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Discussion Starter #1
greetings, my name is Cory. I was born and raised in Florida, always near the water, and currently I am in Miami, on Biscayne Bay. I have always been comfortable with the water, I love to surf, dive, snorkel, fish etc, anything to do with the ocean and I am there. Recently I came to the decision to live on a sailboat, and I guess I am looking for some advice for living on board.

for example, would this boat be acceptable for living aboard ?

21' Santana Sailboat

(I realize I need to learn to actually sail a boat. Right now I am looking more for information on rules and regulations regarding where I can anchor and, stuff like that.)


Its good to be here, I am very excited about learning to sail and living on a boat! :D
 

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Are you planning on staying at a marina or hooking up to a mooring ball? if you're not going to stay at a marina, how do you plan to cook, store cold food, go to the bathroom or shower? yes you can do all those things on a 21 footer for a short time, kinda like camping, but long term? That's a rough lifestyle. Speaking for myself, I wouldn't go with anything less than 25-26 feet and there is a huge difference in interior space between 21 and 25 feet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I do not plan on staying at a marina, I have friends that will let me shower and store things with. I am a not really concerned about the space issue. I was more interested in knowing if the boat is seaworthy, and capable of traveling some long voyages.

as for refrigeration. what is the electrical situation for a small boat? Is is possible to have batteries and solar/wind to run small appliances? if not I guess ice?
 

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When you say long voyages, just what do you have in mind?
Yes, you can load up on batteries to run electrical appliances , but again, just what do you have in mind? A computer or small TV or do you want to run a electric hot plate or air conditioner?
We need a lot more details.
how do you plan on going to the bathroom? You going to have to take a port-o-potti to shore every couple of days to empty it.
 

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Release the hounds! Just kidding. Not sure of your budget but Chuck has some very good advise! A 26 footer shouldn't set you back too much, could be ready to sail and wayyyy more comfy if you do some shopping. They seem to be very reasonably priced and lots of them around. At the end of the day it's your choice but do some serious window shopping and kick some tires. Start with Yachtworld.com and use the advanced search engine. You might be surprised what you find.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
well I'd like to go up and down the east coast, they keys, maybe the bahamas, maybe further? I know im getting way ahead of myself.

as for appliances, nothing heavy. a laptop, small light, fans, maybe a small fridge/hotplate if thats feesable

I would use the bathroom on shore, at least for #2. I have no problem peeing in a gallon bottle and dumping it on shore.

thank you for the help
 

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Going up and down the east coast...if you stay in the ICW, sure. Don't think I'd want to take that boat off shore.
As far as battery power, unless you put a lot of battery power on that boat, a hot plate is out of the question. A very small fridge, maybe if you have some large solar panels. lights and a very small TV, yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
no I have not looked at it. how big an engine would I need?

The small size appeals to me because I imagine it would be easy to sail..

can one person easily operate a 25 foot vessel? how about 30?
 

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no I have not looked at it. how big an engine would I need?

The small size appeals to me because I imagine it would be easy to sail..

can one person easily operate a 25 foot vessel? how about 30?
I have no problem single handing my 38 foot. Just depends on how the boat is set up.
 

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Some years ago, my brother's first boat was a 22' Santana. if I recall, he had a 3 HP motor on it and it did fine. I'm sure some here will tell you to have at least 5.
As far as the size of a boat goes, I could single hand my 34. it all depends on how it is equipped. Some will say larger boats are easier to handle than small ones, but you do need to learn how to sail first.
My first boat was a 30' Catalina and I had very little sailing experience before buying it.
 

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The small size appeals to me because I imagine it would be easy to sail..

can one person easily operate a 25 foot vessel? how about 30?
Some other considerations: how tall are you? You won't get headroom on a small boat. Or a head. Or a galley. You have to decide what you can live with.

I'm only researching possiblities myself, but I think that one can single-hand a 30' to 40' boat well enough if it's rigged for it.
 

