Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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Re: Hello All
I always suggest that folks find a boat that is a comfortable place to live if they are planning to live aboard. Very few folks sail more than 20% of the time and most a lot less, so the sailing characteristics should be secondary. For instance, it should have a good galley if you want to eat nice meals and lots of storage for your gear, stores and spares. Excellent ventilation is very high on my list of absolute necessities, just as the esthetics of a boat are way down on the list.
A few of the boats you've mentioned may be decent enough sailboats with nice accommodations, but they aren't the most comfortable of boats to live on in anything but a flat calm anchorage, which is something one rarely finds, especially in the Caribbean. Sailing around on your anchor is not a pleasant living experience, especially when the wind is up and it gets pretty radical, jerking first one way and then the other as she comes to the end of her rode.
It's really hard to get some of this info in advance, because most who own an uncomfortable boat will rarely own up to the fact they chose poorly. Be prepared to change boats after going cruising, as few buy the right boat the first time out. You'll notice these characteristics on other boats (hopefully not yours) as you move from anchorage to anchorage on your travels.
Do not let a seller push things like electronics as a selling point. Electronics on a boat, like tech in the real world, become outdated quickly, and though they may be quite functional and last you a long time, they should not add a great deal to the value of a boat.
But remember, first and foremost, this will be your home and it needs to be a place where you are comfortable, cooking (at sea or at anchor) sitting in the salon, sleeping or lounging around in the cockpit.
"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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