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Old 12-11-2015, 11:36   #1
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Commuter cruiser/live aboard - boat questions

Hello everyone. I am looking for some advice/critique of my plans to a sailboat in the next 18-24 months.


First a bit about me (us). I currently own a 40’ motor yacht on a large inland lake. I have taken some professional training as well as read/watch videos as much as I can. I have completed the ASA101 and plan on taking the 103/104 next year. In addition I sail a couple of times a month on sailboats (26-36), thus continuing my education/skills progression.


Over the course of the next 18-24 months we plan on selling our current home and downsizing as the kids leave for college. We are not “selling it all” and sailing off into the sunset. For the foreseeable future (8-10 years) we will be commuter live-aboard/cruisers, spending 1/3-1/2 of the year (though not necessarily consecutively) on the boat (working/living), starting in Florida and then transitioning to the Caribbean. No expectations beyond the Gulf/Caribbean/east coast sailing.


This is what I have outlined as my criteria and I would love to get feedback. Price will be $150K or below (if I can find a cat in that price range I will give it SERIOUS consideration but honestly most are not and I know that whatever I buy, no matter how nice it seems, there will be funds needed to upgrade/repair it).


Age:
  • 1990 or newer (though will consider as seasoned as a 1980 but it has to fit the requirements to a “t”.
Specs:
  • 2-cabin, 2-head layout (will do 3 cabin but not 4). Prefer at least 1 separate shower.
  • 35’+ minimum
  • Draft under 6'
  • No teak decks
  • All lines led aft. Prefer roll-furler main (my fiance’ is learning to sail but as she said, this is “my passion” not hers, so I will be technically “solo sailing” a lot).
  • Would prefer updated electronics package but not a deal killer
  • Solar
  • Would prefer a diesel generator but not a deal killer
  • A/C for at least dock usage is a “must”
  • Auto-pilot
  • Electric windlass
  • Would like a storm sail setup or the ability to accommodate one (preferably on a roller furler)
  • Bimini/dodger a must, full enclosure would be nice
  • Dinghy davits
  • Prefer a large cockpit, will consider all hull types but would prefer one with a swim platform (vs. canoe or double-ender style)
  • Adequate tankage to be able to anchor-out and not return to a dock for two-three weeks.
  • Watermaker would be nice
What am I missing? What am I considering that is out of whack? So far I have been looking at Beneteau’s, Jeanneau’s, Island Packet’s, and Bavaria’s with the occasional Tartan, Pearson, or Tayana. I am open to any and all input.


Thanks!
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:25   #2
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Re: Commuter cruiser/live aboard - boat questions

My Beneteau Oceanis 400 is for sale and meets nearly all of your requirements. The items it misses (updated electronics, electric windlass, solar, generator, davits, and watermaker) you could add and still come in well under your max budget.

If not mine, I'd strongly encourage you to look at other Beneteau 393/400/411 from the 90s thru early 2000s.
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Old 12-11-2015, 12:59   #3
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Re: Commuter cruiser/live aboard - boat questions

4arch, unfortunately I am not in a position at this time (aforementioned big house/big power boat preclude this).

However I do appreciate your guidance on what to look at.
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Old 12-11-2015, 13:06   #4
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Re: Commuter cruiser/live aboard - boat questions

You left out pricing considerations.
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Old 12-11-2015, 13:19   #5
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Re: Commuter cruiser/live aboard - boat questions

zboss...I did include it but should have made it more clear. $150K or less.
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Old 12-11-2015, 14:13   #6
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Re: Commuter cruiser/live aboard - boat questions

Understood the timing is not right on my boat but I will offer a couple of other thoughts.

First is that going from a 40 foot motor yacht to a 35 to 40-something foot sailboat is going to represent a major downsizing in terms of livable space. I bet a power boat that size has a centerline queen owner’s berth, stall showers, big fridge, real salon furniture, etc. You won’t get most of those amenities on the size/price range of boat you’re looking at. I bet your current boat also doesn’t heel. It sounds like you understand all that but I would just be very clear your non-sailing fiance is in agreement.

Also your list of requirements doesn’t say anything about the engine/transmission, steering gear, standing rigging, and sails. The age of boat you’re looking at is likely to have them in varying conditions and it’s easy to overlook them. You’re better off buying a boat that has all of them in good condition as they can be major, major cost items.
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Old 13-11-2015, 15:48   #7
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Re: Commuter cruiser/live aboard - boat questions

BH, there are plenty of boats to be had in that range. I would like to provide you with a link so that I can prove the point.

zerotocruising.com is a couple that used to captain a charter out of the Caribbean. They have a PDQ 32 that is currently for sale for about 112K. That boat has been completely redone this year. If you know the couple from their writings you know what I mean when I say completely redone. Click on their link and open up the top bar where it says PDQ32 for sale. Their blog page is one of my favorites anyway. Hope you can take something useful for yourself out of it..

This is just one example and there are hundreds of boats in your price range. Good luck and fair winds.
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