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Old 29-06-2018, 06:28   #1
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Live aboard size

First I’m single and have an Australian Shepherd dog.She is highly trained and will adapt easily. I’m not an intertainer and would not have a lot of visitors at any time.
Also I can do the maintenance myself and I’ll learn how to handle the boat myself...yeah I know it’s not always easy. This boat will be on the upper Miss river. Lots of boats here. There are at least 6 full timers in the chosen marina.

I’m looking at two group boat sizes and trying to compare them

These are Sea Ray Sundancers 98-2000 vintage.

Sizes, 37-39 foot and 40-45 foot.

So far I’ve looked at several in both groups. To me the 45 foot seems really nice however slip and winter prep for live aboard take a pretty big jump in this size.
About 1000 slip fee and 3-500 winterizing for live aboard.

The 30-39 foot is about a foot narrower but hardly noticed. Interior wise everything is just a little less all around. I would lose the washer/dryer and the built in vacuum as the most notable items.

In pictures you can hardly see any differences.
There is about 30 grand difference in purchase price. Over a grand in slip fees and 3-500 in winterizing.

The bigger boats have diesels and I’m told they get much better mpg if operated correctly. I have a diesel truck so I can handle the normal
Maintenance

One of the 45 footers has every thing need to jump in and go. Nice dinner ware,,all kitchen ware, new bedding,,boat chemicals,full set of ropes and mooring stuff, new big bumpers full set of original owners books, also accessory books and more.

Frankly the big boats are at the edge of my budget. I do work part time but that may dry up in about 4 Year’s. I’ll save ever dime I can as I have no real wants or needs. Medical would be the biggest expense.

So does any one have comments on these options?

Thanks
Byron
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Old 29-06-2018, 06:41   #2
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Re: Live aboard size

Byron, those big petrols in the smaller boats would worry me, certainly ruinous this side of the pond. Do you have speed limits on the upper miss? if so no point in having those engines.
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Old 29-06-2018, 09:33   #3
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Live aboard size

For living aboard a gas motor canít be beat, who needs motors to stay in a slip? Gas motored boats should go for way less money, always have. That is because Diesels are thought of as being safer, longer lived and frugal at the pump.
If your really going out in the boat often, avoid gas motors, but if itís just short trips once in a blue moon, like almost all liveaboards do, then embrace gas motors, just make sure the price you pay is heavily discounted for them.
Most people think they are going to use the boat more than they actually do.
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Old 29-06-2018, 09:49   #4
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Re: Live aboard size

↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑↑

+1 So true...
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Old 29-06-2018, 10:10   #5
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Re: Live aboard size

My wife and I lived aboard out 30 foot sea ray sundancer with our german shepherd, for 8 months.

Simple advice after having done it.... get a bigger boat than we have.
Friends a few docks down, (no dog, but a toddler in tow), had a 40 foot riviera had a much better live aboard setup.

Yes, gas engines are cheaper to buy and cheaper to service, but cost more to run. The break even point between gas/diesel in a boat like the sundancer (planing hull, go fast cruising power boat) is somewhere about the 40 foot Mark, below there, get gassers, above there get diesels.
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Old 29-06-2018, 17:20   #6
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Re: Live aboard size

Thanks for the quick replies.
Yes there are lots of speedlimits. Lots of no wake zones around marinas and a few party islands. There are many many personal water craft near swin areas and the party island. Good places to stay away from. Almost al moving bridges have no wake zones. You also have to be carful of barge traffic. Most of the channel is a minimum of 9 feet deep and at least 300 feet wide. They are well marked and charted. There are a number of lock and dams so going up and down the Mighty Miss can be exciting or a PIA dependIng on your mood. LOL

Most larger boat people cruise in the efficient zone for their boats. Gas and diesel are pretty expensive on the river. There are always exceptions but the river cops are plentiful and freely pass out tickets for misbehaving.

