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Old 08-18-2009
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Another guy looking for a boat. Crusing/liveaboard

I know this post has been over done, but I wanted to have a discussion rather then just reading past posts (which I have done).

So I want to sell the house and buy a boat. I will live on it year round. I work so it will need to be in a slip. Most of my work is done in front of a computer, and my boss (I'm self employed) would allow me to work from home on occasion which would allow for longer cruising. I would like a boat that has no limitations (wouldn't we all), or at least be able to go where I need to go. I'm looking at boats built in the 70 or early 80's to keep the cost down, older would be fine too. What should I look for in a boat. I am thinking 35-40 ft. Shoal draft vs. full keel? I don't know. Does shoal draft mean its not a good ocean boat? I believe a Skeg or keel mounted rudder is important, as I have read about too many rudder problems at sea. I know there are too many boats out there to list but are there some that I should keep an eye out for. and other the stay away from?

Pete
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Old 08-18-2009
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"I would like a boat that has no limitations "
No such thing, Pete.

You need to come up with a "business plan" that states what you want the boat to do and where you want to go, and then find the boat that suits it. Shoal draft is necessary in some areas, worse than useless in others. About the only thing you've defined is "longer cruising" which means you'll want a boat with adequate capacity for tankage and stowage on it.

Rudder problems at sea? Well...yeah, rudder failures in older boats are becoming surprisingly common. Somewhere out there are lists of recommended bluewater boats, generally stronger, more well-balanced, with the capacity to go out further and longer with less modification. But you'll also pay more for those, and generally they'll make worse liveaboards as they'll also be narrower with less room below.

Wanna see Scotland and the UK? You'll need a "north sea" capable boat, rather different from an surplus Moorings Beneteau shoal draft that you might use in the Carib.
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Old 08-24-2009
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I guess what I am looking for is a general guide of what to look for in a boat. There are so many boats out there I am just trying to learn as much as I can before I buy. To help define what I am looking for, here is the beginning of my business plan.

Save money for 2 years to buy the boat, in the meantime sail the old macgregor as much as I can. I am also fixing up my house to sell. A large portion of my boat kitty will come from the sale of the house.

Once I have the boat I will live on it in a marina.

Take boat out for weekend sailing trips off the cost of NC.

venture further away from home on longer cruises as time comes available.
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