2 hour. French Polynesia was also painful. Fiji was great; good 3G coverage in lots of anchorages and reasonably cheap. You had to learn to live with what you got. Sometimes it would take 2 days after arriving in new country before we got net access. Sometimes it was 1 hour. Will this drive you nuts?

At sea - learn to live with emails/very limited data and you'll be fine. 90% of cruising is NOT at sea, an in your case,  probably a higher % if you stay in one place for a long time. Iridium Go is very useful for emails/9600 baud limited data and low costs. Inmarsat / Fleet Broadband solutions are faster but very costly. More megayacht budget.

Good luck and report back in a few months.

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Wow! Guys you're awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to guide me thru this "dream". I'll try to be short in my answers.

@StumbleNola 3G works for me. My 'remote' work is more about monitoring. Probably a song on YouTube requires more data than 100 reports.

@soma Thank you! 

@SeaGulYes, I read the NEEL thread. It got intense! :D I am not looking for a "floating home". Otherwise I can get one of those at Lake Lanier in GA and fulfill the dream of retirement at sea on water. About the NEEL, I do see a lot of value for the $. NEEL 51 looks pretty slick. I don't know if a trimaran is my thing but never say never. If I had to sacrifice "comfort" for performance, I wouldn't think twice. I still want to have fun.

@samc99us sounds good! Maybe my 'stupid' idea of getting the boat I want right away is influenced by my experience when I bought my motorcycle (Honda CBR1000). Everyone told me to start with a 250cc or I was going to kill myself. I went ahead and got the "beast" and everything went fine. Obviously, that may have been immature at the time. I do now recognize that one thing is a 200 lbs thingy compared to a 8+ tons vessel. Yet, I feel the challenge excites me. :) 

@martin.langhoff I'll reach out to you before I head down to FL. I may come to the boat show as well. Thanks for the advice. Sounds like a good strategy!

@Veeger Yes, I can live with that. 3G really is not bad for monitoring, etc. Not planning on streaming or gaming. None of that. Yes, wife is 'onboard' with the idea (she is more excited than I am to be honest) and obviously there is a lot to 'discover'. My concern with powerboats is that it would be extremely costly for a trip to Europe. Is that a safe assumption? Also, I really like the idea of 'sailing'. I will definitely keep you all posted about this.

@KC375 Thank you! I am a little confused with your post. I want a multihull (not a monohull nor powerboat) :) I do like the analogy of coding before understanding user requirements. Yes, I am passionate about the whole idea for years now.

@Zonker Thank you for such a detailed post. I had already thought about learning boat mechanics for the same reasons. Maybe in America is not a big deal, but some tiny island in the middle of nowhere can turn into a nightmare if no access to skilled technicians. I read somewhere not to buy anything older than 10 years. Preferably within 5. Is that really the case? Also I read to invest as much as possible in nav equipments, etc. 

 

Again, thank you everyone for your time and knowledge. 

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Some more on data. 

One of the AWS VPs is living on a Nordhaven with wife (IIRC working for MS) and cat since ~2011, moving around the world since 2012. No high bandwidth connectivity at any time in any place is simply not an option with the job.
They use the same setup as Zonker described with some additions. A KVH plan ($$$/GB) for use at sea and if needed also at shore. A BGAN system ($$$$/GB) as backup and for additional geographical coverage, Iridium is too slow and a last resort if all else breaks.

They write a lot about the technical parts of their journey. Including the above. AFAIK an update to the articles linked below is in the works. The latest KVH is shiny, 10Mbit down 3Mbit up and new an unmetered 128kbit channel. Still expensive though. Being on the software side they rewrote their WRT router firmware to add data metering and capping for all connectivity methods. They use Wifi and 3G/4G connections when possible to keep the cost reasonable.

Blog, data article

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5 hours ago, pepito_fdez said:

$. NEEL 51 looks pretty slick. I don't know if a trimaran is my thing but never say never. If I had to sacrifice "comfort" for performance, I wouldn't think twice. I still want to have fun.

@samc99us sounds good! Maybe my 'stupid' idea of getting the boat I want right away is influenced by my experience when I bought my motorcycle (Honda CBR1000). Everyone told me to start with a 250cc or I was going to kill myself. I went ahead and got the "beast" and everything went fine. Obviously, that may have been immature at the time. I do now recognize that one thing is a 200 lbs thingy compared to a 8+ tons vessel. Yet, I feel the challenge excites me. :) 

@martin.langhoff

Again, thank you everyone for your time and knowledge. 

