Oiy! I just went through the same process, my wife and I have been looking for a liveaboard
for 3 years. Why, you may ask? I've been sailing for 35 years in all makes and models of boats, most of them production boats, all of them on a limited budget
. Between my need for a solid, seaworthy
vessel with a turn of speed and my wife's definite picture of what she wants in a boat it get's complicated, I'm not saying we're both bit oppiniated but it just might be a possibility....
Really? It's the same issue your dealing with, you know your families needs better than anyone. There are plenty of fine production boats out there which will do the job, it just depends on what YOU want from it. The Catalina
your looking at is a fine piece, many of the others mentioned are also, although I would shy away from the Bene First series, it's a racer cruiser
and although a fine piece it's meant for a different purpose, the Oceanis
line would probably work better for long term cruising
we started out looking in the 40'-45' range for the same reasons you sighted, ease of handling, maintenance
, etc, etc. The price
jumps dramaticall from a 30' boat to a 40' boat, then tends to rise proportinately from there so if it's a decision between a 42 and a 45 your not going to see a significant difference in cost of gear
We have two boys, 2-1/2 and 4-1/2 and will be stepping off on approximately 4 years, give or take a few months and see the need for a 3 cabin layout so they won't drive each other crazy and in turn drive us looney. We ended up with a 47' center cockpit
with a three cabin layout which works perfectly for us. I like the hull
(Pedrick design) and deck
layout, she likes the salon
as well as the cabin arrangement, she was also sold on the seaworthiness of the yacht, all for a price well within our budget
It wasn't what we thought would float our boat at the outset (I currently own a racer/cruiser that I love and will miss, she crewed on a dedicated race
only boat for 14 years) but checked all the boxes we created during our search. It's a very personal decision which needs to meet YOUR needs, so take all the advice and absorb them with a grain of salt
, buy what fits you and your family
, then enjoy.
There's no "perfect" boat, only the one that's perfect for you.
Luckily since so many yachts have been built from fiberglass
since the 1960's there are a ton of extremely capable yachts out there to choose from, don't be afraid to look outside the box, if only to see whats there, if you find something different, great, if it only works to solidify your current
thoughts, even better.
Remember, this will be your home for a period of time, choose wisely.