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Old 26-11-2018, 20:12   #1
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Liveaboard Hunter 33

Hello everyone! New member and first time poster here.

A quick intro. My wife and I (both 45) are empty nesters and have been planning to buy a sailboat to liveaboard for about 2 years. We sold our house and started our serious boat search this past spring/summer. We have no sailing experience except for a few day sails with a friend on his Hunter 24' and a couple of charters in FL; however, I did spend several years on small ships in the Navy; I know it's completely different, but I do know what life is like underway in rough seas. We plan on doing ICW and coastal cruising in whatever boat we get -- crossing oceans is not on our list of things to do.

Anyway, we took a trip to Florida back in September to look at boats thinking we wanted something at least 38', so we focused only on boats between 38'-44'. We found several we liked, but weren't ready to commit yet due to the logistics involved with relocating across states.

This past weekend we went to look at a Hunter 41 in the local area, we have a lot of large lakes, and there also happened to be a 2005 Hunter 33 that the broker wanted to show us. I had already dismissed the 33, but when we went on it, I was surprised with how much room there was inside. Plus the boat seemed to be exceptionally well maintained. My wife liked the Hunter 33 more than any of the other boats we've looked at and now has her heart set on a Hunter 33. She thinks it's the perfect size because it has plenty of room for a couple to live on, plus would be more manageable from a sailing and maintenance perspective. She says it just feels right to her. I liked the boat too, but am a little concerned about the size as a liveaboard. The fresh water and holding tanks seem a little small at 25 gallons and I'm also concerned about storage (I'm thinking the vberth will become a storage room). So, on to my questions. Have any other couples here lived comfortably on a boat of this size or better yet, specifically a Hunter 33? Will a 33' really be significantly less expensive and easier to maintain than something like a 36' or 38'? How limiting will 25 gallon fresh water and holding tanks be?
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Old 26-11-2018, 23:45   #2
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Re: Liveaboard Hunter 33

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How limiting will 25 gallon fresh water and holding tanks be?
G'Day OC, and welcome to CF.

I've never been on a H-33, and can't comment on many of your specific queries relative to that boat. However, the water and holding tank sizes are VERY small for a liveaboard couple, unless in a marina with easy access to water and pumpouts.

To live with such a small water supply, once away from a marina, will be quite limiting. Water usage varies hugely amongst cruisers: Ann and I, long term cruisers with many years of experience, manage on roughly 12 litres a day. Lots of folks here on CF report using more than 10 times as much, and decry our usage as inhuman or "just camping". I reckon that you, as beginners who haven't developed frugal water habits will need at least 25 liters/day ( flak suits donned, but I that's my guess!). That gives you something like 4 days between fill ups... a demanding schedule! Of course, you could fit a desalinator, but they take considerable power and occupy considerable space, and cost considerable money to implement. Anyhow, it is a worry!

The holding tank is IMO less of a concern because once out of the marina, one can discharge legally if you get a bit offshore. A PITA, but doable.

If you do some research, you will find examples of couples living on smaller boats than the H-33. We lived aboard a 36 foot ex IOR race boat for 17 years. She had ~180 L of water, and we stretched it out enough to do 20+ day passages... and frugal is not quite adequate to describe our water usage! And BTW, that 36 foot boat likely had less interior volume than the Hunter... it was from a 1973 design, and things were different then! In short, it's surely possible to live on the Hunter,but it's size and available tankage may be a problem for you.

Good luck with the decision, and enjoy the life!