Thing is - a big boat 40-50ft is not that hard to handle - tings happend slowly - so using sense - it can be done. But "want to have fun" - a liveaboard - is not really that fun to sail anyway - compared to - really fast boats. But you talk back Outremer again I think. Ref. also the bike - 1000 or 250 - its easy to get hurt on both - your risk management in your head is the main thing - not if the bike can make 180 or 280 (km/h).

 

Both sailing and biking; to do regattas/trackdays give you fast learning you never get on a cruise sail or a road-trip - and the fun-factor is rocket high.

 

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SeaGuls suggestion of doing regattas is a good one. I would take that a step further and see if you can jump on with an existing crew this winter in the Caribbean. Offer to help deliver the boat for free. I'm sure someone in this forum has a good contact for you.

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Pepito, have you met many of the multihull fleet members at Lake Lanier Sailing Club?  First, there are F18s, A-Class, and other small boats that would give you very good experience.  Would be well worth buying a starter model.  Second, a few folks there have done some cruising on large cats and might be able to help.  Third, while there aren't any cruising cats at the club, there are some tri's.  

Another nice first step would be to purchase a keelboat at Lake Lanier to start to get a feel for systems, large boat handling, etc.  An older boat is not expensive, the club has Wi-Fi that you likely could reach at anchor, and you could do a very low scale simulation of what you are envisioning.  

 

 

 

 

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@Lost in Translation That's actually a good idea. I don't see myself living at Lake Lanier to be truly honest, but I will find out about classes of other experiences I can enjoy there. I actually had planned to simply move to Clearwater Beach or Ft. Lauderdale to an actual boat (maybe rent it) and simply try it for 6 months or so and get a feeling what life is about aboard. Of course, after all of these great advice, I am formulating a new strategy. Thanks!

@samc99us Is there a reputable website I can search about these regattas? I'll search in this forum for more info. Thanks!!! 

@SeaGul When I say "have fun" is that I still want a sailing boat that can cruise at a descent speed, some performance, etc. Obviously I am not planning on buying a Rapido 60 -if I were single thou.... :). About the motorcycle... yes, you are absolutely right, it's all about keeping the "stupidmeter" at the right levels. I am not going to lie, the first month was scary because that "thing" would pop a wheely in 5th gear. Six months later it just felt like an extension of my body.

Can't exhaust enough how grateful I am for all your messages! Thank you!

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i friend, who is also a software programmer, moved with his wife and two kids (5 and 3 y.o.) to a 47' cat 1.5 years ago.

they had very little sailing experience, so still on the learning process.

https://www.facebook.com/catguina/  (unfortunately only in portuguese)

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4 hours ago, pepito_fdez said:

@Trovão I saw it. That's awesome. I started to follow him. What kind of boat is the one in the pictures? Doesn't seem so big for a '47. 

It's a Brazilian made Praia 47. Check the website http://www.navmar.com.br/navmar/praia47.asp again, only in Portuguese, unfortunately.

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If you want to track the path of a young couple who decided to jump aboard a catamaran and start cruising, check out Gone with the Wynns. They are a tech-savvy duo who make high quality videos chronicling their adventures researching, buying, refitting and learning to sail their boat. They spend a substantial amount of time discussing their tech budget and realities in the Caribbean. They are now transiting the Panama Canal with a few crew. They have a couple years' worth of vids you can pick from at that site. 

I found them when I was gearing up for renting an RV and going through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone... their first set of vids deals with traveling the states by RV, working all the while on tech jobs. They are an engaging couple, very bright and levelheaded, good tempo and information in the vids. They are honest about fears, mistakes, successes and surprises. 

Wealth is having choices. WTG!!

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I would definitely recommend the charter route as well. For a couple of reasons ........... 

Is this something you actaully enjoy (all of you)?

Charter different cats so you can find out your likes and dislikes and what are essential features on the boat

What sort of sailing performance you will require.

You will then probably find (like I did) that the vast majority of production cats get taken off the list for a liveaboard scenario ...... then back to the drawing board to match your requirements for a range of cats and then overlay the budget (for purchase and maintenance costs - work on approx 10 to 15% of purchase price in annual maintenance and insurance and running costs) 

What configuration you require - like a 4 cabin with four heads, or four cabin 2 heads or three cabin three heads (ie owner version set up) etc.

