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Old 26-03-2014, 13:07   #16
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Originally Posted by Tellie View Post
Children need love, guidance, a protective parent, a parent who will open their eyes to the world and to be there for them. If you don't provide those things and more to a child then you most certainly are irresponsible and selfish. If you can't give them those things on a boat I highly doubt you can give them those things just because you are in a big house or apartment. It's not where you raise them but rather how you raise them.
Well said sir- sound advice!

" requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off- then, I account it high time to get to sea..." Ismael
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Old 26-03-2014, 13:12   #17
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Originally Posted by AliRodrigues View Post

Boat maintenance is something I know nothing about. When I read about other people doing so much themselves, I think it's amazing, but often wonder how exactly they learned those skills.

Ah, that often would be the ol' trial and error method. Help and advise from an owners forum (your brand of boat). Pointers from dockmates. Watch somebody else. Books and magazines. Even actual courses, sometimes.

And then occasionally, you just write a check to the expert, who charges you about $100/hour (at least around here). Often you can learn from them, too, as long as you don't get in the way... too much...

And then the next time, you might know how to do it yourself.

Over time, things get easier. Sorta.

BTW, one of the reasons boat maintenance often takes longer is because access to whatever it is that needs fixing... sucks. You might spend 3 hours to do a job that would take 15 minutes on the bench. But sometimes it can be fun, hanging upside down working in the dark with extension tools to fix a piece you can't actually see without mirrors... just to save the labor costs

This is NOT intended to scare you off. No reason you can't learn maintenance stuff, too. It's just safer to have a more realistic idea of what might be involved before you jump in with several feet.


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Old 26-03-2014, 13:20   #18
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

If you do it when he is older, like 8-10 he would probably hate it. at the age he is now he should be ok. I see people take 10+ year olds for boat trips and they are bored and angry little $%$%s within two days. It really depends on how he acts or is now.
It is not an easier life living aboard. It is constant maintenance and repairs to keep things working and keep the boat "afloat" lol , It is a more rewarding life but I doubt a child will "get that" until they are older.
Most kids now that I see have to have an electronic gadget or furby or a Tv on every waking second or they go nutty...If your kid isnt like that then he should do great!!!
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Old 26-03-2014, 13:23   #19
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Originally Posted by AliRodrigues View Post
Thank you so, so, so much for your responses. I feel much better have insight from people who have either tried living, or at least know people who have lived like this.

Boat maintenance is something I know nothing about. When I read about other people doing so much themselves, I think it's amazing, but often wonder how exactly they learned those skills.
Ali, before I got my boat(s) I didn't even know what a thru hull was. I almost sank my first boat because I put it in the water without putting the knotmeter in. There in the dark, with water up to my knees I found the opening and put a cork in it till I could get it back on the trailer. Don't like to admit to that one very much.
A good place to start is books. The Annapolis book of Seamanship and Boatowner's Mechanical And Electrical Manual How To Maintain, Repair, And Improve Your Boat's Essential Systems by Calder are good basic books and you can probably get both for less than 50 USD. Then go slow. Don't go out unless it is safe. Be safe in a slip and buy a boat that you trust.
Good luck, its a great adventure!
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Old 26-03-2014, 13:26   #20
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

G'Day Ali,

First, Becky's post gives you a first hand report on one person's experience, and it sounds all positive to me. Ann and I have been living aboard and cruising full time for 27 years. We've known dozens of kids being raised on boats, some cruising, some just living aboard. The astonishing thing is that they have been far and away the best young folks we have known... anywhere. Typically they are very mature for their age, serious in their endeavours, comfortable with adults and with conversing with them, responsible in a way that urban children are not often, and very happy to be where they are.

If you are lucky enough, you will find a marina where there are some other "boat kids", and you and your son will benefit from the experiences that will accrue.

Go for it, and good luck.

Jim and Ann s/v Insatiable II , lying Twofold Bay, Eden,NSW after our 32d crossing of Bass Strait!
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Old 26-03-2014, 13:33   #21
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

It depends on the boat, slip, marina and your being prepared/understanding. Being a live aboard is not being irresponsible. However, you might want to think twice about being a live aboard if you just went thru a nasty devourse. Weather its irresponsible or not is dependant on other people’s point of view, most dirt people, and may cause you more grieve than its worth. Being a responsible single mother with a child is hard enough on the dirt.

