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Old 01-24-2016, 05:19 PM   #1
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Liveaboard in Florida, 3-4 mo in winter

Hello all:

Since I have responded to dozens and dozens of open ended lifestyle questions, I think I am justified in starting this thread to talk about my lifestyle as it relates to boating. I want to ask a little about living aboard and more about what boat will work, for me.

First, my wife and I lived aboard a sailboat off and on for a total of 2-3 years, cruising from Florida, over to the Bahamas and then up to Maine, twice. So, I know a thing or two about how it works.

We are now retired and have moved to Connecticut having gotten tired of life in Oriental, NC. Although Connecticut is very nice 7-8 months out of the year, from mid December to mid April it kind of sucks.

So, we are thinking about buying a trawler in the 40' size range, keeping it in Florida, cruising for 3-4 months in the winter and then putting it up on the hard somewhere on the Okeechobie Canal between Stuart and Ft Meyers for the other 8 months.

On our previous cruising we moved quite a bit while doing the Florida to Maine trip twice. We never stayed in one place more than 2-3 days generally. This time I want to hang out more, at least a week in between moves and maybe two weeks or more.

Some favorite spots where I would be happy hanging out for 2 weeks are, starting with SW Florida: Boca Grande, Cayo Costa, Ft Meyers Beach, Key West, Marathon, No Name Harbor on Key Biscayne, Vero Beach. These all have either mooring fields that are reasonable or nice anchorages. Most also have access to provisioning and restaurants and bars by water.

So with that mission in mind, let me state my boat objectives:

1. Less than $100K after fitting out with decent systems, like radar, genset, etc if not serviceable when purchased.

2. Galley down or at least forward, not linear, which makes the main salon wider and more useable.

3. Queen size bed- not essential but I sure don't want the owners cabin to be a double, but a largish V berth would work.

4. Single head is fine, but most will be double.

5. Single engine is ok with a bow thruster, but mildly prefer twins.

So, with those specs in mind, I have found that the Albin 40 meets them all. One that is on the market now in Mystic, Ct is a single and the price is well inside my budget.

I am a bit leery of Taiwan Trawlers that were built and sold by Asian builders. I had a bad experience with one that used crap for coring, and coupled with leaky windows, the whole superstructure rotted out. Took a chainsaw to it all and rebuilt from the deck up.

So, like Grand Banks, I am hoping that Albin had some quality control by western management so this was avoided. True???


Also I don't really want to go through the boat buying process and find out during survey that the superstructure is crap, or worse after I have bought it.


I am not such a perfectionist that I can't live with most Asian mechanical/electrical installation techniques and I don't expect it to meet current ABYC, but what 30 year old boat does.

A Grand Banks Europa 42 or a Krogen 42 would do nicely, but are out of my price range.

So, any thoughts on the lifestyle thing, or the right boat for me.

David
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:30 PM   #2
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Free advice: Take some of that cash on hand and extend the hard-top of your Mainship, enclosing the "deck house" and go with the boat you own. She's tidy, inexpensive to operate, you know her flaws and she's already yours.

I'd make the doors at the back of the salon all open (piano hinges) so you can enjoy the outside from inside, something like this:

(this is our 40'er)



The doors (there were four) closed. The center two were plexiglass so that even closed we could see out even while sitting.

Just an idea mind you...
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:44 PM   #3
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I will tell you based on a friend who recently looked at every Albin he could find that all the older models he looked at and/or had surveyed had soft areas or other significant issues. Now he was looking at smaller models and attributed a lot of it to poor maintenance over the years. Certainly surveys will answer those concerns.

I'd consider the usual suspects such as Tollycraft, Carver, Bayliner, Mainship, and Hatteras. Also, there are some nice Vikings, some Egg Harbor, occasional Grand Banks, Silverton and even one or two Bertrams that fit, with the exception of galley location which you'd have to check on each.

Your plan makes a lot of sense. Many people doing the same or similar. Many others thinking about it the last day or two.
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:47 PM   #4
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Don't overlook the 42 Californian. too. A good, stout boat built in the USA. It'll have twin diesels.
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:56 PM   #5
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Monk 36 galley might not work for you though

PT 35 if a sundeck floats your goat they made a +5 version with a cockpit

The two above are both well within budget and would do well laying up for 8 months at a time as they typically have limited exterior wood. I'd shortlist a Carver similar to John Baker's just to mix things up a bit.
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:58 PM   #6
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I remember reading many of the issues psneld had with his Albin 40. Think you can do better than that.
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Old 01-24-2016, 07:41 PM   #7
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KK Manatee

A single level winter condo with probably as much space as many 40' boats.

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Old 01-24-2016, 09:55 PM   #8
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I agree about the space in a KK Manatee. But except for one project boat, all currently listed on YW are out of my price range.

Good suggestions on the others.


I will have to look harder at the Californian 42. Well I did, and the Californian looks too California-ish and 90% are on the west coast. The sundeck type looks especially WC wierd. How in the hell do you toss and secure the aft mooring lines? That one is a true dock queen.


