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Old 17-03-2010, 20:32   #1
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Feedback for the Sailing Dream, Please

I remember as a child climbing onto a big fishing boat full of strangers and going out catching blue fish off the coast of New Jersey. I remember for the first hour loving it, but then feeling cold, and sick, and tired from the heavy fish, lack of sleep, and seasickness. But as a teenager I went on a few smaller boats with friends and family. Even though I became slightly seasick, I fell in love. Especially when that engine turned off and you can just be totally free. The world suddenly does not matter, only you and the sea. What a feeling looking up to the stars, the fresh air, and fishing! Ive had dreams of going boating but threw them away at the cost of also owning a boat -and- an apartment -and- a car. The thought of living on one never occurred to me.

I really seriously considered doing it today when the neighbor said, "What the hell are you doing." When he saw me leaning on a post off the porch dreaming of looking over the ocean.

I recently moved out of a big studio right outside of the city and moved to a small room in upstate NY right off the Hudson river. I have a love for minimalism and a sense of pride that I can live off so little. I have a hot plate, a microwave, a minifridge(which I guess I can do without if I knew what to eat!), my laptop, my books, and my clothing. I found that I sleep much better in a hammock so that saves more space. I don't need much else. I stopped driving the car and drive a small rice rocket. I spend 75 miles a gallon in transportation, insurance, food, and rent are all very cheap. All together it costs me $1000 a month to survive even though I make enough to live much more lavishly. I pride minimalism (and it has nothing to do with me wanting to boat)

I am in the process of setting the goal to move into a boat, and I am a very visual goal setter so I am looking for pictures. Preferably of the type of vessel I intend to sail. I have done some reading but would like additional advice. Let me list some criteria of what I'm looking for and little about myself and perhaps I can get some feedback.

I am 24 years old and single and would like to live aboard on my own and be in total control of my own destiny. Because of this I don't need much space. (And I sleep in a hammock which hangs off of one hook when not in use) But I do like to bring overnight guests (girls or a friend or two) Must be a sailboat. Sea worthiness is important to me. When I invest in a boat I like to know that I can travel to family in Miami, family in New jersey, or anywhere in the world! I am young and love to mountain climb and socialize from time to time(I also run a business), to a mountain or driving downtown if I am in Miami or Virginia or NY is very important to me so I was wondering if there was any small boats that I can park my little 250cc (350pound) motorcycle on when I go from marina to marina. I would then take it off and keep it in the marina parking lot until I make another move. Because I am sailing alone it needs to be a boat that I can travel alone in. If I need helpers to sail then I'm stuck. Also I don't like to spend all my time maintaining a large boat. From what I have read smaller boats are easier to maintain. I can Live without a fridge, but I have not figured out how yet.

1. Small sail boat (25-35)
2. One person can live on, sail, and easily maintain. (not a lot of storage needed)
3. Is sea worthy. (Mono-hull?)
4. Can park my motorcycle in when traveling from marina to marina.
5. Can run my laptop and be able to eat lots of food without spending too much time in the galley(?). Yea I eat two mouths worth of grub.

I don't like the cheap plastic look inside many liveaboards and love that old wooden style with that awesome wooden steering wheel. Metal ones look cheap and remind me of oceanic horror flicks. But I imagine those concerns are easily fixable with a few trips to Lowe's.

As far as what it is made out of, I don't care, whatever is seaworthy and easy to maintain! Exterior does not matter to me much so long as it looks neat. (As in not messy)

Costs? Im going to budget about $2000 a month for total income (passive from my business and real estate). Initial costs I would like to be around $25,000 MAX.

Any feedback? And what should I look for?


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Old 17-03-2010, 21:06   #2
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Go for it. I moved on board at 19 and the only time I was unhappy was when moved back on land for 8 years. I can't imagine living in four walls (gives me the willies!).
Check out the Morgans 32, pretty reasonable in price, good basic boat, nice live aboard. Also, check out the Islander freeport, they are bit higher in price but great layout down below. I have no idea where you'd put a motorcycle on a mono hull, especially if you are taking the boat offshore (a loose 350 lb object could sink a boat).
Have fun finding your new home!

