Sailboat Shopping – Searching For A Cruising Catamaran
Well, our search for a sailboat is in full swing and I think we’re in for a long grueling, process. We have a lot to learn, a limited budget and it’s our future home…so we have to be really picky.
We’ve known for a long while that we wanted a catamaran over a monohull, so at least that’s one less decision to make. We’ve got our cameras in hand and we’re headed over to meet our boat broker, and yes, we’re trying our best to keep an open mind.
Honestly, it’s going about as good as we expected. We knew finding the perfect sailboat would be an impossible task, much like finding the perfect RV or house. However, after stepping foot aboard more than a dozen cats in the past week, I do believe we’ve come up with a solid list of our wants and needs for our “perfect” catamaran.
Kent is the owner of Just Catamarans which is a service center as well as having some brokers on hand. He really does seem to be a nice guy and we can see why our friends Pat and Ali of Bumfuzzle like him. He has a ton of ocean crossing sailing experience and his service knowledge is incredibly helpful when we ask questions like “Where’s the best place for the solar to be installed? ” or “Can we put a washer-dryer combo in there?”. So far, we’re feeling really good about having him on our side. Too bad most of the RV sales guys we’ve met over the years aren’t this knowledgeable or experienced.
After spending some time on different catamarans, and talking through a lot of the pros and cons among ourselves and with Kent, we’ve come to some conclusions. I’m sure as we walk around more sailboats this list of wants and needs will only grow.
Size Always Matters
At first we were thinking we wanted to stay small. It’s just the two of us, smaller boats are cheaper and we figured it would be easier to get in and out of docking areas, it’d be less expensive to dock and less square footage to maintain. We knew it would be a challenge to make the space work but we thought we could probably do it. So, our thinking was a Gemini 34 or 35 or the Fountain Pajot Mahe 36 would be good full time cruising options. However, the limited space, galley down in the Gemini and the lack of access in the Fountain Pajot ruled out those sailboats right off the bat. Now, we know we’re looking for a catamaran around 40 feet.
When we were looking at Gemini we thought we could get away with a sub $125,000 sailboat, but once we scrapped the smaller cats we had to dig deeper into our pockets. We’ve increased our budget to a whopping $200k and while it doesn’t seem impossible to find a good boat for this price, it does limit our options to older boats (like 2000 – 2006). Older boats will obviously need a little more work, or may need things replaced due to age (which we will have budget for).
- Galley Up – meaning the kitchen is up top and not down below in one of the hulls.
- Spacious Galley – we cook a lot and want plenty of counter top space, cabinets and room to maneuver.
- Navigation Area With Desk – the navigation area could also double as a work space so having this up top would be best.
- Easy Access – having easy access to wiring/plumbing/engines is important for maintenance, repairs and upgrades.
- Storage – we are going to live on the boat so a place to put all of our stuff and the room to distribute the weight evenly is a must.
- Easy Sailing – single handed sailing will be important as it is just the two of us. However, we hope to have friends join us often (somebody’s got to scrub the deck).
- Bridgedeck Clearance – This is all about comfort while underway. If the bridgedeck is too low, waves will pound the underside of the boat making a very annoying “slap” among other things. We want to make sure we find a boat with good bridgedeck clearance to keep the ride as comfortable as possible while underway.
- No Raised Fly Bridge – A few boats we’ve seen have the captain separated up top and away from the galley and saloon area. Because it’s just the two of us, it makes more sense to be closer together for communication purposes.
- Load Capacity – Much like RV’s, boats have a certain load capacity. If you’re just an occasional user, this isn’t such a big deal, but as full time live aboards…we want to make sure we’re not overweight.
We’re only in the beginning stages of our search for a cruising catamaran and we still have a lot more to learn and see. We’ve got our man Kent on the lookout and we’re scouring the internet for all possibilities. If you see a cat that you think could be our next home, drop us a note! You never know, maybe a friend of a friend has a perfect, recently updated 42′ cat sitting around they want to sell us for less than market value…one can dream right?!? Wish us luck, I think we’re gonna need it!
A Shout Out – A big thanks to our friends Pat and Ali of Bumfuzzle for recommending Kent and being a constant source of inspiration. Also, Pat wrote the best Cat vs Mono debate that perfectly describes how we feel: Cat vs. Mono — The Great Debate
Equipment used to film this video:
- Sony A6000: http://amzn.to/1RbUSnx
- Sony Zoom Mic: http://amzn.to/21qHT8B
- Sony 18-105 Lens: http://amzn.to/1oPdcc4
- All of our camera/editing equipment: https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/best-travel-camera-video-photography
Disclosure: None of this is a paid endorsement. There’s no affiliation, compensation, sponsorship or discounts with Kent our broker, Just Catamarans or any sailing brand, boat or product.
Loved this video and article- as always thanks for sharing!
I have always grown up sailing sailboats, but I actually decided to invest in catamaran. A few years back, my husband, myself and a few friends decided to rent a catamaran to sail around the greek islands for two weeks. We used http://www.clickandboat.com/us/ to find our first catamaran charter and it worked out very well. We then took a second trip Guadeloupe on board a catamaran. Approaching retirement, my husband and I decided to invest in a catamaran of our own!
I think the ability to properly test out different catamaran brands beforehand was crucial in deciding which catamaran we would end up choosing!
Good luck on your adventures!
Loudmusic’s operation sounds like a dumpster fire.
Thanks for the reply. I suppose my main question is did the Wynn’s ever wish they could have purchased a new boat after adding up all the costs of fixing stuff? Suppose they won a 100K lottery – would they have spent it on a new boat or thought it a waste of money?
I always assumed a basic production cat could sail from France to the Caribbean without any upgrades. If that is not the case then my math is way off.
I want to buy a boat cash also. To do that I have to sell my only asset which is my house. That is big decision for someone who is quite attached to his house after building it for over many years. Of course perhaps that is the draw to a new boat – I am tired of always working on stuff. I guess even a new boat requires work. I just learned you have to wax them. I barely wash my cars. 🙂 That is a lot of surface area to wax.
By the way – I really appreciate the videos and cheerfulness of Nikki and Jason. You guys are humble and very likeable. I suppose that is why you are so successful.
Do you feel that buying a used boat was a good deal? I am trying to calculate the cost of new vs used.
I would love to know how much to budget on fixing up a used boat compared to a new. A new 39 foot cat is around 425 with no toys. I figure you got yours for at least 100K less but you have also spent a ton on repairs. The comparison is hard because your boat is bigger and it has toys (air conditioner, generator…). Do you have any advice on new vs old now that it has been a couple of years.
