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Discussion Starter #1
Well, I'm getting ready to leave dry land and would appreciate any suggestions of boats to start investigating. I travel nationwide with my job, consulting RN, and last year mostly stayed in motel rooms. I love to sail, although inexperienced at singlehanded sailing, but plan on living aboard around a 30 footer in the southeast, probably NC,GA, or FLA. I feel as though the design of the traveler would play a part in the ease of sailing alone, but any other suggestions as to brand of boat? Oh, in case you haven't guessed, I'm female and also only 5ft. 2in.
Thanks,
Maddie:)
 

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hi Maddie and welcome.
Do you have a budget? I would suggest you focus more on the liveaboard aspects you MUST have rather than the sailing characteristics or things that can easily be altered like a traveler. Any good rigger can help you set up any 30 footer for ease of single handing. More important to your living will be things like:
Propane or alchohol stove
Air conditioning
Stand up shower separate from the head.
AC power
Space and storage

All you really need is a production boat that meets your needs and is in good condition verified by survey and diesel mechanic.
Suggest you visit yachtworld.com and use their advanced search to input your price range and size range and geographic area to get an idea of what can be had and to see different layouts.
Glad to help further as you refine your ideas.
 

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You sound busy, are you retiring or just taking a break. Don't buy one, you can stay on mine till you decide. Me, retired paramedic/firefighter. Look at the island packet 27,29 or 31.
 

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I agree completely with Camaraderie. The liveaboard elements are what counts, as long as you stick to boats of well-tested design and in good condition. From my own experience, the only comment I would add is that an autohelm is a wondrous aid to singlehanded sailing......

Good luck with your search.

Stuart
 

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and self-tailing winches. They are expensive to put on if the boat doesnt already have them though it can easily be done.
 

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Maddie-

It would help if you said what your rough budget for said boat would be, as well as what kind of sailing you intend to do with it.

There are lots of boats that would be suitable, but the type of sailing you want to do will influence your choice a bit. Also, are you willing to sacrifice living space for sailing qualities??

A good place to start would be James Baldwin's boat list. Be aware that his boat list focuses on boats that could be decent pocket bluewater passage makers. The coastal cruiser variant of boats would give you significantly more living space at the cost of some seaworthiness.

As for singlehanding a boat.. an autopilot, lines led aft to the cockpit, proper traveler design and mainsheet location, are all going to make a boat easier to singlehand. However, I generally recommend reserving a decent part of your boat buying budget, 15-25% depending on the budget, for upgrading, repairing, and modifying any boat you do purchase. Most boats will require some work to make it work for you, since the layout of a boat's sail controls is often very specific to the individual sailor, more so if you're singlehanding the boat.

I'd also recommend you read the POST in my signature to help you get a bit more out of your time on sailnet. Welcome to the asylum. :)

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Maddie
The "Freedom Yacht" line of boats is designed for your intended porpoise
They are designed from a scratch to sail singlehandly and they are perfect live-aboard boats. They have simple rig, plush interior, hot water, shower, and other niceties. Quite a few models made around a globe too.
Boats are not cheap, but they are low maintenance boats and build very well
There is a lady living aboard Freedom 30. She is active on Fleedom’s e-mail list; you may try to talk to her.
FreedomOwnersGroup : Freedom Owners Group
 

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May I interst you in a nice Sailnet all time favorite??? They are called Salty's...reall good boats..born to sail (ehehehe) not really...they sail like shoes...but if you dont have one..you're not a sailor

 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the comments. I really don't want to spend over about 30,000 for one, so I'll be limited to probably 1 1985 or older, wouldn't you think? I have done most of my sailing on a 30ft Catalina, 5 weeks at a time, both intercoastal and outside to Cape Lookout. Of course that was with a sailor who had been doing it for 40 years, but learned alot on those 5 week trips, including what can go terribly wrong. I'll check out the boats you suggested, and also contact that RN, Artful Dodger!
Thanks again, and it's great having so many knowledgeable people to talk with!
 

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Maddie, Welcome to Sailnet. Sailnet is a treasure chest of information-don't hesitate to ask anything! I've lived aboard for 6 out of 12 months for the last nine years. We have a 1983, 37 foot boat we bought 12 years ago. We've replaced standing and running rigging, electronics and have re-powered. I've been very fortunate to have the time to be a hands on owner and feel like I know our boat inside and out. We started with a solid, well built boat that we purchased from the original owners. Take your time shopping. With your budget you will have to shop for an older boat. Get a good boat survey and an engine survey. Be realistic about your budget and what you can spend for improvements and upgrades. You might be better off starting out with a well built boat, but a pretty bare one. And then add something every year. Learn from others, take classes and be prepared to get your nails dirty. The more you can do yourself the more money you can save but more importantly the better you'll know your boat. Shop, shop and shop some more. There are bargains out there, but you have to be patient to find them. Have fun and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nautical FishWife,
I know all about getting my nails dirty! Helped put in a hot water heater on my friend's boat, mainly since he wasn't small enough to fit down in the cockpit storage to get it fastened in! Have also had my share of calamities, such as no gears coming in to anchor, engine overheating, storms on the ocean, and the list goes on. Thanks for the tips though. I'll keep on looking!
Maddie123
 

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Maddie—

Did you have a rough budget in mind???
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Really didn't want to spend more than about $50,000 which I know limits me to an older boat. But I'm not afraid of a little hard work and/or learning to fix things myself when possible by research and using this website for tips and suggestions.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I think in my earlier post I had said $30000 when I meant $50,000. In Yachtworld search seems like boats posted in Florida are usually cheaper. Is that generally true?
 