Start reading and researching (like you have done on this forum)  ........ This is all really fun stuff ...... if you dont enjoy this ....... then this movie is probably not for you!

Good luck

 

 

 

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On 1/1/2018 at 5:01 PM, soma said:

Feel free to PM me for help. It's a big topic. There are lots of good boats if a Gunboat isn't in the budget. 

I tried, but it wouldn't let me pm you. Is there a reason for this?

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7 hours ago, dcnblues said:

I tried, but it wouldn't let me pm you. Is there a reason for this?

his inbox is probably full

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On 1/4/2018 at 6:31 PM, pepito_fdez said:

...About the motorcycle... yes, you are absolutely right, it's all about keeping the "stupidmeter" at the right levels. I am not going to lie, the first month was scary because that "thing" would pop a wheely in 5th gear. Six months later it just felt like an extension of my body.

Did you ever do a track school / day? Highly recommended as you essentially get 10 years experience, expert coaching, and knowledge that can (and probably will) save your life in one day for a few hundred bucks. You may still need it, and your motorcycle experience may be one of missing out on some basic skills and basic attitudes that are essential on the track (and riding in traffic). It's possible these omissions haven't bit you in the ass due simply to good luck so far. 

 

The equivalent in sailing is the Ocean. Were I you, I'd budget (with money but also TIME) for good foul weather gear, and a good blue water sailing instruction program. And I'd buy and read at least a couple of books on storm sailing. The world we're looking at in the future is not one where traditional stable weather patterns will hold, it's one where surprises are going to hit anyone, whether on sea or land. If you don't know the benefits of a PFD that's also a harness, if you don't understand the uses of sea anchors or drogues or the bridles they attach to on the boat, etc, you may find yourself someday wishing you did. Do it for your own peace of mind. Just my 2 cents.

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On 1/12/2018 at 11:07 AM, dcnblues said:

Did you ever do a track school / day? Highly recommended as you essentially get 10 years experience, expert coaching, and knowledge that can (and probably will) save your life in one day for a few hundred bucks. You may still need it, and your motorcycle experience may be one of missing out on some basic skills and basic attitudes that are essential on the track (and riding in traffic). It's possible these omissions haven't bit you in the ass due simply to good luck so far. 

@dcnblues I did actually do it a couple of times. I found the biggest assholes in those track days so that was it for me. If I am going to fall, I rather fall due to my inexperience than thanks to some redneck trying to hard to be James Bond and cornering too hard on people making them fall. 

@phillysailor Thank you so much for that link! Awesome. 

@Lambretta Yes, that's already in the planning :) 

 

I got my tickets for the Miami International Boat Show. If anyone in the group is attending and want to meet, just drop me a message privately.

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First off get into a really cold shower and start ripping up one thousand dollar bills, welcome

to the heartbreak of yachting. after that just go sailing on anything, preferably multihulls. My

personal taste is smaller tris have an order in for F22. built a Buccaneer 33 and a Tremolino.

Chartering a larger cat is great idea..did a couple with friend in BVIs..great time. good luck..doug

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The Bumfuzzles bought a cat and sailed around the world.  You obviously don't need anything more than good luck.

There were LOTS of naysayers.

 

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1 hour ago, ancientseawolf said:

The Bumfuzzles bought a cat and sailed around the world.  You obviously don't need anything more than good luck.

@ancientseawolf Had a lot of fun reading some of their articles. This one is pretty eye opening... https://www.bumfuzzle.com/septemberoctober-2003/

Thanks

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On 09/01/2018 at 2:52 AM, phillysailor said:

If you want to track the path of a young couple who decided to jump aboard a catamaran and start cruising, check out Gone with the Wynns. They are a tech-savvy duo who make high quality videos chronicling their adventures researching, buying, refitting and learning to sail their boat. They spend a substantial amount of time discussing their tech budget and realities in the Caribbean. They are now transiting the Panama Canal with a few crew. They have a couple years' worth of vids you can pick from at that site. 

I found them when I was gearing up for renting an RV and going through the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone... their first set of vids deals with traveling the states by RV, working all the while on tech jobs. They are an engaging couple, very bright and levelheaded, good tempo and information in the vids. They are honest about fears, mistakes, successes and surprises. 

Wealth is having choices. WTG!!

Dear Pepito. 

