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Old 28-03-2005, 09:16   #1
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This is a Rant... didn't see a section for it elsewhere...

If you don't want to read complaints about the economy and land life, pease skip this post...

There are some very wise people on this board, and the internet makes it easier to discuss problems you normally can't put in front of other people. I hope to get some advice from some more seasoned live aboard folks, and this is the reason for this post/rant.

All I want to do with my wife is liveaboard and sail around. We want to cook good food, we want to work while living aboard, and we want to stop paying rent. Of course there are a lot of other things we want to work on and accomplish in life, but this is the setting we want to do them in.

We are both feeling discouraged because the general condition for the so-called middle class (which we are near the bottom of) is deteriorating all the time - at least for our generation in the USA. (Gen X)

Our salaries are stagnant or decreasing (mine went down quite a bit) at the same time that the cost of living is going up. Also, product quality is being driven down all the time by companies starting out well, and then putting share holder profits ahead of quality products. Prices are rising steadily and quality is decreasing at a rate about equal to my income. Cars are another issue all together. What a waste of money that could be better used to pay boat/home expenses. Unfortunately, they are necessary evils for working in corporate America.

If you factor all this in together, it makes it very difficult for poor, 3rd generation families in the USA who do not have rich family to get started in life and living aboard.

I really hate being tied to one place for extended periods of time (as I'm sure most sailors can relate to) and I'm having a lot of trouble seeing the eventual light at the end of this tunnel. We are moving aboard a boat eventually here, but will still have to pay it off by working corporate jobs for years. We are doing this not because it's a luxury, but because it's a lot cheaper than buying a $400K overvalued house in our area (no taxes, etc...)

Living on a boat is about the same price as living in a trailer park. We like that fact, and we are not out to try and impress people by pretending to have a lot of money.

Is anyone successfully living aboard and working without additional income from family or inheritances supporting you? If so, how did you do it without working corporate until you were 50 years old? There are all kinds of great deals for home buyers (since mainstream society revolves arounds houses, rather than boats) but is there any type of deal for people looking to live aboard?

It would seem that every odd is stacked up against us... I mean there aren't even any legal liveaboard marinas anymore in this area. We are going to have to either have a summer slip and winter slip, or live on the hook dinghying it in to work every day. Not an easy task. As it is, one of us is working in NH and the other in RI. I see my wife for 1.5 days each week (Sat and part of Sun) because there were no jobs for me in the area I lived.

Since my small business in NYC was wrecked in 9/11, we have had a lot of trouble getting in sync with each other at the professional level. We can't seem to find two jobs nearer than we are right now (3-4 hours apart).

I guess I'm ranting here out of frustration, and in the hope that someone on this board who is older and wiser might have some tips as to how to go about making this change more quickly. Times have changed. We are very frustrated after having started our careers in the 90's, and wasted the money we made back then. We never realized it wouldn't last... ha ha ha. We were foolish back then, having never seen a recession.

Does anyone have any idea how to live aboard and finance it the most efficient way? Is the corporate approach the wrong approach? I don't want to offend anyone, but we have been considering some crazy alternatives... the wife has talked about working at a strip club. She'd make at least what I'm making right now. Probably more. We both want to have a home on the water (it's as cheap as a trailer park, remember) and are trying to figure out any means to get there in a reasonable amount of time.

Hopefully, nobody will give me a hard time on here for posting such a personal post.

Any advice from more seasoned people on this board would be greatly appreciated.
Happy Sailing,