Curious Minion here, (because even super-villains need trusty assistants!) helping out while the Wynns are crossing to French Polynesia. It will still be a couple of weeks before Nikki & Jason reach land, so I’ll try to help based on their thoughts during the boat-buying process and from my own experience in the world of RVs. New vs. used is always a big topic of conversation, and the rest of this conversation assumes that you don’t have a Bill Gates budget (or we wouldn’t be having this conversation – ha ha). Nikki and Jason were only shopping used because they wanted to pay cash for their boat. They found one that was in good enough shape that they could live on and sail it for a year while saving up the money for the new sails and rigging that it needed to be a true blue-water boat. I think a lot of it comes down to how you want to use the boat and how it comes “new” from the factory. If you pay a lot of money for a brand new boat that’s set up for coastal cruising and then you have to throw another $100K at it to make it a blue-water boat, you might be better off buying gently used and then modifying it to be exactly what you want. I know with brand new RVs, they come from the factory with a warranty and some people feel that is the only way to buy; but I also know several people who have spent 6 months or more going in and out of service with their new RVs trying to get manufacturing issues sorted out (numerous small and some big issues: plumbing not installed correctly & leaking, sloppy wiring, a roof that leaked etc.). So there is a school of thought that says “buy a high-end gently used model” because it’s a quality rig but someone else has fixed all the bugs and taken the big depreciation hit. I can’t say 100% but I think this would apply to the world of boats as well. I know it’s what I prefer: we bought a used higher-end RV because we never could have afforded it new. It is holding up far better than many “more affordable” new units that we looked at. I would think you would want to buy the best quality boat that you can afford, and if buying gently used lets you get a better quality boat, that’s nothing to sneeze at. What I CAN say for sure is that if you’re considering used you definitely need a good broker to help spot potential problems (unless you already have a lot of boat experience) and that a haul-out and inspection is a must so that you know what you’re getting into as far as repairs and problems. I hope this helps.
Yeah, I was like 1000!
Thanks for the youtube videos, you seem like genuine people, and it is a pleasure to follow your adventures.
I laughed at how angry you were at yourself for dropping the dinghy and getting friction burns……hope all is healed now.
Updated link to mono vs cat. The old link is dead. http://www.bumfuzzle.com/?s=Mono
You need to update your link to the cat vs mono article that Pat did. It is now http://www.bumfuzzle.com/cat-vs-mono-the-verdict
I am glad you took some advice from them, they are an excellent example of people who don’t listen to naysayers and just get on with it. And now you two are another.
I’m loving your sailing videos thus far. I too am interested in buying a boat for live-aboard but I’m not sure if I should go with a cat or a monohull. I love the idea of living in the Caribbean or Florida and sailing around the place, and I always liked the cats for their sheer aesthetic but also perceived stability (and additional surface area), but I’m so naive in the space of boats that I don’t know if I should go for monohull vs cat. Why did you guys choose a catamaran over a monohull?
The short answer is comfort. Cats are just plain comfortable. Layouts are spacious, airy and above the water line. I can keep a drink on the table, I can work while cruising along, make food and pretty much anything else. Life is on an angle on a mono. We love sailing mono’s and that lean can be a lot of fun…on a day cruise. For us it, this boat is our home, our office, our everything. We wanted something comfortable plain and simple. My friend Pat wrote this article a while back but it sums it all up very well and is still true today: http://www.bumfuzzle.com/2012/08/06/cat-vs-mono-the-great-debate/
RE AC Conundrum:
All y’all probably gave up on it by now.
Theory one: Bridge two inverters together.
Theory two (more plausible): Wire the AC unit into a computer backup battery/power source. The start up surge would be absorbed by the computer battery back up bank which after a short amount of time would go to charge mode and allow normal power flow to the AC unit.
Look what you can get for $375K
Have you offered to crew on a boat similar to what you want to buy?
Since your looking into the catamaran lifestyle a blog that was helpful about a couple cruising around in their Gemini was really cool. Although the site isnt up anymore you can view the whole thing on the internet archive. Here is some of the last stuff http://web.archive.org/web/20110208120252/http://nicecruising.com/
Just a few thoughts on your catamaran hunt. I had a 40′ spartan cruising tri. It was the fastest of the cruising boats and the slowest of the race boats. Here are some of the things that I learned over the years.
Sailing at 6 knots when the ocean is dead flat without a ripple on the water and everything is dead quite creates memories you will always cherish. All boats can sail but few can sail in extremely light breezes. Most of your sailing will be done in light winds so it is nice if you can take advantage of that. Most people motor sail in light conditions because their boats can’t sail.
Being able to handle the sails especially in strong winds. This is not just about the size of the sails but also the layout of the winches. I did a fair amount of sailing on a Mainecat 30′ and handling the mainsail was a chore even in the best of conditions. Being able to handle the sails builds confidence.
A view forward while seated in the cockpit. Not being able to see forward from the cockpit unless you stand up is almost a deal breaker for me. Always looking backwards gets on my nerves after a while and depending on the cockpit layout, standing can be dangerous in rough conditions.
A view forward from the saloon is great because it makes it possible to control the boat from the protection of the cabin. A real luxury in bad conditions.
A good rowing hard shell dinghy. You will need the exercise. It is no big deal to row a mile or two. Simple, easy and one less engine to carry around.
Never take advice from sailors who never leave the dock.
Don’t get bogged down in all the details or you will never get out on the water.
Enjoy your hunt.
Fantastic advice Brian! Thanks so much for sharing your experience and knowledge with us. We have been soaking up what we can, taking notes and excited to put it all to good use. I am glad to hear you talk about the importance of performance and sailing in light wind. That has been on our mind a lot lately. Thanks again!
tu si que sabes
While I spent a good portion of my youth tent camping with friends, I had never owned an RV prior to October of last year. Being a multi-potentialite myself, I bought a shell for $1,000, gutted it, rebuilt all the furniture, electrical, plumbing from scratch without knowledge of RV construction(I have contractor skills, but RV lightweight construction is a different animal entirely.) I then took off with the family on vacation after vacation saving tons of money on hotels and never looking back or regretting the endeavor I started. Don’t be discouraged by nay-sayers. Just as I’m sure you’ve been to destinations of which you you would never return, there will likely be stumbling blocks to learn from in your overseas adventures. My best advice; keep moving forward, sail on and don’t sink.
Thanks for the words of encouragement. Really appreciate it and thanks for sharing your story! Do you still have the RV?
Absolutely. In fact, it was that old heap you saw across from you at Jonathan Dickinson. I apologize for the circa 1980’s look, but that shall soon be remedied. I’ve got all but the kitchen section renovated in side and will start working on the outside soon. A little body work, a new paint job and awning and some major cut vinyl. I own a painting company as well as a sign shop so the exterior should be a piece of cake. Here’s was I’ve done so far. More to come. https://www.facebook.com/junzueta/posts/10204948532265908 and I’ve asked my friends to come up with a name for the camper on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/junzueta/posts/10205490191127041?comment_id=10205500097774701¬if_t=feed_comment¬if_id=1459607756661190
You would not believe the craziness that ensues when you ask the internet for an opinion… then again, maybe YOU would know!
