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Old 06-07-2009, 08:10   #16
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In my 11 years of experience aboard I have seen the people who do NOT liveaboard first fall on their face more than those who do. People who stayed tied to the dock do so because they want to or have to for financial reasons. The act of living aboard does not suck the will to go cruising out of you any more than a house. If you want to go and you're working to go, you will go. And living aboard first is SMART (as others have said) because it allows you to get to know your boat, how your family functions in the space, shake down all of the systems, and really feel comfortable with that boat before you sail off.
We lived aboard for 4 years before we cruised the first time and now with this new (to us) boat and child in the picture we never moved back on land and will have spent the better part of 5 years (minus the infant years where we got NO boat work done) getting this boat ready to go.
We're in the Chesapeake as well and it's a great boating community/ sailing commmunity/ live aboard community with LOTS of people who are prepping to go cruising or have been there done that to bond with.
Best of luck to you!
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Old 06-07-2009, 19:31   #17
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Echoing schoonerdog's post:

- Depending on how many large boat projects you are going to engage in, you will need to walk the line between moving in too early (and then the large boat projects are disruptive to the family) and moving in too late (you realize after you move in that your already installed gear isn't realistic/for you/relevant to your plans because they were based on how you thought it would be like to live aboard and cruise).

- If you count the number of absentee owners (this is what I like to call non live aboards ) who own boats that never leave the dock I think the proportion of people sailing in liveaboards vs not evens out. I think it is more obvious when someone lives aboard and doesn't sail because they are always there in your face. There are plenty of boats at our marina that have literally absentee owners and never get sailed. We had a rule that we wanted to always be "one hour from sailing" unless we were involved in boat projects. We've kept to that although I think that because we are preparing to cruise the amount of time that the boat is torn up with boat projects is substantial.
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Old 06-07-2009, 20:17   #18
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Just left to go cruising after five years live aboard. Wife worked for Uncle Sam in one way or another for over 29 years. Go now. Yea we didn't use the boat a lot over years but I know all the systems now and she is as we want her. We have a Prout Snow goose, small by todays standards but we love her. We tried to take a two week or so cruse every year. A big plus for me was I never mowed a lawn once in all thoes years. I'd rather wash the boat then mow the lawn. My youngest leaving for collage was what moved us to the boat but every kid I've met that lived aboard was a much more mature for the experience. Good luck and fair winds
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Old 06-07-2009, 22:57   #19
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Vertigo,

I think you need to sort out the timing keeping in mind the most critical years for your son's schooling, more than when you retire.

When your son is around 16 to 18, it is the most important years in his high school, in order to get best possible marks, and best possible university placement. At that time it is better not to be cruising and internet schooling, in my view.

Having said that, I would value being able to do up a boat to my own satisfaction prior to going cruising. This takes time, especially if you plan to do it mostly yourself. It is also better to do it when you are still earning some income. Instead of living at Home Depot, you will be living at the Marine Chandlers.

The amount of work will vary, depending on how good of a boat you get in the first place. With a Lagoon 44, it is a fairly late model, so other than setting up the offshore systems like power management, water management, and autopilot, most of the items should be OK.

I am in a similar position. Slowly doing up my boat to ba able to cruise when I retire. Unfortunately I can not retire yet.

Good luck,

h
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Old 07-07-2009, 02:07   #20
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Ganbatte, Vertigo-San! go for it, I enjoy living aboard but with no ties anywhere I do get to travel around.
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Old 07-07-2009, 03:08   #21
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Age as a factor

You didn't mention your age or your wife's age. For those who build a land-based life then decide to live the cruisers life, OUR age is as much a factor as our childrens' age - it's related to strength and health as much as income. Maybe you can cruise part-time when you get back to the states (using some of that vacation time) and make sure you, your wife, and your son all enjoy the lifestyle equally and as much as you thought you would.

I once heard cruising described as a lifestyle for people who enjoy carrying large bottles of fresh water long distances.

