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Old 01-12-2016, 15:35   #1
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Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone contri

Hi everyone. I'm 26 years old not married no kids no responsibilities and debt free. I have been in the Marine mechanics and general boat repair and building Etc pretty much my whole life. I started a successful mobile Marine repair business about four years ago and it is doing well I'm very busy and I have built a very good reputation in Tampa and send Petersburg area.. I have always wanted to live aboard a boat I absolutely love sailing it is the deepest happiness in my heart. My first sailboat was a 1969 Morgan 22, my first-ever sail was from Tampa to Key West with zero experience and I went on my own it was a very very fun trip and learning experience. Anyway I don't want to make this body too long but I just recently purchased a Morgan 41 out Island. I really like the layout of the Morgan. I wanted to go with a 52 Irwin a 45 whitby or similar but would not be able to afford that type of boat in a good condition, I have decided to be debt-free in my life because my ultimate goal is to be sailing and living on my sailboat debt free so whatever money I make I can keep myself cruising since I am a mechanic it will be a little less expensive for me to keep things fixed and maintained until it comes to haulling the boat out the water etc. Anyway I was wanting to see if there's anybody out there who started out cruising at a young age and ran into problems with Finance? And work and resources Etc. Since I am a marine mechanic I can most likely work on boats as I cruise but I was wondering if that is actually easier said than done.. My Morgan needs a lot of work it needs a new engine and a new generator it needs the interior to be redone it needs a new floor and it needs to be completely rewired and replumbed. At the moment everything is working but if I'm planning on living on the boat and cruising everywhere the stuff needs to be in Top Notch. I don't have much savings in the bank but I don't have much I need to pay and I I'm trying to figure out weather my sailing dreams are far away all closer than it seems, can anyone give me some advice? I'm new to this app and it seems like there are some knowledgeable people on here. Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-12-2016, 16:07   #2
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

You have started out in a rather large boat, but being able to repair things yourself will be a big help. One of the things you will learn quickly is that replacing gear (or almost anything) is much more expensive on a large boat than it is on a smaller boat. Sails , rigging, ground tackle is much more costly and heavier to handle. I am not saying that you cant do it, I am saying that I suspect you will be surprised(maybe overwhelmed) at the cost of it all. I started cruising in my mid 20s in a 26 foot boat. I made it to Tahiti before I ran out of money and had to go home and work more. Ten years later and 2 boats later I had a beautiful Peterson 44 in the Caribbean and I was spending almost as much per month to cruise on the big boat as I had spent per year on the little boat. I had way more comfort and convenience, but at a much greater cost. That was avoiding restaurants and bars and marinas, so most was boat costs. From the sounds of your boat, you probably didnt pay much for it so you might do well to use your skills to fix and upgrade and make a profit on it and buy 8 or 10 foot less boat and have a cruising kitty. When upgrading an older boat,Craigslist/Ebay are your friends. I wish you well. The cruising life is wonderful. _____Grant.
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Old 01-12-2016, 16:22   #3
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

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Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
You have started out in a rather large boat, but being able to repair things yourself will be a big help. One of the things you will learn quickly is that replacing gear (or almost anything) is much more expensive on a large boat than it is on a smaller boat. Sails , rigging, ground tackle is much more costly and heavier to handle. I am not saying that you cant do it, I am saying that I suspect you will be surprised(maybe overwhelmed) at the cost of it all. I started cruising in my mid 20s in a 26 foot boat. I made it to Tahiti before I ran out of money and had to go home and work more. Ten years later and 2 boats later I had a beautiful Peterson 44 in the Caribbean and I was spending almost as much per month to cruise on the big boat as I had spent per year on the little boat. I had way more comfort and convenience, but at a much greater cost. That was avoiding restaurants and bars and marinas, so most was boat costs. From the sounds of your boat, you probably didnt pay much for it so you might do well to use your skills to fix and upgrade and make a profit on it and buy 8 or 10 foot less boat and have a cruising kitty. When upgrading an older boat,Craigslist/Ebay are your friends. I wish you well. The cruising life is wonderful. _____Grant.

wise words there,having sailed twice around the world on a shoestring,the only positive about having a bigger boat is you can take more "paying crew" and carry a bigger selection of tools to be able to work on other peoples boats to finance your travels....

moral is you will never meet a starving cruiser as long as they are prepared to do odd jobs and have a some rice,beans and a fishing line
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Old 01-12-2016, 16:53   #4
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

We've lived aboard our Morgan Out Islands for 29 years while staying employed and for the past 15 years while retired. We've been cruising much more in retirement, but still spending a lot of time with replace and refit projects. There's very little on our boat that I have not dealt with on my own.

