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Old 26-08-2011, 16:35   #1
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Live Aboard

I'm looking for a 40-47' cat and hope to be living on it with my wife in a year somewhere around the BVI. I have boated on the Chesapeake Bay all my life but am not an avid sailor. I started Kitsurfing 2 years ago and while learning
Any comments on charter. I thought of doing some charter to get some income while down there.
I had to ask a lot of lame questions. Forgive me.


I also have a million other questions:
If you have done the charter thing, what"s it like?
I plan to get AC but some boat dealers say I'll never use it.
Should I get my Capt. license?
Where do I get a list of safe harbors?
Will solar panels really keep up?
Does the average live aboard have a life of hot sweaty existence when living down south?
What about internet? The dealer said he shleps off of other people.
Any feed back on close quarters?
I see a lot of cats on the market and not sure why.
Thanks again, but like learning how to kitesurf, I must ask these questions, and need to hear answers, even though I am researching online.
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Old 26-08-2011, 18:05   #2
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Re: Live aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fearnow View Post
......................
1-I plan to get AC but some boat dealers say I'll never use it.
2-Should I get my Capt. license?
3-Where do I get a list of safe harbors?
4-Will solar panels really keep up?
5-Does the average live aboard have a life of hot sweaty existence when living down south?
6-What about internet? The dealer said he shleps off of other people.
7-Any feed back on close quarters?
8-I see a lot of cats on the market and not sure why................
I'll take a shot at these eight questions.
1- I doubt if you'll need or use the AC anchored out in the Caribbean or the Bahamas with their nice breezes, but summers can be brutal aboard from central Flaorida up to the Chesapeake.
2- I received my Ocean Operator's License (Master's License) in 1978, but I've never used it professionally. Sure, it's a good plan if you plan to charter.
3- I don't think there is a list, but the "Active Captain" web site as a lot of good information and nothing is better than the local knowledge of your neighbors.
4- The "Big Pig" of 12VDC is the refrigerator/freezer. Solar panels one or two will suit all your needs except the refrig/freezer. You'll likely find the space to mount the needed four to six panels on a multi-hull to keep you're needed power. Wind generators do very well in the Caribbean with the consistant trade winds.
5- Anchored out puts you into good wind ventilation in the Bahamas, Keys and Caribbean. Nothing suits us but AC for summers from Florida through the Chesapeake. New England suits well without AC. We cruise the latitudes with the seasons.
6-It's a big mix of opportunity. We usually don't pay for internet access and find quite a bit of free Wi-fi, but not often in the islands. There, we usually buy a beer and a sandwich at an internet cafe now and then.
7- I can't say much about this. We are in our fortieth year of living aboard and we never had a house. We raised two children aboard from infants to departing as adults. Since we never had "big" quarters, I can't evaluate "small" quarters, but we never had problems
8- I don't think this is unique to catamarans. There are many monohulls on the market too, more than cats I think. The market is at it present state due to the economy. Many are backing off their discretionary boating expenses.
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Old 26-08-2011, 18:37   #3
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Re: Live aboard

With a 40-47 ft Cat, you will Probably have a generator, AC, and even a washer dryer. Why would you want to rough it. Believe me if you have AC, you will use it, being on the hook with everything you need, there is really nothing like it, Also a water maker, we use our watermaker to even wash the decks with fresh water. If you intent to Charter all the extra bells and whistles will be needed, because your guests will use way to much water electricity and you will be happy you had it.
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Old 26-08-2011, 19:11   #4
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Re: Live aboard

AC will make life a lot more comfortable.
Doing crewed charters is VERY HARD WORK but usually enjoyable

You can't just decide to live in the BVI. They kick you out after a month. If you want to stay there you have to buy property or get a workpermit. Workpermits are difficult to get. Property is very expensive.

Internet is easy and free in many parts of the Caribbean. Where it isn't free it is typically $10/day or $40/month

Solar panels will keep up if you don't mind being hot and sweaty. If you want to be cool you need to burn diesel.
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Old 26-08-2011, 19:30   #5
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pirate Re: Live aboard

Man.... life's gonna be tough on a boat that small.... reckon you should think about upgrading...
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Old 27-08-2011, 11:30   #6
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Re: Live Aboard

Thanks for all you thoughts. I have a few more questions.
All of the cats I have looked at have ac, gen, water maker, but the prices are all over the map. A 2008 Lagoon with similar options can vary by 50k. Is that due to the sails and navionics? Some of the boats have electric winches. Is that really necessary? How long do sails last? I realize that just like a Kitesurfing kite, the more it is used the quicker it dies. Not sure how long the average sail lasts. How do I know how much the boat has been sailed? What should I look for with regards to the rigging? I would hate to be in the middle of a passage and have the sail rip or a wench brake. Should I have extras of everything?
What are the must haves for the helm?
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Old 27-08-2011, 14:54   #7
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Perhaps chartering a bareboat or two might extend your knowledge and you will meet heaps of people to ask questions of. There's stacks of info along the lines of your questions to be found in these forums. Start reading.
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Old 27-08-2011, 16:52   #8
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Re: Live Aboard

