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Old 19-11-2009, 00:57   #1
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Costs to Consider...

Hello everyone. My name is Lucky I'm new to the forums, and I am 23 years old and a nurse and I am considering on living aboard in Southern California. I do not have a sailboat, I do not have sailing experience. I do plan on getting lessons before I buy and do plan on getting a sailboat vs. power boat. I just want to know what are the expenses/maintenance I will encountering if I do decide to live aboard. Also what are the pros and cons you have experienced in while living aboard and what you miss most about living in a home/apartment. I truly want to live aboard for a good 2 year if not more before I decide to get married and have kids. Thanks everyone! I really appreciate your help.
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Old 19-11-2009, 02:04   #2
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The reason that you have not been inundated with responses is that such a general question, cannot be answered sufficiently accurately.

The size, type and particularly condition of the vessel will affect cost.

How you use the vessel will affect maintenance costs.

Whether you are knowledgeable and willing to do your own maintenance versus having to pay a boatyard will affect costs.

The slip fees are variable again on size and type of boat, but also on location.


My recomendation is to decide on the general size and type of boat, then find a slip where there is space and they are willing to accept liveaboard - dont ask the question to the yard, but look to see what others are doing, and ask them! (some yards will say no, but turn a blind eye if not asked )

Ask other liveaboard owners in that yard on similar size boats, what their costs are.

Book the slip, before you buy the boat!

Good luck.
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Old 19-11-2009, 02:21   #3
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Thanks. I'm truly new to the boating scene. I'm possibly looking for a 25-35ft sail boat possibly an around 1980 or older price range around 10k hopefully a turn key ready to go boat. I do plan on taking it to Catalina time to time. As for maintenance I am willing to do minor/simple stuff to start but willing to learn as I go. As for location, I would like to stay in the Orange County area but i do understand it may be pricey.

Talbot, I think that is where I'll start but how would I get to know people who live aboard? Is there clubs I can join? Where would be a good place to start to meet people who live aboard? I was hoping to get that kind of information here, at least some.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 19-11-2009, 02:49   #4
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This link Orange County Boating Facilities and Information will introduce you to some of the local facilities. Go and have a look, walk around, look at boat sales there ad while kicking the tyres, ask about local live-aboard communities. Find them, and go talk!

Cant really help much more from my location!
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Old 19-11-2009, 05:38   #5
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H, here is a link to a forum devoted to live aboards Living Aboard Forums

As Talbot mentioned cost vary according to all the mentioned things. You will be paying rent,food utilities just like ashore but the costs will be different.
There are other costs to consider as well, such as will you be as comfortable, what are you doing with all your stuff, ( it will not all move aboard) how will you handle guests. All sorts of things. In any case the living aboard forum is a great place, they also produce a magazine.
We like living aboard and have been doing so for 6 years now...this year we are cruising to escape Canadian winter. Great boat hunting.
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Old 19-11-2009, 06:12   #6
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Hello Lucky and welcome to the forum,

As former (and hopefully future) liveaboard I say go for it and wish you luck. Talbot was right on in his reply. Expenses can vary dramatically depending on all the details. Also, can vary a bit depending on luck. For example, how much does it cost to maintain a car? Not too much unless the transmission happens to blow which will give you a big jump in the cost for that month. Same for a boat.

I think it unlikely that you will find a good 35' ready to go for $10k. If you decide you need a bigger boat I would focus on making sure the basic hull/deck, rig and engine are solid. All the detail stuff you could work on bit by bit (which you will be doing anyway no matter how it starts out).

Slip rent in S Cal can be really expensive and marinas that accept liveaboards may be limited. Check this out carefully before you buy.


