Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Tennessee, USA
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Re: Want to Purchase by Fall 2018
I wouldn't recommend any radical life style change. Learn to sail... crew on other boats... look around with a broker at boats... visit docks and other boats and chat up sailors and ask questions. Don't rush into a boat and sell your house and move aboard lickity split. Take some time... this is an important decision and many other smaller decisions follow on from that one.
Shiva is a fractional rig. She has a 130 genny and a rather large main. I now use a Milwaukee with a winch bit to raise the sail and this makes it effortless. Same with the electric windless. Anchoring is not a chore or a physical challenge.
Shiva has some slight weather helm but she can sail on her own if sails are trimmed right in moderate winds... with no one on the helm. The fractional rig and her high free board make her restless at anchor. I use a riding sail often to cut the yawing. Trimming the 130 is not a problem with the winches we have. She sails OK with main alone . But the mainsail needs a 8:1 and 4:1 main sheet. I don't think the same hull with a masthead rig sails much differently. I'd love to find out however. The fractional rig is taller too with a bendier mast.
I don't think fractional v masthead is the main consideration for OP.... more accommodation plan and simply learning how to sail and maintain and live on a sailboat...and how to get from complete novice to comfortable as a live aboard.
Thanks for the input about fractional vs mast-stepped rigs, and will focus on the other things you mentioned.