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Old 04-03-2007, 03:51   #1
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Where is the reality in 32' as a liveaboard.

Okay,there are heaps of people out there living on 32' boats and having a great time doing it,yep,they are cheap to look after and run but,seriously,it must be a bit tight.The boat I looked at on the weekend was such a boat.32' and apparently the owners "Cruised extensively"I will admit the double berth was just forward of midships and that might have me a bit prejudice as to the overall size inside the boat.Still,I carn't imagine people living fulltime in something this size.One thing I have learnt is that brokers have the same camera's as realestate agents.The same stories/MO's as well.I have lived on 38' fishing boats for 4/6 weeks at a time with 4/6 people aboard,totally different ,I realize this is different and irrellevent to cruising on a yacht of course,but 38' might be a bit more up my scale of liveability.Next week a new boat,a new size.Mudnut.
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:27   #2
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cruising on a yacht of course,but 38' might be a bit more up my scale of liveability.Next week a new boat,a new size.Mudnut.
I have friends in a 33 ft boat that have lived aboard for years. They are in the Azores right now planning for Ireland. Since I have a sistership I sort of comprehend what they have to go through. That said we ungraded to a 36 ft boat last fall. Sze is all relative and it is easily said "better to be a bit tight than left home".

There realy are few boats that can handle a shore lifestyle vewry well. No matter how much boat you own you don't have an attic or garage you can fill with valuable stuff.
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Old 04-03-2007, 06:41   #3
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It's all up to your personal taste. I have spent a few nights in the backseat of my car(which is quite tight, I can't even stretch out.) and I was perfectly happy, so I believe that 27 feet for me would be more than enough room.

I've been on smaller boats, down to 22 feet and thought that that would be enough room, and I've been on a 35 foot that really didn't feel all that much bigger with the exception of head room, but it did have a galley and a ton of extra equipment the 22 didn't have, so I may be misjudging it, still somewhere around 25-30 feet really seems like the perfect size to me. To other people it might not be.

I'm of the belief that your attitude towards something is at least half if not most of the problem in many cases, if you think it's too small, it will be, if you believe you can live on it with no problem, you probably can. You just have to stop wanting all the stuff you had on shore and make do with what you've got on the boat.
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Old 04-03-2007, 07:05   #4
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Size is not important. (so the Missus tells me anyway ).

But like everything, one size does not fit all - it's what you are happy with.

The most extended trips abroad on a boat I have ever done were when I was a kid. Spending up to 3 months at a time on a 27 foot boat. 5 of us. How was this done? partly from getting on each other's tits , but mainly by spending as much time as possible ashore "doing stuff" and using the boat for travelling and as our base for eating, sleeping and........shaving

And I guess that since then this kind of approach has stuck with me as when on my (non Boaty) travels I have always gone for accomadation that is good enough and little more (although I will concede that "good enough" has changed a little bit since I was younger) on the basis that my "living" is done outside my room / apartment (apart from maybe a couple of trips to Thailand. But that is another story ).

What my aim for with a 30 foot boat (2 up) is to use her as a base for my travels, for me being on a boat is not the be all and end all - it is just the means to an end.

The main advantage I am after is cost, as the less spent on the boat the more that is available for doing other "stuff" ashore.....which has the effect of increasing the size of our living space.

But I accept that my approach will not suit everyone. and no doubt if I had grown up on a 57 foot boat instead of a 27 foot one my views would be different...........and of course if money were guaranteed to be unlimited I may well go up in size - but their is a certain contentment in deciding when something is enough.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:35   #5
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I'm currently living on a 32' boat and it has all the room I need, with space for one more, if that ever happens. Lifestyle and attitude have a lot to do with how big of a boat you need, as well as where you sail.

Spending a lot of time in colder climates, a spacious interior is more important. On the hook in warmer climes, a spacious cockpit becomes more important. How well the interior is layed out can make a big difference as well. In the end, it just comes down to what you feel comfortable with.
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Old 04-03-2007, 10:19   #6
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Have a look at a Westerly 33. It seems big to me after my very narrow beamed Elizbethan 29. I believe that my wife and I and our 14 year old have plenty of room to live onboard, which we plan to do in a couple of years time when I give up work and go cruising again. We have an aft cabin which will be allocated to our, by then, 16 year old boy to occupy so that he can have his own space and we can have ours too. We will have the forecabin, in harbour anyway and occupy the saloon when on passage. I believe that this boat is an excellent compromise with very respectable sailing ability combined with good living space.

Have a look on the Westerly Owners Association site and you will see what I mean. OK she's not an ocean greyhound but she will cruise comfortably at 6 kts and provide plenty of comfort for us plus, and this is a very big plus, she is extremely well built and feels very safe. Of course if you compare her to bigger boats then she will seem small but the saving in equipment, anti-fouling and dockage charges will mean that our annual budget will stretch further. Also the boat is much easier to sail with a small crew than anything bigger.

