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Old 20-11-2015, 08:12   #1
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Transition form house to sailboat.

Hello fellow sailors, my name is Glenn and I am From the Connecticut coast. My wife Daphne and I are going to be selling our house and living the remainder of our lives on a sailboat. Those that know me would think this would be a normal step for me because I have been sailing since the age of 8 and I am now 52 and most of my spare time has been messing around in sailboats of all different types and sizes. All of this being said, I find myself nervous about making this step. We are selling our house which we raised 3 kids in and now they are all on their own and we are sitting in a 6 bedroom house with way to much room. I will still be working for 13 more years and our retirement plan has always been cruising. Rather than downsizing to a smaller house for 13 years we have decided to buy our dreamboat now. We are looking for a boat form 50 to 60 ft with a beam of at least 15 ft I am leaning toward a center cockpit due to the roomy aft cabin. Can anyone suggest a great boat with tons of living space and a solid ocean going yacht. We are not going to be buying new I am looking at 10 to 20 years old. Some of the Gulfstars that I have seen are nice, and look suitable for our needs. Thank you for this forum... Glenn.


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Old 20-11-2015, 08:36   #2
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

Maybe it's just me but I find it interesting that someone who has been around sailboats his whole like chooses a Gulfstar.
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Old 20-11-2015, 10:55   #3
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

Tayanas are very nice and high quality for sailing and liveaboard. Also Island Packets and Pacific Seacraft. But it depends on if how and where you go cruising. These boats, and many others, can go anywhere, but they are expensive (but worth it depending). You can find Gulfstars that are in an entirely different price range but the quality is completely different too as are the sailing characteristics. Easy to find reviews for smaller older 30-50' cruisers in Good Old Boat and some online sites like bluewaterboats.org, but newer bigger boats are usually only reviewed in the big sailing magazines.

But, just a thought, we did what you are doing before, but we downsized to a smaller house first and then transitioned to our boat. And we had a storage unit to put stuff we couldn't throw or give away. It gives you time to sort out what is really important and what isn't. So big house --->smaller house--->boat plus storage unit---->boat only (or with permanent storage unit). Good luck and have fun. It is a LOT of work though. I'm sure you can manage going straight to a boat from big house too, just another idea. But get the storage unit any way so you will have some stuff that you might want if liveaboard is not your cup of tea. It costs a bloody fortune to start up a house again.
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Old 20-11-2015, 11:11   #4
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

Hi Glenn and Daphne,

Welcome to the forum.

Your general plan is a good one; what better way to become familiar with and have time to work on your boat before tossing off the dock lines?

We are a few steps ahead of you, but are still in the throes of everything you mention on the land side of this transition.

Regarding vessels that can be handled by two and are very comfortable and spacious, I'm sure you find several to your liking. We decided this time around [boat#5; our last?] we also wanted a pilot house as a living room. [Meaning we can look out the windows at water level while seated...] We also wanted an inside steering station as an option.

But we like to sail, so our focus narrowed to the S&S designed Nauticat 40, 43, or 52 from the 1980s and '90s. We ended up with a 43 and couldn't be more pleased. A bluewater capable boat with luxurious space for its size... [as is the case with all Nauticats.]

In case this is of interest to you.

Have fun with your transition. I look forward to following your progress.

Cheers!

Bill

PS: For some reason we have members on this forum that are compelled to introduce themselves in a confrontational way- especially to newcomers to the forum. It is best to ignore them as we do since they do not represent the majority of the members here, and rarely if ever do they address the questions posed anyway...
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Old 20-11-2015, 11:20   #5
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

13 yrs before you go?
Buy a small boat for weekend cruising and buy a small house, or go sooner.
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Old 20-11-2015, 11:45   #6
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

SV illusion thanks so much for the warm welcome of basically calling me a moron. I currently sail a Hinckley islander is that nice enough for you and better yet does it qualify me to have an opinion of a nice boat. With that off my chest, thank you to everyone who wrote back with your positive comments and encouragement to continue my plans.


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Old 20-11-2015, 11:58   #7
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

I wasn't trying to be negative, but 13 winters is a lot, and refitting a 60' boat is not going to be cheap by any means. I think your better off waiting ten or so years and then buy that 10 yr old boat
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Old 20-11-2015, 13:01   #8
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sail231047 View Post
We are looking for a boat form 50 to 60 ft with a beam of at least 15 ft >|< Can anyone suggest a great boat with tons of living space and a solid ocean going yacht.
My two cents: that is a lot of boat to handle and maintain. Doesn't have to be a problem at all, but I noticed you posted how you've been sailing most of your life - how about your wife? Can she handle and sail a 50' - 60' boat solo?

When you need to sleep during longer trips, or even on day trips should you fall ill for instance, your wife will have to be able to handle and sail the boat on her own.
I've seen too many couples stuck to land / marina's because their boat was simply too big for them ...

Having said that: if you both want to become liveaboards now, DO IT! There's no reason to wait. You have all the time in the world to look for the boat that best fits with both your needs, you'll have plenty of time to get used to living on a boat and to get her ready and to fit all of your needs. And, also a great bonus, you'll have plenty of time to take her out and get to know her.

