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Old 08-12-2010, 10:24   #1
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Newbie - Need Info on Living Aboard in USVI

So, I'll be 34 in a month and need to get out of the NE for another adventure. I want to buy a liveaboard sailboat and move to the Islands. I have about 30,000 to spend and have never sailed. That's right, never. So, now that you all think I'm nuts, let me go on to say this: I WAS, in the next year, just going to buy a boat and rent a mooring. Live on it and have someone teach me over time. I'm fit, can navigate and know the mechanics of sailing just haven't done it yet. Any thoughts???
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Old 08-12-2010, 10:34   #2
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Spend the $1500 and take ASA bareboat lessons from a reputable school. You won't regret it. Otherwise, go for it.
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Old 08-12-2010, 11:38   #3
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"Any thoughts??? "
Yeah, do it that way and you're gonna have an adventure.<G>

If that wasn't your objective, there are many fine posts in many fine forums exploring the same question.
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Old 08-12-2010, 12:51   #4
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So? I'm nuts right? That's what everyone says. I have no ties anywhere, no kids, no bills and I'm legitimately considering this. My theory is that everyone started somewhere and I'm willing to learn. I'm not looking to sail around the southern tip of South America. Just want to live on a boat with the ability (once I get a hang of it) to go out day sailing and some overnights. I just want to get out of the city and enjoy Island life. Life up in Boston SUCKS.
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Old 08-12-2010, 13:05   #5
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Mate, you're not nuts, you're FREE and have just realised that!

I think what you've said sounds more than reasonable, i'd say your budget is a bit tight but apart from that you are right in what you say, 'everyone has to start somewhere'. It's not like you're saying that you want to go round the world as soon as you set foot on it after all.

I wish you well with your new life, dont be afraid to ask ANY questions on here, everyone is happy to help and i've found this to be a VERY valuable resource.

Welcome to the forum!
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Old 08-12-2010, 13:22   #6
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You are nuts...but you're not the first one

I was in this same position, only with a lot less money to spend. I thought I would just find a boat, move aboard, get a job (wherever I found the boat), and teach myself sailing and everything else along the way.
Although I have my boat now, and I am working things out... It's really not as simple as it sounds. I was given the ASA lessons as a gift, they turned out to be priceless. It wasn't until after I took the classes that I realized how little I knew, and this was after two years of reading websites and books. Actually I knew a lot more than any other student, but that just allowed me to get more out of the classes than they did. Its not only about knowing how things work, there is far more value in experience. You will learn more in one week with a proper teacher, than you would learn in an entire year of teaching yourself. And there are certain things you cant teach yourself because you won't know you need to learn them (if that makes sense).

Anyway, if you have the money take some classes. If not, then do it the hard way, you will be fine but, it is the hard way.

As for getting a boat, get one, but don't spend all your money on it. Keep as much in the bank as possible. you'll thank me later... If you just want a decent liveaboard with daysailing/weekending ability, you don't need to spend a fortune. Look in the 10-15K price range, Probably 30 foot or so.
Go out and look at as many boats as possible, one's you can't afford, ones that are too big, ones that are too small, etc...
Plan on spending at least another 5k on 'stuff'...keep 10 in the bank (at least for a little while).
Have fun.
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Old 08-12-2010, 14:33   #7
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What's nuts got to do with it, unless you also wear a top hat and monocle and want to get a job as a company mascot? <VBG>

Some folks want to plunge in and have an adventure, that's perfectly valid. Others may want to take a couple of months or a year working on the lessons, reading up, climbing the learning curve before they plunge into the rather expensive (one way or the other) propositions of boat ownership and relocation.

The only problems I'd see with "buy the boat and grow into it" are that first, you're likely to buy the wrong boat, and second, SOMEONE has to be able to handle it, move it, deal with leaks and storms and rigging failures and all that good stuff from Day One. There have been some extensive threads online about folks hwo plunged into adventure but came awful close to losing it all because of minor problems that could have been anticipated, or fixed, if they'd had some prep time on the learning curve. And, lots of folks who had no problems just lots of adventure.

Depends on your tolerance for treading water. Or, watching the grass grow. <G>
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Old 08-12-2010, 17:08   #8
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I appreciate the input. I've decided to stick around for another summer to work ( I make a good living and am able to save money) while taking sailing lessons. Maybe I'll move to the Islands next winter, get a job and see if I like it. Then, a year or so later I will make the plunge and acquire a live aboard vessel. I guess I can wait a year and a half before actually getting a boat. I can't wait to be free though and be able to island hop and explore the area at my leisure. I'll have to stick around here though so I can learn a little more. Thanks!

Jimi
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Old 08-12-2010, 17:13   #9
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When you do go, let me know, I'll put you in touch with a St Thomas buddy who might be able to help on that end
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Old 08-12-2010, 17:19   #10
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Working from the 'Bottom End'... I think your budgets just fine...
Buy the boat thats twangs your strings.... Live... Learn... and when you have...
Go out and buy the boat that'll fill your dreams... if the first one cant...
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:14   #11
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Jimi, you might also check out noonsite.com for information on your target islands. Most have changed since the '50s <G> and there are all sorts of fees, rules, regulations. One of them (Barbados? Trinidad?) bans any civilian use of camoflauge clothing. Show up in some surplus t-shirt, and bang, you're in the slammer. What yank would go figure...

A fishing rod or speargun could be just as taxing in other places. Which is not to say the islands are any odder than Turkey, where possessing a copy of Playboy or a box of condoms can be an expensive sin.

The world has grown smaller, and still lost in the process.
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Old 09-12-2010, 15:08   #12
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I only wish I could do what your planning, but life happens. If you have the oppertunity to do it, plan it, take the classes and just go. If next summer your around the area still, your not far from us. We sail out of Gloucester ma. If you would like to go sailing or take my wife and I sailing in our boat your welcome to come along. We own a bristol 29.

Dave
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Old 09-12-2010, 18:27   #13
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Well done. You are me in ten years
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Old 09-12-2010, 18:33   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chainsawjames View Post
So? I'm nuts right? . . . My theory is that everyone started somewhere and I'm willing to learn. I'm not looking to sail around the southern tip of South America. Just want to live on a boat with the ability (once I get a hang of it) to go out day sailing and some overnights. I just want to get out of the city and enjoy Island life. Life up in Boston SUCKS.
Best suggestion is to buy the boat -in- the Virgin Islands or an island close by. Then you can live on it and learn in one of the best sailing areas around. There are plenty of sailing schools and instructors who are located in the Virgin Islands area who can help you learn along with plenty of other "young" live-aboard people who live on boats and work in the Virgins to help you.
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Old 09-12-2010, 19:19   #15
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Most important rule regarding the decision to buy a boat: If you don't enjoy constantly working on it - DON'T BUY IT. And if you think everything works, you just haven't found what's broken yet!

If everything was fixed on my boat, I wouldn't have a job, but of course I have to pay to go to work.

I say BUY IT!
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