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Old 15-03-2013, 09:29   #1
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Noob from Treasure Island

Hey all. Wife and I are finally ready to give up land living and start a new adventure. We both just turned 50 and with an empty nest and our nomadic lifestyle we are going to pursue our dreams of sailing and living aboard.

We are OTR truck drivers and live in a 8x8x8 box for weeks on end comfortably. When we looked at a 27' Hunter and 27' O'Day we realized that we'd be doubling our living space!

The plan is to buy something inexpensive in 27-30 foot range, learn to sail in next couple of years and figure out what we want and need in a boat, so the next one will be The One.
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Old 15-03-2013, 09:43   #2
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Re: Noob from Treasure Island

Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you are at the beginning of a grand adventure!
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Old 15-03-2013, 09:58   #3
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Re: Noob from Treasure Island

sounds great! 30 feet seems a lot more liveable than 27 to me.... Some good deals out there if you look enough and are ready to act when the actual good deal shows up. A bunch of boats out there that are cheap and deservedly so... they hang around. But once in a while a good boat at a give away price appears and goes fast. The more you look, the easier it will be to recognize that boat....
I cruised the Caribe with friends who were truckers previously....
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Old 15-03-2013, 10:05   #4
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Re: Noob from Treasure Island

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Originally Posted by AlKay191 View Post
We are OTR truck drivers and live in a 8x8x8 box for weeks on end comfortably. When we looked at a 27' Hunter and 27' O'Day we realized that we'd be doubling our living space!
That's a great attitude! BUT you're not getting any younger. I say get THE boat now, and just try not to sink it.
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Old 15-03-2013, 10:41   #5
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Re: Noob from Treasure Island

Welcome, my aunt & uncle used to live on TI, lovely place. You might want to consider the Catalina 30, there were over 6,000 of them made, a great starter boat with twice the room of a 27. Many available at all sorts of prices and condition, but I would firmly suggest you get one that can sail rather than trying to fix one up. Good luck.
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Old 15-03-2013, 11:15   #6
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Re: Noob from Treasure Island

Here's some starter boats East Florida:
http://miami.craigslist.org/brw/boa/3676025146.html
http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/boa/3654289536.html
http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/boa/3673651216.html
http://miami.craigslist.org/mdc/boa/3669754900.html
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Old 15-03-2013, 11:39   #7
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Re: Noob from Treasure Island

Welcome aboard! Sounds like a great plan!
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Old 15-03-2013, 12:42   #8
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Re: Noob from Treasure Island

Man - I wish you were in upstate NY! I have a perfect Hunter 30 for you! Comfortable v-berth if the admiral gets mad at you!! We would weekend and vacation for a week in it and were very comfortable. They're beamy and have walk around room down below. Cockpit becomes a "veranda" with the right bimini, etc.

Good luck to ya and welcome aboard!
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Old 15-03-2013, 12:58   #9
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Re: Noob from Treasure Island

Aloha and welcome aboard!
Good to have you here. You'll be moving up!
kind regards,
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Old 15-03-2013, 13:03   #10
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Re: Noob from Treasure Island

My suggestion is to go to 30+, even if you have to take an older boat.

Your 8x8x8 box comes supplemented with a truck stop lounge, wide open parking lot, and local entertainment.

Your sailboat comes with a gangplank, and is surrounded by shark infested waters.

a bigger boat not only has more space, but generally can be expected to handle better on the open water.

Treasure Island is my little secret in SoFl. If I don't retire to a boat, I'll retire to Treasure Island (except that I'm sure it will change between now and then )
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Old 15-03-2013, 14:26   #11
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Re: Noob from Treasure Island

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Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
My suggestion is to go to 30+, even if you have to take an older boat.

Your 8x8x8 box comes supplemented with a truck stop lounge, wide open parking lot, and local entertainment.

Your sailboat comes with a gangplank, and is surrounded by shark infested waters.

a bigger boat not only has more space, but generally can be expected to handle better on the open water.

Treasure Island is my little secret in SoFl. If I don't retire to a boat, I'll retire to Treasure Island (except that I'm sure it will change between now and then )
My 8x8x8 isn't supplemented by much at all ... local entertainment comes only from watching other truck drivers trying to back up. Some, probably just like boaters, are very good at it, but most make me cringe.
Truck stop lounge isn't much of entertainment. Though, truck drivers swear and lie as much as sailors, most lack the intelligence and charm, not to mention good hygiene.
Wide open parking lots exist only before 7pm. After that there is a rush for secure parking spot for the night and what we call "creative parking". You'd be amazed what kind of spot a 70 foot rig can be squeezed into ... even if it is blocking fire escapes, fuel pumps and 3 other trucks.
For my wife, a simple walk to the bathroom is equivalent to swimming with sharks or walking past a pack of wolves with a pork chop hanging on your neck. Then there is always that knock on the door at 3am by a Lot Lizard. Even if you say NO, she'll keep knocking, hoping that you would move and vacate the spot for a paying customer.

All in all it is still fun. We've seen all 48 and some Canada. We are picking up a load tonight down at Mexican border that is going up to BC Canada. We'll be taking our truck on the barge to Vancouver Island.

I know that at some point we will need a bigger boat, but for now I'd like to learn on something in the 27-30' range. We usually take off 10-15 days every few weeks, but when the time comes for full time living aboard, we'll be looking at a major upgrade.

Thank you all for great advice and please keep it coming! I'm sure I'll have many stupid questions as we dive deeper into this lifestyle change.
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Old 23-03-2013, 04:09   #12
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If I was just two people, and of course I'm in a different area I would be looking at a NZ made compass H28. Almost 30' very good layout for a small size and very good sea keeping ability, a go anywhere yacht. Out this way if your on the hunt they can be good value for money. Another nice boat that I almost bought before was a Nicholson 31 but the broker was slack and it sold for less than we offered the month before however he was holding out and didn't relay our offer by the time he came back to us we moved on. Anyway I preferred it to the 32 and if your on the hunt I would hold out for a boat that is well equipped. The one we almost bought was a world cruiser.

So yes you could go less than 30 but no matter what you picked if its a boat that you plan to go out of protected waters with I would pick foremost a stout build that can handle heavy weather and seas.

Yes you can start with something more suited to coastal fair weather sailing. But honestly if your thinking that way I would start with dinghy sailing then a day sailor and work up but I don't think that's your intention. Either you stick with the boat that can take you places or you trade up. If you have a heavy weather capable boat here's some benefits;

1) you and your wife can feel confident in the boat
2) you can slowly build up experience including heavier weather which will benefit you for your long term goals.
3) by having a design you are confident in even if the weather is not beyond that of a lesser vessel as a beginner you may not know that and having confidence in the vessel means you can focus on your skills.

Now with both of the boats that I mentioned I have met numerous cruising couples and the wives were always content with the boats. This is important.

I have kept in mind what you have said about your needs. Many may tell you you need more but only you truly know what you can deal with. We are a family of 4 and this is our last year ashore. Within the next 12 months we hope to be aboard our 33'.
We are simple to and if it was just the 2 of us we could even go smaller on the right boat. What I mean is if there were 2 boats and they both had the same sea keeping qualities where both outfitted with the same sort of gear and one was a 33 the other was a 29 both with good beam but the smaller one had the character and style that we love and the other was plain white inside. Well we could only live in the smaller.

So I think your best bet is finding the qualities of a boat that you desire in your budget and rough size than go hunting for the right boat.

Anyway I hope this gives you another perspective to consider. Follow the advice so many say and that is go now!
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