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Old 19-09-2014, 22:10   #46
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Re: Minimalist Live Aboard Brainstorming

Here you go Wookie, 900 bones and a trailer.

sail boat 1974 $900
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Old 19-09-2014, 23:09   #47
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Re: Minimalist Live Aboard Brainstorming

Lindenberg 26, the only boat in this size i know of that a big guy can walk around on, with room for a dinghy on the foredeck and 20" wide side decks, so you can don't have to do the sideways shuffle to get there. 6ft headroom, huge quarter berths you can sit up in even at the foot end and a real sailboat, close to a minute a mile faster than many of the boats mentioned so far and they go upwind, good load carrier too. Not shoal draft but not overly deep at 4ft i think. With a good sailing boat a 9.9 Yamaha high thrust is better than wasting inside space with a diesel on a small boat imho.

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Old 20-09-2014, 08:04   #48
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
I owned a 1967 Vega and a 1961 Microbus, although not at the same time.

The Vega is 27 feet long, the Microbus 14 feet long. The Vega is 8 feet wide, the Microbus 6 feet wide. The Vega has a 5 feet 10 inch interior height, the Microbus 4 feet. As Albert Einstein said, V=(v1+v2)/(1+(v1 v2)/c2)

I liked the Vega. Nice handling boat, well constructed, easy to maintain and modify. Kept it 5 years in Key Largo. But it had 5'10" headroom, and I needed 6'. I sold it to a young couple who took it to the Bahamas. I met them in the Berry Islands two years later, happy as clams.
I agree ! Albin Vega are VERY well built Sweedish sailboats; they've done lots of ocean passages from the late 60's on. I remember reading in a magasine about one Atlantic crossing with 3 or 4 full size Sweedish guys onboard ! You have one for sale in Chicago sailboatlistings.com/view/44837 Cheers !
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Old 20-09-2014, 10:14   #49
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

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Rather then a bucket for a shower, get a 2 gallon garden sprayer and paint it grey or black. About $10 at the big box stores and makes a great solar shower.

While a bucket will work for a head, A cheap marine head is not too pricy and a bit less smelly. Plus no danger of tipping the bucket over in rough seas or in the middle of the night.

I think from a new minmalist standpoint, having solar panels and a battery or three will be cheaper overall. Once set up, there is no lamp oil to buy, no ice to buy. I use a cheap $140 120V dorm fridge run off a $50 inverter. Been working 7+ years with no problems and no lugging ICE. Three group 27 batteries, 200W of solar and a $20 PWM charge controller and you're happy as a clam.

Rather then mess with a sextant, get a cheap tablet with built in GPS. Multi functional,Surf, email, skype and chartplotter all in one. If GPS goes down, not likely, you can get latitude with a protractor and stick without mucking about with a book of reduction tables.

The difference between a VW bus and a sailboat, is the sailboat is rocking at anchor all the time. Having adequate head room to stand up and move about while the winds are blowing 30-40 knots, is far and away better for you overall.
I like what you say but 15" Hurricane Lanterns are $30 on Amazon+ fuel, while one solar panel is $200 including controler + the cost of extra batteries. Of course, for me & my 34 footer, I prefer YOUR solution even though it's more expensive but for a young sailor with very little money a hurricane lantern is a cheaper investment to start with, isn't it ?
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Old 20-09-2014, 10:26   #50
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

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I like what you say but 15" Hurricane Lanterns are $30 on Amazon+ fuel, while one solar panel is $200 including controler + the cost of extra batteries. Of course, for me & my 34 footer, I prefer YOUR solution even though it's more expensive but for a young sailor with very little money a hurricane lantern is a cheaper investment to start with, isn't it ?
Im assuming you will be working for cash from time to time. If you look around solar panels can be found cheaply...... Things cost. Might as well bite the bullet and get the thing that works long term and no running costs.
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Old 20-09-2014, 10:52   #51
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post

(...) The Vega has a 5 feet 10 inch interior height, the Microbus 4 feet. As Albert Einstein said, V=(v1+v2)/(1+(v1 v2)/c2)

(...)
The bus has 4 feet height THROUGHOUT, Vega has 5'10'' only on the centerline under the raised cabintop area.

As Albert Einstein said, everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.

