My Fiancee has given into the idea of living aboard after we return from our year in Romania. So now the preliminary hunt for what type of boat begins. I know the brand beneteau gets a bad wrap but from my research and my wants its a boat that seems to suit me. But im definetly open to any other ideas/recomendations so please feel free to chip in. heres a list and description of what i want in my liveaboard.
1. Space- I know two people could easily live aboard a 32 foot boat and that it would be cheaper to do so, But we eventually would like to have a small family and have my brothers and sisters aboard etc. Everyone says that our first boat wont be our final boat but i would at least like it to last a while. Especially considering im a gadget and upgrade person and i know i will spend a lot of money upgrading the boat. the 37 has three cabins. one for me and the future wife, 2 for future kids/guests. I also want it to feel more like a house and be comfortable for the future wife.
2. Cost- we can spend about 70-90 thousand and still have about 20,000 for immediate upgrades/maintenance. plus we are both still in our 20's and working full time. Together our income is about 120k a year. Not great but its still on the rise and i figure it will be enough considering cruisers not working live on much less. I dont want to start an argument on whats cheaper living on land or on the water, but from my figures it comes out to being close to equal depending on lifestyle. Currently we are fairly fresh out of college and only own 3 pieces of furniture, one tv and a couple laptops. so getting rid of stuff wont be a big issue. by the time we bought a house, lawnmower, furniture for the entire house, etc. i think it would come out to being maybe a little more than the boat. Ive done my research though and understand that boats are money pits and i expect to put in thousands a year keeping her fit, with no appreciation value in the end. Just stating these facts so that people know im not doing this to save money, we are doing it because we love sailing, the water, the lifestyle etc. we understand its not a way to save an extra dime. on that note, we chose the boat over the house because we dont want to be tied down and can not afford to have both. And we are not putting off our dream of sailing until im 60 and can afford both.
3. Speed- Heres the kicker for you guys! I love to race and would really like to do some regattas in my boat. I know you guys were thinking of some great blue water boats up until this point. I fell in love with sailing while doing regatta time in the abacos and love racing. this is where the problem lies, live-aboards and racers are on completely opposite sides of the spectrum. light, sleek and fast against heavy, beamy and usually slower. Ive tried to cure my racing desire with dinghy racing but i crave it all the time while sailing big boats as well. so i need something that i can do the fun regattas and weekend races in. I know the beneteau is no speed machine, but compared to most beamy live aboards its pretty quick.
We would like to do a couple cruising trips but have no circumnavigation dreams. The Caribbean would be our most common destination, maybe a trip over to mexico by way of the gulf of mexico. This can all be done with a coastal cruiser like a beneteau fairly safely with proper planning. Eventually though we would like to sail over to the med for a year (atlantic crossing) to explore. I know the beneteaus are no blue water boats and this trip is going to take a ton of planning and finding the best weather windows we can. the following is a link of a family who circumnavigated on a beneteau 38. http://www.nealalexander.com/sitebui...iles/ben38.pdf
So i know it CAN be done. but if i did have the desire to be a real blue water cruiser i know the beneteau is not for me and i would start looking for a heavier boat. dont want anyone to think that i expect this boat to let me do multiple circumnav's. its to risky.
all of this led me the bene 37. the interior is great looking and spacious for the wife, racing is pretty good for me. not to big to single hand but not to small for future family.
So any comments on the beneteau 37? anyone else know a good racer/cruiser in the 70-90k range? Anyone here tried living aboard a beneteau? thanks for reading all of this and im very impressed if you got though it all!