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Old 01-02-2019, 11:05   #46
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Originally Posted by alctel View Post
Well it's good you have a wishlist of stuff rather than being 'I want a 50 foot boat!'

However I dunno what you'll find that does 10kn through the water with 20kn TWS, has a tacking angle of less than 100 degrees, and has light wind performance of half of TWS on all points of sail while having 4 cabins and 3 heads - the problem being the boats that have that many cabins/heads are often designed for charter, and therefore ain't always designed for sailing particularly well, especially in light wind conditions.

Edit: and as a racer, I think you'd find most of the boats that meet those space requirements unacceptably sluggish until you start getting into the huge, megabucks boat range.

Basically, you'll have to comprise on one or the other (if not both)
Actually, I think OP's requirements are reasonable and the prospect of finding a yacht that can go 10kts in 20kt of wind, while having accommodations in four cabins is promising, given his size flexibility.

There are many excellent, newer, boats, many European designs, in the 60 to 70' which could meet those requirements.

Look at Hanse, for example, but there are several other brands.

My advice, with your sailing background and performance preferences, forgo some of the performance robbing "features" so common on many yachts nowdays such as in-mast roller furling, bow thruster, and shallow draft. Find a bigger boat with a tall rig and a deep keel (sorry, no ICW for you) but you will love sailing it, and I assume that fun sailing is one of your goals, and you can easily hit the performance parameters you've set..

Set the boat up with big winches and proper line leads so you can handle it easily. A modern boat like that will go like a bandit in 15 kts of wind with a full mainsail and a 100% jib, and will be easy to handle short handed.

The monohull option gives all around speed and real sailing experiences (anyhow, that's my choice) and saves money. Lots of it.

Here is an example, slightly less than you specified. Beneteau 47.7. Performance and room. Good ones with tall rigs available for less than $200,000.
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:20   #47
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Originally Posted by phsylent View Post
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Even when anchored not but 300yds from downtown we still felt like we could breathe just as we can where the gravel roads begin. As best I can describe it its this sensation of being a world away while being physically nearby that we find so seductive about life aboard.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Have you considered that during the week you will be in a marina? That entails neighbors, very very very close-by. All the time. And YOU never get to choose them.


sailorboy 1 was right: "Standard non sailor/cruiser/ live aboard list. But nothing wrong with that, but you are over thinking it IMO."
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Old 01-02-2019, 11:22   #48
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Originally Posted by pcmm View Post
Keep in mind tht 80% (or more) of the time you'll likely be docked at your marina so having a comfortable boat is really more important than having a rocket. (the two don''t usually mix well)
Absolutely untrue. Even if you are docked 90% of the time, it's the sailing days, those joyous sailing days, which will stir your heart, which you will remember, and which you will need to will feed your sailing fix!

Get a houseboat or a great sailing boat. Nothing in between. There is NOTHING about a great sailing boat which makes it bad for living aboard or in any way uncomfortable. Good bunks, good lighting, nice galley, plenty of storage, separate shower, hot and cold running water etc etc, and a comfy place to read or listen to music. A locker for scotch. and room in the freezer for ice. That's what makes it comfortable for me and we've lived aboard for over 30 years, and we can go 8+ in 20 knots of wind, (but we're only 43').

Keep the clutter down and keep it ready to go. Take it out on a moment's notice. When you neighbors say, "You go out more than anyone in the marina." Look at their boat, you'll know why.

BTW, a good sloop will hit the numbers close hauled and sailing deep downwind too, as good as any cat under 60 feet. Reaching is where the cats shine.
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:16   #49
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Large sailboats are still sail boats and living aboard is more like camping than you realize. Limited storage and tight quarters are not comparable to a 2 bedroom apartment much less a house.
There is no reason to think that living on a sailboat over 50' has to be like camping out. There is no aspect of living on the boat which makes it much different than a condo ashore, except less room for clutter and who wants that? How much "room" dp you need? I occupy about 6 sq ft reclining, 2 sq ft standing or sitting. On most 50+ foot boat that gives me about 75 places to be, but I only need one at a time.

You will have a large galley, great settees, roomy bunks, hot and cold running water, good lighting and entertainment systems, probably heat and air-cond, and maybe room for washer and dryer (but certainly around the marina there will be laundry services which pick-up and deliver), and you can still have great sailing performance. Do not believe the naysayers. Most of what they say is just their excuse for sitting on their butts.

Yes, it is still a boat, and you'll have all the adventures and challenges of boat living and maintenance. But that's why you want to do it, right?

