OK - so here it goes. At the beginning of this year I purchased a 1978 36' Albin double cabin from someone advertising online and not on YachtWorld. I paid under $25000 for my boat - and I was looking for a long time. We wanted an older boat because we like the look, and also have a large home (and other hobbies) that take resources to keep up, so getting back into boating had to be a reasonable venture for us. We don't mind hard work and elbow grease either.
Our boat was mechanically sound and everything worked perfectly from the mechanical standpoint. Having worked closely with a surveyor from a boat we didn't purchase, I knew what to look for and inspect - which I did before buying this boat. Don't gasp - I didn't have mine surveyed. It was in the water, everything worked and ran as expected and I had both eyes open. On top of this, I have two file cabinets of prior owner paperwork and receipts, manuals, booklets, you name it, so I had access to more information than most people when I bought it. I also have funds in reserve for worse case scenarios like a repower if needed.
Yes the teak was a mess. Stripping and refinishing is a pain yes, but well applied Cetol does look nice. The decks are going to get redone. In the mean time, we are enjoying the boat, taking it out with friends, and our family. Our marina owner said that our boat is the most used boat there, so it get used a lot. My youngest son and his wife are both capable with the boat also take it out themselves and enjoy it. This isn't my retirement boat, but it does provide a lot of fun.
Sitting on the flybridge watching the sun set with the Admiral at the end of the day makes it all worth it.
I said all of that to say this - if you look hard enough there are boats to be had out there that meet your needs at the right price. It may take a lot of work, but set your expectations up front so you aren't disappointed.
It took us a while to find our dream boat but they are out there.
Our Maple Bay 27 has plenty of room for two and tons of storage. The only difference we found while looking at similar styles at 30-34 ft was more outside back deck area. The interior space was about the same. There are a few cosmetic changes I want to make but
that is all she needs...the p.o. started asking 62k, we bought her as winter approached for 32k.
I don't care what she buys, just disagreeing with a post that isn't in line with my experiences.
More than one person has changed their minds here on what might suit their needs.
We started out living and traveling on a 25' sailboat, sold that and bought a 36' trawler. Lived and traveled on that for 4 years. Sold that and have bought a Wellcraft 2900 Express Cruiser. Hope we like it.
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain
They certainly do run the gamut. From the time I told my broker what I wanted, to the time he took to find the boat locally, survey, settlement, Into my home slip took less than 30 days. I found the right boat right out of the gate, bought it for a fair price and have been enjoying it since.
Those that take years to decide, look at dozens of boats, spend thousands on surveys etc. are missing a lot of good boating time. Most of us here are not getting any younger. To quote an overused phrase, "just do it"..
My favorite small trawlers are right here on the forum, but I've admired some of the production boats like these,.... Legacy 32. Fales 32, and Transpac Eagle 32. I should add that even though I don't particularly care for gas boats, the Carver 32 is a neat boat and there's plenty around.
The 30 Californian is a relatively rare boat, but it seems like one that would click most, if not all, of your boxes. Since they were built on the west coast, they will probably be even more rare there on your side of the country. It's a lot like my 34 Californian, but without the second engine, stbd side door, 2nd stateroom and has narrower side decks.
I love my girl and she's just 23' long. Truth to tell though a bit longer would have afforded me more space for Stuff. And a girl's got to have her stuff.
Serious advice: IF you are planning to live life off the grid you'll need a flat surface (large topside) that you can use for solar panels. Marina hopping has no need for extended power generation.
Schucker made just six of my little boat. When I spotted her I knew I had The one Denise.
I'm probably older than you however these were my concerns/wishes/desires.
#1) Safety. I wanted to be inside the boat, imagining myself going forward in a thunder-boomer to check the anchor. (Seaweed is not so good at this aspect)
#2) No gasoline engine. (I bought a gasser, and have swapped engines. Don't ask. It was UGLY.)
#3) I wanted to entertain guests without them seeing my bunk. Men are men, you know?
#4) I wanted to be able to use the head privately. My head is down below next to my bunk.
#5) Inside shower. Displaying all in the cockpit for a sun shower won't work for me. That's not to say that I don't rinse off outside when swimming before going below for my shower.
#6) And I'm at that age when using the head overnight is a regular part of interrupted sleep. I wanted the head close to my bunk. Some small boats tuck the head into a corner of the salon. Getting up, getting dressed, walking through boat just to tinkle wasn't going to be a good plan.
Anyway, Seaweed lacked most of the things I had in my list. (anchor was inadequate, no solar/no wind, no autopilot, etc.) Structurally she had good bones and I knew that over time I could add items to increase my decadence level. Now, finally, eight years into the journey I have an AMAZING boat.
