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Old 18-08-2013, 18:48   #16
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You've been given good advice on draft, 6' is certainly enough for the ICW and the Bahamas. Of course, each inch less is a notable improvement (part of the popularity of cats and trawlers.) Likewise with air draft. 65' is a maximum, but we found we were wishing our 47'2" air draft was less than 45' when going off the beaten path a couple of times on the ICW. The easiest way to decrease both of these is to get a smaller boat. Center boarders or multi-mast rigs can do that, too, but nothing comes for free. You'll have to make your own best guess for where you'd like to end up in the trade-offs.
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Old 19-08-2013, 06:03   #17
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

Hi Battle! Great advice from Capt Force, a longtime ICW traveler. (BTW, I like to call us "sunbirds" not snowbirds or hurricane birds. We're seeking sun, after all, not snow or hurricanes!) Couple of quick thoughts: I love the ICW, the quirky little towns and the wildlife; spouse loves the offshore especially at night. So we take turns, going inside when we're southbound in the autumn when nights are long and cold, and outside in spring when nights are short and mild. We draw 5 feet, and on a monohull that seems to give a reasonable compromise between sailing performance and ability to navigate shoals. 65 feet mast height absolute maximum for ICW bridges, but no matter what your mast height there will be times you wish you were just a little bit shorter to get into that intriguing spot upriver ... Your $4K budget will be ample for longterm cruising, and afford lots of opportunities for side adventures, I think. Welcome to the forum!
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Old 19-08-2013, 08:14   #18
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

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............ I like to call us "sunbirds" not snowbirds or hurricane birds. We're seeking sun, after all, not snow or hurricanes! .........................
Oh, I like that,- I'd rather be seeking than escaping. Maybe Nancie & I will see you sunbirds southbound again this fall.
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Old 19-08-2013, 10:44   #19
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

you probably will ... hurricanes permitting we're headed south directly from the SSCA Annapolis gam, and hoping to spend the holidays in St Augustine.
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Old 19-08-2013, 15:18   #20
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

As a practical matter it is a fairly common situation for a sailboat to have a LONG layover (over 7 days) heading north from Beaufort due to weather (treacherous shoals outside!) when they can't travel on the ICW due to an air draft over 65 feet. Our marina loves to rent transient slips to them, and I get to know the owners as they walk up and down the dock fretting over the weather.

This potential problem could put a serious crimp in a summer travel plan and I think would result in lots of yearly stress. Not to mention trying to head south against the prevailing winds and current on the outside when it's blowing hard. Think hard before you decide you have to have a boat over 40 feet with a tall rig, or a deep draft (six feet plus) that will give you trouble in GA and FL.
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Old 23-03-2015, 20:52   #21
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

Hello All! It's me again.

It looks like we may be buying a boat this year. Which is great news because I've been dying in the meantime. Who doesn't plan years in advance? Not me!

We've settled on a Southerly 115. Not a particular boat, just that model. We're good on the layout and we love the swing keel. I think it's perfect for cruising the ICW and finding great anchorages in the Bahamas.

I have a few challenges however: 1) They're made for 220V and North America is 110V, 2) Getting the boat from Europe to here (the vast majority of Southerly's for sale are somewhere in the EU, and 3) Financing this sucker.

Our initial use of the boat will be in the Great Lakes, and in fact Lake Simcoe and Georgeian Bay.

If anyone could add some advice I would truly appreciate it.
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Old 23-03-2015, 21:00   #22
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

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Originally Posted by BattleDuck View Post
Hello All! It's me again.

It looks like we may be buying a boat this year. Which is great news because I've been dying in the meantime. Who doesn't plan years in advance? Not me!

We've settled on a Southerly 115. Not a particular boat, just that model. We're good on the layout and we love the swing keel. I think it's perfect for cruising the ICW and finding great anchorages in the Bahamas.

I have a few challenges however: 1) They're made for 220V and North America is 110V, 2) Getting the boat from Europe to here (the vast majority of Southerly's for sale are somewhere in the EU, and 3) Financing this sucker.

Our initial use of the boat will be in the Great Lakes, and in fact Lake Simcoe and Georgeian Bay.

If anyone could add some advice I would truly appreciate it.
Why not look at the boats that are actually available in your general area, rather than setting your heart on a particular model?

PS: Have you actually been on one of these or you just like the idea of them as seen in pictures and line drawings?
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Old 24-03-2015, 05:20   #23
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

+1 to the above.

There is almost certainly at least 5 well maintained cruising monohulls that would fit your needs up for sale right now somewhere in the Great Lakes area. Why not go looking for one of them, instead of dealing with all the complexities and extra costs of buying overseas?
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Old 28-03-2015, 07:52   #24
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

Certainly the Southerly is a good boat from a reputable builder, but, as has already been pointed out, the complexities and costs of buying overseas are a significant obstacle. When we were shopping for our current boat we wanted to purchase one we had found in Ontario, and our lender (Trident) said they would only work with a boat located in the U.S.

