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Old 06-09-2012, 22:55   #31
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

I'd stick with an apartment, or house boat, when the weather is foul and a sailboat for when the weather is good.

Winter is no sailor's friend.
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:43   #32
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Re: Has anyone ever had 2 boats as liveaboards???

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................. Never occurred to me to break up some spaces, although most of these size boats still only have 3 cabins and I would hate to compromise the integrity of the boat by messing around too much, especially since there is always the chance that I could hate the life and decide to sell out.
When we split our aft cabin port & starboard for our two children we placed two computer hutches back to back supporting a light weight plywood "wall" between then that did not connect to the transom aft or to the cabin sole (ceiling). This gap allowed for ventilation as the main cabin hatch was to starboard and the air conditioning vents to port. A curtain on a rod formed the forward divider extending between the aft cabin head and the companiionway steps. Private space can be accomplished with light weight materials that are secure, but not a structural modification. After our children left home we restored the aft area to the original large cabin with only sixteen screw holes in the plywood under the matress where angle braces had held the computer hutches. Even foam boards like the light weight pink or blue 8'x4'x1" can be cut, formed and painted to make dividing walls that will not compromise the integrity of the boat.
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Old 07-09-2012, 05:34   #33
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

As to the work that needs to be done on a boat, every boat is different. But, for what it's worth...

Yesterday, I came back from an overnight trip away and found that one of my docklines chaffed on the rubrail, so I spent about 30 minutes checking my dock lines, adjusting where necessary, and end-for-ending about half of them. Then I spent about 10 minutes or so replacing the chafing gear on the docks/pilings. Heck, I was already in that locker getting new ropes, right?

Oh, I had a bit of a leak in the plumbing just downstream of the pressure pump. Getting the stuff out from under the sink in the galley only took about 5 minutes or so, but then I forgot to bring an extension for the screwdriver (the hose clamp for that line is inconveniently tucked away behind the hot water hose.. you can get to it, but you need the 4" shank rather than the smaller 2" shank.) space is tight on a boat.. everything takes twice as long to get at, and twice as long to clean up afterword.

So in the end, retrieving the tools from their locker, cleaning out the sink access area, diagnosing the problem, fixing the problem, going back for another tool, then stowing everything correctly, cleaning the tools, putting them back where they belong, and toasting myself a job well done took around 30 mintues. maybe longer, given it was a double toast. hey, crawling under that sink is a pain, folks.

One of the latches securing the port cockpit locker threw a nut yesterday morning when I was pulling out my work shoes. Took me a few minutes to find said nut, then another 5 to get out the right tools and some anhydrous lanolin to use on the stainless nut/bolt combination to keep crevice corrosion away. Then cleanup. So that was, oh, 15 minutes, maybe?

There's no such thing as just screwing in a new bolt... never know where the old one might end up. It's best to locate old hardware rather than leave it for that big stormy night down the road...


There are other, more standard chores, though. Battery maintenance, seacock turning, engine filters/fluids/starting/fueling, taking on water, cleaning anything that holds a fuild (holding tanks, water tanks, fuel tanks, ice boxes, refrigerator, sinks, wet lockers, heads, etc). And the longer the boat stays closed, the more buildup of 'crud' you get.

A used boat is easier to maintain, as long as you keep up with it. At least you are touching things often enough to stay ahead of the program. And we haven't even gotten into electrical goodies...

All of this is, of course, a labor of love. But you asked what kind of work happens on a boat.

Today's list is already building... this morning I saw that the cockpit scuppers are in need of a cleaning again, and I usually check the drains in the cabin and shower when I have my little brushes out. Also, I think I saw some stitching in the bimini cover starting to wear, so it'll be time to pull out the canvas repair bag pretty soon...
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:05   #34
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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I originally started my thought process with a bigger boat, but I had so many say that I wouldn't be able to operate a big boat that I switched gears and ended up here with maybe 2 medium sized so that I can run them without a professional captain.

It does make me feel better to know that someone had 4 kids living aboard.

With instruction and practice, assuming you and your crew grow some talent, you and one crew member could evolve to handle a 60-65' boat in most weather. Docking in heavy weather may benefit from one additional crew. In most cases, you can also chose to anchor out and wait for better weather, and/or you can often arrange on-shore dock help from the marina.

Some boats are easier to handle than others, of course. You can also influence that by purchasing or modifying a boat so it's easier to handle. For example, bow and stern thrusters might be useful, and they can be added (although we don't have that, so I've no first-hand experience with 'em).

That said, any movement (voyage) on a 60-65' boat is more of an excusion (a big deal) than a quick sail on a smaller day boat would be.

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Old 07-09-2012, 07:17   #35
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

BTW, the next Trawlerfest (that I'm aware of) is in Baltimore, approx 9/25 I think. You might find it worthwhile touring boats and listening to folks (casual conversation, seminars, etc.) with an eye toward cabin layouts and such. In the grand scheme of things boat, trawlers usually offer the most space for the lowest operating costs -- all other things (length, for example) being sorta equal.

