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Old 05-02-2008, 16:53   #1
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Top Three Single Hand Liveaboard Boats?

Hi all,
I'm planning to take to the sea and want to hear some top selections for liveaboard single handed sailors. Would you go small and save on dock costs or large for roominess? Something fast for the weekends or a cruiser because you're not tethered down, an older renowned boat or newer production?

I will have the opportuninty to be transfered to europe soon, and I want something that can make the passage. Also, I want to spend less than 80K so my top choices are.
1. Wauquiez Pretorian 35: I've heard these compared to swan and there are a few for sale around me.
2. Island packet 35 or 32:
3. Pacific Seacraft Crealock: Probably out of my range though.

Feel free to tell me why these are the dumbest choices ever, but only if you post your picks.
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Old 05-02-2008, 17:12   #2
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A blister Valiant 40 will get you anywhere you want to go for around $80k.
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Old 05-02-2008, 17:52   #3
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Well, if I wanted to cross the Atlantic in a 34 footer, I'd take this one:

1995 Pacific Seacraft - offshore ready!! Boat For Sale=

If I wanted to live in a marina or coastal cruise the Med in a 34 footer, I'd take this one:

1999 Hunter 340 Boat For Sale=
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Old 05-02-2008, 20:22   #4
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here's a solid singlehander:
1984 Southern Cross Cutter Boat For Sale

that's quite a long link and i don't know how to shrink it, sorry.
35 foot southern cross, nice build, monitor windvane, well kept and a boat that would look after you. i hate a wheel, but you probably like them.
i wouldn't call yours or anyone's picks dumb; boat preference is extremely subjective and i am a firm believer in chacun a son gout.
i personally really dislike the pacific seacrafts; they are blase knockoffs of really beautiful boats which are still available, still completely capable and much nicer in construction, materials and craftsmanship but of older vintage. to me, its like those modern 'retro' diners instead of a real old diner. they imitate a character that other's actually possess.
i also dislike the island packets, but can think of no polite way to tell you why.
some boats i like off the top of my head, are the allied seawind, rival, contessa 32, elizabethan, cape dory, cascade, alberg, contest, rafiki, victoria, golden hinde/cutter rig tall mast, great dane; all proven offshore singlehanders.
i think refitting or finding an already refitted proven classic beats the more modern stuff anyday, with few exceptions.
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Old 06-02-2008, 05:41   #5
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Other than a little matter of budget, I’m sorta with little-boat… although the later Hunters don’t appeal to my eye as much as the earlier one… but liveaboard roominess “necessities” and short-handed sailing qualities are occasionally at odds…

There is no question that the feeling of stability on larger boats can be attractive, but as I drift nearer the geriatric ward I find the difference in pure work between handing a 600 sq.ft. sail and a 250 sq.ft. one to be fairly noticeable, so I’d be inclined to find myself at the bottom end of your range…
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Old 06-02-2008, 06:09   #6
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I am currently living aboard a Tayana 37. I love the boat and find it a comfortable liveaboard. She's also a very good sea boat. There are decent examples in the $60-$70k range.
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Old 06-02-2008, 09:59   #7
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Well, I'd have to cast my vote for the Island Packets, but I admit that I'm prejudiced.

I single-hand my 380 with no problem. The cutter rig is perfect for offshore sailing and Tradewinds sailing. Both the IP 35 and the 32 are well-regarded and have a very loyal group of owners. You could get answers to any specific questions you might have by joining the SailNet Island Packet Owners Discussion List Messages
and the IP Homeport site Island Packet Yachts
There's a lot of knowledge and support available on these two sites.
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Old 06-02-2008, 12:30   #8
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Quote:
Would you go small and save on dock costs or large for roominess? Something fast for the weekends or a cruiser because you're not tethered down, an older renowned boat or newer production?
If you need to carry a lot of stuff such as Crusing then the light fast boat won't get the job done. You'll need the displacement and you won't be fast with the load you'll be carrying with the budget you have. That isn't a serious problem just an issue.

If you are going to the Med you'll want to check out slip costs first since you might not be ready for that surprise. Insurance and other misc. expenses can be more than you might think. A bigger boat will of course be more.

