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Old 15-02-2016, 10:53   #31
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

I have no real experience with this question as my wife and I never accumulated much in ownership of material goods or a house, but I would say that there's no unique security that comes with having a home on land apart from one form of a financial investment. There are numerous ways to store and invest money for security. We have remained liveaboard cruisers with no ownership ashore for 44+ years and manage to remain very secure. We also keep a land-based mail service, doctors, dentists, bank accounts, etc. with no real estate.

We do keep family and doctors in Northeast Florida on our cruising route. Tampa may or may not remain on your route. You could select another convenient port or have another solution. We met a couple once that lived aboard two boats. One in the Great Lakes for their summers, near family and community services and another winter vessel kept at changing low latitude locations.
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Old 15-02-2016, 11:03   #32
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

In the early 90s we owned a small island in Port Madison Bay on Puget Sound. We now had four kids and wanted to return to a life at sea. We turned the island into a B&B managed by a friend. We sold everything that wasn't replaceable and packed up the tools and flew to Guernsey, British Channel Islands where we resurrected a 135 ft., steel topsail schooner that had recently sunk to the bottom of the stone quarry she was moored in.

After six years of plying the waters between Trinidad and Newfoundland working the ship as a sail training operation and tall ship display vessel, the kids were feeling the desire for a more conventional life. We readied the ship for a voyage from New York to
Puget Sound and home. We were struck head on by a 600 foot tanker, in the night on the Dellaware River. The ship was a total constructive loss. We certainly didn't plan on needing a fallback and having one in no way diminished the experience of voyaging but the reality of having another place to call home was beyond welcome.

Real estate is a very good long-term investment. Insurance is a pain in the rear that can be a Godsend when the poop hits the bow of a tanker at a combined 35-knots.

If you feel as though your property will be a yoke around your neck, by all means sell it but in my estimation it is the other ten thousand things you own that you should sell and keep the real estate. We pared down to a box of photo albums all else being replaceable.

In this day and age the cruising dream and the cruising reality are often starkly different. Disillusionment is more often the outcome. When you throw kids and grandkids into the equation, you will never really be cutting all ties with the home front.
My vote remains, keep the shore based asset, enjoy the life aquatic and have the ready option to move back ashore if the dream of the cruising life doesn't match up to the reality.
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Old 15-02-2016, 11:09   #33
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

We left Alaska in 02 and returned in 12. We did sell the "house" and much of our "stuff" but kept all of our rental properties.

In hindsight I regret letting so many valuable tools and equipment go. Selling our house was a good move as that paid for the boat. We did save a lot of personal belongings and mementos which eventually followed us to NZ when we set up house down there and ultimately back to Alaska. The stuff has some miles on it now.

My two cents, if it's not a show stopper financial burden I'd hold onto the house, store your stuff in it and enjoy your travels.

Good problems to have :-)
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Old 15-02-2016, 11:25   #34
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Having an income property can make you sleep more soundly at anchor. That said you should NOT manage it! I have three rentals that help a great deal financially but I also have a management company, that deals with problems and takes any heat from tenants! IT'S CHEAP! It costs me the first months rent each rental year and 10% monthly thereafter! Then you can sleep at night!
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Old 15-02-2016, 12:27   #35
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShackAttack View Post
We are working on our Great Escape. We are setting priorities for boat selection, creating budgets, and educating ourselves AMAP. So far we've been pretty much on the same page wrt enthusiasm, timeline to launch etc. But we have different views on what to do with an older home we just bought near our home marina.

I want to fix it up and create a home base. We can use it while we get the boat ready, and afterward to store our stuff, and for visits home for friends, family, doctors etc. Maybe sit out hurricane season while the boat is on the hard. Or if we find we're not coming home much we can make it a furnished rental and help feed the sailing kitty.

But my partner thinks it will be simpler to sell all our stuff, bulldoze the house and save the hassles associated with upkeep, utilities, insurance, renters etc. he says we can stay in hotels when we visit, travel during storm seasons and when we return build a house where ever the spirit strikes.

I know there is no perfect answer but I wondered what experience has taught those of you out there cruising? What did you do with your home base? Has the idea evolved? Would you do it differently in hindsight?
You present a difficult problem...until you have experienced "the dream" you won't know the answer. What works for one will not necessarily work for the other.

