Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: British Columbia
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How live-aboard-friendly is Newport OR? I'd say that's the first part of the puzzle. It's difficult to find legal live aboard moorage in Vancouver BC.. and if you do it's pricey and the city gets its share too. As a result, esp if financing the boat it's not a particularly inexpensive way to live.
As to the boat itself, both approaches may well work for you... how much use you'd get out of the larger liveaboard may depend on how easily handled she is, and what's actually involved in getting away from the dock... A disadvantage to that part of the coast is a lack of protected cruising waters such as what we enjoy in BC.
It may be that an inexpensive trailerable, continuing to live economically in your trailer, and getting sailing experience by traveling around to different areas (including Puget Sound and BC waters) makes the most sense.
Vancouver BC is pretty tiny spec of BC. I've cruised BC for most of the last 40 years and haven't been to Vancouver in years, and have no desire to go there. I haven't paid moorage on my current boat in 27 years. Newport is a long stretch of open ocean from any good cruising grounds. You'd be better off in Puget sound.
Brent Swain, Boat designer, Builder, and author of "Origami Metal Boatbuilding"