I'd rather be sailing
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: The state of s/v/ Pelican
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Rep Power: 9
Having cruised and knowing what it takes to outfit a boat to liveaboard, and also the conditions you could be bringing her in... spend up to $250k on the boat (this should get you a nice older Passport, Tayana, Hylas, or any number of other bluewater boats) and spend the other $200k on outfitting (you'll easily be able to do this - liferaft and other safety gear, windgen, solars, watermaker, genset, electronics, spare parts, possibly a new engine, standing rigging, lifelines, running rigging, sails, etc.).
Also, for two people, I would go with something no longer than 45', preferably in the 40' area (which will restrict the center cockpit choice). You want to be able to handle the sails if you have an electrical or hydraulic failure, and boats larger than 50' make this very difficult. Also, safety wise, there really is little difference between a 40' boat and a 50' boat when mother nature throws her worst at you. If anything, I'd feel safer in a 40' boat since there's less hull to crack, fewer systems, etc. We're looking at 50' boats right now, but that's because we have two kids.
I don't have the link handy but there was a long thread on bluewater boat makes here somewhere... great discussion on brands. Being a Passport owner I love to see other people go down that path, but I can also say that Taiwanese/Chinese boats are some of the best bluewater boats as long as you refit the metalwork (chainplates, rudder cages, etc.).
s/v "Pelican" Passport 40 #076- Finished Cruising - for the moment -
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"Don't dream your life, live your dream" - Bob Bitchin'
"I'll see it when I believe it" - Me