SailNet Community

SailNet Community (
-   Living Aboard (
-   -   Life aboard a 24'' sloop? (

sail1dzn 06-08-2003 06:07 PM

Life aboard a 24'''' sloop?
Thought about living aboard a small boat? We''ve been getting rained on for weeks now here in New England. I''m spoiled, I work for a boat builder, and have been able to do all my spring prep work INSIDE (sorry, I know, I''m a blankety, blank, blank).

Anyway - this weekend, I decided NOT to take her inside and instead do my touch-up bottom paint in the drizzle, and then scrub the entire interior outside, in the damp, cold, rain, and see how I could deal with it. NOT so bad, I found. Got a little cramped but not claustrophobic. Not a boat I''d really consider living aboard with even one other person, but alone... not out of the question.

Point is this - If you''ve never spent a whole day on your boat, in the rain, and you''re thinking of living aboard, I think this is worth doing - even up in the cradle, on the hard. I walked away thinking hmmm, so that''s kinda what a rainy day will feel like...


deryk 10-23-2004 07:15 AM

Life aboard a 24'''' sloop?
Well everyone has ideas on what size is right for them. I have recently purchased a grampian 26 and plan over then next year of setting it up for living aboard for 1 person. Im 37 single and the house Im sharing with friends we spend the most time in the tiniest room in the house... the computer room. Regularly had 4 people in it and its about the size of my salon. So I dont think a small space is going to bother me too much... this is also my trial if I really enjoy it I will move up to a 29 or so footer just to have room for a little shop to sew in to make some extra money to support my habit... sailing lol.


Johnno 05-11-2005 12:23 AM

Life aboard a 24'''' sloop?

You are right you really don''t really need that much room to liveaboard on your own. But the previous post is right - we can convince ourselves of anything - experiencing the real thing is the ultimate test.

I found you can do what you want in a 26 footer although to be fair I had to change things around a bit to make it more user friendly as I wanted it. Usually the manfacturers put in far too many berths and as long as you have standing room in the galley and where you pull up your britches after using the heads then you can be really comforable in a 26 footer. Don''t expect to use to entertain all your friends at once though. That just can''t happen.

A 26 footer is comfortable for one, cosy for two (who know one another), cramped for three and crazy for four.

Your boat will be great for coastal sailing too and you will have no difficulty managing her on your own either. Costs are proportional to length so that is going in your favour too.

I''ve had larger boats and I''m now back to something more modest and in true minimalist fashion. I am not suggesting that you will enjoy it for the same reasons but certainly 26 feet is big enough.

There is some good discussion about living onboard on Tom Macnaughten''s site too. Read it before you make the plunge.


Seagypsywoman 01-30-2006 09:34 AM

Life aboard a 24'''' sloop?
I used to live on a 21-footer and it was great for the summer but a bit rough in winter. The part I couldn''t deal with, no matter what the boat size is, the condensation in winter. I would recommend good insulation or better yet, head south.

I now live on a 32-foot in the Mediterranean and it''s just about perfect for one or two. It''s storage that I''m running short of - will need to have a clear out sale one of these days.LOL.

By the way, I''m looking for crew for the summer if you want change of scenery. Check out my website:

ShirKhan 02-16-2006 02:06 PM

My first liveaboard was a 21' Sailstar, if you've ever seen it, it's all cockpit (looks almost identical to an O'Day Mariner) I was on the outs with my gf at the time, thought I'd spend the weekend on the boat, turned into a year and a half! The mystique of "no address, no bills, take off to the Keys for a month whenever you like" got a hold of me good...

I'm shopping for my next home afloat and I'm looking for something 26' to 30', which to me is ideal for a single person, there's some "magic barrier" past the 30' mark that seems to make your life more expensive. Doing a lot of owner research, I'm leaning towards the Columbia 26MkII, the Coronado 25 and 27...almost fanatical loyalty from their owners, widely available and in some cases for a song. I'm also enamored of some of the larger "flat top" Cals, the 28, 29...I like the idea of using that forward deck...I'm 6' but I don't care so much about headroom, the only time I spend inside the cabin is in the horizontal in any case...

PBzeer 02-16-2006 04:05 PM


Check out the Pearson 28-2 ('85-'89). Very nice boat with a good review in Good Old Boat.


ShirKhan 02-16-2006 09:51 PM

I really like the looks of Pearsons, I checked out a Pearson 26 once and they're very pretty boats in a totally functional way...they always look like they "want" to be going somewhere when they're tied up at a dock(?). I did hear that in some models there was some rudder problem, but I can't remember the model or the details offhand, something about certain ones being built with bad bearings or something. But Pearsons are definitely up there in my esteem regardless.

I'm researching my next boat, basically by taking every boat I find interesting (and that I can afford) and doing my best to find as many owners in person, or on message boards on the Net, or owner reviews on websites like SailNet BoatCheck, and seeing what they have to say, good and bad. Although there are at least a dozen models I find myself really attracted to, if I had to go strictly by "owner love", I'd have to say that the Columbia 26MkII, the Coronado 25, and the Rawson 26 and 30 (harder to find) are like "Gods of the Sea" in that respect! Although at a distance, I can find certain things about them I personally don't find ideal, you have to be impressed by the owner loyalty.

