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Old 21-08-2005, 23:15   #1
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Cool Looking forward to living my dream....

Hello everyone. Iíve been visiting here for a while and have decided it was time to join the forum. Everyone seems very friendly and helpful, and I have a million questions. I promise not to post them all at once.

It has always been a dream of mine to live aboard a sailboat, but life, work, wives, children and what not, have left me to just daydream about it all these years, never really believing it would ever really be a reality. Now, at 57 years old and early retirement close enough to smell, Iíve decided dreams donít have to stay dreams. So, for the last 5 years I have been modifying my lifestyle and making preparations for a life aboard. It is now time to start asking active sailors and liveaboards some serious questions.

Basically, the same questions all newcomers ask. So I guess the best way to start is to layout my plan and go from there.

First and foremost, my sailing experience is limited. Iíve had a couple of boats, the largest being a 22í OíDay daysailer, so I really consider myself a beginner. Even though I basically know how to sail, I still think a good sailing school is my first step. Iíve looked into some of the schools courses and have figured it would be wise to start with a basic sailing course, and then I guess a cruising course. From that point on I havenít figured out where to go.

I guess the type of boat and her size would be the next logical decision to be made, and my first real question. Iím not really interested in sailing to far away places. I basically see myself living aboard full time in a marina and doing coastal sailing. Nothing really extended. For that reason I would want a boat that is roomy and comfortable for at least two people to live on. The main stateroom, galley, and head are of primary importance to me with plenty of fresh water and food storage. It should also be a boat that can be easily single-handed. Living aboard full time I also see the majority of time being spent in the cockpit, so that too should be as roomy and comfortable as possible. Would I be best with a center cockpit, or aft? Personally, I like center cockpit boats, but donít know if that would be my best choice. What hull type would be best? Doing mostly coastal sailing I would assume shallow waters would be more of a concern than cruising, but I also want a boat that is fairly stable. I donít see speed as a real issue for me. What size boat is going to afford me most of everything I want? I know there are compromises with everything, but I think I covered pretty much what I want in a boat. I would also like to keep the cost at around 130 K US. Is this enough information, and can I get what I want for the money I want to spend?

Any advice will be greatly appreciated.
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Old 22-08-2005, 01:41   #2
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you can definitely get what you want for the money. i suggest you start looking. it will sort itself out. when brokers ask when you will purchase, one good answer is " i can buy anytime i find the right boat, but i can wait." as to gaining confidence, clubs are always looking for crew. cheaper to learn on someone else's boat. size is a personal decision. a 30 to 35 foot production boat is a good starting point. take a look at catalina - good boats with plenty of volume. buy smart and you can always move up. once you feel you know more of what you do and don't like and you are closer to purchase you should consider hiring someone as a buyers broker so he/she will look out for you. that will probably be a broker you meet as you start the hunt. have fun. capt. lar
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Old 22-08-2005, 14:20   #3
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Sammy,
The reply above offers you good advice. I too would love to be a liveaboard and my desires are very similar to yours...I would just like to do coastal cruising so my wants and needs in a boat are dictated by that. I have found belonging to a sailing club where I get to sail on other people's boats as well as mine have helped tremendously in determining things I do like and things I dislike on a boat... not to mention honing sailing skills. In the past year I have crewed on a couple of short deliveries and crewed on several races...both experiences have enabled me to rule out certain boats and fall in love with another.

Good luck! May all your dreams come true.
Bobbi
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Old 22-08-2005, 16:32   #4
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Hi Sammy.

Sounds like ya are describing a CSY: Roomy, comfortable, lots of tankage and storage, no need to sail fast, etc.

The CSYs comes in 3 different flavors, 33',37' and 44'.

They are out of production long ago and some of them are getting long in the teeth with various levels of maintenance.

For the kind of money you are willing to spend, you should be a able to get a well maintained and well equipped boat.

As for singlehanding.

I have done my 33 a few times on short trips in good weather and I know a guy that solo's his 44 all the time.

