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Old 23-11-2011, 08:28   #16
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Mark.
Thanks glad to be aboard, too

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Old 23-11-2011, 11:15   #17
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

Originally Posted by Shallow Runner View Post
Thanks for the info and words of encouragement everyone. Dockhead, thanks for the list as well. I plan on taking my time and speaking with people I know that liveaboard and compiling a list of expenses over a 10 year period and making the final call from that so I am not caught off guard. I am learning all I can about boat maintenance and will make a point to learn every inch of the vessel so I can do as much as I can on my own. I am mechanically inclined (I can strip and rebuild a V8) and am a diver so I can clean the bottom myself (I have done it for friends boats before and it is pretty easy). I never really thought about the electronics needing to be replaced that often but it is certainly good to know. But because I will be mainly just day cruising or coastal cruising for weekends (Like I said the Bahamas would be the most open water I would do for now) I won't need super high end stuff.

CaptForce, I hadn't considered looking over there and since I am only looking to get around a 40' mono-haul it should clear. Just don't want to end up too far upriver where it takes half a day to reach the inlet. But I was certainly limiting myself to near the ICWW; thanks for the info.

More post to come as I search for the vessel and marina I am sure.


You have and are presently doing your homework on this living and lifestyle choice. You also have friends that are doing it. From my vantage point, I would say you are going to successful in this transition and your future transition to cruising. I just wish all the wanna-bees would approach it the way you have. As far as the expensive electronics needing to be replaced in 10 years, well only if you want the up to date stuff. If you properly prepped all your circuit boards for the salt air, they will last a long time. I still have two friends using the Atlas 210 HAM SSB aboard their boats. I had one, but that was around 30 years ago. This, if you remember, was the first fully solid state (including the final output transistors) HAM SSB radio at 100 watts of output. Anyone else remember the Atlas 210?

USCG Unlimited Tonnage Open Ocean (CMA)
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Old 24-11-2011, 13:47   #18
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

I keep my boat at anchor so I can't relate the marina-specific costs but...

$40/month to have my bottom scraped by a liveaboard in the anchorage. He doesn't use SCUBA gear, just has a good set of lungs and a willingness to work hard for repeat customers. He probably makes around $400/month scraping bottoms in this anchorage alone, and I don't know if he travels much to other areas (no car). Takes him about an hour to do my 35' sailboat. He inspects the anodes as well.

You don't have to antifoul as often if you're keeping the bottom scraped, depending on the type of antifouling used. I'm saving up for Coppercoat, which is really damned expensive but has a 10-year warranty. Until I can afford it, I just keep the bottom scraped. The current bottom paint is probably 5 years old right now...

Washing sails yourself is cheap and easy. Get a plastic 55-gallon drum, make a mix of bleach, dawn, and water (I'll have to look up the precise recipe), and soak the sail in the bucket overnight. Pull it out and hoist it slowly while rinsing it off. Air-dry and store.

Maintaining the propulsion, electrical, and plumbing system depends directly on the size and complexity of your boat and its systems.

Check your PMs for a link to a boat in your area that is a STEAL.
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Old 25-11-2011, 14:33   #19
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

On cost, don't forget to calculate travel and fuel for you car. The marina further away may be cheaper, but if the commute eats all of your time or fuel budget, then it may not be worth it.
Cy Ardoin
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Old 27-11-2011, 15:27   #20
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living


....I did at the ripe old age of 38! Found a FANTASTIC deal on a very nice 46' Express Cruiser and moved aboard 2 years ago!

I find that my old house just the Cable Bill, Phone Bill, Pool Cleaner, Lawn etc more than covered my slip rental! I am so glad I split!!!!

I do not know what the big deal is since Sonny Crockett on Miami Vice was a live aboard and he was "cool" (the 80's of course)

Good luck! I think you are making a wise decision and you will enjoy it!
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Old 27-11-2011, 15:45   #21
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

Do it been on it for a year now its great (blog in signature)
sv Libertalia
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Old 27-11-2011, 19:30   #22

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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

Originally Posted by idpnd View Post
Do it been on it for a year now its great (blog in signature)
Dude, you have a great blog! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 27-11-2011, 20:40   #23
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

My wife and I lived on-board for two winters in the Bahamas. Best times we've ever had. On the radio net, we talked about size of boats. All of us with a boat over 40', wished we had a smaller one. Everyone with a boat under 35, wished they had a bigger one. I agree that 35 to 40 ft is ideal. Also, unless you're very handy doing maintenance and repairs, it can get very expensive. And don't forget to budget for tools. Best of luck to you.
Dan in Florida
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Old 27-11-2011, 22:24   #24
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

Don't let them discourage you!!
I've been living aboard three years, commuting to Sunrise. Yes, driving is a P.I.T.A. but 20 minutes to Virginia Key, 1 hour to Key worth.
Search for docks at craigslist or waterfront news
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:17   #25
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

Thanks for the input! I am going to take my time and research everything then do it! Probably start a blog again to document and share the experience of downsizing my landlubber lifestyle to the more compact liveaboard style. Pretty excited and can't wait to turn up the heat on the boat and marina search.
Fair winds and Following Seas.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:32   #26
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

Boat living can be hell on guitars when the humidity is over 60%. You'll need a good case with a desiccant inside.

It might not be a bad idea to find the marina first. Not all marinas accept liveaboards, and even those who do might have requirements about minimum size or type of boat. For example, there are marinas that won't accept houseboats, or wooden boats.
cruising is entirely about showing up--in boat shoes.
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Old 01-12-2011, 09:39   #27
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

I would highly recommend doing it. We didn't actually notice a decrease in quality of life at all. The boat is smaller than the condo was, but we have all of the same living areas, a bunk to sleep in, a galley to cook in, and a dinette to eat at. Our berth doubles as our movie room, and we can sleep guests if we need to fairly easily by dropping the dinette into another double. I wish we would have done it several years earlier.
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Old 01-12-2011, 18:31   #28
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

Frankly, I think you will not like living on a boat much smaller than 40 feet LOA. Look on ebay and you can find boats from the 70's in the $25k-$35k range. You can also find them on the back of the hardstand at most marinas. You will have to pay cash or have something to borrow against. That would be mutual funds or real estate...that sort of thing. Often big older boats have not seen much time under sail or even afloat, for that matter. So, you may get one with very low engine hours. Even so, be prepared to repalce almost all boat systems. That would be everything electrical, keel bolts, all caulking on deck fittings, all port caulking, standing and running rigging and on and on and on.

I have lived on my 1974 Columbia 41 for three years. I am at a marina in DC. The slip fee is based on boat length. In my case, it's $600 and includes 15 amp shore power. It does get cold during the Winters. I burn up a bottle of propane a month costing another $29.00.

The most important thing is the dehumidifier. It will pull about a gallon of water out of the air every 24 hours. Without one you will have lots of problems with condensation and mold on everything. It will ruin your books.

It is very nice here and my neighboors are all fine people. I could not imagine living ashore again.
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Old 01-12-2011, 19:08   #29
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Re: Boat Trumps Apartment Living

The wife and I(and 4 teens at one time) have lived aboard for 27 yrs, both power and sail. Loved every minute of it hard work and all! We have been land locked for 7 yrs now and looking for our NEW Vessel to return to the sea. You are starting on what can be a great adventure, if you keep things as simple as possible! Have fun and we hope you learn to love it as we have ! Bob and Connie

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