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Old 22-02-2012, 20:00   #1
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Frustrated. Ready but not Quite, and did I Mention Frustrated?

BEWARE::: a personal venting session in 3...2....1...

We have spent the last couple of years dreaming of being liveaboards. Unfortunately, our income was really low until my part time work finally paid off into a much higher paying full time gig about 7 months ago. With 3 kids, a dog, a cat a well as hubby and I, the money was always incredibly tight until my promotion. This last 7 months has been us working on paying down old debts. I'm happy with the progress we made, BUT....

We pay 1150/month in rent. Yes, rent. Not something we own, but rather someone else's home. In all fairness, they did give us an option to buy it recently and we turned it down. We don't want a house. We want a boat. So, here we are. We only have a little over $1000 in savings. No real property, we drive reliable but older used cars. (we decided no car payments). Even if we sold everything except our personals we would maybe come up with about $6000.

We could transfer our jobs down by Orlando where we could both keep our positions and work while being on the coast. It's just the initial expense of the d*mn boat. I just can't help but feel that the money we are throwing at other people could be of better use by targeting it specifically to what it should be.....our lives...our dreams. My expectations aren't much. Something that doesn't leak and has enough space for 6 bodies to sleep. (the dog demands her own pillow). Everything else will come with time, money, a little elbow grease and some learning curves.

How in the world did you guys make the leap? Did you have a big lump of cash hidden in your mattresses?

::sigh::
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Old 22-02-2012, 20:36   #2
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated?

Wow. $1150/month is big rent. What part of the world? I live about 2 hours north of Orlando and for that money you could rent a mansion (well maybe not a mansion but a really nice house). Speaking of Orlando, you do know that Orlando is not on the coast? I guess you mean kind of near Orlando since the coast is about an hour away.

I have managed to be a cruiser twice. First time I was single, had few expenses and did it on the cheap. Managed to spend almost ten years off and on being a boat bum cruiser. Then marriage, kids, return to college, career and similar issues intervened so we sold the boat, moved to land and played like a land lubber for thirty years. Have a small house but it's paid off, a little land in the country, had a good bonus one year and paid cash for a very neglected boat.

With a family it will be a little tougher. You can't go too small and keep three kids happy (and keep your sanity) and you will have more mouths to feed. If you really want to do it now, move out of that budget busting rent pit and get something cheaper. Save your pennies and as soon as possible buy the boat.

Which boat depends. With lots of money buy one as new and as ready to go (a boat that is truly ready to go is as rare as actress without surgical enhancement in Hollywood) as possible. Since that is not your case you have to do a little math. You can get a fixer upper sooner but spend a lot of time and money fixing it up. Benefits: the money is spent in smaller increments over a longer time, get the boat now, can get a bigger boat. BUT, you need to calculate how much more money you could earn working more at a wage earning job vs how much time you put into the boat. Also need to realistically evaluate your fixer upper skills. AND it can be a huge pain living in the middle of a construction zone (been there, etc).

So that is my rambling reply to your rant. Hope it helps or at least makes you feel better.

If you are in the area give me a call and I'll show you a boat under reconstruction so you'll know what you might get yourself into. Could cure what ails you.
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Old 22-02-2012, 20:37   #3
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated?

ha ha i lived in a tent for 3 years before building my first boat!
perhaps look at renting a trailer home in florida,at least it is warm,close to the sea whilst looking for the low cost livaboard.
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Old 22-02-2012, 23:53   #4
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated?

My measly cruising kitty has come mainly from a series of houses that I have owned.

I do realise that in the US of A at the moment owning real estate is considered to be a particular form of lunacy but this may not last forever.

If you really want to go cruising in something that may not sink right away you'll need some serious cash. My experience of stocks suggests that they have more risk than I can take, but a nice rental property close to where you live?

Look for something shabby but sound, on a decent sized bit of land, good street, well located located near schools, transport, shopping and work and a shortish drive to the coast. Move in and set hubby and kids to work on a coat of paint and a clean up. Caution: Over enthusiastic renovation can cause RIDS (Renovation Induced Divorce Syndrome).

Once your finances have stabilised rent it and buy a second property. Repeat.

When you want to go cruising sell the worst house.

And you'll have gained many of the necessary skills to "fix" a cruising boat.
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Old 23-02-2012, 00:48   #5
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated?

Dont think that your post qualifies as a rant

Very few of the live abords/cruiser on the forum had a stash of money under the bed. Most of us are far older than you (unfortunatly) and at you age were in a similar finincial position to you. Ignoreing fishing and oystering boats (which were a means of making a living for a few years) my first (sail) boat i bought after not taking a real holiday for about 20 years. Thats not a complaint just telling it the way it was.


Given your lack of "money under the bed" you are going to have to be both lucky and inventive if you are going to achieve your dream in a hurry. Perhaps you can find some one who want to sell their boat but is not prepared to sell at the market price but who would consider providing vendor finance. The problem there is that they are probably going to want more than the boat is worth. The cheapest boats are generally "distressed sales" with financial hardship, health, divorce or the dreaded two boat syndrome. These groups are unlikely to be in a position to offer vendor finance.


Even if you can find some one willing to finance the boat they are likely to want a substantial deposit, which you do not appear to be in a position to provide at this time. Maybe, just maybe you may find a seller who would let you have the boat on a rent buy basis.


