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  #41  
Old 04-04-2012
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Re: The Live aboard dream right out of college?

I did something like what you are describing (minus the blue water part). Entering my second year in graduate school, I suddenly had to find a new place to live. Everybody I knew had made arrangements already and I did not feel like having housemates I did not know, so it seemed like a great time to live on a sailboat. I found out that the fees for the dock and haul out every other year would come to about what I would pay in rent. The stars were aligned.

I found a Cal 2-27 that had some hurricane damage. The seller who ran a small boat shop had patched a couple holes but the deck had been torn from the hull in a 5 foot section and that still had to be repaired. There was an Atomic 4 on a crate that went with the boat. I bought the boat very cheap with the agreement that I would fix it at his place in the next month, and he would be available to teach me how to do it. I put in 4 long weekends, getting there in the afternoon on Fridays and working 4-5 hours and then putting two 18 hour days on Saturday and Sunday. The boat was ready at the end of the month.

I had sailed only a couple of times by then. I had bought a styrofoam Sunflower for $50 and spent a few days teaching myself how to sail. I had read a ton about sailing already, but had very limited practical experience. I sailed the boat single handed from Connecticut to Rhode Island. I knew there was going to be some learning moments and wanted to keep them private. I managed to do it with no damage to the hull, only to ego when I took a wrong turn leaving the harbor and ran aground, but I was able to kedge off.

I lived on the boat for 3 years. I learned a lot about sailing and boat maintenance. It was a great experience overall. A few things could have been better though, such as doing it further south. It is not as much fun when the boat is locked in ice and the water is turned off on the docks etc. Also being a graduate student while living aboard is just like working; you can't cast off and leave for a week whenever you feel like it. Still it was a fun experience and one I would not have had otherwise.

I would say research what your expenses will be, think of some emergency funds, keep things very simple on the boat, and do it while you can.

Last edited by meteuz; 04-04-2012 at 02:06 PM.
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  #42  
Old 04-04-2012
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Re: The Live aboard dream right out of college?

Sky- you are getting some great advice here, but like many other new sailors (documented by threads here on SN) you aren't really willing to listen carefully because it doesn't fit your plan. The odds of you, with no experience sailing, let alone offshore experience, buying a cheap, older 36' +/- boat and having it serve your purposes of living aboard for a few years and then transforming into your ideal blue water circumnavigator are slim to none. I know I'll take the heat for being an old curmudgeon here, dashing a young sailors dreams, etc. but re-read this thread and you'll hear many experienced sailors encouraging you to buy a coastal cruiser, learn to sail, learn about sailboats and what makes a good offshore boat, and then when you have some knowledge buy the correct boat to take cruising. I think you are making too big a deal out of having to split it into two phases. I'm sure you have some past experiences where you bought something and after having it for awhile you realized that it wasn't really what you needed, or wanted. Boats are the same, it generally takes quite a bit of experience to know what the right tool is for the job. Your basic premise is a good example of what I'm talking about; you have no experience, limited funds, your looking for a good live aboard but you want this boat to turn into an offshore boat that you will depend on for your life (as well as having large water tanks, adequate storage, a strong rig, heavy ground tackle, large battery bank, etc, etc). I'm not saying don't go for it, just to realize that because of your lack of experience it's going to be a miracle if you pick the perfect boat to do two very different things right out of the gate. A smaller boat to start that is easy to take sailing would be my advice to my own son if he were in your position, and I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 04-04-2012
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Re: The Live aboard dream right out of college?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyreep View Post
So what size is good for crossing an ocean with comfort and most importantly, safety.
Obviously a 41' would be nice; but is a 36' realistic?

I found a nice Hunter 37' and I really like the layout.

A 37' Hunter is also a coastal cruiser, not a blue water boat.
As Donna said above, it's not so much the size as it is the mfg.
Pearson's, Catalina's, Hunter's and a number of other boats really are just for coastal cruising.
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Old 04-04-2012
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Re: The Live aboard dream right out of college?

