Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 05-01-2016, 11:56   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 11
Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

I have been wanting to live on a sailboat for 4-5 years now and have been following some threads on this forum for a while. I am currently looking to graduate in May and have some possible job prospects in the Houston area. After I graduate I plan to travel to the San Juan Islands to get certified up to an ASA 104 certification for bareboat charters. I have experience sailing smaller craft (up to 20') but have never sailed larger boats in salt water. I just wanted to give a little background of where I am at.

If I end up working in central or south Houston, I would like to go straight or move quickly to living on a sailboat (if it is possible). I have no debt coming out of school but I realize it would be hard to get a mortgage on a boat with no hard assets, besides my car, and little money saved up. Is there any way I could rent a sailboat to live on in the area? I would like to go out on weekends and get experience. I figure the boat being my home would allow me to save more than if I rented or owned a boat and had a home on land. I also need to determine if living on a boat is something I would enjoy hence why a rental would be good.

BTW my end goal is working x number of years to save (while living on a boat) then taking a few years off to experience the cruising life while I am young. I know that a good cruising boat can be different from a good dockside liveaboard boat.
__________________

__________________
baylorbear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2016, 11:59   #2
Registered User
 
dwedeking2's Avatar

Join Date: May 2014
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Boat: Morgan Out Island 415
Posts: 371
Images: 1
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

Why not buy a smaller older boat as a interim step?

You'll reap the lower cost of living without going into debt, allow you to test the idea without a large $$ investment, and build up to buying a newer boat with or without financiing.
__________________

dwedeking2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2016, 12:04   #3
Registered User
 
Lizzy Belle's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Netherlands
Boat: Ohlson 29
Posts: 1,522
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

Welcome to CF!

Quote:
Originally Posted by baylorbear View Post
I would like to go straight or move quickly to living on a sailboat (if it is possible). / but I realize it would be hard to get a mortgage on a boat with no hard assets
I don't know what sort of boat (size, comfort, luxury) you want, but it would probably make more sense to wait until you can afford a small boat and own it outright.

As I'm not in the US I'm not sure about possibly renting a liveaboard, but here it would be very, very difficult to find one (for one, marina's don't usually allow it) and if you did, it would be very expensive.

You should be able to find a small and basic boat (well) under $10k, tho from what I understand, more and more US marina's have a minimal size of around 35' for liveaboard boats - something to keep in mind when looking at smaller boats.
__________________
"Il faut Ítre toujours ivre." - Charles Baudelaire
Dutch ♀ Liveaboard, sharing an Ohlson 29 with a feline.
Lizzy Belle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2016, 22:01   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 11
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

Thanks y'all appreciate the advice. I also have noticed that a lot of marinas require 35 foot or more. Because of this I have mostly limited my searching to that size. I wonder if they would be fine with a smaller boat if an owner payed for 35 feet.

Do you all know of any small older boats that are good liveaboards? I would like something with some performace but a more stable slower boat may be better for comfort and for learning. Also, living in Houston with no AC in the summer would be unbearable so it would definitely need some amenities.
__________________
baylorbear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-01-2016, 22:57   #5
Moderator
 
sailorchic34's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Boat: Islander 34
Posts: 4,812
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

If you have experience sailing a 20 foot boat, then why take ASA. ASA101 is basically an afternoon or two in a 21' boat so not different. If you own a bigger boat the tricky bits are docking and undocking and reefing early. Everything else is a bit of reading and practice, practice. Of course it helps to know plumbing, electrical, carpentry, etc and that is not covered by ASA.

You could find an older 70's 80's boat in the 35-37' range for not too much. The key is to get a boat old enough that somebody else has refurbished it.

A islander 36 is sturdy enough to take you anywhere. Fair performance, fin keel and solid hull. Not as beamy as newer boats, but that's not such a bad thing either.

Here's one in Seabrook,TX for $28K. Stove is older and only two burner, but the boat looks fairly clean. Not fancy, but strong by todays standards.

1976 Islander Sail Boat For Sale - www.yachtworld.com

Big enough to liveaboard anywhere, though smaller then some of the newer beamer plastic. So for about the price of a cheap new car, you have a boat and a home. Lots of others out there.

Mind you, not everyone can live in less then 200SF (including storage). But for those that can, it's not too bad.

