Why a sailboat as a means of bugging out? Well, a cabin sailboat on a trailer is no different than a travel trailer. It is a rolling home, with all the comforts of home. You can sleep, cook, shower, toilet etc. In the right boat you can literally go anywhere in the world. In the continental U.S. the waterways are practically everywhere. In the north, as long as the roads are passable you can trailer the right boat to open waterways. You can, almost sail from one coast to the other.
But, like so many things it is the size that counts. If a cabin sailboat is too small there is no room for amenities or storage, too large and it will be impossible to tow and launch without a large truck.
Another thing to consider is the tall and heavy mast. Even a boat under 20 feet requires a couple of strong men or a forklift to step the mast. Here is where the brand of boat is important. Some cabin sailboats have folding masts. A folding mast has a hinge at the bottom which allows you to raise the mast without much trouble at all.
The next consideration is the draft of the cabin sailboat. The draft is the depth of the water needed to float the boat. A sailboat requires a keel to stabilize it and to sail against the wind. This means that some cabin sailboats have to stay in deep water while others can go through relatively shallow water. Some sailboats are full keeled meaning the hull of the boat extends down to act as a keel, other sailboats have are fin keeled, they have a solid wing shaped appendage attached to the bottom of the hull. And some sailboats have a swing keel under them, a heavy fin that can be pulled up and down, up in shallow water, down in deeper water. The different keels require their own unique trailer, one that can accommodate the size and shape of the keel.
Finally and probably most importantly is the cost. Most people think cabin sailboats are only for those who have a lot of money. Yes, sailboats can cost big bucks but, not all of them. As an experienced, lifelong boater who has worked in boat yards and marinas for many years, I can tell you that you can have a ready to go cabin sailboat for less than you might think. I am not saying you will own a yacht or a pristine jewel but, a used cabin sailboats on a trailer with sails, in working condition can be found for as little as a $1,000 to $1,500. You might have to do some cosmetic repairs, or replace some fittings and it might need some painting or the cushions recovered. But they are out there. Not every cabin sailboat is perfect for bugging out. Here is where my experience and knowledge will help you.
First is the size. It depends on how many people will be staying onboard. When I was young I lived on my full keeled 35 foot, wooden Nova Scotia Schooner for 5 years and I could not sail it singlehanded. It was too big and required 6 feet of water to float, not good in the shallow waters of the Florida Keys.
I have known couples that lived comfortably aboard 22 foot long cabin sailboats and families of four living on 25 footers.
But which brand of cabin sailboat is the perfect bug out sailboat? The answer is the most common of them all, MacGregor. MacGregors range from 19 feet to 50 feet. MacGregors are built in California U.S.A. they are found around the world. They have been sailed around the world by dozens if not hundreds of people. MacGregors are built out of fiberglass; they don't rust or rot and will last for years and years and years. In fact the older they are the better they are. Most MacGregors have a folding mast and a swing keel, the best of both worlds. Most MacGregors have a pop-up cabin top. The roof of the cabin can be swung up to allow standing room while at anchor or on land in the travel trailer mode. The reason that MacGregors are so cheap is that they have made so many of them for so many years, they still make them. MacGregors are not known for their quality. The hulls are rather thin but, that is a good thing, MacGregors are light weight. Easy to tow, launch and retrieve. Most MacGregors use an outboard motor for auxiliary power. This makes them easy to remove for repair and or storage.
For me the MacGregor 25 is the perfect bug out sailboat for a family of four, plus a dog and a cat. They can sleep five adults. It is not too big and not too small. The cabin is large with lots of storage space and a cooking galley, some have a head and shower and all have a large cockpit. They have a folding mast and swing keel and a pop-up cabin top. A quick check at SailboatListings.com and I found a bunch of MacGregors for sale. The price of a ready to go, on a trailer with outboard motor and working sails ranges from $2,500 to $3,500 at the bottom end and $4,000 to $5,000 on the high end. See the examples I have posted. I have no affiliation with MacGregor Boat Inc. or SailboatListings .com.
AfleetAlex, as I said in this posting I lived on a sailboat for 5 years and there are thousands of people who live full time on sailboats many raising families. A good boat is designed and built to carry lots and lots of supplies.In my case the sailboat is how I get to my secret place. It is far from any habitations, approachable only by water and where only a local could find it without becoming hopelessly lost. I have my supplies and even a large garden plot there. It is so concealed that you could pass within a hundred feet and never see it. As for pirates, never a problem when you are never in one place for more than a day. I have motion detectors that warn me if anyone approaches and it is very hard to sneak-up to a boat, you can see a long way and hear even farther. But, a boat is certainly not for everyone but I think some people should consider it.
BIGmuddyBRONCO, ha ha, but I don't get your logic... I was Air Force so I will never fly in an air plane again? Oh, and is that picture of you with the fish taken with you in a boat? LOL Just asking..cause bugging out in a boat isn't for everyone..
Bugging Out in a boat does have one advantage: When the 10 million ignorant zombies run for the hills to survive and set the whole forest ablaze cuz they don't know how to properly build and maintain a fire; burning down all of our lovingly crafted BOL's, Martin will be watching from the high seas, saying I told you so....
I was on an aircraft carrier Martin. The living conditions on a Navy ship are cramped at best. spending 6 months at sea with 6000 people who are doing their best to annoy you gets to ya a bit. And the fish is a 14 inch crappie I caught on the river by where I used to live. I actually love the water I was just kiddin around...