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Alternative life-style urges-live aboard sailboat


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I am seriously considering a live aboard 33' Island Packet sailboat. This is a true Bluewater design capable of trans oceanic crossings.

 

It is a premium design and build quality. Fantastically appointed teak interior. Sleeps 4 very comfortably with two staterooms and two full bathrooms/showers. Awesome galley, salon and nav station. Diesel inboard, generator, heat/ac, electronics etc

 

I only want to live on it from June to September. 

 

I like the idea of waking up every morning to coffee and the smell of the ocean. Having recently sold my home by the beach I want that smell of the sea during the summer.

 

I see it as a vacation condo of sorts just for the summer. Maybe docked at Cape Cod, Barnegat or Hatteras.

 

Has anyone here ever done this and can offer any advice?

 

Thanks in advance 

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I like the living space. I've owned two large sportfishing boats that didn't have the living space of a sailboat. I'm also keen to try offshore trolling (70-110 miles out) under sail for mahi, tuna an

An interesting idea, Dave.  An Island Packet is a top quality boat - they are heavy, full keel boats, extremely well made and capable of safe off-shore sailing; even circumnavigation.    Tha

I've had a trawler for the last dozen years and spent a month or more each summer cruising the great lakes.  It's a different way of life once onboard but for the right person, it's pretty great.  Spa

PartridgeCartridge
33 minutes ago, watermen said:

Why a sailboat?

I like the living space. I've owned two large sportfishing boats that didn't have the living space of a sailboat. I'm also keen to try offshore trolling (70-110 miles out) under sail for mahi, tuna and billfish. 

 

Then there is the allure of wind power which is free. My twin diesel sportfishing boats would burn 250-300 gallons of fuel. At $4/gallon, a trip with bait,ice,fuel,food would be close to $2000. Under sail, I could do the same trip for under $500.

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Any displacement hull makes a 100 mile trip close to 12 hours.  A tug style has the living quarters you desire with a little more deck space.  A sailboat has no deck space and  my only long term experience on one was a month on a 44 footer in the Caymans.  It sucked for fishing and I did not like the limitations and inability to travel  at will.   The wind is a fickle mistress.  I have never had my a** handed to me in a sailboat,  Maybe it's not so bad. IDK

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Natty Bumpo

My brother and SIL owned an Island Packet for a few years; IIRC, it was a 36 or 38 ft. They crossed the Atlantic twice and lived to tell about it. We were on it sailing about the Great Lakes a few times. It seemed to be a very well built boat and everything worked as it should. They eventually sold it and bot a trawler.

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NO 33 ft Boat of any kind can "comfortably" sleep 4 people.  To each his own.  I live on the Great Lakes and see the boating people all the time.  Most can't wait to find a real bathroom and shower and a comfortable place to sit.  Just my opinion and I could be wrong.

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mister grouse

Of course I do not know you PC, but have read a lot of your posts over the years.  Having made that disclaimer I must say you never struck me as a laid back sailboat guy, but more of a point A to point B guy and with a definite  plan in place.  Have you had a life changing event to make you a sailboat-mellow kind of guy?  Or have I misdiagnosed (again).  

 

Being  a historically a goal oriented ,  well scheduled,  achievement seeking  person myself, I would not last two days on a sailboat.   Honest diagnosis.

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My best friend's aunt lived on one for a while in south TX. She really liked it - she wasn't tied down by family or career. Couldn't even sail, so when she got tired of a job in Gavleston, she'd have somebody sail it to Corpus for her and she'd pick up another job there for a while. 

I think it would be fun short-term, but don't think I could do it full time. 

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There must be some way to try out that life style first without buying right away?

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Sheldrake

We owned and sailed a Bristol 32 for a number of years. Cruised it on weekends and for a week or two each year. It was fun, but I would not want to live aboard for an extended period of time. Such a thing is a very small living space, but certainly doable if you don't need your "stuff"(tools, books, guns, fishing tackle, dogs, etc, etc) at hand.

