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fierystar 06-15-2006 10:16 AM

preparing to live aboard
My girlfriend and I are planing to live aboard within the coming year. We have been reading and looking at many different options in buying the "right" boat for us. We are narrowing down to a 28, 30 foot Morgan OI, Islander, Lancer, etc. Formally from NH and Boston, I live in AZ now and can't wait to get back to the sea !!! We would like to hear about boat and marina choices and also what would be the best way to check out boats being from this hot and ugly desert. Thanks , Tom

PBzeer 06-15-2006 10:44 AM

Boat search right here, and are two good sources for researching boats for sale. Some things to take into consideration are where you will be sailing and how often. Will you be cruising, or just living on the boat while working?

While two (or more) people can certainly live on a 28 to 30 foot boat, I think you'll soon find it's a bit cramped. Particularly, if you're just using it instead of a house. To my thinking, you would be better off looking in the 32 to 35 foot range.

The first thing you need to determine though, is how you'll realistically use the boat. Once you do that, you can more easily determine what boats to look at.


fierystar 06-15-2006 03:42 PM

live aboard
Thanks for the reply. I believe you are correct when you say "determine the use" . I guess we want the best of all worlds (room and comfort, sailing capabilities, low price, etc.) and I don't know if that's possible. I feel I would be more comfortable handling a smaller boat to start.
I have been to most of the sites that list boats but I would prefer an onboard look at this point. Thanks
Best regards, Tom

hellosailor 06-15-2006 04:00 PM

"we want the best of all worlds (room and comfort, sailing capabilities, low price, etc.) and I don't know if that's possible."
Sorry to be a wet blanket, but that's not possible. Room and comfort conflict with sailing capabilities. You get the former on a barge, the latter on a race boat, and in order to compromise the two you need a much larger (read: longer) sailboat. You might consider a 38-42' boat "roomy" and capable, but a 28-30' boat will be very much like camping in a VW van.
If you both can deal with that, up front, you may do OK.

Personally, I think you need something like 28-32 feet to handle average weather, because at that point typical "small craft warnings" usually indicate you'll be in for a rough ride in anything less.

Marinas and such...You won't get any answers on unless you can narrow it down to *where* you want to go.<G> Got any plans? Limits?

If you don't have much sailing experience (and given the huge number of yacht clubs in Arizona<G>) you might want to find an ASA certified bareboat course on one ot the coasts, and invest (yes, it will cost) in the price of having both of you take the class. That will give you some practical experience, some time afloat, and a chance to get hands-on with various boats. There's nothing like a couple of days ON a boat to find out if it is going to work--or be a very bad mistake. Much cheaper to take the course than to buy a boat and find out afterwards.

Surfesq 06-15-2006 04:14 PM

I think Hellosailor is 100% Correct. I cruised and lived aboard a Hunter/Cherubini 37C for a year with my ex-wife and then 2 year old daughter. (Our divorce had nothing to do with that year). The issue once you move onboard is how much stuff you cannot bring with you. It's very easy for many people to miss that point. That is why people are suggesting bigger offshore boats.
I am currently renovating a 41' Seawolf which I intend to live aboard and cruise. I chose this boat because it was built for long-term Ocean Cruising. As a result, there is a plenty of logical storage space for living aboard and enough headroom for me. (I am six feet eight).

svLotus 06-15-2006 05:25 PM

living aboard and sailing
my husband and i bought and moved aboard our 33 ft. morgan outisland back in 2001, just outside of houston, texas. the outisland was a compromise buy, giving us more than enough room for the two of us, and accommodated his height at 6'2". we commuted to work for half the year and eventually took our morgan cruising for one year: down the icw, over to mexico, down to hoduras, and back. she was a very reliable, comfortable, and affordable purchase. that said, it was not the optimal sailing vessel. we had periods that required some motor-sailing, but overall it was perfect for the stage we were at with our sailing. very easy to handle. i think you can easily find something 30-32 ft that's livable. for both purchases we used

we're now embarking on a 3 year circumnavigation and again some compromise (a blue water sailboat, that sails!, and with comfort) had to be negotiated. so, we've purchased a morgan 382 and just love it. plenty of room, she sails great, the boat is blue water worthy, and we can both single-hand her. oh, and it didn't break the bank.

either way, prepare to simplify, simplify, simplify. we found after moving aboard for the first time 5 years ago the process came in steps. ultimately, you pare down much more than you'd ever imagine.

as to marinas, we opted for texas because of the low cost of living and SUPER cheap marina slip rent. i personally found Florida to be anti-liveaboard and extremely costly, and the same for california.

happy sailing!!!

sailingdog 06-15-2006 05:50 PM

Also, consider that longer/larger boats have higher costs for docking, mooring, haulouts, and the maintenance costs are usually higher on longer boats.

A boat smaller than 35' is doable, but you really will have to make some serious changes if you're going to liveaboard.

capn_dave 06-15-2006 06:43 PM

I agree with SVLOTUS
For an affordable cruiser with the room of a 40 footer That is dependable and will take a lick the O/I Morgans are probably the best bang for the buck. They aren't rocket ships to windward. They do take bad weather well, with a comfortable ride. With a full keel she won't turn on a dime but will track like she's on rails.
The O/I series were designed for the charter business and had to be jsut about bulletpruff.
Good Luck in your search and fair winds.
Let's us know how you make out

Cap'n Dave

Surfesq 06-15-2006 09:25 PM

I agree with the Morgan suggestion. I looked at several Morgans when I was shopping. I thought they were well built and the interior room was fantastic. I went with mine simply because I loved the look. But I am also handy so the amount of work did not intimidate me.

fierystar 06-15-2006 11:24 PM

living aboard
Thanks for all you imput on this subject and your knowledge from experiance. We have been narrowing our focus on our needs and are learning very much about what we are planning. I have downsized to a suitcase, and a case of beer, in the last few years and have learned to go without. I am handy with woodwork, fiberglass, and engines so an older boat is good.
I like the idea of a sailing class and will check that out. Also thanks for the headsup on Texas marina's. Has anyone sailed to Alabama ports ? I have some friends at Dana Point, CA We stayed on their 22' Catalina now that was small !!!
Thanks, Best regards, Tom

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