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Discussion Starter #1
Hey ladies and gents-

Finally signed my job offer so it's time to actually start asking questions.

I am presently in graduate school and I just signed a job offer with an outfit in the Miami area. Will be starting the job this May. I have always wanted to try the live aboard lifestyle and I need help selecting a boat. I have been sailing my whole life and although I haven't single handed anything larger than 20ft I did do a round trip from Key Largo to Key West with some friends on a Morgan 41 OI.

With that in mind, here is what I am looking for-

I will be single handing most of the time when at sea, so smaller is better. That said there are a few creature comforts I want:
Center Cockpit with a queen aft berth, centerline preferred. My impression is you need at least 40ft to make this a remote possibility
Shower on the boat. I don't want to be using marina showers unless I have to.
I am 5'8" so ridiculous headroom is nice but not a requirement.

Something reasonably forgiving. I haven't done any real serious cruising and I am sure I will make mistakes. I see heavier boats as a plus due to this.

Something that sails well. I don't want a lightweight racer but if I wanted to motor around I would look at Trawlers. Basically, once I am off the dock can it get me from point A to point B without the diesel in a reasonable amount of time?

As far as area of operation, I imagine on what little time off I would try to get out to the keys. Would eventually like to take a year off and cruise but even then I would not want to stray from the Bahamas or keys. At the most, my parents have a vacation home on Grand Cayman and I would like to be able to make the trip out to see them without getting on an airplane ;).

So far, I have identified three boats that fit most of these requirements.

1. The Morgan OI 41. No centerline birth, but tanky. Concerned about poor sailing performance, like the low price tags
2. The Endeavor 40/42 CC. LOVE the aesthetics on this boat. Would not buy one that hadn't had tanks replaced within the last 5 years.
3. Pearson 422

Budget is ~120k, although I am happy to make some sacrifices to save some money

Your thoughts on any of those boats, comparisons between them, or any other similar boats I may have missed is MUCH appreciated!
 

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Westsail 42 . go to westsail.com Twenda is at least on the East Coast . But I say go on down to San Diego CA. buy Southern Cross. Cruise Mexico you just finished school , you need some me time . And for peet's sake blow off that job !
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the advice guys

+1 to Rain on the brewer and bristol. I had looked at a few bristols but not that one. And the brewer is nice for some reason I wasnt thinking they made a CC boat, but I am very aware of their reputation

I looked at a WestSail 42, and I was kinda turned off by how dark the aft cabin felt to me. Maybe it was just the few I saw but that was my impression. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong

@mark and @trout, I would LOVE to be able to say screw it and go. Believe me, I was in Cayman with the fam over Thanksgiving and I was doing the mental math about if I could afford an OI on next semesters tuition. I think its a minor miracle I made it back to school, there were a few guys with OIs looking to sell in the yacht club. As much as the next man I think work is :puke but I can't see a way to afford some of these adventures without working for a few years first. Ive read some of the articles about how people cruise on ridiculously low budgets but my impression is they all own their boats (no remaining debt to pay) and they have some skill that lets them earn some cash along the way. If anyone has a link to where to learn more about how to cruise on the cheap feel free to point me in the right direction. I grew up in the Rockies and spent alot of time camping and living off the land, I can't imagine it would be too awfully different to convert that to living off the sea?

Also, if anyone has any advice on how to capitalize a master's degree in finance while cruising that would be lovely advice too. The only thing I can think of is doing consultations on peoples investment portfolios/ cruising kittys :/

Thanks for the advice folks, please keep it coming. I want to learn all I can :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Mountain its also funny you mentioned San Diego, I lived in San Diego for 4 years (Undergrad) and did a marketing internship for the Jada and went out on the boat every chance I got

Google sail jada its the first link, cant post links yet but its solid boat pronz

Navel Architect: Philip Rhodes
Builder: Stevens Brothers – Stockton CA
Year: 1938
Materials: Port Orford Cedar over white oak frames, teak interior and decks
Engine: Perkins 80 HP Diesel
Displacement: 40,000 lbs
 

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Based on your cruising area I would gravitate towards a centerboard boat to get shallow draft for the keys and bahamas. Something with a draft < 5' with the board up. 4' would be even better.

Something like these:

1987 Brewer Center Cockpit 44 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

1987 Bristol Center Cockpit Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
Those are really nice looking center cockpit boats and that is no mean feat.

Sounds like a lot of boat though for a fist time boat owner, you are young and single what do you need with all that space?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I recognize that these are bigger boats. Ultimately, to me it's not about the space as much as it is the amenities. I want an onboard shower and a full queen berth. I know it sounds spoiled, but if I am truly going to live aboard I feel like those are two things I will need, and you cant find those on a boat smaller than 40ft from what I have seen. Could I tolerate a v berth and marina showers for a week long trip? Probably. Do I want to every day? not really.

Part of that is the job I have waiting is in investment banking. I want a place where I can get in and relax after ridiculous workweeks without leaving the boat or feeling cramped. Plus, I have no doubt the boat will wind up being used socially for afternoon cruises with clients and the like and the space will really come in handy then.

Secondly, though I am young and single, I do have a large family. I can definately see my siblings and cousins (of which there are 14) wanting to come spend summer and spring breaks etc on the boat. Which I am all in favor of, but from my experience on the 41OI for a group of 8 its cozy but still comfortable.

I apologize if I sound confrontational, I am running on 7 hours of sleep since I woke up Sunday morning.
 

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No problem, just remember the bigger the boat and the more complicated the systems the more work. I go by the theory of smaller is better, but then again I am older (likely have kids older than you) and have had my biggish house, Mercedes and BMWs and what not. I just need room for me and an occasional visitor nowadays so I am good with a v-birth or even a good sized quarter birth. If I need to get all 4 kids together with there spouses then I can call on the X-wife to host! Less work for me anyway, though somehow I wind up paying for it all anyway.
 

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Hey stagman , here is another one to look at ,although I've been told it's more of a motor sailor. Bob P. what is it a motor sailor or a sail boat ? And put that invoice book away . It's the Islander Freeport 41 . This is one cool boat, Clipper bow center cockpit aft cabin not to mention port lights in the transom !
 

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All of the above suggestions have merit! are you planning on staying in a slip? if so you might find that slip size, availability, and location will also dictate boat choice. little things like 55ft above the water or 62ft. smaller rig better bridge clearance. unlimited airspace slips tend to be higher priced and fewer live-aboard spaces. LOA affects those rates.
 

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I'm with you on cruising and working. I managed it to some degree for 15 years working for West Marine and transferring from store to store. I'd just sail there and cruise locally. I've been all through the Great Lakes, along the east coast and into the Bahamas. Here are some things that I learned, you can take it for what it's worth. I agree with the previous post, big boats have big systems which mean more money. I'd go as small as I could afford if I were to do it over. If you're going to go big, I like the pedigree that the West Sail 42 carries with it. You can chage the aft cabin and make it lighter. Remember the Perfect Storm? That was a West Sail that made it through. SATARI was the name I think. I sailed with another couple for a while and they had a Bristol 40, not a center cockpit, but they said it hobbyhorsed in seas. You might want to research that. I was in Sandy Hook NJ waiting for tropical storm Ernesto to blow over and a bunch of boats drug anchor and washed onto a rock jetty. One of them was a Brewer 44. Compared to other boats, she faired really well. She also comes off the table of a proven designer. If you like that boat, the Whitby 42 may require a look.
My last piece of advice, if you want to keep that lifestyle, stay single. "Can I get an Amen!"
 
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