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Old 18-09-2014, 15:25   #1
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Minimalist Live Aboard Brainstorming

I'm planning to move to the USVI next year. I would like to sail there and use the boat as home while I get established. I would like people's ideas of small boats with shallow drafts that would be suitable to sail from Florida to the VI's. I am well aware that a boats capabilities are based 90 percent on her crew, but for arguments sake we will focus on the other 10 percent in this thread. I'd also love any ideas people might have on making 25ish foot boat an efficient live aboard. Anything from motor choices to galley upgrades. I just spent 2 years living in a VW bus and I'm only 28, you'd be amazed how little I require to live like a king. One quick edit here. I feel I should mention that while living in that bus I was working about 80 hours a week. While technically homeless,I was not a bum. It was just a bet that got way out of hand.
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Old 18-09-2014, 15:31   #2
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

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Originally Posted by Wookiee_King View Post
I'm planning to move to the USVI next year. I would like to sail there and use the boat as home while I get established. I would like people's ideas of small boats with shallow drafts that would be suitable to sail from Florida to the VI's. I am well aware that a boats capabilities are based 90 percent on her crew, but for arguments sake we will focus on the other 10 percent in this thread. I'd also love any ideas people might have on making 25ish foot boat an efficient live aboard. Anything from motor choices to galley upgrades. I just spent 2 years living in a VW bus and I'm only 28, you'd be amazed how little I require to live like a king.
HI Wookie
Welcome.

I have a personal preference for the smaller vessel, but with proviso's. I go for something that has a cabin, preferably two with doors that shut. This is a mental/emotional thing that gives a break from living in just the one space. I also like a shower. Thats just me.

Im sure folks will give you lots of ideas, CF has a great live-aboard community.
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Old 18-09-2014, 15:31   #3
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

I have a Glander Cay which was built in the Florida keys specifically for shoal draft cruising. They are very hefty and only draw 3' of water. I just did a 5 day cruise aboard mine in door county. I liked that I could pull fairly close to shore, and anchor. We also hit some rough weather and I never once felt worried that she couldn't handle what we were going through.
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Old 18-09-2014, 15:33   #4
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

except that you can get out of a vw bug and stretch your legs and you cant get out of a 25' boat when u are 200nm offshore.

there is a guy in northern cali who is preparing for an solo around the world in a 21' monohull (trying to be the current world record) so... it has been and can be done.

-s
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Old 18-09-2014, 15:36   #5
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

Welcome Aboard, Wookie King,

There is a $500 per month thread on CF. I suspect there are ideas there that might appeal to you, as well.

Ann
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Old 18-09-2014, 15:37   #6
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I live in that thread. I'm going cheaper, fingers crossed!
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Old 18-09-2014, 17:57   #7
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

Albin Vega is a good seaworthy boat that has made many ocean voyages and has considerably more room than your VW van - back in the 60's I owned a 61 microbus. I owned a Vega for 5 years and think very highly of it. The couple I eventually sold it too lived aboard for at least two years and made several trips to the bahamas. Good luck.
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Old 18-09-2014, 18:12   #8
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

This 34-foot Glander is for sale in Jamaica for $19,500:

1977 Glander Tavana sailboat for sale in Outside United States

The owner's situation was described very recently here on CF in this thread:

Boat sitter wanted for nice liveaboard in Montego Bay, Jamaica

You might be able to get a good deal and live like a king in all that space. . . .
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Old 18-09-2014, 22:02   #9
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

The shoal-draft version of the Hartley Tasman would suit your needs, and would be exceedingly cheap. I have one and far prefer living in it to living in my VW T4 Transporter.

They're 27' (plus bowsprit) and quite roomy inside. A good one will take you anywhere in the world safely, and in fact the first solo crossing of the Tasman Sea was made in one. Only item I'd insist on is a working engine, everything else is easily fixable.

Draft is 3'0" and mine happily sits upright at low tide in the mud of the Brisbane River.
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Old 18-09-2014, 23:00   #10
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

Could you give us some idea of budget?

Something like a Dana 24 or Falmouth Channel Cutter 22 come to mind but without knowing the budget it's hard to say.

Also, do you plan on sailing straight there offshore or island hopping?

There is a great blog entitled "the art of hookie" you should check out by a minimalist live aboard.


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Old 19-09-2014, 08:42   #11
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

I don't think a shallow draft would be that big of a benefit in the Virgin Islands. But if you feel that is the way to go, I would consider an older trimaran. I live on the west coast and there are always old Pivers and Browns around. They were pretty fast and simple. I personally like a well ballasted monohull offshore and would tend towards a deeper draft. Good luck.
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Old 19-09-2014, 09:19   #12
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

Shallow draft, 25ft. You should feel right at home in something like this:
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Old 19-09-2014, 09:43   #13
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

Just browsing Yachtworld, here are a few ideas:

C&C 30

Catalina 30

Bayfield 25

Columbia 28
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Old 19-09-2014, 10:44   #14
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

Wookie

I respectfully submit you are leaving out critical dimensions...yours! I understand being a minimalist. As a former kayak-camper/racer, when I looked at sailboats I wanted one with enough elbow room and head room to be comfortable.


The guys who live on or cruise smaller boats are usually smaller in stature. If you are taller or larger you may want to spend time on these smaller boats.
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Old 19-09-2014, 10:53   #15
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Re: Minimalist live aboard brainstorming

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wookiee_King View Post
I'm planning to move to the USVI next year. I would like to sail there and use the boat as home while I get established. I would like people's ideas of small boats with shallow drafts that would be suitable to sail from Florida to the VI's. I am well aware that a boats capabilities are based 90 percent on her crew, but for arguments sake we will focus on the other 10 percent in this thread. I'd also love any ideas people might have on making 25ish foot boat an efficient live aboard. Anything from motor choices to galley upgrades. I just spent 2 years living in a VW bus and I'm only 28, you'd be amazed how little I require to live like a king. One quick edit here. I feel I should mention that while living in that bus I was working about 80 hours a week. While technically homeless,I was not a bum. It was just a bet that got way out of hand.
Hi ! How about using the KISS principle (Keep it simple, stupid) ?
A 25' Freedom with a small one cylinder diesel sailboatlistings.com/view/41457 ?
No electronic apart from a speedometer & a depth-meter ?
A plastic sextant with tables + a small GPS !
Kerosene lamp inside, keeping the electricity for navigation lights & short wave receiver-radio. No fridge, an ice box when anchored near civilisation
I would sail from wherever I would find a Freedom 25 to Bermuda & then down the USVI , if you try to go from Florida to USVI you'll be motoring/sailing against the wind & against the current
Check the weather & avoid hurricane season (August to November)... Good luck.
PS: I'v sailed over a 3 year period from England to Vancouver (Via the Canaria islands, the West Indies, New England, back to the West Indies, Panama, French Polynesia, Hawaii & Vancouver) aboard my 31' sailboat with my wife as only crew; I can tell you small boats can take you a long long way: I met in the Marquesas, a young couple that had decked a former liner lifeboat -with a one cylinder volvo- They had put a keel & telephone pole as mast with galvanized rigging, & they had sailed so far from France to the Marquesas on their way to New Zealand etc...
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