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Old 30-09-2014, 10:13   #1
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Boat Suggestions - Budget 36-40 Live Aboard

Hi all - just want to say this is a fantastic forum with incredibly knowledgeable folks on board!

I am new to sailing and am looking at boats as my first purchase. I dont have the money just yet, im tying to see if I can scrounge the funds without having to sell my classic car!

My budget is hopefully in the $8000 - $11000 range. Im 6'2" so head room is an issue. I would like comfort and cabin space as an all round priority - and would like an all round ok boat, dont need anything too fancy - for example I wouldnt like something that makes alot of noise while moored for example.. and im quite handy at rebuilding engines etc so do have technical skills (although not much sailing

My plans are to do the caribbean and perhaps panama - some coastal sailing and when im ready - tackle a cross atlantic.

I am leaning towards a shoal keel simply for the pleasure of going to those great nooks ive read about.. with a centreboard/retractable keel I can drop for bigger water cruising. I am still reading up on various designs - and I know there are mixed feelings, but im pretty sure I can have a versatile cruiser that can idle across the reefs as well.

What pitfalls/centreboard designs should I avoid and would it be possible to judge by a boats width and or length how much head room is inside?

Any info much appreciated thanks!

Oh, im 37, will be sailing with my hopefully partner to be - and will be carrying scube gear, surfboards, etc so hence the extra few feet. I think 40ft is just about the right size to handle with 2 ppl island hopping.
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Old 04-10-2014, 15:48   #2
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Re: boat suggestions - budget 36-40 live aboard

Hi fastarok. I'd say the best thing you can do is get out there and just start looking at boats. You'll know the right boat when you see it.

It'll be a challenge to find a well-found boat of that size, in that price range. They exist, but are not likely to be something you could sail long distances, in big seas. Perhaps doubling that budget will get you in a basic boat of the size you're thinking. I might suggest a Pearson 365, which is roomy, not too deep, and comfy. I might not cross the Atlantic in it, but you could do the Bahamas or the Carib.

Whatever you choose, have it surveyed. Boats in that price range can have major issues, that can cost thousands to fix.


An Ocean Lover in Maine.
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Old 04-10-2014, 16:13   #3
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Re: boat suggestions - budget 36-40 live aboard

40 ft/$10,000 won't work. Subtract 10 feet and there will be lots of choices. Here's one

1974 CAL 3-30 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 04-10-2014, 16:54   #4
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Re: boat suggestions - budget 36-40 live aboard

Thanks all.. I'm considering a Centre board I can retract for reefs.. Or a shoal keel.. I know Atlantic crossings are made in these. .and the boat leans more.. What's a good balance depth wise for something in the 36+ ft range? And what beam width is a good compromise for cabin space? Thanks!
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Old 04-10-2014, 17:01   #5
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Re: boat suggestions - budget 36-40 live aboard

I know it's low budget so will be looking for a deal.. Why does more initial price necessarily indicate a better boat? I think this is misleading.. Good inspection is key. Price is as good as a guestimate.. There are some OK boats in my price range.. Not in a hurry either.. I'd rather spend money later over time.. Not much more of a choice anyway.. I'm also tall hence the head room width thing..

I guess what I'm seeing is a 36 plus boat with enough head room.. Wider beam for comfort while not being too loose on water.. I know a shoal keel design might make her lean more and drift a bit more upwind.. But a balance would be nice.. Something I can essentially upgrade to cross the ocean with.. Big enough to carry supplies and also crawl over shallow reefs..
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Old 04-10-2014, 17:14   #6
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Re: boat suggestions - budget 36-40 live aboard

