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Old 08-11-2010, 16:39   #1
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What Type of Liveaboard to Buy ?

I'm about to purchase my first boat. I've done insane amounts of research, gone sailing on various boats, and picked the brains of sailors...However, there's still a question that I have yet to answer:

My budget is in the ballpark of $10k. Looking for an all around cruiser (planning, eventually, to sail from Florida down along Central America). There'll be 2 people and a dog living permanently on board. It would appear that my budget puts me in the ~26ft size range of various (older) models. For my adventure destination, and my price - is it even possible for me to get a boat with a shower in it? I plan on living on anchor, and god knows the ability to shower is going to really come in handy!

Any guidance or suggestions?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 08-11-2010, 16:53   #2
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I don't know of any boats that size with a separate shower stall. Most do have a shower nozzle in the head which wets down the whole room or requires a shower curtain more or less wrapped around your body.
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Old 08-11-2010, 17:00   #3
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Theres an Islander 29 for sale here for $2500. I just put money down on an offshore 33 for $2900. If you look around you should be able to find something in the mid 30s for that money
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Old 08-11-2010, 17:04   #4
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Showering at anchor usually requires hauling alot of water in your dink, be sure it can do the job.
26ft for 2 people and a dog and showering can be alot to manage especially down south where it really get hot and sticky and ya get crabby.
If you need to work daily and your type of work gets you soiled and smelly then you will want to shower daily.
Such a small boat you will require space outside thats covered from rain and sun especially when it rains so you don't have to shut everything down and sit inside and sweat.
You can get a much bigger boat for 10k.

I live on a big 26 foot sailboat at anchor with girl and small dog and we do great but I have become an expert at it.

Does you belly hang over your belt?
If it does than this size boat and anchoring out probably doesn't fit your style of living.

Recently I have seen incredible deals on 30 plus footers in great shape sell for 5-10k. Even some nice full keelers.
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Old 08-11-2010, 17:20   #5
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depending on your locale try Craigslist. I think its a good alternative to yachtworld and other clearinghouses. however do do doooooo get a survey.

when I was looking at boats there were a ton of the smaller cal-20-somethings and their likes. buuuut there were always a few hidden gems like 30-somethings that people wanted to dump because they were moving, had inherited the boat, estate sales etc.

I had a partner on my 30' power boat (more room than sailor) and I just about wanted to kill her because we had zero space. I couldn't imagine such a situation with a dog of any sort. but that's just my experience.

be patient and your boat will surface. best of luck to ya.
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Old 08-11-2010, 17:34   #6
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Our Catalina 27 had a shower. Not a separate shower space, but the faucet in the sink in the head was on a long hose and could hang off the wall. Only drawback was that the toilet got wet, but that can be an upside, too.

I would agree that a shower (with hot water!) is very nearly a must have.

Carrie
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Old 08-11-2010, 19:35   #7
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Showering at anchor usually requires hauling alot of water in your dink, be sure it can do the job.
26ft for 2 people and a dog and showering can be alot to manage ....
You can get a much bigger boat for 10k.

Does you belly hang over your belt?
If it does than this size boat and anchoring out probably doesn't fit your style of living.

Recently I have seen incredible deals on 30 plus footers in great shape sell for 5-10k. Even some nice full keelers.
We're both used to living in rough, long term camping conditions. We've become experts at water use and conservation. Plus, we've had to live inside a tent for months on end due to our outdoor lifestyle, so space is something that is always a luxury for us.

