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Old 05-05-2011, 16:09   #1
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Best Monohull Cruiser / Liveaboard

My best friend and I are currently looking for a cruising sail boat in the 30 foot range that we can live aboard for the foreseeable future. We want to do a lot of cruising, on the coast of Maine, down the intracoastal, and around the Bahamas. We would also like to cruise to Mexico at some point, but that's further off.

The problem for us is cost-our budget is small, think under $10,000. I'm not afraid of doing work to get a boat to useable condition, but like most of us I'd much rather be sailing. Our goal is to start heading south in October, and we want plenty of time to get familiar with the boat sailing the Chesapeake Bay. One boat that I like a lot is the Alberg 30. I understand they aren't perfect as liveaboards, but by all accounts they are incredibly seaworthy. By the same token, I also like the Albin Vega 27. The problem with both of these is they are out of our price range. Unless we can find one at about half what they normally sell for that doesn't need a years worth of work, we're going to have to settle for something else.

Pearson 28s and 30s show up regularly in our price range, and I've seen Tartan 30s that fit the bill (literally) as well. Other boats that have come up are the Bristol 27 and Triton 28. I have to see a Triton, but I've found two Bristols in our price range. What are your general opinions on these boats? Are there others that are better made, more seaworthy, just generally superior in our price range?

Thanks so much.

Avery
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Old 05-05-2011, 16:35   #2
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pirate Re: Best monohull cruiser-liveaboard

I'll confuse matters for you and suggest something like this... great for the shallows your thinking of cruising... don't sail that badly and leaves you change for fixing a few things you may feel need fixing

Classic Morgan 30 designed by Charles Morgan as a versatile cruiser/racer with interior laid out for family sailing. Has berths for 6 but sleeps 4 comfortably. Heavily ballasted (4500 lbs) for stability, the keel-centerboard reduces draft for shoal-water cruising.
Needs some interior work but sails fine and has a fairly new Yanmar 2 cylinder diesel engine onboard. This is a fine starter boat. She is being sold "As Is" but there are only some minor items that need attention, most only cosmetic. Sails are in fine shape and have covers to protect them from UV damage.

LOA 29'11';
Draft 3'6" Centerboard up; 7'2" Centerboard Down;
Beam 9'3';
Displacement - 10,400 lbs; Ballast 4,500 lbs;
Sail Area - 466 Sq. Ft.; Standard Main & Profurl Roller Furling
for 140% Genoa
Engine - Yanmar 2 cylinder diesel ; Fuel -14 gal diesel;
Solar Panel for main battery charging.
2 Twelve volt batteries
Tiller Steering

Galley - Gimbaled Alcohol two burner stove; Ice Box;
Hot and Cold Water; 40 Gal. Water tank
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Old 05-05-2011, 16:49   #3
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pirate Re: Best Monohull Cruiser / Liveaboard

I could not agree more with BM61. And all the boats you mentioned are good ones. The Triton is small inside. You're going to want all the ROOM you can get. Watkins is another possiblity. Deisel. No matter the cost, an engine is a good thing.
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Old 05-05-2011, 16:51   #4
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Re: Best monohull cruiser-liveaboard

Agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I'll confuse matters for you and suggest something like this... great for the shallows your thinking of cruising... don't sail that badly and leaves you change for fixing a few things you may feel need fixing

Classic Morgan 30 designed by Charles Morgan as a versatile cruiser/racer with interior laid out for family sailing. Has berths for 6 but sleeps 4 comfortably. Heavily ballasted (4500 lbs) for stability, the keel-centerboard reduces draft for shoal-water cruising.
Needs some interior work but sails fine and has a fairly new Yanmar 2 cylinder diesel engine onboard. This is a fine starter boat. She is being sold "As Is" but there are only some minor items that need attention, most only cosmetic. Sails are in fine shape and have covers to protect them from UV damage.

