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  #1  
Old 06-29-2012
Max Hax
 
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Looking for a liveaboard, don't want to die in the ocean.

Hey folks. I'm 6'5", brand new to boats, terrified of the ocean, and have decided to live aboard
Looking for input on boat recommendations. I'm married to the idea of a sailboat (energy independence in case of zombie apocalypse) though I may consider a real cheap trawler to get me started.
Some things I've run into though.
1. I'm too tall for most boats. I'm half monkey so I have no problem swinging about and ducking through bulkheads, but I like to be able to stand while doing dishes and showering.
2. I've looked at about 10 boats thus far from a San Juan 27 to a Buchan 37 to a Spencer 42. The San Juan's cabin was about the size of the interior of my Jeep. The Buchan 37 was big enough for me to get by, alone, but certainly nowhere near comfortably. The Spencer 42 looks more than sufficient, but I'm not looking forward tot the idea of singlehanding a 42'. However, I hear constantly about elderly couples living for 10 years on a Morgan IO 30'. I've looked at videos of these and they look WAY bigger than the Buchan 37'. Granted, the Buchan's beam is only about 7'5" while the IO is about 10', but the Buchans extra 7' LOA I'd thing should more than compensate. Also, the Buchan could never fit a shower while most IO 30's have no issue with such accommodation. Am I just looking at the wrong style boat? Is there some magic word for sub 40' boats that can accommodate two adults and a box of cats comfortably?
3. After much research, I've set my budget to start at around $20k. Some people tell me this is completely unrealistically low, while many others (mostly liveaboards) say $20k will buy me a comfortable boat with enough left over to invite all my friends to a moon party. I've met liveaboards who tell me they spent $8000 on their boat, put $2000 into the interior, and consider $1500/y maintenance to be excessive. Then on the flip side there are those who wouldn't set foot in anything under $60k, and will drop $10k/y on maintenance.

So my questions I suppose are
1. Whats a good boat for tall, lanky, but extremely handsome men with either two cats or four cats and a tiny lady friend?
2. What's the secret code that unlocks all the roomy boats in the sub-40' range? (already tried up up down down left right left right a b start, but all I got was a gutted 42' Spencer in a condition scary enough that I left feeling like I'd just been raped).
3. What's a reasonable price for a live aboard? I don't expect gold plated shower curtains or VTOL, but I don't want myself or my cats to get too friendly with the seals either.
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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Looking for a liveaboard, don't want to die in the ocean.

There is a realy nice looking ferrocement liveaboard but maybe a bit out of your range. Not to far away so maybe worth a look and an offer. BTW don't be put off by the people who decry ferro. Lots of benefits for liveaboard in a cold climate.

See CLICKY
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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Looking for a liveaboard, don't want to die in the ocean.

Your trying to justify something you have no idea what your getting into.... A sailboat is not the way to escape (or survive) the break down of life as we know it. "Water World" isn't happening for at least another 100 years either.

Suggestion.. slow down.. go sailing, take some lessons or teach yourself. Make friends with owners looking for crew, or go on a few charters with someone that knows how to sail. Hit the books.. learn about sailboats and construction there of.

"wanna sail, don't wanna die" kinda shouts out how little you know about sailing and sailboats.

4 cats??? and if the boat didn't smell when you get it.... OMG.

And, where's the Tiny Lady in all this?
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Old 06-29-2012
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Everything Denise said.

After that, go look at a Catalina 30, and a Morgan O/I 33 if you can (even just to visit, not to buy). Neither are sail-anywhere boats, but they are roomy for their length (and slips charge by the foot!)

Some people can live in and sail over the horizon in an Albin Vega, a Pearson Triton, etc the size of a closet. These people may be the $20k people... some people couldn't do it in a massive 42'er @$150k.

Maybe you should consider options in the middle but offshore design often compromises dockside comfort, and maybe you get seasick anyhow! Everything Denise said....
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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Looking for a liveaboard, don't want to die in the ocean.

