OutofOffice

The fine balance of Family and Sailing

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I am a die-hard catamaran sailor. My wife is...not. She tried it once and decided it was absolutely not for her. We also have three kids. (5, 9 and 17)

I had a small sailing dingy (12' Escape Rumba) that saw decent use although it was always me and one kid at a time. A catamaran would get used even less as they get a little too lively for me to solo with the kids. The wife wants a cabin cruiser (C-22 or the like) but we would be trailering and rig time and effort seem to me to be a big downside. That's all ignoring the fact that I'm not even sure she'll enjoy it. (she didn't like the catamaran heeling, I don't see how a mono is going to make her any more comfortable).

Is there a balance of boat between these extremes? My budget would be in the 2-3 grand range all in.

I'm starting to think a pair of Sunfish is the best bet. What am I not thinking of?

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similar problem... I'm an IC sailor. We have just the one child, age 9 now. My wife also not that keen on "tippy" boats, thought of a sml cabin cruiser but got a Norfolk Oyster, 17ft day boat, no cabin very slow and trad but takes children wife and dog and most importantly picnic hamper. More room than a small cabin cruiser for day sailing. Embrace slow and a cuppa.....

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8 minutes ago, Harnser said:

similar problem... I'm an IC sailor. We have just the one child, age 9 now. My wife also not that keen on "tippy" boats, thought of a sml cabin cruiser but got a Norfolk Oyster, 17ft day boat, no cabin very slow and trad but takes children wife and dog and most importantly picnic hamper. More room than a small cabin cruiser for day sailing. Embrace slow and a cuppa.....

That’s what I’m finding. Most of the trailerable cabin cruisers have neither great cabin space nor great cockpit space. Was thinking about a Harpoon 5.2 or Oday DS2. Biggest thing for me though is capsize recoverability. I want everyone who wants a chance to take the helm to feel comfortable doing so knowing the worst case is we get wet.

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Any experience with an O’day Mariner 19? Looks like a giant cockpit and atleast has a head, or atleast the bare essentials for one. Kids always have to go when there’s nothing around...

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19 minutes ago, OutofOffice said:

Any experience with an O’day Mariner 19? Looks like a giant cockpit and atleast has a head, or atleast the bare essentials for one. Kids always have to go when there’s nothing around...

Mariner is a great little boat. Traditional and therefore a bit wet..... the newer o'day 19 is a modern take with a bit more freeboard. Neither is a sportsman, so SAers will make fun of you, unfortunately.

The daysailer will capsize but it takes a big mistake to do it. The mariner will come back up slowly. Either should be fine for beginners. A close friend got a mariner for his grandkids when they came back from sailing camp demanding a boat. His logic was, they could take him sailing in it. Unfortunately the one he got needed a lot of work, most of which he blew off. The kids loved it though.

FB ... Doug

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5 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

Neither is a sportsman, so SAers will make fun of you, unfortunately.

Eh. It's par for the course. I've never been one to care.

I just happened across the Mariner and it looks like a good compromise.

 

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I taught adult (very beginner sailing for several years in the Mariner. Great boat for the purpose.....+1 for Doug. U need to add a lot more info for  feed back. Storage, rigging, sailing location, is wife an athletic type, fond of water etc etc. I found that many wives would rather sail with instructors and other students than their mates. (mine included but I discovered that 20 years too late). How aggressive are U compared to her?. Going in the right direction now can make a lifetime of difference'. When my son was 17 and went sailing with me he asked " dad, can U put a 50 hP on the back"? He was NOT a candidate for sailing but a hell of a motocrosser.

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Same here OutofOffice.  I like the cabin cruiser idea, but once you get to a certain size, solo stepping is extremely difficult and if getting the family to participate is something you want to do, asking them to help set up the boat doesn't get them off on the right foot. 

As you are aware, I only have experience with a Hobie Wave, Hobie Getaway, and my American 14.6.  I put another 10 hours on the A14.6 this weekend and my wife and I really found a sweet spot.  It basically involves her being involved as much or as little as she wants to, and me going out with the expectation of single handing with slight bits of help here and there.  We love it. My boat is pretty dry as the freeboard is much higher than similar boats I've seen.  This is awesome for staying dry, but also gives you a perfect backrest to lean against, and prop an arm up while cruising.  The backrest is shorter towards the bow and higher aft.

