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Old 21-06-2008, 08:02   #1
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Question What size boat for liveaboard?????????

Hi, we where wondering what size boat is the best for liveaboard?? One sailboat we are looking at, the young man lived on it for a year. It is only a 26', has a generator, outboard motor and lots of more stuff. We almost purchased a 30'. We didn't because we are confused about what we want, and what would work best for us. We do have golden retrievers, which might make it hard for liveaboard. Our dogs, would be in the water all the time Of course our male golden has his own lifejacket. So our problems is, not getting rid of a home, nor all the furnishing, but what size could we get away with. We are not experienced in sailing, yet. Actually I have only sailed a few times and my husband Al, is a fiberglass man who worked and cruised on motor boats. The cost of gas these days have definitely turned our minds and thoughts to sailing. We are originally from Fla and looked around for a marina that would allow liveaboard with pets. Any suggestions?? How hard to get a place with golden retriever dogs?? Thanks, Lynda and Al
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Old 21-06-2008, 08:50   #2
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We always say that a 'two-wave' boat is safer than a 'one-wave' boat, that is to say, a boat that can sit across two wave-crests at a time, or something over 38', roughly speaking, but we have met plenty of people who crossed the Atlantic in a 26' boat and had a good time. The easiest boat to sail is a schooner (it only takes two of us (one mid-fifties and the other early-sixties) to sail our 72' schooner all over the place, for example. With big dogs like those, you would probably find a 26' boat extremely cramped. With the recession hotting up there should be some bargains coming onto the market sometime soon! You might want to charter a few different sizes and kinds of boat for a couple of days each (find a charter company in your area with a reasonable range and see if you can get a deal for three different boats in a week, perhaps, at the very end of the busy season or just before it starts) and, maybe without actually taking the dogs on board, which might not be permitted, try imagining where they would sleep and eat and how easy it would be for you all to manage on a continuing basis. Maybe some others here have tried, and even succeeded, doing what you want to do and can give you some ideas on boats to look at? Good luck with finding the right floating home!
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Old 21-06-2008, 08:58   #3
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Thanks for the information. We where thinking the 26" wasn't big enough. The man who has it for sale said he lived on it with his wife, for a year. I never thought to ask about dogs. Our dogs love the water, so I would think keeping them in the boat might be hard. I will have to return to my search for a larger boat. I sure loved that 26" boat. Thanks again, and hopefully someone has an answer about dogs and boats. Lynda
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Old 21-06-2008, 11:31   #4
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Originally Posted by woodcutter43 View Post
Thanks again, and hopefully someone has an answer about dogs and boats. Lynda
There is a whole forum on it try this.

I think you made a good call. 26 feet suits certain types of cruisers better than others.
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Old 21-06-2008, 12:05   #5
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The previous owner of our Catalina 22 lived on it for about a year, and he's 6'6". We've only had it out a handful of times, and slept on it one night, and we're already thinking of moving up to a bigger boat, something at least 30 ft. For us, it seems, bigger is better, but there was only one way to find out, and that was to get a boat and try it out.
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Old 21-06-2008, 13:44   #6
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Thanks for all the information. I agree, we need a larger boat to liveaboard. Then of course our goldens, can't get rid of them.

Barney our male golden went fishing with hubbie in a dinghy a friend had on the lake. Well he liked it then jumped overboard and went swimming besides the boat. It would be horrible if he did it while sailing out in the deep water. Guess we would have to keep his life jacket on him. Anyway, going to look for a larger boat. Wonder if any marinas have problems with dogs on the boat. Guess it would depend on the marina. Thanks for the info, Lynda
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Old 21-06-2008, 13:59   #7
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Perfect boat for 2 large golden retrievers, lots of running space:
Schucker 50 GOLDIE: Pilothouse Motorsailer for sale
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Old 21-06-2008, 17:12   #8
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Be careful no to go to the other extreme . Too big a boat has killed more cruising dreams than too small a boat. Stay under 40 feet. My 31 has done me well in cold climates for 24 years .
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Old 21-06-2008, 17:31   #9
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Be careful no to go to the other extreme . Too big a boat has killed more cruising dreams than too small a boat. Stay under 40 feet. My 31 has done me well in cold climates for 24 years .
So, correct me if I'm wrong, what you're saying is that everyone should live as you do and only your way is correct? NOT. I didn't tell anyone that my boat is the only size you should get. It's just a suggestion. One that I base my 17 years of living aboard on. Too small a boat has also killed more cruising dreams then too big a boat. So there
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Old 21-06-2008, 20:53   #10
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A 36' is a good place to start for short handed sailing and single handed sailing. I would say no more than a 40' for single handed sailing to start with.. If you want a floating condo and don't plan on sailing buy as big a boat as you can afford.
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Old 21-06-2008, 23:39   #11
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Be careful no to go to the other extreme . Too big a boat has killed more cruising dreams than too small a boat. Stay under 40 feet. My 31 has done me well in cold climates for 24 years .
Goldie and Louis -- You both have good points that end up at same end-state. With too small of a boat and you can easily feel like you just moved from your house to a tent. Too large of a boat and you can end up swamped with maintenance jobs and their associated costs, not to mention all the issues of handling such boat under less than ideal conditions. Either way, the apple looses quite a bit of its shine.

Lynda -- About the boat sizes. You are most definitely going to want to get on as many boats as possible to see both what you like and if you can actually imagine living on it with your dogs.

About dogs and marinas, from what I have noticed, marinas try to make everybody happy but only up to a point. If you have two dogs who are friendly, donít approach or growl at strangers, donít bite, donít bark at night or for hours at a time, are in good health, have all their shots, are obedient, and only go to the bathroom when you are with them (and of course, you clean it up) then marinas managers will often turn a blind eye as long as they like dogs and other dog owners do the exact same thing. That sounds impossible but it isnít, although it is highly improbable with the general attitude of people who believe everything is their right but that donít have any associated responsibilities. So that one owner ruins (or ruined) it for everyone else.

Another thing to consider, unless they are raised on a boat, some dogs just donít deal well with the motion and will get seasick; same with cats. Fish on the underhand tend to do pretty well.





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Old 24-06-2008, 03:50   #12
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I currently live on a 37' sedan trawler with my wife and two beagles. From my personal experience, you'll need at least 30' if you have two big dogs. Shuffling around dog beds for two small dogs gets old. Personally, I would say that 35-45 is the magic number with dogs or a lot of stuff and maybe down to 30 without dogs or much stuff.
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Old 24-06-2008, 04:12   #13
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If you are going to JUST live on a boat in a marina, I would get the largest one possible. Handling it is not an issue then. Maintenance IS and so more boat means more chores and more cost and it rises not in a linear fashion but by geometric increases.

Boat living is less than owning a house in most cases, but it requires constant maintenance which may be easier because things ARE smaller than a house and they are more apparent.

It also depends on what you DO aside from sleep and perhaps eat aboard. If you work you need clothes and so forth and that takes storage space.

I have lived at a marina and didn't especially like it. But it was in the winter. Living aboard at a mooring or anchor is a whole other set of issues. Living at a marina is very different from cruising.

I'd say that a boat from 34- 40 is about right for a couple and some small pets for both marina and cruising.
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Old 24-06-2008, 05:13   #14
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Different types obviously have more or less room on board. We have a 40 foot ketch with an 11.5 beam, she weighs 27000 lbs. It is a very traditionaly designed boat, and there is plenty of room below for me and my wife. However, we have been on 35 ers that seemed huge, much larger than ours. You need to figure out what you want in a sailboat, fast, heavy, beamy etc. All of these things will effect the amount of room on the boat.
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