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Discussion Starter #1
Ive been looking for a livaboard/bluewater boat, I plan on learning in coastal waters obviously. I want something small enough that I can repair and maintain (watched dozens of sailboat repair videos, sail life is amazing). I actually have a good bit of experience working on gas engines, some electrical work, and I have experience leatherworking and own an industrial sewing machine. ( I do realize boats mostly use diesel)

aside from boats without full keel, keel stepped mast, inboard engines
Are there any boats to stay away from? I read that a certain year of boats was underbuilt, and older years overbuilt.
I've seen lots of conflicting opinions about Fin keel boats vs full keel, would anyone actually recommend a fin keel over a full keel for blue water? There also seems to be a lot of disagreement on the importance of boat size. I dont think I would want to cross an ocean in anything less than 27ft, for more reasons than comfort. Im just one person and a boat over 35ft seems unnecessary and too expensive to maintain. I would much rather buy a boat I can grow into, rather than buy a tiny boat, most likely have to repair it, then sell it and lose more money, then buy the bigger boat.
I bought the Annapolis Book of Seamanship by John Rousmaniere 21st edition, waiting for it to arrive, i've also been doing lots of research. I dont really have any desire to explore the whole world, or go to the tropics, sailing for me is more of an escape from modern life, along with being an amazing skill and hopefully life experience. Ive been watching as many sailing channels as I can find, excluding the ones using their wife's ass for the thumbnail (have some decency or dignity ffs) so far ive been watching sam holmes, sailing frenchman, sail life, rigging doctor, erik aanderaa. (trying to find real sailing channels)

Im curious as to what the minimum budget should be for a boat that needs some work. I would of course try to find the most sound boat, but realistically what should I expect to spend to get a seaworthy boat in the 27-30ft area? (including DIY repair) Most boat repair videos dont mention the cost of repairs, or they are doing $50k worth of repairs. Ive seen some really decent looking boats for only $3k-5k. I do understand that you can buy a cheap boat and spend enough money that you could have bought a boat already in good condition.

sorry if these questions are constantly repeated. Its one of those things that takes 5 minutes for an experiences person to answer, but hours for me to find all the answers, I tried to limit questions to things tricky to find.

boats are kind of a much more accessible and scary alternative to planes
:D
Thanks!
 

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Your location? Remember to budget for slip fees and insurance. Just so happens our nor'sea 27 will be on the market very very soon. She is ready to go, IMHO. Just add fuel, food and water.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Located in Missouri, but have no intentions on staying. Im learning and planning right now, I wont be buying a boat until I have learned and saved enough.

I suppose the only real questions that I cant seem to find answers to are: boat size, idea of cost. Realistically I would buy a boat that needs deck/ interior work, fix it and live in it, so that I could save money and gradually get the boat ready. My plans are mostly just to sail to alaska, maybe more if I really enjoy it. I do have a friend that lives in portugal, it would be cool to visit... we both hate planes. I will continue reading the forum for more info, sorry if most of this is already on the forum!
 

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I'll preface this with: I AM NOT AN EXPERT!

Your question about price is not narrow enough to answer. Imagine asking a different but similar question: "I plan to haul some stuff in the future, don't mind working on a vehicle. Probably don't need an 18 wheeler, but don't really know. How much should I spend?

Well, the obvious questions then are 'how much stuff? How often? What's the budget?'

Back to your question: how soon do you want to be sailing? What's your budget? Would you rather be sailing while fixing, or sitting on the hard? Are you willing to trust your life to your repairs?
Keep in mind that even a brand new boat is going to need repairs and maintenance. But it should be seaworthy.

