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  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-07-2006 09:40 PM
sailingdog As the boats get longer, you do get much more space, but all of your costs go up as well. Maintenance, dock/marina/mooring fees, haul outs, cost of equipment, all go up as the size of the boat goes up.

Larger boats are often far more dependent on hydraulic/electrical power. They are also harder to handle short-handed. The draft on most larger boats is often greater than that of smaller boats, which can limit where you can go as well.

On the pro side for larger boats... they're a bit safer... and have much more living area.
04-07-2006 03:51 PM
TheStorm My wife and I will soon be living aboard a 27’ boat, year round, on Lake Ontario.

Q: Why a 27’ boat?
A: Because it’s what we have now.

Q: Do we want a bigger boat with more toys and gadgets and room and conveniences?
A: Sure we do. Doesn’t every boater want a bigger boat? But everyone is different and there’s one thing we do know: we can read and talk all we want, but we’re not really going to know for sure what it is that we can’t live without until we’re living without it.

We’ll make due for at least a year on what we have. As every cruiser knows, learning how to make due is a lot of the story, anyway. So my advice is, don’t spend too much money at first because no matter what you end up with, you’ll want something else soon enough. Anyway, that’s our strategy (aka, rationalization).

Oh, and the answer is “yes” to your original question of, “Thought about living aboard a small boat?”
04-06-2006 08:12 PM
Amac This isn't something that you're going to be able to determine without actually getting out there and setting foot in boats of different sizes. Based on recommendations, I figured that about 30' would be enough for me. When I actually started looking at hulls, I realized that anything less than 32' or 33' would feel like living in a closet. Yes, I know that's only a 2' or 3' difference in length, but it's a 20' or 30' square foot difference in living area.
03-27-2006 11:36 PM
sailingdog I'm going to be living aboard a small 28' trimaran shortly. I think it will take some getting used to, but I think i will be able to make the transition to living aboard fairly well. I don't only plan to live aboard, but to sail extensively as well... I don't see a sailboat as a floating condominium, like many others do.. and this boat was bought for its seaworthiness and sailing ability.
02-18-2006 07:15 PM
ShirKhan 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...!
02-18-2006 12:45 PM
PBzeer 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.

02-18-2006 09:22 AM
Gods of the Sea

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.
02-16-2006 09:51 PM
ShirKhan 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"...
02-16-2006 04:05 PM
PBzeer Shirkhan

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

02-16-2006 02:06 PM
ShirKhan 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...
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