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Old 09-20-2014, 10:32 PM   #1
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Thinking of becoming a liveaboard

My wife, two young children and I are looking into becoming a liveaboard here in the pacific northwest. Looking to purchase a 42’ Californian LRC for this, we will be getting it surveyed here pretty soon in the Portland, OR area and was wondering if anyone could help me out with the following questions.

· If you tell me what the pros and cons to this vessel is, it’s a 1981 42’ Californian LRC with twin 210hp 3208 Cats in it?
· Good surveyor in the Portland, OR area and someone that can do a mechanical survey as well?
· Typical problems with these vessels and any known things to “watch out for”?
· Approximate maintenance cost of this vessel to keep it in good condition?
· Fuel burn and if its ok to run on one engine without a shaft lock?
· Other boat to consider that is not a Bayliner…
· Anything else that I failed to ask that you might think that is helpful and/or useful point of view or advise…

Any help would be appreciated greatly, feel free to PM me and will gladly give you my phone number or more information if needed to properly answer my questions.

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 09-20-2014, 11:31 PM   #2
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I looked at a few of those. Very nice boats. There are some very knowledgeable Californian owners here. Im sure they will help you out as soon as they see your post.

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Old 09-20-2014, 11:43 PM   #3
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Californian has good bones, and the Cats are great engines. Like anything else, maintenance and upkeep will be key with regards to how the vessel surveys.

Alison Mazon is a well respected surveyor in the Portland area.

Maintenance cost are a moving target- there is no hard and fast number you can schedule for maintenance and upkeep. The current owner is probably the best source of information on this.

Bayliner- don't bag on Bayliner if you haven't take the time to fully vet the brand. The 4387, 4587, 4588, and 4788 have some of the best layouts on the water, and they are solid boats. Contrary to popular belief, they don't fall apart, don't curse their owners, or sink on command
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:30 AM   #4
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Not bagging on Bayliners or there're owners just looked at a lot of them and they are not for us... We prefer wood interiors and the not so RV feel, just personal preference that's all.
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Old 09-21-2014, 02:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Drzasa View Post
Not bagging on Bayliners or there're owners just looked at a lot of them and they are not for us... We prefer wood interiors and the not so RV feel, just personal preference that's all.
I'm a Bayliner owner and I'll be the first to say that some of the TT's have gorgeous woodwork!

The simple fact is that labor is and always was cheaper in the orient. Thats why you could get the attention to detail in the wood jointery that you could not get with American labor and still be competitive price point wise.

Bayliner made some really great motoryachts, but unlike some of the TT's they were not known for their fancy woodwork.

Its funny... when looking at boats I loved the rich dark teak interiors I saw. My wife called the same interiors that I loved gloomy and dark. She called the Bayliner interiors bright and airy.

We have some teak inside the boat. Doors, trim, cabinets, stuff like that. We also have vinyl, and wallpaper which brightens things up. I'd love to rip the wallpaper down and glue up teak veneer but the wife would kill me!
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:11 AM   #6
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Having just ripped out a couple hundred square feet of "beautiful wood"...really known as "cheap veneer".... I'll never look at the inside of some of these old trawlers wthout getting a cold shiver or start uncontrollably snickering.

Just talked to the owner of my old boat that had Cat 3208Ts at 320hp. Engines are up around 5000 hrs after 28 years and still "perfect" He said he had to buy new props and the new Nibrals have added 3 knots over the best I ever saw. The boat had over 10 round trips to NJ- Fl...it was a 37' Silverton Convertible. Those engines were very easy to work on and get parts for...though being bigger engines some of the parts prices had little sticker shock to them.
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Old 09-21-2014, 08:42 AM   #7
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Having just ripped out a couple hundred square feet of "beautiful wood"...really known as "cheap veneer"....

Out of curiosity, what do you plan to put over it?
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Old 09-21-2014, 10:20 AM   #8
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Tongue and grove beadboard, cheap pine with Minwax white pickling as a stain.

