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Old 23-04-2015, 21:08   #16
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

You need to buy 2 boats...

your first boat is what you learn sailing on. It should be a popular model in ready to sail condition so you have no problems selling it later.

then you'll learn to sail, and learn what you like and don't like about your boat.

Sell that boat, and buy the boat that fits your personality.

I don't care how many books you read, or how many forum people respond, you'll never know what boat is right for you until you get some sea time.
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Old 23-04-2015, 21:18   #17
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
You need to buy 2 boats...

your first boat is what you learn sailing on. It should be a popular model in ready to sail condition so you have no problems selling it later.

then you'll learn to sail, and learn what you like and don't like about your boat.

Sell that boat, and buy the boat that fits your personality.

I don't care how many books you read, or how many forum people respond, you'll never know what boat is right for you until you get some sea time.
Oh, I hope not! The only bigger boats I had been on before we bought our liveaboard were docked. Our sea trial was the first time I used a winch to trim a sheet. My partner told me I was turning the handle the wrong way on the two speed winch It has been almost a year and so far we love living and sailing on her!
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Old 23-04-2015, 21:36   #18
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

The issue of the place to go when a hurricane is projected to hit Florida is a good topic for discussion. Especially if one is intending to be only "anchor out" with their boat and liveaboard too.

I will be faced with this same issue if I move to Florida this year.

Here is a Google Custom Search of this forum for the key word "hurricane."

hurricane - Google Search

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Here is one of my favorite tips to people new to this forum: Search the Forum Using Google Custom Search

What follows is written in a truly friendly tone of voice and with the sole intent to help you. 

There have been threads posted on the forum discussing many topics at length, with differing opinions. But quickly finding the right thread and the right answer could take a while, if one just browses the forum.

Since you are relatively new to the forum, here is a friendly tip: Look at the green menu bar on the forum pages for the drop down "Search" menu. Click on that to drop down a list of search functions. From that drop down menu select the GOOGLE CUSTOM search feature (the second box down) and then enter several different descriptive terms for your topic of interest. That will do a Custom google search of ONLY this site and it is likely to find answers to your questions or results for you. It is the best and fastest method I have found to the answers I seek here. 

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Old 23-04-2015, 21:49   #19
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

I too live in the mountains of NC and while I drive to the coast to sail, there are lakes that are good to learn sailing in the area. Lake Norman comes to mind as well as some smaller ones which may be closer to your exact location. I bought my first sailboat years ago never having sailed. It was a 26 ft S2 center cockpit with a 2 foot draft. I sailed it for 2 years going aground more times than I can count trying to explore the many coves on the Chesapeake. Two years later I bought another boat with a 6 foot draft(actually 5' 8" according to the design brochure) and lived aboard and sailed the east coast for the next 20 years. I still went aground a few times with my continued exploring, but not nearly as much as with that S2. A depth finder does help.


My suggestion is to get to some of these local lakes and go sailing. I too am an engineer and having employed dozens of engineers in my business, most were resourceful and able to solve problems. I'm sure if you really want to do something that it can be done. Mistakes may be made, but learn from them and continue to follow those dreams no matter what your age. Good Luck.
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Old 23-04-2015, 22:10   #20
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

Quote:
Originally Posted by autumnbreeze27 View Post
You need to buy 2 boats...
Yes I do. Please send a check to...
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Old 23-04-2015, 22:31   #21
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

I have a similar time frame and have gotten great advice here, so this is
my plan. I too am planning on moving to Fla. when the Admiral retires
in 4 years. Although I have sailed on and off
my whole life and previously owned boats
I went out and bought a 19' pocket cruiser (Mariner 2+2)
and sail it single handed 2,3,4 days a week on a nearby lake building my skills
and most important having more fun than a human should.
Once or twice a year (hopefully more during the next few years)
I crew on other peoples big boats. You screw up on a small boat and
you know it very very quickly. Instant feedback is a good teacher.
True Story, I had to explain to the owner of a brand new 50 footer
why a backed jib slows the boat. The man didn't have a clue what Heave-To
meant or how to do it. I practice this at least once every time I go out.
I'm also spending some time and money getting a bunch of certifications.
mostly for when I talk to captains about joining their boats.
In the next four years besides sailing certs I plan on earning a Ham License
and maybe an EMT cert. Already have Advanced Open Water Scuba.
I have always wanted to do a circumnavigation and maybe with a bit of
luck and health and wealth I will be able to.
But I just Love sailing, getting out in the sun, wind in my face
getting from A to B with just the power, furry and beauty of Nature.
So if I cant do the Circumnavigation I'm gonna get to know the Bahamas
and Caribbean real good for sure.

