Just beginning to shop around... would love feedback/ideas... - Page 2 - SailNet Community
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post #11 of 117 Old 11-02-2011 Thread Starter
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More about my dream and where I'm coming from

My parents had big dreams. They were ended when my dad fell, broke his neck, and became a quadraplegic at age 50. I guess that informed my world view.

I generally set a goal and a time frame and go for it. Once I've achieved it, I set another goal. Most of my long term goals have been career related. I achieved them all. I'm driven like that. I recently returned to school to get my masters. I enjoyed it, learned a lot. Of course, the older I get the more I realize how much I don't know. Then again, life's like that. I prefer it that way.

Living on a boat has always been in the back of my mind. Or perhaps, not always... it began germinating in the mid-80s when I came very close to purchasing a liveaboard just outside of Chelsea, MA. Someone beat me to it by literally a few minutes by offering the seller cash. Looking back, I suspect I would have failed miserably, as I did not research, did not plan, was just gonna do it.

Reality has pretty much kept that particular dream at bay, I had kids to send to college, bills to pay, jet setting to do, goals to meet... and *tons* of stuff. The latter was the deal breaker for me. My *stuff* came in the form of books. I read a lot. And even though I had begun to downsize, I still lugged my books everywhere I went. That barrier has since been removed. Thanks to the kindle.

A lot has changed since then. My kids are grown w/families of their own and I've downsized considerably in preparation for a mobile life. I assume I will have to downsize further to live on a boat.

Since I do not know for certain that I'll really like "living the dream" or rather, what I perceive that dream to be, I plan to store enuf stuff (i.e., bed, dresser, that sort of thing) to revert to land dwelling if necessary. Call me chicken but hey. What can I say? I'm too old and pragmatic to not have a little bit of a safety net. In the meantime, I'm doing a lot of reading, visiting marinas, talking with various liveaboards, etc.

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post #12 of 117 Old 11-02-2011
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I get the impression that you have figured out that finding a boat for living on and a boat for travelling on may be two different things. We had a young woman friend in New York who lived on an old Seafarer. The engine did not work and the sails looked like rags (not sure she really knew how to sail), but she had setup the boat for very comfortable living aboard.

As you say, there are lots of boats avaiable at very low prices so you can be choosing. If you want something that it is easier to singlehand, two things you will want are a reliable autopilot since you will need to be running around doing stuff and a good pilot makes this much easier and really good winches - self-tailing if at all possible, at least for the jib primaries, and oversized if possible to reduce the amount of power needed. Many manufacturers, particularly at the bottom end of the market, tended to put minimally-sized winches on to keep the sticker price down. Some people upsized them at purchase or later (perhaps when they wanted self-tailers to replace non self-taliers). Guess what I am saying is that there can be considerable differences between boats that are nominally the same.

Not sure that there are too many of them on the left coast, but a Nonsuch 30 Ultra (even a 26 Ultra) would be a good liveaboard. They are very beamy which makes them quite large for their LOA. The Classic model Nonsuchs are cheaper but you would have to decide if one of them would do the trick for you.

Back home on Lake Ontario after something over 36,000 nm circumnavigator. Not surprisingly there is a lot of stuff I want to get done on Ainia both cosmetically and functionally. Getting an early start so it will be ready to go for next summer (Lake Superior?).
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post #13 of 117 Old 11-03-2011 Thread Starter
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Yes, I have reached that point in my research. For me, it will be finding the right mix of the two.

Then again...

Late last night one of my neighbors comes knocking. Says he found me a boat. We'll be checking it out tonight, but here's what I know, so far.

It's a columbia 32/34 racer. He said something about how it's not really a 32 *or* a 34, and how during the last year of manufacture, they cut the boat down the middle and added some length. I have absolutely no idea what that means.

It's going for cheap as in a song and a dance cheap. As in, red flags waving all over, cheap. The big however is... the gentleman who owns it is in the hospital, dying, and needs to get rid of it but wants to give it to someone who would care for it... someone who would love it. Which makes it less red flaggy-ish, imo.

My neighbor said he'd take it but the ceiling is too low. He says I won't have any head room probs. I asked him a few things about the boat. For example, since it's a racer, I'm thinking it's gonna have a more narrow beam. He says the beam is about 10' but wasn't sure what the draft is. I'll be researching that bit today. He doesn't know what it's equipped with, from the living angle, though, he seems to think it has a head, at the very least. He also doesn't know if it comes with the slip but said he would be more than happy to sail it over to the slip that I already have earmarked.

All in all, I guess I will find out the important stuff tonight.

Anyway... if anyone has any experience/knowledge of this model, please, please, feel free to share. I'm especially looking for the cons. Why I would not want it, etcetera. Try to talk me out of it bc those arguments are what I'll be considering when I'm looking at the thing.
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post #14 of 117 Old 11-25-2011 Thread Starter
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K, mini-updated. The columbia turned out to be a total wash. The guy flaked on me. Though, from what I can tell, it was def a project boat.

Next up. Went to look at a 37' Irwin with a transferable liveaboard slip. It's a pretty boat but from what I can tell, it is also a project boat. While the live space seems to have been kept up, the rest has not. Therefore, it would need a new engine, sails & sail covers, rigging, and sheets. Additionally, the bottom hasn't been painted for years. In fact, it needs a new paint job. And the brightwork is pretty much toast. Then, there's the size issue. I am actually looking for smaller as opposed to larger. Though, from a liveaboard standpoint, it is certainly sweet. That is, again, the interior has been kept up. The *big* however, and imho, deal breaker, is the other work. It's sorta like a house. Buy something that isn't kept up and pay for unexpected yet required maintenance.

Anyway, that's my update for now. Am still researching. :-)
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post #15 of 117 Old 11-26-2011
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Persistance

We are quite comfortable on our Vega 27, a couple and their cat, cruising the Pacific and living aboard now for more than fifteen years together. We spent five months last winter and spring in the SF Bay. We found that most marinas have a lower limit of 36 feet LOD for live-aboards. We got around it by being transients which limits you to 120 days in any one marina. We have found that there is always a way.


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post #16 of 117 Old 11-27-2011 Thread Starter
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Hearing that two of you and a kitty have lived aboard a 27 footer for so long is very heartening, Vega. It's easy to get lured into the bigger boats but everything I've seen wrt the retrospective shouldas points to smaller as opposed to larger.
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post #17 of 117 Old 11-27-2011
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post #18 of 117 Old 11-27-2011
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there has been an Alberg 30 for sale on bay area cl for 5k, may be worth looking at. I have one and can say it is a great sailing, seaworthy boat. it is very simple! there is a single guy and his gf living on another A30 in our marina and find it quite comfy! i plan to cruise mine sooner than later! many good deals out there to be had!
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post #19 of 117 Old 11-28-2011
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Because so many liveaboard boats never leave the marina, you are likely to find that many have deferred maintenance. Some you can tell as you walk down the dock, others are less obvious. No need to worry about sails, running or standing rigging, winch cleaning or how fresh the oil is in the diesel, if you never leave the slip. That is not an absolute, just something to think about as you shop. Good luck and enjoy.
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post #20 of 117 Old 11-29-2011
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I wouldn't let anyone tell you why you don't want to live aboard. Yes I am new to the liveaboard life and had to deal with finding the right boat, in our case an Endeavour 32 for me the 1st mate and a cat, we were very lucky to find such a great boat. We have been aboard for just over a year now and have traveled up and down the southern east coast enjoying every day. Yes I have had to do repairs along the way but you will find that with brand new boats.
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