BTW, figure anywhere from 30% and up, of purchase price for fixing things on an older boat. Maybe only 10% on a newer boat, but then a newer boat costs more and might have the same issues too. All boats need a bit of work. Here's a tip: Always replace the raw water impeller on any boat you buy first thing. Boats tend to sit a bit, specially boats for sale.
__________________
sailorchic34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 03:27   #6
Registered User
 
UNCIVILIZED's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Up the mast, looking for clean wind.
Boat: Currently Shopping, & Heavily in LUST!
Posts: 5,629
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

I bought & lived aboard my 1st boat @ 22, 6 months out of college. And while admittedly, I had a LOT of sailing experience at that point, most of it wasn't necessary, or even relavent to my doing so.

I looked though a good number of boats, & found a 1977 Ranger 33', for $17K, in 1991. And I was fortunate in that the owners were a retired Navy Captain & his wife, who were kind enough to write me, a new (broke) Annapolis grad, a loan for the 20% down payment that the bank wanted, in order for me to finance the boat. As said couple knew that I was good for the $, & also were Very familiar with the why behind my finances. Having been there themselves at that point in their lives.
FYI, one gets paid next to naught as a Midshipman, & has ZERO time or opportunity to earn $ elsewhee.

And honestly, the picking the boat part was the hardest part of things. In terms of deciding on; want vs. need, & budget. Despite having spent all of my life sailing. And literally being a professional mariner at that point (sail, & large vessels).
With the irony being, that after living aboard for a year, I realized that I could easily have lived on a much smaller boat.

The only caveat to that iss, how much closet space do you Really require for your Professional wardrobe? And how much of it can be stored near your boat, or at work? For once you get creative, & solve that part of the equation. There's not much in terms of limits, as to how small you can go, boat wise.

As to learning how to sail bigger boats, sailorchic.34 has some of it covered. And over time, I "discovered" that the only real difference (mostly) in sailing boats one, or two sizes bigger than you're used to, is in how far you need to plan ahead for things.
That & you need to have thought through how to do the majority of the basics (on bigger boats) enough times, that doing them is 2nd nature, when it comes time to do them. Whether you'd planned to do X, or Y, right then or not.

Especially as, on bigger boats, you can't just muscle things by brute force, like you can on small boats. So you have to get used to using a boat's systems, & your brain, in order to solve problems. Ergo the thinking ahead, & thinking though things.
But it's not complex, rather, it just takes a bit of practice.
And honestly, bumping into most things with boats, at 5kts, rarely does much damage, but to one's pride, so... Go for it!


PS: If $ is a real issue, & you need a 35'er or bigger, look @ Ericsons. As I routinely see Gen II's for $10K - $15K. Though of course they'll need some love. And if you want to go cheap, & smaller, look @ Cal 29's. As well fitted out ones often go for $5K, sometimes less.
And one Summer, when I was 25, my Dad, a friend of his, sailed aroun the Great Lakes for a month on a Cal 29. With none of us being much smaller than 6', & 200lbs. And we weren't cramped for space, or short of spots to stow gear & supplies.
- If you search on Cal 29's on here, you'll see a couple of in depth writeups which I've done on them for students looking to buy inexpensive, quality boats. So, good luck!
__________________

The Uncommon Thing, The Hard Thing, The Important Thing (in Life): Making Promises to Yourself, And Keeping Them.
UNCIVILIZED is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 05:12   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 4,877
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

Don't buy a boat you need to finance. If you decide it's not what you thought, you are likely stuck.

I also wouldn't dump a lot of money into ASA courses. Take your time and you can learn.

Plenty of less expensive boats especially if you are handy but get something you can use out of the box. A project boat typically costs more than buying something functional by the time you are done.

As long as you can find a marina reasonable distance to work, should work fine. Renting is unlikely and would likely kill any savings.
__________________
valhalla360 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 05:36   #8
Moderator
 
a64pilot's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Albany Ga.
Boat: Island Packet 38
Posts: 17,037
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

I'm older and will Retire soon, I hope, but I have watched others in my Marina that are "Professionals" that work. In my mind living on a boat makes a lot of sense, first this is Fl, so no taxes, and they are right Downtown, and in a safe, guarded and patrolled "gated community".
You know what those cost Downtown? A lot more than a Marina slip.
__________________
a64pilot is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 08:54   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fl
Boat: Gemini, 1993 #379 34' Shearwater
Posts: 266
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

A bigger issue in the Houston area is access to suitable water. The Clear Lake area is excellent - some of the other waters are heavily commercial and would not be a good living experience.