Sean
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Old 28-03-2005, 13:47   #2
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If you post a photo of wife we can respond to the strip club option. Honestly all you are saying is Massachusetts (and California) are killing off the middle class. It's simple around here - move up or move out. You might look at relocation. As to making short term money, the trades will offer more opportunity than corporate. If you have a captain's license, can repair engines or have bookkeeping skills you should be able to find work. My last time in the keys (a trip to confirm these assertions) I had two job offers - restaurant short order chef and hardware store - paying $400.-/wk. You can live on the hook easily for that money. With two working you got the boat loan covered. Some people buy the boat while still working corporate to qualify for the loan and then move out. I think that could backfire. I did meet a guy in Ft. Lauderdale that divorced, bought a 35'er, sailed to Florida and got a job brokering boats. People do it. I have also explored jobs using my captain's license in the islands and there are some opportunities. I think, since it sounds like you are not tied to this area, you might consider finding work in the area you want to live and sail, and then buy the boat there. There are cheap summer rentals in the keys - islands are tougher. There are also business opportunities so once you are established, you can consider committing to one location longer term. Obviously this ends the real cruising for a while, but the live aboard still works.
Cheer up - winter is gone. I look forward to the photo of your wife. Capt. Lar
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Old 28-03-2005, 14:58   #3
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I don't know.... ha ha

Capt Lar,

Thanks for the words of wisdom. This is indeed the kind of advice we are looking for. I am not sure I can post a picture of my wife on this board though... I better ask her first.. ha ha

She had worked at Scores and a couple others in NYC before I met her, so I think she can still do it.

Anyway, maybe trades are indeed the best way to go. For now, do you know any liveaboard marinas in New England?



Quote:
capt lar once whispered in the wind:
If you post a photo of wife we can respond to the strip club option. Honestly all you are saying is Massachusetts (and California) are killing off the middle class. It's simple around here - move up or move out. You might look at relocation. As to making short term money, the trades will offer more opportunity than corporate. If you have a captain's license, can repair engines or have bookkeeping skills you should be able to find work. My last time in the keys (a trip to confirm these assertions) I had two job offers - restaurant short order chef and hardware store - paying $400.-/wk. You can live on the hook easily for that money. With two working you got the boat loan covered. Some people buy the boat while still working corporate to qualify for the loan and then move out. I think that could backfire. I did meet a guy in Ft. Lauderdale that divorced, bought a 35'er, sailed to Florida and got a job brokering boats. People do it. I have also explored jobs using my captain's license in the islands and there are some opportunities. I think, since it sounds like you are not tied to this area, you might consider finding work in the area you want to live and sail, and then buy the boat there. There are cheap summer rentals in the keys - islands are tougher. There are also business opportunities so once you are established, you can consider committing to one location longer term. Obviously this ends the real cruising for a while, but the live aboard still works.
Cheer up - winter is gone. I look forward to the photo of your wife. Capt. Lar
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Old 28-03-2005, 21:09   #4
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Talking Just to cheer you up

The Islander

The purpose of work.....???

The American businessman was at the pier of a small South Pacific Island village when a small proa with just one fisherman docked.

Inside the small proa was a dorrado several large grouper. The American complimented the Islander on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Islander replied, "Only a little while."

The American then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish?

The Islander said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs.

The American then asked, "But what do you do with the rest of your time?"

The fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a late afternoon nap with my wife, Helia, stroll into the village each evening where I sip rum and play guitar with my friends, I have a full and busy life."

The American scoffed, "I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution.

You would need to leave this small fishing village and move to Australia, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The South Seas fisherman asked, "But, how long will this all take?"

To which the American replied, "15-20 years."

"But what then?"

The American laughed and said that's the best part. "When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions."

"Millions, realy? Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take a late afternoon nap with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings here you could sip rum and play your guitar with your friends."
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Old 29-03-2005, 00:47   #5
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I love that story. It changed my life about 8years ago.

Sean, I can't help. No one can. This is part of your lifes journey. Similar to many here, that wish to live our lives seperate to the rat race.
But we can offer encouragement as freinds and the support in knowing you aren't on your own.

OK, so here is the first point. It's attitude. It's like that "is the glass half full or half empty" crap.
Don't look at the mountain. The mountain is daunting and looks insurmountable. Just concentrate on each step, one at a time. If you do that, then at least you are moving, not sitting on your Butt looking at the mountain.
OK, next is the wealth part, and how you achieve it. Sorry I don't have any get rich schemes. Heck, I am even short of the get rich slow ones as well. But what ever you do to earn, make sure you are comfortable with what you choose. Don't sell your soul to buy the dream. Don't get me wrong, I am not judging you and your Partners decision on the Dancing part. What I am saying, just don't do anything you will regret. It can tear a couple apart.