Overall it would seem that a 30ft boat is more likely to have the space capacity for a shower? Though, I have to admit that I wasn't even aware of the shower faucet and could suffice with this. A full shower would sure be a nice luxury though!
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Old 08-11-2010, 19:36   #8
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What about desalinization? Is it affordable? If not overly friendly on the pocket book, is it worth the cost for people who plan to live long term on the boat?
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Old 08-11-2010, 20:30   #9
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I've lived aboard and cruised in the tropics for more than 2 years in all. Never once thought I needed a shower. You can wash down in the cockpit with about a gallon of fresh water in a bucket if you have the need. In most instances, the waters are so inviting that you'll spend a ton of time in them and not need a shower in any case. Get one of those shower bag thingys if you feel you absolutely need a shower and hang it off the backstay. FWIW, our boats had weather cloths around the cockpit so you could sit naked in the cockpit and no one off the boat would be the wiser.
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Old 08-11-2010, 21:29   #10
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10k will get you a lot of boat if you search for the right deals..example; 11k got me a cc 35 coronado with aft queen cabin seperate enclosed head with shower,sink 2 windows, full double berth in the bow, yanmar refit with 800 hours. needed cosmetics ,paint ,bottom job keel bolts ,but thats all. I'm 15800 inot it and shes looking brand new .all labor by myself of course. As far as water goes tractor supply sells 65 gallon tanks for 150$ .add that to 30 gal on board ,shower as long as you want . You gotta search for the deals and be willing to put some time in. And believe it or not its the best time working you'll ever do
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Old 09-11-2010, 15:21   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Janae View Post
We're both used to living in rough, long term camping conditions. We've become experts at water use and conservation. Plus, we've had to live inside a tent for months on end due to our outdoor lifestyle, so space is something that is always a luxury for us.

Overall it would seem that a 30ft boat is more likely to have the space capacity for a shower? Though, I have to admit that I wasn't even aware of the shower faucet and could suffice with this. A full shower would sure be a nice luxury though!
Cool,
We are very similiar.
A solar shower may be great for you even if you go with a small boat.
A 30 footer will likely have a head large enough for you to comfortably shower and you can keep a solar shower hanging on the mast with hose coming inside head. Or use it in the cockpit.
You could have a retractable hand held shower that mounts flush inside the cockpit.

btw,
we have lived also in tents, one time was 7 months in the rockies.
and, we are cross country cyclists and have hiked large sections of the appalachian trail.

cool.
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Old 10-11-2010, 07:32   #12
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I met my wife this year while on a thru hike on the Appalachain Trail. She told me of her life living aboard which sounded great so we decided to get off the trail and head for Florida in search of a boat. We looked at all kinds of boats in the low 30' range. We planned to find one that needed a lot of work but we found a 32' Endeavor from a gentalmen who took great care of the her. It was out of our price range but he went down on his asking price because it was emotional sale for him and he liked our story. It was more than we planned to spend but now that we are living aboard I feel it was a good choice in spending the little extra so we didn't have any major projects. Instead we've found lots of little ones that weren't expected but not overwhelming which has helped to keep peace with our emotions of living aboard. We live with 2 dogs, a golden retriever and a shitzu, which seem to love life on board. They are work but worth it for the company and security.

They have a blog going on about the life aboard... take a look and see if it sounds like a life your dog would enjoy.
Sailboat Dog
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Old 14-11-2010, 20:04   #13
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This is a little late but one the subject of cheap boats, try to avoid the broker middleman and deal direct with the seller. Also, craig's list and even ebay are good sources of potential boats.

Also, now is a great time to buy a boat as so many people are unloading them - they are one of the first things to go when times are tough! One can also strike great deals with desperate sellers!!!

Showers in tropics are best taken outside - inside you'll start sweating as soon as you towel dry!! Desalinators are pricey but always remember that you can cache rainwater which is plenty in the tropics' afternoon showers and sounds like you know how to economize water.

My friend just bought a 42' Pearson for $5000 that needed work from a desperate seller, another friend a 37' Goderich canadian steel cutter in great shape for $1000 from another desperate seller. Keep looking and good luck!
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Old 14-11-2010, 20:43   #14
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Sounds like it's time for a boat shopping (looking) trip. There are plenty of campsites available in Southern California this time of year and the weather will still be nice for a few more weeks better than 50% of the time, so you won't need to spend too much $$$ unless you want to.
I probed the LA harbors looking for inexpensive boats last year. I had decided on something very specific and I didn't find exactly what I wanted but there are endless marinas there with plenty of distressed boats for not much money.
I only had one day but believe me, there's a week or two to be spent there looking for boats just in LA, San Pedro, and Long Beach. Look at the satellite view of the area on google maps or whatever you prefer. We found one marina that was almost all trimarans, for instance. Really good cheap food all over the place as well. It's kind of dirty & a little scary but it was fun.
Good luck in your search!
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Old 14-11-2010, 21:27   #15
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I had one of these (link below) for awhile and they seem very stable and roomy, good head room. If I remember right it also had a head with a shower head in it. But the water is limited.

1976 CAL 2-27 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

But if you can get a larger version of the same boat it would be even better.

1970 CAL 2 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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