I live on my 32' sailboat in Stuart Florida and have been here a year. I debate whether to live on land or on my boat. My boat is set up for sailing/ cruising/liveaboard in that order. It is not that comfortable for living on board. It is best to decide what you will use the boat for before purchasing
it. I love my boat, but salivate when I get on some of the larger more comfortable boats. But, I can sail close to the wind
, and single
hand it easily.
Loggerhead in Stuart has reasonable slip fees
. I pay around $500 a month and that includes sewage, water
, cable tv, internet
, a swimming pool and a jaccuzzi. If you want to swim in the ocean, you can drive to the beach in 20 minutes.
There are other who escaped from Colorado and there is a couple raising their daughter, amongst our community. The schools are top rate. It is walking distance from downtown which has lots of activities and a night life, though music
shuts down at 11 pm. You can bicycle to the grocery, West Marine
, Home Depot. There are full time liveaboards who live here without a car. There are very reasonable places to eat and drink. There are lots of snowbirds, but the crowd is a mixed age group, and lots of fun. As far as cultural diversity - mostly white.
Stuart has a Sea Scouts program, and there is a local sailing club. It is about 2 days to get to the Bahamas
if there is a weather
window. There are hurricane
places to be pulled out nearby. We have social activities, and people do live here year round. Some use window air conditioning
, some use hatch
drop ins. After a year, you get used to the heat, and then you get cold when it is in the 60's and have to use a heater. LOL. Being on the river, I have a beautiful breeze and don't always use my air conditioning
. Today is 85 and I am sitting in my boat with a box fan and all my hatches open, loving the weather
. I call it my million dollar view.
There are jobs. It does take some time to get one. Many people do work and live on their boats. Many run their own marine
Many boats here sell on craigslist. I know of several boats that have been for sale
and they say they have sold quickly.
Now, living on a boat is not like living on land. In addition to my slip rent, I have my boat insurance
, which in Florida is high, and I also budget
at least $300 a month for boat repairs
, and my boat has been recently restored, but things are always breaking on a boat even when it sits in a slip. You have to have the bottom cleaned $60 a month if lucky. You have to pay for pumpouts. Things break more in a boat than on land and they cost 3 times as much. You have to be handy or you will see a very expensive repair bill. You have to move 3 things to get to the item you need. It is 1/2 a mile walk to the showers. You have to be prepared that a boat will wake you and things will fall over at the worst time. You drink more because we party more. You have instant friends and resources for all the things breaking on your boat.
I sometimes think about weather to move to land. A 3 bedroom house can still be bought here for $80,000 in a decent neighborhood. It would go up in price
. I would have to work harder to meet people, and get invited to parties. I might see my neighbors once a week rather than several times a day. Water does not have to be refilled, and the head
works almost all the time. You don't walk around the house wondering where that smell is coming from, and most conversations don't turn to boat repairs
. But I have not convinced myself that I would be happier.
Good luck in your search.