If you know the story of Boaty McBoatface (Google it if you don’t), you get a kick out of one of the suggestions: Campy McCamperface. Crazy bunch of friends I have.
Jason and Nikki
I am sure you have thought about this but eBay has some Cats in your area Florida and the southeast coast presently and close to your budget oh an elbow grease will be in your future in the used market and if your not hung up on that “Cat word” you can get a lot more boat “bang for your buck” going mono hull and one that’s already setup for pets and folks just saying.
Hello there: I just purchased a catamaran after a year or better of search. I’m interested in your comment about the Mahe cat because after all the considerations of size versus cost, handling, maintenance and beam, we settled on the Mahe from the other direction of thinking we needed a larger boat. We bought the two stateroom version which has tons of too and the allowable storage based on weight capacity is at the upper tier in the industry. It’s performance without all the tricky stuff is awesome and best of all my wife and can manage without anxiety. Clearly if you plan to run around the world I’d even think of larger ( not by much). But for up and down the east coast and the Bahaman chain south……perfect. We didn’t do the Gemini because of the narrower beam and bridge clearance. For the buck, we were all over the Mahe. Currently sailing the Cheasapeake and then down the ditch to Key West and the Bahamas this coming fall. Good luck in your search. It’s mind boggling and your right that there’s no perfect boat. Most important, get one that you feel safe and will perform. Also get one you can maintain financially. Bigger the cat, geometric increase in cost and associated maintenance routines. Good luck. KJ
I would “just say no” to sailing and advise you guys to sell your motor home, and get a overland expedition camper. This way you can travel to South America and other parts of the world in comfort while staying near or at beach resorts if you need that coastal feeling.
If you were not born to a sailing family, and lived most or all of your life on the water it will not be a pleasant experience. You will miss everything you know and do so well already.
My wife and I occasionally sailed a few days at a time, but are more than ready to get back to terra firma when the fun is over.
Just a thought…..
How about you guys actually get some experience sailing and learn about boats and being on the water before you go out to buy a boat? A boat isn’t just an RV on the water, or at least it shouldn’t be.
Or at least read “A Sail of Two Idiots” first, as you seem to be on the same path as they.
I get an email from this company all the time and saw they had a couple that may meet you needs . http://www.catamarans.com good luck
Maybe a bit older than you like?
Hi, just thought I would add my two cents on your “cat” search. Here is the link to a 35′ Packet Cat built by Island Packet. An interesting vessel that I have some experience with. It is a great deal of boat in a small package. 6’4″ headroom in a 35′ “cat” is unheard of, and the price is well within your budget.
I think it might be worth a trip to see it.
Thanks for your informative and fun videos, good luck with the search.
P.S. I don’t have any affiliation with the vessel, I have been working on one for a client for some time and have come to respect the design, size, storage, quality of build, etc..
Take care, Tom
Palm beach boat show is this weekend.
I am sure you guys have checked but have you checked with the brokers around Marina Del Rey here in Southern California and San Diego.
Thanks for sharing your hunt for a cat. After years of sailing monohulls, I’m on the same journey and, like you, started off thinking around 36ft like a Mahe would be adequate but now I’m focussing on 38ft to 42ft (with a consequent increase in budget).
I found it helpful to set up a spreadsheet to rate cats on features like age, previous ownership (private vs charter), layout (owner version vs charter version), galley up vs down, and so on. After chartering a Catana, one feature we included was ease of attaching an anchor bridle – which was very hard on the Catana as you had to hang over the front crossbeam to do it. I also give a better rating to bunks with access at the end rather than the side, so you don’t have to climb over your partner in the middle of the night to check whether the anchor is still holding in that squall that just blew up :-).
My purchase is still a couple of years off, so I’m enjoying the Web equivalent of window shopping at the moment.
Looking forward to seeing more of your adventures.
Tom from Chicago
I’m doing the same thing right now. I will point out one thing. You guys are looking for open and airy and storage, etc., but one major difference is safety. If an RV stops working, you can call for help and pull over. If a thru-hull leaks, squall hits, or diesel stops, you can have a very serious problem. On the seas, when things go bad, they can go really bad quickly.
My point is that you might want to prioritize engine, sails, osmotic blistering on hulls, thru-hulls first, then worry about other things.
I realize that some of this may seem superficial but we are doing so much more behind the scenes. You are assuming that we are not looking at things like engines, sails, rigging, safety and so on but of course we are. We’re not going to dive into all the details until we narrow down a few brands/sizes that will best fit us. The idea with this video was showing that process of stepping onto lots of different boats and in different sizes. Layout and livability are also important and once we have narrowed down which boats we are on the hunt for…we will then get serious about looking at every detail of the boat.
I would move very slowly on the purchase of a catamaran or a trimaran for an offshore cruising sailboat. A catamaran are great formication people that are sailing around the islands. I feel after you look around and meet the many Possible full time cruising sailors will be extremely beneficial in your decision process. It should be noted also that the boat business sailboat business has been terrible for quite a few years now .. it’s a wonderful time to buy the customer is the boss.
I love sailing and it’s a wonderful wonderful thing to be involved but like anything the educated buyer is the winner.
I wish you both the very best.
Great that you guys are transitioning into the cruising world! Have you thought about a monohull? My wife and I live abroad, currently in the BVIs and plan on sailing south toward Grenada for the hurricane season, but love living aboard out 42ft sailboat. Although catamarans are great they are also twice the upkeep.
For the livable space up top we feel a cat will be more comfy for us.
Always fun hanging out with you guys!! I was getting confused looking around at the layout of the boats-are there just 2 “floors”, were the bedrooms side by side width-wise or length-wise? Maybe you could copy/paste an example layout with the “floors” or levels separate? This is all new to me too, but looks like fun on a responsible level, of course!! Thanks for sharing!!
Hi, Just caught your video – I would suggest looking at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoWQE-G9FJ8 which you may have already done, good discussion about cats with someone who has been sailing them for years. You might also consider, which you may have already done, checking out the cats in the Mediterranean. I’m sure that they would be $20k+ cheaper, which would pay for your ‘vacation’ and as has been said above the repairs are way cheaper. Good luck
Thanks Rush, we just got off the phone with our Broker discussing overseas sales.
Very interesting. you seem to have a great following. I am thrilled to see your heading out on the water and looks like you have gotten some great advice as you are looking at Cats. after almost 30 years of racing and cruising i purchased my first cat a year ago and love it. like you i went to 40′. And there are lots of great cats in the years your looking or even older. Vacuum bagging started in the early 90’s so that is where you should start for quality construction. your experience in buying a RV will serve you well on boats. it is very similar. pick your brokers brain and then know what models you want. then leave the US and go to Europe where boats are cheap. there is a fire sale on Cats in the Med. I just got mine for half what it would cost in the US. They are hurting. Italy Greece Spain and France are all unloading there boats at great deals. then go to Tunisia or Greece or Turkey to refit. labour is very cheep. a skilled Tunisian worker makes $5 per day. equipment costs the same and parts are shipped international so who cares where you are.
then your at the start of a great conveyor belt that is down wind all the way. Start in Europe with the Med till you learn how to sail in calm and comfortable and learning the weather. then off to the Caribbean and if you wish then on to the south pacific. its a no brainier. less expensive great sailing and where you want to be. and the people are awesome. email me if you have questions.
few web sites you should be reading.
