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Old 12-27-2007, 02:11 PM   #1
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As I continue my boat search I find it amazing how many "cruisers" are in no way layed out for live-aboard... at least not by my standards.

What am I looking for? The first thing that comes to mind is galley space... most modern yacht's have galleys that are nearly nonexistant, tiny sinks, 2 burner stoves, negligible counter space... I can see why this would be the case in coastal cruising/day sailing boats but to me the galley is one of the most imporant parts of the boat, I want a double sink, 4 burners, and as much counterspace as possible with lots of under counter storage... sure this looses you a birth but as I plan to live-aboard I don't plan to have that many visitors and will probably spend a lot of time in the galley grinding wheat berries, watering my bean-sprouts, and of course cooking.

Next on my list of complaints is the navigation stations... most of them are nearly nonexistant as well, you have to either sacrifice counter space or cover your burners and then you are left standing in the middle of the salon/galley or on some uncomfortable little fold out seat, still in everyone elses way. You see a few with comfortable navigation stations but they are rare and still lack galley space.... and then there is the issue of aft cabins... there are plenty of littlish (<35ft) boats with aft cabins... but for some reason they never have any of the above discussed features... ... What is up with this?? to me the perfect boat would have two double births, a big galley and a comfortable nav station... yet it seams if a boat has one it lacks the others, for no apparent reason...

So to get to the point.... for those of you who already live-aboard, or have or will, what do you find to be the design features that make a boat live-aboardable??? What kind of boat do you have? What do you find to be it's shortcomings in this area? What strengths? Do you know any boats that meet the above criterion??

J
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:24 PM   #2
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to me the perfect boat would have two double births,
We all make typos and I am probably worse than anyone else but two births on board!! Wow, now that is not for me.

But all joking aside, it is, as they say, horses for courses. I agree with the sentiments regarding the galley, I am not so sure about the chart table as most cruising yachts are to be found making ocean passages where chart tables are not used very much. I would say that was more necessary in a coastal cruiser. What I don't need are large double berths! There is nothing better than a narrow cot at sea with a lee cloth rigged with the possible exception of a true pilot berth. Being rolled arround in a large double berth at sea is not my idea of a good time. On the other hand, a good time can be had in a large double berth in the calm waters of a peaceful haven

Be careful though. That good time in port can result in double births too!!!!

Aye // Stephen
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:38 PM   #3
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oops... yeah, i obviously meant berths.... though as a bit of a naturalist the idea of a birth aboard is a bit appealing... as long as I could find a midwife who was willing to stay on for a while.... which is doubtfull....

good point on the little berths... personally I think I'd still like large berths and just rig up some sort of canvas devider as necessary as I hope to spend as much time as possible on the hook in isolated waters... passage making is a means to an ends not an ends in itself in my book...
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Old 12-27-2007, 02:46 PM   #4
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I use saloon berths or quarter berths at sea and keep the double berth for'd for port use.

Of course, nothing nicer than sleeping out under the stars if the weather and mozzies permit.

// Stephen
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:02 PM   #5
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Atavist,

You could always do what we did and buy an old boat with ballroom floors in the salon and pilothouse, then fill those up with a great u-shaped galley and a good nav station! Our boat had been all over the oceans, and yet I can't conceive of someone wanting all that empty space on ocean swells--much less choppy seas. Anyway, I got the galley I wanted because I am married to an engineer/craftsman and he gets the nav station with a lock-down swivel chair that I wanted (the idea was that I'd use the chair which is so easy on my back. Somehow, his computer ended up there, with his back enjoying the lumbar support...) The chair also slides over to make an extra seat at the dining table and will (eventually) have lock downs in that position as well.

As for great double berths--yes, I like having space for two when not at sea, but I'm glad we have some single settees that double as sea berths. I think all boats are a compromise unless you've got the money to order it up the way you want it. Still, you can choose the compromises with which you can live. I agree with Stephen. If you're merely using the nav station for chart reading, then that's most useful in coastal areas. I always use the salon table for charts anyway--it's larger and I like to get the full picture of where I've been and where I'm going when sailing coastal waters--esp. unfamiliar ones. We mostly use our nav station for radios and computers. We have friends with a Tayana 37 who have a chart chest--charts can spread on top and drawers fill the space below, which I think an excellent set up as the top of the table is a good height for most people to read a chart and the drawers are large enough for charts and other things. Their galley works well for them also, though it's a little small for me.

