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Old 10-12-2016, 13:56   #1
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Newbie to this forum

I'm reading, searching and learning.
I know this has been asked several times before, yet here it comes again..

I'm convinced, unless very lucky, whatever the used I buy, double it to make it sea-worthy.. Okay, ready.

The real question comes to costs of living aboard vs. land.
I'm in the mind set that it's pretty even. Actually thinking higher aboard.

Retirement time is here!
I'd love to winter somewhere warmer (live in the Northeast US).

Sure I could buy a condo, but I'd hate it...
I need to travel.

I have a couple areas in mind I think could suit the need, but reality sets in on what the 'real' costs are to dry dock the boat while not there, slip costs, you know, all those incidental costs no one looks at.

My two places right now are Dominican or Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico has the winning hand so far for sailing reasons, Dominican for price..

Suggest as you may.
Steer me into the right threads to read.
All suggestions, if friendly, are welcomed.
Remember, I'm a Newbie...
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Old 10-12-2016, 14:30   #2
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Re: Newbie to this forum

Hi use to live in Seattle living on sailboat moved to newbern n.c. bought a slip at newbern grandmÓrina love it. Look it up.65 and retired on the water
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Old 10-12-2016, 15:45   #3
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Wouldn't say double the price. Cheaper live aboard & travel, much cheaper. Of course you could make the cost go higher, and boring, like buying a boat slip and stay in one place.
Boat slips are $300 to $900 month. $900 or more in Keys. You can ask all your questions on this forum. (And search on sailnet or Google). The big thing for most people is getting rid of possessions & how do I not live in a house/condo. As you l
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Old 10-12-2016, 15:52   #4
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Sorry, --So, just part of the year. Call marinas on phone and you will get hands on idea of marina. Internet is fine but it will be real and you will get some "local" knowledge. *Guessing you are going to buy the boat in Puerto Rico ?
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Old 10-12-2016, 16:01   #5
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Re: Newbie to this forum

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, olddawg.
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Old 10-12-2016, 16:13   #6
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Re: Newbie to this forum

Welcome aboard CF, olddawgsrule,

Here are some ideas for you to consider:

1) Although you may feel that buying a boat to liveaboard and sail around is like buying an SUV, it isn't. Cars seem to hold up pretty well when ignored. Boats take offense: they don't like sitting unused, and deterioration occurs. Writing the concept in those words feels strange, but the reality is that boats have stuff go wrong with them while they're just "sitting". You depend on the boat to keep the water on the outside, to keep you safe.

2) Unless you are mechanically inclined and happy to tackle maintenance yourself, you will be out of pocket relying on often unreliable and sometimes unscrupulous people to do the work for you, at on the order of $100 US/hr., in addition to the mooring and storage and launch/lift charges from the marina. Furthermore, as you age, you become less able to do some of the work, and will find yourself paying out more for help with jobs.

I am presently 76 yrs. old, and in fairly good nick for a woman of my age, and a full time cruiser, still. I am noticing more and more that I am thinking in terms of hiring out work I would happily have done 10 years ago. Be warned. * It* has been sneaking up on me.

Ann
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Old 10-12-2016, 16:19   #7
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Re: Newbie to this forum

Well,thanks.
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Old 11-12-2016, 02:12   #8
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Re: Newbie to this forum

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Well,thanks.
And, thank you for your thanks.

I am sorry if you feel it is not what i should have written, but I have a whole lot of experience, and would feel remiss if I did not speak up.

However, I would like to say that your posts tried to make it all possible for the OP, and if he is so inclined, he may make very good use of them. But my caveats still hold.

Ann
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Old 11-12-2016, 09:06   #9
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Re: Newbie to this forum

Comparison of living costs on land or boat depends so much on location. After divorce the choice of living on a boat was less than half the cost of the high rents of the San Francisco area. Different calculation elsewhere
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Old 11-12-2016, 11:07   #10
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Re: Newbie to this forum

A lot has to do with your expectations, abilities, etc. So one liveaboard will mostly anchor out and dock for $$ only if unavoidable. Another will not even consider being away from a comfy marina with restaurants and social life. You get the drift. Same with repair/maintenance costs, etc. So the first question to ask is - what is my lifesyle, abilities, inclinations, etc. And to go from there.

Personally I think liveaboard if done smart can be way cheaper than land living, even if one stays at marinas, etc. I've seen full time cruisers live on less then $25K a year without any discomfort. Sure they usually don't go out to dinners unless to celebrate payment for a delivery or some such but on the other hand they often have freshest fish and seafood available at zero cost. Your choice.