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Discussion Starter #6
Your question about price is not narrow enough to answer. Imagine asking a different but similar question: "I plan to haul some stuff in the future, don't mind working on a vehicle. Probably don't need an 18 wheeler, but don't really know. How much should I spend?
Fair enough
I would like to spend less than $8k for the boat itself, I would like to be able to have a solid boat for less than $15k total, assuming I do all the work. As i've stated i'm sure I can do all engine work myself, electrical work that is legal to do diy, and perhaps even sails. Im not afraid of fiberglassing or really tearing into a boat.
Well, the obvious questions then are 'how much stuff? How often? What's the budget?'
Im something of a minimalist, and I would definitely want a way of making water without electricity or fuel. I think a solar still could be made rugged enough and effective. Other than food and water and fuel....perhaps a bike, and maybe a canoe? My wardrobe is already small, storage space doesnt seem like it would be a problem even on a smaller boat than I would want.
My only 2 specifications would be:
1 wide enough for a not-pain-in-my-ass sized charter table, that I can actually work on.
2 I do not want a fin keel, modern fin keels may be superior, lighter, faster, I still dont want one. I can be very particular about certain things, and in my mind fin keels look like an inferior design for any blue water sailing. They create a lever, they stick out, completely unprotected. Instead of debris simply running down the keel, or nets, they just smash into the keel, or just snag. (this is probably more mental than realistic, but I hate them)
I don't need ac, I don't need a freezer. I think a freezer would increase the quality of life greatly, but I can always add one later.
Back to your question: how soon do you want to be sailing? What's your budget? Would you rather be sailing while fixing, or sitting on the hard?
I will be reading and learning for now. Since the plan is a livaboard/cruiser it would be preferable to find a boat needing mostly interior work, so that I could live on it and work on it. I know how stupidly impossible that would probably be, and in most cases not feasible, best case scenario essentially. I still dont know much about how marinas actually work, or boat yards. (there are none of these near where I live) Main plan is to do major work upfront, slowly budget and fix everything else.
Are you willing to trust your life to your repairs?
Yep, I actually found out about sailing from looking into ultralight planes, I really wanted to build one! too much bureaucracy surrounding flying :/
if your life is dedicated to survival it wont be very interesting, and you will still die.
Keep in mind that even a brand new boat is going to need repairs and maintenance. But it should be seaworthy.
I have no desire for a new boat, seems wasteful while there are so many used boats out there, also i'm broke. I actually like fixing things, and building things, I don't see it purely as a hassle. It also allows for personalization. I have found through other hobbies that its so much better to make exactly what you want, rather than to settle for a one-size-fits-most design.

I shouldn't have made this thread, I wont be sailing for at the very least, many months. My annapolis seamanship book has arrived, and im reading it. I got excited and wanted all the answers as fast as possible, even though I probably need to do 100hrs of research before really asking these questions.

The plan is to learn an amazing skill, use the liveaboard as a stepping stone to buying land in Alaska. Im young and life is unsure, so who knows! The only thing that could put me off of sailing at this point is bureaucracy, I really cannot stand the mentality of " you are qualified to do x task because you paid our schools $100k" things should be merit based, not based off how much of a good little debt slave you are.
images (21).jpeg
 

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The good news, according to your desires, is there is no licensing necessary to work on one's own boat. There are safety standards and you'd be wise to learn them, as many boats suffer the malady of DIY random standards. The most common are 12v fires. Most know how to make 12v appliances work. The novice is not aware of the techniques to size wire, splice, fuse protect or reduce corrosion properly on a boat.

The bad news is that your budget will be very limiting and put you in a territory with high risk for expensive repairs. Most big stuff on the boat (engines, sails, standing and running rigging) can cost more than sub-10k boats are worth. Risks get high, as good old boats at that price range are old and come with those risks. Limiting your costs, by limiting creature comforts, like refrigeration or hot water, is possible, if the lifestyle suits you.

I worry a little that you've drawn such a firm conclusion on full vs fin keels, without knowing much about them. I hope that doesn't project on how you'll make these decsions in general. You're just using your imagination. Are you familiar with delamination of encapsulated full keels? If it were to happen, it's a boat killer in that price range.

Take it all a step at a time. Hope you love the sport. Give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I had imagined sailors to be a bit more diy and independent. I sort of forgot its become a rich metrosexual hobby. I suppose thats what happens when things become too safe and comfortable. I guess the only lifestyle that isn't preferred by domesticated consumers is homesteading. ciao
 

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I had imagined sailors to be a bit more diy and independent. I sort of forgot its become a rich metrosexual hobby. I suppose thats what happens when things become too safe and comfortable. I guess the only lifestyle that isn't preferred by domesticated consumers is homesteading. ciao
What? How could you forget something, as silly as your rich metrosexual description is, that you've never experienced at all? Your first sentence said you're just learning.

Despite the rude response, all you've received is good advice above, as well as ways to reduce cost and prevent it from becoming unaffordable.
 

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Wow, that escalated quickly. To the OP, you asked for advice and information. Same as any other online form, what you got is worth at least as much as what you paid for it. It seems you're dead set on doing a coastal cruiser on the cheap. No one has or will prevent you from doing so, even big brother. Your life, your money, your decision, and no one is going to really be bothered of you choose to ignore free advice.
I'll add though, that if you perceived some slight and your response is to throw a tantrum and call everyone names... well we probably can't help you. I remember being 10' tall and bulletproof too, then I gained some experience and maturity.

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Since you are in a learning to sail forum, I'm assuming you don't have much sailing experience. So you are looking at a few years sailing in coastal waters before you take off.

My advice: buy the blue water boat later, and spend your budget on the best-maintained plastic-classic coastal-cruiser you can find. For a 30-40 year old boat, make and model don't matter as much as the skill and maintenance of the previous owner. Ideally, find the handy guy who has been fixing up his coastal cruiser and is selling to buy a bigger boat for retirement. Keep it in good shape, live on it to save money for the 'big boat', and then sell it to the next young dreamer like yourself when you are ready to make a big blue water jump elsewhere.
 

