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Old 24-04-2015, 05:29   #31
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

JW, what is stopping you from moving to NC or SC coast right away? If you feel that time is of the essence I just don't see the point of being stuck in the mountains dreaming of sailing to Brazil 5 years from now.

I would if faced with similar situation do the following (I'm not an engineer but also like to break tasks down to their components):

1. Get ready to move to the coast now and not at some unspecified time.
2. Look for a trailer sailer such as 22 ft Catalina, O'day or some such (plenty of those under $5K on the market.
3. Take the RV, hook up the boat and move to the coast.
4. Every opportunity I'd get I'd drive up and down ICW launching here and there, checking out local hurricane holes, meeting local sailors and liveaboards and most importantly sailing that boat as it would be easy to singlehand and with add'l choice of RV or boat as sleeping quarters.
5. After about 1-2-3 years of exploration I'd be ready to get "a real boat" which will take me place I'd want to be at around 65 (or earlier)
6. When I find my boat, sell the RV and the traler sailer (perhaps even as a package deal)
7. Start living aboard full time and start moving down ICW closer to my eventual goal.

You will most likely find that your experience will change your goals somewhat as many other options will become apparent, opitons you haven't considered before or thought were not open for you. And while I personally value book based knowledge as with most things in life it should be a base not a drawn out process, especially in sailing. A year or two with your own trailer sailer will teach you more about sailing, maintenance issues and much other needed knowledge than 10 years of hitting the books or even 5-7 years of occasional crewing opportunities on other people's boats.

Today, after 10 years of boat ownership and prior to that 7 years of club based sailing, if I were to be transported back in time to year zero of my sailing I would have gotten a manageable, sizewise, boat after just one year of club sailing and I feel I would've owned my first "real boat" much sooner and would have been sailing more and much sooner. Because even 7 years of seasonal club based sailing is not even close to the learning curve of just one year of boat ownership. So the sooner you get a boat, ANY boat, the sooner you'll realize your timetable. And don't be afraid to lose some $$ on the resale of your first boat as this will be a wash if you consider not having to pay any rent while living in RV with a trailer sailer behind you.
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Old 24-04-2015, 06:22   #32
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

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The problem is that where I live there are no lessons. Furthermore, I live a couple of hundred miles from the coast (in the mountains of NC) so "crewing on other people's boats" sounds good but won't really be possible.
No offense intended, but I doubt that this is true. I learned to sail in Nebraska. And sailed on other peoples' boats there. There are lakes withing a reasonable drive of almost everywhere in this country. I would bet that if you spent a little time looking around, you would be able to find something.

And even if you really can't, spending the time and money to drive to the coast and get some experience would be well worth it. Without any experience sailing, or living on a boat, you--not to put it too delicately--haven't got a clue what you are looking for. You will be investing a huge chunk of change into something, and doing it completely blind.

Your money, your choice, of course. I would strongly recommend a reassessment of your plan, though.
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Old 24-04-2015, 06:36   #33
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

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I am a database analyst / programmer, C# / SQL Server mostly. I make good money but we all have places where money must go.
Me too. It took me about a month to find my first job in Tampa. That was in 2009, when the economy was completely in the crapper. Right now there are plenty of jobs available and if I quit my current job this afternoon--without any preparation--I could probably have another job within a couple of weeks.

I guess what I'm wondering is, why are you living in the mountains? If your plan is to live aboard a boat, then go find a job near a coast right now. You'll have lots of opportunities for learning to sail, for sailing on other peoples' boats, and for looking for a boat that you like. I have no doubt that you could find a good-paying job, within a very short time, somewhere on the Chesapeake Bay, Wilmington, Charleston, or any number of places in Florida.

Good luck, whatever you do.

