Join Date: Jun 2011
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Re: Another Boat Buying Thread
I raised a kid on a boat circumnavigating and then some and I believe she's better for her 12 years on boats, but who knows? Also, I haven't had a home ashore since 1969.
My thoughts about 'go little, go now' are that most who try it probably don't stick with it very long. If you are buying a boat as a home, then it has to be a comfortable home, at sea or in an anchorage, and a lot of anchorages aren't going to be placid, beautiful tropical paradises. You are also probably going to want a decent kitchen in which nice meals can be prepared in any weather, again at sea or in a crappy anchorage.
Then there's another really important one; ventilation! Some of the most beautiful boats don't have good flow-through ventilation, and if you are coming to the tropics, that's a pretty big deal. A quarter berth just isn't going to work out, nor is a cabin w/o flow-through ventilation.
Next, you might consider where your family of 3 is going to store their clothes, food, boat spares and schooling stuff for the kid. Don't forget tools. Lots of tools. And maybe a sail or two?
Those are just a few things that I think are a whole lot more important than your lists about keel/rudder design, rig and shower stalls, when you are getting into this on a low budget. After all, if you haven't got a watermaker, chances are your 'stall shower' will be a storage place most of the time. Water in the Caribbean can be near a buck a gallon, and if you are doing any long distance sailing, you'll come to love sea water showers or quit the life, unless your olfactory sense is poor!
Buying a boat as a weekend plaything and buying one for your home on the water are two completely different things. I don't believe any of us can tell you which boat your family will be comfortable on. You really are going to have to go check out a whole heck of a lot of boats before you put your lists together, I think.
"Any idiot can make a boat go; it takes a sailor to stop one." Spike Africa aboard the schooner Wanderer in Sausalito, Ca. 1964.
“Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” ― Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows
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