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Old 09-13-2012, 07:04 PM   #1
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Lightbulb Medical Cruiser?

Hi! We're excited to start our dream...

Has anyone seen or heard of a medical cruiser? We will be an active non-profit group of women nurses who restore a large 30'-50' wooden boat then learn to safely operate it (without the help of our husbands Later, we will use it to take ill/disabled/elderly folks out on the water for cruises.

Ideally, we will receive a donated classic wooden boat for this purpose, or one that can be restored by our team and get it floating within five years. We are hoping to incorporate wheelchair access. We'll also fit it for "skilled nursing" equipment for the needs of the participant(s).

Any experience, links, photos, hints or tips would be great for us to help get started. It's a LARGE undertaking that we are serious about. Any support is welcome.

Thanks!
Kirsten
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Old 09-14-2012, 05:05 AM   #2
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Hi, Kirstin,

Welcome aboard--look around at the forums and ask questions where you have them.

Romantic thought you've got there--however, realize that nobody's going to give you a boat worth having and that the effort of getting a boat into good shape for the sort of business you're talking about is pretty heavy duty; if you come up with a good strategic plan for your endeavor, be realistic about what you're doing, you might get good sponsorship and find yourself able to be self sustaining.

Do any of you sail? Do any of you already have the appropriate licenses for such a (charter) venture? Have you been involved with any of the (numerous) charities that already exist to take people out sailing (underpriv. children, ill people, returning vet's from the war...and so on)?

Fair winds,
Brenda
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:40 AM   #3
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I agree with Red, no one will donate a good boat. Then you have the problem of getting an old timber boat into survey, with the additional insurance requirement of equipping it for people who are in poor health. Wheelchair access for a 70'er will be a challenge, for a 30'er impossible. Just imagine getting someone in a chair from the cockpit to the cabin sole...and finding space for toilet and shower facilities. Tough!

Once you have a craft which has the potential to fulfill the role you envisage, I would start looking toward publicity from the major sailing/medical publications (you'll need a business plan backed by a register of cabaple and willing artisans) or, if timber remains the choice (and it is the most maintenance intensive and therefore costly option), look toward enlisting the aid of wooden boat schools.

The competition for donations in today's charity market is enormous. Most donors are mercenary and will want a payday of some sort...usually through publicity, and you will need to establish a trust to administer the enterprise and own the boat, to give potential donors peace of mind against fraud. It's a dirty world and putting in place the appropriate safeguards against ownership disputes and charitable versus commercial or private use etc, sufficient to satisfy both investors and the legal fraternity is a necessary business step.

Check out these people, they may be able to provide both assistance and direction
http://www.boatangel.org/

Please keep us all informed of your progress.
Best of luck.
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Old 09-14-2012, 11:58 AM   #4
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It is noble idea Kirsten and I wish you all the best of luck. There will difficulties but do persevere and who knows you may find the boat etc.
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:27 PM   #5
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Wow, thank you for these honest posts. What I hadn't mentioned was the idea started with us "ladies" (who happen to be nurses) talked about how we always have to rely on our husbands to go out on the water, when we are fully capable. And some with husbands who don't care to leave land. Together we would at first restore a boat, and take classes to safely motor, which in the process would build our boater-esteem, so to say. We know many women, even highly experienced captain certified, who we have not approached yet. We wanted to get our ducks in a row.

So quite possibly we limit our endeavor to just that - restoration and education first. I see the point of the medical aspect being hugely different, and maybe a much larger animal to take down... People who are truly bed bound won't go to the head. It could be that the patient just gets lifted in to a wonderfully prepared bed, so that they may experience a ride. As last wish, possibly.

I do have years of sailing experience as a kid, but we are talking about a motor cruiser.

Thank you!
Kirsten
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:52 PM   #6
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Kirsten,

If you and your friends would like to take on a project for personal growth--I think that's a great idea. You can get so much out of any experience--whether it be rebuilding/restoring something or actually sailing.

Throwing in the goal of taking ill people out sailing...I'm not sure where that's a good mix. Here's where I'm coming from--most people who want to help others decide to use the skills they already have and apply those existing skills to helping others in a way that is rewarding. Unfortunately, the reason that many people do this is so they can "write off" the cost of things on their taxes. Not because they want to help others. Or, they want to have a not-for-profit doing something which has a marketing edge if provided as not-for-profit rather than as a business. In this case, there are many, many people offering "sail training" on old wood boats simply because they can pretend to be a not for profit but yet have a good amount of personal gain from it all. Lots of shady business practices there that you don't want to be part of, really. Even if the best cases, you do end up with people who already own a boat and already have the skills and licenses needed to take groups of people out--and they go ahead and do it. The most effective way this is done is when members of a yacht club or marina mates get together to support some of the local programs to take disabled people sailing or the wounded warrior programs. No cost to have the boat since you're getting volunteers and no captains licenses needed because there's no money changing hands and not that many people on each of the volunteer boats. Maximum bang for the buck in terms of getting people out on the water, having a good time, and all. You might consider putting together such a program with your local yacht clubs and your local boats/marinas.

