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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello,
First post!
My wife and I met sailing square rigged tallships (lady washington/hawaiian chieftan) and fell in love with the sea, she turned me on to the book "Sailing the Farm" and we have since dreamed of sea-steading. We now have one one year old son :D
I recently found a Newport 27' in my price range that looks great - I plan on doing some work on it (modifying living spaces, installing solar panels, aftcabin greenhouse etc), so I don't see us using it as a liveaboard until my son is at least four...
It looks really roomy on the inside (sleeps five, in bunks presumably), but...it's only 27'. That being said, I'm about to start school and my wife works so It's not like we'll all be on her all day...until we head out to sea!
Do you think this would be suitable for me my wife and four year old son? My wife and I are good at confined spaces; after working on the boats for 4 months we moved into a dodge caravan for 8 months!
Any information's appreciated! sorry to give too much from my end ;)

Preemptively thanking y'all for your time!
 

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Are you looking for an endorsement of your parenting? Meet with a child psychologist or family counselor to discuss your plans.

Worried about violating the law? Consult with a family law lawyer in your jurisdiction, or better yet, call the state department of social services for your city or county for their view and/or input.

Many would think that is o.k., particularly on a forum like this - imaginary-sailing-make-believe-happy land; many would disapprove for various valid reasons, particularly given the small size of the boat for a family.

The controlling standard in custody cases in Virginia is the best interests of the child. That is a useful standard for other purposes, as well.

I believe, you, as a good parent, should put your child's best interests above your own desires.

So, do you believe it is in your child's best interests for you to live aboard a Newport 27?

Why don't you state the pros and cons here so we can better evaluate your motives, interests, values and priorities?

...or do you really just want approval and not any opinions contrary to your own?
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Thanks for your reply. I definitely welcome all opinions, I'm not here for a pat on the back.
I'm definitely not seeking endorsements of my parenting and I regret inadvertently implying otherwise.
I am also not worried about violating laws. I know a couple families who live on boats and have become relatively well versed with the pertinent regulations.
To clarify, My wife's and my dream of sea-steading was for when we have a child which we now do. I definitely think it's in my child's best interest to live on a sailboat when he's around 4 years old (depending on how he develops) though I know as he grows, we will want to give him a more stable school/friend/home environment. I absolutely do not plan on living as a family on a 27' boat for decades...

What I dont know is if a 27' cruiser with an augmented cabin would be big enough - I'm hoping that someone has lived aboard a similar vessel and can relate their experiences.
My motives, interests, and values? To be able to travel to nearby places along the west coast, teach my son to sail and all the life lessons that accompany, reduce my families tax on the earth a little, learn as a family about ocean conservation and marine biology, and have a novel experience together as a family. My priorities are my and my family's well being.
Please try to refrain from such stark sarcasm, all I could really gather from your response is that you think 27' is too small...did I read that correctly?

Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
p.s. do you know of a forum that is not, as you say, "imaginary-sailing-make-believe-happy land"? I was hoping that this forum would be populated by people with extensive sailing experience...
 

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Is the Newport 27' a suitable liveaboard for a small family?
It wouldn't suit me, and while I don't know what "sea steading" and "aft cabin greenhouses" are, doesn't seem like you'd have room for that and the "solar panels".
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
TB, thanks very much for your reply!
sea-steading is like home steading but on the sea...an aft cabin greenhouse is just a greenhouse of whatever size towards the stern.
Can you suggest a more suitable vessel? I've heard good things about the catalina 30, but that's only three feet more - maybe a 35' cruiser?

Thanks again :)
 

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A Cat 30 is 3 feet longer BUT it is a whole lot more boat. I had a Catalina 30 and my kids and I would spend almost every day on it, for about 3 to 5 hours. The kids enjoyed the time aboard but we always went home for the night. At the time they were 6 and 8 years old, they have always been aboard boats since they were born. They are now 23 and 25 and still like going out for a sail. We have been without a boat for around 17 years and I picked up a Coronado 25 last summer, after some refurbishing we have been sailing several times, we are now ready to weekend on it. First overnight (not at the slip) will be at Catalina Island, probably the second week of August. I believe that a minimum of 10 feet per person and with a child add 5 feet to that for live aboard. Also if your going to live aboard with a child you better be prepared invest in water safety lessons and your going to need a budget for kayaks, sailing dinghies, and snorkeling equipment etc.. and your going to be doing a lot of sailing, your boat will have to be seaworthy so scratch the greenhouse. The ocean will become your child's playground. Be Ready
 

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Discussion Starter #8
socal, thanks for the reply!
I'm from LA originally, I used to looooove sailing out to Catalina; those channel islands are so gorgeous :) what a place to go skin/scuba diving too...
The water safety lessons are a given, the snorkels are lined up, I appreciate your reminder about the dinghy, but can you explain why kayaks are a necessity?
re: the greenhouse, quite a few people have sailed across the pacific with aft cabin greenhouses, there are designs for seaworthy greenhouses available. Even if you don't plan on going that route, "sailing the farm" is a very interesting read, written by a guy who sailed around the world with an aft cabin greenhouse and all sorts of innovative stuff before he paused to write ;)
With your 10+10+5 rule that puts me at 25'; I don't know why but 27' somehow seems better than 25...Do you think the Newport 27' is pushing it and I should go for the Cat 30? The reason I ask about the Newport is because a friend wants to upgrade and will sell me his nearly flawless newport for 5000usd...

thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
P.S. most of our time will be spent moored (there is very affordable live-aboard moorage close to our work/school) so we'll have shore heads/showers and there's an awesome playground by the docks. The longest we'd be at sea would be 3 days or so, but rarely more than a day or two - we'd mainly go up and down the west coast, along which we have many friends to visit. I say this to refute any possible misconception that the three of us will be on the boat all day every day ;)
 

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I'm kind of partial towards the C30 for the amount of room you get for a boat that size. There should be plenty of them along the west coast as that's where the company began. Resale should be easy.
 

