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Old 21-07-2010, 08:50   #1
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Starting the Liveaboard Transition

Hi All,

I am currently pursuing living on a mono hull in the San Fransisco area. I have grown up sailing at least once a year on 35+ boats so am somewhat knowledgeable of terms and how to sail. I am still in college but am graduating with a mechanical engineering degree this upcoming spring. My girlfriend and I are looking to buy a boat and move to Cali to live and sail while holding engineering degrees. The San Fran area is crucial because it its proximity to great graduate schools that would be attended in the future. I figured I would start my research now and be ready to start living aboard next summer at some point. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions on boats in the 35+ range. Mainly coastal cruising. Day and weekend trips. Roomy and good for living. Also does anyone have any classes they would suggest taking? I have found lots of threads already but I thought I would post to start a more specific thread for my situation. Im open to all discussion and advice. Thanks!

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Old 21-07-2010, 09:43   #2
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Location: Living aboard & cruising since 1972
Boat: Morgan OI 413 1973 - Aythya
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We bought our first liveaboard monohull during our first year after college and with plans that sound like yours; however, we are on the US East Coast. I hesitate to limit your search with the suggestion of specidic manufacurers. The "perfect" boat for your needs can present itself on the market and be off your list. Maybe you would do best with several criteria. Here on the East Coast, with much of our cruising in the Keys and Bahamas, we selected a shoal draft boat, but you would likely want a deeper draft for your deeper coastal waters and more offshore comfort and performance. I'm not a West Coast cruiser, but I hear horror stories of protected homesteading sea mammals on vessels. I assume you would not want a swim platform, "sugar-scoop" stern or a low freeboard. I have a Ketch witch allows me passage under the 55' fixed bridges at places where I like to escape from tropical storms. Maybe a split rig would have no advantage for you. Our center cockpit with an aft cabin gave us a great advantage raising our two children aboard and now with a couple as guests while cruising. We are simple pragmatic cooks and our galley reflect that. I think your best course would be to evaluate your needs and look at a number of boats so that you can make a short and simple list of your desires and then leave your search as wide as possible to fit those needs. I would say that a survey would be a must for your purchase. Too many pursuing the dream can be trapped with a vessel that has critical strucural or mechanical faults Take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 21-07-2010, 10:10   #3

Join Date: May 2010
Location: SF Bay Area; Former Annapolis and MA Liveaboard.
Boat: Looking and saving for my next...mid-atlantic coast
Posts: 6,198
Its hard to give specific advice on such a broad requirement. Most boats in this range will serve nicely as live-aboard coastal cruisers. Where to go coastal cruising near SF is a totally different story because I don't think there is much of it.

Most suggestions are geared for bluewater cruisers. You can look in The Best Used Boat Notebook: From the pages of Sailing Magazine, a new collection of detailed reviews of 40 used boats plus a look at 10 great used boats to sail around the world (9781574092349): John Kretschmer: Books
or Used Boat Notebook: From the Pages of Sailing Magazine, Reviews of 40 Used Boats…

to start. But really, what I would do is just get to the point where you actually have the money, then start dealing with the details of what is in the local market and do your research then on each design.
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