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Old 23-02-2015, 08:42   #1
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Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

Well, let me reword. I'm a 24 year old male. I've been saving money up to liveaboard a sailboat. In ~7 months I'll be in the position to make everything happen. But, as of now I'm trying to plan everything out and attempt to make this dream actually workout.

Now, Where I'm stumped is about money. I'll have ~$25,000 saved up. I'm looking to spend ~$15,000 to ~$19,000 on the boat. So, I'll have ~$7,000-$9,000 left to help me get started. So, after all the intro fees I should have at the very least $3,000.

My main worry is where the H do I leave my boat? I'm looking at living near the pan handle of Florida (the northern part banking the Gulf of Mexico). Is there mooring available? Is that free? Can I just anchor my boat anywhere I want and dinghy to a dock?

I'd plan on working the winter months, then live off that money all summer.

I guess what I'm looking for is someone to tell me it's truly possible. I've read all the threads about this here, and I keep seeing responses to people with large retirment incomes, steady jobs, etc. I want to truly live free and make this happen for years to come. I want to "live off the land".

Anyone?
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Old 23-02-2015, 08:49   #2
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

I'm confused about your questions, by leave the boat, do you mean for the day while your at work, or for long periods of time?
Currently you can anchor a boat for long periods of time, but my personal belief is that will soon change.
I believe sooner than later, you won't be allowed to "store" a boat at anchor, but that is an opinion, not a fact.
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Old 23-02-2015, 08:54   #3
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

RULE NUMBER ONE: Anything is possible so don't doubt yourself.

However, there are practicalities to seriously consider. Given you need to work to make money (like almost all of us) you could live aboard and also have a job. This means you do need to be in a marina but slip fees are cheap - compared to renting. Of course, you could anchor out in some swamp and row a dinghy into shore everyday but that gets old in the rain and the cold. Also, by living aboard in a marina you will rub elbows with like-minded folks who generally will have much more experience than you and will be happy to share ideas and help you on your path.

Longer term I would suggest you seriously think about the trip you are planning. This brings me to RULE NUMBER TWO: Buy the boat for the trip. A comfortable liveaboard (in your price range) will not be something you can easily take offshore (and survive). If your plans are just to live aboard and get that experience while you work then that is a very different type of boat you will need than one which would take you to Africa.

Lots of good information on this forum and many qualified people willing to spout off.

Enjoy.

Dhillen
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Old 23-02-2015, 09:02   #4
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

So you are 24 years old and your life's ambition is to be a hobo?

While this sounds like fun at your age, what are your plans for later in life? Do you plan on living past 60 or 70 years old and how do you plan to feed and cloth yourself? What about medical expenses?

At your age you have the opportunity to build a foundation so you will be free to do whatever you want when you get older and not have to worry about where your next meal is coming from. And remember, that boat you are saving up for won't last forever.

But id it's your life's ambition, yes you can anchor your boat in many places and dinghy to a dock.
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Old 23-02-2015, 09:11   #5
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

I agree with those above. It is possible to anchor and row ashore for no cost. I know people around here do it. The boats tend to be pretty rough- but they don't have to be.

For the kind of money you're talking I agree you probably don't want to go off shore with a boat like that. Lucky for you though you live in Florida and can cruise for many many years and never have to go offshore.

You have the entire continental US at your disposal. You have the bottom half of Canada at your disposal (without an off shore boat) including 5 great lakes. You have the entire caribean, all of central America and the caribean portion of south America.

I'm like you, I couldn't afford an $80 000 boat (without taking a loan- I don't believe in consumer debt). So I bought what I could afford, under $20 000 and there is basically nowhere in the above list I wouldn't feel comfortable taking her with my family on board.

Having said that, as the poster above mentioned, I wouldn't feel very comfortable taking the boat to Africa.

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Old 23-02-2015, 09:14   #6
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

You can get a slip for about $200 ish if you don't mind it not being "posh".
If you anchor out you need to deal with your waste etc., don't just discharge in the bay and anchoring out brings in expenses too like a dinghy that you don't have in a slip, plus slips usually almost always come with laundry facilities and bathrooms with hot water, place to dispose of trash etc., electricity for heat and cooling, even cable TV.

Even in the Panhandle, it was brutal cold last week to be in a boat with no heat
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Old 23-02-2015, 09:19   #7
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

Florida especially has real problems with people anchoring out for indefinite periods of time. There are plenty of threads here covering this topic. Try a search on the topic. It's mostly that influential wealthy people with waterfront property do not want "unsightly" boats ruining their views.
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Old 23-02-2015, 09:26   #8
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

Sail through the Panama Canal or truck the boat to San Francisco.
Join the crowd in Richardson Bay. There's a spot recently vacated by the Flyin' Hawaiian.



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Old 23-02-2015, 09:41   #9
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

Well, for anything. Work, pleasure, etc. I just need to know the cheapest way to leave my boat. Also, while it being a smart decision.
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Old 23-02-2015, 09:43   #10
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

First, I wish I had started on this plan at your age. Good for you to be working at it at 24!