Jim
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Old 27-11-2018, 00:26   #3
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Re: Liveaboard Hunter 33

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Originally Posted by OmegaCentauri View Post
...wife liked the Hunter 33 more than any of the other boats we've looked at...thinks it's the perfect size because it has plenty of room for a couple to live on, plus would be more manageable from a sailing and maintenance perspective. She says it just feels right to her. I liked the boat too, but am a little concerned about the size as a liveaboard. The fresh water and holding tanks seem a little small at 25 gallons and I'm also concerned about storage (I'm thinking the vberth will become a storage room). So, on to my questions. Have any other couples here lived comfortably on a boat of this size or better yet, specifically a Hunter 33? Will a 33' really be significantly less expensive and easier to maintain than something like a 36' or 38'? How limiting will 25 gallon fresh water and holding tanks be?
Welcome to the board and our galaxy OC. First-off I know nothing about the Hunter 33, as regards to its suitability for sailing the areas that you want to sail, but if you both like it, then that's a good start. As to size well we lived aboard a 27' yacht in the Mediterranean for eight years and other than storage/tankage capacities, found there were a lot of advantages to smaller boats, not the least being that yes, they are significantly cheaper to moor, haul and maintain. I don't see a 25 gallon holding tank as a being a problem, but the water tankage probably will be; that said installing additional water tankage - provided there is a suitable space(s) (as I said, I don't know the boat at all) should prove a relatively easy and inexpensive modification.

Our 27' boat had a standard 20 US gallons to which I added a further 2 x 15 gallon tanks in the cockpit lockers, planning/material sourcing aside, the job only took me about three days. Our current 35' boat has a single 60 gallon tank, which along with a varying number of additional jerry jugs has taken us from Greece to French Polynesia. Huge water tanks and/or a watermaker are no doubt nice to have, but are by no means vital.

EVERY sailboat is a compromise and if you've found one that for you ticks all the boxes other than its water capacity, then work out how to overcome that problem; the boat you find/like with sufficient water capacity will only need something else changing to suit.
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Old 27-11-2018, 10:32   #4
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Re: Liveaboard Hunter 33

Thanks for the replies! That makes me feel somewhat better about owning a smaller vessel knowing some have successfully lived aboard even smaller boats.

Also, I made a huge mistake in my first post in regards to the water tank capacity. I got the fuel and water tanks mixed up. The boat actually has a 50 gallon fresh water tank and 25 gallon fuel and holding tanks.
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Old 27-11-2018, 15:20   #5
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Re: Liveaboard Hunter 33

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Originally Posted by OmegaCentauri View Post
...in regards to the water tank capacity. I got the fuel and water tanks mixed up. The boat actually has a 50 gallon fresh water tank and 25 gallon fuel and holding tanks.
Pretty much what we have: 200 litre water - 100 litre fuel - 80 litre holding. Those plus a few jerry jugs will take you around the world, though perhaps not non-stop
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Old 27-11-2018, 17:00   #6
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Re: Liveaboard Hunter 33

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Originally Posted by OmegaCentauri View Post
We have no sailing experience

We plan on doing ICW and coastal cruising in whatever boat we get -- crossing oceans is not on our list of things to do.

Why a sailboat then? You will be more comfortable on a powerboat of a similar length. The biggest reason to have a sailboat is to cross oceans or cruise long distance.
I lived occasionally on a 34-foot sailboat. One month at a time was OK, but I would not want to do it on a permanent basis.
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Old 27-11-2018, 17:18   #7
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Re: Liveaboard Hunter 33

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The biggest reason to have a sailboat is to cross oceans or cruise long distance.
For many folks, possibly most folks, the reason to have a sailboat is because they love sailing, be it ocean crossing, coastal cruising or day sailing. And living aboard is a wonderful life style, sail or power.

Jim
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Old 27-11-2018, 17:24   #8
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Re: Liveaboard Hunter 33

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For many folks, possibly most folks, the reason to have a sailboat is because they love sailing,

Jim


Is this why I constantly see about 80% coastal sailboats motoring even when the wind is there?
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Old 27-11-2018, 18:37   #9
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Re: Liveaboard Hunter 33

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Is this why I constantly see about 80% coastal sailboats motoring even when the wind is there?
No, more likely you are just a poor observer of your surroundings or can't count very well or possibly tend to exaggerate things a bit.

Yes, one does see yachts motoring, most frequently in light airs or when they need to get upwind... but 80%?? Not anywhere that I have sailed, and that covers a fair number of venues.

Lots of us actually enjoy the act of sailing. Perhaps you don't, and that is why you are boatless for now.

Jim
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