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Old 08-01-2013, 16:26   #1
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15 Year Old Sailor

Hello! I'm a 15 year old girl who recently got into sailing a couple years ago. My parents followed my lead and gained interest as well. We then went out and bought a nice Mirage 5.5. It was neglected and dirty but in good shape and only needed a little TLC. So, we cleaned her up and got her working good. We've taken her out on the Ohio many times and (when there's actually wind) we always have a lot of fun sailing. Now....as you might guess, I've been hooked. (I was depressed for 2 months when I was involved in marching band and every weekend was taken away! Yuck!) And now, as silly as it sounds, I want to make it my life. I want to go to an art college, study character design for video games or something like that, and (here's the part I'm shy about) liveaboard a sailboat. Is this possible? Am I just some dreamer who's watched too many Pirates of the Caribbean movies? And if not, how can I make this dream of mine come true? I was thinking I could somehow get Internet and use my laptop and tablet for my job. I could work from my boat and connect with my job in the virtual world! but... Is this just wishful thinking? What kinds of jobs will allow me to liveaboard?
Ps: 1)I obvious don't mean living on my Mirage! It's waaaay to small! I would definitely have to upgrade.
2) I am actually closer to 16 so I'm not as young as it seems. I just have a summer birthday.
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Old 08-01-2013, 16:31   #2
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Re: 15 Year Old Sailor

It's not just possible, but providing you can find the right boat and marina, living aboard whilst studying can be economical. It's been done before. Go for it, gal, I admire your guts! Oh, and welcome aboard!
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Old 08-01-2013, 16:35   #3
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It's not just possible, but providing you can find the right boat and marina, living aboard whilst studying can be economical. It's been done before. Go for it, gal, I admire your guts! Oh, and welcome aboard!
Really? Wow! I never knew! Maybe I should find some people who have done that, that will share their story with me.
And thank you! I'm glad to be here and talk with such amazing people within a boating community!
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Old 08-01-2013, 16:36   #4
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Re: 15 Year Old Sailor

A summer birthday is the best.

You can live anywhere you want. What you must consider is the commute from home to school and/or work. You would do well if you can wrangle a job that allows you to work from home or that allows you to come into the office every now and then or you can write your own schedule. The good news is technology has made it easier to have a job like that. Many companies have woken to the idea that a happy employee is more productive.

It is entirely possible to make your dream into your reality. Many people already do what you propose. Find a marina which has the amenities (electricity to your dock, hot water, showers, laundry facilities, etc) you need and which allows for liveaboards (living on your boat at their dock)
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Old 08-01-2013, 16:37   #5
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Re: 15 Year Old Sailor

Welcome SailorGirl,

What you describe is very doable. There are plenty of people that live on a boat and work. There are some limitations.

If you have a job that needs high speed internet access you will pretty much need to be close to land or an island and civilization. You can get high speed wifi connections a lot of places and cell phone 3G/4G connections but once you get more that 15-20 miles away from land you will lose these. You can get connections in lots of cool places in the Bahamas and Caribbean but mainly in the more populated areas or near major towns.

There are options offshore but they are either very, very slow or very, very expensive, at least for now.
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Old 08-01-2013, 16:39   #6
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A summer birthday is the best.

You can live anywhere you want. What you must consider is the commute from home to work. You would do well if you can wrangle a job that allows you to work from home or that allows you to come into the office every now and then or you can write your own schedule. The good news is technology has made it easier to have a job like that. Many companies have woken to the idea that a happy employee is more productive.

It is entirely possible to make your dream into your reality. Many people already do what you propose. Find a marina which has the amenities (electricity to your dock, hot water, showers, laundry facilities, etc) you need and which allows for liveaboards (living on your boat at their dock)
A happy worker certainly does improve work ethic! And thanks for the information!
Would you have any specific marina recommendations?
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Old 08-01-2013, 16:40   #7
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Welcome SailorGirl,

What you describe is very doable. There are plenty of people that live on a boat and work. There are some limitations.

