April 1, 2009 at 3:21 am #870
Lots of news recently about how the market for boats has been drying up. This article says many people are abandoning their boats:
This article says that the ship market is flooded because of high demand in the last couple of years, and new cargo ships are being scrapped:
Boats are looking better and better.April 6, 2009 at 3:38 pm #5444
The smallest boat to circumnavigate the earth was the S/V Trekka at 20.5’!! I wouldn’t attempt it in a vessel that small but it does show what could be done with a little guts…well a little boat and a LOT of guts!lol;) I think boat prices will fall a bit more before they bottom out. I’m looking for something in the 25-30 foot range that’s trailerable…April 6, 2009 at 6:17 pm #5449
World records are generally attempted in the best possible conditions, and in this case, as quickly as possible. That little 20 footer probably wouldn’t do too well in bad weather… or at least it wouldn’t be all that safe in such conditions. Permanent settlement requires quite a bit more safety than any narrow-goal (though admirable, perhaps) world-record attempt. Sailing across the open ocean in a small vessel is a brave adventure, indeed. Tempting fate by living 200nm off shore full time, even if running from storms great and small all the time, might border on suicidal, though. I’m not informed on the matter well enough to judge such things, but I’d get a second opinion from someone who is well informed before setting sail on something not designed for long voyages on the high seas.
Boat prices are looking pretty good these days, however.April 6, 2009 at 9:30 pm #5455
Even if the sea doesn´t kill you chances are you´ll get killed by your “neighbors” if stuck together for any length of time on a 20 foot “seastead”.April 10, 2009 at 7:39 pm #5524
Robin Graham who started his circumnavigation of the earth at age 16(!) did so in a 24′ boat. He traded up to a 33′ boat primarily because he got married and 24′ was just too small for two people and three cats! Most of the people who are currently, as in right now, living on sea are doing so in 26 to 36 foot boats. As for dealing with the neighbors, that’s the glory of the ‘Sailboat Flotilla’ as a concept: people start ailing, you start sailing! I see Seasteads as the ‘Prairie Town’ of the oceans, a place to sail to for resupply, entertainment and ‘community’ rather than as ends in themselves…May 6, 2009 at 11:26 am #5875
My wife and I are planning to cruise/circumnavigate in our 33-footer. We’ve followed the blog of a couple who have circumnavigated twice in a totally green 28-footer. It’s doable. Neither we nor the boat are ready yet, but we are working toward that goal.
Regarding the boat market, we bought our boat for the cost of its accumulated dock fees; it was a giveaway at…well under ten grand, let’s say. I see frequent good deals for people who are willing to put in a little sweat equity on a fixer-upper like ours.
Right across the harbor from our dock are two piles of abandoned boats, one on either side of the bridge. Yes, sometimes people do just walk away from their boats. It’s very sad, but it’s also fair game for salvage…complete hulls or parts. I dinghy’d past one a couple of weeks ago that was slowly sinking at anchor; it got hauled up and beached and stripped pretty dang quick. Not by me.
One of our neighbors has a 40-footer that was sunk by Hugo; he salvaged it for zero dollars and invested his own time and money in fixing her up; now she’s a fairly competitive racer, a nice liveaboard cruiser, and bloody gorgeous to boot. The boat, not the guy. 😉
Edit: I like the “prairie town” vision there. We’d love to know places where we could pull in, resupply, trade and barter, swap info, and hang out with fellow folks who live outside the norm.
Edit too: Regarding neighbor-killing, we travel lightly armed for basic security, but more importantly we’re friendly, good neighbors. Happy to share food, help fix stuff, whatever needs be done, and hope for the same in return somewhere down the road.May 7, 2009 at 7:35 pm #5890
Hi Michael, in your first post you mentioned that you wanted to ‘Go Green’. I think that’s great! I did as well: I owned a Santana 20 that I sailed on Lakes Murray and Hartwell. Obviously, she was too small to live on but she was green! I had three West Marine Sea-cel, deep cycle batteries, 1 12V/73AH and 2 12V/62AH, being maintained by by 2, 5 watt, 13.5V/450ma solar panels. This little system powered a MotorGuide Great White 43lb thrust motor that I’d upgraded with a 3 blade prop. In calm winds, (1-4kt) the only times I used it, I could get up almost to hull speed! I took the liberty of looking your vessel up on line and a ‘brick’ she’s not!lol:) She looks to be a well made boat but on the other hand, there’s not a lot of room on board for the kind of storage battery capacity that I think I would need… What’s your plan? All is well, John.May 9, 2009 at 10:09 am #5911
The plan in broad overview is two solar panels in the 130W range (Kyocera, probably?) plus a wind jenny. We have three deep-cycle batteries onboard, one for the engine, two for house. Plenty of amp-hours so far but I don’t know their exact ratings.
We have a composting toilet onboard already.
Long term, we’re going to ditch the Westerbeke and install an electric motor (Thoosin) with a 48VDC 4-battery bank and a 12V regulator for house. Basically just adding one battery, but we’ll actually be replacing the three old ones with four top-end ones. I prefer the “one big bank” approach.
You probably found info on the racing Soverel, the 33-2 that was built in the late 70s, early 80s, I think, by Mark Soverel. Ours is the older 1968 cruiser built by his father Bill and she is a brick. 33 feet, but 15,100 pounds dry weight according to the carry-all scale.May 9, 2009 at 3:04 pm #5915
The vessel I found was the 33-2. Did you make your own composting toilet? Most of the ones I’ve found on-line are too big to fit the head compartment of well, any boat I was interested in getting without remodeling the interior. What have you done? I agree with your ‘Big Bank’ approach for the power system and step-down voltage regulator. Smart. I was going to try a 12V system with a power inverter hooked up to an off the shelf 5hp motor… When you start getting into this stuff don’t it feel like you’re re-inventing the wheel? Fun though! All is well, John.May 9, 2009 at 7:45 pm #5920
Had I the plastic fabricating skills and gear, I would have made our own toidy. But we bought commercial, the AirHead. Not entirely pleased with it at the moment, either. But it had the same footprint as the standard head–which was plumbed right over the side!–had. Ditched that rather than install the y-gate, plumbing, and holding tank. Here’s the composting head in place.
We have a small inverter, 750W, but I never use it except to test it once in a while. Picked it up for a steal at a pawn shop, though, and it might someday be useful.
Dang, what was this thread about again? Heh.May 10, 2009 at 8:11 pm #5933
You’re right: we’ve gone a bit off topic but on the other hand the renewable technologies we’ve been discussing are directly applicable to Seasteads. As I’ve stated, I see Seasteads as ‘Towns on the Ocean Prairie’ or ‘Free Ports on the High Seas’. As such, they have a ready made market so to speak for what ever goods and services they could provide in the Cruising Community.
The original topic was that there is a currently a glut of boats on the market. So many in fact that they are being abandoned in Charleston… That’s something to think about! All is well, John.May 13, 2009 at 9:13 pm #5983
Marina guys tied up a salvage boat next to our slip the other day, a Hunter, probably a 30, couldn’t say what year. Cruddy shape but afloat, looks like it’s been on the hook a looooong time, and ninjas have already been at it. Most of the valuable deck hardware is gone. I suspect it’ll go to salvage auction soon.
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