Disabled people, old people, ill people and boats--in general, they really don't want to be on a boat--especially one as small as you're talking about 30 ft to 60 ft isn't large enough to have facilities on one level and make things easy for someone with serious problems or who is elderly. Really and truly. This being on a boat thing is not something that tends to bring a lot of joy to people who are elderly or ill. In general. Sure, there's the occasional elderly person who really wants to get out onto a boat--but its not a huge audience you're talking about. Once you get them on the boat, you're also going to have to deal with helping them get to the head (up and down stairs) and so forth. Again, you and your friends might be much, much better off simply deciding to volunteer your time in taking a person here-and-there onto your own boats for a day of sailing/motoring when you can.

Back to building your own skills and having fun yourselves--go for it! In that case, I'd say most definitely get together a plan for something that works for you and your friends to enjoy sailing. Not everything has to be about service-to-others in this world.

Fair winds,
Brenda
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:52 PM
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Old 09-15-2012, 02:34 AM   #7
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A motor cruiser definitely makes more sense. Depending on the local cruising ground, perhaps something along the lines of a very large punt or barge may be the answer. Something built on pontoons with twin outboards allows for the craft to be much more stable, and you could build it to have a single level deck which would make sure footed access much more easy for the old and infirm.

Take a look at this link. 37' and $15K, catameran hull....This style may be more practical for the project you have in mind.
35 Catamaran Cruisers 2002 Yacht Used Boats New Sailboats For Sale Buy Catamaran Sell Trawler=
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Old 09-15-2012, 03:20 PM   #8
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Do you mean "cruising" in the sense of taking off for weeks at a time to remote locations or "cruising" in the sense of "a three hour tour?"

I worked for years on a boat which did three hour tours. It was a lot of fun. But the reality was that when the weather was anything less than perfect, we were often asked to return early and even on the best days we had seasick passengers every sail.

This was on a very large, very heavy boat. In southern California, where "bad weather" was 10 knots of wind, small waves, 50 degrees and just the slightest bit of drizzle.

There are very few people who really enjoy cruising and they are tough folk. Often everything is blissfully perfect, but you get whatever you get and you have to be happy regardless.

If you do it, get a plastic boat. There is plenty to learn and do without having to become master carpenters too.

If you insist on wood, it is probably less work to earn the money to buy this beauty than to fix one yourself:

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listi...&access=Public

I know the owner has at least 800K into it and would probably be pretty happy to get 400K out. He might take a LOT less.
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:21 AM   #9
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Well, we are definitely talking about a few hours, and motoring (not sailing) in smooth waters - we have a fairly wave-less channel and inlets. Not big water, unless we choose to go further out.

We will approach our elderly participants at some later date. After a recent discussion we decided to focus first on a smaller wooden boat, to carry a few. This will become our dingy later. In the process, we can test the waters of restoration and how we work together. That is in its essence our very mission: restoring our souls and our boat at the same time. Sounds like a "chick flick" but it will be!

As for the aspect of the non-profit - we will definitely pursue this, as we are serious about restoration, for both the boat(s), and for the participants. The potential for later expansion would include incorporating elders in some aspect (see The Eden Alternative: Improving the lives of the Elders and their Care partners for an idea of new thoughts on how we can grow old and still have respect). So maybe the sick and dying might not want to go out and roll around, I get that. But I, for one, couldn't think of a better place to be when my time comes but out on the water...

Thank you all - we really appreciate all the input.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:56 AM   #10
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I am sorry to put a damper on your project... but when you speak of getting a smaller wooden boat to use initially to carry a few then you intend for it to become your dinghy .... by that statement it seems you really don't know very much abut sailing or boating in general and maybe you should go sailing first before taking on a project of this size... I have a 45 foot yacht, my tender is 10 feet long and I couldn't accommodate anything longer ... the tender at a pinch will carry 6 as long as they are very friendly and 3 or 4 at other times...

Like i said ... gain some experience, speak to people at your local yacht clubs and take it one step at a time... I would not want to see you get into all sorts of problems because you don't understand the logistics of sailing.

Hope you do well anyway ...

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Old 09-17-2012, 07:51 PM   #11
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Hi Lexx,
Not sure what your message means. But thanks for your comment - yes, we are using this project to gain experience and knowledge. We know very little. We'll probably just acquire and work on a smaller boat to learn and practice the art of small-scale restoration, before jumping into a large boat. But selection will be key, as this boat will hopefully, yes, become the dinghy for our later, larger project on a motor cruiser. We won't be sailing. And no worries, no comments on this thread will put a damper on our enthusiasm.
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Old 09-18-2012, 04:53 AM   #12
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Hi,

My comment meant that anything you get initially to gain experience in and to use initially for taking a small number of people out will be way to large to use as a tender for the "larger" next boat.

Most tenders are about 10 feet long for boats in the 40 to 50 foot range ... on larger boats, like 60 to 70 feet, a tender maybe 12 to 14 feet long at best... go and look at a 15 foot boat and see how suitable it 'isn't'.

Just my thoughts,

Lexx
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Old 09-18-2012, 07:57 PM   #13
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Hi, I know its a nurses project. But I have Dyspraxia a spatial awareness and short term memory disability. If you ever think I woulld fit into a project like your undertaking bear me in mind please. The suggestion about sponsership is a great idea, its very hard to find anyone who will just hand onne free over. This is going to be a mamoth task. Please keep me informed.
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Old 09-19-2012, 02:49 AM   #14
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Hello nurses! I have posted in a different thread ( http://www.cruiserlog.com/forums/f12...html#post35394 ) my concerns about offshore medical kits. I would truly appreciate your thoughts.
Ta!
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