Normandie
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Old 12-27-2007, 03:11 PM   #6
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A swivel chair that slides to the dinning table... what a great idea... any chance you could post a picture of this set up?

also, good point on the salon table doubling as a comfortable nav station, odds are I won't be eating and plotting at the same time...

this is just the type of input I was looking for... thanks guys... keep it coming.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:47 PM   #7
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I used my salon table on Frolic, my 30 ft. Columbia as a chart table. It was plenty big enough for charts, and at the center of the vessel.

I now have a 8x5ft nav station on my cat. I use the seating at the salon table for my quarter berth when it gets a bit nasty. I am locked into place by the table, and back of the seat. When we first started out on the cat my wife made me sleep on the cockpit floor. Now that she can manage the boat, and any traffic identification. I get to sleep in our berth which places my head at the exact center of the boat.
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Old 12-27-2007, 09:43 PM   #8
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Modern set-ups are generally more generous from a living point of view than they traditionally were. Older boats were made for voyaging, modern boats tend toward comfort at the dockside. To find a boat with the size and improvements you desire, especially in an older boat, you need to be looking at 50 feet plus.

An older 50' yacht will have good seakeeping qualities while not sacrificing comfort. Mine has had no births, but sports two double berths (centre cockpit, so they are well separated) a large galley, two lounges in the saloon, a full bathroom and the chart table will hold an opened admiralty chart.

I can handle the boat by myself, but never was the old adage 'the time to reef is when you first think of it', more true.

Best of luck

David.
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Old 12-27-2007, 10:27 PM   #9
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SV Watermelon is a Jeanneau Sun Fizz, 39' that supposedly slept 10! Not! But.

It had two aft "double" cabins that were a bit like quarter berths but a bit larger. There were many advantages to them. They had an opening port hole into the cockpit so in calm seas it was left open and the person on watch could call to the off watch person without moving from the cockpit. When the porthole was dogged closed, just stamping on the cockpit sole would get the person's attention. And the person off watch could look out to see their partner. I slept a lot better because of this. It was also the most comfortable place to sleep in any kind of seas or weather. A few pillows along one side and it became a single berth with lots of padding. The motion that far down and aft was almost nonexistant. Peter once slept through our mainsail blowing out in 50 kts. of wind. Served us right, we should have had the storm sail up.

The nav station was just to starboard of the companionway steps. It had a curved bottom comfortable seat and sizeable chart table that lifted up to access storage beneath it. Again, it was secure no matter how rough it was.

The galley was to port of the nav station and was quite small. two-burner stove and oven, double sinks, though small, very little counter space but no matter how bad the weather and how bad the seas were I could cook and make coffee. I could strap myself in and not take more than one step in any direction to have everything I needed to cook. However, I removed the door between the galley and the portside aft cabin and used the drop-down dressing table as additional galley counter space. As small as this galley was, I could cook for an army. I baked bread, using our saloon table for mixing and kneading the bread. Made pies, cakes, a full-size turkey for thanksgiving for eight people, etc. One learns how to cook in a small space, including using a candle warmer as a third "burner".

The Sun Fizz also had more clean and dry storage than most comparable boats, and it was a lovely sailing boat.

Compromises: tankage was 75 gallons water, 40 gallons diesel. That was plenty of diesel; after all, it's a sailboat. The water capacity was sufficient, though we had to be a bit careful and not waste any water. At 8 pounds/gallon of water, I think that more tankage would have just made our sailboat slow and sluggish.
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:49 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by atavist View Post
So to get to the point.... for those of you who already live-aboard, or have or will, what do you find to be the design features that make a boat live-aboardable??? What kind of boat do you have? What do you find to be it's shortcomings in this area? What strengths? Do you know any boats that meet the above criterion??

