Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 20-10-2011, 12:49   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 13
Contemplating Liveaboard

Hey all,

Not to get into gory details, but I am in the middle of a divorce and am looking to become a liveaboard. The soon to be Ex is getting the house and primary custody of the boys, so I'm looking to move to Sunny FLA and buy a boat...

Now I've been snooping around here and other forums for a while, and seem to have a basic understanding of what to look for.... I've been looking for boats in the 30-35' range... Not too old, but not too new. I know that any boat I can afford is going to need work, But since I used to be an Amtrak Mechanic in the Marines (Floating tanks, not trains). I'm competent to wire a boat, rebuild a motor and do pretty much anything else... I figure if I can keep 26,000 pounds of tracked vehicle afloat, I should be able to keep a sailboat afloat! ;-)

So, I've been looking around, and have seen a ton of boats up on the "hard" and some are in need of a complete refit and some look like they are sound, but just need some work.... I've seen prices from $5k - $25k for mono-hulls that to me seem to be blue-water capable (I want to be able to transit to the Bahamas, Jamaica, PR...)

I'm assuming that just like a house you can be very careful, get a boat with "good bones", but some love into it and save yourself a ton of money. And since I don't mind some honest labor.... That's what I did with the house I'm currently loosing.

So... let me tell you what I've been looking for... What I've found and please help steer my search... TIA!

A mono-hull (a cat would be nice, but WAY out of my price range) in the 30-35' range. A fixed keel. Fiberglass or epoxy build, I don't want the headaches that come with wood. I'm not picky about Diesel or gas for the inboard... I can work on either, and unless there is a need to replace, I figure its better to save the $ and suck up a little higher fuel cost.

Now I know that any boat I consider will need to be pulled up on "the hard" and be inspected by a professional. I want to make sure that the hull is solid, sound and any needed repairs can be made at that time... Bottom paint in good shape or fix it then and there....

I have found one boat in particular that has struck my fancy... Its a 28' Pearson with a bad Atom4 gas engine... That doesn't faze me, as I know I can swap out a motor....

I'm going to assume that if I spend a little more cash up front, then I will probably save myself a ton of money and headaches in the future... And I'm ok with that.

Do I seem to have an idea of what I should be looking for or am I just confused.... witch would be COMPLETELY NORMAL... ;-)
__________________

__________________
DevilDogNurse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 13:21   #2
Moderator Emeritus
 
GordMay's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario - 48-29N x 89-20W
Boat: (Cruiser Living On Dirt)
Posts: 31,596
Images: 240
Re: Contemplaing Liveaboard

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, DevilDogNurse.

You do seem to have to have an idea of what you should be looking for, but don’t be overly concerned with “blue-water capable” for cruising the Bahamas, Jamaica, PR, or Caribbean, which are semi-protected waters.
A capable “coastal cruiser” should suit those demands nicely. The "right" Pearson 26, suitably equipped & fitted, could satisfy your needs.
FWIW: I'd place a high(er) priority on a diesel auxiliary engine (over gas).
__________________

__________________
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"



GordMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 17:16   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 13
So whats a good/reasonable/realistic price to pay for a boat like that... One that is sound and habitable? $5k...$10k....$25k?
__________________
DevilDogNurse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 17:34   #4
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,376
Re: Contemplaing Liveaboard

BTW, universal diesel/Beta make a replacement diesel for the Atomic 4. I would think an older P28 would be below 10K with a good engine. With a bad A4...? Maybe less than $4k.. Certainly good 30 footers can be had for $15k or less. Just get out and kick tires. Plan on paying 40% less than asking.... not too deep draft...
__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 17:49   #5
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: Contemplaing Liveaboard