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Some other considerations: how tall are you? You won't get headroom on a small boat. Or a head. Or a galley. You have to decide what you can live with.
Or rather, what can you live without. A 21 footer won't offer much as far as amenities go. Again, it won't be much different than camping.

My 30' Catalina was a nice boat, but my 34' Catalina offers a lot more. A gas stove/oven as opposed to an alcohol stove. A refrigerated ice box. A water heater. More battery power. More fresh water storage.
And actually, my 34' is much better equipped to single hand than my 30' was. Of course it is a newer model and came from the factory with more options than the 30 did.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I will look at it tomorrow, to get a sense of the size. I understand it will not be luxurious, im not too concerned about it. Im a young guy in college, I can rough it at this juncture in my life.

How far could this boat safely travel away from shore? Is it just a matter of proper navigation and watching the weather?

I may very well get a little bit larger boat, based on what you guys are saying. I do appreciate the input!
 

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That's not an offshore boat. If it were mine, it would never leave the sight of land.
Not to say it's not a decent boat, in fact, it may serve you well for a year or two while you get your sailing legs. But I sure as heck would not plan on sailing the Caribbean in it.
For that, you need a boat set up for long distance, open water cruising and the size of the boat is only one consideration.
 

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Something to think about. the Santana 21 has a 550 lbs. swing keel. that's great to have if you are trailering your boat a lot or sailing in some real skinny water. Not so great when a strong gust of wind hits you unexpectedly and knocks the boat over.
The Santana 22 my brother used to have has a 1200 lbs. fixed keel. That keel will greatly lower the center of gravity on the boat and make it much less susceptible to a knock over.
That's just one reason the 21 is really made to be used in protected waters, not the open sea.
 

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I consider my sailing experince level as to be a newbie. I have only sailed Lasers and Hobie 16's and that was ten years ago. So whatever I say can be taken with a grain of salt or an honest analysis.

I am currently waiting to buy my first sailboat too but I'm quite concerned on what I can do with a 24 foot sloop. When learning to sail back at the age of 27, and that being on a Laser, I almost said "the hell with it". I was being taught by people that had a lifetime of experience of sailing and cruising but the sharks and the current that swept through the atoll and the sheer sensitivity of that little boat almost got the best of me. The required us to learn on the laser before we were allowed to get the hobie. As far as I was concerned the hobie was like flying a kite and the laser was like jumping in to a rocket ship without any flight training. Anyways, I eventually got the hang of it and miss sailing those little rocket ships. I was told by those that taught me that if I could sail a laser I could sail anything. We'll see, as I often wonder if learning to sail a laser is as hard for everyone as it was for me. My point being, it's one thing to camp on a small boat at the dock, but sailing in in the ocean is a whole nother ballgame. Not that it can't be done though.

The boat that I am purchasing tomorrow is a 24ft S2 sloop. Now, I will be mostly contained to an inland lake but I know myself and know that I will do everything I can to broaden my sailing area. At 24 ft. I think for me would be about the smallest I could stand. Being alone would leave plenty of room for supplies and a little comfort but I have a wife so sailing alone isn't an option for me. We could probably handle some gulf coast cruising but that'd be our limit. But that's just us and what I think my experience could handle.

The bottom line is learn to sail first. You will find that the experience will put things in to perspective. That being what you can do, won't do, or shouldn't do. You will also find that the ocean or large expanses of water can be quite daunting. I've been out in the Pacific on "nice" days that had 30 foot swells. Yeah, it was kinda fun but I wasn't out their alone. We were on a fishing boat with the land in sight but I decided then ad there that it was not something to take lightly.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have had some experience with high seas, always on powerboats granted, but I know enough not to mess with mother nature. I would never attempt something that was outside of my ability. I have been watching some videos on sailing, I think I understand the basic principles. Its sort of becomes intuitive once you get the hang of it?

looked at the Santana, was just too small, I could not even sit up inside it


im going to look at this next classic sailboat 28"


where is the best place to find a used boat? someoene mentioned yachtworld..

I will keep you guys posted, I am definitely doing this though, and soon :D
 
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