Love this main and the quoted post and the q and a, as this is very similar to what I am planning, though my timeframe is perhaps 3 - 4 years away due to a business launch.. Want to get things in a position so I can both afford, so that I can work remotely, flying in an out when necessary to attend events or visit the office. But while remote data looks like it will be a problem for me now - hopefully there will be more broadband at better price points then. Love to know if anyone is aware of more sat comms tech that is coming down the line?? 

I want to say i'm addicted to Gone with the Wynns.. They have opened up a cabin for their Patreon Supporters, so guess you could join them and be featured in one of their vids? Also, I cannot recommend http://www.sailinguma.com enough. Kika and Dan are the most inspiring incredible couple, in a very different way to Niki and Jason (who I also think are fab). Kika and Dan bought an old 36 ft monohull for peanuts, and refitted the whole thing themselves with little direct help and no experience, but masses of effort and positive attitude - along with technical aptitude for both of them. It is some of the best STEM educational content out there, and is quite amazing. It's 105 episodes (steps) and counting, ranging from circa 10 - 30 minutes. Both in the fit out experience, fiber glassing, fixing problems, electrical systems (they repurposed an electrical motor to be their only motor / drive - powered by solar), navigation, manual autopilot, etc, etc... Then, they go from refitting to sailing and having adventures around the world, It's a monohull yes, but if you watch both Sailing Uma and Gone with the Wynns, I think you would get an amazing feel for what you will experience, from the technical and sailing perspective, learning to sail, and the ongoing search for wifi, data and provisions - as well as having fun and seeing some incredible places.

Their are others https://svdelos.com, (see Cat V Monohull) and (this interview SV Delos does with Martin of SV Wild One - a light performance cat - a predecessor to Wild Two a Nautech 47). Also see https://www.distantshores.ca.. The latter (Paul and Sheryl Shard) have been at it for a long time, and they have tons of content and knowledge. Though they are mono people and have a new Southerly 480 called Distant Shores 3 they are taking delivery of, watch the video linked below, which details their Atlantic passage on a new British made Discovery Bluewater 50 foot Cat with a number of other photo journalists (Southerly is a brand of the same Discovery Group).The vid is very informative. The Discovery Bluewater https://bluewatercats.com/bluewater-50-catamaran/ is about $1.4m and very custom - so could be more. Paul says he is always available for shakedown cruises and seems very personable and is a brand rep also, so I guess you could reach out to him. You can even invest in the Discovery Group as they are doing a crowdfunding at the moment. Just register on their site.

Alternatively, you could go for the X5 from http://xquisiteyachts.com where the X5 is a 50 foot cat designed to sail away with most equip as standard, very stylish and roomy, and designed specifically for live aboard cruisers. Its $1.2m so perhaps a tad more affordable than the Discovery (though still over your budget). There are some interesting tax structures that could make it more affordable for you. The X5 has won several awards, and looks amazing. They are South African made but sold in the US, I believe they have a Ft Lauderdale service centre, so I guess you can buy from there. On their brokerage page they have a refitted Dean 5000  for $650k which could be a good start point for you if you can press the button quickly, and then trade up http://xquisiteyachts.com/about-us/brokerage. Dean went out of business, and the X5 Sail and Xquisite is the yacht and venture that emerged by Tamas Hamor a long time charter captain and the dean designer as I understand it. The X5 incorporates many of the Dean design and ideas , and adapting to really bring it up to date. See below Cruising Off Duty where they do a walk through. Also, the Xquisite has an innovative financing structure, where for 10% deposit, you secure your delivery spot, 1, 2, 3, or 4 years out, they finance the full build of the boat, and you then pay on delivery for the balance. They even have an $8k try before you buy charter capacity, where the cost of any charter is  taken off the cost of the boat if you do indeed purchase. For me - this is my dream boat and I feel the company seems to be doing the right things. I would love to know what you think, and indeed the other anarchists?  Especially on the concept of the hidden lines?

I am interested in being as green and efficient as possible (of course, not much one can do about resins in build etc), but as far as diesel is concerned, I would rather not or much prefer to minimise if I can. Torqueedo have both all electric, and also a very interesting hybrid propulsion and energy management system (Deep Blue Hybrid) essentially using a generator as backup and to load the batteries when the sun is down or the load has been too heavy. But it regenerates while sailing via the prop, and I feel could be great. All boat systems are integrated. Not sure it is ideal as diesel drive for long range passage without sail, but a sail boat should be sailed in my view. Also, not sure if Xquiste X5 can incorporate all the Torqeedo kit or even how this would affect the overall cost, but I am looking into. Thoughts?? 