Second, buy the book Buy, Outfit and Sail by Gary "Capn. Fatty" Goodlander. Fatty Goodlander, S/V Wild Card - Buy, Outfit, and Sail

If I were in your position I would change my thinking on a couple of things. On the boat coast, I think you are devoting too much of your available income on the boat. Look at cheaper boats. You can find a 25-27 boat for under $5K in your area. Start with that, something like a Catalina 25 or 27, a Pearson, etc. Don't put too much money into the systems on the boat (i.e. electrical, water, waste, navigation equipment), think more about making it safe and adding things you can take with you to the next boat (i.e. safety equipment, better anchors, etc.). See if you like the life style. Almost any boat in this size range can be made safe enough to cruise the Florida coast and the closer portions of the Bahamas. If you like that then you can think about going further. But people have even done circumnavigations in those boats with modifications.

Next, stop thinking in terms of summer and winter. Think storm season and non-storm season. The winter is when many want to be cruising as opposed to June through October when you are in the middle of hurricane season. Plus in June, July and August you can get some pretty strong pop-up thunderstorms. Not really the best time to be cruising but it would be fine to work during that time.

Lastly I would advise you to ignore the people who say you need a long term plan. Life isn't certain. Plus it also has a way of working itself out. You can find some work in almost all places you would want to go. Again, start researching guys like Fatty Goodlander. He is a great example of how you just need a will to make it happen. You will figure the rest out along the way.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
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Old 23-02-2015, 09:49   #11
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xJeepx View Post
Well, for anything. Work, pleasure, etc. I just need to know the cheapest way to leave my boat. Also, while it being a smart decision.
Then look at seasonal lease prices for a mooring. Around New England that will cost about $1000-1500 for May through October. And that usually includes use of the showers and bathrooms. I am not sure what the costs in Florida are like but I would bet that is the cheapest way to go.
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Old 23-02-2015, 09:59   #12
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
First, I wish I had started on this plan at your age. Good for you to be working at it at 24!

Second, buy the book Buy, Outfit and Sail by Gary "Capn. Fatty" Goodlander. Fatty Goodlander, S/V Wild Card - Buy, Outfit, and Sail

If I were in your position I would change my thinking on a couple of things. On the boat coast, I think you are devoting too much of your available income on the boat. Look at cheaper boats. You can find a 25-27 boat for under $5K in your area. Start with that, something like a Catalina 25 or 27, a Pearson, etc. Don't put too much money into the systems on the boat (i.e. electrical, water, waste, navigation equipment), think more about making it safe and adding things you can take with you to the next boat (i.e. safety equipment, better anchors, etc.). See if you like the life style. Almost any boat in this size range can be made safe enough to cruise the Florida coast and the closer portions of the Bahamas. If you like that then you can think about going further. But people have even done circumnavigations in those boats with modifications.

Next, stop thinking in terms of summer and winter. Think storm season and non-storm season. The winter is when many want to be cruising as opposed to June through October when you are in the middle of hurricane season. Plus in June, July and August you can get some pretty strong pop-up thunderstorms. Not really the best time to be cruising but it would be fine to work during that time.

Lastly I would advise you to ignore the people who say you need a long term plan. Life isn't certain. Plus it also has a way of working itself out. You can find some work in almost all places you would want to go. Again, start researching guys like Fatty Goodlander. He is a great example of how you just need a will to make it happen. You will figure the rest out along the way.

Good luck and fair winds,

Jesse
Thank you! I will order that book. Only $10 on Amazon.
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Old 23-02-2015, 10:01   #13
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
You can get a slip for about $200 ish if you don't mind it not being "posh".
If you anchor out you need to deal with your waste etc., don't just discharge in the bay and anchoring out brings in expenses too like a dinghy that you don't have in a slip, plus slips usually almost always come with laundry facilities and bathrooms with hot water, place to dispose of trash etc., electricity for heat and cooling, even cable TV.

Even in the Panhandle, it was brutal cold last week to be in a boat with no heat
By slip, do you mean a slip at a marina? Does that have AC power? $200 sounds to good to be true at a marina. Do they allow liveaboards?
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Old 23-02-2015, 10:03   #14
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xJeepx View Post
Thank you! I will order that book. Only $10 on Amazon.
Worth every penny. It's a step by step guide to doing exactly what you want to do from someone who has done it for over 50 years. He has circumnavigated multiple times on a boat he traded a guitar for that was washed up on a beach with a hole in it.
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Old 23-02-2015, 10:10   #15
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Re: Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)?

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Originally Posted by Dhillen View Post
RULE NUMBER ONE: Anything is possible so don't doubt yourself.

However, there are practicalities to seriously consider. Given you need to work to make money (like almost all of us) you could live aboard and also have a job. This means you do need to be in a marina but slip fees are cheap - compared to renting. Of course, you could anchor out in some swamp and row a dinghy into shore everyday but that gets old in the rain and the cold. Also, by living aboard in a marina you will rub elbows with like-minded folks who generally will have much more experience than you and will be happy to share ideas and help you on your path.

Longer term I would suggest you seriously think about the trip you are planning. This brings me to RULE NUMBER TWO: Buy the boat for the trip. A comfortable liveaboard (in your price range) will not be something you can easily take offshore (and survive). If your plans are just to live aboard and get that experience while you work then that is a very different type of boat you will need than one which would take you to Africa.

Lots of good information on this forum and many qualified people willing to spout off.

Enjoy.

Dhillen
Could a liveaboard sailboat in my price range not sail the USA coast?
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