LOA 29'11';
Draft 3'6" Centerboard up; 7'2" Centerboard Down;
Beam 9'3';
Displacement - 10,400 lbs; Ballast 4,500 lbs;
Sail Area - 466 Sq. Ft.; Standard Main & Profurl Roller Furling
for 140% Genoa
Engine - Yanmar 2 cylinder diesel ; Fuel -14 gal diesel;
Solar Panel for main battery charging.
2 Twelve volt batteries
Tiller Steering

Galley - Gimbaled Alcohol two burner stove; Ice Box;
Hot and Cold Water; 40 Gal. Water tank
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Old 05-05-2011, 17:36   #5
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Re: Best Monohull Cruiser / Liveaboard

Thanks for the information. All of the Morgans I've found in 20 minutes of looking are the older models, with the sloped, full width cabin. Are these just as good as the earlier, 60s era models?

I also found a Triton in my price range, so I'm looking hard at that. Honestly, I'm willing to make a lot of sacrifices in comfort in exchange for capability. It seems like a nice boat.
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Old 05-05-2011, 17:47   #6
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pirate Re: Best Monohull Cruiser / Liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazer View Post
Thanks for the information. All of the Morgans I've found in 20 minutes of looking are the older models, with the sloped, full width cabin. Are these just as good as the earlier, 60s era models?

I also found a Triton in my price range, so I'm looking hard at that. Honestly, I'm willing to make a lot of sacrifices in comfort in exchange for capability. It seems like a nice boat.
With live aboard cruising you want more internal space... not just for comfort...
bigger/more water tanks, food storage, clothes/FWGear... tools/spares etc...
Cramped interiors means you carry less of everything which = less range/independence..
You'll be limited on time away from resupply..
Take it from someone who cruises solo in a 21ft boat... internal space is important.
Also... I believe the earlier models (60's) were a better boat... but someone may know better... first hand
And that Ad for the Morgan is new and current... on Towndock.net
No affiliation and other disclaimers...
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Old 05-05-2011, 20:54   #7
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Re: Best monohull cruiser-liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
I'll confuse matters for you and suggest something like this... great for the shallows your thinking of cruising... don't sail that badly and leaves you change for fixing a few things you may feel need fixing

Classic Morgan 30 designed by Charles Morgan as a versatile cruiser/racer with interior laid out for family sailing. Has berths for 6 but sleeps 4 comfortably. Heavily ballasted (4500 lbs) for stability, the keel-centerboard reduces draft for shoal-water cruising.
Needs some interior work but sails fine and has a fairly new Yanmar 2 cylinder diesel engine onboard. This is a fine starter boat. She is being sold "As Is" but there are only some minor items that need attention, most only cosmetic. Sails are in fine shape and have covers to protect them from UV damage.

LOA 29'11';
Draft 3'6" Centerboard up; 7'2" Centerboard Down;
Beam 9'3';
Displacement - 10,400 lbs; Ballast 4,500 lbs;
Sail Area - 466 Sq. Ft.; Standard Main & Profurl Roller Furling
for 140% Genoa
Engine - Yanmar 2 cylinder diesel ; Fuel -14 gal diesel;
Solar Panel for main battery charging.
2 Twelve volt batteries
Tiller Steering

Galley - Gimbaled Alcohol two burner stove; Ice Box;
Hot and Cold Water; 40 Gal. Water tank

Man....thats a terrific gem at a great price!!
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Old 05-05-2011, 23:25   #8
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Re: Best Monohull Cruiser / Liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazer View Post
My best friend and I are currently looking for a cruising sail boat in the 30 foot range that we can live aboard for the foreseeable future. We want to do a lot of cruising, on the coast of Maine, down the intracoastal, and around the Bahamas. We would also like to cruise to Mexico at some point, but that's further off.

The problem for us is cost-our budget is small, think under $10,000. I'm not afraid of doing work to get a boat to useable condition, but like most of us I'd much rather be sailing. Our goal is to start heading south in October, and we want plenty of time to get familiar with the boat sailing the Chesapeake Bay.