Edit: on the 'tons of living space': storage space is what boats lack
We all have different wants and needs, but in general: look at the layout of the boat. Extra heads, showers, berths etc. can take up a lot of living space while you may not have guests often enough to actually need them.
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Old 20-11-2015, 13:23   #9
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

Hello, and welcome. I'm also new around here. Since you've been sailing for most your life and have 20 years more experience than me. I will offer you what little advice I can. First thing first, what are you going to do with the boat? Coastal sailing, blue water? You also need to think about the slip fee and maintenance on a boat of that caliper, neither will be cheap. The house I'm sure is paid for, your new slip will not be. My suggestion is hit the local marinas and just walk the docks. Look at all the boats and strike up conversations with the owners. I gathered tons of information this way, also you get a chance to see how the different boats are aging. My 2 cents are these, for two people I'd stick around 38-46' (personal preference)and buy one from the early 80's that's been taken care of. Then spend the next 10 years refitting and sailing it around. The money you could save on a 38-46' and 13 years of a smaller boat's slip fee will probably cover the 80k refit. This would also give you plenty of time to learn how to fix everything that could go wrong in your sleep.


Wauquiez makes a centurion in the 50-60' range. Bullet proof blue water boat, just stay in the 80's with them. After Henry Wauquiez was no longer involved in the building them, the quality of the hull construction began to slip in my option.
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Old 20-11-2015, 14:19   #10
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

How did you decide on that size?

Consider this: If you get a smaller boat, you will save on the boat itself, as well as on slip fees and maintenance. Then, you could retire early!

It seems to me that choosing a hypothetical boat is for dreamers. I have heard stories of people who spend 2-3 years traveling around to find just the right boat. Those who follow through go and see what is available and choose one of those.
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Old 20-11-2015, 14:45   #11
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
Maybe it's just me but I find it interesting that someone who has been around sailboats his whole like chooses a Gulfstar.



Patsy has sailed her very nice Gulfstar 50 Talion in many of the Baja Ha Ha rallies on West coast and returning to San Diego. She is known for sailing the entire distance down the coast to Cabo. It is a fine looking and performing boat. I think a good condition Gulfstar would be a good choice.

Our boat, a Celestial 48, is a similar layout to the Gulfstar, but different designer/builder and fewer were built. Maybe a little under your desired size however.
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Old 20-11-2015, 15:40   #12
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

sail231047,

Welcome aboard.

My suggestion, too, is to get sailing with your wife. If you want her to be happy as a liveaboard cruiser, whether or not you go international, she will be happiest if she feels confidence in her ability to handle the boat by herself if something happens that incapacitates you, even for a short time. I hope you can encourage her to develop solid sailing skills. IMO, it is not good for one of the partners to lack sailing skills: it makes the unknowledgeable one too dependent. This is true also, of the rare cases where it is the chap who is the one without the knowledge.

As to the center cockpit issue. There are pros and cons each way. You tend to be closer to the spray, therefore tend to encourage huge, ugly (imo) cockpit enclosures. Jim convinced me that it was silly to devote that much space for somewhere one usually spends on the order of 8 hrs. per night, at anchor. We have always had aft cockpit boats. I'll grant you though, it's easier to make an island bed.

If you get your wife sailing and learning about it, before you purchase the dream boat, her input will be more meaningful as to what a "dream boat" actually might be for her. As the unknowledgeable one, she is pretty much in the "yes, Dear" realm, forced to have you make decisions alone into which she, by rights, as a long term partner, should be able to make input. This is a situation that might rise up to smite you later.

Gulfstar in particular, I have heard are not of the highest quality construction. This may be in error, but you would want to have a careful look at older ones, and look for signs of tabbing coming loose, gelcoat cracks from flexing, chainplate problems, those sorts of issues. We have known people who have circumnavigated on a Gulfstar 50, and they were content with it.

People vary a lot in their security needs. Jim and I left quite young by today's standards, selecting exploration over higher dollar value retirement, partly driven by the death of one of Jim's co-workers. Suddenly, we had the notion that we didn't have 'infinite' time any more, that something cruise-stopping could happen at any moment. So I really hear A64pilot's "go now" advice.

Another concern I have is the transition from a 6 b.r. house to any boat at all under about 80 ft. oa [totally arbitrary size selection]. This will be a big adjustment for both of you. Ex-Maggie Drum's suggestion to transition in stages, makes sense, too, in some ways.

If you have never worked from a boat, one thing you will find is that business world clothes take up a lot more room and need more attentive care than cruising clothes. Look for a couple of his/hers hanging lockers, at least. They can be converted to shelves later on.

Good luck with it all, and enjoy the processes.

Ann
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Old 20-11-2015, 19:13   #13
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

These are all great suggestions and I really do appreciate the help and feedback. My wife has been sailing with me for 30 years and she is an accomplished sailor. When our house sells we are in no rush to buy a boat. We plan in renting a place while we search for the perfect boat for our needs and I will have a complete survey done by 2 surveyors. I do not plan on buying a project boat and will be very careful with our selection. 50 to 60 feet is a large boat and painting and re rigging are going to be very expensive, but something that I have considered not to mention sails. What I pay right now in property taxes in Ct will be cheaper than renting a slip so that issue is not a problem. If we find a smaller boat that we can be comfortable in then I am all for it. My 30 foot Hinkley Islander is all mahogany planked and and a beautiful boat, but talk about maintenance!!! Fiberglass is a welcome relief. I have a Yngling that I race she is 40 years young and still going strong she had a few blisters a few years back but I was able to tackle the job without that much of a headache. I don't pretend to know everything about what I plan on doing and the suggestions and comments are very helpful to us.
We don't want to wait 13 more years to do this because life is short and you never know what will happen day to day. We count our blessings and move forward.



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Old 21-11-2015, 04:42   #14
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Re: Transition form house to sailboat.

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Glenn (& Daphne).
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