At the introduction to your post I first thought, "Oh no, here's other one seeking living aboard to escape their problems ashore"-, but that didn't seem to be the case as I finished reading your post. You seem to have very sound ideas and a well thought purpose. Like GordMay, I would favor the diesel. Pearsons are a good choice, but there are enough good boats not to put on blinders in the search. The price question is an impossibility! There will always be the "better deal" that you just missed and plenty of opportunity to be lured into paying to much because you fall in love with the turn of the bilge or a smooth tumble home over a big lazarette! Patience in the search will be your best protection to make a good buy. My choice would be a solid fiberglass hull without the new tech laminates that can wick a damaged spot over a wide area. A cored deck is acceptable, even with a few soft spots that you can manage, if it brings the price down. I would also seek out a fully encapsulated keel and not a bolted on appendage,- certainly not a piece of iron. Some built in parts like inaccessable steel tanks are also to be avoided. There are many strong seventies and eighties boats that are from 30' to 35' that are cosmetically impaired and very inexpensive,- 10K to 15K. You can find these with good standing rigging and satisfactory sails. You don't mention your search area; however, there are some great boats north that have seen little use by being on the hard for half their life and in the south their are dreams that the elderly retired have cruised before health has changed their plans.
__________________
Take care and joy, Aythya crew
Hudson Force is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 18:12   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 13
Re: Contemplaing Liveaboard

OK... I'm looking on-line right now... I'm currently in Chicagoland (not buying here!) and am looking to move temporarily to Orlando (I know it's land locked). My brother is there and he has a spare room I can crash on for 6mo-year.... I can reasonably save over $1,000 a month... Maybe closer to $2k... I am a RN and do make a nice living.

Like I said, I am in the middle of what is shaping up to be a Nasty Divorce... I know i'm going to be on the hook for $1400 or so a month in child support. So once that's paid, and I help my brother with the rent, i should be able to save a decent penny each month. I'm giving the STBX the house and we were almost debt free when she decided to leave me (A rich Doctor made her a better offer.... 12yrs down the damn drain)

I'm not taking anything more than what will fit in my subcompact 4dr car. I figure I'll pick up what I need at goodwill when I get there....

Living on a sailboat has always been a dream of mine... I know how to handle small boats quite well, and with a little patience and training, I figure I'll get the hang of a larger boat.

Expanding my search in size has opened my eyes a little... there seem to be some 35'+ boats well in my price range, that appear ready to move aboard....

I don't NEED that room, but I have three boys who I want to come visit me all the time.... I need a little more room for them....
__________________
DevilDogNurse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 19:11   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Washington, DC
Boat: Columbia 41
Posts: 522
Re: Contemplating Liveaboard

I have lived aboard for the past two years. My boat is a Columbia 41 and I find it just about right. Not too big and not too small. It has cabins fore and aft with a good size saloon amidships. The head and galley are both walk through. I have been single most of my adult life so I didn't have a lot of stuff to store. Even so, to move aboard I had to get rid of about half of my stuff. If you plan to have your kids come and visit you will need as much boat as you can afford. A Morgan 41 would be a good boat. So would a Gulfstar 41. Either boat could be had for $35K +/-. However, you must be prepared to pay cash or borrow against your mutual funds accounts. Good luck.
__________________
Sam Plan B is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 21:17   #8
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Contemplating Liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilDogNurse View Post
Hey all,

Not to get into gory details, but I am in the middle of a divorce and am looking to become a liveaboard. The soon to be Ex is getting the house and primary custody of the boys, so I'm looking to move to Sunny FLA and buy a boat...

Now I've been snooping around here and other forums for a while, and seem to have a basic understanding of what to look for.... I've been looking for boats in the 30-35' range... Not too old, but not too new. I know that any boat I can afford is going to need work, But since I used to be an Amtrak Mechanic in the Marines (Floating tanks, not trains). I'm competent to wire a boat, rebuild a motor and do pretty much anything else... I figure if I can keep 26,000 pounds of tracked vehicle afloat, I should be able to keep a sailboat afloat! ;-)

So, I've been looking around, and have seen a ton of boats up on the "hard" and some are in need of a complete refit and some look like they are sound, but just need some work.... I've seen prices from $5k - $25k for mono-hulls that to me seem to be blue-water capable (I want to be able to transit to the Bahamas, Jamaica, PR...)