On the plus side living on a boat will keep you fit, especially if you sail it often. Consider going up and down the ladder 10 times a day, plus climbing on and off the boat, plus the walk down the dock to the gate. And every minute at sea is like calisthenics. This is not sedentary living.

We've been doing it for 32 years, on the same boat, we're in our 70's, we've been around the world, we still race and cruise and go to the gym three days a week. Our boat is ready to go at all times and it does.

You can do this, and you might find you love it. Me, I'll never change.
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:29   #50
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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So the admiral and I are thinking of buying a vessel to move aboard. We are the kind of folk who under ideal circumstances would live in a small town 100mi away from a city but have the kind of degrees that find work in major metropolitan areas. We both have the sailing itch and in my case I've sailed, repaired, and rebuilt vessels since childhood. We already know the life aboard is for us as we consider any time not spent bare boat chartering to be a joint work trip. Thus a home that can be close for the commute but can get over the horizon as necessary is highly attractive to us.

At this point we've crunched the numbers and the gas savings alone from living at a marina would fully cover the slip cost for a vessel up to 80ft in places like Charleston, Tampa, and Houston.

So the task we find ourselves with now is seeing if we are using a reasonable specification when searching for boats.

Currently our spec is as follows:

New or used: Definitely used as the initial depreciation on these money pits is ruinous.

Hull material: Aluminum, synthetic core FRP, or solid FRP (After watching the speed at which balsa degrades first hand I'd only tolerate it on a new boat and I won't eat that much initial depreciation)

Rig: sloop, cutter, ketch, or yawl

Maneuverability: Has or can have thrusters fitted or is a catamaran.

Tacking angle: 100 degrees TWA

max speed: min 10kn through the water in 20kn TWS

light wind speed: min 50% TWS on most points of sail with all applicable canvas deployed.

Comfort under way: Able to go #2 sans excessive effort on a close haul in 20kn TWS. Able to at least mostly weather proof the cockpit. Ideally able to trim sails from the helm without needing foul-weather gear.

Age: Not a priority provided the hull and rigging has been well kept and insurance will cover it.

Accommodations: At least 4 cabins and 3 heads. Galley conducive to a dishwasher. Misc space for things like washer/dryers. (we want to start a family so space isn't particularly negotiable) A super stretch goal would be a tub in the master head but that's more a fantasy than a requirement

Dimensions: Sufficient to achieve the above goals but we're not in love with specific numbers.

ICW compliance: Dislike cruising the ICW so its a nice to have but not a make or break.

Draft: Less is best but its lower priority for us.

Price: we'd prefer to spend as few hundreds of thousands USD as possible but we're in a position to pay good money for a good vessel.

Mono or multi: all things being equal a catamaran but as long as she meets the rest of the above its a preference that's easily out weighed by a price differential.

Timeline: 2+ years. So we're not trying to choose the exact boat now rather we're trying to narrow the list of boats and sundries we need to become experts on and get a reality check long before money gets in the same post code as the table.

For reference our hypothetical ideal boat at present would be a used 5-10yr old seawind 1600 or neel 51. (unfortunately none of those exist yet or will exist in our desired time frame)

Also since boats depreciate we'd prefer not to start small and trade up later since that would only compound the losses.

Lastly while exceeding the spec would be nice. Its a game of diminishing returns which will quickly be out weighed by a less expensive option.

Looking forward to hearing what y'all think of all this.

Regards,
phsylent
Just a heads up regarding Houston. You'll be in the Clear Lake area not Houston proper and at the same time not isolated. It is however over an hour each way to downtown during a typical commute. I did it for years from my home in Nassau Bay. I'm on the upper east coast now and the marina choices in Clearlake are far superior to here that said they don't welcome live aboard's at all of them. I have a good friend living aboard in South Shore Harbor if you want to ask someone in the know.
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Old 01-02-2019, 12:29   #51
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Originally Posted by roland stockham View Post
Once you get to about 60ft you will theoretically have a top speed of 10kn+ but if there is enough wind to achieve it then it is not the sort of day you want be out sailing in! (most cruising boats make about 50% of wind speed as a max in anything other than ideal conditions)
Not true. A well designed 60' sailboat will easily hit 10kts in 12 knots of wind. I sailed quite a bit on Icon, a Perry designed 65' racer cruiser. The boat could easily hit over 20 knots downwind even on shorthanded deliveries with delivery sails. Upwind, close hauled, 8+ was typical. Crack off a few degrees and 10 knots was no problem. Icon only had good bunks for two couples, but washer and dryer were there, and with the retractable bulb keel draft was not an issue.

So don't settle for less than what you want, they are out there.

