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Looking for recommendations for a 30 - 40 ft liveaboard keeler


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Hi all,

My wife and I are tentatively looking at committing to a year of liveaboard cruising sometime in the near future.
We both love adventuring, and the lack of international travel options over the past two years has hit us pretty hard. We're thinking that life aboard might be a good way to scratch that itch without leaving New Zealand.

I've grown up sailing Waitemata/Hauraki gulf region with trips to Great Barrier etc, but have been away from the sailing community for around five years now.
My wife likes sailing, but is fairly new to it all, and while we have lived in VERY small apartments together overseas, she's never spent an extended time aboard a yacht (in saying that, the longest I've done is only about 7 days).

We don't have a heck of a lot of money to spend outright ($10k - $20k), and so far we've been mainly looking at Compass H28s as they seem to be a lot of boat for the money (GRP, decent headroom, etc). One thing I am slightly concerned about, is that the H28 might be a wee bit small, and something 6 ft longer and a bit wider is going be a lot nicer for long term living. Having a little extra space for solar would be useful too, as we will need to power a couple of laptops during the day. 

Other boats aside from the H28 I've been looking at that come in at the right price point and size are: 

  1. Cavalier 32
  2. Chico 30
  3. Atkinson 34
  4. Jim Young 34
  5. Lotus 9.2 (probably hard to get a well kept one for $20k)
  6. Townson 30/34 (usually a bit pricier than $20k)

So my question is: What suggestions do you have for yachts 30 - 40 foot (ideally under $20k) that you think would be good as a long-term liveaboard for a couple who will be working remotely?

Also, if anybody is selling anything that they think would suit, I'd love to come and have a look around inside to get a feel for different designs. I'm a lot more concerned about the interior layout and comfort than sailing performance.

Thanks!

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Hi Kevin,

An Easterly 30 is a boat I hadn't considered yet but looks like it might be a good option. Nice wide beam, but the cabin is a little lower than the H28. I think that the extra width would be more beneficial for two people working on laptops on the cabin. The balsa core might be good on a liveboard for a little extra insulation.

I'd be keen to come and take a look and would be interested in seeing more details on the boat (engine condition/hours, equipment on board etc), and an approximate price you'd be looking at.

I'm based in Hamilton but come up to Auckland for work every month or so (assuming you're based in Auckland!)

 

Thanks,

Vin.

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1 hour ago, Kevin McCready said:

Easterly 30. If you're interested I would sell mine. I've had a triple bypass a few months ago and am not sure I will be up to sailing it solo as I used to.

Don't let a triple bypass stop you, I had a triple bypass 20 years ago and it was the purchase of my current yacht 2 years later that got me back on track and physically into better health. In those 18 or so years I have covered most of the East coast of the North Island and down to Whangape and the Kaipara on the west coast ( at least 50% of my sailing solo) as well as several back and forwards to the Islands. I'm sure that medical techniques now are far more sophisticated than they were 20 years ago. I've had 20 with hopefully more still to come, maybe you'll get 30, Don't give up!

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Thanks Steve

Much appreciated. I'm 63 now and maybe have a few years left. Hee hee. How old were you when it was done? BTW for anyone who has it in their family. GET CHECKED. A brother died young due to a heart attack and I put it down to bad living. Another brother had a heart attack and I put it down to bad living. Then I got short of breath and thought, hang on I should get checked. Four months after the op I still didn't realise I'd had a heart attack. The GP said I had. I said no, just short of breath and they found it when I went to ED. Wrong she said, you've had a heart attack. Oh well.

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2 hours ago, Kevin McCready said:

Thanks Steve

Much appreciated. I'm 63 now and maybe have a few years left. Hee hee. How old were you when it was done? BTW for anyone who has it in their family. GET CHECKED. A brother died young due to a heart attack and I put it down to bad living. Another brother had a heart attack and I put it down to bad living. Then I got short of breath and thought, hang on I should get checked. Four months after the op I still didn't realise I'd had a heart attack. The GP said I had. I said no, just short of breath and they found it when I went to ED. Wrong she said, you've had a heart attack. Oh well.