As to your question, we've never run into difficulties with finance because we've never spent more than our income!

We raised our two children aboard and with a family of four we found our first Morgan OI 33 ample and our 41 OI since 1985 more than satisfactory. You must have a huge space solo, but room to expand.

As we are looking at the beginning of our 45th year living aboard, we are preparing for our future ashore.

We've been very pleased with our spacious and marginally performing home that has carried us well over 50,000 comfortable miles.
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Old 01-12-2016, 17:02   #5
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

Being an ex-mechanic makes you able to do almost anthing on your boat and you are really well qualified to do work for paying clients, and at a rate less than those paying heavy overheads. Move on board because the world really is your oyster. A proviso being that work in foriegn lands requires a degree of discretion....illegal sometimes.
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Old 01-12-2016, 17:06   #6
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

Quote:
Originally Posted by gjordan View Post
You have started out in a rather large boat, but being able to repair things yourself will be a big help. One of the things you will learn quickly is that replacing gear (or almost anything) is much more expensive on a large boat than it is on a smaller boat. Sails , rigging, ground tackle is much more costly and heavier to handle. I am not saying that you cant do it, I am saying that I suspect you will be surprised(maybe overwhelmed) at the cost of it all. I started cruising in my mid 20s in a 26 foot boat. I made it to Tahiti before I ran out of money and had to go home and work more. Ten years later and 2 boats later I had a beautiful Peterson 44 in the Caribbean and I was spending almost as much per month to cruise on the big boat as I had spent per year on the little boat. I had way more comfort and convenience, but at a much greater cost. That was avoiding restaurants and bars and marinas, so most was boat costs. From the sounds of your boat, you probably didnt pay much for it so you might do well to use your skills to fix and upgrade and make a profit on it and buy 8 or 10 foot less boat and have a cruising kitty. When upgrading an older boat,Craigslist/Ebay are your friends. I wish you well. The cruising life is wonderful. _____Grant.
Great advise !! Feels good to hear the words straight from the doctor! Yes i got the boat for a very good deal. Maybe you are right, i could fix it ans sell it as a live aboard and use the money towards sonething 5-10 foot smaller (sloop) and be more happy with the less expensive lifestyle it comes with.
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Old 01-12-2016, 17:48   #7
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
We've lived aboard our Morgan Out Islands for 29 years while staying employed and for the past 15 years while retired. We've been cruising much more in retirement, but still spending a lot of time with replace and refit projects. There's very little on our boat that I have not dealt with on my own.

As to your question, we've never run into difficulties with finance because we've never spent more than our income!

We raised our two children aboard and with a family of four we found our first Morgan OI 33 ample and our 41 OI since 1985 more than satisfactory. You must have a huge space solo, but room to expand.

As we are looking at the beginning of our 45th year living aboard, we are preparing for our future ashore.

We've been very pleased with our spacious and marginally performing home that has carried us well over 50,000 comfortable miles.
Wow how amazing! What is your plan with your Morgan once ashore?
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Old 01-12-2016, 17:50   #8
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

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Originally Posted by brianlara 3 View Post
Being an ex-mechanic makes you able to do almost anthing on your boat and you are really well qualified to do work for paying clients, and at a rate less than those paying heavy overheads. Move on board because the world really is your oyster. A proviso being that work in foriegn lands requires a degree of discretion....illegal sometimes.
Thanks for that. I do have a full mobile tool setup enough to do any inboard or outboard services with all digital diagnostic computer tools. So maybe while in cruising i can stop at some marinas and work for them.
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Old 01-12-2016, 18:19   #9
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

If you are a good mechanic, you'll probably be able to refit the old boat and maker her beautiful again. You will need help from time time time...some things are just are easier when someone holds the other end so to speak...

Paying for professional mechanics or joiners and so on is very very spendy... which is why so many salts are DIYers and many learn out of necessity.

If you can work as a mechanic once you can live aboard... you should be fine.

Good luck.
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Old 01-12-2016, 18:22   #10
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

My experience is you'll struggle to make much money while actually cruising. You can certainly spend 6 or months somewhere and get some work after getting established.