BTW, Icon is for sale.
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Old 01-02-2019, 14:16   #52
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

It all makes sense except that 80 foot is way too big for a couple. Start with renting a 45 footer for a month where you plan to moor more permantly and if you can't manage that then living aboard is probably not for you. If that's works out start looking from that size up to find the smallest vessel that meets your actual living needs.
Freedom 44 if you can find one, or a larger thomas colvin (there is on i need NZ at present). put the rest of the money i tom a vacant block of land somewhere for when it's too much for you.
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Old 01-02-2019, 14:31   #53
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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Originally Posted by Robbie Price View Post
It all makes sense except that 80 foot is way too big for a couple. Start with renting a 45 footer for a month where you plan to moor more permantly and if you can't manage that then living aboard is probably not for you. If that's works out start looking from that size up to find the smallest vessel that meets your actual living needs.
Freedom 44 if you can find one, or a larger thomas colvin (there is on i need NZ at present). put the rest of the money i tom a vacant block of land somewhere for when it's too much for you.
I too have real concerns about an 80 footer for two people to manage and I'd recommend a smaller vessel. Even docking an 80' boat is a handful unless you have a couple of line handlers. Sails? They'll be huge.

That being said, well these folks seem to be youngish, and maybe they have the fitness and vigor, and most importantly, the self confidence to manage a bigger yacht, I've known several couples who do fine with 60+ footers. A lot of it is attitude.

But don't try to persuade them to go for a 44' cruiser such as the Freedom , 44, or any other cruising oriented mid 40's boat. They gave their requirements and clearly state the preference for sailing characteristics and performance. They might be overly optimistic about what size of boat they can handle but they certainly won't be happy with a smaller, slower, boat. It meets none of their requirements.
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Old 01-02-2019, 15:11   #54
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

Agree here. A Swan or Amel or Oyster 65í etc. would be as convenient as a luxury small condo plus sail like a dream at 10+ kts. But! - need to be realistic about the purchase, refit costs and then the ongoing docking (please, please - mooring isnít an option for people working on shore) and maintenance on such boats - that can easily exceed $3-4K/month... not sure the OP meant to reach that level...

Planning should go all the way not only to include the great wish list but also the true financials. Otherwise it ends as a fantasy (which is just fine) or as an operational and financial disaster.

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I too have real concerns about an 80 footer for two people to manage and I'd recommend a smaller vessel. Even docking an 80' boat is a handful unless you have a couple of line handlers. Sails? They'll be huge.

That being said, well these folks seem to be youngish, and maybe they have the fitness and vigor, and most importantly, the self confidence to manage a bigger yacht, I've known several couples who do fine with 60+ footers. A lot of it is attitude.

But don't try to persuade them to go for a 44' cruiser such as the Freedom , 44, or any other cruising oriented mid 40's boat. They gave their requirements and clearly state the preference for sailing characteristics and performance. They might be overly optimistic about what size of boat they can handle but they certainly won't be happy with a smaller, slower, boat. It meets none of their requirements.
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Old 01-02-2019, 16:03   #55
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

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But don't try to persuade them to go for a 44' cruiser such as the Freedom , 44, or any other cruising oriented mid 40's boat. They gave their requirements and clearly state the preference for sailing characteristics and performance. They might be overly optimistic about what size of boat they can handle but they certainly won't be happy with a smaller, slower, boat. It meets none of their requirements.
I'm not telling them buy one, but the secret of buying a liveaboard is to start at the small slow end (freedom 44s are not slow) - look at things that meet your real living requirements not your brouchure dreams. Work your way back towards your rationalised list (they aren't in the ball park financially to their stated requirements).

Elliot does some incredible apartment style cuatomyachts 13-15m that meet all their needs, but if you start looking at a movie 80 footer anything you end up with will feel like a dreadful compromise instead of a liberating life choice.
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:00   #56
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

We have lived on our CT54 for 15 years as a charter boat and are now a bed and breakfast in ST Thomas. Suggest you look at different boats to get the feel of what it would be like to live on a larger sailboat.
We are listed at AirBnb or see us directly at sailboatragamuffin.com
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Old 02-02-2019, 08:19   #57
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Re: Prospective live-aboard reality check

I guess it really comes down to a choice between just having a "normal" life but living on a boat or being true "live aboards".

Try reading "Get Real, Get Gone" and see if it alters your perspective - it sure did for me.

Get Real, Get Gone: How to Become a Modern Sea Gypsy and Sail Away Forever https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/151684663X/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_MqBvCbMP2W8C5

Good luck with whatever you decide!
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