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Old 06-12-2014, 09:25   #1
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Choosing a Live-Aboard

We are soon to retire and looking at purchasing a decent live-aboard in the 40' to 45' range. Interested in a few models that catch our eye:
Brewer 42 ketch, Tayana 42 cutter, Formosa 41 ketch, Explorer 45, Islander Freeport.
Sailing to wind, Issues, better live-aboard, on a budget, any other suggestions?
Thanks for your help with this.
Al & Sue
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:42   #2
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Re: Choosing a live-aboard

sailing into wind, you want a 747.
cruising boats usually do not sail into wind. they may sail tradewinds well, as does a formosa, and many designed for cruising long range boats, but... nothing goes to weather like a 747
racing type boats might have a better chance of sailing into wind, but they will stop when going straight into the weather.
give that idea up.
learn to sail , then sail many boats to learn what you can tolerate and not tolerate, as finding the right boat is like finding the right life mate. individual and personal.
for headroom, brewer and garden were tall and design boats with higher freeboard
and, causing the higher freeboard, more headroom in the interior.
every boat has disadvantages and advantages.
learn to sail and sail a lot of boats to decide what you want to actually buy.
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Old 06-12-2014, 10:04   #3
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Re: Choosing a live-aboard

Offshore inclinations or just PNW cruising?
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Old 09-12-2014, 10:03   #4
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Re: Choosing a live-aboard

Saw your post regarding live aboard
Just got word from friend she is putting pan oceanic 46 on market and priced well
Not sure where your located but vessel is Lake Huron fresh water well maintained


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Old 09-12-2014, 10:42   #5
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Re: Choosing a live-aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptGeno View Post
Saw your post regarding live aboard
Just got word from friend she is putting pan oceanic 46 on market and priced well
Not sure where your located but vessel is Lake Huron fresh water well maintained


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Old 09-12-2014, 13:14   #6
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Re: Choosing a live-aboard

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 or cockpit 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 with oil 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.

Sincerely,
Steady
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Old 15-12-2014, 15:51   #7
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Re: Choosing a Live-Aboard

Steady makes a lot of sense. Read and think.

I had the same decisions to make after much sailing but only short trips. I bought a 36 foot steel long keeler and a fine ship she is. I owned her for nearly eight years before retiring and setting off. She is a good seaworthy ketch. I find the ketch rig great for short handed sailing. I'm often alone and spent most of the last four years waiting for my partner to retire and join me. Soon she says!!

I met many cruisers on my way to where I am now........south coast Portugal and Spain........from UK. During the many gatherings on others boats I started to get less happy with my own boat which lacked headroom in the aft sleeping cabin. I started seeing the type of boat I would like to live and cruise aboard.

I set this out as it was only by looking and experiencing that conclusions were evident to me. So don't be too quick. Think about the life you are heading toward.

Me, I swapped my 36 footer for a 48 footer of similar but much larger accommodation. A long keeled ketch again. I now have a splendid two bedroom apartment to sail in......but systems to maintain.....generator, water maker, larger sails etc. and expensive in marinas though I prefer anchoring.

I have seen many ex charter boats often large and cheap but the living accommodation was intended for lots of people on short stays and not for a couple with occasional visitors.

Steady is right to put all those questions to be answered. But, if you make a mistake you can always, as I did, change boats!!


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Old 15-12-2014, 16:27   #8
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Re: Choosing a Live-Aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by alyonsden View Post
We are soon to retire and looking at purchasing a decent live-aboard in the 40' to 45' range. Interested in a few models that catch our eye:
Brewer 42 ketch, Tayana 42 cutter, Formosa 41 ketch, Explorer 45, Islander Freeport.
Sailing to wind, Issues, better live-aboard, on a budget, any other suggestions?
Thanks for your help with this.
Al & Sue
Any of those are ok. Unless you're a die hard racer cruising is much more than windward performance.

For us we wanted a proven blue water vessel with a very specific layout and a vessel in good condition that was well equipped. We did an 80 day road trip up the west coast and along the entire gulf coast of the US. This helped us to discount many layouts. It's crucial you get on board your initial choices.

For us that was a Liberty 458. We initially looked at 38' to 44' but ended up looking at 44' to 48' for us as a couple.

It took us 18 months to find her. We've been living aboard for over a year now. Our original constraints re layout, condition and equipment have been validated.

The only thing we didn't care much about was instrumentation and electronics. We'll be replacing them all next year and will expect them to last 10 years.

Good luck in your search.

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Old 19-12-2014, 06:43   #9
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Re: Choosing a Live-Aboard

In addition to the very good clarification points "Steady Hand" has asked, I'd also mention that you need to determine if you're looking for a "Live-Aboard" or if you intend to go "Cruising". And, if it is the second point, then you'll need to further clarify the type of "Cruising" you plan on doing.

For example, if someone were to ask me to choose a "Live-Aboard" I'd probably go straight to a single screw 48 foot trawler. On the other hand if I (and I do) actively Cruise the Caribbean (mostly Bahamas) I'd go with a shallow draft racer cruiser. This way you can go on lighter air days and still make it into shallower secluded areas & mangroves. And finally on the other hand, if I still lived in the SF Bay area and actively cruised, or if I planned on extended / offshore cruising, I'd go with a much heavier deeper Hans Christian type boat...

So, really think about what your intending to do realistically, and then look at your capabilities. Then with the list narrowed down to what your intentions are you can begin to pick through the list of preferences. Remember there is no single "perfect" boat, but there is the "right" boat for you if you do just a "little" homework.
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Old 19-12-2014, 15:32   #10
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Re: Choosing a Live-Aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by alyonsden View Post
We are soon to retire and looking at purchasing a decent live-aboard in the 40' to 45' range. Interested in a few models that catch our eye: .................................

Thanks for your help with this. Al & Sue
I would recommend that you not narrow your search to specific manufacturers or models, but instead, make a short list of absolute criteria,- range in length, maximum draft, hull material, cost..... add any rejection markers,-i.e. no teak decks, no split rigs, no East Coast boats... and then look at all that fit your basic criteria. Otherwise, the best choice might slip by unseen.
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