Everyone keeps talking about moorage fees but they're really not bad at all. Consider that my rent for my terrible apt. is $18,000 per year, moorage doesn't even compare.
Moorage for a 30' here is between $240-$300/m, all inclusive.
Moorage for a 40' boat is $320-$490/m, all inclusive. This is less than 1/4 my current rent regardless (my place is a shithole for $1500/m).
Even if I assume 20% the price of my boat for maintenance every year, I'm still not spending on a boat, what I spend on my horrible apartment. Also, I get a good deal on my current place. Most in the area start at $1800/m for 700sq'. I suspect that rent/property prices being so dramatically different between here makes a massive difference in how reasonable a boat would seem. Anywhere else in the world, for what I pay in rent, I could be paying a 10year mortgage on a pretty nice 4bdrm house in the burbs.

That said, I don't know anyone else's situation. I know mine and it seems wasteful.

I've considered something in the range of an O/I 33 or S2 11.0(c). The real question I have though is that these two examples seem massive compared to the Buchan 37 I recently checked out. I hear of couples or families living on 35-42' boats quite comfortably. Perhaps I've just seen the wrong boats, but I can't imagine most people fitting 2-3 people into a Buchan 37 for more than a weekend, and I'm a minimalist. I want a small bedroom just big enough for my bed. I want a shower my height and width (about 6'5" and 2x2'. The Buchan couldn't possibly fit a shower. I strongly suspect there's just a totally different class of boat that I haven't seen in person yet (like the S2 11.0c or O/I 33).

I'm certainly not going to go buy a boat without some experience first. I've got a few sailing days lined up with a friend of a friend to see how I dig it. I've spent most of my afternoons for the past few weeks parusing the docks and talking to the locals (though the only liveaboards I've met thus far are in trawlers or cruisers).

@Denise - Live as I know it is probably much different from most. Rent on a 1bdrm apt that is rotting out, smells awful, carpets are all stained, no yard, no place to even put my bikes, pay parking, not allowed to do any work to my place and I pay $1500/m for this 700sq' of space that was clearly never designed for human living (80% is space that is unusable for anything). I work from home (just need internet), I like to have a few projects on the go (which I can't have at my current place), I want to travel, I love being a nomad, I have no debt nor bills other than rent. The $1500/m for rent alone makes a boat an attractive proposition, even if I have to spend $60k to get into something I like. Am I crazy or just missing something? The other live aboards I've met make significantly less money than I do, and most have a job that requires them to be somewhere every day, but they all seem to be very happy and certainly not living in squalor. I spent about 3 hours hanging out with an older couple on the docks the other day, who have lived in their 35' Monk for 10 years and seem to be very well setup. They paid $9000 for the boat and have put (they say) a little under $6000 into it (they do their own work, so this is just parts and haulout/drydock costs). Is this uncommon or is there just a large void between people who manage to do this for far cheaper than I curently live, and those who tell me to not even consider attempting to liveaboard until I'm prepared to spend $2000 a month on maintenance and endure constant typhoons and attacks by rabid otters?
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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Looking for a liveaboard, don't want to die in the ocean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
There is a realy nice looking ferrocement liveaboard but maybe a bit out of your range. Not to far away so maybe worth a look and an offer. BTW don't be put off by the people who decry ferro. Lots of benefits for liveaboard in a cold climate.

See CLICKY
I've considered a ferro-concrete for sure. The first boat I found was a 60' FC ketch geared out for charters. Clearly too big for a first boat, but I researched the FC hulls. It seems that the general consensus (what lies between the left and right) is that FC boats are very low maintenance but are also often poorly constructed by hobbiests. I've only heard of a small handful of FC boats sinking, and this was always on home made hulls. I'd worry a little about cracks developing as they'd be a bitch to fix compared to FG or even Steel. They're heavy but seem mostly bulletproof. What other info can you give me?
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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Looking for a liveaboard, don't want to die in the ocean.

