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Old 20-04-2014, 14:57   #1
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How Long to Adjust?

For those who have transitioned from a house on land to a liveaboard sailboat, how long did it take to adjust to the space limitations of a sailboat compared to what your were used to prior: full size bathroom, kitchen, closets, and a garage for your car?
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Old 20-04-2014, 18:48   #2
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Re: How long to adjust?

I have lived aboard for a couple of years and have resign myself to a constant struggle with storage.
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Old 20-04-2014, 19:06   #3
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Re: How Long to Adjust?

I live aboard, but I've never made an adjustment,- well maybe a very minor adjustment.

I don't want to take away from the original question, but I would like to split it into the two types of adjustment. There is the adjustment to a lack of ownership of material things and there is an adjustment to the amount of physical space in your surroundings.

When we first moved aboard our first boat, a 30' sloop, I did not reduce my ownership of material things, but I was not able to stand fully erect at 6'3" inside my 5'11" cabin. I was able to slouch while washing dishes, dressing and at the sink brushing my teeth. Surprisingly, I had little other reason to stand below. I did adapt, but after a year and a half we moved to a boat with full headroom for me.

Now I see Cap Erict3's comment about storage space. So, ther are three answers for Old Frog's question...... Adapting to the lack of physical space for your body; Adapting to the lack of material things; and adapting to limited storage of what you have kept.
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Old 20-04-2014, 19:15   #4
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Re: How Long to Adjust?

About 5 minutes. Except for the infant sized terlet. My next boat will have a proper throne. Oh and the shoebox size galley sink. That sux.
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Old 20-04-2014, 19:21   #5
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Re: How Long to Adjust?

18 months for us. Its not the space you need to adjust to it is learning what you dont need. Tools, spare parts, food, and whatever items you use or want for entertainment are going to be high on your priority list. You may also discover you dont need near as many clothes as you had on land. If you live at a marina It may be easier but privacy is reduced. On the hook? Lots more privacy but grocery shoping is much harder. My best advise if you are going to live aboard is to try and sell or donate everything you can live without. Try not to get a storage unit ashore. Just take what you need and enjoy the million dollar view.
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Old 20-04-2014, 19:36   #6
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Re: How Long to Adjust?

Space was no issue for us because it was much bigger than our little camper in which we had great times.
The big adjustment is maintenance. You are living with your own power system, your own sewage and waste disposal, and your own fresh water system.
Every time a tap goes on a pump starts working, every time you pull the sink plug, have a shower or flush the toilet a sump pump swings into action. Toilets require a plant management qualification. 12v electrics and battery management are no pushover either.
Then there is the engine if you plan to use one.
Understanding ventilation and mould control is important too.
If you use gas then you are sitting in a bomb if you allow gas to fill the bilge.
We've been at it two years and it's great fun
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Old 20-04-2014, 19:47   #7
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Re: How Long to Adjust?

Great topic. No personal experience here, but this will be a fun one to follow.
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Old 20-04-2014, 20:39   #8
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Re: How Long to Adjust?

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Originally Posted by ShaktisBoy View Post
....................... Try not to get a storage unit ashore. Just take what you need and enjoy the million dollar view.
I like this. Over the forty three years we have lived aboard we have never had a dock box or a storage unit. We may choose to take the dock lines and the power cord or leave them at the dock for our return, but we are always ready to sail away without concern for what is on land.
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Old 21-04-2014, 04:56   #9
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Re: How Long to Adjust?

We plan to sell or give away about 75% of our stuff and to put the rest in storage. We can store our nicer furniture and housewares for the time we plan on living aboard for less than it would cost to repurchase them on the other end. The storage unit will also be a landing pad for things we just don't want to deal with getting rid of in the midst of what is a very stressful process of getting a house sold and cleaned out and a boat prepared. We're having our big yard sale in two weeks, listing the house the following week, and that weekend moving the boat 25 miles to the marina where we'll move aboard this summer. If we end up loving life aboard so much that we end up wanting to extend living on the boat indefinitely, we'll come back and deal with the rest of the stuff when we don't have so many other transitions to make.
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Old 21-04-2014, 05:06   #10
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pirate Re: How Long to Adjust?

Its all down to your needs.. I was a boy seaman in the Royal Navy back in the 60's... 15 guys to a mess deck the size of a living room and everything stored in your locker.. clothes were folded to Seamanship Manual size and kept to 5 outfits plus socks and briefs...
If your tidy minded no sweat.. if you drop stuff all over its a problem..
In the galley wash up as you go along.. piling up the dirty pans ain't gonna work.. by the time I've dished up.. there's only the plates left to wash after we've eaten..
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Old 21-04-2014, 05:18   #11
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Re: How Long to Adjust?

We adjust every year, it takes about an hour. I prefer living aboard without all the stuff.
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Old 21-04-2014, 06:48   #12
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Re: How Long to Adjust?

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Originally Posted by GrowleyMonster View Post
About 5 minutes. Except for the infant sized terlet. My next boat will have a proper throne. Oh and the shoebox size galley sink. That sux.
My apologies for a moment of drift. I can't stop obsessing about this. Give up some history please, Growley Monster! No one, No Body!, in New Orleans says, "terlet"! We can usually target a locale with some words that match an area. Are you a vagabond rover passing through or trying to break the bonds of your Cajun roots with some Brooklyn vocabulary?
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Old 21-04-2014, 07:51   #13
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Re: How Long to Adjust?

I lived aboard for two years. It was in the context of a divorce... I was delighted to abandon everything but the clothes on my back. There was no adjustment time. I was free. I sailed every day that I was not working. It was an excellent experience.
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Old 21-04-2014, 07:52   #14
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Quote:
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... Now I see Cap Erict3's comment about storage space. So, there are three answers for Old Frog's question...... Adapting to the lack of physical space for your body; Adapting to the lack of material things; and adapting to limited storage of what you have kept.
This is the deal in a nutshell and spoken with vast experience. Over a lifetime I have adapted to small physical spaces, and non-ownership of fluff stuff. I have everything I need and most is in daily/weekly service.

Stowage is the hard part for me. It's depressing to constantly move stuff around. I've currently moved stuff back off the boat til I create dedicated space for it. I have 9 gear hammocks in or about to be in play. They are not ideal storage but fit in air space otherwise wasted.
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Old 21-04-2014, 08:20   #15
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Re: How Long to Adjust?

Funny that everyone seems so focused on the material aspects; I am most concerned about adjusting to the processes. I have to go out to the cockpit to turn the stove on and off?
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