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Living Aboard 4788 - Planning To-gctid623107

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    Living Aboard 4788 - Planning To-gctid623107

    I'm starting to think seriously about what living aboard our 4788 will be like. How much power do we need? How long on genset (12.5 Westerbeke). Would solar do it, how much battery capacity? Wind generator? Replace center console RIB with something rowable? What does a week or a month on the hook in the Bahamas look like? What does it take? Do I need a second (larger?) anchor?

    I like to think we'll be cruising the Chesapeake and perhaps to Mobile then up river to Florence, AL. Maybe a Winter in the Bahamas. Florida and the East Coast. Maybe up to Maine, or Hudson to Canada. What do I need to know and what can I look for help with. So much to learn!!!
    Steve & Cary Sober
    Woodstock, VA
    SURPRISE
    2000 Bayliner 4788
    Cummins 370's
    Achilles 350DX with Eurohelm and 20HP Tohatsu
    Kent Island, MD

    #2
    If you do not anchor off much, first step is to disconnect that shore power cord and see just how much power your boat needs.

    I don't know if I'd replace your RIB. I'm not sure why you'd do that.

    I would buy a watermaker though.

    Waste is another issue. What are the rules? Is now a good time to invest in a waste treatment system?

    KEVIN SANDERS
    4788 LISAS WAY
    SEWARD, ALASKA

    Comment


      #3
      My major issue with the RIB is that it really can't be rowed. It's also maxing out the lift system and I have no idea what I'd do if the winch failed while hauling or launching. It seems like overkill, but then I'm only familiair with anchoring in the Chesapeake Bay. We need to get our dog ashore daily...
      Steve & Cary Sober
      Woodstock, VA
      SURPRISE
      2000 Bayliner 4788
      Cummins 370's
      Achilles 350DX with Eurohelm and 20HP Tohatsu
      Kent Island, MD

      Comment


        #4
        Rowing is overrated but if you feel like you need to get the juices flowing a bit, get a kayak or a small rowing dink to mount on swimstep.

        In event of davit failure - either tow the RIB until you get it fixed or leave it on deck and use your rowable thing to get ashore. You could also carry a come-along as a backup or block and tackle.

        The 4788 has a 750# capacity and its not all that hard to stay under that mark with RIB selections.

        I will say if you are looking to liveaboard and travel the range that you mention these are the little things in a lot bigger picture that will need preparation for.

        I would not do wind generator - noisy as a well installed genset. Solar seems like a better option but to get the area you need will involve adding a hardtop over the bridge.

        If I really was going to live aboard (and not have a traditional homeport) I would really think about if a dog has a place in that lifestyle.
        1989 3888
        Nobody gets out alive.

        Comment


          #5
          Your dog will be fine. We boat with four dogs and take them to shore a minimum of four times a day.

          Your skiff will be fine. Make sure your davit works properly and you'll be good to go.

          Wintering in the Bahamas does not mean you are going to be trapped on your boat for several months. You are probably going to be spending quite a bit of time ashore walking along the beache, hiking, etc...

          KEVIN SANDERS
          4788 LISAS WAY
          SEWARD, ALASKA

          Comment


            #6
            The dog will adapt easier than you do. I am confident that my 70 lb. Chocolate Lab would learn to do her business on the swimstep if necessary. She already knows how to go (almost) on command when we stop in rest areas with the RV. Grass, dirt, sand, rocks, pavement...
            Jeff & Tara
            (And Ginger too)
            Lake Havasu City, AZ
            sigpic
            2000 Bayliner 2858
            "GETAWAY"
            MMSI: 338094599
            In memory of Shadow, the best boat dog ever. Rest in peace, girl. July 2, 2010

            Comment


              #7
              Spend a hot week living on the 4788 this summer. Monitor your batteries and electric consumption. Assuming you run AC when it is hot ( it is hot and humid in Florida and the Bahamas) I don"t think solar will keep up with that. Trade your dink for a rowable skiff for a week and see if you like it.

              When we retire we hope to spend four months a year on our 4788 each summer in the PNW. No AC. I figure we will be running the genset every other day to keep the batteries topped up. We have a watermaker that came with the boat, but we have not used it yet. Read some blogs by people that live aboard. I think you will learn a lot.

              Comment


                #8
                "Read some blogs by people that live aboard. I think you will learn a lot. "

                +1 to Rob - best advice you can get.

                Especially if considering the Bahamas as you really need to know where best to go and the deal with water and fuel in the areas you will be traveling. There are many blogs out there with folks currently doing this same thing.

