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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum
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Old 05-01-2011
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Satisfaction with boat choice

After reading many posts concerning choosing a boat for cruising I have become curious as to how those of you view your chosen boat after cruising and living aboard for a couple of years. Are you happy with the size, type, and layout of your boats? What are some of the features you found you can do without and what would you change about your boat if you could?

My concern is buying a boat for myself that may end up being either too small or too large after adapting to the liveaboard life. When I look at what's available I keep getting drawn to the Tayana 37 and I especially love the looks of the Hans Christian 38. But are either of these going to end up being too much boat?
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Old 05-01-2011
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Good choices in both boats. Also good size for a couple, and plenty for a single-hander. I first went on a 30ft. Columbia, and then moved up to a 46ft. cat. Most of my fondest memories involves that old Columbia, and I will keep her in my heart until my last breath.........i2f
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Old 05-01-2011
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Thanks for the input Imagine. I will be singlehanding and I need at least 6'2" of headroom. Can you make any suggestions as far as equipping the boat for living aboard and cruising? I'm definitely wanting a functional galley and a head that doesn't beat me to death. After reading about these boats and their light air performance, would some type of spinnaker be useful? I haven't read anything about how much they are actually used while at sea. I've never used one and I'm not sure that they can be handled by one person.
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Old 05-01-2011
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Dean - Smart question, and decent boat choices. My suggestion is not to take your land-based priorities with you when you're boat shopping. Example, when we started our search we assumed we needed two cabins - one to use as a home office because I was still working. And because that's the way we'd always done it when we lived on land, with a separate room. The reality when we moved aboard was that we used the nav station as an office (with laptop instead of large desktop computer). Not seeking that second cabin allowed us to get into a smaller, less expensive, and more maneuverable boat.

We demanded a serious galley with oven, and a head where I could take a shower. Walking back from a marina shower at 6 AM in January with wet hair just felt like camping out for me - and one advice I'd offer is, figure out what makes YOU feel like you're camping, and address that in your choices; you won't enjoy living aboard long-term if you suddenly realize that every day, your're going to face those little annoyances that are no problem for a summer weekend, but that get old fast.

Another boat in the same class as what you're looking at, check out a CSY 37 - decent bluewater boat, yet small enough to single-hand. The designer was a tall guy so all the bunks are 6'6" or greater and there's lots of headroom. I'm not sure exactly how much, but our friend who owns one is 6'4" and he doesn't stoop inside. We live on the smaller CSY 33 - designed for coastal cruising instead of bluewater - and headroom & storage are ginormous.

And, welcome to the Chesapeake! Great sailing, you'll love it here!
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Old 05-01-2011
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Great advice!

Thanks for the great advice wingNwing! I have been trying to keep it simple during my search. My idea of camping has always been living off what I carry on my back as far from campgrounds as possible. I've since combined my camping excursions with my 13' kayak for extended stays up to a week in the wilderness. I learned alot while sailing my Endeavour 32, including the fact that a dedicated nav station would be a very handy thing to have. My E32 didn't have one.

Although I have had to sell my boat, it did help me to better define what I would want in her replacement. Since I'm planning to move to the coast, living aboard, and to cruise, I need something that I feel I have some room to grow on. A compromise between a 13' kayak and a house so to speak. One of the things I appreciate about boat features is that many serve a dual purpose; settee converts to a berth, nav station acts as a work desk, that sort of thing.

I'm really wanting to keep upkeep cost and slip fee's to a minimum while. Anything over 40 feet looks to significantly raise those costs. It's a challenge to balance costs and ease of handling with enough space to make it feel like a comfortable home. I figure once the boat is paid for I can work and save for a while then take off for the horizon, carrying my tools with me. One can find a need for an experienced carpenter and concrete finisher about anywhere so I will be taking my income with me.

I will check out the CSY you mentioned, I don't believe I have seen it yet. I do love the looks of the more traditional styles. Did you need to modify your boat in any way to make for better living space? My E32 had a 75 gal water tank. What size of tankage is suitable for extended offshore use?
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Necessary tankage depends on your lifestyle; two of us make 110 gallons last 3 weeks cooking drinking and bathing; 4 weeks if we're trying to conserve.

As for modifications, the previous owner had added an air conditioner and huge cockpit awning with side shade cloths (she had the boat in Texas) and we added a diesel heater and solar panels, and pull-out faucets in both the galley and head sinks.

Before we left to go cruising we added an autopilot, heavier ground tackle, and new sails & standing rigging.
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