The “Perfect” Boat




“Perfect” can mean so many different things to so many different people.  If you ask a retired cruising couple what their idea is of a “perfect” boat, some might say a trawler, 35-40′, shallow draft, 2 cabins etc.   If you asked a family of 4, they might say a sailboat for world cruising economy, 3 cabins, 40-45′.

If you ask me what my idea of the “perfect” boat is for my family of 5 kids, you will get a much different answer.  I have to stress this my idea of the perfect boat, because we have no real boating experience.  They say that after living on a boat what is important is different than what you initially thought would be.

Now, we have to keep in mind that my oldest kid (13) will probably not be a full-time cruiser, but rather a frequent visitor to the boat, let’s say a part-time liveaboard (more on this later).  But, nonetheless, he will still need a bed for when he is with us.

As nothing is ever set in stone, until it is set in stone, there is always going to be a plan A and a plan B, and sometimes even a plan C.  This is mostly because the goal (liveaboard cruiser) can be accomplished in a number of different ways.  The plan is fluid and we won’t know the best way until it’s done.  So, yes, we have a plan A boat, which, of course would be the preferable choice.  Our “perfect” boat or at least our idea of the perfect boat… now.  We also have a plan B boat.  If we can’t find the plan A boat, when the house is sold, then we can always purchase a less expensive boat to learn on and then trade up to a more suitable choice later.  There are pros and cons to both plans.

Plan A boat:


  • We can upgrade and refit knowing we will have the boat for a long while
  • We can learn to operate the boat knowing that we will soon travel far with that particular boat
  • The boat will be fuel efficient for vacationing trips before we cruise
  • Ideal space



  • More expensive
  • Difficult to find
  • We may decide after owning the “perfect” boat that it is actually the wrong boat
  • May have to rent temporarily until we locate the boat


Plan B boat


  • Easy to find (these boats are a dime a dozen)
  • We can learn on this boat without worrying as much about mistakes
  • Less expensive
  • We won’t have to temporarily rent
  • We will have the opportunity to learn what is really important in the “perfect” boat



  • Probably won’t be fuel efficient
  • We may have a long wait when selling later
  • Money lost when selling the boat later
  • Most likely won’t have the ideal space


I have been searching boats that meet the following criteria for a Plan A boat:

(listed in order of importance)

  1. Trawler- Must be very economical to operate as we plan to travel great distances
  2. 55-65′
  3. At least 4 staterooms including crew
  4. Large fuel capacity
  5. Clean engine room
  6. Overall good condition
  7. Not too “boaty”
  8. Windows in cabins and baths
  9. 2 salon type areas
  10. Dining or eating area
  11. Enclosed pilothouse as 3rd level


The criteria for a plan B boat are much less:

  1. Less expensive
  2. At least 4 staterooms including crew
  3. Updated
  4. Clean engine room
  5. General good condition
  6. Flybridge


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