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Old 03-06-2012, 10:44   #1
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Hello All!

Hi there! I'm looking to get into living aboard, and could use some help sorting it all out. I know nothing about boats or sailing, but have recently decided after years of dreaming to dive in! Any pointers on how to get going without any start-up capital would be greatly appreciated! I have ties to the State I currently live in (NH, USA) for the next 2 years, so please keep that in mind! I am a mostly able-bodied 30 yr-old male with a limited, fixed income (SSDI).

Thanks for any help in advance!

-Mike
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Old 03-06-2012, 18:12   #2
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Re: Hello All!

UPDATE: Just got a lucrative job. Perhaps you guys could help me figure out how best to gain some experience sailing and working on boats while I save up for a decent sloop? I'll be making about $500/week, and would like to get under way by June 2014.
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Old 03-06-2012, 19:02   #3
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Re: Hello All!

Okay, so while sitting around reading through some threads here, I got the idea to provide everybody with a little more about myself and my goals, so you can respond more productively.

- I will be sailing single-handed, unless I happen across a kindred soul who likes the idea of living on a boat (unlikely, I imagine).

- From what I gather, I will need a 25-30' sloop. Does this sound right?

- I've looked into diesel engines, and feel I have a solid foundation in theoretical maintenance, but feel like I need some practice working on a diesel engine before purchasing a sailboat of my own. Where could one such as myself get such experience?

- I realize that there is a lot about sailboats that I am completely ignorant of. This bothers me, and I am wondering where/how I can get sufficient experience with boats before buying one of my own.

- I tend to over-analyze things, so I'm afraid I might be doing that here! Is it okay to jump into living aboard without a whole lot of experience, or is it a good idea to get as much as I can before jumping into it?

- Although I have SSDI ($743/month), I am worried that I might not make enough to sustain myself living on a boat. Is $743/month workable, and if not, is it possible to sell fish and/or hand-made crafts to supplement my income sufficiently?

That's about all I can think of for now. Thanks for any tips/pointers/advice!
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Old 03-06-2012, 19:21   #4
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Welcome aboard mthanson!

If you are serious you have to stay committed. You have to live cheap now and for a couple of years to build your war chest.

In the meantime, go find out all you can about marinas and sailing clubs in your area. Find a club with an active sailing program that includes weekend can racing. Figure out a way to get an intro to someone, do some networking and find a boat to crew on. Most skippers need crew. The ideal crew is reliable, enthusiastic and fun on the boat while being serious about the sailing.

The last two newbies on my boat, basically walked up to me as ai was walking to the car and asked, "do you know of any boats needing crew?" and I said, sure, lets go for a sail, right now! Even though I wasn't looking for permanent crew I referred one guy to a cruiser and he is making oassage to Australia right now.

If you get this far you will be able to get a lit of experience and even work your way up the crew food chain to better positions on the boat. You could take some sailing courses but this is not absolutely necessary and can cost you money. You have more time than money so I would book learn and pick it up on a boat if you join crew.

In regards to the end game of cruising cheap - search here for a thread titled cruising on $500 a month. Tons of useful ideas in that long running thread, bottom line is, yes, you can probably cruise for $750 a month.

Good luck.
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Old 03-06-2012, 19:40   #5
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Re: Hello All!

Ex-Calif: Unfortunately, there aren't too many marinas where I live (about 50 miles inland, which isn't too bad, I guess!). Even in Portsmouth, NH, there aren't too many, which is weird because with a name like that, you'd think there'd be tons!

There are plenty of lakes around, and I even have close friends who live right across the street from a marina in Sunapee, NH. I asked them to put up some flyers to try to snag a sailor who might be interested in showing me the ropes. Hopefully that gets some responses, but I'm not sure if experience on a fresh-water lake will translate well to the kind of experience I need.

My $750/month will continue while I make $500/week, so in two years, I should be able to save up a decent "war chest!" I only pay about $750/month for all my living expenses right now, and I don't do much other than watch movies and waste my life away online, anyway! (I think I'll fit right in with the liveaboard crowd!) I'm a minimalist to begin with.

I've already put up ads on Crigslist and here for available crew. Is that not enough? I'm sure people are more willing to go for a pitch like what happened with you than contact some "weirdo on the internet!" lol So I guess walking around marinas is a good idea! Thanks.

And thanks very much for taking the time to respond! It is very much appreciated!
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Old 04-06-2012, 11:15   #6
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Re: Hello All!

You might enjoy and gain some knowledge by enrolling in a local adult ed diesel mechanics course or one of the local Power Squadron's boating courses. These can be very informative and completed for a nominal fee.
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Old 04-06-2012, 18:56   #7
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Re: Hello All!

CaptForce: I will definitely look into some diesel mechanics courses. Don't know why I didn't think of that! I will also look into Power Squadrons courses. Thanks for pointing me in that direction.
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Old 04-06-2012, 19:00   #8
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Re: Hello All!

I downloaded The Handbook of Sailing by Bob Bond today. Any suggestions on other/better books?
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