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Old 08-05-2013, 12:45   #16
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

Hello Teachick.

I'd suggest first a trip to the library and check out books about living aboard houseboats... there is lots to learn, and a basic understanding of the underlying issues will better prepare you to know the questions to ask. Specific ones (and if you say "blue water sailboat to go around the world with my family but I have no experience and the wife isn't sure and we are broke..." well, suffice it to say you probably won't need to go any place warm as you'll be roasted alive here. For free!

No, seriously, check out books about living aboard -- and not those about being shipwrecked. Some of the books you may want to keep -- then buy them, but your first stop should, in my opinion, be a library.

Number two: Go to Boats for Sale, New and Used Boats and Yachts - YachtWorld.com and put in "houseboat" as your search parameter. It's eye candy keep you motivated.

Number Three: Yahoo has lots of email groups and one (or more) certainly will focus on living aboard a houseboat. Pick one group and ask there which group would be best for a neophyte considering life on the water. Then, before you ask questions, PLEASE read some (or all!) of the posts on the group.

Now, after One, Two and Three are complete you'll be in a great position to actually make it happen -- IF you think the life is for you. I love it, but not everyone does. Knowledge is key though, so have at it. And good luck!
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:45   #17
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

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If I were you, I'd be checking out powerboats located in Southern California. A 45-50ft powerboat is huge. Usually, there's no problem with living aboard part time to begin with in most marinas, but you'll most likely be put on a waiting list for full time live aboard status. Southern California offers the climate you're seeking.
Hmmm. If we're talking about the sort of trailer-on-pontoons houseboats built for freshwater lakes, a lot of California marinas won't allow them as liveaboards.
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Old 08-05-2013, 12:54   #18
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

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Southern California = $$$
Had a 50' slip in San Diego for almost a year and cost was about $800 a month. And that was cheap for the area (Chula Vista) and without extra $200+ a month live aboard fee. A 50' live aboard slip can easily cost over $1000 a month in Southern California. Wait list for cheaper moorings is a few years (I am on a mooring now) and living full time on a mooring is not easy.
You get what you pay for in life. If the OP wants low humidity, 90 percent sunny days mild breezes and nice facilities, it seems to me the prices charged in Southern California are very reasonable compared to other places... like where I currently live in New England... where we have mostly lousy weather and more expensive mooring fees.

In Long Beach Marina, we were paying around $700 per month for a 50 ft slip including electric, beautiful facilities and an uncrowded beach within 200 ft. Over 100 restaurants nearby and the Long Beach grand prix went right by our entrance gate... it was like living in Monaco. For only $700 per month.... a bargain.

I don't like the California taxes and politics, but you can't beat the weather.... we'll go back eventually.

The OP didn't say she wanted cheap and crappy... she said nice weather (mid 70's) and low humidity.
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Old 08-05-2013, 17:08   #19
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

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Hmmm. If we're talking about the sort of trailer-on-pontoons houseboats built for freshwater lakes, a lot of California marinas won't allow them as liveaboards.
That's certainly true for the SF Bay and So cal. But I've seen a surprising amount of liveaboard houseboats at various marinas in the mid delta area. Tower park comes to mind.
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Old 08-05-2013, 17:28   #20
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

Historically Southern Cal, specifically Santa Barbara to San Diego is the only place in USA consistent and consistently with the weather you desire. Personally I would prefer a large power boat over a houseboat, even though I am not a lover of power boats. I think of a houseboat as little different from a small cabin or motel room. At least with a power boat you would have presumed option of easily moving vessel if ever desired and with a little more character if an old power boat over a houseboat.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:00   #21
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

Fond this in the San Francisco bay are as I'm currently looking for liveaboard for my sailboat. Though it might help you with ideas.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:04   #22
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

Thank you for all the good advice I sure appreciate it i actually have gone to the library in Minneapolis their is nothing available regarding houseboats so I've been going on the Internet searching as much as I can.

I did find a couple houseboat forums I think location is probably a big issue and I'm learning more about how a houseboat works and is actually put together. So I know what to look for and don't buy lemon.
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Old 09-05-2013, 08:15   #23
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

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Originally Posted by Teachick View Post
Thank you for all the good advice I sure appreciate it i actually have gone to the library in Minneapolis their is nothing available regarding houseboats so I've been going on the Internet searching as much as I can.

I did find a couple houseboat forums I think location is probably a big issue and I'm learning more about how a houseboat works and is actually put together. So I know what to look for and don't buy lemon.
Time spent before buying (internet and real life) will save you money and heartache later.

I think a safe assumption that many folks who live on houseboats don't know much about boats either (many with sailing boats don't as well!) - but whether it floats or sits onshore everything needs mainatence, and for that need an owner with the wit to be ahead of the game - all too common with boats for folks to sell their (self-inflicted) problems to others, likely houseboats no different. Forewarned is forearmed .
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Old 09-05-2013, 14:00   #24
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

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Thank you for all the good advice I sure appreciate it i actually have gone to the library in Minneapolis their is nothing available regarding houseboats so I've been going on the Internet searching as much as I can.
Your librarian can be your friend... rather than specifically going for houseboat life, try live aboard and see what they can find for you. Most (many?) libraries can get books from other systems to you (for free!) so you should be able to find many that interest you.
In that regard, try shopping on Amazon -- no, don't buy (not yet) ... each book will lead you to others. The reviews will tell you a bit about the books and with a list of titles and ISBN's perhaps your own library can come up with some for you.

