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Old 27-06-2014, 17:18   #1
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Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

So here we are, six months later. Well technically almost a year from initial purchase, but six months full time live aboard/cruisers.

We bought a Westerly Centaur 26' Bilge Keel in UK, and sailed it to the current location, Bahamas.

We are now more experience, more confident, and not completely broke. Although we've hit 35k Complete investment up to this point, even with a small vessel.

Quite recently I have found myself boat shopping again, quite alot. We are in no way required to get a new boat, this boat works great, although a bit slow for us, we don't have a shower, barely have a fridge, only hold 17 gallons water, and 12 gallons fuel. In the end, we want a bigger boat now. We want to be able to have 125 Gallons water, take daily showers, carry fuel without extra jugs, and be-able to store peanut butter that will last through the more expensive parts of our trip. 34$ for a can of peanuts, my ass.

I am not really posting this post for advice, or on which way to turn, because I know the answers to all the questions or the unknown, but I feel getting a larger boat is the only way to enhance this experience further. We had my parents on board for a week during we crossed from USVI to Puerto Rico, and with only one "cabin" the experience left much to be had IMO. As well as standing head room for my 6' frame would be nice.

I suppose these are all the things that everyone runs into after a time aboard, and I'm glad I initially bought small so I could figure these things out. If anyone has a 41' boat they are wanting to downgrade, let me know...haha. Otherwise I'll be buying a project boat, which just seems like financial suicide. I don't wish to go back to work so soon, but it seems I would need to especially if we upgrade to get the require amenities.


Oh, the Horror.

First World Problems.

-End Rant.
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Old 27-06-2014, 17:23   #2
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Yeah, we never saw anything less than 35 that we thought we could make work long term.
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Old 27-06-2014, 17:30   #3
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

We are liking the westerly Conway 36' Center Cockpit Ketch,

or something 41' Ketch. We like the center cockpit for the aft Stateroom, and the ketch for diversity of sail applications.
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Old 27-06-2014, 17:38   #4
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

40' is the magic number (generalized) in my book. You get headroom. You get a salon that you can actually use daily instead of using as a glorified storage locker, and you get two cabins for the most part that are actually usable as places to sleep, since you get more storage. You get more stability at sea and anchor, and, it's easy to single hand if rigged properly.

Keep looking. The boat market is fascinating for the fact that amazing deals come along with some regularity. All it takes is a "motivated" seller and the right boat in the wrong place (in terms of their ability to sell it) and the sort of work that it requires that you know you can accomplish reasonably on your own.

Upside is that given your experience you have a MUCH better understanding and appreciation of exactly what you need and should be looking for. That will pay huge dividends.
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Old 27-06-2014, 17:57   #5
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Wow, after doing all you've done on a 26-footer, anything in the 30-range is going to feel like a big step up. My partner and I are just beginning our full-timing this season, but we've spent up to seven weeks at a time cruising on our various boats. I had extensive experience on a 22 and 26 footer, then a 34-foot and now our huge 37-foot (actually 36.75') cutter. When we finally got around to searching for THE boat I knew I wanted something in the 36 to 42 foot range. For the two of us, this is the Goldilocks range; not too big, not too small.

I'm happy that we got the smallest boat we can live with. I'm sure you'll find the same.
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Old 27-06-2014, 18:23   #6
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

First world problems for sure. Been there done that. Now have a smaller LOA (cat) than my original cruising mono.

Unless you have piles of cash, make it work with what you have. IMO you may actually not really love it as much as you think and the "next boat" may just be transference mentally.
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Old 27-06-2014, 18:28   #7
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suijin View Post
40' is the magic number (generalized) in my book. You get headroom. You get a salon that you can actually use daily instead of using as a glorified storage locker, and you get two cabins for the most part that are actually usable as places to sleep, since you get more storage. You get more stability at sea and anchor, and, it's easy to single hand if rigged properly.

Keep looking. The boat market is fascinating for the fact that amazing deals come along with some regularity. All it takes is a "motivated" seller and the right boat in the wrong place (in terms of their ability to sell it) and the sort of work that it requires that you know you can accomplish reasonably on your own.

Upside is that given your experience you have a MUCH better understanding and appreciation of exactly what you need and should be looking for. That will pay huge dividends.
Really good advice here and I will only add that you are to be congratulated for reflecting on what you want and not being tied to what you did.

Good luck
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Old 27-06-2014, 18:43   #8
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

If you find yourself near Goodland, Florida there is a gorgeous Endeavor at Calusa that is turning into an abandoned marina queen.

Congrats and good luck
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Old 27-06-2014, 19:04   #9
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

At 26', you were more or less doomed to failure.

On the plus side, you got a chance to experience the lifestyle and evaluate your long term needs with a smaller investment.

