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Old 06-09-2006, 07:15   #1
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Question Fist boat to live (part time) aboard

Hi
I am looking to buy my first boat with the intention of living aboard for about half the week most weeks (work demands it is not more). She would need to be moderately comfortable in all weathers and an easily handled sesaworthy cruiser - preferably bilge keeled to allow drying out - say around 25' - 30' would be ideal. I had thought of Fisher 25s but doubt I could afford one.

I'm new to this though and want your advice. If there are so many people in dockyards and marinas rushing to offer advice (whether wanted or not) - well, here is you chance to dole some out to a willing audience.

What factors should I be considering? What models / makes should I consider? What about construction? Hull design? Rig? Interior/domestic things? Problems and signs to look out for when buying? Also, your experience to help a novice avoid mistakes - eg Is the idea of still living part-time aboard in winter insane? (rarely more than a few degrees below freezing). What about mooring/berthing?

Part of my problem is limited budget - under 10K in total, preferably under 5K. Another is needing something a relatively inexperienced sailor like me can handle alone when I need to but that can stand up to the odd blow on sea/coastal passages too and providing comfort.

Hmmn. Perhaps you will just think I am wanting everything - well, perhaps but then dreams have to take practical form somewhere and this seems like a good place.

What would be your ideal first boat? What did you not have on your first boat you realised you really should have got right? What traps do new buyers fall into? What horror stories/gems are there?
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Old 06-09-2006, 07:17   #2
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That budget is more like 10 - 15K if in US dollars, btw.
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Old 06-09-2006, 12:28   #3
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Aloha New Skipper,
Welcome Aboard! Wow, you're going to get a lot of opinions. You didn't mention where you are.
Your price range and liveaboard are a pretty hard match but if I were you I'd take a look at a Newport 30 for the largest amount of interior space in an older 30 fiberglass boat. Since you don't have 50 years of boatbuilding experience I would tell you to get a reputable marine surveyor before offering any money for any boat. Boat brokers and sales people are only interested in selling you a boat and not necessarily looking out for your interest.
That's just a start on advice and, of course, is just my opinion.
Kind Regards,
JohnL
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Old 06-09-2006, 13:53   #4
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A westerly would be the first thought if it must be a bilge keeler. Where will the boat be?
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Old 06-09-2006, 15:51   #5
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Bilge keeled, as in twin keels?

Unless you are in the UK, you may not find them. In the US they are almost unheard of.

So, where are you? And is that budget USD$ or UK£ ??
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Old 07-09-2006, 15:03   #6
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Yeah Im in UK - money will max out at 10K sterling - around 10 - 15USD or so depending on conversion rates?

I didn't know bilge keels were rare in US - what are your options for boats that will take ground well? Or is it just not an issue? I'll be sailing shallow tidal esturies so this will be important for me(!)

Newport 30s look good though I havent sailed them myself. Any comment on characteristics? Faults? I've thought of Westerlies but they tend to be to much of straight production boat - nothing to object to though and I'd be interested in thoughts on the different models for a first time owner at this end of the market.
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Old 07-09-2006, 15:30   #7
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"what are your options for boats that will take ground well? "
We call them, "trailer sailors" and haul them out of the water.<G> Your tidal ranges are more extreme than most of what is found in the US. AFAIK, the UK is unique is using bilge keels and "legs" to deal with the tidal range.
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