The first year I plan on really learning to handle the big boat. The marinas are like car lots.....catering to the smaller boats. I’ve watched some crazy stuff in the few times I’ve just walked the docks. Many, even long timers have a tough time backing a 33 footer in to the slip. I went to the chosen marina and we talked about different slips available. One he thought would be good was a 50 footer. Yeah 14 feet wide. The 45 foot SRS is 13’6” so only 3”” per side. I know the boat tapers some but not that much! How am I, a rank green horn going to back into that with 4-6 knot cross current an 20-25 mph winds like tonight. No bow thruster either. Besides it’s exactly 100 deg until about 8pm. So we negotiated a 16 foot wide x50 feet for the same price. It still will be interesting the first time. I imagine there will be the whole gang out watching the newbie.

There is a nice practice pool not far away so I’ll be there often.

This boat will partially replace my hotrodding and streetrod hobby so I expect to be out in the boat quite a bit.

The end of Oct to first of April is our winter so we will be tied up until then.

I spent a couple hours last week end in the office discussing live aboard and boat stuff in general. I did learn first hand. We can have some really nasty weather in the winter so you do have to pay attention to things.

We work on RV trailers and occasionally motor homes. Winter screw ups are common on these. Lots of frozen stuff.

Fortunately my dog is all weather so she won’t be a problem. With fewer people and fewer dogs around we should be ok. Training classes are farther away but that’s easy.

I’m going to look at another 45 tomorrow and hopefully another 370 next week.
Then I’ll start the financials and make an offer. It will take time. I will have to try and break my apt lease but it’s pretty ironclad and expensive to break.

Thanks again everyone,
Byron
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Old 29-06-2018, 21:29   #7
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Re: Live aboard size

Try to find one with a Diesel heater, electric is expensive and make sure your 50 amp power if you expect to heat with electricity. Heat pumps wonít work when the water gets cold, so if your air conditioners are also heaters, when itís real cold and you really need them, they wonít work.
Does the marina turn off the water in the winter? How about pumpouts?
Does the water freeze there? You may need a bubbler.
Just me but itís colder on s Boat in cold weather than in a house, and condensation is a bear. Mildew is a real issue, there is a great mildew killer sold at Loweís and Home Depot, put in on everything hidden before mildew gets started.

Diesel heat is the ticket, I donít have it, but I donít expect to ever be in the cold. Itís a dry heat and that is good.
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Old 30-06-2018, 04:32   #8
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Re: Live aboard size

Iíll have to check on the heat system. Iím pretty sure the generator is diesel on diesel boats. We just installed a propane heat system in an old Airstream Classic trailer. I agree on heat pumps. I lived in the Carolinas and we had heat pumps there. Expensive and not very good.
The 50 foot slips have 50 amps electric.

The marina has water year around. Not sure exactly how it works. He said there is a hose youn pull up and connect to your white hose to fill the water tanks.

They pump the black water once a month. More if you need it. He has a special cart he uses.

They use a bubbler and a prop system to keep the water moving.

Iíll use a dehumidifier for sure. They do shrink wrap the boat you have to brush the snow off but it usually just blows off as they build a tall peak like a house on the deck. These act like a dead air space in an attic so it helps insulate the boat.
It gets really dry up here in the winter, especially when it gets really cold. Using catalytic heaters you do need some circulation as they create a lot of moisture.
Thanks for the anti mildew tip.

Byron
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Old 30-06-2018, 06:24   #9
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Re: Live aboard size

Within reason, I'd guess bigger is often better for a liveaboard. We've spent several months aboard, and appreciate having as much interior space as we have... but then we also appreciate not "living in a cave" as in much of the interior space in a Sundancer or similar.

Onboard laundry would be a good thing; schlepping laundry up and down a dock, maybe driving to a laundromat... pain in the neck.

In that area, a serious heat source (better than just reverse-cycle heat) would be critical, as would a periodic pump-out and fresh water solution. Maybe need to run a de-icer (or two?) next to the boat during winter, too. (BTW, reverse cycle heating, similar to a heat pump, is actually relatively efficient... until water temps fall below the lower limits. Ours works fine down to about 42F as far as I can tell... but then we have our own metered electricity, too,so we pay for that.)