Even money, I probably end up with a boat that wasn't even on my list in the first place. I think most of the purpose of my "research" is to entertain myself, dithering around looking at boats, until July or so when I actually move west and can lay cash down and do something about it...I've been living on the Gulf but my family is on the west coast, my Mom is up in years, so I sold my last boat and I'm hoping to transition to a liveaboard situation somewhere in the PNW. Have to have a worthy vessel, because I've heard that the Pacific is a "totally different animal"...:confused:

sailingfool 02-18-2006 09:22 AM

Gods of the Sea
54 Attachment(s)
Don't put too much faith in what owners say about their boats, without considering the knowledge and experience of the owners. Someone new to sailing with their first boat, will have an opinion about their boat, but without denigrating the in-experienced owner, you need to understand that the opinions may not be too well-found. In fact there tends to be relationsships between the type of boats people buy and their level of boating experience.

For example I would posit that most Hunter buyers tend to be relatively new to boating, whereas most Sabre buyers have 10-25 years of boating expereince. Given this observation, a Sabre owner's opinion about their boat, or boats in general, would be much more relevant than a Hunter owner's. The quality and character of boats that people own, says a lot about what they do or do not know about boats...

If this sounds elitist, then that's too bad, its just the way it is...

Good luck, skip the Columbias and Coranados, start with anything Pearson, see what you can find for Tartan, Cal, Ericson, Sabre, C&C.

PBzeer 02-18-2006 12:45 PM

Interesting, if stereotypical assessment of boat ownership. I would poisit though, that the main reason most new owners end up in a high-volume brand has more to do with price, than knowledge. Not everyone can afford a Morris or Swan, or even a Sabre or Tartan, but they can get a Hunter or Catalina, and that gets them in a boat.

The main thing is to identify what type of sailing you'll be doing, and what you need to be comfortable, and buy accordingly. You don't need a Valiant, if all you're going to do is gunkhole, and you wouldn't buy a coastal cruiser if you intended to circumnavigate. Only you can determine how you'll use the boat, and what works for you. AND, what you can afford. One thing that is true though, most any boat will take more than the captain can, or they wouldn't be afloat.


ShirKhan 02-18-2006 07:15 PM

Well, I thought I made it clear that the Coronados/Columbias/Rawsons weren't necessarily what I found ideal in a future SV but just the result of questions I asked all owners I encountered (not just new owners, inexperienced owners, first time sailors, etc.), what they liked and disliked about their boats, and I came up with certain models that people really seemed to have overwhelming positive experiences with and a definite lack of negative feedback about. With some of these people their onwer loyalty was almost cultlike, fanatical!...I'm sorry, The Columbia MkII is NOT the greatest sailboat design of all time, but I can lead you to a few people who are positive that it is, and are willing to fight about it...!

If the theory is that many of these responses are coming from inexperienced first timers who want to defend their purchases, then I would expect similar positive feedback about a model like, say, certain Catalinas, which are both popular and available cheap...but although Catalina owners did say positive things about their boats, they certainly had a lot to bitch about too.

Not trying to prove anything or say "one boat is better than another", etc, I just had a question about owner satisfaction and these models seemed to score among the highest within the limited scope of owners I could get a hold of. And Tartans, Pearsons, Ericsons, and Islanders did score high with owners I found, just not quite as high as these other models, for whatever reason. Maybe they need their own "cults"...LOL

Sometimes it's something undefinable that makes people favor one boat over another...I would never say that the '57 Chevy was the greatest vehicle of all time, but it sure is an American icon. I'm sure if Coronado owners were offered a straight-across trade for a new Beneteau or a Hans Christian, they would jump at it! But from the people I've talked to, I think they would be reminiscing about "Old Betsy" while they're cruising their "uberboat". More than once I've heard that people "upgraded" and then said they missed their old Coronado or Columbia, or even intended to go back, especially if they found their more fully accoutered boat was also a lot more trouble and expense to maintain and operate. One thing I did find in common with these boats, is that all of them are low-end boats, not very expensive compared to other cruisers in the same categories, all of them have a reputation for good performance in adverse conditions, general "toughness" and seem to have less maintenance issues than other boats of a similar maybe the "owner loyalty" is due to a sense of the boat itself being dependable and delivering more bang for the buck and less problems...the owners are loyal to the boat model because in their experience the boat has given a lot without asking a lot, so to speak...

Which is kind of the reason I was doing this little "study" anyway, I tend to fall in love with a boat for it's looks, since I'm not an expert there were a lot of boat models I was unfamiliar with and I wanted to see what I could find out about their dependablility...and pretty soon I just started taking a lot of notes. Personally, I saw a Seafarer 24 recently that had such interesting lines...same thing with models like the Santana 525, to me they're really "cute" and attract all my attention, though neither would be a good choice for a cruiser. Hell, when I was young and dumb I ALMOST talked myself into a Bayliner Buccaneer...! So I need all the OWNER WISDOM I can get...!

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:49 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.1.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
(c) LLC 2000-2012

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome