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Old 17-09-2013, 21:18   #1
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The Best Sailboat to Liveaboard?

What do you guys think is the best sailboat for living aboard from this list of sailboats......

- 34 ft 1969 Cal
- 34 ft 1974 Columbia MKII
- 31 ft 1965 Columbia
- 30 ft 1975 C&c 1/2 ton
- 30 ft 1974 Cal 3
- 30 ft 1979 Catalina
- 30 ft 1975 Clipper Marine
- 30 ft 1981 Olson
- 29 ft 1977 C&c
- 28 ft 1977 Islander
- 28 ft 1975 Newport
- 27 ft 1964 American Marine Shaw
- 27 ft 1981 Catalina
- 27 ft 1975 Catalina
- 27 ft 1971 Ericson
- 27 ft 1982 Newport SII

What boat would you take for living on?
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Old 17-09-2013, 21:27   #2
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Re: The best sailboat to liveaboard?

for living aboard at a dock, the 34' 1974 columbia mkII
for living aboard and sailing/cruising, the 34' 1969 cal
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Old 17-09-2013, 21:56   #3
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Re: The best sailboat to liveaboard?

The one you can afford for the dock, and the one with the best ground tackle for anchoring.

None of them are particularly spacious, so you'd have to specify "liveaboard for one" and "don't mind squishing my backside into the head" and "willing to shower ashore" and so on.

I would prefer to heat a smaller boat in winter where I live (there is plenty of winter), but if you are in a hot place, I would want a boat with plenty of ventilation.

So further details might help.
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Old 17-09-2013, 22:09   #4
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Re: The best sailboat to liveaboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by watersofdiego View Post
What do you guys think is the best sailboat for living aboard from this list of sailboats......

- 34 ft 1969 Cal
- 34 ft 1974 Columbia MKII
- 31 ft 1965 Columbia
- 30 ft 1975 C&c 1/2 ton
- 30 ft 1974 Cal 3
- 30 ft 1979 Catalina
- 30 ft 1975 Clipper Marine
- 30 ft 1981 Olson
- 29 ft 1977 C&c
- 28 ft 1977 Islander
- 28 ft 1975 Newport
- 27 ft 1964 American Marine Shaw
- 27 ft 1981 Catalina
- 27 ft 1975 Catalina
- 27 ft 1971 Ericson
- 27 ft 1982 Newport SII

What boat would you take for living on?

How many people, what will your home waters be? Do you intend to cruise, and if so, will it be coastal cruising or bluewater?

If you're going to do bluewater sailing, the sailing attributes HAVE to be your first concern. If you're going to be a coastal cruiser, then you can give your creature comforts at least equal emphasis.

I wanted a *fast* coastal cruiser. I chose a 31' tall rig Hunter. But she is most definitely a coastal cruiser. The more "coastal" your boat is, the higher your skills must (must) be if you plan to do long-distance cruising.

Also, the further you're going to venture from coastal cruising, the more you have to look at the safety equipment aboard -- radar, life raft, water maker, etc. (for the impulsive critics here, that's not intended to be a full or complete list ...)

All sailboats are compromises. My boat creates extra living space in two ways. First, the relatively high freeboard gives you more "head space." For me, it feels a lot like a standard room when I'm sitting. It's an optical illusion, but who cares? What matters is that it's comfortable below.

Second, they provided extended cabin space by shortening the cockpit. That's more feasible because it has a wheel and not a tiller. A wheel is also less physically tiring than a tiller, and very amenable to auto-pilots.

My cockpit is a split T arrangement, which means there are no benches long enough to even stretch out on, NOT a good thing for a live-aboard. A friend who cruised with me is allergic to cats. I kept the cat below and he built a little stool to fill in one of the split spots, and then there was room for him to stretch out. I sleep in the cockpit myself sometimes by putting a piece of memory foam down. It's actually extremely comfortable.

Don't start with a list of boats. Start with a list of what you want from your boat. You want more than living space, or you'd be looking at apartments or condos. So what are the boat traits you want?
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Old 17-09-2013, 23:16   #5
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Re: The best sailboat to liveaboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
Don't start with a list of boats. Start with a list of what you want from your boat.
That's the best advice.
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Old 18-09-2013, 11:45   #6
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Re: The best sailboat to liveaboard?

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
The one you can afford for the dock, and the one with the best ground tackle for anchoring.

None of them are particularly spacious, so you'd have to specify "liveaboard for one" and "don't mind squishing my backside into the head" and "willing to shower ashore" and so on.

