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  #141  
Old 08-13-2012
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Re: Last Night at the Harvard Club

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Originally Posted by DougSabbag View Post

Which brings us back to what I advise anyone venturing toward a liveaboard life: Buy as big as you can afford. You will much more likely regret buying too small than you will regret buying too big.

:-)
Different strokes for different strokes, as always, but I'd disagree with that to a certain extent...

No question, for most people living aboard in a marina setting, their boat functioning primarily as a houseboat, that approach will work for many people...

However, once a typical Mom & Pop cruising couple really start really going places, I think there's much less validity to such an approach... Especially as people age and become less fit, there's a real value in keeping the size of the boat within reason, and relatively modest... I'm often shocked at the extent to which some people out there today are "over-boated", and entirely dependent upon electrical or otherwise complex systems to deal with the physical loads larger boats bring to bear...

I've seen lots of clients over the years who succumbed to the desire to buy "the biggest boat they could afford"... Unfortunately, the tendency appears to be to greatly underestimate the costs involved beyond the initial purchase price, and such purchases invariably result in the boat's sitting still over time, instead of being actually used...
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  #142  
Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Last Night at the Harvard Club

As is often the case a pinch of truth to both sides of the coin.

LOA is often a poor method of discerning boat size but we knew after spending almost every weekend and a couple of months a year on board that our 34'er was too small for us. I'll readily admit however that had I been able to own her thirty years ago she would have been damn near perfect for that much younger me.

That said and having had our 40'er for over a year now I'd not like to go much larger. We rarely have guests staying so we only need to worry about room for two and our girl has enough of that. I can see that an extra few feet would bring us a slightly bigger galley and perhaps an island v-berth up front or a great cabin in the stern but at what price in terms of handling, maintenance and of course dollars ?
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  #143  
Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Last Night at the Harvard Club

Buying a bit bigger than you think you need, and smaller than the max you can just barely afford strikes me as a good balance. I'm happier buying parts for my A30, and happier working on the big 45'+ powerboats with more elbow room when someone else buys the parts and pays for fuel/moorage.
I wouldn't want a 60' boat for example, for my needs it's just too much, especially when it comes to cleaning!. However a 36' feels just a bit too big for me, including extrapolating extra space for things I don't own but may want, and including space for a partner down the road if needed. Everyone's needs may be different, but general guidlines could apply.
The A30 I own, is just right for me now, but I suspect I'll want more room later, and then I'll have a nicely outfitted boat for someone else to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

EDIT: Also, you have inspired me to add some granite to my A30, I used to fabricate and install granite countertops, and there's one granite that would be just perfect, it's a strange mix of cream, orange, black and translucent, the kind of look no synthetic has.
I'm keeping my eye out for a small piece to do my galley with if I don't go full synthetic.
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  #144  
Old 08-14-2012
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Re: Last Night at the Harvard Club

Just curious JG, how thin can the granit slab be to safely use over a plywood counter on a boat? Granit is very cheap in Brazil and I'm getting ready to replace my formica counters. I just don't want to add a ton of weight though.
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  #145  
Old 08-15-2012
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Re: Last Night at the Harvard Club

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Originally Posted by copacabana View Post
Just curious JG, how thin can the granit slab be to safely use over a plywood counter on a boat? Granit is very cheap in Brazil and I'm getting ready to replace my formica counters. I just don't want to add a ton of weight though.
I'm not sure, usually we didn't use it over plywood sheet though. Just mounted on the upper edges of the cheap wood the cabinets were made out of. Interestingly, the fragile granite I was talking about the back was usually fiberglassed for strength. Regular granite didn't need that. It was about a half inch thick as I recall, maybe a bit less in thin sections(such as in front of a sink) a metal rod was placed into a groove cut with an angle grinder, and epoxied in place. This was more so the sheet could be carried up stairs etc without breaking, than for strength after install. When the middle might only have a couple inches wide either side, and need to handle two guys hoisting and carrying it by hand things could get a little dicey.