I purposely attempted to capsize while sailing the other day and was unable to do it without putting myself in a position of diving into the sails.  So it's extremely stable on both initial and secondary.
I already have my eye on the A18 as it's exactly the same boat, no cabin to take up valuable cockpit space, and increases sail area by about 40 sqft.  Not an advertisement by any means, but those sunfish and smaller boats can get pretty tippy, and have no "backrest".

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41 minutes ago, John D said:

I taught adult (very beginner sailing for several years in the Mariner. Great boat for the purpose.....+1 for Doug. U need to add a lot more info for  feed back. Storage, rigging, sailing location, is wife an athletic type, fond of water etc etc. I found that many wives would rather sail with instructors and other students than their mates. (mine included but I discovered that 20 years too late). How aggressive are U compared to her?. Going in the right direction now can make a lifetime of difference'. When my son was 17 and went sailing with me he asked " dad, can U put a 50 hP on the back"? He was NOT a candidate for sailing but a hell of a motocrosser.

Fair points. It would need to be trailered to and from a ramp derigged (this is only about 4 blocks). I would prefer something I can solo rig in about half an hour. maybe 45 minutes.

I would be sailing it in the bays of Texas. Typically shallow <6', and with a good southern breeze, the bay can get a good short chop going.

I would prefer a relatively dry boat, and would like the ability to stash away some things and feel reasonably sure it won't get wet.

Shade. I would love the ability to add a bimini. It's hot here, and without a bimini, you almost have to have a wet boat just to not die...

She is not the athletic, hike hard, and go fast girl. She would much rather calm things down and cruise. She and I (kids included) love the water. It's the whole reason we moved to the coast. I am more performance oriented, but more than that I want to give my family a good time on the water. If that means pulling back on the reins and just cruising, so be it. Maybe doing that will keep me from spilling my beer...

 

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27 minutes ago, DialedN_07 said:

...those sunfish and smaller boats can get pretty tippy, and have no "backrest".

This is true. I have honestly always overlooked the "pocket cruisers" as too small to do anything decently. But I am finding myself looking at them now. Oh, how times change.

The pair of sunfish would do nothing to help my wife, but would get the kiddos out and about and still be large enough for an adult to go out as well.

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26 minutes ago, Connor.kainalu said:

Harbor 20? Capri 16?  A bit faster, but also pretty safe. If it were me, I'd go for a Viper

Good call on a Capri 16.

As sweet as the Viper is, I believe the sails alone break my 3k budget. Plus, I highly doubt my wife’s going to see the joy in a spinnaker sleigh ride.

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13 hours ago, OutofOffice said:

Any experience with an O’day Mariner 19? Looks like a giant cockpit and atleast has a head, or atleast the bare essentials for one. Kids always have to go when there’s nothing around...

There's an O'Day 19 on Ebay for sale.  Asking $3,200 or best offer.  We have one here in our program, specifically for the little kids.  I can't attest to it yet though as we're just getting it ready for the first time.  Has a spacious cockpit and a nice little interior and would be easy to trailer and sail.  It has a deck stepped rig too.

O'Day on Ebay

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I sail a variety of single-handers and then carry the bags for my wife at the mall and buy her wood-fired pizza too often. #balance

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23 minutes ago, Dex Sawash said:

I sail a variety of single-handers and then carry the bags for my wife at the mall and buy her wood-fired pizza too often. #balance

I sail a singlehander and then help her maintain her garden. #balance #ilovemyrsaero

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8 hours ago, Gouvernail said:

Live your life however you believe you are supposed to live it. 

Indeed

10 hours ago, WCB said:

There's an O'Day 19 on Ebay for sale.  Asking $3,200 or best offer.  We have one here in our program, specifically for the little kids.  I can't attest to it yet though as we're just getting it ready for the first time.  Has a spacious cockpit and a nice little interior and would be easy to trailer and sail.  It has a deck stepped rig too.

O'Day on Ebay

Yep that's the newer taller (possibly slower) Oday 19, not a Mariner. Cool little boat imho. 

Balance is something one seeks, not something one finds.