In most any areas the cost of a dock in a marina will still be cheaper then a decent apartment in same area, especially if it's near the water. So if one could afford paying rent or mortgage one is surely able to afford paying the marina fees. In most urban areas of US just your typical real estate tax will probably be at least equal if not much greater than your annual dockage or mooring fees in same area. Here in MA the typical not so fancy house pays about $6-8K in RE taxes per year. One can get a dock spot which annualized will be about that much. They are dirt cheap in the winter of course so the annual rate comes out OK. And this is all without the mortgage expenses, etc. So if one could afford a mortgage, a real estate tax, HOA fees, etc, one can definitely afford to live at a marina, and even more so at the mooring or at anchor.
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Old 11-12-2016, 11:13   #11
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Re: Newbie to this forum

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Comparison of living costs on land or boat depends so much on location. After divorce the choice of living on a boat was less than half the cost of the high rents of the San Francisco area. Different calculation elsewhere
True. But even in Florida with its high cost marinas, a 35-40 footer can find a spot in convenient location for about 1,000-1,200 tops. Often much less then that, $500-600 in private homes/condos. And this is way cheaper than an apartment rent in similar location. Basically when living in an apartment or a house vs. liveaboard you are paying large storage fee premium to keep your couches and nick-knacks.
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Old 11-12-2016, 11:40   #12
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Re: Newbie to this forum

From one old dawg to another:

Proceed "with all deliberate speed" as the Navy usta say!

Here is my take: You cannot sustain any kinda crusing boat on a DYI basis UNLESS you have not only the skills, but also a WQRKSHOP. Very little of what you will need to do - and what you will want to do - to mould the "new" boat to your own preferences and habits, can you do by whittling it in your lap. You need tools, some of them specialized, and not just hand tools. It would defy immediate belief that you could have a yot big enuff to carry a workshop aboard. Ergo, you must have a shore base.


MyBeloved and I bought a cheap condo, DIRT CHEAP by Vancouver, B.C. standards, and we maintain a workshop of 80 x 20 feet containing my fifty year accumulation of tools. Total occupancy costs for the two spaces: a tad less than Can$500/mnth. That takes care of the security because it protects our entitlement to cheap British Columbia medical insurance and access to most excellent medical and dental services and all the other bits of the “safety net” afforded by the Canadian welfare state.


Find a boat offering the LIVING SPACE you need to be content. You won't be racing 'er (I assume) so don't be led astray in your selection of boat by the gung-ho racing afficionados, and be aware that MOST boats on the market are compromises between racing boats and cruising boats designed forty years ago in an attempt to keep EVERYBODY happy. Mass production led to boats that are now cheap, but are, from a cruising man's perspective, neither fish nor fowl. Though there are one of two popular mass produced makes of boats from that era I consider very foul indeed :-)!


The particular below decks layout is NOT terribly important, but make sure that the boat has such creature comforts as you, in your geezerhood, will need: A shower taking water from the sea so you can use it anytime the sea temperature (or your own hardyhood) permits. It should be plumbed to permit a quick, very quick, fresh water rinse after your seawater scrub, and that, obviously, has implications for your FW tankage. Given that MB and I are in the Salish Sea, marinas with excellent shore-side showering facilities are plentiful, so I for one can do without a ship-side shower. If the need is pressing, a “Liverpool wash” using a bucket of sea water followed by a wipe down with FW will do.


MyBeloved is NOT happy with staggered bunks forward, but a “double” bunk forward would effectively cost us a foot of length in TrentePieds' saloon, so if a double should for some incomprehensible reason be desired, the “dinette table”, which in our case is really the navigation table, should be “convertible” for use when on the hook. It's unlikely that a double will be required when underway :-) You can extrapolate from these few comments what compromises need to be made and how to make them.


Unlike Ann, on whom I have a year or two, but who got started early enuff to go where the coconuts grow, MB and I will spend the rest of our days on “the Wet Coast”. Rain in copious quantities is part of the divine dispensation for this neckathewoods, and staying dry, and getting dry after getting rained on, is a bit of a trick. But since we have our shore base, coming ashore for the monsoon season is no trick. Retaining a slip within an hour and a half's drive from base costs $400/month, so FIXED expenses are, say, Can$1K per month. That is still less, a lot less, than mortgage and condo fees for the sort of accommodation that most retired professionals would consider “suitable to their station”, let alone ownership costs of a “suitable” single family house. Where you will be going, as I understand your post, you'll need a bimini. We don't. We need a dodger. TrentePieds is a “pilot house” sloop, 'cept she isn't, cos there is no inside steering station. She has a luvverly deck-house, but she is not a “pilot house” sloop. Why would I want to steer from below decks anyway? Only gets in the way of keeping “a proper look-out” as required by colregs! I wear oilies when required.