If your commute to Clear Lake is workable, there are a number of Marianas available and suitable first boat live aboards are surprisingly inexpensive. If Clear Lake involves a long commute in Houston traffic, better to live under a bridge :-)
__________________
Capt. Stuart Bell
Ranger R-25
stu@shearwater-sailing.com
captstu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 09:42   #10
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 11
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

Hey thanks again y'all for the advice. Sorry, I need to clarify sailorchic34. My experience sailing has mostly been on sunfish sized boat (so really small). I have been on a larger boat (18-20ft) but it was once or twice and my lack of being able to remember probably means I don't have experience to speak of with those size boats.

My school offers sunfish for rental to students "for free" so I have tried to take full advantage of this through my time at school. Also, most girls I meet want to go sailing so copilots are easy to find ha.

As for the ASA course, I am just trying to keep my options open. From looking online, I know most boat rental places require some sort of certification to rent larger boats. Depending on the job I get, I could be moving around or I could be stationary. If I was moving around I could at least rent a boat for the weekend or something along those lines. As much I would like to get a boat to live on out of college, I realize if I finance it and have to move, I will be stuck with the boat payment.

I have been doing some estimating and I think a commute from Clear Lake to possible employers would be around 45 min traffic free. I am not afraid to wake up early and drive a ways if it meant I could have unlimited access to a boat ha.

UNCIVILIZED, I will take a look at the Cal 29. I would like to have a boat that has minimal issues going in since my free time will be limited to weekends which I would like to use going sailing. As for space, I do not need much. I figure I rent a small storage unit for anything that is too big.
__________________
baylorbear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 09:50   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 3
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

I am not familiar with the Houston area but here in Baltimore, we have more than a few liveaboards in our marina who live extremely cheaply. "Older" wood or fiberglas sailboats can easily be found for less than $10,000 that are very suitable for liveaboard. One couple I know bought a wood sailboat for less than $5,000 and lived aboard for several years before they moved on to another boat. You will get nothing suitable for long distance sailing at those prices, but definitely something just fine for comfortable iiveaboard.
__________________
CaptainSandy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 10:01   #12
Senior Cruiser
 
Rockyscience's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: IN./TX.
Boat: Custom Roberts 65' Ketch (Sold it)
Posts: 73
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

Absolutely Not, You must work most of your life, like the rest of us before you move onto a sailboat...

Just kidding-- you pursue your dreams as soon as you are able...

Rocky
__________________
Rockyscience is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 10:05   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: New York, New York
Boat: Dufour Safari 27'
Posts: 384
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

You will find a lot of good advice on this forum. Keep in mind that everyone's comments are based upon their experiences and your needs may be different. For example, living aboard as a non cruising professional is different than cruising. Yes, both live on a boat, but one group isn't concerned about going to work the next morning. This difference has practical considerations. One example that immediately comes to mind is air-conditioning. While cruising, you may be perfectly fine with good airflow but as a professional, you may need AC to keep you cool so that by the time you get to your client or work, you don't need a shower. Another big difference is what you will keep on your boat. Living at a marina gives you options such as a local storage unit and/or a dock box (if lucky, dock boxes). Your professional needs may require some space on the boat that a cruiser may not need. If you are an architect, you may require room to lay out blueprints, or many suits, etc.. These contrasts may alter the boat you ultimately choose. A friend of mine bought a Bombay Clipper saying that while it doesn't sail terribly well, it is a great live aboard. This idea can be further expanded to marina living versus on a mooring or just tied up to a sea wall and not getting any amenities.
__________________
ArmyDaveNY is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 10:28   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 112
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

You might sign up for 'common sense 101' at Baylor then go down to Kemah and nose around the marinas, sailing schools (South Coast Sailing is one), talk to a few brokers and sailors and assess the idea again. You can live under the bridge if you want.
__________________
AlwaysFORSAIL is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 10:34   #15
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: St Augustine
Boat: '87 Irwin 43
Posts: 146
Re: Is it possible to live aboard a sailboat as a fresh out of college professional?

Baylorbear....anything is possible. Whether you think you can...or you think you can't...you're right.
__________________

__________________
malyea is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sail, sailboat

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Is it possible to live aboard a boat with no money (no income)? xJeepx Boat Ownership & Making a Living 157 03-03-2015 19:49
Advice On College Son Living On Sailboat txjoe Liveaboard's Forum 20 23-09-2014 08:40



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:34.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.