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aclosereachaway 11-12-2005 11:05 AM

Liveaboard and Cruiser
Ahoy all, this is my first post here after having read many different topics for well over a year. If you don''t mind reading a brief synopsis of my plans I think it will help with my question... First off I am 22 years old and a senior in college. My life long dream is to cruise extensively. My girlfriend and I have decided to make this dream a reality. I plan on working for 3 or 4 years, or until my boat and experience are ready to take on some serious blue water sailing. My question to you is the biggest question when taking on such an endeavour...what boat? A huge aspect of this of course is what do I want to spend? Well believe it or not I have saved, and used the stock market and so as a down payment I have a little over 40k. The job I would like to get will start me off somewhere around 45k a year. Those of you with much more experience than I in these matters know better than I what is a good priced boat that will not only fit my needs, but will also be reasonable to make payments on in the time alloted. I want to live on the boat while getting ready to go, so it must be roomy enough, and set up well as a liveaboard for two people. The boats that I have currently in mind are between 37 to 41 feet. From a Tayana 37, a great boat is almost all aspects, to a Ta Chiao 41...which I know are a gamble. I know these are larger boats for a young couple, but becuase I will be living on it for many years I need something for ''stuff'', and also I am 6 foot 3 and need good headroom. I do have a good amount of experience for someone my age, I have a 22 foot sailboat now, I have sailed on my father''s 38 footer to Bermuda, up and down the east coast, and all over the chesapeake bay. Not much by many of your standards, but enough to make me obsessed with my plans. I think that I have now produced enough information of for some ideas if you all would be so kind. Thank you all very much, and Jeff be kind.

WHOOSH 11-12-2005 12:08 PM

Liveaboard and Cruiser
Along with an introduction and a request for help, a name would be nice...

...and BTW Jeff is always ''kind''. He just has information that sometimes others find a bit painful to hear. <g>

Smaller budgets (and cruising kitties) along with an absence of trust funds suggest a smaller boat is better than a bigger boat. (IMO the last thing you need is a CT 41 with its HUGE keel). Smaller crews (you''ll be two-handed, apparently) suggest smaller boats, as well. Boats will always limit the quantity of ''stuff'' you have aboard...or at least, they should. Be clever, resourceful and thoughtful about what you take aboard, or reflect a bit more on your priorities...but don''t buy a boat based principally on how much ''stuff'' it can swallow.

To get some good suggestions, you need to offer some more information. Based on where you think you''ll be financially, 4 years out, what is your budget for purchasing & prepping the boat? (Telling us a hoped-for starting salary doesn''t suggest anything about your lifestyle or how expensive it will be where you live). And equally important, what are your cruising plans? The Bahamas or, a bit further afield, the Caribbean are easily accessed and not terribly demanding. Crossing an ocean is a different matter...while staying in USA coastal waters is easy-peasy. Draft requirements (for now or later)? Where would you place yourself on the continuum between superb sailing capability at one end and great load-carrying/housekeeping capacity at the other?


Irwin32 11-12-2005 08:48 PM

Liveaboard and Cruiser
I have seen a lot of posts here asking the same question. Yours is different. First, you have cruised so you have some idea what the implications of your plan is. Second, you have a great down payment and seem to have already researched what you are planning.

An offshore capable boat is available for around 50K so you are there.

I am not a live aboard, but I have cruised lake Michigan for 30 years. I know something. Go for it!!!

You seem to have a handle on the boats - tayana is a proven cruiser. Calibers, Westsails, Sabres, Morgans, are suitable and available in your range.

Check out this boat: se&showMD=false
they call it a ''94 which I suspect is 10 years off.

I just bought an 85 and have been very pleased after one season. A little tough to handle in tight quarters, but great out on the sea. Decent light air performance.

aclosereachaway 11-13-2005 02:05 PM

Liveaboard and Cruiser
Okay, I will try to respond to Whoosh first and supply some additional information that has been suggested. First off my name is Will, I go to school in Mass. and plan on moving to either Virginia Beach, VA or East/central FL upon graduation.

I only kid about Jeff. I have read many of his posts and am astounded by his knowledge and experience. I''m just afraid to be completely wrong.

My cruising plans consist of going thru the canal, and over to the S. pacific to cruise for a few years. And if life takes me farther west so be it.

As I look at boats that will allow two people to liveaboard and cruise I see two different types of boats. For crusing a Tayana 37, or for that matter a 27 Pacific Seacraft would be great, but the PS27 offers no room of course and would be almost unbearable on such long least to someone as long as I. As for a liveaboard a Hudson Force 50 or CT 41 would be fantastic. So a middle ground must be found that will be easily handled by a crew of two in all situations, be affordable, and be able to hold all clothing and possessions (within reason of course). I mentioned the Tayana 37 becuase it embodies almost all qualities, good sailing performance, good motion, would also make a good liveaboard for two people for a few years. I also like cutter rigs, so that is another bonus.

