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Dad's Retirement Home
Finally, those pesky kids are grown and can deal with life on their own... I'm headed for some warm water, some awesome diving, and an incredible journey ahead... with or without you guys. [Call on the VHF to:] Whiskey-Delta-Echo-8791
rains are over, summer is here...
Capt Dennis
06/07/2011, homefront

OK, I've been thinking (which in my condition is dangerous..) that if you do any of the things I outline below, it just might be time to seriously think about getting that boat and start a cruising lifestyle... here they are...from experience.... (LOL)

1- you start listening to seafaring music instead of the talk radio shows as you drive to work in the morning and elsewhere.

2- you go the grocery store and slowly cruise thru the mexican food and asian food section and pretend you're shopping at a store in the Carribbean.

3- you're asked how much further when taking a road trip with the family and you start talking about compass bearings to destination and distances in nautical miles.

4- you start keeping a diary of what you WOULD be doing if you were out there cruising, complete with maps, google coordinates, etc.

5- you take more trips to the river and lake with your dive gear and just try to pretend it's a 'night dive' in the Carribbean instead of a day dive in the poor visibility lake water.

6- you eat more often at the taco truck and pretend it's a taco stand in mexico.

7- you catch yourself listening to the VHF radio instead of watching sit coms on TV.

8- you catch yourself saving those dive magazines and reading them over and over.

9- your library of books have more titles concerning boats and cruising than home repairs and car maintenance.

10- you have "Anchor Alert" and "Earth NC" apps on your phone... and use them when you park your car at the shopping center or mall!

11- your games of choice on the computer aren't Call of Duty or Tears of War, they're "Sailing" games, played at the blistering pace of less than 10 mph.

12- you have more message board accounts concerning sailing and boats than other stuff.

13- your 'inbox' has advertisments from the moorings and sunsail in the "saved" folder.

14- you keep cruising the wanted ads on the various boat sales web sites looking for that perfect boat that has all the things you think you want at half the price you know it'll cost you.

15- your screensavers on your computer(s) are more like postcards from the Carribbean, without snow or mountains.

16- you hear music from Eric Stone on the radio and actually recognize which album or CD it was from!

17- you really know how to celestial navigate although you've never been far from land lately.

18- you have a sextant, and know how to use it.

19- you have a VHF ships radio license and a Restricted Radio Operators license and a VHF radio with your own MMSI number registered.

20- you have insurance quotations for a boat you don't own yet.

21- you have more friends online that are out there cruising already than you have on the mainland.

22- you have the movies "waterworld" and "Wind" in your DVD collection and actually watch them sometimes.

23- your bank accounts have ATM cards that are accepted around the world.

24- you have some of your stuff already relocated to your 'kids' places' for when you return from cruising or visit on the holidays.

25- you can score a 70% or higher on any portion of the test for your Captains' 6-Pack or 100 Ton license in the study manual and program.

26- you think if you'll have this much room on the boat, when standing in the shower at home.

27- ... you get the drift... (no pun intended. LOL)

Catchup Time
05/17/2011, Still at Home

Well, for the few that follow this blog... it really sucks huh? Here its' been almost 3 years since I felt I was in a good position to make the final turn in life and buy a nice mono-hull for around $80-100K like a Beneteau or Hunter or even a MacGregor 65, but after looking at some beautiful Catamarans, I had a change of heart and even a smallish 38' Cat was double the cost of a mono-hull of the same size. After looking at all the usual places, like and ApolloDuck I found several that were right at 200K, which was about twice what I was able to spend and have any cash left over for the necessary stuff like insurance, registration, repairs or updates, even the usual stuff to just get food into the galley, fuel/oil, spare parts, etc.
I figured I was going to spend about $100K on the boat, have $80-100K left to do with what I had to and keep the rest as the cruising kitty. Ain't it great how the crash of the real estate market changes everything?
Now, since I was laid off in Sept of '10 and haven't got any prospects for a money making job currently I'm afraid the long time 20 year dream of crusing and diving is on hold. I'm still waiting and watching for any opening in my sitution that would allow me to move forward but in the end, I might just have to lower my sights and go for it... after all Dec 21, 2012 is coming fast.

05/17/2011 | Wayne from Morro Bay
Try a 3200 Gemini. Not the prettiest but it will get you in a CAT for much much less. I paid $45K for a 1992 and plan on cruising Mexico for a year when I retire in 2 years. Am spending that 2 years getting her ready which means MAYBE another $10K. She has many benefits, she will fit in a slip and she has DOUBLE the room of a mono hull the same size.
05/17/2011 | dennis boring
thank you Wayne for that info. I have looked at Gemini cats but the narrow hull(s) and the limited construction methods have counted them out. I would prefer a 36 to 38 FP or a 38 Lagoon. It is true the G's are significantly cheaper but in my grand plan I had plans to travel on to New Zealand nd then up to Japan. I wouldn't feel comfortable going that far offshore on a vessel that has such negative feedback from so many previous owners and sailors. Of course if everyone could afford the top of the line Cats, there'd be only 2 or 3 mfg out there. I can appreciate your retirement plans and wish you the best. You might make it out there to the mexico sunset before me... Good luck in your plan.
05/17/2011 | Marc
"To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea — "cruising," it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about." - Sterling Hayden