Now go and do not sin anymore ;-)

Laughs aside, I think whoever lives in a van has good chances of getting to like living in a small boat too.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 20-09-2014, 10:58   #52
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

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The bus has 4 feet height THROUGHOUT, Vega has 5'10'' only on the centerline under the raised cabintop area.

As Albert Einstein said, everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.

Now go and do not sin anymore ;-)

Laughs aside, I think whoever lives in a van has good chances of getting to like living in a small boat too.

Cheers,
b.
Too true. I was ready to buy a Vega (I'm 5'9") and was disappointed in the headroom. Had to hold my head at an angle everywhere but in the companionway.
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Old 20-09-2014, 17:18   #53
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Re: Minimalist Live Aboard Brainstorming

I spend 4 months/year cruising the sea of cortez on the Balboa 27 I bought for $3000. For what you're trying to do I'd recommend a small production cruising boat like a catalina 25 or catalina 27. With the pop top up at anchor the 25 will actually feel larger than the 27. If you can find one with a seized engine so much the better; just pull it out and get a used outboard. Having a boat this small will only work if you've got the time and patience to wait for the perfect weather window for crossings, but if you're used to roadtripping in a VW that shouldn't be a problem.

Solar has gotten incredibly cheap, and it's probably worth investing a little money into. At a minimum, get some portable LED solar lanterns in place of the oil lights (and for less money). as a small step up, a 50 watt solar panel and a used car battery (under $100) will let you power your VHF radio, depth sounder, a short wave receiver (for weather forecasts) and charge your charge your pad, ipod, and handheld GPS.
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Old 20-09-2014, 17:54   #54
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

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Originally Posted by ALAIN97133 View Post
I like what you say but 15" Hurricane Lanterns are $30 on Amazon+ fuel, while one solar panel is $200 including controler + the cost of extra batteries. Of course, for me & my 34 footer, I prefer YOUR solution even though it's more expensive but for a young sailor with very little money a hurricane lantern is a cheaper investment to start with, isn't it ?
It's not the lantern price, its the lamp oil/ kerosene cost, week after week. You have to look at the total cost to cruise not just up front costs. A year of lamp oil / kero will buy you a panel, battery and cheap charge controller. Solar blvd has great prices on panels

If you pay more then $1 a watt for solar your paying too much. A 100 watt panel and a single group 27 deep cycle battery will run LED and CCF lights and small stuff just about forever. Adding a fridge requires one more 100 watt panel and two more batteries and now your not lugging ice at the cost of ice and gas for a dinghy. I pretty much have that exact setup and its been working fine for years.

10 years ago, I could see a reason for oil lamps. Solar was $$$ back then. I still have an oil lamp and use it in the winter just for ambiance and a bit O heat. But from a low budget standpoint and on going costs per year, solar will give you more money in the wallet, give you more time for other things and you'll not have a fire hazard aboard every night.

I actually live on $500 a month and have been doing it for years now. I worked it out that I could, if I had too subsist for $350 a month or less. But that's cutting maintenance and fun out of life quite a bit.
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Old 20-09-2014, 19:43   #55
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Re: Minimalist Live Aboard Brainstorming

FWIW, if one is on a very limited budget and wants to have some solar power, there is no need for a "controller". A little human intervention combined with the usual need for more power than is available from a small panel will keep from frying your batteries.

How do I know this? We cruised with just that sort of rig* for some years with reasonable success.

*Two 60 watt panels, two golf cart batteries, a home brew wind gen/trolling gen and an Adler Barbour 12 V fridge+ usual electrics.

Jim
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Old 20-09-2014, 19:59   #56
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Re: Minimalist Live Aboard Brainstorming

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FWIW, if one is on a very limited budget and wants to have some solar power, there is no need for a "controller". A little human intervention combined with the usual need for more power than is available from a small panel will keep from frying your batteries.

Jim
I actually have a bypass switch that I use most days to just run the panels direct to the batteries. Once the voltage gets to 14.8V I flip it over to the other set. Then after both sets are charged, I flip the bypass switch off and let the batteries float on the charge controller.

I find that with 2 panels you really only need bulk and float as the amp charge rate is low anyway with 200 amps of battery connected.

