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Old 13-05-2019, 08:16   #1
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Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

Dear cruisers community: I know this is probably the most pointless request in the world since it's so subjective but here goes: I am looking to rely on your advice to find the perfect boat. 99.999% of you probably have more nautical experience in your pinky than I have in my whole body so here goes...

This is probably analogous to asking you to find me a living unicorn once you see my list of desired attributes but I'm going to ask anyway.

I am looking to live aboard here soon at a marina here in Florida. I live in an RV now and I look very forward to transitioning to a 'Marine RV'. I used to live aboard when I lived in MI over the summer about 15 years ago and I can't wait to get back into it.

Of course, back then my requirements were a bit different than what they are today.

I am 6'3" so I took great pleasure in reading the thread here: http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ards-5427.html

Obviously, headroom is a concern. So is a berth big enough to accommodate said height and also big enough to hold me and whichever gal shows poor enough judgment to follow me home from after last call so I can show her my dinghy. Hoo boy, that was a bad one. Not that I'm into the big gals, hey - to each their own, but I'm no Mr. Universe myself, so a Full sized bed would be pushing it - Queen would be preferable.

Also, being that I'm here in FL, I have visions of shooting across the pond for a week or two and hanging out in the Bahamas or just tooling up and down the ICW as much as I'm able. So I'd prefer to keep mast height around 60 feet or less, and draft would be ideal at sub 5' - a keel board would be a fine option. I know people have gone all over the Bahamas drawing much greater, but I just prefer to keep it shoal-ish for my own peace of mind.

Creature comforts - it's FL. Factory A/C would be a need, not a want. Sorry, I just can't sleep hot.

Finally - and here's where you are going to hate me, I need it to keep it at around $50K or below. I know, please put down the sticks and stones, but that's why I'm coming to you. Some of you might know in which direction I should venture to find this uniorn. And please don't tell me to check my rear, my head is already firmly implanted there from what my ex tells me.

The requirements again:

1. Headroom for a 6'3" clumsy caveman
2. Queen size bed preferred
3. Sub 5' draft preferred
4. Raised saloon so I can feel like I'm not living in my mom's basement
5. Factory Gen and AC
6. Sweetspot is around 38' or so plus or minus - Would prefer to keep it under 44'.
7. It's a liveboard so interior space is a good thing :-)
8. Please keep all suggestions for makes/models that can be found on the used market at or around $50K and below.

Thank you so much for any advice, even if it's to go walk off a pier. At least then I'll know there's no hope for a boat that satisfied all of these items and I can move on.

Fair winds and following seas!
-Tim
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Old 14-05-2019, 21:15   #2
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

Seems like you have quite a few options in your area...

A valiant 40 worked for me, my wife and our kids... and it was in your budget. Originally listed for 60 something so you can always offer low too. People may be worried a recession is coming.. so low balls may be easier accepted these days..

RR

https://www.yachtworld.com/core/list...ed=-1&fracts=1
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Old 15-05-2019, 15:58   #3
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

Thank you so much for the advice - I'm looking into a Valiant 40 now. Thanks for adding it to my list!
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Old 15-05-2019, 21:36   #4
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pirate Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

Be aware the Valiant 40 seems to have blister issues from hull 119 and after, due to switching resin.

Valiant 40 blisters - Cruising Anarchy - Sailing Anarchy Forums
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Old 16-05-2019, 14:20   #5
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

Hmm... never saw a Val 40 with a factory installed gen set or a/c. Competent cruising boats for sure, though... just fail your criteria list. And for that matter, none have a raised saloon, either.

Jim
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Old 16-05-2019, 16:40   #6
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandLynx View Post
Be aware the Valiant 40 seems to have blister issues from hull 119 and after, due to switching resin.



Valiant 40 blisters - Cruising Anarchy - Sailing Anarchy Forums
Valiant hulls built in Texas don’t have the famous blister issue. They built V40s in Texas from 1984 onwards. None of the V42s have the issue either as they were all built in Texas.
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Old 16-05-2019, 16:43   #7
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Cate View Post
Hmm... never saw a Val 40 with a factory installed gen set or a/c. Competent cruising boats for sure, though... just fail your criteria list. And for that matter, none have a raised saloon, either.

