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View Poll Results: What is the smallest size bluewater monohull cruiser for a family of four?
Less than 28 ft 0 0%
28 ft to 34 ft 6 16.22%
35 ft to 38 ft 6 16.22%
39 ft to 42 ft 17 45.95%
43 ft to 47 ft 5 13.51%
Greater than 48 ft 3 8.11%
Voters: 37. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-05-2011, 17:59   #1
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Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

Have been trying to determine the "smallest" size boat we could get by with as a bluewater cruiser. Trying to attach a poll to this thread - hope it works.

Only parameter i have is: seven seas circumnavigable monohull live aboard cruiser

Appreciate your thoughts and input.

Best Regards,
DJ
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Old 05-05-2011, 18:01   #2
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

WHat are the ages of the kids?
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Old 05-05-2011, 18:04   #3
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

Presently 6 1/2 and 5, but we would plan to cruise until they are ready for college.

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Old 05-05-2011, 18:39   #4
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

Boys, girls, one of each?
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Old 05-05-2011, 18:41   #5
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

Both are boys.
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Old 05-05-2011, 20:24   #6
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

Well your budget could be an issue but you don't mention that detail. If cost is not an issue then I would get the biggest boat I could comfortably handle shorthanded. For me that would be max 45-50'.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:28   #7
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

May I ask why you are ruling out cats? Is it to do with budget or something else? I have 3 kids, we have a 72 mono which works beautifully for us. I wouldn't be wanting to take kids to sea in anything under 50, but you can probably make do with 45 but much less than that and I think you will find as the years go on with growing kids space will become an issue.
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Old 08-05-2011, 00:32   #8
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

Well we are in the exact same position. Except our kids are 3.5yrs and 14 month old girls.
I think a lot just depends on personality and how adaptable you are. Kids will adapt as well as thier parents do. If its not an issue for you it will be less likely an issue for them.
Having said that this is not really about surviving but rather living a life style that will have some comfort.
If money was not a huge issue for us we could get by easy on a 38 that we have our eye on. There have been a few 35-36 footers we could get by on easily too. They of course are the same price as the much nicer 38 we like.
However this will prolong our leap and we want to start lioving now. Our 28 footer will be on the market very soon and if it sells fairly quickly......we will buy a N 31 thats circumnavigated and is set up ready to go or if that sold something simular.
That is all thats in our current budget and it wont be easy but we feel with some mods we can do it on a descent 31. It will be tight and we will most likely step up in size once the girls are reaching thier teens. By then we will be able to buy the next boat and sell the 31 for a kitty fund. Thats the plan anyway.
BTW this has been a 12 year plan getting us here and everthing we have set out to do has gone ahead. We currently rent a very small one bedroom while we finish selling all our stuff and we find less is more.
So if I was you and looking at one yacht for 4 until college with 2 boys. I would say 35-38 would be about the smallest and still comfortable in the right design and layout of yacht.
What we found looking was that its more about layout and design then just length. Often the layout seems to be just more of the same as they get larger until the yacht is very big. We dont need a bigger head and a bigger table galley stc what we need is a layout thats suited to 4 long term. Now personally since thats just out of reach for us we will take an additional step and move aboard a smaller vessel first until we out grow it.

Hope this helps in some way
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Old 08-05-2011, 15:33   #9
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

JJB, with regards to catamarans: in fact, we REALLY want a cat. Issue is $ and long term cruising time.

We wanted to find the "sweet spot". i.e. the smallest monohull that would comfortably sail in blue water with four of us on-bard. Our hopes were that this smallest size boat would yield us the lowest cost boat and hopefully keep our kitty larger ... for more long term cruising :-)
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Old 08-05-2011, 15:35   #10
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

Mischief,

I agree with you. We have personally been thinking about a boat in the 40-45 foot range. Large enough for comfortable cruising, but small enough for single handing and also leaves us some $ in the kitty for several years of cruising.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Old 09-05-2011, 16:48   #11
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

Thanks Skipmac.

As is probably the case for 90% of sailors out there, budget is certainly a concern.

We have a reasonable cruising kitty built up, but would like to purchase a boat for less than $150k if we could.

I think the larger 50 ft boats may be out of our price range.
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Old 09-05-2011, 18:26   #12
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

For a good cruising boat in the 40-45' range I think you have a very realistic budget. If you're trying to get something with a separate cabin for the two boys you have several options. The most common is a center cockpit/aft cabin layout. The down side is most of these the third cabin is the main solon so one boy gets the forepeak and the other sleeps in the "living room".

I have seen a few boats with double aft cabins and forepeak so everyone could have a private cabin.

So have you found any likely candidates yet?
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Old 09-05-2011, 19:32   #13
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

One thing not being talked about is age of the boat. Just comparing and making assumpsions based on length are not very good. A modern 45' boat is a lot different space wise than a 1985 45' boat.
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Old 09-05-2011, 20:44   #14
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

Give some consideration to the real singlehanding experience. Is your partner big enough and strong enough to reef down in a half-gale on the 0300-0600 watch? I have enough sea hours now to know that 41 feet and not the 45 I wanted is about as much as my strong...but not particularly tall...wife can manage in a blow. Because while you are always going to be available in an emergency, it's better if ALL crew members can sleep off watch...and you'll be amazed how well you can sleep in heavy weather when sufficiently tired from days of trying to stay upright in a seaway. My EYEBROWS hurt after nine days of being stuck in a moving low trough and just constantly bracing myself...I could even pass out in the V-berth, no problem.

So picture yourself not even on the boat: Can your wife make port and work the boat safely?

We are leaving in two years, when my son will be 11 or so and will have a few years of sail training behind him. Once on the ocean, I will expect him to do a two-hour daylight watch, especially if his mother and I are alternating night watches for two or three weeks.

Just something to consider. A bigger boat allows you to bring more goodies, but is not necessarily safer if the increased forces and more complex systems prove to be beyond the crew.
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Old 11-05-2011, 18:49   #15
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Re: Typical Bluewater Liveaboard Size - Family of 4

Don Lucas

We have been focusing on boats that are less than 20 years old (i.e. not older than the mid 1990's).
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