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Old 16-01-2010, 15:04   #1
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Dog, Bird and No Experience - Oh, My!

I'm 20, I plan on buying a liveaboard as soon as I can afford it, and I have roughly an idea of what I'll be buying, however I don't know much about the process of actually LIVING aboard.

To complicate things further, I have a small Havanese who I'm not to concerned about, he's a small, non-shedding sweet heart, but I also have an amazon parrot. I'm wondering if it's possible to install a bird cage in a 28 - 32' vessel, and is it possible to have a standard 9 - 5 job and look good for it and NOT stink like fish every day?

Any advice at all is so beyond encouraged and welcomed - I would be very greatful for any knowledge offered. Also, I'm interested in learning how to sail, but I want to learn more than what the standard classes offer. Also, as a young woman, I'm not encouraged by the idea of taking a class which requires living on a ship for three days with a bunch of men... no offense. I'm more worried about personal safety than hygine there.

Thanks a million
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Old 16-01-2010, 15:42   #2
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My wife and I lived aboard a 30' sloop with a Capuchin monkey that was kept for much of the time in a cage onboard. I'm sure you could incorporate a parrot cage. Most liveaboards in smaller boats use shore bath house facilities. We both kept professional positions without a different standard than those that live ashore. You won't smell like fish unless you spend a lot of time with fish! The greatest skill in sailing will be gained from sailing a small boat, 8' to 16'. Small boats respond quicker to your actions and give you immediate feedback to allow for quick learning. Learn to sail a little boat and the transition to a larger vessel will be easy. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 16-01-2010, 16:06   #3
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If your Liveaboard is moored in a Marina constantly supplied with fresh water and Power you may have a chance to ceep up with the cleanliness todays Society expects from "normal People". Once you introduce Animals it is bound to become substantially more difficult you may wont notice it but others will and worse they are not likely to tell you.
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Old 16-01-2010, 16:38   #4
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I don't think you'll have any problems. We live aboard and I have an African Grey parrot. She has adapted very well. You're dog (I LOVE Havanese dogs!) will also be fine.

If you plan to have a 9 to 5 job, it's probably easiest if you are at a marina. Most marinas have shower facilities that might be more convenient to use than showering on your boat.

Where are you located? Be sure to check availability at nearby marinas before you get your boat.
Keep us posted!
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Old 16-01-2010, 16:49   #5
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Thank you so much for the immediate feedback!

I live on the west coast and I haven't decided where exactly i want to permanently settle. Yes, havanese are amazing creatures, and i'm hoping that eventually I'll actually end up with something along the lines of a 40. But for the beginnign I'll be in something like a 27-36. I will be at a marina on work days as well.

But the cool thing about owning a boat and THEN deciding where I want to reside is that I can travel, check out new areas, and moving would be.. well.. you know
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Old 16-01-2010, 17:19   #6
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" Also, as a young woman, I'm not encouraged by the idea of taking a class which requires living on a ship for three days with a bunch of men... no offense"
None taken. After all, any sailor who'd allow a woman on a boat obviously doesn't know that's extremely bad luck. (VBG)

You might try www.womanship.com
137 Conduit Street
Annapolis, MD 21401-2603
(410) 267-6661

an established sailing school that caters to women who'd rather learn to sail without men around. There are other programs on the same concept but they're probably the most established name.

Nothing about living aboard has to have fish stink, but the goals of "living aboard" and "sailing" can be conflicting. A roomy inexpensive boat targeted for harbor living, usually will lack some sailing abilities. I'd suggest first learning to sail, and you don't need to spend overnights on board to do that. Plenty of basic courses get you started with three or four days (8-10 hour days) on a boat. Try that, get some time bumming rides from local yc's, and if you like sailing then take a weeklong "liveboard" course, which is going to be aimed at things like systems, maintenance, anchoring, rather than sailing itself.
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Old 16-01-2010, 18:52   #7
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Thank you for the recommendation, hellosailor. Having women on board might be bad luck, but only because we can be very distracting, I hope

I have also heard the same, that what one prefers for living and what one prefers for sailing are two different things, but I'm hoping to find a balance. I don't require much space, thankfully, however I am almost 6 feet tall and I have rather large feet. I'm hoping I can get something that allows me to walk around without tripping all over myself. I've spent countless hours on yachtworld.com drooling over the different vessels.

I do have another question, though, what are the differences between a cutter, sloop, cruiser... etc. The "racer" category is somewhat self explained, haha.
Thanks for the tips!
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Old 16-01-2010, 20:16   #8
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Cutter and sloop are two different rigs, a sloop is the basic one mast in the middle of the boat with one sail in front and one behind. A cutter has two headsails, adding more expense, power, and flexibility to the game. Cruiser versus racer is less easy to define and you'll hear "cruiser-racer" "racer-cruiser" "express cruiser" and other terms thrown around. A real dividing line between the two, ignoring performance, might be that crusiers generally will be carrying a lot more weight (by design and default waterline) in tankage. Might carry 4x-10x more fuel and water and waste than a racer, which just might not have room for the tanks themselves, let alone the weight. Along with a larger engine intended for regular use, where "pure" racers may carry a ridiculously small engine intended mainly for docking.

If you can find copies of Donald Street's books on sailing and boats, i.e. "The Offshore Cruising Yacht" those are one of many good ways to get a lot of insight from a good source in a hurry.
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Old 16-01-2010, 20:20   #9
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Okay, thanks, good to know. I've much to learn. I'm used to teaching myself everything I know without ever dishing out a penny in the education, but I'm finding that I'm going to have to dish out more than a penny to learn how to sail!!

I appreciate all the feedback that has been given. I only joined this forum today and it is the move responsive and lively forum I've seen in a long time.

Thank you so much.
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Old 18-01-2010, 10:27   #10
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As far as learning to sail cheaply, I would hang around a DIY yard or the marina (sounds like you are anyway) and volunteer labor for sailing lessons. Not only would it give you a feel for maintance required... It will also get you to know some sailors. I would give a day per day on my boat, and it would be good instruction too. I am sure many are in my boat (pun) .
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Old 18-01-2010, 21:56   #11
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Originally Posted by Dreaming Lyra View Post
Okay, thanks, good to know. I've much to learn. I'm used to teaching myself everything I know without ever dishing out a penny in the education, but I'm finding that I'm going to have to dish out more than a penny to learn how to sail!!
I've just taken the plunge myself. I heard from both sides of the debate - learn small/live large. I wasn't prepared to live small so decided on comfort but a boat that I had heard sails well and I'm glad I did.

The other thing that was said to me that I'll pass on is to spend 10% less then you are prepared to spend because you will want/need to spend it after you purchase. It has been true for me.

When you take the plunge I hope it makes you as happy as it has me!
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