SailNet Community banner

1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So my Wife and I have started to seriously discuss living aboard and sailing the world. But where to start? Project boat? Fully equipped spend your life savings boat? There are so many things to consider. I look at ads to buy boats everyday, anyone have any thoughts on this?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
21,803 Posts
Most projects fail. There is an endless to-do list on a boat that is in fine shape already.

Buy a seaworthy boat, with good bones. Cleaning up cosmetics works. If you find the right deal for something that needs something big, like an engine, pay someone to get it done and factor that into the price.

Also, if you're going to live aboard, that should be the primary filter for the boat. You'll live on it, far more than you'll sail it. Of course, I'm not suggesting it's become a dock queen (I hope), but even full time cruisers don't sail but a fraction of time on their boat. Be sure she has the creature comforts you'll need to be comfortable, which differ by individual. Consider things like fridge space, bunk size and access, separate shower, hot water, water capacity, seating, head room. Sailing characteristics are important, of course. However, some buy the fastest boat they can manage and then find it's uncomfortable to live on. Buy the boat you need 90% of the time.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aquarian

·
1979 Morgan Out Island 41
Joined
·
84 Posts
I went the route of buying a project boat and putting the time and money into fixing it up (DYI). End the end I'll have the same into it as if I'd bought it at full retail (so no real money savings). At times it's a struggle, mostly mental to keep beating your head against the wall of "projects needing to get done". My thought process was that I still had 5 - 10 years of worklife until I could retire and this got me on the boat sooner vs later. I love living on a boat so for me it was the right choice.

The game plan I followed was to get all the leaks stopped so the boat was dry and then cleaned up all the cosmetics on the inside so that I didn't feel like I was living in an old stinking boat. I ripped out all the vinyl lining, faired the inside of the hull and painted. This was a large project of many weekends but really helped the livability of the boat. Minnewaska is correct, your going to be living on your boat all the time, whether your moving or not. It has to be to a standard (that standard is individual) that you feel like your home and not "putting up" with things.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,404 Posts
Over the years I've read a lot of posts from people who bought a project boat and are mired in the middle of seemingly endless work. My conclusion is real simple... If you want a project, buy a project boat. If you want to get out there and start sailing, buy a boat that is reasonably close to being ready to go.

A project boat will almost never save you money, unless you do almost all of the work yourself, and you don't count your own time spent working on it, because working on a project is what you really wanted to do in the first place. Count your own time just at minimum wage and you would almost always be money ahead to buy a boat that is more nearly ready to go. And, of course, as a bonus you get to go sailing years earlier.

Good luck, whatever you do.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,104 Posts
A project boat is not for a noob... and will always take longer and cost way more than one expected... especially if it is on the hard at a boat yard.

Good advice above.
Got a boat with a good accommodation plan.. comfy cabin and cockpit... with as Minnie notes... "good bones"

Some plans are very well thought out... no wasted space and at the same time "spaceous" (talking smaller LOAs).

I would look for a mid 30s. I have a 36' and I've done that beginning in 1985. But I started with a new boat and put $30K + into it before I was living aboard and cruising offshore. I still have the boat!
electric windlass
chain
cabin heater
refrigeration
nav equipment
below decks autopilot
storm sails
adjustable pole
ss dodger w/ sunbrella
Dutchman flaking system
solar panels
fans (3)
dink

+++++

after the basics I did:

cabinet upgrades / add ons
removed a sink and made it into a hardware cabinet
change cockpit seat teak
sole grates for head and cockpit
alternator and smart regulator/monitor
large wheel
electronics
sails
110v electrics
inverter
shore power charger
running rigging
added 2 secondary winches
replaced primary winches
LED lighting throughout

+++++

over the years I replaced or did a major repair:
stanchion bases
hatches
port lights
sails (3x)
upholstery (2x)
stove
head
water heater (2x)
batteries (3x)
pumps (3x)
engine injectors and valves
electric main 12v wiring
inverter
dodger fabric 3x)
sail cover (2x)
dink (6 or 7x)