She's just about perfect except for the stuff that is broken, needs upgrading or tweaking. Two things are next/upcoming in this year and 2017 if all goes according to my plan:
A. I'd LOVE a small autopilot that will drive my girl on a compass course. That's about $2k. I have to find one that will fit in my Very Limited space. A larger boat would have more room for such gear.
B. I Want a half-size tuna door cut into the transom for easier boarding from my dinghy. Climbing over the transom is still okay. My bones are not getting any younger.
Seaweed is my Forever Home and Last Boat. I have been adding infrastructure and truly Denise, life is wonderful afloat. I LOVE my boat. Here she is:
Doubling the plug. If you really want to see someone who has mastered the art of living life to the fullest on a small budget, go to her blog. There is no better source for seeing it in practice, not just in theory. The best thing is that she's found and created what is perfect for her. She makes it sound like paradise because it is her paradise. She's achieved Nirvana.
Love Seaweed! we allowed to post pics of our last boat that was not a trawler?
don't say yes! LOL
last June when I sold her. Just finished the new overlay portlights.
My Oday was 30ft, had more then enough space to live in. Trawlers and such are more on the level deck space which is a big plus.
Getting close to 70 (68 this month) I don't know how to explain this feeling of being trapped by my house, the mortgage and all that land based crap we think that can't be live without. I have equity in the house but selling is is not easy. Living aboard presents it's problems. so the $14 a day plan you live on would be something I'd have to train myself to do.
I've been searching more Albin 27s but I'd like, as you Janice a real cabin, the 27's don't have. Otherwise they fit me well. The aft cabin looks like a dog house so that is not an option IMO.
Looks like at least 2 years for me.. I should live that long, hopefully I will. I have family in in the Chattanooga TN area but I HATE HOT WEATHER I think New England (Maine) is where I need to be as a .75 live aboard spending the other .25 with family. THEY don't know it yet
Giving up or keeping a car or small truck are another issue. One can rent when needed but that's not cheap either. Anyways, all this can be addressed on a live-aboard forum.
Thanks for the encouragement Janice!
Retired HVAC, wooden boat aficionado & builder of smaller craft. NOT Josie the plumber!
She's pretty Denise. I've got that same oil lantern on my Seaweed. I like your spice racks and the storage area for your plates. Very spiffy. I always like seeing what others have done. That gives me ideas. Ideas turn in to projects.
The Albins are interesting. I went on a 27 with a fellow who wanted a spare pair of eyes to look over the boat. She had Issues so he passed. Problems spotted:
#1) All stanchions on the bow were wobbly
#2) Soft spots on deck indicated rot
#3) Wiring would need replacement (old wires, caps versus butt connectors, etc.)
#4) A thick layer of black oil in the bilge
Now the aft cabin was not terrible! I expected a cavern and with the doorway open it was spacious/airy. Sitting on the centerline I could well envision a desk back there. The bunks in the aft cabin reminded me of MRI tubes.
They would be great for storage.
For me, getting in and out of those aft cabin bunks would not be something I'd do more than once. For overnight guests though, perfection. Except they would have to get up and come forward to use the head. Children could have a great time back there.
Galley dinette and bunk forward are all in that forward area. I do not want a fellow looking at my bed while we are chatting. It's me, it's a quirk but there you have it.
Steps down to the forward cabin were steep. It's definitely a turn around and go down the steps backwards if there are any balance issues whatsoever. Perhaps with practice that would get change. I err on the side of caution.
You might also consider a small houseboat. There's a lot of living in one of those. The biggest plus though is no steps.
Daddy built the boat I grew up aboard. His intention was to build a houseboat when he turned fifty to use as his Last Boat. He never got around to that. By the time it was time to take that step he didn't have the physical stamina to build another. Plus we liked our 40'er.
She served us well... This is the boat Daddy built:
I like the Albin for a single person. I could well imagine life in the forward section with aft primarily for storage. Locker space is spartan however with good planning it would suffice.
The Albin we toured did have the remnants of an ice box. It was virtually inaccessible. I'd have wanted to cut out the front of the locker and make a real storage spot. A single burner would have been fine.
The head and shower were good.
It's been a while since I saw the boat. I did take a lot of pictures. Try this page: Index of /BoatInfo/Albin27
This link is just a folder with the pictures I took... There is no preview.
This page Janice aboard Seaweed, trawler cruising on a nickel budget... is a compilation of my working files from when I was boat shopping. Originally I wanted a NorSea27 or something similar, dreaming of sailing off across horizons. A couple bouts with cancer, taking care of Mother (Alzheimer's) and life, well, I'm not getting any younger.
When I thought about my favorite times growing up it was not passages. I liked hanging out on the hook in some remote place, swimming with dolphins, gathering scallops (in Biscayne Bay) and conchs wherever I could find 'em. Plus reading.
Goodness gracious, wouldn't life have been wonderful with a Kindle back then...