Jump to content



Recommended Posts

we also have an 11 month old baby girl, we sailed around the Marlborough sounds and akaroa with her when she was under 6 months in our trailer sailer....am i being too irresponsible...should i just buy another house like most people do......decisions, decisions.......

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hell no, our kids were 1 and 6 when we took off, best thing we ever did for them, and they would agree.


I need a small essy to answer all this, can you wait til tomorrow?

Link to post
Share on other sites

absolutely, i would really appreciate your input. we are at a junction with the opportunity to do this but would have to commit everything.........

Link to post
Share on other sites

I read somewhere you can always buy another house or another car if it doesn't work out for you, but if you don't do it, you'll always regret it and you can't just buy another life or go back and do it when your old :problem:


My wife and I are trying to do exactly the same as you but the only difference is we are 1 year ahead of you.


I'm no expert, in fact far from it (you should see the look on the yachties faces at some of the stupid questions I ask, but i'll keep asking its the only way to know the answers) and so you won't get an expert opinion, just bits of an opinion mashed in with our experience thus far:


We looked at so many yachts and we bought one that was setup as a livaboard already (thank god we did) because all we need to do now is kit it out for sailing while living on it (which is easy as the living parts havnt been touched hardly at all and we can go through our daily routine with ease). If it was the other way around I imagine it would be quite a mission to live in something that your building and renovating, its been hard enough sometimes for the wife with various things for the yacht in the lounge that she has come home to find ( I miss having a garage! ).


We bought 43ft and I'm glad for it, wouldnt go any smaller. Friends who have sailed the world for 10 years in a 37ft love their yacht but personally I feel cramped on it and feel in the way. I'm 6ft2" and you need full headroom or just under (think our roof is 6ft1") and plenty of space for all the friends who have to come see the boat.) another factor for size is the ability to get in and fix stuff. Our engine is very accessible as with a lot of things, but the smaller you go the smaller you need to be or more stuff you need to remove to get to. One guy was telling me about moving the engine today just to get at a pump that was leaking!!


I read somewhere the smaller the yacht the less loads your dealing with the easier it will be for you handle the boats sails etc. When the yachts start to get big, the loads get bigger and thats when things start to hurt if things go wrong or you need to man handle something (same article)


43ft is starting to get heavy, people notice it when assisting us berthing. Yes the bigger you get the more fun your going to have berthing etc. Also the more expensive things get, as they are just bigger in nature ie anchors, sails etc. already finding this out with ours.


But a bigger yacht has benefits. We have a 37" flat screen tv, full bose entertainment system with sub, washing machine (that saves us heaps and in time spent trudging up and down in winter to the amenities), microwave, bigger fridge freezer than we had in our house, 2 kayaks, 3.7m tender with 15hp, wakeboard, waterskiis, full height electric toilet (must have for ease for guests) and separate full shower (what sold the boat for the wife) which will doubles as dive tanks storage and wet storage whilst sailing, 12hp diesel genset, dive compressor, 1.5m lathe, welder/plasma/tig welder [8ft inflatable swimming pool for the deck - which you just didnt read(great for the kids) ] etc etc


Those are the main bulky things but we have the room being 43ft. we had one kayak, a lathe and 12hp diesel engine sitting on our lounge floor at one stage. Our table comes off and we had 5 people dancing with a lot of room to spare. A roomy yacht is a nice yacht if you live on it and have people over often.


I would look yankiwi up, that is on the market and was a liveaboard here in wellington. Its being moved to picton. 47ft roberts steel. its had a fresh paint job last summer and new engine. Its currently listed at $119,000 (prob go for less than that i would say) and had two adults and 2 teenagers living in it. I class that as a large yacht, cutter rig will do 12 knots apparently. vinnings have it (google it, in there over 100k yachts and its blue)


remember youll need 10% of the purchase price / year just to maintain it and youll need to change stuff, buy new stuff (whatever it doesnt have to get cat 1 plus toys)


Our additions have been thus far in 1 year,

New tender and outboard (big enough for cruising needs to be 15hp and sized tender accordingly)

Autopilot (still coming)

New roof for dodger

paint inside

new freshwater/saltwater toilet system

new bilge pumps and freshwater pumps

radar tower and crane for existing radar




welder (we are steel)


we still have to do:

new anchor and chain

new headsail

2x spiniker poles

cat 1 gear





And the list keeps going and going. We are one year in and made all those modifications and been across the cook straight 6-8 times (often in the middle of a modification) so far. We have also spent some of the most amazing nights just in wellington harbor at somes island. We have researched and researched cruising and whether its a mistake or not. Every time I have read one of these posts, half a dozen cruisers jump in and say DO IT. Its not a question of whether you can afford to do it but more can you afford not to. that might have been in a video i watched recently not a forum. that one stuck with me the most.


