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Old 29-04-2013, 03:06   #31
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

It's interesting for me to hear of the opinions about life in the marina and at anchor. We typically stay at a marina for a few months and then anchor out for a few months while cruising. We always look forward to the change. After a long time at anchor we are drawn to the convenience of easy shopping, visits with friends and family, shore entertainment and easier boat maintenance projects. After, a term at the docks we are excited about the independance, the solitude, wilderness, reading books and the joy sailing to a great variety of places. We are now just two days from the shift,- off the dock and back to cruising! 'great excitment and more great excitment when we are pulling into a slip after a few months out!
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Old 29-04-2013, 04:47   #32
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

Just do it!
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Old 29-04-2013, 05:22   #33
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

When I was 15, I lived in a tent in the woods for six weeks straight. Living on an anchored boat is a breeze next to that.

You just have to get routines down and use common sense. Some people can do it, some can't. Like pretty much anything else in this world.
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Old 29-04-2013, 06:28   #34
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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Originally Posted by SurferShane View Post
Yes, there are two sides to every story. At the moment I have major issues with tug boat drivers going past at over ten knots throwing up giant wakes. On the other hand, some of my old neighbours on land were in a constant struggle with the hoons recklessly driving cars around the street. Then like I said to Maritime last time they had a talk to me, most people would not last a couple of weeks living at anchor, so don't worry that it is going to become popular.

Oh, the biggest problem I have now is sleeping on land. When I do I have a rotten time of it. I just cannot adjust to the lack of motion not lulling me to sleep. The same motion that might drive others nuts?

I've had the same experience!

Except when traveling to visit daughters or friends, I have only left the boat twice. The first time was kind of funny -- I'd only been on the boat three months, came home one night to find my boat perfectly centered in the slip, and was patting myself on the back -- until I couldn't move it to get on. Very low tide, and it was AGROUND in the slip. I have some minor coordination issues, and rather than risk making a spectacle of myself impaled on the anchor or something, I went to a motel, but ... the bed didn't rock and sway. It was just WEIRD sleeping on land after 3 months on the boat.

The other time was when I had an inner ear problem that caused very serious dizziness. Someone actually helped me off because I didn't know where vertical was, and I stayed at a motel for a couple of days. I treated myself to one on the Gulf and that was much better.

I deliberately tie my boat up so she will sway, although I tighten things up some if bad weather threatens.
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Old 29-04-2013, 06:33   #35
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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Stephen, it sounds to me like you are ready to give it a go. Enjoy!

If it makes you feel better I am typing this anchored off the ocean side of a city on a glorious day. I got a little surf in then took advantage of the clearer offshore water to clean the bottom of the boat. In a while I might pull anchor and steam around to a protected little bay in the harbour for the night. Life could be worse?

Life could be MUCH worse, and once you have the hang of it, picking up a mooring by yourself is a lot less work than docking by yourself. Social life might improve. Living on a sailboat really intrigues some people. Just make sure you aren't so wrapped up in your adventure that you don't give the other person a chance to speak ... but I *think* it would be kind of self screening for potential romantic partners. You'd want one that was at least interested in sailing, and probably the ones that aren't think "Oh that's weird," and move on.

Just don't *look* like a "boat rat." Keep your hair and nails trimmed, and put on a decent polo shirt before going out for an evening.
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Old 29-04-2013, 06:39   #36
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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Unfortunately Maritime also take your view. However, there are spots that are posted as four knot no wash zones, I am not the only one complaining and it is a minority of the tug drivers who drive recklessly especially at the end of their shifts. They are not immune from maritime legislation and regulations. Not forgetting I worked in litigation sueing similar authorities and a leading Maritime Barrister is a good friend. Sure too there are some old photos of the harbour full of all manner of sailing ships long before the days of steam.

I lost the dog overboard a few nights back, but luckily saved him. Unfortunately the next recreational fisherman who falls over or crew who gets caught between a dock and the boat might not be so lucky.

Regardless, why do I feel like I need to defend nearly every blocdy word I say? I just had an awesome day anchored offshore oblivious to the problems of the world.

I'm with you, Shane. There is no legitimate excuse for maritime vessels to race through moorings. I have had my boat rolled extremely three times. Now when I motor, I have my cat in the cockpit in her carrier (she loves it -- she loves the fresh air, and she feels safer, because I can hold her carrier in a big wake). In the cabin, she could have been killed in one of those rolls, and I hate to think what might have happened if a small child had been below -- or even an inexperienced adult who didn't instinctively go for the overhead grab bars.

It's foolish, and it's dangerous.
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Old 29-04-2013, 08:52   #37
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I just wish the OP good luck even though it sounds like he won't need it. I say go for it and live lie free.

