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Old 04-22-2013
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Re: A bluewater live-aboard for under $20k

I would completely strike Cape Dory off my list, they have way too many deck problems and I'm sure your not looking to completely rebuild a boat. Old boats can be very expensive when it comes to upgrading rigging, sails... Living aboard is a very different lifestyle, I love it but most don't. On 30-40 year old boat you wont find the space you do on most modern boats so size is another issue. I have been living aboard for years, currently on a 22' cutter and love it. If you can find a decent Triton 28 that might be at the top of your list, but again, if it sounds like you are walking on a bag of Doritos when you are on deck, walk away. You might find an old Westsail 28-32 for 20K, there are dozens of Flicka's in that range. Rangers and Cal's will get the job done. Vega's are cheap, small and great sailing boats for under 10K. I would suggest putting the whole budget into the boat and doing upgrading and repairs over the years, assuming you have 20k in cash. If you are borrowing money you may be sealing your own fate on an old boat. FYI I just met a guy here in the harbor who sailed his 5K Ericson 27 from Wa to Mexico, out to Hawaii and back to WA with no complaints. I'm filming a video right now and one of the interesting things we are doing is cutting into hulls of boats built in the 60's and 70's for cross sections, very interesting stuff. We also took a 5 lb sledge hammer to a 1962 Columbia 24 but you will have to wait and see which one won
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