Our friends and neighbors have just hit the islands year and I can tell you it sux big time to be left behind getting the boat ready, especially when they are in tonga and fiji and in their HOUSE! next year that WILL be us, a lot of work but it will be worth it. We plan to come back after a season have a couple of kids and then bugger off for a long time at around the same age as yours. I work with a lady who used to teach via correspondence to kids on boats and all around the pacific and the kids did exceptionally well compared to normal kids due to the one on one learning with their parents etc. Something I'm looking forward to believe it or not :shock:


Anyway I'll stop dribbling on but its nice to see someone in the same place we were a year ago, exciting times ahead for you if you follow the dream. Our next exciting bit is sailing to chch from wellington (Coool)





p.s remember don't buy the first one you look at. we looked at heaps and then bought the first one we had looked at 8)

Link to post
Share on other sites

For some reason, Suid likes being stuffed into confined spaces :wink: :lol:

Personaly I like space :wink:

But Squid has heaps and heaps of experience and I look forward to reading his "essy" as well.

From things I have learn't, the bigger you go, the more expensive the lift outs, upkeep, the more expensive to find berthage and moorings, the bigger the sails to handle with just two etc etc. When just two of you are cruising, you tend to be solo most of the time. I have set up our boat to make it easier for Dawn to handle the sails on her own via "systems". But the more "systems" the more complex the whole thing becomes and my endevour to make things easier may have only resulted in making things harder. Not to mention, it is costly and more theings to go wrong. However, I love the big boat (45ft) and would happily go to even bigger.

Re the steel boat specificaly, the most important thing is to crawl around in the bilges and check for rust and paint lifting. It can be a place hiding many nasties. Strong boats yes, but an expensive nightmare if you are not good with your hands and you find bad rust.

The motor is a little on the small side for a boat that size, although she is probably lighter than most steel boats that size. The issue is the windage when you need to motor into something though and not always just moving around weight. Still, it's a common reliable easy to obtain parts engine. Being such shallow draft, you will have access to area's no other boat is going to get you. Around the the world, there are many places that the shallow draft is gong to allow you to explore that standard depth boats can not get into. Such as cannels, Lagoons and much of the Carrabean and so on. The ability of being able to sit on a beach and let the tide go out can be very helpful sometimes.

Apart from the Oyster being a lonvely boat and one on the list of my favourites, I will leave comments on that one to someone more experienced with the Oysters.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh Yeah, Lay awake all night composing this one, hope to have an hour or two this arvo while the girls are getting ready for the school ball (thank god Angela made it home in time).

Link to post
Share on other sites

RobT, no idea what your budget is (i.e. whether the examples you've picked so far on TradeMe are indicative of what you want to spend or not) and what your planned usage is but if you are looking for a geniune liveaboard option within minimal 'shock' to the system moving from house to boat, then a catamaran has to be a serious option. A 40 ft cat would offer a much better living option than a 65 ft monohull because the living space is spread out evenly. A long monhull will involve trapsing the length of the hull from stem to stern which will quickly become tiresome if you are not used to it. Whereas a bridgedeck catamaran would be far more of a home from home, with two separate hulls and a big living space between them. And they generally sail well too. But good cats aren't cheap, here are a couple of modest examples, you can easily pay more:





Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting to hear your point of view AC. Personally I am the otherway. I find them closti...Chlosti....too confined. The ceiling height is too low for me. A mono feels bigger and some designs are bigger than others of the same length.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well it was only on the biggest monos that I've done trips on (74ft and 84ft) that started to feel bigger than a well-designed 45ft cat, which can have a lot of user-friendly space for everyday living. I've 6'2" so also need good headroom to avoid claustrophobia!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hineka is a fast but tender boat, has been on the market for a while, I would suggest a very careful survey of the hull etc. before buying, and of course it is a buyers market.

