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Old 22-02-2020, 15:08   #31
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

The dog size should probably also come into your decision. I'd be happier in a small boat with say a jack russel than I would with say an alsation, newfoundland, etc.
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Old 22-02-2020, 19:15   #32
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

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Originally Posted by dwedeking2 View Post
I single hand a 41 foot boat. only time size comes to mind is the last 10 feet to a marina. that's because marinas have gotten smaller. take it slow and I've never had a problem
Good to know! Thanks!
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Old 22-02-2020, 19:21   #33
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

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The dog size should probably also come into your decision. I'd be happier in a small boat with say a jack russel than I would with say an alsation, newfoundland, etc.
I am thinking a 34-footer would be nice. Big enough to be comfortable, but easier and cheaper to maintain. I think it would probably be enough space for my dog. He is little and a senior. I am going to try to go out on some different sized boats in the 30-40 foot range to get a better idea of what will fit us. Thanks for your input! I am really greatful for all of the helpful responses I am getting.
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Old 22-02-2020, 20:43   #34
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

Looks like you got a sh*t load of advice already.
As a multiple Catalina owner here is my experience:
A C-27 or 30 is ridiculous to live in. People do but then people live in camper shells on a pickup too. Fun for weekends but that's about it.
I lived in a 1985 C-36. Was working full time and so not in the boat all the time. Loved the salon layout. Don't like v-berths so the aft berth was my bed. It was squirrely in the earlier models like mine and not as big or useful as later models when they turned the berth sideways. Almost made that modification to mine but never got around to it.
Now retired to live full time in a C-42 Mark II. Very comfortable for one and probably would be for two. I like my Pullman berth. With two it might be a drag if either gets up often during the night. For that the center berth would be better.
Good luck with your selection. Try to spend some time in any layout you research. Get rid of the salesman and sit in it or lay in the berth and think about doing that a lot. Find somewhere you'd sit in the salon a LOT to watch TV, work on a laptop, eat, etc. I live in my nav station seat. Others have removed it... The 36 was better in this respect.
My salon seating is curved so there is no place to kick back and relax without propping yourself up with pillows etc. due to the constant angle. The Mark I has a different salon so it's more like bench seating, may be more comfortable - I don't know.
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Old 25-02-2020, 06:36   #35
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

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Originally Posted by Happydrv View Post
Looks like you got a sh*t load of advice already.
As a multiple Catalina owner here is my experience:
A C-27 or 30 is ridiculous to live in. People do but then people live in camper shells on a pickup too. Fun for weekends but that's about it.
I lived in a 1985 C-36. Was working full time and so not in the boat all the time. Loved the salon layout. Don't like v-berths so the aft berth was my bed. It was squirrely in the earlier models like mine and not as big or useful as later models when they turned the berth sideways. Almost made that modification to mine but never got around to it.
Now retired to live full time in a C-42 Mark II. Very comfortable for one and probably would be for two. I like my Pullman berth. With two it might be a drag if either gets up often during the night. For that the center berth would be better.
Good luck with your selection. Try to spend some time in any layout you research. Get rid of the salesman and sit in it or lay in the berth and think about doing that a lot. Find somewhere you'd sit in the salon a LOT to watch TV, work on a laptop, eat, etc. I live in my nav station seat. Others have removed it... The 36 was better in this respect.
My salon seating is curved so there is no place to kick back and relax without propping yourself up with pillows etc. due to the constant angle. The Mark I has a different salon so it's more like bench seating, may be more comfortable - I don't know.
Thank you! Immensely helpful information! I agree with your comment about the 27. I can't imagine living in mine long term either.
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Old 25-02-2020, 14:50   #36
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

I suspect this turns to some degree on how one sails and parks up and the climate. So initially it’s a question of drawing up a list of items that makes it less camping on board an d more living a life in a floating home. By way of example do you want a separate shower, heating , water maker,genset, storage in large lazarette , do you like sleeping in bow or stern, what sort of galley set up and fridge freezer etc required. I would not be happy handling more than 40footish single handed but I know a single handler with a bowman 47 so I guess it’s all down to experience. Clearly the lager vessel might have more issues finding berths/space to berth compared to say a 30footer. It really depends on plans for you sailing adventure. I could happily live on board with our spaniel but I might choose a warmer climate for winter months but for summer 6 months it’s not too hard I guess if rigged up to shore power etc. One of the big issues seems to be what land transport you have so how easy is it to shop etc.
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Old 26-02-2020, 12:13   #37
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

