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Old 18-01-2009, 23:19   #1
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Everyone Thinks I'm Nuts - Help!

I have decided it is time to take on another dream, live aboard a boat, travel back and forth between NC and South Florida and go semi green all in the same shot. My friends think I am nuts, but now I need the opinion of other that are actually doing it.

So I will break it down. I am currently self employed. I own a small retail seafood market and have an internet business that I can work from anywhere as long as I have an internet connection(Thank god for Alltel wireless cards). I will be selling the seafood market next fall. Without any effort at all I will have about $1200 a month in income from my internet biz, with some effort that number could be atleast double if not triple. I have no debt, no CCs, truck ill be paid off in a couple months etc. So I think I have the finances in order??

I am a single mom of a soon to be graduating 18 year old, he is onboard for this adventure as well. He is going to college but not for two years and has a college fund to pay for it. So it will be just the two of us, a cat and a dog. And eventually just me and the animals. Any advice on doing this with a teenager and pets??

The Boat...
I am currently looking at a 54' San Lorenzo that the plan is to add solar to to generate power as I am trying to cut fuel costs by just running the boats twin GM deisels for running. I am not trying to completely eliminate shore power but I would like to not have to depend on it all the time.

I am friends with a charter boat captain now that runs biodiesel in his 72' head boat. Once he perfects that I would like to try that in this as well, but I am thinking that may be reaching a bit right off the bat. Has anyone tried it with any success??

Obviously I have never run a boat this big so my thoughts are to stick to the ICW as much as possible for the first year or two. And really I don't know that I will ever want to go further than the ICW can take me anyways. All I really want to be able to do is be in a warmer climate come winter and mooored in NC in the summer. I may go further north to see family but its not part of the plan I have laid out yet. Any advice??

So am I nuts?? I know the plan needs a little refining I am definitely open to suggestions!
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Old 19-01-2009, 00:08   #2
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Sounds like a great plan to me! .

..Get a good survey done....cost of repairs go up with size...so know what you're getting..... Draft on that is 4' ..so you should be fine in the ICW....You've driven boats before...so driving em is easy..docking em get's a little trickier at 54' .and.then one day..it's not.....besides you have an 18 year old dockhand.

$1200 a month sounds a little lite., so I'm assuming that the seafood market sale, house sale? will add to the kitty? It could cost over $1200 to gas up.
I can't speak to the bio-deisel..point

Do you know where you'll spend the time in Florida and do they allow livaboards...

Best of Luck! and Have Fun!
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Old 19-01-2009, 00:40   #3
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Sounds like a great plan to me! .

..Get a good survey done....cost of repairs go up with size...so know what you're getting..... Draft on that is 4' ..so you should be fine in the ICW....You've driven boats before...so driving em is easy..docking em get's a little trickier at 54' .and.then one day..it's not.....besides you have an 18 year old dockhand.

$1200 a month sounds a little lite., so I'm assuming that the seafood market sale, house sale? will add to the kitty? It could cost over $1200 to gas up.
I can't speak to the bio-deisel..point

Do you know where you'll spend the time in Florida and do they allow livaboards...

Best of Luck! and Have Fun!
The seafood market is paying for the boat. But I can bring my online income up at will, all I have to do is work more than an hour a day.

If memory serves me correctly, it was $1200 to have the headboat fueled up(thats delivered), so it would run me about $2400.

I am thinking The Keys, I havent got as far as looking into dockage yet but I am not opposed to anchoring up either, I would really like to stay on the move as much as possible, see what I can see while I am still young.

The plan is to leave here in mid October, following the snowbirds. What I would like to do when I get there is spend a couple, maybe 3 weeks here and there all winter, then start back in early march, taking my time both ways.

Here anchorage it is not a big deal, the sound provides ample anchorage space as long as I move every three days(they really arent strict on that tho), and fuel is just 6 miles away from where I want to be, if I don't meet the fuel truck at the dock.
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Old 19-01-2009, 00:53   #4
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I agree with Tempest that you have a viable plan, twisty. I would imagine, though, that you will tire of Florida after a season or two.

Eventually, you will probably want to jump across the Stream and spend the winter in the Bahamas. Once you do, I doubt you'll find Florida all that appealing.

Congratulations on having succeeded in your business ventures. That you will be parlaying that success into a comfy, water-based lifestyle is reward enough, I think, but to the extent that you're able to make it a "green" one is even more commendable.