FB..... Doug

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On 6/25/2018 at 8:09 AM, OutofOffice said:

(she didn't like the catamaran heeling,

So... keep the boat flat... don't sail in breeze where you can't keep the boat flat....   My wife KNEW I could control the boat... if she was getting wet... she would let me fly the hull to keep her dry.   Find a cat that you can right by yourself... or get a righting bag and the stress level will go away.... (assuming the kids swim and wear jackets).  Find a club with facilities (meaning NICE bathroom), never flip the boat with her on it,  and find a beach near the club/at the club   that allows you to go off and on for short sails.....   epic three hour tours are for 60s tv shows in this day and age.

Oh... and give up hope that one day... some day... she will like it....   Never gonna happen.... at best she tolerates...and likes the beach part of beach cat sailing.

now the kids....they will have more fun getting wet then staying comfy in the day sailor with a safe picnic basket.   Don't compromise....give them something to sail on the boat.... you can always power assist while they are growing...

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I found a Mariner for a buddy of mine for $1000 with an old Seagull OB. We daysailed it on Mobile Bay for a while and then he moved to Gulf Breeze in the Florida Panhandle. Great little cruise with his wife (who didn't like small boats) to get it to new home. There is lived on a mooring that you could wade to (30" draft) in front of the back bay bungalow and you could load the beer and picnic basket and sail across the ICW to the barrier island and anchor there and wade ashore and in a 5 minute hike be across the narrow island and be on the Gulf front white sugar sand beach in a half hour. Driving either way to the bridge to get to the beach took much longer. Great summer of sailing in that location and we eventually trailed the boat to Clearwater further down the Fla West Coast. I did a fair bit of singlehanding up and down that area and that boat was one of the best values ever. Kids will love overnight camping on it.

Image result for rhodes mariner 19

 

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Price point isn't quite there, but a Weta would do. There's some trimarans you might find, perhaps a bit beat up, closer to your budget...

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9 hours ago, tillerman said:

I sail a singlehander and then help her maintain her garden. #balance #ilovemyrsaero

 

9 hours ago, Dex Sawash said:

I sail a variety of single-handers and then carry the bags for my wife at the mall and buy her wood-fired pizza too often. #balance

Ditto what these guys said for the Laser (in my case), EXCEPT I also bought the keel boat so we can sail together comfortably as well.  I get my racing, she get's to daysail.  I get to sail twice as much (or some weeks even more) as when I just sailed my Laser on my allocated one night per week.

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similar situation here- we went we a Vanguard Nomad. it is pretty sweet. our kids love it (3.5y and 1.5y) and it will get up and go in a little breeze. It's a fun boat and a perfect platform for adventuring with the young family. 

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OutofOffice, any progress?

Any thoughts on the following: 

Precision 185

Hunter 170 or 216 (hot in Texas, no cracks?)

Capri 16 or 18

American 18

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Do they have trailer sailers up your way,  here in Oz they do and they are great for kids and adults.

I had a Careel 18 which was great for me and the kids.  With three of them (22, 20 and 18) we won several Nationals, mainly because the boat we bought was built as a racer.

http://www.careel.com/C1_18.html

 

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I owned a few mariners and they really are great small boats.  There was a large fleet of them near buy and the price was right to get me back to racing in my late 20's.  My wife raced with me and though I've moved on to other boats she still talks about how she always felt safe in the Mariner.  It was an easy boat to trailer rig and sail.

On a different note here is a unique little trailer sailor looking for a new home...

https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/boa/d/wooden-sailboat-by-bell/6628401375.html

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On ‎7‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 5:24 PM, DialedN_07 said:

OutofOffice, any progress?

Any thoughts on the following: 

Precision 185

Hunter 170 or 216 (hot in Texas, no cracks?)

Capri 16 or 18

American 18

Apparently my notifications for this post expired or something, I haven't been getting the responses.

I have talked it over with the wife and believe we have settled on a pop-top C-22. I am willing to take the chance with it because I believe I could get most of my money back out of it. It will fit everyone reasonably, will have great airflow and will give her what she wants out of sailing. I still crew on an F-18 catamaran so that will fill my need for speed for now.

As far as the kids are concerned, I am hoping to start an Opti build with my son soon if all these other home projects end anytime soon. Currently building a fence in my free time.

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5 hours ago, Fretz said:

I owned a few mariners and they really are great small boats.  There was a large fleet of them near buy and the price was right to get me back to racing in my late 20's.  My wife raced with me and though I've moved on to other boats she still talks about how she always felt safe in the Mariner.  It was an easy boat to trailer rig and sail.

