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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Boat Review and Purchase Forum > buying a live a board
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-29-2001 08:17 AM
jack_patricia
buying a live a board

A:

"...it has been my dream to own my own sail
boat and live aboard...and...I want a great boat for crusing..."

Those 2 goals are somewhat mutually exclusive when the need to do so cost effectively is thrown into the mix. A few thoughts...
1. Living aboard a 30 footer is an extremely expensive proposition for the comfort & space you derive, never mind the lessened privacy & problematic nature of many marinas. (Mind you, this is coming from someone who''s lived aboard 4 boats and loves it, even when we were on the 20 footer!) I can appreciate the joy & special nature of living aboard, almost on any size boat, but you surely will end up paying thru the nose in the Bay area for the privilege.
2. "Living aboard" is extraordinarily difficult to arrange in the Bay Area these days, thanks to the plethora of boats given the economic good times, the limited return on investment of most marina businesses and the BCDC. Finding a slip is a bit of a challenge, made hugely more difficult if you want to be a legal liveaboard. Most liveaboards in the SF area are probably not legal (one look at the Richards Bay area illustrates this), so you might also have to consider how comfy you''ll be while living aboard your vessel under the threat of eviction should you be found out.
3. There are some competing priorities between a liveaboard (living space, no need for extensive tankage, any flat surface makes a good shelf, etc.) and a cruising boat, where seaworthiness, adequate space for tankage & stores, investment in safety gear, etc. are examples of the ''drivers''. Your 2 goals, combined, are truly challenging ones.

I mention all the above since that''s the context in which you''ll be achieving your goals. Given your location, you''ve got a great FREE resource - Latitude 38 - which addresses these issues in extraordinary depth each month (most especially in the Letters & Sightings columns). Read every word in there, fair in the curve of opinion, and you''ll get lots of great advice. Also, attempt to get reprints of their multi-issue review of all the Bay Area marinas; it is the most current, most thorough review you can probably find.

Don''t overlook the option of initially placing the boat in a low-cost/low amenities marina and yourself in a studio apartment for a while. You can still live aboard at a later stage, and in the interim you''ll find it far easier to modify your boat (going cruising? you WILL modify your boat!) and also easier to go sailing when you otherwise wouldn''t due to the liveaboard flotsam. I''ll bet the cost is no more (& maybe less) depending on location, insurance, liveaboard fees, etc.

Simply stated, if you''re serious about cruising as an ultimate goal for you & your new boat, then you have to place its needs above those of a liveaboard. This means you''ll have a smaller living space and, while dockside, won''t be taking advantage of some of what the designer & builder put into the boat. But compromising seaworthiness and the cruising demands placed on a boat is the lesser choice, IMO.

As for specific choices, you''ve got a vast array to choose from in the Bay Area. Invest your spare time in prowling about brokerage boats with knowledgeable brokers (get referrals from savvy sailors), and don''t overlook how profitable it can be to just walk thru boatyards on weekends, stopping to ''see'' and ultimately understand what is only visible in those settings - the part the sea sees. You can ultimately select cruising-intended designs like the Aries 32 or coastal cruisers like the Cal 29-2, as different as chalk & cheese. One of the real joys of sailing is the process of finding *your* boat; it''s great to hear you''ve got the time to enjoy this process.

Best wishes on your search...

Jack Tyler
Normally aboard WHOOSH, currently lying POS, Trinidad
05-27-2001 02:14 PM
mauricefrompolo
buying a live a board

I have an Ericson 26 just across the bay from you for sale. I have been using it for a studio apartment and works well. It does not take but a few minutes to secure things below, drop the dock lines and now you are ready to go sailing. The harbor has just recently started allowing additional live aboards. Drop me an email and I will fill you in.
05-24-2001 09:07 PM
saildutch
buying a live a board

Did you have live aboard status? It seems hard to get.
04-30-2001 09:29 PM
adamgrabowski
buying a live a board

I was just where you are. I was living on a Catalina 27, and wanted something a little bigger. I Catalina 30 is a good choice for size, but if you want to cruise in it it could be a little uncomfortable, esspecially in the windy SF bay. I just bought a Dreadnought 32, which is very simular to a Westsail, and I don''t think I could have made a better choice. It depends on what you like, but you will be more comfortable on a heavier boat. Good luck.
04-28-2001 10:14 AM
hemibee
buying a live a board

Ann:

Don''t forget the venerable Catalina 30 in your quest for a great, relatively inexpensive live aboard. You can find outstanding buys on "fully loaded" Cat30s and they are plenty big enough to be lived on comfortably by one or two people. You should have no trouble staying within your budget. Jim
04-20-2001 07:16 PM
bfomenko
buying a live a board

There a a lot of boats that can fit that requirement. Recently cruising world did a review on great boats for under 15K. all were around 30 ft. If you don''t mind going slow the westsail 32 is a great cruising boat and liveaboard for around 50K. We had a nor''sea 27 that would be fine for 1, but only a 8 foot beam. Look for the widest boat you can find in that size, as wider boats give you more liveaboard space. As far as dock fees are concerned, call all the marinas in your area, get quotes, then quotes on insurance. fiqure 10% for monthly maintaince, although that figure will vary.
good luck. bob
04-16-2001 07:51 PM
aronayne1
buying a live a board

Hi there. I live near Redwood City. For about five years, it has been my dream to own my own sail boat and live aboard. I lived aboard a friend''s boat for 3 months in at the Oakland Yaught Club (in the winter) and loved every minute of it. My condo is rented, my kids are grown and I am finally ready to carefully pick a good fit for me. I want to buy used (about 30 feet), I want a great boat for crusing, and I want a boat that does not need major refurbishing at the onset. Finally, I want my expenses to average $1,400 a month with monthly boat payments and dock fees. Finally, I am willing to take a lot of time to get exactly what I want. Am I asking for the moon? Ann

 
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