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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 09-01-2008
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How long is long enough?

Hi all, this is my first post here. Nice to meet everyone.

I've spent the past six months learning just about everything I can about boats in order to make an informed decision about what to buy. Since the economy, as well as my home based business, has taken a nose dive, just about the only thing I CAN do is read and learn.

To the point. What is the minimal lenght of boat considered safe enough and comfortable enough for a liveaboard and coastal cruiser? Specific makes and models would be greatly appreciated. Low cost is of the essence.

Also, I'm single, 30 years old, and have zero problems with a need for luxuries. Indeed, I'm moving to the boat because my house is WAY too big at 1,200sq ft. I'd rather rent it and live off the income than have two unused bedrooms collecting dust. As long as I have a few good books and my trusty 1 watt amplified wifi Franken-Router, (can reliably piggyback on a connection within a 2 mile radius,) I'm happy as a clam.

What I DON'T want to do is be foolish and get a boat which falls below my extremely low level of comfort needs, or worse yet, be unsafe for cruising off the coast in choppy weather.

I'm Hungarian and recently I've heard another Hungarian is attempting a circumnavigation on a 19' boat. He's about half way through it. I've seen his videos and all that comes to mind is "That dude is hard core." I don't think I've got the rocks to live on a 19' boat for an extended period of time, but if ya'all think it's reasonable I might consider it. Right now I'm looking more at 25' to 28' LOA.

And yes, if I've made some stupid greenhorn assumptions please correct me. I admit, I know little about this. In fact, learning to sail is an entirely different issue I'm tackling with.

Thanks, and sorry for the long post.
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Old 09-01-2008
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Short and Sweet: You can live in a dog house 1. You get what you pay for 2. Hmm, Ask Giuletta, 3. Your too rich living in a freemarket and need to go liberal democrat and whine. Think Cisco! 4. I'm American. 5. Tinhorns the term! 28' DOA! 6. A+ English! 7. Your welcome.
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Old 09-01-2008
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Umm... I'm very confused by that repply.

It's as if I was talking about which kind of kickdown cable to use on a 1972 Satellite Sebring when switching the tranny on the 318 stock engine for a 727 tourqeflight. Not to mention the bolt patterns...

Anyway, I do understand "You get what you pay for" because I used to buy/sell cars wholesale. Trust me, I'm keeping it in mind. I'm also keeping the hard learned lessons of dickering in mind, along with the knowledge that the firmness of the sales price is inversely proportional to the seller's motivation.

Also, the reason I asked this question in the first place is so that I don't end up living in a dog house. I don't need much, just enough room for a laptop, a comfortable bunk, and space for supplies. And the added comfort of knowing I live on a capable cruiser.

What does 28' DOA mean? Dead on arrival?

Also, I don't know about politics or being rich. I just paid off my house and need to move out and rent it because I'm broke as a joke. Living aboard is something I've wanted to do since I've been 19 years old, and I've only now had the opportunity. What does that have to do with liberalism?

Last edited by YodaMouse; 09-01-2008 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 09-01-2008
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Sorry Yoda,
I've seen to many, what do you think would be right for me. Best to do the research for personal decisions yourself. It always ends up to your benifit.
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Old 09-01-2008
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First of all, do you just want a boat tied up to a dock, or do you plan to actively go places? If you simply want something to tie up to a dock, there are better choices than a sailboat. If you actually want to go places, then I'd look in the 28-32 foot range.

I put it this way because living aboard a boat, and cruising a boat, or often two different things. Living aboard, one can easily get addicted to the shore power cord and the conveniences of not constantly stowing things away. So thing about what you will do, not what you might do. Once you have that, then decide on a boat.
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Old 09-01-2008
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I'm really looking at living off the hook, but restricting my travel to only a few miles off shore. In my thinking, and let me know if I'm wrong, coastal sailing is less trecherous than full bluewater cruising, and therefore my choice of boats is larger. So I figured I'd go with something less expensive but still safe. If that restricts me to 2 miles from shore, so be it.

So I'm thinking a fin keeled design with a moderately sized cabing. I've found a few 25' which have very spacious quarters, very underpriced. Like a Hunter or Cal sloop. The thing I worry about is safety of these boats. The size and rest of the features I'm comfortable with.

Also, I do know what it takes to restore a boat. I've done fiberglass work, carpentry, upholstery, engine work, etc... when I worked with car dealers. We got quite a few power boat trade-ins. The transition to sail boat can't be that hard, I'm guessing. (Fiber is fiber, right?)
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Old 09-01-2008
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Ok, some things then you need to think about.

1. Tankage for water and waste. The smaller the boat, the smaller the tankage.

2. If your home-based business, which I assume you hope to continue, was internet based, then providing power becomes a big issue. Again, the smaller the boat, the less room for batteries. Not just by size, but by weight as well. Plus, you have to be able to recharge them. And here, once again, size matters in how much space is available for passive means of generating power.

3. It is becoming increasingly harder, especially in Florida, to live on the hook. Some intensive research is called for on this point.

That's some of the things you need to take into consideration.
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Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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Old 09-01-2008
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All very good points, thank you. I've indeed been looking into exactly these issues. I think I've got most of it under controll, except for selecting the right boat.

Again, do you think a Hunter, Cal or Catalina in the 25' to 28' range is appropriate for coastal cruising with a good degree of safety in choppy weather? (I'm not counting Gustav level winds into this of course.)
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Old 09-01-2008
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Below 28 feet, you're most likely looking at an outboard for auxiliary power, which pretty well eliminates a charging source. As well as something with small tankage.

Yes, the boats you're thinking of could work as coastal cruisers. As long as they are in good shape, safety concerns lie more with you, than the boat.
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Ontario 32 - Aria

Free, is the heart, that lives not, in fear.
Full, is the spirit, that thinks not, of falling.
True, is the soul, that hesitates not, to give.
Alive, is the one, that believes, in love.
JCP


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Old 09-01-2008
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Yoda...I would go for an older full keel, seaworthy boat if I were going to stay under 30ft. and single-hand. Cape Dory type. Have you looked at the bluewater boats list at the top of the buying a boat forum? I think displacement means a lot in smaller boats in the kind of conditions which can develope off the coasts. These boats will typically offer less living room than the same length Catalina etc. ...this can be offset a bit by getting a 30 footer instead of a 25 footer....hence the advice to get an older boat.
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