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Old 23-02-2012, 07:20   #16
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

There is a lot of sound advice on this thread, but some is contradictory. Unfortunately, this is the name of the game in going livaboard, everyone is different and has different criteria and finances.
Believe what has been said already, not many livaboards are of independent means, and in the Titusville Florida marina where my boat is, nearly all the livaboards have day jobs. The others are older, like us, and have savings, pensions or other income. Never get the idea that people who live on boats are rich layabouts, they just have different ideas as to what constitutes a good lifestyle.
If you come to work in Orlando you have both coasts to consider where you might buy and keep a boat, both about the same distance from Orlando. Here you could easily rent a nice apartment for about half what you are paying now, probably in a decent school district as well. When you can afford it, or a boat opportunity presents itself, you might conceivably move on board, and still commute to Orlando. Three livaboards do this from Titusville and the extra gas more than pays for itself by the reduced rental costs. Or you might rent something mid-way while you restore the boat, which will ten-to-one need quite a bit of restoration.
One thing I would not recommend is buying property, either in Orlando or Columbus, because you plan to divest yourself of it in due course. Believe me, that is much easier said than done—I know, I run a real estate office in Orlando. Even the idea of being able to rent your property after you move to a boat is a fallacy in this economy. Very few people are making money with rental property. What with management fees, repairs, taxes and fly-by-nights, you will be lucky to break even. Especially at your price level.
Just rent something cheaper and save—either where you are, or elsewhere. This will give you freedom to move at any time, and it will happen if you make it happen.
Best of luck.
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Old 23-02-2012, 07:20   #17
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

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what ever you decide to do, it is allways best to have a clear plan worked out,with a goal that you can focus all your energies towards.

You mean the old tried and true method consisting of 'this is the plan...what was the plan again?...screw it. Let's wing it."
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Old 23-02-2012, 07:31   #18
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

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Have you really thought this all through? If you make the move onto water you are going to have to give up a whole lot which you take for granted right now,,plus the kids,,
Yes. We have completely thought it through. We have been through a lot through the years. Once a housefire that displaced us in a friends livingroom for months. After some medical issues a couple of years ago, we tanked financially for a while and was living in a crappy motel room. Mind you, we were thankful because we had our necessities. But, we are a family that adapts well and have become closer as a result of tight spaces. My kids are 13, 12 and 9. We have never lived at a single place for more than a couple of years and we have only lived in this state for a year. Our family ties are ourselves. We have all talked about it at great lengths. Yes, there are things that we would have to give up but as natural optimists....there are also things we would gain.
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Old 23-02-2012, 07:38   #19
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

I am not religious, but God Bless you and your Family, you guys sound like you are well put together.
As to moving aboard water, what kind of situation are you looking for? A 30 to 40 foot powered vessel will have many of the conforts of home plus some room for the kids to go bananas.
As for you and Hubby the forward berth is plenty big enough for you boath and the family cat.
Think of a Monk cruiser,they are beautiful boats and are sturdy as all get out, and can be had used for a few thousand.
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Old 23-02-2012, 07:44   #20
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

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Believe what has been said already, not many livaboards are of independent means, and in the Titusville Florida marina where my boat is, nearly all the livaboards have day jobs.

Titusville is one of the areas we are looking at. Before we transferred here to Ohio, our jobs were 73 miles apart so one of us always had an hour drive for work. It's nothing we haven't done before. Our goal was to save money for the boat, transfer out, live in a marina and commute back and forth for a few years while we save what we can for cruising. We both get a few weeks vacation time each year so we figure we could easily play along the coastline during the weekends and use our vacation time to gain more experience. It just seems that at the rate we are going, it will take forever because we're throwing good money towards the wrong direction.

