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What’s Cruising?

Posted by on October 14, 2012

So the better half asked me this morning, “What cruising are we expecting to do?”
The question was in context of all these boats I keep sender her links to… Like this one, and this one, not to mention my current ideal boat, if we could ever afford it.

What cruising was I expecting do to in boats like these?
Stop and go cruising, I think it should be called. The sort of cruising where you go until you get somewhere you want to stop, and you enjoy staying stopped until you want to go again… Sound too vague? If you haven’t done it, it’s a bit difficult to explain.

I think we established on our cruise to the Tamar and back that cruising with kids on Centrelink payments expecting to pick up (inter)national project work without prior arrangement doesn’t work. It’s difficult to pick up local casually paid work because someone needs to look after the kids, and Centrelink takes a very dim view of people moving about on support payments.

So, we need to get income sorted, which means not leaving here until I have a guaranteed job somewhere else suitably far out that we can enjoy a cruise on the way. This sounds a bit too much like cruising a schedule, which is a definite no-no, so another option is to wait until my better half gets her writing career into a place where she gets paid for it. Income means we can enjoy the stopped part, and afford the go part of stop and go cruising when desired.

I really enjoyed exploring the Tamar. I liked the river gypsy nature of our lifestyle, and I look forward to duplicating it in other protected waterways while we cruise up the East Coast of Australia. So that’s what I want a boat to do. That means:

  • She’ll need to be seaworthy enough for the stretches in between protected waters, and of shallow enough draft to enjoy those waters when we get there.
  • Moving from place to place in time to make tides, weather windows, junior crew tolerance and daylight hours often means motoring, much more than I would have thought before our trip to the Tamar; strong performance under motor with sails to help is desirable.
  • A sheltered cockpit big enough for the family would be great. Enough room down below for the kids and all their school stuff, and a separate cabin for the wife and I is also a requirement.
  • We also need self steering capable of handling rough conditions, because that’s when you need to leave the helm to deal with some other crisis, like kids still in pyjamas, a seasick wife, or a tool draw spewing its contents out down below.
  • We all would prefer a wooden boat, but I’d consider fibreglass. Not steel or ferrocement, as I don’t have the skills to be a plasterer or a welder.
  • So that’s cruising for me, and a rough idea of the type of boat I want to do in.


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