 

Also, unless you can afford to pay someone else to do it, a larger boat that remains in the water is a maintenance pit.

 

Someone once opined " the larger the boat, the less you use it". That has certainly been our experience.

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Chief Paduke

My brother sailed the Caribbean January until May for about 20 years on a Tartan 34. I joined him for 2 weeks 11 of those years. He always thought he would have lots of company, but it was difficult to make connections etc. Most of the time he was solo. Living on a 34 foot sailboat is spartan living.

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Don Steese

For the first dozen years of our retirement we spent the winters in one of the largest marina communities in Mexico. Plenty of big sailboats from all over the world there every year. Most were plenty large to live aboard. A very small percentage of the owners did; the vast majority either rented or owned a condo there. I often wondered why more folks didn't live on board. That should probably tell you something.

 

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Greg Hartman

An interesting idea, Dave.  An Island Packet is a top quality boat - they are heavy, full keel boats, extremely well made and capable of safe off-shore sailing; even circumnavigation. 

 

That said, a 33 footer is too small to serve as a live aboard, for me anyway.  For one thing, you are stuck with a V-berth in the bow - pretty uncomfortable at anchor in any weather. In the world of IP boats, I'd want no less than a 38 footer with a pullman berth - like this one:  38' IP.

 

It was my dream when younger to circumnavigate in a sailboat (especially to visit Tahiti).  Never got to do it (making a living kinda got in the way) and am way too old now at 75, but I'm still an avid sailor and have seen people with lots of experience with power boats try to go to sailboats and be completely lost.  There is a lot to know about sailing - all fun to learn and not rocket science, for sure, but you can't just hop on a sailboat and expect to be able to handle it safely and effectively - there will be a learning curve - maybe some lessons would be  good investment.  There is also an enormous amount of maintenance on such a boat. 

 

These days, I like my comforts too much to have any desire to live aboard a sailboat unless it is moored at a marina with full services, which kinda defeats the purpose.  After a long day in the waves and wind, I no longer feel a burning desire to try to crawl in a rolling bed, covered with salt and sand after a dinner of crackers and warm beer.

 

My suggestion would be to start small; learn to sail; and see if you like it before putting out the big bucks for a large sailboat.  I've been on all kinds of sailboats, from 72' schooners on down and currently am very happy with my relatively small, simple and inexpensive boat.  We can trailer to lakes, the Chesapeake, or the Outer Banks, where we spend a month or two sailing in the spring.  It can go off-shore safely in decent weather and, with the centerboard keel pulled in, it can be beached to spend a day picnicking and exploring uninhabited islands.  You can fish from it.  It has a useable toilet (VERY important if you plan to have any female crew) and, if you end up being out longer than intended due to unfavorable winds or whatever, you can sleep on it, but I much prefer not to do that.

 

8-4-20 - Sailing - 8

 

8-4-20 - Sailing - 9

 

8-4-20 - Sailing - 4

 

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Alaskan Swamp Collie

My hunting partner and his family (wife and 3 young children) traveled around the world on a sailboat about 25 years ago. Said it was a great and sometimes scary experience. He has no desire to do it again, has gone to motor powered craft of various sizes and styles, and still spends multiple week trips on them. I think he owns 4 or 5 boats right now, none of them sail powered.

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I don't have any real world experience but I've daydreamed about doing something like this.  I'm thinking if you're not going to be spending a lot of time actuation sailing much, rather just looking for a home on the docks, I would think as far as cost vs living space you'd do much better with a motor boat.   Get one that's under powered and maybe close to needing a rebuild or repower.   Spend that significant savings on luxury.   It also seems to be that a sailing vessels require more length to achieve the same square footage of living space than a shorter motor boat may have; which translates into more savings (lower slip fees which are by the foot) that can be shifted to buying yet more luxury.   It seems like in my quest to find a deal on a small commercial fishing type vessel over the past year or more I see a number of boats that would make interesting live aboard for what seems like short money because they have low HP diesels with high hours, but if kept nice are beautiful inside.  

 

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