So, I have a plan. My plan? Well, it is simple. I’m on the hunt for a boat.
I may be making this more complicated then it needs to be, however, I have a lot of requirements that I really want to meet. Not knowing whether I’ll be able to meet all these needs, I’ve decided to make a list, but my list doesn’t have any order, and if you are in the same boat (no pun intended) that I’m in, you may or may not find this helpful.
- Ample space for me to work from home, (on the boat) as a writer, designer.
- Space for me, my better have, and our puppy. I imagine however, I’ll be spending much time onboard alone.
- Power requirements to allow me to function in todays tech world and be able to charge and use my tech devices.
- I love to cook, so a galley that meets my needs, functional, not necessarily a tuscan kitchen!
- Comfortable state room
- Comfortable salon
- Space for entertaining
- At least 1 guest cabin
- Head and Separate shower
- Good Engine, or Engines depending on which I choose (Mono Hull or Cat)
- If a Cat, then I would like a three state room boat, so that I can use one as a workshop or work station.
- As I’m getting Older, some comfort!
- Ability to add solar panels
- Ability to add or have auto pilot
- Ability to ad or have AIS, Chart Plotter, Sonar, Radar
- Full Compliment of Blue Water Sails
- Shallow Draft 4 to 5 feet would be ideal
- Ample Storage for extended cruising
- Water Maker
- Davit System
- Fully Managed Batter System
- No leaks! Maybe even some access to Netflix! LOL
A Lot to Ask For!
So, my list is big, maybe unreasonable, but I’m considering cruises as long as a year, and I would like to be as comfortable as possible. Like I said, when I was young, for fifteen years, I sailed a 27’ monohull. Healing over at 30 degrees was fun, and I really enjoyed it.
The draft on that boat was 5’10”. I can remember getting it stuck once or twice in the sand, and even with a small outboard motor, getting in-stuck.
The thought of a monohull doesn’t bother me at all, and I know that with the right layout, and ample space, I’ll be very happy. There are a lot of boats out there to choose from, and I’ve considered many of the, such as many of the Hunter models, and of course an older Gulfstar or a Morgan would be good also.
Now, one thing before you begin to judge me, I’m 55 years old. My days of living in a two person tent are somewhat behind me. So, with that said, my search limits boat size to no less than 40 feet. I’m not ready to confine myself to a six foot by two foot bunk!
I’ve been on a couple of Cats, and I have to admit, the nice thing about cats is that you have much more entertaining area, and room to spread out. I really like that idea.
The thought of separate hulls for guests to camp out in, is also a nice as it offers some privacy, especially if we’re on an extended cruise. Having a space to go and get away from people is nice. Let’s not kid ourselves. No matter how much you like someone, you occasionally need time apart!
The other consideration I need to keep in mind is storage. I remember how much it cost to keep my monohull at a slip. Most marinas will charge by the foot, and then add the extras as you need them, with the additional charge if you’re a “live-aboard”
Now, let’s ad the width of a catamaran. The slip charges are almost double. This has to be a factor in my decision as I am not rich, nor do I anticipate becoming rich in the near future. Dockage, haul outs, maintenance costs, etc. are all a factor in my search, and if you are looking, it should be in your thoughts just as much.
Some of the catamarans I’ve bee looking at are the 40-45 foot range of Lagoon and Leopard. They are well built production boats, which for a model that is 3 to 7 years old, offers a great deal of functionality as well as a gigantic price reduction off of a brand new model.
No, I don’t have a budget that I’m willing to share with you, but lets say this… I won’t spend more then 70k for a monohull or more then 300k for a catamaran. If I can’t find what I want today, then I’m patient enough to wait and find what I want tomorrow.
What do I expect from my cruising?
I’m a realist. I realize that boating means maintenance. My cousin lives on his boat, and it is large enough for him to live very well. While he is a power-boater, and not a sail-boater, we tend to compliment each other very well.
Having been a sailboat owner, I know the maintenance issues because I’ve lived with them. And, I realize that the larger the boat, means more maintenance.
Having helped my cousin in many ways also means that I understand the daily needs that your boat will ask of you. I know that things break, and thank God, I’m a very handy man. I’ve had to fix things on the fly, and know that this lifestyle will require more of the same.
I know the one area that I’m not good at, is navigating. I’m now considering starting the captains course so that I have these skill when I acquire my new boat, and have a full understanding on all things navigational and maritime. I would recommend that for you too, if you haven’t thought much about this. No, it isn’t necessary but it is Highly Recommended.
Again, being a realist means that I have an understanding that there will be fuel costs, provisioning expenses, and the ever so “why now” mandatory repairs that Need doing when you really don’t want to do them, or are furthest away from some place where you can do things affordable.
Will I be staying at marinas or on mooring balls? This is important for any of us who want to be or are now, cruisers. We have to keep in mind the cost of marines for over night stays, or even extended stays. While it is nice to be on a dock, it may not be financially beneficial. Taking the dinghy ashore may be the better option.
Weather is my next reality. Yes, I’ve sailed my 27’ boat in eight foot waves. No, it isn’t fund, even when I was young and thought that I was indestructible. I’ll be conscious of this factor, as it means that making a safe passage does not include a trip through the eye of a hurricane.
Knowing my boat will be my first and most important reality of cruising. I must know or learn every aspect of my boat and its capabilities. This also includes my own capabilities. Can I handle her on my own, will I need a crew mate? Will she take the abuse that Mother Nature often throws at us? Are my systems functional and easy to maintain? How difficult is she to maneuver? How does she handle calm and rough conditions? Will I scare the crap out of my wife, and will she demand that I sell the boat if I do so?
Join me on this first adventure!
I really hope that you understand where I’m going. I hope that for those of you who have more experience then me, that you’re willing to offer constructive advice and make recommendations that are, lets say, practice.
As my adventure starts, I’m hoping that you’ll join me, and maybe together, we will learn many new things about boating, systems, cruising and the like!
Thank you for getting this far, and stay tuned… It’s getting interesting from here!