I'm sorry, I thought the Catalina 38, Yankee 38, Hughes 38 were designed for international offshore racing. Not as sure on the other ones bunim fairly certain the Catalina was, and problems such as low water tank capacity are ones which can be resolved.
The division between everyone just makes it very hard to satisfy posters when I have some saying "go for a 27-30 footer, you can learn and circumnavigate" others saying "don't go 37-40 blue waters, too big to start with and be cost efficient as a liveaboard" but then when trying to satisfy everything with 30-36+/- I have people saying its too big for liveaboard and too small for blue water.
I understand the argument for two different boats, it just seems like it would make alot of sense to learn on the boat I would take offshore, the comfort for liveaboard increases substantially, the safety of blue water increases, etc.
People like Captain Fatty go on two circumnavigations on a S&S 38, I just fail to see why a 36-38 footer isn't what makes sense. When it's hard enough earning 30-40k for a boat, I don't see why I wouldn't go ahead and get the boat I need, rather than spending even more years selling, and saving, for a larger vessel.
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Old 04-04-2012
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Re: The Live aboard dream right out of college?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyreep View Post
I'm sorry, I thought the Catalina 38, Yankee 38, Hughes 38 were designed for international offshore racing. Not as sure on the other ones bunim fairly certain the Catalina was, and problems such as low water tank capacity are ones which can be resolved.
The division between everyone just makes it very hard to satisfy posters when I have some saying "go for a 27-30 footer, you can learn and circumnavigate" others saying "don't go 37-40 blue waters, too big to start with and be cost efficient as a liveaboard" but then when trying to satisfy everything with 30-36+/- I have people saying its too big for liveaboard and too small for blue water.
I understand the argument for two different boats, it just seems like it would make alot of sense to learn on the boat I would take offshore, the comfort for liveaboard increases substantially, the safety of blue water increases, etc.
People like Captain Fatty go on two circumnavigations on a S&S 38, I just fail to see why a 36-38 footer isn't what makes sense. When it's hard enough earning 30-40k for a boat, I don't see why I wouldn't go ahead and get the boat I need, rather than spending even more years selling, and saving, for a larger vessel.
hahah... everyone is correct. They all have given you the right answer based on their experiences and needs. It is up to you to sort out what is best for you. Let those answers to sink in, you will see the light soon enough.
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  #46  
Old 04-04-2012
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Re: The Live aboard dream right out of college?

Unfortunately, with a forum like this, there is an art in figuring out whose viewpoint and opinions to trust. Because in most cases, it's all opinion.

In the end, you'll do what you want to do. We all know that. I think what most of us are trying to do is at least show you that there's more to it than just buying any boat that catches your fancy, moving aboard, and sailing off. You have two stated goals that share some features but not all.

My major concern with you and others in your situation, is that you don't know enough about sailing or about sailboats to be able to effectively use the answers you receive to your questions to help you move towards your goal. The only way that will happen is to slow down and take it in smaller steps. Otherwise, it's just a lot of facts and opinions being thrown at you.

You may not even like living on a boat. Trying to sell a boat you don't want is not as easy as giving up an apartment lease if you don't like the landlord.
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  #47  
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Re: The Live aboard dream right out of college?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skyreep View Post
People like Captain Fatty go on two circumnavigations on a S&S 38, I just fail to see why a 36-38 footer isn't what makes sense.
It does...for Captain Fatty. It may or may not for you.
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Re: The Live aboard dream right out of college?

Also consider that the cost of maintaining each additional foot of boat goes up exponentially. Once you think you know what size boat you want, look at supply catalogues and price replacement parts. Call a sail loft to see how much it will be to buy a new sail (main and jib at a minimum). Find out from the marina you choose what the difference in slip rental is between say a 30 foot boat and a 35 foot boat (usually 30 foot is one cut off before going to the next price level).
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Old 04-04-2012
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Re: The Live aboard dream right out of college?

Any boat CAN circumnavigate.
How much money do you want to throw at the boat to make it suitable?

Yes, Capt. Goodlander took a semi-derelict boat and made it a world cruiser, BUT

...you aren't Fatty Goodlander.

Fatty started sailing when he was BORN, bought Carlotta at 15, and had logged a ton of seamiles before he decided to fit out WildCard. Experience is a huge time and money-saver when it comes to choosing and outfitting a boat.