J
Well you could do a whole lot worse than look at a 39' Westerly Sealord.... I live aboard mine for 6 months of the year.

Double berth in the owner's stateroom down the back.. this cabin extends the full beam of the boat with the double on the stbd side.

Three excellent sea berths two of which can convert into 3/4 berths in port.

A reasonable size galley with a SMEV 4 burner cooker. Actually the 4 burner is nonsense, the new 3 burner model is better as you can only use the 4 burner with very small pots.

Good dedicated navigatorium, 200 litres fuel, 400 litres water, more stowage than you can shake a stick at. I normally store for 2 months full vittles, 2 months basic and 2 months survival......it all fits.

Worth a look
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:47 AM   #11
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Atavist Greetings ,

You didn't provide us with a few essential requirements in your original post, in your continuing boat search.

#1. The length of the boat ?

#2. LWL measurement?

#3. The Beam measurement ?

#4. Centre or Aft Cockpit ?

#4. what sort of $ price range ?

With that info. on board we could possibly identify a boat might meet most of the criteria that you set for "livability" on a cruising boat.

You might find a very useful method of determining what will fit and where on a monohull by applying the following simple formula and technique :-

Examples :- (Calculate Waterline Area : LWL x 0.67 x Beam)

# 1 Moody 47

Length of water line = 38.5 ft x Beam 14.5 ft x Coefficient 0.67 = say 380 sq ft.

Take draw a simple rectangle of say 25ft x 15 ft (this could represent a room in a house)

then cut pieces of paper to represent double and single beds , The Engine Room for a 60 hp diesel engine and gear box. A dining room table, A navigation and communications area . A kitchen and scullery. Anchor and Chain Locker. A Wet Locker, A shower room. A toilet. A lounge (living room) A mast in section. Wardrobes and cupboards. Free walkspace (sole area)

Etc ..........

The Master's double bed already takes up 10% and it doesn't take long to find out, that to fit all those basic needs, a lot of compromises will have to be made.

.................................................. ..............................

..........

# 2 Westerly CC Sealord 39

Take Frank's liveaboard ( A good boat where a number of compromises were made in favour of Livability)

Length of water line = 32.5 ft x Beam 13 ft x Coefficient 0.67 = say 280 sq ft.

Drawing a rectangle of 23ft x 12ft , then fit the required components of livability into that space, which should emphasize why the small diesel tank of only 33 gallons US (27.5 Imperial) on the Westerly was a compromise to fit something else into the livability space. Which means that as a cruising boat to go far offshore in the low latitudes, it is going to need to carry additional fuel ( the average being 100 US gallons - from surveys of offshore cruising yachts) Not a good compromise for that objective.

Richard

PS - Frank quotes 200 litres ( 53 gallons) for his boat
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Old 12-29-2007, 08:48 AM   #12
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PS - Frank quotes 200 litres ( 53 gallons) for his boat
Is that US or Imperial gals Yep mine is 200 litres as are all the others to the best of my knowledge . The tank lives aft of the engine and above the propshaft ie under the aft end of the cockpit. Lookee here...

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/boa...=42024&url=

As you say all boats are a compromise but mine works well enough with up to 4 pob for long periods ' in the bush '

Without knowing Atavist's $ availability and LOA requirement it is hard to advise or suggest.
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Old 12-29-2007, 09:33 AM   #13
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Is that US or Imperial gals Yep mine is 200 litres as are all the others to the best of my knowledge . The tank lives aft of the engine and above the propshaft ie under the aft end of the cockpit. Lookee here...

http://www.yachtworld.com/core/listing/boa...=42024&url=

As you say all boats are a compromise but mine works well enough with up to 4 pob for long periods ' in the bush '

Without knowing Atavist's $ availability and LOA requirement it is hard to advise or suggest.
Hi Frank,

Here is the Spec. with 33 gallons US :-

Additional Specs, Equipment and Information:

Builder/Designer

Builder: Westerly Designer: ED DUBOISE

Dimensions

LOA: 39' LWL: 32.5 Beam: 13.1

Displacement: 15900 Draft: 5.6 Ballast: 6700

Engines

Engine(s): VOLVO Engine(s) HP: 36

Tankage

Fuel: 33 GALLONS Water: 70 GALLONS


(I guess there may be different builds with same tankage as yours)

I agree unless we have the basic info. as to size of Boat and the finance that is being budgeted for it - not really able to establish if the declared needs would be met.