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Old 23-02-2012, 07:47   #21
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

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Originally Posted by Gypsy_Soul View Post
You mean the old tried and true method consisting of 'this is the plan...what was the plan again?...screw it. Let's wing it."
by all means be opportunistic,but in my experince if you don't have a clear goal it is going to be very hard to turn a dream into reality!
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Old 23-02-2012, 07:48   #22
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

I have been doing alot research online for you;it looks real promising for you up north where the ship yards have many many sailboats for sale for penny on dollar.Do not get discoraged,keep your dreams alive and you will succed.
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Old 23-02-2012, 07:52   #23
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

Here is a possible source for you. Charity Boat Sales | Donation Boats for Sale | Inexpensive Used Daysailer Boats | Ebay Boats For Sale | Used Yacht
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Old 23-02-2012, 08:23   #24
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

as you know, you want to put the funds where you want to..
and I often approch an issue as this just like I would a business plan.. and I've written plenty of them, and modified plenty from time to time..
Give yourself a time limit on where you want to be and when.. say two years we want to be living on the water in our own boat.. now how do we get there.. well if its two years then where do we want to be in one year, and I would guess, in the midst of moving on a boat or close to it, so if in a years time , we're moving aboard..
that gives us a 6 month window to look and find a boat to move onto... now we're not talking about money here, money is easy to come by, just the plan to move into a boat..
so now we're down to the next 6 months..
what do we have to do in the next 6 months to START looking for a boat to move into ..
If it were me, I'd put myself in the place where we wanted to look, or re-locate..

Your plan would reed,
March of 2012 to Sept 2012, relocate to an area where boats are to be picked throu..
September 2012 to feburary, we're looking for a boat to move on to..
and the boat you start with does not have to be your dream boat.. but understand, its like buying a car, you dont see the make and model of the car until you own one and then you see them everywhere..
Now back to boats.. I've seen 4 of them go throu the marina right here in the last year for free.. I claimed two.. one was a ChoyLee 31 went up for lien sale, I paid 100 dollars for it.. my son took the boat, cleaned it up and and sold it for 7k in a matter of weeks..
Just recently The wife and I decided to replace the sole in our boat and figured the best way to do it was to move out for a while, another boat was decided upon so we put the word out.. picked up a 28 foot Bayliner in great condition except for the motor.. FOR FREE... well live on it for a few months while we retro fit ours and give the bayliner away..
If you put yourself in the setting where the boats are, you'll find a boat. and after a couple years of swapping and moving up, you'll have the one you want..
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Old 23-02-2012, 08:57   #25
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

Keep dreaming, planning, and saving. Try vacationing on a boat or small motorhome/camper for a while to get an idea of what daily life in small quarters is really like. If you plan to live in a marina it can be as expensive as rent.
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Old 23-02-2012, 09:03   #26
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

Ditto above. All of us older guys can cite similar examples. Get where the cheap boats are. I paid $600 for my little boat on ebay. Buddy of mine was offered a 30' on a mooring for $500. He only had $250 but he's now living on the mooring and all his dough goes to the boat. Every established boat yard has lots of broken dreams. A big unfinished multihull might fit all your space needs. Your kids are old enough to help. Our dive shop was given a 50' sailboat to sink as an artificial reef.

If I were starting over, however, I'd save, save, save and buy a completed boat from a distressed seller who thought it would be fun to sail around the world til reality set in. The meanwhile could be well spent on research and learning how to survey boat systems.
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Old 23-02-2012, 09:35   #27
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

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Keep dreaming, planning, and saving. Try vacationing on a boat or small motorhome/camper for a while to get an idea of what daily life in small quarters is really like. If you plan to live in a marina it can be as expensive as rent.
This was my thinking as well. I've been trying to study the finances of what it takes to become a live aboard. I've settled on getting a boat and living aboard a bit in the future, when I'm closer to being ready to actually head out for a while.

