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Old 15-03-2011, 14:53   #1
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Challenge: My Struggle

Hello Everyone, this is what I have on the plate... ok where to begin. Well i live in southern Indiana in a town that is dieing there are no job that pay more then 10 hr for my skill set and rent here is 700 min a month plus ETC unless you go to gov. housing, but im not one to roll over and die. So I deceased that a move is in order. Im devoiced with two wonderful kids, so i thought that if i move to Fl i would have them longer then 2 days at a time and with a boat i would be able to show them other cultures. There mom is a good mom but she has no culture has only left the state once. I would like to be able to show my kids the world when there with me. So heres the questions

1 Is it good parenting to have young kids on a sail boat ? ( i ask becouse there mom keep saying liveabourd is the same as being homeless and that the judge would never let children stay with a homeless parent )

2 Im a rough and trim Carpenter i can weld with stick and mig and have worked in a body shop and even build a fiberglass canoe so working on my boat i can do most by myself, So what other skills will i need to learn to fit a boat other then sailing of course?

3 i was wondering how the job market is in sw FL? (on craiglist there is a lot but whos to say thats good judge of that really going on there)

4 Am crazy for thinking of selling every thing i have to move to fl and live aboard a boat

Thank you all for your time

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Old 15-03-2011, 15:08   #2
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Re: My Struggle

Carpentry is pretty hard to find a job right now. Even if you can I don't know what the wages are like in SW FL but it may not be more then $10. In order to keep a boat operational yo will need mechanical and electrical skills as well as those that you have. Living on a boat is not homeless but if you can't get the ex wife to agree you are going to have a tough time convincing a judge to let the kids live with you. NO you are not crazy but you need to line up your ducks in a row in order to make it work.

Fair Winds,


Between us there was, as I have already said somewhere, the bond of the sea. Besides holding our hearts together through long periods of separation, it had the effect of making us tolerant of each other's yarns -- and even convictions. Heart of Darkness
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Old 15-03-2011, 15:27   #3
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Re: Challenge: My Struggle

I think you have realised how important it is to live in a more financially and culturally sustainable way.
When money and future security is at risk, the only way to survive is to have more control over your living costs and be independant of government and state, ie, not relying on others for your job, self sufficient of rising fuel costs etc.

If you have the skills and abilities to take care of yourself its certainly going to be more cost effective. A good boat is the marine version of living in an earthship home, - you are more in touch with nature and have more chance of dictating your destiny

As for courts and child access, I guess many have a greivance story, but luckily I dont have any experience.
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Old 15-03-2011, 17:54   #4
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Re: Challenge: My Struggle

As far a living conditions go, living in a boat is almost identical to living in an RV. Does she consider living in an RV homeless? Millions of Americans live in RVs, so I do not think most would.

Most of the kids I have met who live on boats are amazing kids. Good parenting is good parenting, it matters not if you live in a boat or an apartment. By law (at least in my state) children cannot share bedrooms with adults and male children cannot share bedrooms with female children. If you will be trying to convince a judge, make sure you have enough bedrooms.

If you are reasonably handy, most boat skills will come pretty quick. 12v electrics, diesel mechanics, fiberglass work, simple plumbing. Sailing and seamanship are more difficult to learn, but there are plenty of resources available to help.

Provided you work out your custody situation, I think if you sell out and move aboard in a year you will think everyone who stayed behind is crazy.
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Old 15-03-2011, 18:29   #5
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Re: Challenge: My Struggle

i want to say thank you to you all and i like your advice.
What is the biggest safety issue with 2 and 3 years old on a mid sized boat 30-40ft area other then falling in the drink or bumped heads ? ( them i have ideas for... harnesses and foam corner pads)

thank you for you time
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Old 15-03-2011, 18:43   #6
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Re: Challenge: My Struggle

You could live on a boat. Taking care of a 2 and 3 year old? Okay if you are not sailing. Otherwise it is a full time job. They don't call them the terrible twos for nothing. I would have safety concerns apart from the difficulties of such a confined space.
As for introducing them to culture - one you have no chance of taking them out of the country, two for some years it is not practical anyway as a solo parent. There are all sorts of things kids can learn given a supportive learning environment, including culture, without being exposed to other countries.
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Old 15-03-2011, 18:58   #7
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Re: Challenge: My Struggle

Unless you have unusual talent in carpentry, you will not likely see more than $10/hr here. That said, right now there are few construction jobs even available here. Another problem is that live aboard are sort of frowned upon here and of the marinas that allow it the rates are high. In Sarasota, Marina Jack adds $400/mo to their normal rent of $13/ft/mo. Add the purchase and maintenance of a boat and you are miles past your current rent. Of course you could live on the hook, but again the areas that permit it are few and often quite restrictive.

I don't want to rain on your dream, but I see a lot of people come here expecting something entirely different than what they find. They are few who stay more than a couple months, then head home with their tails tucked.

My advise would be to go back to school and get some training in a field that is in high demand.... In SW FL, it is healthcare. Nurses make $50K+ to start! Various Techs make $30K to $70K depending on the field and experience. Government jobs are not good here right now, so forget being a cop, firefighter, or the like for now.

