Sailboat Thots

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On my bookshelf I have an old copy of Bristows Book of Yachts. It travelled with me, 26 years ago, from the UK to Australia. It has always been a reminder of a path I have not yet travelled, that of getting my own boat to live aboard.
I long ago gave up on the idea of ever building my own boat. I have spent enough time building them for other people with more money than me. I would like instead to buy a boat to live aboard.

I am going to use this post as a starting point in the journey to buying a live aboard boat.

Once I have worked out the logistics of buying a boat I will need to work out a myriad of other things. One step at a time.

  • Although I have sailed across the Atlantic 30 years ago I will always need to put ‘Learning to sail’ at the top of my lists.
  • Marina’s and anchorages, where?, how much? and can we have our dog?
  • Earning a living while living aboard. Is the marina near a hospital or medical practice? Alterantive ways of making a living?
  • Refitting and maintance. Can we haul the boat out? Are there workshop facilities?

Online Brokers

Bristows Book of Yachts has evolved onto the internet.

My budget is now dependant on selling a house and paying a mortgage. I reckon our max price will be $200k. I am allowing for wiggle room to refit and repair anything we buy (+ ~30% of purchase price). The less we pay the more time we have to spend on the refit and cruising.

Rough Conversions:
$200k AUD (December ‘21): (USDx1.43) 140k; (EURx1.62) 123k; (GBPx1.89) 106k
1 foot = 0.3048 metres therefore: max 44ft=13.4m & min 35ft=10.6m

Boat Research

These links are a start but I think chatting to more experienced boaties will be more productive.

More reading

‘Factory’ Yachts

Plenty of pro’s and con’s to a secondhand mass-produced boat. I think for the fair weather sailing I expect to do for the first few years there are more pro’s. I’d prefer not to though.

Some months later and I have changed my tune about the above boats.
Am I already turning into an armchair snob and elitist? I am recognising and remembering the good and the bad of yacht design albeit as a greenhorn. The value of well keeled boat that holds it’s line in a heavy sea and has a skeg hung rudder that will survive the odd knock.

Designers (DIY/Yard builds)

Inspo Boats

I have been inspired by; heard about or even traveled on these boats

  • After sailing across the Bay of Biscay with Carsten Rasmussen on his little 27 footer I crossed the Atlantic in a Van De Stadt 40 footer. It was called Freya and had been fitted out by by William Hofstede who I sailed with.
  • We both initially liked the look of the Beneteau Oceanis 38 but quickly demurred to hardier designs.
  • I remember seeing the old Moody boats all around the Helford. My old associations from that part of the world lead me to Rustler yachts 37 & 42 probably beyond my reach.
  • I like the idea of Twin-keels just for the idea of beaching my boat on a desert island.
  • Roshnara was the boat my Grandpa Jock and Granny traveled around Ireland on.
  • Snip was out little row boat for a couple of summers when I was a boy. We used to leave Snip in front of the house of a woman known as ‘Badger’. My Ma would give her pats of butter from our Jersey Cow in exchange for keeping an eye on it.

Some people who have been kind enough to share their boaty lives and info about their boats in no particular order:

People & Forums

Australia (and the world) loves certi-fucking-fications

Boat Gear


These books have been recommended or are on my wishlist

  • Chapman Piloting and Seamanship