Monday, May 11, 2009

The short list revisited ... 3

OK here is where it gets a little complicated...

So far we have been looking at boats that would be suited to the purpose and easily handled by a couple.

Melquiades by George Buehler (of "Buehler's Backyard Boatbuilding" fame) handles the same set of needs but does it in a different and in some ways... "Better".

Gone are all of the extra berths... Have you noticed that no one designs real stowage these days? There is a whole lot of difference between stowage and berths that you can stick/cram things under! For those of us who live on board, things like tools (and in my case camera equipment and diving gear ARE tools), gear and other things which while normal to own are just too problematic for yacht designers to consider (books, musical instruments, skis, golf clubs, bicycles or whatever) so they either are stuck on top of a berth or as I have been advised by a "NA" or two to simply leave them behind at "HOME".

Now let's reconsider the whole live aboard thing again... BOAT = HOME! Seems pretty simple to me... Not sure why certain NA's don't quite get it.
Which brings us back to "Mel" a cargo schooner with plenty of space to put stuff, a great galley/ living, area and a bedroom and head you could swing a cat in. Which is just what most live aboard cruisers actually need and all those extra berths never actually get used. However if you really needed an extra cabin the hold is big enough that it could be scaled down for a bit more accommodation.

The schooner rig makes sense as it keeps the rig manageable and as Buehler is loath to design around expensive gear all of the various hardware and suchlike can be self built or found at flea markets and consignment shops for pennies on the dollar. So while at fifty foot "Mel" is bigger than a lot of people might consider for a couple, it is a cheap fifty footer cost wise.

Of course it is not perfect, fifty foot means you are going to be anchoring out as the cost of marinas and such start eating into the important stuff (like more guitars and cat toys!) but as we never go into marinas (high priced slums) that only leaves the cost of hauling out and with its long keel I'd be just as inclined to make sure every year or so I'd sail someplace with enough tidal range and simply dispense with that particular brand of marine trades piracy!

"Mel" also looks seriously wicked (and that's a GOOD thing!)