For me she would be too big, think maintenance, gallons of antifoul, gallons of paint, slipping charges, sail size, replacement costs. etc. etc. etc. Great for space on board at anchor, but to sail short handed and without a lot of experience is a big ask, you could find yourself totally reliant on others for crew, can't go, can't get a crew, Mid 30' to max mid 40' is a good size for a cruiser lots of good designs out there, Steel is good, alloy is better, once you understand it.

Whatever, do go cruising and as long as your marriage is strong and you both want it, you will never regret it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

firstly thanks for all the info, sailfish i think you may have finally convinced Laura that i may not be a complete raving madman and that maybe, just maybe this is a good idea. I would love to buy a 40ft modern catamaran but they are way out of our budget of 150k ish. I also want a boat that has done what we require of it before and so is ready to go so to speak. I am a mechanic / builder so the idea of a steel hull is very appealing as my hammers and welder will work on it! A 6cyl diesel would also be a familiar beast. Bridge Marina website says $200+/- a week for a 60ft berth which seems ok and manageable. We are both kite surfers and being able to get into shallower lagoons seems appealing. The boat is in the haul our yard locally and im taking the better half to look through on Monday to see if she could cope with it......

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rob, we sold our home and bought a boat and lived on it for a short term. Still have the boat and love it 7yrs later. A few words of advice though. First off, it is a major change and at least for us, it was me that struggled with it the most. But there is a rule of thumb that all doing this must live by. Once aboard, DO NOT make and rash decisions for at least three weeks. it takes that long to start to settle. And expect to to struggle at first. It is not just the space you are living in that changes. It is your entire life and life style that changes.

Get your wife on a Basic boat handling/Sailing course. I wisdh I had got Dawn on one 7yrs ago. It has made a huge difference with her confidence and her abilities and she now feels apart of the "team" being able to actually do something. If you haven't a lot of experience, get on a course also.

When you get the boat, take her out to a quite bay and practice manourvering the boat around the mooring bouy as if it was the Marina. Find out it's stopping ability, it's handling in a wind, its turning and which way it turns best. Most all boats behave differently turning in one direction to the other.

And keep asking questions.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wrote this yesterday, but have been away from the computer , I see the thread has movesd on a bit, but this will do for starters



Ok Here Goes, my apologies if I put everyone to sleep.

First, even though I am a dirt dweller at present, I have been a liveaboard for over 20 years off and on, and have sailed somewhere in excess of 100,000 miles (might be closer to 150 by now).

There are two really important questions you need to address. 1 – What sort of liveaboard do I want to be? And 2- what is my budget?


There are lots of different ways to be a liveaboard, I can’t say one is right or wrong or better, everyone is different and what suits you could be all wrong for someone else.

You might simply be choosing to live on a boat as it is cheaper than a house, intending to continue your land bound existence (work, schools etc) just from a floating residence.

You may do the above and chuck in the occasional movement, maybe to new town every year or two.

You might choose to give it all up and sail away with no intention of coming back or you might have a job that allows you 6 months off every year to go cruising then return to full employment.

You might be planning 3, 4 or 5 years of cruising as something like a sabbatical.

Or something else I haven’t thought of.


Whichever you see yourself as will strongly affect the second question, budget, and the type of boat you choose.


So we have to address budget, distasteful and depressing as that may be. Everyone has a budget, even the million dollar guys (OK I met one cruiser who would never be able to spend all his money in 10 lifetimes, but that is unusual)

If you are going for a fixed period and know you will be going back to work, then the exercise isn’t too difficult. A pretty reasonable budget for two people on a long cruise for say three years on boat under 40ft would be $2k per month or $24k pa, times three is 72k put some aside for emergencies so 100k for three years , after you have bought and prepared the boat. Sell the boat on return and hope to get a chunk back and the whole exercise might end up costing $120k


Note: 2k per month doesn’t include alcohol, the amount spent is just too variable. A lot of people who have sailed on weekends equate boats with drinking, sometimes a lot, then don’t figure that living on the boat full time is different and continue drinking but 7 days per week now. There are a LOT of alcoholics among the cruising fleet. Apart from the usual destructiveness this is very expensive.