Noonsite.com for info on places and news for cruisers
Cruisers forum which is like a owners club and discussion group on everything boating and cruising.
And for those saying a Cat is a bad idea or that they are unsafe. i have to wonder if they have ever tried one. they ride better in a big sea and to me are safer. and im an old fuddy dudie who does not like change.
Excellent tips Ice Bear and you are correct, we have a lot of really awesome people on board with us! I will click over and check out noonsite now. Thanks for sharing and congrats on your new purchase. Perhaps well see you out floating around. 🙂
So this is probably an elementary question but I’m just Kayak guy so her goes, when you are out to sea sailing what do you do at night? I am assuming it would be to deep to anchor and surely you wouldn’t want to just drift. Is there some accepted practice?
You alternate. Someone needs to stay awake. Ocean crossings are tough with just two, better to get another couple to share the sailing duties. With just 2 it’s shifts of 6 hrs by yourself.
Yes, Lucy is correct on both accounts. We’re a long ways off from making an ocean crossing but when we do…we’re hoping to bring a couple a friends along for the journey.
Thanks Nikki! I sure hope you guys find the boat of your dreams. I left a comment on your Facebook page about there being I think 25 boats in Ohio matching your criteria. Good luck!
We have done US and worldwide searches and nothing has come up in Ohio. Do you have a special website you use?
? Thanks for the answer Lucy. I had a feeling that would be the answer. 🙂
Thanks for sharing the nitty and the gritty. We’re so excited for you two. As much work as you’re putting in, when you end up with that one “right” boat, it will be the start of a whole new world for you. We’re so excited for you two. Did we say that already? 😉
Loved following you two through Alaska and was sad to see you are leaving the RV lifestyle for the “Wet version” – but not really – excited to hear about your on water exploits (we will fill in for you in the RV when we go full-time next year ?)
Now for the question of the day – and possibly a thought that will save you a couple of thousand $$$…
WHY on earth (or ocean ? ) Would you want to install a composting toilet on your cat?!? Gentle hint: you two are gonna be sitting (errrrr FLOATING) on the largest septic system in the world! Why not just mix your poop with the whale and dolphin (and a zillion other creatures out there) poop in the ocean?
Just Say’n ?
My thought exactly! It will be such an awkward and unnecessary step to take with no real advantage, unless you plan on staying in harbors or docking all the time. For those times, you have a holding tank and pumpouts. Toilets on a boat are not the same as toilets on an RV. Believe me, the first time you get a storm at sea you will regret the compost toilet.
Fan of your RV journey – and we are living opposite dreams…..wife and I are getting ready for our new/1st RV journey! I couldn’t convince her to do the live aboard boat experience. I am a 14 year Navy veteran and I have a lot of time @ sea and in the water (job requirement). I researched almost 5 years and here is what I will pass on – especially for newbies. Go to antares.com and look at their 44′ – call them up, they even have an Anteres University where they take you out on the water for extended period of time. They may fall in love with the idea of what your publicity could do for their company. My opinion it is the best cat around – I think you might understand by checking out their videos. I am so confident, I believe you will fall in love with that boat and you’ll see it has everything you need. (Please update me if you visit one of their boats).
Loved the video! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and taking us along as you boat shop! Been surfing around looking at boats etc…Have you thought about renting some of these boats and actually riding in them to see what you like and don’t like before buying? Here is a link to one…https://boatbound.co/. I know nothing about them, but just thought it was a neat idea. A big investment might deserve some big adventure trips to try them out!
Catamaran IMPI channel on Youtube, couple circumnavigated in Lagoon 440. Boat tour video. https://youtu.be/BDCsPPecGEQ
Gina, that is an awesome boat! Would be. A sweet life living on that but way to rich for my blood. Lol. That’s for posting the video, it was cool.
It’s me, Castaway, from Youtube. I have a suggestion for you two so that you can get exactly what is safe, and what you want. I strongly recommend the Lagoon 440 as a permanent live aboard. That said, they are not cheap. You can find 2008 in great condition for around 370k. If you are really serious and know you want to do this I would not comprise on the boat. Unlike an RV, or even a house, you will spend way more time on this boat than anywhere else. So it needs to be comfortable with lots of storage and personal space. My suggestion is this; sale your RV now for top dollar, don’t let it depreciate another year. Then purchase a used diesel pusher, an ugly Betty, that runs great. I have found them on Craigslist in Cali for 12 thousand bucks to forty thousand bucks. There is one here in Long Beach 32 foot 1997 diesel pusher for 11,000.00! You can save the profit from the sale of the current RV, travel/live in the cheap used RV and save up for a few years. Now, in two to three years that same Lagoon 440 will have depreciated quite a bit, closer to the 250K mark. Three years from now you will be able to afford it. I don’t know your income so it may be a bit longer or a bit sooner. I know that this way you can get exactly what you want and need for safety. Forty feet is the minimum safe length for offshore cruising.
I’ve been following your videos for a while now and they are quite enjoyable. I found an article today that might help you with your new endeavor; http://www.keysnet.com/2016/03/11/507431/bill-awaiting-governor-would-cut.html?rh=1
I am a newbie RVer, but I grew up sailing/cruising. Let me tell you — you guys can do this!! Learning and adapting to new environments was part of the adventure for me when I was growing up and sailing from port to port. Whatever happens, keep in mind, the view you will have, even on a stormy day, is a much better alternative than a windowless office. I also want to thank you both for inspiring others to find adventure. Last year, my husband and I bought our first RV. I’m not sure if I would have taken the plunge if it wasn’t for your blog & videos. This summer, we are taking the summer off and traveling the western U.S. with our young daughter. After 18 years at the same desk job, I figured it was time to make a change and you both truly inspired us to do it! Thank you for all that you do and keep dreamin’ big!
Sounds like you kids are having fun! Have you checked out the website http://www.latitude38.com? If you haven’t heard of this electronic and print sailing magazine you certainly will very soon if you spend anytime in the Caribbean. Lot’s of info and advice for beginners and pros alike.
I have to agree with one of the other reviewers…you can get a BIG comfortable mono-hull for a lot less that a 40′ Cat
You should at least look at 50 footers and try them out before making a final decision…also, they tend to sail much better than a cat…yeah cats are big an comfortable…in the bay or the Caribbean…not so much in open ocean…you always have to watch for that big wave that is going to make you pitch pole….
