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Old 27-06-2019, 09:33   #1
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Is this a crazy idea?

My husband and I live in CO and are moving to Charleston, SC to be near family and pursue some level of living aboard. He hasnít sailed since he was younger, and I never have. We arenít sure how full on we want to go with cruising, so the original plan was to get a smaller boat to start, learn the ropes, and then upgrade if we want to keep going.

But to make things complicated, a boat has found us here in CO (1981 Dufour 1800 25í + trailer, asking $9500). We are considering buying it, towing it to SC and living on it at a marina until we buy a house, or maybe we hate it all and leave. So far we have seen the boat a couple times, and are now planning a day to take it out on the lake with the owner. Not pictured: obsessive amounts of research, podcasts, youtube, spreadsheets.

Iím hoping you folks can offer a reality check, or maybe encouragement?!

-25í for 2 people? Weíve lived in a tiny house/240 sq ft for the past 5 years, so I know we can handle small spaces, already got rid of all our crap, can deal with composting toilets, etc. But there isnít headroom and I realize this boat has probably half (at best) the living space of my tiny house. We are thinking the only saving grace would be to add a bimini over the companionway so that standing in the galley is at least an option. What couples live on a 25í boat? Crazy ones? We did find a YouTube channel of a young couple that towed their 26í from Washington to Florida, and then sailed to Bahamas from there. This is only meant to be temporary, but what if 3 months turns into 6Ö

-What to do about a survey when there arenít any surveyors near us? The closest one according to SAMS appears to be about 7 hours away in any direction. It doesnít seem like this a step you can skip, but the travel cost to get someone down here or worse, towing the boat to them, sounds...sucky. Has anyone ever found themselves in this position? Things we know about right now are: fiberglass repair in cockpit area, bottom paint job, and update radio/etc. The boat has been taken care of and stored on trailer since this owner has had it the last 10+ years. So in theory itís in great shape, but I guess thatís what the survey is for.

-I envisioned boat shopping to be a lengthy process, as to not get my hopes up. We canít just buy the first thing that comes along, right? Itís not like there are many other boats similar in size for sale that we can try and compare. We weren't planning on doing this here anyway. I donít even know what Iím looking at or doing anyway. For what itís worth, this boat is meeting criteria from my husbandís POV.

So yeaÖ is this crazy? Should we keep going and see this thing through? Or is it wise to wait til we get to SC and shop for a boat there with more options? Am I leaving out any pertinent information?

PS. just want to say I love the monthly budget posts from Sailorboy. Thanks for sharing that!
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Old 27-06-2019, 09:45   #2
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

Once you get to SC you don't need a trailer boat and there's a lot more boats than in Colorado to choose from.
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Old 27-06-2019, 09:54   #3
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

if you search there lots of similar threads and you can speed up learning the answers instead of waiting the same ones to post
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Old 27-06-2019, 10:08   #4
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, mountainstosea.
What Ted said.
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Old 27-06-2019, 10:26   #5
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

"Is this a crazy idea?"

Does it involve a boat?

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Old 27-06-2019, 10:32   #6
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

A trailer boat has a few special items. If it has a hard keel, then it sits high on the trailer, and when launching, you either need a steep/deep launch ramp and 4 wheel drive, or you need an extension on the trailer to get the boat in deeper before it will float off the trailer without the keel hitting bottom.
They do make boats specifically for trailering like the Macgregor 26 (X, M, S or D), or Hunter 26. These have swing or dagger keels that you lower once in the water, and launch like a regular speedboat. Once in the water you fill a ballast so they will not tip over when sailing. You can put them in the water with 2 wheel drive too if needed, although always safer with 4X4. The X and M are very roomy inside, and you could easily live in there I would think. Many do. Room to stand up too.
As mentioned, it seems silly to trailer a Keel boat all that way if you just want to put it in the water and live on it. Get a non trailerable boat after you arrive and move in.
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Old 27-06-2019, 10:47   #7
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Dont do it..
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Old 27-06-2019, 10:50   #8
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

I should mention that the only use of the trailer would be to get it from CO to SC. During the course of the move, the boat and trailer would serve as a uhaul and a hotel. The boat would go right into the water upon arrival. Then we have a trailer to get rid of.

The draw of buying this boat here is arriving with a place to live and being able to start sailing right away. It just seems crazy to jump on the first thing we see!
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Old 27-06-2019, 10:56   #9
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

Trying to apply logic to a boat decision is a sign of insanity
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Old 27-06-2019, 11:04   #10
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

See the problem is, I'm asking if this is crazy, but I already know we are crazy enough to do it. Just missing all the know how and experience that would tell us otherwise.
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Old 27-06-2019, 12:08   #11
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainstosea View Post
See the problem is, I'm asking if this is crazy, but I already know we are crazy enough to do it. Just missing all the know how and experience that would tell us otherwise.
well the answer to the crazy question is - Yes you CAN do it. It is I feel crazy and seems going about the whole thing wrong. If all you are looking for is a place to sleep on once you get there just get a van or cheap RV.

BTW - have you checked into where you can put this boat once you get there?
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Old 27-06-2019, 13:01   #12
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

Definitely not looking for just a cheap place to sleep. The ultimate goal is to be sailing.

And yes, have looked into marinas and availability. We are 1-2 months away from the move actually happening and whatever crazy boat plan setting into motion.
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Old 27-06-2019, 13:27   #13
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

Definitely learn to sail before you buy a boat. You might find you get terribly seasick. A lot of marinas have minimum lengths for liveaboards. Often the boat needs to be 35+ ft. Also living in SC in the late summer/fall you will want some type of air conditioning.

IMO the best thing you can do is find a 6 months rental, join a sailing club or simply crew on other people's boats while you look for a boat in the area.
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Old 27-06-2019, 13:31   #14
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

Hello, mountainstosea,

I'm Ann.

Jim and I are full time liveabord cruisers, and have been so since March of '89. One time, we sailed his Yankee 30 (with a 25 ft. waterline) from San Francisco to HI, and return. We found the Yankee, at 30 ft., a bit small for living aboard for two of us with jobs. It was okay for holidays, and vacations, and a nice sailing boat. We have met young couples sailing around the world on boats in the 20-26 ft. range. They were happy.

I think you may find the 25 a little too cramped, because, mostly, of the lack of standing head room. Trying to cook bent over all the time gets old. Also, make sure both of you have enough length in the bunk(s) you'll use. That kind of height and length are essentials for being comfortable in your floating home.

You are not required to live aboard. You can have a land based space, and a small boat, no worries, and it might suit better, especially if you plan on a lot of socializing with relatives near your destination.

There are many boats for sale on the eastern seaboard of the US. Maybe one is just waiting for you out there.

A word about trailering the boat.... trailering boats can be hard on them. They are not meant for the jarring and the sustained wind of highway speeds. If you go that way, expect wear and tear on the boat. People occasionally use the boat as a trailer for hauling stuff on the trailer. There can be safety issues. There is no reason to assume the junk they put in the boat will not overwhelm the trailer brakes. It would not be "a piece of cake" for the boat. Plus, I think it may be overpriced.

No matter what you decide to do, remember, this is for fun, and if it isn't, then you need to change things so that it is. Temper your joie de vivre with good sense.

Ann
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Old 27-06-2019, 13:41   #15
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Re: Is this a crazy idea?

Please don't just buy the first boat you see.
We recently changed boats, and my other half wanted to put in an offer on the first one that we saw. However we kept looking and ended up (OK it was a year later!) buying a boat that is about twice as big and in better condition, for only a little more money. Definitely worth the wait.
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