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  1. #21
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Loch Snizort, Isle of Skye
    Posts
    4,858

    Default Re: Can I live on a 26ft Vega/Nic/Contessa/Sadler?

    Quote Originally Posted by ross84 View Post

    As long as it can be sailed single handed, has some space down below, and is ocean-worthy, I'm not too fussy... is there a big difference in cost between a 26, a 29 and a 31 in terms of maintenance and berthing?
    The boat will always feel absolutely enormous when you are lying on your back scraping barnacles off.
    But it will feel absolutely tiny when you are in bad weather out of sight of land.
    Hard to believe sometimes that it is the same boat...
    Moody 39- Deb 33- Wayfarer- Wanderer

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Plymouth
    Posts
    8,374

    Default Re: Can I live on a 26ft Vega/Nic/Contessa/Sadler?

    Quote Originally Posted by ross84 View Post
    ... is there a big difference in cost between a 26, a 29 and a 31 in terms of maintenance and berthing?

    In my view not as big as the difference is living accommodation. I always felt that marina folk get a relatively poor deal towards the 20ft end of the spectrum as compared with 30 ft.
    In the longer boat you can probably stand up, you often get a forward cabin that feels separate - you can leave your sleeping kit in there and close the door. You have a loo which does not feel like the elephant in the room. A living area that is not on top of the washing up, a desk and a galley tucked out of the way. BTW, I have nothing against smaller boats but feel they don't get a great marina deal.

    Down to brass tacks, I see Liverpool do not publish prices but an old PBO list suggests they are not particularly cheap. In a marina local to me a 8m boat might pay 3.5k pa and an extra 2m would be about £900 more.
    When visiting you might expect to pay about a fiver ish more per night. The difference, if any, on swinging moorings is small change.

    When I moved from 26 to 32 feet I found the costs pretty similar. I still bought one can of antifoul per season but probably put in on thinner. -)
    Many things, like instruments are the same price whatever the size of boat, on the other hand for some big ticket items, like sails, you can expect to pay c30% more for the extra area, which would probably be well in excess of £1000

  3. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    Location
    Newport IoW
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Can I live on a 26ft Vega/Nic/Contessa/Sadler?

    I lived on a 24' Hurley (small glassfibre sailing yacht) for a couple of years in the Essex/Kent areas, in winter you really will be more comfortable if you fit a small diesel or coal heater, with a flue. Cosiness is vital for mental health in the winter, and electric heaters run from a marina 240v supply just aren't the same.
    Also, especially in the UK, marinas have a tendency to charge you for every kilowatt-hour you use, it can really mount up, I promise you! They always charge more than the main supplier as well.

    Most marinas are not technically residential moorings, but if you don't make a noise etc, or hang out loads of washing, they are often pragmatic and turn a blind eye. You are extra security for them after all.

    If you bluntly ask in the office if you can live aboard, they normally have to say no, even if you can see liveaboards..you have to play it by ear I have found, I'm a liveaboard and nobody has evicted me yet

    On the plus side, it's a great feeling being captain of your own floating home, with the ability to go for a cruise sometimes, there are so many positive aspects, all I can say is, go for it!

    A warning, sailing can be habit-forming and you will soon crave stronger 'hits'..

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: Can I live on a 26ft Vega/Nic/Contessa/Sadler?

    Thanks - this is super encouraging and you're comments about marinas correspond to what I've been told through asking (discreetly) around.

    Many yachts I view don't tend to have heating and certainly not burners, however, I agree - these seem essential for winter living. Do you have any experience of fitting one by chance?

    The more I look at it, the more it is making sense - and a maybe a great life experience too. I guess the harder part now is actually buying a decent boat and making the necessary adjustments.

    I have to say, hot water, a shower, a heater and working toilet (maybe switching sea toilet to a cassette toilet while livig aboard?) will be 'luxuries' I could definitely use.

    My budget is 10-20k, but definitely prefer leaving money over to do repairs, services, upgrades etc.

    Thanks for all the comments so far; they've been super useful.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    3,203

    Default Re: Can I live on a 26ft Vega/Nic/Contessa/Sadler?

    You might be able to. Good luck with it.
    I probably couldn’t. My wife just plain wouldn’t.
    We lived in a 24 ft RV while I built my house. Wife, Three kids, 1 cat which had 4 kittens and I. We had the RV for several years and had used it for regular family camping trips. Also as over flow accommodation to our small house.
    Sold the small house to build a bigger one on a bare lot.

    Driving to the the land and setting up camp in the summer was kind of fun. Even if we did feel a bit “homeless”.
    So the first summer was fun. With some annoyances. Pluming, and laundry particularly. Cooking was a bit limited. I quickly arranged power, water, temporary pluming ect. Our RV was equipped with Refrigerator and central heat. Otherwise we would have split.
    By Fall the fun wore off. Winter was actually quite unpleasant. Next Spring and summer were better as I got closer to completion and was at lock up. I got caught by the building inspector cooking bacon sandwiches without electrical certification.
    By next winter my wife unilaterally decided to hell with finishing the house she was moving in.

    We have never gone RV camping since.

    I did by a boat instead. I will never live on it.