Great Picture - good spot !

Richard
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Old 12-29-2007, 10:08 AM   #14
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Here is the Spec. with 33 gallons US :-

Additional Specs, Equipment and Information:

Tankage

Fuel: 33 GALLONS Water: 70 GALLONS


(I guess there may be different builds with same tankage as yours)

Richard
Gday Richard ,

I reckon that is either a typo or more likely an error by some one who can't convert proper.

The first ones had 200 litres ( Sealord #4 ' Brilliance' is also in Patagonia or at least was until they left for the Falklands last week ) and mine, #35, is one of the last of the 42 built ... can't think why they would down spec the tankage esp considering where it is. Only difference I know in the series was in the engines...some had MD17Ds, others had Bukh. There was also a single example built with teak decks instead of treadmaster.

Stats here together with a link to their history.

http://www.westerly-owners.co.uk/boat_sealord_39.htm

Cheers

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Old 12-29-2007, 11:10 AM   #15
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Hi Frank Again ,

The specification I took at face value - see the Yachting World # 18224 - 1803302 for a 1983 build.

Thanks for the heads up with the Owners' Forum ! I noted that the design team did a lot of redesign on the Aft cabin and the stern section of the boat - I guess (and it is only a guess) that

in doing so the tank also may have been enlarged at that time :--

Still, the lack of sales had to be addressed, and since there was nothing wrong with the boat, Westerly turned their design team on the interior in search of an inexpensive solution. Production of GRP boats is only cheap if one can sell a lot. The cost of making the plug and moulds, not to mention the work that goes into designing the manufacturing process, is prohibitive. My guess is that the Sealord cost Ł250,000 to develop, so building 42 in 4˝ years is simply not enough volume.

Happily for Westerly, Mike Parham, their chief designer at the time, is an imaginative and experienced man. He came up with the idea of enlarging her after cabin by cutting the mould just behind the cockpit and adding 15" in length. This allowed this barely adequate cabin to become a stateroom, with more room in the heads, a better berth, and more standing room.

In addition, Westerlys first ‘sugar-scoop’ was attached to the stern. There are two good things that such a seemingly unimportant appendage gives. One is easy and safe access from a dinghy, and for bathers; the other is waterline length. The safe access is no small advantage in a high-sided modern yacht, especially as those who can afford such luxuries are rarely in the first flush of youth. Waterline length, of course, gives more speed, directional stability and improved motion in lumpy seas.


What do you reckon ? By the way I note that other 39ers had a 495 litre water tank.

Richard
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Old 12-29-2007, 02:35 PM   #16
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# 2 Westerly CC Sealord 39

....Which means that as a cruising boat to go far offshore in the low latitudes, it is going to need to carry additional fuel ( the average being 100 US gallons - from surveys of offshore cruising yachts) Not a good compromise for that objective.
Based on our own experience, I disagree with the need to expand fuel tankage for offshore cruising. As I said, Watermelon only carries 44 gallons, and for long passages we carried an additional 10 gallons in jerry jugs. We had to have the jerry jugs anyway because we usually needed to get fuel where there was no fuel dock to tie up to, so it was just as well to leave port with them full. In the Caribbean we used very little fuel, often sailing onto and off our anchor. Wind was so reliable that our wind generator provided close to all the electricity we needed.

Only twice in the sixteen years we lived and sailed on the 'Melon did we find ourselves short of fuel and scrambling to find more, and both time only ten gallons bought from fishing boats was enough to keep us going without worry. I should note that had we not found that extra ten gallons we would have still been able to make it to a commercial fuel source, but it would have meant shortening our stay in that out-of-the-way island.

Even in the so-quiet SE Asia, Indonesia/Malaysia/Thailand, we never felt we needed to carry more fuel than we had. Watermelon is a good sailing boat, though. It didn't take 15 knots of wind to move the boat. 5 knots of wind would enable her to sail at 4 knots, sometimes more. Slow, but tolerable.

