Re: Hunter 420 for a live aboard?
I would have to say a Hunter 42 would make a good liveaboard, it is a very spacious sailboat, and would have room for a good sized family on board. Have you had boats before? 42 is pretty big to start with, though I know someone who started with a 50 so it is not impossible. There are folks out there living on boats much smaller and smaller than 30 foot even. The costs to maintain a boat do not go up linearly with size, almost more like to the square of the size. So a 42 foot boat is going to cost a LOT more than a 30 foot, as everything on it will be sized bigger, and slips are not just by the foot but after a certain point more per foot. So I would say the smallest boat you can fit is the best place to start, it will be much cheaper to operate and maintain. It will also be easier to operate as well!
An example one of the local marinas charges 75 a foot per season up to 32 feet, but at 33 feet it jumps to 106 per foot so a 32 foot boat will be 2400 for the summer season, but a 33 foot will be 3498 and a 42 will be 4452 for the summer. So there is a big jump, besides the initial expense. Everything that needs to be replaced will go up almost exponentially with size. Rigging is not only longer, but bigger sails are way bigger and what not.
In mast furling would be a deal killer for me. While many people are happy with it, it can cause many headaches and hampers sail shape. The older systems do seem more prone to issues. Hunters are reasonable quality boats, made to a price point. I am not sure if the ones you are looking at have the "B&R Rig" or not, but again that is something I would not want, but many are happy with it. To me it is a solution to a problem that does not exist.