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Old 13-06-2011, 15:55   #1
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Livaboard Hopeful... Need Help

This will be my first post here and would like to take the opportunity to introduce myself. My name is Wil and I live in the Seattle area, which is where I would be living aboard =) I have no experience sailing at this point but have been on the water most of my life and have been into wakeboard boats and the like until more recently. I will be taking sailing classes from a local club beginning in July once a week, most likely through September - possibly October depending on how things go. The idea of truly living "on" the water is extremely appealing and having no family at this point, I've decided that it's most likely the best time I could have this experience. I would be using it as an apartment throughout the week and possibly take it out a couple times a month to explore various portions of the Puget Sound. At this point the furthest I would plan to go is up to the San Juans, when I get things mastered and felt comfortable.

I'm hoping I can get some recommendations on where to start with this. I don't have a whole lot of money to sink into this venture right now and have been cruising craigslist.

Right now my criteria is:
... Under $5k
... 25-30'
... counter
... 2 burner range (propane)
... sink (warm/cold)
... mini-fridge (thinking possibly something I used to have in college, if possible?)
... head
... Sleep at least 2
... Possible shower (again, I'm used to the shower on a wakeboard boat, nothing fancy)
... Collapsible table (possible 2nd bed?)

Is there anything else I should be made aware of? I don't feel like these are unrealistic expectations, but knowing nothing about this lifestyle realize I could be completely wrong in my assumptions.

Here's some of the boats I'm currently looking at:
- Coronado 25
- C&C 25 or 26
- Catalina 25 or 27
- Erickson 27
- Pearson 26

I really like the Coronado cabin layout and price the most right now. Looking forward to getting some feedback from you all! Can't wait to join the club =)
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Old 13-06-2011, 16:23   #2
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... need help

Well living in your neck of the woods on a boat for the last 3 years I can say I have no regrets. People think your a little crazy in the winter and are jealous in the summer - I tend to love it regardless of what's coming down.

I would say that when your looking at boats make sure to spray it down with water and check for leaks. Also put a dehumidifier on your budget as it makes a huge difference on the amount of condensation on the inside of the boat. Lastly, I would also hire a competent surveyor to make sure that you're getting what you pay for.

Other than that do it, living on the water can be as good as you imagine it.
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Old 13-06-2011, 16:29   #3
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... need help

On a side note, is there anyone who might be interested in possibly renting me a boat to get my feet wet for 1-4 weeks in exchange for moorage/slip fees or possibly working something else out? I can't imagine I would dislike it, but while I'm on the boat search, feel it may be wise to try a test drive.
Thanks.
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Old 13-06-2011, 16:30   #4
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... need help

Welcome Aboard Cruisers Forum and enjoy the site....
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Old 13-06-2011, 17:45   #5
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... need help

Quote:
Originally Posted by memiller279 View Post
Well living in your neck of the woods on a boat for the last 3 years I can say I have no regrets. People think your a little crazy in the winter and are jealous in the summer - I tend to love it regardless of what's coming down.

I would say that when your looking at boats make sure to spray it down with water and check for leaks. Also put a dehumidifier on your budget as it makes a huge difference on the amount of condensation on the inside of the boat. Lastly, I would also hire a competent surveyor to make sure that you're getting what you pay for.

Other than that do it, living on the water can be as good as you imagine it.
Where do you currently live? I'm looking at Harbor Island, Bell Harbor or Shilshole currently. What size boat do you live on and is it just you? Should I be looking for anything else to accommodate the NW lifestyle/weather? Any suggestions on boats and the price range I'm looking in?
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Old 13-06-2011, 18:39   #6
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... need help

I live aboard a Bristol 24 on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. It's pretty spacious for being a 24 footer, and it's built like a tank! Probably the heftiest cruiser of it's length. I've been a liveaboard for about a month and a half now. Just be prepared to store most of your personal belongings elsewhere, cause they won't all fit on the boat.
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Old 13-06-2011, 20:34   #7
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... need help

good luck man looks like were in the same boat....lol im in the everett area looking for my first boat to move into
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Old 14-06-2011, 09:06   #8
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... need help

I live over at Shilshole marina and I the community there is wonderful. The marina staff, being Port of Seattle, can leave a little bit to be desired but overall if you follow their rules (that can be hard to find) they'll leave you be. I think living on the Sound is a better deal as it allows quicker access to get out and go find a little anchorage to drop a hook, rather than waiting to get into the locks (especially on holiday weekends).

I live aboard with my wife, who was fairly hesitant to try the lifestyle but within a few months she didn't want to move back on land (whew) and a dog. We were aboard a 42 which was comfortable for two people but we have plenty of friends who live on smaller boats that make it work and love it. I would say if you have a significant other you should look at a slightly larger boat but because your on your own the size your looking for would be perfect.

What a lot of people don't realize is that when you buy a bigger boat, obviously it's larger but so are the projects. A smaller boat will let you learn and enable you to get out more - which is really a huge part of the cruising community.

