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Old 17-08-2013, 16:12   #16
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- need advice

WaterWriter, Ranger42c & WingnWing always have good advice. I would also tend to lean toward the open slip and fiberglass. Though I have not been there, I've had fellow cruiser/liveaboards speak very highly of Urbana, Virginia.
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Old 17-08-2013, 17:20   #17
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- need advice

Thanks Force! Urbana is definitely one of the areas I'm looking into.
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Old 24-08-2013, 05:47   #18
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- need advice

Hello Waterwriter, I too have recently moved onto a boat as a liveaboard. My advice is simply get out there and talk to people. Have a look at as many boats as possible (get on them and walk around inside them). I looked at so many before I found my boat, however, once I was standing on her I knew inside it was the boat for me. The boat of my dreams compared to the boat of my needs were two very different vessels indeed. I have chosen steel as my material of choice and I have been very lucky with the way she has been built. Everybody has their own choices with material, I love wooden boats as much as the next man, but so far I have not been let down at all by steel. I have met people who love ferro, aluminium, and glass. All have their own problems and solutions, but one thing every boat has in common is they all need work. My only downside to my boat is that I had to give my dog away due to the very steep angle of the stairs (but the cats love it). Good luck with your adventures looking for your boat.

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Old 25-08-2013, 20:42   #19
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- need advice

Hi Kelley!

I am so glad I found your post and all the great advice it generated. I too am considering a live aboard situation in about 16 months in the Houston/Clear Lake area. I am brand spankin' new to the boating world and absorbing information from all directions.

Best of luck on your research and your future!.

Melissa
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Old 25-08-2013, 22:23   #20
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- need advice

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Wing -- thank you! I've been leaning toward fiberglass and I think I'll feel less claustrophobic in something at the minimum of 38-40'. I have a laptop with a laptop desk so I can write any where.

And I thought covered would be better for boat preservation and I can always take the boat out. But you make excellent points to consider.

I have a lot to think about. Thank goodness I am not in a rush

Living on my boat does encourage me to write. Not sure why, but I write a lot more since I moved aboard.
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Old 26-08-2013, 06:42   #21
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- need advice

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Melissa.
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Old 26-08-2013, 08:04   #22
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- need advice

Thanks Gord!
Good to be here!
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Old 26-08-2013, 08:39   #23
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- need advice

Thank you to everyone who has responded and for the direct messages you sent on the subject. I'm gathering a ton of sound advice, I'm putting together a list of marinas to visit soon (when I can find the time -- whew!), and am e-meeting some lovely people hoping to meet them in person soon as well.

I'm so excited I can barely concentrate on anything else. Alas, bills must be paid, so hi-ho hi-ho it's off to work I go! Enjoy your week everyone!

Smooth sailing to you all.
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Old 28-08-2013, 20:33   #24
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- need advice

WaterWriter: Good on ya .. follow your heart. I live aboard and do a bit of writing (and web design and video and whatever else pays the bills). I was on a 36' Trojan TriCabin -- very nice and spacious layout, but after working aboard for awhile, I moved up to a 46. Even so, I don't have a lot of gear and have given away most of the "stuff" that filled up my house on land. A storage unit holds the few things I can't bear to part with. Materials: Fiberglass fiberglass fiberglass. It's tough, doesn't rot or rust and can be repaired easily (tho not always inexpensively). With regard to the IRS requirements to deduct the cost of a home office, as long as there's a separate area of the vessel that you use exclusively for work, you meet the rules. That argues for a double-cabin design. I have my forward vee devoted to work-related gear (cameras, printer, office supplies, a small desk) though i generally work in the salon. I lived at an open dock and am now under cover. Yes, there's less light. But the reduction in maintenance (and the comfort in summer) is considerable (I'm in Florida). I can sit out on the deck or dock in comfort when it's pouring rain. When you're working and living aboard having that extra space outdoors is very welcome. Look for a boat with plenty of windows, a bar many trawlers (and even many MYs) won't clear. The Trojan, for example, had nice side windows but there was no windshield forward as that boat has a molded-in seat across the front of the trunk cabin. The various models of the ChrisCraft Commander are spacious, but also lack the forward windshield. My current boat is an ACMY with a large salon and galley down. I can move up into the cockpit to work (thanks to the overhead cover) or out to the rear deck. About financing, do you have a 401k or IRA? If so, and you're not currently working for a company with a retirement program, you can register your small enterprise as a "business" and roll your retirement funds over into a "self directed" IRA or 401k. The IRS rules ALLOW you to borrow money from your IRA/401k to spend on almost anything you want, but most of the plans offered by employers (through a custodian like a bank or investment firm) do NOT allow you to do that. It's not federal law, it's just their rule. Once your money is in a self-directed account, you can loan yourself the money and pay it back at the prime interest rate as published in the Wall Street Journal in Jan. of the year you take the loan. I found a law firm in Miami that does the paperwork and which has a favorable letter of opinion from the IRS. The rules specifically approve buying a "home" as one of the things for which you can loan yourself money. And if you're living aboard, the boat qualifies as your home. I too am inspired by the water and I can tell you it will take a LOT to get me back on land. Look for a fiberglass cruiser with a lot of glass and a separate "office" space. Good luck to you!
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Old 28-08-2013, 20:59   #25
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- need advice

I have lived onboard for sixteen years and cannot imagine a better way of life. It is not however, for everyone. I do not mean to put a damper on your dream, in fact I encourage it but please remove the rose coloured glasses ..... boats are extremely complicated and the dream can very easily turn into a financial nightmare. It is critical that you educate your self as much as possible about all marine systems and the structural elements of boats. I recommend anyone new to this read Marine Survey 101 before even looking at a boat.
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Old 29-08-2013, 02:11   #26
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- need advice

Dear WaterWriter, I have lived aboard my boat for about twelve years now and overall it has been a good experience. However living aboard a boat in a cold and/or rainy climate can be pretty miserable.