Gee, Bill, wouldn’t it be a lot better to have actually tried a catamaran before saying that catamarans are not sfe on the ocean. You probably don’t know this but cats are usually delivered on the own bottoms, which means that they sail all the way from France for Lagoons and South Africa for Leopards, under sail power. I have owned both catamarans and monohulls and I can tell you that sailing in big seas (20+ feet), in a catamaran is much safer and comfortable in a catamaran than in a monohull. Also, most round the world sailors are choosing cats over monohulls for speed, safety and comfort.
Yes, it’s true that the USD is much stronger than the CAD right now, but there are other considerations for buying here. The big one is that there are, at most, a handful of cats for sale in the Vancouver/Victoria area. In Florida there are hundreds.
Another thing is price. Take a look at this link and find the Vancouver based Fusion 40. The price is in USD and is not pocket change; no deals here.
Also on that website there is a link called “Women Love Catamarans”. The mono-hull pushers ought to have a look.
We owned a monohull in the Caribbean for a number of years and have chartered a variety of catamarans too. For the reason you mentioned in your video, I think the galleys of the Leopard are really difficult to work in. The galley of many of the Lagoon models is much more open and workable. Good luck in your search!
Feel free to contact us. We recently did the exact same thing you’re doing. We’ve got a 45 ft RV that we’ve used to travel the U.S. and purchased in Europe a 50ft lagoon 2 years ago. You are going about it the right way. Pick the one or two brand / length of boat you want. Then scour the world for the best example of it you can find. Don’t ever take the best deal, it most surely is not!
Hey guys, just curious. Have you thought about a Trawler instead of a sailboat? Trawlers are pretty much the RV’s of the water. Check these two websites out. 1) http://www.greatharbourtrawlers.com/ 2) http://www.rangertugs.com/ 3) http://www.nordictugs.com/ I am not much of a sailor but I’ve dreamed of living on a catamaran too but I think Trawlers fit me better. Was just wondering if you looked into it. Either way, I will be following you on Youtube. Safe journey!!
Foreign exchange in your favor… part 2.
I had a quick peak at today’s exchange rate for USD to CAD… bank is buying USD at 1.2726. This means $200,000 USD equates to roughly $254,000 CAD. This is the rack rate usually for amounts for less than $50,000. You’d get a slightly better rate for larger amounts. In any case, an extra $54,000 of boat is… a lotta of boat. 🙂
Hope this helps. 🙂
What a great blog post! Great work you two. Your videos and posts are allowing us to experience with you the full range of emotions that always accompany a life-changing decision. It’s exhausting and it’s scary and everything is up in the air as we move through these decisions and transitions. This is why I love your posts — you’re real. Thank you for being brave and bringing us along.
I’m so excited and scared for you guys! I love following your adventures. Best of luck. This has got to be as hard or harder than buying a house.
Hey guys! Just watched your latest clip on boat shopping. I was surprised at the cost but then again I’m cheap and opted to rebuild my little sailboat (a laser) bought for $500. Yup, $500! Anyways, I was wondering if you might have thought of jumping back in the RV and heading north to my country, Canada, for what could be a steal of a deal! The USD is worth a whole heck if a lot more in Canada at the moment so you could either get the bigger, newer, or afford the upgrades at a much lower price than in Florida. It’s a thought the might warrant some consideration. Check out either Vancouver or Victoria on the west coast. Now sure about the east coast. Probably Halifax Nova Scotia. All the best!
Joe Peerson currently Radiation Safety Officer and Explosives Specialist for a major energy service co.
Good luck folks!
Joe Peerson currently Radiation Safety Officer and Explosives Specialist for a major energy service co.
Hi guys. I like the Catamaran option best. Just makes sense to introduce a bit of stability to an unstable situation. Room aboard is key. You will be way more comfortable if you have the Cat. Good luck.
see you two soon.
I know it must be sooo hard to read most of the comments here.
One thing I think you left out informing us is why a Cat over a mono hull? Cat interior layouts just cant compare to a monohull.
I’m a full time RVer, in a 38′ motorhome. Sailed most of my life also. I think it is AWESOME that as a young couple that you are taking on this adventure. My only advice is to look at something like a Catalina. The interiors are fantastic for the budget. Solid boats that are sailor friendly. Not the fastest, but well mannered and very ergonomic to beginners and single handed sailing.
We did link to a post at the bottom of this article that very much reflects why we want a cat vs a mono. Check it out.
To Mickey Mitchell:
Your post is poorly written, opinionated, and completely inappropriate.
Nikki & Jason have made a huge life changing decision and to their benefit (and my appreciation) have included all of us fans & followers along for the journey. I know that there are going to be those who don’t agree with them, but I’ll bet that they are the same sort of people who don’t like the idea of my wife & I touring by motorcycle.
There are dangers in every life activity. The Wynns have told us that they know their limitations and are going to do their best to learn and overcome them. Rather than being so rude and negative it would have been better to say nothing.
Your in a mind set that is the worst possible. you should buy boats from the lists of boat cleaners that know who has died lately. A cat is the worst for what you want for they cost more for mooring and are more dangerous in many ways. Lin and Larry Pardey videos should be your first investment to read and learn all they have to prove how far away of the critical path of safe and fun living in the real world of water world travel. Doing away with engines, electric running lights, have gravity fed water, etc. etc. how to chose sails and storm tactics invented by larry pardey you have a lot to learn or drown with miss information for it is a great world for i lived on a boat for 5 years. Los Angeles area and san pedro is the best place to look for the best boat. a wood boat is also the best but you will think you know better and you will take the long path of being a sucker for doing what the average land lover does. Self sufficient sailer is a good book as well as Tristan Jones one hand for the boat one hand for the sailor. If you go for a kat or tri hull your making a big mistake right off and you will go for a boat that is to big for your britches. The pardey’s went around the world for 24 years in less than a 30 foot boat. I hope you have the comprehensive anticipatorial view to see that i am trying to save you a lot of time to do the right thing to stay above water. good luck but for now your on the highway to hell.
Ausonius (Winnie View RV)
Could you please make a short video to tell us boating novices why you prefer a cat over a mono?
Thanks and good luck!
Perhaps at some point we will. For now, I linked to a post that nails the cat vs mono debate pretty well.
Hello Jason and Nikki!
I’m betting I know less than you about boats (pretty much all I know is that I like them) but I remembered one thing that might be able to help you on this search: as far as I understood, you are only considering solar for your new home. But what about wind generators? They have a much higher efficiency (when the wind is blowing) and a much smaller footprint. I don’t know if the space for solar is a requisite for the boat you’ll choose but maybe this idea will allow you to be more flexible in that point. Sorry if I am repeating what people have already said (not on this page, as far as I’ve read).
If possible, keep us updated with maaaany videos, posts and general media about this whole subject. It’s reeeally fun and entertaining! 🙂
Also, another suggestion (that I’m pretty much sure has been said over and over in past comments): have you thought about internet by satellite? Or is it too expensive?