    I do enjoy cruising for a while. Current limitations are the same pluming laundry with the additional limitations on power refrigeration and heating. I like my boat, decisions to make before taking on longer trips. Change boat for better living accommodations or add heating, hot and cold pressure water, refrigerationv and a cockpit enclosure.
    My conclusion living on a small boat is possible but not fun.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Loch Snizort, Isle of Skye
    Posts
    4,858

    Default Re: Can I live on a 26ft Vega/Nic/Contessa/Sadler?

    Quote Originally Posted by ross84 View Post
    Many yachts I view don't tend to have heating and certainly not burners, however, I agree - these seem essential for winter living. Do you have any experience of fitting one by chance?
    .
    Choosing a heating system is a bit of a can of worms. Options in order of price:
    - Plug in heater. Obviously only works in a marina! But depending on the cost of electricity is likely to be by far the best option, if available.
    - Chinese 'parking heater'- likely to cost around £200-£250 once installed (you can buy the heater for £150 but will need to add some components). Burns diesel and produces warm air that is ducted around the boat. These are quite new to the market and on the whole people seem happy with them- but I'm not sure if they are robust and safe enough to be run day in, day out, for a liveaboard.
    - Small solid fuel stove or charcoal stove- around £500- can be lovely things, but in a small boat it is surprisingly hard to fit one in. Fuel is potentially cheap, or free, but is bulky and needs to be kept dry. For me the biggest drawback is that you will always wake up to a cold boat, as they are too small to keep burning overnight.
    - Propex: from around £500. These burn the same gas as your cooker and produce warm air that can be ducted around the boat. People seem to like them, but gas is not as cheap as diesel so the running costs might be quite high.
    - Planar heater- around £500. Same idea as the Chinese ones (and more expensive German ones), i.e. burns diesel, produces ducted hot air. They are newish to the market but seem pretty well trusted already.
    - Drip diesel heater (e.g. Refleks)- around £700. A trusted favourite, extremely reliable and fairly economical to run. Unlike a solid fuel stove it can be left running continuously, including overnight. But it will tend to only heat up the cabin that it is in, and the smaller ones are fairly low output. Like a solid fuel stove, you need a decent bit of space for the stove and flue.
    - Blown air diesel heater (Eberspacher, Webasto, Mikuni)- these are the established players in the market, most likely to be fitted to a boat, and are generally very good but will be the most expensive option.

    The blown air heaters are all pretty good but have quite high electricity consumption. So if you are trying to live off-grid that might be an issue. If in a marina, then obviously not, but you might as well plug in a fan heater!
    Moody 39- Deb 33- Wayfarer- Wanderer

  7. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Hampshire
    Posts
    1,071

    Default Re: Can I live on a 26ft Vega/Nic/Contessa/Sadler?

    Can I live on a 26ft Vega/Nic/Contessa/Sadler?

    Technically yes, but in reality, no. Too small.

  8. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fortrose
    Posts
    1,480

    Default Re: Can I live on a 26ft Vega/Nic/Contessa/Sadler?

    As others have said, you've many options. I've a Gypsy stove, about 6" square on my Folkboat, which is really very good at heating the living area, but most essentially at drying it. Gas and diesel heaters do introduce condensation and blown air heaters are quite hard on batteries I believe, if one's away from an electrical source. However, diesel is far more efficient by volume. However, I only used a 'few' kgs. of charcoal in summer when I've been living onboard for several months in the North of Scotland, and they took up very little space. As was said, the heat & warmth from a stove is far nicer than the clinical effect from a fan heater; and that's a good thing, as it adds to the experience of 'The Boat', which helps remove a few of the tribulations involved with residing on a smallish boat!
    I've no cool box on my boat for example, as I've a good bilge to store stuff in for the few days that it'll keep before I've either consumed it, or (rarely) it's gone off, which does mean that I do shopping a little and often, which is my way of life anyway.
    You're options are very broad, but good advice would be to start with the most easily reversed/replaced manner of doing it, which might be for you being (say) in a marina, with shore power, to utilise that whilst you enjoy the 'gentle' learning curve of this new way of living.
    I wish you luck, and keep us up to date with progress.
    Folkboat 'Stakkr' - Inverness - http://islandrov.wix.com/island-rov-web

  9. #29
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Loch Snizort, Isle of Skye
    Posts
    4,858

    Default Re: Can I live on a 26ft Vega/Nic/Contessa/Sadler?

    Quote Originally Posted by jamie N View Post
    Gas and diesel heaters do introduce condensation and blown air heaters are quite hard on batteries
    Very good points but one nit, heaters only introduce condensation if they do not have a flue. All of the heating options I suggested, including the gas and diesel ones, do have flues.
    Moody 39- Deb 33- Wayfarer- Wanderer

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fortrose
    Posts
    1,480

    Default Re: Can I live on a 26ft Vega/Nic/Contessa/Sadler?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kelpie View Post
    Very good points but one nit, heaters only introduce condensation if they do not have a flue. All of the heating options I suggested, including the gas and diesel ones, do have flues.
    Of course they do! Apologies, I got the types mixed in my head with 'camping gaz' types, and gave them all a bad name.
    Folkboat 'Stakkr' - Inverness - http://islandrov.wix.com/island-rov-web

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