                Good luck and hope this helps
                Northport NY

                Comment


                  #9
                  Living and learning! Thanks for the input.
                  Steve & Cary Sober
                  Woodstock, VA
                  SURPRISE
                  2000 Bayliner 4788
                  Cummins 370's
                  Achilles 350DX with Eurohelm and 20HP Tohatsu
                  Kent Island, MD

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I currently live aboard in the PNW. The boat is very hard to heat, but not much concern for you. I also cruised in Mexico for a year. Almost no one used a rowing dink. Your dink becomes your car and you will use it often. You will not even take it out of the water unless you move the mother ship a long distance.

                    You should plan on running your genset a lot more than once every other day. I would guess much more like an hour or two a day. Watermakers are a nice addition as hauling water can be a real pain. They need to be maintained, but its not too bad.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      yes, one hour, twice a day on genset is normal

                      Comment


                        #12
                        "pilotpj" post=741935 wrote:
                        yes, one hour, twice a day on genset is normal
                        How costly is that on average ? am I to presume the gensets burn diesel ?

                        thanks.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          At anchor we run the genset twice a day for two hours. That's about 6 gallons of diesel, say $15?
                          Steve & Cary Sober
                          Woodstock, VA
                          SURPRISE
                          2000 Bayliner 4788
                          Cummins 370's
                          Achilles 350DX with Eurohelm and 20HP Tohatsu
                          Kent Island, MD

                          Comment


                            #14
                            We just came off of our catamaran in the Caribbean and are looking at a 4788 as a livaboard here in FL and the Bahamas. Our two years on the cat in the USVi, BVI and south taught us that:

                            1. The dog will adapt

                            2. You will need the Rib for trips to town for groceries and more...speed and power is helpful, especially when windy.

                            3. Air conditioning is a huge asset. Keeps you cool but also takes moisture out of the air...think damp clothes, mold, etc.

                            4. Solar, as much as you can, with a large battery bank (we had 630ah, AGM) is a help to minimize generator running time.

                            5. Water maker is a nice option but you will need the generator to run it.

                            6. Bigger anchor and more chain helps you sleep better at night.

                            7. Gas and diesel run about 5-6 $ per gallon in the islands.

                            8. Beer is hugely expensive down-island...stock lots!!

                            See you down there

                            Kevin

                            Soon to be 4788 owner
                            We have No Plan and we're sticking to it...,

                            Comment


                              #15
                              You are heading to warm water. We lived on our monohull sailboat for just under 4 years, the first 6 months in the Caribbean, then in the Med (also warm water).

                              Although we were on a sailboat, the liveability issues are similar.

                              As others have said, you definitely need a good RIB with a decent motor. If you like rowing get another lightweight dink or kayak for rowing/paddling when you feel like it. Rather like having a car but also a bike at your house. You will likely get used to living without A/C, using the breeze for ventilation with some vent sails/directors on hatches as needed. Yes you will want a second, and a third anchor. Two on the bow and one ready in the aft cockpit or aft lazarettes for stern. We had a Spade and a plough up front and a Danforth hi tensile aft. You will want rode for each of these, probably rope or flat line for the stern anchor.

                              You will be buying water by the gallon, so for flexibility and arguably price you will want a watermaker, which you will use while charging/running. However solar has come a long way since we evaluated it in 2005 (we did not go that route) and would think a good solar array would be well worth the price to reduce genset hours. I agree with others that Wind gen is an irritant on board, sailed a friends boat from Chesapeake to Virgin Gorda and the wind gen drove me nuts.

                              Waste: Once you leave the continental USA you will open the Y valve and discharge overboard everywhere. Exceptions in lakes and Turkey but that is not of consequence to you.

                              Remember that you can only practically use about 35-50% of your battery bank. We had over 1k AH and appreciated that reserve.

                              How will you get your daily Wx reports? You will want SSB or Satellite. We used both and actually preferred SSB for our Wx reports and daily radio net with fellow cruisers.

                              You will likely want a haulout destination for the Hurricane Season. Virgin Gorda has in-ground storage which we have used year after year with great results.

                              Have fun!
                              Alan Teed
                              MOONDANCE
                              '94 4788
                              Gig Harbor, WA
                              Previously:
                              2006 Hylas 49' blowboat
                              Bayliner 2855
                              1977 Cal 34' blowboat
                              1981 Hunter 33' blowboat
                              Experience: Sail 50 years, Motor 15 years. 2 Transats, 1 Baltimore-Virgin Islands, 6 Months cruising Caribbean, 3.5 years cruising Med.

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