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Looking for recommendations for a 30 - 40 ft liveaboard keeler

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You would need to ask to varify Headroom of all these. But i am pretty sure they are decent from memory. But I am only 5'8", so everything seems roomy in my memory.

How " modern" do you want? These oldies have a lot of room, but won't be as fast.


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Hello everyone, another newbie here hoping to get "cheap" 30-foot coastal cruiser topic firing up again. I know it's been done to death but who doesn't love pretending to boat shop. 

I'm personally probably 6-18 months away from being in a position to pull the trigger but would love to pick everyone's brains about boats. Looking for something 26-32ft following the above advice about something that has had some time and money already invested. Have reasonable experience sailing dingys but never sailed a keel boat, planning to get a bit of experience over the next year or so. Loving the look of the 80s kiwi cruisers. Probably looking to live-aboard for a year or two, mostly solo, and learn to cruise/gradually extend my range from North East NZ to possibly Marlborough Sounds then back to work and dream of the next step.  Don't need much bells and whistles, just a solid vessel. 

Budget ideally $30-40k but could stretch maybe as high as $70k if necessary, I'd like to leave some $$$ for maintenance and living costs though as I'll need to quit my job during my cruising. 

The reason I ask is I've been trawling Trademe for the last couple of months, going through old forum posts and generally learning a lot.

I've seen a boat that looks almost perfect and I've seen a few well priced tidy boats with serious sellers go extremely quickly so I want to be prepared to pull the trigger when my time comes. 

This Lidgard 29 looks very tidy and like it has had a lot of love and money. The seller seems very serious about a quick sale as well. 

Am I right in my assessment that this is the sort of boat that would be well worth moving on quickly? (of course with survey etc). Can already see some maintenance and costs but they look very minimal and certainly ready to use immediately. Only other possible criticism is that maybe core mat cored hull might not be as strong as solid GRP but I know Lidgard's are very well regarded and this is not a topic I claim any knowledge in. The newer age (1996) might also somewhat offset this?

Also possibly Vin is still in the market and this could be worth a look with a $30k budget, owner has said they may negotiate. 





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As the good Doctor says, that 6 extra feet is huge.

It's not just 6 feet in length, there's (usually) a 2-3 feet extra in beam as well. And that 6 feet (as a mate of mine describes it) is all in the middle of the boat i.e. where you eat, sleep and dine.

I had a Whiting 29 and in the berth next to me was a mint Beale 33. I couldn't get over how much bigger it was internally. And yes, I know they're different designs etc.

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On 1/02/2022 at 9:04 PM, Vin said:

This is what I am trying to figure out at the moment (hence asking wiser more experienced folks such as yourself). 
My definition of a liveabord is full-time cruising spending 90% of time at anchor in beautiful bays while working remotely from a laptop 4 days a week (4g reception around coastal NZ seems good enough to allow this). Of course we'd need to have a good solar power solution for 2 x laptops + fridge, and enough water storage to support a few weeks away from a marina.

Which in turn means that I need to look at slightly larger boats with slightly larger tanks and more space for solar panels and batteries. I'm beginning to think that 28 - 30 ft might be a little small, but as we go up in size the price goes up very rapidly. I think that I could find a nice sound H28 for $10k - $20k but a nice sound Stewart 34 (for example) is going to run $30k - $40k.

It's a bit of a conundrum. Go small and go now, or wait until we can get something bigger, more comfortable, that requires less maintenance, and spend the next year or two wishing we were on the water.

I was trying to hit the sweet spot in the middle with the likes of an H28, but I'm questioning myself now (which is a good thing, and the reason for making this thread!)


If you cant afford the step up from 20K to 30k or 40K then I would look hard at the affordability of the proposal because you will quickly burn through the difference in price  band on Opex

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Decide on what your priorities are, standing headroom would be number one for me and unless you buy a launch you probably wont get that until your are getting into the 38 foot plus range. 

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