John
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Old 07-07-2009, 06:11   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
It's been my experience that most dockside liveaboards seldom, if ever, go sailing. The boat becomes a floating home, tied to the dock day in, day out. This is especially true of those that still work.
I'd like to second that. The only folks I know that sail frequently and live aboard either have everything ship-shape all the time or they plan to go and paint themselves into a corner. Of those, one was a racer and competed in the Fri night regattas. The other invited friend out for Saturday sails. That made Friday nights the time to clean/prep for Sat.
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Old 07-07-2009, 08:25   #23
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Quote:
I think you need to sort out the timing keeping in mind the most critical years for your son's schooling, more than when you retire.

When your son is around 16 to 18, it is the most important years in his high school, in order to get best possible marks, and best possible university placement. At that time it is better not to be cruising and internet schooling, in my view.
Great feedback from all. Since it is the most important one I will address my son first. I would stay dockside if I could not give him a eqaul or better education. I would never put my own "interest" over my son's future or education. Whith that said I do also believe the experience would change him maybe more than me at that age, for the better. His future or education will never be in question.

Quote:
You didn't mention your age or your wife's age.
I am 40, 2 weeks ago, wife is 31, today!! As far as enjoying it as much as me, well that is the main reason for a 44 Lagoon, I think if you bitch about comfort in that thing you have issues. I think I would be perfectly fine in a 40' something and the wife has said as long as it is over 40' and an owner version. I also think that how and where you cruise makes all the difference in the world as well, I intend to be a comfort cruiser with no place I have to be. I just want to meet people and see.... stuff.

Quote:
Depending on how many large boat projects you are going to engage in
I am old enough to now know the meaning of "pay now or Pay later" So I will go for the best boat I can find, which I am sure many are saying "NO SH*%" but I do read alot of post that are going to buy a boat and have a huge amount set aside for refit or upgrades. I will have some set aside for my personal touches but I think the best thing about haveing such a expanded time frame is I can and will wait for the one that is a l m o s t ready to go or at least not needing more than 10-$15,000 of personal touches.
I have talked with the wife about the extended dock living and she is 50/50 but I think you need one of you to be that way or I would probably buy one right now and just pay on it instead of going the save first route, she is definately my anchor. I think in the end I put this up to clear my head and say my idea out loud to hash it over but already had my mind made up before I hit the first key.
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Old 07-07-2009, 09:58   #24
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Vasco's experience to the contrary...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
It's been my experience that most dockside liveaboards seldom, if ever, go sailing. The boat becomes a floating home, tied to the dock day in, day out. This is especially true of those that still work.
...there are a great number of us who live aboard, work, and sail actively. In ten years living aboard, I never once had a year where I logged fewer than 1,000 nm. I suspect that part of this is living in a place that facillitaties a year-round sailing season. Another part is having sufficient stowage that it doesn't take hours of packing to get ready to sail.

On our boat the goal has always been to be able to from dockside to sailing in no more than 30 minutes with both hands prepping the boat. This is something of a lifestyle decision; it means that when you're done with the toaster, you put it back in the toaster garage. You do this now, not next Saturday when you suddenly want to leave the dock.

Bottom line: there's nothing antithetical to working, sailing, and living aboard.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:39   #25
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Based on personal experience, I would advise: sell the house, move on board, but avoid the docks. Go put down a mooring or anchor somewhere. Mooring lines are not nearly as sticky as dock lines. They are much easier to cast off. Living at a dock is like living ashore except you don't have as much room. Living on the hook, you still have a small house but a big back yard. Rowing back and forth in a dingy is good for you in more ways than one.

Rick
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:08   #26
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I do think I would get out and sail a bit, we do boat alot now and it takes at least 2 hours of prep to go and we go every weekend. Then it is another hour to put the boat up at the end of the day, not to mention the drive to put it in.