Just a thought, and of course, it's easier said then done.
01/19/2012 | Chris
Hey - hang in there, something will turn up. We love our FP athena 38 cat here in the Bay Area and she is an offshore vet. If you havent found anything in a while, ping me- we'll be putting her on the market to get a bigger cat- we have a very large family and we're getting closer to our exit date
OMG, I found it...
Capt Dennis
07/03/2010, Drooling on the floor

OK, here it is! Finally found the Cat that is THE cat for us. It not only has the room for the other half, bigger cabin, it also has the space for stuff. Stuff like the machine shop tools needed, the research and lab space to set up. and... lots of room for dive equipment. High engine hours but I can rebuild a diesel in my sleep and it'll only cost the price of parts if necessary and the outside labor for machine work I don't have machines to do, like deck the blocks, hot tank the thing or align bore the mains and cam bearing bores... all IF necessary. The remaining things on this vessel are outstanding. This aint your average charter tug, no sir! This is a well maintained and upgraded cruiser owned by a family and used by a family for cruising. Now to arange a personal visit.

08/27/2010 | SV THRID DAY
Bingo Baby...get out there and take a look at her! We've seen one of these up close cruising Mexico and if you don't have enough room on that Cat...then you won't have enough room on ANY CAT.
01/03/2011 | igancio Sardinas
I've sailed one of these out of Marina Del Rey. Beautiful boat. Crazy complicated panel all in french was intimidating, and raising the main can be a bear. the one i was on had electric winches everywhere except at the mast. the main is huge. tacking her can be a bit complex if she has the forward mounted radar part way up the mast. Every time she tacked you had to partially furl the head sail.

but she is an especially spacious boat with great craftsmanship.
boat card
Capt Dennis
06/17/2010, computer printer

just thought I'd post the boat card to see how it looked.

"how easy it is..."
Capt Dennis
06/02/2010, by the pool

Here's a little ditty I dreamed up while reflecting on all the things on my list of things which are on the other lists of things to do before I can do the things on the list that I want to do....

Here I sit - Relaxing after work. It's so easy - everyday life is NOT hard.

First... Alarm goes off - wake up - get out of bed - simple - certainly not hard.
Then... Get dressed - again -a no brainer. Walk outside to the truck - simple.
Key in - turn - drop in gear - right pedal - simple. Certianly not hard to do.
At work... computer keys, phone calls, make crap - simple - every other Thursday - collect a check and give it all away - a bill at a time. Simple - Again. Stop for lunch - a tank of gas - back home - mow the grass - simple - any kid could do it. Blow the leaves - vacuum the pool, nothin to it - how easy it is...
Wash the clothes - the truck, the dog - every day - just like the last - once a month go to the po box and get the next issue of blue water sailing or ocean news or sport diver or whatever - spend the next few minutes dreaming of of going to all the pretty places other than right here.
Dream the wishful dream - try to imagine life without a job - without a schedule - without an appointment - a phone - a truck - a mortgage or insurnace bill or even a lawn to mow!
How easy it is...
...and just look how easy it is to think that next year or next month or next week I'll start working on getting that sailboat & cruising places I only see in books. How easy it is - to just wake up every day and think that tomorrow will be any different than today. Life as you want it to be is certainly NOT easy.

dissappointed, again...
Capt Dennis
05/24/2010, front porch

Well, after many emails and information exchanges, I have come to the realization that the 42' Cat I was really looking at with interest appears to be yet another neglected dock barge that someone has decided to just let sit and fall into a state of dis-repair. knew in the back of my mind that the price was too good to be true and the truth be told in the end, it was.
Here's a partial list of estimated (!!) repairs to the vessel and that would be on top of the purchase price just to get the insurance to buy off on it.
But... honestly, there isnt much there that I could fix with my own hands and save a bundle, it's more the fact that those things all together need repair, what else is lurking in the darkness since these are just now rearing there ugly heads(??) hmmmm.
The picture above is just one that shows numerous fasteners, some that are directly attached to the mast!! that show severe rust. Who I ask in their right mind use plain steel fasteners in a wet location like this???

1. Repair paint bubbles at port keel. $1500

2. Replace rudder bearings. $600

3. Port engine: replace sail drive hose clamp on inner seal $100; repair fuel leak at fuel pump $200-$300; replace forward starboard silent block $200; replace oil and bottom seals on saildrive $250; replace saildrive rubber boot cover $150.

4. Starboard engine: repair leaking inner saildrive seal $400-800?; replace oil and bottom seals on saildrive $250.

5. Repair malfunctioning radar radome. $200?

6. Reconnect SSB antenna to main unit. $200

7. Replace fans in aft cabins and rewire and reinstall fans in forward cabins. $200 + $400

8. Repair starboard spreader light; repair nav lights. $100

9. Repair leaking port head. $200

10. Repair corroded martingale fitting. $200-300

11. Replace spinnaker guy/sheet block at forward port bow. $200

A total of some $6-7,000 in maintenance and repairs.