The advice I got here and which I pass on is
Get a Small Boat and go SAILING
If you fall in love with it, Things will fall into place.
North Carolina is dotted with lakes,
Find the one closest, buy a Daysailer
and Just Go Sailing,
Simple

A few years ago I did the ICW from Norfork to Beaufort
and there were spots to anchor but parking and living there long term
would be a dramatic pain in the butt. Mostly they were used by folks
making their way north or south who needed a break or didn't want to
drive at nigh or just didn't want to pay for a Marina.
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Old 23-04-2015, 22:50   #22
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

Hi JW, some similarities between us (except the buying part) - but without suggesting what I think you should do, but rather suggest what you can do (if you wish). About your living in the mountains - I think I've got you there, I live near the Tetons in Wyoming, but nonetheless, I just spent a month blue-water sailing in the Pacific, as an unpaid crew (courtesy of a posting in "crews wanted", here). And DenverDan commented, getting some lessons to get started is really valuable, especially if it is where you can "live aboard", then you have "full immersion" (so to speak).

But to your original question: I lived aboard one summer, at stake moorings, so not exactly at anchor. My comment is that there are practical issues, as in my case, I didn't move the boat (except for refueling), but was only a five minute row in the dingy (as Ms. SailorChic suggested) to the dock and a hot shower and my car which becomes a life line, so I could drag a laptop, luggage & groceries back and forth.

As you get more remote, you are getting into resupply issues - you're camping (or cruising). And as a software consultant (I'd call myself a programmer), don't overlook being on the grid, although sounds like you'd be in cell range (off-shore of Central America, we were not). Sat phones & modems are quite, ah, dicey (flakey, IMHO) and expensive to use.

But I mainly wanted to endorse the crew experience opportunity, the listings will usually say what level of experience is expected - some will say open to "all experience levels" - rare is the captain or other crew, who won't go out of their way to share their experience and impart informal training to a less experienced crew member. And don't worry, you'll learn all the boat systems quite well, even as a guest crew, you'll be fixing (or asked to help fix) all sorts of things. So the key is being ready to hop on an opportunity in short notice, keep the sea bog packed (and the bank account prepared) for a last minute sailing opportunity, there is nothing else like it. Share as things develop & hope it goes well.
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Old 23-04-2015, 23:17   #23
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

You might like to visit SailFar.net, a friendly forum for small boat sailors and liveaboards. There's a thread titled: The $10/$20 or even free composting head.
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Old 23-04-2015, 23:25   #24
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

SoftGoods,

I will definitely keep my eyes peeled for a crew position, I would take that in a heartbeat. And yes, I will investigate local sailing.

I am a database analyst / programmer, C# / SQL Server mostly. I make good money but we all have places where money must go.

I have a 19' RV currently that I pull around this part of the east coast. It is time to move from my land yacht to a sea yacht.

Yes, I can and do perform my job from anywhere that I can get cell in the US. Verizon.

I remote into servers using my cell phone as a wifi hotspot, and do all of my work there. So sitting on an anchor in site of a cell tower I am good to go. I already sit in my apartment (or RV) doing my work so why not sit in a boat doing my work? Sounds good to me.

I am able to just lighten my load and go live on a boat. But at 60 my window is closing rapidly. The old "spend a few years sailing on lakes first" is just not in my future.

The old "buy two boats" is likewise not in my future. Lots of people, all with good intentions, all with their own opinions, but in the end it is time to act. I could very well live another 25 years but will I be physically able to solo my way around wherever I want to go?

So "buy two boats, sail for a few years, then..." is just a non-starter. I am where I am, I know what I need to do if I want to do this. Or I can just fade into the sunset reading this forum from the safety of my apartment.