Clearance on either side of the slip is manageable; yes, boats taper. Also, you can add a bow thruster if it becomes necessary.

Diesel vs. gas is a well-developed debate, and break even (so to speak) is mostly about your expected "mileage" over time. There are some other issues -- safety, your own mechanical background, etc. -- but it almost comes down to whether you want to pay your eventual fuel costs up front or over time.

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Old 30-06-2018, 17:36   #10
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Re: Live aboard size

I looked at another 45 footer today. The canvas was on with only the rear entry open. We had another near record hot day. It was 122 deg according to my thermometer on the bridge and aft deck. Plus it was very humid. Iíve only been that hot once in my life and that was in the race car. It was a real challenge to inspect the cockpit area to say the least. Once I got relatively acclimated I spent about half hour poking around. Definitely need to open up the canvas.

Below decks it was very comfortable with the AC purring softly. I was surprised at the amount of water it was pumping over Board. Iíd guess several gallons per minute per side.

This boat has a diesel generator. It has 50 amp shore power available with a 50 amp capable retractable cord.

It has quite large heat strips in the heating system but definitely will need auxiliary heat in the cold weather. Iíll get more info when I chat with the marina I would moor at.

This boat had about a foot total,clearance but the slip was only about 35 feet long.

This boat comes fully equipped to travel with kitchen utensils, new CO detectors, new fire extinguishers, all tie downs are like new, big bumpers, life jackets, throwables, even two binoculars, as well as about everything for summer cruising. Also all documentation. All in all, pay and play.

My sister, ever the accountant, asked about tax liabilities as well as tax advantages. Comments?

Byron
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Old 30-06-2018, 17:55   #11
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Re: Live aboard size

She is the Accountant. A boat with a kitchen and a head can be a home for tax purposes, but that is all I know.
Do not think about propane heat, propane is heavier than air, any leak will go down to the boat and may well blow it up. That is why we have solenoids to turn the gas off to the stove when we are through and why the tank is never onboard, itís in a locker with a drain that will drain any propane gas leak overboard.
Boats are insulated about as well as a metal shed, without our sun cover, you can feel the heat on the inside if you put your hand on the ceiling, and itís about three inches thick.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:00   #12
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Re: Live aboard size

I got a whole bunch more to deal with today. Boat loan, Coast Guard, state registration, various means of financing. Fortunately my bank is into boat specific loans so I stop in Monday and learn more.

Itís also about 120 mile trip upstream and I think there are four locks to go through. Not a big deal but there are lots of big barges going up and down stream.

Byron
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:32   #13
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Re: Live aboard size

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
For living aboard a gas motor canít be beat, who needs motors to stay in a slip? .
And on that note, if its destined to be a marina boat, why not just get a houseboat.
A lot more room and comfort.
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Old 01-07-2018, 05:35   #14
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Re: Live aboard size

There are so many neat places to visit along the river that you just don’t normally get to see. There are lots of parks that have docks and landings, many nice diners right on the waterfront. My boat will not be a slip queen.

As for room...I just don’t need it. I have a two bedroom apt now that I Use one bedroom just to store stuff.. with exception of a bike And a vac cleaner I have not looked at anything in there in a year so it will all get donated. I use the kitchen and master bed room for every thing.

Besides I don’t want a house boat. If I wanted that style I’d have an RV that I could drag around with my 1 ton dually.
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Old 01-07-2018, 06:44   #15
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Re: Live aboard size

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Originally Posted by Bentwings View Post
My sister, ever the accountant, asked about tax liabilities as well as tax advantages. Comments?

The simplest version is that you can deduct mortgage interest from our gross income, assuming the eventual boat you end up with meets "second home" (or home) requirements. (So far.) Except for any additional Alternative Minimum Tax calculations.

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