I would agree that the Pearson 365 is a good boat to get for low money that is capable of dong what you want and I don't think crossing the Atlantic in a 365 would be a problem at all, many have sailed around the world. Your problem is your budget. If you find a boat that is capable for 10K the likelihood is you will have to spend a heck of a lot more to fix it up and make it seaworthy. The 365's typically sell from 25K to 45K. If you can find a Pearson 367 it would be a much better boat but your price goes up a bit to 35K to 60K. With either boat you get a lot for your money. The Call 3-30 for sale would probably work as an entry boat, but it would need a lot of upgrades to make it ocean worthy. I would feel much safer at sea on the 365. I am speaking from experience, I own a 367 and they are very strong and capable boats and I have sailed on a 365 the Cal 3-30 as well as the Cal 34. I would have no problem taking the Cal 3-30 or the Cal 34 offshore, but I would not do so without major upgrades. Also the amount of living, stowage space and tankage is very limited on the 3-30. The 365 and especially the 367 as a stock boat is ocean capable and has all the stowage, livability and tankage you need.
Check out this site for descriptions on bluewater boats. Sailboat Reviews of Offshore Cruising Yachts : Bluewaterboats.org
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Old 04-10-2014, 17:15   #7
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Re: boat suggestions - budget 36-40 live aboard

For $10,000 and change ?

Yer dreamin' !
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Old 04-10-2014, 17:50   #8
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Re: boat suggestions - budget 36-40 live aboard

Perhaps with some prolonged searching and ultimately a liberal application of elbow grease you'll be able to find something that suits your needs w/ the exception of crossing "the pond".

Just start looking at the "for sale" advertisements on Sailboat listings and Craigs List to get an idea of the market and you'll ultimately answer your own questions regarding prices. I suspect you'll need to drop down in size to 30'-32' and still won't be able to cross the Atlantic w/o doubling your budget in the end.

Good luck and fair winds!
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Old 04-10-2014, 18:23   #9
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Re: boat suggestions - budget 36-40 live aboard

You'll have better luck finding cheap boats in south Florida, where old boats go to die. Lots of dilapidated Morgan Outhouses there: shallow, piglike, roomy, and able to be sailed transatlantic. Still, a forty-footer for 10K is going to take a lot of legwork to find. Most centerboarders that can cross oceans have substance down low--you kind of have to. So they'll still have a bit of draft even with the centerboard up. Bill Tripp designed a few ocean-capable centerboarders.
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Old 04-10-2014, 19:09   #10
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Re: Boat Suggestions - Budget 36-40 Live Aboard

Get your self that $8-10,000 boat. Learn to sail it. Experience what you like about the boat and what you don't. Then when your ready, budget a lot more than this for any trans-oceanic trips you want to make.

Reality sucks, but reality is your budget won't get you what you think you need.

The best suggestion is to get something like an Albin Vega 27. A well founded one can be had for around $15,000, and you can find them less. They have gone trans-ocean.

A 40 footer in that price range? I would not sail one from Key West to Key West.
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Old 04-10-2014, 20:10   #11
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Re: Boat Suggestions - Budget 36-40 Live Aboard

There are a few 34-37 footers in the asking price range $10K to $15K, at least here in the Northeast, but they would all require some major TLC to say the least. And that would bring the effective cost to a much higher level if you consider the cost of the parts needed and the value of your time. But if one has the time and an extra $3-5K to start the refurbish process it is doable indeed. Just not for $10K total.

I would agree with previous posters who are suggesting getting a quality 27-30 footer in good shape for under $15K and may be that will be all you need as they are quite capable of sailing offshore. A well built and maintained 30 footer built with offshore in mind is way more capable than a cookie-cutter production 38 footer that has not been upgraded for offshore. And way cheaper to maintain and service in the long run.
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Old 04-10-2014, 23:10   #12
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Re: Boat Suggestions - Budget 36-40 Live Aboard

Some of these boats are less than 35 feet. I am thinking you need to spend enough money to get a boat in good enough condition so you will not spend too much trying to get it into cruising condition. It is usually cheaper to spend more for the boat than to spend the money fixing it up, even including your time. You do not want to spend years fixing. The time spent fixing would be better used working overtime to get the boat in good condition. The feet and inches measurement is the headroom:

