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Old 17-01-2021, 12:00   #31
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

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Originally Posted by johnpaul7005 View Post
I have no sailing experience.
I'm from St. Louis, Missouri, so picture my starting point as a canoe on a calm lake. I'm planning on taking ASA 101 and other courses based on recommendations I collect here. For example, if people say "For solo liveaboard, basic keelboat should do the trick." Then I'll do ASA 101 and gather some additional sailing hours where I can to better prepare. But if people say "That's stupid. You'll need something larger for traversing the Caribbean." I'll look into doing higher ASA courses for larger boats.
For the Caribbean, you don't really need anything large. The size matters more for your personal comfort. An older 30' Beneteau would be okay for just cruising the Caribbean in style. For solo sailing you can set one up with a roller furling head sail and electric windlass for the anchor and be fine as most of the hops will be day sails. Crewing on other people's boats will teach you most of the sailing basics and you'll get a better idea of what works for you. And don't overlook the "chick magnet" aspect (every little bit helps)
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Old 17-01-2021, 12:27   #32
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

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Originally Posted by johnpaul7005 View Post
I'm 25 years old and looking to transition to the "liveaboard lifestyle" in the next couple years. I've been doing quite a bit of research but most of the information I'm getting is from couples or even families living aboard their boats. This is good but not completely accurate for what I'll be doing. I'm wondering the following things:

1) In what size range should I be looking for my boat? (I plan to cruise around the Caribbean and only the Caribbean).
2) Are there any online resources (i.e. YouTube channels) with solo liveboard-ers providing tips?

Thanks!
So JohnPaul, you tell us just part of the story. What will you be doing or attempting to do for income as you sail?
I like most of what I hear from the rest of the comments. I always suggest starting small. I like learning singlehanded in small boats. You get wet, have fun and learn. The faster you learn the dryer you stay.
Next is the skill level you start with relative to maintaining and repairing your first boat. The skill set you bring to the table can make a vast difference in price when looking in any class of boat.
I’m a former Great Lakes and northern sailer. I did just a minor bit of water sailing">blue water sailing years ago.
Just before retiring I bought my first Irwin a 38’ center cockpit. Lovely boat with ample room but shallow draft for island sailing. One thing leads to another and I had opportunity to upsize to my now 46’ Irwin.
I singlehand and my boat is set up for just that.
Remember the equation of length vs cost to maintain / dock. But also weight the idea that you may not always be solo. Good luck with your hunt.
P.S. If you want to explore the Irwin family there’s nowhere better than the Facebook Irwin Sailboats group which I administer. ��
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Old 17-01-2021, 12:51   #33
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

There are a few simple test here.

When it is on the water does the sea stay on the outside?
When it rains does the water come through the deck?
Do the deck gear and sails look like they have been cared for?
Have you got room to stow the gear you REALLY need?
Is it cheap enough that you can afford to use it for a few seasons and decide it's either not right for you or you don't like the lifestyle (assuming you would sell it for somewhat less than you paid for it)


If the answer to these questions is yes you have found your first boat!!


Don't try to get something you expect to keep for 10yrs. You may be lucky but you don't have enough experience to know what you want. Think of it like buying you first car and get a junker to learn on.
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Old 17-01-2021, 12:54   #34
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

The advice to check out the local yacht clubs for racing crew is sound. Some cities also have sailing clubs which charter boats for days, weekends or longer for sailing.

Good luck.
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Old 18-01-2021, 00:47   #35
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

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Originally Posted by johnpaul7005 View Post
I have no sailing experience.
I'm from St. Louis, Missouri, so picture my starting point as a canoe on a calm lake. I'm planning on taking ASA 101 and other courses based on recommendations I collect here. For example, if people say "For solo liveaboard, basic keelboat should do the trick." Then I'll do ASA 101 and gather some additional sailing hours where I can to better prepare. But if people say "That's stupid. You'll need something larger for traversing the Caribbean." I'll look into doing higher ASA courses for larger boats.
Make sure you read this first and best of luck to you - it is a great adventure you are embarking on! https://www.amazon.com/Get-Real-Gone...7351642&sr=8-1
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Old 18-01-2021, 03:02   #36
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

I would start from another angle - make a move to a place with an active sailing scene. One would not continue living in Florida if one would dream of becoming a proficient mountain skier for example. Same with sailing.

Depending on your professional goals, needs, etc. there are places and regions to fit every lifestyle and budget. In no particular order - New England, NY, Mid-Atlantic/Chesapeake, Carolinas/FL/TX, SoCal/SF/Bay Area, PNW, Great Lakes. Even Lake Champlain. Each has active club scenes of various robustness and will allow you to progress from basic classroom learning to hands on experience. You will also greatly benefit from other people's knowledge as each of these regions has tons of sailing locations, crowds, etc. ASA courses are but a small part of it. Most of the learning early on is from being on the boats skippered by knowledgeable skippers and getting the hang of it in real time situations. One can become a sailor with just hands on experience (not quickly but with long enough time) but cannot with ASA courses only. Best of course is a right combination of both. Good luck!
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Old 18-01-2021, 08:57   #37
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

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Are you looking for a 'Chick Bait' boat or are you after something more realistic..