I have a sail boat and as soon as the weather cools to where I have to use more than a light blanket at night I hoist the anchor and go to warmer climes then when the heat and humidity goes up there I hoist the anchor and sail for cooler climes. However to do this you need to have some sort of cruising vessel either motor or sail.

I would not even consider living aboard a boat if I had to go out and shovel 4' of snow out of the cockpit, staying in the 75 - 95 temperature zone very much simplifies life aboard a boat and it is cheaper to live where you don't have to burn up monstrous amounts of fuel to stay warm.

As long as you can avoid bumping into things ferro boats are actually the lowest maintenance of all the hull materials and they are usually fairly cheap, downside is that they can be hard to get insurance on and a badly built one is a disaster from all viewpoints. I have a steel boat and would not recommend it if you are maintenance shy
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:13   #27
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- Need Advice

Good morning Kelley,
I am new to these forums and have only registered this day. If I am out of place I am sorry I am new to this .
I to am in the process or considering throwing in the towel and getting a sailboat and living aboard in the Florida Keys. Living here on a ranch in the high country of Colorado (8,500 feet) is getting old with the attitudes. I am retired for now but would like to work part time and that is not going to happen here.
I live as a single parent with my 12 year old son who is now her full time from Germany.
I think the adventure would be very good for both he and I. I have been to the Keys many times and camped and went to a summer camp in the Keys in the 60's( Summer Camp Afloat).

greetings to all, Bill Mackleer
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:35   #28
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Good morning Kelley,
I am new to these forums and have only registered this day. If I am out of place I am sorry I am new to this .
I to am in the process or considering throwing in the towel and getting a sailboat and living aboard in the Florida Keys. Living here on a ranch in the high country of Colorado (8,500 feet) is getting old with the attitudes. I am retired for now but would like to work part time and that is not going to happen here.
I live as a single parent with my 12 year old son who is now her full time from Germany.
I think the adventure would be very good for both he and I. I have been to the Keys many times and camped and went to a summer camp in the Keys in the 60's( Summer Camp Afloat).

greetings to all, Bill Mackleer
Greetings Bill!
We moved from CO last December to live aboard in the Palm Beach area. No more shovelling, scraping, and winter drives for us! But it is summer and humid so lots of sweating
It will be winter in a couple months so a trip to the Keys may sound like a good place to be soon.
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Old 04-09-2013, 12:42   #29
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- Need Advice

Skati,
Thank you. I was just in Florida two weeks ago looking at boats. It was 95 plus with 80 % humidity. Oh how I know. But it was August. Yes it may be hot and humid but jump in the water. Every place has it's pluses and minuses. The grass is not greener just different. I wonder how many years I am willing to cut and split fire wood and the long winters. Oh the climate here is heavenly BUT. I wrote a longer thread somewhere else . But I am new as of today and learning as I go.
Bill
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Old 04-09-2013, 14:24   #30
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Re: Contemplating Liveaboard -- Need Advice

If I were you I would start on a sailboat, since that's what you seem to want to ultimately be on. The actual mechanics of sailing are pretty simple, and you can keep your venturing strictly local until you build skill and confidence. Granted, landing straight on a large sailboat will present some challenges, but they are manageable if you go about it intelligently.

One reason to start with a sailboat is the expense of switching boats. If you want to finance it, you're going to need to buy a "newish" boat. Boats never appreciate in value like a house, they always, except in extraordinary cases of rarity, depreciate, and at a rate you may find alarming.

I would also caution you to prepare yourself for compromise. Every boat is a compromise of one sort or another, and your task over the next year is to learn what's really important to you and what is simply "nice to have". One thing to keep in the forefront of your mind is that the cost of owning and maintaining a boat goes up rapidly as you pass 30'. It costs more to slip it, to insure it, to haul it, and to fix and outfit it. Many single people do just fine living on a 30'. When you get to 40' in a sailboat you have dramatically more room, but additional complexity and cost.

If I were in your shoes I would do a couple of things. First, I would make friends with sailors and learn how to sail. Look for Meetup groups, sailing classes, etc. Take a cruising class and then volunteer to crew on a longer passage. In short, get your feet wet right away doing what you visualize for yourself in the future. It might not come as second nature if you're not overtly social, but you'll learn a tremendous amount that way.

Second, try and get on as many boats as possible. Finding a patient buyer's broker would be invaluable in this respect. Don't pick one that deals mostly in new boats. Be upfront and tell them you're @ a year away from buying and that you want to poke around as many boats as possible. Many brokers are located in marinas and boatyards and you could stop by once a month to look through the boats they have on the yard and they won't be too put out by the time it takes them. For that reason I would suggest finding a broker in Annapolis...I think more boats are sold here than anywhere on the east coast, and the inventory of used boats in many of the yards here is extensive. Also, go to the Annapolis boat show next month. Take your time and poke around the boats...that is what they are there for.

Oh, and don't buy a wood boat. Not because there is anything wrong with them, but because you don't have the skills to select and maintain one. They can be very seductive as they are beautiful and inexpensive, but they are a labor of love that you're not equipped to take on.
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