We are looking for a boat to live on. What factors, such as laundry, refrigeration, etc., should we consider? Can you offer any guidance on the subject?
Sue and Larry respond:
Guidelines for buying a boat to live on as opposed to cruising on are pretty radically different. Not being sure which one you and your wife are planning, we'll assume it's to cruise on, since that is what we are familiar with.
How much you can include in the way of luxuries like refrigeration and laundry, etc., really depends on how large a boat you want and how much money you have to spend. Personally we wouldn't want to live without refrigeration on board, and having a freezer certainly lengthens the time that you have really good meals versus eating the canned stuff, but we can easily do without a washer and dryer. Other important items to us are lots of fuel and water, and a system of being able to maintain our battery bank, independent of going to marinas.
Good protection from the elements via a dodger and bimini, and side-curtains can definitely extend your living space. If you're like us, you'll live in the cockpit most of the time, so find one in which you are comfortable.
Good luck with your search. You'll never find one that suits all your needs, so just look at as much as you can, then choose what feels right for you.
Sue & Larry