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Old 17-02-2009, 18:13   #31
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lots of great info here and alot of opinions as your bound to find when asking the ultimate question. Define what you want to do in a boat and I'm sure you'll receive all the answers you could ever want.
storage, water maker, large tanks, good bunks, loaded galley!!!!

"I am the Master of my Fate,
I am the Captain of my Soul."
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Old 17-02-2009, 18:23   #32
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What seems to make the crew happy

Having done a couple of 6 month runs from the US to southern Mexico and back I would say the things that we appreciated the most are:

Good bunks
Solid stove and oven
Lots of storage
High quality dingy with big outboard
Big big anchor ! (It can not be too big if you want to sleep well)

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Old 17-02-2009, 18:50   #33
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Minggat has been our home for 9 years now. Before I bought, I picked up the book, "The Livaboard Report". great help.

Sometimes I just have to stop and remind myself that in truth, I am "camping" without the dirt.

My comments on things listed above as well as a couple of my own favorites.

Solar panels-yes. as much as you can get so as to avoid getting a genertator (wind or gas-do you really want to spend time in a windy, noisey anchorage?). And get enough battery capacity to make it worthwhile.

Efficient refridgeration- (See #1) Your question was Liveaboard/cruiser. Not minimalist. Refridgeration is the killer, so get it right. Proper insulation is a huge part of this.
auto steering system-yes. You'll love yourself for it
watermaker? I have one. DO NOT go for mega gallons. My 1.5 gph unit is currently pickeled. Don't need it. Be of the mind set that you don't need to produce all your water. Just some of it. It's the idea of a watermaker that many people fall in love with. Not the actual need.

Dodger for spray and wind protection-There is not a single boat I can think of here that does not have one.

Some kind of sun or rain protection. A bimini is/may be only part of that.
Lots of storage, and a waterline than can handle it all.

SSB? I don't have one. Many people I know that do find that a simple receiver gets a lot more use. I'm planning on getting the Kaito 1103. I have not yet died because I don't have either an SSB or a receiver. VHF- goes without saying.

A good dinghy. A surprising number of dinks cruising are HARD dinks. I have one of each (hard/sailing dink-my favorite, and a go fast inflatable) both have outboards.

A place to call your corner of the world (the part of the boat you live in). That covers kind of a lot of things. Quality mattress- not cushions. A place you can sit and enjoy, not a place you want to escape from.

12) Good tankage.
Water? see #4. I carry 40 gallons. My boat came with 80 gallons worth. Water weighs more than a small water maker. GET FOOT PUMPS. Saves water and power. Alos less messy. Wet hands dripping and slinging water to close the valve are no more. My wife still loves the pressuer water. She washed more dishes than I do.

Fuel. Make sure your main tank is not so close to springing a leak and carry jerry cans.

Lines leading aft/ sail handeling setup.
I hate leaving the cockpit undersail when it's not so nice out. (But I do love to go forward and just sit when it is nice)

Anchor windlass. You want hamburger hands? Try plucking up your anchor without one.

Sound system. Well… I wouldn’t want to be without one.

vacuum cleaner. You'd be surprised how quick such a small living space get discusting. I bought a stinger and tucked it into a spot mid ship. Then I bought enough hose to go to both ends of the boat. The stinger also has the "blow" connection to help inflat the dink faster.

I dunno.

It's a steep and expensive (and I can picture it sometimes being a dangerous) learning curve. You can trash a lot of money finding out that what you thought was needed or a good idea turned out to be otherwise. There is a lot of opinion out there. You just asked for some of it. There is no end to it.

One favorite pastime is walking the dock and stealing ideas.

Minggat is 36 ft. No aft cabin. Would I like to have one. Sure. But I'd rather keep this boat. My quarter berth is my garage. It can be emptied and used for sleeping- no problem. We did rebuild the fridge box. It's huge and has plenty of insulation. We also have a seperate chest freezer. I think I went a little overboard in that department. Part of my learning curve. But 4 solar panels handle it just fine and we are not sacrificing. "Big roomy interior" is what I commonly hear.
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Old 22-02-2009, 10:56   #34
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One more observation (after living aboard for two years) that I forgot to mention. Unless your marina is very sheltered and the stink boats assiduously respect the "no wake" signs, you'll want a heavy keeled boat. If you want an illustration of what I'm saying, just walk down the docks when there's a wake running through the marina. Notice the boats that look like bouncing betty (light, fin keelers, generally) and notice the boats whose masts hardly move. You'll appreciate living in the latter.

The same goes for a windy day at the slip, although then you need to factor in the size of the rig as well as the windage. I have a tall mast that acts like a giant level in cross-winds, but it is fairly well mitigated by the ballast. A lot of other boats will have you living on the cabin sides in such conditions.

Of course, some of these considerations fall right in line with seaworthy vs. not so much, IMO, but that's a different dog in a different fight (or thread).
Voyage of Symbiosis:
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Old 22-02-2009, 15:42   #35
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Ah the $64,000 question! Which has almost as many answers...

Firstly what type of cruising do you want to do? Coastal?Blue water? day sailing?Passage making?

The answer to this will determine the answer to your first question, well maybe.

for me the 3 things I cannot live without are:

radar, so I can see(!) if we are going to hit anything.

self-steering gear, no power use on long passages,reliable and accurate.

staysail, we have a cutter rig and the ability to reef down and balance the boat with the staysail is priceless in stormy conditions.