We have discussed satellite before (https://www.gonewiththewynns.com/mobile-internet) and listed why we don’t think its a great option (and a very expensive one). As far as I know, there really isn’t a great option for while at sea. There are some very very expensive options for incredibly basic things like weather reports and email that we will look into once we start doing ocean crossings but that is a long way away.
Here are some interesting cats I came across while looking
You might want to take a look at some videos on the 43 ft Catana named Morning Glory. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoWQE-G9FJ8
Gives you some additional ideas on boat layouts. Also the owners tell of their experiences sailing the cat and how it is different than a mono hull. Just some ideas. Good luck!
I love a motor sailor. Enclosed two station helm one inside and one out side. Take a look before you buy a cat. Single hall handles the the rough weather better. The main cabin and bedrooms are bigger and very roomy.
Thanks for sharing you videos. To me a motor sailor is my first choice. Lots of deck and less friction and faster then a cat. Less fuel to longer range. Love you guys.
Just a lil FYI – Cats are “good luck” for ships! Cats were believed to have miraculous powers that could protect ships from dangerous weather. Thought you’d like to know that!
Well, that is something I hadn’t heard before! We will take all the good luck we can get. Thanks for sharing!
Thinking way outside the box here.. Why not travel the world with 50 friends? 2000 some square meters of mission space – read RV and tow car parking with a convenient ramp. Get to bring them along. Helicopter deck – read landing space for way offshore gambling business (have to pay the bills). Not sure what a full A60 galley is, but must meet your kitchen storage space needs. Tempting, I know – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JihqnPvCzJQ
Scott & Irina Green
Why don’t you guys get a bigger and newer boat and do some charters. You have 30,000 possible charter guests, including us. … Have you seen a Saba 50?
I just have to say with your budget, you could have an outstanding monohull.
Hi, My wife and I are fans; GO Wynns! We are days from picking up our 3rd rv, a Class B. A popup tent trailer followed by a Class C…and here we go again this time around. Is there an estimate for when you jump (on) ship? Best wishes and thanks for entertaining us with style. Kindly, d and b
Have you seen the Catchin Rays catamaran? This family completely updated their 1995 42′ FP Venezia, details are on their blog. They are selling their boat in the BVI’s with 123hulls, for $186,000. If I were ready to buy a boat right now, that is the one I would get. You should take a look. For more information about what they did during the refit and why they are selling, their blog is catchinrays dot net. Good luck!
The more we explore
You two are awesome. I can only imagine how exhausting that day must have been. We will never own a boat, but we find this series and your adventure fascinating. Keep up the great work.
Gosh I’m scared for you! But good luck with your next chapter, LOL!!
Seriously, I do wish you well. Cheers! ~M
One more thing. I’ve owned several boats, including two that I had chartered. It’s an excellent way to make a little money and insure that your “wessel” is well maintained.
As for life on the pond, there is nothing more relaxing. RVing doesn’t compare to it. Glad you have the guts to pursue this dream. Don’t listen too hard to the Nellie Naysayers.
Good luck with new adventures on a sailboat. The last years show you have the ability to learn and resolve to succeed when facing new challenges.
Your blog, along with Bumfuzzle, inspired my wife and me to embark on our RV trip around America’s national parks with our little children.
We’re also considering moving onto the water after a year, so I look forward to following along as you become full time sailors.
Been reading Pat’s blog for years, amazed how “McGiver” he is….and lucky, given they took on the planet without much previous sailing experience. Do you plan to circumvent the planet too? Hope you take a few lessons prior? The ocean is an unforgiving place.
So “cute” that you feel like it’s steamy now…this is our cool season!! 😉
I don’t know if I could make a transition to boating…just too tiny for me !
I’m just a little west of Port Everglades, so if you are still in the FLL area and need something, feel free to let me know. In fact, based on your little Google locator map for today, you’re just around the corner.
Best of luck on your endeavors!
Sorry, I have to laugh at some of the advice. I guess its nice to have but nothing can prepare you for all eventualities and you strike me as two people who have life by the horns and a willingness and abilty to learn from (and laugh at) your mistakes. My friend who lives aboard their 50 footer is known for two things- the incredible meals she prepares, along with canapes and ALL served on exquisite platters at fully set tables and her ability to find space for everything. A former clothes designer the idea of traveling with less (think 55 pairs of sandals) is foreign to her. She has yet to live down the discovery of her hidey hiles while she was out shopping and hubby was back at the boat supervising repairs. Their lifestyle is theirs. They have a steady stream of guests for weeks at a time, and love what they are doing. Do what works for you. Isn’t life about learning and discovering the unknown?
BTW, my father and his best friend ran a charter (72’yawl) around the Caribbean in the 40s.I learned the “proper” names for galley, head, cabin, berth, bunk, mooring, starboard, port, bow, stern…as soon as I could talk. EVERYONE knows what you mean by bedroom.
Also, look for the book Home is awhere the Boat is by aEmy Thomas. It’s “a few years old” but the basics are still true and she is one w inderful woman who took a leap of faith like you guys.
A good test for your initial trip could be to head north on the inter-coastal waterway up to Norfolk, Va. then on to Annapolis, Md. to work out the kinks. You have the coastal protection needed plus you can venture out and learn to sail in Pamlico Sound and Chesapeake Bay. And Annapolis is a boater’s city.
Your ‘sorta’ headed in the right direction guys. Considering your budget has grown, you need to learn more about LEOPARD cats as it’s going to be VERY easy for you to screw this up $$$ wise, BUT, as I said the other day the Leopard 43 is not he best choice, it’s an older design and an older MUCH less efficient layout. The (few year old) Leopard 40 OWNERS version (3 bedrooms) and the Leopard 42 OWNERS version 93 bedrooms) are overwhelmingly better choices for you. Remember, NOT the FOUR bedroom RENTAL boats. The boats I’m suggesting have more storage, a regular style refrig/freezer, spectacular owners suites compared to the stuff you’ve been looking at and going ehhhhh when you see it.
Robertson & Caine, the mfg. of the Leopards are tremendously big mfg’s in cape town, Every one of their boats have sailed up to where they are now from S. Africa. Quality is as good or better than anything you’ll look at. You can find floor plans on the net, Be sure your not looking at the CURRENT new 40 or 42 but the one’s that are a few years older.
The 42 is fantastic in the owners version, room for a washer/dryer and all. I think your budget might put you back to the 40 but they’re similar, of much more modern design inside and out. Both wonderful boats.
1) Saltwater takes a big toll and causes more maintance . While those boats are in the majority, freshwater boats are more desired and bring more money.
2) Look at Engine and Generator hours very critically.
3) If an 8-10 year old cat has original sails, they NEED to be replaced. No discussion, REPLACED. Also things like the standing rigging at that age is suspect. Look at lines, how old are they?
4) You will need to have a marine survey on any boat your considering actually buying $3-400. They look at everything including delamination (soft spots) from subtle leaks that cause much damage over several years.
