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Old 06-01-2013, 09:37   #16
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

I live on a 27 foot boat, and a fairly roomy one as 27 footers go. But indefinitely living totally off-grid would be sort of a PITA on a boat this size. It works okay for marina living, or short to midrange cruising, but personally I think you ought to start looking at 30' to 40' range.

Will your cruising be inshore, near coastal, or do you want to cross oceans?

There are folks who live anchored out in West Wight Potter 19's but I wouldn't recommend it!

BTW the problem with weed vs alcohol on licensing is twofold. First, you can "get clean" after drinking, and pass a test the next day after a bender. Weed stays in your system in detectable amounts for as long as a month. They don't know if you smoked dope this morning, or two weeks ago. Of course if you can stay straight for a month, and you don't actually work for anyone, no prob. But practically all maritime jobs are on a random testing program. Really, is smoking dope so important to you? I would think that it would be pretty low priority for any well balanced person wanting to do something ambitious.

Also there is the little thing about alcohol being legal. I won't debate on the fairness of that but the fact remains that pot is an illegal drug, as far as the federal govt is concerned, and booze is not. If you disagree with the policy, support a candidate who wants to change it. It's the American Way.

My suggestion is to get and keep $10k cash on hand, and keep it handy so if you run across a great deal, you can jump on it. I bought my current boat for $2k cash money, spend $1400 the next day on an outboard and mount, and went sailing the next day in spite of the old water-logged Atomic being out of commission. (it runs now!) There are often distress sales of decent old boats ready or nearly ready to sail away, for under $10k. Watch ebay and craigslist. Check them multiple times a day. Scan the classifieds, and cruise the marinas. You got to be in the right place at the right time with the bread, before the next guy, to snag the good deals. No recent survey? That's not necessarily a dealbreaker. Get the seller to take you sailing. Take the helm under power and under sail. Check out the engine. Any leaks? Oil in the bilge? How does the wiring look? All the nav lights work? Cook something. Check out the reefer or icebox. Take a nap! Inspect all rigging. Climb the mast. Check the sheaves for easy rotation. Do everything you might do in the course of a cruise. Check the battery charge. In fact, make up a checklist because you won't think of everything while you are out sailing. Look for soft or delaminated wood bulkheads, especially where any chainplates attach. Yeah a recent survey report is nice but sometimes that is a bit much to ask when looking at a boat in the mid 4-figure price range.

Another option is a promising project boat. Often an old hulk can be fixed up enough to live on pretty easy, just needs lots of time, money and attention to get it safe to take to sea. I could have bought a Hunter a couple years ago for $600 that was up on the hard, where Katrina left it, hull undamaged for the most part. I only blew that one off because I didn't want to skid it 1/2 mile through swamp and mud to the nearest water. Storm damaged boats can be exceptional buys if you check carefully for cracks and stuff. Just a simple hole stove in the hull is not a big deal to repair. A bunch of major cracks, or a deck separating from the hull, are dealbreakers.
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Old 06-01-2013, 09:59   #17
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

We own a Westerly and we love her! The bilge keel and 3' draft is pretty awesome too We plan to move aboard Aug 1 and head south Oct 1 for the winter returning to the Chesapeake in the spring. GL in your search! We actually found ours on Craigslist
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Old 06-01-2013, 11:15   #18
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

I was looking for a boat with similar features and settled on a Nor'sea 27. Great little boat.
There are also some nice Albin Vega 27's, Bristol 27, Nonsuch 26, Cape Dory 27, Bayfield 25 or 29. These are boats that I was considering around the same size.

There's a couple who have YouTube videos and travel together regularly on an Albin Vega between Hawaii and Alaska or Washington. Currently in Alaska.

Saw another video of a Nonsuch 26 that looked pretty good too.

Good luck on your search. Some nice looking boats out there.
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:56   #19
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

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Originally Posted by Capsule View Post
Hey All,

I am looking to pickup a smaller pocket cruiser with the intention of fitting it out for complete off-the-grid liveaboard style cruising. Ideally I am looking to spec out the boat to be very green with the ability to stay offshore for long stretches at time without having to come back to land.

