SailNet Community - Reply to Topic
Thread: I Could Use a Ton of Advice Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the SailNet Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
Please note: After entering 3 characters a list of Usernames already in use will appear and the list will disappear once a valid Username is entered.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

  Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Click here to view the posting rules you are bound to when clicking the
'Submit Reply' button below

  Topic Review (Newest First)
04-24-2011 09:52 PM
mitiempo "You will also want to start learning about sailboat maintenance."

Especially with that budget.
04-24-2011 09:24 PM
Originally Posted by PAFireSail View Post
Hi, everyone. I'm looking to purchase my first boat and I want to live aboard. I'm young and single so I figured now is as good a time as any. I think I have the theory behind sailing pretty well covered, I have just never put it into practice and I don't know most of the terminology yet. I guess everyone has to start somewhere.

I want to make sure I get a good vessel that won't leave me stranded somewhere or sinking should I wind up in a storm. I'm looking to spend under $6,000 if at all possible and I think that 23-30 feet would be pretty good. (Please feel free to bring me back to earth if you think I have my head up too far in the clouds. I'm really hard to offend.) I really only need something with minimal storage, sleeping area for 2, a stove would be nice but is not necessary, must have a toilet and a shower would be a HUGE bonus. I'm an electrician by trade so I'm planning on mooring off shore and kayaking into shore every day to go to work. I'm also planning on adding solar panels to the vessel so I don't have to charge the batteries on shore. At some point I'm planning on adding a water maker so I don't have to buy water on shore.

If you need any more information from me, please feel free to ask. If you have any idea what year, make, model, length, etc. I should look for, please give me any suggestions you can. If you know where I can find a boat like this, that's even better. I live on the east coast so I'd prefer if that's where she was. Preferably from Rhode Island to the Carolinas so I don't have to travel too far.

Thanks in advance!

I know there are some good books out there about living aboard a sailboat and of course sailing too. Search online at amazon for start. Checkout or or I find those three sites have a good selection of used boats. From what I have read around, if you see a boat you are interested in, have a surveyor check it out for you first prior to purchasing. You don't want to end up with something that has a hull leak, soft spots, weak mast support, etc. If I were you and from what you are saying, you can probably get away with a good 25ft since its just you. Plus those are not too big too learn on and still decent room for one person and you can find one in good condition within your price range. While you are onboard living on it, you can read some books, watch youtube videos and come on these forums and read. You can learn a lot just doing that if you want to. You will also want to start learning about sailboat maintenance. I am not sure about the whole offshore mooring idea you have. I say get a marina slip which can include... electricity, water, laundry facilities, showers, etc or try inshore mooring somewhere. The weather and conditions can get really bad offshore during storms and high winds. I would have a nervous breakdown if I was at work and a storm hit knowing my home/yacht was offshore moored. Its leaving your boat unattended on offshore mooring, thats where the main problem is at. You can moor offshore on nice weather days off and on but check your marine forecast since it can change quickly.
04-24-2011 08:12 PM
WDS123 Send a note to dimitri Orlov - he lives on a minuscule boat in Boston with his wife, for a number of years.
04-24-2011 04:46 PM
rjg23 Kyle,

Previous, and first, boat was a Paceship PY26. I owned her 6 years very happy with the experience. Nice sailing boat, very manageable for a beginner, and tons of room inside for its length. Seems like it meets most, if not all, of your requirements, including $$.

Good owners website: The Paceship Website Homepage

Here's an example of one for sale in Virginia ($7000):
1978 Paceship PY26 sailboat for sale in Virginia

Another in Rhode Island ($3500):

Feel free to PM me if you have any specific questions regarding the PY26.

04-24-2011 03:11 PM
hellosailor Toilet and shower (shower head, not dedicated shower) generally are 28' and up. $6000 is generally 23' and down. Sailing is full of conflicts like that. 23' is outboard motors, 28' is getting solidly into inboard engines, big change and cost difference. Then there are the sails, would you buy a used car with a used-up engine? The sails are your primary engine on a sailboat, and sails that have good shape and good life left in them will add to your cost, possibly $2000-3000 for a main and genoa in that size range. Yeah, there goes the budget.