I'm assuming that just like a house you can be very careful, get a boat with "good bones", but some love into it and save yourself a ton of money. And since I don't mind some honest labor.... That's what I did with the house I'm currently loosing.

So... let me tell you what I've been looking for... What I've found and please help steer my search... TIA!

A mono-hull (a cat would be nice, but WAY out of my price range) in the 30-35' range. A fixed keel. Fiberglass or epoxy build, I don't want the headaches that come with wood. I'm not picky about Diesel or gas for the inboard... I can work on either, and unless there is a need to replace, I figure its better to save the $ and suck up a little higher fuel cost.

Now I know that any boat I consider will need to be pulled up on "the hard" and be inspected by a professional. I want to make sure that the hull is solid, sound and any needed repairs can be made at that time... Bottom paint in good shape or fix it then and there....

I have found one boat in particular that has struck my fancy... Its a 28' Pearson with a bad Atom4 gas engine... That doesn't faze me, as I know I can swap out a motor....

I'm going to assume that if I spend a little more cash up front, then I will probably save myself a ton of money and headaches in the future... And I'm ok with that.

Do I seem to have an idea of what I should be looking for or am I just confused.... witch would be COMPLETELY NORMAL... ;-)

Even though you're going to sail a lot (I hope!) -- you will spend a lot more tie in that cabin than non-live aboards. Really think about what layout you prefer. Consider what you can and cannot give up (I know you're already giving up a lot).

Are you going to have a job, or are you retired? that will affect what kind of clothes you have to store. And speaking of that, I personally think you should look for a boat without leaks where you can't identify the source or really fix it well early on. You don't want your clothes getting moldy, and we have these roaches-on-steroids crossed with small bats here in Florida. They're called Palmetto bugs and they are drawn to moisture. If there's moisture in dark places on your boat that you don't know about -- they'll take up residence.

And they FLY. They are God's most disgusting invention.

Think about storage of everything. Also look at what kinf of fuel the galley uses. CNG is extremely hard to get in Florida, only available in Miami that I know of. And those Atomic 4's? I would really urge you to avoid them. Maybe you are an engine wizard and can keep it going, but every hour you have to spend on that engine is an hour you can't sail. Looking at your situation, losing your family, your home, and moving away from friends, DON'T BE TRAPPED BY YOUR BOAT'S NEEDS.

I know a guy who has a Catalina 30 for sail in the St. Pete area. I would be very surprised if it isn't in great shape, and it has a newer DIESEL engine in it. He is ready to sell it considerably lower than what it's worth. Catalina 30's are very common here (a great place to live aboard and sail, by the way), so you'll find lots of good advice when you need it and not much trouble finding parts. Network with the people here and you might be able to barter skills -- your engine skills for someone else's fiberglass or rigging skills, for instance.

I would urge you to check out the St. Pete area. There are great places to sail within hours or days of here, and the trans-Florida canal, which goes through Lake Okeechobee, gets you to the east coast efficiently (and cautiously -- the lake is shallow) ... but then you're not far from Biscayne Bay, lots of sailing there, and the keys below -- then you could just keep going and sail back up to St. Pete, with lots of interesting places along the way.

I moved to St. Pete area before I started sailing again but I think it was very fortuitous. The cost of living here is also markedly lower than the East coast of Florida. Both the Keys and the panhandle are within reasonable reach.

Throughout Florida you'll find lots of people who have also moved here recently and who need to make new friends, so while you'll miss your old friends it's not hard to build a social life here.
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 21:18   #9
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Contemplating Liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilDogNurse View Post
So whats a good/reasonable/realistic price to pay for a boat like that... One that is sound and habitable? $5k...$10k....$25k?