However, in all these matters its a case of horses for courses and we all have our own ideas of what is a big enough space to live and what is cramped. When I first crossed the Atlantic in my Achilles 24 with 4ft 6ins headroom I thought that it was plenty big enough to live on, and it was, twenty years ago when I was built like a racing snake. I was onboard full time for over a year untilfinally parked her on a reef off Venezuela. Then I bought my Elizabethan 29 with her 7ft 6ins beam and 5ft 10ins headroom, which seemed seemed enormous after the Achilles.

The Westerly 33 is a huge step up again with over 11 ft beam and about 6ft 6ins headroom. At least we can all get dressed at the same time unlike the other two boats where we had to do it one at a time.

Its all about horses for courses.
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:41   #7
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Aloha Mudnut,
There are beamy Westsail 32s and then there is the Columbia Saber 32 with a beam of 6 feet. And, of course, there is your atttitude about space and what you really need.
Hope you can find the right boat for you.
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:54   #8
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I lived on a 32 ft boat for 8 years with a girlfriend and we covered 40,000 miles in her ( the boat that is). Never occurred to us that it was unusual. At the time 40 ft was considered a really big cruiser. Also we didn't have lots of the "stuff" people carry today and we used to laugh at people stuck in port waiting for spare parts while we went sailing.
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Old 04-03-2007, 23:50   #9
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I really agree to all that has been said.Like I stated the Dble birth was midship,I don't intend to dissregard 32',so I'll checkout a few different makes and models before I think bigger.The best thing about the Manly harbour marina was the $400 PM berth.Now that I could live with.Thanks all for reality of your comments.Mudnut.
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Old 05-03-2007, 08:37   #10
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Space is what you make

We have a husband and wife cruising team that have lived and traveled aboard their 27'. They left Australia and sailed up through Spain before sailing to the Caribe and now back to England.

They had no ammenities, battery power just enough for the engine and nav systems, no radar, fridge, etc. They lived on $150 US a month and worked where ever they were could.

It can be done... I couldn't, but it can be done
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Old 09-03-2007, 10:43   #11
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Ha - I think it's all relative! While saving up to go cruising in 2004 we lived aboard our Cal 25 in Seattle - now that IS cozy (at least it was summer). In comparison, when we moved aboard the Westsail 32 it felt like a palace.

After nearly 3 years and 12,000 miles: 32' is about right for us - although we have dreams about about a queen size bed in the future.

WRT simplicity factor - this is HUGELY related to the amount of up-keep and time spent in maintenance you should expect. I think it's possible to have a larger yacht in the 50' range that would still be relatively 'simple' - having less complex systems.
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Old 09-03-2007, 13:07   #12
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Consider this

Consider this.
  • In 1950, the average size of the new single-family home in America was 983 sq ft (National Association of Home Builders).
  • In 1970, the average size was 1500 sq ft
  • In 1990, it was 2080 sq ft
  • In 2004, the average size of a new single-family home in America was 2349 sq ft.
Over the same period, the average size of an American family has fallen by over 25 percent. What that means is that, in just over 50 years, the number of square feet per person in an average American home has more than tripled.

The same pattern that has led us to suburban McMansions on land has been happening on the water. Not long ago, there were many cruisers happily making way around the planet aboard their Westsail 32's. Attitudes and "needs" have changed and many of today's cruisers seem to feel that 40 ft or greater are "needed," just as many on land couldn't imagine living in less than 2000 sq ft. (For the record, I live quite happily in my PSC34 seven months a year. During the 5 months when things are frozen here at 45 degrees north, I live quite cozily in a 200 sq ft cottage on land.)
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Old 09-03-2007, 13:17   #13
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32 liveaboard

I have lived on my 321 Beneteau for 9 years and find the boat roomy. The large aft cabin makes all the difference.
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Old 09-03-2007, 13:23   #14
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The same pattern that has led us to suburban McMansions on land has been happening on the water.
Mostly it's about the money. I really don't see much else that is similar though.

What has changed is people are flocking to the coastal areas in droves and many with a lot of money to spend. Given a lot of money there is no telling what a fool will do.
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Old 09-03-2007, 13:32   #15
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Originally Posted by Raven
Consider this.
  • In 1950, the average size of the new single-family home in America was 983 sq ft (National Association of Home Builders).
  • In 1970, the average size was 1500 sq ft
  • In 1990, it was 2080 sq ft
  • In 2004, the average size of a new single-family home in America was 2349 sq ft.
Over the same period, the average size of an American family has fallen by over 25 percent. What that means is that, in just over 50 years, the number of square feet per person in an average American home has more than tripled.
I thought it was cos' everyone over their is now "supersize" .........have the doors also got bigger?
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