Then you have the costs associated with travel, surveys, etc. And, finally, then you have to get the boat over here (delivery skipper $$$$, shipping $$$$$).

There are plenty of good boats to be had much closer to where you live that could work for you. Do some searches for Bristol keel/centerboard sailboats. They are perfect for the ICW, Bahamas, etc. where shoal draft and mast height less than 65' are a plus. There are also the Seaward sailboats built in Stuart, FL that are a U.S. copy of the Southerly concept.

In the end there is never really a perfect boat - just the boat that in the end works best for what you need. We're on our second liveaboard boat, and both we're not boats we had on our original list. The first was a 53' pilothouse ketch that was a great boat for the Pacific NW, BC, and Alaska, but when we moved to the east coast the length, draft (7'6"), and mast height (70') were all factors that helped us make the decision to sell. We decided on a Gulfstar 44 for our next liveaboard because we discovered that a big boat has big costs. We like a center cockpit because we still work and a center cockpit boat gives you a great living arrangement when two people have to get up every day and grind out the money. Also, and this is totally a matter of perspective, my wife prefers helming a center cockpit because, according to her, there's not so much boat sticking out in front of her.

Good luck on your continued search.
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Old 30-03-2015, 00:45   #25
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

Hello BattleDuck,

I've read all the posts and you've received loads of good information. I conclude that your wish list will be trimmed a lot when you acquire the boat; though Southerlies are lovely. (The 220 V is not a big problem and sailing it to the Caribbean would be a lovely experience)

Also, as an opinion, I would never finance anything that resembles life style activity... it's just me.

From your early list, the type of boat I have would fit your plan. Ketch rig for ease of handling and shorter masts, big tankage, big genset, solar panels, large main engine generators, inverters, electric winches, 2 auto pilots, Aircon, combo AC and DC water maker, big anchor, loads of chain, good electronics... the lot! (We are setting off on a RTW which will last 7-10 years)(Its an electrical Gonzo and I carry loads of spares)

BUT, all this comes at considerable cost and maintenance; your $4000/mo would be great to live on but if you amputate big gobs to finance your purchase, you won't have enough for a carefree cruise. Selecting a smaller vessel then becomes a real option... but living long term on a 36 footer will be tougher. These are compromises; only you can choose the direction.

Given your plan, a swing keel would be good. Research the Bristol range
perhaps? GL in your purchase.
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Old 30-03-2015, 01:13   #26
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

Look at this one as a thought.

1981 Bristol 45.5 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Solar, genset 1800rpm = peace, retractable keel. Could fit your plan with fewer compromises than a Sou 115...
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Old 30-03-2015, 04:15   #27
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

Quote:
Originally Posted by BattleDuck View Post
Hello All! It's me again.

It looks like we may be buying a boat this year. Which is great news because I've been dying in the meantime. Who doesn't plan years in advance? Not me!

We've settled on a Southerly 115. Not a particular boat, just that model. We're good on the layout and we love the swing keel. I think it's perfect for cruising the ICW and finding great anchorages in the Bahamas.

I have a few challenges however: 1) They're made for 220V and North America is 110V, 2) Getting the boat from Europe to here (the vast majority of Southerly's for sale are somewhere in the EU, and 3) Financing this sucker.

Our initial use of the boat will be in the Great Lakes, and in fact Lake Simcoe and Georgeian Bay.

If anyone could add some advice I would truly appreciate it.
I'll leave the discussion on the wisdom of buying a boat outside the US and bringing it back at "I'd REALLY think hard about it" because there are headaches and risk. No matter what any broker or seller tells you no boat is ever "Cruise Ready" when sold, so consider if you are delivering it yourself or getting it delivered it will need some local commissioning and work done.

My response is more to the line of your 220V question, as I have a lot of experience with this on our boat.

I have a European boat with native 220V/50Hz power - she was in FL by the time I bought her but never had native 110V on board before we got her.

A couple of quick thoughts -

- Shore power connectors are probably odd on it, depending on where it was fitted out it may not fit the sort of plug you can buy easily in the US, nor will the cables with the boat likely fit a US connector. These problems CAN be solved with adapters, but be aware of them in advance and plan ahead.

- A lot of U.S. docks are 110V/60Hz/30A, some are 220V/60Hz/50A. You can probable use the latter native (with adapters...), but will not be able to use the more common, smaller and cheaper 30A plugs. You might be able get a "pigtail" to stick two 110V 30A plugs into a 220V, that will be cheaper than a stepup transformer by a factor of 10 or 20, but I'd make sure a good electrician was involved in that choice. Especially if it is a permanent slip installation; there are phase issues to consider too so you don't want a cheap one that can't figure that.