I can't wait to live on the hook but wonder how the heck do you keep your dinghy from being stolen or if there are laws about parking it? Are there tow away areas so to speak? Do dinghies just pull up to visitor docks? I am living in a marina on my boat but never see dinghies come and go so I ponder the concept, are they charged for parking like downtown Seattle does for cars?
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Old 29-04-2013, 09:11   #38
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

We live at anchor most of the time, we prefer it. We have a 39 footer so we have all the amenities. Fridge, TV, computers, ice maker, plenty of lights & fans. We cook normally. Friday night was steak, shrimp, baked potatoes & veggies. Last night was spaghetti with meat sauce and grilled squash. No generator but a lot of solar. You have to carry a lot of stuff and a really good dinghy is essential.
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Old 29-04-2013, 09:35   #39
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

Stephen....I live in Florida and have visited the Bay Area many times over the years. Your location is very beautiful to enjoy as you well know. Look at all those "liveaboards" at Sausalito. Take the "plunge". you'll enjoy it.....
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Old 29-04-2013, 10:43   #40
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

I lived on a mooring for little over two years. Suburbs of New York City. Year Around. Three winters. I moved ashore two months ago, new job 70 miles inshore, commute from my boat is too long. I miss my quiet life on water greatly.
Here are some tips. I had a car, Volvo wagon, and it was a storage unit of my work clothing. I paddled a kayak to get in and out the boat. Actually I had two paddling crafts - one big inflatable canoe and another was a plastic kayak. I used the kayak most of the days and I used the inflatable to haul big stuff, laundry bags, water bottles, etc.
I had a roof rack on my car and I stored the kayak or the canoe on the roof of the car.
In summer time I was able to motor my boat to nearest marina to get water. In winter I used big 5 gal bottles, which I exchanged at supermarket. There are pumps sold for such bottles, it goes on top of a bottle, works great, no need to pour water into boat's system, which can froze in winter. Solar for electricity. I had a computer for all my entertainment and communication needs. Modified bug sprayer for shower, 3 liter/shower/day, never felt dirty. Kerosene cooking stove. Coal heating stove. Well, this one was extreme I was going to replace it with diesel stove, never got around doing it. I installed solid fuel heater before moved aboard permanently...
Overall, it was sort of fun...
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Old 29-04-2013, 11:05   #41
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Arrow Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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Originally Posted by stephengrem View Post
Maybe I should clarify a few things about my situation. I have no car to worry about, I plan to live in Santa Cruz or sf bay where the weather is nice 90% of the time, nobody in my house gives a **** so I walk to the grocery store and get my meals already ( mostly fruit, some kind of meat usually lunch meat, and sometimes processed garbage), I have never had a regular social life I am isolated naturally, and I really think I can do this.
I recommend Santa Cruz.

Most of the anchor outs here in SF Bay enjoy a diet of equal parts lunch meat and rum. Their biggest problem seems to be finding a place where they are welcome to park their dinks while on a lunch-meat run. In some marinas here in Sausalito the harbormaster calls the police immediately when an anchor-out shows up, fearing theft.
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Old 29-04-2013, 11:36   #42
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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............................I can't wait to live on the hook but wonder how the heck do you keep your dinghy from being stolen or if there are laws about parking it? Are there tow away areas so to speak? Do dinghies just pull up to visitor docks?..................
I think you have identified the greatest problem for living on the hook. There are an infinite number of beautiful places to anchor, but far fewer where there are groceries, water, pump outs and other shore amenities. ...and fewer still where there is a place that offers these needs where you can safely and securely leave your dinghy. Some towns have public docks that are usually available free for a limited time, often not overnight. Some marinas have a reasonable fee for dinghy landing and use of the marina facilities, but these are becomming less common. Some towns have public access to the water at the streets that dead end at the shore or at bridge landings, but these often have no security an boaters often carry chain to lock their dinghys and outboards. Many waterfront restaurants will allow you to tie up for a few hours if you include a purchase from them. We also know people at about a dozen private docks along the East US Coast that we repeatedly visit, but they are friends and we're careful to limit our time to 2 or 3 days.

Caution: We've heard of an increasing number of cases where anchored cruisers, often from far north and while in Florida, tie their dinghys to private docks and walk across private lawns to access shopping. Some of these bold trespassers have been surprised at how poorly they have been treated. I fear that they do not realize how unacceptable this behavior is to private home owners.
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Old 29-04-2013, 11:52   #43
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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Hi guys I haven't posted in a wile but I am young and I am looking to plan out how I can live aboard a small 20-27ft sailboat. The other day I thought of something different. What If I lived at anchor? What if I cut out the costs of a slip? I know this is possible and impractical but I really like this idea.
It's not forever. Just until a decent slip opens up at a marina that I like.

What do you guys think? Am I just going off the deep end here or has anyone else thought of this sort of thing? Has anyone spent an extended period of time at anchor that can tell me what it can be like?
Like everything else, its all about your comfort level. With the exception of a stint in crystal river, I have been on the hook. There are challenges involved, like everything in life. Hauling water out to your boat, groceries, that 2 bagger girl ya met at the local watering hole, etc. It all takes an extra effort. Its not a bad life, its just a different life from being on land. I would suggest you give it a try, and if it isnt for you, then you will know. Just give it some time to get accustom to it. There will be some really screwed up times, when things fall into the drink, then times when you sit back in your cockpit, feeling completely at ease, let out a big sigh, and feel sorry for them people still living on the land.

Like was told to me once...my boat is my home, my dink is my car, my bike is my grocery getter.
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Old 29-04-2013, 12:19   #44
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Re: Challenges of a Life at Anchor?

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. Hauling water out to your boat, groceries, that 2 bagger girl ya met at the local watering hole, etc.
you take those back out to your boat?
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Old 29-04-2013, 13:00   #45
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Well I'm going through with it as soon as possible. This information really helps and there are a surprising number of you guys living at anchor. Thank you.

I'm so glad there isn't much large commercial boating out of sc. Now if we can just get rid of a few paddle boarders...

Do you guys think swimming out multiple anchors would be necessary? I know it couldn't hurt to do it. But that would be a pain every time I want to go out.
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