On a different note here is a unique little trailer sailor looking for a new home...

https://philadelphia.craigslist.org/boa/d/wooden-sailboat-by-bell/6628401375.html

I spoke with a local guy who had a Mariner a long time and he spoke highly of it, but he ran into what I feared. Too small for his family to really enjoy, so he upgraded to a C-22.

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19 hours ago, OutofOffice said:

Apparently my notifications for this post expired or something, I haven't been getting the responses.

I have talked it over with the wife and believe we have settled on a pop-top C-22. I am willing to take the chance with it because I believe I could get most of my money back out of it. It will fit everyone reasonably, will have great airflow and will give her what she wants out of sailing. I still crew on an F-18 catamaran so that will fill my need for speed for now.

As far as the kids are concerned, I am hoping to start an Opti build with my son soon if all these other home projects end anytime soon. Currently building a fence in my free time.

Sorry for NEWB comment, are you referring to the Catalina 22, the Catalina Capri 22, or the Chrysler 22?  I know the Capri has a larger cockpit space which sounds more ideal for quick daysails and the like.  Where the Catalina 22 sport (hard to find available in my experience) is potentially even better space on deck
The Catalina 22 is all over the place and super low price, but the cockpit on the 22 foot I believe is smaller than that in my 14.6 ft dinghy!  I'm taking interest in this thread as I'm in exactly the same 'boat' as you.  I have to trailer, I don't give a rats ass about any cabin space (not exactly like you) but I can't find anything.

Assuming you're going with a swing keel version?

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3 hours ago, DialedN_07 said:

Sorry for NEWB comment, are you referring to the Catalina 22, the Catalina Capri 22, or the Chrysler 22?  I know the Capri has a larger cockpit space which sounds more ideal for quick daysails and the like.  Where the Catalina 22 sport (hard to find available in my experience) is potentially even better space on deck
The Catalina 22 is all over the place and super low price, but the cockpit on the 22 foot I believe is smaller than that in my 14.6 ft dinghy!  I'm taking interest in this thread as I'm in exactly the same 'boat' as you.  I have to trailer, I don't give a rats ass about any cabin space (not exactly like you) but I can't find anything.

Assuming you're going with a swing keel version?

Catalina 22 with the Pop-Top and swing keel. I may have used the wrong acronym.

To be truthful, I will be looking at whatever best suits my budget without backing on any of the must haves. Namely a head, good airflow (I live on the Gulf coast), some sort of galley and the ability to overnight on it with 4 in reasonable comfort (completely subjective). Shallow draft is also important as most of the areas I want to go will require skinny water capabilities.

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On 7/16/2018 at 1:32 PM, OutofOffice said:

I have talked it over with the wife and believe we have settled on a pop-top C-22. I am willing to take the chance with it because I believe I could get most of my money back out of it. It will fit everyone reasonably, will have great airflow and will give her what she wants out of sailing. I still crew on an F-18 catamaran so that will fill my need for speed for now.

Sensible.

As you are a self-described "die-hard catamaran sailor", you won't be happy abandoning all that in favour of a small monohull with cabin. Crewing for someone else is a perfect solution.

Only suggestion I have is to see if you can find a Catalina 22 or some rough equivalent to rent or borrow for an afternoon's sail, before actually purchasing one. While I hear what you're sailing about the low risk of taking a chance, finding a boat in good condition and within your budget will take time, and selling it if your wife doesn't like it any more than the catamaran will burn up much more time.

keep-calm-and-try-before-you-buy.jpg

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51 minutes ago, Svanen said:

Sensible.

As you are a self-described "die-hard catamaran sailor", you won't be happy abandoning all that in favour of a small monohull with cabin. Crewing for someone else is a perfect solution.

Only suggestion I have is to see if you can find a Catalina 22 or some rough equivalent to rent or borrow for an afternoon's sail, before actually purchasing one. While I hear what you're sailing about the low risk of taking a chance, finding a boat in good condition and within your budget will take time, and selling it if your wife doesn't like it any more than the catamaran will burn up much more time.

 

Good call. There is a pretty active class around me so I should be able to get someone to take us out and let her get a feel for it.

I do also crew on a J105 from time to time but didn't think it would give her a realistic expectation of what a Catalina would feel like given the size and almost 8k displacement. That and the owner really only races it. Racing and cruising are two completely different experiences even on the same boat.

