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    minimum size-gctid345192

    The Admiral has been talking about wanting to do the live aboard thing for a couple years now. Realistically, we are 3-5 years away from that yet, but I was interested in hearing from you current live aboards as to what you think a minimum size boat is. I'm thinking at least 32 feet, but then that could also end up being small. We will be looking for that boat over the next few years, so I'd rather make one purchase of the correct size boat than buy something that ends up being too small, and having to find something else. Thanks for all suggestions.
    1990 2755 - sold
    2005 275 - sold (now boatless)

    #2
    The vessel size depends on the layout and vessel type (sedan, aft cabin, true trawler, etc). A larger boat with a poor interior layout can be less comfortable than a smaller boat with a spacious layout. Also, how much stuff you have vs storage space is also a prime consideration for moving onboard.

    I'd recommend at least 40' for a good mix of size and ability to single hand (cruise without crew). I love the 32' Bayliner layout, but think it's get cramped quickly (just ask Pat- Papa Charlie!)........

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      #3
      I was actually thinking more of an aft cabin layout myself and I know the Admiral wants a large salon area. The other consideration I have is that single hand operation is a big factor for me. My Admiral loves boating but is not the adventurous type that will jump from the boat to a dock when approching. As a result, we need something I can pretty much handle myself with some assistance from shore crew, or able to anchor out myself. That's kind of why I was considering smaller sizes vs something like a 40 footer, but that's not out of the question either, I guess.
      1990 2755 - sold
      2005 275 - sold (now boatless)

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        #4
        I'm biased- I have the 4087, which has lent itself to a great liveaboard layout. IMO, the act cabin makes all the difference, as the separation of cabins lends itself to more privacy when guests are aboard. The 3587 is the same boat less cockpit.

        As for single handing- I can do it fine, but thrusters would make it a bit easier. Thankfully my girlfriend is an able deckhand and just does whatever is needed (short of manning the helm while docking).

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          #5
          The 3587 looks nice, any idea what the overall (rigged) length is?

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            #6
            3587 aft cabin has no cockpit, climbing onto the boat can get old real fast especially when the knees get older. same for docking single handed.

            The 4087 has a cockpit and the 3988 has a straight walk on at the stern.

            2 cabins and 2 heads are best and a full galley with adequate fridge and a full stove with oven.

            Beyond that it is up to your lifestyle and how you want to use the boat.

            If it's a dock queen then gas is fine but if you are cruising you need diesels.
            "Adios Dinero"
            1997 3988 with new 330 Cummins
            Photo Credit: Whiskywizard

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              #7
              Absolute minimum lol

              Attached files [img]/media/kunena/attachments/vb/647964=23891-Princess Mariana Night Lights(1).jpg[/img]

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                #8
                We started on a 28' tolly. Like living in a 16' travel trailer. It worked for us until I found a 38' Tolly with a SHOWER! I'd recommend that as a minimum. We now have a 40 tolly tri cabin. Same layout as the 38. I'd love to have a pilot house with the large saloon and the staterooms down.

                We've been living aboard since 1997

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                  #9
                  how do you like dealing with laundry on the hard? We have been talking hard about living onboard, 1/2 week. We "could" have a studio situation that might lend itself to that. Laundry is the big sticker. We would want to do undies, and light laundry easily. That sounds like a 4588, minimum.

                  Interested in others thoughts on laundry
                  Tally and Vicki
                  "Wickus" Meridian 341
                  MMSI 338014939

                  Comment


                    #10
                    talman wrote:
                    how do you like dealing with laundry on the hard? We have been talking hard about living onboard, 1/2 week. We "could" have a studio situation that might lend itself to that. Laundry is the big sticker. We would want to do undies, and light laundry easily. That sounds like a 4588, minimum.

                    Interested in others thoughts on laundry
                    Local cleaners can do it for ya, less storage , less clothes.

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                      #11
                      We bought our 50 with the thought of living aboard one day, it has a stack washer and dryer that works well. But still like the idea of a cleaners doing most while at home port.

                      If we ever become live a boards it will be a snow bird situation.

