We just moved on our 1971 C27 Dinette. It was the cheapest and most practical of the boats we looked at. We used to have a C27 standard layout and loved how the boat performed and parts where always available and cheap. It's a Toyota on the water.
I did the following to the our C27 Dinette:
- Instant hot water - shorepower (we have an outboard)
- New holding tank - V-birth 20 gallon
- New/additional water tanks
- Propain heater - bulk head
- Added 12v fans for air circlation
- Changed lights to LED
Planning on purchasing a full cockpit enclosure before winter. This will increase our living space for winter.
Living on the boat is myself, wife and 2 kids (6yr/3mth). Daughter sleeps in port quarter berth, boy has a crib set up on the starboard quarter birth. Boy sleeps the whole night, the boat rocks him to sleep.
How we do it:
1 week cloths onboard, we use ziplock backs for each day of cloths that do not have to be hung(keeps moisture out of socks and underware). We have only 1-2 days of meals on board (we eat lots of fresh foods). Simplify, Simplify, Simplify, No CD's or DVD's (all digital, ipod and AVI's), We did spoil our selves and kept the wii, but guitar hero had to go bye, bye.
We use a stoarge unit for all other clothing and dry foods, like a pantry. It is a climate controled unit and we have full enclosure hanging racks for clothes. We do have monthly "Land Vacations" as we call them. We will book a weekend at a hotel and take long showers and sleep in a king size bed.
We have simplified because I expect to be layed off next year. We are saving and we know we'll need a bigger boat in 2-3 years. Friends though we where nuts. We love it. We are saving a $800 a month by not paying rent for an apartment, plus another $250 from utilities. I grew up on a sailboat with a brother and there was a family of 4 living on a J/24. If you can simplify, you can do it.
There are always CON's with this life:
Bed is tight, get's cold in winter. Someone said C27 is not insulated, very true. We are working on idea's to insulate, but summer is coming
We owned a house and had a freezer in the basement and had lot's of food, now it's lot less and we hit the store almost daily. I miss the oven, I loved to bake, but that's why we have family who live on land, lol.
It took my wife 3 years to "WANT" to move onto a boat. Took her another year to say she wants a C27 again. We loved our old C27.
Good luck with you decision. You'll love living on the water. I can not tell you how priceless the view is when you wake up and drink your firsh cup of coffee in the cockpit.