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Old 09-10-2011, 04:11   #1
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How Do You Spot a Liveaboard / Cruiser or Their Boat ?

We livaboard our boat and when going into somewhere new it is often good to see other liveaboards/ cruisers for a chat.
To make it easier for us how do you spot a livaboard in a crowd or how do you spot a livaboards boat?
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:23   #2
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Re: How do you spot a liveaboard/ cruiser or their boat?

These a some of the signs that I use to distinguish liveaboards from others:

1. No "Jolly Roger" flown
2. Wind generator and/or solar panels in evidence
3. SSB antenna or insulated backstay(s)
4. Pets
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Old 09-10-2011, 04:26   #3
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Re: How do you spot a liveaboard/ cruiser or their boat?

Laundry clipped to the lifelines...
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:26   #4
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Re: How do you spot a liveaboard/ cruiser or their boat?

- Not a bare boat: solar panels, wind gen, SSB antenna, some modifications, etc. Good anchor setup.
- Registration not from the area you're cruising in. Or at least not common to the boats in the area.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:45   #5
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Waterline is higher than usual, green plants in the cockpit, some junk on deck are some clear signs too.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:46   #6
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I forgot to add flying SSCA burgee is another sign.
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Old 09-10-2011, 05:52   #7
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Re: How do you spot a liveaboard/ cruiser or their boat?

Oh, one more: watch how they anchor. If more than one person, do they yell at each other or do they work well in a team? Do they choose a spot carefully? Do they set the anchor or just drop it and forget it?
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:17   #8
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Liveaboard: Anchorlines with loads of "sea-stuff" growing on them, loads of tarps, simple functional tender, water-cans in cockpit.
Cruisers: Fuel-cans on deck, dinghy with outboard, sails mounted, showing colours+curtecyflag.
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Old 09-10-2011, 06:48   #9
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Re: How do you spot a liveaboard/ cruiser or their boat?

We live on BeBe year round as it is our home
We are cruisers and currently circumnavigating
We are 3/4ths of the way around in our circumnavigation
We fly an SSCA burgee
We do not have cans or plants on deck, never had these on deck
We keep our dinghy ready to go
We anchor and dock as a team
Our sails are mounted unless we are in a marina for 30 days or more
We have no solar panels
We have no wind generator
We have no visible modifications
We have a SSB whip antenna
We have no pets
=======================================

So, what the heck are we?

I think it is safe to say that we are cruisers who live aboard our boat and that since we are truly cruising, we do not stay anywhere for a long time, unless we are waiting out a seasonal change in weather.

I think it is difficult to categorize someone by the way his boat looks. I also find it easy to identify someone camping out and calling themselves cruisers. You should probably add 3 categories to your question: "Complainers," "Floaters" and "Experts." It seems that we can usually identify those with a visual and audible sample.

I would say your safe bet is to introduce yourself to new people you notice during your travels. In your conversation you will learn which category to place them...and more importantly, you will not have wasted your time because each person you meet will be an opportunity to learn something new, whether or not they are a cruiser, a live-aboard, or something else. You will have to determine what to do with your new knowledge.

We met a orthopedic surgeon/cruiser one evening at a new anchorage for us. He told us that each evening he would paddle his dingy around the anchorage and meet the people there. He would then invite one of the new crew that he met that evening over to his boat for drinks. He told some amazing stories about some of his more memorable meetings.

Best,

Bill
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:21   #10
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Re: How do you spot a liveaboard/ cruiser or their boat?

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Originally Posted by Katiusha View Post
Oh, one more: watch how they anchor. If more than one person, do they yell at each other or do they work well in a team? Do they choose a spot carefully? Do they set the anchor or just drop it and forget it?

I know a lot of weekend cruisers who work together very well as a team and know how to set their anchors properly. I don't think there's any way to just look at a boat and spot a live-aboard. There are also people who are now weekend cruisers who lived live-aboard for many years and have the most remarkable stories to share.

Then I know one who is cruising because everywhere he goes he alienates everyone he meets.
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:28   #11
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Re: How do you spot a liveaboard/ cruiser or their boat?

small refrigerator and a couple of bicycles on the finger pier .. awnings covering most of the boat .. household air conditioner in the companionway
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Old 09-10-2011, 07:45   #12
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Re: How Do You Spot a Liveaboard / Cruiser or Their Boat ?

Well, here's an example. We've been living aboard this boat since 1985....
......and liveaboards since 1972.
.......I'm thinking that our boat doesn't look much different from boats that our not liveaboards. We don't have much stored on deck, but we do have a solar panel & wind generator.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:30   #13
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Re: How Do You Spot a Liveaboard / Cruiser or Their Boat ?

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Well, here's an example. We've been living aboard this boat since 1985....
......and liveaboards since 1972.
.......I'm thinking that our boat doesn't look much different from boats that our not liveaboards. We don't have much stored on deck, but we do have a solar panel & wind generator.

Nice!

But at the same time, I know weekend sailors with both solar panels and wind generators.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:47   #14
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Fulltime active cruisers, who live on their boats with no permanent residence on land are no longer considered live-aboards according to Florida law.
Live-aboard vessel means: Any vessel used solely for residence and not for navigation.
http://www.boatus.com/gov/pdf/GA005F...gPaper2011.pdf
I favour talking to other cruisers as well as "local" live-aboards. They all have a "story to tell", and I have found everybody very helpfull., which, I must admit, I have often needed.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:50   #15
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Re: How Do You Spot a Liveaboard / Cruiser or Their Boat ?

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Fulltime active cruisers, who live on their boats with no permanent residence on land are no longer considered live-aboards according to Florida law.
Live-aboard vessel means: Any vessel used solely for residence and not for navigation.
http://www.boatus.com/gov/pdf/GA005F...gPaper2011.pdf
I favour talking to other cruisers as well as "local" live-aboards. They all have a "story to tell", and I have found everybody very helpfull., which, I must admit, I have often needed.

That's right. Marinas and clubs are getting around that law by stating that boats cannot stay in their facility if their facility is the boat occupants' only way to get on land.

We have a true liveaboard in a marina near me. His boat very specifically never leaves the dock. He has bought a smaller sloop so he'll have something to sail. THAT is a live-aboard, technically, in Florida.

But in reality, most people mean "live-aboard" as "someone who lives on their boat," and apparently in this case, both lives on their boat and cruises widely.

I'm a live aboard who sails the boat I live on but who has a home slip in a marina.
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