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Old 28-05-2016, 11:12   #1
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Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

Hey all!

We are a small family looking to start a big adventure. We want to travel and sailing seems the perfect way to achieve this as a family. We have been looking at smaller, cheap, center cockpit/aft cabin boats around 35' or less, mainly because there are a lot of boats in this range available for cheap ($10-15k). We are beginner sailors and so are ok with a boat that is not capable of crossing oceans; we just need something that we can coastal cruise/cruise the Bahamas/marina hop in for a few years. We are very heavily inspired by Captain Fatty and his style of sailing/budget cruising.

Anyways, does anyone have any experience with any of these boats and could give us their opinion for coastal cruising/liveaboard worthiness for a family?

S2 9.2C
Out island 33 (Ya I know, not a center cockpit-but some layouts have two quarter berths that would work for us.)
O'Day 32 thru 37
Irwin 37

Any suggestions for boats in this style and price range would be greatly appreciated! We would love to coastal cruise down the West coast of the US and Latin America for a few years, upgrade the boat, and start a circumnavigation. If there are any boats in this style and price range that would be suited to a circumnavigation, please let us know! We are most interested in getting out of the consumerism and negative culture of the US as soon as possible, that is why we are looking at boats in this price range. I am relatively handy and we are not too concerned about everything being in the best shape (besides safety issues), as we can fix those on the way.

Also not sure how often these get shared around here, but here are two videos that have really inspired us:

Go small, go simple, go now:
Vixen's Voyage: https://vimeo.com/139102400

Thanks so much!
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Old 28-05-2016, 13:02   #2
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

Not to discourage you at all. Just sharing some observations and pointers that I think you may want to chew some before swallowing or spiting out ;-)

I think, if you want this to be a family business, you want a safe boat. I am not sure 10 to 15k buys you much of a safe boat in the 30'+ range. You may be lucky and find a bargain. You may be unlucky and waste 10k or 15k that you could use otherwise towards ... your family travels?

Have you traveled with your family, in a boat, before?

Consider making a series of trial runs before you commit your money and energy to a project that (sounds) all new to you. Avoid project boats if your target is to go sailing.

Lin and Larry said that even a short coastal passage may end up as an extended offshore adventure. If such adventures are your ultimate goal, get a boat that can stand up to the demands. Offshore boats can easily cruise inshore. Inshore boats may or may not safely cruise offshore.

You will hear many opinions from different angles. Listen to every one, then make your own decisions.

PS Two years ago when we spent our winter in Martinique we came across a small Waquiez Amphora and we had a look because of unusually decent asking. Later we learned that a small (but very experienced) family of 4 got her and were in the (costly, but pleasant) process of making her their floating home-cum-sailingvan. That asking was 40k. I guess she sold at around 30k.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 28-05-2016, 13:14   #3
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

The OI33 are good, roomy strong boats. hard to go wrong $ for payback. Not too pretty though!
The S2 are reputed to be pretty good.
For coastal cruising any of them would be. Find the best condition one rather than one you are emotionally attached to.
You'll figure it out. But boat work can overwhelm you... so buy carefully.
Some things:
Engine
Tanks
Sails
Rigging
Keel bolts (if any)
Rudder work
Blisters
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Old 28-05-2016, 13:38   #4
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

You should add a Grampian 34 to your list if you can find one (not many made). Centre cockpit ketch with large aft cabin and lots of storage space. Like all Grampians, it's not a finessey boat, but it is solid and simple to maintain. They sell in your price range if you can find one.