Have you considered a houseboat?
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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Looking for a liveaboard, don't want to die in the ocean.

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Originally Posted by johnnyquest37 View Post
Have you considered a houseboat?
Yes. I originally moved to Vancouver hoping to buy a houseboat. Unfortunately, they don't start here till about $400,000 and the city won't allow you in a new slip. All houseboats here will stay where they are forever. No new leases will be handed out. Vancouver is very unfriendly to liveaboards and houseboats.
That said, I've considered a boathouse/cruiser but now I'm pretty hot on the idea of relatively cheap wind transportation. I like to be autonomous as far as possible. I may buy a small cruise-a-home for extra room while docked in town, but ultimately I'm hooked on a sailboat at this point.
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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Looking for a liveaboard, don't want to die in the ocean.

Blist, if it's just a liveaboard you're after, then you have a lot of options (including some big old powerboat with bad engines). In your other thread you mentioned a liveaboard and bluewater sailing. This complicates things a bit. The boat for the former can be anything big and comfortable enough to live on. Who cares if the sails, electronics, motor etc. are shot or at the end of their life? It's just a place to sleep and cook meals right? Now if you want to buy a boat to live on now and then use to go cruising later you'll have to be much more selective. I suggest you start by reading up on cruising and sailboats in general and especially the older threads here on Sailnet. There have been dozens of threads started by people just like you- starting out and full of questions- which have pages of long, thoughtful responses. The problem when you're starting out is that you often don't know what you really need in a boat. Anyone coming from a house will find a 40ft sailboat's interior tiny by comparison. Once you actually spend time on a boat your notion of "space" changes! To give you an idea, I cruise part of the year and weekends with my wife and 2 teenage kids aboard a 35ft boat and we feel like we have plenty of room. My boat, however, is set up for cruising and living aboard long-term. Other 35ft boats might not be practical as cruisers. Your first step is to decide if you just want a cheap boat to live on to get out of your high rent on land or if you want a boat to go cruising on.
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Old 06-29-2012
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Re: Looking for a liveaboard, don't want to die in the ocean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by copacabana View Post
Blist, if it's just a liveaboard you're after, then you have a lot of options (including some big old powerboat with bad engines). In your other thread you mentioned a liveaboard and bluewater sailing. This complicates things a bit. The boat for the former can be anything big and comfortable enough to live on. Who cares if the sails, electronics, motor etc. are shot or at the end of their life? It's just a place to sleep and cook meals right? Now if you want to buy a boat to live on now and then use to go cruising later you'll have to be much more selective. I suggest you start by reading up on cruising and sailboats in general and especially the older threads here on Sailnet. There have been dozens of threads started by people just like you- starting out and full of questions- which have pages of long, thoughtful responses. The problem when you're starting out is that you often don't know what you really need in a boat. Anyone coming from a house will find a 40ft sailboat's interior tiny by comparison. Once you actually spend time on a boat your notion of "space" changes! To give you an idea, I cruise part of the year and weekends with my wife and 2 teenage kids aboard a 35ft boat and we feel like we have plenty of room. My boat, however, is set up for cruising and living aboard long-term. Other 35ft boats might not be practical as cruisers. Your first step is to decide if you just want a cheap boat to live on to get out of your high rent on land or if you want a boat to go cruising on.
My thoughts exactly. I don't need much space. As I said, my crappy 700sq' apt ($1500/m) is both too big and too small. It's laid out extremely poorly so there's not really much room to do anything but it's also got great big open spaces that can't be used for storage. It's pretty much the opposite of a well laid out boat. It's two levels high, but if it were up to me, I'd just redo the interior and turn each level into it's own suite. Lots of room is not a concern. Being comfortable however is. I've been looking at other peoples <37' boats and finding that they seem to be more than sufficient for my size and requirements. I can't find anything like these boats though, locally. The best I've found thus far is a 41' OI CC, but I suspect the owner may be a bit dodgy. Just trying to get a feel for what boats make good liveaboards.
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