(...)

Ideally what I would like to find is a small, but capable, bluewater boat that can be made to go anywhere and reasonable cozy for 1-2 people.

I've been looking at the usual suspects- Vega's, Tritons, Contessa, Alberg, few Tartans but is there anything that might be a little more unusual or that I am overlooking?
Very green IMHO implies a boat that sails well.

I would look at a Contessa 32. With some sail wardrobe mods she will make good miles in light winds, seaworthiness potential built-in (just browse the web).

I have friends who sail a Centurion 32. I think it is a good alternative to a Contessa 32.

A HR 312 is a nice boat - cozy, safe, good tankage, plenty of space for solar panels, etc.. But she does not sail as well as the above two. She also has the leg drive that can be less optimal for offshore maintenance.

Vancouver 28 and 32 are fine boats too, but again, they are not too swift.

I would look at a Contessa 32 and see where it takes me. There are both swifter and better specced boats around, but I think this one offers a good balance of seaworthiness, performance and volume.

To be off the grid for extended periods of time you will want a watermaker and energy. Most small boats lack adequate water tankage, local water can be iffy and rainwater is an option only if you are going to cruise definitely rainy areas. Energy is easier to arrange with inexpensive solar panels and/or windgens.

Just some thoughts,
b.
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Old 06-01-2013, 13:19   #20
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

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Ideally what I would like to find is a small, but capable, bluewater boat that can be made to go anywhere and reasonable cozy for 1-2 people.

Thanks for any and all advice. Sail on.
What is really your plan for the next few years of sailing? Unless it is "I plan to cross the Atlantic next year" and instead is "sail along the east coast and then spend time in the Caribbean" I think maybe you are locking onto a boat that gives up a lot to meet your passage goals.

If it was me and my plan was to do the coast and Caribbean thing I would be thinking more about whether I want to put up with "reasonable cozy" 100% of the time in order to have "bluewater" 1% of the time.
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Old 06-01-2013, 13:20   #21
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

Give some consideraton to Westsail 32...timeless vintage design, safe and good motion at sea, plenty of room below. They have a devoted following in the US. Prices start around $50k. Beware buying "cheap as chips", you will spend lots of $$ to refit.

I circumnavigated in my and the boat looked after us well in all seas and we were never disgraced by larger boats on passage times.
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Old 06-01-2013, 13:58   #22
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

A lot of nice small Bristols too.
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Old 06-01-2013, 15:17   #23
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

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A lot of nice small Bristols too.
Personally I feel that with Bristols bigger is better .
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Old 07-01-2013, 13:36   #24
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

Is it Bristol's that the traveler crosses the cockpit well?
If so no big deal to me, I think the boats are great but some are hung up over the traveler in the way.
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Old 07-01-2013, 13:43   #25
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

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Is it Bristol's that the traveler crosses the cockpit well?
If so no big deal to me, I think the boats are great but some are hung up over the traveler in the way.
I can't speak to all Bristols but I've been on a 27 and it didn't have a traveller there. I have a Triton (which I'll be selling soon) and the Bristol 27 is virtually the same boat, just a bit smaller. There are plenty of them around at reasonable prices.
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Old 07-01-2013, 14:38   #26
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

The Kittiwake is a nice little(very) boat,I belive a few have crossed the Atlantic and if you can find one they are priced resonable most of the time..
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Old 18-02-2013, 19:13   #27
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

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I wish there was more info on that boat. I'm sure it has been sold at that price. But from what I see on the link it is a beautiful boat. At a great price.
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Old 18-02-2013, 19:38   #28
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Re: Best (Smaller) Boat for Aspiring Bluewater Bro

Might add a Yankee 30 or Tartan 30 to your list. Both good S&S designs, excellent sailors, capable cruisers.

Cheers,

Jim
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