My last thought is this: do I want to spend a bit more money on a boat that comes equiped with things like windvane/generator/water maker/radar and the like, or do I want to find a boat without these options and get the exact equipment that fits my needs specifically?

To Irwin32 thank you very much for your reply. I looked at the boat that you provided a link for and it seems like a pretty neat boat, but I am embarresed to say I''ve never heard of that build before. What would you say about headroom and creature comforts?

I think that sums up most of my ideas about what I want to do, hopefully this additional information with help. Thanks again.

WHOOSH 11-14-2005 02:59 AM

Liveaboard and Cruiser
Will, as you may know your particular plan is the hardest one to execute on a small, finite budget: buying a boat that offers both comfortable, relatively spacious liveaboard features AND is suitably designed & built for long periods of offshore sailing. There can be no compromises on each of the basic systems as well as the structure of the boat, and sometimes it''s surprising how much it can cost just to have a sound but basic boat (before the first piece of gedunk hardware goes aboard). Just to give a few examples, by the time you leave, the boat will probably require a new standing rig (and perhaps lots of new running rigging), the steering cables, bushings and perhaps chain will need replacing, you may have a structural issue to address (how old is that rudder? does it work on its post?), and it''s unlikely you will find the boat with an adequate, suitable suit of sails for such a trip. Since you will need to tackle these projects yourself ($$$), your time window isn''t as long as it might feel, given that you also have to find the boat and then sail her sufficiently thoroughly to come to know her before shoving off.

None of this is meant to disuade you from The Plan, but rather to suggest a context in which you take the next steps. Here are a few things I would do initially, were I in your shoes:
1. Buy Voyager''s Handbook by Beth Leonard and carefully review the chapters on boat selection as it relates to the cost of cruising, as well as the overall financial planning plan she offers. No one does this topic better than Beth and it is crucial to a successful fit-out, adequate cruising kitty AND financing the subsequent re-entry. While you have cruising experience, these issues may all be new territory for you.
2. Accept that ''smaller and simplier'' is going to be your primary theme and shape your shopping accordingly. By ''smaller'' I don''t mean "small" and I''d encourage you to think displacement before length, since that not only influences cost and ease of handling for a short-handed crew but also *may* define how ''big'' a boat truly is in the ways that are meaningful to you (volume, load carrying and such).
3. Consider a bias for boats that were prepped for cruising but where the cruising never ''took'' for at least one of the crew. Often these boats are initially selected thoughtfully, and so the design and build may be suitable. Second, the basics might have been already tackled. Third, they tend to congregate in returning yachtie locales and so targeted shopping can be efficient. Since you are apparently in the U.S., I''m thinking of places like S Florida, Annapolis, SF Bay and the Long Beach/San Diego megalopolis.
4. Use a broker (or several, if working different coasts) along with doing your own web work. Solicit broker recommendations from others and make your choices using length of tenure as a broker, preference for your kind of project (namely, older/cheaper/mid-size cruising boats; most brokers will want to sell bigger boats, or multihulls, or power, or...), and by chatting to them on the phone. E.g. I would recommend Al Gundry at Interyacht in Annapolis if you are shopping in the Mid-Atlantic/NE region; excellent knowledge of the marketplace and of sailboats, and 20+ years experience with Interyacht.

I know this doesn''t take you to a specific recommended list of brands & models, which is what you are asking for...but I think that''s starting at the wrong end of the logic train. Just as the previous poster illustrated, there may well be choices out there that are suitable to your needs but which you wouldn''t consider if starting out with the typical ''Island Packet/Tayana 37'' type list. Moreover, lesser well known boats might also have lower prices. However, I would recommend you review John Neal''s list of recommended design and build preferences for Pacific-type cruising, which does include a (now dated, biased to the larger vs. smaller) list of cruising boats. See - very useful info IMO and of course John''s been cruising in the South Pacific for 3 decades now.

Good luck on the Big Search; it can actually be a lot of fun!


bigsarg1 12-20-2005 08:38 AM

Liveaboard and Cruiser
My name is Henry and your plans seem to mirror mine. I am 42 yrs old and getting ready to retire from the militay after 26 yrs of service. I will retire to Fl and want to sail the East coast and then over to the pacific and Hawaii. I like the Downeast 32 and Morgan 33. They have a lot of room and are strong blue water cruisers. A late 70 model will be in your price range.

I think buying a boat with or with out the electric goodies can go either way, just remember all the goodies in the world do not matter if they are over 3 yrs old. They do not count towards the price of the boat, and if the owner wants to take them w/ him then he takes all the plumbing too.

Good luck

aclosereachaway 12-20-2005 09:35 AM

Liveaboard and Cruiser
You make a very good point about equipment being no good if it''s 3 years old. I think that is a pretty accurate timeframe. Those are nice boats, but I''m not sure if all 6''3 of me could deal living on that size of a boat for too long. To be honest I don''t care too much about how long a boat is, as long as the cabin has good headroom for me. Not to mention places to put....stuff.

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