For example on the Georgetowm morning net, there are tons of retired engineers and mechanics that will work all day on another boat to get away from their wife and maybe get a bottle of rum or two for payment.

Hard to compete with that pay. And you'll find most folks leery of having a major repair done by someone in the anchorage unless again, you're long established.

So I would recommend making money for another several years and hope to bank 100k or so and go with a 32-35' boat. Or put that money into a rental property or two. Don't be afraid of "bad neighborhoods" within reason as you can get some good deals and good tenants if you're careful.
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Old 01-12-2016, 18:35   #11
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

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If you are a good mechanic, you'll probably be able to refit the old boat and maker her beautiful again. You will need help from time time time...some things are just are easier when someone holds the other end so to speak...

Paying for professional mechanics or joiners and so on is very very spendy... which is why so many salts are DIYers and many learn out of necessity.

If you can work as a mechanic once you can live aboard... you should be fine.

Good luck.
Thanks so much for that advice, yes i agree on help costs, i am a very (alone) mechanic, i perform much better without someone under my feet so to say but yes sometimes carrying a 150pound cylinder head up companion way stair case would be nice with help lol!
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Old 01-12-2016, 18:39   #12
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

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My experience is you'll struggle to make much money while actually cruising. You can certainly spend 6 or months somewhere and get some work after getting established.

For example on the Georgetowm morning net, there are tons of retired engineers and mechanics that will work all day on another boat to get away from their wife and maybe get a bottle of rum or two for payment.

Hard to compete with that pay. And you'll find most folks leery of having a major repair done by someone in the anchorage unless again, you're long established.

So I would recommend making money for another several years and hope to bank 100k or so and go with a 32-35' boat. Or put that money into a rental property or two. Don't be afraid of "bad neighborhoods" within reason as you can get some good deals and good tenants if you're careful.
Thats is some great thinking material!! Yes you are so right, i have some assets ive slowely but surely collected / built over the last several years since ive lived in america, i could probably start with 20k or so from the beginning then build it up to 100k or so in about 5 or 7 years from now.
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Old 01-12-2016, 22:30   #13
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

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Thanks for that. I do have a full mobile tool setup enough to do any inboard or outboard services with all digital diagnostic computer tools. So maybe while in cruising i can stop at some marinas and work for them.
You'll have work in truck loads. But save pennies for a rainy day when you're overseas in a foreign country and the local mechanics don't appreciate you taking their work at possibly reduced rates. But I think that fellow cruisers will flock to you, either higher skills, better equipment or lower than local rates....or all of the above. When overseas, keep zipped.
Rafted up to clients vessels....too easy!
Beats working 9 'til 5, kids in school then college. Get out there man and make hay while the sun shines.
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Old 02-12-2016, 00:57   #14
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

From what the others here are saying, it sounds like it would make sense for you to figure out how to advertise yourself & services while cruising. Since if you do that, & have a good rapport with people, you'll probably not want for work. As your specialty is surely in demand on boats.

As to your boat, she's big, yes. But if you keep things simple she'll be kinder on your wallet than would a 35' boat packed with gadgets. A huge proportion of the gear that you find on boats anymore, which many people think of as necessities, are really luxuries. Keeping it simple helps to stop the boat, or your life, from owning you.

Notice how half of the conversations on here are about gear maint., buying gear, shopping, etc. With actual sailing being but a small percentage of what's discussed.
It's worth a think.

Edit: You might start working towards your Captain's liscense(s) if you haven't already. It's another vocation that you can draw on to help to keep Cheerios on the table. Whether you host charters on your boat, do deliveries, or hire out as a skipper/instructor elsewhere.
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Old 02-12-2016, 02:22   #15
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Re: Im trying to make a decision about living aboard and still working. Can anyone co

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Wow how amazing! What is your plan with your Morgan once ashore?
I sold our first live aboard cruising boat in 1973 to a person who neglected and ruined what I had cherished. It might sound silly and sentimental, but I don't think I'll put the boat that we've lived on for the past 32 years on the open market. I'll more likely be vetting the potential new owner that needs a spacious, mediocre performing shoal draft coastal cruiser, maybe a young family that could erase the marks we put on our mast showing the growth of our two children and replace them with their own. I can let my ketch go, but I'd like to foster a heritage. I'm looking forward to sharing the strong and weak points, all the details and challenges. I can't just take what I've been committed to for more than half my life and pass it to a broker.
......... I know,- silly and sentimental.
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