Howdy Al and Sue!
I see this is only your second post in the forum. Welcome!
I have a few friendly suggestions that may help you get more helpful and detailed and relevant responses and less flak or flippant responses from others here. Since the topic you posted is very broad, "Choosing a live-aboard," it will help to focus the discussion if you will provide additional information in the form of another introduction
statement from you that will tell us more about your own perspective and possible needs in a choice of boats.
The more you share upfront, the more likely others will respond to points you consider important, without making incorrect assumptions about your level of experience or budget or desires.
So, here are my suggestions on how to get more and better responses on the "What Boat Should I Buy" type of question:
1. Post a description of what your own experience is regarding sailing and boats AND if you have owned boats before and what kind (and size).
Are you a newbie or an old salt
or somewhere in between? For example, I have sailed for years and spent 30 days on a offshore
voyage far from land, but I have never owned a big cruising boat. So, while I am not a newbie to sailing, I do consider myself a newbie regarding (my future) boat ownership
issues, especially regarding the large cruising boats, with their many systems to maintain. I tell this to others upfront, because I don't want them to assume I know all the answers already. Regardless of my own experience, I feel I can always learn from those more experienced or those with a different point of view. I have found it helps in the beginning of a discussion with strangers to give them some idea of my own experience and understanding or lack of understanding of the issues.
2. Post your intended places to sail your dream boat and how you think you might use it
(e.g. coastal only, where, marina living mostly or blue water sailing
, crossing the Pacific, going to high latitudes, mostly day sailing). Some live aboard sailors rarely leave the marina dock
(that is OK), while others cross oceans and circle the planet (that is OK too). As another point, some sailors consider speed to be very important, while others consider comfort more important. A sailor intending to mostly sail in cold waters and cold and wet climate (Pacific Northwest) may want a pilothouse boat for shelter from the cold and rain, while a sailor in the hot Caribbean
may look for a large open cockpit
where they can lounge under a bimini
awning, enjoying the breezes.
3. Post the things you like and don't like about boats you have seen so far or what you hope to find in your dream boat.
For example, do you want a centerline queen bed
(berth) in an aft cabin
, or will a raised Vberth in the bow of the boat satisfy you and your spouse? Some want a separate shower
stall in the head
, while others don't care. Some want a newer boat, while some don't mind 1980 era boats. Some like traditional styling, teak
decks and lots of external teak
(brightwork) while others won't touch them. So, tell us what you like and don't like about those boats you are considering.
On this point, I have found that people often make buying decisions based on a few essential or desirable features that "sold" them on that purchase or boat.
This could be something like "a large galley
because I like to cook." Or it could be "a big Saloon
table for seating family
and guests at meal time." Or perhaps "standing head
room in the master cabin
." Can you think of a few of those features you found in your boat search so far? If you tell others about those, it may lead to them suggesting other boats that have a similar feature or feel.
For example, when I go below in a traditional styled boat (e.g. Hans Christian 43) I feel "snug and secure in the warm teak interior
lamps and lots of wood and a small wood stove completes the picture." But others will see that same boat as a dark hole with little sunlight, and they would prefer modern styling with lots of "windows" and white interiors with little wood to maintain. Do you have a strong preference?
4. Post your budget for buying the boat.
Bigger budgets bring more possibilities for newer boats or the possibility to refit
older boats. The membership
of a forum like this is very broad, from some who happily cruise
on a shoe-string budget in smaller boats, to others who have million dollar larger boats and relatively large cruising budgets too.
I hope these suggestions help you and/or others.