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Old 14-12-2007, 05:58   #1
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Choosing Between Motor and Sail

I have just read dangerous books like "Voyaging on a small income","The cruising life" and "Gently with the tides".

Now I have an irresistible urge to get a boat.
I am pretty sure I want a sailboat.

Truth is, as a retiring trucker, I will probably keep it mostly as a "marina condo" more than go world traveling...

Any advice on brands or types of motor boats as good live-aboards?

As an un-initiated shore dweller I see Sea Rays and old Chris Crafts that look pretty cool...but I need your experienced opinions.

Any advice welcomed, Thanks


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Old 14-12-2007, 08:22   #2
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The only power boat I see myself owning for the next 20 years is a dinghy with an outboard for my sailboat. Maybe I'll rent a jet ski somewhere.

That being said, if you are positive that you're just going to liveaboard and hang out on your boat not going very far, a power boat might be the best thing for you. If you have zilch, or nearly zilch interest, in going anywhere, you might really want to go the power boat route.

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Old 14-12-2007, 08:33   #3
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You might just consider a house boat. Many different makes and models of them. It's been a while since I looked. My original intention was to simply get a house boat to live on since it'd be cheaper than renting an apartment in the long run, but as I did more research I decided I wanted to go cruising, and so I ended up with a sailboat. Funny how things work out, eh?
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Old 14-12-2007, 09:52   #4
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You'll see a fair number of Florida power boats in the Bahamas. Everything from cabin cruisers and sport fisherman to power cats. However, the 'conventional' liveaboard power boat that you might go cruising on is a trawler, eg: Boats and Yachts for Sale
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Old 14-12-2007, 09:53   #5
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I went through that very same internal discussion. I decided on a power boat. Then, I tried both, ultimately decided on sail, and never went back. Too many reasons to list, but all were personal preference. Bottom line is a sail boat gives me much more freedom.
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Old 14-12-2007, 10:37   #6
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There is another option! A small (or large) motor sailor. Then you can choose when to sail or when to motor. Just saw one Pearson 300, 30 footer with lots of room down below that went for under $2000. It needed engine work and had all old hardware aboard but what a deal!!
Good luck in your decision. It is a good discussion.
Kind Regards,
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Old 14-12-2007, 12:33   #7
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Hey DP,
If I were going to live aboard and not take the boat out much, there is no doubt that a powerboat would suit me better. Power boats have so much more room for a given size or given price. Keep in mind that diesel boats have a better resale value, as well as fiberglass boats (and are more expensive at the outset).

If on the other hand you like small living spaces and really like to sail then a sailboat would be the answer.

My suggestion would be to go aboard as many boats as you can, get brokers to show you boats that you are attracted to. A lot of research can be done on: Advanced search for new and used boats and yachts. -
Define your limits in the advanced search and they will list more boats in your area than you could ever want.
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Old 16-12-2007, 07:43   #8
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Thanks for the help...the agony of choice!

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Old 16-12-2007, 08:47   #9
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Being a trucking professional I assume you have more than adequate mechanical skills thus giving you a head start over many if not most.

I started life sailing, had a motor boat for the past ten years and am now back sailing. I prefer the peace and quiet of sailing and getting somewhere slowly. Of course not all the family agree but...

Whatever you decide, get out and get a boat. After a couple of years you will know if 1) you really like boating 2) will have made friends with others who have the other sort of boat and allowed you to go with them to see the difference and 3) if you then want to change from motor to sail (or vice versa) you will have learned a lot to make the future experience even better.

Have fun!

Have fun!
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Old 16-12-2007, 11:18   #10
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Being a sailor and loving sailboats, I still hate to say you are better off with a power boat for a floating Condo. Why waste the sails, lines and so forth. Maintenance is an issue with any boat and you would be spending money on rigging and such that you would have mininmal use of. At least with a power boat you could effieciantly go out for a quick cruise on the weekend. Houseboats just sit and rot most of the time. The are a pain to move.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 16-12-2007, 13:37   #11
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For your purpose....Two words.........

S/V High Cotton
"Had I known I would live this long, I would have taken better care of myself !!!
AUTHOR: My dear ole MOM
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Old 17-12-2007, 08:50   #12
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Sailboats are not made for living on....they are meant for sailing.[Even though most putt around under power.]
Everything about most sailboats is really an anathema to living aboard
narrow...cramped...dark...uncomfortable for any extendend period...often height restricted.Forget about trying to keep a houseplant alive in most sailboats or find a decent spot for a TV to sit.Storage is always an issue on all boats but moreso on a sailboat.The heads are often non exsistant or extremely cramped.Hot water tanks are often non exsistant or really tiny.Sailboats in Florida and especially along ICW have to be wary of height restrictions.The entirety of sailboat design is perfected and focused on sailing.Motor yachts on the other hand are designed first to have all the amenities aboard a motorized vessel and the space to use them all comfortably and second be able to move across most bodies of water

A big ole Chris Craft does provide tons of room , beamy , lots of light , the head will be a bit bigger,more headroom.The galley will be bigger.Really everything is bigger and more open and way more assesible on a motor yacht.I cant think of anything that isnt.For what you want her for....a motor vessel In my humble opinion is a better choice.
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Old 17-12-2007, 09:07   #13

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Sailing boat - catamaran, lots of space for same given length as either a powerboat or monohull and a steady wide platform, living areas kept separate plus with twin diesels a good turn of speed.
Plus if you go aground it will stay upright and level.
Please note I am not doing the cat is better than a monohull thing they are both great in their own ways.
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Old 17-12-2007, 09:17   #14
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I think I have seen a picture of that truck somewhere but on the left coast.
Does UCH mean anything to you?

I don't have much of an opinion about a boat that just sits in a marina. Wide and flat I guess would be good. The trawler idea.
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Old 26-12-2007, 17:11   #15
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After having "lived" on a sailboat for 6 years....I have to agree with the other posters...sailboats aren't really intended for living on to some extent. The spaces can be tight, and working on them difficult....and if you aren't going to be "sailing" it....then alot of expense is going to waste. Sails, halyards, rigging, blocks and all the other hardware are expensive.

We "went over to the dark side" recently...and bought a trawler. We bought a 44' Gulf Star Motor Cruiser that has two heads with showers, a large salon, a large galley, a large v-berth, a really large aft cabin, and a big aft deck that is enclosed.

Since you have a background on diesel will be able to maintain them. Stay away from gasoline engines....there are safety concerns.

Forrest Gump was a true philosopher...
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