05/24/2010 | Rick - S/V Godspeed
The list looks fairly normal and most can be done yourself. Take the estimate off the price your offer price and it still might be a deal. I didn't see anything that was a safety issue.

05/24/2010 | dennis boring
Exactly what I did Rick. But the owners won't budge. Claim the price they want is well below the value of the survey. I disagree so it's a standoff I guess. We'll see. I'm in no hurry.
So, there's a Lagoon 42 with much fewer problems and only a $12K higher price tag. Going to look on Saturday or Sunday.
05/24/2010 | Rick - S/V Godspeed
Oh, now I get it. One of the owners who lets their boat (or airplane) fall apart from neglect, but still believes that it's worth the absolute top dollar! Been down that path a few times myself. At least you know that karma will get them in the end...

appt with Doc...looks good
Capt Dennis
04/27/2010, house

Scheduled my test date for the captains license in San Fran. I've been studying for months the Charlie Wing book, taking sample test after test from his CD and so far I can consistently score in the 75-82% range, (you only need 70% to pass). I'll go for the 100 ton license as well since I was told it's just a couple dozen more questions and I should have no problem if I can do math and read ship symbols for meta-centers, load lines both fresh and salt and a few other challenging details.
There's a nice 2000 model 42' Voyage Cat in the Carib for sale ($250K with an on-going charter business added in for another $25K) based out of the virgin islands. Funny how those islands are a world away and still considered to be part of the US. Oh well, that would make life so much easier to deal with getting started.
More later.

08/23/2010 | clipperslim
The right boat at the right time is only a horizon away. Like fishing, sometimes you have to be patient to catch your dream boat. When you see it you will know it and it will be anchors away matey.
looking high and low...
Capt Dennis
04/06/2010, dry dock... LoL

Well, surprise, surprise. Hasn't been that long since the last entry and I couldn't wait to write that a few people out there have offered their expertise and knowledge to assist (us) in our search for the perfect (compromises accepted) catamaran.
Hacing looked at vessels from 38 to 42 feet in length and builders from Priveledge to Seawind and from Lagoon to Roberts & Caine I've seen enough to almost become a broker! LoL
Help & comments from Kyle Mussman (blog - was welcome. I guess they're moving up to a BIGGER cat this year or early next and offered there's to me, don't know yet how that's going to go, but we'll see. It's a awesome vessel thats for sure and I'm positie it's all set up for blue water cruising. That's a big plus in anyones book.
I've been chatting with Rich Boren down in the Sea of Cortez aboard the Third Day and he's having so much fun it makes me want to catch a plane and fly down for a visit just to get an inside look at Old Mexico from a cruisers point of view. (

I'll write more in a few days, maybe go to the bay area and take a look at a Seawind 1160 that's there for charter to see the layout first hand.


04/14/2010 | Richard Boren
Get that boat or nail some trees together and build a RAFT...but just get down here before we eat all the Tacos!
looking at a second boat
Capt Dennis
04/01/2010, the many pages of the sales sheet

OK, been a couple of months now since the last post and things are starting to dry up a little, you know summer is coming and that means a better attitude about getting out and doing stuff. A break in the weather, 70 degree days and warm sun for a week or so brought out the mower and weed eater and sore muscles. Scanning the internet and brokers sites for that perfect CAT has been a fun endeavor. I've located several and some are even within reach financially! LoL At least the "up front" cost.
Trying to set up a week long vacation in the BVI's or close by there to rent a CAT for a week and let Penny see what life would be like. No worries, regular daily stuff to do and some maintenance along the way sprinkled with diving some incredible water and seeing some incredible locations.
Trying to sort out if I need a 38' or a longer wider 42' model. I know a watermaker and some good VHF equipment are a must and with my mechanical talents it shouldnt be hard to acomplish.
Write more when I find out more, hopefully wont be another 2 months.
(pic is from Maxing Out website. Awesome, go check it out.

hows this?
Capt Dennis
01/21/2010, Pacific

OK, for everyone who has been following ever so slighly.
Check out this hot ticket.

Yep, looking to buy a nice 36-38' PDQ, or Leapord, or Antaries. A Seawind would be nice too but who has that kind of cash?
More in awhile... got to call the broker back...

04/01/2010 | Dave
We are watching with interest to see if you find that dream. We just found ours. If interested follow our story at Midnight Breeze. Sure is nice being an empty nester.

Dave N3GVP
04/29/2010 | Peter & Petra S
Hi Dennis, just checking out your website. If you are interested in a nice PDQ 36. I have one(Kopykat) for sale in Ft. Lauderdale. Check and let me know what you think.

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Capt. Dennis & Darling Daughter Jaimie
Who: Capt. Dennis, a new First Mate, and Doctor (almost) Jaimie
Port: Oroville (?) to the Delta to the wide open ocean
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