Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Re: Couple reacquainting with sailing, ISO best vessel for live aboard
As ChristinaM said, there is no ideal boat.
That said, some are more suited to your needs than others. But only you know your needs. Coming from a big house, would you actually be comfortable on a 38' boat? Or would this boat be a stepping stone for a larger move when you are ready to go offshore?
What I suggest you look for first is comfort. Is this a boat you could be comfortable living in 24/7 even in a rolly anchorage? Or would you retire to your bed or go ashore? Can you cook a decent meal in the galley, at anchor or at sea?
Next is ventilation. Will this boat have adequate ventilation especially in warmer climates? What will it be like cooped up inside on a rainy day? Then there's storage. If you are living aboard you need LOTS of that.
Then I would look at sailing performance and that sort of thing. All but the most ardent ocean sailors spend about 90% of their time NOT sailing. This brings us right back to your boat being a comfortable place to live.
How it's equipped is all fine and dandy, but electronics go out of date so fast that I couldn't care less how much and fancy a boat's electronics are, they are of no consequence when I consider price. A good windlass, winches, good sails etc. are important, but not deal breakers as they can be replaced, which needs to be factored into the offer price.
Last and almost of no importance to me is the looks of the boat. I've known way too many people who have fallen in love with a boat's looks and ignored all the really important things and come to sincerely regret it. Nobody wants an ugly boat, but really, you can't even see her when you are aboard or sailing. If she's making good easting between a couple of Caribbean islands in 35 knots of wind and it's still comfortable enough below to whip up a nice lunch, you certainly aren't going to be thinking about her looks, I don't think. Some of the most beautiful 35 to 45 footers out there, designed by old Nat, haven't the headroom for a person over 5' to stand up in!
The best thing to do is rent a bunch of bare boats, charter the few you've narrowed it down to for a day (with their owners if private), and try your best to find a boat that suits YOUR needs. All boats are a compromise, unless you've an unlimited budget and build to your specifications.
None of us on here can help you with this process other than to say that this boat or that is not well built and even that is someone's personal opinion.
"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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Last edited by capta; 12-08-2016 at 01:44 PM.