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post #1 of 45 Old 03-29-2015 Thread Starter
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Small Live-Aboards?

I'm looking at a Cat 27 tomorrow. I'm working on living aboard whichever boat I buy (this will be my first).

I've read that Cat 27s are generally no-frills comfort-wise and most people are counseling I not try living on anything less than 30'.

Anyone here that can tell me some of the small and inexpensive boats they've lived on for a whole season or more? Looking for some "look out for..." comments.
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post #2 of 45 Old 03-29-2015
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Re: Small Live-Aboards?

I lived on a Tanzer 27 for 3 years. and loved it.

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post #3 of 45 Old 03-29-2015
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Re: Small Live-Aboards?

People 'live' in cardboard tents in Stanley Park...

It's a matter of your personal needs and tolerance. You've indicated you're OK with a minimalist type of lifestyle. Living alone a C27 may well be just fine.

In our climate, I think a boat with some light below is important.. so reasonably large ports to let light in, a plexiglass companionway dropboard helps there too. Another issue, for this area, is watertightness.

Eliminating deck and window leaks will go a long way to making whatever boat you choose more inhabitable. Constant battles with damp and humidity is not only uncomfortable, but unhealthy generally and supports mold and mildew and the associated issues with those. With shore power available a dehumidifier is almost as much a priority as a heater.

Sanctioned liveaboarding is not cheap in Vancouver.. on-the-hook is a song and dance routine generally going into False Creek for shelter (max 2 weeks) and out on the bay until you requalify for another 2 weeks in the Creek. In big westerlies, it's common to find one or two of those boats on the bay ashore on Kits beach. Shore access, where to leave your dinghy, etc etc complicate that lifestyle esp if a daily commute to work is in the mix.

Long term you'll appreciate the extra space, esp if you decide to cohabit with someone at some point. The larger boats will typically come with more amenities and better equipment (batteries, charging capacity, fridge? etc)

Ron

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post #4 of 45 Old 03-29-2015
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Re: Small Live-Aboards?

I owned a Catalina 27 for five years - it was a great boat for day cruising, but not big enough for a live aboard by a long shot. It sailed very fast, even with just a 100-percent jib and full main in light winds. It rolled a lot at anchor, and when the weather got nasty, the ride could be pretty wet at times. My Cat was a 1981, the cabin sole was flat in the middle, but curved on the sides, which provided sufficient head room for my 6-foot frame in most areas of the interior. The head, however, only had about a 5-foot, 7-inch clearance, which meant I banged my head a lot if I wasn't careful.

Mine was powered with a Universal Atomic-4 gasoline engine that ran like a Swiss watch and you could barely hear it running. It pushed the boat along at hull speed when only at half throttle. Good combination!

I spent 10 days on the Cat one summer in the lower Chesapeake, and by the time I got back home, I knew that boat was too small for coastal cruising and living aboard. That's why I purchased the Morgan 33 Out Island. Lots of room, great, dry sailing boat, easy to single hand.

Gary
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post #5 of 45 Old 03-30-2015 Thread Starter
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Re: Small Live-Aboards?

I'm on the wait list for a liveaboard space on Bowen now, and can keep my EastVan apartment till I draw the short straw there, so less concerned with "doability" than specific antecdotes.

Just soliciting peoples' stories of small liveaboard experiences... What was hard, easy, expected, unexpected. Did cooking craft beer on your propane burner get you in trouble, does canning your marmalade in winter make you any friends, how hard is it to adjust to warm beer, etc etc etc...


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Originally Posted by Faster View Post
People 'live' in cardboard tents in Stanley Park...

It's a matter of your personal needs and tolerance. You've indicated you're OK with a minimalist type of lifestyle. Living alone a C27 may well be just fine.

In our climate, I think a boat with some light below is important.. so reasonably large ports to let light in, a plexiglass companionway dropboard helps there too. Another issue, for this area, is watertightness.

Eliminating deck and window leaks will go a long way to making whatever boat you choose more inhabitable. Constant battles with damp and humidity is not only uncomfortable, but unhealthy generally and supports mold and mildew and the associated issues with those. With shore power available a dehumidifier is almost as much a priority as a heater.

Sanctioned liveaboarding is not cheap in Vancouver.. on-the-hook is a song and dance routine generally going into False Creek for shelter (max 2 weeks) and out on the bay until you requalify for another 2 weeks in the Creek. In big westerlies, it's common to find one or two of those boats on the bay ashore on Kits beach. Shore access, where to leave your dinghy, etc etc complicate that lifestyle esp if a daily commute to work is in the mix.

Long term you'll appreciate the extra space, esp if you decide to cohabit with someone at some point. The larger boats will typically come with more amenities and better equipment (batteries, charging capacity, fridge? etc)
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post #6 of 45 Old 03-30-2015
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Re: Small Live-Aboards?

I've been very happily living aboard my 22' cutter for 4 years with my dog. This year I added a mate and it shrunk a bit but we have no intentions of going larger. Its all about mindset. If you are attempting to take your shore side life with you a Cat 50 will be to small. There will be a breaking in period and growing pains so be patent. I think the number one boat would be the Ericson 27. They are very strong, cheap, easy to maintain and dozens have done very impressive offshore passages. Smaller is always better, safer and more fun
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post #7 of 45 Old 03-30-2015
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Re: Small Live-Aboards?

Rather a long thread but it started when Shadow was looking for a small-ish boat to live on and ended up with a C27. She's been living on it for about three years or so by now and has posted changes she made to the interior to make it a liveaboard.

Just beginning to shop around... would love feedback/ideas...

Donna


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post #8 of 45 Old 03-30-2015
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Re: Small Live-Aboards?

Those of you who have lived or are thinking of living on board a sub 30'er ..... how tall are you ?

That has always been my problem with smaller boats. If I was six inches shorter (I'm just on six feet) I reckon I could have coped with living on a 30'er but for me simply not comfortable.

Could have done it if cruising and not working but not live aboard and workling.

Andrew B

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post #9 of 45 Old 03-30-2015
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Re: Small Live-Aboards?

I am 6' 4". My Tanzer 27 had headroom to about 5' 11". Again, I lived on it for three years. Lots of stooping, lots of head bumps. But at 6' 4" its hard to find enough head room on any boat. I sit a lot, stand under the open hatch sometimes, etc. I now live on my HR Monsun 31, and still have about 5' 11" of headroom. It is what it is... I haul Ice for the icebox, don't have a microwave, a shower, or a TV.....but I wouldn't trade living aboard for anything.
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post #10 of 45 Old 03-30-2015
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Re: Small Live-Aboards?

I'm 5'9".. I lived aboard a Catalina 27 in Southern California for three years. No headroom issues.
"Normal" people wouldn't do this.. You need to be minimalist, but that's OK. It was a good 3 years. Not comfortable, but good.. great having the boat, which I couldn't have afforded otherwise.

David

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