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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
Yes, we've already started to assemble a checklist of items that we would like to characterize our boat. Much of the list deals with living arrangements, equipment and systems already on board, and maintenance of hull, rigging, sails, etc. The draft of the boat is as important an issue as any we've been considering however. We live in Beaufort, SC.....sandbar heaven. And we want to go hang out in the Keys and the Bahamas for crying out loud. Do they make flat-bottom sailboats?! Haha.

Anyway, really appreciate the passion you've put into this discussion. We realize that our budget won't have us sailing in luxury, but we're looking forward to it. We're tired of the life of luxury and leisure we live as it is now anyway!

Seriously though, we've got a very committed attitude and hope to find a safe boat that meets our needs for this trip. Off the top of my head though, we prefer the following traits:

- cost near 30k
- range of 34 - 38 feet
- ketch or sloop is fine
- keel or skeg mounted rudder
- wheel steering
- I like bow sprits
- we're ok with either aft or center cockpit design
- draft of 5ft or less
- u shaped galley
- only one head
- bow and stern overhangs are beautiful, but not desired by us. We want waterline and LOA to be pretty damn close
- seems like if the boat has been cruised a lot, then we might be able to take advantage of what the previous owner has already made adjustments to, added to the boat, or fixed with the boat. A boat that has survived decades of cruising (with the right kind of owner) might not be a bad thing, in my inexperienced opinion.

I hope these qualities aren't completely unachievable for our price range. Many other issues, like safety equipment, engine, air conditioning, inverters, generators, water makers, electrical systems and battery banks, and navigation and communication equipment are probably going to be the topics of future posts by us.

So run it through the computer everybody....what is the magic boat that satisfies all that?!?!?!
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Actually, that came from an experience i had looking at a Morgan sailboat that had two heads. After considering it, the forward head seemed like a royal waste of space. Maybe others will tell me I'm wrong, but I couldn't see the need for two of them, especially when you weigh it against what that space COULD be used for. Seemed to me it could make a really great storage locker or extension of the forward cabin. Obviously, having two potties is not a deal-breaker, but I'd love to find a boat that found a way to use the space for something else...you know?
 

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How many bathrooms do you have in your home now? Are your girls potty-trained yet? We constantly have battles for who will use our downstairs bathroom. Both boys sit and read or play games with each other until one is about to burst, then rushes for the bathroom. At that same time, the other one, who had been sitting quietly, suddenly realizes that he doesn't just need to pee, he needs to poop, and NOW. Our guys have been potty-trained for a long time (you'd hope so at 7 and 5!), but this kind of thing happens with some regularity. It is nice to have a second bathroom in those instances Another scenario is bad food running through the family. Sometimes, even 3 toilets isn't enough when there are 4 of you!

If you're living aboard full time, these things happen. I think I'd rather have a 2nd head that doubles as a closet, but which can be cleared out, or at least the toilet used, when needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Some good ideas, but like I said...not a deal breaker. You made the point that a second head could serve as a storage locker and just have a space cleared out when needed, and I think this makes a lot of sense. I imagine cruisers probably regularly use heads as storage for things.
 

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We cruised with one head for quite a while (Catalina 380). In an emergency, the capt can pee off the back and you can also carry a seat to go on your 5 gallon bucket which I suspect you will carry anyways.

I think on a 30 foot boat, or anything under 40 feet, I would want just one head. You probably wont find a lot of boats at your size will have two heads anyways.

One thing I would put on your list is a separate shower. Not a deal breaker, but pretty high on our list. Many boats simply have a shower in the head and it gets water everywhere and you are always drying it off. It also allows someone to use the restroom while one person is in the shower.

As I have said before, storage is going to be critical for you. Lots of cabinetry and a deep bilge for stowing canned goods and other heavy items. Many boats (for reasons that escape me) have almost no bilge. You will also be carrying a lot of tools and spare parts that you will want to stowe low.

Just some ideas.

Brian
 

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I went through this same process earlier this year
The Best Boat for Cruising with Children | Sailing With Kids

I think one big decision you have to make is are you going to buy a boat you will keep till they are teenagers, or will you upgrade.

Two children under 10 can VERY easily use quarter berths for their "hobbit holes". This implies something as small as 31/32'. Look very late 70's/early 80's boats with this double quarter berth layout.

Over 10 and you'll probably need cabins for your sanity. Now you are looking at boats in the 36-40 range. Interestingly, I saw Gib Sea 33 for sale with twin cabins at the back. Cute as anything!
 

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My wife, twin 7 year old boys and I have been cruising the Great Lakes for 3 years. We cruising wth a Catalina 27. This is a great little boat, but very quickly we discovered the need for more room. I found a great deal on a 1985 Catalina 30 in Muskegon, MI last summer and the difference in space is amazing. I am now sure that the C-30 is the biggest 30 footer made. However, this is NOT a blue water boat. It is a great and affordable coastal cruiser that can handle some heavier water, but it's not made to cross oceans.
Last summer we sailed the east coast of Lake Michigan and lived on the boat for 7 weeks. For the boys we always have activities, games and projects. Both boys are already learning navigation and plotting our coarses. One of the boys takes one hour shifts at the helm. The other turns on the autopilot and plays chess on my iPad.

One of the advantages of staying 30 feet or smaller are the marina fees. Dockage fees start to go WAY up after you pass the 30 foot mark. Also, it is easier to find available slips.

Back to the Catalinas....
This is a very affordable boat that is also very easy to maintain. Due to the fact that so many of the 27, 30 and 36 were made, finding parts is cheap and easy. Even new sails are very affordable and used sails in great condition can be acquired very cheaply.

The galley on the C-30 and C-36 is a REAL galley with lots of storage. We almost always cook for ourselves when we cruise. My boys share the double quarter birth and we sleep in the very large V-birth. We have been very happy with the Catalinas as they are just right for our needs and budget.
Best
Robert
Pura Vida-Omena MI
 

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There is a great article in Bob Bitchin's lates rag "Cruising Outpost " winter 2014, on Page 46 , on boat size. It makes some good points.
Check it out.
 
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