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Old 02-27-2011
knotted knotted is offline
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for my 2˘ based on very little experience except extensive looking at boats to buy, the decision you need to make first is whether you want to go sailing or boat building!

I looked at 'cheap' to 'free' boats that needed major work to go sailing, and at somewhat more expensive boats that needed little beyond new exposed woodwork and a really good cleaning. I chose to go sailing

The other thing to consider is that operating costs increase pretty steeply with length. You can trailer a 19 ft or 20 ft boat behind pretty much most smallish cars. But get an extra foot or two and you need a truck. Much bigger than that and you need a slip, with annual launching and haul-out fees.

I re-read that you want a live-aboard, so you've pretty much bought into the operating costs already. So back to the first thought: when do you want to move aboard? The more work you have to do, the longer it will take. I think a boat is too small to live on and do major work, though anything is possible if you put your mind to it.

I second Faster - buy the best condition boat that meets your needs (you fall in love with it ) and is within your budget. Allow twice the time and twice the money for any improvements! And go sailing, unless you really, really want to become a boat builder....
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