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daveyjustin 02-15-2008 12:58 PM

Choosing a small liveaboard bluewater cruiser

I live in Toronto, and I am in the process of researching my first boat. Any advice you could lend would be fantastic.

Here is what I'll be doing with it and some other needs:
1. liveaboard in Toronto, including the winter months
2. sailing the great lakes, then trips to family in Halifax and New York.
3. sailing south to Cuba
4. hypothetically crossing the atlantic to Europe
5. I plan to mostly live alone on the boat in Toronto.
6. When cruising south a crew of 3 or 4 max (myself included)
7. I need a small/affordable but very reliable build
8. I can spend 30,000 max.

Here are some boats I've been considering in my research thus far:
1. Tartan 28
2. Pearson 323
3. Alberg Pearson 35
4. Sirius 28
5. Tartan 30
6. Tartan 34C
7. Aloha 8.5
8. Aloha 34 10.4
9. Catalina 27
10. Catalina 30
11. Pearson 31-2

Any other suggestions and comments would be greatly appreciated.


norsearayder 02-15-2008 01:13 PM

pearson 32

camaraderie 02-15-2008 01:34 PM

Davy..look at the bluewater boats list sticky on the boat buying thread. Most of your list does not qualify.

PBzeer 02-15-2008 05:47 PM

Another one to consider is the Ontario 32. Though not meant as a bluewater boat, back issues of Good Old Boat have a couple of articles about a retired Canadian couple that sailed theirs across the Atlantic. And for everything else you mention, it works just fine.

JamesYYZ 02-18-2008 05:57 PM

Hey J

I too am in the research phase of my first boat, and I too plan on living aboard in Toronto, sailing the Great Lakes and eventually going offshore and ... well, pretty much wherever. I am hoping to buy the boat in about two years time.

So far, I have narrowed it down to the following
Pacific Seacraft Dana 24
Pacific Seacraft Flicka 20
Bayfield 29 (although I find it too beamy)
J.J. Taylor 26

I believe that there is no right or wrong boat, it is all up to the individual - besides, if we all had the same boat, things would be boring.

Good luck in your plans and maybe one day, we'll be neighbours!


p.s. Have you ever read the book "Twenty Small Sailboats To Take You Anywhere" by John Vigor? I recommend it highly. Nautical Mind carries it and so many more books.

daveyjustin 03-02-2008 01:44 PM

Thank you all for your feedback

Currently I'm considering a few options with different budgets. Alberg 30 or Shannon 28 or Ontario 32

I know the Shannon is most comfortable boat, but can the Alberg be fitted with a shower?

James. Stay in touch. Would be cool to connect, with such similar goals. What do you think?


fullkeeldan 03-06-2008 01:03 PM

Hello fellow canucks.
A bit north of you ( Barrie ) and no plans to live aboard in this frozen arse of a country. But, I constantly prowl the internet looking for "deals" on my particular favorites for the eventual cast off.
Clifts marine has a Shannon28 in Ontario- 40k
Flicka20 in Kaiser, MO - 20k

Google is my best friend

ehmanta 03-11-2008 07:07 AM

Regarding the Tartans on your list, I would not want to cross an ocean on the 28 or 30, they are more light racers than cruisers(fin keels,spade rudders, lighter displacement). The T34 however would be an excellent choice for the money if you can find one in decent condition. This boat is now 30+ years old and will need some attention if it hasn't been maintained. The T34 will give you the performance and stability that has made her a classic. How many will be living aboard? Just you? As with any small/midsize boat, layouts can get crowded if you get too many people trying to fit into one space.
Another option is a T-27 in good shape. These have cruised far and wide.
Tortuga's Lie

T37SOLARE 03-11-2008 04:52 PM


Originally Posted by ehmanta (Post 280759)

Another option is a T-27 in good shape. These have cruised far and wide.

I believe Tom meant to say a Tartan 37, not 27.

ehmanta 03-11-2008 05:36 PM

Of course the 37 would be an outstanding choice:D But it may be out of the size/ price range of daveyjustin......but could certainly be worth a look!!!

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