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Old 08-09-2012, 07:51   #76
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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I appreciate the gusto with which Galaxy is approaching her dream. It's a very big one and from a sailor of 27 yrs with one boat to fit out and cruise and care for I can't imagine the hurdle of having two, and a crew kids to care for and a mother. If you pull this off it has to be made into a movie or a book.

What seems daunting to me, and should be to Galaxy is not the dream of becoming a live aboard.. but the scale of her needs. People thought me crazy to start off sailing (first and only boat) with a 36' cruiser racer. It took me 6 years to get me and the boat ready and to transition from my land base life to one aboard. And I was alone without kids or a mom. I don't see how Galaxy can compress the time scale on the learning curve even if she's brilliant... which I suspect she is... capable and mechanical, as I suspect she is. Some things simply take time and knowing boats seems to be one no matter how passionate we are about it ... and I was very driven. Even have the almost 30 yrs and maybe 50,000 miles at sea under my keel I can't face the idea of starting this all again with a larger boat (don't actually need one)... but the thought experiment is what I am referring to.

I want to sail and I can sail and I don't want to face a long getting to know you experience with another and big boat. Size increases in boats is GEOMETRIC not linear... with respect to everything... cost, forces, you name it.

I'd suggest move aboard a docked boat of any type with no intention of cruising that boat. You'll still have to learn her and care for her. The charter or keep a play boat to learn to sail... smaller of course and probably don't get that one until you are settled into the *house boat*. Sail with others on their boats... get experience. as much as you can.

Don't listen to me... I only know about my deal. Good luck.
Well, you can compress the timeline.

i took possession of my boat Nov. 13 -- and moved aboard, permanently, Nov. 15 two days later. I've never looked back. I did know the basics of sailing, but if I hadn't, there's no reason I could have learned to sail while living aboard.

It's like Hummingway said -- many ways to meet your goal.
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Old 08-09-2012, 11:38   #77
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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Why Nordhaven?
Just an example, to use for future comparison to other brand/models. Nordhavn builds good boats, of course, but mostly they're big inside compared to length, so it's also possible one of those (even secondary market) maybe be just the thing -- if you've got the scratch.

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Old 08-09-2012, 11:52   #78
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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I have certainly heard that boats are VERY high maintenance, but I guess I figured that with 2 of them everything would get used half as much which would even out the maintenance on both, except of course for hull painting and those things that would have to get done to a boat that lives in water regardless of use.

I work for myself so my time is my own. I figured that some things I could do myself, like basic cleaning, and some no-brainer maintenance things. I could certainly even do some more complicated maintenance things once shown how once. I also figured my teens could help with wash down. For the things that I'm not interested or can't do, I was figuring 2 grand per month budgeted to pay folks to get it done. Is that unrealistic???

As far as teens on boats, we figured that I would be one boat at night and my mom the other. I was planning to slip one and anchor the other very close by.

While I do like the idea of having lots of space and the option of sail or motor that 2 boats would give us. I certainly to do not want to become a slave to maintenance. Don't mind doing some, but I don't want my entire day consumed with fixing and cleaning stuff. I guess that's the tricky part
As you've heard from others, less use, more failure.

Consider your crew. Give each one a specific job while underway (nav, pilot, helm, cook, whatever) and then do the same for docking jobs (spring line, bow line, stern line, fenders, etc.), living chores (laundry, cooking, etc.), and especially for maintenance. Each according to ability, responsibility, etc. Train each to be a back up one some other job, too.

Maintenance example: Period air conditioning service includes closing/opening seacocks; opening/cleaning/closing sea strainers; cleaning supply filters (vacuuming) and cooling fins; flushing/backflushing the water system (usually with a purpose made liquid solution). Assign that job to one of your crew, train and monitor your crew well (you'll need to know how, too), do it as often as necessary in the climate you land in. (In Miami, that'd probably be about once/month.)

IOW, don't plan on doing it all yourself. Get some payback from all those extra hands you've got laying about.