Get the smallest seaworthy little boat that you can live on and still accommodate an occasional shag. It will stop her from moving in. When you're 25, it doesn't get any better
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Old 20-01-2021, 09:09   #38
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

Sailing hours are more important than sailing classes. I did an accelerated 101/103/104 class on a J-24 and Beneteau 43. It covered everything from points of sail to basic maintenance.

I hear liveaboard cruiser. You're going to learn basic electrician, fiberglass, refrigeration, marine electronics or pay someone a lot of money. Starting with a simple boat that someone has already turned into a decent liveaboard is key. Solar, batteries, engine, sails, thru-hulls are key. You'll need holding tanks for your heads in most locations until you get to the Bahamas.

Look at Bob Perry and Charlie Morgan designs. Catalinas are also good options and we see smaller shoal draft in the Caribbean. For two of us a 35-37 foot boat works. For you stating out I would look at 28-feet and up.

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Old 20-01-2021, 09:32   #39
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

My experience:
Did a lot of research on the lifestyle and equipment involved by reading, looking more for something substainable, ability to pay it forward (instead of buying fuel for each trip, you prepay by buying sails that will last you for years) so I could build something for the future while I was of working age, ability to get my hobby gear (scuba, photography etc) to remote locations.

Took a week liveaboard course (ASA 101, 103) in La Paz, Mexico. This was like taking an immersion course in a foreign language. Let me test the waters of living on a boat with a reasonable financial investment.

Joined a sail club in San Diego while living in Ensenada, MX. Allowed me to take jaunts up to the states to take friends out sailing and be able to try out different size boats to see which I felt best on.

I bought a 36' cabot in Jacksonville, FL for mostly financial reasons. The boat worked but was a little small for living on full time -- for me. I could have done it and enjoyed myself but it felt a little too like camping on the water.

I sold this boat and upgraded to the 41' Morgan OI I own now. I love this boat. I have more than enough space for all my hobby gear, feel secure in rough weather/water. Things like being able to walk from your bedroom to the galley to get something out of the fridge (vs reaching across the aisle) removes that "camping" feeling for me.

Room enough to add a few people for either visits or if relationship status changes.
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Old 20-01-2021, 10:40   #40
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

You will be sailing single handed. We have met folks doing this from 20’s to 80’s. Most have boats around 30’.

I always recommend this following book as he has an entire chapter dedicated to boat selection.

But your primary problem is NOT boat size, it is sailing single handed. The boat needs to be equipped and rigged for single handling.

IMHO ASA whatever merely gives you a shove out of the nest. You then learn as you fall.
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Old 20-01-2021, 11:12   #41
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

Oooopsie... forgot the link to the book

Singlehanded Sailing: The Experiences and Techniques of the Lone Voyagers
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Old 20-01-2021, 11:44   #42
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

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Let me introduce you to the World of Roger Taylor and his exploits on the junk rigged 21ft Corribee Ming Ming and his new bigger junk rigged Achilles 24 Ming Ming 2...
The other extreme of Dockhead's fully crewed 54ftr sailing to Greenland.
Yes, along with Patrick Laine https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEZ...6flqA0q_EEDDBQ and Alex https://www.youtube.com/user/barryperrinsThen we have Barry https://www.youtube.com/user/barryperrins and https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7m...SlIKz9LnV-vvJg

We should also mention the solo girls, https://www.youtube.com/user/WhiteSpotPirates or https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnJ...whcqJBrW-z_htw
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Old 22-01-2021, 07:55   #43
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

It all depends on your bravado, boat experience choice of boat etc..... I solo sail a 43 Irwin, but have 40 years in at sailing, My boat is 100% self contained. But still going up the mast in 10 foot seas is not for every one. But neither is jumping out of airplane for a living. Why a 43 and not a 32 something you ask. Better comfort when family visit, and more comfort at sea when the weather does not cooperate.
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Old 22-01-2021, 08:14   #44
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

I would suggest going through at least ASA 105. These classes are not about the boats size but seamanship and developing skills. These skills are applicable in all size boats.
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Old 22-01-2021, 08:50   #45
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Re: Boat Recommendations for Solo Liveaboard?

Save $$$$!. Buy cash with a reserve remaining for maintenance. Shop the US east coast during hurricane season- a lot of fully equipped cruising vessels can be had, as their owners return from the Bahamas/ Caribbean in turn key condition & look to sell. I live on a Catalina 42, and it’s an excellent liveaboard for a single guy. Same can be said of many vessels I know, but if you’re living aboard, even a big boat is pretty small, and at your age, you’ll wanna move up if this life appeals to you, so err on bigger & newer.
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