And lastly, you CAN do it. Money may look an obsticle, but it isn't. Why do I know that?? Well I earn about as much as you. But I pay nearly twice as much for everything. When I ran my business, I was importing a lot of Sound equipment for it. Mostly from the USA. I was earning no more than my US counterparts, but paying two to three times more, because of exchange rates, freight and taxes. The day I realised there was such a difference, was the day I lost all sympathy for my US Mates complaining of what they had to pay to buy gear.
When it came to buying the Yacht, it seemed an unbelievable dream to achieve. But we did it. So the final point is, you may be "finacialy challenged" when compared to some, but you are stinking rich when compared to others.
Being poor is a state of mind. That is possibly a hard comment to understand right at the moment. But the day the dream becomes reality, it will be glaringly obviouse to you.
Just keep taking a step. One after the other. You can do it.
So how did WE do it. Well, we sold our home. Something that didn't go down well with our families. We were selling our future security and investment. We looked at Boats. We first decided what size we needed. Then we looked at everything in those sizes. Price didn't come into the picture at that point. Within reason of course, but we did look at vessels 3 to 4 times more expensive than what we ended up paying. But we struck off the list many vessels in a much higher price range that we felt just didn't meet our expectations or requirements. Not the expectation based on price, but based on what WE expected, wanted and felt at home in.
We finaly found the boat of our dreams. Well, present dreams. I'll come back to that thought. But we found what we wanted and it turned out to be a fraction of the cost we expected to have to find. That was good, because we simply didn't have the money we thought we would have to fork out.

So back to that comment above about present dreams. Well, just over the last few days sailing and exploring and taliking and dreaming and reading and and and. I have this little inner excitment about maybe, just maybe, I might like to do some charter work and take guests on a tour of our country. It's some way off in the future, I need to look at getting tickets to do that sort of work and that thought is scary for me. The boat needed would be a real deal kinda thing and scary big time price. But the dream is just a warm glow down inside at the mo. Lets see what the future brings.

Now where the heck did all that soppy crap come from

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Old 29-03-2005, 04:48   #6
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Sean,
I have to agree with you that life in the good 'ole USA isn't what it used to be, or should be. The BIG problem is called "disparity of wealth" and that is something our government should be working on fixing .... instead, they are making the situation worse, not better. With that in mind, I'm reminded of the saying, "America .. love it or leave it" ... well? We're leaving it! Plans to head to the Caribbean & as far away as as South America ... with NO plans for permanent return.
As for the problem with cars ... sold my last car 7 years ago, and have done everything on bicycle or bus since ... living proof that YES it can be done. Besides the obvious huge savings in money ... there is a much less obvious benefit ... the reduction in stress! Used to feel like kicking the dog when I got home from work (after a stress filled commute home) now I come home relaxed & in a good mood.
I have read that the average American is bombarded with over 3000 advertisements a day ... the problem is that they are very, very good at this ... and like sheep we buy into the idea that we need all of this "stuff" ... when in reality, the vast majority of it is needless! Look around you at your posessions .. how much "stuff" you have bought & paid for that you no longer use .. or even want. Then ask yourself, "Why did I buy that in the first place?" When you live aboard a sailboat ... you won't have room for all of the "stuff" ... so might as well get used to a simpler lifestyle now ... otherwise, you will find yourself with a bunch of storage units holding all of your prescious nick nacks ... that you don't really need. We have no TV aboard ... and what a wonderful thing that is to do without! Ask yourself, when was the last time you really saw anything worth watching ... and when was the last time you just sat there killing time ... time that could have been better spent reading, writing or comunicating with real family & friends.
A big problem now is time ... it's getting to the point that boating is only for the very wealthy ... marinas are being turned into dockominiums all over the country ... and if you can't afford to spend a gazillion $$ ... you won't have a place to put your boat. Our life is blessed in that respect, dumb luck got me into this wonderful marina (where the vast majority of boats are lived aboard) and the owner has no intention of selling it ... no matter how ridiculous the amount of money offered ... so we are safe from that till we finish preparing for our trip ... will be heading to the Bahamas at the end of hurricane season next year.
As for jobs ... when you learn to not waste your money on all the needless crap they peddle to you ... you will be surprised at how little you need, to live on ... the key is, of course, to learn to simplify your life .. and learn what you really value .. and what is needless.

