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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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Old 11-01-2011
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Just beginning to shop around... would love feedback/ideas...

K, I'm gonna put this out here, though I still have a ton to research...

I've been wanting to live on a boat for years. At this point however, I haven't decided what size/model would make sense. I do realize that decision is largely dependent upon lifestyle, etc.

I'm aiming for a fix-me-upper bc I like to fix things. At the same time, I don't want something that needs serious overhauling just to live on. My goal is to be settled aboard in time to take sailing lessons by next summer. I would fall into the very very novice sailor category, btw. As all I've done is to crew during sail boat races here in the SF Bay area. And that was actually some time ago. So, yeah, I'd need sailing lessons.

But anyway...

I've had 35 footer in the back of my mind but that's likely bc the boat I crewed on was a 35 Santana. Very nice, very roomy (to me). At the same time, after reading this forum, I'm noticing a lot of people seem to be going for 27 to 30 footers. So, I'm beginning to think that might be a better size. For a number of reasons, the least of which, it would cost less to buy/upkeep, and would be easier to for a single, small, female, to sail.

Um, will add more as I think of it. And thanks in advance for ideas, advice, etcetera!
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Old 11-02-2011
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Early days for you yet.. Do you know that you can arrange legal liveaboard moorage? or do you plan to 'anchor off' - and if so are there good, safe, secure areas to do that and is there handy shore access?

There are plenty of 30 footers that would be decent liveaboards for a single person, the Catalina 30, or Newport 30 probably would be good inexpensive candidates. However I think you need to spend some time researching boats, the associated costs and maintenance issues before committing to this plan. It all sounds romantic and all, but in reality legal liveaboard (with services like power etc) is rarely truly a 'cheap' way to live.
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Old 11-02-2011
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Yup, very early days. So, doing a lot of reading and visiting various marinas, etc. Am looking at 35 foot liveaboard slip in Sausalito. It's on a private pier... not a yacht club... so, the cost, is reasonable. Of course, it doesn't have the amenities but that's fine by me.

Imho, my biggest challenge will be to find a boat that's seaworthy, that doesn't need emergency repair, so to speak. I don't mind working on a boat, learning how to repair stuff. In fact, I think it would be prudent to educate myself wrt that sort of thing. I just don't want to have to worry about the thing sinking in the middle of the night while I'm trying to sleep. And yeah, once I move to the next step, I'll hire a professional surveyor.

As for living on the hook? I may consider so later. However, at this point, I want to ensure I even like living on a boat, first. Hence, the slip for at least a year. For me, this is something I've long wanted to do. Figured I should at least try it out before arthritis, alzheimers, or all the other wonderful old-age stuff sets in! And hey, if it turns out that I hate it, at least I can say, "I tried!" ^_~
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Old 11-02-2011
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It sounds like you already live in a coastal area. That's nice. We are stuck land locked in Indiana for a few more yrs. But not for long.
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Old 11-02-2011
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Yup, I live in the SF Bay area. Have always lived on one coast or the other bc I have long been drawn to the water. And now that my kids are out of college and have their own families, I get to play. ^_~
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Old 11-02-2011
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You might want to look for someone in your area selling both boat AND liveaboard berth. Because I suspect that finding a berth that allows liveaboard might be harder than you think in your area.
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Old 11-02-2011
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From what I have seen, the 35 foot range is where you get the shower and head...My Santana 30 has no shower. On a live aboard that may be a crucial thing. You can always add one, but that could be pricey depending on the boat. So I would look into one already there. A Santana 35 is a great boat...but is it an easy single handed boat? I bought a Santana 30 from a guy who upgraded to a Santana 35. From what I see its a lot more to handle solo. Not that it can't be done especially if rigged for single and shorthanded sailing.
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Old 11-02-2011
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In re liveaboard berth availability.

That is generally true. It def was during the dot bomb era, and the primary reason I did not go liveaboard back then.

However, at this point, its a buyer's market, so many are selling boats + transferrable berths. Additionally, some are just up and walking away from their boats, leaving the dock owners to clean up the mess (i.e., getting legal title changes, hauling the boats out if they're beyond repair, selling them, etcetera). There are a lot of them that are losing money right now. So, some are even open to someone walking in, taking over slip payments, including paying the in arrears, and paying the fees to get the title, tax, etc transferred over. Most of those boats need work. Not surprisingly. After all, someone who would walk away like that is not likely to truly care for their vessel. The more responsible boat owners are, of course, trying to sell their boats while offering transferable berths. I haven't seen many where they're selling the berths as well, though, I have been keeping an eye out for those, too. Nonetheless, I'm looking at and am open to any of the three scenarios... weighing the pros & cons, etc.

In re the Santana 30. How do you like it? I take it you're living on it, right? I notice a lot of Catalina 30s, and there are a couple of Lancer 30s that appear to be decent but haven't seen any Santana 30s. At least at this point.

Btw, and aside. Wrt whether I'll like living aboard? A very close friend of mine regularly texts me with the latest "why you don't want to live aboard" messages. He's a sailor, lived aboard for about a year, and says he won't try that again. I def welcome that perspective, esp shoulda coulda wouldas. You know, what you would have done differently if you had known. Am also interested in cases that failed and why. The main thing I've been seeing is, go smaller, not bigger. Which has caused me to rethink the target boat size.

And finally, I've been combing this thread bc it goes into a lot of tech details.

Selecting the Ideal Liveaboard Monohull Sailboat - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
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Old 11-02-2011
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I am not living on it...its Moored 10 minutes from my house though so its very close. In my opinion the Santana 30 is a weekender at most comfortably. Its roomy inside and has all you would need and sleeps about 6, but its not the way I'd like to live. The Santana 30 was a racing boat in its day so they didn't design in long term accommodations. It could be added, but if thats not what you are going for then find a different boat in my opinion.
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Old 11-02-2011
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Ah, ok. Apologies for assuming. I should know better! You make some valid points and I agree. I am basically looking at boats that won't need upgrades. For example, adding long term accommodations, would, imo, be a fairly significant upgrade.
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