Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 27-05-2013, 09:21   #1
Registered User
 
sharpcoder's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Washington
Posts: 6
Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

Howdy Everyone!

I am currently in the planning phase of my master liveaboard plan, and feel slightly confused as to what type of boat I should be looking for. Now I know this topic gets asked a lot, so I'll put my own spin on it with a succinct question:

In your experience, what is the smallest boat a single, no-attachments person could reasonably live on while still being comfortable?

Naturally my inclination is to jump head-first and snag a boat loan for some awesome 42' yacht, but I realize this is a poor idea on so many levels. I can reasonably have 10-20k saved up before I commit to anything, and I think it's probably better to outright buy a smaller boat - just to learn on - and see if the liveaboard lifestyle is long-term compatible.

I realize buying a boat is like falling in love - angels will play a fanfare from on high the moment you lay eyes on her. But I am looking for a general way to narrow my search. I figure boat-length is probably a good start.

Thank you!
__________________

__________________
sharpcoder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 09:26   #2
Registered User
 
Sand crab's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Boat: 34' Crowther tri sold 16' Kayak now
Posts: 3,157
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

Cats win in comfort every time.
__________________

__________________
We don't need no stinking badges.
Sand crab is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 09:33   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
delmarrey's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Now in Blaine, WA
Boat: Modified Choate 40
Posts: 10,702
Images: 122
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

The question is; what do you plan to do with the boat while you live on it? Or is that it?
If it's not going to move then a barge with a house on it works great.
__________________
Faithful are the Wounds of a Friend, but the Kisses of the Enemy are Deceitful! ........
A nation of sheep breeds a government of wolves!

Unprepared boaters, end up as floatsum!.......
delmarrey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 09:43   #4
Registered User
 
sharpcoder's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Washington
Posts: 6
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by delmarrey View Post
The question is; what do you plan to do with the boat while you live on it? Or is that it?
If it's not going to move then a barge with a house on it works great.
I'm not looking for a barge with a house.

I currently live in Washington State and work from home most of the time (I do have to go into the office every now and then). That being said, I could probably finagle a few weeks of "remote only" here or there. Washington is a beautiful area (when it's not raining) so the ability to take my boat out to other locations would ultimately be the goal. I don't envision myself being married to one spot forever.
__________________
sharpcoder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 09:48   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
FSMike's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bahamas/Florida
Boat: Solaris Sunstar 36' catamaran
Posts: 2,654
Images: 5
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

If you're the tall guy in the picture berth length would be a good place to start. If you're the short guy you have more choices. Lots more.
__________________
Sail Fast Live Slow
FSMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 10:06   #6
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpcoder View Post
Howdy Everyone!

I am currently in the planning phase of my master liveaboard plan, and feel slightly confused as to what type of boat I should be looking for. Now I know this topic gets asked a lot, so I'll put my own spin on it with a succinct question:

In your experience, what is the smallest boat a single, no-attachments person could reasonably live on while still being comfortable?

Naturally my inclination is to jump head-first and snag a boat loan for some awesome 42' yacht, but I realize this is a poor idea on so many levels. I can reasonably have 10-20k saved up before I commit to anything, and I think it's probably better to outright buy a smaller boat - just to learn on - and see if the liveaboard lifestyle is long-term compatible.

I realize buying a boat is like falling in love - angels will play a fanfare from on high the moment you lay eyes on her. But I am looking for a general way to narrow my search. I figure boat-length is probably a good start.

Thank you!

I know someone who lived quite comfortably -- with his partner -- on a 20' Flicka. In the slip next to me, a friend lives on his 27' Catalina.

The Flicka can be a bluewater boat in the right hands, the Catalina not as much. You have to think both about where you want to live and where you want to sail. I started sailing at age 62 and it wasn't realistic *for me* to think I would be circumnavigating the globe, and in fact I don't want to. Personally I want to have a "base camp" with friends and a life on land, live on the boat, and sail her as much possible. That's coastal cruising. I don't need a bluewater boat.

The bigger the boat, the more work she will be to take care of.

On the other hand, 3' makes a big difference in living space and can make a big difference in sailing characteristics as well.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 10:10   #7
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpcoder View Post
I'm not looking for a barge with a house.

I currently live in Washington State and work from home most of the time (I do have to go into the office every now and then). That being said, I could probably finagle a few weeks of "remote only" here or there. Washington is a beautiful area (when it's not raining) so the ability to take my boat out to other locations would ultimately be the goal. I don't envision myself being married to one spot forever.

But that's where you are NOW and for the forseeable future, because of your job. I don't know those waters, never sailed there (boy would I love to!) While it's great to ask here, I think you should drive around your area, see what people lean toward where you are (make sure they're boats that actually *leave the dock*). You may well need a sturdier, more "blue-weather" type of boat than I do here in the relatively sedate waters of west-central and southwest Florida. Although bad weather happens everywhere, the Pacific is a MUCH bigger, and rougher, bathtub than the Gulf of Mexico is.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 10:23   #8
Registered User
 
S/V Alchemy's Avatar

Join Date: May 2008
Location: Toronto
Boat: Custom 41' Steel Pilothouse Cutter
Posts: 4,577
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

Depending on your height, your willingness to live on a mooring, your fondness for basic toilet facilities, and your need for possessions not directly related to coastal (for now) sailing, I would say a 26-30 footer like a Contessa 26 (for the full keel) to an Alberg 30. Quite frankly, for one guy, a slightly narrower boat in terms of length to beam ratio is going to be more comfortable than a more current, but beamier and more shallow-bilged, boat.