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8 hours ago, OutofOffice said:

There is a pretty active class around me so I should be able to get someone to take us out and let her get a feel for it.

Perfect! That will be time well spent (if she is unhappy, you will see it and avoid wasting time and money. But do your best not to be judgmental ["it's okay honey, it's just not your thing"] ... good-natured tolerance may earn you some brownie points that you'll need when solo sailing).

If possible, try to get another couple to take you out rather than just a man. It will help a lot for her to see that other wives enjoy sailing, and she may find appealing their stories about local mini-cruises and the social aspect. 

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9 hours ago, Svanen said:

Perfect! That will be time well spent (if she is unhappy, you will see it and avoid wasting time and money. But do your best not to be judgmental ["it's okay honey, it's just not your thing"] ... good-natured tolerance may earn you some brownie points that you'll need when solo sailing).

If possible, try to get another couple to take you out rather than just a man. It will help a lot for her to see that other wives enjoy sailing, and she may find appealing their stories about local mini-cruises and the social aspect. 

Very good point about sailing with another couple. Didn’t think of that.

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You need to get the kids into sailing. (The oldest should be able to sail a boat on their own by now.) Once the wife thinks this is something you can do as a family activity she may buy in. If you are the only one pushing this then you are probably doomed to fail.

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15 hours ago, Rum Runner said:

You need to get the kids into sailing. (The oldest should be able to sail a boat on their own by now.) Once the wife thinks this is something you can do as a family activity she may buy in. If you are the only one pushing this then you are probably doomed to fail.

The oldest can solo dinghies.

I agree with your assessment, however the question then becomes where to place the focus. Get multiple dinghies (sunfish and the like) or to get a larger boat that we can all use together. I still intend to follow through on the Opti build with my son, just simply because I need a father son project, although truth be told, I'll build a birdhouse or whatever as long as he's interested and in to it.

I know my wife had a picture in her head when I said I wanted to learn to sail and get a boat. She enthusiastically agreed. Then I brought home a Hobie 18. She's a trooper and gave it a try, but she had something like a C-22 in mind. Relaxing cruise. Hell for all I know, I just pushed the boat too hard and she'd have more fun if I eased the sheets.

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4 hours ago, OutofOffice said:

The oldest can solo dinghies.

I agree with your assessment, however the question then becomes where to place the focus. Get multiple dinghies (sunfish and the like) or to get a larger boat that we can all use together. I still intend to follow through on the Opti build with my son, just simply because I need a father son project, although truth be told, I'll build a birdhouse or whatever as long as he's interested and in to it.

I know my wife had a picture in her head when I said I wanted to learn to sail and get a boat. She enthusiastically agreed. Then I brought home a Hobie 18. She's a trooper and gave it a try, but she had something like a C-22 in mind. Relaxing cruise. Hell for all I know, I just pushed the boat too hard and she'd have more fun if I eased the sheets.

Sounds like you asked a new driver to go for a ride in a Ferrari. I assume the wife does not drive a Porsche as her daily car. She got scared of the power and speed of the Hobie. How about getting her into a comfortable dingy on a warm sunny day? She needs to get more comfortable with the idea of sailing before moving up the horsepower spectrum.   

You also talk a lot about buying boats. How about borrowing/renting or joining a club with loaner boats? That way you won't be sorry about the commitment of money.

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37 minutes ago, Rum Runner said:

Sounds like you asked a new driver to go for a ride in a Ferrari. I assume the wife does not drive a Porsche as her daily car. She got scared of the power and speed of the Hobie. How about getting her into a comfortable dingy on a warm sunny day? She needs to get more comfortable with the idea of sailing before moving up the horsepower spectrum.    

You also talk a lot about buying boats. How about borrowing/renting or joining a club with loaner boats? That way you won't be sorry about the commitment of money.

Good analogy. I grew up on the bay and boats. I was taking boats (jetskis to ski boats) out solo when I was 12 and 13 (dad has the citations to prove it). She grew up on the bay but not around boats. She has a fear of falling and a fear of drowning. (she can swim just fine, but hates floating down the rivers because of the rapids) So its reasonable that she didn't like catamarans.

Comfortable Dinghy? isn't that an oxymoron?

There is only one club around us, and they only have club optis and maybe a few beater lasers.

Maybe its worth travelling the 3 or so hours to a club that does, but I think I can churn up a spot on someone's trailerable daysailer to let her get her feet wet easier.

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