Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: somewhere south of civilization
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In my opinion, the first priority when looking for a liveaboard boat is liveability. It will be your home, and if there is no real comfortable place to lounge around, it won't be a very comfortable home. Most of us sail less than 10% of the time, and many well-reputed quality boats can be horrible in rolly anchorages, others sail at anchor terribly and some are lacking in enough storage space for your personal items, as well as boat spares, etc. Ventilation is also way up on the list of importance, especially if you are considering living aboard in the tropics or even on the East coast in the summer. A good galley is important if you plan to cook meals aboard, at sea or at anchor.
For a beginner, I highly recommend Royce's Sailing Illustrated as a basic primer. It covers just about everything one needs to know to safely handle a small craft in a fun yet comprehensive format. From anchoring to boat nomenclature and even splicing, it's got most of what you'll need for getting started, yet is still a good reference book for the most experienced of us. No preachy tome here.
"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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