58 now 77, we are all bullet proof up until were not, heading to the Barrier in the next week or 3, solo.

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Maybe a motor sailer like a gladden , for live aboard you need good sized fresh water tankage,  good electrical/ battery capacity, and heating for winter, very hard to find in a small cheap yacht, but hey, could be a deal around somewhere

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18 hours ago, chariot said:

Very hard to get a good Chico, Cav32 or Lotus 9.2 for $20k

Yeah I'm seeing that the examples around 20k are generally going to need a bit of TLC. I'm reasonably handy, can do a bit of fiber-glassing and painting if need be, but I don't have much experience with diesel engines (yet) so having a reliable engine with a good service history is pretty important.

14 hours ago, whitepointer said:

Maybe a motor sailer like a gladden , for live aboard you need good sized fresh water tankage,  good electrical/ battery capacity, and heating for winter, very hard to find in a small cheap yacht, but hey, could be a deal around somewhere

Battery bank isn't too much of an issue as I'd likely be upgrading it anyway with a solar fitout to support working remotely, but I imagine water capacity would be the thing that would become the most frustrating while cruising. I wouldn't want to have to store a bunch of 20L bottles everywhere just to have enough water for a month!

14 hours ago, Black Panther said:

Two of us lived on a cav 32 for 8 years. Think we had 50 gallons of water. Electrical system was practically non existent, had a bulkhead mounted heater got us through a winter in Vancouver .

The Cav 32 does seem to be a good compromise between price, space, and speed. There's one in Whitianga at the moment for under 20k, but there might be a reason it's under 20k... 

12 hours ago, aardvarkash10 said:

This is on my watchlist! I'm apprehensive about going up in size too much due to skyrocketing maintenance costs, but having the extra space that 39ft provides would be very very nice. I'm happy to cruise with tired sails for awhile, and the 350L water capacity and water heater would be pretty great. 

Does anybody know anything about this yacht, or have anything to say about a John Spencer 39ft? Things to look out for?
Engine is a 30hp Vetus 4 cylinder diesel, any comments on reliability/parts availability?

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6 minutes ago, Vin said:

Does anybody know anything about this yacht, or have anything to say about a John Spencer 39ft? Things to look out for?

Look out for plywood!

 

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2 hours ago, Vin said:

Does anybody know anything about this yacht, or have anything to say about a John Spencer 39ft? Things to look out for?

Disclosure:  We own a 10m Spencer, and Mrs Aardvark's family built three of them in the 1960s going from 25 foot to 45 foot in the process.  The later yachts cruised and raced locally and internationally.

ANY yacht in your budget will need maintenance, and the Ply construction of a Spencer is now different.  Upside is that ply is easy to repair (comparatively), and the construction methods were simple and repeated across the range of designs John drew/built - this means a surveyor has no difficulty in identifying any potential problems.

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It also depends on your age- sub 25 you can live in a Hartley 16 with your girlfriend and dog but post 60 you're probably going to need a bit more room. The best advice I can offer is look at the numbers.

2 Bedroom unit in AK is about 500 per week (minimum) call that in round figures 25k per year dead money- poof gone! Everyone needs to pay rent or mortgage so its all about how to spend it.

If you are in a position to borrow say 100,000 even at 10%  if you buy well, at the end of a year you're ahead because you are not spending like you would ashore. Assume depreciation is minimal because you are at residual value you'll sell for not much less.

Upside is that you're on a larger boat that gives a lot more livability and range for the cost of a flat in the big smoke. I know thats a bit optimistic but if I were to look at boats I would be buying the best example i could afford to finance. You do not want to work on boats if you can help it, its so much better to get one that someone else has spent the time and money on. 

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She is its scirocco , just check her out end on, my partner sailed on her as a kid, and a friend bought her 20 years ago and sold the mooring for twice as much as the whole deal, but that was prior to a professional boatbuilder completely rebuilding her and expanding and modernising her.

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2 hours ago, Black Panther said:

Is that Spenser really 39ft? Doesn't look it. 

I thought the same. I reckon it's the beam, looks damn narrow, listed at 2.8m. On a modern 40 footer it's what, nearly 4m?

 

 

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