To do the edges, we'd make a cut about an inch in from the edge, flip the cut off piece underneath and epoxy it in place, then grind the edge smooth and polish it. This gave you the thick edge feeling like a full thickness, a smooth shiny bottom edge, even nicer than a full thickness slab and some extra strength too.

Perhaps you could do the same(with the fiberglass on the back, and the laminated edge, skipping the metal rod if not needed.)

I was always amazed at the amount of abuse these slabs took being carried around.
The only thing more durable was the quartz contertops(basically stone+acrylic. They didn't need the re-finishing like granite, and we even dropped a slab without damage once.

Ours were usually a single layer of glass and resin, but I did a little googling, and came across this:
Lightweight Stone for Yachts Elevator Floors & Walls,Transparent Marble,Granite,Onyx

GRAMA BLEND LUMO
4mm of stone and 5mm of GRP backing, might be even better/lighter!
Looks like it's rated for countertops and floors, might be easier than making it yourself, though if it's economical to find granite there, I'd think going with the thinnest avail over 3/8" and then having the back done in fiberglass up to a couple inches off the edge, with the edge doubled over for visual/physical appeal would do the job quite well, and possibly be overkill :-)
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  #146  
Old 08-17-2012
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Re: Last Night at the Harvard Club

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jgbrown View Post
Buying a bit bigger than you think you need, and smaller than the max you can just barely afford strikes me as a good balance. I'm happier buying parts for my A30, and happier working on the big 45'+ powerboats with more elbow room when someone else buys the parts and pays for fuel/moorage.
I wouldn't want a 60' boat for example, for my needs it's just too much, especially when it comes to cleaning!. However a 36' feels just a bit too big for me, including extrapolating extra space for things I don't own but may want, and including space for a partner down the road if needed. Everyone's needs may be different, but general guidlines could apply.
The A30 I own, is just right for me now, but I suspect I'll want more room later, and then I'll have a nicely outfitted boat for someone else to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

EDIT: Also, you have inspired me to add some granite to my A30, I used to fabricate and install granite countertops, and there's one granite that would be just perfect, it's a strange mix of cream, orange, black and translucent, the kind of look no synthetic has.
I'm keeping my eye out for a small piece to do my galley with if I don't go full synthetic.
Interesting story on our granite installation a few years ago.... a quote for replacing the formica was $4500 in just the galley. Instead, a likewise "burnt orange / cream / black" mixture, (which really added a lot of zip), for the galley AND both heads came to $2500. I ended up having to install it as they were gouging the teak all around the granite, but nevertheless, it was much better than the formica and cost a fraction as much. Also it didn't create any list or imbalance to the boat, perhaps because the aft head offset the galley, and the bow head was more centralized.

When you liveaboard, and especially if you are married, it is some of these little touches that appease the "nest building" portion of us.
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  #147  
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Re: Last Night at the Harvard Club

Thanks for the information JGBrown. Sorry I didn't reply earlier, but I just saw your post now. Very good advice and I like the idea of using fiberglass as a backing and doubling the edge. I think I'll go with a half inch as you suggest and dispense with the plywood. As I said, granit is very cheap here (around US$100 for 10 spare feet / US$100 per square meter, and that's custom cut, polished and ready to install). I think it might actually come out cheaper than formica!

Cheers!
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  #148  
Old 08-20-2012
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Re: Last Night at the Harvard Club

Last Sat my wife and I took a trip to see Doug and Evelin's beautiful boat in Boston.
They were very generous in letting us look around as I know their time is very precious as they are getting ready for the winter.

Thanks Doug and keep in touch.
The two of you are an inspiration.

Last edited by davidpm; 08-20-2012 at 10:52 PM.
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  #149  
Old 08-20-2012
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Re: Last Night at the Harvard Club

Very cool dpm! SN coming through again!
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