EDIT: Ah! And now I see that Island Time O25 beat me to the suggestion.
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Old 24-04-2015, 06:49   #34
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

I would like to point out that while I came here asking a very specific question, in the first page of replies, six responses were about how I should look at / change my plan and two were about my question. In the second page seven were about how I should look at / change my plan and three had something to do with my question. On the third page all three so far are about the plan, not the question.

Now I appreciate all the advice, and it is good that y'all (practicing my southern) care so much but...

I have been on the forum for many moons now. And this pattern is clear and pronounced. The real subject be damned, if a noobe asks a question, the thread always devolves into advice about the "correct" path to get to the open ocean.

All of the advice so far has been good, it has been well meant, but not enough has been about what I want to figure out.

OK back to the subject at hand, should I just hang out and take lessons here, commute to the coast, live in my rv and sail from there, take my time and find the perfect boat, jump in the water and be damned?

And if anyone out there has any pointers, tips and tricks about living on anchor, you are welcome to throw that in as well.
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Old 24-04-2015, 07:00   #35
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

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I guess what I'm wondering is, why are you living in the mountains? If your plan is to live aboard a boat, then go find a job near a coast right now. You'll have lots of opportunities for learning to sail, for sailing on other peoples' boats, and for looking for a boat that you like. I have no doubt that you could find a good-paying job, within a very short time, somewhere on the Chesapeake Bay, Wilmington, Charleston, or any number of places in Florida.

Good luck, whatever you do.
I have a job, a good job. I am a consultant doing my work over the internet.

And the thread is (was originally) not about why I am living in the mountains, nor is it about how to learn to sail, or the correct way to get to the open ocean.

That is what all you well meaning folks have answered, but not what I asked.

I have studiously avoided discussing the why of all that because it would just lead to more well intentioned advice, none of it related to what I am trying to research.

Observe the title of the thread.
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Old 24-04-2015, 07:02   #36
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

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...this pattern is clear and pronounced. The real subject be damned, if a noobe asks a question, the thread always devolves into advice about the "correct" path to get to the open ocean.
That's right. And there is a very good reason for that. A "noobe" quite often doesn't even know enough yet to ask the right question. Instead of just giving them a direct answer to what they DO ask, many of us feel an obligation to try to point them towards the questions that they SHOULD be asking. I don't care to do someone a disservice by just answering a question when it is quite clear to me that they are going off on the wrong path, and much more than a simple answer, what they really need is to be redirected.

You've gotten a lot of good information and suggestions here. What you choose to do with it, of course, is entirely up to you. Good luck.
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Old 24-04-2015, 07:13   #37
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

JW - I'm in my beginning 50s, and got bit by the sailing bug in 2014 before and during a vacation to the BVI. I, too, think that living simply in a floating RV seems like a Good Idea. I have not as yet, however, been able to convince my wife to trade in our 3000sq. ft. home near the N. GA mountains for a 175sq ft. living room.

From my cursory research, living on anchor will depend on where you decide to toss out that anchor. For instance, it is illegal in GA to live aboard a boat for more than 30 days (it was in 2011 - I haven't been able to find out if that has changed).

I love the reminders to make sure you take into account your "shore" needs - food, water, power, internet access. I know that I take my internet access and power for granted, but developed and inhabited islands in the Caribbean lose power from time to time, and internet access isn't guaranteed - and that is on developed islands. Being on a boat with not hard-line connection presents another set of variables.

I do agree about finding lake based sailing classes. A quick search of Ye Olde Google shows a number of western NC options. I will be doing lake-based learning as well, with the intent of doing a live-aboard school summer 2016 in the Caribbean.

So much to know - so much to learn - here's to wet feet, tan skin, and good winds for you!
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Old 24-04-2015, 07:30   #38
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

Have you considered seeing if there is a marina near where you would want to be that's reasonable for live aboard? While it's not part of your long term plan of living off the hook, a few months at a marina while adding a bit of cost could ease the transition giving you an easier base to get to know and deal with any initial issues you might find with a new to you boat.


