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Old 20-09-2008, 13:02   #1
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pirate Dead broke on land or live aboard comfort?

It seems the new economic order has helped me pursue my dream of living aboard by sending me to the poorhouse! Luckily I own outright our CSY 33 so the comparative costs are actually lower than busting tail working 40+ on land to break even or slowly go deeper into credit card debt.

Another unexpected favor- my credit card companies (only 2) decided to reduce my credit limit to below my existing balance despite no late payments ever. This has forced my family (wife and a wee one) to go back to the 'cash on hand' accounting method.

Honestly, as a (former) real estate developer and builder the industry is dead to me for at least 5 to 7 years. My best option for gainful employment right now is as a 'cable guy'. It begs the question- bust hump to get by working 40-60 hrs per week or cut/slash/burn overhead and live aboard at least part of the year.

Our strategy involves preparing the 'ancestral home' on St. Simons, Georgia for Seasonal Vacation Rental and spend that time on the boat heading north in the summer and south in the winter sticking to the coast.

I just re-read Beth Leonards article in Cruising World on 3 cruising budgets and it gives me some hope that we could at least tread water with a better quality life aboard than all the ancillary costs involved invested in land living.

Our boat floats, it needs some work, but nothing serious. I dare say it's probably not ready for a crossing, but a few months along the coastline and lot's of attention could rectify the potential problems and lead to longer trips.

My wife, given the choice between me absent 60 hours a week to maintain a lifestyle we don't really enjoy and cutting back to the bare essentials and scraping by on a floating home with new adventures, has slowly become more enthusiastic about the live aboard option. It helped that she has read numerous articles on babies living aboard and the comparative quality of life. Certainly without her approval and consent, I would be slogging it out on land for the next 7 years working to overcome the financial wall we hit in 2007.

Am I alone or does the current political/economic environment make you want to head for ample sea room and possibly farther south where the dollar actually might get you somewhere?

1993 Gemini 3400 Catamaran
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Old 20-09-2008, 14:04   #2
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WELCOME, and your not alone in this struggle. Friends of mine are really struggling to get from month to month. Sounds like you got a plan, and that's a start.....BEST WISHES in succeeding......i2f

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Old 20-09-2008, 14:08   #3
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You are not alone. Unfortunately, the marinas in California seem to have found the value in their real estate, and slip fees plus live aboard fees are getting to be as high as mortgages. It is just a bad time to live paycheck to paycheck. At least living aboard, you have a number of options to reduce your overhead, and the one fixed cost, the slip fee, is usually something that can be met.
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Old 20-09-2008, 14:16   #4
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Not sure the dollar has much value many places, and with world wide inflation and stagnation of economies, even where it has had some advantage now places them in question.

I'm near retirement and in my 3rd retirement career... I'm also in real estate now but was engineering most of my life in aerospace fields in Florida. For Me the real estate activity in my brokerage has assisted in reaching my sailing goals... it bought the boat and pays for my 2 or 3 trips a year down. Key for me was to take advantage of the best opportunities with the lowest risk. I have a couple of mid range rental units my company can oversee for me while I'm away sailing and just deposit the checks.

I've looked at spending more time afloat than I do... and have working plans on reaching that soon. I want to spend 6 to 9 months afloat mainly in the Carib. I have the boat in place free and clear but mooring and storage fees really seem like payments except the 4 to 5 months I now spend on her again depending greatly on where I cruise how frugal I am.

I have searched and located several locations near what are my primary cruising grounds I can significantly reduce the day to day expensed... but you still have them in some form... even with a solar cell set up and wind generators you still have to have food and water and I'm working on the water catchment to reduce need further.

Even with this it looks like my living cost will not be much different than what I could do on land... BUT.. I would probably be having a hell of a lot better time.

If things get politically worst and or if the announced bail outs don't return the stock market and mortgage industry to a stable basis... I'll be looking for longer term escapes from the non reality of the situation here and look for at least more attractive and pleasurable environs... heck following the sailing nude thread on the forum... I have another cost reduction area to consider and far less to no need for heating fuel!!!!
I prefer a sailboat to a motorboat, and it is my belief that boat sailing is a finer, more difficult, and sturdier art than running a motor.
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Old 21-09-2008, 07:37   #5
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Can you have it both ways? Freedom and Security?

My wife and I are both in our late 30's and we have a one year old little girl. I'm not sure I can pull it off but I am trying to have it both ways. Build a retirement and simultaneously cast off the dock lines. Our prognosis would be split our time on land and water to maintain the asset. Now a days, paying off the ancestral home seems to be the closest thing to a 'sure fire' investment. Add to that 4-6 months of rental income, and the overhead is bearable.

I hope that my wife and I can spend the next few years travelling up and down the coast seasonally and get a good handle on living aboard TOGETHER and solidify a plan that involves a lot less financial security than I have been used to since this real estate meltdown in 2007.

Then again there is the old adage, "Security is an Illusion".
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