Don’t buy ANY boat without a professional survey.
5) Remember, your salesman might be knowledgeable and a nice guy but he’s NOT your friend, and does NOT have your best interests at heart. Second opinions can save you thousands.
My first plans were to retire, sell our house, buy a catamaran, and go sailing to the Caribbean. My lovely wife did not go for that idea. She did go for full timng in an rv and seeing our beautiful country. That is what we are doing now and loving it. I did show her this video and asked if she might change her mind. The answer was a resounding “NO”, but I am a lucky man being able to travel with my beautiful wife in our coach.
You are lucky. My latest wife will not do land or sea…..
Mold…..no good. Can make you REALLY sick.
You two look VERY hot (& not in a good way) plus a lot to consider…..good thing you want home, probably had a cold one and took time to think…
I hope your search is going well.
Jason, you and I spoke the last time you were coming through Miami from the keys. I live in the south Miami area and offered my yard/driveway to park in. The offer is always open as is the offer to show you guys around the local water. Good luck and hope to hear from you.
All the best
A wise friend shared his advice:
Don’t buy the biggest boat you can afford…buy the smallest boat you can be comfortable on.
Also, on an old boat, nothing works…except the owner.
Owning a boat is as expensive as owning a Hunter Jumper horse with all the shows and vet bills. Yeah that is what you two are in for. People who own horses are also a lot like people who own boats. But you seem to cross over economic divides quite well. It’s fun to watch you guys buy a toilet! I think you have made me a better husband shopper.
Haven’t you heard that a boat is a big hole in the water that you throw money into?
Get the biggest baddest boat you can by whatever means necessary, it is the one thing you wont be able to go back and say man if we had 2 more feet. You can always change everything else. Just because your budget is this or that doesn’t mean the future won’t be much better. And from what i can see, in the quality of your videos, the direction you’re taking them, you are gonna do fantastic. At least 42′ and newer. As always great job!!
Are you done with the rv ?
Have you guys thought about chartering a cat before you take the big plunge?
We chartered a Leopard 39 (Moorings 3900) in the Bahamas last May, 6 people on board. This was the first time we chartered a cat, we have owned and chartered monohulls from 19 to 50 feet.
Also consider taking one of the sailing / cruising courses. Again, they’re expensive, but so are accidents. They also help in getting a discount on insurance.
And Nikki – get some boat shoes before you slip and fall overboard!!!!
Alice & Bernie Gilles
I was wondering if you two will have to work shifts as captain between ports since you are travelling alone? Who get’s the night shift? I think the idea of crewing might be a great learning tool before you get out to far just the two of you 🙂 Looking forward to the next video, looks exciting and scary at the same time!
Just curious if you have taken sailing and nav classes. If you are buying a blue water boat you will find there is a lot more to sailing then there is driving an RV.
Mark & Margaret
We had a 2009 FP Mahe 36 for 7 years. Had 2 staterooms and 2 heads and was a very fast boat.
Had 460 watt of solar. Had much more hatches than the 2006 model you went on and had a bimini over the helm for protection.
Bigger is always better, so the 40 or 42 will do the trick.
The Fountaine Pajot (FP) and Lagoons will give you the best view form the Saloon and will have Galley up.
Always go with the bigger engines if you have a choice as you will cruise using only one engine at a time.
You are so right about size. Every foot larger a boat is adds expense. Mooring ball fee, slip fee, bottom paint, storage fee, haul out fee etc. It’s all about what you want and compromise. It’s not a grueling process. It’s a great way to learn how to live with an endless supply of sunsets. Enjoy the experience.
I would really echo the earlier comments. Doing a charter boat with a captain might be a very good idea to get the feel of cruising. Are you really sure you are up to the mechanical aspect of a sailboat? If it breaks, it’s broke until you fix it, or can get to somewhere, so somebody else can fix it. A survey is a requirement before buying a used boat. A cat has the advantages of redundancy, with a little bit more maintenance, but extra cost/space for slip. Watermaker/generator/refrigeration/electronics/navigation/storage space, and the knowhow to keep them all running. It’s a big step.
Wow guys! that must be kinda overwhelming trying to figure out a new way of traveling. So excited to watch ya’ll go through the process. keep doing your research and due diligence. you are off to a good start. Best of luck! Christine
So are RV’s, golf….and wives.
I’ve spent a fortune on all the above.
Rest I squandered.
Go for it Wynns!!
Fun to watch you on your first day…a boat is a very different world….but you will have lots of fun.
As usual, great video and thank you for sharing. You guys are sooooo refreshing – thanks for being who you are.
P.s. Did I miss something? What about your feline friends?
Mike & Starr Bushaw
Speaking of “cats” how about the 4 leg kind. Did I miss something? I don’t felines and the ocean will go together.
Thanks for sharing!!! I have watched every video blog you’ve posted…that I can find. All of them have been very interesting…and informative. I am three months away from retirement…and hope to hit the road with an RV…so have been very appreciative of your comments concerning makes and models…improvements…and upgrades…as well, as wild camping. Anyway, I hope you have a great time and I look forward to seeing your choice…and the reasons!
That was really interesting. I could watch several of these, very informative.
A couple of things I imagine you have thought of already, but just in case.
One of the boats you looked at was over 20 years old. Make sure financing and insurance are readily available so there is some price competition. When we had an older boat finding someone to insure it was not easy and they could charge whatever they wanted.
There is a reason older boats are cheaper. Much more maintenance and of course the cat has two engines that can take a lot of money to repair and for just regular maintenance. I understand the upgrades you want to make, but make sure it is worth it do put that money into an older boat.
My recommendation, smaller and newer. It seems to me that a 35′ boat has a lot more room than a 35′ RV, but especially in the cats a lot is not as useful for a cruising couple. Good luck.
These are the best videos so far. I love this new sailing adventure. We need more, more, more! Don’t miss a single video opportunity 🙂
As far as all the people who are saying “be cautious” and “maybe you should get experience” that’s silly. You guys are intelligent and safe, and will do everything the right way, and sailing is not that hard. There’s tons of people who have jumped right into it and taken off.
The Slapdash was one of them. Their site is gone now, but it was http://www.theslapdash.com and you can see it using http://www.archive.org. A young couple (30’s) just like yourselves, they lived in Vancouver BC. Around 2010 they went to Florida, like you, and bought a catamaran (Gemini 105Mc) from a broker. Then they harbored in Florida for a few months, got ready, went all through the Caribbean, went down through the panama canal, went to the Galapagos, then took it across the pacific ocean to Fiji, then to New Zealand (docked it there for the season, flew home, worked, went back). Then went from New Zealand to Australia, up through the Philippines, to India I think and then they were debating whether or not to take it through the red sea (dangerous), around South Africa’s tip (long and dangerous) or have the catamaran shipped (expensive). They ended up getting it shipped to Europe, and explored all of Europe in the catamaran for a year or so, the Mediterranean etc. Then they sailed it across the Atlantic ocean to the east coast, back to Florida! All around the world in a few years.
