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couple new to sailing (advice?)

sailorcouple

New Member
we are in our 20's and have decided to buy a sailboat to live and travel on. just looking for advice on boats, what to learn, and just any general advice you have. thanks in advance!!!
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Hmm, insufficient replies here... first of all, know that the liveaboard lifestyle can be challenging regardless of nautical experience. Out in Kalifornia, heaps of folks live aboard boats at marinas, and many of them are relatively clueless when it comes to operating sail or power craft. Their boats are merely "condos on the water" and many of them hardly ever leave their slips. These folks pay moorage (or slip fees) every month, or every so many months, with marinas often requiring deposits, proof of insurance for the boat, good credit history, etc. In return, there are amenities: showers & heads on shore, dockside water & power, sometimes a clubhouse, hot tubs & pools, BBQ areas, etc., but expect to pay a little more for each additional amenity, particularly the luxuries. :rolleyes:

You can find "transferable slips" in certain marinas, which means that if you purchase the boat, it stays in the slip and you simply assume all the responsibilities (i.e. bills) which the former owner had. Another possibility is to buy a boat on a transferable mooring buoy, much cheaper but also much harder to find, and with zero amenities as opposed to living at a marina. Last I heard, the San Diego Unified Port District waiting list for an open mooring buoy was 2 or 3 YEARS, and that was awhile back, LOL. So the whole mooring buoy scene can be elusive, like Sasquatch or his cousin the Yeti. Folks don't wanna give up those mooring buoys, sometimes they'll hang onto them even after they sell a boat, and put another boat on the buoy once they get around to buying the craft. :confused:

Then there's the truly hardcore option of living aboard a boat without the amenities of a marina or the security of a mooring buoy... 'security' in terms of your anchor not dragging and your boat winding up on the rocks, or on a lee shore with no hope of salvage or recovery. Not in your budget, most likely, unless you both have enough money set aside for such contingencies. This sort of liveaboard lifestyle should only be attempted by those with some nautical experience, and the challenges (or difficulties) of such a lifestyle can be great. Starting with the greatest priorities: resupply of fresh water & provisions, handling of sewage, dealing with dirty laundry, repowering of shipboard batteries via solar panel(s), reliable dinghy transport from ship to shore, and the list goes on... :(

Imagine doing any or all of this while caught in a sudden squall or rainstorm... good foul weather gear starts to enter the picture, LOL. I won't even get started on all the bureaucratic hassles & paperwork involved with sailing from one country to another, even sailing into Mexican waters has become problematic with the diplomatic tensions ratcheted up between nations. And I'm NOT trying to dissuade you from the whole adventurous idea, it's just that we now live in a world where one can unknowingly get into... er... a boatload of trouble due to ignorance of regulations or requirements where foreign travel is concerned. And to be perfectly honest with you, I've been considering such a voyage, if only for a year or so... but I digress, lemme give you some more advice. :eek:

To live comfortably aboard a boat, two people will need at LEAST a 30' craft, which is convenient because finger piers at marinas are often 30' in length. There are longer finger piers for longer boats, and end ties and whatnot, but 30' is the minimum for liveaboard action if you wanna be comfortable, take my word for it. A better choice would be between 30' & 40' feet, a Cal 34 for instance... and some marinas will allow a slightly longer boat in a 30' slip, as long as no part of the boat obstructs the main dock, aye? You with me so far? Trust me, you WANT the additional liveaboard space down below when there are two persons in the equation... when it comes to stowing personal stuff like gear & clothing, it'll be hard enough working out a system which works for both of you... :mad:

If you're into comfort as opposed to boat performance, go with a beamy (or wide) cruising model, and be sure to go below and check the accommodations, living space, etc., BEFORE you buy a boat. Can't stress this enough: you're the ones who will be living aboard the craft, so make sure you will be comfortable aboard that same craft. Look for a good galley layout too, since that makes a huge difference in the liveaboard lifestyle... you want some counter space, a good stainless steel sink, a gimballed stove or oven that actually works, room for a microwave & small fridge or thermoelectric cooler, etc. I know all this because good friends of mine have lived aboard a boat for years, and I often visited them in Dago (or San Diego) when I lived there, as I may do again. :D

And yes, they owned a Cal 34, which is a pretty good choice for living aboard a cruising sailboat. There are others which fill the bill, I'll be sure to include a link or two in a moment so you can see what I would choose for my own purposes. Know this: as soon as you get above 30' LOA (or Length Overall), cabin room down below magically and (almost) exponentially increases to a point where comfort is king, and THAT is what you want if you're going to live aboard a boat. Putting up with all the other bull$h!t (i.e. making sacrifices) in order to live your dream, well, that becomes much easier when you're living aboard a 34' boat rather than a 30' craft. You still with me here? If you're gonna do this, DO IT RIGHT... but keep a limit on overall length because it gets expensive, LOL. :confused:

Okay, I'm gonna stop here due to time constraints, but I want you to know that living aboard a boat can be challenging, yet it can also be rewarding in ways that few landlubbers will ever understand. You'll be closer to nature for starters, even if you're dockside... you'll see all kinds of cool sunrises & sunsets, see wildlife to include sea birds & marine mammals (birds can pose a problem if they routinely cr@p on your boat), breathe fresh air most of the time & enjoy that powerful connection to the ocean which we all have in one way or another, whether it's through ancient marine ancestry or some other more modern line, LOL. And I know, I hail from a nautical family (2 CDRs, USN Submarine Service, I was in the USA INF, go figure), and it ain't my first day out when it comes to sailing. ;)

MY BEST MEMORIES INCLUDE SAILING VOYAGES... LIFE ABOARD A BOAT IS COOL, AND THERE ARE WORSE PLACES TO SPEND YOUR TIME. JAIL WOULD BE MY FIRST COMPARISON, LOL, ESPECIALLY AFTER BEING FALSELY CHARGED. MEH, LIFE GOES ON... CHEERS!!! :cool:

Here are a couple of links or boats I found on short order, they're both 37' but the Ranger is probably better known for performance... the Talisman looks heller comfortable down below, which is still important. If you're on a serious budget, lemme know, and I'll pick out some other craft, but the lower ya go in price, the more likely the boat comes with problems which you will surely inherit, LOL. :rolleyes:

Okay, gonna have to post the links separately, due to time constraints... back in a bit. :D
 
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Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Alright, here are the boats:

37'Talisman1975 Beautiful inside OFFERS OFFERS OFFERS - boats - by...

Ranger 37 Sail Boat - boats - by dealer - marine sale

Just so ya know, these are the sort of craft I'd consider for cruising & liveaboard action... other choices would include a double-ended Westsail 32, 42 or 43, all proven craft in a seaway. Saw a few others there before I got timed out last post, but I won't bother finding them until you reply. If you're on a serious budget, gimme the amount you're willing to pay for a boat, and I'll select a few accordingly from C/L, just to show you what I'd look for in any given price range. Marine safety is top priority here, no need to DIE after shelling out bucks for some craft which isn't seaworthy. Just sayin'... Cheers!!! :cool:

P.S. Motor looks crappy (but might still be reliable) aboard that Ranger, I'm gonna grab another beer and dredge up a few more listings... ;)
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Okay, I found a few random craft which appealed to me for some reason or other... I'm gonna post the C/L links so you can check 'em out. Remember, I'm thinking of going on a long voyage myself in the not-too-distant future, so looking at these listings has NOT been a great imposition, nor am I fixated in any way upon your OWN situation, LOL. :confused:

Here are some links, I'll add comments as I go... :rolleyes:

32' Gulf Pilothouse Cutter Full Keel Blue Water Cruiser - boats - by...

I like that Gulf pilothouse cutter for her roominess, an important factor to a liveaboard or cruiser.

Ericson 35-2 - boats - by owner - marine sale

Ericson sailboats are okay, they sail well enough, but I always found 'em to be a bit cramped... knocking knees & elbows on a regular basis doesn't appeal to me. Perhaps for some midgets or anorexics, the boat listed would be alright, otherwise I share the listing simply to show ya the accommodations, aye? :eek:

1983 Islander 30 Sailboat - Excellent Condition - Or Best Offer! -...

Nothing wrong with Islander sailboats, I've seen some nice ones in my day, they are solid enough & safe enough for your purposes... mine too, when I get right down to it. I have another Islander link to post shortly, but this one has some attractive qualities & features. :D

Newporter Classic - boats - by owner - marine sale

Nice liveaboard cruiser here for someone able to handle her... no shortage of room topside or down below for two persons. Again, I'm just showing you listings which appealed to me as a prospective liveaboard & transoceanic cruiser. ;)

Islander Bahama 30' Sailboat - boats - by owner - marine sale

Now there's a sweet boat for a decent price, but only 20 gallons capacity for the fresh water tank... something to consider, though you can always carry extra water in separate tanks or containers. :confused:

Santana 37 Sailboat - boats - by owner - marine sale

Nice boat, though I question the "fair" condition---honest assessment from a true sailor? Most shysters & scammers will list a boat in "good" or "excellent" condition. Just something to think about, as there may be unmentioned maintenance or repair issues just waiting for some sucker to inherit, LOL. :(

32’ Fuji Ketch Blue Water Cruiser - boats - by owner - marine sale

Here we have a nice little ketch owned by a master skipper (or at least someone with a license, LOL), and it shows in the condition of the motor... which also leads me to believe that other equipment & features aboard the boat have been carefully maintained (with the exception of deck paint & brightwork,LOL). A licensed skipper is more likely to be aware of real problems, even if he's too busy to wield a roller or brush, aye? :eek:

SO-O-O, THAT'S A BRIEF LOOK AT WHAT'S AVAILABLE ON C/L, AS PRESENTED BY AN OLD HAND WHO MAY VERY WELL GO ON AN EXTENDED CRUISE IN THE NEAR FUTURE... :rolleyes:

FEEL FREE TO ASK MORE QUESTIONS... WON'T MATTER IF YOU'RE A SHILL OR FAKE POSTER, I'M LOOKING AT THESE BOAT LISTINGS ANYWAY, "KA-PEESH?!?!?" ;)

TIME TO POST: NO GUTS, NO GLORY... CHEERS!!! :cool:

Edit: Remember, all C/L prices are negotiable, and cash is king... but never bring cash to a prospective boat buy, save it for exchange in front of a notary public in a bank or wherever. Somewhere safe, you understand, where transfer of cash and boat title can be effected without any ARMED ROBBERY, LOL. :eek:
 
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sailorcouple

New Member
what a reply.. lol but anyways, we plan to buy a boat in the 20-27 ft range. then sail fresh waters closer to where we live now while we save for the big boat. so well learn on a smaller boat then live on the big boat and we plan to cruise the fl coast and work and sail then run up the east coast during hurrican season. i want a boat atleast around 35-42ft and we plan to island hope after that first yr, bahamas, carribean, prob cuba as well. maybe cross an ocean after all that
 

Cactus Cowboy

Well-Known Member
Holy Mackerel!!! I just watched a video wherein two originally clueless persons took up the liveaboard life, and now they make YouTube videos at sea for a living. Of course, the dude started with money, no way he could afford that well-equipped state-of-the-art boat on a low budget, but as I continued to watch the video, my initial jealousy & contempt turned to admiration... the dude is actually pretty smart, and he has learned to adapt to life at sea. Same with the gal, she is now living 'The Life of Riley' on the Seven Seas, and doing it while taking care of a little kid!!! That part was incredible... these two have REALLY taken the liveaboard lifestyle to the next level, and the Delos is truly amazing, I've never seen a boat better equipped in my life. :eek:

I'm a pretty good sailor, and I'm sure I could adapt to the liveaboard lifestyle without much problem, but I never envisioned that any craft could be so well-equipped as this boat. I mean seriously, a gimballed satellite dome?!? Really?!? Sure, I'd expect something like that aboard some rich f#%'s megayacht, but to see this level of technology aboard a relatively small ketch, along with all the other incredible equipment & features, well, that just blows my mind. Honestly, I'm ready to go dirtbag it on BLM land, now that this level of liveaboard action has already been achieved, LOL. High-speed Internet in the middle of the ocean... I'm starting to think I'm behind the times. Meh, I'm gonna post this link anyway, because it shows a couple who've figured out a way to live the life of their dreams. :rolleyes:


I guess being a computer nerd or software geek paid off in this case... for this guy, learning to sail must have been the easy part, especially with the boat rigged the way she is, all controls in the cockpit. Sailing her looks pretty easy, not much actual physical work involved, LOL. Of course, some of those systems can go kaput, in which case the work begins, but it's cool to see how so many issues have been addressed, so many challenges overcome in this video. Honestly, I don't think I've ever seen a couple or a craft so well-suited to the liveaboard life, and THEY HAD NO NAUTICAL EXPERIENCE AT THE OUTSET. Again, money helps, and knowing how to generate income while at sea helps even more, so I tip my hat to these adventurers as I forward this video. ;)

OP, PERHAPS THIS VIDEO WILL HELP YOU, EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT AS WELL-EQUIPPED... THESE FOLKS STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE SAME CHALLENGES, THEY'VE JUST FIGURED OUT HOW TO DO IT AT THE NEXT LEVEL, LOL. CHEERS!!! :cool:

P.S. When Armageddon arrives, I'm thinking these folks will be the last survivors on the planet, cruising along aboard the Delos and making videos, LOL... :D
 
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