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post #1 of 15 Old 01-03-2012 Thread Starter
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Hi all, future liveaboard, single-handed sailor

Beginning my trek to learn and gain the skills for a liveaboard life and single-handed sailing. I've been watching and reading some of the threads concerning single hand sailing, rigging, adv/disadvantages of various equipment, boat sizes, how the weight of the boat might affect one's preference. Have liked the informed opinions. Will watch and try to ask a good question now and again.
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-04-2012
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The library has helped me alot.

The live-aboard part is easy buy a boat in a marina...move in.

The single handed sailing part gets more complicated...

But with those two parameters put you in boats between 27' & 35'...
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-04-2012 Thread Starter
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I'll research the library and watching posts. I've read about manageable lengths of boats for single handed. I'm still looking into the 40s for room, but I'll have to be realistic. My first boat of choice is a Maple Leaf by Cooper (no longer making them.) They have a 42 and 48, which the 48 I know is getting looooong. I'm guessing there's the possibility of leasing a liveaboard first to test out the life style and possible boats. I'll check library for that possibilty as well.
Good notes, thanks.
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-04-2012
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Welcome 3TBeep, Often potential liveaboards first believe that they require a larger boat than necessary. The difficulties in single-handling a larger boat will likely be most apparent when maneuvering in and out of a marina slip. Many of the more challenging single-handling tasks will be made much easier with an auto-pilot. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-04-2012
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The Maple Leaf 48 would be more than a handful. I don't know of any that sail without a good sized crew The original Kennedy47 (which Huntingford morphed into the MT 48) still is a big first bite. The ML 42 has megga room for livaboard but all that hull windage makes for interesting docking and it is a big step from deck to dock My experience off shore in big following sea on a 42 tells me any autopilot would die trying to prevent 90 degree yawing(and broaching)( a 48 was lost with all hands in an Indian Ocean typhoon) I spoke at length with Kennedy and Stan Huntingford about stuff but my final decision was made over do it yurself comfort and classic gaffness.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-05-2012 Thread Starter
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I am concerned about the docking issues as well. Even in a "protected" port, the wind can/will be an issue. My concerns about big seas are not as great as my main focus is the inland waterways of British Columbia. Now, that might just be naive as I still have more research to do on whether patterns in the area. I don't have much interest in the open sea, though a trip down the CA coast is not out of the question and that would open up the big seas concern. Of course, that can always change I guess if the bug bites and the tradewinds came calling, but I kind of doubt it. Most Maple Leaf comments I've seen, have been fairly complimentary about the stability of the boat. More to review there. You stated you don't know anyone with an Maple Leaf that doesn't sail with a crew...that has to be kept strongly in mind. I'd like to meet/talk with someone that has an ML of any length, so if anyone can put me in touch, appreciate it. There's definitely much more time to be spent on the water. Good notes. Thanks.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-05-2012
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Everyone starts off thinking they need a bigger boat than they really do (Me included). A surprising number of people we have met have told us they wish they had a smaller boat so they could do more cruising.

Now, I freely admit my bias toward smaller boats but I have to say that, other than racing, I see no reason for a solo sailor to need anything bigger than about thirty six feet LOA. Even then, I am stretching it , only because of conventional wisdom. Thirty feet LOD or less would be my preference.

Wife and I have been living aboard and cruising a Vega27 for over fifteen years. As far as we can tell, the only reason to have a larger boat is to carry more stuff (Stuff may include children, pets or in-laws) or for entertaining.

BTW, we found the US West coast, WA, OR and CA, to be far more challenging than crossing to or from Hawaii. We have encountered a lot of novice, and far too many experienced, sailors who believe that proximity to the coast is somehow safer than far out at sea. Not only not true, but dangerously wrong in my opinion.

Finally, If your primary cruising area will be Admiralty Inlet/Strait of Georgia area, you would be better served by a trawler, like a Nordic Tug. We spent three and and a half years in that area and our engine accumulated more than twice as many hours hours during that time than in the previous 18 years.


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post #8 of 15 Old 01-06-2012 Thread Starter
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Well, they'll definitely be no in-laws. I traded that in... and I'll leave it at that. However, a pet is part of the plan.
Vega1860, your trawler idea is interesting about the area, but I would be concerned about fuel costs. Research to be done there.
I'm in no hurry to get anywhere in particular, so if I ran the diesel more on the sailboat I don't know that it would bother me, though it would have an increase cost, both in fuel and engine wear. But would it be significantly comparable to a trawler's fuel cost? Was/is your point about the usage of the increase of the sailboat engine worse than opting for a trawler and the cost of operating a "engine-only" powered boat? Might you elaborate or perhaps have advice on researching that comparison?
Thanks.
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-06-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vega1860 View Post
......................Finally, If your primary cruising area will be Admiralty Inlet/Strait of Georgia area, you would be better served by a trawler, like a Nordic Tug. We spent three and and a half years in that area and our engine accumulated more than twice as many hours hours during that time than in the previous 18 years.
I love to sail, but I've also put over 5,000 hours on my auxiliary diesel and I don't hesitate to motor when the time is proper. I think a sailboat functions best for those that love to sail and not for those that choose the sailboat for some thought of economy alone. Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-06-2012
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A different perspective smaller is bigger than you think!

Just a thought from someone who's been living the dream for over a year now...smaller is bigger than you think!

First off, seaworthiness and sea-kindlyness usually increases exponentially with the waterline's length. That said, I love my little Columbia 24 and have lived on it since October, 2010 (when I'm in town I travel, a lot).

First, smaller boats have smaller costs: As an example, I just received a quote from North Sails for a brand new mainsail for $1,100! Tell me I'm not going to have brand new canvas! A complete re-rigging is going to run about a grand... And so on...

Yes, I am refitting a 49-year old boat at a cost of about $6k, but tell me, where can I buy the nautical equivalent of a tank for $800? Outfit her and update almost every system for under $7k...and end up with a pocket cruiser that can handle weekends in Catalina at the drop of a hat?

Yes, I get wet a lot more often than I'd like; yeah I don't have all of the luxuries I would prefer, nor do I get to carry as many friends as I would like. But, you know what I do get? Time at sea, a paid off sailboat, and the option to do what I am planning to do this November; take a two year sebatical and sail the Pacific, albeit, in a sailboat that's more camping than resort living...
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