It might be especially useful to just determine the smallest Nordhaven that suits your cabin requirements, then shop around that range for actual brand/model candidates

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Old 07-09-2012, 07:24   #36
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

Shouldn't be a problem for someone with experience...

Me, I only have 33 years experience with various sailboats and wouldn't dream of doing that...

How much experience do you have?
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Old 07-09-2012, 07:58   #37
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

I currently have three boats parked next to each other, a 42 carver, 38 fountain and a 24 whaler. I live on the carver half the week. Its great having a boat for every occasion until I need to gas three boats, wash three boats, maintain three boats, insure three boats, pump out two boats...yadda,yadda,yadda
Having two large boats will be a full time job.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:04   #38
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

After reading through the posts it seems that you have a dream and I admire your dream but is it also the dream of your family? If you have been living comfortably on land, you will be in for a shock when you move to the water. My step brother has a 55ft motor sail boat, that until now has been raising 5 children on. They have been liveaboards for about 10 years, but now as the children have gotten older and some medical reasons, have had to move to land.
Some other issues would be schooling. Do you plan to home school? If you own 2 boats, were does everyone sleep. You on one boat and kids on the other? If I know kids turning into teens, they will be sneeking out and getting into trouble.
If you are truely concidering this live style change, I suggest you PM me and I will give you contact information for my step brother. I think with his experience he could give you some very helpful first hand knowlage. Also, they loved the life style of crusing with there family but due to the medical challanges they had to give it up.
Good luck
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:20   #39
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

Many children living aboard attend regular schools ashore just as many adults living aboard maintain regular employment ashore. During 20 of the years that we have lived aboard we had children children leaving the boat each school day morning. Now, retired for the past eleven years, we have been cruising full time. We did take our children cruising to the Keys or the Bahamas during their summer breaks and many shorter vacation and weekend cruising. We always managed to protect our home by seeking safe locations during tropical storms and hurricanes. I would not have been able to protect a second boat while off cruising away on one boat. This is another consideration with two boats. You would need to move and protect both during weather threats or keep them in a "hurricane hole".
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:48   #40
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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Many children living aboard attend regular schools ashore just as many adults living aboard maintain regular employment ashore. During 20 of the years that we have lived aboard we had children children leaving the boat each school day morning. Now, retired for the past eleven years, we have been cruising full time. We did take our children cruising to the Keys or the Bahamas during their summer breaks and many shorter vacation and weekend cruising. We always managed to protect our home by seeking safe locations during tropical storms and hurricanes. I would not have been able to protect a second boat while off cruising away on one boat. This is another consideration with two boats. You would need to move and protect both during weather threats or keep them in a "hurricane hole".

Home school is certainly an option for cruising families, but not necessary if you love within a marina. On the hook you may have complications as school districts require residency proof -- such things as lease, utility bills, etc. Before settling on a location, find out what the school will require and work with them on it.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:53   #41
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

As a disclaimer, I don't have years of sailboat experience like many others here but I did raise four boys doing day trips on power boats. My second son went fishing with me almost every day and once said when he was about four years old "when I grow up I want to wash boats and drive a combertable (sic)" ha.

There are lots of potential problems with your plan. The first problem is that part of the joy of having a big family is having everyone together for meals or an adventure. Dividing the space between two boats will not solve this problem. IMO you would be better off, as some have said having a "dock queen" boat with lots of room ie not a sailboat and one to go on sailing adventures with that is not too much of a handful for beginners. For example there is so much windage on even a 35 foot boat (which is a piece of cake compared to the huge boats you are considering) that approaching the dock can be a challenge on windy days or in strong current even for someone with years of boating experience. Reverse gear? Fuhgetaboutit! Ramming another boat or the dock is not an enjoyable experience for the family or the wallet.

The second problem is not just the cost of the maintenance but the sheer PITA of it even if you are scheduling various people to do it for you. These people charge a lot ($80/hr) and are often indifferent to your time constraints. If they see you have a lot of money they may really stick it to you to make up for the people that don't pay their bills. I owned a 31 Fountain for calm fishing days (could make 62 mph with six adults on board in less than two foot seas, nice) and a 26 Glacier Bay for nastier days. Working full time, I couldn't keep up with the maintenance and didn't have the time or inclination to learn how to do it myself. The worst part about this is that you don't know what you don't know and in particular you don't know if someone else did the job correctly. Just yesterday I heard a story of two guys that died (on the ICW!) after they picked up their sportfisherman in New Bern where work was done. It was winter, the stuffing box had been repacked with dripless packing and not purged. They planned to take the boat all the way to Florida but only got into North River when the hose around the shaft melted and the engine room flooded with water, knocking out their power/electrical system. The boat was found with the outriggers sticking out of the water and only one of the guys had a life preserver on. Probably a lot of these scenarios are not reported, it's bad for the boating business. As Bash noted, the only sensible reason to live on a sailboat is to try to simplify your lifestyle.