As I understand it, the speed of either the Discovery or X5 are quite reasonable. Not Gunboat speed or Rapido Speed (which I also love), but the average speed is what counts. Certainly you will get more than a smaller 40 - 43 and from what I understand the size should give them more stability and safety - as well as a bit of extra performance due do a bigger more stable rig. Also, if you want speed, have a decent tender (even with an electric Torqeedo outboard or similar), and get the toys such as a wind or kite surfer.... And, if you want to race, when you are out and about, you will have access to many regatta crew opportunities.

Finally, I do agree with many of the other posts that being on the water and getting some experience / charter to really see if you want to do it first is best - as I intend and am planning. That said, even if not, these things do hold their value pretty well - so if you do have to put back on the market, it is not the end of the world.  And, also sailing School. In Gone with the Wynns, they do 5 episodes of their sailing school experience. Well worth a watch. 

Thats my input. Good luck. 

Steve

PS. Apologies for spelling and gramma mistakes - and very happy to stand corrected or called ignorant by many of the experienced anarchists.. Its all good. Thanks. 

 

 

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The video bloggers are fun, amazing, and addictive. Most have a cute woman or cute couple driving the narration. But be aware that some (most!) of them _really_ don't know what they are doing. And what they learn along the way, while having fun and making faces is not necessarily wise.

It's mostly bollocks actually.

If you're a tech geek or a professional in any field, you know that people who look good on camera talking about your field almost always have no clue. If you actually know... it can be painful to watch. Same here.

Follow your dreams -- don't let me or any dog with an internet connection tell you otherwise! -- but start with reasonable steps. You can sail a small boat for a bit, scratches will be cheap, make your mistakes there. Then live on a boat on a marina for a bit. Live and sail in a small safe cluster of islands (ie: BVI outside of hurricane season). Grow your sea legs, read John Kretschmer a bit. Cross a big sea in someone else's boat with a seasoned captain, etc.

Some things are in courses and books, and others are in experience...

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10 hours ago, martin.langhoff said:

The video bloggers are fun, amazing, and addictive. Most have a cute woman or cute couple driving the narration. But be aware that some (most!) of them _really_ don't know what they are doing. And what they learn along the way, while having fun and making faces is not necessarily wise.

It's mostly bollocks actually.

If you're a tech geek or a professional in any field, you know that people who look good on camera talking about your field almost always have no clue. If you actually know... it can be painful to watch. Same here.

Follow your dreams -- don't let me or any dog with an internet connection tell you otherwise! -- but start with reasonable steps. You can sail a small boat for a bit, scratches will be cheap, make your mistakes there. Then live on a boat on a marina for a bit. Live and sail in a small safe cluster of islands (ie: BVI outside of hurricane season). Grow your sea legs, read John Kretschmer a bit. Cross a big sea in someone else's boat with a seasoned captain, etc.

Some things are in courses and books, and others are in experience...

Dear Martin, Martin, Martin. Why oh why do people have to be so uber negative on things they feel they know inside out. I always find in my life, it is wise to beware of experts and those who think they know too much. Invariably they still have things to learn, but have developed bad habits or closed their mind to learning from wherever the learning may come. Echo chambers are rarely good for those in them in the long term. Judging by your comments I am pretty sure you have watched a little of such content, cringed, and watched no more. Putting it all into the same bucket, or tarring with the same brush - so to speak. Not saying much content online might be bollocks. Of course, if it is just for titilation then you have a point - but do please keep an open mind. Everyone is new sometime, and even if people don't start sailing at childhood, watching their experience if it is well documented can be incredibly informative. For the mistakes as much as the successes. They are very well detailed, corrected, and applauded in the comments section, and often from less closed minded but significantly experienced sailors - who reach out to help. For someone who has sailed in the past (though I still class myself as a newbie), these vids are amazing refreshers. They highlight a great deal of the life and the issues one will face. They show the learning curves, have incredible interviews with cruisers of all types (SV Delos), show the refit and maintenance and sailing and many other things, purchase of equipment, taking down and re rigging the rig, nav gear, service, provisioning, etc etc etc. So yes, some is superfluous - but a great deal of the content is very useful. It goes without saying - but I will say it, as you say - some things are in books and others are in experience. Nothing can really substitute experience. But some of these experiences can be fast tracked a little or at least prepared for. Why make the same 'serious in some cases' mistakes others have made if you can avoid by watching some also very entertaining YouTube videos. Also, by saying it is mostly bollocks, I think some such as Paul and Sheryl of Distant Shores would be quite offended - and those who are following their dreams and documenting them well should be applauded loudly. 