For me, home base is wherever I feel comfortable. I find that when I go back to that which was once familiar, my old friends seem different, but in reality it is me that has changed. It is our life experience that make us who we are today, now, in the moment, and that is always changing if we are wandering. I tried having a storage unit, but it was something to fret about, and it was always somewhere else. My rule became a simple one: if it doesn't fit on the boat, I don't need it. The one exception is a car I now keep in Wa. State. I didn't make a plan, just let ideas and opportunities evolve as they were presented. After all, isn't that what "the dream" is based upon? A boat is, after all, the perfect platform from which to observe the world and all it has to offer. It moves freely and you are always "at home base". In all honesty there is little if anything that I would change, simply because it just sort of evolved on its' own. Bear in mind that for the last 20 years I have been in the same 1,000 mile stretch of coastline for many years and in the past worked summers in Wa., so that might be a home base of sorts, but not one I was responsible for in any way.
One last thought; children raised on boats while cruising seem to be extremely well rounded. I have known two families that stopped cruising for high school time for their kids and resumed after graduation, the kids having gone on to pursue their own dreams...

Just my own observations and perspective...
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Old 15-02-2016, 12:30   #36
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

The thing about land...they ain't making any more of it. You sound like u have a prime or near prime location near a marina. So, that land has value and it will only become more valuable as time slips away. You also don't sound like u are one of the fat cats.


Don't give up the land. Either tear down the structure if it is that miserable or too costly to repair. In certain locations, I am in California, if you have an existing wall from the old structure your new building project will be considered a renovation versus a "new building" project. Why is that important for you to know? Because when you begin to rebuild...maybe 10 years from now...whatever...you will not have to pay for new water lines, new sewage connections, new electrical wires to the house, and you will save yourself mucho dinero. Just call your local planning department at city hall what those fees are for a renovation versus a new build. You will be shocked. Ask them what is required to" keep standing" for you to take advantage of that city ordinance.


Dig in a little deeper and educate yourself with much of the good information and life experiences you've read about. Talk it out with your partner and make a sound decision that is not emotionally oriented but pragmatic and sustainable. I am obviously in the home baser camp of thinking. My wife is 13 years younger than me and I still have a couple more years of prison time at my work before escape. So, I think we'll only be able to sail as long as I am healthy. After that time I want to go back to something that is paid for and in excellent area with fabulous climate.


There is no right way or wrong way for any of the posters..including myself. It is a big decision with long ranging consequences financially. Keep digging until you fully understand what those consequences are and how you want to deal with it. Good luck and keep us posted
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Old 15-02-2016, 13:18   #37
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

If financially possible, keep the house or at least the capital raised from its sale until you decide life on the seas is the life for you. Our particular solution, which kind of happened by fate, was to choose a much cheaper boat then we were originally intending on getting. An expensive boat would have mandated selling the house. The wife and I have agreed that once we head of, we'll soon know if this will both be a "forever" thing and, if so, suspect we will have a very, very clear picture of what would constitute the perfect vessel for our lifestyle. It may be the one we have, or we might upgrade. Fortunately for us, renting out the house was easy because one of our daughters and her family are renting the place which essentially has made it cost neutral to keep and maintain. So we now have both a security blanket and a source of collateral moving forward. As I said to the wife the other day when discussing this very subject; we could sink our boat and everything on it - even if uninsured - and it wouldn't be a major gamechanger in our lives.

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Old 15-02-2016, 14:12   #38
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

We sold the house, moved aboard and stored things in storage for 5 years. We finally got tired of paying to store things we never used, sold or gave away everything that wouldn't fit in the boat. It will be 16 years living aboard this May and we couldn't be happier.

Good luck, it's a great life on a boat.
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Old 15-02-2016, 14:24   #39
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

We've done both - first 3 year trip with no land base and loved the freedom.
Second 7 year trip kept the house and rented it out at first on our own which required a trip home to evict a non paying tenant (lost $10K and lots of anxiety) then with a property mis-management company requiring another trip home - took 5 months but recovered lost funds. On the plus side the income paid for our cruise (it was a mortgage free home with a rental storage facility so good potential income). Property values also increased while we were away so after 5 years of repairing all the tenant damage/neglect we sold with enough to retire modestly. On the down side it was a ball and chain that was always on our minds and dictated trips home (not all bad). If you can afford to keep it as raw land which you really want for a future dream go for it otherwise cruising is more enjoyable with no home based worries.
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Old 15-02-2016, 14:31   #40
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Seeing as how it doesn't seem to be financially required to sell.
Don't for one year, don't do anything permanent for one year. After you have been gone a year, then decide. Too much stuff going on now, and you don't have to make an immediate decision, so don't.


