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Old 18-06-2022, 08:06   #1
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Purchasing a Live Aboard Sailboat

Im currently in the market for a live aboard sailboat and hoping to purchase a used boat in the next few months. I live in San Francisco Bay Area so sailing happens year round - except maybe unfortunately during fire season when I guess I can sail away.

I live the Beneteau 473 - but it is expensive

Looked at a Beneteau 411 and Catalina 380 (which seems to have more room) but the Beneteau 411 I saw needs A LOT of work. The 380 was snapped up quickly by someone else 😞. These seem as small as I am willing to go.

On my list to see over the next week:
Beneteau 461
Beneteau 381 (thinking this might be a little small for ME)
Beneteau 40.7

I plan on living aboard in the Bay Area and eventually heading south for some long distant cruising.

Any feedback with these boats would be appreciated. I am hoping the boat will be somewhat turnkey so I can pick my projects rather than be forced to do work just to stay in the water.
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Old 18-06-2022, 08:13   #2
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Re: Purchasing a Live Aboard Sailboat

It's nice to size a boat to live on, but when you are sailing it are you buying too big of a boat to handle?

If you could, please tell us about your sailing experience and if you will single hand the boat, etc. All helpful info for others to recommend a boat for you.
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Old 18-06-2022, 08:36   #3
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Re: Purchasing a Live Aboard Sailboat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O View Post
It's nice to size a boat to live on, but when you are sailing it are you buying too big of a boat to handle?

If you could, please tell us about your sailing experience and if you will single hand the boat, etc. All helpful info for others to recommend a boat for you.
Thanks Bill, I have extensive one design race experience. When I was a kid 420’s, 470’s and as I got older race 210’s, Ensigns and 2 years on 12 Meters (worked the bow).

I don’t have cruising experience or experience with boats with engines. I do worry about the cut off to boat size as when I am on a larger boat like the 473 I realize if might be a lot to handle on my own.

For racing I prefer to crew, as I ease into retirement I want to slow down and take my time.
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Old 18-06-2022, 09:05   #4
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Re: Purchasing a Live Aboard Sailboat

I’d suggest you revise your viewpoint - there is no such thing as a live-aboard sailboat. By that I mean it’s first a sailboat and only used to live on so make sure your priorities are clear.

Also, you will be better served not limiting a search to only one brand and particularly that one. Living on board any boat and later cruising are both hard on the boat and some aren’t particularly good and surviving either one.
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Old 18-06-2022, 09:30   #5
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Re: Purchasing a Live Aboard Sailboat

Lchnsf,
Are there any opportunities to crew on bigger keel boats (like the ones in your possible purchase list)? This will give you a better idea of how they handle and widen your view of other possible boats that may fit your needs.

Would you be able to handle a 12m boat by yourself in cruise mode (not racing) in 15-20kts? This is a slightly smaller LOA than your list above.

Would initially look for a smaller boat, maybe the 30-36' range and practice sailing, maneuvering into slips, etc. After some experience on this size boat and you feel comfortable w/your ability, then move up in size.
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Old 19-06-2022, 09:40   #6
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Re: Purchasing a Live Aboard Sailboat

As Im sure you are aware, the San Francisco Bay Area has many marinas to select from. However, as most everyone knows, most marinas are quickly going away from accommodating live on boat owners. I would encourage you to thoroughly investigate each marina that offers full time live on accommodations to see what potential there might be that such privileges may be eliminated in the not too distant future.
Investing in a sailboat to call home is a great concept. But if you find that your dream boat has no place to call home, it would create a nightmare that would certainly take the shine off the dream.
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