Keep in mind 2 things:
A) Outfitting the boat for
offshore is going to take a significant fraction of the purchase price of the boat, 33-50%.
B) You really want at least 1 good seaberth in the main cabin for each offwatch person plus a place to sit for the onwatch that won't disturb sleepers. Best would be a main cabin berth for everyone. Quarter berths are very good, settees (longitudnal benches) you have to convert every night are good, a dinette (transverse benches) would probably be mediocre given the amount of conversion required but depends on the particular boat. The V-berth will be unusable offshore. A pilot berth would be excellent and aft cabin berths would be good (to much motion to be very good) but you are not likely to find either of these in the size boat you can afford.


Below is a rehash of a post I made for someone else.

I would look at a Cal28, Cascade 29 or a Triton 28 (Aeromarine preferable, but
Pearson is fine too), all have headroom for anyone under 6' and will cost $4-10k in OK shape with the Cascade being most expensive, and the Triton possibly a bit higher on average than the Cal. A Catalina 27 is also a possiblity but you would be pushing the limits of what the boat was designed for.

CAL 28 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
CASCADE 29 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
TRITON (AEROMARINE) Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
TRITON (PEARSON) Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com
CATALINA 27 Sailboat details on sailboatdata.com

Cal advantages
a)raised deck giving great volume below for a 28' boat.
b)quarter berths maximising use of space
c) probably a bit faster than the Triton
d) probably has
outboard freeing storage space under cockpit.
e) Masthead rig

Cascade advantages
a) quarter berths maximising use of space in main cabin
b) probably the fastest by a small margin
c) Probably has inboard
engine giving better motoring performance in waves. Normally the inboard would be more reliable than the outboard too but the Cascade is likely to have a 40-50 yr old Atomic 4 vs the 0-20yr old outboard on the Cal.
d) Masthead rig
e) Heaviest hull construction

Triton Advantages
a) Somewhat heavier hull construction than Cal
b) better motion and easier
steering at sea
c) Probably has inboard
engine giving better motoring performance in waves. Normally the inboard would be more reliable than the outboard too but the Triton is likely to have a 40-50 yr old Atomic 4 vs the 0-20yr old outboard on the Cal.
d) reccommendation from Dan Spurr for
offshore work (Pearson Triton Sailboat)
e) Aeromarine version has a slightly heavier hull and has a masthead rig,
Pearson version has a fractional rig and a bit more brightwork to maintain.

Among the big things to check before
buying is that none of the bulkheads are rotted out. Some delamination of the deck core can be repaired. Once you have the boat you will want to consider glassing over the hull-deck joint. Also you may want to replace the rigging. Sta-loc or Norseman terminals are the quickest and best way to do the work and preserve resale value. Cheaper is to learn to splice eyes and do it yourself using 7x7 wire. See Brion Toss's "The Rigger's apprentice".

Specific to most Cal boats you would want to make sure the steel beam under the compression post has not rusted thru. This beam may be buried under the liner so checking may be difficult. The beam is one more thing to check on Cal's but they do a better job of supporting the
mast. See how one owner replaced the beam at Wilkie's Sailboat Page

Consider adding built-in
water tanks, more storage for the volume occupied and in the event of a holing thru the hull into the tank, the boat doesn't try to sink, the tank already had water in it, you just can't drink it now. See Atomvoyages link below.

Consider adding a removable inner forestay for a staysail. It gives more sail area reaching in light conditions, better balance in heavy conditions since staysail is not as far foreward as jib, the extra
rigging involved gives the whole mast better and redundant support.

You will need 3 anchors:
A) main is a 25# plow/CQR or Claw/Bruce on 100-150' 1/4" chain & 200-300' 9/16" nylon 3-strand rope with bow roller and chain pawl (chain pawl allows you to go without a windlass),
B) backup is a 15-18# Danforth type
anchor on 30' chain and 250-350' of rope and an oversized cleat; and
C) stern/kedge
anchor is a 10# plow, claw or Danforth on 15' of 3/16" chain and 150-200' 7/16" rope.
D) If you are feeling flush get a 40-50# fisherman/herreschoff/Luke with same rode as B) for difficult rock and kelp situations.
A lot of the
anchor stuff you might be able to pick up at swap meets if you attend early and stay late. This will save a lot. Some of the new anchors are getting better reps than the Bruce or CQR but have not hit the 2nd hand market yet.

