Familiarize yourself with the "search" function; there are a plethora of threads on pretty much exactly the same line. As been pointed out on each of them, there are no inherently "right" boats, there are only boats that might be appropriate for you...and their degree of appropriateness will be very much determined not only by your budget
and number of crew, but also by your intended use, your experience, your crew's experience and also by your personal aesthetics. Sailing the world is an admirable and romantic dream, but in order to make that dream a reality, you have to actually be capable of sailing the boat that you buy (and sailing it safely and competently, offshore
, in rough seas and strong winds. The fact that you need to ask the question leads me to think that yo may be a less than experienced sailor, so bear in mind that your choice of boat should take into account your degree of experience.
Keep in mind, also, that if you are living aboard
, you will spend a lot more time at anchor
or swinging on a mooring
, or in a berth than you will spend at sea. It is therefore important to look at comfort for living as well as sailing capability. Assuming your family
of 4 is the standard nuclear family, I would be suggesting looking for a boat with 3 separate cabins (a double for the parents, plus two small singles for the children). It is, I think, important to give the children
their own place, even if it is only small.
So, 3 cabins means your boat isn't going to be particularly small. Bear in mind that smaller boats are, as a rule
, easier to handle/sail than bigger boats. But bigger boats, as a rule
, handle rough seas better. I would have thought, for a family of 4, the minimum size boat you could reasonably look at would be around 34', and that would be very squeezy. If I were in your shoes (which I am not), I would be looking at something in the 38' to 42' range. Ideally, from a live-aboard point of view, you would look bigger still, but bigger boats are more expensive, not only to buy, but to maintain. Also, bigger boats can be a handful to dock
/ manouver, etc.
Again, my personal preference would be fibreglass. There will be proponents for steel
or wood or alloy, but it really does come down to personal preference. I would also be looking for a single
masted boat, either sloop
rigged. I would want a furling
headsail (and, if cutter
rigged, a hanked staysail). I would avoid any sort of furling
system for the mainsail
- just slab reefed with lazy-jacks or flatpacks or something like that. In a largish (38'-42') boat, wheel steering
is easier than tiller steering
, especially for cruising.
For living aboard
, almost everyone tends to want refridgeration. Hot water
is probably going to be a preferred option too. You will want either a genset or solar panels
or a wind-generator (or a combination of the above). You will probably want a reliable self-steering system (windvane if you have the know-how, autopilot
if you don't). The boat will want decent sized tanks
- both for water
and for deisel (probably 100 gal minimum for each, prefereably more).
You will need a decent chartplotter
. A good VHF radio
and, if possible an HF/SSB radio
. The boat should have an accurate depth sounder
and speed log. It is also useful to have some sort of wind-speed instrument.
In a decent sized boat, pulling the anchor/chain up by hand is not really an option unless you are built like the side of a barn, and even then, you probably want to consider a powered anchor winch
It is very hard to make any specific recommendations. Personally, I would be looking for a 6-12 year old jenneau or beneteau
. They are probably not the best offshore
boat out there, but they are very cheap
for what you get and provided you are aware of their limitations offshore, they are comfortable roomy boats with all the stuff you need for living aboard... I am sure that many people will disagree with my recommendation... but it is only my opinion, and is worth about as much as you paid for it!