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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #1  
Old 04-04-2007
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Hinckley 49 CC

So I'm considering making the leap to the liveaboard lifestyle. If I can convince my wife to sell most everything and move aboard with our 3 yr old daughter, we'll do it this summer. Might take some convincing on my part.

Anyway, I'm looking at various boats to suit the purpose. What I've come across so far that has real appeal is the Hinckley 49 CC Ketch. The layout is gorgeous, and they're all relatively well-kept and well-equipped, even for 30+ yr old boats.

There weren't very many of them built (records indicate only 26), so there isn't a vast store of knowledge about them on-line; none that I can find anyway. Five of these are currently listed on yachtworld, and another one is being brokered by Hank Hinckley Jr that's the first of the series (and it's a damn beautiful boat).

If anyone has some knowledge of these boats, or the suitability of Hinckleys in general as liveaboards, I'd appreciate the input.
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Old 04-04-2007
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TSteele65-

I would highly recommend getting Changing Course, by Debra Cantrell. Read it and then give it to your wife. It is an excellent resource for anyone trying to convince their spouse of the wisdom of the idea.

While Hinckley's are generally beautiful boats, you may want to consider a slightly smaller boat, especially if you'll be cruising in it at all. A 49' boat is rather difficult to single hand, and given that you have a young child, you would be effectively singlehanding the boat most of the time. I would recommend that you get something more in the range of 37-40' LOA, rather than something bigger. Anything smaller will probably be a bit cramped.

It would also help if you said what area you're planning on living aboard and sailing in. If you're not looking to sail the boat, why are you planning on living aboard???

It might be worth thinking about the long term costs as well. A 49' boat is going to take some serious bucks to maintain, dock, haul, etc. Most places charge by the foot for dock fees, haulout fees, cleaning and painting fees, so a 49' boat is going to be a lot more expensive than a 38' boat.

Also, the number of places you can go in a 38' boat may be off limits to a 49' boat. For instance, Rockport Harbor up on Cape Ann in Massachusetts, is fine for a 38' boat, but I'd hesitate to try getting a 49' boat in or out of there.
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Old 04-04-2007
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Probably should have thrown in a bit more detail.

We're (I'm) planning on docking anywhere between Pasadena and Deale, MD. Annapolis and Eastport are WAY expensive, so we'll probably end up in Deale or Galesville (Hartge or Pirate's Cove)

Oh yeah, we'll be doing plenty of sailing, although 49' feet is about twice the size of anything I've handled. "Baptism by fire" is my normal mode of learning.
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Old 04-04-2007
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We just went from 33 to 41 feet, and that was the limit I thought my wife could single-hand in terms of actually reaching around a furled boom, etc. and to a certain extent anchoring (we have 3/8" chain and we prefer to manually operate the windlass).

If you are both fit, 40 and over 5' 9", you two could probably handle a ketch...with a lot of practice and if you sail conservatively re: reefing early and taking full advantage of the split rig. But you have to visualize boat handling alone, at night, in 40 knots when a squall lays you down, your wife is on deck on dog watch, and you wake up to the sound of your kid screaming because she's wriggled in her sleep halfway out of her lee clothes and the boat's pitching has thrown her out of her bunk. Her arm may be broken...you can't tell because you can't get to a light because you are holding her against the motion of the boat to prevent further injury. You can't get on deck, and you can't TELL your wife you can't get on deck because the wind is howling and she's busy trying to crawl to the traveller to let fly the sails so the boat isn't pressed over.

Then a halyard parts. Over that twang, something goes "clunk" in the vincinity of the engine mounts. What was it? Is it safe to start the engine? Are there lines in the water? Is my wife even still aboard? Was she clipped on? Why won't my kid stop screaming?

Perhaps this description is overly dramatic, but you can certainly get it ten times a summer on even little Lake Ontario. If you are very experienced, even an older guy like Hal Roth (who can and did sail a 50 foot racer-cruiser solo for a number of years...and then went to a well-founded 35 footer for ease of use) has an answer and an action for most of those dilemmas, but "learning via baptism of fire" isn't an option when kids are aboard.

