cruiser vs live-a-board
Jeff and the group:
A while back I offered an informal hierarchy of cruising categories; damn if I can remember the detail of it now. But IMO that''s what''s lacking in any discussion about cruising boats...and I only reintroduce the notion because of the original post, asking about ''cruiser'' vs. ''liveaboard''.
As memory serves, I was trying to slice the cruising pie into the following categories:
B: Inshore, protected waters sailing with occasional coastal leg and/or occasional overnight, but close to shore and within a 24-36 hr wx f''cast window
C: Coastal to 1-2 day passages offshore, still within 48 hr wx f''cast window; Bahamas cruising, skirting the Gulf Coast Panhandle, jumping outside to skirt ICW sections, or SoCal Channel transit are examples
D: Offshore for a period in excess of solid wx f''cast period; examples might be returning to a SE or Mid-Atlantic U.S. port from Bahamas, a big leg enroute the Eastern Caribbean (e.g. Georgetown to Provo, T&C), or the first (longest) leg of the Baja Ha-Ha to Bahia Tortugas from San Diego.
E: Offshore for extended period (measured in weeks) with whatever seasonal wx patterns and convective nonsense that are typical
IMO Jeff''s definition of a ''cruiser'' best fits D and E passages. I (and probably everyone else here) would prefer making C passages on the ''cruiser'' type boat, but in reality would mostly (8 times out of 10) be fine doing them in the archetypical Morgan 41 liveaboard-type boat and not suffer the difference. Just about anything would suffice for A and B, not that we would object to a fine sail in a nice sailing sailboat.
The CE ''A'' rated boats we''ve had those tiring discussions about here in another thread are great for A, B and C runs, IMO. D is when one begins to seriously regret the absence of a truly functional galley, or decent seaberths, or when a head up in the bow of the boat causes one to haul the bucket out of the sail locker, or when shortening down sail requires more than just roller reefing a big genoa.