Your other advice in your last paragraph re start with reasonable steps - I agree with wholeheartedly.

Steve

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Always remember the line from Simon and Garfunkel   " a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest ". I hope this all works for you but if it doesn't, for a million possible reasons, rest assured that you are not the first to have reality fail to match the dream - or the last. Happy Sailing!

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TL;DR but $1million won't buy you a new 50+ footer with the stuff you want. You need to talk a good broker.

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On 1/20/2018 at 6:11 PM, pepito_fdez said:

I got my tickets for the Miami International Boat Show.

Did you visit the show? How was it? Did you find any boat that suited your needs (and budget)?

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On 1/1/2018 at 5:58 PM, BeatmongerZ said:

Would recommend checking out Chris White and his designs.

Atlantic 55'

This is a nice boat to live on, and lots of nice Marina's in Florida with wifi etc.  Can take it on cruises to the Bahamas easy.  Maybe hire a captain to cross the gulf stream.

By the way, Chris White also wrote a book about catamaran design (it's basically the thoughts behind the design of his 55'), and it's a very informative and easy to read primer on cats. Highly recommended. He considers things which you won't find on newer designs, like skegs on the bottom of the hulls that reduce top speed, but allow you to beach the boat at high tide, and when the tide goes out, clean / scrape / paint the bottom, or do maintenance on props, etc. If one is on a budget, haul-outs can really look prohibitive depending on how diligent the owner wants to be. His book is an education, I promise. A taste can be found here: Atlantic Cat faq

 

One the other end of the spectrum, do keep reading and doing research. The big boat shows are great places to ask questions and find what you're really looking for. But there are also youtube channels which are highly educational about life on board. I'm a fan of 'Sailing La Vagabonde,' and around episode 55 they get a state of the art Outremer 45: We're getting a Catamaran! You can find out a lot about costs, etc. (In another thread on this forum, it was generally agreed that one should budget about 10% of the cost of the boat to live and sail on it, per year. That's sobering.)

 

I also like the strategy of doing some research, finding a boatyard you like, and buying a used / distressed boat for 1/10th the price of a new one, and then re-fitting it with your own specs, equipement, etc. Making it yours, and with new parts and paint it'll feel like a new boat. And, with decent project management, you'll be able to save some money to put toward the cruising budget.

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10% per year for living/sailing/maintenance doesn't actually sound that bad. For an Outremer 45, that is in the neighborhood of $70,000, maybe $80,000. Where I live, and certainly where you live dcnblues, that basically pays rent/mortgage and food for the year. 

Unfortunately sailing maintenance is expensive. I do 90+% of the work myself, bu the raw cost of the hardware has, on average, gone up 75% in the last 5 years alone. A great deal of that is supply and demand-stores are selling less, so to cover their storefront and even online costs, they have to increases prices accordingly. And no matter how new the boat, parts will need replacement, if not now then soon.

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Hello Everyone,

First off, excellent responses to Pepito’s plans.  I’m Mitch Taylor in Stuart FL joining this thread a little late. Just joining the SA forum for the first time (first Sailing forum ever actually) and looks like the best place, after many years of reading/ research, to find help.  

I’m on nearly the same path as Pepito though medical background, still practicing, with kids still in Middle school; but divorced, living alone now.  The younger two, 11 and 13 will hopefully be living with me aboard a 35’ish monohull in the next year, then 42’ish cat in another 2 years.

I’m self taught so far sailing a 17’ Watkins Daysailer (first sailboat) in the St. Lucie Inlet which has been great fun and invaluable experience. Just sold it for probably a F18 next step up.  Then plan on pursuing certification for Catamaran Cruising ASA certifications.

My angle:  I’m not ashamed to admit I'm a “spreadsheet” guy, trying to narrow down the field by SA/D and D/L ratios, etc., for a performance designed but liveable used, well built Cats in the 39 to 48’ range.  

Budget is similar to Pepito, but I’d like to keep the initial purchase in the $400k range for upgrades and surprises as I’ve read repeatedly overextending is maybe one of the worst first mistakes. Even the new 40's fully equipped are pushing $650k.  And I would love to not take the hardest hit of depreciation with a new boat purchase.