You might find that gives you time to play, occasionally, on the various tender/dinghy, kayaks, canoes, wind surfers, paddle board sorta toys you'll no doubt accumulate as time passes

-Chris
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Old 08-09-2012, 13:51   #79
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A friend lives aboard with her parents, they have 3 boats at the moment, all 44 or larger... she's occasionally active on sailnet. Maybe you should talk to her? She's a great sailor, but the boats are all that they do, all they have time for. The stress of passage making with family divided between boats is high. Might be very valuable to get the perspective of someone growing up the way you suggest.
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Old 08-09-2012, 17:58   #80
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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A friend lives aboard with her parents, they have 3 boats at the moment, all 44 or larger... she's occasionally active on sailnet. Maybe you should talk to her? She's a great sailor, but the boats are all that they do, all they have time for. The stress of passage making with family divided between boats is high. Might be very valuable to get the perspective of someone growing up the way you suggest.
Yeah, it would be cool to talk to her. Can you pass me the contact info. I would never attempt to take a trip with both boats. I just want two for when I'm at the marina so I will have lots of living space. When we take trips, we will decide wether it is better to bring the sail or motor. Then we can can all jump on that boat. But for day to day living my kids can run back and forth between both, but still eat together as we do do now on one.
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Old 08-09-2012, 18:09   #81
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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I would really reconsider buying two boats. I think you're going to be in well over your head with it. And as others have mentioned, splitting your family is not something to be taken lightly. Part of the attraction of living aboard is growing closer to your family. Not farther away. If two of your kids have to share a cabin, thats really not a huge deal. And in the grand scheme of things, how often are they really going to be in their room anyway? They're going to be in school during the week. Probably do thier homework in the salon, be on deck when you're out sailing. If they want TV they'll be in the salon. Meals will be in the salon. Really, they'll only be in the cabin if they're sleeping. Plus, what happens if you buy both boats and your entire family HATES living on the water? Then you're stuck with two very large, very expensive boats. Luxury items (which is what the size boat you're talking about is) are not selling well at the moment. You could concievably be stuck paying a mortgage on a house and two boat loans. I would strongly suggest buying just one first, either a big cat or 50-60' trawler and see how everyone likes it AND if you're able to handle the maintainence on the boat. For instance, there are a number of marine mechanics that live at the same marina I do. One specialized in marine A/C units. Just to adjust a few hoses on the system to make sure the water flow is correct, he will charge $150-$200. For a 15min job. Now imagine him having to do that on both of yours. I can't say it enough, start with one and see how it goes. Who knows, your kids may LOVE all living together on one boat.
What your saying about selling them if we hate it makes sense. I've thought about that. I wouldn't have a mortgage as I will be selling my home first and no boat payments as I will pay cash, but I will still have two boats to sell. Probably should get the 1st boat and jamb everyone on for 3 months or so, then when we love it add another.

I hear what your saying about paying mechanics, but I do intend to watch and learn some of that stuff myself. A few hundred here and there wouldn't scare me, I'm used to that now anyhow. Wouldn't want to do it every day, but here and there as needed is no biggie.
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Old 08-09-2012, 18:18   #82
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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What your saying about selling them if we hate it makes sense. I've thought about that. I wouldn't have a mortgage as I will be selling my home first and no boat payments as I will pay cash, but I will still have two boats to sell. Probably should get the 1st boat and jamb everyone on for 3 months or so, then when we love it add another.

I hear what your saying about paying mechanics, but I do intend to watch and learn some of that stuff myself. A few hundred here and there wouldn't scare me, I'm used to that now anyhow. Wouldn't want to do it every day, but here and there as needed is no biggie.
Don't forget, a few hundred here and there adds up to a few thousand pretty quickly. And before you know it, you're talking real money. One last thing I could suggest, would be to keep an open mind about two boats. You never know. Your family may love living all together on the one.
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Old 08-09-2012, 18:43   #83
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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Don't forget, a few hundred here and there adds up to a few thousand pretty quickly. And before you know it, you're talking real money. One last thing I could suggest, would be to keep an open mind about two boats. You never know. Your family may love living all together on the one.
Your absolutely right about that, they may love having just one boat, but either way they will still live together, they just won't all sleep together. I could do one bigger boat but I'm nervous about having to find a slip for a 60-70'. Also, I don't want to have to find a captain every time I want to take off.

Plus, when my kids go off to college, I'll be stuck with waaaayyyy more boat than I need and trying to sell a boat that size to downgrade might be a problem. At least with a 50' I might have a better chance at resale and if not I can still live with with it.
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Old 08-09-2012, 18:45   #84
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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Yeah, it would be cool to talk to her. Can you pass me the contact info. I would never attempt to take a trip with both boats. I just want two for when I'm at the marina so I will have lots of living space. When we take trips, we will decide wether it is better to bring the sail or motor. Then we can can all jump on that boat. But for day to day living my kids can run back and forth between both, but still eat together as we do do now on one.
I'll send her a PM to the thread, they're on the move now but should be back online fairly soon.
Her primary observation about living on the boats, is the absolutely endless labor involved, and the lack of time to enjoy doing other things. I don't think she'd recommend two boats any more than most posters here, myself included. I just think that perhaps you might really appreciate the perspective of someone who is in the position your kids will be in, and maybe it would give some food for thought as to how to make it a good experience for them too. They are trying as best they can to get back to one boat, despite having the skill set to rebuild boats entirely.