- If you are going to be in the U.S. for a while you may want to plan to install a 110V inverter some place on the boat with a set of plugs near the galley or other convenient spot. That is, if you are planning to use any appliances like a coffee maker or blender on board. 220V appliances are hard to come by in the US, and those cheap 220V-110V travel transformers you can buy are an excellent way to burn up perfectly good 110V appliances. We let the smoke out of a couple of coffee makers and blenders before I put a 110V inverter in; haven't lost one since. A 2000W inverter can be had that isn't too expensive and can handle most reasonable electrical motor/heat making appliances you'd want on a boat. We can run a waffle maker off of ours.

- U.S. power is different from almost all the rest of the world in two things. The standard voltage, @ 110V versus 220V, but also in the frequency of the electricity, with 60Hz being the standard for the U.S. and 50 Hz everywhere else. This should not affect you for things like running battery chargers from shore power if you are plugged into 60Hz, but some devices DO use the frequency of the AC power to time things. Those sorts of electronics may run a little weird if you are plugged into US shore power; e.g clocks might be off, and electronic timer on a microwave may run too fast, etc. Simple electrical appliances don't have much issue with this however.

- Most doo-dads with "power bricks" can take a range of input voltages from 100V-240V. READ THE BACK OF THE BRICK or device. Get in the habit of doing this for EVERY single device you plug into the AC on your boat, this should be automatic after a while. Laptops, phone chargers, all those things all general work OK on any voltage - even the little plug to charge your Kindle, you just need a travel adapter to fit your US blade plugs to your boat's weird plugs. But you can smoke a cheap hair drier in seconds if you plug it into the wrong voltage, a lot of inexpensive products like that do not support dual voltage. A general rule...electronic device will probably be dual voltage, if it makes heat or runs an electric motor it probably will not be.

- THE GOOD NEWS, and there is some. If you decide to leave the U.S. pretty much every where else in the world (with a few notable exceptions) is 220V/50Hz. So your odd duck in U.S. waters becomes a graceful swan out in the rest of the world. You can walk into any store and by things with confidence that they won't burst into flames when you plug them in, and you can pull up to slips and plug in natively without worrying about a hodgepodge of pigtails and adapters.

Good luck!
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Old 31-03-2015, 21:58   #28
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

I just want to thank everyone for their input. I reread this thread daily and mull everything over to great extent. I don't think I've put this much thought into buying my last house.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eleuthera 2014 View Post
Look at this one as a thought.

1981 Bristol 45.5 Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Solar, genset 1800rpm = peace, retractable keel. Could fit your plan with fewer compromises than a Sou 115...
Helluva boat for that age. Interesting option. I was hoping for something about 20 years newer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evenstar View Post
*snip*
My response is more to the line of your 220V question, as I have a lot of experience with this on our boat.

*snip*
I'm mostly of your way of thinking. Leave existing 220v systems alone, put in a 110V inverter and rewire most of the internal plugs. I don't think I need to worry about plugging a 220v device into a 110v plug, or vice versa, as they're different plugs. Then a transformer for 110v shore power.

Well that's the idea anyway, lol. I'll probably find 10 ways it won't work when I actually try it.

At this point still set on a Southerly, though I'm also looking at the 110 model. From what I can tell, the 110 comes with a dual-rudder setup which allows a bigger sail plan. And yes, I see that the rudders are less protected in this config.
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Old 01-04-2015, 02:43   #29
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

[QUOTE=BattleDuck;1790227]

Helluva boat for that age. Interesting option. I was hoping for something about 20 years newer.

/QUOTE]

A boat in this age bracket becomes ageless.. like owning a collector car. The one I suggested looks very good and indicate the present owner's anal attitude towards his boat. This a guarantee of quality components and proper maintenance.

The quality of a Bristol is well known. Have another look at the boat because it fits far better into your plan at a price which will not break the bank. Some people can live in broom cabinets, you don't sound like the type to enjoy living with your sweetie on a 36 footer. GL:big grin:

Give the broker as call and ask what wrinkles have not been shown...
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Old 01-04-2015, 05:33   #30
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Re: Soon to be liveaboards

You cannot convert US 220V to European 220V.
Reason is US really isn't 220V, it's just two 110V lines that over here in ignorance we call it 220V, but it's not, European 220V is really 220V, not two 110V lines.
My advice is to buy a 110V to 220V transformer and leave the boat alone, use 220V appliances, the Hz issue is there but usually isn't really that much of a problem.

If you try to convert the boat to 110V, you will either have to replace the wiring or deal with only half the amperage available to the plugs, due to the voltage being dropped in half, one big advantage to 220V power is smaller wires will carry the same power.
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