And lots I forgot
 

·
Master Mariner
Joined
·
8,391 Posts
I've often mentioned that I consider livability to be number one on the list for any boat one is considering moving onto. 98% of the liveaboard boats sit at anchor, on a mooring or at the dock much more than they sail, even long distance cruisers. So, you want your boat to be a comfortable home, with a good galley to cook meals in, with plenty of storage for your personal gear, spares and boat gear. A comfortable bed, preferable one with an off the shelf size mattress (custom mattresses are very expensive), that you don't have to be on to make, is a real plus.
If your eventual goal is to get off the dock (no air conditioning) and head to the tropics, then ventilation is a huge consideration.
As for a project boat, that subject has been well covered above, but one point I'd like to make is that unless working on the boat is the point, owning a boat you can't sail for years isn't the best way to get into the more pleasurable parts of boat ownership. Working on a boat when you are living aboard is a real PITA, even if it's just something like doing interior varnish or engine repairs. We do a lot of exterior varnishing in the forepeak, so those cushions are stored in the salon taking up space and getting in the way of our daily lives.
Good luck and I hope we see you out here one day.
 

·
bell ringer
Joined
·
4,817 Posts
I went:

sailing school -> sailing club (3 mos) -> 39' boat (2 years) -> 43' current boat (4 years) -> retired and oven onto boat 4 years ago

the route you take depends on how much time and money you have and need, but unless you want to be a boat worker don't get a pos you think you will cheaply bring back to life
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
IMHO, the first thing you need to establish is a budget. Then, make a reasonable assessment on where you will sail her. I think these two things help narrow the field.

If I were buying a 'bluewater' boat, in my budget it likely would be an older boat that would need a refit. Better yet, would be a boat that has had a recent refit!

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,715 Posts
You haven't said what your budget is, where you are located, what your sailing experience is, etc. "Sailing the world" is a big undertaking. Only a small number of liveaboard cruisers do that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,155 Posts
As usual will disagree with some of the above.
pullman berths are a PIA. One person has to crawl over another to get out. At least one berthing area should be an island Queen. In order to have good accessibility to both sides a boat of 40’ or greater is required. At least four single berths should be aft of the mast. Doubles become singles unless they have bungle boards. All passage berths should have lee clothes or be secure Pilot berths and be singles.
Liveaboard boats that actually travel with eventually be in hot/humid/windless places and cold/damp/windy places. Good AC and good heat increases comfort immeasurably. You perform better when you sleep well and are comfortable. Reverse AC doesn’t cut it as heat once you’re above 40N from late fall on.
multiple charging sources are required for a comfortable life. Solar and wind and high output alternator and low rev genset is the best redundant solution for most people.
Redundant communications is required for safety and a reasonable social life. Multiple VHF, satphone, SSB, GO or equivalent, boosters, personal and boat epirbs etc.
Size matters. Length of time for passage, safety in weather, ability to have adequate storage for spares and tankage without resorting to containers on deck. Size should be as large as you can handle without resorting to powered assistance beyond the windlass.
Anything that increases redundancy and decreases need to come to land markly improves your life and decreases your risk. multiple water and fuel tanks. Multiple racors. Separate complete systems for frig and freezer with ability to convert either to either function. Windvane and AP. Watermaker. Multiple battery banks or switches to allow safe sailing in event of failure of one bank or battery. Multiple nav sources including some not dependent on main battery bank. We carry portable solar chargers and 2 fully loaded IPads in event of lighting strike or flooding disabling our electrical system.
Anything that is mission critical must be fully functional/maintained and you must have appropriate tools and should have at least 3 spares of consumables and at least one of likely breakage parts.
Brand of boat and type (number of hulls/masts etc.) is not a yes/no. But quality of construction, suitability for ocean passage/weather is. Neither is age a Yes/no but maintenance and survey results is.
The above is the result of multiple conversations with other long term cruisers and seeing who gives up/who doesn’t, who is happy/you isn’t, who is restricted in their travels/who isnt. Also my own experience. Majority on the good side are in monos of 40-54’ or multis >45’. Most are couples. Most have roller furling head sails and some additional gear to tame the main. All have a available sail plan for heavy weather. All have robust ground gear. All have an aid to steer-either AP or windvane or both.