Other than that it's a learning experience and different for everyone in a good way.
Mike
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Old 14-06-2011, 13:40   #9
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... need help

Welcome aboard. I liveaboard near and around Southern Vancouver Island.
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Old 14-06-2011, 16:14   #10
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... need help

Hi,

I guess this is as good a place as any to introduce myself. I'm an aspiring liveaboard too. Currently living on land in Vancouver. I'm a student as well so that makes it slightly more difficult. But I plan on saving this year (as soon as I find a job!) and hopefully have enough saved to start looking next summer. I've taken a few sailing lessons on small boats (<20ft) and I'm lucky enough to have an uncle who lives on a boat so I've been out with him too and know what it entails. Luckily I have a tie in to the lifestyle already and my uncle offered to help me however he can and he built his own boat so I can probably learn about basic repairs from him and do some upgrades with him.

My question is along the lines of the first poster, what kind of boat should I look for? Water tank size, how long on average does a 20 gallon tank last if you use it for cooking, shower etc?
What kind of boat could I get that I could handle myself and possibly take into the big blue in a few years when I get more competent?
I would like for it to be as "affordable" (as opposed to cheap which is what I'd like but then I probably would miss out on a lot of quality) as possible. Is it possible to get a decent 1-2 person (used boat obv.) liveaboard for under 15,000?

Also, Vancouvers marinas have a ridiculously long wait list from what I gather. False Creek allows you to anchor for 2 weeks at a time but how long do you have to stay away before you return?
Is there anywhere else in Vancouver that I could anchor?


Thanks in advance!

Ps. Hi Wil! Maybe I'll see you out cruising one day!
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Old 14-06-2011, 18:39   #11
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... need help

I would love to get some advice on boats, size, amenities, etc
What's a good size for myself (possibly a small dog)?
Is having enough headspace essential?
Thanks for all the comments, guys. Please keep them coming =)
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Old 15-06-2011, 02:54   #12
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Hi there.
I'm a live aboard in Sydney aboard a timber 36ft ketch and have been for the last two years. Mine is a fine size for two. It has head room all through, and the deck is great usable space especially through summer, I often sleep outside in the cock Pitt. So there are a few things i can tell you and help you with.

Firstly I think head room through out is essential. Except maybe where you sleep. When it's rainy for days on end you want to be able to move around not crouch. If you want to live aboard full time you will need to do a variety of tasks not just sleep and read maps.

Secondly if your not looking to sail her much then you can go bigger for the same price just with less sailing set up. It all the extras on a yacht which cost a bundle, the rigging, lines, winches etc. If you can live without it being a big time sailing boat you could get a very spacious cement boat for very cheap and as long as the engine is good you can still motor round. The only problem with this is that if you decided you wanted to cruise eventually it would be very expensive to fix it up enough to do so. Everything with boats becomes more expensive with size.

I never find water to be a problem. You can have a tank you fill up with jerrycans or pull unto a dock and use a hose. Te same goes for desil tanks, if your always close to land it's not a problem. Desil engines are more efficient than petrol so use less letres per hour. Power can be a problem. The cheapest is just to chrge the batteries by running the engine. If you want to invest more get solar panels or wind generator.

Remember there is slot of maintenance on yachts, the cost will not be in e boat but in the up keep. It will be around more than a thousand a year to keep her going. Haul outs and re painting are all necessary.

That's all i can think of telling. Happy to answer any quetions though, it was that long ago I was asking the same ones. Niki. I'll attach a pic of my boat.
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Old 15-06-2011, 13:00   #13
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... Need Help

I'd like more information on size and amenities for a single person livaboard/weekend cruiser.
What should I be looking for within my price range???
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Old 15-06-2011, 13:47   #14
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... Need Help

I would definetely look for something with full standing headroom, an actual head even if it's not enclosed, but not a porta-potti. Mine was built to sleep 4 but modified to sleep 3. Half of the V-berth was turned into closet/counter space. There are lots of clever ways to fit stuff you need into the weirdest places, so don't be turned off by a small boat. Just remember that a $10,000 25 footer is gonna be a lot nicer than a $10,000 40 footer. I'd say just go and look at lots of different boats; tour around them to get a feel for what is too big for you and what is too smal for you. Something I'm learning is that the purchase price of the hull isn't always the biggest cost of owning a boat. You either pay for one in good shape and have to fix a few things, or pay for one in poor shape and have to fix a lot of things.
It all comes down to what works for YOU. Everyone will give you their opinion, and that can help you form your own, but one person's ideal may not be yours.
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Old 15-06-2011, 13:48   #15
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Re: Livaboard Hopeful... Need Help

Wil,

I think you should be looking at an older Catalina 30 or similar. One thing you will need in Seattle no matter what is a way to keep warm in the winter. If you find a nice 30' Cat, Ericson, or ? hopefully with a diesel engine and a diesel cabin heater you should look at increasing your purchase price. Good Luck in your quest.
I will second that on anchoring or berthing outside the locks in Seattle.

A good survey is always necessary. This is a buyers market so you can pick and chose and make an offer. Also check with your bank for repo sailboats. The is a repo sales yard in Seattle on the Harbor Island.
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