So my advice is to talk to live aboard, the marina, city/state social services in the area. Also where is you support located, family/friends you can fall back on. In most marinas there not very many live a boards and we are spread through out the marina. We been a live aboard for 17+ years, 3 years with grandchildren, and there were a few unforeseen hurdles school, child protection, marina to mention a few.

Being you are a wantabe and/or newbie I would advise against it.
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Old 26-03-2014, 13:48   #22
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Do it, do it, do it! As others have said I am sure your son will thank you for living such an interesting lifestyle and just think about the unique individual he will grow to be. As for boat maintenance you will figure it out and the boating community is full of knowledgable, friendly people only to happy to share their wisdom. Good luck!
When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.
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Old 26-03-2014, 14:00   #23
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Cannot say it any better than Tellie but just to reiterate, my belief is that raising a child on a boat is no more or less irresponsible than raising one on land. We lived on board with our daughter for a couple of years when she was a toddler and have no regrets.

That being said children, like adults are all different. From my experience most to living on boats and love it but some don't. And as mentioned, it can be age dependent.

Regarding your lack of experience on boats. Almost certainly if you are in a marina with other live aboards you will find plenty of others to help and advise. You don't need to become an offshore expert overnight. Start slow and pick up the basics of boat care, focusing on how to keep it safe and secure at the marina (dock lines, bilge pumps, through hulls) and how to operate the systems you need for day to day living like the plumbing and electrical system.

Then expand on the knowledge as you have time.
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Old 26-03-2014, 14:20   #24
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

I'm another vote for go and do it. If it's something you want to do you'll regret not doing it and sharing the memories with you son.

The only way to truly learn about the maintenance is to buy and boat and get your feet wet so to speak! There are plenty of good books but they may make for dry reading if your just starting out. They become a lot more interesting when you own the boat and have the problem you are reading about. Do some research, just don't get stuck in the info gathering cycle too long. Lots of good boats around FL for some very reasonable prices. Good luck and enjoy yourself!
"If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea." Antoine de
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Old 26-03-2014, 14:36   #25
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Don't fret about what other people think. Live your life.
I Sail, Therefor I ARRrrr...
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Old 26-03-2014, 14:44   #26
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Make it a package deal, the live-aboard boat, and a small simple sailing dinghy. He will be hooked for life!!!! I think it would be wonderful for him. Best of Luck, _____Grant.
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Old 26-03-2014, 15:53   #27
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Originally Posted by ontherocks83 View Post
The one thing I would do first is take him sailing and see if he even likes it. Then make the decision "with" him about living aboard. I know he's only 6 but if he thinks he helped convince you to live aboard it will change how he looks at what you are doing and may be more enthusiastic about it.
Six year old boy? Yeah, well, call me sexist but most boys seem to love the water! Count me as another one that grew up around boats.

Thought: Life jackets, some old coot with a sailing dinghy big enough for two adults and a kid - the kind of gramps that would let the kid hold the tiller a bit - and a not-too-windy-day on a not-too-choppy piece of water. You'll probably have an enthusiastic partner with the boy. Plus point: you'll also probably find a valuable friend in gramps.

Where to find gramps? Down on the docks of most marinas, with half of 'em ready to jump at the chance for a bit of sailing instead of working (yet again) on the bright work!
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Old 26-03-2014, 16:04   #28
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Of course, there will be difficulties: so what? all lifestyle choices involve your experiencing *stuff* you did not expect. Most boat mechanic-ing is pretty straightforward. The books mentioned above will help. Your son will probably take pride in helping Mom work, by fetching tools, rags, &c.

Dealing with people who do not themselves live on boats is a situation where they really don't understand what the trade-offs are. So when you tell them what you want to do, their own lifestyle is threatened, and they want to defend it to avoid self-examination, at the least. If you choose to join the liveaboard community, they have different "rules".

The only problems I really see occur if you do not have sole custody of your son. If you do not, you will have to get your ex online with this change, horrible divorce or not. Whatever the visitation agreement is, changing states will not exempt you from his having his visitation, so be sure to get that all set up.

There is a forum here for women sailors, and there is one that I've heard of on Facebook, if you're into that. (I'm not.)

Good luck with it.

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Old 26-03-2014, 16:25   #29
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

Take it from me..... I had that choice and listened to the nay mom in particular threatened to call Children's Aid if I went...... I love her with all my heart but now REGRET not having done it. I wish cruiser's forum was around back then. .... DO IT!
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Old 26-03-2014, 16:33   #30
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Re: Am I being irresponsible?

No, it is realistic. I often ask why I didn't move onto a sailboat 20 years ago.
Do it if it is your calling!

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