Email me if you're interested in that Catalina ...
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 21:23   #10
cruiser

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tampa Bay area
Boat: Hunter 31'
Posts: 5,731
Re: Contemplaing Liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilDogNurse View Post
OK... I'm looking on-line right now... I'm currently in Chicagoland (not buying here!) and am looking to move temporarily to Orlando (I know it's land locked). My brother is there and he has a spare room I can crash on for 6mo-year.... I can reasonably save over $1,000 a month... Maybe closer to $2k... I am a RN and do make a nice living.

Like I said, I am in the middle of what is shaping up to be a Nasty Divorce... I know i'm going to be on the hook for $1400 or so a month in child support. So once that's paid, and I help my brother with the rent, i should be able to save a decent penny each month. I'm giving the STBX the house and we were almost debt free when she decided to leave me (A rich Doctor made her a better offer.... 12yrs down the damn drain)

I'm not taking anything more than what will fit in my subcompact 4dr car. I figure I'll pick up what I need at goodwill when I get there....

Living on a sailboat has always been a dream of mine... I know how to handle small boats quite well, and with a little patience and training, I figure I'll get the hang of a larger boat.

Expanding my search in size has opened my eyes a little... there seem to be some 35'+ boats well in my price range, that appear ready to move aboard....

I don't NEED that room, but I have three boys who I want to come visit me all the time.... I need a little more room for them....

OK Orlando is an important piece of information. The club I belong to has a number of very active members form that area and even central Melbourne -- because there's just no place to sail to on that part of the east coast -- just back and forth up and down the coast.

It's a two hour drive to St. Pete from Orlando -- only slightly shorter to Tampa. Tampa Bay is more interesting to sail in than along the Melbourne coast but you'll have a three hour sail (on a good day) to get to the Gulf and access to really interesting places (read up on Charlotte Harbor, which can be reached in two to three pleasant days of sailing from the mouth of Tampa Bay. Other really cool places like Terra Ceia, Anclote Key and Tarpon Springs, even Caladesi Island (plan on getting in and out of there at high tide) ...
__________________
Rakuflames is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 21:41   #11
Registered User
 
TassieBloke's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Switzerland...soon Melbourne AUS
Boat: Transpac 49
Posts: 117
Images: 3
Re: Contemplating Liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Even though you're going to sail a lot (I hope!) -- you will spend a lot more time in that cabin than non-live aboards. Really think about what layout you prefer. Consider what you can and cannot give up (I know you're already giving up a lot).

Are you going to have a job, or are you retired? that will affect what kind of clothes you have to store. And speaking of that, I personally think you should look for a boat without leaks where you can't identify the source or really fix it well early on. You don't want your clothes getting moldy, and we have these roaches-on-steroids crossed with small bats here in Florida. They're called Palmetto bugs and they are drawn to moisture. If there's moisture in dark places on your boat that you don't know about -- they'll take up residence.

And they FLY. They are God's most disgusting invention.

Think about storage of everything. Also look at what kinf of fuel the galley uses. CNG is extremely hard to get in Florida, only available in Miami that I know of. And those Atomic 4's? I would really urge you to avoid them. Maybe you are an engine wizard and can keep it going, but every hour you have to spend on that engine is an hour you can't sail. Looking at your situation, losing your family, your home, and moving away from friends, DON'T BE TRAPPED BY YOUR BOAT'S NEEDS.

Hi Devil DogNurse,

Welcome to the zoo

There is some really sound advice right there above...

I have just essentially finished where you are now starting. I have spend countless hours looking at Yachtworld etc etc looking at also sorts of boats, checking the layouts, equipment. I seached all possible threads here and elsewhere getting to know from those living aboard already, and gleaning tips from them. Then I spent the hours, days walking marinas, just a getting a feel for how all these yachts actually looked. That is not to say you have to do it my way, I tend to be natually curious, and look at everything.