the OP said “sail the world”. This is a very different thing than “be a full time cruiser”. The jump occurs once you add any ocean passagemaking into the equation. It’s a huge jump in skill set, expense, quality of boat, and unwavering dedication to the boat. Don’t go off half cocked. Make sure you and yours are fully committed. Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,104 Posts
As usual will disagree with some of the above.
pullman berths are a PIA. One person has to crawl over another to get out. At least one berthing area should be an island Queen. In order to have good accessibility to both sides a boat of 40’ or greater is required. At least four single berths should be aft of the mast. Doubles become singles unless they have bungle boards. All passage berths should have lee clothes or be secure Pilot berths and be singles.
Liveaboard boats that actually travel with eventually be in hot/humid/windless places and cold/damp/windy places. Good AC and good heat increases comfort immeasurably. You perform better when you sleep well and are comfortable. Reverse AC doesn’t cut it as heat once you’re above 40N from late fall on.
multiple charging sources are required for a comfortable life. Solar and wind and high output alternator and low rev genset is the best redundant solution for most people.
Redundant communications is required for safety and a reasonable social life. Multiple VHF, satphone, SSB, GO or equivalent, boosters, personal and boat epirbs etc.
Size matters. Length of time for passage, safety in weather, ability to have adequate storage for spares and tankage without resorting to containers on deck. Size should be as large as you can handle without resorting to powered assistance beyond the windlass.
Anything that increases redundancy and decreases need to come to land markly improves your life and decreases your risk. multiple water and fuel tanks. Multiple racors. Separate complete systems for frig and freezer with ability to convert either to either function. Windvane and AP. Watermaker. Multiple battery banks or switches to allow safe sailing in event of failure of one bank or battery. Multiple nav sources including some not dependent on main battery bank. We carry portable solar chargers and 2 fully loaded IPads in event of lighting strike or flooding disabling our electrical system.
Anything that is mission critical must be fully functional/maintained and you must have appropriate tools and should have at least 3 spares of consumables and at least one of likely breakage parts.
Brand of boat and type (number of hulls/masts etc.) is not a yes/no. But quality of construction, suitability for ocean passage/weather is. Neither is age a Yes/no but maintenance and survey results is.
The above is the result of multiple conversations with other long term cruisers and seeing who gives up/who doesn’t, who is happy/you isn’t, who is restricted in their travels/who isnt. Also my own experience. Majority on the good side are in monos of 40-54’ or multis >45’. Most are couples. Most have roller furling head sails and some additional gear to tame the main. All have a available sail plan for heavy weather. All have robust ground gear. All have an aid to steer-either AP or windvane or both.

the OP said “sail the world”. This is a very different thing than “be a full time cruiser”. The jump occurs once you add any ocean passagemaking into the equation. It’s a huge jump in skill set, expense, quality of boat, and unwavering dedication to the boat. Don’t go off half cocked. Make sure you and yours are fully committed. Good luck

Well yes... but this is a pretty spendy budget.... and a dream list not a minimum or even an average. This list makes it seem like this is for millionaires with million dollar budgets.... and I am sure there are many doing "oceans" with less than half that equipment list and budget.

Ocean Sailing is a small part of going around the world though it would clock the most miles sailed. A fair amount of around the world journeys are done down wind and storms for the most part are avoided not the norm. YES be prepared.

I've sailed all sorts of conditions in the ocean... from days of dead calm (motoring) to gales in the Gulf Stream... and everything in between. I did 90% in a 36' boat (mine) a 30' Nonsuch, a Valient 40 and a Stevens 52. Didn't make all that much difference. I carried loads of spares and had redundancy when possible on my boat. YES gear fails and you need a plan to deal with them.

