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post #2 of Old 03-06-2003
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Who''''s living on what??

Currently living aboard a 44 foot cutter in DC area. Wife and two teenage kids. Everybody loves it. Plan to cruise in a few years. Previously lived aboard and cruised a 30 foot sloop with kids, then 6 and 9. Cruised full time for 3 years and 10,000 miles. We all thought the boat was fine for us. It had a v-berth and 2 quarter berths, so everyone had their own space - very important. New boat has a seperate cabin for 17 yo daughter and private quarter berth for 14 yo son. Works well.

A couple of points. Stuff expands to fill available space - there is never enough room, so bigger is not always better. Everybody needs their own space - if it''s a couple, there needs to be space to get away, even if it''s the cockpit. If you''re going to cruise, get a boat big enough to carry enough water and food, especially with kids. But don''t think that you need a big boat. Cruising and caring for a 30 foot boat is much easier than a 45 foot boat.

Our 30 foot boat was great for cruising, but not designed for dock living long term, especially with 4 people. Our 44 footer is a great liveaboard and will be a great cruiser as well. Layout and systems are important. The less systems aboard (pressure water, refrigeration, generator) the easier cruising life will be.

The projected use of your boat will determine the suitability for cruising or living at the dock. If you just want to liveaboard and occaisionally cruise, get a bigger comfortable liveaboard. If full time cruising is what you want, get a smaller cruiser and adapt yourself to it.
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