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Sailing is for " Rurosexuals" as well. I.E. Old heterosexual farts that don't give a damn of what other people think of their appearance but still admire the looks of hot sexy women almost as much as they do the lines of a hot sexy sailing craft!
Looking for "Bluewater Capable" cruisers for $15k is a lot like looking for sweet smelling Unicorn Farts !!!
 

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this Blue water boat has to have full keel thing just won't go away. look at the boats in the marinas that go on ocean passages and tell me how many full keel boats you see now a days. full keel boats are relics of a day gone by. not to mention how bad they are to sail and how slow they are compared to modern ocean crossing capable boats.
 

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How to sail videos...


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There is a nice condition S2 center cockpit for sale here at the marina in jacksonville FL for $20k, which includes a dinghy and outboard. Would be a great inexpensive good sailing roomly 30' liveaboard boat for someone.
 

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this Blue water boat has to have full keel thing just won't go away. look at the boats in the marinas that go on ocean passages and tell me how many full keel boats you see now a days. full keel boats are relics of a day gone by. not to mention how bad they are to sail and how slow they are compared to modern ocean crossing capable boats.
Over the years I have seen a lot of posts about full keel (and often ketch rig) as the only proper design for a blue water boat. After a few posts it becomes clear that the majority of people that make this claim have read a lot of books and articles about boats but few have much actual sailing experience. Also see most of the posts asking about "blue water" boats coming from the same group. One problem, there is no hard and fast definition of blue water. Some consider the 40 miles from FL to the Bahamas as blue water while others consider cruising the Caribbean as day sailing.
 

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I had imagined sailors to be a bit more diy and independent. I sort of forgot its become a rich metrosexual hobby. I suppose thats what happens when things become too safe and comfortable.
When you are getting good advice from experienced sailors and this is your response, then perhaps you've chosen the wrong site. Try sailing anarchy.
Flat chat, there is no such thing as a free boat and cheap ones bought by folks who don't know ANYTHING at all about boats, usually end up costing way more than they expected, especially if they plan to take that boat offshore.
Boat building is a skill that takes years to learn and is about as close to carpentry as spackling is to paving a highway. In most dirt dwellings one uses completely different electrical products and connections because of the corrosion factor of the dwelling literally being in salt water. You say you are a good mechanic, but have you considered that to rebuild an engine in a boat, it is best to remove it? It's not like you have driven into a nice concrete floored shop, you are probably going to have to disassemble some of the interior and hire a crane to remove and replace it, which adds greatly to the cost of a rebuild, as do the parts of a marine diesel.
I could go on for quite some time, but you wouldn't understand the terms I'm using anyway, so what's the point? Bottom line most who attempt what you propose end up with so much more time and money invested in a project boat that they'd have been so much better just buying a well found boat after a few years of working for the money, and have had years of pleasure sailing it instead of working on it. A goodly number never finish and those boats are easily found on Craig's List, etc.
I'm not trying to blow you off or dissuade you from boating, but you are being given good advice by knowledgeable people and you are being rude in return. I've been doing this for a long, long time and I know how it goes. One owner hired me to rebuild a 65' old wooden boat, and I replaced most of the planking in the bottom and charged him $18,000 including the materials and he freaked out. He thought it was way too much money! Boats aren't cheap even when you get a good deal, but it hasn't yet gone back to being an elitist sport.
 

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bell ringer
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I had imagined sailors to be a bit more diy and independent. I sort of forgot its become a rich metrosexual hobby. I suppose thats what happens when things become too safe and comfortable. I guess the only lifestyle that isn't preferred by domesticated consumers is homesteading. ciao
You know what? Us rich metrosexual hobby sailors who are actural sailors, get tired of answering the same old same old book reading dreaming delusion threads by wannabe experts who come onto the site asking "questions" but really just want buy-in for whatever glorified story they have gotten into their mind. I would say most of us only read and answer such threads out of boredom and entertainment.
 

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this Blue water boat has to have full keel thing just won't go away. look at the boats in the marinas that go on ocean passages and tell me how many full keel boats you see now a days. full keel boats are relics of a day gone by. not to mention how bad they are to sail and how slow they are compared to modern ocean crossing capable boats.
When I was interested in a boat for a circumnavigation, other than racing boats, every blue water cruiser was a full keel, blah, blah, blah boat. Safe, sound, ponderous and slow. Very, very slow. There are so many choices today and one or two may actually be better for what one wants to do. But for someone without any experience at all, how would they know? After learning to sail, and sailing on a goodly number of boats, that is the time to choose a boat.
 
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Or be guided by a very experience person who is willing to help you find the proper boat.
 
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