My answer to What is the best sailboat to choose for a home?
Answer by Desmond Last:
Whilst working in my boat brokerage Sydney Boat Sales, Monday mornings would quite often begin with a would-be boat buyer, who had just walked out on his wife and wanted to sail around the world.
It did not matter to them that they had never sailed a boat before, they just wanted to escape.
Living on a boat is not as simple as it sounds and not as easy at appears to be. Some areas do not allow permanent live aboard’s,
Marina berths can be very expensive, and moorings can sometimes be impractical if you have ferry’s rushing past causing a large wash.
However for most it is an unique outdoor life-style that encompasses freedom and the ability to sail away when it all gets too much.
The best design would have to be a Pilot house. Some will come with a ketch rig – two masts. Great for sailing but awkward for live aboard.
An aft cabin layout would enable you to have a private cabin. Your guest will not have to intrude on your privacy.
The Pilot House will shield you from the sun and rain. Make sure you can leave the pilot house easily so as to pick up a mooring on your own.
Your galley should include a fridge and ice-box that runs off an engine compressor or is powered by a generator.
Your on- board stowage area is very important as is your sail locker.
You will need as much fresh water capacity as possible. Make sure the tanks have not been contaminated by salt water.
LPG is OK for cooking as long as it has a current gas certificate and the gas fumes from cooking go outside not inside.
You will need engine batteries and house batteries. If you have 240 Volt and shore power make sure it is checked by a 240 volt electrician and the safety trip works.
You need good size hatches to let air in and out. Make sure the bilges are dry and the bilge pumps work. There is nothing worse than mildew smelling clothes.
Steel yachts will require insulation and they do condense inside on very hot days.
Timber is OK as it is a natural insulator but it has a maintenance cost and the decks can leak.
Fiberglass is fine as long as you get the hull checked for osmosis.
Concrete is OK for a budget buyer but make sure you can get insurance,
Buy well and sell well. Above 30′ below 50′ would be my advice.
Golden Rule of all Golden rules never buy a boats without an out of water survey by a qualified marine surveyor.