I am reading my ass off. Old forums are good, but I prefer fresh info. on these topics. Sometimes it's nice to hear current advice rather then something from 2009. Just like learning how to Kitesurf, its a pain dealing with newbis to the group, but we try to give as much info as possible to ensure saftey.
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Old 27-08-2011, 17:20   #9
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Okay then here's my 2c worth. Running a charter boat means 18 hour days, 7 days a week to keep up with maintenance, stocking and the promotion/ business side of things. I speak from experience. Your charterers will have little respect for your boat- you are the hired help- and will use all your water and power. They may be lovely people but they are paying you and expect a lot.
Sails may last five years if you look after them and keep them protected from UV. Longer maybe even. How much the boat has sailed may be good or bad. Boats that are used are often better maintained than those that sit. A survey should bring condition to light.
Boat prices will vary by at least 50k just depending on the broker. Not a good guide really.
Best of luck in finding the right boat. Personally I'd get what you can without needing the income from chartering.
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Old 30-08-2011, 12:34   #10
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Re: Live Aboard

You do not need to own property to get a Work Permit in the BVI. You do need to work under someone's Trade License, preferably your own. Both the Work Permit and Trade License can be obtained with a little patience.

If you have no work permit, you can still do up to seven BVI pick-ups and drop-offs as a charter vessel. You can do an unlimited amount if you bring the guests in and take them out, to the USVI, for example.

In either case, eventually you will need to make your vessel MCA compliant for the BVI, which has a number of local exemptions and exceptions, negotiated by the Charter Yacht Society of the BVI, whose website you can check for what is needed to go into the crewed charter business.

Apart from Trade License and Work Permit issues, there are other things you will need and need to pay for including, but not limited to, National Parks permits, and the Commercial Recreational License. All in all, it is quite doable, but it does take some time and patience. In the BVI market, your vessel had better be very well equipped, maintained and manned, or you are just not competitive.

As previous posters have mentioned, it is hard work, which does not mean it is unpleasant work. But, do not jump in unprepared or uninformed, as you can lose a lot of money, that way. As I said, check with the CYS of the BVI. It is the association of independently operated crewed charter yachts and works very hard in their interest.

Cheers,
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Old 01-09-2011, 22:54   #11
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Re: Live Aboard

i don't know about the BVI but in Australia expecting to live on a boat and to make money chartering is very difficult if not impossible, many have tried.
I think you really need another form of income to pay your way.
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Old 02-09-2011, 15:25   #12
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Re: Live Aboard

After reading a lot of other threads and listening to Teeto, the charter part is out. I was looking into charter because I never thought I could live off of $1000-$2000/month.
$500 will never happen and not sure how some people do it.

Well I know the boat I want. A 44' Lagoon which should be large enough to give my wife and me some space, so we don't kill each other. It's kind of scary to sell our house and go for it. I know I'm unhappy with my job and not getting any younger. My kids are finishing up college and it seems like the best time to try this. They're both going on to grad school, so I assume grand kids won't be in the picture for a while.
My wife and I love the Caribbean and always get depressed after our biannual trips. When we're out there, I don't miss the states at all, but wonder if that will change after 6-12 months.
Lastly, there seems to be a lot of Catamarans on the market. If after a year in the Caribbean, we decide it's not for us, it looks like I'll take a real hit selling the boat.
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Old 02-09-2011, 21:11   #13
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A/C

Mermaid is claiming their M5 A/C unit will run off a 1000 watt inverter or gen. It should draw about 450 AH per night. Might be possible to avoid that heavy diesel genny if you had good solar and batts.
YachtsOfStuff.com - Boat, Yacht, Marine, Cabin Air Conditioner, AC
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Old 02-09-2011, 21:22   #14
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Re: Live Aboard

my 5000btu window unit uses 15 amps. wont run off a 1000 wtt invertor for long.

when i anchor out i do not need air conditioning. life is goooood.
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Old 02-09-2011, 21:33   #15
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Re: Live Aboard

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my 5000btu window unit uses 15 amps. wont run off a 1000 wtt invertor for long.

when i anchor out i do not need air conditioning. life is goooood.
Mermaid claims 4.4 amps plus 1 for the seawater pump. Pretty good actually. Now you can run 1 or maybe 2 A/Cs off your batteries if your battery bank is big enough. BOB.
PS I've been to Cabo and PV and Manzanillo in the summer. Ain't ya sweatin?. I did.
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