The Hatteras LRC 42 is ok. One has a linear galley up but another has a compact L shaped galley aft. The aft cabin has a queen bed and the forward v berth is big. I am not sure I want a couple of old DD 4-53s though. But I am only going to put 150 hours a year on them, so maybe.


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Old 01-24-2016, 11:29 PM   #9
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The LRC with 453 is loud, at least the one I was on. Engines super durable otherwise.

Dave, you should have moved to Beaufort from Oriental!! Or Wilmington. I know Oriental is dead in the winter, and we still ..sorta.. have winter here.

Best thing is buy a boat up in NE when things warm up. Fla boats and even NC boats have a bad case of sunburn compared to NE boats. Or even better, Great Lakes boats. Time stands still for those...
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Old 01-25-2016, 05:21 AM   #10
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Defever 41 meets most of your criteria other than galley location. Well within your budget and usually nice boats.
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:26 AM   #11
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The Hatteras LRC 42 is ok. One has a linear galley up but another has a compact L shaped galley aft. The aft cabin has a queen bed and the forward v berth is big. I am not sure I want a couple of old DD 4-53s though. But I am only going to put 150 hours a year on them, so maybe.
Can't remember the posters handle but they have Blue Bijou, a 1985 Hatteras 43' with twin Cats for sale. The asking price is a little over your budget but the pics of it look real nice. Interestingly, it is in NC. If I recall, they are living aboard but want to move back to a sailboat.

1985 Hatteras 43 Motor Yacht Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
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Old 01-25-2016, 06:28 AM   #12
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Enjoy the search. I have no recommendations on a boat, you know best what you want.
Many, many people do what you want to do. We spent a couple of days in Vero Beach last week and met a couple of them. Boot Key Harbor also seems to be a gathering spot. Crowded in the winter, not so much in the summer. Camaraderie seems to be the attraction as much as the warm weather.

We met several couples in believe it or not of all places the Franklin Lock campground and marina that are spending the winter on their boats. Most were sailboaters but one couple were on a 45ish sun deck Heritage East. The sundeck configuration has a lot of interior room but you have stairs to contend with and the stern especially for docking access is limited. Our sundeck has stairs, not a ladder leading to the swim platform so access is better.

Having spent 5 months last year northbound on the ICW and 3 months this year southbound, living on a boat for the winter has no appeal to me. I would get bored sitting in one place for a couple of weeks at a time. But living in Tampa I don't have winters to contend with.

You know boats and their mechanical systems better than probably 90% of the folks here. Again David, enjoy the search, you'll know when you find the right one.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:30 AM   #13
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There is a 2006 Albin here in Cocoa Beach. The asking is more than you're looking to spend, but it's a "later model", with not too many hours (420) on twin Yanmars. If I were to hazard a guess (and it is just a guess), this might be had for mid $130s. No bow thruster, though, that I could see.

Just a thought. Have Tucker Fallon (yachtbrokerguy here on TF) give the listing broker a shout on your behalf.
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:49 AM   #14
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Greetings,
Mr. dj. Vessel aside, I think the BIG criteria for your venture will be to find a suitable marina to pursue your venture. We've been casually looking for a live aboard slip in S Fla. and there's not too much around that is suitable for our desires (swimming pool, decent hurricane protection, situated on the east coast AND reasonably priced).
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:50 AM   #15
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Liveaboard in Florida, 3-4 mo in winter

Sounds like a fun plan!

How about this boat? Little over budget but seems ready to go and easy to work on and get to most systems.

Wouldn't have to worry about soft decks! Would draft be an issue?

http://www.yachtworld.com/boats/2001...a#.VqYZy4m9LCQ
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Old 01-25-2016, 07:58 AM   #16
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Wouldn't have to worry about soft decks!
I would worry about banging my head...
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:22 AM   #17
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Sounds like a fun plan!

How about this boat? Little over budget but seems ready to go and easy to work on and get to most systems.

Wouldn't have to worry about soft decks! Would draft be an issue?

2001 Custom 46 Steel LRC Trawler Power Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com
I am sick that I am not in position to go get that puppy. That looks like the best deal I have ever seen advertised. Wow!
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:52 AM   #18
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Gwendolyn looks interesting, but some things really bother me:


Mechanically, there is an air cooled DC generator shown in the 5th pic. Anyone who installs an air cooled generator doesn't know what he is doing.


Layout wise, it is weird. A 6 person dinette that will be used 2% of the time which takes up lots of space and a boxy and dark main salon.


Not for me.


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Old 01-25-2016, 08:53 AM   #19
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I also wondered about that strange generator. Looks like a really bad idea.
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Old 01-25-2016, 08:54 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Greetings,
Mr. dj. Vessel aside, I think the BIG criteria for your venture will be to find a suitable marina to pursue your venture. We've been casually looking for a live aboard slip in S Fla. and there's not too much around that is suitable for our desires (swimming pool, decent hurricane protection, situated on the east coast AND reasonably priced).

RTF:

I don't plan to stay at any marinas. Only moorings like Boot Key Harbor, Dinner Key and Vero Beach. Otherwise, on the hook.

David
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