Glued up with liquid nails....

That's where I want the extra structure...as in cabin sides...interior on flat surfaces where the damage isn't as bad or don't need extra structure...probably paintable wallpaper...maybe painted. On the flat surfaces under front/rear windows and the cabinet tops I have temporarily put gray indoor/outdoor carpeting as I had it and kinda like it as it's relatively non skid and looks OK.

This picture is of the same area as the top pic posted above.
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Old 09-21-2014, 12:57 PM   #9
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Nice looking will lighten the place up.
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:51 PM   #10
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I am thinking since you talk about Portland... does this particular Californian have smoked glass panels on the fly-bridge? If it is the one I am thinking of, the current owner did some remodeling after obtaining it from a live aboard bachelor.... guess it was kind of sad looking.

Anyway, Alison and any of her associates are very thorough. Might cost a little more than some of the others but you will be very sure of what you are getting...

Quirks of the 42 LRC.. look under the Californian heading of this forum board for info from other owners... I just replaced both aft stateroom windows...
working on brightwork... you wouldn't think it, but there is a LOT of wood on these babies. check the shore power connections carefully, it is real easy to toast a 30AMP cable on these from over powering. If you purchase, one of the first things I suggest is finding all your sacrificial anodes on engine and genny.

Oh, don't know about others, but something I suggest is when doing the survey, first thing fill the water tank... watch the bilge for the next hour or two.. if the tank is leaking, they are very hard to fix since they are molded into the boat frame. Not a deal breaker if it only loses some, just something to be aware of.

the only other thing is carefully checking all storage lockers... the rail stanchions have been known to have leak issues after being pushed on over the years. Again, not a deal breaker, just something to look for.

If I am correct in which boat you are looking at, you can always contact me... We sit in the same harbor. We are at the Marina and it sits in a private moorage nearby.
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Old 09-22-2014, 01:53 PM   #11
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Yes it's the same one you are thinking of, looks like he has done some work to it to fix it up but would love to speak with you about it if you are willing.
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Old 09-27-2014, 07:50 PM   #12
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[QUOTE=Drzasa;269432]My wife, two young children and I are looking into becoming a liveaboard here in the pacific northwest. Looking to purchase a 42’ Californian LRC for this, we will be getting it surveyed here pretty soon in the Portland, OR area and was wondering if anyone could help me out with the following questions.

Congratulations on your plan to move aboard with your family. After spending ten years (on and off) living aboard (part time) I can advise that for some it is a very special life style that you change your wellbeing and for others it can be a big mistake. There are so many Pro's & Con's associated with this great life style it takes time for everyone to figure out if it is right for them. Add in a spouse and things get a little more complicated. Add in a few kids and you are undertaking a major risk. So what to do?

I'm not expert but would advise that you charter a boat of similar size for a week and take a short voyage. Watch how everyone gets along. Find a few locations close by to visit so you can experience time on and off the boat similar to how it would be living aboard. If the family gets pass this weeklong trip and feels something special, like enjoying the closeness and time together then possibly your ready for this be life changing adventure.

You may also want to have the family vote on this adventure and insure everyone has an equal vote, don't force anyone to make this change. Think about offering to the family that everyone gets another vote after six months to insure everyone is still in agreement.

If you are fortunate (like my wife and I have been) you and your family will realize the choice you made is best decision you ever made and you all discover the magic of living on the water and become a closer family. If things don't turn out as planned you can at least look back and feel gratified that you tried something and will not go through life wondering. We did this a few years back when we decided to move into a high-rise condo only to discover it wasn't for us. Why it may have cost us a few dollars we still look back at the decision and count our blessings we did it when did when we still had our primary home instead of selling the house and making this move later in life. It could have turned out to be a major financial mistake. Doing things when you are young in life provides plenty of time to learn from your mistake and makes you wiser. Best of luck and keep us posted.

Keep us posted on your progress.

John
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