There would be many
boats out there to 'fit the bill' ... what I have discovered talking to a number of couples who embarked on this venture and never made it, is that it all starts out very exciting and can eventually become a nightmare because of a lack of planning ahead of departure.
First and foremost is money
and sustainability. Choose a boat that 'fits your pocket comfortably' ... make sure you have enough left over to maintain the boat and retire comfortably ... always assume there will be gadgets you need to add to the boat as you live on it and have enough money
to do the fitment!
It's a different ball game
if you are on your own, but if you have a partner it is important to transfer the little things that make them happy on land, as far as possible into the boat ... make sure the boat is equipped to make life 'comfortable', especially for your partner (trust me, this will be your comfort too in future).
Age ... very importantly one should decide on a boat that fits with your life as you get older. We had a number of elderly cruisers we befriended in Grenada
who wished they had easy access into and out of the dingy for example, a better mechanism to raise and lower the dingy ... space to relax ... a comfortable bed
situated at a reasonable height off the floor etc. etc.
I watched in total amazement whilst docked at Cape Town
as an elderly couple had arrived on a catamaran
with the steepest steps on a stern I have ever seen. Not only were they steep but each step was high. Ana and I agonized as we watched them take 'forever' trying to disembark. I felt so terribly sorry for them that I made sure to be there when they got back from town to assist them off the dock
and back onto their boat. They were a French couple sailing the 'many seas' ... I honestly don't know how they do it!
I'm not suggesting you are old and rickety, but I am suggesting you think all aspects of your life through on board.
One very simple reason why we purchased our boat .... wait for it .... here comes all the technical intricate engineering details of performance .... light ... yip, sun light. Ana hates dark places and wants light streaming in through windows and this is HUGELY improtant to her ... of course safety
, sail ability and comfort were as well!
We wrote down advantages and disadvantages in every boat we looked at ... nothing personal toward other boat brands ... these were our OWN personal needs for a 'happy, healthy, safe and comfortable environment' on board!
Here we are ... we had specifically chosen to be without any air conditioning
since Ana detests the things and we feel they are not healthy for one ... changed our minds due to the humidity factor and have just placed an order for the best air conditioning
set-up we could imagine for our boat (including the ability to maintain air overnight with out the noise
of a generator
... poor Kent at Just Catamarans in Fort Lauderdale
was tasked to come up with a system for us that is 'ULTRA QUIET' since we like peaceful evenings)... another unforeseen cost, but fortunately we had budgeted for these events
which has made life at sea a very pleasant experience for us!
You both will have the answers to the question you seek ... a boat that best fits your SPECIFIC needs once you have noted the critical things that you need to make for a healthy and happy partnership
as you embark to live at sea!