Two used to compact living can cross an ocean in a thirty foot double ender--it all depends on the level of comfort you desire when on the hook and the number of guests you plan to have aboard.
A couple I knew retired from active cruising at seventy-something to buy a motor
caravan and trailer-sailer. They left a thirty six foot Van de Stadt in steel
which was new when they bought it in about 1970 and they had set it up as well as any vessel I have ever seen. Thirty-something years aboard--and the vessel looked and surveyed as new.
The on-going costs in cruising have to be considered too. Boats with big diesel
engines cost big money
to run and replace. My forty foot plus trimaran
has only a thirty horsepower diesel
engine--and that is thirsty enough. Big boats have big engines, big paint
and big sails
. All cost money
My advice is to buy the smallest boat you can comfortably fit into. I like the Gozzard designed Tayana 36--they built a heap of them and they are strongly built.
My own preference is steel--a Tom Colvin Gazelle is forty two feet long in the hull
with an additional eight feet or so of bowsprit
. They are easily driven with easily handled rig, ketch
or junk, and have a diesel engine
of twenty to thirty horsepower..
Bowsprits serve many purposes--they allow the foremast to be placed a little further forwars and allow for a larger aft sail, they are almost an essential for a schooner rig with a smaller foresail than her aft mainsail
, with her full length keel
, and they have a useful lift
component which helps the boat rise to a sea without destroying her trim--but a bowsprit
has disadvantages in a marina where they add about eight to ten feet or more to the vessel's overall length and hence her berthing and slippage costs.
have a good name as do Tayana and Formosa
as far as hulls are concerned, but any vessel older than thirty years is going to be a project
boat unless someone else has already done the necessary work to defeat osmosis
, rust, metal corrosion
in rig or fittings or hull
, or has been scrupulous in maintenence in the case of steel
, which often dies from the inside of the boat not the outside.
A nice Tayana 36 would be a bit slower than some fibreglass boats because it is heavily built. They have a reasonably good resale value though--so one would not lose too much after a couple of years as long as the boat is fairly maintained--and I would be happy to sail one anywhere if the rig, instruments and hull were surveyed as sound by a reputable surveyor
not in cahoots with a broker.
Then there are multihulls--really costly to berth--and fine in coastal waters. Keep an eye on the forecast
and run for shelter at the first sign of a hurricane--you are in Texas
, not too far away from the storm alley--
Lots of storage
space in a trimaran
and a reasonably large saloon
space in the main hull. Nice motion--probably softer than a cat--but stop a lot more wind
and tend to skate on the hook even when snubbed to a bridle
Nowhere can you buy a sound used vessel as cheaply as in the US. There is almost nothing seaworthy
under forty thousand in Oz big enough for live aboard-- which starts at thirty feet in my book. Smaller is possible--but I do like some space to stretch out in.