You go girl!

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Old 19-01-2009, 01:24   #5
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I agree with Tempest that you have a viable plan, twisty. I would imagine, though, that you will tire of Florida after a season or two.

Eventually, you will probably want to jump across the Stream and spend the winter in the Bahamas. Once you do, I doubt you'll find Florida all that appealing.

Congratulations on having succeeded in your business ventures. That you will be parlaying that success into a comfy, water-based lifestyle is reward enough, I think, but to the extent that you're able to make it a "green" one is even more commendable.

You go girl!

TaoJones
Thanks!

I agree I prolly will get tired of FL but I am not planning an further adventure until i get a lot more experience. The ICW is ALOT different than open ocean.. and believe it or not I get seasick every time I hit the ocean, I still go 20-30 times a year, its damn unpleasant but I love it anyways. The ICW i'm fine tho, go figure!
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Old 19-01-2009, 02:40   #6
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Keep in mind that you'll need boat insurance and health insurance, unless you're of the gambling sort. Slip fees in the Keys are costly and anchoring out still requires a pumpout every now and again as direct discharge is not allowed.

I would suggest you develop a very good budget projection for your plans. The biggest unknown will be your boat. Maintenance costs will include haul-outs for bottom paint, etc., and other normal maintenance that you should research. If something breaks on a boat, such as an engine or transmission, you can plan on spending a lot of money very quickly.

By the by, the 54' boat you're considering is HUGE and will be very costly to own. Be aware also that all of the people that tell you to jump in and follow your dreams aren't going to pay for a nickel of your bills when they come due. Consider this a business venture and proceed with due diligence.
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Old 19-01-2009, 03:38   #7
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My first reaction is to sell your son and buy a bigger boat.

If thats not permissible in your country.....

Seriously though, and 18 year old boy living with mum on a confined boat is going to be interesting.... Perhaps it would be appropriate to tell him this is an adventure for you, you have earned it and its to give you an exciting change. If he can't or won't fit into your adventure and with your rules then he is the one to get off and start life as an adult.

Someone just today told me how lucky I was not to be working. I KNOW! I've worked for the last 20 or 30 years and I know what work is like. I don't want to have to go back to work again. So I will fight tooth and nail for the survival of my dream, my leisure life and my adventure

Sometimes some people close to us think its all just a game. It is, maybe a game, but if we lose the consequences are dire


All the best


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Old 19-01-2009, 06:55   #8
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I’m really surprised nobody has yet suggested you forget the big stinkpot and get a sailboat! Of course, A San Lorenzo or similar gives you nice accommodation, but I don’t think you will have enough income in hand to run a thundering great motorboat, or the crew to handle it. Your fuel and dockage costs will be very high, and on a boat that size breakdowns can become horrendous—unless you can do everything yourself. Can you? If the answer is no, forget it! In every marina in the world there are people living on big motor boats, which they can’t afford to move. Buy a forty something foot sailboat, and discover the enjoyment of going from A to B quietly, and without having to work out in advance how much it’s going to cost. It will take you longer, but after you get used to it you will be able to consider anywhere in the world, which you can’t do on your plan.
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Old 19-01-2009, 07:54   #9
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My first reaction is to sell your son and buy a bigger boat.

If thats not permissible in your country.....

Seriously though, and 18 year old boy living with mum on a confined boat is going to be interesting.... Perhaps it would be appropriate to tell him this is an adventure for you, you have earned it and its to give you an exciting change. If he can't or won't fit into your adventure and with your rules then he is the one to get off and start life as an adult.

Someone just today told me how lucky I was not to be working. I KNOW! I've worked for the last 20 or 30 years and I know what work is like. I don't want to have to go back to work again. So I will fight tooth and nail for the survival of my dream, my leisure life and my adventure

Sometimes some people close to us think its all just a game. It is, maybe a game, but if we lose the consequences are dire


All the best


Mark


Hey Mark thanks for your comments.

My adventure is his as well. He is an incredibly smart kid that wants to spend some time doing the things he really wants to do before the career, family kids etc get in the way. In some ways I wish I had done exactly as he is instead of the other way around.

