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Old 02-07-2009, 06:39   #1
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How Early is TOO Early to Live Aboard?

I am finding it hard to wait till I am fully retired to purchase. I have just less than eight years to go, my situation is this: Boat I would be going after is a 44 Lagoon Owners Version.
Currently stationed in Japan, have about 2 ½ years to go here, on my return I will be debt free with around $100,000 in the bank, house will be paid off, $235,000 with a continuing income around $70,000/year. 5 years till retirement. It is myself, wife and one son who will be 10 at that time. Not to spew all my financials out but 80% of post I read with Q’s ask for more details.
So my thing is I could purchase 3-4 years out from retirement and be stationed in a place with live aboard facilities, but land life would have to go on. To include son’s school, wife’s job as well as mine. I know many have put down how expensive it is to maintain a boat, but I did the figures on my house and find that I have averaged $10,000/ year doing stuff at the house already, it just never seems to stop there as well, I live at Home Depot. My wife has already agreed to go live aboard at the 1 year out mark and live on the dock.
So I am torn between would the boat be in better shape if I were to take care of it on the dock myself for that 3-4 years, thinking of all the little goodies I could do to it over that time. I would be able to sail all weekends, to include many 4 day weekends, also 30 days a year vacation.
For those of you that have stayed in a marina long term, does it get “old” is going out on weekends and so forth good enough to justify full time living. If on a dock are you really giving up that much? The 44 sure looks like an apartment to me. I really do not want to sour my family on boat living before we start the full time cruising.
My intention is to buy used, pay cash. We go boating every weekend now, pull on the beach, grill and hang out with friends and the entire family loves it. It is only a 23’ powerboat so nothing like I am thinking about doing.
Should I plunge or wait?? I know it will be just opinions but I find many on here to be very good ones.
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:47   #2
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My wife has already agreed to go live aboard at the 1 year out mark and live on the dock.
I would be able to sail all weekends, to include many 4 day weekends, also 30 days a year vacation.

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.
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:48   #3
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Get on the boat as soon as you are financially able to. This will let you get to know your boat, and get the bugs out, so there are no surprises. Not to mention learning how to sail her. There is never enough preperation, so this would give you a big head start......BEST WISHES.......i2f
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Old 02-07-2009, 06:56   #4
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I agree that it would be that way. While not going out sailing "all the time" I do think we would go out and power around alot, maybe only sail once or twice a month. If it would only be a floating home, should a person not do it? I believe I could get Stationed in the Chesapeake Bay area.
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:03   #5
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What Vasco says in partially true. When you say you will motor around, and sail occassionally. I am thinking you might be falling into the categaory. It's a sail boat, just sail it. Yes, there may be times when it might be too windy, but your skills will grow only by using the sails. I think the phrase is....calm seas do not make a good sailor, or something like that. Start out on calmer days, but go out with stronger winds as your comfort grows, or you will be at the dock for an eternity saying stuff like....when I get this, or get that. Maybe next year when the kid is a year older....HAPPENS ALL THE TIME!......Just do it!......i2f
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:03   #6
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By all means do it. Especially if you're in the Chesapeake, although the winters will be a challenge. Folks liveaboard here in Toronto during the winter. It's not an easy life but most do it so that they can save enough to take off. My post was just a note on what happens in real life as far as sailing goes. If you liveaboard at a dock it generally becomes too much trouble to get things shipshape to go out for a sail.
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:11   #7
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I certainly see more potential for distance cruising after retirement, but I don't see any cause to be "tied to the dock" while living aboard and working. Don't all those working manage to have some leisure time? Why not on your boat? We moved aboard more than thirty years before we retired and always kept our boat in a condition that would allow us to leave the dock within the time that was required for the engine to warm. The ability to use your boat while living aboard seems to be related to your ability to maintain a liveaboard boat without requiring alterations to get underway. You can't superimpose your "hose style" on to your vessel. Except for one major refit year that involved an engine replacement and new sails, we never spent more than 10K/year on maintenance. When it comes to the question of the early age for living aboard I'll stick with my experience and suggest that it works well as your first home in your early twenties. 'take care and joy, Aythya crew
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:19   #8
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I'd definitely go for it if I were in the position to do so.

I'm stuck on the math for your son.

In 3 years he is 10 and you move back
In 8 years you retire and he is 15
Did your original plan intend for him to go cruising in the last 2-3 years of HS after you retire or would you wait an additional 2-3 years?
That would be 10-11 years from now.

Not saying what's right or wrong I think living aboard would be awesome.
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:31   #9
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I agree, and see what you are saying. I have sailed allot, just not a Cat, and not so big. So yes a portion will be to learn the sailing. Not afraid of the big winds but fully respect them being caught out before. Just being realistic in saying much easier to motor out to a spot and hang out for a weekend to get off the dock. or go exploring, not to say if the day was right I would not throw a sail up. Mine is more of a question if buying sooo early and living in one spot as a full time live aboard still fully attached to land jobs is too much. I do believe we will do plenty of sailing but still have to think of it as our home still with major connections to land. While it would give some certain instant freedoms from land, it still would not be my intention to turn into a 100% cruiser life style. Still putting in 40-60 hour work weeks think that allot of times a relaxing sail or motor would be great but also just coming home to the "house" and relaxing like I do now. There is no doubt in my mind I would not do as much sailing as I would like to or will do upon retirement.
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:38   #10
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Yes he will be 15 almost 16 at retirement, but yes in the end we would pull him from school at age 16 and turn to internet and home school. I think he would get allot out of it at that age to see the world for a few years. This has always been the plan whether we buy early or not.
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Old 02-07-2009, 11:36   #11
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Yes he will be 15 almost 16 at retirement ...
WOW - talk about precocious!
Then, to my disillusionment, I read on ...

I think you're getting some wise advice.
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Old 02-07-2009, 18:12   #12
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You are better off than a heap of people already out there. What happens if you go now, your son is the perfect age to take him along.
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Old 02-07-2009, 21:55   #13
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You are better off than a heap of people already out there.
So much so, that I would sincerely appreciate you and your wife adopting me .... I could use the money!

Seriously, soon is NEVER soon enough!

Rememeber what John Lennon said: "Life is what happens when you're planning other things" Talk about being a 'fortune-teller'

Do it ... and do it ASAP ... End of story!
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Old 02-07-2009, 22:09   #14
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Having lived aboard for most of the last 22 years, DO IT EARLY!!! You will get to know the boat like the back of your hand. Remember to keep using it often,and remember it is a boat. Those nice decorations need to be stowed. I guess not so much on a cat but I have the same sort of criteria as CaptForce we maintain if we are not ready to sail in 20 minutes we best be doing some repair work.
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Old 03-07-2009, 00:49   #15
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This forum is really great!! Thanks to everyone, I wish I could go now but still have to hang there till retirement. Still working on setting myself up in the best position to do it correctly. Have to make sure it is a nice smooth transition or the wife might kill me for it.
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