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Old 24-04-2015, 08:46   #39
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

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Observe the title of the thread.
Ok. Heres a really important piece of actual liveaboard/anchorout advice.

You will be spending 90%+ of your days at anchor. So get a big newgen anchor and an all chain rode. Dont be a liveaboard moron with a 10lb danforth and fifty feet of clothesline that you bought at walmart and dragged ashore the first time the wind blew 20+ knots. I see that all the time around here.

Most of your cruising life consists of staying put in one place.
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Old 24-04-2015, 09:26   #40
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

Go for it, you'll make the same mistakes we all made, a few less if you read a lot, especially forums like this.
Make sure you have a comfortable berth and a stove with an oven and a table to eat off.
Good solid dodger/bimini, weatherproof, mosquito proof, sun proof.
Depth sounder, GPS, BLOODY BIG ANCHOR WITH LOTS OF HEAVY CHAIN/RODE.
Small boat, cheaper to get into and out of if you change your mind.
Have fun
Bill
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Old 24-04-2015, 09:30   #41
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

Agree with Bill except for the oven. Have never used ours. But thats a personal choice, you may want an oven.
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Old 24-04-2015, 09:48   #42
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

I'm in about the same situation as you. Since I won't be able to move onboard a sailboat just yet, I watch a lot of youtube videos of other's sailing adventures. I've seen a couple of videos where the new sailors expressed that they wished they knew more about the systems, i.e. , plumbing, diesel motors, electrical, etc.

My theory is that I will purchase a live aboard size boat, park it on the hard behind our barn, in Michigan, and proceed to refit it, learn the systems, and when the time comes pay to have it hauled to water.

I'm currently doing the same thing with a Catalina 22 trailer sailor. I will use this smaller boat to educate myself and learn to sail. If it all works like I hope, I will then sell my airplane and purchase my live aboard.

I'm not looking for a project just to work on, I want to be sure that all systems are functioning properly, and that I am confident that I can fix them once I'm away from the farm.
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Old 24-04-2015, 09:57   #43
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

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Originally Posted by onestepcsy37 View Post
Ok. Heres a really important piece of actual liveaboard/anchorout advice.

You will be spending 90%+ of your days at anchor. So get a big newgen anchor and an all chain rode. Dont be a liveaboard moron with a 10lb danforth and fifty feet of clothesline that you bought at walmart and dragged ashore the first time the wind blew 20+ knots. I see that all the time around here.

Most of your cruising life consists of staying put in one place.
ROTFL. I love that, thanks!

So what am I supposed to do with all that clothesline I just bought?
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Old 24-04-2015, 10:13   #44
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

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Most of your cruising life consists of staying put in one place.
And THAT is the point of the thread actually. Many of the folks who actually sail live on anchor when sailing around and spend a lot of time doing so. Living aboard I have to figure that out. When I started this thread, I really just wanted an affirmative that I wasn't about to buy a boat only to discover that I was constantly harassed for living aboard out in the sound.

That thing about "illegal to live on board more than 30 days in GA" was an eye opener. Is that for Georgia residents, or in Georgia waters? Sounds pretty unenforceable in real life.
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Old 24-04-2015, 10:22   #45
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Re: Living on anchor in the US

I'm a software professional, working from home and while I'm not living aboard, by now I've spent about 5 weeks total staying on the boat in the "work from 7am to 4pm, then mess about with boat systems until sunset, hit the bunk, rinse, repeat" mode. And I really liked living that way, too

While you are still working, living on a boat docked somewhere is going to be much easier than at anchor, and not that much more expensive, all things considered. Starting with a stable and fast internet connection, shore water and shore power. You'll get a lot more stuff done on the boat, and you'll get to know your liveaboard neighbours, most of whom are valuable sources of wisdom.

A bunch of people living on 30-40 footers in my marina pay something to the tune of $3k a year. If I'm not mistaken, that's about 15 grand less than a small house in the same area.
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