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Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher34 View Post
I suspect this turns to some degree on how one sails and parks up and the climate. So initially itís a question of drawing up a list of items that makes it less camping on board an d more living a life in a floating home. By way of example do you want a separate shower, heating , water maker,genset, storage in large lazarette , do you like sleeping in bow or stern, what sort of galley set up and fridge freezer etc required. I would not be happy handling more than 40footish single handed but I know a single handler with a bowman 47 so I guess itís all down to experience. Clearly the lager vessel might have more issues finding berths/space to berth compared to say a 30footer. It really depends on plans for you sailing adventure. I could happily live on board with our spaniel but I might choose a warmer climate for winter months but for summer 6 months itís not too hard I guess if rigged up to shore power etc. One of the big issues seems to be what land transport you have so how easy is it to shop etc.
Thanks for your input! I will be working, so I will have a car and will be spending time away during the day. I will need heating-air to keep myself and my little doggy comfortable.
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Old 28-02-2020, 07:52   #38
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

For heating while on dock power try:

https://king-electric.com/?s=Marine&post_type=kel_product

Stainless steel and the models that can be build-in only require a 4Ē depth. Most have secure mounting options to avoid accidental tipping.
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Old 28-02-2020, 08:28   #39
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

Hmmm... for your stated needs you can make it work in your existing boat with some creativity, and as you go up in size it becomes easier to fit everything and everybody but the cost increases as well.

Here's a paradigm that you might find useful-

Requirements- gotta have deal breakers. You wouldn't get any boat that didn't have even one missing, no matter how much you like it.

Needs- would be annoying if missing, but you could live without it being met all the time if you really like the boat.

Wants- icing on the cake. Would be nice, but optional, and you wouldn't miss it if it wasn't there.

If you make a long list of what you want in a boat, as long and thorough as possible, and then divide the list into Requirements, Needs, and Wants, you will have the necessary clarity to evaluate your choices.

This paradigm is useful when your choices seems opaque and it seems like you could make just about anything work.

Think about dating- when you meet someone new who is attractive to you, there's often a lot to like, but unless you are clear about the above its hard to know if this person would be a long term choice (I developed this paradigm for what I call Conscious Dating).

This paradigm works for most important decisions, such as buying a car, evaluating a job offer, buying a house, etc.

Choices have long term consequences and you will live with your boat choice for a long time and it's costly to change your mind later (such as divorce). So it's worth the effort above to become as clear as possible, and when you do, you are able to make better long term choices.

I hope this helps!
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Old 28-02-2020, 09:56   #40
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

I lived aboard a 28í powerboat comfortably. It had much more room than a sailboat of the same length. You mentioned Maryland which gets cold and occasionally has snow. Have you considered a mid 30s trawler? They have much more room than a sailboat of equal length and are comfortable for a permanent residence, even with a dog or two. And most have heat and ac.
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Old 28-02-2020, 10:10   #41
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

I think you will love a Catalina 30ft of any year ! Even for entertaining.
....imho, the more money people have the bigger the boat they say is absolutely necessary.
Look at some 32 ft and 36ft and compare to 30 ft Catalina.
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Old 28-02-2020, 11:04   #42
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

Hi, I've lived in small spaces for extended periods of time (think 5 years in a 27' RV) and wintered over in Portland, OR aboard a 35' Hunter while the owners went to Florida.
I've looked at numerous sailboats as live-aboard accomodations and could recommend several. Depending on what your long term sailing plans are needs to enter into your paradigm. If you only plan to sail on nice weekends or vacations and not try any open ocean passages, I would think that a Catalina 30 or a Newport 30 would work nicely. If serious sailing, as in ocean crossing, island hopping in Caribbean etc., you'll need a more capable boat which, to get the same liveaboard amenities as the C-30, will need to be larger. Just the view from my knothole, Your mileage may vary.
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Old 28-02-2020, 11:17   #43
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

It doesnt matter how big the dog is, but you have to teach them to be picked up. Just in case its needed. Lupe and I live aboard our 37 foot Roberts. And at some point he'll need a sturdy ramp to board but I trained him to be picked up and its important he can do this. (no cats!) He's about 90/95 lbs. Nose to tail perhaps six feet, Im not sure.

He has made friends with otters and gone nose to nose with seals who came to visit recognizing a fur fellow..

Oh I see you're asking about BOAT size, not dog size..Gotcha!
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Old 28-02-2020, 11:38   #44
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

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Originally Posted by NewBeginings View Post
I would like to get everyone's input on what boat size they would recommend for a single person + scruffy little dog. My current boat is a Catalina 27, but I am afraid it would get a little claustrophobic living on it full time, and I plan on entertaining. I will be near Charlotte Hall, Maryland. I am wondering about heating/cooling options and how that factors in with size. Also, is ventillation affected by size? I would love to hear about some experiences living in that climate year round, or if some people prefer to get an apartment for a few months a year to escape the cold.