Island Packet 29 6' 4"
Aloha 34 6' 7"
Baba 30 6' 4"
Rawson 30 6' 3"
Island Packet 31 6' 3"
Mariner 31 6' 4"
Mariner 32 same as 31 except clipper bow 6' 4"
Pearson Vanguard 32 6' 4"
Hunter 34 6' 3"
CSY 33, also called CYGNET 33 6' 6"
CSY 37 6' 6"
Endeavour 37 6' 6"
C&C 38 MK II 6' 5"
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Old 04-10-2014, 23:41   #13
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Re: Boat Suggestions - Budget 36-40 Live Aboard

yeah thanks for all te advice - what i was suggesting was getting a starter boat for that amount, of course ill have to spend $$, i wont be going cross ocean till im much more experienced - i would like a coastal and reef cruiser.. and spend money as the demands increase - my plan is to get something sailable in ok condition for that and upgrade over time while im learning to sail.. im not expecting a blue water boat that length for such little money - perhaps i should have been a bit clearer, i dont have alot of $$, but i do have a knack for finding good deals. I am also hard working so dont mind regular maintenance.. id rather get something in good shape nd take it from there - u will be surprised what fairly nice boats can be found for 10k in the 35ft range - its not impossible.. i just know i wouldnt want something too light as this will be a live aboard home, so comfort first .. i didnt know smaller boats could have so much head room..

so if i look 33-36ft, what would be a nice width that would offer nice interior space while not being a barge - pref with centreboard or shoal keel..

just ideas, im not trying to set anything in stone - and really do appreciate your professional advice!

thanks again
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Old 04-10-2014, 23:43   #14
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Re: Boat Suggestions - Budget 36-40 Live Aboard

what specs / margins would u suggest for a boat to sail pretty forgiving, not bob too much, have nice space inside, and perhaps what keel design/depth / ballast weight ranges "could" or should I be looking at? is that evena valid question?

Sorry but im trying to get a blurry picture of what kind of specs.. i have read many like to explore shallow reefs, so im quite fond of the idea to have a centreboard or shoal keel possibly -
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Old 05-10-2014, 00:56   #15
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Re: Boat Suggestions - Budget 36-40 Live Aboard

Hi, not sure how much sailing experience you have, but try & spend as much time on the water as you can. And at the end of the day's sail, or trip, take some notes on what you liked & didn't, what worked & didn't... on ALL manner of things, including crewing & personalities & such.
Also, get out there racing. It's free to crew, & you'll learn at 5-10x the rate you would in the same amount of time which you would out cruising or on deliveries. Primarily because racers push the boats, and themselves, so you wind up getting into & out of situations which don't occur all that often when cruising. But also take the other crewing & delivery positions you can. Ah, & get the forms from the Coast Guard so that you can document your sea time, in case you want to apply for a liscense later on.

As to looking at boats, there are a lot of good "classic plastics" from the 60's - early 80's around. And they're a decent place/type of vessel to start looking at. You can expound from there... plus there are lots of reviews & owner's associations on said classics.
Also, don't rule out boats from N. of the border, given your location. As of last check, it's wasn't that tough to jump through the hoops to buy one there & bring her back, knock on wood.

When you start to get serious about choosing, you might want to read this first A Refit Reality Check | Cruising World it's an article by Nigel Calder (read all of his stuff BTW) about refitting out a vessel (his & his families). And it's one which makes you stop and THINK about a lot more than just the boat & a few of it's basics. AKA it's a bit of a wallet & mental recalibration/reality check.

Good luck with the info and boat search!


PS: Your engine & mechanical skills likely will come in REAL handy (in this realm). And I haven't vetted it yet, but this site looks rather handy as well "Costs Of Buying And Cruising On A Boat" -
http://www.billdietrich.me/Costs.html
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