Jim
Gensets are not uncommon. My V42 has one and it’s the same hull as a V40. The saloon accommodates a 6-3” person fine. The deck above the saloon is raised quite a bit to my eye.
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Old 16-05-2019, 17:17   #8
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

A 36' Bayfield tags all your bases
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Old 16-05-2019, 20:38   #9
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

Quote:
Originally Posted by transmitterdan View Post
Gensets are not uncommon. My V42 has one and it’s the same hull as a V40. The saloon accommodates a 6-3” person fine. The deck above the saloon is raised quite a bit to my eye.
Aww, come on, Dan! How many older v-40s came with a FACTORY installed gen set or a/c? I say older due to the <50 K$ limit imposed... a pretty difficult criteria to meet, but that which was stipulated in the OP.

And while the V-40 has a trunk cabin, it is in no way a raised "deck saloon" where one can look out whilst seated below and see all around the boat. And while my memory is vague on this, i don't recall any queen sized bunks, either.

They are good cruising boats, but they don't meet the criteria.

Jim
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Old 16-05-2019, 22:10   #10
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

None will tick all the boxes I guess.

But a Morgan OI41 would make a good liveaboard.
No raised deck saloon, though, but hard to find in this size of boat.
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Old 16-05-2019, 23:25   #11
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

Quote:
No raised deck saloon, though, but hard to find in this size of boat.
And that size budget!

Jim
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Old 17-05-2019, 04:54   #12
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

Most boats don’t have factory AC it’s usually an add on.

Best advice? Go to yacht world or sailboatlistings and enter your search criteria. Lots will come up. Push you max price up to 65-70k and look at those boats and hope you can negotiate down.
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Old 17-05-2019, 05:10   #13
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

You all are fantastic, thank you so much. After traipsing through Yachtworld and following up on some of the leads and suggestions you offered, I've come to a few conculusions - chief among them is that I still have a ton of research to do.

It turns out things I thought I NEEDED were merely wants after careful consideration.

So with your indulgence, I'm going to modify the list a bit -

1. 6'3" headroom - NEED
2. Queen size bed - NEED (I found the implementation of a Center Cockpit tends to allow for a large aft cabin, so I'm now concentrating mostly on models that ofer a CC version)
3. Sub 5' draft - WANT (I could maybe go 5'6" for an extraordinary boat)
4. Raised Saloon: No longer requred. The combo of sidelights and skylights in most boats allows in plenty of natural light.
5. Factory Gen and AC - WANT - they don't have to be factory installed, but there has to be the ability to install it aftermarket.
6. Would prefer to keep it under 50'
7. It's a liveboard so interior space is a good thing :-)
8. Per advice from those who know better, I'm now considering any boats that come in at $75K and below.

Thank you all for the fantastic advice. I'm beyond excited to be on this hunt, which I'm sure, may take quite a while to reach a conclusion.

-T
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Old 17-05-2019, 05:37   #14
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

I like the setup in some of the Morgans and the Gulfstar 50 for the aft bed. In port you can sleep athwartship with a wide bed, and at sea, where a queen bed really does not work, you just sleep on either side.

A/C you can fit to any boat, not a hard installation.

Gen you can live without, better to invest in solar panels.

More often than not you can buy the boats for less than half the asking price.
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Old 17-05-2019, 05:55   #15
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Re: Please help me find the 'perfect' Liveaboard/Cruising Sailboat (AKA Unicorn)

Hunter Passage 42

Head room, Queen aft berth, lots of living space, 4'8" draft, ours came with gen set and A/C, living space is ample, lots of light in the salon.

We've been on ours for almost 2 years.

P.S. This may sound like a nice to have, but it's now one of our must haves. Our aft head has a separate shower\tub which means we can take a shower on our boat and not make a mess of the whole aft head. So we don't use the facilities when we are at a marina, because we can take a nice shower on our boat without any fuss.
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