As for rules we have two rules and he has no problems following, when on the water do exactly what I tell you to do and when I am not telling you to do something stop and think before you do anything! The latter of those two have served him very well on the water and off, and turned him into an incredible young man in the process.
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Old 19-01-2009, 08:00   #10
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I’m really surprised nobody has yet suggested you forget the big stinkpot and get a sailboat! Of course, A San Lorenzo or similar gives you nice accommodation, but I don’t think you will have enough income in hand to run a thundering great motorboat, or the crew to handle it. Your fuel and dockage costs will be very high, and on a boat that size breakdowns can become horrendous—unless you can do everything yourself. Can you? If the answer is no, forget it! In every marina in the world there are people living on big motor boats, which they can’t afford to move. Buy a forty something foot sailboat, and discover the enjoyment of going from A to B quietly, and without having to work out in advance how much it’s going to cost. It will take you longer, but after you get used to it you will be able to consider anywhere in the world, which you can’t do on your plan.
I pretty much can do everything myself, the reason I chose this boat was the motors were GM, I have worked on GMs since I was 16 and bought my first car and couldn't afford a mechanic to fix it.

I have considered a sailboat, the one thing that is stopping me is I have been sailing once in my life, I was 12 at the time. I am now 39, and I wouldn't even know where to start. The one thing I don't want to do is get into something that I am unfamiliar with and have a learning curve that could kill me if I make a mistake. With the monster as my son calls her, I am familiar. Make sense?

By the way like your nickname, I live near a Joly Roger pier.
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Old 19-01-2009, 08:09   #11
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Why not consider a motorsailor,big engine to play with and sails for when conditions permit learning a new means of propulsion.
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Old 19-01-2009, 08:20   #12
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Yes, you are nuts.

1) Biodiesel isn't "green". If it makes you feel better, then fine. Go for it.

2) The costs of maintaining a 50+ foot boat are outrageous. ESPECIALLY if it's been sitting for any amount of time. You will be dropping "boat units" left and right (1 "boat unit" = $1000).
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Old 19-01-2009, 08:49   #13
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Twisty - awesome plan, and it sounds like you are one of those folks who can accomplish anything you set your mind to.

My two cents are to reconsider the sailing option, and look at something in the 34 to 38 ft range, that you can single hand if necessary, once your son moves back to land.

While your sailing experience is nil, you already understand so many aspects of operating a boat - the sailing part isn't so difficult. In fact, I think you will find it easy!

A sailboat comes much closer to green, and you will be able to stretch your budget much further. The idea that you can double or triple your internet income is the same trap we fall into when we decide to purchase more house than we can afford. We figure we'll find a way to work harder to cover the difference. This is another form of slavery - and is not why you are attracted to this crusing idea in the first place.

Good luck and you are not crazy!
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Old 19-01-2009, 08:51   #14
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Why not consider a motorsailor,big engine to play with and sails for when conditions permit learning a new means of propulsion.
It an idea definitely! It all boils down to one thing really. I am chicken$%^&...LOL

I am so nervous about sailing it is not funny, not sure why, I am completely comfy having a boat underneath me, but sails above me for some reason scare the crap out of me.

bstreep.. Biodeisel isn't green?? please explain that, that just doesn't make any sense at all.

As for dropping boat units I am not your average woman, I don't come into the dock crying that I need a mechanic, I fix it myself. If you don't believe me you should talk to the parts manager at my local marine supply store and ask him about me rebuilding the Johnson 50 spl outboard last summer.

I am the queen of innovation, love working on motors, I know my way around a toolbox, plumbed the bathroom of our current residence, even passed inspections first time around. I have built a race car on my own, that means started with a bare chassis wired it, plumbed it, rebuilt the motor that went into it, tore the rearend out of it when I blew it up, all of this by myself, and then I raced it for two years, successfully. I managed an auto parts store for many years, even built houses at one point. Now being only 5'3" and 110lbs soaking wet I have a few limitations which is where you should revert to the line about being the queen of innovation. Any questions?

Yes a boat of this size can get very expensive but I am not stupid enough to believe that I won't run into problems along the way. But i also know there hasnt been anything life has thrown at me yet that I can't handle, figure out a way to fix it or learn enough to make it work until I can get somewhere there is someone that can teach me how to fix it myself.
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Old 19-01-2009, 09:00   #15
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Twisty,

You'll get almost as many opinions as there are members posting here, so pick and choose what applies to your situation.

There are a few recent threads on finding a place to moor or anchor in the Keys that you might want to check out. Use the Google search option in the "Search" pull-down menu up top.

p.s. I don't think you're nuts!
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