I would prefer to heat a smaller boat in winter where I live (there is plenty of winter), but if you are in a hot place, I would want a boat with plenty of ventilation.

So further details might help.

All of the sailboats listed are boats for sale within my price range in my area.

It would be just myself living on the boat.

I live in the warm weather climate of San Diego, CA

I would like to put the boat on a liveaboard mooring because itís a lot cheaper. But once I get the boat Iíll keep it in a slip until I get the mooring.

I have a Coronado 27 right now but I donít think its really suitable to living aboard. No stove, sink, head.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post
How many people, what will your home waters be? Do you intend to cruise, and if so, will it be coastal cruising or bluewater?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rakuflames View Post

If you're going to do bluewater sailing, the sailing attributes HAVE to be your first concern. If you're going to be a coastal cruiser, then you can give your creature comforts at least equal emphasis.

I wanted a *fast* coastal cruiser. I chose a 31' tall rig Hunter. But she is most definitely a coastal cruiser. The more "coastal" your boat is, the higher your skills must (must) be if you plan to do long-distance cruising.

Also, the further you're going to venture from coastal cruising, the more you have to look at the safety equipment aboard -- radar, life raft, water maker, etc. (for the impulsive critics here, that's not intended to be a full or complete list ...)

All sailboats are compromises. My boat creates extra living space in two ways. First, the relatively high freeboard gives you more "head space." For me, it feels a lot like a standard room when I'm sitting. It's an optical illusion, but who cares? What matters is that it's comfortable below.

Second, they provided extended cabin space by shortening the cockpit. That's more feasible because it has a wheel and not a tiller. A wheel is also less physically tiring than a tiller, and very amenable to auto-pilots.

My cockpit is a split T arrangement, which means there are no benches long enough to even stretch out on, NOT a good thing for a live-aboard. A friend who cruised with me is allergic to cats. I kept the cat below and he built a little stool to fill in one of the split spots, and then there was room for him to stretch out. I sleep in the cockpit myself sometimes by putting a piece of memory foam down. It's actually extremely comfortable.

Don't start with a list of boats. Start with a list of what you want from your boat. You want more than living space, or you'd be looking at apartments or condos. So what are the boat traits you want?




At first it would only be coastal sailing. Then after about a year or so try to do some bluewater sailing.

As for the boat traits, I would like the sailboat to.....

- be good on the water
- have a good size head with shower
- a good amount of living space and storage
- an ice box or fridge
- a lot of fresh water tankage
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Old 18-09-2013, 13:11   #7
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Re: The best sailboat to liveaboard?

Go for one of the 34-footers based on a surveyor's report. Any boat that old might suit you in terms of its "bones", but unless it's been continuously updated by a handy skipper with OCD, it could need new everything from rigging down to thru-hulls.

I agree with the idea of forming a list of "must have/would like/can do without" and then seeing where a particular boat falls on your list. One consideration is "can I live in one part while I am tearing up another?"
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Old 18-09-2013, 13:47   #8
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Re: The best sailboat to liveaboard?

Quote:
Originally Posted by watersofdiego View Post
All of the sailboats listed are boats for sale within my price range in my area.
That's not the best way to draw up a list of candidates. Boats are continually coming on the market, and very often you can negotiate the price of a boat down 20% or more from what it is listed at.

I would instead look at your budget and then get recommendations for good candidates from others who have lived aboard. Once you have your short list, then start looking and you may find one within your budget that you can afford to have shipped/delivered.
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Old 18-09-2013, 13:58   #9
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Re: The best sailboat to liveaboard?

I think mine is, but its not on the list. Maybe the next list.


On seconds thought since Good ol boat did an article on one, they have become quite popular.
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Old 18-09-2013, 19:03   #10
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Re: The best sailboat to liveaboard?

For living aboard get the largest volume you can buy. Beam is of paramount importance and you want full standing height throughout.

Mind some marinas charge per LOA x Beam!

b.
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Old 14-11-2013, 08:18   #11
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Re: The Best Sailboat to Liveaboard?

Forget the Newport 28. I've owned a 1986 Newport 28 MK II for 15 years and while it is fine for long weekends and day sailing, I can't imagine living aboard. Not enough storage, head is way too small, only a 20 gallon water tank and 10 gallon holding tank. Not what it was intended for. It does have a great cockpit for hanging out and you can easily stretch out in the cockpit. However, the couple I bought it from spent 2 months in the Bahamas on it. Too much like long term camping for me.There is a couple that lives aboard on a Cal 34 in our marina and it seems to work well for them. Raku is right, always a compromise.
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