My only other piece of advice is NOT to start by camping on the boat. Good bedding, nice china, wine glasses and other luxuries are vital to being content long term afloat. After all you are probably leaving a comfortable home and in time will resent too much of a spartan lifestyle.
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Old 24-02-2009, 08:21   #36
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Help!!! We are going cruising on a 27' Norsea. Very small living quarters. Any suggestions for clothing storage?
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Old 24-02-2009, 09:47   #37
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gear nets---hammocks for foods, clothings, etc.......have fun!!!!
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Old 26-02-2009, 13:52   #38
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Use pillows for storing bulkier items like fleecies etc, comfy in use and space saving! Invest in some vac pac bags, by removing air in packaging you can store much more clothing!

Take only easi-care fabrics that you can wash and dry overnight. Cuts down on the changes of clothing that you need to carry.

More difficult if sailing in higher latitudes, in the tropics you really need very little!
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Old 28-02-2009, 16:38   #39
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Fuel Capacity?

I notice that few have mentioned fuel capacity. We are in the process of narrowing down a choice and I was wondering about fuel capacity. Our use would be to the Caribbean from the east coast and then cruise and live aboard for a year or two, longer if possible. How many gallons of fuel would be ideal for such cruising? I know it’s necessary to have extra fuel for the passage down. But once in the Caribbean what would be sufficient with out having to strap extra jugs to the decks?
Thanks all,
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Old 28-02-2009, 19:12   #40
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Depends how much you sail!!

Seriously if you are the type who turns the engine on to 'get' to an anchorage you will need more capacity.

Having said that after 5 years in the Caribbean and carrying 125 gallons of fuel we have never come close to running out.Fuel is available most everywhere even though you will need some jerryjugs in order to dinghy it aboard.

I would say that we sail more than most but less than some.
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Old 28-02-2009, 19:32   #41
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Originally Posted by jwidahonurse View Post
Help!!! We are going cruising on a 27' Norsea. Very small living quarters. Any suggestions for clothing storage?
Our last boat was a 27 Nor'sea with aft cockpit. We used the quaterberths for storage. Otherwise I would suggest get rid of a lot of clothing and stay in the warmer climates.

My one MUST HAVE for any boat is adequate head room. Since I only have one head, getting it bent up on low ceilings, and low booms gets old fast.
Was looking today on Yachtworld at Mason 50-60 footers. Wonderful boats, lots of room, but at 8 times the cost of our E40 its just not in the works, ever. So we make do with what we have.
Its funny, when you have a 27 foot boat, you want a 40 footer. When you have a 40, you dream of a 50, and when you have a 50, I suppose I would wish for a 40 footer again.

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Old 02-03-2009, 06:59   #42
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Annk has hit it. We had a 32 Gemini Catamaran and cruised for 5 years. We traveled coastal US, the ICW and the Bahamas. We had an outboard so we used gas, rather than diesel and we burned very little fuel. We only carried 24 gallons of fuel on the Gemini and never ran out, but we sailed or power sailed most of the time. We didn't want excessive amounts of gasoline on the boat so we didn't have any jerry jugs... only the 6 gal container used for the dinghy. We used the engine for safety reasons getting into and out of anchorages and slips or if we felt uncomfortable with tight conditions. Fuel was always available when we stopped and we made a point of 'topping off', even if we weren't low on fuel.

So I would agree with Annk, fuel capacity is a product of how you travel. If you power a lot, you'll need a lot of fuel. If you sail most of the time, you'll need less.

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Old 02-03-2009, 08:35   #43
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We live aboard with a small child...

The admiral says most important: (not in order)

1. heater
2. fridge and ice cubes (baby food and cocktail hour)
3. big sink (enough to fit a fry pan and clean)
4. a place to shower
5. reliable diesel (nothing worse than conching out in a rough channel)

On her wish list would be:

1. hot water at the tap.

My list is a little different:

1. solar panels
2. wind generator
3. good rowing/sailing dinghy
4. 2kw inverter (to power computer/tools etc..)
5. autopilot & windvane self steering

My wish list would be:

1. a pullman berth with queen sized bed and a great mattress.
1993 Gemini 3400 Catamaran
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:53   #44
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This works for us as we live in the tropics and have sun most of the time.

Your number 1 and 2 can supply the Admiral's number 1 and 2. They'll also solve your number 4. We tossed the generator, put in solar panels (6 40watt kyocera panels) & extra battery banks and installed 12 volt plugs to run our computers, small electronics and charge some of our tools. Have yet to run out of power for everyday use (not refrigeration). We did a test run on using our solar to run our freezer/refrig. Works great, but we'll need more panels to sustain everything. We're in the process of adding the needed solar panels for the refrigerator/freezer.

A propane heater would provide hot water on demand. Don't have it now, but did have it on our first boat and it worked fabulously well for us.

Giving the Admiral a big sink is an inexpensive thing to do if you have the room and the benefits of having a happy Admiral are exponential!

We just bought a great dinghy (11'6") and can't believe how good it is and how inexpensive it was. Try and ask for Sam. It rows well and runs like a bandit with a 15hp engine.

Have a happy!

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Old 02-03-2009, 19:37   #45
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A great stove/oven that works and works well. A hot meal is so important!

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