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Old 27-05-2011, 09:16   #1
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Small Boat Blues

Less than a year ago, we purchased a modest 27' Ericson with the intention of cruising the Caribbean and then some. Our budget was fit for a slightly larger boat, but the Ericson was in great condition, new engine, and a sturdy little boat. We opted for quality over length.

Now here we are; going crazy on a small boat. Me, my hubby and our 60lb dog. At this point, liveaboard has been more challenging than fun.

We listed the boat for trade in hopes to trade up to something larger (though, quality is still priority). No bites. We can't buy a new one, all of our funds are wrapped into the Ericson. Can't sell it, we'd be homeless (did that before, way too expensive in FL, no camping and hotels are sky high!). Not wanting to venture out of FL again.

From other people's experiences - did upgrading to a larger boat make cruising/liveaboard much more enjoyable? Is our thinking that a larger boat is the answer to our prayers a false prophecy?

Oh some seasoned guidance would be wonderful!


I see my path, but I have yet to know where it leads. Not knowing where I'm going is what inspires me to travel it.
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Old 27-05-2011, 09:29   #2
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Re: Small boat blues

Yes, that a little small for liveaboard. Maybe the hubby could stay outside, giving you and the dog more room? There are fat boats in the 27-30 range that offer much more room than the Ericson. Trading boats is difficult and usually expensive.

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Old 27-05-2011, 09:34   #3
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Re: Small boat blues

go with what you got,you will be surprised with what is down the road,who knows there may be a single hander whos 35 ft boat is too big and wants to swap!!!!
but if you never leave you will never find out........
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Old 27-05-2011, 09:47   #4
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Re: Small boat blues

I'VE I've always upgraded to a bigger boat. Along with more room, comes the additional equipment and supply's to put in the coat. And don't forget more maintanence.

That being said, I love the room on my boat, the easier motion is also great. It's nice when you want to buy something, you don't have to think, now where am I going to put this?

As above, make hubby sleep on deck, keep the dog....
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Old 27-05-2011, 09:55   #5
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Re: Small boat blues

i LOVE my formosa 41--i still cannot sell my ericson 35mII insd for anything-- so i am keeping her on a mooring in sd and sailing anyway..... yes--makes a big difference, and my kat is only 16 1/2 pounds........(maine coon mix)
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Old 27-05-2011, 10:31   #6
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Re: Small boat blues

I'm in the people need their space group. I went from 30' to 22' and now from 22' to at least 39' for the extra room. To be honest, the 22' was just to have a boat to sailon here in the midwest. Sure there is more maintenance costs with a bigger boat, but with the additional beam and length, there will be a LOT more storage area and room to really stretch out.

Each to their own.
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Old 27-05-2011, 10:37   #7
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Re: Small boat blues

While it looks like you are stuck with a decision that you doesn't look as good now as it did originally, have you actually gone cruising on the boat? If not, you might find it a little easier to live with a smaller boat when you have a whole island to add to your living space. Also, do you have a full deck awning? That right there can double your space as well.

Years back I met two German couples living on a 27' boat in the islands. They had sailed from Europe and had been on board for close to a year. So it is doable, just is it something that you personally can adapt to or not?

I almost hate to bring this up, but a large dog on board doesn't help matters. Any chance you have friends or familiy that would want to adopt the dog (assuming of course you can part with him/her, not an easy decision I know).
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Old 27-05-2011, 10:48   #8
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Re: Small boat blues

That's fairly small for two people and a dog. It's no time to try to sell anything, especially boats and other things that the high-debt generation has abandoned in droves. That said, living on a boat, unless it's mega-yacht, is always challenging and much different from living in a house. Before going larger, maybe ask yourself if living 100% on a boat is for you. Living on a cruising boat is somewhere between backwoods camping and living in a house.
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Old 27-05-2011, 10:59   #9
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Re: Small boat blues

Living aboard and cruising are two different animals. Living aboard usually means a job and all the other detritus of civilization. Unless you have a floating condo, the trappings of civilization make life difficult on almost any boat.

Cruising is much simpler. Your wardrobe can be paired down to the bare essentials and even further if you are a clothing optional type. Most of the other things that seem to be necessary for living in civilization can be discarded as well. It makes living in a small boat way easier.

A lot of cruisers have too much boat. Maybe not in terms of size but in money invested in the boat. Every dollar that you spend on a boat is money you can't use while out cruising. There is a happy medium but have seen the preponderance of people, including ourselves, out cruising on a budget hampered by the lack of money. If you want to go cruising, suggest you tough out what you need to do to get the stash together to go and try real cruising. If you like the life but feel you really need more boat, come back and move up. If nothing else, the market for boats will probably improve while you are enjoying life in Margaritaville.
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Old 27-05-2011, 11:00   #10
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Re: Small boat blues

What can I say. I think: it was, 'less than a year ago' , as you said. I do not see this as a 'size' sort of issue. It may be, but more likely is that you are not cut out for this. Or else you sailed with the wrong mate, or with the wrong dog.

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Old 27-05-2011, 11:24   #11
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Re: Small boat blues

Al and I had a 28 Islander for years. We sailed to the Bahamas from NC on her. I never had any problems with her being too small for us to be comfortable, but I did think it was too much like camping, in that I had no pressure water, inside shower, reefer, Lights that weren't oil powered, no inside shower, and sleeping in the salon (living and dining area) because we used the v berth for storage. We moved up to a 41 that has all the things the little boat had no room for. I still miss the boat, she sailed and handled like a dream come true, but I love having a hot inside shower, and washing dishes in hot water that flows from the tap. If you feel cramped, it's probably a good thing to move up a few feet.
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Old 27-05-2011, 11:35   #12
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Re: Small boat blues

Seriously, I know you love your dog, but 60 lbs? GEEZ!
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Old 27-05-2011, 11:37   #13
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Re: Small boat blues

A 60lb dog onboard? you didn't make it easy for yourselves.

Trade it for a cat...........
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Old 27-05-2011, 13:05   #14
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Re: Small boat blues

Originally Posted by Janae View Post
our 60lb dog.

Poor dog.

Trade up even if its just for the dogs sake.

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Old 27-05-2011, 13:10   #15
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Re: Small boat blues

ok, look you guys, you cruise with a stuffie.... duck... and a GOAT no less...

my 55lb setter curls up very neatly under the table and fits on our little hole in the water quite nicely thank you very much!

I don't think the problem here is the dog...

and for the op? I have always said that while cruising and underway I expect that Himself will spend plenty of quality time in the dingy... with a 100' painter...

Joking aside I am not sure how much difference a few feet of boat will make... maybe some thought about personal boundries within the boat? that either of you should be able to claim the vberth or the cockpit for a chunk of time, uninterrupted... to just read or whatever, with a little mental space to do it in?


ain't what ya do, it's the way that ya do it...
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