Interested in a live-in sea faring ship

Discussion in 'Boatbuilding' started by PirateHatter, May 9, 2014.

  1. PirateHatter
    Joined: May 2014
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    PirateHatter New Member

    My fiancee and Myself are both 21 and thinking that it would be wise to start now. What we wish to start is a project that we can both enjoy, We are looking to find a ship design that would allow us to sail the open sea's and essentially live onboard. The only stipulation is that we would like to bring along a small green house simply so that she can still have the greenery of the land. I understand this would mean a water purification system of some wort to allow for the large amount of water that we would be using. My question is this: Is this possible and what would be the best supported design for such an idea?
  2. Eric Sponberg
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    Eric Sponberg Senior Member

    Hi PirateHatter,

    Welcome to the forum. What you and your fiance want to do is certainly possible. But what you need to do is define a few more of the parameters that you think you need. I realize this is probably early in your dream, so here is what you should do.

    First, begin writing down a list of requirements that you think you need. This is often called a "Statement of Requirements" or SOR. You may not know all of the answers right now, but as you go through the list and seek answers, the blanks will get filled in. You say you want to "sail the open seas", so right away, this means a sailboat, and something that is big enough for you both, perhaps a family in the future???, and the greenhouse. The greenhouse means that it is going to be a bigger boat than most young couples would start with, and that leads to the next question: How much money do you have? What do you expect to pay for this boat, and do you have that money now, and if not, how do you expect to earn the money for the boat? How long is that going to take? These are the most serious questions--how long or how big is the boat going to be, and can you afford it?

    As for watermakers, that's established science and you can buy any number of brands or sizes that would suit your needs. Again, not a lot of smaller boats have room for watermakers, so again, you are looking at a larger boat. What does larger mean? At this point, I don't know, but my gut probably tells me you're boat should be about 50' or larger.

    Consider, too, what style of sailing boat do you want? A monohull or a multihull, and of the multihulls, which typically have more deck area and could be suitable for a greenhouse of some sort, and of those, there are catamarans and trimarans. They sail differently than monohulls, and they are also more expensive, generally. So these factors will affect the outlay of your project.

    So the advice here is to start with a SOR, and a budget, and go from there, start asking more questions and getting more answers, and couch this in terms of what you can afford. Consider that you can buy some used boats or fixer-uppers pretty cheaply. If you are handy with tools, this might be an option.

    Good luck! Sounds fun!

  3. PirateHatter
    Joined: May 2014
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    PirateHatter New Member

    I had orginally thought a ship along the lines of something similar to this : : We have this planned more as a retirement plan, so the timeline is very flexible. as for the amount of money that we have to spend, its more of a make a plan for a perfect ship and then adjust from there to make it within realistic monitary values that we would be expected to earn at the time of retirmement. We plan on making it a family type of craft so that we can bring friends and family along with us on trips. at this point its simply finding a craft that would be big enough to house everything that we would need to support us and the greenhouse.
  4. keysdisease
    Joined: Mar 2006
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    keysdisease Senior Member

    Eric has given you good advice. I would add that as this is a long term project and you have indicated the type vessel you are looking at (55ft) I would suggest you look at what type tender you will want and build it first. This will give you some experience not only with building but sourcing and the various techniques you will need.

    I would also suggest that you start sailing just about anything. Sailing skills scale up nicely, and what you learn on a sunfish or a 15ft day sailor will serve you well.

    A person building a 55ft sailboat with no boating or sailing skills whatsoever my very well have a very expensive learning curve soon after launching.

    Cheers, :)
  5. gonzo
    Joined: Aug 2002
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    gonzo Senior Member

    The most important two questions are: How much money do you have? and How much experience do you have?
  6. Kiwifinn
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Kiwifinn Junior Member

    The greenhouse

    Hi Guys,
    You might want to do a bit of research on the practicalities of having a greenhouse on a voyaging boat. I know for a fact the arriving to New Zealand or Australia would mean handing over all plant material and soil to the officials for destruction. Also any fresh food onboard. This is to protect the local agriculture and horticulture from introduced pests. These rules are enforced vigorously regardless how you enter the country. A while ago my partner forgot that she had an apple in her bag and had to pay a fine of three hundred $NZ at the Auckland airport!
    I don't know what the rules are in other countries.
    All the best to your dream of sailing the seas!
  7. Mr Efficiency
    Joined: Oct 2010
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    Mr Efficiency Senior Member

    Good point !
  8. LP
    Joined: Jul 2005
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    LP Flying Boatman

    This statement would lend one to look in the hydroponics direction to eliminate the soil concerns. Disposing of all plant matter before entering a new country may have to be a fact of life for this aspiration.

  9. pdwiley
    Joined: Jun 2008
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    pdwiley Senior Member

    Aside from the quarantine point (which I agree with) there's the practicality.

    A greenhouse, unless built immensely strongly (and therefore very heavy and expensive) is simply not going to be there for long if you encounter a bad gale in your travels. At which point you have a giant greenhouse shaped hole in your boat.

    I frankly believe this is an impractical requirement for an ocean-going vessel unless you get to something well over 80' with a lot of freeboard and still pick your weather to go anywhere.

    As for planning a boat for your retirement now, you'd be better served working a second job and tucking all the money into a boat fund so you can buy something when the time comes. Or better still, buy something small & affordable and go *now*.

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