What would y'all do?

Never mind... I'll get 47 wildly varying opinions asking that question.
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Old 23-04-2015, 23:54   #25
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

Oh, I forgot to add "60 is the new 40" (or at most 50). I'm 64 and the Capn and one of the crew had four or five years on me. So don't plan to leave the dance too early, our respective health's being willing, of course. Not that prudent planning isn't called for, I appreciate your perspective on the "two boats" theory - as I do believe you can gain those insights on other folks cruses. But yes, browse the "crews wanted", great fun, even when I'm landlocked in the mountains here, especially when it hits -30 or so. May the wind be with you.
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Old 24-04-2015, 00:16   #26
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

Different methods of learning are not exclusive; you can mix and match books, videos, crewing, watching, taking lessons, taking sailing vacations, and buying a small sailing dinghy and messing around on a local lake. It's all good, and different people learn best in different ways. And doing different kinds of learning and sailing make it all go faster and the different approaches will reinforce each other.
And, especially with some sort of mentor / teacher / example to follow, it should be only a matter of hours to learn the very rudiments; from that point you can learn different things in different ways and in different order and none need be the wiser.
Everyone has different learning styles, resources, budgets, strengths, and obstacles, so one size does not fit all in learning to sail and cruise.
Also... There is NO one perfect boat. Boats are compromises; some more specialized or successful than others. And the perfect boat for you right now, if it were to exist, probably will NOT be the perfect boat after you acquire more experience and develop new interests. The best boat to learn and do stupid stuff on may not be the best boat to cruise or live on. Such is the nature of the beastie. And watch out for that Donald Rumsfeld feller and his "unknown unknowns". And that's not even getting into Mr. Murphy and Ms. Serendipity.
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Old 24-04-2015, 00:41   #27
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

And...
While some people have been successful and happy buying right into a large-ish yacht, that is a higher-risk strategy than doing more preparation and practice. And, the prep and practice can be part of the fun and excitement.
A smaller boat tends to give much more immediate feedback for learning to sail, and almost forces you to be a better sailor; on a larger boat, screw-ups may not be so obvious ... which may be good for reassuring passengers, but not so good for learning to sail well. (And the newbie boo-boos are probably cheaper to fix on a smaller, simpler boat.)
Owning and running a bigger (or older, or more specialized, or exotic, or poorly or weirdly maintained) boat tends to be proportionately more about boat management and systems. Starting out with smaller, simpler boats, or other people's boats / rental boats / crewing tends to let you focus more on the basic sailing experience.
Perhaps you are already a master electrician / boat surveyer / electronics expert / plumber / cabinetmaker / canvasworker / fiberglass tech / mechanic / welder / job estimator / systems engineer who rebuilds RVs, space shuttles, and aircraft carriers for breakfast. But if not, all that systems stuff, on a too-much larger / older / funkier boat, may add some frustration and distraction from learning to sail and make the learning curve steeper than it needs to be, and steal too much time from the fun part.
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Old 24-04-2015, 01:12   #28
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

The simple answer to your basic question, is YES, it's fully possible to live on a boat sans any permanent connections to anything land based.

For instance, from '96-'98 I lived aboard my 31' Searunner trimaran in SoCal. I got by okay on $400/mo. total. Which included; $60/month for a mooring (for a good bit of time living aboard), a reliable (paid for) car, cell phone, plus one or two other fixed expenses.

Having a good dinghy was/is key (I had 2, lots of deck space on a trimaran). Especially as my "commute" was 1/3 mile each way (via oar).

All of my electricity came from a 2.5sqft solar panel (plus, in the winter I'd hoist up my Redwing wind generator once a week). The panel gave me enough juice to watch 2hrs of TV (on an old, high draw, CRT TV), & to read @ all hours, with or without the stereo on.

"Trash day" was once a week, & typically was a 2/3 full, small plastic grocery bag.
I ate healthy, inexpensively, but well, & routinely had neighbors over for a meal & or cocktails.

The biggest jobs, which ashore or in a marina (or dockside) would have been simple, were:
- Fetching water, or filling my tanks
- Rowing laundry ashore, to do the Laundromat thing
- Grocery shopping & rowing them home, & stowing them

It was a fairly comfortable life, with good neighbors. Other locales to visit, drop the hook & call home for a while, Plenty of friends ashore & in various marinas in the region.