I think I would be very comfortable on a mooring or hook, but wife... not so much. There is only so much I can expect for the first couple years and rowing into shore would push it.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:17   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subtandard View Post
Based on personal experience, I would advise: sell the house, move on board, but avoid the docks. Go put down a mooring or anchor somewhere. Mooring lines are not nearly as sticky as dock lines. They are much easier to cast off. Living at a dock is like living ashore except you don't have as much room. Living on the hook, you still have a small house but a big back yard. Rowing back and forth in a dingy is good for you in more ways than one.

Rick
i have lived aboard since 1990---in many plces on different boats--i am now on board my formosa---which was restored as a liveaboard rather than cruiser--i am in process of re organizing that to proper perspective---is a cruiser----there are many things to consider about cruising with kids in hs age---the world is a far better place top learn than is the general high school in usa----more to learn and is more interesting. it doesnt satisfy the sat requirements, however--lol---many kid shave been raised suiccessfully on board in many diffferent areas of this world and gone on to college--is up to the kid and the parents.
if on eis attached to a dock, one will find difficulty in sailing the home----try to get away from docks as soon as possible--if not immediately ... get anchoring skills down and get used to carrying water in heavy 6 gal jugs lol....beats the daylights out of jogging in th epark carrying a bottle of water .....seriously....have jugs for your diesel also in case distance from fuel docks overcomes need for fuel ....happens.....once you own the boat , is no reason to keep yourself at the dock.....fair winds and goood luck...have fun.....
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:40   #28
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I'm a big fan of finding people who are doing what you want, the way you want it, and then pumping them for information. Find someone who is living aboard and sailing regularly and invite them for drinks/dinner and make them tell you how they swing it. Find someone who has a 16 year old and is cruising and email them questions. I've found cruisers generous with their time especially if you seek them out and ask them directly (many active cruisers are, of course, not on forums).

Also, I have always wondered how many of the couples who stop cruising shortly after starting (some splitting up, some just selling the boat) did NOT live aboard prior to cruising. For us, our relationship comes first. So we decided it made sense to not have the stress of first living aboard (and although we love it, we had many of what we call "boat moments" where we wanted to chuck it all) coincide with the stress of cutting the docklines and heading into the unknown (where we also expect to love it but have "boat moments").
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Old 08-07-2009, 15:43   #29
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There is no great dock suction that prevents you from cruising choices because you live aboard at a marina. "Subtandard" may be living on the hook or on a mooring, but that's not a necessary defense against a dock. We've lived aboard since 1972 and we've had years at a dock and years away form the dock. The choice is a reasonable matter of convenience for your situation at the time and it does not have to mean you are less able to sail. Bottom line...you decide....you can live on the boat at any time with less hassle and expense than living ashore. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 08-07-2009, 17:44   #30
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Vertigo I am guessing you're military (seems like you mentioned that in another post). If you are that means you son has grown up in that really sheltered life that military kids have. I say that even though the last two years of high school can be the most important socially, that he will likely get a much better education out in the world sailing.

For one thing, Americans are the only place where kids are kept in high school till 18. In the UK they finish at 16 then go on to a-levels and in Germany they go to the arbitur.

You'd really be giving him a headstart. What I do recommend is that you get his SAT's out of the way before you leave if possible. Also in planning your homeschooling, try to fit in as many CLEP and AP courses as you can, that way he has a head start on college when he gets there AND no one can argue as to whether he has learnt what he needed.

I've known a lot of people who made it all the way through high school and well into college and yet still could not grasp how most of the world lived or how the world really worked outside of their individual background.

Get him out there, let him live among the people, learn the languages, help the poor, eat some bugs and all that. He'll be better off for it.

As for the boat, have you guys tried spending extended periods aboard the existing one? I know it's small, but try "camping out" for a week while doing all your normal day to day stuff. A 23' motor boat is not that small compared to the cabin space on a cat. Could give you a real eye opener.
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