If you have a job that needs high speed internet access you will pretty much need to be close to land or an island and civilization. You can get high speed wifi connections a lot of places and cell phone 3G/4G connections but once you get more that 15-20 miles away from land you will lose these. You can get connections in lots of cool places in the Bahamas and Caribbean but mainly in the more populated areas or near major towns.

There are options offshore but they are either very, very slow or very, very expensive, at least for now.
3G/4G doesn't work that far away from land?
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Old 08-01-2013, 16:49   #8
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Re: 15 Year Old Sailor

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3G/4G doesn't work that far away from land?
Not really. In fact I was not able to get a connection more that 5-6 miles but you can get a booster antennae that will work a little further. Have not used one but I hear they might get as much as a 15-20 mile range but that will depend on where you are sailing and how the antennas on the cell towers are configured.

Once beyond 3G range you are limited to satellite or short wave radio. Expensive and/or slow.
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Old 08-01-2013, 16:52   #9
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Re: 15 Year Old Sailor

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A happy worker certainly does improve work ethic! And thanks for the information!
Would you have any specific marina recommendations?
There are thousands of marinas, all along both coasts of the US. More expensive in the northeast and New England, south FL and south CA.

Otherwise, pick a location on the coast where you want to go to school or work and there usually (but not always in some places) be dozens of marinas to choose from.
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Old 08-01-2013, 16:52   #10
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Re: 15 Year Old Sailor

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Would you have any specific marina recommendations?
For starters I would search out the marinas near where you live now. And you can use the internet and phone to query those marinas at or near locations you hope to move to.

You have mentioned going to school then finding employment. Do you plan to move aboard for school? There was a thread on CF about living aboard as a college student. Living on your own requires discipline. Living aboard requires devotion of your time to the boat. How to balance that with school work can be difficult...usually made easier by adjustments in lifestyle and perhaps a relaxation of class scheduling.

Many cities and urban areas have marinas if (of course) there is a body of water or navigable river.
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Old 08-01-2013, 16:57   #11
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Re: 15 Year Old Sailor

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There are thousands of marinas, all along both coasts of the US. More expensive in the northeast and New England, south FL and south CA.

Otherwise, pick a location on the coast where you want to go to school or work and there usually (but not always in some places) be dozens of marinas to choose from.
Not just the coasts! There are suitable marinas on the inland waters such as along the Ohio River, the mighty Mississippi, the Great Lakes, etc. Heck, even Nebraska has a navy. Whatta country!
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Old 08-01-2013, 17:28   #12
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Re: 15 Year Old Sailor

Absolutely can be done. The best part is that by the time you get the boat and graduate, the price of connectivity will have come down even more, and net access will be even easier to get. Which, is a bit of a double edged sword given that one of the beauties of sailing is that you can't access the internet, t.v. etc....

That said, I have brought my phone and computer with me on evening sails with the full intention of getting some work done. Of course neither one ever makes it out of my backpack once the boat leaves the dock - such is the attraction of sailing
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Old 08-01-2013, 17:28   #13
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Re: 15 Year Old Sailor

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3G/4G doesn't work that far away from land?
Most of the time (90%+?) the boat will be moored / at anchor and not on passage let alone mid ocean.

Of course that don't mean that connections are everywhere (well, not at present - but I suspect that will change / get more affordable).

Depending on your job (and deadlines / need to actually be online) perfectly feasible to work around those limitations......especially if you end up working for yourself . Personally I feel that getting skills that can work outside a traditional fixed location / seperate from where you are based (and ideally also pay well!) is a damned valuable thing to have - whether or not involving boats.

Anyway, enjoy the adventure .
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Old 08-01-2013, 17:53   #14
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Re: 15 Year Old Sailor

Try our google search engine. Here are just the first five hits on 'student liveaboard':

Student, Sailor, Liveaboard, DIYer!
Liveaboard Marinas in Tampa Florida
How Much to Liveaboard ?
I want to rent a Berkeley Liveaboard
NYC Living/Broke college student solutions
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Old 08-01-2013, 17:59   #15
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Re: 15 Year Old Sailor

welcome aboard. I hope it works out well for you.
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