TrentePieds is wheel steered. That will be rectified. As Ann said, buying a boat is NOT like buying a car. Neither, contrary to popular belief among lubbers, is handling a boat like handling a car. A wheel is a silly affectation in a 30-foot boat. It confers NO advantages. On the contrary! It interferes with having the “feel” of her when underway, and therefore with proper ship-handling, particularly when in close quarters, and for a cruiser it TOTALLY wrecks the usefulness of the “back porch” which is precious living space in a boat as small as 30 feet. Wheel steering may be considered in boats so big that the forces on the tiller grow beyond a geezer's ability to handle.


One final comment [lest I should go on forever :-)]: Buy a GOOD engine with a boat attached. Deficiencies elsewhere in the boat are less costly to remedy than buying a new engine. Whether an existing engine is good or not is difficult for an amatoor to determine, and a rebuild, if required, will cost you, including the re'n're, only three or four grand less than a brand new engine. So, bei mir, the answer is to buy a good boat with a JUNKER engine in the sure and certain knowledge that you will replace it immediately. The cost is eminently worth it. You'd get a brand new, say, Beta 25 with a brand new TwinDisk tranny, for Can$16K installed. That amount, and probably more, should be subtracted from the listing price of any boat you might like to bid on. It's a buyers' market – at least around here! You'll get piece of mind, reliability and better, more certain, boat handling.


Well, that should put the cat among the pigeons :-). But give it a thought. There is much more where that came from!


Cheers and best of luck


TrentePieds
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Old 11-12-2016, 11:52   #13
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Re: Newbie to this forum

We've never lived in a home ashore since moving out of our parent's houses, except for university housing, but we do have many years of similar incomes with friends living in houses. We have always enjoyed a greater discretionary income while living aboard. Our monthly costs of living aboard at marinas has been equivalent to just the utility bills and property taxes of those living in houses in the same area. Then, our costs are even further reduced when we are cruising and anchoring out most of the time.

We have occasional big expenses, but not much different that that new roof or kitchen remodel.

I haven't mowed a lawn since the Spring of 1965, but I've done the same keeping the deck and the bottom clean.

I say living on the boat will be less expensive and easily manageable.
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Old 11-12-2016, 12:17   #14
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Very good reads here Folks!
Thank you all so much!

I tried a couple responses earlier, but doesn't seem to be getting through..

I do know I will be based 'somewhere'. So Marina costs come in to the calculation. That somewhere 'will' be warm and only through the winter months. We really do like the Northeast, but winters are getting tiresome..
I can always visit back here if I wish to see snow.

I love the story/novel TP wrote! Bring on some more!
What your saying falls right in line of what I have in my mind.
As I layout the space to 'my' wife, I say can you live in a space that is the kitchen wide 11ft x length of the house 32ft?
I see that as the smallest I could go.

Had her on a J24 and she loved it, but.. to live aboard.. not going to happen.
I know, the J is a racer not a cruiser, but size and space.. Not going to happen.

I still think, as I wish to do this, it's a break even for costs. At least if I go into this that way and there is a savings.. All the better.
The big upside to me is the 'condo' is portable.
Ya, so is a trailer.. but I'm a Salty Dawg (old as it I am, lol) and trailers sink quickly..

Thank you all so much!
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Old 11-12-2016, 13:05   #15
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Re: Newbie to this forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrentePieds View Post
..........................
...........................
Here is my take: You cannot sustain any kinda crusing boat on a DYI basis UNLESS you have not only the skills, but also a WQRKSHOP. Very little of what you will need to do - and what you will want to do - to mould the "new" boat to your own preferences and habits, can you do by whittling it in your lap. You need tools, some of them specialized, and not just hand tools. It would defy immediate belief that you could have a yot big enuff to carry a workshop aboard. Ergo, you must have a shore base.
.................................................. ....................
TrentePieds
Here's a perfect example of letting us be aware that one answer will not fit all!

I'm sure that TrentePieds and I are both successful and experienced liveaboard cruisers and yet, my life aboard is well supported with no ownership of anything ashore while his requires a shore base.

We've been aboard as a couple on a 30' and 33' boat; with our two children from infancy on a 33' & 41' boat; and know back to just the two of us on our 41'. I do most of my own work, but I do send pieces out. I have removed items like starters, transmissions or sails and had them repaired or rebuilt in a shop. Then, I have these returned and I reinstall. I have replaced my rub rail, portlights, boarding ladder hatches hand rails, running rigging, stays & shrouds, anchor windlass, deck coring, life lines, hydraulic steering, heads, tanks, bottom paint and more without any shore base.

I just don't think this life aboard can be outlined with answers that will fit every boater's needs.
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