Although sometimes I wished we had more water tankage, I wasn't willing to give up sailing performance for more water. Watermelon usually out-performed "blue water cruising boats" - a 23-day (maybe 24-day) passage for one boat of the same length was a 19-day passage for us, for example.
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Old 12-29-2007, 04:36 PM   #17
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Atavist Greetings ,

You didn't provide us with a few essential requirements in your original post, in your continuing boat search.

#1. The length of the boat ?

#2. LWL measurement?

#3. The Beam measurement ?

#4. Centre or Aft Cockpit ?

#4. what sort of $ price range ?
#1, 2, 3. I'm single and fairly reclusive so a boat somewhere between 27 to 34 ft should be more than ample depending on the beam and how she is rigged... I'd be content with a smaller boat if she had a bowsprit to maximize sail area and a pretty wide beam... I'm not looking for a racer, actually quite the oposite, just something to get me from point a to point b in relative comfort and safety... more important to me than these factors is having a spacious galley, maximized deck space, good ballast stability, and preferably a full keel.

#4. I like the idea of a center cockpit which would allow a spacious aft cabin, at the same time however my pragmatic side urges me go with a tiller steared aft cockpit to minimize moving parts, things that can break and make for ease of repair in an emergency... basically i'm not dead set on either... both have compromises.

#5. Fortunately I have quite a bit of flexability when it comes to these matters as I have a very flexible situation... I am a work from home consultant, and my company is ok with me doing the live-aboard thing as long as I stay on task and submit my projects on time... so... While I could buy a simple boat out of pocket I also have the option to continue to work and make a boat payment if necessary... this however is much less desirable as it would limit my passage making ability due to communication requirements... so basically the cheaper the better, it will be a compromise to balance lifestyle desires and boat requirements... sorry I couldn't give anything more finite...

the input everyone has made thus far is much appreciated and very helpfull.
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:43 PM   #18
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Look at the Coronade 33....centercockpit, spacious, not especially fast, sound, aft cabin, and a good galley. Many can be found in Southern California. Lots to choose from, and inexpensive too.
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:21 PM   #19
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Thanks for the heads up with the Owners' Forum ! I noted that the design team did a lot of redesign on the Aft cabin and the stern section of the boat - I guess (and it is only a guess) that

in doing so the tank also may have been enlarged at that time :--

Richard
Gday Richard,

No, the tank stayed as it was... fits the space behind the engine as if it was born there. I have never actually measured the FW tanks... 2 x ( supposedly) 200 litre tanks under the saloon settees plus a sump tank under the sole which I have always thought to be about 40 litres.

Redesign of the Sealord into the Oceanlord was mainly prompted by a desire to boost sales. Essentially they took a chain saw to her just aft of the cockpit and stuck 2 feet in just there...then glued on a sugar scoop..and shifted the aft head bulkhead... I - biased as I am - prefer the Sealord. OK so you have the greater LWL but for my money the cons with the Oceanlord are ... teak decks rather than treadmaster ( OK my treadmaster is stuffed but that is a different story...), tarted up interior ... island bed in the owner's stateroom on many of them.... wrap around settee in the saloon... goodbye one seaberth.....redesigned walk through to aft cabin goodbye another seaberth....

That said if I needed a new boat and couldn't get a Sealord I would buy an Oceanlord.

I'm with JeanneP re fuel offshore.. I reckon 200 litres is plenty.. gives four days motoring.. only once needed more than that. Patagonia is different... motoring or motor sailing is the order of the day...., a feature of all boats down here is the number of fuel containers on deck..... I work on leaving town with 200 in the tank + 300 in the garden shed and on deck.

Cheers

Frank
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Old 12-29-2007, 07:28 PM   #20
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a boat somewhere between 27 to 34 ft should be more than ample.... a spacious galley......

I like the idea of a center cockpit which would allow a spacious aft cabin,
Gday Atavist,

I reckon that is a pretty big ask........ personally I don't think centre cockpit works real well below about 40 ft ... just my opinion...

Cheers

Frank
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