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Old 28-06-2017, 11:13   #31
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

It sounds like you have the time, ability and interest in working on this boat. So maybe work something out with the present owner where you can get it running where it is and free of slip fees and then go for it. Not something I would try. As mentioned above there is a lot of used hardware and rigging etc. that you may be able to get cheap. At least be careful and go on short sails until you can trust that nothing will fall apart or a hose burst until it is deemed trustworthy. Maybe a cruise survey? Good luck
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Old 28-06-2017, 11:36   #32
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

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Originally Posted by BrightSEALAB View Post
We've decided that it must be a sailboat. Was not even my decision, just a spontaneous consensus. Mostly because of the looks and ability to sail without engine noise. Also (and this is my daughter's input) because if there is a zombie apocolypse, diesel may be scarce.
Smart!

There's a ton of good old boats out there. If a boat is still in your family's future, keep an eye on craigslist, yacthworld and sailboatlistings, or prowl some boatyards and marinas near where you want to keep the boat and start talking to people. I'd bet you can find something that makes sense for you guys that's not too far from the stated budget.

The comment "buying this boat is a surefire path to divorce proceedings" was great.
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Old 28-06-2017, 12:06   #33
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

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I've read posts from people about small liveaboard situations. I'm curious about the experiences who have done this with a family.... I'm not a complete neophyte, as a teenage I would crew a friends yacht on the mackinaw race out of Chicago every summer, but it's been a while. Thank you all so much in advance. I'm sorry I don't know how to organize this question better, it's run a bit long as it is.
Hi! it really depends on your family... As for me, four is just the right number given my crew members & the size on my sailboat: 34' with 2 bedrooms... But please, don't wake me up
Cheers!
PS: I just converted to Islam
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Old 28-06-2017, 12:06   #34
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

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This exactly right. You can't put four people especially children on a 34 foot boat. Buy a house boat.

You will have a divorce on your hands in no time at all. The wife will leave with the kids, and then your 34 foot boat will be great for just you.

Were you looking to get divorced and trying to figure out how? This is it.
When I was a kid we spent weeks as a family of 5 on a 23' kells. Now my wife would kill me if we spent a week on any boat under 35'. It's all relative.
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Old 28-06-2017, 12:46   #35
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

Had a friend who sailed a 34 or 36 sailboat to Key Largo Florida. The children were toddlers at the time. Family lived on boat for 20 years before becoming land lubbers again. boat was on a ball, and family would take dink in daily for work and school. never any problems with space, family was a very close and loving family. Kids were 1 boy and 1 girl, and would not have traded the life style for anything! It's a fairly common practice in the Florida Keys lifestyle.






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Old 28-06-2017, 12:53   #36
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

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Originally Posted by zedpassway View Post
This exactly right. You can't put four people especially children on a 34 foot boat. Buy a house boat.

You will have a divorce on your hands in no time at all. The wife will leave with the kids, and then your 34 foot boat will be great for just you.

Were you looking to get divorced and trying to figure out how? This is it.
Now that's a whopper of a post!... Did this happen to you?

My two kids spent all their school holidays on board (35ft), cruising the coast and islands between Rio and Santos and loved every single minute of it. The guy wants a boat for vacations, not to live aboard year round. The Morgan 34 is fine for that (for many people anyway).

Your family will have a ball on the boat and your kids will have wonderful memories for the rest of their lives. I can't understand all the negative feedback you're getting. Have the boat seen by someone who can tell you what has to be fixed, then fix them and enjoy. Keep the boat simple (a new GPS with depth and VHF will be under 500 bucks). You can use the boat to go poking around in the keys and the Bahamas. You don't need to make it a permanent home.

Also, resist making changes to the boat if you plan on selling it down the road. In fact, just fix what has to be fixed and resist blowing money on the boat until you've had a chance to use it and decide what you'd like to change (and if you're going to keep it).

There are THOUSANDS of families cruising and sailing boats this size and simply having the time of their lives. I can tell you for a fact that we never thought for a minute that our boat wasn't big enough. You'll enjoy the proximity to your kids and you'll bond doing all the boat-related work and sailing. There is nothing as marvelous as a family boat!

Of course, there are some expenses involved, but as you plan to use it as a vacation boat, you might do well to find a grotty and cheap marina somewhere where you don't have to pay high slip fees while the boat is idle. The when you arrive for holidays you sail out and enjoy, perhaps only going back to the marina at the end of your holidays. You don't have to stay in the marina.
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Old 28-06-2017, 14:13   #37
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

Sounds totally doable. But depends on your family dynamic.

If you can teach the wife and kids to help work on the boat (or all learn together), not be too critical or demanding of perfection or yacht quality finish, and make refitting and relaunching it a family team project; they will all be invested in the plan. But if they're all going to sit around complaining about being bored while they watch you work on it while they play with their phones.... see the difference?

Once you're in the water, the world is your oyster. It all depends on your family's relationship with each other and your, or you and your wife's leadership capabilities, Captain.

And no one here can advise you on that.
But if you can pull it off, it could wind up being the formative experience of your children's upbringing.
And if it does't work out? What's the worst that could happen? You sell the boat and go looking for a vacation home! A learning experience either way. And there is no telling what your children may take away from the experience.
The biggest expense is usually boat yard storage. If your uncle will let you work on it where it is, you save major money. And a LOT of stuff can be had cheap on Craigslist and eBay. There are also used sail dealers online. With four of you working, a free work space, and scrounging supplies and equipment; it doesn't have to take forever or cost a fortune.
Your wife sounds awesome, btw. You should probably plan on keeping her.
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Old 28-06-2017, 14:37   #38
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

Hi, there, BrightSEALAB,

What you call the person whose profession is working on masts and their supports is a "rigger". You will want one to check the rigging on any boat you buy. The usual time for replacing the standing rigging (for insurance purposes) is at 10 years, for 316 s/s. Running rigging (the halyards, etc.) is replaced as needed, ditto the sheets, guys, etc. To do a whole new rig with new standing rigging and running rigging is something you should find out how much it costs in your area. Get two estimates, or 3, using 316, not 304.