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                        #12
                        I think that a permanent live aboard starts at 40' I have lived on a 4788 and a 48 Hatteras"current home". I have been maintaining a 39' ALBIN trawler for a single woman who lives full time aboard. The Albin Tricabin layout is a very comfortable layout for a couple with occasional guest. It is serviced with a single 30amp electrical shore power which is typical of most boats less than 40', this is very limiting as to using things like portable electric heat, electric fry pans, microwaves and other conveniences like hair driers. You have constantly manage your electrical loads. If you're into a simple life you'll experience it here. A tri-cabin in the 40' range allows some privacy but your going to hear every noise and bodily function. It is probably the best layout in this size boat. There are a bunch of small trawlers that seem to hold there value well in this range. I think when you live on this size boat It probably stays too cluttered to spontaneously cruise with. When you get into the larger boat in the 48-55' range you begin give up very little in convenience over a condo or small home. Layout becomes less critical. Trawlers in this size range are the most livable, The 4788 is a good choice but compared to the larger volume trawlers it is less comfortable. Older high end yachts from the late 70's and early 80's in the 50' range offer home style appliances and large heads and lots of storage. Most of these boats are 240 volt shore power and have plenty of outlets and ample electrical amperage to run heaters, air conditioning, real washers and driers, with minimal worries of power management. They also feature loose furniture and most offer normal sized beds and real mattresses. These boats make excellent live aboard boats. I think it's easier for me to spontaneously cruise with my 48 LRC as I have a uncluttered boat and I have just a few things to secure like floor lamps and table lamps to secure for open ocean. It's just unplug and go. This size boat gives up very little to shore living and is still very easy to mange by a couple. The draw back to these older large boats is they are complicated boats and unless your handy with a wrench expensive to repair. Nothing on these older high end yachts is light duty and some of it may not be available when it comes to older mechanical parts. If you plan to cruise these boats you need to really do your homework and chose carefully as these boats can get very expensive to repair. They are in my opinion the most comfortable boats to live on. They offer home style water pressure, large heads, quiet fans, house style switches, tight windows, and old world style, with real wood paneling and doors. These older boats can be had quite inexpensive when you look at replacement cost in the million plus range. You just need to be handy and knowledgeable to take advantage of these older yachts. A lot of these boats can be had for less than 100k and if you can make it into the high 300k's some pretty spectacular 58' Hatteras LRCs can be bought that show like new. Offers three bedrooms, three baths, washer and drier, dishwasher, 5 zone air conditioning, it just goes on and on. Old world luxury at a fraction of a modern boat of similar size.

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                          #13
                          We lived aboard while traveling for 7 months on our previous boat. It was a 41ft Marinette aft cabin My. The aft cabin layout really gives you more space for the buck. We lived aboard our present boat for 3 months while cruising and much prefer this boat. 4788 Pilothouse. The previous owner took out the washer-dryer and replaced them with a large deep freeze. We actually prefer the deepfreeze for our cruising style but most of the 4788s and 4588s come with the washer-dryer. When you live aboard you and the admiral each need your own space at times. I would really reccomend the 4788 pilothouse for living aboard.

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                            #14
                            I have lived aboard, but it was by myself. things to look out for: Storage, storage and more storage. Have your admiral look at hanging locker space and pantry space. Living space is easy to tell, but storage is always at a premium. the largest boat you can afford and feel comfortable handling would be my recomnedation.

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                              #15
                              This was a question we struggled with, but essentially it came down to finding the "right" boat. I looked at about 20 boats in person and thousands online before I settled on our 43' (LOA) 4387. For awhile we were seriously considering a 45' Bayliner Pilothouse. I still love the layout and it sure gives you a ton of enclosed living space. Hard to beat the large salon/galley area with the sliding door out to a lovely deck. Many of these have a washer/dryer unit...and the third cabin/office can be an excellent closet.

                              However, while I liked the living space, I certainly didn't like the overall size considering none of those I looked at had bow thrusters and as hard as my boat at 43' can be to maneuver at times, I can only imagine a 45'. In fact, it wouldn't have fit in my current slip and I would have had to rent a 50' slip for it, increasing my monthly costs $100 (my boat docked stern first fits a 40'). I also didn't like having guests about 10' away from my bedroom. I prefer the fore and aft cabins.

                              I will second another poster that storage is key for the Admiral. Also was having a real working shower. My wife was in no way going to use a shared marina shower/bathroom. Laundry isn't an issue because we use a service that just picks it up off the back of the boat and leaves it there all folded and neat in a nice wrapped package.

                              But storing her clothes has been the big issue. All of my clothes have been relegated to the forward guest cabin. I've paired my wardrobe quite a bit. I also put a closet clothes hanger/bar in the guest cabin so she can use it, but if we have guests, it comes down easily.

                              I spent a lot of time at the Container store buying clever pull out drawer solutions and pantry solutions to turn any little galley storage into a pleasant and spacious experience. For papers, I keep some hard copies and important documents in our storage unit in a file cabinet. But on the boat I have a Fujitsu Scan Snap S510M sheet feeding scanner. All our important papers get scanned and then shredded. A copy is automatically on my computer (backed up daily) and a copy is sent to the online service Evernote. That way I can find those things while out and about on my phone.

                              The other great feature is that the previous owner spent about $35k to canvas the entire upper flybridge/deck of my boat. This essentially doubles our living space. In the summer we open up the panels and enjoy the breeze, and in the winter I have a portable heater so we can still use the space to entertain. One day I got curious as to what our actually square footage was of living space so I got out the tape measure...

                              600sq ft.

                              Now that sounds just awful, but the thing about boats is that a lot of used space was designed to contain things like your fridge or stove or storage or whatever. Because thought was put into that, it feels much bigger than it actually is. That being said, our slip fees at $700 a month are about half what a studio apartment with 600-800 sq ft would cost you in San Francisco.

                              I wouldn't go less than 40'...but that being said, I think the most important factor is getting on as many boats as you can and getting a feel for the layouts and finding "the one." You'll typically know it once you see it.

                              That being said, if money was no object, I'm thinking a 80' Azimut would also serve you well. There's one for sale here for $4 mill, but I think you could get them down to $3.5.

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