Therefore in reality what I guess I’m looking for is most likely a 10 year old 42’ cat well balanced, performance to comfort, Owners version…. Earlier French, Australian, S African...Schionning, Grainger, Outremer, Catana, Lightwave, Nautitech, Fountaine Pajot, Seawind, Leopard?  Would love a new Balance Roger Hill 451, but don't want or need a new boat.

Can anyone point me towards previous threads, or books, blogs, personal SPREADSHEETS would be great!, etc to “analyze” the field?  I know numbers can’t accurately describe the “feel” or value of a great boat or even make fair comparisons of boats with different strengths.  There is no fast comfortable affordable boat. Every boat is a compromise for everyone’s priorities.

Australian Multihull World Article by Joe Goddard seems to be on the right track http://www.multihull.com.au/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=97:buying-a-catamaran&catid=19&Itemid=101

but the graph didn't make the article.  I emailed them and they replied with the graph below.  

MultiHull Dynamics has certainly done a lot of analytics but they can’t or won’t provide it in a spreadsheet format to view the entire database with adjustable variables, I’ve asked.  So I'm comparing two at a time. 

I’m just trying to organize thoughts and create a list outside my head, that I can reference and share with notes of strengths and weaknesses so I can begin ranking favorites and thereby keep an eye on the market for what might pop up in the next couple of years.  Surely I’m not the first..

 

I'll start a new thread with this as well. Just in case this on is too old and nobody sees it.

Thanks, Mitch

Graph.jpg.pdf

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Welcome aboard, Mitch!  (Says another new member...)

I'm also here looking for advice and tips for a future catamaran. Me and my wife plan to do extended travels combined with working, so we are looking for a portable home where we can live comfortably for months. (I.e. comfort is number one priority, performance is not that important.)

Outremer 55 - do you plan to sail such a big boat all by yourself? Or do you expect the kids to join you? (You know, in a few years they will perhaps not enjoy spending time isolated on the sea. From what I've experienced teenagers can't always be trust as crew...)

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I disagree with the suggestions to buy small, learn, sell, buy bigger, learn, etc. Each step in that is a lot of time and energy (find/negotiate/fix up/sail/fall in love with/get bored with/sell).

I agree that 45' is probably enough. Don't forget that boats go up in all 3 dimensions as they increase; not length only. Equipment on a 50' (sails, winches, etc) is much bigger compared to 40' than 40' to 30'. Even at 40' you're going to need help hauling that main to the sail shed for repairs. Everything goes up in cost/complexity. You're into software, right? Is code better with fewer lines or more? Is maintenance of large code base easier or more difficult than small? Same same here, man. Very much so.

Definitely agree with the "spend time aboard first" comments. 30 to 60 days minimum. Set sail with family and don't touch ground except for dinghy to shore. Haul jerry cans of fuel. Walk 5 miles from dinghy dock to grocery store. And back, loaded with bags of food and beer. Repeat because you forgot something. Get lost in the dark on your way back because you forgot a flashlight, because it was midday when you set out. Haul a mahi-mahi on board and feast for two days. Lose an expensive piece of electronics because the zip lock baggie wasn't as well sealed as your kid assured you that it was. Enjoy sunset with cocktails and kids leaping off the stern. Dive your anchor and untangle it from the pile of chain somebody else left behind twenty years ago. Have sex with your wife on the tramp under a full moon after the kids have gone to sleep. Climb the mast in 30kts to replace a shackle. All those things and you'll know.

I've been on many multihulls but only spent decent sailing time on a few. Chris White, Shuttleworth boats are worth a look, but not real common on the used market. Avoid boats designed for charter trade; unless you like sitting on a barge going 7 kts with full sails up and engines running.

If you're up for it, get on it. Don't listen too hard to the "must learn everything to be master expert safe sailor before you launch" bunch. Get the basics down with as much expert help as you can afford and go for it.

More than 2 cents . . .

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5 minutes ago, charliemagee said:

Don't listen too hard to the "must learn everything to be master expert safe sailor before you launch" bunch. Get the basics down with as much expert help as you can afford and go for it.

There's merit to that. Go forth and just do it. But ask an expect for advise on an area (and general envelope) where you can do it safely. Say, parts of the caribbean that are not too treacherous, outside of hurricane season.

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