It's not the SIZE of a boat that makes it a circumnav candidate- it is the BUILD. You bring up Catalinas- here are three quick reasons why a Catalina 30 is not a good choice to cross an ocean:
1. HUGE companionway hatch
2. Huge Cockpit with tiny/no bridgedeck.
3. Undersize cockpit drains.

Could a Catalina lap the world? Sure. Throw enough time and money at any problem and it can be solved. But all that time and money working on the boat mean less time sailing the boat or living aboard the boat, and that is your goal in the short term, isn't it? Oh, and let's not forget that the bigger the boat the bigger the cost for slip fees, haulout fees, yard fees because those costs are always calculated by length (in the water) or square footage (on the hard) the more money you spend on the fixed expenses, the less money you have to spend on the actual boat.

With your tight budget you are already behind the curve, because boats in the bottom feeder budget are always, always behind the miantenance curve to start. So now, before you can even think about "Goodlandizing " your ride to cross the Atlantic, you have to deal with basic deferred maintenance- and the bigger the boat, the bigger the maintenance.



The RIGHT boat is a boat that can grow with you, not a boat that you try to grow into, with costs that just seem to grow.
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Old 04-04-2012
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Re: The Live aboard dream right out of college?

There really is a lot of good advice in this thread. I, myself did things in a very unconventional way, and jumped in feet first with no experience. Here's a link to my story about "jumping in with boat feet". From Newbies to Seasoned Cruisers I spent 10K on a 31ft sinking wooden boat. It almost sank in a near-shore storm, but it didn't and I lived on her for 6 great years and she taught me a lot.

For many of those 6 years I thought she could be an ocean crossing boat. Unfortunately I was so green that, I had no idea. She could NOT be a blue water boat. I'll draw a parallel on the point of experience. I once had a doc tell me, when I was newly out of PA school that I had to be very careful. It was not because of what I didn't know. If I knew that I didn't know the answer, I could ask or look it up. It wasn't the info I knew that was dangerous either. It was the stuff that "I didn't know that I didn't know" that would be dangerous.

In Bjones post he points to only a few reasons why a catalina isn't an ocean going boat. Who would have though that a big cockpit opening is a fatal flaw? It can be. It takes a while and some experience to know these things, which is why it's good that you're asking those who do know.

Even though I'm an iconoclast myself and I jumped in with both feet I don't think you can get a good blue water boat, that you will be happy with (remember you have to figure out what YOU want in a boat i.e. big and slow vs fast and light) for your stated budget. I would LOVE for you to prove me wrong and I'd happily eat my hat, but I fear it's not realistic at your current budget.

I see 3 competing things that can't be reconciled:
1.Desired size.
2. Blue water capability.
3. Less than 10K price.

I would argue that if you only choose 2 of the three above, you will have more choices than you can shake a stick at. But it'll have to be 2 of the 3 above.


Lets see if we can look at this a different way: How badly do you want to actually cross an ocean on your own bottom? Is it the crossing itself that attracts you, or the destination (Europe?). You could sail your whole life up and down the US east coast and into the Caribbean and never anchor in the same place twice. What about skipping the Atlantic crossing? If you skip the crossing requirement you could get a great coastal boat and enjoy costal cruising for as many years as you like. You don't have to cross an ocean for it to be a cruising life.

If crossing the Atlantic under sail is really your dream, what about getting passage on another cruising boat that needs a third person as crew or on a race boat?

If sailing your boat in Europe is the dream, you could buy a coastal boat and have it shipped over one day, negating the need to spend all the money on a sturdy blue water boat and all the gear. Shipping your boat over to any spot on the globe is not as expensive as you think.

If it absolutely has to be one boat only, and it has to be big, and you have to cross the Atlantic on YOUR boat, then price has to go. That can be done though. You could get a boat loan. I have a Formosa 41 and they're HUGE on the inside and are awesomely seaworthy and good ones can be had for as little as 30K. It's three times your budget but you could do it with a boat loan.

Also if you don't want to go into debt, and you want to cross on your boat, it'll have to be size that goes. Go small and go now has worked for many.


Pick 2 of the three and the dream is doable in one step as you require.


Happy pondering.

MedSailor
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Last edited by MedSailor; 04-05-2012 at 12:02 AM.
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