You will need a small
dinghy. Buying an inflatible is the current general answer but it will cost you, even second hand. A hard dinghy with oars may be a more durable and economical answer if you have a place to build one yourself. There are various plans available for nesting dinghy's that take up a lot less deck space.

You will need to build a selfsteering
windvane. There is a recent book that includes plans or checkout
In Memoriam Walt Murray
or
http://www.windautopilot.de/_de/7_dy...rray_Pages.zip

You may want to seal some of the
storage compartments in the boat using waterproof hatches for access. This will provide floatation in the case of holing. This is discussed at
Atom Voyages | Sailing and Boat Project* Articles by James Baldwin

Make sure you have a drifter, being able to continue sailing in light air really saves on fuel. If the main is in good shape all's it may need is a 3rd reef. Decent
sails can be had from used sail dealers.

For the Cal an
outboard of 4hp would push you at 4-5kt in calm water, 6hp would get you to hull speed in a calm, 8hp would get you hull speed with 12-18kt wind or waves against you, over 10hp is a waste of fuel and extra weight in the stern since it won't push you any faster in a calm and in winds heavier than 18 or so the prop is going to start coming out of the water. Outboard needs to be a 4-stroke, almost twice the fuel milage of a 2-stroke and a lot less pollution.

For the Triton and Cascade, get an
engine manual. If you start worrying about having a gas engine on board consider while they aren't as safe as diesel, they are not dangerous per se. If anyone want's to dispute this, ask them if they have propane on board for their stove. Using the bilge blower and sniffing prior to starting should all potential issues. On the plus side the Atomic 4 will help bring your purchase price down significantly compared to a diesel, and gas engines don't mind running at lower RPM's as much, and slower motoring is way better for fuel economy.

You will need a
solar panel or 2, preferably on a good mount, see above Atomvoyages for one idea. 2 or 3 new group 27 flooded batteries or a pair or 2 of new 6v golf cart batteries from a 2nd tier supplier would probably be adaquate if usage is limited. Evans Starzinger has intersting things to say about batteries at Systems.

To conserve
battery power you want flourescent or LED light fixtures in the cabin, 1 or 2 in main cabin & 1 in v-berth. Incadescents can remain in head and berths. You will want a single bulb Tricolor fixture at the masthead for sailing. At anchor an LED fixture should go with the anchor ball. (Bebi Electronics-Home of the Finest Marine LED Lighting Products on Sea (or Earth)! is one source that I have heard decent things about.) If motoring and the outboard has a generator/alternator the existing incanscent bulbs in the bow and stern lights are fine, otherwise consider replacing with LED.
Limiting the amount of
electronics on the boat will help with battery conservation, deptho (make a backup lead line), speedo, simple mounted GPS (no chart plotter with color screen needing be backlit all the time), VHF, shortwave, and maybe a stero/CD player are about all you need. You will want a fan or 2 and if you locate them right they can do double duty blowing both over berths and thru the social areas of the main cabin. If you really need a computer, get one of the netbooks, they are optimized for low power draw to stretch their batteries as far as possible.

Convert the Icebox to shelves or drawers for
storage. Same with the hanging locker across from head.

Read John Vigor's The Seaworth
Offshore Sailboat (Section in back about Beefing up a Catalina 27 for offshore.
Read Don Casey's This Old Boat
Read the Lin & Larry Pardey Books SelfSufficient Sailor, CapableCruiser and CostConsciousCruiser.
Read Annie Hill's Voyaging on a Small income
Read Beth Leonard's Voyager's Handbook
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Old 06-05-2011, 18:58   #9
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Re: Best Monohull Cruiser / Liveaboard

A Rawson 30 with original rigging (not the flagpole) with or without raise PH. This is a solid blue water boat capable of taking a lot of green water while giving a solid ride.
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