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Old 02-04-2017, 20:12   #1
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Blue Water Cruiser - What size

Hi guys,

I live in Toronto and I'm looking to buy a sailboat to live aboard. The largest space to literally make a "proper flat" without compromises, with the lowest cost (yes, fridge and freezer too - I'll show you later how I'll power all that). I also wanna go with this sailboat anywhere - minus shallow Bahams (maybe I'm dreaming but would there be an option for that under 15k US that would sail well with no keel? like a more modern design?).

I've been browsing like a mad man for a few days, weeks. I saw that Catalina 38 from the 80s and Hinterhoeller F3 Freres has aft berths on boths sides which I find fantastic since I can make those areas into neat storage room for personal professional equipment. Plus I could use some of the engine room as I'll explain - bear with me.

On the other hand I read that going over 30' increases repair costs like crazy - more surface, more parts, more to take care of etc. I plan to recondition this boat top notch - and to design the interior a bit. I plan to work and repair my boat. Even if I work 4-6 months a year I still make more than enough to pay for my boat repairs, the space (water or ground) and I get time to work on it too. I work in cinema - so I'm super flexible schedule wise.

Size wise I really like the Alberg 30, but the space is too small - I think. I will get to see an F3 in a few months in Toronto (unless it sells by that time). And hopefully I'll dig around some Alberg 30 to get a live feeling - totally different than pics I guess.

One thing I'd ask: suggest great boat models that are inexpensive, with tons of space, in the style of F3 (or Niagra 35 which is similar). Here's an F3 plan.

Secondly: explain to me. On something like Alberg 30', can you take down the aft fiberglass wall to open to the engine room? I have some alternative engine solution, clean, affordable, cheap, small and these ridiculous fossil fuel monsters got to go of my boat. I could make doors and a wooden frame for reinforcement in the aft area if structure is an issue. In that case something like an Alberg 30 might be doable.

So keep in mind that the diesel room will be freed a lot (the gas tank will go too) - mandatory mods. How? stay tunded, I still have to make proper tests and if it works I'll want the whole world to know - the sooner the better (fossil ****).

So now, my dear connaisseurs suggest some lovely sailboats and level with me on the cost issues between a 30 and a 36.

More one me: I got epoxy, wood working, electrical, power tool, sewing experience - so reviving a boat doesen't scare me a bit. There are dead periods in work anyway so I need a hobby too - might as well recondition something nice, that I own for a change (vs draining $ on rent). At a minimum of 6k a year, almost anything I buy should pay itself in 3 years max (yeah I'd put in that much time, if less even better).

Andrei
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Old 02-04-2017, 22:49   #2
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

Well, welcome aboard Andrei!

I have a boat that is similar to the A30, but I personally would not consider living aboard unless I had zero possessions.

As far as modifying it for an electric motor, there are some threads about that I believe. And I know of a couple Columbias that were converted, there is info out there on that. As far as can the A30 handle the changes structurally, I would say, my guess is yes. These old boats were built very well. My own boat would be fine with any bulkhead changes. I'd want to get a good look to be sure but I'm betting there'd be no problem.
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Old 02-04-2017, 23:03   #3
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

I detect the faint whiff of another EP evangelist!

How much do you know about electric motors, battery technologies, solar generation and boat power requirements?
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Old 03-04-2017, 00:08   #4
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

...wow, the wheel is being reinvented - & we are privy to it!!!
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Old 03-04-2017, 00:57   #5
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

The more you do yourself, the cheaper it will be. The smaller it is, generally, also the cheaper it is. And the less complex..both electrically and mechanically. If you want it to be blue water, go sail it and learn the thing inside and out. Spend your money on the important things that are gonna keep you going. Buy a good heater and gather a sufficient energy supply for the northern winters upfront. Dont spend too much on the crazy sh!t you might think you might want until you know you want it aboard and it will work for you.

There are no hardfast rules..do it your way. But maintain humility at all times and dont buy a project boat!
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:36   #6
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

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Originally Posted by StuM View Post
I detect the faint whiff of another EP evangelist!

How much do you know about electric motors, battery technologies, solar generation and boat power requirements?
C'mon Stu - everyone knows you can drive a 12 ton 45 ft boat at 6 knots for hours with a 5hp electric motor and a few "D" size batteries

All chain pulling aside - to the OP.

If cheap clean easy alternatives to diesel power were available you can be sure that lots of boats would ahve them. So far none have really shown up. Perhaps the day will come when a proper bank of Lition (or other) batteries adn a more effective array of solar panels will prove viable - but that time has not yet come.

On the other hand - you could try googling the Pardeys, and reading their books. They have made an entire lifetime of cruising without an engine. I'm not in agreement with them and their philosophy, but I do give them credit for sailing everywhere without an engine.


here's their website

Lin & Larry Pardey: Newsletters & Cruising Tips | Sailing Newsletters & Cruising Tips

good luck
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:17   #7
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

To live aboard, you basically want not the smallest of your choices. You may or may not be limited my berthing fees - check them up first in your area.