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Maddie-

Generally, prices on boats go down as you go south. One reason for this is that a twenty year old boat in New England or the Great Lakes may see only half the wear, tear and abuse of a boat further south, since most are hauled out for the winter. The more intense UV also does a number on the gelcoat, paint, sails and other materials used on a boat. Twenty year old sails in New England may still be usable, not great but usable... ten year old sails in Florida are usually shot due to the greater UV exposure.

If your total budget is $50,000, I would recommend you look at boats priced from $35,000-45,000 and leave yourself at least $10,000 for re-fitting, modifying, upgrading and repairing whatever boat you get. :) Just remember, in most cases, the asking price and the real selling price aren't exactly the same thing, with a 15-20% difference between the two in most cases...

BTW, lots of good boats in that price range. I'd highly recommend you look at James Baldwin's Boat List as well, at least if you're interested in eventually going further away than a week long cruise. :) LINK
 

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I know, sorry. Hey, I was just trying to be friendly and help out a fellow health care worker. I know how hard it is time wise to travel around looking at boats. You must be having bad thoughts. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Badsanta, no need to apologize. I was just kidding. Where in Va are you? Do you have to haul your boat out in winter?
 

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Please recognize that opinions on this subject are rampant. Not everyone agrees. I strongly suggest you spend enough time sailing to learn what is truly important to you before buying your own boat. Racing is the fastest and easiest way (in my opinion <grin>) to gain experience, but it usually isn't very hard to find cruisers to sail with either.

Just as an example, many people (a great number of whom don't single-hand) will tell you to rig lines back to the cockpit. I sail single-handed more often than not and I strongly differ. On my 40' center cockpit, all main sail halyards and reefing gear and spinnaker halyards are at the mast. I really like it that way. I would not begin to suggest that my solution is right for everyone, but I do think you should develop enough experience to come to your own conclusion.

That said, here are my thoughts based on 30 years of sailing, both cruising and racing. I sail a LOT, mostly single-handed, sometimes with a friend, and once in a while with a bigger crew.

1. Sleeping is important. Be sure your berth is comfortable. I include in this area being able to make the bed easily (if that is important to you). This led me to a center cockpit boat with a center island queen aft.

2. Cooking is important. This led me to a boat with a large galley, near-centerline sink, and relatively large amount of counter space.

3. Sailing is important. This led me to a conventional main with full battens, relatively narrow beam, lots of sail control, adjustable backstay, and space for a big sail locker.

4. Entertainment is important. I have a stereo with iPod input, good Internet connectivity, and a couple of TVs.

5. Ground tackle is critical. Get (opinion) a new generation anchor (Rocna, Spade, Raya) and solid ground tackle (HT chain and appropriate windlass).

6. You can't have too much electrical capacity. Fit as many batteries as you can. Make your charging arrangements based on your planned sailing grounds: options include more than one of shore power, generator, solar, and wind.

7. Sanitation is a big deal. Consider a Raritan Electroscan -- learn more than you care to about the associated issues.

8. Laundry is a major issue. Have a plan. Washing in salt water should NOT be part of that plan. It takes more fresh water to rinse the salt out than you save by using salt water in the first place.

9. The patterns you have developed living ashore are likely to be exhibited living afloat. Accommodate. You have to find ways to live with yourself and be happy.

10. Get rid of stuff. Go for a drive or a walk or have a chat with friends. Figure out what stuff is really important to you and get rid of everything else. I spent something like $15k storing stuff I ultimately sold for $3k. <sigh> Learn from my mistake.

11. Find community. Even if you are a loner it is good to know and stay in touch with the liveaboard/cruising community. Information is power, and these folks (the community, not necessarily Sailnet) have it and mostly are willing to share it. You'll get information about moorings, anchorages, water, fuel, transportation, services, and other very important things.

12. Maintain your standards. Living aboard doesn't have to be camping. Develop a lifestyle that makes you comfortable with who you are and how you live.

If you get to the Annapolis area you are welcome to come sailing with my girlfriend and me. I have lots of facts and opinions to share and I think I'm pretty good at labeling them accordingly. <grin>

sail fast, dave
S/V Auspicious
lying City Dock, Annapolis, MD
 
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