So the less boat and less frills you can make do with, the further your budget will go. If you plan to dock at a marina, they'll probably require liability insurance, add the cost of that. Taking a US Power Squadron course or other basic boating safety course may decrease the cost of that, as well.

And beware the "it just needs a little work" cheapies. A little water damage to the chainplates, deck, or keel structure can turn into a major problem. If you're not familiar with these kind of issues, even on a cheap boat you should have a surveyor or other pro take a look at it to make sure you're not stepping into a quagmire.
04-24-2011 09:36 AM
TQA 28 footer for $1750

Don't know if it is still available but similar abandoned boats are fairly common in marinas and boatyards.

Good thread on a cheap repairs here

As for learning to sail, well it really is not rocket science a day or two out with someone who knows which bit of string to pull and when will get you going. Ask around and you might find somene who will do it for a 6 pack or two. Going offshore is another matter though.

Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible.
T. E. Lawrence

I guess you might be a "dreamer of the day"
04-24-2011 09:02 AM
QuickMick well, lets see. i live aboard. my 30' with over six foot head room is about a perfect fit. in theory she could sleep six, but it would be cramped~me and the occasional guest is about a perfect fit. my turtle smedly doesnt take up much space. lol. while the head/shower are serviceable i generally use the marinas locker room facilities.
she was def. a project boat. Im only pointing that out due to your budget. I happened to get lucky, as they (the marina) had acquired her due to a title lein for nonpayment so they didnt have really anything in her. they wanted fiveish and i ended up getting her for around 35hundo. good luck. if you have local marinas with sales depts i would spend a day climbing around boats-boat people i find are generally nice by nature. i did find that it felt to me that anything 27ish or under were too cramped for comfy living. good luck. feel free to pm me with any questions....

edit-as to $ i should probably point out that i dont know how much ive sunk into her, but its lots.. stereo, grill all new running, redone the cabin, dockbox, tools etc etc etc
04-24-2011 08:20 AM
JimsCAL Where will the boat be kept? Living aboard in the northeast is something I wouldn't want to do.

The logistics of living on a mooring are not trivial. Having an inboard so you can charge the batteries in a reasonable time would be valuable. A watermaker will need far more power than the typical solar panel will provide. And how will you empty the holding tank? If you find a mooring with access to a public dock with water and pumpout facilities, that might work.
04-24-2011 08:03 AM
MarkCK I will answer your liveaboard question. 23 foot is going to be hard to live on with the requirements that you mention. There are some tubby 23 footers with a lot of amenities but they are boring to sail. They are heavy unresponsive boats meant for long passage making. You would quickly get bored of sailing if you bought one of those as your first boat. They are also pretty rare and expensive for what you get. The Dana 24 is a perfect example of this type of boat although there are several others have been built over the years.

Now if you move up to a 28-30 foot you are going to start having the typical livaboard amenities. You will get a head, maybe a shower, enough storage for all your possessions, provided you don't have a lot in the way of possessions. There will even be room to have a water maker. Although I water makers are expensive and use a lot of electricity.

Hunters, Catalina's and Beneteau are mass production builders that have been building 28-30 foot boats like these for years. Although in the 70-80s and later there will be many boats that fit into this category. Irwin, Sabre, Oday to name just a few.

The $6000 price limit is going to be tough on a decent boat of this size. Maybe you can cram yourself into a decent 25 footer. No shower, very limited storage, probably a head. If you step up to 10-15000 you can get into a 28-30 foot boat. I agree with some of the prior posters that 23 foot is a nice size to learn on but I would hate to live on it.
04-24-2011 04:40 AM
MARC2012 A small sailboat is excellent to learn sailing on but can learn on larger.Budget is quite tight but we all had to start someplace .Best of luck.marc
This thread has more than 10 replies. Click here to review the whole thread.

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

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