We live two of us ina 26' boat. I think very many 34+ boats are a way better choice. Boats 40'+ seem nearly as comfortable as living in a small bungalow.

Have fun shopping, buying and living aboard.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:44   #8
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

If you are in Toronto, you might want to build your budget around a CS33 or CS36 Traditional. Solid boats, many to choose from, there are shoal draft versions available (however we cruised the Bahamas with a 7'6" draft and had no problems).

Are you aware of the the very high marina and winter storage fees in the GTA?
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Old 03-04-2017, 07:56   #9
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

Andrei,
What is the basic idea of your power plant? I don't need a long description and drawings. Just give me the 8 word description.


RE the size of your boat, if you want a full flat with fridge and freezer, proper head and proper galley, you won't get that under 38 or 40 ft of length. Sailing is sometimes a compromise of what you want versus what you need and still have a good time. I live in a 33 ft sailboat, but it's not a full flat by any means and I wish it had better or more of this and that, but that's my wants and needs.
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Old 03-04-2017, 08:05   #10
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

My advice, get a boat you can afford. Live aboard for a while, then think about changing things.
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Old 03-04-2017, 08:39   #11
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

Have you checked out moorage rates in Toronto?

From what I can see the going rate for a 30' boat would be about $2700 in dockage for the summer (May-Oct) and around $1500-2000 'in-water storage' fees during the winter, plus a $400/month Liveaboard Fee for the winter months. So you're about $6500-7000 a year in marina fees. Plus power (included in the dock fees for the summer) which is additional in the winter and seems to be around $1200. That comes to around $8000 annually for a 30' liveaboard. Before you've spent a dime on maintenance and the list of mod's/upgrades you've got planned. I'm not overly familiar with Toronto, but I've never heard many people raving about the abundance of cheap or free anchorages and winter docks there.

How much are you paying in rent?

Additionally. If you're just looking at the boat as an apartment to start with and aren't going to be sailing much.... Why bother with the electric conversion right away?
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:08   #12
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
My advice, get a boat you can afford. Live aboard for a while, then think about changing things.
I cannot think of better wording. Some real experience will help.
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:14   #13
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

With our draft of over a fathom, we see no problems anchoring anywhere in the Caribbean or Bahamas. The Morgan 41 Out Island is a well-known shoal draft boat. I think the draft is just over a meter. It is also known to sail well only downwind.
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Old 03-04-2017, 09:59   #14
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

Quote: "...reviving a boat doesn't scare me a bit."

It may not, but it should :-)! The entire tenor of your post indicates that this is your first consideration of an alternative to your present "life style". And that you have NO experience of boats as physical objects or of their day-to-day operation and maintenance.

You say "would there be an option for that under 15k US that would sail well with no keel?" The only reasonable interpretation of that question is that you do not know the function of the keel of a sailboat, i.e that you do not know why sailboats are designed the way they are. Yet you propose make modifications to a boat's structural components? Caution is called for, my friend :-)

Your implication that you can live more cheaply aboard a boat than you can on land is a common enuff fantasy, but a fantasy nevertheless. That anyone with a bit of common sense can maintain a boat is another fantasy. The level of attention to detail, and the quantity of abstruse knowledge required - knowledge to which the landsman is not normally privy - is daunting. Just today one of our more experienced members posted an "OOOPS!" regarding an oversight in his galley arrangements, an oversight that would make any experienced man's hands shake! Can you guess what that might have been?

A few days ago we had an interesting discussion regarding "magic" means of propulsion in which the "hard core" of our membership pointed out some salient facts about the only (minimally) viable alternative to the trusty old "ridiculous fossil fuel monster".

Just above, a member has given you some facts about moorage costs. My cost for a 30-footer in Vancouver is $5K a year, TWICE as much as the Strata Fees, Property Taxes, Utility Taxes, electricity (including heating in the winter) and landline telephone service for an 800SqFt condo. Floor space in a 30-footer is effectively 60 SqFt! In order to stow the BOAT's clobber, let alone my own, I keep a full sized van. Older, but, even so, a "boat related" cost. My own clobber is kept in a fully equipped workshop ashore without which doing the routine maintenance on the boat with be a PITA and "upgrades", such as you envisage, would IMO be an impossibility. Particularly since you "plan to recondition this boat top notch - and to design the interior a bit.

Well, don't take it too hard. We've all started from "ground zero". No reason not to continue to pursue your dream, but as I said: Caution is called for! Do some reading as a departure point. Given what you are proposing to do, I think Kinney's Skene's Elements of Yacht Design would be a better place to start than the "adventure stories" of the famous "blue water cruisers" such as Hal Roth. Save him till after you've got your feet wet :-)!

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Old 03-04-2017, 10:58   #15
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Re: Blue Water Cruiser - What size

I live aboard a very roomy Morgan O/i 33. Probably more space than most monohulls under 40'. However, I am well aware that a roomy boat is MUCH smaller than a good studio apartment. Speaking for myself, yes I looked at electric power and quickly realize it's not ready for prime time, but that aside life aboard or in a camper is trading space for freedom. It seems to me that the OP has yet to realize this.
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