The economy here is no better than elsewhere, in fact Florida's unemployment is above average. There are a LOT of people in your boat (pun intended).
Any fool with a big enough checkbook can BUY a boat; it takes a SPECIAL type of fool to build his own! -Capngeo
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Old 15-03-2011, 19:21   #8
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Re: Challenge: My Struggle

You might try South Texas instead.

Corpus has a pretty decent boating community. Pretty nice marina. It's not really up to the Flordia Keys level of things, but what is? I like it down here. The beachs are not as nice, but not as heavily regulated. The water isn't as clear, but the fish still taste good.

South Texas is in the middle of a huge oil boom. The higher the price of oil goes, the bigger the boom gets. If you can show up to work, you can get a job paying alought better than $10/hr. I know more than a few oil field equipment operators that are pulling down in excess of 100k a year after 1 years worth of experence. However, those were LONG hours with basicly as much overtime as they could hanndle.

Oil feild welders are in high demand. If you are certified, or can get certified, you can make alought of money. Again, long hours, and unlimited overtime at high wages. The oil bussness is doing REALLY well right now, and there is bascily unlimited volumes of work.

If you do come down, be ready for when the oil boom ends. It will end, and when it does, it will be all of a sudden. Don't expect the gravy train to last for forever. Last time when it ended, I showed up for work on a friday, to find out that I wasn't going out on a job on monday. That was it, and things were shut down for almost a year. I got some side work, and small jobs, but almost nothing for a year. Now it's back with a vengence. We are completely out of sync with the rest of the country. We are in a FULL scale boom. I don't know how to better explain that.

If anyone knows anyone that needs a job. Get the word out, we NEED people in South Texas. Expecally people willing to work outdoors. If your not wiling to work outdoors, admins, wait staff, etc is all hireing in a hurry. I'm not sure how long this is going to last, but it should for quite a while.
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Old 15-03-2011, 19:26   #9
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Re: Challenge: My Struggle

I'll second that, I've just spent the day in south texas hiring oilfield equipment operators. Some of our guys are pulling in over 100k and Corpus is less than an hours drive away. Much more liveaboard friendly too.
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Old 15-03-2011, 19:50   #10
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Re: Challenge: My Struggle

thank you all
1 Capngeo hey i like a lil rain from time to time so thank you
2 im only going to have the kids a couple months a year probably broke in to 2 week most of the year and a month in the summer is what im tring for.
3 what i meant by culture is anything beautiful that i can show them.
4 South Texas what the gang situation there i mean are you seeing any of the drug war spilling over?

thank you all very much
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Old 15-03-2011, 19:53   #11
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Re: Challenge: My Struggle

KC, I grew up in your area so I know where your comming from. I also was Divorced in Southern Indiana and Ill tell you now the Judges are biased toward the mothers, not my opinion that is what the Judge told me. My advice to you is to move to a bigger town, Jeffersonville In or Louisville Ky would be a great start and either get education or a better paying job. Louisville has a couple of sailing clubs there and you can learn to sail while saving money for that 30-40 ft boat and be close to your kids. I dont want to quash your dream but reality is speaking here. After a few years you will have money to get the boat, pay for the maintenance(even if you do it your self you will still have yard bills, insurance and haulout bills to pay). You will know something of sailing and your kids will be older. As a side note you may find your priorities will have changed after you've had a chance to reflect on what is actually involved in living aboard a sail boat in a hurricaine prone area. I wish the best of luck to you and If I can do it you can too, just do it smart think about what you are trying to accomplish.
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Old 15-03-2011, 20:13   #12
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Re: Challenge: My Struggle

Almost nothing of the gangs make it accrost the boarder. And basicly none of it seems to make it's way into Corpus Christi. I don't expect any of the gang wars to make it accrost the boarder. No one down here that I know does. If you go to Laredo, there are some areas that you don't want to go, but that's no diffrent than any other city.

As far as culture, Corpus Christi is an old city for North America, with history going back to the Spanish times. It has the State Aquarium, baseball, proformance halls and what not. It also has some of the nicest beachs in Texas. They're not Flordia levels, but not bad.

San Antonio is one of the oldest in North America, with LOUGHTS of history, as well as strongly steeped in Texas history and tradition. It's also full of stuff for tourists, and is only 3 hours down the road.

I'm not sure what your looking for as far as culture. Houston and Galvaston are also 4 hours of driving away. Houston is about the 3rd largest city in the US, with Galvaston being one of the more intersting cities around. There are also loughts of bays for exploring when you have a boat.

Also, Flordia is just accrost the Gulf. On the month that you hae the kids, you could sail accrost and meet them over there, see everything S. Flordia has to offer, and then sail back when it's time for them to go home. Depending on what kind of a boat you get of course.

You could also easily get an apartment, and a trailer type day sailer. Loughts of boat ramps around, so you could sail all over the place and explore. Having an apartment, a steady job, and a BIG paycheck will probably help you as much as anything else in a divorce court.

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