argh. just typed out a billion things and then navigated away from the page, which erased it all. trying again, but this will likely be shorter:
- have we met yet? I'm Drew, I live on my trimaran
. I don't have moorage, I just anchor
out - I'm in False Creek a lot, sometimes out at Kits Beach, currently anchored over in Sidney.
- nobody actually saves money by living aboard
. boats look cheaper, but they're a time and money sink and a depreciating asset. the first year will be the worst; you'll likely spend another $6000 on top of that $12,000 boat, just keeping it together. the worst part is that if/when you go to upgrade to a bigger boat, that $200 water
pump is now only worth about $20 on the resale value. did the boat come with a dinghy
? oars? safety gear
? batteries? a heater? jerry cans? engine
spares? anchors? plenty of extra rope
? etc etc.
- are you "handy"? if you're a computer guy/artist (like me) you'll have a very steep learning
curve coming up, especially if you haven't much experience with mechanical/carpentry/engines/fiberglass repairs/painting/etc. I found the last few years incredibly fulfilling, and my thirst for knowledge hasn't been this strong since first year college, but your mileage may vary.
- are you in good physical shape? you will be, but if you're not currently you might take some time to get there... there's times when you'll need it, and especially the first few months while you figure everything out, there'll be times when you're going to be pushed to the edge. Pulling up anchors by hand isn't so bad, but doing it at 4am when it's freezing cold and the wind
is blowing 40kn and you're heading for the rocks... not as easy!
- *why* do you want to live on a boat? do you want to travel places, or do you just have a fetish for living in cold, damp, 100-square-foot apartments?
The Catalina is a decent daysailer, but if you want to sail to faraway places you'd do better to avoid the Catalina and try to get into something like an Alberg 30
, not much more money but a proven offshore
- what's your work situation like? if you're leaving your home unattended for forty hours a week, you should probably have it tied to something strong.
- how much *stuff* do you have? when I moved aboard a couple of years ago, I had a full apartment of stuff to get rid of - and most of it went for waaaaay less than I thought, and I still had to give a whole lot away. time taken learning to live with very little "stuff" is time well spent. A Catalina 27 is functionally about the same size as a six-man tent.
- do you have any sailing experience yet? if not, you'd do well to get some, and it will likely affect your decisions on what kind of boat to get in big ways. there's a really solid sailing club down at Jericho that's booking up now - $600 will get you great lessons, certifications and free access to little sailing dinghies all summer long. well worth your time!
Lastly - and just so I don't come off as completely negative (I'm really not, I'll be happy to fill you in on all the details of living aboard, like where to shower
, where to get fuel
and groceries, where to anchor
, where to get better deals on boating
stuff, etc etc) - if you're serious about that Catalina, remember that boats are a buyer's market, the economy is *****, and it's still winter time. the guy is asking $11,500 but I'd bet he'd take $8000, less if you can pay cash.
Seriously though. Do this because it's an awesome adventure and you'll be a better, more self-reliant human being for having done it. Don't do it to save money, you'll be disappointed.