We had one, and had plans to sail it out to the Caribbean from the Great Lakes. It would be capable of doing this trip. Many have crossed the Atlantic.
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Old 28-05-2016, 13:52   #5
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

When we were in the Med a fellow cruiser told me he had spent some time with CFatty. One of the stories was that he would arrange pot luck parties on his boat once a week or so. There was enough food and wine left over for several days from all the left overs and that kept their food bill down. An effective strategy when you think about it but probably not something to admire.
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Old 29-05-2016, 05:16   #6
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

Add the CSY 33 to your list.
Not a center cockpit, but a great liveaboard for a small family.
Only 59 were built, usually 1 or 2 for sale at all times.
Strong boats and seaworthy, lots of interior space and storage.
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Old 29-05-2016, 06:30   #7
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, alohafam.
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Old 29-05-2016, 06:33   #8
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

I wonder if Capt. Fatty reads this ? Hello from Bob and Cissy from Maho ! We spent many years on St. John when Fatty wrote for Carib Sailing and had many common friends , we went thru Hugo together on Culebra where Fatty lost his boat and bought another . Are ya out there Fatty ?
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Old 29-05-2016, 08:35   #9
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

Look at the Sovereign 28 (30). Though few are available, they are mid-cockpit with 6'1" headroom in the main cabin. At 8'4" beam and about 7K lbs, they are legal to trailer, which opens a lot of options, from storage to destinations. Can your small family live aboard comfortably in a boat that size is another question. Weekends and vacations, yes, but long term I think you'll get tired of it.
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Old 29-05-2016, 08:40   #10
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

Should be noted Fatty was mostly a "liveaboard" while is daughter was school age and has done his serious cruising once she was grown.


The 9.2C is a great boat but limited for any serious cruising with several people. The 35 (pretty rare) or 11.0 better but (much) more money.


Allied built a few 36 CCs
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Old 29-05-2016, 08:50   #11
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

Why are you starting off in the US? You don't have to buy a boat capable of crossing the pond if you buy one that is already on the other side.

Given the rather tight budget how about one of these, for the size has quite a surprising accommodation. Not fast, and won't frighten the family by leaning over, but have actually crossed oceans. Oh they do appear for sale in the US from time to time.

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Old 29-05-2016, 09:43   #12
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

Quote:
Originally Posted by CSY Man View Post
Add the CSY 33 to your list.
Not a center cockpit, but a great liveaboard for a small family.
Only 59 were built, usually 1 or 2 for sale at all times.
Strong boats and seaworthy, lots of interior space and storage.
CSY 33 for under 15k?
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Old 29-05-2016, 10:09   #13
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

Your quest for a older boat 30plus feet in length, capable of safely carrying your family on coastal passages for 10-15K is admirable. Boats in this category that sell for that amount often have deferred maintenance which would need to be done to meet your criteria "capable of safely carrying your family on coastal passages". I bought my 35 ft 1974 boat for 14K. I am just finishing a rigging restoration of the mast to make the boat a safe coastal passage maker. Inspect your potential boat carefully. I knew the possible age of the rigging and planned the project from the purchase. Cost nearly what I paid for the boat. I now have a safe coastal passage maker that I can take my family/grandkids aboard.

While the rigging looked serviceable during inspection and survey, I went up the mast to inspect the spreaders at the end of my first ownership season. I found the wooden spreaders rotted. Thus the start of a 5 month winter project.

Search for the boat you like, but inspect for the value you plan to buy.
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Old 29-05-2016, 10:14   #14
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

I'm not sure you'll want a center cockpit in that size range. We have a 42' cc and the layout gives up a lot of accommodation space when scaled down to less than 40' or so compared to aft cockpits.

If you want some first hand info regarding casting off with family on a budget send me a pm. We're a couple years ahead of you, left this past Dec.
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Old 29-05-2016, 10:15   #15
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Re: Small center cockpits for coastal cruising liveboard family

As a happy owner I endorse the O/I 33 as a good choice for a family cruiser. You might find one at the top of your range but condition is everything and I guarantee you will spend another 20-40% in fitting out and adding toys.. But before running to the marina with a checkbook I urge you to spend a week sharing a single bathroom with your family. You might find your tolerance for cruising is limited and a daysailer might be a better option. The biggest boat is still close quarters.
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