I'm using a cheap 10 Amp charge controller with 12amps peak going to it. The FET power transistors can easily handle higher current then the "rate" amperage. The FET's in the cheap controller are rated for more then 25 amps, but lack the heat sinks and circuit trace width for anything more then 12-15 amps.
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Old 20-09-2014, 22:20   #57
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Re: Minimalist Live Aboard Brainstorming

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I actually have a bypass switch that I use most days to just run the panels direct to the batteries. Once the voltage gets to 14.8V I flip it over to the other set. Then after both sets are charged, I flip the bypass switch off and let the batteries float on the charge controller.

I find that with 2 panels you really only need bulk and float as the amp charge rate is low anyway with 200 amps of battery connected.

I'm using a cheap 10 Amp charge controller with 12amps peak going to it. The FET power transistors can easily handle higher current then the "rate" amperage. The FET's in the cheap controller are rated for more then 25 amps, but lack the heat sinks and circuit trace width for anything more then 12-15 amps.
G'Day SC,

Interesting... great minds and all that! In our current boat we have 240 W of solar and 4xT-105s, and a bypass switch on the very old hat regulator. As you, we mostly have the regulator bypassed. With the batts near full, the voltage rises to ~15.3, sometimes 15.5 and about 8 A. Does that look like an equalizing charge to you? Does to me! Seems to keep the T105s happy, and the water use rate isn't bad at all.

We do switch on the reg if we will be off the boat or if the fridge is not running. I'd like to have a few more watts and an MPPT reg, but no convenient place for the panels and no real need for a better reg, so the status quo will have to do for now.

Jim
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Old 20-09-2014, 22:36   #58
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Re: Minimalist Live Aboard Brainstorming

Exactly, it equalizes too, I'll run mine at 15.5V for an hour or so now and then. Really keeps the batteries happy. I went with group 27 as T-105's wound not fit where I wanted to put them, 1/4" too wide. Bugger. Plus I can just lift a group 27, where a 6V would be a bit much.

The price of the MPPT controller is a bit spendy for about 10% improvement. Cheaper to hang another panel, even a 50 watt will give you more bang for the buck then MPPT. I've 230 watts and it gets the job done.

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G'Day SC,

Interesting... great minds and all that! In our current boat we have 240 W of solar and 4xT-105s, and a bypass switch on the very old hat regulator. As you, we mostly have the regulator bypassed. With the batts near full, the voltage rises to ~15.3, sometimes 15.5 and about 8 A. Does that look like an equalizing charge to you? Does to me! Seems to keep the T105s happy, and the water use rate isn't bad at all.

We do switch on the reg if we will be off the boat or if the fridge is not running. I'd like to have a few more watts and an MPPT reg, but no convenient place for the panels and no real need for a better reg, so the status quo will have to do for now.

Jim
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Old 21-09-2014, 01:12   #59
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Re: Minimalist Live Aboard Brainstorming

I mentioned before about a small boat and separate cabins.
Currently a friend is looking to purchase a small vessel. This model is what he is bidding for.

Its an older vessel, a Seal 28. It is roomy, lots of stowage, shower, but most all all, it has an aft cabin.

About $10,000











This is the Aft cabin.



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Old 21-09-2014, 08:20   #60
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Re: Minimalist Live Aboard Brainstorming

That's a nice little boat, we have very few smaller aft cabin sailboats in the US, ones that come to mind are an S2 9.1 model, Parker Dawson 26,(built under a few different names) Norsea 27 and the Stella 30. There are probably a few more im forgetting. The Stella is a very fast little boat with a retractable keel version but they didn't build many. The Norsea is a great little boat but also an over priced cult boat so not suitable for the OP. A friend of mine had a Parker Dawson 26 and it was a surprisingly good little boat with good heavy air performance, a guy raced one in the OSTAR back in the 70s in a year when much of the fleet didn't finish due to bad conditions, he did.
I think a PD 26 would suit the OP just fine and there were quite a large number built over the years so the are available, are old enough to be cheap, are seaworthy but have a retractable ballasted centerboard and are self righting with it up so satisfy the shoal draft requirement and being trailable allows for purchase from anywhere in the country if you have access to a pickup truck. There is an owners group I believe.

Steve.
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