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Old 12-07-2014, 17:49   #1
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A Change Of Pace

I'm a college student and thinking about moving aboard a sailboat. I don't have much and condensing my stuff won't be an issue. I'm 5'9-5'11 so I'm thinking 25 foot? I don't mind hunching some but hopefully not. So I guess what size of boat is needed to meet the following areas
-Enough room for my height (V Berth most important)
- Need to be able to study for school
-Small enough for a first boat
P.S. Please also inform me of any other possible issues I might/will run across. I have no significant other or any pets. Thanks.


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Old 12-07-2014, 18:01   #2
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Re: A Change Of Pace

Welcome to CF seagull Shea!

Are you looking for a place to live or do you also want to sail?

I think you are asking about boat size but I am not sure. There are other more important questions.

What is your budget?
Where are you located?

These two questions define what sort of boat you can afford and may help define the complexities you will face in living aboard.
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Old 12-07-2014, 18:14   #3
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Re: A Change Of Pace

Thanks for responding. I live in Washington and my budget is under 10k. I have been on a few 30s and 27s. They are "roomy" for a one man and the slips are more and the difficulty I assume is harder. But to get back to your question If I can get a boat 25-30ft --- $1500-9000.
Year doesn't matter just along as it is safe to live aboard. Cosmetic wear doesn't have to good, but the boat cannot be falling apart. I can do cosmetic/motor repairs later but safety is number one. I have found 25s on Craigslist for under 4k. I apologize for my response to be Allier the place.


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Old 12-07-2014, 18:15   #4
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Re: A Change Of Pace

...I apologize for my response to be all over the place.


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Old 12-07-2014, 18:23   #5
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Re: A Change Of Pace

Great - Some of the PNW sailors my chime in...

The next question is to figure out where living aboard is allowed and how much you might be spending for a slip each month.

I am making assumptions as you are a college student that money is tight. Boats are not necessarily cheap places to live. They need lots of care and feeding. IN PNW you will also need to figure out things like heating and personal hygiene - i.e. treking to the marina showers and back, laundry etc.

Not trying to discourage you just making sure you understand that this is likely going to be more expensive than apartment or dorm living.
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Old 12-07-2014, 18:27   #6
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Re: A Change Of Pace

If you're just using it as a home, you'll get a lot more space from a powerboat than you would a sailboat.
Try to go for the larger boat, if the smaller boat means ducking every time you move from one spot to the next. Ducking sucks.
Compare prices on the models you're investigating and go find boatpoker's advice on your own "pre-survey".
Depending on your survey skills, you might seek to pay a pro surveyor to help you not get stuck with a derelict boat.
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Old 12-07-2014, 19:01   #7
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Re: A Change Of Pace

Apartments are $650 minimum in WA. And moorage is around $200-400 size dependent right? Money is a little tight but I'm taking time off. How much is just main thence cost (monthly/yearly---assuming the boat I get isn't trash) Is trekking to the showers/ laundry problematic. Can dehumidifies and fans/or/heaters be used at the same time in dock. Where can I find headroom lengths? Any other issue or problems would be nice to know about. Thanks for all your quick responses.


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Old 12-07-2014, 19:02   #8
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Re: A Change Of Pace

What are the costs for showers and laundry and other things (except insurance and moorage)


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Old 12-07-2014, 19:28   #9
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Re: A Change Of Pace

Here are a few older threads...

Seattle/San Juan Islands area liveaboards

Pacific Northwest Liveaboard Locations / Groups
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Old 12-07-2014, 19:39   #10
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Re: A Change Of Pace

28' Pearson Triton. Built between 1959 to 1967. 6' headroom in the main cabin. Built like a tank. You will find more roomy hulls at this size but won't find a better sailing vessel at that size. You could buy one well within your budget - couldn't be sure there are any Tritons in the PNW area, tho.

I'm biased - there's been one in my family since 1962. And, no, it's not for sale. It is also nowhere near the PNW.

Good luck and fair winds. Starting young, I see. That's all good. Look also for Cape Dorys - they, too are built similarly to the Triton.
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Old 12-07-2014, 21:40   #11
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Re: A Change Of Pace

For living space aboard, per foot, you will get more volume out of a power vessel, and a better layout for studying etc... Perhaps a smaller single engine trawler with a small diesel engine. Take some time and drive up and down the coast there are a lot of small marinas and perhaps you will come across a sleeper deal.
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Old 13-07-2014, 11:28   #12
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Re: A Change Of Pace

I think it looks a lot less sketchy to be living on a small sailboat than it does on a small powerboat. In the six years I have lived in this town I don't think I have seen a small powerboat liveaboard make it past 2 years. I have seen at least 15 liveaboard powerboats get impounded and subsequently mashed into the town dump.

I am also attending university. I use the school's gym for showers and the library as my study room. I would eat there too, but damn the cafeteria is expensive.

If you get a sailboat don't fall in to the trap I see many buying into. Solar power won't heat your boat in the winter. Neither will wind power. Those solar cells will provide you with a $1000 dollar iphone charger. Which is all the rage currently, but a waste in my opinion. As is the $600 iFacebook update device.

9k could get you a 30'-32' sailboat. But I wouldn't want to mess with a single screw trawler in that price range. Also mechanical issues in boats don't involve changing the spark plugs or oil. Also, no one wants to owner finance your purchase unless they are trying to dump the boat. Which happens. But then why do you want that thing.
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Old 13-07-2014, 12:40   #13
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Re: A Change Of Pace

Look for beamy boats with high topsides and bulky cabin trunks. You pay for the length, but you are buying volume.

Sometimes you can save heaps if you pre-pay a longer period (upwards from 3 mnths or so). Just make sure first the place you rent has all the toys you need.

Living aboard & studying, I would put good city transport access, the Internet, showers & quiet at the top of my list.

Good luck,
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Old 13-07-2014, 16:44   #14
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Re: A Change Of Pace

Last time I looked, diesel engines don't have spark plugs. You are looking to live aboard not go cruising. You have to change the oil in the engine no matter what kind of boat it is.
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Old 13-07-2014, 18:02   #15
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Re: A Change Of Pace

Most of the time going to the ablution block is not a big deal. Can become so when the fingers are icy. No fun to follow your freshly dried laundry into the drink when there's nobody else around.

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