I would not immediately discount Lake Michigan as a source for finding a yacht. From what I have seen on YW in the past, there are plenty that are suitable for what you are considering. Most go up on the hard during the winter, and fresh water is not as corrosive as salt water right?

I know in the beginning the enthusiasm is great, and all the possibilties opening up are exciting, just temper some of that with logical thinking, before you plonk down the deposit...and for the love of all that is good, get a reputable surveyor to check her over before doing the deal!

Just my 2c. YMMY

Cheers,

Bloke
__________________
Just remember, Engineers built the Titanic, and Noah built the Ark
TassieBloke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 22:03   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 13
Re: Contemplating Liveaboard

Maybe a LITTLE more background is in order.... I'm 32yo... Young I know, but I've got A lot more miles on me than most 32yo guys...

I'm probably going to make a mistake or three on my first boat... But I tend to make those mistakes on everything I do (see marriage/divorce for explanation)

I want something that I can move onto and sail away... It doesn't have to be perfect, it just needs to be habitable and water tight.

Clothes? I literally took 1/8 of the closet... I'm a nurse. My uniform is essentially pajamas... I've been living just fine out of a single large suitcase for a week now. I can work pretty much anywhere.

I'm not interested so much in GOING SOMEWHERE, as just being on the water. Living in Chicago, this is the first time in my life I cant smell the ocean... I miss it. I don't need much. I figure I'll start out in a Marina and then maybe try a ball or on the hook... I'll just see how it goes.

I want a boat that is CAPABLE of making the voyage to the places I mentioned before. I'd love to take a week off and just dissapear on the water for a while.. And in my specialty of Nursing, that is easily doable.
__________________
DevilDogNurse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 22:38   #13
Registered User
 
webejammin's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pacific NW, sailing the Columbia River, USA
Boat: Gemini 105MC 34 ft hull#753
Posts: 951
Images: 3
Re: Contemplating Liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilDogNurse View Post
Maybe a LITTLE more background is in order.... I'm 32yo... Young I know, but I've got A lot more miles on me than most 32yo guys...
Are you female ? I couldn't tell from your story, I guess I use guy's as not sexual, male or female.
__________________
Wind in my hair and a nice catamaran
Phil & Elaine
webejammin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 22:57   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 13
Re: Contemplating Liveaboard

I'm a guy.... Yes I'm a Nurse... No I'm NOT GAY!

I have to explain that ALMOST EVERY DAY!!!
__________________
DevilDogNurse is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-10-2011, 23:16   #15
Registered User
 
webejammin's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Pacific NW, sailing the Columbia River, USA
Boat: Gemini 105MC 34 ft hull#753
Posts: 951
Images: 3
Re: Contemplating Liveaboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by DevilDogNurse View Post
I'm a guy.... Yes I'm a Nurse... No I'm NOT GAY!

I have to explain that ALMOST EVERY DAY!!!
Sorry. I was only hopeing there was another single female sailor out there in there 30's with nursing skills and no kids around all the time, that wants to go crusing.

Living on a sailboat you look at things a little different than land based folks and sure didn't think your job would make you gay except when you get a big pay check from work. It's great to be a liveaboard and hope you get a chance to try it.
__________________

__________________
Wind in my hair and a nice catamaran
Phil & Elaine
webejammin is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
liveaboard

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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Liveaboard Fees sailorwoman Liveaboard's Forum 8 09-12-2011 15:07
Hi - Cool Site ! Question: Best Picks for Liveaboard / Cruising Combo jackwantstosail Meets & Greets 12 20-10-2011 14:59
Catalina 30 Tall Rig or Newport 28s for Liveaboard ? ujk1976 Liveaboard's Forum 7 19-09-2011 08:14
Crusing , Passage Making and General Liveaboard Videos fyodor1564 General Sailing Forum 20 30-07-2011 16:33



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:04.


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.