It also doesn’t include marinas, the other big money gobbler, but would allow the odd meal ashore and some other travel and entertainment. It should include routine maintenance, but you would need to allow some thousands every 5-7 years for a major refit if you are out for a long time.

If you are staying at work or coming back to work, then your budget is whatever you decide it will be.

So where are you going to find 2k per month. If you are lucky and the family trust fund covers it then yahoo and off you go.

For the rest of us, it can be savings, work along the way, try and generate enough income from investments, or a mix of the above.

As an aside 24k pa would require something in excess of 1m invested in managed funds.

Now here comes the fun part. A big chunk of that expense is directly related to the length of your boat – moorage, insurance, haul outs, paint……….So the smaller the boat the easier it will be to stay inside the budget, or the sooner you can leave, or the longer you can stay away. However you want to look at it smaller is better. Purchase price of the boat is less of an issue, it’s normally coughed up while still working, spend more – work more.

But get this: if our hypothetical couple were happy on a 32 ft boat (I did it for 8yrs and 40,000 miles and loved it), they might get by on half that amount by skimping a little, which means 500k invested instead of a mill. How hard is it to SAVE half a million dollars?

A close analogy to those with large boats would be the elderly people I get to represent who have a large home, but once they stop working and the cost of owning and maintaining that home grows and eventually they are forced to sell.

As a broad generalization a 38 ft boat costs twice as much to run as a 32 ft boat, and go to 44 ft and it doubles again. If going smaller means going sooner, longer, or maybe getting away at all, then smaller is definitely better (and I’m close to 6’2” as well).

Anyway , if you can answer those two questions then you will be flooded with advice on this forum, we are good at spending other people’s money and discussing boats and equipment, and we won’t all agree (Last thing I want on a boat is 37inch flat screen TV, AC’s advice on cats could be worth investigating though).

There’s one other aspect of going smaller that intrigues me and it’s a bit philosophical. I’m not really that impressed with the culture we seem to have created. I don’t want to spend my life being a consumer. I don’t think acquiring lots of stuff is a worthwhile goal. In fact the way things are structured in society at the moment it is like a giant game where the odds are stacked horribly against you, some will win, but so few, and they will have to give up so much, that I simply don’t want to play anymore. To me the only way to win is to stop playing. It is truly fortuitous that I happen to like sailing and travelling to new places and that happens to be a spectacular way of opting out of the game.

I don’t see myself as a complete Luddite as AC may claim (I’ll take a GPS) but the idea of smaller simpler cleaner really does appeal. As does having the time to meet with and befriend people, not use them on the way past. (Ask me why I’m the country’s worst real estate agent)

I also like the idea of being as “off the grid” as possible. Our monthly phone bill at the moment is more than our living expenses were while cruising. And we pay more than that again every month in insurance. This is why the game is loaded against you, however much you have, you’ll need more, and it’ll cost you more to keep and maintain it, and nothing lasts anymore – you are expected to replace all your old stuff with new stuff all the time, well I’m getting out, I’m not going to have any stuff.

Then there are some things you can’t avoid, I still have a daughter to care for (the older one has flown the nest) and a mother who is elderly and not well. So I continue to play my hand, but watch this space – I will shortly chuck in my hand and leave the game to those who want to play.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there,

We have lived aboard permanently for 17 years now. When we first moved aboard we had 2 children & a small dog on a Cavalier 32'. After a bit more than 2 years on that we moved on board our Cavalier 36' which we still own & still live aboard. We have cruised reasonably extensively around NZ and to Fiji on her. As you can imagine she is well set up for both living on and sailing on.

Best thing we ever did was to move out of the house, but it is not for everyone.

Feel free to contact me if you would like to chat about our experiences.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am liking this thread some good replys , very interesting. Hineka looks like good value , if you want a boat that big. Many people think you should get a boat as big as you need, not want. If you are living aboard and working too you might end up with all your spare time taken fixing things on the boat. There is also the chance you could get it cheap spend a few years getting it sorted, have a trip and then find a buyer willing to pay for all the work you have done, maybe. Sounds more fun than working for the next 20 years anyway. :thumbup:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...