Third, unless you have unlimited resources you might be able to purchase these two vessels but you will grossly underestimate the cost of maintaining them. Imagine going to West Marine and rebuilding your boat with individual parts bought off the shelf which is what slowly takes place if you are paying someone else to do the work. Yes it can be done but is it worth it? The only way you will KNOW your boat is safe is if YOU inspect it and know what you are looking at.

Fourth, what are you going to do when one of the brood doesn't want to be on the water EVERY day? I had one of those, we were worried about him for a period of time and his brothers nicknamed him Billy Elliot. We were relieved when he grew up and started playing rugby and got a girlfriend. Seems like a nice condo on shore with a boat slip in back is a much more sensible solution. The older kids will think it is cool to sleep on the boat when they want to but can also stay on land when they don't.

If you are going to proceed with two boats do consider that you can buy a huge gasoline powered motor yacht pretty cheaply as many people can't afford to run them around with the increase in fuel (they seemed like a better idea when gas was $2.10 a gallon.) Then, get a 41 foot ready to cruise sailboat that the family can take on short trips until you get your feet wet, maybe sell it for a larger one when more experience is gained.

In power boat circles it is interesting to watch people buy a bigger and bigger boat which usually gets used less and less and less until the cycle reverses and they buy a large skiff they can hose off in 5 minutes. Bigger isn't always better as evidenced by the sheer joy of people operating a Sunfish.

If you do have unlimited resources, this boat has been for sale for the last four years on the Beaufort waterfront: it's nice...
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Old 07-09-2012, 09:18   #42
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

I would recomend going to a few marinas and just talking with some of the people that are living aboard. We're a pretty tight and close knit community and most of us are always willing to lend a hand. Thats what I did when I was thinking about living aboard. I talke to TONS of people about the costs of living aboard, lifestyle changes, maintainence requirements, etc. For example, say you want to dock in the SE US. The water down here is pretty warm and biologically active. You're going to have to haul your boat out of the water roughly every 2-3 years to paint the bottom. For my boat, which is only a 35' sailboat, that costs me roughly $2,000. On my boat, it is also time to repaint the deck. To have it profesinally done, would cost me roughly $26,000 (thats removing ALL deck fittings, unstepping and restepping the mast, tunning the rigging, sanding the deck, priming it, putting down the paint and then applying non skid). Of course I could do that myself for maybe 2-3,000 and just tape around my deck fittings. If you have alot of woodwork above decks, you will have to ocasionally sand and re-oil it (thats a 2-3 hour job if you don't have much). Also, docking the SE, you are in Hurricane Alley. What will you do with your boats in the event of a hurricane? You can have them hauled out, for 1-2,000 per year per boat for haul out protection. If you have a reverse cyle A/C unit on board, you will have to maintain that. Cleaning out the strainer basket once a week, making sure your through hulls are clear, replacing the water pump when it eventually fails. There is alot of maintainence work involved in a boat. I also have to rebed alot of my deck fittings and portholes (another 1-2,000 dollars). It sounds like you may have under estimated the costs of boat ownership. It only SOUNDS cheap. There is a reason that BOAT stands for Bust Out Another Thousand.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:21   #43
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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................... On the hook you may have complications as school districts require residency proof -- such things as lease, utility bills, etc. Before settling on a location, find out what the school will require and work with them on it.
This residency proof may be requested to establish school placement, but in the US and within every state, even totally homeless children are entitled to public education. No liveaboard child will be refused public school.
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:23   #44
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

Take the whole family and charter a, say, a 55' cat for a couple of weeks. It's not living aboard, but it's the closest thing to it, and you'll get a better idea of your space requirements.
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Old 07-09-2012, 11:31   #45
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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This residency proof may be requested to establish school placement, but in the US and within every state, even totally homeless children are entitled to public education. No liveaboard child will be refused public school.

Totally homeless children are not denied an education. Neither are migrant workers. However, I know from what friends living on the hook went through that it can be complicated and it's better to have the kids' right to be in *that* school district squared away.

In the United States, "homeless" children are typically in a shelter or temporarily living with other family members. Transportation becomes the main issue. Typically they will have to change schools because they will have to rely on school transportation or walk to school. Our situation in St. Louis was unique because of the voluntary transfer program. If a student was already in that program, he or she would be back in their regular school within 10 days or so no matter where they were staying.

But live-aboard students are not "homeless," and parents will have to find a way to establish what school district the student is eligible to attend. They would be smart to find out what the requirements are in advance. It is particularly an issue in Florida now after several instances of students with athletic talents "fake moving" to a school district with a better sports record. The goal there was to have more access to the opportunity for sports scholarships for college, as well as playing for the "winning team."

No one said they will be denied schooling, but the parents can save themselves a lot of hassle by working on the issue sooner rather than later.
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