That should not be a problem, once ya learn the boat.
(Like any other boat really)

Plenty of other good brands and types of boats out there on the market.

What shocks most newbies is that they have no idea how much maintenance is involved when buying a used boat.
So don't buy a fixer-upper or a boat in rough shape, then you have to repair it, upgrade it AND maintain it.


As for living in a marina, that can get old after a while.

Try living for anchor in the Bahamas, that is pure pleasure.



Good luck
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Old 22-08-2005, 21:04   #5
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Definitely try a number of different hull shapes and sizes. You will find that a lot of the modern production monohulls do not feature very often for liveaboard/cruising due to the compromises used by most modern manufacturers.
Personally am a fan of cats for a number of different reasons, but also recognise that they are not everybodies idea of the best solution. (normally disliked by traditionalists and people who have never tried them!)
Recommend getting a variety of different solutions, and then try to get some time aboard each type, evenn if only at harbour. You will soon start to rationalise your choice.
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Old 23-08-2005, 01:39   #6
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Thanks to everyone for the tips and advice.

It gets a little overwhelming trying to figure out which way to turn. I almost have to do everything all at one time. Regardless of how I gain more sailing experience, it has been my feeling from the beginning that should be my first step. Unfortunately, I live right in the middle of the US and any type of sailing available is what I've been doing, small boats on small lakes. That's why I was thinking of sailing schools. In order to keep my financial picture moving in the right direction, moving to a location where I could gain some coastal sailing experience isn't really feasible. I can't afford to relocate, secure housing, find a new job, and still have the money I'm expecting to have for a boat purchase.

The 130 K I expect to have for a boat is my ceiling. Ideally I'd really like to keep it more in the neighborhood of 100K. The more I can keep invested, the more likely I can do this before I'm eligible to draw social security.

I'm open to suggestions......

Also, should I move this discussion to another board?

Sammy
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Old 23-08-2005, 09:26   #7
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lso, should I move this discussion to another board?

Why......????
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Old 23-08-2005, 19:52   #8
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No. Keep your discussion right here. It's fine. Since you are in St. Louis, why don't you go over to Alton Marina and have a look around. You won't see many sailboats. but you'll see some trawlers and mostly housboats. If you want to visit cruisers and snowbirds then go down to Kimmswick and hang out at Hoppies. Especially in about a month when people like Jane and I start heading south for the winter. You'll see mostly trawlers and sailboats with their masts on deck. But most of those you meet have made this trip before and know their boats well. And there will be a wide variety throughout September and October. We should be thru there about the third or fourth week of October and would be happy to meet with you. Meanwhile visit with Hoppie, his wife Fern and Pete (he lives on the property and does some odd jobs for Hoppie) There's a lot of knowledge in those three and Fern probably knows more about the boats that pass through than anyone. I've never met a transient that doesn't have good things to say about that place. But I warn you, It's rough around the edges. But still an institution. Show up about 5 with cold beer and you can talk all night. As I recall Natural Lite is Hoppie's brand. Stay in touch if you want to meet up in the fall.

Greg Heart of Gold
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Old 23-08-2005, 20:33   #9
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Dont spend all your money on the boat purchase. There will undoubtedly be a host of expensive extras you will need to be able to modify boat for liveaboard.
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Old 23-08-2005, 21:09   #10
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Save money, buy one hull not two

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Old 24-08-2005, 00:54   #11
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i assume you are following the "2 would be cruisers" thread since much of that applies to your situation as well. even with over 40 years messing around with boats, my newest purchase was a 2 year, on and off, process. the hunt can be a lot of fun, and take you to many nice places and helpful people. yachtworld is a great site to search by type and size. many boats brands will have owner's websites where you can read honest reviews. i learned alot over the last 2 years. capt. lar
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Old 24-08-2005, 23:38   #12
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half a boat

Quote:
boredinthecity once whispered in the wind:
Save money, buy one hull not two

Paul
Why buy a half a boat when you can be fast, upright, and comfortable in a cat.