Now that you know you need a bigger boat, and that you are committed to the lifestyle in spite of the less-than-ideal conditions, all you need to do now is make it work.

My suggestion is start on big boats and work down. If you're like me, you'll quickly get a Goldilocks rule - too big, too little, just right. For me, anything over 43 (catamarans) is getting "too big", and anything under 42 is "too small".

Lucky for me, 42-43 is a popular size range for catamarans!

Though the price is stiff, I will find a way to make it work.

I've had a 32' Hunter monohull and found it very comfortable for single-handed dock living, though I was only able to do it a few weeks. Monohulls start getting real big real fast over 30'. Even a small length gain produces huge liveability results.

To understand this better, calculate the "free floor space" you have in your boat. All boats have the same size cabinets, seats, etc. What varies is the floor space. If you have 6sq ft of floor space now, it only takes 6sq feet more to double your interior space.
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Old 27-06-2014, 19:35   #10
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

26' works for a single guy. Add 4' for a single woman, and 10' minimum for a couple. That is all.

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Old 27-06-2014, 19:43   #11
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

We went from 32>35>44. The Conway looks like it checks off many of the "Boxes" most liveaboards have, but in a boat of that size, compromises of scale are made everywhere. The seats are bit shorter, the beds a bit smaller, the storage a bit less in each compartment, etc etc. I think a modern boat of 38+ or an older boat of 40-42+ is much more livable. The Sealord would be a good choice.

Our 32 was a Westerly Fulmar. Great boat.

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Old 27-06-2014, 20:03   #12
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

We sailed for years on a 28' foot boat, before buying our 35' boat. Looking back, I wonder how we coastal-cruised without hot and cold water, shower, refrigerator, dodger, bimiini, full sail inventory,.... I can't remember how we stored food and beer for our 10 trip on the 28'. Happy with our 35' though we only have 25 gallons fuel and 60 gallons water!
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Old 27-06-2014, 20:19   #13
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
've had a 32' Hunter monohull and found it very comfortable for single-handed dock living, though I was only able to do it a few weeks.
Sorry if that quote was confusing. I'm sure I would have enjoyed this arrangement for a very long time.

I only had the boat a short time when Katrina hit, and I wasn't able to go back to it after that due to relocation of my job, which is why I was only able to do it a few weeks

Upon further review, it appears most of my post was confusing - the risk of going back to work after a California lunch, I suppose.

The point of starting big is that you are better off purchasing a larger boat than you "need" than getting the smallest boat that you think you can handle. That creates the risk that you either will (a) have to upgrade again, or (b) learn to hate the boat.

If you're like me, you'll find some boats are simply too big. If not, though, this method will not work as you won't stop until you're negotiating for a cruise ship!

If I can buy a 44' boat, I will, even though I think 42' or even 39 will meet my needs. However, I will not buy larger than that because it will simply be "too big". Will I buy a 39'? Only if I cannot find any alternative. I think I will be happy on it, but imagine how unhappy I'll be upon discovering that I am not happy with it. Compounding unhappiness!
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Old 27-06-2014, 20:41   #14
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

We started with a 32' catamaran and decided we needed more, so went to a 43'er. What the hell were we thinking? 4 queen sized staterooms and 4 heads for two people? And on top of that the expense of a 43 foot boat. We've now found a sweet spot of around 36 foot. Best for us is to get the least expensive boat you can afford and be comfortable on. Now a 36' interior on 50' hulls........
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Old 27-06-2014, 21:18   #15
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Re: Only Six Months -- Feeling Cramped

Quote:
Now a 36' interior on 50' hulls........
I suppose that is the deli ma isn't it? To end up upgrading, but ending with a boat that is the same size as ours now. That is why we choose the westerly centaur, because it is described as a boat that happens to have the greatest amount of room for the smallest LOA. Tis the reason I would prefer to stick with a westerly as well, as that seems a common theme for their designs.

TO go bigger, it really seems I need to hit almost as all almost have mentioned the 40' realm, because of the lack of design feature differences, anything bigger just seems wasted space, and in alot of areas a waste of money.

I'm not talking marina fees, because I don't plan to stay in any. I'm just talking for structural integrity, it is a waste of space and money to go bigger, unless I'm looking at more state room's, etc.

Its nice to see we aren't the only ones who started small, and to say I would start big and work down would be completely ridiculous. I don't see another way. And to say I would of found this experience by renting or chartering is ludicrous IMO, because I didn't get to this point until 6 months later, and the only reason I feel this way, is because of my companion. As the guy before me said, add 10' for a couple. Completely true.

We may be planning coming around the other side of florida, there was an add on craigslist for someone giving up on a 1979 CT 42 Ketch , and wants to trade for a pocket cruiser. Here's to hoping he responds.

BTW we have a dog as well, although doesn't take up much room, I'm sure she would appreciate the extra.

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