If you are on a dock, it hardly matters, as you have showers and a flush toilet nearby and 30 amps to run little heaters, etc. Put out a dozen fenders and you're largely good to go. Shop for fit.
__________________
Can't sleep? Read www.alchemy2009.blogspot.com for fast relief. Can't read? Avoid www.volumesofsalt.blogspot.com, because it's just personal reviews of sea books.
S/V Alchemy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 12:51   #9
Moderator
 
Hudson Force's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Lived aboard & cruised for 45 years,- now on a chair in my walk-in closet.
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
Posts: 7,894
Images: 1
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

Sharpcoder, On your "Greetings, Sailors" post and here as well, you have not clearly indicated if you are interested in sailing. The choice between a power boat or a sail boat is likely your first move, even before size. Most, if not all, of your responses have been from sailboat cruisers. Sailing is a sport that is a step beyond living aboard and cruising. You might do best with a power vessel if you don't enjoy sailing. I would encourage you to take some sailing lessons,- small boats would suit you well. If sailing is not something that excites you, you may do best, and with more space for length, on a motor boat.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 13:08   #10
Registered User
 
Teknav's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Texas - USA
Boat: Twin Otter de Havilland Floatplane
Posts: 1,838
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

My "unscientific formula" is:...a cruiser sail boat should be at least 5 times your height, for minimal comfort; if you're 6 ft, you'll need a minimum boat length of 30 ft. Each additional person, add an additional 3 ft in length. <This formula might start a riot!> Mauritz
__________________
Teknav is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 14:40   #11
Registered User
 
sharpcoder's Avatar

Join Date: May 2013
Location: Washington
Posts: 6
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

Wow, so many responses! Thank you everyone. Let me go down the list...

FSMike: "If you're the tall guy in the picture berth length would be a good place to start."
Yeah I'm the tall guy... I am about 6'4" ( 193cm ).

Rakuflames:
Thanks for the info! I can see how even a few feet can make all the difference. Especially considering it's usually affecting all directions (I presume).

S/V Alchemy:
Thank you. Also good info!

CaptForce:
Ah good point. I do love the romance (conceptually) of sailing, but It's true that I cannot answer those questions as I have no first-hand experience. I am planning to purchase some professional (introductory) sailing lessons within a few weeks.

I do intend to get as much information as I can before actually moving forward with my plan in any capacity. I think having some introductory lessons under my belt will help me understand what I'm ultimately getting myself into.

But in the meantime I am trying to fall in love with a certain style of boat. I see what you mean though, power vs. sail would make a huge difference! Thank you for your input!!

Teknav: "A cruiser should be at least 5 times your height"
Interesting! I am 6' 4" (though I slouch so it could be argued I am less tall). So according to your formula I need approx. a 32' boat. That sounds reasonable to me!
__________________
sharpcoder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 14:48   #12
Moderator
 
JPA Cate's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: aboard, cruising in Australia
Boat: Sayer 46' Solent rig sloop
Posts: 10,718
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

Sharpcoder,

If you just want to liveaboard and take a few trips, why not look at a motor boat? It doesn't sound like you're going to be going to sea, either way, or am I wrong? Living aboard all season in the PNW, for MY comfort (we really don't know your zones), I'd want a heater, comfortable berth (of course), places to store clothing and enough space to set up my office, plus a galley, if you do your own cooking, and a head with a shower (with a separate sump). If you're willing to have your office in your "bedroom", the smallest boat that fits your body would bring you most quickly to your adventure.

If sailing is the ultimate dream, and you plan to work from the boat, I've seen people set up their forepeaks as an office, or the aft cabin, but you're already talking over 40ft., for the kind of space that would let you have a separate office. These both were monohulls. IMO, you should sail on the ocean in both a catamaran and an equivalent length monohull before deciding on your ultimate boat, because some people's bodies don't like the motion of one, but are okay with the other.

Ann
__________________
Ann, with Jim, aboard US s/v Insatiable II, in Oz, very long term cruisers
JPA Cate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 15:03   #13
Moderator
 
sailorchic34's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Boat: Islander 34
Posts: 4,815
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

The tricky part is getting a boat you can stand up in. That's more important then LOD or LOA. Though possible in 32' depending on the boat.
__________________
sailorchic34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 15:13   #14
CF Adviser
 
Bash's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: sausalito
Boat: 14 meter sloop
Posts: 7,260
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharpcoder View Post
Teknav: "A cruiser should be at least 5 times your height"
Interesting! I am 6' 4" (though I slouch so it could be argued I am less tall). So according to your formula I need approx. a 32' boat. That sounds reasonable to me!
Sorry, at 6'3", I'm not buying the formula. And at 6'4" you'll find exponentially fewer boats that will suffice. You're not going to find many sailboats below 40' that you'll be able to stand up in, even barefoot.
__________________
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
Bash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 27-05-2013, 16:34   #15
Guy
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: So. Oregon, USA
Boat: Seafarer36c
Posts: 4,308
Re: Boat Size-to-Comfort Ratio

We we have 7'4" in in the salon of a 36' sailboat so it's not impossible to find enough head room in less than 40' but not common. The length of your berth will be a concern.
__________________

__________________
Guy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 20:21.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.