The only compromise to one boat only that I can see being feasible is one largeish boat to live on, and a SMALL, absolutely simple, cheap daysailer or motorboat. Essentially as an extra bedroom/place for the kids to have to themselves perhaps, or a place for one or two to stay as they get older when the rest of the family is off on a trip, if they have school or work. You'd be able to practice a lot of the repairs and sailing stuff on the small boat, without the costs of making mistakes as you learn. Mistakes which WILL happen. I looked at that for my little brother, as at the time I was looking at having myself, my girlfriend and a brother on an Alberg 30.
We found a dead simple basic boat with standing headroom in the galley only(25') for 3000$ and were considering it before smartening up.

I don't think anyone here can describe accurately the sheer amount of labor and money involved in maintaining two boats. boats that size are a full time job to maintain, not accounting for upgrades or urgent repairs.

I thought I was prepared for my boat, which is small, simple and old school, after all I'd rebuilt 4x4s and vehicles, maintained houses and worked with my hands most of my life.

I don't regret the choice most days now, but the learning curve was steep, painful and costly.
The simplest way I can describe it is that you are accustomed to caring for a house, but if you go down this road you will be managing two small towns instead. Water systems, electricity, sewage. It is VERY different.
If you don't stay on top of these things, everything will be fine for a while, and then things will fail. At that point you can expect to shell out money at a rate that will truly shock you. My boat was made in 1967, has no interior lights as of yet, and it cost me 3000$ to get a basic electrical/charging system sorted out again and mostly up to date with a couple of new panels and 2 new switches. That was labor at 40$/hour with me assisting, and parts at wholesale.
It's not even completed yet, but the base is there for me to finish off as I have time.
A nice family bought a 47' boat we're working on at the moment, the costs of the repairs to fix the previous owners neglect and abuse are close to double the initial purchase price now. The job isn't even very profitable, but my boss felt badly for them, and has been trying to help them out to make it safe and reliable with as little extra cost as possible.
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Old 08-09-2012, 19:05   #85
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

Haven't had time to read thru this subject thread yet, but how about 3 vessels. This would be my choice....Ha...Ha

What would you build with a $600 million Lotto ticket? - Page 4 - YachtForums.Com
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Old 08-09-2012, 19:31   #86
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

Maybe something like this for your mothership:

Then maybe a Lagoon 38 or 40 for family sail trips. More than enough for 7.
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Old 08-09-2012, 22:29   #87
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

The problem with some of those houseboat designs is they try to build out flush to the sides on the base. Then when a little wind blows them over next to a piling, particularly a tall piling, there often is a lot of damage that can occur to the sides of the floating house....even more so with glass sides.

I've seen quite a number of such damaged houseboats that did not take this into account.
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Old 10-09-2012, 19:32   #88
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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I appreciate all of your feedback and insightful thought through responses.

In regard to homeschooling. For my preteens I wouldn't even consider it. There are 4 of them and they love school. I figure we'll live at a marina and let them get through high school. I can take weekend and vacation trips. This will give me time to learn how to operate the boat/s. By the time my older kids finish HS my youngest boy will be in 4th grade or so. I will have to homeschool him only at that point because the others will hopefully be off to college and there is no way that I will wait another 8 years to get him through. It should't be too difficult with him since he will be the only one and he is quite bright. I am actually schooling him at home now some and he's 3...
You might consider something like this:Calvert Homeschool Curriculum Overview | Homeschooling | Calvert School where you have all the books, lesson plans and instructions. Also, for a little extra, you can have a teacher at Calvert do the grading and help you over any difficulties.
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Old 10-09-2012, 20:06   #89
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

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You might consider something like this:Calvert Homeschool Curriculum Overview | Homeschooling | Calvert School where you have all the books, lesson plans and instructions. Also, for a little extra, you can have a teacher at Calvert do the grading and help you over any difficulties.

But there's a lot more to good homeschooling than picking a curriculum. You have to make extra effort to get your kids out with other kids. Once students get even above around third grade, they benefit from having a network of parent/teachers so each parent can go with his or her strengths and talents.

For instance, parents with a sailing background might have a lot to offer not only their children but other students -- marine biology, applied algebra, plane geometry and physics, etc.

I've seen homeschooling done very well but the kids were very active in the wider world as part of their education.
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Old 10-09-2012, 20:13   #90
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Re: Has Anyone Ever had 2 Boats as Liveaboards???

40' LONG RANGE TRAWLER
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