Originally Posted by andrei_ca
Only where electric
conversion is concerned, in this topic only mate. It's all for keeping discussions organized and fairly focused. Electric
motors is not the point of this topic and it would be a waste of time because I'm using fringe elements. I don't wanna hear on solar pannels, acid batteries
or expensive stuff like LiFePo4
because it's got nothing to do with it.
It might help to tell us exactly what sort of propulsion
and house power you are considering.
There are a lot of '70s-'80s Catalinas and CALs out there that can be had for next to nothing. Sometimes literally for nothing if you want a project boat
. I grabbed my current boat
for $2k cash, complete with transferable slip in a marina that had a several year waiting list. I actually bought the boat for the slip, tbh but then started tinkering with it and the rest is history
2-27 built 1976, upgraded rigging
, 10 sails
, non-running, at the time, Atomic 4. I moved in right away as I was between apartments, and I got to say, I am living a lot cheaper than paying rent on land. Space is an issue. I have hobbies and projects, and it can be punishing, to make space for everything. I have to step out on deck
just to change my mind. If you like to "work on stuff" aboard, definitely don't go with anything smaller than say a Catalina 30
. If you are single
, definitely don't go with anything over 45'. Stay away from extremes. EVERY BOAT is a compromise. There is no perfect boat, except maybe the one you fall in love with and whose faults you conveniently ignore.
I have done a lot of work
and modification to mine, and this can be tough when living aboard
. I built a shower
stall, unheard of on a 27' CAL
. I fixed and upgraded the old Atomic, then when the fuel tank
started leaking and I couldn't remove it without pulling the engine
, I converted to Electric and it suits me fine. I will be doing some bulkhead modifications in the future, but I am under no illusions. It can be acceptable to cut a door in a bulkhead, but not to remove it, under any circumstances, IMHO, even if the boat will just be a dock
queen / floating apartment. The level of unacceptability varies of course with the boat and the intended use.
My suggestion is to just get a boat. Get a boat. Get a boat. Stay cheap
, and realize that your first boat will not be your last. It will be a learning
platform and MAYBE a way to get out from under some of your housing costs. Learn to sail her, and sail her well. Learn about safety
and safety equipment
. Maintain the systems already in place for a while, before gutting everything and building from your dreams. If you get in a big hurry, I predict a great deal of unhappiness and disatisfaction. Your first boat will teach you a lot. Such as:
1. You can't have everything you want.
2. BOAT stands for "Break Out Another Thousand".
3. Forget Murphy's Law. Even if something CAN'T happen, it will, anyway.
4. There is NEVER enough room.
5. Your can opener will be extremely important, so choose it well.
6. There are leaks
where the ocean tries to get in, and there are leaks
where the rain tries to get in. Both suck but topside leaks are more irritating somehow because there is always a new one, and they wet up a lot of important stuff on their downward journey to the bilge
7. Yes, apparently Joker valves actually do have a sense of humor
8. Everybody you talk to about boats is an expert. At least, that's what the experts believe.
9. A little humility and patience will save you a lot of anger and heartbreak.
10. Sometimes running out of booze is worse than running out of fuel
11. Never ask what anchor
is best. Just get one, and don't EVER let anybody else see it.
12. Don't tell anybody you have a gun on your boat. Don't tell anybody you don't, either. Better to stay on safe subjects like politics and religion.
13. Your liveaboard
neighbors are your very best friends in the whole wide world, even if you don't particularly like them.
Unless you are very lucky, your first boat will not meet your requirements and preferences after you actually form them, which believe me, you have not, yet. So a time will come when you decide to sell your first boat and get something more suitable. Any boat depreciates. An old boat, well maintained, depreciates less than a new one. So the trade-up hurts a lot less, when your first boat is a "good old boat". 60s to early 80s hulls are usually way stronger than they need to be, and can absorb bumps that would sink a lot of 90s and up boats. Yeah, an old boat comes with a collection of issues. But the dirty little secret is a lot of new boats do, too.
If you pay more than $5k for a boat, even if you think you know what you are doing, you have knowledgeable friends to help you look over the boat, and they seller truly is a totally honest guy, you need to see an actual survey
. This is not an option. A good surveyor
will find things that you don't know to look for.