You do not need a 45-54' million dollar boat for this mission.... but is would be more comfortable and faster.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,155 Posts
Agree don’t need a $1m or even $1/2m or $1/4m boat. My sample of successful boats includes people on home made metal, 40 year old boats, wood restorations, high tech CF multis and everything in between. Still there are basic human wants and needs. You have to cover all the needs and at least some of the wants to have staying power.
Will gently remind you OP said “sail the world”. So I included boat thoughts about those I know who “sail the world”. Looking at what’s on the list I posted the boats I know who are doing “sail the world” have most of what was mentioned if not all of it. Exceptions are AC, independent heating system and having both vane and AP. Many don’t.
This is a different question then boats capable of a safe ocean passage or good liveaboard boats. Look at Mark’s boat. It’s fully capable for this mission and is doing it. It’s a fine safe boat. Don’t know and perhaps he’ll step in but don’t think he’s on a million dollar boat. His personal finances are his affair but do think he probably has most if not all that’s mentioned.
What I do and what you did is NOT “sailing the world”. My next passage will be a bit over 2000 miles. Prior have been 1500 to 2000 but average around 1700. Length has 8-12 days except one of 16 days due to waiting a full week for weather to go by. Although my boat is outfitted to be fully capable of “sailing the world” and many sisterships do I clearly stated boat type, age and brand aren’t dictated.
so what specifically in my post would you eliminate?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,104 Posts
Mark's boat I believe is an ex Bene charter boat 39' LOA IIRC. Mine as you know is 36' LOA and I value comfort VERY highly. I have heat, refer/freezer, hot water... a great plan for ocean sailing as well as at anchor... a huge comfy cockpit... a comfortable shower... hand holds throughout... lots of lockers for stowing...spares for for everything... redundancy, furling, Dutchman, storm canvas, life raft...windlass. below decks AP.... 5 GPS devices and plotters... SSB, multiple VHF, great working gallery and 7' head room... and so on. Boat is very comfortable and dry and a good sailor and does 150 nm / 24 hrs on passage. Sure more space would be nice. I am sailing alone or with one person and rarely another couple. More people would demand a larger boat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,715 Posts
So 13 replies with lots of good info and silence from the OP. Troll?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
So my Wife and I have started to seriously discuss living aboard and sailing the world. But where to start? Project boat? Fully equipped spend your life savings boat? There are so many things to consider. I look at ads to buy boats everyday, anyone have any thoughts on this?
Charter a boat first before buying, building ..... Helps a lot and a a quick way to start going.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,104 Posts
Why? To see if you like spending a week on a boat?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Why? To see if you like spending a week on a boat?
I know of many people who bought or renovated/prepared a boat then ......never got out of harbor. A 3 week trip (real sailing) helps to get the confidence. (maybe with a experienced friend)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,155 Posts
A big part of liveaboard is maintenance and repair. You don’t get a good sense of this while on charter. Been on several boats much more expensive than mine that were a horror show for service access. Been on others were you came to thinking planned obsolescence was part of the NA/engineers thinking.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,104 Posts
I know of many people who bought or renovated/prepared a boat then ......never got out of harbor. A 3 week trip (real sailing) helps to get the confidence. (maybe with a experienced friend)
Not really.... One DOES need to "experience" sailing to see if that is something they enjoy. Living on a boat is a whole other matter... small space... limited possessions and the ABSOLUTE need to understand and maintain ALL systems on board. Of course some will call a pro, expert of have the boat yard do whatever is needed. These people don't actually go very far or stay away from their slip for very long.

There ARE different paths to "dipping your toe in the water"... Chartering on a crewed charter likely gives one a smattering of what living aboard a sailboat is actually like.

Now a days there are so many videos... and we DO learn from reading and seeing so vids have replaced books... but this sort of "experience/knowledge" assuming you get a thorough overview... would be far better than a two week charter in my opinion.

+++++

I bought a new boat and paid a lot from my savings... but it was ready to use and ready to be upgraded to whatever sort of sailing/use I wanted. I spent 5 years learning the boat, to sail, the weather, maintenance, did all manner of upgrades and was confident and ready to take time and go south and live aboard. I did it in mid life when I was "strong". I would not do this at 60 yrs old.. 50 would be about as old as I would recommend. My 5 year ramp up was very intensive. I've sailed as far as Brazil from New England... and scratched that itch... I discovered I love owning a boat.... don't want to be away from NYC for years on end... and now week end and some longer cruises in New England work for me.

Everyone will have different needs, budgets, skills there is no right way to do this.
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top