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Old 18-03-2010, 01:14   #3

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Might consider trading motorcycle for bicycle. Hauling around the motorcycle would be biggest problem. We bicycle with backpacks to keep our stores up. Our choice Morgan 33 outisland fits the criteria you mentioned. Add solar and a suitable battery bank and refrigeration isn't a problem, we run ours 24 ,7 and haven't been hooked up to shorepower for years. For solo work a quality autopilot would be high on my priority list. $2000 a month would be plenty for us, we spend much less than that. I love the life and couldn't see ever going to back to a land based life after 5 years of being on the water full time.
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Old 18-03-2010, 01:16   #4
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The only bit of all this that's difficult is the motorcycle. We have seen a couple emerge from the cabin of a sailboat (in Cadiz, Spain), but it was a pretty big boat - from memory about 50'. It's really difficult to imagine one in your size range that would do that unless you took all bunks etc out of a small forecabin and built chocks etc to keep it in. That's a big sacrifics of space, particularly storage space. If nothing else you need that space for tools, spares etc, especially if going off shore.

So - could you tolerate a good bicycle? Even a non-folding, full size one would take up less space (and not have a fuel tank below!) Or get a really good (bike Friday?) folding one that you can store below and take on public transport but give you a good fast ride.

Otherwise - not being the US I'm not good at makes of 25-30' sailing boats, but there's plenty around. For the least hull maintenance go for GRP. I'm a monohull sailor but there'll be plenty of people along to tlak about cats in a minute! If you want options for both girl friends and other friends, then you need sleeping arrangments of both types.

It sounds as if you need your laptop for business. If so then think quite a bit about your electrics and particularly both power generation and batteries. Again lots of advice on here, but any boat you will buy will almost certainly need some work in this area to fit your requirements. That, along with other improvements/upgrades/customisation (those chocks) will be 25-30% (at the least, could be more) of your costs, so allow for that in your purchase price and budget.

BTW - also learn to sail ...

And enjoy. This is always a really fun stage!
Sarah & Pip
s/v Roaring Girl
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Old 18-03-2010, 04:57   #5
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That size motorcycle and a boat of the size/cost you are looking for is not really compatible.

Consider a change - for example a folding mountain bike with an electric supplementary engine, e.g. the montague

or even the goped range.

I do have some difficulty with the concept of a hammock , and the ability to get real friendly with someone

personally I have always found a large bed works a lot better
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
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Old 18-03-2010, 05:20   #6
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You might check out this blog Sailing, Simplicity, and the Pursuit of Happiness. These two people are doing what you want to do.
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Old 18-03-2010, 05:33   #7
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Welcome to the forum, Age. I agree with what everyone has said to this point - forget about the motorcycle on a boat in your size and price range. Apart from issues of safety and having no place to store it, it will definitely not take kindly to the effects of salt water spray.

I also agree that refrigeration is not a problem if you have a sufficient house bank of batteries and enough solar panels. Wooden wheels may look salty, but stainless steel is far more practical in terms of maintenance, durability and strength in a seaway; and, unless you can afford a below deck autopilot, you will find that wheel pilots are tyrpically designed to attach to the spokes of stainless steel wheels.

The Morgan is a good, solid boat but there are many others that would suit you needs and your budget. I would also take a look at a Catalina 30 (although I would definitely want one with a diesel, rather than a gas auxilliary). Whatever boat you choose, make sure you get a survey done and leave sufficient funds to allow for at least a minor refit.


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Old 18-03-2010, 07:25   #8
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Thank you for your feedback everyone! So far Im looking at morgans 32, catalina 30, Nor'sea 27, and islander freeport.

I figured I would have to compromise on the motorcycle which leaves me wondering what to do when traveling from marina to marina. But let me post up some pictures on my vision board and continue research and saving money!

Thanks again!

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