I believe it's almost impossible to keep steady jobs while living on a mooring or on anchor. For being on anchor, I wouldn't be comfortable leaving my boat every day for 12 hours a day on an anchor with no one to watch it. I could leave it on a mooring, but that's only half the battle. Every morning you'd have to ferry yourself, your husband, and your kids to shore. Find a place to secure your dingy where it won't get stolen or destroyed, that also happens to be close enough to parking to allow you to take everyone where they go. You have to find cost effective parking. And you have to handle dealing with the rain and waves when transferring to shore. It's not so bad if you can show up to work in flip flops and shorts, but it's hard to do in shiny shoes and slacks. In addition you'll probably have to find good locations on shore to take longer showers, and do laundry. Again, that work place dress code to keep up.

Honestly, to actually work while living on a boat you need to stay in a marina. They have docks that allow you to walk to shore. Typically they including parking for you car that is easy to get to. They also typically have showers, and coin operated laundry mats to help with keeping up the work place dress code.

The problem is that marinas aren't free. In addition if you decide to finance a boat, the fees and interest tend to suck. (I will assume your credit isn't perfect, so the interest and fees are going to suck even more cash up.) Also, owning a boat big enough for 5 people isn't free on maintenance. Between the cost of maintaining the boat, the marina fees, and any financing costs, you could easily be spending as much as you would on rent.

When I played with the math, it was better for me to rent a cheap apartment, and live there, than live on a boat in a marina. I'm able to save more money to buy the boat in the future than I could if I already owned the boat. In addition, it gives me time to look at many boats so I can come up with a better idea of what might work for me and my family.

I wish you luck, but I recommend against diving in shallow water!
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Old 23-02-2012, 10:00   #28
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

There you go Gypsy Soul: from all this good advice you aught to be able to work out some sort of plan, both short and long term.
I agree with Amapola, it certainly would be a sensible idea to test the water, before you make any radical moves.
Five of you, (not counting the dog, who will have his own problems), have to coexist in a very small space, relative to even the smallest house, which also moves about and has much more complicated systems than a house, which someone will need to learn and fix, since you won’t be able to afford marina mechanics - who can?
Furthermore, your children are not old enough to appreciate the ramifications—and maybe you aren’t either. So find someone who has a boat similar to what you think you want, then make some arrangement to give it a shot for at least a week. Even if you never leave the dock you might start to appreciate what you are trying to get into.
I did all of this thirty years ago, with my own young family, and we had more money then than you sound like you will have. We carefully planned it all and bought a nearly new forty foot ketch. Yet it took me a hard year to get into it, and I’m an engineer, and we came very very close to packing it in as a huge mistake.
There’s nothing wrong with dreaming and moving towards doing something about it; just be careful what you wish for.
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Old 23-02-2012, 10:03   #29
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

Spot-on Veribusunitis. Well written.
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Old 23-02-2012, 12:03   #30
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

"Something that doesn't leak and has enough space for 6 bodies to sleep. "
Room for six...reminds me of an old Woodstock joke about how big is that sleeping bag. "Fits one big Irish cop or four skinny hippies".

Kids, pets, moving...whether you buy a boat, house, or forty acres, you still are dealing with the problem of "don't have any savings" which is how you'd accumulate any costly property. Either you pay interest on a loan, or you find a way to sock away the money and buy it outright.

Yes, there are all sorts of comfort and price levels for boats but I'd suggest that cheap living on a boat in Florida ended around 1970, with Travis McGee and the Busted Flush era. Not much later anywhere else even if there still are odd pockets in some places.

I have no idea how financially astute you are, so please don't take it the wrong way when I say that you might want to really look into seeing if there is any other way to grow your assets, your savings. The local reference librarian often has some good reading available on that.

As to what a boat would cost and how much room is enough...you have to go out and start looking. On the docks, in the classified. Hold a family conference with the kids and see if your dream might be a terror to them. If you want to just live on a boat...buying a cheaper house now while prices are down, and cashing out of it in a couple of years might be a better idea. Houseboats will not change in price by as much, and if you've got committments like kids and school and jobs, a boat that sails and moves off won't work out. at least, not for now.

Going from renters to mortgage-payers and taking a charter vacation once or twice a year might actually work out better for now.
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