Probably the biggest thing which is different when living on the hook, then what's already been mentioned is that you have to be self sufficient. From being able to fix things onboard. To carrying a larger quantity of boat necessities, like:
- Garden hose for filling your tanks, & washing the boat on occasion
- Extra mooring lines & pennants, anchor rodes, anchors, chain, shackles, fenders, etc.
And a lot of the items which you'll see cruisers talk about stocking up on. Including the tools & materials to fix, & build things onboard. Although since you'll be US based, you wont need the quantity of spare that cruisers carry, as parts are easy to come by here.

On the boat choice, I've one tip. Make sure that the cockpit's slightly bigger & more comfy than you think you need. As it's your primary space to hang out in, & see the world. And or to entertain in, in nice weather. Ditto on having comfortable lounging space topsides.

And I know that you're already reading a LOT, but a book that'll be REAL helpful is All In The Same Boat All in the Same Boat: Family Living Aboard and Cruising: Tom Neale: 9780070464346: Amazon.com: Books
It looks as if there's a newer edition out, which I've not read, & thus can't comment on.

Anyway, it's written by a gent who retired early from a corporate law firm, & raised his family on their boat. Mostly on the hook. And as often as not, traveling up & down the E. coast with the seasons. Along with spending plenty of time in the Caribbean.
He was also a regular author for Cruising World. But the book covers a Lot of the day to day type items which you're likely curious, & or fretting about. As well as a good bit on both boat selection, & sailing (all inclusive, task wise).

Aside from that (long winded ramble), there are plenty of folks who've simply bought boats, & soon there after, sailed around the world. Starting out knowing next to nothing about sailing. And this was back when you actually had to learn/know how to navigate - ie. no electronics at all.

Good luck, & bravo to you.


PS: There are a plethora of Cruising & Anchorage guides, which tell you everything from where good hidden & non-hidden anchorages are. Dock, & grocery locations - as in everything from ones big enough for 2 vessels (temporarily), to big marinas. And where any & all the amenities + necessities along given routes are located.
So they hand hold you for the entire trip, as do similar sites online.
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Old 24-04-2015, 04:47   #29
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

Here's my opinion fwiw. I have waited eight years to buy a boat and sail the pacific, every time we got close we moved. We now have set the date two years from now and started talking to the builder. Just the other day I got some disappointing medical news that may ax the dream completely. I say go now. You never know what tomorrow brings.

One word of caution though is to work out your tax issues before you leave. We ended up paying taxes to a state we weren't residents in for four years because we owned a house there and have had to hire lawyers to get the money back when the state refused to talk to us further!


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Old 24-04-2015, 04:48   #30
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

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Originally Posted by jwcolby54 View Post
Hello ... I have always wanted to live on a boat. Life always got in the way. I am now 60 and if I don't do it now I never will...
The fish swimming upstream:

If you’re 16; take lessons, learn the jargon, get credentialed, get your mom’s permission, punch the ticket, read the books, buy the DVDs (watch the entertaining ones), crew a few race boats (only racing teaches you to sail), go back and take more lessons (navigation this time), get a senior crew position on a larger race boat, and while all this is going on earn enough money to purchase the currently recognized “best” boat. Oh, go take some more lessons…

If you’re 60; rightly or wrongly you’ve doubtless made up your mind on the strategy, so you may as well plunge in – use the caution that got you this far, the wisdom you’ve applied/gained throughout life and get on with it – the clock is ticking! Unless you equip your “new” (to you) vessel like the space-shuttle, this ain’t rocket science, and learning/problem-solving/problem prevention is half the fun…

Full disclosure – saw a race boat once, but never been on one… first “real” sailboat was a too-large (for me) live-aboard, but I loved pretty much every minute of it… now pushing 70, and thinking seriously of the ICW thing, or was it the south Pacific, there isn’t a perfect boat or time, but I’m convinced that if I’m not squeamish about sweat equity, any of `em that floats beats none at all… I’ll figure it out as I go… your results may vary…
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