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elliottw 12-20-2006 09:59 PM

help on my first liveaboard boat choice
hi all, this is my first post.
my lease is up in 4 months or so, i should hopefully be getting into grad school for the fall and would love to buy a boat, work on this summer off, then take it with me to which ever grad school i get into.

at first i was going to live out of a van as long as i could, but remember that i did sail every summer in high school on j27s i figure a sail boat might be a little nicer than the van idea ;-)

anyway, i did some online research and read that a 25 footer or there abouts is good for one person. does that sound right? as for storage, all my possessions have fit into my rucksack for about a month now, so storage is not needed.

im currently in philly and saw two boats that seemed cheap enough and a relatively good deal but i really have no idea. a 24ft sea farer, because it is setup for a marine toilet (even though it currently has a porta potti) for 5000, and a bayliner buccaneer (27ft i believe) for 3000 that seems to need a lot of cosmetic work with cushions and interior but otherwise sound. the 27 footer seems like there owuld be so much more space since it has the extra feet plus its a center cockpit boat.

what do you guys think?
also, now any good marinas in philly (and how much they cost?)


mainemandean 12-20-2006 10:16 PM

I am new here too. Can anyone tell me how the heck you begin a topic? When I click on the link that says "General interest Forums," I get a page which has a banner above it like this which says User CP, FAQ, etc., but no posts whatsoever.

As for your boat choices, I would say look at a LOT of boats, LOTS, before you buy. You will learn a lot, and won't wind up buying a turkey. There are lots of turkeys out there, but there is an equal number of real bargains in small used sailboats. I am 57 yrs old and on my third boat. A 20-footer, a 25-footer, and now a Cape Dory 31. Good luck with your search.

camaraderie 12-20-2006 10:33 PM

Elliot...can't help ya with marinas in Philly but I would say to avoid BOTH of those boats. Lots of better bats in the 25-27' range are available in decent shape and you should be able to pick up an older Hunter or Catalina that will serve your needs well for in the $5k area. Pick up a copy of Spin Sheet magazine ( and you should plenty of listings to pick through.
You can certainly live aboard a 27 as a single but ya know philly is damn cold in the winter and it won't be easy so think about it a bit before jumping in. On a boat in the winter you have to deal with heat...lots of moisture and condensation, frozen waterlines and midnight trips to the head through ice and snow. Further south I'd say go for it!

camaraderie 12-20-2006 10:36 PM

Maineman...Welcome aboard! To post a new topic you need to go to general interst forums THEN go to a sub forum that is appropriate and click on it. Once you are in a sub-forum you'll see a "start new thread" button and you'll figure it out fro there! Have fun...only 1199 to go and you'll catch me! <grin>

elliottw 12-20-2006 10:42 PM

camaraderie i was dead set on living in a van, so being dead set on living on a boat is actually somewhat of a step up for me. im a pretty minimalist person. havent owned a tv or a bed for quite some time. the cold is one thing, but this last winter i was staying in a house with the heat turned off! i could see my own breath in my bedroom, and i cant imagine being on a boat is that much worse.

anyway, what is the difference between a good boat and a bad one. it seems like you are strongly against a bayliner bucc and a seafarer and im just wondering why that is. if i could get the seafarer for 2 to 3k would that be worth it, investing extra thousands into the boat or is it better to get a nicer boat that just costs more?


camaraderie 12-21-2006 12:16 AM

Elliot...if you just want a hull to live in at the dock then any old boat will do.
But you said...."then take it with me to which ever grad school i get into."...
which I assumed meant doing some sailing/motoring in it too.
The bucaneer is without a doubt the most ridiculed sailboat ever built. It is the Edsel Ford (I know you're too young to remember that but google it!) of the sailboat industry. Not only is it ugly, but it sails poorly and is built like crap.
The seafarer was not a bad boat...but they are long out of business and the $5k price is high especially if you have to install a permanent head and holding tank (which by the way you will have to pump out during those cold winter Philly days!)...and which generally involves moving the boat. I simply felt that getting a boat from a brand that is still in existence and has a head system for the same price would b a better deal.
Like this...

elliottw 12-21-2006 08:54 AM

camaraderie, thanks again for the response. yes, i would definitely want to do some sailing. The bucaneer definitely looked strange, but i don't really have any taste when it comes to sail boats like these. you are definitely right, i probably should be looking at the catalinas and i definitely will take your advice. so where can i find information like this? should i just keep looking for boats and then posting what i find to this forum?

also, i have been reading other posts, and what does it mean to live on the hook? it seems like some cheaper option than a boat slip but i will expose my ignorance and say i have no idea what it means.

camaraderie 12-21-2006 09:13 AM

Elliot...No prob. Living "on the hook" means at anchor. Eliminates the cost of marinas but requires energy self sufficiency and a dinghy. Not a real good option for Philly in the winter but do-able at other times of the year assuming you have a place that will let you land the dinghy!
I don't think anyone here will want to comment on every boat you find in an ad...but if you are seriously considering particular boat you'll be sure to geta lot of (often conflicting!) opinions! Try as well as the other sources I gave you to come up with boats to look at and also read some of the buyig a boa threads here as there is a lot of good advice in the archives of old discussions. Good luck.

werebeagle 12-21-2006 09:14 AM



The hook is the anchor, so if you live on the hook, you'll also need a dinghy to get to and from the boat.


elliottw 12-21-2006 12:36 PM

thanks for the advice. i have been combing the threads looking for good advice. The current concern for me is price. i am a school teacher so income is no concern, but i recently bought a motorcycle which gave a big hit to my bank account.

i did a quick search on catalina 27s in my area and found one in very good condition for 5000usd

and I found one in not good condition for 1000-3000usd:

if i could get the second boat and fix'er up that sounds like a lot of fun, since being a teacher i have nothing else to do during the summer, and i would learn a lot about the boat. im just unsure about how much i could be dumping into it and would feel a lot better if i had a friend who knew about this sort of thing and could take a look at it.

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