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Old 15-02-2016, 15:03   #41
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

@boatman

GB and US: two nations divided by the same language

if I remember right Sir Winston Churchill said that once
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Old 15-02-2016, 15:31   #42
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by morven55 View Post
You present a difficult problem...until you have experienced "the dream" you won't know the answer. What works for one will not necessarily work for the other. ...............
............. . My rule became a simple one: if it doesn't fit on the boat, I don't need it. The one exception is a car .......
I like all of morven's post, but I wanted to respond to the question of keeping the car. Most importantly is the wise observation that,"What works for one will not necessarily work for the other."

Back in 2002 we gave our last car to our son. We looked at the cost of insurance, maintenance, prorated purchase price over time, and sometimes moving the car to be nearer our location. We compared this sum to the cost of occasional rentals with the collision policy carried on our Visa card along with a "non-owners" liability policy while declining the high cost of the car rental company's insurance. It became apparent, looking at the numbers, that if we were renting a car more than 13 days out of the year, the cost of the non-owners liability was worthwhile and if we rented less than 90 days a year, renting was less expensive than owning. I figured this 14 years ago, but I think the numbers are similar today.

We usually rent a car for some appointments, a few holidays and some family visits with a cost that remains less than ownership.
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Old 15-02-2016, 16:01   #43
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

We keep property and have it rented out - it funds all our cruising.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ShackAttack View Post
We are working on our Great Escape. We are setting priorities for boat selection, creating budgets, and educating ourselves AMAP. So far we've been pretty much on the same page wrt enthusiasm, timeline to launch etc. But we have different views on what to do with an older home we just bought near our home marina.

I want to fix it up and create a home base. We can use it while we get the boat ready, and afterward to store our stuff, and for visits home for friends, family, doctors etc. Maybe sit out hurricane season while the boat is on the hard. Or if we find we're not coming home much we can make it a furnished rental and help feed the sailing kitty.

But my partner thinks it will be simpler to sell all our stuff, bulldoze the house and save the hassles associated with upkeep, utilities, insurance, renters etc. he says we can stay in hotels when we visit, travel during storm seasons and when we return build a house where ever the spirit strikes.

I know there is no perfect answer but I wondered what experience has taught those of you out there cruising? What did you do with your home base? Has the idea evolved? Would you do it differently in hindsight?
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Old 15-02-2016, 18:14   #44
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Sorry.. must have mis-understood...

"But my partner thinks it will be simpler to sell all our stuff, bulldoze the house"
"Build somewhere else"

Mind.. always have had trouble understanding American...
Fawcett=Tap
Spanner=Wrench
Flashlight=Torch... I mean.. come on.. who wanders round flashing their torches on and off constantly...
I'll leave it to the native's to advise... Sorry..

ummm i'm American. who calls a flashlight a torch?

why would you call a wrench a spanner? you don't use them to span the distance between two things. you use them to wrench tight nuts and bolts loose.
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Old 15-02-2016, 18:31   #45
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Re: Newbies ask the Old Salts : did you "Sell everything" OR "Keep a home Base" ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
I like all of morven's post, but I wanted to respond to the question of keeping the car. Most importantly is the wise observation that,"What works for one will not necessarily work for the other."

Back in 2002 we gave our last car to our son. We looked at the cost of insurance, maintenance, prorated purchase price over time, and sometimes moving the car to be nearer our location. We compared this sum to the cost of occasional rentals with the collision policy carried on our Visa card along with a "non-owners" liability policy while declining the high cost of the car rental company's insurance. It became apparent, looking at the numbers, that if we were renting a car more than 13 days out of the year, the cost of the non-owners liability was worthwhile and if we rented less than 90 days a year, renting was less expensive than owning. I figured this 14 years ago, but I think the numbers are similar today.

We usually rent a car for some appointments, a few holidays and some family visits with a cost that remains less than ownership.
LOL! You are absolutely right about the car...I should have added that I keep it because it is like an old friend, still runs perfectly, I have a safe place to leave it,
and all I would lose if something happened would be some memories. But, to be honest, I have been re-thinking that situation for a while now because it is like a little thing left undone...it is always there in the background waiting to bite me in the rear end if I don't deal with it.
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