Thanks!

I lived aboard a Cal 2-27, a very similar boat to yours, for about 7 years. No dog, though. The Cal gave me standing headroom pretty much throughout the cabin. It is marginally more spacious than the Catalina, the vee berth is a bit wider and much more comfortable for sleeping. I am 5'7" and I sometimes slept crosswise instead of fore and aft. I had salon berths and fold down pilot berths on both sides, and a table that let down. I ditched the table and butchered the port berths to build a shower stall, and put the head in there. The rest of the port berth/settee I used for housing the new and enlarged sewage tank. I wired it for shore power with a proper breaker panel and outlets for 120VAC throughout the boat, and USB jacks as well. Got rid of the alcohol stove, installed a Sea Swing gimbal stove next to the companionway, modified to hold a Butterfly brand Primus knockoff pump stove, burning diesel. At the dock I cooked mostly on an electric induction plate and later rescued a microwave from the dumpster. I could close the forward bulkhead door and a 1000w space heater would keep the temperature tolerable in our short New Orleans winter, and I also had an electric blanket and a couple of rectangular sleeping bags that unzip all the way flat. I was certainly never cold. I built a scoop mount for a window unit AC that sealed to the forehatch for summer cooling, and rigged awning forward and built a bimini and boom tent for aft shade, and I was usually comfortable in the heat of summer.



Staying small enables you to have low cost climate control with one or two space heaters (NEVER let them run unattended on a boat!) and a 5k to 7.5k BTU household AC unit. Get over 30 feet and these cheap solutions don't work so well.


Keep in mind also that when you live aboard, it can be difficult to just say hey, I think I will go sailing to wherever, disconnect shore power, throw off the lines, and begone in three minutes. Doesn't happen. When you live aboard, things just don't stay secured for sea. Things need to be stowed, lashed, or removed from the boat before you go to sea with her. If you keep the boat ready to sail at the drop of a thought, then a lot of ordinary things become somewhat inconvenient.



Small is better, within reason. For me, the Cal was about as small as I was comfortable with. You might try just staying aboard your Catalina overnight a few times, then maybe a few days. Try just anchoring out for a spell, maybe catch a few fish or something. If you are going to get all claustro, you will do it rocking at anchor.


It helps to be in a good marina with good infrastructure. In my marina we have covered main piers but not covered finger piers, and not all slips have finger piers. We have dock boxes, and a few liveaboards though there used to be more. There was a very active social scene with lots of potluck dinners and informal parties, and one dock box was used as a communal bar on our pier, unlocked, help your self, replenish on the honor system. One neighbor kept an electric chest freezer in his dock box and kept it stocked with bagged ice. Plenty of red cups and mixers, paper plates and plastic forks, so we could have a very nice cocktail hour every evening. There are toilet facilities ashore for those with no head onboard or who just don't want to fill up their sewage and have to motor to the pumpout station. Showers, too, though some low tech types would shower in the cockpit with a hose. I had my stand-up shower below so I was good to go, even had a heated showerhead for a while until it burnt out on me. Our location was good, in the neighborhood with probably the lowest crime rate in New Orleans, and numerous restaurants and a grocery and other shops were in easy walking/staggering distance. Everybody looked out for everyone else's stuff, and nothing ever got stolen even though most of us didn't lock up our boats or our dock boxes.



I have seen other marinas where living aboard, especially in a small boat, would be an absolute horror show. Generally speaking, the worse the marina, the more time you will spend below, and the more space you will need for your sanity. The better your marina, the more time you will spend topside or on the pier or other common spaces, leaving the boat mostly just for sleeping, and so a big boat is just a hassle and extra expense. If you have one of those "job" things you go to every day, maybe space is less important. Ditto for going to the "school" thing.
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Old 28-02-2020, 21:57   #45
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Re: Boat size for liveaboard single + dog

Given that you're not really sure how much stuff you'd need to be comfortable living aboard, I'd opt for something in the 36' range so you don't limit yourself as you discover things you'd really like to have. Small cats are a great way to comfortably live aboard. Unfortunately very few companies have been building them for awhile. Here's one in your neighborhood https://www.boattrader.com/boat/2000...105-m-7245724/ A Gemini would not be my first choice for any blue water cruising but it doesn't sound like that's your criterion.

Remember, boats are a lot easier to acquire than get rid of so don't get locked into something too small to suit your needs.
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