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post #1 of 21 Old 10-28-2018 Thread Starter
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Live aboard and sailing

Hello all, I turn 66 in March and want to sell my home and possessions, buy a sailboat to live aboard preferably in The Gulf of Mexico. Does anyone hav an idea of what would be a good purchase? I’ll have approx $25-40K depending. It will be myself, girlfriend and two German Shepherds.
I had a fair amount experience with Sailing and the Sea back in the early 70’s so I’m going to be very rusty. This has been my dream since those days and I waited until now since at 66 I’ll draw full SS. I figure that will be enough to pay for a slip or mooring field and leave money for maintenance and voyages.
I’m looking at 32 to 40’. My first choice is a westsail 32 but whether I can find a good one in my range is another story.
Any help?
Thank you
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post #2 of 21 Old 10-28-2018
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Re: Live aboard and sailing

Two German shepherds? You need to consider getting them to shore for a walk. And from a sailboat to a dink that is a problem with large dogs. You can always expect to have a slip to return to if you are cruising about. If you simply want to live on board in a slip you may be able to get the dogs on and off the boat.

The companionway is another problem for dogs. We had two westies and could pick them up easily and get them on the boat or into and out of the cabin. Your dogs are your first hurdle.

Look for a boat with a lot of locker space to stow things if you intend to live aboard.

Welcome aboard!

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post #3 of 21 Old 10-28-2018
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Re: Live aboard and sailing

A boat that I think has a great layout for a couples live aboard in that price and size range is a Pearson 365. Has a nice comfortable head with a decent sized shower. Worth a look if you come across one.
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post #4 of 21 Old 10-28-2018
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Re: Live aboard and sailing

Hope you achieve your dream!!

While many people have dogs aboard, I don't understand how they stand it. Dog hair has to be into every single floorboard and bilge. I love dogs, but it seems like way too much work. I've seen folks taking the dinghy to shore in a rainy gale, when the rest of us were hunkered down with a hot pot of coffee.

Dogs can also get seasick, just like humans. That's not fair, if they do.

I would sort out the dogs first.


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post #5 of 21 Old 10-28-2018 Thread Starter
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Thank you ! It seems dogs are my biggest hurdle. I appreciate the tips. They are like our children so until they cross the rainbow bridge they will be shipmates. They are more work now so what’s new? I’ll look into a Pearson 365 as suggested. Thanks ago for your replies. 👍🏻
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post #6 of 21 Old 10-28-2018
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Re: Live aboard and sailing

Good luck. I wish there was a good way for you to try what it's like, before you sell everything and leap. Keep in mind, you'll need to return to shore one day, unless you unexpectedly pass aboard. Most, thankfully, make it long enough to swallow the anchor and crawl out of the ocean. Have a plan. Hope you're floating happily in an anchorage somewhere soon.


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post #7 of 21 Old 10-28-2018
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Re: Live aboard and sailing

I have friends that live aboard with dogs, and it seems like their biggest struggles were getting the dogs "carpet trained" to go on the boat when they were underway or at an anchorage with no way to get the dogs to shore, and the actuala getting the dogs off the boat and into the dinghy and back on board again. With small dogs not a problem, and with a bigger dog that's in adventurous and in good shape not a problem, but bigger older dogs will likely take a lot more effort and imagination to get on and off the boat.

That being said, here's a link to a nice boat in your price range:

https://www.yachtworld.com/boats/197...nced%20listing

Andy
Cruising
S/V Everlasting Moon
1981 Endeavour 32

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post #8 of 21 Old 10-28-2018
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Re: Live aboard and sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Hope you achieve your dream!!

While many people have dogs aboard, I don't understand how they stand it. Dog hair has to be into every single floorboard and bilge. I love dogs, but it seems like way too much work. I've seen folks taking the dinghy to shore in a rainy gale, when the rest of us were hunkered down with a hot pot of coffee.

Dogs can also get seasick, just like humans. That's not fair, if they do.

I would sort out the dogs first.
Our westies were very salty and loved the boat and knew not to go on the deck when the boat was moving. They did not get seasick but when the boat was heeled they would of course slide when we tacked and nestle in to the lee side. They also would use the deck for business if was raining cos they didn't relish a dinky ride in the rain and don't even like the rain... so they ran up to the bow did their biz and I cleaned up. They weren't much trouble and they did not shed.

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post #9 of 21 Old 10-28-2018
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Re: Live aboard and sailing

One simple solution to the dog issue is to live aboard at a marina instead of at anchor. Around me, monthly moorage is significantly less expensive than rent or a mortgage on a house.
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post #10 of 21 Old 10-28-2018
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Re: Live aboard and sailing

We took a Labrador with us to SoPac and lived aboard with her two years before that on our W32. The companionway ladder on a W32 is long and steep. Took a little bit of learning but it got to be second nature to boost her up the ladder even at sea. Wood cabin sole will take a beating with the dogs claws even if you don't go to sea. Not much of a problem if your W32 has the fiberglass floor pan but a teak and holly sole will get scratched up. Had no problem getting her off the boat into our inflatable. She'd jump down into the boat and we'd have to boost her out of it back onto the boat. Once again took a little training to get us and her familiar with the process. Shepherds are a little bigger than Labradors and two of them is a greater problem but you could probably make it work.

Biggest challenge was getting her to go to take a dump on the boat. Tried all the classic tricks with astro turf squares on shore etc with no success. It got to the point where were going to have to leave her or get her to go. We went on a couple days cruise to the Channel Islands and didn't let her off the boat. She held out for nearly two days and finally took a dump on the deck. We gave her lots of praise for the deed and the problem was sollved. She do her business and we'd pooper scoop it over the side and clean up any remaining deposits with a bucket of salt water. Worked on the passage to the Marquesas even with a 5 day beat at the end. When it was rough she'd do it in the cockpit other than that she liked the foredeck.

The W32 is a great boat for a couple. They are actually a 40' boat crammed into 32'. Lots of storage, ample tankage, comfortable living area even for a couple of shot term guests and a good galley. The boats are getting a bit long in the tooth so close inspection is a must. Decks are cored in plywood so hopefully no leaks have caused rot. The boomkin and bowsprit can also be rot problems. If they have the original SS gudgeons and pintles, corrosion may be an issue. I thought the boomkin stay chain plates were marginal at best and would change them out on any boat. I had custom chain plates made and they are still looking good after 40 plus years. Many of the boats were powered by a Volvo MD2 with claimed 25hp. These engines have probably been replaced by now but more hp wouldn't hurt. Ours worked out fine but we were sailors and used the engine very little racking up 500 hours in 10 years of ownership and then mostly for charging batteries when cruising.

The boats have a ton of wetted surface so light air is not their friend. Light air sails would be a great investment. If I still owned the boat, would seriously think about finding a way to fit a Code Zero furling reacher and definitely an Asym with a sock. There were close to a thousand of them made though many were kits. You have to look at each boat to evaluate their suitability for you. The standard dinette layout worked for us but some favored the center table with settees each side. Then there are some of the custom boats that have every variation possible in the space. Don't ignore the kit/owner built boats as many are way better built than the factory versions while others are clearly constructed by a low skill or crazy builder. Later boats had cast lead ballast which is a plus carrying the keel weight lower down and more centered. Not that the composite ballast are bad, but given equal examples I'd go for the cast lead boat.

Good luck in your hunting. There are a lot of boats out there and almost all have something to offer. If you want a go anywhere, built hell for stout, boat that will excel in tradewind sailing, it's hard to beat the bang for the buck of a W32.
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