Although I (and others) have been mostly talking 35 foot, nonetheless less is perfectly doable.
However at 30' (and under) choice drops on a boat that is suitable, not only on seaworthiness (broadly speaking - bigger is
better, albeit exceptions apply) but also on extended living aboard
Of course folks have
gone long voyages (including RTW) for extended periods on under 30 foot boats (and a few even under 20 foot! - google
up Shrimpy and Shane Acton), but that very much down to the capabilities of the Skipper
and his (or her!) willingness to accept less than average on creature comforts / modcons - including on such "luxuries" as headroom
and swinging a cat
. Plus not all small boats are capable simply by design (most are intended as day sailors / overnighters) - bigger does add to capability (not to say that it would be wise to go transocean, or even in a blow on everything over 30 feet).
At the risk of bigging up my own boat (especially as I am Dockbound
) - nonetheless to give you an idea of what 30' can have (and the compromises that involves) have a look at a Seadog 30:-
A couple have gone RTW, and one even went up to the Arctic Circle (intention was to circumnavigate Russia
- but the Russians kyboshed that idea), of course all that as much to do with the Skippers as the boats - and in the case of the Russian adventure perhaps also to do with the Skipper
being somewhat optimistic. or mental
.....and with that draft
would have no problem in the Canals. (Triple keels work well over here - because we built our harbours on dryland
- as you can see from the pic above that also useful when you misjudge the tide, she is in the harbour entrance
- that was semi-intentional, as knew it was touch and go and that it didn't matter either way).
Main downside is that not exactly the most nimble boat on the water under sail. On the creature comforts side the biggie is not having full length cockpit seats to snooze on
, but trust me that plenty of other places to snooze on! - part of the reason for the extended refit
. A large part of
Which then brings me onto cost and availability. In the case of a Seadog 30 they are a UK built boat (I think only 1 or 2 in North America) and only approx 140 built, so availability in good to go condition not great, especially not in North America
.........FWIW mine was fundamentally good to go - until I got hold of her and started putting a bit
of (deferred) TLC into her. I think that was about 5 years back
(to be fair, life has majorly intervened a few times in the interim
).........but you could pick up a good one for approx USD40k, a not so good one for around USD25k. The USD40k one would be cheaper.....unless you can also throw time into the equation.
I mention all that because the boats were built in the 60's and very early 70's - and to my mind with your budget
that vintage will be where the sweet spot is on price
vs capabilities........but the trick is to buy a good enough one - and not to misunderestimate
what a bit of TLC involves, let alone a major refit
. Compromises will of course need to be made (in many respects newer designs can be better!) and not everything from that era is a great boat, but time tends to identify those which were not - plus by now plenty on the internet
about shortcomings and common faults / fixes (all boats have them).......the big risk from starting from a low knowledge base (and therefore relying heavily on others, including a Surveyor) is that you buy more than you chew (aka a Pig in a Poke!) - remember, that some boats are worthless (worth less than bought for!, and sometimes that is less than zero - no matter the sale
price)......if you want to drown yourself in forewarnings a read of the Refurb
thread in my sig would be a good idea.
Lots to chew over with boats