The question comes down to, are you planning to live in one spot on a pontoon boat with a house atop it, or, are you planning on perhaps doing a bit of coastal cruising (moving from place to place) ??? There are houseboats and there are houseboats -- once you've determined which best suits your intended usage, then you'll be a bit further along in your investigations.

Quote:
I did find a couple houseboat forums I think location is probably a big issue and I'm learning more about how a houseboat works and is actually put together. So I know what to look for and don't buy lemon.
And, depending upon the size, how much stuff you can/should get rid of now! You mentioned 40-50' in your initial querry. Well, you should know that size matters -- and just like a McMansion might be spacious, there are a lot of costs involved with having a huge lot of space. Maintenance for one... a larger vessel will have more and bigger everything, and those things cost money. Everything from the size of the lines aboard her, to the gauge wire required to go the distance from power source to outlet, to the amount of soap required to wash her! It's little things too but you're on the right track.

It's a great life out here, and from you betcha to hailing a passing vessel on the VHF radio isn't that far. You're far smarter than many by learning now as much as possible. Good Luck!
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Old 09-05-2013, 14:20   #25
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

Thank you now I have to figure out what to do for work
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Old 09-05-2013, 14:21   #26
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

I really like to research things before I do them. It's so less painfull to learn from someone else mistakes. Lol
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Old 09-05-2013, 14:23   #27
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

Where are you located with your boat? How big is it? I was thinking about a 40 or 50 ft.
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Old 09-05-2013, 15:18   #28
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

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Where are you located with your boat? How big is it? I was thinking about a 40 or 50 ft.
Currently I'm in a tiny town called Carrabelle on the big bend of Florida's Gulf coast, and my boat is tiny -- she's just 23' which is the smallest live-aboard capable trawler I could find. A bit larger would better accommodate guests, but since it's usually just Skipper and I, we are quite satisfied.

Mother used to say "The ideal boat sleeps two, feeds four and drinks six" and I rather believe she is correct. I could have a guest aboard (the dinette does turn into a bunk, albeit not the most comfortable) and frankly, that's fine with me. What I don't understand if folks that want all that space... it boggles my mind.

There is something rather freeing about having little... not that I don't want more! Well, specifically I'd like a Kindle (the original version is $69 plus $25 for a two year warranty on Amazon) but, alas, it seems that the boat wants a new head gasket more. (Don't ask -- it's not a pretty tale!)

Learn what you can teachick, but realize you don't have to know it all now or even before you purchase your home. Once you're at the purchase stage, you'll want an EXCELLENT surveyor -- don't go cheap at the last minute, and definitely don't hire the one your seller or broker recommends.

Still, reading some of the boating books implies that we have to have all these skills (and don't get me wrong, it's good to know lots of things) but having the ability to learn along with the books that can guide you (and tools!) ... well, you can do this.

So, start with a boat that doesn't need much at first, because certainly you'll add stuff. Less than 30' would be much more practical from all standpoints -- unless you have a crew member to help or someone who shares your life. Sailboats are cheapest, followed by houseboats and then cabin cruisers.

If you're going to be a cruiser or live aboard, what you need is
#1) A comfortable bunk
#2) A place to shower and a head
#3) A galley and a place to serve dinner (table, which will do double duty as your chart table too)

Of course ground tackle, or dock lines, etc... but basically, a bed, a place to clean up and a place to cook... the rest is extraneous though I'll grant you the extras make the boating life lots of fun! Propulsion too -- right now that's my issue (and there always is one) ...

Life is great afloat.
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Old 09-05-2013, 15:42   #29
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

A recommendation can be made for the 2nd largest man-made lake in the States. Lake Powell straddles the AZ/UT border with most of the lake in Utah. It will literally be a life time of exploring and you still won't be able to see it all. Very pleasant weather and low humidity. Low taxes too!

FWIW, someone had said only SoCal or Hawaii have the desired weather. That is not correct. The southern portion of coastal Oregon features that weather plus there are navigable large rivers and their tributaries. Also, as has been mention the San Joaquin River delta in California offers a pleasant experience. But CA has a high tax rate and its only getting worse.

As for your friends saying you are crazy for this, think about this: living in MN is crazy. Living in MN and complaining of the cold/snow is psychotic. So a crazy person calling you crazy means you are normal.
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Old 09-05-2013, 16:21   #30
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Re: Can anyone give me suggestions thoughts or advice

I don't know your budget, and while it isn't the topic here, you might think about an RV instead if good weather is the most important thing. Easy to move to where weather is good. Baja in winter, Seattle in summer. This is not easy with a boat.
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