Just kidding we have many friends that sail leaners and they are OK
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Old 24-08-2005, 23:50   #13
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In the range

It sounds like the type of sailing you are looking for will covers a lot of types of boats.

The price range should put you into some decent Hunters, Catalinas, or Benataues as well as many of the other names.

We previously owned a Hunter335 that was only 10 years when we bought it and it was in supuerb sailing condition for on 38K. We actully sold it for more than we paid and it was in ready to go shape. It was a great coastal Bay cruiser with plenmty of liveaboard room.

You seem to know what you will be doing with your boat so look at them accordingly. If you are not doing blue water or long term cruises don't spend the money for one. Put it towards the best, largest, newest, etc boat that meets the coastal needs.

Even the largest boats get small when you start living aboard. Chatting with other cruisers we have determined that when you find the boat you absolutley love, get the next larger one!
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Old 25-08-2005, 02:08   #14
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Hi all.......

I really appreciate everyone's input, I've got notes all over the place now.

Greg,
I know Alton Marina well. I had a friend that once kept his boat there. A converted tugboat. Beautiful boat, just not my cup of tea. I also know Kimmswick pretty well, surprisingly I'm not familiar with Hoppie's. Guess I spent too much time in the antique shops. I'll keep in touch. Would love to meet up and talk on your trip south.

I've never really given any consideration to a cat, but I do like some of the inherent pluses. Stability for one thing. I've just always imagined living on a traditional boat. I will look at everything in my search. I'm looking for the perfect boat for me.

I really like the Hunter 33, although I really, really like the Hunter 36. It just seems a lot roomier for living aboard. But I get a little concerned if it's too much boat for me. I looked at both at a boat show this past spring. I was just looking to get ideas. I don't plan on purchasing a new boat. They're a little pricy!

As for living aboard, I'm not concerned about adapting to the confined space. That I have done, and am prepared to do long term in order to live the life I want. I am however, a little concerned about some creature comforts. I do like to take regular showers, preferably hot! So a nice head is essential. Speaking of heads, I was thinking last night about the toilet situation. Are they generally chemical toilets with holding tanks? I was curious about how this waste was handled when you are at anchor, or tied up at a marina. Certainly, you can't be just be dumping this overboard. Probably the hardest adjustment to make will be the lack of laundry facilities, and having to go ashore for this mundane chore.

I guess these are some of the reasons I keep thinking I need a larger boat than is really necessary. But because I'm single I also keep thinking I need to keep the size down to something that can be singlehanded without much trouble. I know a lot of that does have to do with having the boat set up properly for singlehanding, and the experience level of the sailor. Or else we may need to add a board to this forum so I can search for someone to live this life with me. Ha, ha, ha........ Internet dating for wanabe liveaboards!

As I said, confined space, if it's well laid out is not problem. I just don't want to spend my retirement years camping. I need a galley that's set up for day to day meal preperation and food storage, and I've got to have a complete head, although I'm not one of those people who reads the morning paper in the head. I just want to take a nice refreshing shower on a regular basis.

Am I asking for too much........... I hope not.

I'd be interested in hearing from you liveaboards what your biggest surprises were when you first made the transition, and what were some of the biggest adjustments you had to make.

Sammy
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Old 25-08-2005, 12:34   #15
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biggest adjusment

Biggest adjustment was not bringing everything onboard we thought we might need. It is easy to say I might need this dodad sometime in the future. We assigned potiential risks and requirements and them put it only the list. We tried to remove or keep items off the boat that didn't meet the critieria.

This has actually saved us money while cruising. We have bought very few souviners and taken more digital pics instead, much better i thing. How many tee shirts does one need. We don't need to prove to others that we have been there and done that by spending money at bars or tourist traps. Saving it for extending our voyage and doing things like traveling to ANgel Falls has made the savings worth while.

It also keeps the weight off the boat.
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