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Old 19-11-2009, 07:32   #7
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Yes, look around at boats. Not just ads in the paper or on the internet, but go visit and look inside. I'm afraid you are going to find that $10k will buy you a boat that needs a lot of work. Not one that is "ready to go."
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Old 19-11-2009, 07:36   #8
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Hi Lucky, We live aboard in downtown charleston, sc and from a cost perspective, we find that we have one of the lowest rents in the downtown area and its waterfront! From buying a boat not really knowing what we were getting into I can say that we love living aboard and have no intention of moving off. My wife is a nurse btw. Spend money on a good surveyor and fix critical items. The rest you will find and figure out along the way. We do not miss any of our junk that accumulates in a house, the space is an adjustment but not near as hard as we thought, I can honestly say the only thing I miss is a stand up Fridge, Top loading gets to be challenging after stocking up on groceries. Nothing wrong with getting married and living on the boat with a family! We love it.
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Old 19-11-2009, 08:07   #9
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the guy next to me got a 31' hunter, clean, ready to go, complete with A/C for 12k. It's do-able, and the boat is more than large enough for one to live on. As one would expect it needs sails and some running rigging.
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Old 19-11-2009, 08:32   #10
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Lucky: Good feedback here for you so far. Until a few months ago I was a liveaboard in SF Bay since '91 and it's a wonderful and inexpensive lifestyle. But as been said coasts can vary and having things fixed can get expensive. Best to keep the boat as simple as possable; I lived w/o refrigeration for most of those years by picking up ice from the yacht club when I used the shower. And a bigger boat will cost more money to buy and maintain - you only need standing headroom and your extra "stuff" from living ashore will most likely live in a storage locker ashore. I'm also reminded of a woman friend who bought a larger boat but was intimidated by taking it out alone and finding crew every time you want to go for a short sail is a hassle. She would have sailed more with a smaller boat. Finding a legal livaboard slip might be a challenge but is doable. Spend time at the marinas and talk to lots of sailors. That's what we did before relocating to Ventura. Good luck!
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Old 19-11-2009, 08:58   #11
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Here's what you do.

a - go to several marinas for a quick look. Throw out any that are in an unsafe area or otherwise just aren't a place you could see yourself living.

b - hopefully, you are left with 2-3. Go back to each one and look for someone on their boat that looks like a live aboard (look for lots of stuff tied to the stern rail)

c- strike up a conversation. You only need one pick-up line in a marina. Just say "Nice boat". Run away from anyone who thinks this is about dating rather than boats. After a few pleasantries, describe your situation and ask who at the marina would be the right person to help you get started.

d - Every marina has someone (almost always a guy but a couple is even better) who would be thrilled to introduce a young person to the cruising life (and has nothing better to do). Again, run away from anyone who has romance on his mind. The ideal guy is the sort who would ask a pretty girl in a bikini if she'd mind moving so he could get a better look at the old boat she's leaning against....maybe he could fix up the boat and...

e- With any luck you'll find someone who will help you find and buy the perfect boat cheaper than you could on your own, arrange everything with the marina, help you fix up your new boat, teach you to sail, and introduce you to others at the marina. It will be the most fun they've had all year. They'll probably also have some good stories and jokes.

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Old 19-11-2009, 09:45   #12
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Lucky, As a very general reply I would say that the financial requirements of living aboard are less than living ashore if you are willing to take on the maintenance yourself. Most liveaboards are interested in independance and self-reliance so this DIY attitude is common. I don't see a "downside" as compared to a house, but then I've never had a house. I agree with the earlier posting that recommended the Liveaboard Magazine Forums as an excellent source of information. I would not agree that living aboard needs to be a choice that is accomplished before marraige and children. Our two children lived aboard with us from infancy until they left for college and my wife and I can't imagine a better family home. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 19-11-2009, 10:50   #13
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do not just look a tthe boats--look at the marinas which allow living aboard and the fees involved----also the waiting list.....depending on where you reside, look from ventura to san diego---gooood luck and may you find that for which you seek......ps--it costs more to reside aboard in so cali than most anywhere else....gooodluck....
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Old 19-11-2009, 11:57   #14
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I am hoping to move aboard in the next few months, provided I can find a deal on boats, but I've spent several month+ long stints on sailboats. Definitely get out and get on some boats.

The big things that I will miss are showers and laundromats. I have yet to see a boat in that size range where a guy of average height (6') can take a standing shower comfortably, and it would be difficult to fit a laundry machine on one. Also the freezers are typically very small or non-existent.
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Old 20-11-2009, 03:25   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarlF View Post
...........Run away from anyone who thinks this is about dating rather than boats. ..........................The ideal guy is the sort who would ask a pretty girl in a bikini if she'd mind moving so he could get a better look at the old boat she's leaning against....maybe he could fix up the boat and.................
Agree with the first comment

If you have found the later, you have been talking to statues again.
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