I tend to agree with you that you would be better off to buy a boat that has no strings attached, so to speak, although now the engine's running, at least that's closer to useable. You may have to remove some things from it to get it down into the boat, often the companionways are not wide enough to admit it, otherwise, just something to measure before you hire the crane. Another good thing about it is that it has new sails.

You will probably have to re-paint the bottom because I bet you don't know what type of paint it is, to check with the manufacturer, before splashing it. If it's no good, it shall have started to foul before you get her to her destination in FL.

One solution for sleeping with the setup on the family boat is for the same gender parent and child to sleep together on the two doubles, if the kids don't work out together. It's only for vacation. Later, if the whole idea catches on, you'll be looking at boats around 40 ft. that have 3 cabins, (ex-charter boats, mostly), where, as the kids grow, they may even be able to have friends stay over sometimes.

Berth size is small, the reason is that for sleeping underway, one doesn't want to be thrown off the bunk, lee cloths will keep you in, or the inside of the hull, depending on where you're sleeping.

One difficulty is that the more cabins you have, the less storage you will have. Food provisions take up a lot of space on a boat.

Either way, this boat, or a different boat, it will be a project from one point of view or another, at the end of the market you're looking in, so those guys who wrote about the time vs. money tradeoffs were spot on. That said, given your skills and motivation, I would anticipate success with the project.

A.

P.S. Use the CF Google Custom Search to find the "Survey 101" thread here, there's lots about how to look at a boat you're thinking of buying, there.
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Old 28-06-2017, 15:29   #39
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

We lived aboard with our two children on a 33 foot boat from their birth until they were 7 and 9 years old, but then we found it best for all of us to have more private space. We split the aft cabin of a 41' boat for our son and daughter to have their own space until they left as adults. I think the space requirements are more important for older children and also dependent upon how you are using the boat. It's much easier to deal with less space while you are cruising and anchoring out compared to being at a slip on shore.
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Old 28-06-2017, 15:43   #40
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

I commercially fished salmon and tuna in the 70s and 80s. There were many liveaboard families. Most boats were under 40' with half the boat dedicated to fishing. They all seemed to do well. Most of the kids were home schooled and doing much better than public school kids. Back then you could tie up for free at most fish company docks and basic laundry and shower facilities were available. Usually no free power.
Everybody seemed to do fine. Way less family squabbles than neighborhoods.
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Old 28-06-2017, 18:58   #41
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

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If the boat is basically sound, given the info you have given us, go for it. Used hardware in usable condition abounds for this size boat. Lots of "the cup is half empty" people on this forum. Find someone to help with the rigging and you are home free.
aka: internet sailors are the grumpiest folks on the planet. This forum is nicer than others as a rule. There are some that only a boat could tolerate.
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Old 28-06-2017, 21:18   #42
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

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aka: internet sailors are the grumpiest folks on the planet. This forum is nicer than others as a rule. There are some that only a boat could tolerate.
The boatyards and marinas are filled with these failed dream, fixer uppers that never get launched or leave the marinas. Maybe some of us who've been there before, don't want to see someone else fall into the good-intent, bottomless money-pit trap.
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Old 28-06-2017, 21:56   #43
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

Yes go for it .
The project will give you all experience for the next boat (read Cat).
At first the mast may seam daunting but really its not rocket science just three wires (oops
thinking Cat) sorry four and you are four in the partnership.
You can even step it without a crane , a truck with hiab could work or as farmers put up windmills use a four wheel drive pulling over an inverted V frame (need practice for that but doable).
As others have said keep the refit low key .
If the rigging is suspect ie rust marks and the odd wire sticking out ditch it .
Cheap but reliable is galvanised wire , SSt 316 will hit the budget .
Find somebody with Spinlock clutches and dyneema halyards they will have ripped the outer sheeth so when they replace them there is like brand new rope from inside the mast .
Mbe going cheap.
Unsheethed dyneema is do able too but the sun will reduce its working time.
Dyneema is a joy to work with and you can splice it easily .(look online, a job for the kids to research)
You can even make your own block ends for the shrouds (mast stays) .
Basically splice each end to a block and chain plate then lash tight the gap between .
Very rewarding and a good talking point later.
If you get the rig up first you could hoist the engine with a set of blocks at the boom check you have a good toping lift and mbe counter the weight with the main halyard appropriatley placed .
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Old 29-06-2017, 05:38   #44
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

Better to have loved and lost. . .
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Old 29-06-2017, 06:33   #45
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Re: Family of 4 in a Small Liveaboard, Courting Disaster?

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The boatyards and marinas are filled with these failed dream, fixer uppers that never get launched or leave the marinas. Maybe some of us who've been there before, don't want to see someone else fall into the good-intent, bottomless money-pit trap.
One should not buy a fixer upper if they plan to have a boat yard fix it up. The original poster is exceptionally handy.

I am constantly amazed by the internet throngs who wile away hours and days at forums. Yet can't be bothered with reading backgrounds or using words instead of esoteric abbreviations. Not to mention those who don't bother with grammar because "I'm on a phone". The real "princes", of course, are those who do not bother with paragraphs.
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