We plan extended cruising, possibly a circ, in a 41' steel cutter, but we are deliberately waiting until our son is almost 8 to go (he's 6 at the end of this summer), because his ability to take care of himself increases each year, as does his ability to keep one hand for the boat and to understand the physics of sailing and to develop "sea legs". We are going to spend a winter aboard as well in order to REALLY get used to "life aboard" under trying, if static, conditions. That's more a baptism of ice cubes here in Toronto, but the kid can handle the icy docks and can walk to school, at least.

By all means follow that dream. But evaluate critically the need for a bigger boat vs. the capabilities of ALL crew to handle living aboard and working the boat in all conditions.
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Old 04-04-2007
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TSteele...if you can afford it...pay no attention to the "small is better" crowd. My wife and I handle our 52 with NO problem whatsoever and not even bow thrusters...it is WAY nicer to sail and live on than our 44 was...and I can't even imagine living on a 36 footer PERSONALLY.
We have friends that did a Circumnav on a Hinckley 49CC as a couple and, though older, the boat was quite nice and solid 30 years after she left the yard.

No offence guys...I understand where you are coming from...but I have a very different experience and have my rig set up for cockpit handling of everything and the boat s big and heavy and gentle in harsh weather. I would rather single-hand on it at sea than anything I have ever owned. Coming into the dock....I want someone on deck!
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Valiente -

With regards to your scenario, we probably won't be taking those kind of trips until the little one is old enough to handle being on deck. For the most part, the next five years or so will be spent puttering around the Chesapeake.
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Old 04-04-2007
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TSteele 65: Funny you should mention Hartge's. Just 3 days ago I asked a very experienced sailor and senior mechanic, at another yard off of the West River, if he knew a broker he would trust. He said Dick Zimmerman at Hartges knew more about boats than anyone he had ever met, would trust him and that Dick sold his boat recently to a guy in Florida. That new boat was pictured somewhere here on Sailnet in the last few weeks. I recognized it from a local yard.
I think many of us are testing out our dreams here on Sailnet before trying them out in the real world, as we should, and we are so very lucky to have Sailnet and pals.
I would only call a broker if I had my finances in order and knew exactly how much I could afford. That is 5% for Maryland sales tax, 20% to make improvements on any used boat (according to Sailnet postings) and that leaves 75% for the boat itself.
Try to talk to people on the Chesapeake with children who live aboard to see if itís really for you and yours. I always said to my wife that ďsailing and boat lust causes more divorces than about anythingĒ, Iíve been told that and would never sacrifice family health or happiness for a boat. YIKES! I can think of 2 sensational divorces just recently that involved sailboats, nasty divorce settlements and kids.
My wife hated sailing while our son was growing up and as frustrated as I was, I kept sailing my 14 then 17 then 22 foot boats-all dinghies to me-and raised our son shore side. Itís an understatement to say that my wife wasnít a live-aboard type. Now that our son is in college and happy my wife loves to charter in the Caribbean and canít wait to get a big boat and go cruising. Go figure.
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Old 04-04-2007
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Exclamation Slips...

Quote:
Originally Posted by TSteele65
We're (I'm) planning on docking anywhere between Pasadena and Deale, MD. Annapolis and Eastport are WAY expensive, so we'll probably end up in Deale or Galesville (Hartge or Pirate's Cove)
Before you purchase, locate a slip and know what the cost is going to be, not to mention will they allow live-a-boards (seems less and less on the Bay). I had a very hard time finding a marina for our boat, at 42' overall...that I was willing to pay the price for or could even take a boat over 35'.

Just a heads up, you may have no problem
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Old 04-19-2007
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Go for it........
I have a friend who single hands an old wooden 50 ft Hinckley.

His secret is a "club footed jib" he can tack at will..........of course the old designs had larger than modern design mainsails
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Old 04-19-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie
TSteele...if you can afford it...pay no attention to the "small is better" crowd. My wife and I handle our 52 with NO problem whatsoever and not even bow thrusters...it is WAY nicer to sail and live on than our 44 was...and I can't even imagine living on a 36 footer PERSONALLY.
We have friends that did a Circumnav on a Hinckley 49CC as a couple and, though older, the boat was quite nice and solid 30 years after she left the yard.

No offence guys...I understand where you are coming from...but I have a very different experience and have my rig set up for cockpit handling of everything and the boat s big and heavy and gentle in harsh weather. I would rather single-hand on it at sea than anything I have ever owned. Coming into the dock....I want someone on deck!
Ditto except it's a 47
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