I know you guys probably don’t intend to do this, but just thought I’d mention it to you because I know you’re always looking for experience. Their names are Seth Lennea and Jaime Bayntun. I think Set is about 40 now and Jaime is around 38? Not even sure if they are still together or if their relationship survived the long trip. But if you can get in touch with them they would have tons of advice for you I am sure. Invaluable advice… their trip was full of tons of ups and downs, break downs, electronics problems, etc. It was a great read. They almost crashed their boat in Florida (the dreaded experience you described in your last video, of the anchor coming loose). Their anchor came loose during a storm in Florida and their catamaran was about 20 feet away from hitting the coast.
Good luck hunting!
Hi Nikki and Jason!
I’ve been following you a long time on your RV videos which have been great.
Now that you’re considering buying a catamaran for sailing… Don’t forget to spend some good money on a Life Raft! Being at sea and stuck in the storm, you just can’t pull over and wait for the storm to pass. You can try it out run it and possibly with Jason’s meteorological skills avoid it but most probably you’re going to have to ride it out. Some sales people say that catamarans are hard to capsize, which is true. You won’t find a cat at the bottom of the ocean, but your cat might be floating upside down in rough seas and let’s face it in rough seas can sink container ships, cruise ships which will be larger than the catamaran. So think safety and get a very good Inflatable liferaft in hard-shelled canister. Hopefully you will never need it but in reality it’s always best to be prepared.
make sure this liferaft has a waterproof zippered tent top to prevent seawater from getting inside your life raft! And if you ever use it then you’re gonna laugh because you don’t have an RV your tenting it again ?
Here are some examples.
Good luck and I hope you folks find what you’re looking for . I’ll be watching you take care ?
I’ll second everything TOM has said. He is thoroughly more knowledgable than myself, but I’ll throw in a few points as well, as my wife and I have been contemplating full time boat life for quite some time.
I’ve come to the conclusion it would take more than 60′ of mono-hull for us to be comfortable. Not sure how that translates to a catamaran, but I bet it’s more than 42′ feet. I would want room for guests, and more important to my personality, I want excessive space for provisions, spares, and tools. When a boat breaks down you don’t just pull over to the side of the road and call AAA. If you’re luck and it breaks near a marina you’re still at the mercy of local prices. Spares, spares, spares.
Tom’s point about the deck being all the space you have to walk around is HUGE. You won’t be entirely giving up your hikes in the woods, but you won’t be able to walk out the front door and hike up a mountain. I suspect you’ll spend more than half your days not leaving the boat _AT_ALL_. It has to be an exceptionally comfortable place, and I get the impression you both like your creature comforts 😉
In addition to Tom’s suggestion to be crew on charter boats, it might be a good idea to charter a few times. Perhaps get a few different groups of friends and do a week long charter once a month for a couple seasons, getting on different boats each time. Talk to all the crew about their experiences of living on board.
The more exposure you have to boats, the better it will be. You’ve been through several RVs and had many different likes and dislikes of each one. Swapping through boats is a lot more difficult than swapping through RVs.
Coming from Florida, we’ve seen a lot of boats, all types. One thing that seems to be missing in the sizes/age of the Catamaran’s is a room with a view. Whether inside or out, when you’re anchored, you want to kick back and enjoy your surroundings, right? Have you looked at the Aquila?
One other thought—have you considered “crewing” on a large charter sailing yacht for a season to get a better understanding of what life aboard a yacht en tales? This way you would get a complete up front and center look at what goes into the daily life on a yacht. The maintenance, the pluses, the minuses, the expenses, etc. It might be a great way to gain experience before jumping into major purchase. Down side you would not be able to take your cats.
Noting your budget, keep in mind, if you want to sell a yacht, the market is a lot smaller than for an RV. Also it may take much longer to sell. Buying a used yacht is definitely much more affordable than buying new. Same as with an RV.
Keep in mind you might want to have an independent “survey” or appraisal done on the yacht before purchase. Such things as bottom paint, anodes, engine hours, fiberglass blisters, cracks, hull repairs, rudder/helm mechanicals, and engines checked. It may look pretty, but is it really sea worthy. Breaking down in open water is a bit different than sitting alongside the road.
The Mousetrap (http://www.jfa-yachts.com/EN/index.php/specifications-vplp-) is still in San Diego. Did you check it out when you were there?
It was interesting to see your comments. Yachting and RVing are two totally different realms. Nikki you mentioned the mold on the first yacht. Humidity, salt air, dampness and moisture is a constant battle with yachts. Keeping the cabin, lockers, bilge, etc free from mold / mildew and odor is something most full time RVer’s don’t have to contend with. Keep in mind these same issues create constant maintenance that you don’t see in most RVs.
Maintenance in yachting is probably going to be your biggest expense and concern. If you live aboard you will do a little every day. If you are gunk holing on anchor somewhere, keep in mind you can’t just run out to the local store for provisions, food, repair parts etc. When in port you pretty much are stuck with the boatyard at hand and their pricing. It’s not nearly as competitive as RV parts/supplies. Also you are going to have to use Uber or taxi to go shopping for provisions. No more Smart for Two.
Jason, they are staterooms or cabins—not “bedrooms.” The beds are berths. LOL Bathrooms are “heads.”
If you intend to supplement your income via charter guests you definitely want 2 heads, a large cockpit, and plenty of space. Even day sailing charters I would highly recommend to have at least 2 heads.
Though the deep fridge and freezers are inconvenient, they probably are the most energy efficient and can hold far more provisions than uprights. Keep in mind–if you are gunk holing on hook–you just can’t run down to the local Target to get something.
Marinas are like campgrounds or RV resorts only much more expensive. They pretty much have what you need. Keep in mind though a cat has limited slips to tie up. Think of it as the largest 40+ diesel pusher with slides on both sides. It just won’t fit anywhere because of the width. Generally you are going to get an outer end tie up which means longer walks to the marina services.
Finally, deck space. Again, keep in mind what you see is what you get. It’s not like stopping the MH and tossing out the lawn chairs under the awning and spreading out. Spreading out means being in the water.
Cats have far more deck and cabin space than the traditional mono hull. The newer cat designs are far superior to the days of old. They make a better live aboard experience as compared to a similar sized yacht in a mono hull.
It’s exciting for me to see you guys with this adventure. I can live through you vicariously. I have sailed and Rvd both. I am currently a full time RVer in a park model on a resort lot that I own here in So. Cal that is my permanent home. I also have a truck and travel trailer for my travel adventures.
Here’s wishing you guy luck!
Thanks for bringing us on your boat hunting journey. I suppose that by now you’ll really begin to appreciate some of the comments your faithful followers have posted. (Especially about size.)
Great little video – please keep them coming. I smile every time you use the RV words to describe the cabins and heads.