Monday, March 4, 2013
More surprises from the lovely wife
My lovely wife and I were talking over a couple cups of coffee when she surprised me. Even after 34 years of marriage, she can still do that. We'd been thinking of upgrading to a slightly larger sailboat. Instead of squeezing in our 19 foot boat, we thought something a few feet larger would be more comfortable, maybe a 22 foot boat. She suggested we get something even larger, large enough to live on for half the year.
That doesn't mean we need or even want a 40 footer, but something around 26 – 32 feet might fit the bill. If you aren't familiar with boats, jumping from a 22 footer to a 26 footer doesn't seem like too big a jump, but it is. There's a lot more displacement in the longer boat. Basically, the volume inside goes up a lot.
The longer and bigger boats are much less like likely to be trailered. Even the ones that can be hauled around are so heavy that you wouldn't want to haul them very far. My 19 foot can easily be launched or loaded in under an hour. In a pinch, I've done it alone. A big boat may require a crew -and a crane.
What if we get a boat that can't be trailered at all? We only plan on living on it half the year. The other half the boat would have to be kept somewhere. I've only begun to think through the logistics of the whole thing.
I've a list of things I'm looking for in a boat. Of course it needs a sound hull, rigging, and sails. Ideally it should be of fairly shallow draft. We plan on sailing shallow waters. We don't necessarily need a blue water boat capable of crossing oceans. A boat built for coastal sailing and Caribbean island hopping would be fine. All systems should be simple and repairable. The boat must be easy enough to sail that one person can do it.
There are many older boats out there that fit the bill. Most live aboard cruisers tend to go for bigger, newer, and much more expensive boats. That's one reason some of these older boats can be had for very reasonable prices. While beautiful teak woodwork is pretty, I don't want to spend all my time sanding and varnishing. Plainer boats are better for the way I want to live. That saves money too. A well maintained older boat can be just as seaworthy than a new boat. Often, they are more seaworthy. They've been around long enough for problems to be discovered and fixed. Also, older boats were built as boats. Many of the new ones are more floating condo than boat.
Over the next few months I'll be figuring out the details on exactly what we want and what we can make happen. Should be fun.