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Old 19-07-2006, 21:48   #1
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Location: Utah...12 hours to the nearest ocean yuck!!!
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My husband and I are hoping t ogive up land and live-aboard. We are a bi overwhelmed by all the different styles and choices. Hoping some seasoned advice can pioint us in the right direction. We are looking for something that we can do a lot of blue water cruising especially south pacific to NZ and back to US. We have been looking at Formosas but are in no way set on them, if anyone has any opinion on them that would be great.

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Old 19-07-2006, 22:25   #2
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I guess it would help if you gave us a few more details, such as your approximate budget, your level of sailing experience/competence, preference for material (steel / wood / GRP / Aluminium), style (sloop / ketch / yawl), etc.

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Old 19-07-2006, 22:34   #3
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Opinion, YUCK!!! The Formosa's are Pirate Shippy Looking but poor sailors, way too much wood, and built in problems. If you want a Taiwan built cruiser, look at the Kelly/Peterson 44. They are roomy, great sailors and a number of them available fully equipped and shaken down for around $100K. There are a ton of other designs that are also great boats. Do a lot of looking and don't get too anxious till you've had a chance to look at a wide variety of types.

Live-aboard and cruising don't really marry too well in boat design. Living aboard requires more a floating condo. You have to maintain an off the boat life doing things like work which takes a ton of hanging storage for clothes. Cruising is about being at sea and how well the boat sails, how easy it is to maneuver around in (read not like a condo) and long term stowage.

Be aware, that you don't need all that wide open space in a boat. Suggest you do a lot of sailing on friends boats and pick their brains about how the boat works and/or doesn't for them. Haunt the marinas and talk with liveaboards and boats that look like they are going places.

Peter O.
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Old 20-07-2006, 02:58   #4
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Hey Rover,

When you do extended cruising you, by definition, live aboard. This is different than living on a boat in a marina and having a land based life.. job etc. and for this type of live aboard a house boat / barge type is the most commodious.

I suspect that TraCove means they want to do extended cruising and give up the home for an extended period of time. No?

sv Shiva
Contest 36s
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Old 20-07-2006, 05:15   #5

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I'd be remiss if I didn't suggest this one, even though I'm partial since I live on it at anchor right now:

We just did a huge $23K refit and set it up for independence from land. It is not set up for extended bluewater cruising, but many boats you find will not be either. You will usually have to find a liferaft, etc...

We found that watermakers are not necessary, and that you can live on 140 gals of fresh water for a month without much effort with 2 people.

Contact me if you would like to discuss further.
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Old 20-07-2006, 10:40   #6
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A bit more info on us.... My husband is Kiwi and has done a fair bit of sailing, no major crossings but a lot of few day trips. We lived in NZ for a few years and went sailing most weekends with our friend on his 43'er. I got a bit of hands on experience from this. Our friend lived aboard with his 3 small children and seemed to do allright. We have a seven year old son, so there would be three of us aboard. We are used to small spaces and have no worries about being "cramped" or lack of privacy.
We don't have a lot of prefrences in what we are looking for other than avoiding wooden hulls and wanting something that will safely get us from the US to NZ and that we can live on. Doesn't need to be particularly "condoish" we are rather minamilist people. When we move our entire house is only one truck load!
I guess the main concern would be something that has a good reputation as a blue water boat with the minor conviences of home.
Unfortunately we are now based in UT. So we are doing our searching online. We will fly around to check out the boats we are really serious about.
Our first plans are to buy a boat and sail it to Oregon, where we will want to live-aboard for a while. Until we are comfortable and the timing is right to set off for NZ. We will probably live aboard there as well as the marina in the town we lived in there is quite nice.
As far as living aboard and working....we are both laborers, there is no real need for keeping work clothes hanging or anything.
We are looking in the range of up to $130 K. Something around or under $100 K if we need to do a bit to get her ready for cruising.
Hope all this info helps. I appreciate everyones in put!
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Old 20-07-2006, 10:56   #7
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Aloha TraCove,
My opinion is 36 feet maximum on deck length. Fiberglass hull, aluminum spars with a cutter rig. Pick a boat that is noted for quality construction, Hans Christian, Pacific Seacraft, Halberg Rassey, etc.. (others will add more).
Welcome aboard. Hope you enjoy the opinions you are certain to get. Everyone has an idea of a perfect boat.
Regards, --John--
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Old 20-07-2006, 12:06   #8
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Oops! I asked in your welcome what type of boat you were looking for, then saw this thread further down.

It took us about 5 years to find our boat, and we learned a lot as we searched. Started out with a monohull in mind, and ended up with a catamaran. We have sailed her about 7,000 miles so far, and it's been good.

Have fun in your search, and I'm sure the great information on this forum will be a big help.

Sailing Catamaran Sunspot Baby
"Never a ship sails out of a bay
but carries my heart as a stowaway."
-Roselle Mercier Montgomery"
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Old 20-07-2006, 17:31   #9
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check out an AMEL

we love ours
fair winds,
Amel Super Maramu
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Old 20-07-2006, 22:52   #10
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For 3-person live aboard I would suggest something in the 34' - 40' range, and this is also, for me a reasonable size for (a) open ocean passage making and (b) manageable with a crew of 3. Personally, I quite like the Sparkman & Stevens 34' and 36' designs, and also the Joe Adams 40' designs...however, everyone will find their own likes and dislikes, no doubt!
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Old 23-07-2006, 07:53   #11
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There are 100's of good choices available.

The important point to look for is one that has been cruised many miles. The boat will have all the "little" things done and be set up to go offshore.
Hand holds in the right places, corners rounded, shock cords in vital areas: tools, books, pots/pans the list goes on.

Electronics only last 2-3 years and most boats on the market have outdated stuff anyway. Have an engine/trans check done....if it has been properly maintained it will have 1000's of hours left.

Rigging and sails should be replaced, most have had little attention or no way to repair worn items.

Ground tackle, my pet peeve.....check everything, most rope rode is used up, chains have been rusted, chafed on coral, rocks or sitting for years in the chain locker. I slept better when I sold my old stuff and went all new and the best quality.

Take your time the search will be eye opening....
It's a buyers market right now....never pay full price... 60% of asking is about what boats are selling for these days.

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Old 23-07-2006, 10:17   #12
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Have a look

Tracove, We have lived aboard and cruised Sea Trek for 15 years. Her travels have been chronicled in Soundings magazine and Sail. She is turn key and equipped for offshore and near shore cruising , has been improved and upgraded over the years and you could head out tomorrow. We have a recent survey to attest to her wonderful condition and is very, very well equipped. We are switching gears after doing some extensive cruising and that is why she is on the market. You can see more info at

and read about our recent travels at;all=SEARCH

which are posts of our recent trip to the western Caribbean over the last 15 months. Good luck in your search. The only thing I can add is that when you find the boat that is right for you you will know it. There will be little doubt in your mind so keep looking until that special feeling hits you and then look no further. Chuck
Chesapeake Bay, ICW Hampton Roads To Key West, The Gulf Coast, The Bahamas

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Old 28-07-2006, 15:35   #13

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One option in that 100-130k range might be a Pearson 424, they have a good reputation and have held their market price very nicely over the years. A reasonable compromise in construction, sailing ability, and space and if you decide it isn't for you...Also very easily resold without a loss.
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Old 28-07-2006, 17:13   #14
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Sean- that is one beautiful boat. It is hard to believe the age of her. Looks to me it is ready to go coastal cruising. Congrats on it.

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