L S/V Eva Luna (moving to Love Nest, Sunday)

Bob & Lynn
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Old 29-03-2005, 07:46   #7
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Sean - as to live aboard (or any reasonably priced marina) in NE - nope. You can do Constitution Marina or Marina Bay, but I thought you mentioned you were not rich. If you are talking about winter on board - that is usually guys divoring and living onboard and they usually do it only once. I did part of a winter back in the 70's while selling and buying a house. Talk about hard core. Guys that do that are rare and finding a woman that likes it is really rare. If you plan to work straight jobs at the same time, I would say you are crazy. Even seasonal boating in NE can cost so much it can keep you from saving enough to get away. As I said - I think you are living in the wrong place to do what you want to do. I would bet that many of those who live aboard have or had a written business plan of some sort that helped them figure out how to get to where they wanted to be. Frankly - it is easier to stay on the treadmill, take the paycheck, buy unnecessary stuff and get old without ever doing anything else. Getting out is harder than staying in. The live on a boat, cook nice meals and sail around is a great idea, but it is certainly not a plan. Capt. Lar
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Old 29-03-2005, 23:51   #8
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Wahoo Sails made one of the best points about being blind consumers when living ashore. Six years ago I sold a house and put those belongings I felt where important into storage at $140/month. 18 months ago I bought another house. Do you think that I needed those possessions for the last 6 years? Nup...in fact I still haven't sorted them out and closed the storage yet. Over $9000 spent on rent and I don't even miss the stuff!!

I went cruising on a small boat when I was younger and the pleasure in the simplicity and freedom as a result of not having much money, no car and no TV was a lesson lost on me apparently.

I've also spent time living aboard in a friendly marina in a large city. Regardless of the cost (I don't believe there are huge savings to be made unless you swing off a pick) or the relatively cramped living space it was the lifestyle and community which made it thoroughly worthwhile. Mind you we don't have snow on the decks down under and I have no idea how one copes with that!
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Old 30-03-2005, 02:29   #9
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Old 30-03-2005, 16:21   #10
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Old 31-03-2005, 06:43   #11
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Thanks, folks!

Thanks for the words of encouragement and wisdom. I thought you all might have some good input...

We have figured out about the "stuff" and "junk"factor a long time ago, luckily. We are already ready to move aboard a boat with all of or possesions. We have no storage, some second hand furniture, and a small amount of clothing. We also pared down everything... no junk. We either eBayed it, or we gave it away. We could literally move on a boat tomorrow, which is why it gets so frustrating.

We are much more attuned to Wahoo Sails way of life. We lived for quite some time without cars in Manhattan and loved that aspect of it. We reluctantly got a $5000 Hyundai this year to drive to jobs, and we also bought a 2002 Road Trek 190 Popular for me to drive to RI in and stay in during the week while I work down there. It stinks to be doing a "liveaboard" in parking lots, but hey... we are able to bank greater than 60% of our income this way. As soon as we can find a decent boat, we will live together in RI on the boat, and ditch the Road Trek and NH apartment.

Anyway, we are definitely making the sacrifices.... you can't live much more cheaply than we are currently living and still look ok when arriving at work.

Has anyone on here ever heard of anyone being able to obtain owner financing with a boat?

We are looking at one this weekend and we are planning to try to ask for owner financing... you know... $10K down and $2000/mo for the owner. Do any owners go for that kind of thing?