I think your choices are fine just not your expectations on the budget. You'll probably require all new safety gear and at least some refitting in this price range. It wil be cheaper to do it before you leave and you'll want it for the trip and need it when you get there. The Southern Cross is a bit over the budget but nothing else listed is close.
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Old 06-02-2008, 13:06   #9
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Thanks for the replies everyone! The suggestions are welcome, but they're a little off mark of what I wanted to ask. I've read a lot of posts of people asking what they should buy, to which the answer always is, "it depends." So I was hoping this post could be about what you would get if you were going to live alone on your boat. Don't feel constrained by my situation. This question is just as much about livestyles as it is about boats.
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Old 06-02-2008, 13:07   #10
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Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
If you need to carry a lot of stuff such as Crusing then the light fast boat won't get the job done. You'll need the displacement and you won't be fast with the load you'll be carrying with the budget you have. That isn't a serious problem just an issue.
Easy - lose some of the "stuff".
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Old 06-02-2008, 13:35   #11
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tcook, I think the replies are answering your question. And your question was a little broader than just "what would suit me for live aboard."
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Old 07-02-2008, 14:38   #12
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The thing about single-handing a boat (from my albeit limited experience) is that it shouldn't matter what type / size the boat is, but it is how the boat is set up for single-handing that really matters.

Obviously you will need a good autopilot or self-steering system (probably both).

All lines, halyards, etc. will need to be run aft to the cockpit and you will need to be able to trim both main and headsails from the steering position.

You will need to be able to raise & lower the mainsail yourself, for which I believe the best system is slab-reefing, fully battened mainsail on battcars with lazy jacks
You will need to be able to shorten headsails, ideally without going forward, for which I believe a cutter rig with a furling genoa and also a furling staysail would be ideal.

I think one of the hardest things about single handing is coming into (and out of) a marina berth. This is much easier to do in a smaller boat than a larger. If you are considering a boat of 40' or more, a bow thruster will make your life a lot easier.

I don't think that the size of the boat matters too much. you could live quite comfortably on anything 30' or more. If you are going to be making long blue-water passages, a bigger boat will, generally, be more comfortable, but the cost of maintaining a boat increases exponentially with the length. Personally, I like 40', but we sail 2 up, not single-handed. If I was definitely going to be single handing, I think I would be looking in the 34-36' range. I wouldn't be comfortable going offshore in anything smaller that 34', personally.
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Old 07-02-2008, 15:58   #13
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[FONT='Calibri','sans-serif']I think one of the hardest things about single handing is coming into (and out of) a marina berth. [/FONT]
It's not easy with crew either

I think you need an autopilot - period. A wind vane is about the same as with any other boat. They work for the long haul. The reason to have one is no less unless you have a crew of 6 to rotate the watch.

Having things setup from the cockpit is always better and I don't see it as a huge requirement for single handing. Single handing to me is minimized wasted effort. You can beat yourself silly when you don't clearly understand how everything works and know how to trim sails properly. Everything that isn't done right costs you some human power to re fix. The clock or the calendar will eventually beat you unless you can conserve human energy. Doing it right the first time is always the best approach.
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Old 07-02-2008, 16:27   #14
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My top solo boats

Morgan OI 28
PSC 27 "Orion"
Albin Vega
Alberg 30

any of my list I'd take anywhere, anytime.
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Old 08-02-2008, 19:32   #15
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The problem with your choices are that they lean to much. Just kidding, I would add a Tarten 37 to your list. Thinking outside the box my first choice in no particular order would be Cross 35/38 tri, Searunner 34/37 tri, or Prout Snowgoose 37 cat. All available in your price range. If you plan on Europe/Med cruising the Prout may be the best choice due to the narrower beam making access to the canal system and marina berths easier. They are readily available here and in Europe. Very seaworthy with about 100 circumnavigations and an unblemished safety record to it's credit. It would be a more comfortable and roomy liveaboard home than a similar size monohull. The trimarans with their excellent light air ability would keep you sailing when all others are motoring in the sometimes fickle Med. winds. Not to be overlooked is the large amount of deckspace that they offer. Smaller monohulls just seem too cramped to me once they get loaded up for cruising/liveaboard. Confined to a cluttered up cockpit or foredeck area with no room to stretch out.
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