cruiser vs live-a-board
As far as the brokers & builders are concerned the only consistency I can find is the "horizontal surface suitable for sleeping" mentioned earlier. Catalina puts my 27 in their "Bay" category while a 31 is a "Cruiser". This seems based solely on size as the boats are about equally seaworthy. I always associated "liveaboard" as an attempt to describe a boat big enough to live on in some measure of comfort. The big difference is between boats built for speed (racing) and those built for comfort & safety (or something approaching them) while at sea. All sailboats are a compromise between the two, a "bluewater Cruiser" IMHO is probably a full keel design (like Pacific Seacraft) as opposed to fin keel, (I know there are plenty of circumnavigations with fin keels). I''m really reinforcing others in the post that the terms are a lot like Real Estate ads in that the seller will describe what he thinks potential buyers want, and the things that make a boat more pleasant at the dock are not necessarily the things you want in a boat that will be offshore a lot.