Again, thanks for the input. We are grateful for the points made above. All were read and taken into careful consideration as to what to do next.
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Old 31-03-2005, 17:19   #12
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I personally can't see a great likelihood of any vendor financing you into the boat unless some of the following criteria apply:

1)You are known to vendor and he/she likes and trusts you.
2)The agreement has all the `god save me clauses' about liability and you keeping it insured and vendor has option to take boat back if you miss payment.
3)vendor gets a good payment up front. ie 10k on a 30k boat might work but 10k on a 100k boat could be a stretch.
4)Agreement that you won't leave a certain area until final payment. Perhaps keep it at the same marina as vendor did and/or where vendor's new boat is kept.
5)Its been impossible to sell (there will be a reason for that).
6)You have a gaurantor.

I've heard of vendors finacing others into boats, but it is generally a fairly short term arrangement. Fellow members at clubs may know one another well enough to do it but as an industry standard it is not common....well here anyway.

Personally I think you should try hard to borrow the money from a bank and start with a smallish boat. If you buy well (popular GRP preferably) and make some improvements you can trade up in 6-12 months. I bought my first boat that way, living on anchor and paying it off as fast as I could. The time went quickly and it was fun. It was an old wooden boat..but thats another story.
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Old 01-04-2005, 08:37   #13
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Sorry... misunderstanding....

Hi James,

Certainly no vendor in the USA would finance anything. They simply aren't in that business. I was referring to a private party sale... purchasing a used vessel.

Sorry for any confusion.

Quote:
James once whispered in the wind:
I personally can't see a great likelihood of any vendor financing you into the boat unless some of the following criteria apply:

1)You are known to vendor and he/she likes and trusts you.
2)The agreement has all the `god save me clauses' about liability and you keeping it insured and vendor has option to take boat back if you miss payment.
3)vendor gets a good payment up front. ie 10k on a 30k boat might work but 10k on a 100k boat could be a stretch.
4)Agreement that you won't leave a certain area until final payment. Perhaps keep it at the same marina as vendor did and/or where vendor's new boat is kept.
5)Its been impossible to sell (there will be a reason for that).
6)You have a gaurantor.

I've heard of vendors finacing others into boats, but it is generally a fairly short term arrangement. Fellow members at clubs may know one another well enough to do it but as an industry standard it is not common....well here anyway.

Personally I think you should try hard to borrow the money from a bank and start with a smallish boat. If you buy well (popular GRP preferably) and make some improvements you can trade up in 6-12 months. I bought my first boat that way, living on anchor and paying it off as fast as I could. The time went quickly and it was fun. It was an old wooden boat..but thats another story.
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Old 01-04-2005, 12:36   #14
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Rant

In the US over 75% of the millionaires are sole proprieters which means they did it on their own, took a chance, coulda lost their pants. In life there are three major financial hurdles, the first is what I call the formative years. We strive to attain everything, all our posessions, and for most raise a family. There is never enough money during this first hurdle no matter how much money you make. Most folks spend all of their money. The second hurdle is retirement where you get to play with out the precious income which was never enough. The last hurdle is your death and the exspenses that go with it. You are on a steep uphill climb to try and get over the first hurdle, some folks never make it. You are doing the best you can and that is all that can be asked for or expected. Have long frank discussions about it and work together and you will be rewarded. Good luck.
Michael
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Old 02-04-2005, 17:08   #15
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What We Learned from Other Sailors

We met a young couple who had been sailing for about 16 years. They had their boat for sale and were working back at home to buy a bigger boat so they could get back to sea again.

In our discussions we asked "how did you finance yourselves". The captain's response was that he was a diesel mechanic and did small repairs when he came upon them, his wife apprenticed in sailmaking and was making and repairing sails for people. They also supplemented their income by buying motor oil in Venezuela and selling it in Australia. He said he was checked out by customs and they didn't seem to be concerned as customs was searching for drugs and alcohol.
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