Probably the most viable option is Atolls subjection of finding the cheapest place that you can rent, get a second job stacking shelves or what ever, save and then buy something basic that functions as a liveaboard. That would mean that you would still need to plow money into it and that is not the cheapest way of buying. Having said that the loss from fixing the boat up may be offset by savings in rent costs, which have to take into account marina fees. Working and having kids all but rules out living on the hook.


Here's hoping some else can offer some thing more positive

Best wishes

Best wishes
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Old 23-02-2012, 01:40   #6
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated?

My Wife & I lived on a cattle station for three years working. Town 3 hours drive away, house provided, utilities provided, food provided---otherwse we would still be on land- good luck - it will happen if you want it to
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Old 23-02-2012, 03:03   #7
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gypsy_Soul View Post
We have spent the last couple of years dreaming of being liveaboards. How in the world did you guys make the leap? Did you have a big lump of cash hidden in your mattresses?

::sigh::
In the past my worldwide wanderings were paid for from saving money (no boat involved - but principle still the same) and covered many years (on and off) and from being able to return "home" to earn more money, not quite as and when I wanted - but fairly close....and that situation wasn't acheived by accident (well, not completely ).

The answer in your case is simply....time.

and I would suggest turning "saving" into living life normally (aka within budget) - and also by not adding to your costs. (don't replace the animals ) and by not increasing size of the family. Avoid Debt at all costs! having some money in the bank becomes addictive, and lets one sleep easier at night .

Having said that, the one added expense I would get is........a boat (of any size). IMO it is an "investment" even though in straight cash terms you will lose money - but the knowledge and experiance gained will repay itself in cash later on.

As you are likely looking at a period of several years (if not more) if the housing market in your area has bottomed out, or pretty much - then I would seriously consider buying a property , on the basis that even if you don't make a capital profit upon sale then a good chance of getting at least some of your rent back. Obviously depends on the numbers, and buying something that could be sold fairly easily - even if not your "dream" house (in size, location or layout)......consider those compromises practice for boat buying . Some job security would also be useful .
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Old 23-02-2012, 05:28   #8
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated?

Skipmac.... We are currently living on the outskirts of Columbus, Ohio. The house we moved into is indeed nice and we have loved having the tankless hot water heater here. I figure it will become a thing of the past soon enough so enjoy it now. haha Honestly, we lived in crap houses for a long time. When we moved here to Ohio last year and my promotion kicked in, we went for a house in a cozy suburban subdivision with a privacy fence and attached garage. It was a mixture of the years longing for something better as well as the experimental thought of...if we had a place we were more comfortable in, would we not want a life of sea anymore. I love the house we are in, our neighbors and the school here for my kids. BUT, if anything it makes us want the alternative even more. We have a great net income between the two of us now so I have begun to pick at all the things I see us spending needlessly on.

Oh, and yes...I do feel a little better. lol
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Old 23-02-2012, 05:34   #9
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated?

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ha ha i lived in a tent for 3 years before building my first boat!
perhaps look at renting a trailer home in florida,at least it is warm,close to the sea whilst looking for the low cost livaboard.

I couldn't imagine living in a tent for 3 years with the kids. If it were just me, I'd be all for it. Well, I think eventually I would build some elaborate tree house and change my name to Moon Child or something.

We have definitely thought about finding a cheapy place in Florida. : ) We will be eligible for transfers next spring. Well...I'm eligible now but hubby....
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Old 23-02-2012, 05:37   #10
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

If you really want to cut expenses and start cruising sooner have you thought about encouraging the kids to run away and join the circus?
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Old 23-02-2012, 05:43   #11
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Talking Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated?

[QUOTE=Boracay;89358 And you'll have gained many of the necessary skills to "fix" a cruising boat.[/QUOTE]


Woah. You need skills? I thought it was all relaxation and drinking?

I'm with you on the stock market thing. Way too risky for my taste. I know people who overall do great. Unfortunately, Murphy occupies the guest bedroom in our house. lol

Good advice on the properties though.
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Old 23-02-2012, 05:44   #12
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

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If you really want to cut expenses and start cruising sooner have you thought about encouraging the kids to run away and join the circus?
Every day. lol
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Old 23-02-2012, 05:47   #13
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

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.
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Old 23-02-2012, 05:48   #14
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated?

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The cheapest boats are generally "distressed sales" with financial hardship, health, divorce or the dreaded two boat syndrome. These groups are unlikely to be in a position to offer vendor finance.
I choose C. divorce. I would completely take advantage of the situation of a spouse selling a boat dirt cheap for spite.
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Old 23-02-2012, 06:19   #15
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Re: Frustrated. Ready but not quite. And, did I mention frustrated ?

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,,how old are they??(no need for an answer here) are they of an age where they would miss their friends?
Where i am right now i pay $1350 per month and that is before energy,cable,food,gas,etc.etc,etc, when i make the move to water i will be saving a great deal except for the initial investment of the boat and the included costs of repairs and upkeep along with Moorage.
When you move aboard a boat it is like moving into a small motor-home,,this is the amount of room you will have for you the kids the hubby and the pets.
Not everyone can make the adjustment without dire consequences, i think it has been said that Living in tight spaces with loved ones have caused more marriage breakup than anything else...this is why you find all of those sweet deals on used Vessels, the previous owners are busted up and liquidating.
I dont mean to rain on your parade here, just providing a sounding board for you.
In my own case, my kids have grown up, and i am single now,and i have lived in a camper van for a couple of years before and found it very liberating.
Before you consider living aboard a boat, i suggest taking a weeks holiday in a 23 foot motorhome and if at the end of it you can say "I didnt lose my temper once" then water living may be an option....just sayin""
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