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Why bother with the encumbrance of a greenhouse if you're only going to be away from land for three days at most?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ferron, thanks for your reply!
Having discussed our plans with friends the Cat 30 was kinda what I had my eye on. I've never been aboard a Newport but the inside dimensions seem pretty good, but I'm getting the impression from y'all that despite slight difference in length, the Cat 30 is considerably more livable.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'd bother with the greenhouse for a few reasons:
I've been growing food since I was a kid and there's no better food than vegetables you grow with care.
I am going to school for horticulture and botany: I love growing.
The plans that I'm fond of are relatively easy and inexpensive so If it turns out to be more trouble than it's worth I can scrap it.
The length of time I'm at sea or moored is inconsequential; either way I can grow my own fresh, delicious, food. It's the same reason that, on land, I have a big garden, rabbits, a greenhouse, and an indoor garden. Grocery stores are nice but my garden's better and if I can have a garden on my boat I'm stoked.
 

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... It's the same reason that, on land, I have a big garden, rabbits, a greenhouse, and an indoor garden. Grocery stores are nice but my garden's better and if I can have a garden on my boat I'm stoked.
OK. I get the fresh is best thing. But your house isn't moving. Your house isn't susceptible to the same always-changing conditions as a boat. I guess I'm thinking about it from a safety perspective.
 

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In my recent search for a liveaboard boat, I have been on 2 newport 27's and 2 catalina 30's. The cat would be far more suitable for my liveaboard needs, and I'm only worried about me. My daughter will visit from time to time, but as she is still very young she does not need or desire a lot of space. She loves crawling into little cubbies and making her own little home out of it.

However, as with the 10+10+5 rule, I would start at 30 and apply it from there. I'm also not looking at a green house and the space that it would consume. Perhaps you could build it on a little dinghy of some sort and pull it along behind your boat? I'm not sure. I did consider enclosing a small fishing boat and using it for storage while cruising, so maybe that could work.

But the newport 27 would satisfy for a weekender only in my personal opinion. I could not live on it because of the severe lack of headroom and other creature features. If you have that much time between now and when you want to set sail long term, perhaps you could find an old 40 foot fixer upper and be much happier in regards to space.

And just 3 feet is not the only factor, I'm looking at a 30' Jeaneau and its not nearly as spacious as the Catalina 30 because of beam and headroom. Its very boat to boat. But please dont settle on the Newport and suffer later because its cheap. I even looked at an Irwin 32 Center Cockpit that was much roomier than even the Catalina, especially with the aft cabin.

My opinion: wait till you have a bit more budget, get a bigger boat. If you can get a loan, $35,000 will get quite a large fairly well equipped boat. Perhaps a 40' or more. It will probably need elbow grease though. If you are comparing the payment to a car it will be depressing, but compared to a mortgage or rent for a house you will be making out pretty well.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
ferron, thanks for the input! Safety is of course my priority and I'm not married to the idea, but I've seen it done and would like to at least see if I can make one that meets everyone's (my, my wife's, and the coast guard's) approval.
Worst comes to worst we eat a lot of sprouts and that's not so bad last I checked.

Keepin my eye's peeled for a cat 30. Thanks for everyones input!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
jwatt, thanks for your thoughtful reply!
I guess I figured since the Cat and Newport are designed as weekend cruisers their interiors would be similar, thanks for letting me know otherwise.
Definitely not settling on the Newport, but I was hoping it could work considering the condition and the price. Le sigh.
Re: greenhouse (of which I'm tiring of talking about) we're not talking about a ten foot tall dutch style farm, just a small, couple feet tall, enclosed area that lets light in in which I can have some simple hanging hydro/aero-ponic troughs.
Fortunately for me I'm in Western Washington so there are plenty of boats for me to puruse.

Thanks again for your advice!
 

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ferron, thanks for the input! Safety is of course my priority and I'm not married to the idea, but I've seen it done and would like to at least see if I can make one that meets everyone's (my, my wife's, and the coast guard's) approval.
Worst comes to worst we eat a lot of sprouts and that's not so bad last I checked.

Keepin my eye's peeled for a cat 30. Thanks for everyones input!
There are no rules about greenhouses in the cockpit and you haven't mentioned how large it would be. You'd want something that won't restrict your ability to keep watch nor turn into a missile when the winds kick up so it has to be small enough to easily take below during storms I would think. In theory only it sounds like an interesting idea. I think you're trying to take your land-based home onto the boat and mixing two very distinct worlds. Almost like a trawler would be a better fit than a sailboat.
 

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TB, thanks very much for your reply!
sea-steading is like home steading but on the sea...an aft cabin greenhouse is just a greenhouse of whatever size towards the stern.
Can you suggest a more suitable vessel? I've heard good things about the catalina 30, but that's only three feet more - maybe a 35' cruiser?

Thanks again :)
More than length look at displacement and for live aboard the layout.
More modern boats will have more space inside but generally less storage. With a child for full time live aboard I think 27 foot is small. I would look at at least 32 foot. But the Catalina 30 is a big 30. The head is where a bigger boat is really better and aft cabin/quarter birth. It is a very personal thing. Some people are able to live in smaller spaces than others.

Where you will be plays a roll as well. Will you be in marinas or on the hook? If on the hook you will need more more tankage. Will you be in the south? If you will be northish you will need a source of heat. Storage is another issue. I doubt the Newport will have much.

Standing headroom would be a requirement for me, but not for everyone.




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